The Reality of the Gospel

John & Brandi Belt
John & Brandi Belt

Jesus didn’t ask for halfhearted commitment from His disciples – He asked for them to lay down their lives to follow Him. Join John and Brandi Belt as they share the reality of the Gospel.

The Transcription

Talk a little bit though again today about revival and kind of what that looks like and what that entails and also the reality of the gospel. You know, here in America, I hear a lot of people often saying, you know, our nation needs Jesus our our nation needs Scott. And the reality is it does but more so the church in America needs Jesus. The church in America needs the reality of the gospel and who God is because in so many ways we’ve watered it down.

Yeah. And I think so many things have been taken to the extreme. And so many things have been abused, where the take the power, you can take faith, you can take grace in you, you can exceed extremes, whenever there’s a new emphasis. But what we have to realize is you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And we need the power of God. The Bible says that we live by His power. So it’s not only the anointing upon us, but it’s the anointing inside of this. We want, we want to have that real love for Jesus. But in that place of devotion, in that place of living in his presence, we want to have the power of God that helps people as well, which is the anointing upon us. Yes.

So even Paul, if you want really quickly, if you want to go to First Corinthians, I think it’s two and four. Paul says, let’s see here, I want to read it the right way. First Corinthians, what is it to for one of those verses one of those anyway. For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And then he goes on in verse four. And he says, my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the power of the Spirit, so that your faith should not stand on the wisdom of men with the power of God, you know, and we believe that God is getting ready to pour out His power through his people in ways that we have never seen in our lifetime and in generations. But with that comes this reality that you have to be a vessel that God can use, right. And so one of the things I love when you get to, it’s both in Matthew and John, when Jesus is talking to his disciples, and He says, You must lay down your life, pick up your cross and follow me. And I think it’s so key because so many of us, I believe, have heard a gospel message that has really focused more on us and on him, right. And God is saying, wait a minute, I’m looking for a people who are so passionately in pursuit of me that they lay down everything that would stand against that, and they would leave everything beside, and really follow me really pursue me, no matter the cost, no matter the price, no matter what it would look like.

And that’s the key. Yeah, I believe that we just need to learn how to surrender to the Holy Spirit. God wants to use us. So if you struggle in your mind, that God doesn’t want to use you. That’s totally wrong. You wants to use you Yes, to flow through you. And this is the amazing thing, it’s really amazing to me, is the fact that we’re just temples of the Holy Spirit. We’re just vessels that God wants to use. So it’s not about your perfection. It’s not about your imperfection. It is about the grace of God, in that because of His grace, and because of the blood of Jesus Christ, this Spirit comes and fills you and flows through you. And that’s his power being released through your life. And so it’s a simple surrenders, just Jesus come and fill me, overflow me, use me, and realize it’s not all about you. It’s all about him. It’s about his power. And that’s why we’re so dependent upon Him in everything that we do to serve Him.

Definitely. And, you know, I think a lot of people don’t realize one of the basic foundations of the Gospel is that it brings life to the person who receives it, but it brings death to the person that gives it right and Jesus laid down his life, giving us the message and the gospel and the reality of salvation. And it’s the same for us, we get this amazing privilege to lay down our lives so that the people around us can encounter the Lord, we get to lay it all down, so that life is given to other people. But I think many of us have again, heard this message that has said, you know, if you follow Jesus, if you hear about Jesus, congratulations, you get a ticket out of hell, and all your dreams come true here on Earth, and it’s almost like a genie in a bottle idea. But that’s so not God. And if you react, realize the reality of the gospel, you will see that it’s so much better than that. I mean, it’s not like you’re losing out here on the earth, if you will, because you’re gaining him. It’s all about him. It’s about intimacy with Him. It’s about seeking Him and spending time and just loving on him and receiving from him. But you can only do that if you really lay aside everything else.

Yeah, I think so much of the problem is just condemnation. I feel like so many people live under condemnation and They may not even realize it. But it’s unworthiness. It’s like, I don’t feel worthy to be used my God, but Jesus has made you worthy. And so the truth is that when we don’t acknowledge the power of his cross and the power of His blood, that it’s actually an insult to Jesus in the work that he’s does that it’s not powerful enough. So we need to have faith in the blood, faith in the cross, faith in His finished work for our lives and receive that work in our lives and say, Yes, I can be used by God because of what Jesus has done on the cross, not because of my works. You know, we’re crucified with Christ and Galatians 220. It says, I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live not me, but Christ in me, in the life that I live. Now I live my faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. So we don’t live by our own strength. It’s not by Mike. It’s not by power, but it’s by My Spirit, says the Lord. And that’s for our individual lives. It’s for us corporately, that we live by the power of God, we live by the power of His Holy Spirit. So we want to be dependent upon that.

