Leon Fontaine - Jesus Changes Everything
We just love Christmas. I think the whole church is like this, we just tend to, let's just party, let's blow it up, let's have fun. And, but Jesus is something that few people dive into. They love to party around Him, and they'll see Him as a little baby, but who was Jesus? The problem with many Christians today is that, they treat Jesus like a supplement rather than a, rather than a substitute. I just need a supplement, add Him to my life, and things are going to be better. That doesn't work. You can't add Jesus to your life. He's not just the co-pilot, or sitting in the back seat. You can't just say, let's just supplement my life with Jesus and so many people treat Jesus that way.
How can we follow Jesus so that He's not just a supplement, but He actually, it's a relationship that we have with Him? There are statements that He makes that are so profound, that you have to look at them. And I encourage you to write these scriptures down, and meditate on them, because they will change your relationship, if you even have one, with Him. In John 6:35, "Jesus said unto them, I am". Notice the 'I am.' "I am the bread of life. He that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst".
You're here and you don't know why you feel empty, or you feel hungry for something. Maybe you don't feel loved, maybe you're hungry for, recognition. Maybe you're hungry, whatever the hunger is. You need to know that Jesus fulfills all hunger. Jesus, He quenches the thirst of everything that you could thirst for. And when people are hungry and thirsty in this world, they can begin to go off target, and begin to be, try to satisfy it with so many of life's pleasures, not recognizing that even if it gives you a little pleasure, more will be needed next year. More will be needed next month. And that when you pursue pleasures, they kill you. But when you pursue Jesus, He has pleasures for evermore that are going to be in your.
Jesus is the bread of life. If you don't know Him, He's the answer. And if you're here and you have given your life to Jesus, you need to know that you're beginning to live religiously, rather than relationally. Because when you know Him, if there's something that you hunger and thirst for, knowing Him, pursuing Him in the Word, and in prayer, you will be touched. You will sense, this, He satisfies it.
Number two in John 8:12, "Then Jesus began saying unto them, I am the light of the world. He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life". John 12:46 says, "I am come a light unto the world that whoever believes on Me, should not abide in darkness. Listen to me". When you give your life to Christ, and you follow Him, you get to know Him, there will be no darkness in your life where, I do not know what to do. I do not know where I am. I do not know what I, where I should go. Because He illuminates your way. He is the light. You know, in the old days they would put candles in front of them and they would walk in the darkest nights. Or a form of lantern.
Today we've got powerful flashlights. Jesus is the light of the world. He, Jesus was the light of heaven, He is the light of heaven. But He's also the light of the world. Can you not see what to do in relationships? Do you struggle with what to do with career? Do you struggle with who you are, where you're going? Do you just feel like you're in a dark corner? Do you feel like there's a, a dark cloud over you? Jesus, is the light. And only a relationship with Him will bring this light to bear. It will hit your mind, it will hit your life in a way that brings direction. Light, brings direction to your life.
Number three, John 10:9, "Jesus said I am the door. By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved. And shall go in and out, and find pasture". What does it mean to find pasture? Well, we know the 23rd Psalm where it says, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, or lack for anything. He leads me beside the still waters, green pastures, he restores my soul. Did you know there are those of you here that have had things happen to you, and your soul, your mind, your emotions, your heart, they, they're hurt. They're damaged. And you know it. Because, of the feelings that rise up and because of how you can't make relationships work.
You're soul, needs to be touched. Jesus will lead you into pastures, pastures and green pastures are a type of a life that is satisfying and peaceful and beautiful and reproductive. It says here, that I am the door. Only Jesus, you might see somebody on the movies or know somebody that seems to have their life together. And you think, you say they don't need Jesus. Listen, on this earth we need Jesus. He's the door to the light. He's the door, He's the bread. If you don't pursue a relationship with Jesus, and the Bible says that you'll go in and out. I heard a great saying one time, I was praying about something and it seemed like an impossible situation. It seemed like nothing I could plan or do would get me past the wall that was ahead of me.
I remember one day praying and just seeking God about it. And this thought came up within me. Just turn this over to Me, Jesus said, because I'm the door. And if you can't get over it, and you can't get under it, and you can't get around it, and you can't get through it, and this wall is impenetrable, and it's stopping you from where you need to go. Put that thing on Me, commit it to Me, because I'm the door. You know, I know He's the door to eternity, I know He's the door to eternal life, but I have found in my life, he's the door when I can't seem to get results in any situation. I call on Jesus. I commit it to Jesus. He is the door. You can fret, you can be anxious, you can sit and worry, you can be all the arrogant you want, you gonna do you own thing. But I got news for you. If you haven't yet hit a wall, you will because I've hit a ton of them. If you can't get through, if you can't get around them, you can't get over them, you can just sit there and make excuses or you can just rely on Jesus. He's the door to see you through the wall that is holding you back right now.
