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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Skip Heitzig » Skip Heitzig - #foodstagram

Skip Heitzig - #foodstagram

Skip Heitzig - #foodstagram
Skip Heitzig - #foodstagram

Really good to see you this morning. Would you please turn in your Bibles to the book of John in your New Testament? John chapter 21. So guess how many hours in your life you'll spend eating. You and I, the typical person, will spend 35,000 hours in your life eating food. That equals to eight years of eating nonstop for 12 hours a day. And because of that, we understand that we battle the bulge. We battle weight. And we want to fight that, and we go on diets.

I heard about a group of gals who they both, several of them joined a weight loss group. And one of the older women who had lost a lot of weight, and one of the younger gals asked her how she did it. And the old gal said, well it's actually pretty easy. I take my teeth out every evening at 6. Dieting is high on the list of New Year's resolutions and summer goals, and that's because food has become a preoccupation in our culture.

When I first signed up for Instagram and I was starting to follow people, I would notice how many pictures of food people would post. And my first reaction is, I don't care about what you're eating. I mean I didn't want to see pictures of food, but I began to find out that it's a phenomenon of sorts. 16 million posts on Instagram alone are food pictures. 16 million. Some people make a living out of it. They take pictures of food in restaurants, and they write blogs on it. They give you reviews of the restaurant.

I have a nephew who's a chef, and he will post pictures of his food creations before he takes them out to the table. But there are some restaurants now that are banning photographing food once it's brought to the table. Their rationale is that it distracts other customers who have come for a meal. They don't want a flash going off. They don't want anything but eating going on at the table.

Now I told you how much time you spend eating. Would you like to know how much food you will eat? You know, some of you are going, no not really. I really don't want to know how much food I'm eating. Thank you don't remind me of that. Well, you and I, an average American, will consume 1,996.3 pounds of food every year. Just to kind of put that in perspective, that's 3.7 pounds less than one ton. So when someone goes man, I ate a ton, they actually did.

In a year they will have eaten a ton of food. 10% of disposable income in America is spent on fast food. 20% of American meals are eaten in a car. The Huffington Post even said America has now added a fourth meal to their day, snacks. They call that a fourth meal, and that's because of the chunk of money that is spent on the family budget $374 billion per year are spent on snacks in this country.

Now I've asked you to turn to John chapter 21 for our passage that we want to look at from scripture. And to be fair, I have covered this scripture before. We have looked at it many times, but almost always when we treat this passage we look at it from the perspective of Peter being restored by Jesus. I want to back up a little bit and look at it from a different vantage point. I want to look at from the vantage point of spiritual nutrition, from the vantage point of being one of God's sheep, one of his lambs, being in his flock and eating right.

And its my hopes that we will all want to get off of spiritual junk food and get healthy, spiritually speaking. It is one thing to be healthy physically, that's a good thing, but I hope your ultimate goal is to be a healthy spiritual person. So there was a couple, they were 85 years old. They've been married 60 years. They both died in a car accident and went to heaven. The last 10 years of their life, they decided that they would eat healthy and exercise and they did pretty good.

So when they get to heaven, first thing Peter shows them is their mansion. And husband and wife ooh, and ahh, and awesome, and this is amazing. And the old guy says to Peter, OK, so tell me how much is this going to cost? And Peter goes, not going to show anything. It's free. This is heaven. Guy said, oh, OK. Well that's great. OK thanks. And the second thing Peter does is take than show them a championship golf course. Beautiful. And ooh and ahh, and awesome, and the guy says, so Peter, I imagine the green fees here are pretty exorbitant. Peter goes, no, this is heaven. It's free.

Wow. It's beautiful. Third, afterwards, he took them to the clubhouse to show them one of the meals, the spread, this buffet of every imaginable food. And the guy said, well, how much does that meal cost? And Peter goes, like you don't get it, do you? This is heaven. These things are free. It's absolutely free. So the couple was amazed. They start looking at the food table and instinctively, because of the last 10 years of their health conscious diet, they start looking for the low fat, low sodium, low cholesterol foods on the table.