Yes. And you know, again, just going back to this whole idea of revival and, and believing for revival in our nation, in our city, and really around the world, one of the big keys to that has to do with this reality of even understanding what revival is. And so just to kind of bring some definition, because I know we’ve talked about this before, but I think still people get confused frequently. The reality is, that revival is to the people of God, they are dead, in sin dead in in desire to seek him dead in many ways. And it’s they become alive again. It’s reviving them. And then you have awakening. And awakening is when the world that does not know him, comes alive. It’s when they are shaken and awaken that are awoken. And then you have renewal, which is when and reformation. And that is when the institutions of the places that you live begin to conform into the kingdom of God.

That’s right. And in Scripture, it says that God is close to the humble. So he comes to revive the humble, and I think a great approach with God, if you’re not feeling God’s presence, if you’re not feeling that God wants to anoint you, if you’re not feeling good enough, where you don’t even feel like you’re loving God, the way you should, is say, Lord, help me to love you more, Lord, revive me, Lord, open up my eyes. Yeah, that’s something you have to do, you really just have to ask, because the promise is to whomsoever will, right. There aren’t any special people. It’s just a matter of you having the initiative to ask and receive. Even the other day, our one of our boys was asking about the Lord and, and we’re praying that they would have an encounter with God, that’s so significant, and they’re very young. And we just said, you just have to ask, you just have to invite the Lord to come. And it’s really that simple. You invite the Lord, the more you invite him, the more he comes, he comes by invitation.

He does. And you know, again, I think that’s where a lot of people get caught up, just like John was mentioning earlier about condemnation. You know, Romans eight, one, there is therefore now no condemnation, to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not live according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. But with all of that being said, a big part of that is just people think, Well, I’ve, you know, I’ve fallen so short, I’ve sinned. I’ve done all this, why would God want to meet with me, but the reality is, God loves you more than you can imagine. And he is after personal relationship. He’s not only after using you to reach other people and change the world. He’s after just knowing you and spending time with you, and engaging with you on a regular basis. And so again, don’t be discouraged in comparing yourself to anything but Jesus, and when you compare yourself to Him, you realize, Wow, no one is ever going to reach that, that level of perfection. No one’s ever going to attain his standard. But by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we’re getting conformed communion continuously into His image. And so anyway, I just gets me excited, because I think we just have to realize it’s not all about you and what you can do. It’s about you connecting with him spending time with him, and then becoming conformed into his inner.

Yeah, fusions. decoratives says, It’s my gratiae been saved, and that effect not of your works, lest any man should boast. And in the same way, that’s how you live. You live by His grace, you live by faith. In many people, they get saved by grace, but then they live by the works of the law, or they live by their own works and the things that they think they need to do they live by a list instead of by relationship. And so God, He’s jealous for you. He wants to live in that relationship even more than you do. And so he’s always pursuing us. He’s always coming after us. So all you have do is respond and say yes, in that place. That’s where you experience revival, revival in your heart revival in your spirit. And God wants to awaken us.

Hey, I just really quick Hi Jennifer. Hi, Ashley. Hi my chi, Carolina friend, Alice and everybody. Okay, so guys, but one other thing that I really got, I just felt like I wanted to share today. So if you happen to be watching this with a Bible, if you were to go to Second Timothy, two, and one, or I’m sorry, three, one of the things that I think we are seeing in our country right now is great shaking, and it doesn’t really matter actually what nation you’re in, because there’s great shaping going on everywhere around the world. And I would love to say that I believe that season of shaking is over. But we believe the people of God stand on a firm foundation. So it doesn’t matter what is being shaken or for how long no matter because we have the right place, right? We’re rooted in the right place. But if you go to Second Timothy three and 30 verse one, it says Know this, and this is Paul’s absolute last letter. It’s the last thing he writes. He’s writing to Timothy kind of his protege. And he says, No, this in the last days, perilous times will come. Okay. So if they’re talking about last days, even the even the disciples were talking about the last days, no, so if it was last days, 2000 years ago, it’s still the last days today, we don’t know what the date is. We just know we’re still in the last day of the last day, right? But then it goes on it says men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient, and thankful, unholy, without natural affection, truth, truth, breakers, slanders unrestrained fears. And then it goes on and on and on and on. But then when you get diversified, having a form of godliness, but denying its power, turn away from such people. And I’m felt led to bring this up today, because I think that we have so watered down our gospel, that people aren’t convicted in the house of God and in the presence of God anymore. And because we have literally denied the power that is found in the Holy Spirit, we’ve denied in some circles, even that the Holy Spirit exists. But not only that, we’ve denied the power within us. There’s an anointing that comes upon you, but then the anointing within you. And then noyd sayings job within you, the Holy Spirit in you is to get you conformed and transformed into the image of Christ. But if we deny that power, we can never change.

