Leon Fontaine - Get a Life

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Hey, everybody! It is so good to have you with us today. You know, when you get into God's Word, God's Word is alive. It's precious and we've gotta be careful. Don't let yourself get into a rot. Where you feel like you know what the scripture says, tried that, done that, got the t-shirt. Don't get cynical, because God's Word will lose its effectiveness in your life. The Bible says if you don't mix faith with what you hear, be watching, believing to get something from it. That you're not gonna get it. And if these traditions of the men, all our biblical, our treachery traditions. They make the power of God of no effects.

So today, we're gonna talk about how you can have life and how you can labor in life. Working on relationships, working on your career, working at reaching people for Christ in a way that is so energize, that I believe is gonna touch you in a powerful way as we dive into this. Are you ready? Here we go. Matthew 22:29, Jesus makes a comment to people who have misunderstood what the Bible teaches. And so I want you to look at this one statement. He says to them, to the Pharisees in the Bible, "You do err. You're making a mistake, not knowing the scriptures, not knowing the power of God". All right. Two things here He's letting us know. That we need to know the scriptures but then we need to know the power of God.

There's a verse later on where Jesus is talking to an expert in the Old Testament. Which is what they're talking about here for scriptures. And this guy is, you know, taking Jesus on. And Jesus says to him, you know the scriptures and the scriptures are supposed to give you life, but they point to Me and here I am, and you don't recognize Me. Who is He? He's God. This is God in the flesh standing before him. A guy who knows the scriptures and he doesn't even recognize Him. Has your Christianity got to a place where you don't even recognize God in your life? You're looking for the crazy, spectacular, and the weirdly religious and you don't sense and see God doing things, touching, leading, guiding.

So it's crucial that today as we talk that you know the scriptures. I pray that you've been raised in just a lot of religion that today you're gonna just begin to get excited about the scriptures and the gospels. And that you're gonna begin to see and know the power of God. He says you do err not knowing. We gotta know scriptures. Or, no, we gotta know beautiful doctrines from the Word and we've gotta know the power of God. You know, there's not too many people I would call if I needed someone to pray for me or to bring the power of God into my life. Who would I call? It's a small group. Because so many people know scriptures but, so few have a history of actually seeing God do miracles, seeing situations changed, speaking life into things.

In Ephesians 2:1-13, write those down and study them on your own time. But in verse 1 here's what it says, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. You walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the devil. The spirit who even now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the desires of the mind, and we were by nature children of wrath, just as the others". Now, here what's interesting. He says, and you He made alive. He considers the life that we had in the world dead.

Now, I've got a lot of Christian friends who are so tempted by the world because they think that's the exciting life. They think, "Well, you know, I know God wants us to only love one woman. But, man, there's so many beautiful women out there and sex is so wonderful". And they talk as though that the world has got better sex. They talk about, you know, gambling and getting out there and partying and getting drunk and stoned. And then they watched all these movies as though the world has the life and us poor Christians we don't have much of a life. And then they talked about -, And you kind of think, "What in the world is wrong with you"?

We've got a wrong look at the Christians life. He says here, you He made alive. You were dead before. Compared to the life of God that's in your mind, your body, your spirit, your relationships, your career, your purpose, your joy, all of this stuff that God's got for you. By stuff, I don't mean things. I just mean this life is so alive. You feel so alive. You live so alive with God's life. That everything you did before was, the difference is like that's dead compared to how alive you are now. Well, if that's the case, what in the world is going wrong with church? Because church for so many people is so dead, so boring, so rule following, no life. They though know the scriptures a few of them but no knowing God's power.

Now, in God's power is the power of joy, the power of peace. The Bible says in your peace you possess your soul. The power of patience. When others are freaking out, running around like chicken little going, "The sky is falling". There's a patience on you that just stand, and you'll see the redemptive work of God. Just stand, stand strong. Don't flinch. God's glory is about to breakout on every area. Long-suffering. If you're suffering through a time of people coming against you and things are being spoken about you and things aren't going right and it hurts that they don't trust you. It hurts that people don't believe you. They believed the lies. I don't know how many times in my life someone will rise up to move people away from me as their pastor, their leader, etcetera, and people will believe it and it hurts deeply to see that. But you need to know, that as you just bear in there and just suffer through that.

