Weekly Seed of Faith 8/16/19

Seed of Faith – I BELIEVE IN JESUS — IS JESUS ENOUGH?   By Pastor Dave  

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

Dear Saintly Seed-Sowers:

It is my hope and prayer that you will see the GLORY of Jesus in your life and that you will come to know that Jesus is enough.

Today we begin to look at the second section of the Apostles’ Creed.

Join with me in the reading of this ancient creed of faith that has shaped and changed so many lives for so many years.

The Apostles’ Creed 
1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
2. and in Jesus Christ, His only (begotten) Son, our Lord;
3. who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, 

4. suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried;  He descended into hell; 
5. the third day he rose again from the dead; 
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; 
7. from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost, 
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, 
10. the forgiveness of sins, 
11. the resurrection of the body, 
12. and the life everlasting.
Amen.
[i]

This creed was used as a creed, to state exactly what the early believers believed.  In fact, the word “creed” comes from “credo” which means “I believe.” I hope by the end of our series that you will have found your own “CREDO”! Do you remember that the early church used this creed as their baptismal confession? If you wanted to join the church—way back in the second century—you needed to proclaim your faith in the TRINITY: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Apostles’ Creed was one way to declare what you believed.

The first section of the Creed was about God, the Father–the creator and maker of all. The second section of the Creed is about the second person of the Trinity: JESUS. When The Apostles’ Creed speaks about Jesus, it takes us on a journey through Christmas, Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter as it unfolds the truth of who Jesus is.

Jesus is the name that Michael the Arch Angel gave to Mary when he announced to her the Good News of her pregnancy. “…the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.'” (Luke 1:30-33)

The name “Jesus” is Greek and comes from the Hebrew name for “Joshua” which means “God is Savior.”  By giving him the name Jesus, this identified Jesus as a historical person:  Jesus was Mary’s son.  Jesus was the son of Joseph, a carpenter.  Jesus worked in His father’s carpentry business until he was thirty years old and then Jesus began His ministry of healing, of miracles and of resurrections.  Jesus labored for three years as a rabbi teaching that the Kingdom of God had come. He was put to death around 30 A.D. by Pontius Pilate. After Christ’s death, His followers became known as CHRISTIANS (little Christs).

Part two, line two of the Creed starts with: “I believe in Jesus Christ.” Here’s some trivia on the word “Christ.” “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Christ equals Messiah. Messiah equals Christ. The name “Christ” is a title, it is not Jesus’ last name. When we say “Jesus Christ,” it means “Jesus the Messiah.”

The title “Christ” also expresses the claim that Jesus fulfilled all three ministries that are anointed with the title in the Old Testament times: a prophet (a messenger from God,) a priest (one who mediates with God for us by sacrifice) and a king.  Jesus Christ literally means: “Jesus, the Messiah, the prophet, the priest and the king.”  “Christ” is a pretty impressive title. This is what we are saying when we recite the first two lines: I believe God is my Father who has power over all my Father has ever created.  Line two: I believe that Jesus is the messiah, the Christ, the prophet, the priest and the king.

We continue in the Creed to proclaim that this Jesus Christ is God’s only Son.

Legend has it that sometime in the first century, a wealthy merchant was traveling through the Mediterranean world. He was looking for the distinguished Pharisee, Paul, when he encountered Timothy. Timothy arranged a visit between the merchant and Paul. Paul, at the time, was  a prisoner in Rome. Stepping inside the cell, the merchant was surprised to find a rather old man, physically frail, but whose serenity and magnetism challenged the visitor. They talked for hours. Finally, the merchant left with Paul’s blessing. Outside the prison, the merchant inquired, “What is the secret of this man’s power? I have never seen anything like it before.”  Timothy replied, “Did you not guess? Paul is in love.” The merchant looked bewildered. “In love?” “Yes,” Timothy answered, “Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.”  The merchant looked even more bewildered. “Is that all?” Smiling, Timothy replied, “Is that all? That, my friend, is everything.”[i]

So What?
Christianity can sometimes be a crazy thing. The Church can sometimes be a crazy thing. There are all these “rules” of accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. And there are many debates on how to accept Christ as your Savior but not as your Lord. Here’s what the WORD says in John 14:6, Jesus is speaking, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”

I can only imagine that some of you might be wrestling with God’s call on your life. What is God calling you to do and become? Here’s your “SO WHAT?” for the week: IS JESUS ENOUGH FOR ME? Is God my Father, and is Jesus my Savior and Lord? Is Jesus all I need? Or do you need more than Jesus? It’s the age-old wrestling match: is JESUS enough?

