If you start with you, you’ll never find you.
JANUARY 26, 2021
Zach Van Dyke:
If you start with you, you’ll never find you. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
This is Key Life, here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Steve Brown invited Zach Van Dyke to teach this week. Zach’s the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando, Florida. If you’re a struggling believer, you’ve come to the right place.
Zach Van Dyke:
And thank you Matthew. And thank you all for tuning in again today. I’m filling in for Steve all week. He’ll be back on Friday to answer your questions, but this week I started by saying, where are you at? We started a new year 2021 has finally come. Thank goodness, that it has arrived. It seemed like it was never going to come. But now there were a few weeks in, how’s it going for you? One of the things I realized, is how easily I look away and focus on things that aren’t Jesus. And then I really have to commit to fixing my eyes on Jesus on a daily basis, or else I will be distracted, or not only just distracted, I’ll become depressed or anxious. I will allow the things that are happening in the world around me, I will allow circumstances to really define my experience instead of every day, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the Cross scorning its shame, and now is sitting at the right hand of God, the Father. And so this week I thought, well, a couple of weeks in, many of us have probably already bailed on our new year’s resolutions. If you’re like me, you stopped probably a week ago. And so, alright let’s reorient ourselves for the rest of the year. Let’s reorient ourselves by just spending a week just looking at and taking in Jesus. One of the things I did last year, during all the crazy, that was 2020 was I spent most of my time when I studied God’s word personally, in the gospel of John and in Revelation. And really when you, when you read those two, you get a pretty incredible picture of our savior. So today, I want us to look at the description of Jesus as found at the beginning of the book of Revelation. So I’m going to read Revelation 1, starting in the 12th verse.
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands and among the seven lampstands was someone like a son of man dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white, like wool as white as snow and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze, glowing in a furnace. And his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand, he held seven stars and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me. And said, do not be afraid. I am the first and the last. I am the living one, I was dead. And now look, I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.
This is God’s word. I love this description of our savior and I love that it’s a vision that John got. Remember John, he was the disciple whom Jesus loved. He was the disciple, who the night of Jesus’ betrayal, at that last supper we’re told he rested his head upon the chest of Jesus. We also know that he was the only disciple who was there at the foot of the Cross as Jesus died, but here’s John an old man. At the end of his life after serving Jesus for maybe 60, 70 years at this point, he comes face to face with Jesus in all his glory. And what does he do? He falls down as though he was dead to see Jesus in all of his beauty and his brilliance and his holiness was just, it was too much for John. And then what does Jesus do? He bends down. I imagine ever so tenderly, places his hand on the back of John, the disciple, whom he loves and says, you don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to fear. When John comes face to face with Jesus. Jesus says to him.
Fear not, I am the first and the last and the living one.
Jesus says, I’m the first and the last, and at the end of Revelation, at the very end of the Bible, Jesus repeats that again. He says,
I am the Alpha and the Omega.
The alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet. Omega is the last letter. Jesus essentially wraps up the entire Bible and says the whole thing has been about me, from the very beginning into the very end. It’s all about me. Jesus says, if you find me, you can face anything, you can get better. You can know that you are loved unconditionally. You can finally experience peace. You can be free. You can hear me in all my glory and righteousness and holiness. You can hear me say to you, you don’t have to fear any more. And how that happens, is if you make me your first and your last. So let’s talk about that. How do we make Jesus our first? When Jesus says that he’s claiming to be the great God, the creator. And John in his gospel begins,
In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
All that was created was created by him, through him. And then we’re told
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
The Word was Jesus. He is the one out of whom all of us have come. He created us. He thought you up. He had something very specific in mind when he thought you up. And so, you and I, we must start with him, to understand our story, to understand our purpose, to understand ourselves. We have to start with him. Now, I know some of you have really been struggling with knowing who you are. 2020 did a number on you. In fact, maybe 2020 made you doubt a lot of things that you once believed. Maybe a lot of the things in which you found your worth and your security were taken away. Maybe some of you have just gone through a bad breakup. Maybe you’re wondering if you’ll ever be loved again or wanted again. Maybe you’re even thinking what’s wrong with me. Some of you are out of work or worse. You’re in a job that you hate. And he just feels like everyone else is living their purpose, is living their best life. And you aren’t, what’s wrong with you. Maybe you’ve tuned in today, because your life is a mess. You’re a mess. And you don’t even know where to start. Well, let me tell you something, don’t start with you. If you start with you, you’ll never find you. Kipling wrote the book, The Jungle Book, and he once said.
What do they know of England, who only England know?
What he’s saying is, in order to understand your country, you have to leave it. You have to step away from it. I once lived in the far, far away land of Los Angeles, California, and y’all, I never appreciated the ease at which someone could park and get into a Target and back home. I never appreciated the ease with which I could find a Chick-Fil-A, until I left my home in Florida and moved to that distant far away land. Now, I know California now. I think Chick-fil-A’s are all over the place, just like they are everywhere else in our country. But back then, there was only one and it was 30 miles down the 405 and 30 miles down the 405 meant a two hour drive in LA traffic. And y’all about once a week, me and my wife would make the drive down to a mall in Torrance, California to get Chick-fil-A. And we would buy like 10 sandwiches. We would take as many Polynesian sauces as they would allow us to take. But you know, it wasn’t until I moved away to that far away land of LA, that I knew my city, that I came from. That I could better see, what my city was. If you want to know you, you can’t start with you. How do you do that? You start with Jesus. Do you believe that Jesus is your beginning? Do you believe that he thought you up? Or are you just an accidental allocation of atoms. Depending on how you answer that question, determines how you will face and work through your problems. If you’re just an accident. If you’re just molecules that came together at some time in the infinite past, and you’re just a chemical accident, then you’re going to start with you. You make up your own rules, you determine your own meaning, but if you are created by a personal God, then you have to discover what he had in mind when he thought you up. And how do you do that? You allow God’s Word to speak to you about you. You don’t read it to see if you agree with it, but you allow it to read you. You allow the Word to be your starting place, the beginning, the first.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
If you start with Jesus, things will start to make sense. Start with him and you’ll find yourself, start with him and you will see what you were designed for. Start with him and you’ll find out it’s all about grace.
Thanks Zach. Pastor Zach Van Dyke there continuing to teach us about fixing our eyes on Jesus. Today talking about making Jesus our first and our last. What a great way to start out the new year. More good teaching from Zach tomorrow. Make sure you join us then. So, if you listen to Key Life, and you are, then you probably enjoy Steve’s teaching. And if you enjoy Steve’s teaching, then you most definitely will like being a part of the Key Life CD Family. Of course, that’s just our little name for the group of folks who get two free CDs from Steve each and every year, as funds permit. These CDs are from talks at various events where Steve speaks throughout the year. Usually this is audio that hasn’t been heard anywhere else previously. So get in on this right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CDs. By mail send your request to
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