Consumed with Jesus
Matthew 4: 18 - 20
The Christian life is more than a casual admiration of a good man called Jesus, if it is anything it is an OBSESSION with the most wonderful, incomparable, person who ever lived, and still lives in us through His precious Holy Spirit.
Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew to follow Him, He says: follow me and I will make you Fishers of Men.
That word "follow" did not and does not mean just to tag along behind. In those words there was an invitation to become what He was.
To follow Jesus, to be a disciple of Jesus, means to observe, to study, to walk where he walke; literally for those disciples it was to step in the prints that His feet had made, to learn, to watch and study with the expectation of doing the same thing.
They watched Jesus cast out Devils and heal the sick, they watched Jesus open blind eyes, they watched Jesus touch the Untouchables like the leper who came to Jesus full of leprosy and Jesus touched him and made him whole, they saw Jesus speak to the storm and the storm had to obey His voice. It all started with an invitation to follow Me and the invitation to make Jesus their OBSESSION.
In the world we live in we have all kinds of people. We’ve come to look at certain people among us as celebrities, some are movie stars, some are sports giants who have mastered their sport, some are singers and performers who capture the attention and the imagination of millions.
And these celebrities seem to produce among us another group of people; sometimes they're called stalkers because they go way beyond just a casual appreciation or enjoyment of their celebrity or their craft or their talent and they become obsessed with them.
They follow them everywhere they go they find out everything about them they study their habits, they are way beyond fans, they are fanatics; they're even beyond fanatics, they become consumed with their celebrity, they know their favorite colors or the kind of flowers they like, their favorite foods, they learned their daily routines and eventually they go beyond just extreme interest and they actually become invasive and intrusive in the life of the celebrity they're obsessed with.
You’ve seen this on the news from time to time when some celebrity is being stalked.
They begin to walk in the same steps, they sit in the same chair, they eat the same foods, and they even start showing up in the same places at the same time.
That's when the police get involved because at this point they feel that the person (the stalker} is now a threat to the well being of the object of their obsession or their celebrity.
As I was praying I heard these words in my spirit: (Consumed with Jesus.)
As I pondered these words the stalker illustration came to my mind and the Holy Spirit began to speak to me about Jesus and how far beyond any Celebrity Status He is.
Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Elvis Presley, or any actor or any performer, or any sports hero all rolled together, doesn't hold a candle to how Excellent, how Perfect, how Beautiful, how Holy, how Passionate, how Compassionate and merciful, how Kind, how Long Suffering, how Forgiving Jesus is.
And I heard again (Consumed with Jesus.)
And I begin to understand the Holy Spirit is issuing an invitation to you and me to become Jesus stalkers, to be consumed with Jesus, to be obsessed with knowing Him, watching Him, listening to Him, learning what makes Him happy, and what makes Him sad.
Looking at the kind of company He keeps, listening to the way He speaks, learning to see through His eyes, feeling what He feels. To walk in His footsteps, to sit where He sits, to love like He loves, to forgive like He forgives, to hate what He hates.
And then I begin to feel this conviction of the Holy Spirit, so many in the church today are just Jesus fans, they’re like someone who sits in their home and watches their favorite celebrity or movie star or performer on TV and they enjoy their acting or their performance or like a spectator in the stands watching their favorite athlete or sports hero and enjoying their performance on the field.
We watch them for a while, maybe even play a little armchair quarterback for a while, then we go to bed and forget all about them.
But I heard the Holy Spirit say to my heart, He is raising up a new breed of believers in the church and they are not just going to be Jesus admirers or Jesus fans.
They're going to be Jesus stalkers, they're going to be obsessed with Jesus, they're going to be Consumed with Jesus.
Every waking hour and even while they sleep they're going to be stalking Jesus, studying His moves, looking at His eyes, listening to His voice, watching where He puts His hands, they're going to follow Him everywhere, they're going to be right on His heels just like Elisha was on Elijah's heels.
I hear the Holy Spirit saying the day for the Casual Christian is over. The Casual Christian is the person who just adds Jesus to their life like one of their television programs; they just add Him into their programming, like a little sprinkling of salt on your food, like coming to church at least once or twice a month so you can convince yourself that you're still saved.
I have a warning for all the casual comfortable Jesus admirers, and convenient Christians. You better get your feet out of the aisles because the Jesus lovers are coming and they will run you over.
Because Jesus has become and is becoming their one Magnificent Obsession, they are being Consumed with Jesus.
The word Magnificent means: majestic, opulent, exquisite, splendid, superb, dazzling in brilliance and radiance. That which is superb is above all others, the highest degree of excellence and elegance.
That’s Jesus, and every one of those words and a thousand more could not even begin to unveil His true beauty and glory.
The word Obsession means, the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, or desire.
There is a group of people in the church who are sick and tired of dead religion and tradition and they are once again falling in love with Jesus, not a historical Jesus, not a religious Jesus, not a dead Jesus, but a living Jesus. And they're hearts are on fire again.
They are being consumed by Him. Our God is a Consuming fire.
The attitude of Ananaias and Saphira is being executed, destroyed. The Holy Spirit is sick and tired of an attitude that offers to Jesus bits and pieces of their lives and say that they have given Him everything. It's a religious spirit, it goes through the motions but there's no heart in it.
It's an attitude of self-preservation. It gives what is easy, comfortable, a little change in the offering, a little thank you Jesus hallelujah, maybe even clap the hands.
But when they get home they never pick up their Bible, their wife or husband or children never hear them pray. They watch things on TV and listen to things on TV and the internet that would embarrass a sailor.
But they tell themselves that they’re all right because they know all the religious protocol, and they know how to look the part.
