This past Sunday my family and I had the incredible opportunity to worship with a community in Thousand Oaks, CA called Anthem Church. Seriously, if you are anywhere near Thousand Oaks you gotta check it out. God is totally at work. It was one of those places where I sensed the power of the gospel at work in the lives of the people there. Anthem is a church plant Pastored by Matt Larson, a good friend and brother, that God has clearly set apart for His purposes, and that is fun to see.
This past Sunday Matt was preaching in the book of Luke, telling the story of one of the most important moments in the history of the church. Theologians call it the, “Transfiguration,” but what it should likely be called for the sake of clarity and understanding is, “Jesus’ moment.”
In the story, Jesus takes 3 of His closest friends up onto a mountain where they would be joined by Elijah (Old Testament Prophet), and Moses (Remember the Exodus from Egypt story?). The story is obviously weird at this point because Moses has long been dead, and Elijah, well, Elijah never died, but has been gone for a long time. So Jesus is standing on a mountain with 3 friends, 1 dead guy and 1 ambiguously dead guy… sounds like a scene right out of one of the star wars movies where Vador, Yoda and Obi-Wan-Kenobi come back from the dead to give wisdom to Luke. Crazy story right?
There is much more to the story, which Matt developed incredibly well yesterday, but his main point was this,
Everything points to Jesus. Its all about Jesus. These men, their lives, every event, all circumstances, even our lives are all meant to point to Jesus, our Messiah, our Savior and redeemer. Moses and Elijah were great men, men who were confused as God and even wrongfully worshiped by people at times, and their lives were really for one purpose… To point to Jesus. This moment on this mountain was all about that. It was a fulfillment of prophecy about the Messiah, it screamed as loud as possible, “Here He is! This is the one you have been waiting for!”
A very cool story, and Matt finished the morning with a very simple, yet profound question that comes straight from Jesus mouth… “Who do you say that I am.”
If life is all about Jesus, the challenge for every single human being is to answer personally that question for ourselves. Who is Jesus?
For me, I sense God speaking directly to my heart through Matt’s message asking what my life is pointing at. Does my life, words and actions more often point to Jesus, or to myself. The answer to that question is unfortunately the latter of the two. I am so selfish, so caught up in my wants, needs and desires that more often than not, I am too consumed with me to really point to anything else.
I want to join in with the prophets of the old testament, the entirety of creation and the Biblical authors in using my life, words, attitudes, resources, circumstances, failures, successes and everything else at my disposal to point back to Jesus. To give Him glory, to bring Him honor, to make His name know, not just for the sake of it being known, so that more people might know the incredible power of the gospel, the beauty of His grace, and the power of His love.
Thanks Matt for challenging me to live a different story every day. Keep up the good work brother, praying for Anthem and God’s presence in all that you do.