TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, December 13, 2020 | That Doesn't Fix My Problem

 


Pastor Eric Gilbert

Hallelujah. Hallelujah. My goodness, that’s a song, isn’t it? That's the kind of song when you're singing, and it's not hard to imagine that the angels in Heaven are just joining right in, and Heaven and earth is colliding in worship offered under the throne of God. You do realize there's basically one thing on the agenda the entire time you're in Heaven; worship, worship, worship, as we acknowledge that he is the King of Kings and the Lord of lords and the Savior of our souls for all of eternity. Man, what an honor to be able to be with you guys this morning. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I want you to pray with me. Father, I pray anybody that just feels a little discouraged and needs to be encouraged in your presence this morning, reveal yourself in that way to them. God somebody that needs to have their head lifted. God just as a reminder that you are worthy to be praised that God you would do that in this moment. I pray Father, just families that need a special touch and maybe somebody that needs healing in their body, somebody that's wrestling with something that they need deliverance from. God, you can prove yourself strong in so many ways. There's nothing beyond what you are capable of doing. Lord, do it in this place today, in Jesus’ name, this church said, amen and amen. You guys can be seated. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I'm going to ask if you would just look over at somebody and let them know you are in the right place at the right time, on a Sunday morning. And we are so, so glad that you are here. We've had really a great morning just across the board. Even as I was traveling between locations, people was texting in different things, just letting me know how God had moved in their life today. And I'm just believing that you're going to have that same kind of experience in your life. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

One of the things that I've been doing the last few weeks is right before I go into the message, I've been giving you guys an update on how that you've been serving in the community, how you've been meeting needs. The reason for that is because you know, our church exists for one reason above all else and that is because everyone needs Jesus. And right now we're focused on really trying to accomplish three tasks in that vein, to seek the lost, to make disciples, and to meet needs. Last Sunday, you guys may remember that we had the stockings that were across the altar areas. And we had those stockings available at every location. We even had people from church online that participated. And in that moment, you guys gave away over $6,000 to help make Christmas put a smile on the face of some families and some kids. And we've got more to do, there's more to come, we're going to be working with some of the jails, some of the detention centers. Even yesterday, I approved the purchase order, or maybe the day before, on more of the nursing home visitation booths. And we just feel like if there was ever a Christmas when the church needs to be the church, it's right about now. And I want to thank you for the way that you've given thus far. I want to thank you for the way that you've continued to be faithful. And I just want to invite you to continue to give. If you'd like to give today, there's giving stations set up around the facility that as you leave, you can worship God in that way. Or you can go to 3trees.com. When you go to 3trees.com, there's a number of little buttons there. One of them just simply says Give. You click on that button, and it can tell you the different ways you can honor the Lord and that way in your life. You can do it securely right there online. It’ll show you how to text to give. It'll even give you the address if you'd rather mail your giving. And again, we're not done being the Church. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And we've even had, last night my wife was sharing a testimony with me that there's a family in Ghana that has found church online, and they have family here in Kentucky. And it's a pastoral ministry and they were trying to work out some things and just we're sharing how that last week they were really blessed by the service and being able to engage in that way. Thank you guys for allowing us to not only minister to South Central Kentucky but occasionally a few global things from right here on this little hillside and beyond. I’ll give you guys a couple of stories that you made happen. I think they got a slide to go with this, but says it “just wanted to say thank you for doing the gift cards during this time. Usually we don't get to contact my niece that much because of family situations. But I was able to reach out to her father and he let us bring the presents by, and we are just so thankful to get to be a part of 3trees and meet needs. Another one was my family and my granddaughter chose to shop for a family that have two children under the age of two with number 3 on the way. The parents were given a gift, the family was given a popcorn tin, and most importantly, they were given a new Bible.” This family still stands in need of prayer. You know, one of the reasons that you meet a material need is the hope that you're going to open somebody up to a spiritual truth. And I want us right now to pray for that family. That, that material need being met, is going to open them up spiritually to what God wants to do in their life. Father, we pray for that family right now. Lord, they've been ministered to, a need’s been met, and now we just pray that as the door of their heart opens up that Jesus, you're going to be able to step in, and the god those children are going to be raised in the house of God. They're going to have a relationship with you from a young age. And I pray Father, that even as they enter into 2021, that even now in this Christmas season that you'll just start something in them that progressively grows the entire family's relationship with you. Reveal yourself as Savior, may they bow before us, Lord. In Jesus’ name, this church said, Amen. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Today I get to continue our series. Last week we launched a series entitled God With Us. And today, I'm going to take you back to that anchor text that we used last week. It's in Matthew chapter number one, this is two verses, verse number 21 says this, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. For he will save the people from their sins,” verse 23, “And behold, the virgin shall be with child and she shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means God with us.” Notice, you shall call him Jesus, because he saves you from your sins. They shall recognize he is Emmanuel, God with us. I think that perhaps what's being said there is that as you decide to make Jesus your Savior, it sets you up for the moments in your life where that others, bystanders, onlookers, the world, have to acknowledge surely God is with you in your life. That all starts by accepting and acknowledging Jesus as Savior and Lord. 

