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Blake Vandemark

Jessup Chapel
Jessup Chapel
Blake Vandemark

Listen in on William Jessup University’s chapel series every Wednesday and Friday to hear speakers from across the globe, bringing messages from God’s word to our students, faculty, and staff.


Hi, I’m Blake, I’m the young adults pastor over at Bayside church here at Granite Bay. And I’m stoked to be able to partner with some of you in the near future about what is God doing in your life? And how can we help be a resource and an asset to see you succeed and what God’s called you to do. I’m excited for that. I’ve been married for 15 years got three little boys at home. They’re amazing. So that’s the cliff notes version. If you want to connect a little bit more know any other details, we can connect afterwards because I’m not here to tell you about me. I’m here to tell you about something a little bit greater than me actually a lot greater than me the source of all life, Jesus, the hope of all humanity. Can I get an amen? Amen. Amen. I’m going to talk to you this morning about everything. And nothing. I’m going to talk to you this morning. That’s the theme of the message today. That’s the sermon title. It’s everything and nothing. Or I’m going to kind of switch it up a little bit. talk to you about everything in no thing. No thing. Um, one things you have to know about this this morning. I’m not a teacher. I’ve tried to teach. I’ve tried to be philosophical. And I’ve tried to figure out how can I teach and educate in a certain way, what I found my gift set as a leader, it’s not teaching, I like to preach. In other words, I’m going to tell you something that you might already know, but I’m going to compel you to do it in a way that you’ve never done it before. I’m going to take a common truth that maybe you’ve heard of, but I’m going to instill it so deep inside of you that actually motivates you and compels you to start to live differently. And that’s typically what I found in the difference. If you’re asking what’s the difference between teaching and preaching, I feel like teaching is more instruction and preaching is more inspiration. I want to be able to inspire you to do and instruct you to do with the information that you know that that’s that’s my hope with this this morning. So I want to talk to you this morning about everything. And no thing look at someone sit next you say it’s no thing, it’s no thing. We’re going to be starting in Matthew chapter six, here, we find Jesus, he is smack dab in the middle of the greatest sermon ever communicated the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew chapter six, just so you guys know. I’m a Bible based preacher. I don’t try to give you my own personal spectrum or my own personal philosophy. I tried to give you the main ideas. So like I said, as a teacher, I’m not going to give you all the context and all the historical background of this moment. I’m just we’re just going to jump right in that Jesus is talking about a lot of things, things that affect our lives. He talks about clothes, he talks about food, he talks about well being talks about our soul, he talks about heaven, hell, eternity, all of this in the Sermon on the Mount, if you read Matthew five, six and seven, you will witness the greatest oratory spectacle that you’ve ever seen by Jesus, on the Sermon on the Mount. And in Matthew chapter six. This is what we’re going to be diving into starting at verse 25. If you’ve got your Bible ready, I’m proud of you. If you’re using a digital format, I’m proud of you. If you don’t have your Bible with you, you might be failing at Bible college right now or at this university. So let’s work on getting that Bible into the rotation of all the books that you’re currently studying right now. Verse 25, therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body, what you will wear is not life more important than food in the body, more important than clothes, Look at the birds of the air. Go and just look up, look up. You can’t see any birds, but you kind of get the idea. Look up. Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Are you not much more valuable than they Who? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes, see how the lilies of the field grow? They do not labor or spin yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor and all of his Dolce and Gabbana and all of his Armani he was not dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and gone tomorrow and thrown into the fire. Will he not that much more close? You God we look to you right now. We honor you in this moment. have our everything. Jesus, you are our everything. Amen. If you guys notice that within this passage, he’s addressing anxiety and worry and one of the things that is paramount, I can almost assume in everyone’s life at this moment, there are things that you’re anxious about.

