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Sermon Notes: 1/7/24

May this be the year that we keep Jesus at the center of it all. May this be the year that we keep Jesus at the center of our families, our schedules, our decisions, our actions, and here’s why…


📝 When you keep Jesus at the CENTER of it all, Jesus will keep you CENTERED through it all.


I want to talk to you today from this subject….


CENTERED LIVING


I don’t know what these next 358 days will bring your way, but what I do know is, when you keep Jesus at the center of it all, Jesus will keep you centered through it all.


No matter how many times I read this story, or share this story, that we’re going to discuss today, I’m always mesmerized and convicted at the same time. I see myself in this story. I’m in awe of Mary & Joseph’s negligence, but the moment I began to point my finger at them, is the moment when I have three of my own pointing back to me. I want to do better, I said I was going to do better, but truth be told I’m no different than Mary & Joseph if I’m being honest. But before we go there, let’s go here….


When the angel first arrived to tell Mary about the birth of Jesus for the first time, Luke 1:29 says,

”But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ (SURPRISED)


After the Angel told her what he had to say, when it was all said and done, Mary responded in verse 38 by saying,

”Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭38‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ (AMEN)


The next verse goes on to say,

”Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭39‬-‭40‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ (EAGERNESS)


”And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭46‬-‭48‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ (PRAISE)


”And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭18‬-‭19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ (MEDITATION)


”And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭21‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ (AWE)


”And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ (REFLECTION)


”Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


From there they took this precious child that’s destined for greatness home. The one Who was once abiding in the heavenly realm, is now abiding in a humble earthly home of His creation. After ALL that we just read took place, I was astonished to read the next sequence of events. Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭41‬-‭42‬ reads,

”His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭41‬-‭42‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭43‬-‭44‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”Now so it was that AFTER THREE DAYS they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭46‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


For three days—they lost Jesus. Remind you now, when the Angel first appeared in Luke 1:29, Mary was surprised. In Luke 1:38, Mary told the angel , "Amen” to God’s mission. In Luke 1:39-40, Mary ran to Elisabeth in eagerness and excitement. In verses 46-48 Mary began to praise God for all He’s done. In Luke 2:18-19 Mary bathed in deep meditation of the promise. In verse 21, we saw Mary & Joseph stand in Awe as the promise was fulfilled and they named Him Jesus. In Luke 2:33 Mary & Joseph marveled in reflection at what was spoken over him.


But by the time we get to Luke 2:43 we see Mary & Joseph losing Jesus. Ladies and gentlemen what we just witnessed, if not careful is…


THE REGRESSION OF FAITH


We often start off like Mary. Surprised that God chose us and wants us a relationship with us. We respond like Mary with an amen. We run from there with excitement to tell our Elizabeth’s all that we’re carrying & going to do in the name of the Lord. From there we praise God, we meditate, we stand in awe, we reflect, we are all in. We come out the gate like a horse out of it’s stall, BUT SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE, JUST LIKE MARY AND JOSEPH WE LOSE SIGHT OF JESUS.


This is a dangerous place to be because the story goes on to say in Luke 2:48,

"So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You ANXIOUSLY.”“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭48‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Another translation says it like this…

His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been FRANTIC, searching for you everywhere.”

Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭48‬


Another like this…

And having seen Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, "Child why have You done thus to us? Behold, Your father and I were seeking You, DISSTRESSING."

Luke 2:48 BLB


ANXIOUS. FRANTIC. DISTRESS. All of these things are what happens every time we lose sight of Jesus too.


How do you get to this place of losing sight of Jesus, because NONE of us are exempt? NONE of us are immune. How do you get to this place? I have one word for you…

TIME.


It doesn’t happen overnight but it does happen overtime. Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭42‬ says,

”And when HE WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD…

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭42‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


This didn’t happen the first year, or the second year, or the third. THEY WERE STILL TOO EXCITED AND PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS NEW BEGINNING TO DARE TAKE THEIR EYES OFF OF JESUS. But by THE TIME we get to the twelfth year, we see them losing sight of Jesus. That same verse goes on to say in Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭42‬,

”And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to THE CUSTOM of the feast.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭42‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Another translation says…

When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival AS USUAL.