 

I want to give you another passage of text, this will be the foundation for today's message. It's Matthew chapter 11. And what Matthew chapter 11 does is it picks up the storyline of a man by the name of John the Baptist. And John the Baptist has been put in prison. And when he's put in prison, he asks two of his disciples, staff, members, messengers, to go over and see Jesus and ask Jesus some questions. And as Jesus replies to answer their questions and send them back to John, one of the things he says in the answer is Matthew chapter 11:6, “And Blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” Blessed is he who is not offended, because of me. I'd like to share a message with you this morning in the vein of that doesn't fix my problem. That doesn't fix my problem. Father, help me, help me to preach, help me to teach. God use this moment. God, provoke someone forward in their walk with you, their relationship with you. Let the anointing of the Holy Spirit being made manifest, even through the preaching of the Gospel, that yolks will be destroyed. Let it be done Father, in Jesus name and this church said,

Amen. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know, I have found that it's really easy to testify God is with us when everything's going right. Like, when you're having some of those really good seasons in life, it is not hard to tell anyone and everyone, God is with me. There's an interesting character in Scripture. In fact, he may be one of the most unique characters in the entire Bible. In order for you to understand a little bit more about him, maybe we need to say this first. The Bible says that when you're studying Scripture, that you are to rightly divide the Word of God. Now, most people believe that that means you divide it at the Old Testament and the New Testament. There's nothing wrong with that. But maybe a better understanding would be that to rightly divide the Word of God, you divide it at the cross. And what you'll discover is that everything before the cross is pointing to it, and everything after the cross is pointing back to it. And so when John the Baptist comes on to the scene, he is the first prophetic voice that we begin to recognize in the New Testament, yet he is before the cross, he's before even the arrival of Jesus’ ministry. And when John starts preaching, there has been a prophetic silence in the earth for over 450 years. There has been no one in the earth declaring the oracles of God for over 400 years when John the Baptist shows up. And when he shows up, he is not your average preacher. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Scripture tells us that he was dressed in camel’s hair. We get the impression that he's somewhat disheveled. He's rugged looking. He's probably got a big beard. And we know that his diet was locusts and wild honey. He hung out in a wilderness environment. And when he started preaching, he didn't go into the urban areas. He didn't go into the town square. Instead, he went right there to the edge of the wilderness. He got in the middle of the Jordan River, and from the shores and sometimes from even within the river, evidently, he would preach. And he really had one message that was central to his ministry, it was repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. And what would happen, people would respond to his messages and they would get baptized. Now, in the day of John the Baptist, before the cross, baptism meant something different than what it means now after the cross. When we as Christians get baptized, what we're saying is we're symbolically telling the world we're going public with our faith. We're letting everybody know an old version of us has died, and a new version has been resurrected through the grace of Jesus. But that baptism doesn't do anything inside of us, it's just a public testimony of what's happened. But in the days of John the Baptist and the Jews, they were supposed to use baptism for repentance. And it was their way of going and they would get into to water and, and they would baptize themselves to say, Hey, I am unclean, I've done things that God is not pleased with, there's sin in my life, I want to be cleansed, and I want this sin to be removed from me, I don't want to be disconnected from God. John starts showing up, and he starts preaching, you guys have neglected this baptism. You haven't neglected to repent. You guys are at a place where sin doesn't bother you anymore. And you need to get right with God because his Kingdom is right here with us. It's made manifest, and we all need to get ready to experience it fully. And people responded to his message. He must have been an incredible communicator, an amazing orator. And he's preaching and people are coming from the north, the south, the east, and the west, they are coming from every direction. Hundreds if not thousands of people are in his ministry, receiving from him. He is getting results. Now, those are fun times, aren't they? When you're getting results. I know I can say this, when you're not getting results, there's hardly anything that’s more discouraging. That's the reason most diets don't work. You don't get the results as quick as you'd like to have them. That's the reason most exercise plans don't work. You don't get the results as quickly as you would like to have. That's the reason that most businesses don't make it past the startup period because people don't get the results as quick as they want them. But man when you're getting the results, you feel 10 foot tall and bulletproof. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