There are things that you are worried about. There’s a future That seems to be unpredictable. There’s a landscape of your relationships that is like, Oh, am I gonna get married one day? Am I not? There are some uncertainties, there’s some things that you are worried about. And I don’t really I’m not even going to talk about the entirety of your life. Can we just talk about 2020? I mean, can we, I mean, we can just dive into 2020. And we can see that 2020 through a lot of things at us, right? There were a lot of things that took place in 2020 2020 had so many things they were all around, it’s like every single one of you probably had so many things happening in your life, it was spinning you out of control, right? spinning you out of control, obviously, we can throw in the fact that we had to deal with the covid 19 pandemic, still dealing with that all the way into 2021. Dealing with that, then we have the racial tension that needs to be addressed. And then we will try to figure all of that out. And then we’re also moving through the political landscapes that were tumultuous. And then we keep going through, then we realize that those were the high overarching elements, but then those bled into little elements in our life. That that the the political tension, and the racial tension and all these things, they started to bleed into our friendships and they started to bleed into our family. And they started to impact so many different things. And we start worrying about all these things that we start spinning out of control, because we’re worried about all these things. But here in Matthew six, he, Jesus clearly states you, you worry about these things, you can even add a single day to your life. Charles Spurgeon said this, he says, worry and anxiety, they do not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, the empty today, of its strength, you’re worrying is not going to solve it, it’s not the solution. And you’ve got to understand that when we get saved, when we come to the revelation of who Jesus is in our life, that does not solve all of our problems, it does not solve all the things in your life. But you know, what it does do, it does give you the solution to all of those problems, it does give you the solution to all of those things, it does not immediately solve them and resolve them. But it does give you the promise of a solution. So we find ourselves spinning out of control with all these things and things are getting chaotic. And, and, and even in verse 28, Jesus said, look at the flowers of the field, they do not labor, or spin. How many of you feel as if you’ve been spinning out a canoe, you don’t need to raise your hand. But if you are honest, 2020 puts you into a tailspin. Put your hopes and your friendships. Everything in. Let’s go here. Maybe, maybe socially, financially, it affected you. Politically relationally I, here’s one of the good things that 2020 actually did. It gave you a viable excuse for still being single, like it really did. It really gave you a viable excuse to staying single. So when that that next time that that that nosy aunt or that sarcastic uncle comes around, like you’re still single Hmm, yeah, you can’t be dating anybody like 2020 COVID. Like, I was about to make some moves. And then social distancing mass, like you just can’t be yourself with someone like that. It’s just hard. People think I’ve got COVID I think they’ve got COVID it gives you an excuse to be single. So thank you, 2020, for giving us some comfort in the fact that I’m not 2020 because I’m not lovable on 2020 cars. Or I’m not, I’m not a relationship, because I’m not lovable. I’m not a relationship, because 2020 just sent me back. That’s it. So go ahead if you’re still single, gas yourself up right now, because it’s not your fault. It’s Tony Tony’s fault. And we’re just now getting into February love month, don’t they conference coming up this weekend, you’re going to be ready. Okay, we’re going to start getting back into the game. But anyway, it’s just the thing. There’s things that come up that distract you from the purpose of what God actually created you to do. The purpose and the significance there’s so many things, we can even go a little bit deeper. There are some things like your friendships got fractured your parents, their wants devoted marriage is now on the brink of divorce because of the financial crisis that’s created on the home front. And the landscape of your life. It’s a thing it’s a real thing, but it’s it’s not everything. But it’s a thing

