Leon Fontaine - Build A Relationship With Jesus
Today, I want to talk about Jesus. I want to give you seven things that I believe will change your life when it comes to your relationship with this Jesus. A lot of people I talked to whether witnessing on planes or in restaurants. They always have kind of similar things. If they're not believers in Christ, they'll say, "I hate religion. I hate organized religion. But I'm cool with Jesus. He was a good man". And so I kind of agree with them because I kind of hate religion, too. Religion is that manmade, judgmental thing that churches can move into pretty quickly rather than, you know, accepting people the way they are and letting them start this journey in their way and not judging, etcetera.
So I always agree with them. But then, I start talking about this Jesus because a lot of people don't know the claims that Jesus made. What claims did He make? One guy says, "Well, Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God". And I said, "Ah, have you read the Bible"? I want to read you a verse at Exodus chapter 3 to start of with. It says here, Moses, see the story, we jump into the middle of the story. God is speaking to Moses and He's telling him you go into Pharaoh and you get my people out of Egypt. Okay, in that shell. So Moses says to God, "Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, who were slaves at that time, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you, they're gonna say to me, 'What's His name?' What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am. And he said, 'Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I Am hath sent you'".
You know, what I love about this? Is it's not I was. I was sent you. Or I'm going to be. He is I Am. The God that we serve is I Am. I Am what? Whatever you need. Wherever you are. He's not somewhere in the past that we're looking for. He's not somewhere in the future but He's gone. He is always in today. He is in the now. I Am. John chapter 4, Jesus is talking to a woman who knows her Bible, the Old Testament. The woman says to Jesus, "I know that the Messiah is coming". Now, this is in the Expanded Bible. I love the Expanded Bible. So in bracket it says, Messiah is the one called Christ?both Hebrew and Greek, the "Anointed One". "When the Messiah,?that one comes, He will explain, report, announce everything to us". Then Jesus said to her, "I Am He".
Notice the I Am that is in there. God said, "Who Am I"? I Am. Here's Jesus saying, "I Am". A lot of people treat Jesus like a supplement. I need Jesus. He makes me better. No, He doesn't. Jesus comes in and kills you. Hello? Say, "I never heard that before in church". The Bible says in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I". In other words, the old you is dead and gone. The file on you is closed. Deceased. Leon Fontaine dead, buried, gone. This is the new Leon, not the new improved, not the new supplemented. He doesn't need many naps now. And, you know, he got a little more energy and his skins tightening up a little bit. No. It's, Jesus is not our supplement to make our life a little better. He's a complete substitute for our lives. And when you give your life to Christ, if you get caught treating Jesus like a supplement, you are gonna become the most frustrated Christian on the planet. Which is what a lot of Christians are. I thought Jesus was gonna do this. I thought Jesus was gonna do that. I don't understand.
Well, maybe you've gotten religious. Which is Jesus is just your supplement. Today, I'm gonna go to the mall. I'm gonna go for lunch, gonna hit church. It's like church is just one of the stops you make to look after your life rather than the very center is Jesus. The center of our lives. He said, "Pick up your cross daily and follow Me". In other words, don't switch back to living your own life. Let Jesus live His life through you. The love, the joy, the peace. I mean, the favor. The direction that you get will be stunning. But if you go back to Jesus as just your supplement, nothing happens there but religion. And Jesus didn't come to start another religion. Jesus came to the planet to end all religions. People think they know Jesus. He's kind of this cute little guy. That's just, "Peace, peace, peace. I love you".
Like a hippie with brown hair with dress and flipflops, you know. Hi, everybody. I'm Jesus. Peace. I love you. It's not what Jesus looks like. Read Revelations chapters 1 and 2. He's the King of kings. He's the Lord of Lords. Here's a thought that I'll tell you. When I was a youth pastor with my dad in Selkirk, a wonderful young man came out to one of our services and made a decision for Christ. Raised his hand, gave his life to Christ. He was, you know, amazingly saved. I mean, from his lifestyle, all that he was doing, his partying, etcetera. He just made this amazing transformation. And we became friends. We got along well. He was into martial arts and I was black belt and so we'd spar and talked and became friends. He told me that his parents were mad, angry, that he was coming to our church. They had their own church.
And so I encouraged him just to keep following Christ and that you're a grown man now. The Bible doesn't say adults obey your parents. It says children obey your parents. It says adults honor your parents. But I don't obey my parents. I don't check with my mom. Now, she's got great advice and I love listening to it. Some I take. Some I don't. So I said, "Just follow Christ". He did amazing. He got into the Word. His life became spirit filled, got involved in the church. A few years later, he kind of gave in to his parents. He didn't like how tenacious they were continually knocking his faith, his church. They point out all the things that they wanted to see, him to know that this is not. And this man who they couldn't get to go to church or couldn't get to serve God was wonderfully saved. He stopped coming, just to kind of create family peace. And I met him just a number of years ago, says a couple of decades later.
