L-I-F-T Jesus Up
Intro: In verse 23 of this same passage, Jesus told his disciples that the hour has come that the Son of man should be glorified. He talked of the grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies, but then it brings forth much fruit. He told them that if man loves his life he will lose it, but if he “hates” his life in this world, he will keep it in eternal life. He reminds them that if they are truly going to Serve him they must follow him even unto death. God the Father then spoke from heaven glorifying Jesus Christ and Jesus then makes this statement: If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.
John specifically states that Jesus was referring to the manner of his death- being lifted up on a cross; crucified in shame and disgrace in order to pay the price for the sins of the whole world.
Still, I believe there is a message for us today about the matter of Lifting Jesus Up in our own generation, in our own circle of life, in our own individual lives. How do we lift Jesus up?
Let’s use the word Lift as an acrostic for these 4 points:
I. LOVE Him.
If we are going to lift up Jesus to those around us we must Love Him supremely.
Jesus stated that the Great Commandment was this: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God will ALL thy heart, soul, mind, strength. We are to love Jesus with ALL of our being: Heart (spirit); Soul & Mind; Strength (physical body). Think of people you know in your family, on your job, in your neighborhood, what do they really Love? Do they love Possessions, Pleasures, Selfish Pursuits, Position, Pleasing them selves...? They present a certain image of themselves by what they Love and so do we! People can tell if we really LOVE JESUS. It shows up in everything we do and in every aspect of our lives.
It is a Matter of Surrender and Submission. It is a Matter of Priorities in life; Seeking First the kingdom of God and his righteousness... Love Him!
II. IMITATE Him.
Jesus said in John 13:15- I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done...
Peter said that Christ left us an example and that we should follow in his steps. [WWJD?]
We are not here to “MAKE a NAME for ourselves.” We are not here to make a fortune or achieve fame. We are called to Imitate Jesus in this world.
In Acts 11 we read where some unnamed believers went to Antioch and began preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. A number of people were saved and began a church. This group of believers had no official name or label and the people of the city began calling them “Christians.” (Little Christs) What a wonderful name to get tagged with by those who are watching our lives!
I read of a missionary who went to a remote village and began trying to communicate to them the story of Jesus Christ. After a couple of days he was able to make some progress in communicating with one young man in particular and as he continued to tell about Jesus, the young man suddenly became very excited and animated. “He was here! He was here!” The missionary tried to explain that Jesus lived many, many years ago, and far away from this place, and could not have been here. The young man talked rapidly with others of his village and they all became excited. They took the missionary’s hand and led him just beyond their huts to a small patch of ground where there was a grave. Years before a man had come to them and lived with them. He had helped them grow their crops, doctored them in times of sickness, spoke to them about God and stayed with them till he died. When they heard about Jesus, they thought for sure this man had been Jesus.
We will Lift him up by imitating him: his compassion, his concern for others more than for himself, his care for the outcast, his gentleness, his selfless sacrifice of his time and energy, his integrity and holiness, his full surrender to the will of God the Father. Imitate Him!
III. FOLLOW Him.
While imitating him and following him may seem very similar, imitating him deals more with Identification with Him, Being Like Him, while following him speaks of Obedience to Jesus and his Word. To follow him means to Obey Him in all things, in all places, in all matters.
Mt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Ro 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
1Cor 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts,
1 Tim 6:11 ...follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2 Tim 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness,
To LIFT Jesus up in our lives and in the sight of those around us we must Love Him, Imitate Him, Follow Him and...
IV. TELL of Him.
We cannot be silent about Jesus if we are going to lift him up. In Rev. 12 we read of victorious saints who overcame the Devil. Notice the first 2 things mentioned: The Blood of the Lamb, The Word of their Testimony
No one can overcome without the Blood of the Lamb for it brings Salvation, Cleansing from Sin, and Freedom from Sin’s power and penalty. Then we are called to testify of and for the Lord. The word “Testimony” is Marturia in the Greek and used 37 times in New Testament. It is translated: Witness, Testimony, Record, Report
2 Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,...
Acts 10:42 Peter said, “he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
I love the way Paul commended believers in 1Thess 1:8- For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God–ward is spread abroad. From you emanated, radiated, resounded the word of the Lord. May God help us to emanate and radiate the gospel of Jesus Christ.
LIFT Jesus Up!
Tell of Him
Bro. Dwain Galiher
Pastor of JHPC