that like some of you even right now like you’re not not only in life, are you spinning out. But even in your educational pursuit, you’re spinning out like you’re in spin class, some of yours Hey, glad you can’t even make up your mind on what major you’re going to be you just all over the place. I’m going to think I’m gonna do you know biblical studies as a major or no, no, I feel like I should probably do sociology. I don’t know what I should do. And you find yourself going back and forth and you’re unstable. And it’s this chaos and you find yourself fixated on these things. And you’re worried that these one simple things are going to be things that ruin The rest of your life. But Jesus, even here in Matthew six is why you worry about all these things. I’m the source of all hope. I am the source of all life. And then then we have an apostle by the name Paul, he shows up on the scene. And in Romans eight, I call this kind of like the book of things, the chapter of things. He talks about these things. All right, we’re gonna dive into so in Romans, chapter eight, he goes on, he talks even more in depth about these things. We’re going to start at verse 28, is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, and it says, You and we know that in all, okay, we got to work on crowd participation. I will give you guys one more shot at redemption here. And this could be your weekly Bible reading, if you haven’t got to read the Bible yet. Guess what? I’m helping you out. Right now you’re reading the Bible, we’re going to start the habit. And we know that in all these things, there we go. God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose, that we know that God is working this all out for our good then we have down the verse 31. And it says this, What then shall we say in response to these things? Yes, if God is for us, who could ever be against us, He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all? How will he not also along with him graciously give us all you guys are on it now. There we go. All things. So you might be worrying about a thing. But we serve a God that has every thing under control. He’s got your back Romans 820 says even though setbacks that you’re experiencing right now are going to be a set up for you. That he is working all things look your neighbor right now say all things, all things. And then what you know what the actual translation of that means. All things, it literally means everything that you’ve ever experienced everything in your life that you’re currently going through, he is working it out to make you the best version of yourself that you could possibly be blank. That is crazy. That doesn’t make any sense. I’m going to talk about that here in a second. But we got to finish this book of Romans we’re going to go down even a little bit further to verses 37 and it says this know that in all these guys are nice, we are more than conquerors to him who loved us. Now this is where Paul he addresses these things. He says For I am convinced that neither death nor life neither angels nor demons, neither the president nor the future, nor any powers neither heights, nor depth, nor anything else in the note note nor any kouachi without one deny nor any thing else he says just in case I did not specifically describe the thing that you are dealing with know that any thing else that I might have omitted or forgotten about or did not clarify or you’re trying to find that loophole about the one thing that God may not be able to deal with? He’s another no Let me help you out here booboo. Let me help me out here, bro. Anything else? So anything you try to classify and try? Oh, see, I got you God. You can’t deal with this thing. Like No, no, no anything else. For I’m convinced that we are more than conquerors in when we finish this verse, I lost my spot where to go vandemark. Here we go. Neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ, Jesus, our Lord. See, what you’ve got to understand is that the man that wrote this was not just a motivational speaker. The man that put these letters to paper was not just someone sitting in a plush room, giving these philosophical thoughts of how you should live your life and these will make you feel so much better. These were not anecdotal phrases.

These were pillars that we were called to live our lives and build our life upon. So what about this scholar? What about this apostle? What about this man? See, what you’ve got to understand is that Paul, this man was a gangster, this guy. He was the real deal, that before he became Paul, he was known as Saul. And as Saul he has reached the top of the ranks of his pursuits when it became when it in regards to his religious endeavors. He was at the pinnacle. He was at the zenith of his field that he was head and shoulders above his peers that he was at the he he was The top notch, creme de la creme like he was the upper echelon of what he was doing. And then one day, God literally knocked him off of his high horse, literally, for all the Bible. You know, nerds like me, that was a good joke, right? He paused on his way to Damascus. And Paul knocks him off of his horse and reveals himself to him that all these things that you’re worrying about, you’re missing out on the main thing, the person that holds everything together, I feed the birds of the air, I closed the flowers of the field, and you’re more concerned about the exterior than the interior. So what happened in that moment, Paul, he for suck, he gave up the organization in the system of religion, and he embraced the substance of an intimate relationship with Jesus. Because he It was never satisfactory enough. It was it was filled with things, but it wasn’t filling him with the main thing that he needed for his soul. And see, I’ve only got 2025 minutes. And I actually I think I only have about 15 more minutes left. And I can’t describe and specify every single one of the things that you guys are going through. But I can point you to the source, and to the solution for all those issues that you are wrestling with. Because the very same person that penned Romans, chapter eight, is the very same person that pinned Philippians chapter four, verses four through seven, it’s going to be up on the screen for you guys. And it says this, Rejoice in the Lord when sometimes when it’s comfortable, when everything makes sense. When me and my boyfriend are having a you know, we’re actually communicating in a good way. Or when I actually got the starting position on the team, then I can rejoice in the Lord. No, no, he says, always in everything, in every element in every aspect of your life. And then he goes on to say, just in case you missed it, I’ll say it again. Rejoice in the Lord. Always. And then let your gentleness be evident to all the Lord is near. Do not be anxious about any. All right, Paul, what are you trying to tell us? Do not be anxious about anything but in every everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Like I said, one of the other pandemics happening in this demographic is not just COVID, it’s anxiety. It’s worry, I can go around this room. And I can tell you that there have been more dreams forfeited. Because of fear of the future, and fear of failure than actually attempting and progressing and trying to trust God in the process. There have been more people in this demographic forsake the call of God on their life, not because of God’s competency. But because we lacked trust in the capabilities that God has placed within us. And we’re so fearful, we’re so worried we’re so doubtful, we’re so easily persuaded by our feelings, that we don’t allow the Word of God to take precedent. I just want you to know as Christians, the Word of God is not just a moral compass is not just a set of guidelines that are suggestions that we should live our life by, no, we are called to build our life off of this. As Christians we are called to emulate, duplicate and replicate everything that Jesus did.