I was 12 when I first accepted Jesus as my Savior. I believed in Jesus because I wanted to go to heaven to see my brother, Gary, who had died in a car accident.  When I was 27, I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life.  Ten years later, I felt the call to go into full-time ministry. It took me three years of battling the “What ifs” before I told my wife. What if I give up everything, we’ve worked so hard to get? What if I walk away from security? What if I’m really bad at ministry? What if we never have much of anything? Is Jesus enough? If Jesus is my Savior and my Lord can I trust His call? “FOLLOW ME, Dave, and I will make you a fisher of people.”

In conclusion, I think of Jacob who wrestled an angel all night.  (First of all, notice THE MAIN SPORT LISTED HERE: wrestling!) Jacob had fled his home because he had tricked his father (with his mother’s help) and had stolen the birthright from his twin brother, Esau. He went to work for his Uncle Laban and married both Leah and Rachel. By this time in the story, Jacob is heading back home with all of his wives, children, livestock and all that goes along with that. He sends everyone ahead, and stays behind at the ford of the Jabbok. Jacob was alone and an angel wrestled him all night. The angel touched and wrenched Jacob’s hip socket. Jacob said to the angel, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” I often wonder if the longer version went more like this, “I am about to go see my brother. Long ago, I outsmarted him for the family birthright. I haven’t seen in him many years. You need to bless me. He might really be mad at me.” The angel does more than bless Jacob, the angel changes Jacob’s name to Israel–because he has struggled with God and with humans and has overcome. Jacob had to get to the point where God was enough. So do you and I. This is your “SO WHAT?” for the week: IS JESUS ENOUGH FOR ME?
Let’s pray:
God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit—HELP me to know what I believe, increase my faith and increase my trust in YOU. God, help me. Help me to stand at the waters of  baptism, help me to understand this creed. Give me eyes to see YOU, ears to hear YOU and a heart to know YOU. Help me to follow You as You make me a fisher of people. Jesus, You are enough. Amen.
See you Sunday …

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave
www.theseedchristianfellowship.com

[i] Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (p. 225). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[i] Historic Creeds and Confessions. (1997). (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Lexham Press.

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 8-8-19

Seed of Faith – I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER   By Pastor Dave  

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”  Hebrews 11:1-3

Dear Friends and Faithful Seed Sowers:

Summer is just about half over yet many are already back to school! As everyone gets ready for the new school year, I want to take a quick moment to thank each and every one of you for your faithful support and love throughout all the years.  Your faith has given my wife and I the courage to keep looking to Jesus, the author of our faith.

We continue our series on the Apostles’ Creed.  The questions that the Holy Spirit put on my heart this year is, “What do you believe?  Who do you believe? Why do you believe? How do you believe? How do you live what you believe?”

Read the Apostles’ Creed with me:

Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell
The third day he rose again from the dead
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead
I believe in the Holy Ghost
I believe a holy catholic church; the communion of saints
The forgiveness of sins
The resurrection of the body
And the life everlasting. Amen.[i]

What does it mean when we say we “believe in God the Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth”?

It was a cold night in January of 1981 in Rochelle, Illinois, when I got down on my knees in my bedroom.  I was 27 years old, the father of three young children. I had been invited to a couple’s Bible Study by my wife on the book of Romans; we came to chapter 8, verse 15. My life was forever changed that cold, wintry night. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption. And by him we cry, ‘Abba Father.’”  I read and reread that verse that night and started to cry. I went home and knelt down in my bedroom.  I asked God if He really wanted to be my father. I looked up to the heavens and said, “God you really want to be my Father, I will give you a chance.”  I look back and have to laugh. I was going to give God, the creator of everything, a chance. Mighty wide of me, don’t you think? That cold January night forever changed my life.  I came to learn that I really did have a Father in heaven who was Almighty, who created all things and sustains all things–including me, the guy who decided to give God a trial run.