Luke 2:42


If not careful, another way to lose passion and sight of Jesus is in….

THE ROUTINE.


If not careful, due to the every Sunday’s, and Tuesday’s, or Wednesday’s, or 1st Thursday’s, you’ll become NUMB to what was once a place of PASSION.


If not careful you’ll become EFFORTLESS to what was once a place of EAGERNESS.


When these moments happen, and it’s a good possibility that they will happen, here’s what you have to do. Luke 2:45 says,

”So when they did not find Him, THEY RETURNED to Jerusalem, SEEKING HIM.

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭45‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


📝 EVERY MORNING that you wake up, RETURN TO SEEKING HIM.


📝 • This year make Jesus Christ your PRIORITY.


”O God, You are my God; EARLY WILL I SEEK YOU

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭63‬:‭1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


📝 BEFORE the loudness of my day, or trouble arrives, EARLY WILL I SEEK YOU.”

The scripture goes on to say in Psalm 63:1…


”O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; MY SOUL THIRSTS FOR YOU; MY FLESH LONGS FOR YOU In a dry and thirsty land where THERE IS NO WATER.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭63‬:‭1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


📝 • This year make Jesus Christ your NECESSITY.


I need Jesus, like I need water. Our bodies are made up of roughly 60% of water. According to studies, the brain and heart are composed of roughly 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. It is easy to see why water and hydration play such a critical role in a healthful lifestyle. Spiritually speaking, I now understand John‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬-‭14‬ where Jesus says,

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”“

‭‭John‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬-‭14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of LIVING WATER.”

‭‭John‬ ‭7‬:‭37‬-‭38‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


In this dry and thirsty land I NEED THIS LIVING WATER. Jesus you’re a necessity to me, because everything that I do, everything that I need flows from you! But the only way you can make Jesus your priority, and necessity….


  • This year you must make Jesus Christ your REALITY.

”Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. DO NOT BE UNBELIEVING, BUT BELIEVING.”“

‭‭John‬ ‭20‬:‭27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Believe that He’s alive, real, active and in tune to your life!


”And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and WE [ACTUALLY] SAW HIS GLORY, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception).“

‭‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬ ‭AMP‬‬


Here’s how you can see this glory everyday. Matthew 6:33 says,

📝 ”But SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


When you keep Jesus at the CENTER of it all, Jesus will keep you CENTEREDthrough it all. You keep Jesus at the center of it all, by seeking Him, above all! I seek you above all, because everything that I do, everything that I need flows from you!


📝 Whatever your goals are this year, seek first the Kingdom of God, and allow Jesus Christ to be your SOURCE!


He’s the source of my clarity. He’s the source of my direction. He’s the source of my strength. He’s the source of my discipline. He’s the source of my faith. He’s the source of my provision. And I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST, who strengthens me, because everything that I do flows from Him!


This is why come what may you must….


📝 PROTECT your seek.


For Mary it was year 12 that got the best of her. It was year 12 that came in between her eyes and Jesus.


Don’t allow time, traditions, customs, calendars, schedules, trials and tribulations, come in between you seeking Jesus. Protect your seek!


”So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭48‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? DID YOU NOT KNOW that I must be about My Father’s business?”“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭49‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


For the most part, I believe Jesus was right where they left him.


📝 JESUS DOESN’T MOVE. WE DO.


Often times in crowded places and moments, Logan will say to me, "Hey! Do you have eyes on Judah?!” In other words, I know there’s a lot going on right now, but do you still have your eyes on Judah?


HEY! DO YOU HAVE EYES ON JESUS?


HEY! DO YOU HAVE EYES ON JESUS, OR YOUR TO DO LIST? HEY! DO YOU HAVE EYES ON JESUS, OR YOUR PAST? HEY! DO YOU HAVE EYES ON JESUS OR THEIR OPINIONS? HEY! DO YOU HAVE EYES ON JESUS, OR ON YOUR WEAKNESSES? HEY! DO YOU HAVE EYES ON JESUS, OR ON YOUR TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, AND ROUTINES?

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