• Word Of Life Church

“Heads-Up” Part 2

“Listen Up”


We last looked at the importance of “Looking Up”. (We literally looked up to the stars and planets that God created and saw that God wrote his plan of salvation in the stars.) We will look at the value of “Listening Up” as well. We all have experienced the truth that life is filled with “Ups” and “Downs”. SATAN’S APPROACH TO THE “DOWNS” He wants to direct our focus in one of three ways. 1. Focus on all of the “Downs”, becoming (or remaining) hopeless and helpless. 2. Focus on the “Ups” ignoring the reality of the “Downs”, living with our head in the sand. 3. Focus on not caring about anything. Jesus addressed these three approaches to handling the “Downs” in life in John 16. He acknowledged the “Down” things that his Disciples would soon experience. Then he gave them the encouragement to “Hang in there”, to “Persevere”, because he had overcome the world and all of its problems. Let’s “Listen up” to what Jesus said.All this [Negative, “Down” stuff] I have told you so that you will not fall away. [For the purpose of hanging in there] 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God… 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate [Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the WORLD [Sinfulness] to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment… 11 because the prince of this world [Satan] now stands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear… 16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean… [They tried to “Listen” but they did not understand.] 19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant… [Jesus is always “Listening” to us.] 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn [These are always the “Down” times in life] while the world rejoices. You will grieve, BUT your GRIEF will turn to JOY. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, BUT I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 33 “I HAVE TOLD YOU THESE THINGS, [Negative, Downers] so that in me you may have peace. In this world YOU WILL have TROUBLE. [Negative, Downers] BUT take heart! [Be encouraged, Be strengthened] I have OVERCOME the world.” -John 16:1-33 God wants us to deal with the realities of life with the strength, guidance, hope and certainty ofour all-powerful, Lord and Savior JESUS. And we truly do need him- Everyone… Without exception… Continuously! Look at some of the phrases that contain the word “Up” in the world. We “Hear” many of these phrases on a daily basis. If just read some of them, you would be reminded of your need for Jesus, encouragement, hope and positivity. The very word “Up” itself, finds itself always in the context of something that is either “Down” or “Negative”. We are surrounded with negative. We must “Listen” to Jesus, especially in the context of all the depressing, negative things and people around us. “Give up” (Stay down, it’s not going to get better) “Catch up” (You’re behind) “Come up” (We need to come up with something) “Put up” (We need to tolerate something negative) “Pick up” (Get things to where they are supposed to be) “Hold up” (as in slow down, or hang in there.) “Back up” (as opposed to continuing the wrong way) “Keep up” (as opposed to letting down or falling behind) “Straighten up” (as in, act right/positive, not negative) “Break up” (Can be good/positive, or bad/negative) “Bring up” (as in, “I hate to bring this up, but…”) “Build up” (as in “make the situation better”) “End up” (usually in the negative, “you’re gonna end up…”) “Blow up” (usually has to do with destruction) “Fed up” (with something negative) “Dress up” (as opposed to dress down) “Show up” (as opposed to letting someone down) “Cover up” (something undesirable or negative) “Throw up” (when something is not right) “Shut up” (stop something perceived as negative) “Clear up” (unclear things need to get clearer) “Wake up” (becoming more alert) “Clean up” (in the context of dirt) “Get up” (as opposed to staying down) “Shake up” (negative things need to be dealt with) “Open up” (as opposed to remaining closed) “Mess up” (usually in a negative context) “Make up” (trying to get it together after a fight) “Makeup” (as in products to help your appearance) “Wrap up” (something needs to end) “Speak up” (to God, to yourself, to others as God directs) Here are a couple of positive “Ups” “Going up” (God is helping us better our circumstances. example, to heaven) “Thumbs up” (Positive, approval) “Light up” (you are the “Light of the world”) “Rise up” (be what you are supposed to be) THE ANSWER TO ALL OF THESE NEGATIVES IS GOD AND HIS PROMISES We can always “Look up” and “Listen up” to God’s answers to our troubles, trials and tribulations. He has OVERCOME and we can too. “… everyone born of God [Christians] overcomes the world. [Continue to “Look-Up” and “Listen-Up” to this truth] This is the VICTORY that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” -1 John 5:4,5 “LOOKING UP” AND “LISTENING UP” TO AVOID STEERING OFF COURSE Before the days of modern navigational devices, Those who traveled the Atlantic Ocean did so with two compasses. One was fixed to the deck where it could be seen by the one steering. The other compass was fixed up high to one of the masts. From time to time someone would climb