Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Are You All In, or Is This Just a Hook Up?

2 Samuel 13:1-2, 10-17
1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
2 And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her.

10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.
12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.
14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.
15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.
16 And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her.
17 Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.

Are You All In, or Is This Just a Hook Up?

The reference above is to one of the saddest episodes in David's life as a father. One of his sons, Amnon, forces himself on David's daughter (his half-sister), Tamar, and then throws her out of his house. He refuses to take her as his wife or care for her. She lives out her life in disgrace with her brother, Absalom. And, as the scholars know, two years later, Absalom kills his brother to avenge his sister and runs from his father in fear.

Amnon wanted the benefits of relationship with Tamar, but he wasn't willing to honor the comittment side. He wasn't willing to ask for her to be his wife. He wasn't willing to care for her after he had used her. His callousness and selfishness cost him his life. Though this is a harsh example, it is a clear representation of how we can misuse, or flat out ignore our responsibilities in our relationship with Christ.

Oh, we want the benefits...the favor...the protection...the assurance. Heaven is mine because I confess Him as Christ. Favor is mine because He loves me. I call out to the Lord and He will hear and answer my prayer, because He loves me. All of this is true. But, God's goodness does not superceed our responsibilities in Christ. And ignoring the responsibilities in Christ is costly (Luke 13:24-27).

Dear ones, Jesus is not interested in a 'friends with bennies' relationship with us. He gave all freely, but as an example. As He gave all, we should give all.

1 Peter 2:21
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

His love is true. His faithfulness is true. Patience, longsuffering, kindness, all true. His sacrifice was a gift. However, we are not in this walk simply to benefit. If that were true, then salvation wouldn't be necessary because God loved us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). No, we are saved for relationship.

Examine where you stand with Jesus. Do you seek to 'take His yoke upon you and learn of Him' (Matthew 11:29)? Are you walking along side, staying in line with His precepts and practices? Are you learning of Him, from Him, about Him?

Or, is this just a 'bennie' situation for you? Do you do church 'cause it's the right thing to do? Do you feel like you've done God a favor because you said grace before eating? You dropped a little money in the offering plate, so you and 'The Big Guy Up There' are square? Consider Hebrews 10:30-31 anytime you feel like you've done God a 'solid'.

Jesus set the example of how we should walk; in peace and in service, with all the benefits AND responsibilities of relationship.

Jesus gave it all. All to Him, I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

All to Jesus, I surrender. All to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him. In His presence daily live. I surrender all.

John 13:12-16
12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

We teach Jesus and Him crucified at Fellowship. We focus on building our relationship in Christ. If you don't know Christ, come to Fellowship. If you are not in a church body, or if you are not moving into relationship with Jesus where you are right now, I encourage you to come to Fellowship.

Evg. Stephanie Robinson

Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA.

The church website is www.fcchosengeneration.com.
Feel free to share this message. For questions or to subscribe, send an email to fellowship_lifeline@yahoo.com. You can reach the church at chosen.gen@att.net.

Fellowship Church
Where Passions Become Reality
Because you are a CHOSEN GENERATION!
455 Hwy 138, Ste C
Jonesboro, GA 30238

Alton Watkins, Pastor