And that reminds me first John 215, it says, Love, not the world, are the things that are in the world. For anyone who loves the world. The love of the Father is not in hand, that all those things that are in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, are not at the father, but are the world. So we have to realize that we have to separate ourselves, yes, we have to be holy, before the Lord and make the right choices. And now the Holy Spirit, His first name is holy. And so there’s a reason for that. So when we allow the Holy Spirit to come in our lives, it works from the inside out, it’s not a list. But when the Holy Spirit is in us, His Holiness naturally works through us. And He convicts us and leads us in the right direction. It’s the path of holiness. It’s a path of being a saint, instead of a center, because now in Christ, we’re sites we are not centers, because of the work that Jesus has done on the cross enough, so we want to be dependent on the Holy Spirit and ask the Holy Spirit to come and enable us to live in a place that we’re not living after the flesh. But we’re living after the Spirit sowing seeds of the Spirit, because He who says, to the flesh will read from the flesh corruption, but he who says to the Spirit, will read from the spirit life, and that’s what we want is the life in the freedom that Jesus has come to give us. And that’s living in revival.

Right. And, and not only that, but I think so many of us want to be used by God, you know, we say, God use me here I am picked me I’ve signed up, you know, but the reality is, is that God loves us so much. He doesn’t want to give us more than we can handle. And if he gives us such an anointing that comes upon us that it actually crushes us under the weight of it, because it removes us from intimacy with Him. He loves us too much to do that. Now, I’m not saying those kinds of things don’t happen because they’re gifts that are given and not taken back. But at the same time, it’s important that we realize we need the reality of the gospel, we need to realize, yes, there is freedom and grace and transformation and all those things. But there is a cost, it costs you everything. You know, people often will say to me, Well, what do you do to get miracles? What do you do to see signs and wonders? Well, what you do is you just choose Jesus pay the price and you Say, Hey, I’m gonna lay down my life to serve you. I was recently listening to some someone talk about Katherine Coleman, a great, you know, healing evangelist in the 50s. And in the 50s, during that day was people were would say, you know that she just walked into phenomenal signs and wonders. But then this person was mentioning that after her death, they were given her Fox books of martyrs. And she had written right on the front page, Lord, give me the honor of being one of them, you know, and the person was just talking about the importance of truly being willing to lay down your life. And it doesn’t mean that God’s saying, I’m calling you to be martyred and killed on the mission field. But it does mean, again, going back to what the Bible says, even in Matthew and John, where Jesus says, lay down your life, pick up your cross and follow Me.

And the truth is, when you go against the grain of society, you even go against the grain of religious predictability and living inside the box, you’re going against the grain, and you will suffer some persecution, people ridicule you, if you want to follow Christ, you’re going to lose your reputation. And so many people are not willing to lose the reputation of Jesus, he made himself of no reputation, yes, are you willing to make yourself have no reputation, because that really, that’s suffering right there. When you lose your reputation, you’ll look bad. That’s really what it’s talking about. That’s the cross now, maybe you will be martyred for the Lord. But, but before that ever happens, you just got to learn to lose your reputation. You just got to start right there. And I tell you what, when God’s Spirit comes, and there is there is going to be a line drawn between those who believe in the power of God and those who don’t. And you will lose your reputation when you choose the Lord definitely. But you know, I think, you know, it might seem like this is kind of a hard message or a down message. And that’s not really our heart, our heart is that you would hear this and you would think, you know what, God, I want to come alive again, God, I want to be in a place where maybe I once was where I thought I would give it all for you. Because I just love you so much. And then the cares of life, you know, and just the busyness of life and everything that happens, and maybe you’ve gotten hurt in some kind of religious system or setting. You know, I mean, there’s just so many different things that can happen. But I’m bringing that up because the reality is God wants to revive his people. And it starts with you and me. It doesn’t just start with, you know, a big meeting and all of a sudden everyone’s repenting at their front that’s all great. But the reality is revival isn’t something that happens you are revival revival starts with you, oh, you’re and you become the catalyst then to revive the things around you that are dead, and then you again become the catalyst for that awakening of the people around you. But it all starts on a personal level. Yeah, you know, I think a lot of times again, when we talk about these topics, we make it so big and grandiose. And it is it’s amazing. I’m believing for worldwide revival. I’m believing we’re gonna see so many signs, wonders and miracles. We’re gonna see the dead raise the lepers cleanse, you know, people healed someone recently, I heard say, you know, doesn’t almost seem like the people that have received the Coronavirus are the lepers of our day because everyone avoids them. And I’m like, Hey, God is still God of it all. Still got to the impossible, but I’m bringing that up again. Because it’s just so important that we realize, God, I don’t want to embrace this. I want to be revived myself. I want to say God pick me here. I am not just to do the amazing work that you’ve called us to do, not just to see mass salvation, but God, use me. Let me be conformed into your image. Let me look like you and everything I do.

