06-18-17 – “Father’s Day”

Father’s Day 2017

VIDEO – Dad, A Hero!  http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FJ11J1NU

This idea to honor our Father & Mother wasn’t started by man, or our Nation. It was a God thing.
The first 4 Commandments God gave the Israelites were about their relationship with Him.  The last 6 are about their relationship with others.

In the 5th Commandment… notice who’s first on the list!  Exodus 20:12 NLT – “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Again, it’s the only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise!

The Family (according to God’s design) is the foundation and bedrock of any society. As the family goes – so does society.
Fathers WE have tremendous influence and impact on the Family!  We play a significant role in our child’s spiritual, mental, emotional and physical development.

 

  • 63% of all youth suicides are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 85% of children who show behavioral disorders are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 80% of rapists with anger problems are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 90% of repeat arsonists are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 71% of H.S. Dropouts are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 75% of patients in Chemical abuse centers are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 70% of youths in “State operated Institutions” are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 85% of all youth in prison are from Fatherless homes.

 

  • 71% of teen girls who become pregnant are from Fatherless homes.

FATHER’S WE “DO” MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

We aren’t perfect and we make mistakes.  There’s a lot of things I didn’t do that I should have done.  Things I shouldn’t have done that I did. I certainly don’t feel like I was a very good Father or role model for my kids.  CERTAINLY not a HERO!

In spite of our mistakes… bad choices and our pride… God can still use us and our mistakes to His glory!  Romans 8:28-29 NLT – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

Maybe you didn’t know your Father, have a Father in the home, or have a very good experience with your Father… Whatever the situation was, someone was a “Father Figure” in your life or the Man you looked up to.  Choose to honor him today because we choose to honor God!

If you don’t have a very good relationship with your real Father, choose to honor God today…  call Him to wish Him Happy Father’s Day.  Honor him today because you choose to Honor God!
 

Ways to honor our Father.

1. Forgive him. Show him mercy as God has shown us mercy.

2. Show him Respect. (We are to show respect whether he’s earned it or not.)

3. Love him.  Isn’t that what Jesus did for us… Romans 5:8.

4. Spend some quality time with him.  Build a relationship.  YOU take the initiative.  God will honor you for it!

5. Learn his story…  there are some thing you may not be aware of.

6. Acknowledge the good (If nothing, at least you were born!)

7. Above all…  let him see Christ in you.   What happened in your past, in your childhood or even now doesn’t determine who you are and what you do!

Father’s, I want to encourage you today.  Just like that video…. You are the SUPER HERO, the WARRIOR in your story, in your family. No one else can be! No one else will be…. And if the world needs anything today… it’s Godly Heroes and Warriors!

British politician Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” (I would change that to say all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for “Godly men” to do nothing.”)

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William Jerry Boykin who served at the Commanding General for US Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg from 2000 – 2003, and who is also a follower of Christ, said this about Warriors.

“Here’s what a warrior is.  It’s not the guy who is armed with an AR15 and 30 rounds mags.  The Warrior is someone who says: “This is what I love.  This is what I hold dear.  This is my family.  This is my country.  This is my faith.  And this is what threatens is.  This is the enemy.  You will NOT hurt what I hold dear.  You will NOT hurt what I love, without coming through me.”

In spite of our mistakes, bad choices, pride, and what seems like failure… God hasn’t given up on us, isn’t finished with us!  He can still use us to have influence and impact.  He hasn’t forsaken us, hasn’t forgotten us, hasn’t left us…  He hasn’t lost the battle!  IN FACT HE WON!  AND, He’s equipped us through His Spirit (The Holy Spirit) to fight… to be a Warrior, to be HIS Warrior!   (Do you know Him today?!  Father’s, Men are you on the right team?!)

Exodus 15:3 NLT – The LORD is a warrior; Yahweh is His name!

Rev. 19 – Jesus is coming back and He’s not coming as the Lamb but as the LION of God – a Warrior!

1 John 5:4 MSG – Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to it’s knees is our faith.

 

 

What do Gods Warriors fight for?
– Faith
– Family
– Friends
– Freedom in Christ!
How do we fight?

1 Samuel 17:45 ESV – Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.

Ephesians 6:11 ESV – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ESV – Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

Jeremiah 20:11 ESV – But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.

Joshua 1:9 NIV – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Revelation 2:26-27 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.

Proverbs 14:26 – “He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.”

Judges 6:12 – “The Lord is with you mighty warrior…”

FATHERS… YOU ARE THE MAN!  YOU ARE A HERO…  YOU ARE A WARRIOR…  AND WE CELEBRATE YOU!  There is NO weapon or strategy of Satan to defeat the man, the Father who is Surrendered to God, Sacrificing his life for God and Serving God!

In Crosswalk Devotion this past week:  10 Things that Father’s, God’s Warriors need to focus on:

1. RECOGNIZE there’s a War going on and we’re in it!

2. We need to “KNOW” our Commander in Chief and Stay on HIS side!  Jer. 9:23-24 ESV – “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

3. Recognize the Enemy!  We have three and we will fight battles with them the rest of this life!

•       Satan
•       Self
•       Society

4. In Christ, we have ALL we need… and HE supplies all we need!

5. Stay FIT for the Battle!  (Spiritually, Mentally, Emotionally, Physically)

6. Keep your Armor on! (Eph. 6:10-20)

7. Train daily…  become “Skilled” with your weapons!  (God’s Word and Prayer!

8. Time is short… don’t waste time fighting for things that aren’t important.  Eph. 5:15-17 NLT – So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evils days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the LORD wants you to do.

