If I spend my whole life serving Jesus and all I get in the end is Jesus, is it enough?
JANUARY 27, 2021
Zach Van Dyke:
If I spend my whole life serving Jesus and all I get in the end is Jesus, is it enough? Let’s talk on Key Life.
You’re listening to Key Life. We believe that because of what Jesus has done, God will never be angry at you again. Zach Van Dyke is teaching us this week. Zach serves as the teaching pastor at Summit Church right here in Orlando, Florida. If you’ve been trying to earn God’s approval, we invite you the hangout.
Zach Van Dyke:
Thank you Matthew. And thank you all for being here today. It is so good to be with you, Steve, we’ll be back on Friday to answer any of your questions that you’ve been sending in, you should send them in because he is a wise man. And you want to hear how he answers your questions, so you should send your questions in, and then of course he’ll be back next week. But I love getting to spend a week with y’all every couple of weeks or so, it really is something that I look forward to, and this year as we enter into 2021, my question for all of us is where do we find ourselves? Where in our story are we? And what are we hoping for? What are we fixing our eyes on? What are we striving for? Now a few weeks into the new year, is usually the time that I fall off of whatever diet that I’ve started or exercise program, and this year is no different. But there is one thing that I hope will be consistent throughout this year. And that is that I would fix my eyes on Jesus. And so this week that’s what I wanted to do. I just wanted to spend some time just talking about Jesus with y’all. Because that’s really what got me through 2020. I spent 2020 studying the gospel of John and studying Revelation. And really, and, you know, people maybe laugh that I chose Revelation to study during, what was an apocalyptic year for many of us. But it was really because I wanted to see Jesus. You know, you can read revelation all kinds of ways, but listen, y’all, it’s really just a book that points us to who Jesus is, what Jesus has done and what Jesus will do. Jesus wins. So yesterday, I started by reading John’s encounter with Jesus in his full glory. And we talked about how John, this disciple whom Jesus loved, this disciple who the night of Jesus’s arrest had rested his head upon the chest of Jesus. A man who stood at the foot of the Cross as Jesus bled to forgive him of his sins. When John gets face to face with Jesus, as he truly fully is, he’s scared to death. But Jesus says to him, you don’t have to fear. And says, I’m the first and I’m the last, I’m the Alpha and the Omega, because I’m your first and I’m your last, you have nothing to fear. And so yesterday we talked about what does it mean to make Jesus the first, how do we make Jesus the first in our life? And we talked about how you can’t start with you. You got to start with him. You got to start with the idea that God had something in mind, Jesus had something in mind when he thought you up. And if you want to understand who you are and your purpose and what kind of story he’s called you into, you can’t start with you, you’ve got to start with him. What does his Word say? What does this Word say about you? What does this Word say about what he’s done for you? So that’s your starting place, but then he’s also your end, he’s your last. When Jesus, the Word spoke the universe into existence, it was for him, because God has always existed as a triune god. One God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God at his core is relational. God at his core is love. So, the universe, you and I, the story he is telling was all created, not out of a display of power, but out of an overflow of love. He created the entire universe for him, for him to have relationship with us. If love built you, if love designed you, then this whole human existence is about relationship with him. He is the Omega. He is the last. Jesus is not just the creator at the beginning, but he’s also the conclusion. The apostle Paul says in II Corinthians 1:20, all the promises of God find their yes in Jesus. That means every need you have will be answered in him someday, if you orient yourself toward him, every promise. All your needs point to him, all your problems will be resolved in him, all evil and suffering will be put down by him. One of my new year’s resolutions and it’s one I’ve had several years in a row is to memorize the entire book of Ephesians. And every year, I memorize the first maybe chapter and a half. And then, you know, life happens, and this year though, it’s no different I’m going to memorize it. And, but I always have to start back because I, you know, I get the first chapter in my mind and then I go away from it for awhile, and then at the beginning of the year, I’m like, man, I really got to spend some time in chapter one again. But one of the things, that I’m always reminded of at the beginning of the year is how many times Paul says in Christ. He says it like 11 times in the first 10 verses. He says we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, every spiritual blessing. Do you believe that? Do you believe because you have Christ, you have everything that you need. There are two ways to approach God. You can either make him the means to an end or you