Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
1 John 5:1
Scripture References & Transcript
1 John 5:18-21
Rhythm is important. We have different rhythms that we have in life. And right now we are going back to school. In my household, we got three young kids. And one of the things that my wife has said recently is we’ve got to get back into the rhythm of school, of waking up at a certain time and going to sleep at a certain time. And if you’re in that same stage of life, you understand that rhythm of back to school. It’s the one time a year that we check all the boxes, like each one of the kids, you gotta get your back to school haircut, you gotta get your back to school. Tennis shoes, you gotta get your back to school clothes. The rest of the year we don’t care. You know, like if we look at you and say, you look a little ratty, maybe you need a haircut, or, oh man, your shoes are too small, we’re gonna get you. But back to school, is that one time a year that we’re doing all the things? And why do we do those things? Because we are trying to get back into rhythm Rhythm’s important. When I was a between 15 and 19 I worked at a church and during Sunday morning I would work with kids and youth. And then at Sunday night I would go back and I would attend our church. Had a Sunday night worship service. And one of the, the worship guys, his name was Austin Beal, he was the music director. So he, he was the guy that, he had a piano off to the side and he could play piano, he could play every kind of different instruments. And we hung out a lot. So I knew him pretty well. We would play pinging pong. ’cause I was the youth and kids guy, and he was one of the worship guys. And so we’d find random hours in the summer and we’d go play ping pong. And he smoked me, by the way, as a side note. And so one Sunday night, I am sitting where I always sat with the, the kitten youth team, which was always off to the side. There was kind of this weird section that nobody wanted to sit in. And so the kids in youth team sat over there. And so he was up in front of me, probably 10, 15 yards, and we’re in the middle of a song and he’s got his back to me. He’s playing the piano in the middle of the song. He turns around, he makes eye contact with me, he’s still playing with one hand, makes eye contact with me. He points to me and he does this. And then he turns back around. And, and so I, I’m standing there and worship, I’m singing, and then I see this happen. And, and I, I, I think was he talking to me? And so like, I’m looking around behind me, I’m thinking, surely he wasn’t talking to me. And then as he’s playing, he turns around again. He looks at me, he, he makes eye contact. He says, Kurt, come here and turns back around. Now I have no musical ability whatsoever. Getting called to the stage in the middle of worship was terrifying to me. Probably if I right now pointed to one of you and said, here, come up with me on stage, it would terrify. Some of you are getting nervous right now, just because of the fact that I said that some of you will never come to church again, because I hinted at bringing a random person on stage. So everything inside of me was just nervous and awkward. And so I kinda sheepishly walk up to stage and I stand behind it. They’re in the middle of worship and singing, and I’m just kinda standing there like, what am I supposed to do right now? And so he, as he’s playing, he turns around and this is what he says. He says, Kurt, someone out there has a tambourine and they’re throwing the band off. I want you to find that person and kill them. And then he goes, he turns back around and keeps playing. And I just stand there for a second. Stunned, like, just completely stunned. Like, what did he just say? And then clearly he
understands that I didn’t understand the message. So he turns around and he says, find the tambourine and tell ’em to stop. They’re messing up the band. And so our, our church, it was a little bit of charismatic church, but tambourine was not like a normal thing. So it was easy to find the lady in the middle of the room with a tambourine. And I can tell you she was not on rhythm and I’m not great at rhythm, but she was really bad. And so I, I make my way out and I find her, and she’s just going to town and she’s loving life. And she’s, she’s just banging that thing and waving that thing. And I go, and I stand behind her for probably 90 seconds because it was clear who it was. And I knew what I was supposed to do, but I just felt awkward and uncomfortable. And how, how am I gonna tell this lady? And then I was kind of dodging ’cause she was, she was all over with it. And I didn’t wanna get punched in the face of the tambourine. And then Austin is on stage and he looks at me and he is making eye contact. And he does one of these, he does one of. And so once you get the head on, you know, it’s really serious. And so I just, I just, I kind of put my hand on her and I said, excuse me ma’am. The band has asked if you could put the tambourine away, please that one of those please step away from the tambourine. And so she, fortunately she didn’t argue with me, fight with me. She, she sets it down and, and she stops