In John 10:14, He said, "I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep. And am known of mine". Not only is the door, but He's the shepherd. That means he says in John 10, that, "My sheep follow me. And I call them by name". Did you know that in serving God, you don't serve Him through a church? You don't serve Him through your pastor. You serve Jesus. And Jesus leads you. I don't lead you. A lot of people they get all upset, because I don't want to go to a church and everybody's a hypocrite. Where, listen to me, listen to me. You're to follow Jesus.
Now, church is His idea. He said, "I will build My church". So get into a life-giving church so that you can work together with people who are, of like faith. It's a wonderful thing. But you do not need to be led by a pastor, a prophet, an apostle, a TV evangelist, the Bible says that Jesus leads every one of us. And that you can know Him, and that He will guide you specifically, so accurately, that He'll lead you by name. That means, every decision you make, He'll guide you through it. He's the good shepherd. And He doesn't lead you day-by-day, into swamps, disease, sickness, poverty. He leads you into still waters. He leads you into green grass. He's restoring your soul, wherever you've been hurt, because the world has got stuff going on here.
Number five. 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 whoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die. Believest thou this". I spent seven years as a paramedic working out of a hospital, and when we weren't on calls, we would help the nurses with the difficult situations on the wards. Often we would sit with people who were passing away and didn't have family to sit with them. So I've been with a lot of people that have died. Then as a pastor, I've sat by the bedside of those who have gone into eternity as well. Jesus in His Word, teaches us that He has removed the sting from death. That death has lost its sting. To a believer, when you begin to study.
Whenever I go in and pray with people who have been given a terminal illness or, and they're believing for a miracle. They're saying pray with us. I always go in and the first thing I do is talk about dying. Their eyes get big, I'm not, I don't plan on dying. I said I know, but if we never talk about it, it becomes the elephant in the room. That everyone's trying to avoid. So let's talk about it. Because, death is one-for-one. Everyone is going to die. And we talk about the fact that, when we move from this life to another, that it's no longer called death. In fact, you move from a level of life, that where you have struggled with something or other, and you move into heaven it's like walking through a, through a curtain. And that when you breathe your last here, and your eyes close to this planet. They open to heaven. They open to the sounds of heaven. The smells of heaven. They open to the, the people that love you. Jesus, I mean, all the saints and anyone that's gone before you.
Never feel sorry for someone who dies. We don't cry for them. We cry because we miss them, and that really does hurt. It's a ripping and a tearing, that Jesus needs to heal. When Jesus said I am the resurrection, and the life, he that believes in me through he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this. Now there's another thing that this, this verse includes. And that is that, people without Christ on this planet, according to the Bible, are just called the walking dead. That's what I was before I made this decision. He doesn't mean that you don't have a personality, doesn't mean that you don't have love and joy, it doesn't mean that you can't be a great person and do great, that's not what it's talking about. It's talking about that Jesus, the presence of God is not alive on the inside of you. And the very thing that you crave, that you're hungry for and thirsty for, that you can pursue all sorts of good things, will never be satisfied until you come alive with resurrection life, and you begin to really live your life changes.
In John 14:6-7, Jesus said unto them, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man will come to the Father but by Me. If you had known Me, you should have known my Father also. And from henceforth, you know Him, and have seen Him". Jesus is so clear that, we should never be embarrassed of Jesus. We should never, and when someone talks about Jesus, I love the fact that wherever I travel or go, I'll run into people, and they might talk about what they don't enjoy about church and I always agree with them because, good Lord, is there anyone that knows about problems in church you've got to check me out. I mean, I have to work with it day-in and day-out. In multiple locations, and train pastors around the world. I mean, in know the problems church has. But, but. They'll say, but I'm interested in Jesus. And I'm glad because you understand that Jesus is the way. He's the only way. He said so.
Did He really? Yeah. You know that, you can have any truth you want, because this is my truth. Today, there's a familiar saying. This is my truth, Leon. And of course, they're looking for the word perception. I perceive it this way. But, the Bible says that Jesus is the truth. Well this is my life, I'm going to live my life. "I did it my way". Jesus is the life that you're looking for. And, we have to understand that Jesus isn't a supplement. He doesn't come to add a little bit to your life. But when you give Him your life, the old you dies. All the sin disappears, because when we were all of us born on this world, we were born under the power and the control of the enemy. Corinthians says that Satan is the god of this world. And so this Jesus is the answer.