make him the end and everything else the means. A lot of times I live as if Jesus is the means to an end. Life isn’t going the way I planned, I think, well maybe if I just get a little more religious, maybe if I pray to Jesus, maybe he’ll turn things around. But do you see how in that scenario, Jesus is the means, and the end, the ultimate thing that I’m looking for, the Omega in my life is the thing that I want turned around, and I want Jesus to come in and fix. So what are the Omega points in your life? What are the things you say I have got to have that, or my life has no point, it has no meaning. If I don’t have that, what’s the use of going on, life is pointless without that, or what, if it were to fall apart, or what if it were to be threatened, would you turn to Jesus and say, Jesus, fix it, I’ll do whatever I need to get you to fix it, or to allow me to keep this thing. What is that for you? Maybe a better way to ask that question is, what would others say it is for you? And if you have kids. You want an exercise in humility? You asked your kids, what do you think is my Omega point? Now you probably have to explain to them what an Omega point is, but you know what I mean? Is it a job that makes you feel purpose? Is it a good family? Maybe you’re a student and it’s all about your grades and your achievement. Maybe your popularity, maybe it’s one day getting a spouse, then you’ll have arrived. Now, I’m not recommending the movie Seven, but it was the very first R-rated movie that I snuck into as a teenager. And, I’m not condoning that either, but if you’ve seen the movie it’s about this serial killer, who kills people based on the seven deadly sins. But interestingly, he doesn’t kill the person who he has identified as representing vanity, instead he disfigures her face. She’s a model. She’s beautiful, but he’s made her ugly. And so without her looks, she decides to take her own life, life isn’t worth living. Now, I know that’s a really extreme example, but what is the thing that if you lost it today, you would really think, it’s not worth it anymore. But you see if Jesus is your Omega point, if he’s not a means to the end, but he himself is the end, then you can bravely face anything. I know some of you were close to leaving in 2020. If I’m honest, several times I was very close to leaving. Not necessarily Jesus, but I was close to leaving ministry. It was hard. It’s hard to minister, to people during a pandemic. It’s hard to minister to people, when there’s so much racial tension, it’s hard to minister to people when things become so politicized and there’s an election going on that’s very divisive. Like it is really, really, really hard to minister in those conditions. And there were several times that I just thought, I just want to be out. But then like Peter said to Jesus, where would I go? Because I know in Jesus, he has the words of life. He is our Omega. The reason that you and I sometimes want to leave, is because Jesus is the means, not the end. But if we stay, we hear Jesus say again and again, I came for you. I died for you so that you would never doubt my love for you. Serve me, follow me not to get anything, but to get me, I gave myself for you so that you could have me. Elizabeth Elliot wrote a novel titled No Graven Image. And it’s a novel about a woman who goes to South America into the jungle to do Bible translations and everything goes wrong. And in the end, her whole life’s work is ruined, nothing she accomplished mattered. And on the last page, this woman says,
God, if he was merely, my accomplice had betrayed me. If on the other hand, he was God, he had freed me.
If God was a means to an end, he had failed me. But if God was the end, he freed me. Are you free? Do you know that kind of freedom. Do you know the freedom that if you spend your whole life serving Jesus and all you get in the end is Jesus. It’s enough. Do you know the kind of freedom that only comes when you know, deep down it’s all about grace.
And that was Pastor Zach Van Dyke, helping us get kind of reoriented, re-calibrated for 2021, by fixing our eyes on Jesus. Can’t think of any better way to start a new year than doing that. And you probably know this already, but just in case you don’t, if you missed any of this week’s episodes from Zach, you can access those the brand new keylife.org. This new version of the website went live late last year. Have you checked it out yet? It has a cleaner layout now, it has quicker loading, simpler navigation, it has never been easier to find what you’re looking for and to discover new content that I know you’re going to love. Check out the station finder tool that lets you know, which nearby stations will be playing Key Life and Steve Brown Etc. Also brand new, transcripts for Key Life. So now everything that you hear Steve and Zach teaching, you also have it in print. That’s pretty cool. In addition to that, all your favorite stuff is still there. Our digital magazine, sermons, video versions of Steve Brown Etc, Key Life Connection and even more audio content. And all of it is still free, thanks to the generous support of listeners, just like you. If you’d like to donate, just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. Or mail your donation to
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