Participants: Floyd Bresee
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000369
00:31 Hi, I'm Pastor Floyd Bresee and I've been
00:35 thinking it seems to me there'd be a lot more
00:39 Christians if Christians were a
00:41 lot more Christ like. Let's pray about it.
00:46 Father, please teach us something today
00:52 that'll help us become more Christ like
00:56 Christians. This is our prayer in Jesus name,
01:01 amen. Our title today is change me, change me.
01:10 Let's leave our Bibles open to John chapter 6
01:15 and I'll be using the new
01:16 international version. I stood one day in the
01:20 rain at the great divide in the Colorado Rockies,
01:24 it's a dramatic experience to at least
01:28 by imagination as you hold out your arms
01:33 the water that drips off this hand
01:37 will go to the Gulf and the water that drops
01:43 from this hand will go to the Pacific.
01:46 This is the point in North American
01:50 Continent where there is the great divide.
01:53 John 6 tells the story of the great divide,
02:00 separation in the ministry of Jesus.
02:03 It's one of the saddest and yet most insightful
02:08 chapters in all of scripture.
02:11 John the 6th chapter and the 2nd verse,
02:16 And a great crowd of people followed him
02:19 because they saw the miraculous signs
02:23 he had performed on the sick.
02:26 And the Greeks suggests that these folk
02:31 followed him continuously,
02:32 a great crowd followed him continuously
02:34 everywhere he went.
02:36 He was a tremendous attraction.
02:38 But now come with me to the near
02:42 the close of the chapter in verse 66.
02:46 From this time many of his disciples
02:49 turned back and no longer followed him.
02:54 What went wrong, what did Jesus do,
02:58 in John the 6th chapter that people who had
03:03 followed continuously herds of people they
03:07 began to turn back from following Christ.
03:10 You know sometimes we're tempted to
03:15 turn back from following or we follow only at a
03:19 greater distance. Why?
03:22 Well for the same reasons that the masses
03:26 for came then if we find out what caused them
03:31 to leave, we'll understand better
03:33 what might tempt us to leave our
03:36 following Jesus. And Jesus thought in
03:41 John the 6th chapter, an emphasis that they
03:44 and I'm afraid sometimes we do not want to hear.
03:48 Jesus thought that the primary purpose of
03:51 Christianity is to change us and not our
03:55 circumstances. They wanted our circumstances
03:58 changed, he wanted to change them.
04:00 The primary purpose of Christianity
04:03 is to change us and not our circumstances.
04:08 Think of your last prayer,
04:10 how much of it was asking God
04:12 to change you, how much of it was asking God
04:15 to change your circumstance.
04:17 The primary purpose of Christianity is to
04:19 change us and not our circumstances.
04:23 Now it's possible to follow Christ
04:27 and be lost because we followed for the
04:31 wrong reasons. The crowd followed
04:34 Christ for what they could get from him,
04:36 he had just fed the 5000 over at Bethsaida
04:40 in the eastern shore of Galilee and they
04:43 caught up with Jesus then when he was
04:45 over to the northwest part of the sea
04:48 and he was at Capernaum when they
04:51 approached him in John the 6th chapter
04:53 and verses 25 and 26, When they found Him
04:57 on the other side of the lake, they asked Him,
04:59 "Rabbi, when did You get here?"
05:01 Jesus answered I tell you the truth,
05:04 you are looking for me,
05:06 not because you saw miraculous signs,
05:09 but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
05:13 Because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
05:19 I used to teach at Union College
05:24 in Lincoln, Nebraska,
05:25 and they had a wonderful large pioneer park
05:29 and we would take the kids out on a Sabbath
05:32 afternoon and their mother would take along
05:35 the stale old bread and we would feed the ducks
05:39 and have much the kids had even the time
05:42 they were tiny, feeding the ducks
05:44 and soon as they started to feed the ducks,
05:47 the ducks were attracted to them,
05:48 the ducks wanted to be friends with them
05:50 and they appreciated it so much,
05:52 they loved it so much that the ducks wanted
05:55 to befriend them even the sophisticated
05:57 swan came. Then they ran out
06:01 of bread and the ducks immediately left because
06:07 they weren't interested in befriending
06:10 our boys, they were interested only
06:15 in the food. And the kids were hurt.