That it's gonna break free on the other side. The fruit of the Spirit. I mean, and the gifts of the Spirit. This life of God that's on you, needs to be shown to your children. If you're a teenager watching, you need to know that you're alive when you begin to give your life to Jesus, your spirit man comes alive and that life now needs to get into your mind and your body. By you believing, renewing your mind, making your body a living sacrifice. I wanna get this point to you before we go on. You're now, you've been made alive. You don't have to kind of just earn it. You don't have to figure this out. Oh, you're made alive now. There's a peace that's in you. There's a joy that's in you. There's a patience that's in you, a kindness, a goodness, a self-control.

So many people will talk to me about, "You know, Leon, I just can't control myself. I'm sure glad God loves me the way that I am". Of course, He loves you the way you are, and He'll always love you. You know, He just loves you. You're messed up. But the problem is, if you don't deal with that issue, like stealing. You say, "I just can't help it. I'm kleptomaniac". No, God loves you anyway, okay? And if you've given your life to Jesus and He's your Lord and Saviour and a true transformation has taken place, heavens your home. But now you're stealing. You kind of go, "Does God leave me"? No, but everybody else will. So you're stealing or whatever addiction, whatever sin you easily fall into. It's gonna destroy your life. Because someone's gonna arrest you or charge you, and some judges gonna throw you in jail, and your family is gonna desert you if you steal from them and so are your spouse, your kids. No one's gonna want to be around you if you wreck your reputation, so it's powerful to recognize that.

When you're made alive, even self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, not a fruit of the mind. You are alive, if you've given your life to Jesus Christ. And if you haven't, you need to be. Because then, you will be made alive. I'm sorry but I have a bit of a problem with boring Christians. Christians with no passion, no possess, no get up and go. Who've never learned to release the joy, the peace, the power of God that is in their life. And instead, they live as if they were still dead like sons of disobedience. How many believers do we know who, they literally tried Christianity for a few months and they just went back to their partying, and drunkenness, and drugs, and messing around, and all, and arguing, and fighting or whatever they were doing that was destroying their lives, had more excitement for them than the actual church of Jesus Christ. The actual life of God.

There's something wrong. There's something wrong when we don't have a passion that infects our marriages, our kids. That I wanna be like daddy. I wanna be like mom. And there's just no way I wanna be like that. I'm not gonna go get drunk and do drugs and see how many people I can save. All of these things, our kids growing up are watching us. I had a friend who went on to pastor and he, you know, always glorified his past life. Whenever we get together with our kids and their kids. It will be stuff like, "You know, I remember when I got so drunk one time". And he tell a story and he didn't realize the kids were listening. He didn't have any exciting stories that I heard about Jesus and why Jesus is so much better. He didn't talk about the horrible loneliness. The hurtful relationships that he went through. He didn't talk about the despair and how close he was with suicide and how bad it was. He'd always just chat about funny things that happened when he was smoking dope, funny things when he was drunk on that rooftop, and out driving with his friends.

And all of these fun stories that had life came from his old life. Well, and then he wonders why his kids struggled with that old life and went back into the very things he was bragging about. As believers we must learn to show it, brag it, talk it, who? Jesus and this new life that He brings into our lives. You have been made alive. Further on, in that same portion of scripture, it clarifies even how. It says, He's made us alive together with Christ by grace. He made us alive but it's only when you're attached to Jesus Christ and this life is by grace. Now, the word grace is unmerited favor. It means that you don't have to earn it. You don't have to clean up your life to get it. You don't have to fix anything you've done wrong to get it. You come as you are, as messed up, or whatever you think you are. You come as you are. And grace means God's also, His ability. If I say to you, I'm gonna do a favor for you. And you go, "Okay, a favor means it's free. What's the favor"?

Well, here it's, the word grace means unmerited favor, a favor you can't earn, a favor you can't pay for. What is that favor? It's God's ability. God's ability came to you. Where are you right now as a believer? Do you not feel and know this relationship with God? Do you sense and believe His love? Do you sense and believe this joy that's within you? This peace, this patience, this ability to live life so alive. If you don't have that then, or you don't sense or feel that. Then you have moved over to religion instead of relationship. You need to know that God made you alive only together with Christ. There is no other way. You can try to be alive with Buddha. You can try to be alive with Muhammad. You can try to be alive with, you know, some kind of a little spiritual mantra. You can try to be alive with whatever you think. You know, and everyone wants to start their own religion so that they can do what they do and do how they wanna do it. But if you wanna be alive, if you wanna have life abundantly, superior in quality, innumerable in quantity like John 10:10 says. Then you must be made alive.

Accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. And to the mature believers or you think you're mature out there. You don't know what maturity is if you just know a bunch of doctrine but you're not alive. If you're not alive in your marriage, alive in your career, alive in your church. When people go somewhere, you're the most alive one of that block party. When neighbors invite you over for a barbecue and three other neighbors. And you're not this dead-beat Christian sitting there going, "Yeah, yeah. I go to church". And what do you do? Oh, yeah. Like, people look at you, I don't want to be like you. Where's the life? The life is within us. I think people needed to be taught. You need to be alive. You need to have joy. You need to have peace about you. You have been made alive through Jesus.

Get a new look at Jesus in the gospels. Get a new look at Jesus in the Old Testament, in the epistles, because you've been saved by grace. It is a free gift. This goes on in the same portion of scripture to say, for by grace you have been saved through faith. Now, grace is by an unearned favor. You have been saved by believing that and it's not earned. It's a gift from God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. I'm on a mission. My mission is to redeem churches, buy them back from religion. My mission is to redeem believers, followers of Christ. And find out what do you believe about your Christianity? What do you believe about Jesus? What do you believe about your Christian life? And you'd be surprised how people don't realize the deepest beliefs in their heart are so messed up. They really believe that a Christian life is boring.

So they'll try to see how close they can get to the edge of sin and how much they can play it without destroying their life because you gotta have some kind of fun because there's no fun in serving Jesus. But there sure is when it comes to some of the world, so I wanna play with the world a little bit. But, you know, I remember listening to a talk show host, it was Ellen. She was, had this elderly lady on the phone and she'd let her know. She goes, "Ellen, I'm a Christian but I drink a little". Now, remember we're not here talking about alcohol. That's not my purpose today. But it shows you her thinking. She's a Christian but she's gotta find some way to have peace or joy or it's just her think they're compatible. You need to understand there's life. There's a passion.

Do you see the life of serving Jesus as sitting in the church, reading from a hymnal, going home and praying hours a day, you know, and no fun. Or do you realize that God's designed you to play with your kids' football and tackle until they get grass stains on their jeans. I remember one time a husband brought his wife from another province here in Canada to meet with me. She, they'd heard me on television and he had his whole family. They're on a road trip. And their purpose was, the whole family was disowning the mom, the wife. They were leaving her. They wanted her gone from their lives and their last hope was to talk to me. So I say okay. I'll give you an hour or two here, meet you at the church. And so he brought her in and the kids went out and kind of play in the yard. He came and sat down with her.

And so I just kind of begin to ask them, you know, what's going on. He said, "You know, we're just, there's no joy. There's no fun. She corrects everybody. She's just critical". He said, "The kids, you know, it's just our family is a mess". So I said, "Why"? And he said, "Well, because she's just a religious, critical, negative, depressed, mean-spirited woman". And she sit there looking at him and she's already, everything he would say she would argue with him. So I said, "Okay, okay. Thank you. I get it. Let's talk". So I begin to talk to her about things l like her deepest belief systems. And as soon as I started talking about something, she would interrupt me and go, "Yep, yep. I know all about that. The Bible says this. You gotta have grace. The Bible says and that's my belief". And I tried another tact. I tried to get her open up and talk to me. "Yep, yep. I understand that totally. I understand the blood of Jesus Christ".

And I must have tried, I bet you. I'd tried for 30 minutes and I couldn't anywhere with this lady. She was a know it all, religious. She was like judgmental, everything everybody hates about "religious people". That was her. So I looked at the husband and say, "Okay, I'm done here". I said, "I can't do a thing for you. Whatever you gotta do, you guys go ahead and do". And he says, "Okay". And she goes, "Well, no. Like, what do you mean you're giving up"? I said, "You're an expert. You think you're an expert. Your life is so mess up, your kids can't stand you, your husband can't stand you". I said, "And they're all leaving you. Like he's divorcing you and this was your last hope and the kids wanna go with him. They don't' want to be with you. Do you realize what you sound like"?