John the Baptist is in a season in his ministry where he is getting results. People are responding. He's got an increasing following. I mean, every time he goes on Facebook, he's got more friends. Every time he goes on Twitter, he's got more followers. If he puts something on Instagram, the likes just explode. John is being celebrated. And it's not that he didn't have critics. But what we're led to understand is that the applause was so loud that it drowned out the critics. Nobody can’t preach like John. You want to experience God, get over there to John's church. You want to really experience a move of the Lord, you need to go over there and hang out with John and his folk. You know what happens? One day this huge crowd is present, John's preaching and Jesus shows up. And when Jesus shows up, John stops everything. He announces to everybody, behold, the Lamb of God is with us. He's right here. You need to recognize it, you need to celebrate it, you need to be aware of it. God is with us. You ever had that moment? That river revival moment? Like I know God is with me. I know God is with our family right now. I know that God is with our church right now. I know that God is with our business right now. I've just not celebrated that God is with us. But then you fast forward in John's ministry, and somebody with influence turned on him. It went all the way to the king's throne. And they decide that they're going to arrest John the Baptist. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

They send soldiers they apprehend John. They take him into a prison. In that day, prisons were horrific places, especially if the king puts you in prison. Nothing was sanitized. There was no modern-day plumbing. The stench of sewage would have filled the atmosphere. On top of that it was known to be a haven for disease. It was a place where infection would break out in people's bodies. Sometimes with open sores, those open sores would drain and the smell filled every room and every corridor. It's dark. It's a literal dungeon. And here sits John in darkness, in prison, and word spreads, that he's probably going to be executed. And now he is contemplating, will I live, or will I die? And while he is in prison, Jesus doesn't even come see him. Jesus, so far as we know, does not even send a message to him to check on him to make sure he's okay. John is rotting away, trying to keep the rats from eating his toes off at night while he's asleep, and he feels really, really alone. And something starts turning over on the inside of him. Like he starts having some kind of a struggle that evidently he's never wrestled with before. Like, there's some kind of a challenge that's happening on the inside of him that when two of his former staff members come to see him, he looks at them, he says I need you to do something for me. What is it, John? I need you to go find Jesus. And I need you to ask him something for me. Well, what is it john? Matthew 11:3, John said, I need you to ask Jesus, are You the Messiah we have been expecting, or should we look for someone else? Wait a second. Over here in the river, Jesus is God with us. There's no doubt about it. Everybody needs to recognize it. Nobody can overlook it. Jesus is the one God is with us. But in the prison, in the darkness, there's a question evolving. Is God really with me, or am I looking in the wrong place? Am I looking at the wrong thing? Like, what am I missing? Because this situation is getting worse instead of better. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Have you ever went from the river to the prison spiritually? Have you ever went from the moment where you were getting results and everything was going your way and you just knew it man God is with me, to the moment where it seems like absolutely nothing is going right. And everything that comes out of the king's office is making the situation worse for you. Are you kind of like what is going on man? Look, I gave my whole life when everything was going right, Jesus l gave you the glory. I let him know what your God with us, and now stuff is going wrong and it just seems like. You know one of the issues, John 1:29, when he's over there in the river. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and he said, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. There's a key phrase there, John saw Jesus coming toward him. Boy it ain't hard to celebrate it when you can see it is it? It ain't hard to tell anybody when you can see it. I can see he's coming to it. But now I'm over in the prison, and hey, Jesus, I don't see anything. So like, if you're coming, I'm gonna need you to open my eyes. John has sent a question to Jesus. Are you the one? Are you really with me? Are you really God with me? The question arrives at Jesus. There's two messengers. It's recorded, Matthew 11:4, Jesus, John's got a question. Is God really with him? And Jesus answered and said to them, I want you to go and tell John the things which you hear, and you see. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised. The poor have the Gospel preached. All right. The messengers look around. Everything Jesus says is true. Blind eyes are being opened, deaf ears are being unstopped, dead people raised back to life, poor people have the Gospel preached to them. They take it back, back to the dark dungeon. Back to the stench of sewage. Back to the place where the rats live. Hey, John, man blind eyes opened, deaf ears unstopped, dead people raised back to life. Poor people had the Gospel preached to them. But put yourself in John's shoes. Well, that's great. But that doesn't fix my problem. You ever been there?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It's not that you're selfish. It's not that you're not excited about what other people are experiencing. But he doesn't fix your problem. Well, that's great. That's great that their marriage got fixed, but that doesn't fix my problem. Like that's great that God rescued their kid from addiction, but that doesn't fix my problem. Like that's great that they got their financial breakthrough, but that doesn't fix my problem. Like that's great. God moved, prevented something bad from happening, but that doesn't fix my problem. Have you ever sat in that dark closet? You ever felt the enemy messing with you jingling those kinds of chains behind you? You ever had the moments where that you're in church and you want to worship and you want to glorify God, and you want to give him everything you got? Well they got their healing, and they got their breakthrough, and man the Lord prevented, that doesn't fix my problem! I'm still on the executioner schedule list. It doesn't fix my problem. Have you ever been there?  I believe that Jesus anticipates that kind of a response from us. He knows we are human. He knows we are flesh. He knows we struggle from the inside out. And so when Jesus provided an answer to be sent to John the Baptist, he didn't leave it there. He added something to it. He didn't say just tell John the Baptist blind eyes open, deaf ears unstopped, dead people raised the life, lame walk. He added something to it. Verse number six, Matthew chapter 11, he said, and you tell John, blessed are those who are not offended because of me. He's saying, John the Baptist, when you hear this, you're going to have two choices, to be blessed or to be offended. John the Baptist, you are going to have to wrestle with the reality of a conditional response. Will you choose to not be offended so that you can be blessed? Isn't it amazing how the enemy uses offense in our life? Here comes Beulah. Look at you cross-eyed, funny, and now you're offended. Freddie said something to your kids, and now you're offended. Somebody took your parking place, and now you're offended. Somebody got the promotion instead of you, and now you're offended. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Do you know why the enemy tries to keep you offended? Because the Bible tells us that if you have unforgiveness in your heart, according to Jesus, then when you pray, your prayers can't be answered. So the enemy tries to get you offended so that he can head you off from the potency of your prayer life. And it's one thing to be offended with others, but have you ever been offended at God? Maybe not all of us, but I’ll bet you in a crowd this size, somebody watching on a podcast, listen on a radio broadcast, you know what it is to wrestle with offense towards God. And it's not because you wanted to, it's because the enemy kept pointing out to you, he healed that blind eye, but it didn't fix my problem. He unstopped that deaf ear, but it didn't fix my problem. He made that lame man walk, but it didn't fix my problem. Like, he resolved that situation, but it didn’t fix my problem. And I think that Jesus would say the same thing to you that he would say to John the Baptist. There is a blessing that awaits you if you will choose to not be offended by what you don't understand. Maybe that's one of the reasons that God teaches us do not lean to your own understanding, but trust in the Lord in all your ways. Maybe that's why Scripture teaches us that the ways of God are mysterious. Maybe that's why God teaches us that the weapons of your warfare are not carnal through man's hands, but they are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds. Maybe that's why God teaches us that if God is for us, it really doesn't matter who or what is against us. Maybe that's why God teaches us that he has the ability to determine the end from the very beginning. Maybe that's why God teaches us that he will be the author and the finisher of our faith. As long as God’s still got pen in hand, he is not finished writing your story. And you got to understand it may not look like what he did for that family, and it may not look like what he did for that business, and it may not look like what he did for that person or that follower of Jesus, but if you will choose to believe