And number seven, John 15:5 Jesus said, "I am the branches. I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in me, lives in me", doesn't just come to church once in a while and gets a couple supplements. "He who lives in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit. For without Me", oh. That's quite the line. For without me, you? You hah. Me? We can do nothing. But with Jesus, all things are possible. If you're here today as a believer, a follower of Christ, you need to take these seven things, and there's more but I'd just thought I'd cover seven. That Jesus says, "I am". Every time He said, "I am" He was saying I am God. And, as you relate with me, I will be that bread. I will be that life. I will be that truth.
You know, when I followed, when I gave my life to Christ. Lots of tough decisions have followed my life. You know, the call God put on my life was pastoring. It was, being a leader and not just pastoring but leading organizations and now there's so many tough decisions. So many tough times. And there's this sense all the time that I'm doing this for God so I can't afford to quit. I can't afford to fail. People's lives are on the line. I need, and I just found that I had to draw near to Him and I can't imagine being unhooked from Jesus. Now you can be, as a Christian. You can literally, unhook from a relationship with Him and I'm not saying that when you die you won't go to heaven. But, although He is your Saviour, so you're going to go to heaven when you die, most people don't live with Him in a vine-to-branches experience.
I don't have a good analogy, but I remember one that was really, really big to me. I remember one time as a young man, getting so sick. I don't even remember what it was all about. I mean, I was just so sick they hospitalized me. And I remember the nausea, being so brutal, it just wouldn't stop. I don't know about you, but I hate nausea. You know, when you feel like throwing up? I just won't. Just lock her down if I can. I'll be oh Leon, throw it up and get, feel better. Yeah, I always hear that. But I remember, they took an IV. And they hung it on a pole, and I'm just hanging on to the bed just looking at this person going what is it? It's going to take your nausea away. I said, I love you. They put that needle in my arm, and in about twenty minutes to an hour, whatever it was right in there.
This thing just began to slip away, and I feel asleep. And when I woke up, I woke up to this brutal nausea again, and the first thing I did was look at the IV bag and it was empty. And I'm ringing the bell, give me another IV. I feel like that with Jesus. Have you ever felt as a believer, as a follower of Christ, your life becomes tough? Things become hard, or nothing changes, you just don't feel the passion you once had. You begin to hunger and thirst for things you feel you don't have, because you no longer are abiding in the vine. You're no longer hooked up to Jesus. That umbilical cord, you've turned it off, you've clipped it, you've moved on. And the only way to live this life, is to live it abiding in the vine. If you cut off a branch of a tree, it's going to begin to dry up. But if you stay attached to the vine, then the life of Jesus flows into you. When the life of Jesus flows into you, His desires become your desires.
Religion burns us out, because we start to try to please God. Or, we try to please ourselves, become famous, give me a mic. And when you abide in Jesus, the Bible says He gives you both the ability to desire the right things, and to do the right things. Whenever someone says to me I'm a Christian, I just don't agree with this, this, and this. I go, I get you. I understand. Of course you can be. You can be a follower of Christ, and just choose that I'll take Jesus as a supplement and I've given Him my life and, but I don't agree with this, and I don't agree with that, so I'll just go my own way.
And one of the things I tell them is you know, you are a free-willed being, you get to do whatever you want and I'm still going to love you, you love me, I'll respect you, you respect me. I'll accept you, you accept me. But for everything that you don't follow Christ, you have come apart from the vine. And you're the branch. He's not giving you life to follow things that are wrong. He's not blessing the wrongness. And you'll find that it will hurt you. So, have a real relationship with Jesus. And His will, His desires will become your desires. His life will be your life. You will live your life at a level you've never been able to perceive or have before, because He is the vine. He is the way, He is the truth, He is the life. He is the resurrection. He is the bread. He is what we need to live this life.
In the garden of Eden, mankind had never been intended to live without being attached to the life of God. And so when people discover Jesus, you begin to live the way He wants you to live. And if you'll stay abiding in Jesus, you will fulfill Ephesians 2:10, it says there that God knew ahead of time what He had called you to do. The greatest life you could ever lived, has been prepared for you. And that you will walk paths that He has prepared ahead of time. And it says, living the good life that He has prepared and made ready for you to live. Trust Him. I'll leave you with this final thought. Bible says submit to God, resist the devil. He'll flee. That word 'submit' means to yield. You know, we've been taught faith by many of the great teachers of old who see faith as a force that you've got to get and believe.
I understand what they're trying to say, but I have discovered that faith is a trust. And I yield. I find that, believing God isn't what, is the initiator to the miracle, because Jesus already initiated it. He already gave it to me. He already died for me. So my faith is the responder to what Jesus has already done. Someone says well Leon, you can't force God to do anything. I said you're so right. So study the cross, and see what Jesus has already paid for. What He's already given. Because He initiates the blessing, the favor, my faith responds to what He's already done. Then faith becomes easy. Stay in the Scripture. Pray to get to know Jesus. Ask Him, talk to Him. And I'm telling you, your world will change like something you have never experienced before.