WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

  • Published on
    28-Mar-2016

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A sermon by Rev. Johnny R. Calhoun

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WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?SCRIPTURE: LUKE 24:1-12/MARK 16:3/JOHN 20:14-16CONCEPT: WE MUST LOOK FOR A LIVING AND ALL POWERFUL CHRISTIT WAS A DAY LIKE TODAY. EARLY ON A SUNDAY MORNING, WHILE THE DEW WAS STILL UPON THE ROSES. IT WAS LIKE TODAY, WITH THE SUN BEARLY PEAKING ABOVE THE MORNING HORIZON. JESUS THE CHRIST HAD BEEN CRUCIFIED, JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO AND LAID IN A BORROWED TOMB. AND HIS DISCIPLES WERE IN HIDING AND IN GRIEF.THE ONE THEY HAD FOLLOWED AND BELIEVED IN WAS DEAD AND THEY WERE IN GREAT FEAR OVER WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THEM. SOMEWHERE DURING SATURDAY EVENING, THE WOMEN DECIDED THAT THEY WOULD GO AND PROPERLY PREPARE JESUS BODY. IT WAS CUSTOM TO ANOINT THE BODY WITH HERBS AND SPICES. AS THEY PREPARED TO GO TO JESUS TOMB, MARK 16 TELLS US THAT THEY WORRIED ABOUT HOW THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO GET INTO THE TOMB. THERE WAS A LARGE STONE THAT HAD BEEN ROLLED IN FRONT OF THE TOMB TO COVER AND SEAL IT. AS THEY WENT TO THE TOMB, THERE FOCUS WAS NOT UPON WHAT THEY WENT TO DO, BUT ON WHAT WOULD PREVENT THEM FROM DOING IT.SO MANY TIMES IN LIFE, WE TEND TO HINDER OURSELVES BY LOOKING AT THINGS THAT PREVENT US FROM DOING WHAT WE BELIEVE WE NEED TO DO. THEY WORRIED ABOUT A STONE. THIS STONE REPRESENTED A STUMBLINGBLOCK. IT WAS A HINDERANCE. SOMETHING THAT WOULD KEEP THEM FROM BEING ABLE TO DO WHAT THEY BELIEVED THEY NEEDED TO DO.SO MANY TIMES IN LIFE, WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES NEEDING TO DO SOMETHING. WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BECOME FOCUSED UPON WHY WE CANT OR WHAT WE ARE UNABLE TO DO, OR WHAT WILL HINDER US FROM ACHIEVING SUCCESS. THEY WERE LOOKING FOR A PROBLEM. BUT WHEN THEY GOT THERE, THEY DISCOVERED THAT GOD HAD ALREADY TAKEN CARE OF WHAT THEY WERE WORRYING ABOUT. GOD SENT ANGELS TO ROLL AWAY THE STONE. WHEN THEY GOT TO THE TOMB AND SAW THAT THE STONE HAD BEEN ROLLED AWAY. LUKE 24 TELLS US THAT THEY WENT INTO THE TOMB AND DIDNT FIND THE BODY OF JESUS. AS THEY STOOD THERE PUZZLED, TWO ANGELS APPEARED IN DAZZLING ROBES AND THE WOMEN WERE TERRIFIED. THEN THE MEN ASKED THEM, WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AMONGST THE DEAD FOR SOMEONE WHO IS ALIVE. HE ISNT HERE. HE IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD. REMEMBER WHAT HE TOLD YOU. THAT THE SON OF MAN WOULD BE BETRAYED INTO THE HANDS OF SINFUL MEN AND BE CRUCIFIED AND THAT ON THE THIRD DAY HE WOULD ARISE. AND THE BIBLE SAYS, THEY REMEMBER HIS WORDS. THEY REMEMBERED THAT JESUS HAD SAID IT.THERE