I love Hebrews 11:1-3.  Faith means a lot of things but this verse spells it out.  Faith means being sure of you hope for. Faith means being certain of what you do not see.  Faith means we can understand that God created the universe. Faith means trust.
In the Apostles’ Creed we say that there once was a man called Jesus who lived, died and rose again. We are affirming our belief and our trust in Jesus. As Christians and followers of Jesus, we don’t just believe in something.  We believe in someone–a million times better than having faith in something.

When I turned 40, I left a 20-year career with a nice-paying job.  I had two company cars, free insurance, and a fair salary.  We owned a house and our three children didn’t seem to lack much.  Did I mention that I was a self-made man? For many years, I got by not trusting in anyone or anything but myself.  And then God called me into seminary. Those three years in seminary, I learned my Greek, my Hebrew, church history, ethics, church polity and pastoral care but the main lesson that God taught me was not to be found in any textbook.  Those three, long years I often refer to as “THE CEMETERY” God taught me one simple word — trust.

To
Rest
Under
Salvation’s
Tree

While in seminary, I had to learn to trust God for my daily bread.  I had to learn to trust God for my finances.  I had to learn to trust God with my family. I had to learn to trust God with everything that I had held so tightly to.  I had to let go and let God fill my hands. When I left my job in August of 1994, I no longer had two, free, no maintenance vehicles. I no longer had free insurance. I no longer had much of a salary. I was a full-time seminary student, and I had to learn to trust God—for everything. We had one child in college and two in high school. “TRUST ME, DAVE,” was my mantra for those three, long years.

So What?
So how do you trust?  How do you believe?  What do you believe? Why do you believe?  It is my prayer that as we walk with me through the Apostles’ Creed you  will come to know that you, too, have a Father in Heaven who loves you with an unfailing love and with an outrageous grace. It is my prayer that you will come to understand that His love will never leave you nor forsake you.  His love will create and continue to recreate in you a new heart.

I happen to be married to a woman whose father is her hero. I’ve known Andy for 47 years. I’ve never seen him lose his temper—although he gets worked up over politics! I’ve never seen him throw anything or hit anything. For 47 years, I’ve listened to my wife call her father, “Daddy oh!” “Hi, Daddy oh!” or just “Daddy.” And, for 47 years, I’ve listened to Andy call my almost 65 year-old wife, “Baby doll” or “Baby” or “Sweetheart.”  Just the other day, I was talking to my wife about this series. I shared with her how lucky and blessed she is to have father like she does. Matter of fact, I was driving in the car coming home from a church meeting. I had two other men in the car with me. We had just come from “CHRIST, COFFEE & CARS.” (Meets monthly on a Saturday morning, let me know if you are interested.) Jac didn’t know she was on speaker phone. She had called me to tell me some news about her “Daddy oh!” One of the men asked her why she called her dad that. Jac replied, “Oh my gosh. My dad is my hero. He’s always been my hero. He’s never given me a reason not to be my hero.” After a brief pause, she said, “I wish everyone could have a father like mine.” Both of the men in the car replied, “Me, too.” That interaction got me thinking. You know what? WE DO. We do have a heavenly Father who absolutely loves us. We have a heavenly Father who even lets us “give Him a chance.” We have a heavenly Father who wants to be our hero.
As I close out this week’s SEED OF FAITH, I’m praying for you. I’m praying that if you are going through a hard season that you will learn TO TRUST. I am praying that if you need a heavenly Father, that you will give GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, a chance. I have watched my wife of 45 years make the easy transfer from an earthly father whom she loves and adores to a heavenly father she loves and adores. That’s my prayer for each one of us: that we know we are loved and adored by our heavenly father.
I think I have it. I think I’ve found a pretty good way to start your very own Apostles’ Creed: Kneel down in your bedroom and simply say, “DADDY-OH! I’m thinking tonight’s the night I give you a chance…”
God loves you.  God, our Father, honestly LOVES YOU. That’s my prayer, that you come to understand and grow in the Father’s love for you.

SEED you Sunday!

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave
www.theseedchristianfellowship.com

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.