and she goes back. And then the band gets back on rhythm and everything is okay. And it’s one of the most terrifying moments I’ve ever had in my entire life. Rhythm is important. One musical instrument off rhythm can throw off an entire band. And I would tell you that in your life and in my life, that when we have parts of our life that are off rhythm, it doesn’t just affect that part of our life. It affects all of our life. And so as we enter into a new school year, when we have part of our mind say, let’s get back on rhythm, I would challenge you, challenge me that how can we in our life get on rhythm with God? If you’ve been with us these last few weeks, we have been in the book of one John, if you’ve got a Bible, I encourage you to turn with me to the book of one John. We’re gonna be in chapter five. We’re gonna look at the last four verses. If you don’t have a Bible, you can follow along on the app. All the sermon notes are always there at the Cherry Hills app. First John chapter five, we’re gonna start in verse 18. This is what John says. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning. Now understand, he says, does not keep on sinning. That doesn’t say does not ever sin. There’s a distinction there. So if you are a Christian, if you’ve become a follower of Jesus, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna live a flawless, perfect sinless life for the rest of your life. Now you will keep on sinning. But it says that, that you don’t keep on sinning talking about the same sins. That, that you don’t just take a sin and say, well, that’s not that big a deal. I’m gonna keep on keeping that a part of my life and and then also try and love Jesus. No, he’s saying that, look, if you’ve been born of God, then you don’t have that habitual sin. You’ve taken it and you’ve said, I’ve got to deal with it. I’ve got to kill it. I’ve got to move on. But he who was born of God protects him and the evil one does not touch him.
Now, amen to that. They saying that Satan, the devil, the evil one, that if you are in Christ, that Jesus is more powerful than the devil. That the devil cannot touch you. But this seems different to that. He goes on to say, we know that we are from God and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. Now what does that mean? So Jesus, if you’re a Christian, is more powerful than Satan in the devil. So he doesn’t have authority or power over you. And yet we live in this moment in time where Jesus has conquered sin and death. But until Jesus comes back from the dead, John is pointing out the reality that we live in a broken world. We live in a world that is broken, that has sin, that Jesus tells us that Satan came to steal, to kill and destroy. And that is what Satan is continually doing all around us right now in your life. If sometimes we try and ignore it or aren’t aware of it, and yet the devil would like nothing more than for you to never achieve what God would like you to do in your life. He wants to steal, to kill and destroy. And so it’s recognizing that I live in a broken world where the devil is continually at work. Now Jesus who’s inside of is more powerful than that. But until Jesus comes back again and returns to this earth, I live in a reality around me where it is Satan’s domain. The earth is broken. God is sovereign, God is in control. God is way more powerful than Satan. And yet I live in a broken world. So what do we do with that? He tells us. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true, and we are in him, who is true in his son Jesus Christ. That it’s this reality, even though we live in a broken world we have knowledge and understanding that Jesus has given us that, that through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the knowledge of the word ofGod, that we can live a life in this world that stands up to the schemes of Satan. And then it says He is the true God and eternal life. And then it seems odd that this is the very last sentence in the entire book.It doesn’t end with a closing, it doesn’t lend end with a I love you. Let me thank you. It ends with little children. Keep yourselves from idols. It’s kind of an odd ending. And, and yet that ending ties into what he was just talking about, the biggest danger that you face in your life. The biggest danger that I face in my life where Satan is trying to get us off rhythm is by taking good things in our life, wonderful things in our life, and elevating them to become the most important thing. Most idols are good things, that your children can become an idol in your life. Your marriage can become an idol in your life, your wealth, your stuff, all those things can become idols now by themselves. Those things are not evil, but when you turn them into the ultimate thing, they become an idol. And when an idol exists in your life, it’s detracting you away from making God the most important thing in your life. One of the cool things about John is John doesn’t just write about living in a relationship with God. He, he demonstrated what it looked like to live in a relationship with God. Look what it says in Acts chapter four, verse 13. It’s a really cool verse. And it says, now, when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceive that they were uneducated common men, they were astonished and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.:What a profound thing. It’s in that they heard Peter and they heard John, they heard their teaching and they saw what they were doing. And they said, well, wait a second, they’re just normal guys. They, they’re just common. They’re not even educated. And yet what does it say? It says they recognize what