PROBLEM WAS THAT THEY DIDNT COME LOOKING FOR A LIVING, RESURRECTED CHRIST. THERE FEAR WOULDNT ALLOW THEM TO REMEMBER HIS WORDS. THERE GRIEF, PREVENTED THEM FROM REMEMBERING HIS WORDS. THEY DIDNT COME LOOKING FOR A LIVING SAVIOR. SO OFTEN IN LIFE WE FIND OURSELVES LOOKING FOR A LIVING CHRIST, AMONGST DEAD THINGS.WHATS DEAD REV? DOUBT IS DEAD. WORRY IS DEAD. FEELINGS OF DEFEAT AND FAILURE ARE DEAD. WE CANT LOOK FOR JESUS IN THE MIDST OF WORRY AND DOUBT. NO WE CANT FIND OUR GOD WHEN WE DONT BELIEVE THAT HE IS. THE ANGEL HAD TO REMIND THEM OF WHAT HE HAD SAID. SOMETIMES WE FORGET THE WORD OF GOD AND WHAT GOD HAS PROMISED BECAUSE OF HOW WE SEE THINGS IN OUR LIVES. AS BELIEVER, WE HAVE TO REMEMBER, THAT AS A MAN THINKETH SO IS HE. YOU GOING TO ONLY BE ABLE TO SEE WHAT YOURE LOOKING FOR. THEY WERENT LOOKING FOR A JESUS WHO KEPT HIS PROMISES AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD. THEY WERENT LOOKING FOR A CHRIST WHO HAD ALL POWER IN HIS HANDS AND WAS ABLE TO MAKE A WAY OUT OF NO WAY. THEY WERE LOOKING FOR A CORPSE. A DEAD CHRIST. A CHRIST WHO WASNT ABLE TO SAVE AND DELIVER. A CHRIST WHO COULD NO LONGER HEAL THE SICK AND CAST OUT DEMONS. SO OFTEN WE ALLOW OUR FEELINGS AND OUR CIRCUMSTANCES TO CAUSE US TO LOOK FOR A HELPLESS AND DEFEATED CHRIST. WE WORRY AND ALLOW DOUBT TO CAUSE US TO NOT LOOK FOR THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD. LOOK AT JOHN 20:11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, Woman, why are you weeping?She said to them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.16 Jesus said to her, Mary!She turned and said to Him,[a] Rabboni! (which is to say, Teacher).WE SEE IN THIS TEXT MARY AT THE TOMB OVER WHELMED WITH GRIEF AND ANXIETY. FEAR HAD BLINDED HER AND HER TEARS PREVENTED HER FROM SEEING CLEARLY. AS SHE CRIED OUT TO THE MEN OR THE ANGELS WHO WERE IN THE TOMB, SHE ASKED THEM WHERE WAS JESUS AND WHAT HAD THEY DONE WITH HIM. WHEN SHE HAD SAID THIS, SHE TURNED AROUND AND LOOKED RIGHT AT JESUS, WHO ASKED HER, WHY ARE YOU CRYING AND WHO ARE YOU LOOKING FOR. AND THINKING THAT HE WAS A GARDENER ASKED HIM, SIR, IT YOU HAVE CARRIED HIM AWAY, TELL ME WHRE YOU LAID HIM AND ILL TAKE HIM A WAY.THIS NARRATIVE MAKES THE POINT I BELIEVE IM TRYING TO MAKE. BECAUSE SHE WASNT LOOKING FOR A RESURRECTED JESUS, A LIVING, RISEN CHRIST, WITH CHRIST RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER. SHE COULDNT SEE HIM. HE WAS THERE, BUT NOT SEEN. AVAILABLE, BUT UNAWARE OF HIS PRESENSE. ALL BECAUSE SHE WASNT LOOKING FOR HIM. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR BELOVED. I KNOW YOU HAVE HAD MORE THAN YOUR SHARE OF DISAPPOINTMENT AND DISCOURAGEMENT. I KNOW THAT LIFE HASNT BEEN A CRYSTAL BALL AND FLOWERY BED OF EASE. BUT DONT GO LOOKING FOR JESUS AMONGST THE DEAD. YOU WONT FIND HIM AMONGST WORRY AND DEFEAT. YOU WONT FIND HIM WHERE YOU FAITH CANT GO OR WHERE THE WORD OF GOD IS NOT SEEN. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF UP AGAINST THE WALL AND CANT SEE YOUR WAY THRU. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WHEN LIFE GETS HARD AND THINGS DONT SEEM TO BE WORKING OUT. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WHEN EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE FALLING APART AND DOESNT SEEM TO MAKE SENSE. LET ME TELL YOU WHO TO LOOK FOR. OFTEN LIFE HAS A WAY OF NOT MAKING SENSE OR BEING FAIR. SOMETIMES LIFE CAN MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE GOD CANT HEAR YOU OR DOESNT CARE. SOMETIMES WE CAN HURT SO BAD AND HURT SO LONG THAT WE STOP LOOKING FOR A LIVING CHRIST. AN ALL POWERFUL LORD, AND SETTLE FOR ONE WE HOPE WILL COME. A GOD WE WISH WOULD MAKE A WAY. OFTEN IN THE MIDST OF OUR FEAR AND FEELINGS WE MISS CHRIST STANDING RIGHT THERE. GOD IS RIGHT THERE SAINTS. RIGHT THERE TO HELP YOU, RIGHT THERE TO BLESS YOU. RIGHT THERE TO GIVE YOU THE PEACE YOU NEED, THE COMFORT YOURE SEEKING THE HEALING YOU ARE WAITING FOR. HES RIGHT THERE. BUT YOUVE GOT TO LOOK FOR HIM. LOOK FOR HIM IN THE MIDST OF YOUR DEEPEST PAIN. LOOK FOR HIM WHEN NOTHING IS GOING THE WAY IT OUGHT TO. LOOK FOR HIM. GOD SHOWED US BY THE CRUCIFIXION AND DEATH OF CHRIST THAT HES GOT ALL POWER IN HIS HANDS. HE SHOWED US THRU THE DEATH OF JESUS THAT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO US. NO MATTER HOW BAD IT GETS OR DARK THINGS MIGHT SEEM. GOD WILL REACH WAY DOWN TO PICK US UP. THEY CRUCIFIED HIM. NAILED HIM TO AN OLD RUGGED CROSS AND PLACED HIM IN A TOMB. THEY DID TO HIM THE WORSE THINGS IMAGINABLE. THEY TOOK FROM HIM WHAT THEY THOUGHT WAS THE LAST THING HE HAD. AFTER THEY TOOK HIS CLOTHES AND TOOK AWAY HIS DIGNITY, AND TOOK AWAY HIS DISCIPLES AND TOOK AWAY HIS MINISTRY AND TOOK AWAY HIS FREEDOM. THEN THEY TOOK AWAY THE LAST THING HE HAD LEFT. THEY TOOK HIS LIFE. AND HAVING TAKEN HIS LIFE, IT SEEMED AS THOUGH THEY HAD TOOK EVERYTHING AWAY FROM HIM. BUT LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. PEOPLE CAN TAKE YOU THRU HELL AND HIGH WATER. THEY CAN DESTROY YOU AND DISCOURAGE YOU. THEY CAN EVEN KILL YOU. BUT ONE THING THEY CAN NOT DO. IF YOUVE GOT JESUS, THEY CANT EVER TAKE AWAY YOUR SALVATION. GOD SHOWED US THRU JESUS. THEY AFTER THEY HAVE DONE THE WORSE TO YOU THAT CAN BE DONE. NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS.AFTER THEY HAD DONE THE WORSE THAT COULD BE DONE, GOD SHOWED THE WORLD, THAT NOTHING COULD KEEP HIM DOWN. HE ROSE. HE LIVES. HE IS LORD.DONT EVER STOP LOOKING FOR GOD TO MAKE A WAY. DONT EVER STOP BELIEVEING THAT HES GOT YOUR BACK. DONT EVER GIVE UP ON GOD. LOOK FOR HIM TO FIX IT. LOOK FOR HIM TO GET YOU THROUGH YOUR PAIN, THRU YOUR SICKNESS, THRU YOUR DARKEST MOMENTS. LOOK FOR HIM. HES THERE. LOOK FOR HIM, HES THERE.