WHAT MATTERS MOST
What Matters Most is not a question, it’s a statement, an emphatic statement!
For weeks we’ve been talking about the Apostle Paul. We moved from talking about Saul to the Apostle Paul as he began his ministry, to talking about many of the things he had to go through just to function in his ministry. We talked about all the punishment he had to endure to fulfill his Calling. (2 Corinthians 11:21-29) The whole time he never lost sight of his Call which was – To Know Christ and Make Him Known.
Many years ago, when I was traveling in a music ministry I came across a singer songwriter named Mylon LeFevre. Mylon was from a musical family which began singing the old southern gospel songs all around the south and all over the country. Mylon was very busy in his ministry of Contemporary Christian Music, very busy. Until he got to a point where he realized as he put it, he was so busy making Christ known that he forgot to know Him himself.
I believe we might be at a point now in the sermons were Paul would say, “Forget about me, and talk about Christ.” Don’t just talk about Him, get to know Him. Spend time with Him. As Muriel told us last week we need to be still and know God. (Psalm 46:10-11)
Well let’s take Paul’s advice as it were. Let’s look more at Jesus Christ today and maybe get to know Him a little bit better than we already do. I honestly can’t think of any aspect of Jesus that I have not touched on in my preaching career. So, when all else fails, when you’re looking for that place to return to that is familiar and comfortable, return to the basics. The basics of Christ are these: He was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, He was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose from the grave, He ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. That is as basic as it gets.
In his book “What Matters Most,” Dr, Tony Evans said, “What Matters Most is “To know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.” Let’s start there. Do you? Do YOU know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? The key there is the order in which those two titles occur, first Lord, then Savior. Many can easily accept the Savior part then conveniently forget the Lord part. Do not get stuck in that rut. Do not let that common problem bind you.
This week I watched one of my old favorite movies Ben-Hur. I watch from the very beginning and didn’t skip anything, and I noticed something I had not noticed before. At the beginning of the movie in the screen credits it begins by saying “This Is A Story of Jesus Christ.” How many of you have ever seen that, or thought of that when you think of the movie Ben-Hur? A movie about Jesus Christ?
The movie begins with the star of Christ leading the Wisemen to Jesus in Bethlehem. The Wisemen come and bring their offerings, and the shepherds are there. The cattle are there lowing, calves are running through the stable. Later on, Ben-Hur’s and Jesus’ paths cross. Ben-Hur is a prisoner and Jesus offers him water. Further on in the story, Jesus is preaching around Jerusalem and Ben-Hur’s sister hears him. Jesus was arrested, a story very familiar to us. As He drags His cross up the hill to Golgatha He stumbles and Ben-Hur offers Him a drink of water. During the story Ben-Hur’s mother and sister had been imprisoned and became lepers. At the end of the story Jesus is crucified. The storm comes, the sky becomes dark, there’s lightning everywhere and the heavy rain pours down, running down from Jesus’ body carrying his life giving blood which Ben-Hur’s sister and mother come in contact with, and they are cured of their leprosy.
The story of Jesus was told by MGM not realizing how accurate they were concerning the blood of Christ. I doubt they thought that much about it. It was just a good touch for the movie. How often, if ever, do you think of the blood of Christ? Back to the basics remember. Knowing the blood of Christ washes away our sin is a basic.
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
Though our sin be as scarlet they become white as snow. I love the play on words the red blood of Christ washing away our sin, so we become white as snow.
The basics of Christ – Salvation and Healing through the Blood of the Cross. Sometimes we lose focus in this modern world. But the basics of Christ never change… Never Change.
The words of a song carry that meaning for, “Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not, as Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.” And there is another one that fits, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
Paul gives us some very clear-cut information on this subject in his letter to the Romans. That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) (802)
What matters most? The answer to one question… Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? It is a simple question. I believe it can always be answered yes or no. There’s no fence sitting here, there’s no neutral gear, you are either going toward Him or away from Him. So…
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
That’s What Matters Most!
Bostwick UMC 10/25/2020