And Peter goes look, this is heaven. You can eat as much as you want. You won't gain weight. You won't get sick. At that moment the old guy gets fuming angry, and he turns to his wife and he said if it wouldn't have been for the stupid bran muffins and all that exercise, I could have been here 10 years earlier. Doesn't quite work that way.

Hey let's look at food from a spiritual perspective, and allow me in John chapter 21 beginning in verse 15, to show you some fundamental truths about spiritual nutrition. Fundamental truths about spiritual nutrition. The first thing I want you to notice is that to Jesus Christ, his flock, his sheep, his lambs, are of utmost importance. Flocks are principle. Verse 15 note, it says so when they had eaten breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?

Either he meant these disciples, or these boats, these nets, these fish. Do you love me more than these? He said to him yes, Lord. You know that I love you. He said to him, feed my lambs. He said to him a second time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me? He said to him yes, Lord. You know that I love you. He said tend my sheep. He said to him a third time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time do you love me, and he said to him Lord you know all things. You know that I love you. Jesus said to him feed my sheep.

So notice the emphasis that Jesus has in this conversation, my lambs, my sheep, my sheep. That's what he is thinking of that's what's paramount in his thinking. Did you notice that verse 15 says, when they had eaten breakfast? Who cooked them breakfast? Do you know who cooked them breakfast? Jesus cooked them breakfast. Wouldn't you love to see what Jesus cooks for breakfast?

By the way you know how Jesus does breakfast? Like this. Breakfast. Go back to verse 9, if you don't mind, and notice it says then as soon as they came to the land, they had been out in their boats fishing, they saw a fire of coals there and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, bring some of the fish, which you have caught. Verse 12 Jesus said to them come and eat breakfast. Verse 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them. Likewise, the fish.

Just FYI, he gives them lean protein and whole grains. Just let me throw that out there. This is Jesus' breakfast to his disciples. But here's what I want you to see he's cooking breakfast for them, and he's speaking to them about others, his sheep, his flocks, his lambs. And I bring that up because I want you to understand that to Jesus Christ he is always thinking about other people. He's always thinking about others.

He could have said, you know I've been through a horrible ordeal. I was on a cross. You guys left me. And he could have talked all about that, but he's telling them while he's cooking them breakfast about how much he cares for his flocks. Because that's how Jesus operated. That's how he rolled. He was always thinking about others. It's how he saw people. In Matthew chapter 9, we're told when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.

So here is Jesus caring deeply for people who are wandering in life like sheep, and they need a shepherd. And he wants to be that shepherd to nurture them and to care for them. And you know that he often referred to believers, us, as his sheep. He the, good shepherd, the classic passage in John chapter 10, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd and I know my sheep, and I am known by my own. As the father knows me even so I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd. Did you hear that? I laid down my life for the sheep. So since he lays down his life for the sheep, the sheep then are his principal concern. That's what's paramount to him. His sheep. He laid down his life or his sheep. Now we know that. We know that Jesus is the shepherd and we are sheep. We're familiar if we grew up in church with that word picture.

The problem is we live in a city in the United States of America, so we don't really understand the concept of sheep from a biblical perspective. To be called a sheep was not flattering. OK. The Bible doesn't place sheep in the best light. Do you know that? When the Bible wants to talk about our proneness to wander from God, it doesn't say we've all gone astray. It says all we, like sheep, have gone astray. Because that's what sheep do. Sheep wander. They go astray. It is part of their nature. They require constant oversight.

One professor of philosophy said the existence of sheep is evidence against the theory of evolution. There's just no way sheep could have survived that process. You know it's all about survival of the fittest. Sheep are not strong. Sheep die without a shepherd. Have you ever seen a football team use a sheep as its mascot? The Denver sheep. No, they don't do that. The Broncos. It's not the Los Angeles lambs, it's the Los Angeles Rams. Have you ever seen a sign that says beware of lamb? Like it's my guard sheep.