06:19 Now in the story of Jesus that was
06:23 Passover time and these pilgrims on the way
06:25 to pass over these great herds of people
06:27 were not really interested in Christ but
06:31 what they could get out of Christ.
06:33 And like my boys were hurt
06:36 Christ must have been hurt.
06:37 But you know we too are interested in
06:42 what we can get from him.
06:44 We ask for peace and protection
06:47 for ourselves and for our families.
06:50 We ask for health, we ask for heaven,
06:53 we ask for eternal life. You eventually be
06:59 disappointed in Christ if you follow him
07:03 for selfish reasons, please understand,
07:06 Christ mustn't work miracles
07:09 to feed our selfishness.
07:11 Notice verse 34, "Sir," they said,
07:16 the crowd speaking now,
07:17 "Sir," they said,
07:18 "from now on give us this bread."
07:23 From now on give us this bread
07:26 and Jesus turned them down,
07:31 he refused to give them what they wanted.
07:35 They wanted to follow Jesus but they're
07:37 following for the wrong reasons and when he
07:40 turned them down I'm sure you learned in life
07:43 its hard to love someone who turned you down.
07:45 I fell head over heels when I was in the
07:49 second grade with the cutest little
07:52 first grader I ever met.
07:54 Of course I hadn't met many,
07:56 I wrote her what I thought was a
07:59 very sweet little note and told her how
08:03 wonderful I thought she was and kind of asking
08:07 if she felt the same way about me,
08:09 truth of the matter is she didn't.
08:14 Instead of writing back a sweet little
08:17 fresh grade note, she took my note
08:19 and gave it to my brother,
08:20 who took it home and gave it to my mother
08:22 who really gave it to me,
08:23 and you know something
08:26 I never liked that girl much after that.
08:29 Its hard to love somebody that
08:32 turns you down and Jesus turned the people down
08:35 when they asked him for the wrong things.
08:39 If you see God as a heavenly Santa Claus,
08:45 you ask Santa for something long enough
08:48 and you don't get it and you start believing
08:50 in him and you think God is a sacred Santa Claus
08:54 you ask and ask you don't get it,
08:56 you'll be tempted to lose faith in God.
09:00 God turns you down when you lose a child
09:04 or you lose your job, you lose your health,
09:07 or you lose your spouse to rejection
09:10 or maybe to cancer and you figure something
09:13 is wrong with you either I'm no good
09:16 or something is wrong with God,
09:18 either he doesn't exist or he doesn't care.
09:20 Hard to love someone that turns you down.
09:26 Well all of us attempted to worship a God
09:31 of our own invention, an extension of our
09:36 selfish desires, we want an Omnipotent God
09:39 who will let us be omniscient,
09:41 that is he has the power but
09:44 we make the decisions. We determine
09:46 what we need and he gives us
09:48 what we ask for. So many times
09:51 this is the focus of our prayers,
09:53 we fill out the sheet and we ask God
09:56 to sign it. That's not faith folks,
09:59 that's not even good prayer.
10:01 Faith is signing a blank sheet
10:05 and trusting God to fill it out.
10:08 We want a God who we can manipulate
10:12 to get our own way, I'll serve you and you'll
10:15 make me feel good and keep me safe
10:17 on the highway, you keep my kids
10:19 from going over fools hill and then
10:24 tragedy strikes, we become disillusion,
10:27 even angry. I'll get even,
10:31 I'll quit believing or at least I'll never
10:34 fully trust Him again. Now there's good news,
10:41 although God allows trial,
10:45 he never allows more hurt than can be used
10:50 to help us. My first wife lived 12 years
10:58 with cancer before her death.