And she looks at me and she goes, "Well, I guess". So I say, "I'll tell you what. I don't wanna talk to you anymore, okay. I don't have time". But I said, "I'm gonna give you a prescription". She goes, "Okay". I said, "Go home. Get that religious bun out of your hair". She had a certain look that she had, that was long dress, no makeup, bun on her hair, nothing that would look, she just used certain verses and took them out of context. Go home. Take that bun out of your hair. Get a pair of jeans on and go chase your kids in the yard. Play football with your son. He's amazing, tackle him until he got grass stains from his knees to his chest. Go play with your daughter and hang out and rate boys. She's a teenager and talk about the joy of finding the right one and laugh and do things. Take them out places". And I said, "When you get home and those kids go to bed, you chase your husband all over the house as many nights as you can every week and make love and be romantic". And she was just like shocked that a pastor would be saying this to her. So that's it! I got up and I said, "Good meeting you guys". And I walked out.

There is something about how people look at serving God that is so boring, so religious, so rule setting that we've forgotten, when you give your life to Jesus, you come alive. When you begin to study the scriptures, you begin to realize the life that's in you. And the more you believe it, the more you see it everywhere in your body, your mind, in your marriage. The romantic area of your married life and raising your kids, in your job. I mean, this incredible power of God is to make you alive. Why is it that so many believers haven't recognized the life of God? As you go to Ephesian 2:10, the last verse I'll give you before we're done here is, in the Amplified Bible is pretty cool. I'm reading right now from the New King James. It says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them".

The Amplified Bible says that God has prepared paths for you and that these paths are all good. And that He made you, designed you to live this life that produces. And that if you study the Bible that your kids wanna be with you, your marriage grows, generations will begin to rally around the cause of Christ and you got careers and marriages and homes. Everything beautiful about life, you get to live it. You're God's workmanship. You know, there's a time when my son wanted a tattoo. We never did get one. And so he's saying, "What should we get tattoo"? He was thinking about all these words. And one day I was preaching away, and I laughingly just said a comment, "If I ever did get a tattoo, I said, I would probably get, designed in heaven made by God". Because we're His workmanship. He doesn't design junk. He designed you.

Find something that you love and who's made the most beautiful, maybe it's a car. Maybe it's a beautiful computer. Maybe it's a gorgeous home or an entire meal the people put together with all this beautiful taste or maybe it's a movie, whatever you love. Find the nicest, the most beautiful and you love looking at it, tasting it, being a part of it. But God made you. He made you His workmanship. If God's gonna claim you as I made that. You know, if you're gonna make and take a pie to a pie eating contest, and you get your pie there and it was kind of a slipshod thing and you didn't even get the chance to decorate it right. And you didn't even taste it. You hope it's good. And you put your pie on the table with all the other ladies who have brought pies and guys who brought pies to be judged. And you don't, and you realize, "Wow, I didn't do that good a job. I don't even wanna claim that as my pie".

You're the creator. You're the chef. You're the baker that baked it, but you're not telling nobody. But if you've got a phenomenal one, that's mine right there. If you're God's workmanship, and God's claiming you as His workmanship. Then, you need to know how proud He is of you. He's made you incredible, beautiful, phenomenal, amazing. You gotta just discover that. You've gotta believed that you're His workmanship. Today, I wanna get one point across to you. If you've given your life to Jesus Christ, you're alive.

Stop playing dead. No wonder the Bible says, "Wake up the mighty man". No wonder it says, "Come alive! You're made alive"! Believe it and as you believe what Jesus has done for you, His grace, His power. The peace that's in you. The strength that's in you begins to rise up. And start believing, start acting in faith. Because faith without works is dead. Start acting alive. Believing you're alive. Deciding no one's gonna stop me from being alive, not my spouse, not my kids, not my church. Nobody! Not a problem, not an issue. I'm gonna live a life. Fully alive in His presence. Filled with joy, peace, love, patience, all the fruit of the Spirit and all the gifts of the Spirit ministering to people. God bless you. I pray this has touched your life and let's get up and live.
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