Something in common
Repost of Pastor T. Boxley’s Sermon.
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to “Try Jesus!” If this is your first time joining us, it’s great to have you with us. I would like to thank all the new members for joining “Try Jesus.” Also welcome those in Alabama, Alaska, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota this week.
Have you ever sat something down on a table that wobbled? The first place you usually look are the legs under the table. To keep everything on the table stable, you need to make sure the legs are sturdy.
Does it feel like many things in our nation today are on a wobbled stand? It doesn’t take much for things to fall when weight is placed on that wobbled weak leg. Without our God, our nation is destined to fall.
Let’s pray, “Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your continued breath of life today. Thank you for gathering hearts and minds together. Lord, surround us with your powerful, life-changing presence.
Thank you Lord, that your foundation stands secure and immovable. Thank you for being our precious tested and tried cornerstone in Zion. Thank you for loving each of us and for calling us to walk with you. We come before you as we meet and declare our dependence on you.
Fill our hearts with your love. Open our understanding by the Spirit of truth. May the joy of the Lord be our strength today, may your living word resuscitate hearts today, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
How well do you get along with others when playing a board game, you don’t understand? Have you ever been caught in the middle of a disagreement on how people want the game to be played?
I’ve played some games (such as Monopoly) and others where people make up new rules as they go along. When there’s big debate conversations about the game as you’re playing, it takes the fun out of the game.
Doesn’t it seem that when you, family members, or friends get together for day of fun and laughter, there’s always that one or two individuals that come with controversy.
I’ve always thought that some people just like to “throw a fly in the ointment” to get dissension started before the fun gets underway. I been through this a number of times with friends and family.
I used to get together with two very close friends of mine on the weekend from time to time. We would plan out our schedule by eating at a fine restaurant.
Since one of my friends was a chef himself, we would usually let him decide which restaurant we would dine at. Everything would always be great, that is until our food was brought to our table.
Being that our friend was a chef, he had this insatiable habit to critique the food before we could even enjoy it. I and my other friend would tell him the food looked and tasted great. But he would call the waiter and have him reheat or recook his order.
Sometimes he would ask for the manager and tell him he wouldn’t pay for the meal because it wasn’t the right temperature. By the time me and my friend had received our dessert, my friend was still waiting on his perfect entrée to arrive.
Of course, by the time we got in the car to maybe go play some basketball, or go bowling, the day started to slip away. We were a little frustrated and sometimes just go back to my mother’s house where our other cars were parked.
My mother, who loved to see us always together, would always see us in debating conversations. She would explain to us that she’s never see so close friends seem like they have everything in common, but nothing in common.
She then gave us the nickname, “The three stooges.” We did have a lot if things in common, but at the end of the day, it seems we couldn’t agree on how it would start, or how it might end.
It’s been said that opposites attract one another. It’s also been said that opposites can compliment one another. When you started dating someone, did you look for things you had in common or things that were opposite from your personality makeup?
How different are you than your spouse? What about your friends or children? In regard to dating and marriage the Bible has something to say how Christians date on a common ground interest.
Spiritually they are not to be unequally yoked together. (1 Corinthians 6:15-20; 7: 39; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Many single Christians have tried to force or put together common interests that spiritually don’t work.
I’ve counseled some individuals who ran into serious problems because they married someone who wasn’t an authentic born-again believer. Some people think they can change people by forcing Christianity on them.
I told one woman who was dating an unbeliever to be careful because “if you marry him, it’s like getting the devil as your father-in-law.” There is never common ground between light and darkness.
There have been many well told stories of what can happen when you try to coerce someone into something they’re not ready to receive. It’s like forcing a piece from a puzzle into a place that doesn’t fit. How do you balance a difference?
Do your differences support each other’s weaknesses? I feel that no matter what side of seesaw opposite end you sit on, eventually you come to the middle to balance the whole in your lives.
Having common ground in life can be easy until it’s not easy. There needs to be agreement and peace mixed in that common ground. Have you ever jumped off a seesaw without thinking about the other person?
That quick fall to the ground comes without warning and causes discomfort in the end, (literally your end). People who are argumentative rarely think about meeting in the middle to bring about a peaceful resolution.
Common ground is not hard to find when you invite the one into it who always stands on Holy ground. God created us to have many things in common. Some are easily noticed. For example, we all have to eat, right?
Some love to get in the kitchen (like chefs) and mouth watering meals. Cooking meals together with loved ones and even friends can bring common ground enjoyment.
From special events to family gatherings, when you say everyone bring a covered dish, and food is on the menu, someone who loves food will say “I’m bringing an appetite!” (Smile).
Jesus knows all too well how much people love food as he blessed the food he gave and fed 4,000 and 5,000 people respectively. He also served his disciples with a delicious meal before getting to serious conversation. (John 6:1-14; 21:9-19; Matthew 15:32-39).
Of course, Jesus told those who came to him that it wasn’t the miracles and signs but the food that filled their bellies that kept some coming to him (John 6:26,27). Many people today still use food for the wrong reasons.
Many religions still use food to try and draw up attendance numbers in their congregations. They will also use it to help in financial endeavors for the church.