that he is the same God in the river. I'm trying to help somebody this morning. He is the same God in the river that he is in the prison. If he could just find somebody who will believe that there is a blessing that is headed your way. It may not come wrapped like you thought. It may not come packaged the way you thought it would come. In fact, it may not even look like he's headed your way at all. But john. God's saying things about you that he ain't saying to you.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Jesus sent an answer to john. He said you tell him all that stuff and you tell him don't you get offended John, and there's a blessing heading your way. Those messengers walk off, Jesus turns around and looks at the remaining crowd and he says this, assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women, there has not risen one greater ever than John the Baptist. For all the prophets and the law prophesied up until John could get here. And if you are willing to believe it, he is the spirit of Elijah made flesh for such a time as this. He didn't say it to him, but he said it about him. Watch it happen over and over again in Scripture. Go look at Job for a minute, and see what God's saying about you when he ain't talking to you. If you choose to not get offended by the ways of God. If you choose to not lead your own understanding when the process of time with God's hand on it is unfolding in your life, there are things that he is setting up for you that will not just be for this lifetime but will be for an eternity. Because even when they laid John the Baptist head down on a cold executioner's block, and the sword was lifted above his neckline, he may not have understood it, but there were 10,000 upon 10,000 angels that were coming his way and about to grab him and take his soul to a Heaven that would be his for all of eternity. And when he walked into heaven, the pearly gates were going to swing open. And according to Hebrews, chapter 11, he would get a blessing unlike few other people who have ever lived throughout the entirety of the human timeline. You may not understand what God is up to, because it's not all about time. We are driven by the eternity that is in our hearts, and God is set. God is setting us up. I just feel a little bit like preaching this morning. Because I just, I've stood in the river. Oh, I have had that moment.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I've watched a church not grow for seven years, and then take off and grow by more in six months than it used to grow in six years. I have watched God make dreams and visions come to pass that you've held since childhood. I’ve been able to celebrate my Lord, he's God with us. But I've also known some dark days that I didn’t ask for, nor did I want. You don't ask for five surgeries in two and a half years. You don't ask to get stabbed in the back and people you love betray you. You don't ask for pain, and challenges and dungeons. I'm looking out at the Claunch family right now. Whoever heard of one family having to wrestle a brain surgery? There sits a husband and wife, brain surgery. Did y'all ask for that? Was it wanted? I look around this room. I don't even know where my Aunt Treva’s at. The prayingnest human being I've ever met. What my mom and daddy didn't teach me about prayer, she taught me. She taught me the principle of when you build a house, you put a room in it that belongs to nobody but God. Coming out, minding your own business, nearly be crippled and paralyzed. Go through years of agony and challenges. She didn't ask for that. Think about your life. Think about your situation, your challenges. There are some things you didn't ask for. There's some things you didn't expect. There are some things you didn't anticipate. But does anybody when you're in the moment that the enemy's trying to convince you that the dungeon is going to get the best of you that you can still believe that He is the God that was in the river. He is the God who has been there all along, and I may not understand it, but if I go or I stay, I am a winner either way. It's a great storm, maybe a little bit of faith, but on the other side, it'll be a great calm. He's brought me too far to give up on God now. He is the God who blesses in spite of everything the enemy tries to show you, everything the enemy tries to tell you, everything the enemy tries to point out to you. He is still God and he can be God all by himself. I need somebody to just give Him praise one more time. And let me catch my breath.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Just look at somebody and tell him I will not be offended. Refuse to allow the enemy to take offense and head you off from your blessing. Because if the blessing doesn't show up in a lifetime, it'll show up in an eternity. It’s the promise of God over your life. Keep the faith. Hold on tight.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I feel the Lord, I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be dramatic. I'm not trying to be super spiritual. I'm not

trying to make a moment something that it's not. I just feel the Lord. He came to tell somebody that's in the dungeon of discouragement and depression, he's still the same God that you introduced others to when you were in the river. Go and play softly, Jaron. Could you just, if you’re cool with it, lift your hands; if you're not, it's fine. Just lean into the Lord for a minute. I don't know if this is for everybody, but it's for somebody. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. I will not be offended. I will not be offended. Somebody needs to say that to God this morning. I will not be offended. I feel like maybe there's somebody you've even thought about how generous you've been, and how many times you tried to honor the Lord, and now it seems like your finances are in a dungeon. Just let the Lord know I’ll not be offended. If you slay me, I'll still serve you, because I know there's a blessing either in lifetime or eternity.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Somebody, you've prayed for other people's kids and you've believed God and you tried to raise yours in the way that they should go, and it's just like there's some kind of dungeon of addiction or challenge it's around your babies. I need God to move, you've been saying it over and over. Celebrate with the people who experience what you're believing for, and watch the blessing come. Believing God for that relationship, celebrate with somebody who’s seen God do it. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Just real soft, Jaron, sing something.