Pastor Don Caywood – Jesus is the Source of Christianity

Pastor Don Caywood – Jesus is the Source of Christianity


Two weeks ago we began a brand new series
the lord has been placing these thoughts on my heart now for some time, the name of the
series is “What is Real Christianity?” Now the source of these verses or the source
of these messages rather are from the book of Acts chapter eleven verses twenty two through
twenty six. Then news of these things came to the ears
of the church in Jerusalem, you understand the church began in Jerusalem and now he’s
talking about this news coming to these people at Jerusalem, the news was that now the gospel,
Christianity, begin to move out of Jerusalem, Israel, into the known Gentile world. Now Gentiles were coming into relationship
with God through Jesus Christ. So this news came to the ears of the church
in Jerusalem and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God,
that was our first message, he was glad or he was joyful, second message, and then thirdly,
today, he encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the lord. Verse twenty four, for he, Barnabas, was a
good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith and a great many people were added to the
lord. Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek
Saul, who had his name changed later to Paul, when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled
with the church and taught a great many people and the disciples were first called Christians
in Antioch. Now let me read again verse twenty three,
when he came, had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and then today’s message, he encouraged
them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the lord. Jesus is the source of everything that is
good, everything that is holy, everything that is righteous, everything that is good. The Bible says, you hear me quote all the
time from James one, every good and perfect gift every gift literally that’s good and
beneficial and profitable that completes, matures, and perfects comes down from our
God with whom there is no variableness neither shadow of turning. He encouraged them all that with purpose of
heart they should continue with the lord. Let me read that last part from the Amplified
Classic Bible he continuously exhorted, warned, urged, and encouraged them all to cleave,
would you say cleave, unto and remain faithful to and devoted to the Lord with resolute and
steady purpose of heart. Now the amplified uses the word cleave. That word cleave is found in the King James
Bible, which for many of us that’s where we all began our Christianity, we have many modern
translations today, but many of us, I’ve been born again now for over forty three years
and so I began with the King James, and so this word cleave which Amplified and King
James uses this is what that word means in the Greek text: to adhere firmly and closely,
or loyally and unwaveringly. You know in the Old Testament God told Adam
that you are to cleave unto your wife. That word cleave basically is the exact same
meaning in the Greek. That word cleave when God said to Adam you’re
to cleave to your wife that word means to stick together like glue. In other words when you say your vows at the
altar the Bible says we become one flesh, that now in the flesh we’re not two in the
flesh we’re one. And so as a husband continues to stick to
his wife like glue, life will begin to go right in that home and so he wants us to adhere
firmly, closely, loyally, and unwaveringly. Now let me share some scriptures that will
just continue to substantiate what I’m sharing with you today from the New Testament. In Acts chapter seventeen look at verse twenty
four he, this is Paul speaking, he’s talking here to some Gentiles on Mar’s Hill and he
says he is the God who made the world, he’s the God who made the world, he also made everything
in it, he’s the lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in temples built by hands,
he’s not served by human hands, he doesn’t need anything, he gives– he himself gives
life and breath to all people. God is self-sustaining. God did not have to create you and me. He is self-sustaining. He’s his own source, he has everything, but
he’s so full of himself; love, compassion, mercy, grace, favor, blessing he could not
help himself, he had to create a world. He had to create an earth, he had to create
you to pour himself onto you and in your life so you could be like a little God on this
earth serving and worshipping the most-high God. He himself gives life and breath to all people,
all people; unbelievers, everybody. He also gives them everything else they have. As we teach all the time, the Bible says if
you don’t provide for your family, you’re worse than an infidel. The Bible says in the New Testament if you
don’t work, you don’t eat. But in West Texas we work. Odessa Christian Faith Center congregants
work. I know you work, you work hard, you’re hard
workers, but everything that comes as a result of your hard work comes from God. You have to see that. You have to transfer your thinking. That it’s not– I’m not my source, Jesus
is my source. We all work hard and we should, the Bible
says we should, but all, everything comes from our savior, he gives everything to all
of us. Verse twenty six, now let’s get down to the
nitty gritty. From one man, that’s Adam, Jesus has made
all the people of the world. Now they live all over the earth and he decided
exactly when they should live. I thank God all the time, I tell him verbally,
Lord I’m glad I didn’t live two hundred years ago. Lord I’m glad I don’t have to move with
a horse and buggy. Lord thank you for modern technology, thank
you lord that rather than have to spend five minutes on the phone call I can text in thirty
seconds to get the job done. Man I’m, I’m thankful for what God has given
us. I’m thankful for the, the generation that
I live in right now, I’m very grateful, but I want you to see this in the next verse or
the next part of the verse. He says and he, Jesus, decided exactly where
you should live. I’m gonna meddle again for you. If Jesus is your source and he has you where
he has you, you should not be looking for greener pastures. See, people move for all the wrong reasons
many times, not all times, if it’s in your heart that God puts in your heart to move
to Timbuktu go to Timbuktu, but if you’re doing it just because you’re gonna make more