Another thing we all have in common is sleep. Everyone has to sleep at some time, right? I realize there are some people who suffer with some form of insomnia. I have a friend who used to call me for prayer because he couldn’t sleep.
Pray for people who suffer in this. The Bible says we can have peaceful rest and sleep in Jesus (Psalm 127:2). Of course, I sympathize and pray for common ground solutions for those who are married to those wives or husbands who snore (Smile).
We all have to live somewhere. There certainly is common ground in this area. Today, we see individuals in some cities living in tents. Some of these cities have adopted the name “sanctuary” for the homeless epidemic.
There is nothing sanctuary looking about these places. They do not have a utopian palace look to their surroundings. Jesus came to free people from the corrupt bondage that binds them in places like these.
Jesus came to tell us about a place he’s prepared for us that is anything like a tent to live in. (John 14:1-3). However, not everyone will end up living in these homes he has prepared for us. Some people will leave their tent to a much worse place with no dwelling.
Let’s move along briskly with some more things we have in common. We all tend to get sick. We all get old at some point. (At least most of us.) My testimony involves my niece dying at the age of seven. (Psalm 103:3; Proverbs 18:14).
Death of course is common to us all. (Hebrews 9:27). Many people try to block this event from their mind because it brings about thoughts of everything ending.
There is a finality to it. Many fear it because they can’t see life beyond it. Only Jesus can give us life beyond this one. (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 89:48; Hebrews 11:5).
We have commonality of all coming from parents. It is still a fact that all creation has come through the legs of a female (woman). No male on earth were given the parts to house an embryo. Satan is the architect behind perverted immoral lifestyles in our nation today.
We all come from the sinful seed of Adam and Eve. We did not originate from primates. (Romans 1:18-32; 5:8-12; 17-21). And because this seed of sin was spread from Adam and Eve, God’s love, righteousness, and holiness moved him to act on the sin spread. (Genesis 6:11-13).
Many people who do not know or understand how a Holy God could decide to wipeout an entire people. God’s purity cannot tolerate sin. If one speck of sin was allowed to enter his glorious home (heaven), everything would be corrupted.
But God saw something in his creation that would signify how much he loved them. Why? Because after the birth of Seth, his son’s name was Enos. Look at how God saw the heart of some men.
25} “And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. 26} And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:25-26 KJV).
So God still held his plan from the very beginning (Genesis 1:26-28; 3:14,15). Satan the originator and tempter of man had signified his own demise. (Isaiah 14:12-15). The blood of Jesus would defeat Satan forever.
Satan is a counterfeiter in that he tries to duplicate what God does, but it is to his own ruin. God and Satan have absolutely nothing in common. Light and darkness have no fellowship together.
Did you know there is a well-known religion that places Satan and Jesus as spirit brothers? That they were both created? Let me know if you can guess which religion teaches this erroneous lie.
Some people will say to me, “Pastor Todd, my siblings and I have a lot in common, blood is thicker than water.” My response is always the same. Yes, God gave us families to love and support one another.
But Jesus came to bring light in all families. Many of you have unsaved family members. Jesus is the prince of peace, but sometimes that peace is disturbed when someone in the family becomes an authentic born-again believer.
Jesus spoke these words about families. 34} “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35} For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36} And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37} He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38} And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:34-38 KJV).
When the glorious light of the gospel comes into families, that common unholy alliance becomes unsettled. Yes, we should strive for peace, but when light and darkness get together there can separating opinions.
When I first became a Christian (born-again) I knew my life was on a new common ground with Jesus. All the musical partying concerts me and my siblings went to together stopped. All the wild house parties stopped. All the girl chasing stopped.
They began to look at me differently. They would sometimes have negative debates with me about Jesus and sin. In so many ways I was seen as a fanatic. Did your coming to Jesus upset the common ground in your family?
Christian commitment may separate friends and loved ones. Jesus was not encouraging disobedience to parents or confrontation at home. Because some will follow him and some won’t, conflict will inevitably arise.
Family and friends may see our new faith as rejecting them personally, as we turn from our former beliefs, activities, and life choices. Sometimes they can resent your life being new. Joseph went through this with his family.
Love of family is important, but even this love can be self-serving and used as an excuse not to serve God or do his work. When you get saved your commitment to God should be your first priority.
Noah was one man who made a commitment to follow God. His common ground with the people that rain was coming changed their thoughts about him.
But when the floods came, God would preserve eight people on the ark. Noah, his wife, three sons, and their wives. This stands to reason we all came out that ark. There were a variety of nationalities that came from that ark.
Some people don’t understand how the races came to be. Just simply go and read the tower of Babel in (Genesis 11:5-9). The people had much in common then. The people chose to be a monument, but it was a monument to the people themselves rather than to God.
The people still had this ingrained common ground call sin. It would continue to sprout itself as time moved on. Our emotions came off that ark. We all have common emotions. We all laugh and cry.
We may all get angry at times. And when we get angry, we sometimes do things we shouldn’t. And why do we do all these things from A-Z? Because we are all sinners. (Romans 3:23). We all caught the sin sick cold from Adam.