Folks, I love you, so I’m going to tell you the truth, that is a deceiving spirit.
It looks the religious part, talks the part, but is lying to the Holy Spirit. Remember Peter said to Ananaias and Saphira: why hast Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, you have not lied unto men but unto God.
Listen, you can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can never fool the Holy Spirit, not for one minute.
I want to say to you today, Consumed with Jesus folks are coming, they’re coming to our town, they’re coming to our church. I want to say that they may not be the majority and that by contrast they may be few, but the fire of their Obsession and the fire of their love and the fire of their devotion is going to shake hell.
The now I lay me down to sleep, two hymns, a joke and a scripture for a sermon church isn’t going to get the job done. We’ve got to have fire in the pulpit to melt the ice in the pews.
If our pews are frozen it’s because the fire has gone out in the pulpit.
This new breed of fire baptized Jesus lovers are not only going to shake hell, they’re also going to shake up a lukewarm church that is slipped into a long distance relationship with the Lord and all they have left is a casual admiration and appreciation for the savior.
They have become dull insensitive and indifferent, they've lost their passion and their Zeal they've lost their first love and didn't even know it happened.
But Thank God many of those who fell asleep are going to wake up, many of those who have lost their fire and their Zeal and their passion for Jesus are going to get it back.
Praise God, their eyes will be Anointed and they will see the Savior again and they will fall in love with Him again, and they will be consumed with Jesus.
But it’s going to wake up another group in the church, those who are satisfied with a casual long-distance religious affiliations with the name of Jesus. They will also wake up but they will wake up upset and resentful and critical, they will resent the passion and the fire the devotion and the zeal.
And they will resist the Holy Spirit and they will wrap themselves up in religious grave clothes and they will die on the pew sitting in the church singing I shall not be moved.
Some folks may think Pastor that sounds extreme, don't you think that you may be a little over the top? Don't you think that you're making it too hard? It's almost like you're saying it's either or. It's almost like you're saying there's no middle ground. It's almost like you're saying get in or get out. It’s almost like you’re saying that the lukewarm are going to get spewed.
Folks, I'm not the one who said it, Jesus is. He said if you're not for me you're against me. He said that if you're not gathering with me you’re scattering abroad. He said I would rather you be hot but because you are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth.
The world is full of celebrity fans of all different kinds but Jesus never called for fans He called for followers. He's called us to be obsessed with Him, to burn with holy zeal and holy love and passion for Him.
That's why we need the Holy Spirit so badly. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal Jesus to our heart.
Remember when Jesus asked His disciples in Matt. 16:13-17 whom do men say that I, the son of man, am? and they begin to answer, Some say that thou art John the Baptist, some, Elias and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. But whom do ye say that I am; then Peter all of a sudden with a flash from the glory world, said thou art the Christ the son of the Living God.
And Jesus answered him blessed art thou Simon bar-Jonah for flesh-and-blood hath not revealed this unto thee (no schooling no teaching no book learning gave you this wisdom).
This Revelation came from Heaven; My Father in Heaven has revealed this unto thee. Jesus was saying this was a revelation by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And only the Holy Spirit can put within us the same love the same zeal the same compassion, the same love for the lost that Jesus has.
I hate to say it but in general the church has become institutionalized and sterilized and it's becoming colder and colder and colder and more and more formal and powerless all the time.
The Bible says: Matt 24: 12 Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
The church was never meant to be an institution. The church was always meant to be a fiery, passionate, living organism filled with the presence and the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The church is to be His body in the earth, filled with the same Holy Spirit and power that filled Jesus’ life.
Let me go farther; if the world doesn’t see Jesus manifested in and through the church they will never see Him.
The world doesn’t need a history lesson on Jesus, the world needs to see in the church and through the church a vibrant demonstration and manifestation of a living savior that can save them, that can heal them that can deliver them and set them free.
They need to see Jesus lovers, not just Jesus fans. They need to see us obsessed with Jesus and possessed by the Holy Spirit, on fire with His Love, consumed by His passion.
I don’t want to wait till I get to heaven to experience the glory and the power of God, I need it right here right now. I need it so I can give glory to God by making a kingdom impact in this world.
I need more than just His presence; as much as I love His presence I need more than just the assurance that He is with me, and I need more than just a church affiliation.
I need P O W E R. Let me bring it Home where we live, church we need POWER.
Power to cast out devils, Power to heal the sick, Power to set the captives free, Power to undo the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8 For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…
Lu 10:19 Behold I give unto you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Then Jesus said: John14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works than these shall ye do; because I go unto my Father.
You might say Pastor, I’ve never really felt a real need for the power of the Holy Ghost in my life, I’m just satisfied to bask in His wonderful presence.
Well that may be fine for you, but what about that young woman or that young boy who is contemplating suicide? What about that man who is bound by lust, and drugs and alcohol, or what about that young person who is so messed up in their psyche that they don’t know whether they’re a boy or a girl. And some of them are even going so far as to remove the body parts that distinguish them as either.
What I’m saying is His presence alone is not enough to deliver the homosexual or set the drug addict free; it’s not enough to open blind eyes and unstop deaf ears. Yes, His Presence is awesome but His Power is for broken, wounded, sick, hurting, bound, and oppressed humanity.
I’m obsessed with Jesus because He not only gives me His wonderful glorious presence; He also anoints me with His power. He not only wants to bless us, He wants to anoint us with His power and make us a blessing.
Come on; ask Him to make Jesus your obsession, your consuming fire. He’ll do it, that’s why He came. Amen!
United Methodist Church
218 College Street
P. O. Box 327
Ducktown, Tennessee 37317
Sunday School: 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship: 11:00 a.m.
Rev. "T" Reamsnyder, Preaching