11:02 During that time she had 60 months,
11:06 60 months of chemotherapy
11:11 and when she started those chemotherapy
11:15 treatments the doctor was very open
11:18 and frank with us, he said this chemical
11:22 is a poison and I give it to you not in order
11:27 to hurt you but in order to control your cancer.
11:31 And I studied very carefully to be sure
11:34 I give you the right amount,
11:37 if I don't give you enough the cancer
11:38 will go up I give you too much
11:40 you'll be too sick.
11:41 Now God does the same with us,
11:44 God sometimes allows Satan's hurts but he
11:48 carefully controls the amount.
11:50 Too much life becomes too hard,
11:54 too little and the cancer grows.
11:57 We are all plagued with cancer you know.
12:02 It's the cancer of selfishness,
12:05 all selfishness is sin
12:10 and all sin is selfishness.
12:13 Those two words sin and selfishness
12:17 they are synonymous. It not be a whole new
12:23 understanding of sin that kind of nebulous
12:27 thing we call sin.
12:29 When I realized that sin is simply
12:31 Self-Centeredness, it is simply selfishness,
12:35 and I don't want to be a sinner because
12:38 I don't want to be a selfish person.
12:40 The great physician carefully controls
12:45 our trials, too much and we'll get discouraged,
12:50 too little and the cancer of selfishness
12:54 will begin to grow again.
12:57 God never allows more hurt
13:00 then can be used to help us.
13:02 We're all plagued with the cancer of
13:08 selfishness. All selfishness is sin
13:12 and all sin is selfishness,
13:14 so mark it down, you'll eventually
13:17 be disappointed with Christ
13:19 if you're following him only for selfish reasons.
13:23 When Christ doesn't give you what you want
13:27 it's because he wants to give you what you need.
13:31 The real God cannot be controlled,
13:34 he cannot be manipulated.
13:36 I'm sure that you've learned by now
13:38 that God does not take orders well.
13:41 We must take him as he is and what he is,
13:46 is the answer to what we really need,
13:49 not just what we think we need.
13:51 Our problem is that we don't know what
13:54 we really need. Life can only be understood
13:58 backward but it's got to be lived forward.
14:01 Later on in life it's easy to understand
14:04 how God was leading me in the correct direction
14:07 but its impossible it seems some times
14:11 to see it ahead of time.
14:13 God's everlasting dilemma
14:16 is how to get people to accept the help
14:18 that they don't know they need especially
14:21 when we're young. Our assumed need is too
14:28 seldom to our real need.
14:30 Now these verses 14 and 15,
14:35 After the people saw the miraculous sign
14:39 that Jesus did, they began to say
14:42 "Surely this is the Prophet
14:45 who is to come into the world."
14:46 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come
14:50 and make him King by force,
14:52 withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
14:58 Jesus withdrew to a mountain when they tried
15:03 to make Him King.
15:05 They wanted to take Him by force,
15:08 they assumed that what they needed
15:11 was a warrior King, an army commander.
15:14 Just think Jesus could feed the hungry,
15:19 the supply problem would be lit.
15:22 He could heal the wounded perhaps
15:25 even raised the dead,
15:27 they would be absolutely invincible
15:29 they would rid themselves of
15:30 the hated Romans. They would be delivered
15:33 from their oppressor.
15:34 We think we know what we need,
15:41 we assume that we need deliverance
15:45 from our oppressors. What we really need
15:49 is deliverance from our self centeredness.
15:54 Notice verse 27, Mark or John chapter 6
16:02 and verse 27, Do not work for food that spoils,
16:08 but for food that endures to eternal life,
16:13 which the Son of Man will give you.
