Steven Furtick — Come Out of Your Corner
Listen, I'm so glad you came today for this installment of Gates of Change. Normally my pulpit comes out, right here, there's even tape on the stage, to show where it goes, so we get it right there center, so all the campuses can see it. It's not crooked, driving the OCD people crazy, but today I told them to bring me a different instrument, to illustrate this Gate of Change, because today we're going to go through the Gate of Conversation.
Now I know that word is archaic, because we live in the age of comments, we live in the age of outrage, and we so hide behind virtual walls and digital personas, and screens, that sometimes we have forgotten how to talk. And many young men will never know, what it was like to do this, and to have to still instead of your heart to talk to a girl on the other end of the line. People don't talk, people don't talk no more. All they do is this. Have you noticed?
And yet we find that God is a conversationalist. Prove it to you, the very cadence of creation is calling responds. God spoke and it was. Everything we see is a result of something, that God spoke. And so to walk with God is to involve yourself in a conversation.
Because I really want to model my ministry in my life after the Ministry of Jesus, and as obvious as that should sound I've missed it in so many ways. I missed it because sometimes I was so focused on what Jesus said and his words, that I missed some of the context. That he said those words in, and a lot of it was ignorant. And I slowed down recently, and I noticed a pattern in Jesus ministry, something that he did is so simple on the surface you will miss it, if you are not looking for it. I'll show it to you, and by the time I show it to you a few different ways, you'll pick right up on it, and you'll wonder "how did I never see that before".
But the first one I thought I would mention there, are a lot of these I could have pulled from, but since I tried to memorize the Sermon on the Mount one time from Matthew 5 through 7. You know he really starts preaching around, about verse three, but verse one says something I never thought much about it before. It just says, "Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him and he began to teach them". He sat down to teach, and the Bible says at the end of that whole discourse, that the people were amazed at his teaching, because he thought his one who had authority, not as one of their teachers of the law. He broke their expectations by virtue of the power of his wisdom.
That was the first one I wanted to read you. The second one is in Luke chapter 4. It's kind of cool, because Jesus is preaching in his hometown of Nazareth. And he was a Nazareth. I was thinking Lazarus and Nazareth together, just kind of came out, a bit of a mash-up, but he stood up and took the scroll, and he read his scripture, and he was quoting from Isaiah 60:1. He read it, but he stopped, because he was talking about the Spirit of the Lord is on me, for he's anointed me to preach good news to the poor, open eyes of blind, recovery of sight, and he said that it is the year of the Lord's favor. And after he had said that, look at Luke 4 verse 20, then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down".
Talk to me this is a conversation. All y'all who look at me, like some kind of clown to entertain you. I am not used to that, I am a conversational preacher. I need you to talk back. My questions are not rhetorical, I really expect an answer. What did he do after he rolled up the scroll? Jesus sat down.
And the funny thing was, he sat down before he got to their favorite part of the scripture, because after he said it's the year of the Lord's favor, it said the day of vengeance of our God, and they really wanted him to be the kind of Messiah, that would repay all of their enemies, but before he got to that point, because he is full of grace and truth, he rolled up the scroll, said it's the year of the Lord's favor, and he sat down. And when he sat down, the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, hanging on his every word, because he was the Word, and the word became flesh, and dwelt among us. Jesus is God's conversation with humanity. So, if we see him, we see the Father.