was different about them is that they had spent time with Jesus. Oh church, how beautiful would it be if the thing that everyone around us knew about you, knew about me and knew about our lives. It’s not how special or amazing we are. But they might look at us and they might say, Kurt, he’s not that great. He’s kind of common. He’s not super smart or super educated. He’s not that good looking. But man, he has spent time with Jesus. Would that not be the ultimate compliment? You see, Peter modeled what he saw the Jesus model. John modeled what he saw. Jesus modeled that Jesus spent 33 years on this earth. And the last three of those years is really what we see all of his ministry. So everything we see in the New Testament is really just the last three years of Jesus’ life. And in this three years he has the disciples. John is one of those disciples that spends so much time with Jesus. And in spending time with Jesus, he recognizes how to pattern his life, how to create a rhythm in his life in order to do all that God would call him to do for the rest of his life. Cherry Hills has a really cool logo that actually has a meaning to it. There’s a purpose behind the three arrows that the up arrow is about our relationship with God. The down arrow is about discipleship and our relationship inside of community. And then that out arrow is all about going out on mission. What are we doing? And so three questions that I wanna unpack that are important for us to wrestle with are these, how is your up? How’s your down? And how’s your out? Now that doesn’t make total sense, but we’re gonna unpack the life of Jesus, the life that John models. And we’re gonna see that Jesus does a really good job of modeling his up, his relationship with God the Father, his down his community where he is spending time with others and then his out, how he’s constantly sending people out. So let’s start with that up. The how’s your up? Here’s something really fascinating about Jesus, the routine, the rhythm of Jesus. He constantly is getting away from everybody to spend time with the Father. And in his case, he literally goes up onto a mountain. There’s four different verses I wanna look at really quickly where he goes up on the mountainside, we’re gonna go rapid fire. Matthew 1423 says this. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. In these days, he went out to the mountain to pray. And all night he continued in prayer to God, perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king. Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. And now here’s what’s fascinating about Jesus’s life and how he spends his time. He only has three years where his ministry is, is interacting with people just three years. Now, that’s not a long time. Three years goes by like that. And so he’s very pressed for time. He recognizes that he’s only gotten those three years. And yet what does he continually make a priority? Spending time with God and the Father, that it’s easy in our culture to feel overwhelmed and feel busy. And probably if you talk to somebody, one of the natural go-tos is you, you tell them how busy you are and how overwhelmed you are and how much stuff you’ve got going on. But how often in life do you make a priority? The most important thing, spending time with God. How is your up? Are you getting away from distractions? Are you putting the cell phone aside? Are you turning off the tv? Are you going to a place where nobody else is around and spending time in
prayer, spending time in God’s word that the other two, you’re down and you’re out are dependent upon. You’re up being right, you’re up, helps put the right perspective on every single situation that you’ll face in life. Your up helps prepare you for all the different things, the ups and downs of life that you might encounter. The up is what helps us fight against what John was just talking about, recognizing that we live in a broken world, recognizing that, that Satan, the devil, wants to steal, to kill and destroy. And in order for me to recognize those traps, I have to make sure I’m concentrating on my up. Do you know that every day there are people that are trying to take advantage of you? I know it’s a shocker. I know it’s surprising, but all around us, people are constantly trying to take advantage of us. I’ll give you a great example, one that you’re very familiar with. Everything about rebates. Now, I can’t stand rebates, and here’s why I can’t stand rebates. Rebates are a giant scam. If you, if you read about rebates, that’s why they do rebates. The goal of a rebate is two things. Number one is to entice you to buy something or to think something is a good deal.And so they might give you a rebate on contacts, for example, and you gotta fill