money, uh oh see now I’m meddling, or just because you got a promotion, does Jesus want
you to do it? Are you even consulting with him before you
make that decision? Consult with him and if he says yes go, by
all means go, I’ll bless you. Verse twenty seven God did this so that people
would seek him, then perhaps they would reach out for him, find him, they would find him
even though he’s not far from any of us in him. We live, we move, we exist in him, in Christ,
we live, we move, we exist, as some of your poets have also said we’re his children. Now the New King James says, for in him we
live, move, and have our being, that’s also the Old King James. But the Passion says it this way; it is through
him, through Christ, that we live, and I like this one, we function and we have our identity. We function, it’s Christ in us functioning
through us. His will, the Bible says, for it’s God’s will
that we live according to his purposes. It’s his will that we live according to
his purposes. In him we live, we function, and we have our
identity. Now the word identity, I use the reason I
use this verse from the Passion is because of identity. Listen, I think I said it earlier, maybe I
prayed it, I know I’ve said it sometime this morning already, second Corinthians ten
tells us to never compare ourselves with somebody else. I’ve taught you before look, I like entertainment
like anybody else, I like especially athletic entertainment. I like college football, NFL football, I like
Major League Baseball. I like, I like all these things. I like a good movie, I like a good concert,
especially if it’s Chicago. I like Chicago, amen, I like stuff like that. But I don’t adulate all that, I just enjoy
it. I just enjoy it. I don’t wanna be like anyone on, on the stage
who sings with Chicago. I don’t want to be like a Major League Baseball
player. I don’t want to be like a running back for
the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t want to be like any of them. I want to be me. I’m gonna be who God created me to be. God wants you to be who you are created to
be. Enjoy everything else, but be who you’re,
don’t try to follow the pattern of somebody else, because if you do you’re gonna be frustrated. You’re gonna be frustrated. Be what God created you to be. You have an identity and your identity is
in Christ. Greater is he who is in you than he that’s
in this world. You are the righteousness of God in Christ
Jesus. You’ve been blessed with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ. You’ve been raised up to be seated together
with Christ in heavenly places. You are a child of the most-high God. You have status with God. You have standing with God. It’s all through the person of Jesus Christ. Romans 11:36 says for of him, Christ, and
through him, Christ, and to him, Christ, are all things to whom be glory forever amen. So he says of him; that means the origin. Christ is the origin of everything. Through him; he’s the means, he’s the means
for everything that’s good in our lives. And to him; he’s the end. He said about himself in Revelation: I am
alpha and omega. I am he that liveth and was dead and behold
I am alive forever more, amen, and have the keys of Hell and Death. In Colossians chapter one verses sixteen and
seventeen Paul writes for in him, in Christ, was created the universe of things both in
the heavenly realm and on the earth and all that is seen and all that is unseen, every
seat of power, realm of government, principality, and authority it all exists through him and
for his purpose. See your life being lived unto the lord Jesus
Christ with purpose. Wake up every morning knowing that you’re
valuable to the Godhead. Wake up every morning knowing that you have
purpose because you serve your creator. You’re not just serving “the man” you’re
serving your creator. And he’s sovereign in your life and he has
a will for you. Remember what Jesus said to pray? Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be
thy name. Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done, on earth
as it is in heaven. God has a heavenly will on the earth for every
one of us. He says in verse seventeen he existed before
anything was made, here’s what I want you to see, and now everything finds completion
in him. This is where your satisfaction is. This is where your completion is. Your completion is not in making another buck,
your completion is not having another child, and all those things are fine nothing wrong
with those things, but your completion is found in him. This is why so many Christians get frustrated,
because they get distracted and Jesus said to us in the parable of the sower in Mark
chapter four, he said that one of the major problem areas for Christians would be distractions. We live in a world today there are more distractions
than any other time on planet earth, lots of distractions. He also said what would happen through the
deceitfulness of riches or for the desire for other worldly, fleshly things. That they will impede our progress in Christ,
they will stymie, and when these things start impeding, because God is so loving and so
caring and so giving and so desires of our lives being a carbon copy of who we’re created
to be in Christ, there will come a time that frustration will begin to settle in if you
do not allow the Christ in you to flow through you and you try to do life on your own apart
from him. It will set in. He gives us time, God is very patient. The Bible says he is long suffering. He suffers long. Why? Because he wants you to be satisfied, he wants
you to enjoy the pleasure of what it is to know him and live your life on this earth
following the flow of Christ in your life where he will lead you to the living waters
every day for every area of your life. You find your completion in him. Hebrews 13:21, may he work perfection into
every part of you. Isn’t that awesome? May he work perfection in every part of you,
giving you all that you need to fulfill your destiny and may he express through you all
that is excellent and pleasing to him through your life union with Jesus, the anointed one,
who is to receive all glory forever amen. When he says here that he may be able to express
through you all that is excellent and pleasing, because for the last several years we have
raised the bar about multi-tasking. I would rather, in my personal life, be excellent
in one thing than good at ten things. I would be, because there’s a lot of good,