And when I saw him, I hugged his neck. I mean, we love each other as friends. I looked in his eyes and he just kind of looked down and I knew he was back into all the stuff that was destroying his life before. Some people, they'll put things before Jesus like family. Leon, you mean God love -. Of course, God loves family. But let me read you a verse that Jesus said that's kind of shocking before I give you the seven things, other things He says. In Luke 12:51, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay, but rather division". What? "For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father be divided against the son, the son against the father. The mother against the daughter, the daughter against the mother. The mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law".
Someone's thinking right now, maybe I do have a Christian family. What is going on? What kind of verse is this? Jesus isn't gonna on purpose that create problems in your family. He's the one that created families before He created churches. No, what He's saying is that nothing should come between you and Jesus. Not your marriage, not your family, not anything. And He's saying that when He's based on a nutshell saying that He came, He was gonna die on the cross, and He was gonna make a new life available. And if one person in that family give their life to Christ and the rest didn't like it. He said, I'm causing division then. I'm not, just don't worry about me. Go make peace with your mom. I'm not that important.
Are you kidding me? Eternity is hanging in the balance on these decisions. I'm not saying that, you know, like some people they'll just use any excuse to get away from their spouse, just stay at church volunteering. Oh, have to do stuff. I'm not talking about people. No, I'm talking about people who love God and care. Don't use church as an excuse to not go home and look after your kids, your family. I'm not talking about religious people like that. I'm just talking about the fact that Jesus said there'll be cases where there will be division. Division is not happy. Division it doesn't feel good. Division.
I remember in my dad's church in Walden. I never forget this lady and she gave her life to Christ and came to our church, but her husband wouldn't, and she cry and pray at prayer meetings. Her kids gave their lives to Christ and they served Christ, but he just wouldn't. Just wouldn't. And I remember all the time she would pray and cry and want this marriage to together serve Jesus. But she wouldn't back away from her relationship with Jesus. And the fact that Jesus is building His church and so she became a vital part of our church. Years later, in fact after we left to pastor another city. My mom and dad heard that he'd given his life to Christ. He was attending. He passed away a little while ago and I bet you that she's happy. That she placed Jesus first in her life. Even if it brought some temporary pain or division, because God went to work on the rest of the family.
When the Bible says seeks first the kingdom of God, it's crucial. I'm gonna give you seven things that Jesus said about Himself. And everyone of them start with I Am, exactly like God said. In John 6:35, "Jesus said unto them, I Am the bread of life. He that comes to Me shall never hunger, and he that believes in Me shall never thirst". Everybody here including me has things we desire, okay. We desire. That's what He's talking about. What are you desiring? Maybe you desire these hungers, these thirsts. Maybe you got low self-worth and you're desiring to be a strong self-person. Or maybe you got your eyes on being famous because you think that's gonna make you happy.
So you hunger. Maybe you hunger for more love. You're single. Or maybe you're married and it's not what you expected. That love you were hoping for that would just satisfy you. It's not there and you're wondering why. This is not what I thought. Well, the Bible says if you will have a relationship with Jesus, He said you will never hunger, and you will never thirst. You'll never feel empty and like things aren't happening. Or if in things aren't happening for you, He will give you peace. He will stop you. You see, in the world without Christ, the reason they cannot deal with sin, it's because sin comes out of their desires and their lusts. And that they had no ability to stop sin because it just rises up and they've got to meet that need. And when you have Jesus Christ, what you hunger for, what you thirst for, He meets that need. Addictions fade away when you let Jesus become the bread of life.
In other words, the relationship is so cool that as you read His Word and you get to know Him something happens to you. You begin to gain the control of all the things you desire. They no longer run you and own you and tempt you so bad you can hardly handle it because the bread of life. If you're a believer and you've stopped reading the Bible or moving into devotions or getting out to church and really reading. There'll be hungers and thirsts that will start rising up in you because you're not in the bread of life. You're not in God's Word. Jesus is this bread. He'll meet this hunger. He'll meet this thirst.
Number two, John 8:12, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world. He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life". John 12:46, "I am come a light to the world, but whosoever believes on Me will not abide in darkness". What does light do? Light gives you direction. "Well, Leon, I already know what my career is. I already know where we're going". No, but how about that marriage situation where you don't know what the heck you're gonna do. What about that teenage girl that you don't even know where to start. What about the decisions that you're trying to make in finances and the things and you have no direction? When He says light, He's not just saying, "Hey, lay down on a sofa. Let me tan you".