up to check it. They used two compasses because the ship was mad of iron. The magnetic compass on the deck was often effected by its surroundings. However, the compass that was fixed way up high, was not. That could be described as “Steering by a higher compass”. How often do we as Christians steer off-course because our compass is being affected by our “Negative”, “Downer” surroundings? Unfortunately, the answer is, too often! Too often we make bad judgements because we allow the world to have a negative effect upon us. The world’s noise is drowning out God’s voice and his wonderful promises. We need to "Steer by a Higher Compass", That Compass being God. Let God help you to “Steer by a higher compass”. After all Jesus is, “The Way the Truth and the Life.” -John 14:6 The time that we spend “Listening” to Jesus will always be very valuable and beneficial. “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet LISTENING to what he said. 40 BUT Martha was DISTRACTED by all the preparations that had [???] to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? [What kind of emotions do you think Martha was feeling to make such an accusation against Jesus?] [ANGER… at Jesus, at Mary, at her parents, Anger at Lazarus???] [JEALOUSY… after all Jesus is paying attention to Mary who is not “doing” anything. In Martha’s mind, the attention given to Mary by Jesus, and the attention that Jesus is giving to Mary should be given to Martha. That is what Martha thinks. She is not getting credit.] [What might have been Martha’s issues… Spiritual, Relational, Self-confidence, Envy, Work-a-holism, etc?] [Good old-fashioned selfish being inconvenienced. Jesus got in the way of “her” plans/agenda] Tell her to help me!” [Now she is third-party talking to Mary through Jesus. And she seems to be even scolding Jesus?] 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, [She was not steering by a Higher Compass. [She was “Listening” to many “others” sources other than Jesus. One of those things was her own agenda. In and of itself, there was nothing wrong with her agenda – she was getting the meal ready. Meals don’t get ready by themselves. But her problem was that she was listening to her emotions. Her problem was in viewing Jesus as a distraction to her agenda. BE CAREFUL “LISTENING” TO YOUR EMOTIONS. When “Listening:” to your emotions, causes you not to “Listen” to God, then those emotions will bring you “Down”. Jesus went on tho say to Martha, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. [Jesus is talking about “Listening” to Him.] “Listening” to Him includes; Reading his Word, Talking to him in prayer, Thinking about godly things and how He would want to you act and react to situations in life. Doing what you are doing right now as you are reading this, you are in worship either in person or at home. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” [What Mary is receiving from Jesus has value for a life time. It is not just temporary. It will last. When we “Listen” to Jesus, we receive wisdom and strength, gifts that keep on giving” – they will never be taken away.] -Luke 10:38-42 ALWAYS LISTEN TO JESUS… To help prevent getting unnecessarily down. And to “Get Up” when you are already down. “Heads-Up”… “Look-Up” … “Listen up” THE GREATEST “HEADS-UP” PAYS ATTENTION TO JESUS “LOOK UP” & “LISTEN UP” because… 1. Because heaven is our real home. We all know the quote: “Home is where the heart is.” -This world is not our home. -This world is only temporary. Looking Up reminds us of where our true home is. 2. Because where we look, we tend to head Towards. Example: When learning to drive you are told to look down the road and not at the center any lines on the road, because you will end of heading towards what you are looking at. Example: If I “Look Up” (Think about God and Godly things) it is as if a part of heaven is coming down to my daily life. Example: If I “Look Down” (Think about earthly, non-Godly things) it is as if a part ofhell is coming up in my daily life. 3. Because there we will praise him along with the entire universe. Psalm 148 Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens… praise him in the heights above. 2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. 3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. 4 Praise him, you highest HEAVENS… 7 Praise the Lord from the EARTH, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths… [ie. Whales] 12 young men and women, old men and children. 13 Let them praise the name of the Lord…” (*Video of stars & Whales singing together in nature.) Prayer: Thank you Lord, for all of Creation. Thank you that the Sun, Moon, Stars, an d all of creation praise your name and give testimony to your perfection and Glory. I will pay more attention to you by “Looking up” and “Listening up” to all that you are doing and saying in my life. May all glory be to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen! Pastor Dave Word of Life Church 17525 W. Bell Rd. Surprise, AZ 85374

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Word Of Life
   Church & preSchool

623-544-3000

wolchurch@wordoflifeaz.org

17525 W Bell Road

Surprise, AZ 85374

  • White Facebook Icon

©2021 Word of Life Lutheran Church & Preschool. All rights reserved.

WOL Logo 2020-01.png