No, these are not strong creatures. They're easily overcome. They're very, very timid and they don't find their own way. They're not like pigeons or dogs that they can navigate and find how to get home. Once they're lost, they're lost. It requires a shepherd to bring them back. So they require lots of care, and they can't survive without a shepherd. This is where Jesus comes in. He's the good shepherd.

This is what David, who was a shepherd meant when he said the Lord is my shepherd. I know who I am I know that I am a sheep, but I have a good shepherd. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. If you are familiar with a book that became a series of books called Chicken Soup for the Soul, you know that it's a set of books about real life stories with inspirational themes.

Well there's a story in the book by Eric Butterworth, a real life story, who talked about a professor a professor of sociology and he commissioned his class, his whole class, to go into a Baltimore slum, the slums in Baltimore, Maryland and get the case histories of 200 young boys. The students in the class had to then write an evaluation predicting the future of those 200 boys from the slums. Without exception, they said hasn't got a chance. She hasn't got a chance. He hasn't got a chance.

All of them were consigned to a hopeless future by a sociology class. 25 years later another professor of sociology heard about that study, found it, commissioned his students to follow up on the 200 students from the slums, now grown up, now they're men 25 years later. They made an amazing discovery. Except for 20 of those boys who had either died or moved away, 176 out of the 180 achieved a more than average success. They became lawyers, doctors, businessmen, educators, you name it. They were professionals.

Well the professor was absolutely astounded that 200 kids from the slums of Baltimore had that kind of success. So they asked each of the students, how do you account for your success? The reply of every student was this, well there was this one teacher. Well, they found the teacher. She was still alive and she was flattered, and smiling, a twinkle in her eye. They said, OK, so share with us the magic formula. What did you do? She said, well, it's really very simple. I loved those boys. I loved those boys. And the moral of that story is that their success was based on the love of a teacher.

Listen, the secret to this success over the last 2000 years of the flock of Jesus Christ isn't that we're such an amazing flock. It's that we have such an amazing shepherd, who has committed his love to us. He's laid down his life for us, and he is committed to us. It's our shepherd and his love for us. Now here's what you got to know. Something else, and I never saw until this week and studying this. In this section of scripture, Peter the apostle is broken hearted over his failure. He's preoccupied with thinking about, I blew it. I've failed.

Jesus, on the other hand, his primary thought, though he is going to restore Peter, his primary thought is the flocks, the sheep, the herds, the people. In restoring Peter, the way he restored Peter back to usefulness, is getting Peter to stop thinking about Peter and start thinking about others. And I see a principle here. Sometimes the best way out of a slump or out of a depression is to start noticing the needs of other people around you and get involved in their lives.

It'll raise life up to a whole new gear as you start serving them instead of just seeing yourself. So flocks are principal. Jesus keeps referring to them in this passage. Here's the second fundamental truth about spiritual nutrition. Food is essential. Food is essential. Notice in verse 15, Jesus said, feed my lambs. And then in verse 16 tend my sheep. And then third, feed my sheep. Feed, tend, feed.

Now why are there differences in the words? Well the first word feed is the word basco in Greek, and it means to pasture a flock, to take them out to eat from the pasture, to feed them. The second word for tend here is the word poimaino, which means not to pasture, but to pastor them, to shepherd them, to care for them, and to feed them. And then the third time he uses these back to the first word, basco, which means to feed. So no matter how you look at it, it's feed, feed, feed.

Now I'm going to make a very profound statement, not really, but if Jesus tells a dude three times to do something, he must want that to happen, right? If he says feed them, feed them, feed them, I surmise from this that Jesus wants his sheep to be fed. Fair enough? That's important to him. You know, when I was a kid my mom would always offer me two choices at dinner, take it or leave it. Those were my two choices. This is it. This is your shot, take it or leave it.

Jesus does a lot better than that. He actually leads his sheep out to the pasture. John chapter 10, I take them out, I bring them in, he said. I take them out to pasture I bring them in at night for protection. David in Psalm 23, when he said the Lord is my shepherd, he said, he leads me to green pastures. It's all about the food for a shepherd. Now I found out why. Sheep are undiscriminating in food choice.