out all the different forms. Or you might get a rebate on technology, you buy a new tv or you might get a rebate on who knows what. And so the first part is we wanna encourage you to do something that you otherwise might not do without the rebate. But do you know what the second half of a rebate is? The whole point of a rebate, it’s to make it as complicated and difficult for you to ever get the rebate as possible. Like there’s a science behind how if we make it this challenging, then people can’t redeem it. So they’ve bought it but they can’t get it back. A great example of this is in the early two thousands, Samsung had a rebate on everything, all kinds of different electronics. They were selling rebates. And one of the lines that exists in almost every rebate is limit one per most of the time it says household limit one per household. Samsung changed that verbiage in the early two thousands on all their technology that they were selling with rebates. They said limit one per address doesn’t sound like a big change. Sounds kind of the same thing as household unless you consider the fact that an apartment complex is all one address. And so in the early two thousands, they sold all kinds of TVs and the first person at an apartment complex that mailed in that rebate would get paid for that. But every other apartment at that apartment complex that sent in a rebate, they were denied because they said, Hey, this rebate has already been redeemed at that address. Now they actually got sued and they lost and they had to pay every single person that they declined. It’s something like $200,000. So it it lost for them in the end. But the point is, what’s the point of a rebate entice you and then make it really, really difficult on you? Satan, as much as we don’t like to talk about the reality of evil in this world the devil is trying to do exactly that same thing to us. That every idol in your life or my life does the same thing. It tries to entice us. It tries to draw us in. It tries to look like a really good thing. And then what does it do? It makes life as challenging and difficult as possible. The world around us is trying to steal, kill, and destroy. And so the way we fight that is by spending time alone with God.
How’s your up? And the second part is the down arrow. How is our down that Jesus first goes and spends time alone with the Father, and then he comes down from the mountainside and we see this pattern in his life, this rhythm in his life where he’s spending time in community with other people? That’s where discipleship happens. Discipleship in the Bible never happens by yourself. It never happens alone. It happens in community. There’s three different communities that we see Jesus spend time in. The, the first is that he spends time with the multitudes. So whenever he’s teaching the sermon on the Mount in Matthew five through seven, he’s up on the mount side and there’s a multitude of people crowding around him. There’s different times of scripture where it refers to a crowd of 72 around Jesus or a crowd of 120 around Jesus. And so he’s spending time with a large group of people and that’s good. That’s healthy, that’s important. Right Now you’re spending time with a large group of people. That’s good, that’s valuable. But there’s one step further than that. He also spends time significantly more timethan he does with the multitude with his 12. So he spends time hanging out with the 12 disciples. And a lot of it is them asking him questions and them watching how he lives and them figuring out by spendingtime around Jesus, who Jesus was and the life that Jesus was modeling. But in addition to the 12, we find multiple times in the New Testament that Jesus spends additional time with the three. The three are Peter, James, and John. James is not the brother of Jesus. These the disciple James, so Peter, James, and John, that Jesus is spending time with the crowd. And then with the 12 and then with the three, with the three, he’s really intentionally pouring into the three spending even more time with the three. Those are the three that knew Jesus better than anybody else on the earth. Let me ask you a question. Do you have community in your life? Then it’s important to have your upright spending time by yourself,relationship with God. But part of the way that God uses that to translate into discipleship, to the iron sharpening iron to the transformative power of the gospel in your life is by you spending time, me spending time and community with other people. The multitude is important. Corporate worship is important. But do you have a smaller group that you’re plugged into that you’re a part of, a connect group, a small group, a men’s Bible study, a women’s Bible study, alpha region? There’s all kinds of different options that we have as a church. Do you have that group? And then do you have that group even closer than that? Now, I’m not talking about your spouse, although your relationship with your spouse is obviously super important. I’m talking about do you have, if you’re a man, some men that can speak into your life, if you’re a woman, some women that can speak into your life, that can call you out when your life gets off rhythm, those people that at two o’clock in the morning when the bottom of life falls out, you can call them and they’re the people that at two o’clock in the morning they answer the phone and you say, I’m so sorry to wake you up. And they say, no, I was awake. You didn’t wake me because they love you so much. They’re your person. It doesn’t matter. The fact that they were actually asleep when you called, they’re always gonna be there for you if you don’t have those people. How do you find those people that you, you find them by, by taking a step towards community, by finding that connect group or that that women’s Bible study or that men’s Bible study or that alpha or