but there’s not a lot of excellence. I’d rather be pleasing to my father by being
excellent than just good in a bunch of things. Find what God wants for your life, discover
what God wants for your life. What is it? What career does he have for you? Are you satisfied in your career or did you
just take it because you can make more money? See, you’re chasing money again. Find what God desires for your life. Find the career. Let God help you to find the spouse, if you
want to be married one day, he’ll help you. He helped Abraham find a spouse for his son
Isaac. God will help you with everything. Are you seeking him, are you asking him, are
you desirous of God’s will? See when you find God’s will in all these
areas of life there will always be problems because we live in an imperfect world, but
there will be peace, there’ll be a soul satisfaction that you will find in your life. Is this making sense to you today? In Romans 14:8 Paul wrote while we live we
must live for our master an in death we must bring honor to him. So dead or alive we belong to our master. Let me start closing now, just a few more
minutes. John fifteen one through seven Jesus said
I am the true sprouting vine and the farmer who tends the vine is my father, he cares
for the branches, you and I are the branches, connected to me by lifting and propping up
the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. Now this is the Passion Translation this is
one of the very few translations that got verse two correct, because the King James
says, the New King James and the King James says the same thing, every branch in me that
does not bear fruit he takes away. That’s inconsistent with Christ. Jesus is not gonna, if you’re a true bona
fide Christian and you’re not producing fruit, when we read these certain translations it
makes us believe that he’s upset with us and he’s gonna cut us off. That’s not consistent with scripture. That’s why the Passion says no, that’s not
what he does. In fact the Greek takes away, in the King
James and New King James, the Greek says it this way; to take up, to lift up, to raise. Jesus comes, if we’re being fruitless he’s
not going to punish us, he’s not gonna cut us off. No, he’s gonna lift us up. That’s what the church is to do, is to lift
people up. Why? Because when we lift people up and encourage
them, honey attracts a lot more flies than vinegar, if I can use that colloquialism. Verse three, he said the words I’ve spoken
over you have already cleansed you. You’re already free of your sins, you’re forgiven
of all your sins, all of them; past, present, and future. Jesus paid for all of them. So he says you must remain in life union with
me, for I remain in life union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will
not bear fruit, that would be an unbeliever, so your life will be fruitless unless you
live your life intimately joined to mine. So what he’s saying here is that God desires
intimacy with us. The Bible says to us in John 17:3 Jesus said
this is the definition of everlasting life/eternal life, most of us think eternal life is dying
and going to heaven and that’s part of it, but the definition is found in John 17:3. Everlasting life, Jesus said, is to know the
father and to know the son. And the word know there is the same word in
the Greek that you’ll see in the Hebrew in Genesis 4:1 where the Bible says and Adam
knew Eve, she conceived and gave birth to a son. It’s an intimate knowing, it’s an intermingling
of two lives, and that’s what Christianity is. Jesus is our source and true Christianity
is the intermingling, the intimacy that we have with one another. He says to us in verse five I am the sprouting
vine and you’re my branches, as you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness
will stream from within you. It’s effortless, but when you live separated
from me you’re powerless. If a person is separated from me, he’s discarded,
such branches, again, that’s unbelievers, are gathered up and thrown into the fire to
be burned. Matthew 11:28 through 30 Jesus said come to
me, come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and over-burdened and I’ll cause you
to rest. Now in context, now this can be used for anything,
for any burden in your life, anything that, that causes stress or frustration, but in
context he’s talking about Christians who live by the law, self-effort, not trusting
God, not trusting the source, the vine. He says I’ll cause you to rest, I will ease
and relieve and refresh your soul. Now this is what I believe is the second key;
he said come to me and number two take my yoke upon you and learn of me, learn. The more you get into God’s word you’re gonna
learn how much he loves you. You’re gonna learn how compassionate he
is. You’re gonna learn how kind he is, how merciful
he is, how powerful he is, how anointed he is, to lift burdens and destroy yokes of bondage
in your life. The more you come and learn of him you can’t
help but see that he really is truly for you. And that he’s not angry with you, not upset,
not in the mood to punish you. That’s just so, religion’s all that is. Learn of him. He says I’m meek, I’m lowly, I’m gentle,
I’m meek, I’m humble, I’m lowly in heart. You’ll find rest, relief, and ease, and refreshment,
and recreation, blessed quiet for your souls, for my yoke is wholesome, it’s useful, it’s
good. It’s not harsh, it’s not hard, it’s not sharp,
it’s not pressing, but it’s comfortable, it’s gracious, it’s pleasant. That’s what God’s trying to say to you. He wants you to be comfortable. He wants you to know that he’s inside you
to direct you, to lead you, to give you enjoyment, to teach you how to live successfully, to
teach you how to negotiate life, how to jump over what you need to jump over, go around
what you need to go over, go through, or under. What you need to go through or under, whatever
it is. Let me close by reading to you the Message
Bible of those three verses. He says are you tired? Are you worn out? Are you burned out on religion? Come to me, get away with me and you’ll recover
your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me, work with me. He says, listen to his pleading, he says watch
how I do it, learn, and I love this statement, learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting
on you, keep company with me and you will learn to live freely and lightly. Father thank you for your word.

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