In other words, they eat anything. They'll even eat poisonous roots. It would kill them. They'll eat it. OK? So since sheep will eat anything, shepherds know that sheep will eat anything, so it's the shepherds' job to get good food to the sheep. It's their task. It's their job. Now take that and move that motif from the physical world to the spiritual world. Spiritual leaders are known as shepherds, and God's flock are known as sheep.

The principal concern of God for shepherds is to feed the sheep. And I've been amazed at how often that shows up in the Bible. Listen to this Jeremiah chapter 3 verse 15, God said I will give you shepherds according to my heart who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. In other words, I want my spiritual leaders to help you, the flock of God, understand and know truth.

Jeremiah 23 verse 4 I will set shepherds over them who will feed them. And they will fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking says the Lord. Now God wants them to be complete and whole, and that is the job, the task, of a shepherd. Ezekiel 34 verse 2, thus says the Lord God to the shepherds, woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves. Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

And then Acts chapter 20, Paul the Apostle speaks to leadership in Ephesus, take heed to yourselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to feed the Church of God, which he purchased with his own blood. It's the same truth as we have here. If flocks are principal to Jesus, then feeding is essential to Jesus. It's all about the food, it's all about what you eat. You are what you eat. Sheep need food.

OK, there was a guy who was a salesman for dog food. In fact he wasn't just a salesman, he was a sales director. And they had a convention for their dog food brand. It was Ken-L Ration dog food at the time, it goes way back. And there was a convention of dog food sales persons in this huge room, and this director stood up and he's pumping up the crowd. And so picture I'm the guy, I'm the sales director for Ken-L Ration dog food, and you are in charge of getting Ken-L Ration dog food to all of the homes in America.

So the guy goes up there, I go up there, and I say what's the best dog food in America? And you say Ken-L Ration. They did that, but with a lot more enthusiasm because they sell the dog food. It makes sense, right? So they said Ken-L Ration And then he said, then why aren't we selling more dog food than anyone else? There was a hush over the room. And finally one of the salesmen from the south stood up and shouted across the crowd, saying fact is sir, the dogs don't like it.

Amazing wisdom, isn't it? The dogs don't like it. Did you know that 80% of churches in America have plateaued or on the decline? How can that be? Why is that? Is Jesus not awesome? Is the word of God not powerful to transform? Why is that? Fact is sir, the dogs don't like it. Here's what I've discovered. God's flock want food. They want to hear from God. When God's flock gets together, they don't want to hear somebody's opinion. They want to hear what the word of God has to say about issues in their life.

Now, I'll ask you a question. Who's the head of the Church? Don't say it's me? Who's head of the church? Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, right? He's the head of the Church. It's my sheep, my lambs, Jesus said. Feed my sheep. If you were to ask any church leader, hey, who's the head of your church? They're all going to give you that answer. Jesus is the head of our church. The follow up question is how does he exercise his headship? By what means is Jesus exercising headship in your church?

Because there's only one answer you can give. He speaks to the church. He speaks to the church. He manages the direction because it's his word that we listen to, and understand, and live accordingly. See, this is where exposition of the scripture gets its foundation. It's all about divine authority. Anything less than the exposition of a text of scripture usurps the authority of God. That's why we must always see what the Bible says.

I've always thought that the main task of a pastor, and I say that because of what the Bible says. The main task of a pastor is to be a spiritual chef, to be a spiritual chef. To prepare meals, spiritual meals. I remember my mom growing up, she said I slaved over the hot stove for you boys all day long. She had four boys. I was the baby of four boys, and we had big appetites. And she'd say I'd slave over the hot stove for you boys all day long. And I think she'd say that part complaining, but part being proud because she cooked some pretty awesome meals.

I've always thought that that is my task. I slave over a hot stove all day long. That's what I do. I think that's what shepherds are to do. And when Paul told Timothy about pastoring, he didn't say preach it up. He said preach the word. Preach the word. I want you to proclaim and preach and teach, but not just anything you feel like, preach the word. The word. This is why the apostles in Acts chapter 6 said we're not going to leave the word of God to serve tables. We're going to find out what God's word has to say.