And don’t let fear shut you down. Yeah, fear of what getting COVID All this kind of stuff. Don’t let that shake you down. God is not calling you to live in a hole. Yeah, you know, now he wants you to have wisdom, but at the same time, be led by His Spirit. Don’t be led by fear. Be led by spirit because he wants to use you to be the answer. That’s why you’re on the earth. There’s, we’re talking about the other day. It’s like, this is why we’re here. Yeah. And it’s not the height of the hole. God wants us to get out and be the answer. And so ask God to use you in that way.

And if you’re in a situation where for whatever reason you can’t you know, maybe you have some kind of health issue maybe you’ve got asthma or some kind of lung issue or you think you know, I can’t just can’t go around it. Ask her to use you in other ways. You know, the internet is an amazing tool you can use to reach people the phone, I mean, the amount of people that are elderly that are you know, kind of hunkered down at home can use some phone calls, they can use prayer, they can use encouragement, you know, don’t feel like just because you can’t get out of your house that God still cannot use you even if you do nothing else. It’s spend this time just seeking his face, you know, spend his time going, Lord, I get to be here with you. And yes, I have work to do. Yes, there’s chores and things that need done. But the reality is, I get to do it all for your glory, I get to do it all seeking your face. And if you aren’t in a place where you have to stay home, I highly encourage you to get out. And I’m not again, we’re not saying be foolish. We’re not saying go, you know, hug everyone that’s got COVID and like their face or anything goofy, but like, we’re just saying it’s so important. Don’t do that. Don’t do that, regardless of them. But but I’m just getting to, it’s just, you know, it’s so important. Even this week, we have been praying into doing meetings here in Oklahoma City, because God’s really challenged us to start a local church. And in the process of that, you know, we’ve like, do we do meetings? Do we not I kind of wrestled with it, and just are people coming back out or what’s going on? And earlier this week, God said, I didn’t, you know, you’re not going to transform the world sitting in your house. And I thought, okay, yeah, I’m just going to take that as your you’re saying, Go for it. But I want to encourage you with that, go for it. You know, I was just yesterday I was at at a store looking for something. And as I was coming out, there’s a woman trying to pull down her car trunk. And I heard her saying out, I thought what’s wrong and and I got over and she wasn’t looking for fair, she wasn’t really looking for much. But the reality is she she was hurting. And I wouldn’t have even gotten into her atmosphere, I wouldn’t have even gotten in her presence. I wouldn’t even gotten around her if I would have stayed at home and just Google it on Amazon, right? So again, we’re just throwing all that out there. Because it’s important that during this time you realize you are the answer the world is desperately looking for Christ, the hope in each room is in you, you are it and you have to get out amongst people for it to get out.

God is not getting you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind to just be filled with him. Because His perfect love casts out all fear.

And we I want to encourage you with something in this season, that might be a little bit abrasive. And so give me a little grace. But what I want to encourage you with is if you feel like you have been in an atmosphere and in a place where you are only surrounded by people that make you feel comfortable in your form of Christianity, that you really challenge yourself as things are reopening as things are changing, transforming, that you really challenge yourself to get into a place that’s going to stretch your faith. You know, it is not healthy for us, it’s not healthy for you, it’s really not healthy for anyone to be in a place where you always feel comfortable. You want to go places where you’re feeling challenged and stretched, because that’s going to grow you.

That’s right. I just wanted to bring up a verse, Ezra Nine, eight, it talks about if you want to open up the Ezra Nine, eight, I’m not gonna read it. But I just want to dissect it a little bit. And it talks about revival. And first, what you can see in this passage is the recognition that the people are not in a good place. They say we’re in bondage, we need freedom. And, Lord, bring revival, give us a peg in your holy place. Give us a place, give us a secure spot, give us nailless in to your presence. And so realize where you are, just be honest with God, and just say, Lord, pour out Your Spirit, pour out revival, pour out revival in me pour out Your Spirit and meet and revive me, I realized where I am. And that’s the first step is just realizing where you are in the Lord, realizing what you’re feeling, realizing what you’re going through right now. And then the only way you’re gonna get out of that is by asking God to come, yeah, ask him and say, Lord, give me a peg in your holy place. Give me a secure spot in your presence, because he wants to pour out His presence in you. He wants to use you in these last days.