that whatever it is, that then by spending time in that community, what naturally evolves out of that is aclose knit group of people that you can do life with. And it’s hard and it’s awkward. The first time you go into a group, you feel uncomfortable, but it’s worth it if you will put in the time. So the question for all ofus, how’s your down? How’s that community in your life? Is it healthy? Is it there? Are you growing it? And then lastly, how’s your out that last part of the logo, the out that God has, has blessed us, has changed us in order that we might take the gospel to the ends of the earth. That’s what Jesus says to his disciples. When he’s calling John to be a disciple, what does he tell ’em? And he said to them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. He doesn’t say, follow me and you’re gonna have an amazing prayer life, the end. Follow me. And you’re gonna know scripture better than anybody. The end. No, those are good byproducts, but that’s not the point. What’s the point? He’s saying, if you follow me, I will make you fishers of men. That’s why John, over and over in his writings, he’s saying that the demonstration of the gospel in your life is the fruit of love. Are you living a life of love? Uses the analogy of light and darkness. He’s saying, if you love Jesus and you know Jesus, you are taking the light of Jesus to the dark. That being a Christian is not just me by myself spending time with God. No. The transformative work that Jesus has done in my life should mean the outpouring of that is that I’m demonstrating that love to the world around me. There’s tangible ways we can do that in our church. Love Extended is a few weeks away. You can sign up today for love extended when you leave, they’ll give you a t-shirt. That that’s a tangible way that we can take the love of Jesus into our community. Manna every single week is a food pantry that we set up in our lobby every single week. It’s a tangible way that we can show the love of Jesus. There’s other tangible ways. Simply inviting someone to church is a tangible way to invite someone to experience the love of God. Next weekend’s a really easy weekend to invite someone. We’ve got sandblast for kids. We’ve got a brand new sermon series, the Rhythm of Life. People are trying to get back into a routine. This is an easy time to focus on the out. Why do we focus onthe out? I love this quote by Andy Stanley and Andy. I I love a lot of his stuff. I don’t agree with a hundred percent of his stuff. But you can read someone and spit out the bones. You can read someone or spend time listening to someone and say, okay, well, I don’t fully agree with that, but I agree with all this. And this is a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with. He says, the value of a life is always measured by how much of it was given away at funerals, we never celebrate accumulation. We may envy accumulation, but we always celebrate generosity and selflessness at the end of your life. That is what is celebrated. Life’s got to be beyond you, not abound you. What a powerful way to say it. Life has got to be beyond you, not about you. I’ve done a lot of funerals, done a lot of memorial services. I’ve spent a lot of time with people when they were dying and their family were gathered around them. And can I tell you now, a single time was the topic of conversation, how much stuff that person had. It’s now what you chat about at the end. At the end it’s about what did you give out? Where did you pour your life into? Those are the things that matter. Amen. Question for me. Question for you. Question for all of us. How’s your out? Are you pouring out that your life isn’t just
about you, it’s beyond you? Is that how you’re living now? Now understand how these three things go together. That it’s, it’s an order that in order for me to do a really good job about my out, I first and foremost have to take care of my up. I’ve gotta make sure that my relationship with God is right and healthy. And then if that relationship is right, it should mean that my community is right. ’cause That community is gonna support me to wrestlewith me, to encourage me. And then when those two things are healthy, the overflow should be that myout is healthy, that I’m living a life beyond me and not just about me. How’s your up? How’s your down? How’s your out? This is a season where if one of those is not very healthy, it’s an easy season to get plugged Into the church and say, Hey, my, my ups not very good. I I need to be a part of programming