Does that give us excuses or a way out of our sins? No. We are still held accountable for our own actions. It’s always easy to point blame away from ourselves. But God made it clear we are responsible for our own sins.
We will never stand at the throne of Jesus and turn and point and say he/ she made me do it. (Deuteronomy 24:16; Jeremiah 31:30, Ezekiel 18:18-32). People who end up in hell are not sent there because God chose them to go there.
God never sends anyone to hell; they send themselves there because they reject their only hope of redemption. It’s not God’s will that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9; Isaiah 1:18-20; Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11).
Again, many people who held on to their disbelief in God have much in common. They may have uttered words like, “I hate God! Jesus is not the only way, there’s nothing wrong with lying, adultery is ok, its ok to steal, we’re all gods, I love sinning.”
But there is a way to be on common ground with God. You don’t have to be eternally separated from God. All you have to do is repent, turn from sin, and tell God you’ve sinned and that you believe Jesus died for you.
Please read aloud in the Bible these verses (Romans 10:8-13). After sincerely praying “God, I’ve ruined my life. Please forgive me. Jesus, I believe you washed my sins away on the cross. Be my master and take me to heaven, thank you Lord, amen.”
If you just prayed this prayer sincerely, you now have something in common with those who are going to heaven. Some think this is too easy. They think they must earn their way to heaven by working long hours on the mission field.
They think they must feed a million people, or give a million dollars, maybe knock on a hundred doors. Reading the whole Bible. Never miss church attendance. Remember my friends, Jesus came to earth to do what we couldn’t do, save ourselves.
For those who try to reach God by choosing their own way to God, they are in for a startling surprise. Jesus spoke about man’s religious ways of seeking God (John 10:1-5). It is impossible to reach a Holy God by man-made religion.
Jesus said these powerful words over two thousand years ago. 21} “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22} Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23} And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV).
🗣📢 Last words: Not everyone who talks about heaven belongs to God’s Kingdom. Jesus is more concerned about our walk than our talk. (Titus 3:3-5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Galatians 2:21; Romans 11:6; Romans 3:20-30; Ecclesiastes 3:1-11).
[Most religions prescribe specific duties that must be performed to place a person on common ground with any god. Christianity uniquely teaches that no good deed we do will make us right with him. To be on his Holy common ground we must accept his redemption standards.
No amount of human achievement or progress in personal development will close the gap between God’s moral perfection and our imperfect daily performance. Doing good is important, but it will not earn us eternal life.]
Today, you get to choose. Don’t miss your opportunity to have something common with God. Jesus has nothing in common with the world. (John 7:7; 15:18-25; 1 John 2:15-17). Take heed by words God sends out daily (Joshua 24:14,15).
Common Ground- I accept Jesus on his Holy ground and ask him to be Lord of my life.
Uncommon Unholy Ground- I’ve thought about it and choose to go my own way. I think Christianity is all nonsense.
When this current earth is no longer here, there will be two judgments everyone will appear at. Believers will be at one Judgement and unbelievers will be at the other.
We all deserve to be at The Great White Throne Judgement, but God sent Jesus so we could choose life or death. The great thing about genuine love is, it doesn’t force you to accept it.
Jesus came as the God-man. He was God coming to love and live among his people. He offered himself up close and personal. (John 1:1-14; 8:24; 10:17,18, 30; Colossians 1:14-20; Philippians 2:6-11).
Some people think they can get on common ground with God by accepting him but not his son. Or some say, “Yeah, I’ve read the Bible, and I like Jesus, but I don’t like the God of the Old Testament.” But they’re actually exactly the same. If you reject one you reject both.
GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT- Unbelievers common ground and meeting place at death. (Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8).
JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST- Believers common ground and meeting place at death. (John 5:24; 10:27-29; 2 Corinthians 5:8-11; Revelation 3:5; 22:14; James 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:8).
A long time ago someone asked the question, “What do I have to do to go to hell?” The other person simply stated, “Just don’t do anything and you’ll find yourself there.” There are no excuses in front of Jesus. (Philippians 2:9-11).
Common ground with God makes you stand on solid rock (Psalm 40:1-3). Today, if you want common ground move your heart to higher ground.
🛐 Here’s a prayer for getting your heart in common with God’s heart. “Heavenly Father, thank you for today’s message that made your word a lamp unto my heart and light on your narrow path.
Lord, Sometimes I think I’m on good common ground until it turns out to be quicksand from the enemy. Please help my heart and feet to stand on your promises so that all the other ground is sinking sand.
Each day you weigh my heart, and you know my intentions. Instead of my flesh being my internal guide, let your Spirit instruct me on the way that I should go. I pray that I become sensitive to hearing your instruction so that I know what to do.
Lord help me to live righteously with you and set apart from the world. Let your will be done in my life and let the plans that you have released in heaven, be aligned here on earth.
I pray that I understand your purpose for me so that I do not stray from it or forget it. Let my desires become aligned with your purpose so that I am not conflicted in my lifestyle. This is the prayer of my heart, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
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“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
Pastor Todd Boxley Worship Center Ministry tjforlife.com