Any pastor worth listening to is someone who has thought through the text of scripture, and then feeds the flock. That's why Paul said in two Timothy chapter 2, be diligent to present yourselves approved to God. A worker who does not need to be ashamed, listen to this, rightly dividing the word of truth. Now I gotta tell you, to do that takes time. It takes slaving over a hot stove. But it's all about the food.

Do you know Jay Vernon McGee is? Ever heard that name? He's been in heaven since the '80s but his voice is still on the radio around the world. Jay Vernon McGee taught through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and his voice still does. He spoke here back in the '80s, and it was the year he went to heaven. I had him on the radio one day, the night before he spoke at Calvary, and I said Dr. McGee, you teach from Genesis to Revelation. I got my cues, and my pastor Chuck got his cues from you teaching through the Bible.

And I'm just wondering, because I noticed that didn't happen a lot. Why don't more pastors teach from Genesis, the whole Bible? Why don't they teach the whole Bible? And he said something only McGee could say. He said because they are a lazy. I said, OK, you are Mr. Blunt. Because they are lazy. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, if you plan to be lazy there are plenty of vocations in which you will not be wanted. But above all, you are not wanted in the Christian ministry, for a man who finds the military an easy life will also find that it brings a hard death. Ouch. But Yeah. Bam.

This is the reason Wednesday nights are so important to me, personally. Because it gives me a chance to spend an hour over a chunk of scripture and plow deeply giving language, background, context, and going verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book, from Genesis to Revelation. I want you to be the best fed congregation in the state. That is my aim. And I think Jesus has got that high on his priority list.

I want them to be fed. Flocks are principal. Food is essential. Third, feeders are vulnerable. Feeders or vulnerable. I bring this out because the text brings it out. Look at verse 17. He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time do you love me. He said to him, Lord you know all things. You know that I love you. Now Peter is bummed out, not because Jesus repeats himself, but because of the language he employs.

The first question is Peter, do you love me? The word agapao or agape. Do you love me with the supreme, intense, self-sacrificing love? Oh yeah, Lord, I love you. Peter, do you love me with that agape, love self-sacrificing love? Peter said the second time, Lord, I'm fond of you. He used a different word. Peter said, I love you brotherly love, phileo love. I love you like a brother. That's getting honest.

Then Jesus is the third time he used Peter's word. Peter, do you phileo me? Do you love me like a brother? I mean, can you even claim after denying me that you even love me at that level? And Peter is grieved over that, because Jesus descends to that lower level of affection instead of supreme love. But he says, Lord, you know all things. You what I've done, but you know my heart. You know I love you.

And Jesus, the third time, commissioned him, feed my sheep. Verse 18 most assuredly I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself, or clothed yourself, and you walked where you wish. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish. He's speaking of the fact that Peter would be crucified upside down after he was arrested.

Verse 19, this he spoke signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said to him, follow me. Here's what I want you to see, Peter in this conversation, is a failed leader. He has failed Jesus. And he knows it. Three times he denied Jesus, and now he's hurting privately. And so Jesus restores him, get this, publicly. Publicly. Why publicly? Why was this not done privately? Why would Jesus ask these questions with his buddies listening in?

Well, there's a couple things you need to know. Number one, Jesus and Peter have already had a private meeting, a one on one. In Luke chapter 24 it says one of the disciples said the Lord is risen and has appeared to Simon. So they already had their one on one. Second thing you need to know is that Peter denied Jesus, was a privately or publicly? Publicly. He denied Jesus publicly, three times. Jesus is allowing Peter to affirm him three times, publicly.

Charles Spurgeon said a man's repentance should be as notorious as his sin. I'm giving you the chance Peter, three times, to publicly affirm me with your friends around you seeing. This as a turning point for Peter, a real turning point. Peter will become an incredible leader in the early church after this. He will preach the gospel on Pentecost. 3000 souls will be saved. He will carry the gospel into Syria, up north. He will superintend the meeting in Acts 15 at the council of Jerusalem.