16:17 On him God the Father has placed his
16:22 seal of approval. They assumed that they
16:29 needed free food, they assumed that they needed
16:33 an easier life and Jesus pointed out that
16:37 what they really needed was much more
16:39 and much better than that what they really
16:41 needed was eternal life. We assume also,
16:46 we assume that we need an easier life,
16:49 no aches in the morning, easier work, more money,
16:54 when what we really need is eternal life
17:01 through Christ. Don't you see our goal
17:06 tends to be comfort, his goal is character,
17:11 no wonder we defer sometimes.
17:14 Here is a husband and a wife,
17:17 one has a goal that is different from the other
17:21 and when the goals of spouses are different
17:24 its very difficult for them
17:26 to get close together and that's the way
17:29 with us. God's goal for us is character,
17:33 our goal unfortunately many times is comfort,
17:36 no wonder we disagree sometimes.
17:40 They said back there Jesus
17:43 changed the Romans, change the landlords,
17:46 changed the world, Jesus wanted to change them.
17:50 Well you say Jesus change the unloving,
17:54 change the hypocrite, change my boss,
17:57 change my wife, change my child,
17:58 change my church, change my circumstances
18:02 and Jesus says to you today,
18:07 let me change you,
18:09 the primary purpose of Christianity
18:12 is not to change our circumstances
18:16 its to change us. Now here comes
18:21 the odd part, almost mind bending
18:27 Jesus in verse 53, Jesus said to them,
18:31 I tell you the truth,
18:33 unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man
18:38 and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
18:46 Whatever does that mean,
18:49 Christians are supposed to be Cannibals,
18:53 we eat the flesh of Jesus
18:56 and we drink his blood?
18:58 Whatever is Jesus teaching here.
19:02 Well it's a pointed illustration.
19:04 What he's saying is you have
19:07 to take me inside, you have to eat me
19:12 I have to be internalized
19:15 and if you want strength for the day
19:20 you don't take a little of the oat meal
19:23 and rub it on your nose or put some maybe
19:26 behind your ear. You got to eat it,
19:30 its got to be internalized.
19:32 Christ must be internalized,
19:34 Christianity must be internalized.
19:36 We want Christ to start working on people
19:39 and circumstances around us.
19:42 The truth of the matter is most of our problems
19:46 are within us and only when his power is
19:51 within us are we capable of loving everyone
19:56 around us. So, you see it is possible
19:59 to follow Christ and be lost.
20:02 If we follow him for selfish reasons,
20:07 well you say Brother Bresee,
20:09 then all these nice things that
20:12 God offers of it stop and think about them
20:15 it really they're all selfish well,
20:19 God promises some wonderful things,
20:22 but these things, these material things
20:26 the circumstances leaving out the primary
20:29 purpose of the Christianity.
20:30 Let me give you two right reasons
20:33 for following Christ too,
20:35 unselfishness reason for following Christ.
20:38 We can be serving him selfishly
20:40 if we follow him only for the
20:42 sake of heaven, he promises us it's good,
20:45 eternal life that's wonderful,
20:47 peace he wants to give it,
20:50 trouble free life well maybe not but
20:52 so many things if God wants to give us
20:55 really can make us a little selfish.
21:01 We talk about these things
21:05 all the time and you stop
21:06 and translate them really we're talking
21:08 about ourselves what God can do for me
21:12 and our Christianity can be self centered.
21:15 If I want to go to heaven just so
21:19 I can walk on streets of gold,
21:21 just so that I can live in a mansion,
21:25 this is poor reason for following Christianity,
21:30 the primary purpose of Christianity
21:32 is to change us, not our circumstances.
21:37 So, two good reasons, two unselfish reasons
21:44 for following Christ, first of all I think
21:48 we should follow Christ out of gratitude.
21:51 Give yourself to Christ because he gave
21:56 himself to save you.
21:57 They offer to do a great deal for Jesus,
22:01 note this interesting verse 28,
22:03 Then they asked him,
22:04 "What must we do to do the works
22:08 that God requires?" They were willing
22:10 to do any work they were willing to do
22:12 a whole lot but notice what Christ replied
22:16 in the 29th version Jesus answered,
22:18 The work of God is this:
22:19 to believe in the one he has sent."
