Friday, January 12, 2024

Focus 2024 - Part 1 - Who are you living for?

This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on January 7th 2024  by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here.

Who are you living for?

When we meet someone after introducing ourselves, what is the first question we ask them?

It is, “What do you do?”. Instead try asking them, “What are you living for? Ask the same question to yourself, what am I living for?

Some live for money, some live to retire and have a relaxed life and some live for fame want their name to be up in the lights. Today, it is not about lights, but it is about likes and followers.

Some live for approval, some for comfort, some for travel and holidays and some for food. What am I living for? We may say, I’m living for Jesus and maybe you are.

In the movie, “The Pirates of the Caribbean”, Jack Sparrow has a compass which points to Black Pearl. What is our compass pointing to? Sometimes, our compass can get demagnetized. If that is true, this new year, we must get our compass re-magnetized. We must truly live for Jesus.

Recently when we were clearing stuff at our home, we found a pile of journals. I encourage you to maintain a journal, take down notes and write down what God speaks to you.

This morning, let us see how we can re-magnetize so that we point to Jesus. Today, we are alive not because of different kinds of diet and exercise, but because it is Jesus who kept us alive. Let us look at,

Matthew 16:13-28 to find out the true purpose of our lives.

Matthew 16:13-14 - 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

Even though the disciples saw Jesus doing amazing things, they still had a faulty understanding.

Caesarea is a place which is centre for Roman and Greek idolatry. A huge temple was built for Emperor Augustus. Amid idolatry and false Gods, Jesus asked this question. Who do people say I am?

People said that Jesus was John, the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah.

Matthew 16:15-16 - 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

When Jesus asked the disciples who they thought Jesus was, Simon Peter answered, “Christ, the Son of the Living God”. Some people think Christ is the surname. Christ means Messiah or The Anointed One.

John 5:17-18 - 17 In his defence Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Several times, Jesus claimed equality with God. Jesus, Son of the Living God, is the greatest confession of the Church. To align our compass, this is the first thing. Jesus is the Messiah, Savior, the Anointed One.

John 20:28 - 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

John 6:68 - 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 

We are a bunch of people who come together not to hear a motivational talk, but to declare, confess and agree that Jesus is the Son of God.

1 Tim 3:15 - 15 If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 

God’s household is the Church. In the world today, there is confusion about God. Even the most intelligent people may not understand the spiritual truth. A high IQ does not necessarily translate to a high SQ (Spiritual Quotient).

1 Tim 3:16 - 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit,[dwas seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Appeared in the flesh – born in the human body, vindicated by the Spirit – filled with Spirit, seen by angels at the time of resurrection.

Gospel needs to be proclaimed to every people group. Only then the end will come.

How did Simon come to know who Jesus was?

Matthew 16:17 - 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood but by my Father in heaven.

The truth was revealed to Simon by the Father in Heaven. The great confession comes with revelation but not with the human eye. The supernatural revelation comes as we read God’s word. Scriptures are essential.

Luke 24:27 -  27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus explained many things about himself from the scriptures.

John Calvin says, “If the Church doesn’t have sound doctrine, exposition of scripture, Church discipline, baptisms, Lord’s table, then it is not a Church.

Matt 16:18 -  18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 

God has to touch a person’s heart so that they see who Jesus is. We are in darkness till Jesus opens our eyes. Many people get confused with the above verse. They think the Church will be built on Peter. The truth is the name Peter comes from Petrus, which means Stone. But the verse talks about a Rock. The rock is very huge.

Matt 7:24 - 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

A house can be built on a very huge rock. So, Jesus said that he would build his church on the truth that Jesus is the son of God. One of the principles of studying God's word is to interpret the scripture, by comparing it to another scripture.

What are we living for?

This is seen in the next few verses.

Matt 16:24 - 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.

I encourage you to read this verse and meditate upon it in the coming week.

Let us establish this –

1.      Jesus says, I will build my Church.

2.      The Church is built on the revelation of who Jesus is – The Son of the Living God.

3.      We can only get this revelation by supernatural touch from God himself.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto   

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