that’s gonna help me. Hey, my down is is really broken. I feel all alone and isolated. What? We’ll find the place to get plugged in. Maybe those two are healthy, but you’ve been kind of inward focused. Well, there’s plenty of options to be very outward focused. So get plugged in, volunteer, serve, be a part of pouring out. Now, one of the things we’re gonna do to end service is a little different. Normally we do communion or Lord’s supper towards the beginning of service. But today we’re doing it at the very end of service. Here’s why. It’s a tangible way to practice what we’ve just talked about. The communion is first and foremost about our up. It’s about remembering what Jesus did for us on the cross and resting inthat. But it’s also part of our down. It’s a community that we take it together. The Lord suffers not something that you take by yourself alone at your home. No, anytime in scripture, we see Jesus doing it in a group with his disciples. We see the New Testament church doing it in homes together as the church body. And so we as the body of Christ come together as a community to celebrate the Lord’s suffer. It’s a tangible way that we remember what it is that Jesus did for us on the cross. Now, from time to time, people will come up and they’ll say, Hey, I’ve got an idea for you that the way that you do communion is not very efficient. They say, you know, it would be more efficient. And then they’ve got an idea of either passing out the elements of the door or, or possibly passing buckets like we used to. And we might one day go back to that. But the the reason that we do communion is not to be efficient and it will never be to be efficient. The reason we do communion is to stop and to pause and to reflect and to spend time in our relationship with God. And so the way we do it is not very efficient. If you’re brand new let me explain how we do communion. That we have communion tables that will be down front and we’ve got some others that will be in the middle, and we’ve got some others that are the very back wall. And then if you’re up in the balcony, we have communion tables that are up the stairs on the back wall. And so the closest communion table to you probably isn’t necessarily the one in front of you. It might be the one that is behind you now. But what you’ll do is you’ll get up, you’ll get into a line, and then you will go and receive the communion elements from an elder of our church or a staff member of our church. But the important thing when
we’re going the communion to, to not just go through the motions of it. Now, this is a way for us to, to get back on rhythm. And so just as John talks about that we wanna stop and we wanna reflect on the knowledge and the understanding of our relationship with Jesus. That if we have unrepentant sin that we’ve been struggling with, Paul tells us that we always want to go to the table with clean hands and pure hearts. And so before you take communion, as you’re sitting there in your seat or as you’re lining up in your line to receive the elements, do it in an attitude of prayer, confessing sin to God, saying, God, forgive me of the sin of my life. forgive me. And then name it. Say, forgive me for this sin. Forgive me for that sin. And help me to turn away from those things. The the closer you get to God, the more you will realize the sin that exists in your life. We never on this side of heaven will ever be completely sinless and, and perfect in terms of how we operate. God looks at us sinless and perfect because we’ve been justified. But sanctification is an ongoing process that the closer I get to God, the more of his holiness I experience, the more of my own sin of my life, I recognize. And so I give it up to God. I give it up to God. And so after you receive the elements, if you’d make your way back to your seat, and then I’ll come up after the song and we will all as a corporate community receive the elements together at the same time. you are a Christian whether you’re a member of our church or not, we would invite you to participate with us in communion. If you’re not a Christian this is something that we would consider sacred and holy. So if you’re not a Christian, we’re glad you’re here. But for communion, if you would just pause and, and, and you can watch and observe, but don’t stand up and take the elements. This is something really just for the body of Christ because we believe it’s holy. We believe it’s sacred. So I’m gonna pray and then as soon as I’m done, we’re gonna sing a song. As we sing that song, as God leads you stand up, you come receive the elements, and then we’ll take ’em together. Heavenly Father, we ask that you would bless this time. Lord, help us to wrestle with the words of John God to live lives that are different. That, that we in this moment together as a community can focus on our up to you. And as Myron said earlier, that, that our whole body is meant to be a living sacrifice. It’s not just a moment. It’s how we live. And so God, with our hearts and our minds, help us right now to our very souls. Lord, do this as a fragrant offering to you in a worshipful manner. We love you lords. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.