But Peter will still struggle after this. Now he won't be a perfect leader after this. He'll still struggle. You want to know what he'll struggle with? Well he'll struggle with legalism. He'll struggle with hypocrisy. And Paul will have to confront him on that. Galatians chapter 2 verse 11 when Peter had come to Antioch, Paul said, I withstood him to his face because he was to be blamed.

Now why am I bringing it up? Because I want you to see that Peter, you can call him Saint Peter all you want. This great shepherd was still a sheep. Feeders are vulnerable. Leaders, pastors, Bible study teachers, are still sheep. Shepherds are sheep, too. So if anybody gets a cocky attitude, well, I'm the shepherd. Dude, you're a sheep first and foremost. You may have the opportunity to be in a position of spiritual leadership, but you're a sheep, too.

All of that to say pray for your feeders. Please pray for your leaders. Pray for deacons, for elders, for Bible study leaders, for anybody who holds any position of authority, because anybody who does have a position of spiritual authority knows one thing, you're an unusual target for Satan. You have a bull's eye taped to your back. So pray for them. Feeders are vulnerable. Pastors, leaders, are also sheep, and we must never forget that.

Now I want to close with a question. What are you, as a sheep in God's flock, feeding on? Think what you consume in your life, what you do, what you see. What are you feeding on? Are you feeding on poisonous stuff? You shouldn't be doing that. That's poisonous. That will hurt your soul. It'll hurt your spiritual walk. Because sheep do that. You know, they'll eat even poisonous roots.

So are you feeding on something poisonous? Are you feeding on junk food? There's a lot of junk food out there? There's just junk food. So much so much of our food now today has got fillers in it, like cardboard. I don't know what they put in these things, but it's like, what's in that? Just there's a little bit of food. I mean, a microscope you can see it. Are you eating spiritual health food?

You know how people post their pictures on Instagram? What if you were to post your spiritual meals on Instagram? What would you foodstagram look like? What would that be like? What do you listen to? What do you watch? What are you reading? What are you studying? When I say studying, I mean when you study something, you really look at it. You're looking at it from different angles. You're considering it. You're asking questions about it. You want to know more information about it. That's studying something. That's feeding on something.

Mark Buchanan said study is the ingesting and digesting, the chewing and swallowing, and being filled with ideas, images, thoughts, and attitudes. To browse an idea, to skim it, to dabble in it, that's like getting a whiff of food. Maybe a faint taste on the tongue, but to study, to really plunge into the depth of a thing, to interrogate it, and to allow it to interrogate you, to probe it and be probed by it, that is study. That, he says, that is eating. That is eating.

What are you studying? What are you feeding on in your life? If you look at your life, if you were to post it, what are you feeding on? I'm so thankful, I'm so thankful, that by and large I'm looking out over a church that has a voracious spiritual appetite. That you come when you want to know what does the Lord say in his word about this and how I can apply it to my life? And I applaud that. I love that. It makes it such a joy. And I'm praying that your spiritual appetite will increase, and that you will be filled, the Bible says filled, with all the knowledge of God.

Father, thank you for the truth of this scripture, the truth that was so important to Jesus. The flock that was so paramount and principle in his thinking, that the flock, the sheep, the lambs, should be fed, cared for, nurtured. Fed. Lord, I pray that our own spiritual appetite would not be dulled by the junk food that is everywhere, by the poisonous food that is everywhere. Lord it's very difficult to swim in a cultural sewer, and to have any kind of sanity and spirituality, Lord, but the power of your Holy Spirit living in us, it is possible.

It is a battle. It is a struggle. We admit it freely, but we also know that your Holy Spirit is strong. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. We just, once again, we end where we begin. We begin by casting ourself on you. We end by casting ourself on you. Thank you for your mercy and your forgiveness. Thank you for second chances, like you gave to Peter, and you give to us. And by the way, for third, fourth, and 567 chances that you give. Thank you for your mercy in Jesus' name, Amen.

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