A Real Man Loves Jesus Above All Else – Dr.Charles Ware, Real Man 2010 conf

Friday evening, September 24 and Saturday, September 25 found me and 7 others from Calvary Baptist attending the Real Man 2010 conference hosted at Faith Baptist Church in Lafayette, IN.  Dr. Charles Ware, president of Crossroads Bible College was one of the plenary speakers.  He spoke first Friday night on the topic: A Real Man Loves Jesus Above All Else; his text was Revelation 2:1-7.  Below are my thoughts / notes:

Introduction: Sometimes we need to go back to a time when we were overwhelmed with our love for Jesus; when he was the very joy of our soul.

Observations of the church in Ephesus (Rev.2):

  • This church was an energetic church, working hard for Jesus (v.2).  They had ministries – they were laboring.
  • This was a theologically discerning church (v.2).  They tested & exposed false teachers, they wouldn’t tolerate evil.
  • This was a persistent church – they kept going (v.2)
  • BUT they had abandoned the love they had at first for Jesus (v.4)
  • Because of this loss of love, Christ was calling them to repentance (v.5)

Notes:

  • Sometimes my ministry can take me away from my love for Jesus.  I can grow cold even while busily laboring in the things for Christ.  (This point struck me the hardest of the entire conference…I truly think I needed to hear this.  It is where I’m at.  That is a difficult statement for a pastor to make)
  • Dr. Ware challenged me to “get off the performance treadmill”.  I am taking a hard look at the ministries I’m involved in to see how they might be draining me of my love for Christ, tasking me in such ways that I am distracted from what truly is important and considering what I need to jettison to get my focus back on track / to fan the fire of my love for Jesus.
  • You can’t substitute LOVING Jesus with WORKING for Jesus.  And the sobering thing is, I didn’t even realize I was doing it.
  • What do I do?
    • Remember – go back to the time when you loved Jesus.  What did that look like?
    • Repent – confess & change – own up to my sin and move forward in my love for Jesus
    • Go back to the first works:
      • Hear his voice – in the Word / prayer
        • In his presence is fullness of joy
      • Relationship building – MUST spend time with him
      • Service – when you love him, you will serve him

I was challenged by Dr.Ware’s sermon on loving Jesus.  What about you?  Have you put something in the place of loving your Savior?  It might be something that is like a ministry, perhaps a relationship.  What is it?  I am very concerned that there are others in our church that are in this same spot I am/was.  Satan is very deceptive and is very willing to deceive us into thinking our ministries are most important, that pouring more time into ministries is really loving Jesus, that being “theologically sound” is most important, etc – when if we hang onto all of that…and don’t love Jesus…we’ve really in need of repentance and a change of heart.

Questions:

What prostitute do you have that saps your love that is only due to your Savior, Jesus Christ?

Is our church just like the church in Ephesus?  Are we laboring hard, theologically sound, persevering and yet missing the whole point of loving Jesus?  I’d love to hear your comments.

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