The term Christian actually has its origins from people that live so radically, like Jesus, that the only explanation for their behavior is that they were Christ. They were Christians. They acted just like Jesus. So when these suggestions are being engaged, being given, notice the tone that Paul is using, he says, Do not be anxious about any pain. Do not be anxious, you understand a moment of anxiety, that’s not a sin. You’re allowed to have a moment of anxiety, you’re allowed to have a feeling of fear and worry you’re you are permitted to have those. What we as Christians are not allowed to do is to resigned to that anxiety and to live in a state of anxiousness and to be anxious, and to lose rest and sleep over the probability of something that we can never control. So you can be anxiety. I’m not trying to minimize the thing. You’re facing I’m not trying to minimize the things that you’re struggling with. I’m not trying to minimize the source of that anxiety. What I’m trying to do is maximize the solution. That’s why he says rejoice in the Lord always I will say it again rejoice. And with thanksgiving, oh, he says, make your gentleness evident to all the Lord is near. Why did he put that in there? Do you understand the most persuasive testament of your faith in this day and age is not how charismatic you are with your faith. The biggest testament to your faith in this day and age is the piece that you operate in your life with. Do you know that the posture of your peace communicate so much to a world that is living in chaos and confusion? Peace, it’s a lighthouse, to people living in chaos. Do you understand that the prerequisite to your peace is prayer. That if you’re living in a lot in a state of anxiety and worry and fear, the prerequisite and the the actual prescription for that is prayer. Paul clearly stated here with thanksgiving, make your request and your partitions known before God. Because we love that part of the verse where it says, and then the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, we love that. Put that on a plaque and hang that on my wall. Yes, Jesus. Amen. Thank you, Lord. But what we fail to do is rejoice in the Lord. Always make a conscious choice in a decision to rejoice in him. Always. Let your gentleness be evident to all. And with thanksgiving, make your requests make your petitions. In other words, be intimate in conversation with your Lord and Savior, make them known before God then then then then the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and him all those things that you wrestle with, you can bring all those things to him. Another quote that was by Spurgeon, sorry, I, maybe you don’t use quotes from reformed preachers, sometimes I do. But great thought, says, I’m okay with you having all of the cares that you carry, as long as those cares, push you closer to God. You can you can care about a lot of things. And it’s okay to have those feelings and those sentiments. But if they do not push you closer to the presence of God than they are an obstacle, then they’re a problem. They’re a burden. What is it that keeps you up at night? What’s that thing that you’ve kept secret? And it’s silently killing you inside? What’s that thing? What’s that wall between your intimacy with God? What’s that wall between your friendships, that is just that thing.

Maybe, maybe your father has been absent physically and emotionally for the majority of your life. Maybe your mother is verbally aggressive, and has unhealthy expectations for your future. Maybe you just find it difficult to relate to anyone in your family and you feel alone. That’s the thing. Maybe you’re sitting in this room right now or you’re online. And you feel more isolated or rejected than you’ve ever felt before. Maybe you wish you had someone that you could talk to you about all these things. But you just feel lost. We spend so much time worrying about some thing that is unpredictable that we stopped working at being someone that is unshakable. We spend so much time worrying about some thing that’s unpredictable that we stopped working at being some one that is unshakable.