When you're walking in darkness, they would have candles or lanterns that would guide their way. Today, we got powerful flashlights. Jesus is saying, "I'm the light. I'm the direction". We knew He was the light of heaven. Now, He is the light of the world. Anybody on this planet who will give their lives to Jesus and build a relationship with Him. You will never, never, never, wonder what should I do? And if you are, you need to spend more time in His Word. Because if His Word doesn't say it, He'll still speak to you from the inside, from your heart, and guide you and direct you in the complicated affairs of life. From relationships to finances, to personal issues, to the emotions, the different chapters of life. You just figure out a few questions and then they change them all next chapter. It's nonstop. But with Jesus, He's your light. He illuminates the darkness of your world. He illuminates the areas you do not know what decisions to make. He'll illuminate that area and He'll guide you personally if you have a relationship with Jesus. Not a supplement, He's our complete substitute.
In John 10:9, Jesus says I am the door, by Me if any man enters in, he shall be saved. Not maybe, not hope so. Shall be saved and he shall go in and out and find pasture. A month ago, I was beside the bedside of a man who died in front of me. Before he died, we had a talk. About how do we know for sure that you can make heaven. And I explained to him that Jesus is the only doorway. In John 10:14, He says, I Am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep, and I'm known of Mine or the sheep know Me. Why is this so important that He's a shepherd? Because He is saying here that I know you and you know Me and because of this you'll follow Me. John chapter 10 he says there that My sheep know My voice and I call them by name. Meaning such, you see, when people go to church, they should not be led by the pastor. They shouldn't be led by some prophet. They shouldn't be led by some TV evangelist.
I hate answering people's questions on what to do. In fact, I almost never tell them what to do. You're kidding me. We see you talking to people always all the time here. I would walk along and listen, you won't learn much. Because I say the same thing to everyone. Read the Scripture. Check into this. God's gonna show you. He will. And if they're sincere, He will. If I answer the question and I'm wrong. Guess who gets, whose fault it is? Now, in immature, insecure people like being asked questions and looking deep. But what if I'm right and it says, well, guess who they'll gonna come back to every time whatever problem they got. No, a pastor's job is to equip the saints for the work of their ministry. Jesus is the good shepherd. He doesn't lead you through me.
Now, I'm the pastor of a church and so I'm responsible for this body to equip, to teach, to make decisions, etcetera. But you and your personal life? Don't ask me if you should marry that guy or not. Just get into the Word and find out what a guy looks like. Who's a God man? Don't ask me about, "Should I marry her"? If you've got to ask me, the answers probably no. You got to ask me? Go to the Word and find out what it says. So Jesus will lead you through His Word. He will guide you and He'll never guide you into bugs and quicksand. He leads you by still waters to drink and He leads you to green pastures, a place of prosperity and blessing. He's never leading you so that you can get your light punch out and that you can lose. That's not His desire. He's the good shepherd.
John 11, number 5, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believe you this"? When you give your life to Christ, to say, "Jesus come into my heart". You literally move and resurrection life moves you from death to life. Sin no longer has power over you. Life is on the inside of you, unless you continue to live out of your reasoning rather than focusing on a relationship with Jesus. 6, John 14:6-7, "Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by Me".
See, Jesus is either crazy because He says there is no other way, no other name, no other man, no other woman, no other anything, that gives you access to God. He said, I am the way. No man comes to God except through Me. John 15:5, Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit. Your life just produces in every area. But without Me. Can we really get this in our heart? Without Me you can do only a little bit. No. Nothing. Nothing you do will have any lasting impact in your relationships, God, family. If you don't have a relationship with God. If you don't pursue Jesus as your life, not your spouse as your life, not money as your life. You pursue Jesus. You're the branches. He's the vine. He is the trunk. You're the branches. Oh, you might make it for a while. You cut off that branch, it will look green for a while. I mean, natural.
We all got Christmas trees and if you got a real one. You can kind of water or pot it or whatever. But it's not gonna last forever when it's not attached. If you don't have a relationship with Jesus or you spend time with Him. And the way to spend time with Jesus is in the Word because He reveals Himself through His Word and then through you in other areas in this relationship. I am the vine He said. You are the branches. This Jesus, if you really do love Him. If you really have Him in your heart, then maybe you should pay attention to at least, there's more, but at least these seven I Am's. Because He's not saying I'm supplementing it. He's I Am. You can't have something from Him. You have to have Him. I Am life. Not, I'll give you a dabble do ya. He didn't say, "Hey, I'll give a little direction". He is your light.