Yeah, and if you are in a place, even where some of this makes you uncomfortable, or just even stretches your theology a little bit, you know, we recently were looking at some different Bible translations. And it’s been eye opening, to say the least because we thought, Oh, this is too modern of a translation. And you get into a verse and you realize, wait a minute, half the verses missing. But then you get back to the original Greek and you’re like, wait a minute, that verse was there. And anyway, that’s a different topic for a different day, buddy. I’m throwing all that out there because even yesterday, we were praying about it before bed and just asking the Lord to show us but I would encourage you, you know, if what we’re sharing is kind of stretching your theology if what we’re sharing is kind of going beyond what you’re used to. We just encourage you to just ask God, you know, just say, Lord, I don’t know if this stuff is real. I don’t know if this power is real. I don’t know if you really want to use me. I don’t know. You know, just just be honest with him be transparent. I mean, he’s God he knows anyway. Just be honest. And then just ask him to speak to ask him to show you and just say Lord, if This is really true if this is the reality of the gospel, if it costs me more than what I’ve given, would you show me? Would you help me to see it? From your perspective? Would you help open my eyes? And God loves us so much, and he’s so faithful he will, he’ll speak to you in a way that resonates. So he’ll speak to you, he’ll show you, you know, maybe you don’t even believe God can speak well just ask him say, Lord, if you can really speak, speak to me, you know, again, it doesn’t have to be so out there super spiritual that if you’re not kind of on this pedestal, you understand it, it’s for everybody. It doesn’t matter how old or young how long, or how short you’ve been walking with Him, He wants you to really know Him. And so if you’re not sure what that looks like, just ask him.

And you know, guys, it’s just goodness that transforms us. It’s the goodness of God that brings us to change that helps us to change directions to brings us to repentance. You know, It’s the goodness of God and so realize that your father’s a good father, he’s better than any earthly father, Jesus said, hey, if your earthly father gives good things, even though he’s evil to his own children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask? And so realize that God is so much better than any earthly father, maybe you didn’t have a great earthly father and that was a bad picture of a father for you. But realizing God is the best is good. He wants to pour out His goodness in you today. Amen. Okay, so we’re gonna pray. But really quick, I just want to say hi to the Kaliko. Family. Hi, guys. Hello, we are going to pray for you guys in South Carolina. I think you’re in Charleston, around there. And then we also want to pray for Jennifer because she, I think broke her ribs. If I’m reading this, right. So Lord, we just if you guys will agree with us in prayer, we believe that we serve a God who can do the impossible, okay, we believe that, in an instant, everything can transform in someone’s life in someone’s physical body. So if you guys will agree with us right now for Jennifer for every single part of her body, to be completely healed and whole in Jesus name, that she would be a sign and a wonder to the medical community, the people around her would know that God has touched her because every rib comes back into place. Everything aligns and order I don’t even know how it all works, but just that everything would line up in the way of God’s Kingdom in Jesus name. And then Lord, we just lift up the cow kopien like me, thank you for their blessings, that we thank you that you have so many amazing things for them, God that you have called them to be the head and tail above only and that bunny and that guy, it’s just a great season of favor that they’re going into, but it’s a time of favor. It’s a time of increase. It’s a time of overflow. And so Lord, we just thank you for that. And I know there are other people watching guys, and we’re so blessed to have you with us. But we’re just gonna pray for everyone.

Father, we just thank you so much for your people. Lord, we just thank you for these words, that we’ve been sharing Lord, your word, your truth, we thank You Father, in the name of Jesus, that your word never returned. scoId and we thank you for the Holy Spirit watering that word, in the name of Jesus, for whom the sun sets free is free. Indeed, we think for freedom for your people in the name of Jesus, we just break off every oppression, we break off every bondage and when we break it off in the name of Jesus, we thank you for your freedom, your peace, your love, your glory, in the name of Jesus Christ. Father, we think for a great day and you we make for the victory in Jesus. Yes, we just thank you for reviving your people today. God just breathing a fresh and a new on every one of your people. God that we wouldn’t grow weary in well doing we wouldn’t get burdened by the cares of this world, Lord, but then you would just flow all those things off and we would just walk refreshment today in Jesus name, Amen.

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