You cannot have everything under control. But you you can be under control. Your perspective can change. Your posture can change your countenance can change because you know what you do control your focus, you control your thoughts, you control the direction of your focus. That’s why he said rejoice in the Lord always. And when you finished that passage in Philippians he says think about such things that are praiseworthy, that are noble Sorry, I’m running out but I’m gonna close here in a second. So if you if you find yourself worrying a lot, let me tell you this, you’re really good at worship. You’re really good at worshiping you know, we were all created to worship, right? We were all called to give our affections and our attention and our abilities to that’s really what worship is. What we think what we feel what we do, that’s how we worship. So if you if you’re good at worrying, you’re good at worship, because all worrying is is worship in the wrong direction. It’s your imagination fixed on the problem instead of fixed on the promises of God. A healthy attitude of worship is not ignoring the problems. It’s acknowledging them, but fixing your focus on the promises of God.

close with this. Have you ever heard of the name lilius? Trotter? No, she wrote an amazing him an amazing song, turn your eyes upon Jesus. See, what you may not know about. Miss Trotter is that she was born in 1864 modest upbringing, her father being a Methodist preacher. She was a creative, she loved to write and communicate in that format. She got really, really good at it. She got wildly successful. And in her career, she she became very popular, and synonymous with being a creative. And when it came to writing, she was able to travel the world and, and she worked on orchestra pieces, she worked on so many different facets of creative expression. And she had all these things going on, but she never lost focus of the main thing. She never lost focus of the person that holds every thing together. She got married, she had an awesome life and then at 51 and affliction hit her life that rendered her blind. And supposedly, this was a good excuse for her then at the moment faithful husband to abandon her. And he divorced her. But at 51, she stayed faithful at 51 she stayed focused at 51 even though she had this disability, even though she had people abandoned her, even though she had every right justifiably to say, God, what do you what are you thinking? What is going on? I’m done serving you. And I think if some of us were being honest, in this room, if you were stricken with blindness and your closest friend and confidant abandon you, some of you would probably go into a tailspin as well, but she didn’t. Cuz she wasn’t anxious about those things. One of the trademarks and hallmarks of Lillian’s life that whenever anyone would ask her how she was doing, she says, I’m doing really good in the things that matter. So when someone would ever approach her even in her, or blinded state, how are you doing? Well, I’m doing really good in the things that matter. She kept the constant diary, she kept the constant journal, she was always writing, and she would bring friends over to play the piano for so she could begin to write to melody. And you’ve probably heard this before. But it says this. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look at his wonderful face. And the things of this world will go strangely dim in the light of His glory, and His grace. We all have some thing. We all have that thing that creates heartache, heartbreak within our life. And we don’t know what tomorrow holds. But we do know who holds tomorrow and that’s why we can have peace that surpasses understanding. So my question for you is are you fine with the things that matter? Are you fine, are you good with the things that matter? God we do not want to waste our energy and our efforts on things that do not matter. Holy Spirit, grab our attention now. Holy Spirit help us to fix our focus on the things of God. God right now for those that have been wrestling with something for years for those that have had a heartbreak or frustration of their past, God, I pray that you help shift their perspective to see that you are working those things out. And that we be okay that it not be be accommodating to our timeline, but we trust you in the process. And in this process, we’re going to get closer to you Father, we’re going to lean into your trip, we’re gonna lean into your power, we’re going to lean into your presence, we trust you God. So God, I pray for every individual, every student, whether they’re faculty, or their student body, God, we pray that you work these things out, you let them know that they can have this peace. They can have this trust in your provision, because you are a good good father.

You’re an ever present help in a time of need. You are strong tower, you’re a refuge. And so God right now we repent, for trusting in these things that are not of you. Trusting in these things instead of trusting in your power, trusting in these things instead of your plan, trusting in these things. God I pray that you expose everything and let us come to you honestly, so we can receive healing and wholeness. In the name of Jesus. Jessup family, don’t let this message stay here. Take this message into every thing that you do. Every friendship every relationship, every vocational pursuit, every classroom. Bring the presence of God with you. Don’t leave him out the door and watch how the peace of God will begin to rise to your life and the storms that we used to bring chaos. God will bring tranquility to them all because you chose to focus on the right thing.

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