22:25 The price of heaven is Jesus,
22:30 they'll prepare to pay most any price
22:34 to do most anything other than a loving,
22:39 trusting relationship with Jesus.
22:41 The price of heaven is Jesus.
22:45 We're willing to pay a price too,
22:50 we're willing to pay may be the price
22:53 of church membership,
22:55 the price of church attendance,
22:57 the price of giving money to charity
23:01 or to Lord or to our church.
23:04 Well willing into give the price of obedience
23:10 and that's all good.
23:12 Well please understand the price of heaven
23:15 is a loving, trusting, relationship with Jesus.
23:20 It's not just doing its loving
23:23 and so the first good unselfish reason
23:26 for following Christ is gratitude,
23:31 the second is service,
23:34 wanting to be a blessing to others,
23:37 we follow Christ so that we can help others.
23:40 Give yourself to Christ because he can make you
23:46 into something that the world needs.
23:48 You know the beautiful story of the loaves
23:52 and fishes and notice in verse 11.
23:56 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks,
23:59 and distributed to those who were
24:02 seated as much as they wanted.
24:04 He did the same thing with the fish.
24:07 Five small barley loaves,
24:12 two naked little fish fed 5000 people
24:16 and 12 baskets left over.
24:20 What a miraculous story,
24:22 don't you see little becomes much
24:25 when placed in the hands of Jesus.
24:27 What that little boy's lunch offered
24:30 was so very, very little but
24:32 when it came through the hands of Jesus
24:34 it blessed the whole multitude
24:36 and I don't know how successful you feel
24:39 that you're or how things are
24:42 going in your life. You may feel
24:44 that you don't have very much to offer,
24:46 you may not be educated,
24:48 you might feel that you are not gifted.
24:51 Listen just a little bit place
24:54 in the hands of Jesus can make a
24:57 big difference whatever you have give it
25:00 to Him and He'll multiply it
25:02 and make it effective.
25:03 So, we come to that sad moment in verse 66
25:09 where people turned their backs
25:12 and no longer followed Jesus.
25:14 Then in verse 67 Jesus wishfully turned
25:20 to his disciples and he said,
25:23 you don't want to leave too do you?
25:30 Does he ask you that question today?
25:32 If you don't get whatever you ask
25:37 do you want to leave too,
25:39 is your prayer give me or is it change me.
25:45 Will you go away if you don't get
25:48 your own way, don't follow just
25:51 so God will change your circumstances.
25:53 What he really wants is to change you.
25:57 Boy grew up on the farm went of to the city
26:00 he came back to visit his parents
26:03 sometime later on and he saw up
26:05 there in the field a drilling rig
26:08 and said dad, irrigation well has it gone dry.
26:15 No, but the water table is dropping,
26:21 we got to dig deeper before the
26:25 drought comes.
26:27 If you have a shallow give me theology,
26:31 it will leave you dry
26:33 when you get your own way.
26:35 Now is the time to dig deeper,
26:37 to trust Christ to do everything possible
26:41 to save you, to trust him to
26:42 understand your needs better than you do,
26:44 to trust him to make of you something beautiful,
26:49 something the world needs,
26:51 if you only trust him.
26:53 Don't fill out the sheet and ask
26:55 God to sign it, sign the blank sheet
26:57 and trust him to fill it out.
27:00 Let's pray, Loving Father,
27:04 please forgive us when we have followed You
27:09 selfishly, for what we can get out of you
27:14 and I pray that we'll each resolve today
27:18 to follow you out of gratitude
27:20 for your saving us and do with us same as
27:23 You did with the loaves and fishes.
27:25 Make of us something I pray that the world
27:30 can use, in Jesus name, amen.
27:36 Remember, don't fill out the sheet
27:41 and ask God to sign it,
27:44 sign the blank sheet and trust God
27:49 to fill it out. Thanks for tuning into
27:53 Faith Chapel, God bless.