9. Our Victory comes one battle at a time, one day at a time.

10. We are more successful, effective, and we overcome when we fight as a Band of Brothers!

06-11-17 – “Put The Kickstand Down” – Bill Johnson

Put The Kickstands Down…

 

Vacation

WE ALL NEED THAT! ~ Time to recharge, get refreshed and rejuvenated for the work ahead. I had my idea on what to preach on today, but as I prayed about it, God had a different idea.

*REST*…. JUST  PULL OVER, STOP  &  PUT THE KICKSTAND DOWN

As we are surrendered, sacrificing, serving and sharing…. we need to take the time to look out for our own spiritual health! 

  • When you’re sleepy ~ When you’re exhausted ~ When your worn out ~ When you’re Undone

JUST PULL OVER ~ STOP ~ PUT THE KICKSTAND DOWN! (Don’t forget) ~ REST

 It’s true spiritually too!

  • God rested ~ Gen 2:3 ~ So God blessed the 7th day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had.
  • Jesus did it ~ Luke 5:15b-16 ~ great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely (deserted) places to pray.
  • In the Garden of Gethsemane Matt 26:36 ~ Sit here while I go over there and Not once, but 3 times!
  • Jesus tells us to as well ~ Mark 6:31-32 ~ The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to rest.
  • Not to mention it’s a commandment ~ Exodus 20:8-10a ~ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…

 

 

  • If you don’t, you’re going to end up burned out and ineffective.
    • Burnout defined as ~ An exhausted state in which a person loses interest in a particular activity and even in life in general. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, social, and spiritual exhaustion. It can lead to diminished health, social withdrawal, depression, and a spiritual

 

  • Wrapped up in our REST is our PEACE!

 

  • I was there in 2015. No Rest ~ No Peace. Ongoing problems in my marriage, Stepped down as Assoc Pastor, Separation, Why was I even here? Static in the Attic… Couldn’t even think…
    • Have you heard JD says sometimes it takes a whole take of gas to relax….
  • Packed up and went to the Outer Banks camping ~ alone…
    • 2 tanks and 3 days and still needed another day!

 

  • I needed to Recharge, Get Refreshed….. And GET A FRESH VIEW OF GOD….
    • Because my problems seemed bigger than my God!!
    • So I read my bible, listened to worship music, prayed, watched the sun rise, hung out on the beach, rode around on my motorcycle, went to church, AND stayed an extra day!
  • But I came back with a fresh view of God ~ a CORRECT view of

 

  • Summer time seems to be the busy time! Rides, Renovation, Vacation, Kids out of school, feel more like a taxi service than a mom or dad!
    • Money starts running short ~ just like your patiences…
      • Life pulls in so many directions….
    • Trying to stay connected to God….. but life is soooo busy….

 

•   How Do We DO IT……

  • When you’re sleepy ~ When you’re exhausted ~ When your worn out ~ When you’re Undone…

How DO we  JUST PULL OVER ~  STOP and PUT THE KICKSTAND DOWN ~ AND

REST?

 

  • Look back at Revelation Ch10, Perhaps give a little different application… or just a reminder.
    • Meaning doesn’t change ~ application can….
  • John gets a break from the prophecy from God… (1st Interlude) Three times through Revelation John get a chance to recharge, get refreshed and rejuvenate before he begins again…
    • He had see Jesus in all his
    • Received the letters to the
    • Seen the death of around 1/2 of the worlds population over 2 separate
  • 12 Times John had said “Then I saw” and he still had 32 more times to go!

 

The Angel and the Little Scroll

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring.

 

When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”

 

And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

 

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”  So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he (The Angel) said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”  And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

 

Walk through it in smaller bites to see how God uses this time to refresh, recharge & reignite John’s passion for his purpose in The Revelation of Jesus Christ!

 

What we want to leave with ~ The 4 Things we Need to be able to PULL OVER, STOP, PUT THE KICKSTAND DOWN & just REST!

 

  • Pull Over ~ Get A Fresh View of God ~ See the Majesty of God
    • Transcendence ~ excellence, supremacy, incomparability, matchlessness, peerlessness,

You have to have an accurate view of God for this world to make sense!

Little God ~ BIG PROBLEM’S ~ BIG GOD ~ Little problem’s ….. Perspective!!

 

Rev10:1-3a ~ 1Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring.

 

  • God gave John a fresh view of himself by letting him see his mighty angel!
  • Might Angel ~
    • Wrapped in a cloud (superman’s cape)
    • Face like the sun. 2 Cor 3:18 niv ~ And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever- increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the
    • Legs like pillers of Fire (Exodus led Israel with a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night!)
    • R foot in the sea, L foot in the land (Greatness of his size)
    • Little scroll open in his hand ~ (His size & His has a word for John)

 

  • For your perception of God to remain accurate, it has to be refreshed!
    • Problems and people can begin to pile up on
  • God doesn’t change, but our view does…
    • Things that suck the size out of God…..
      • Small things ~ Song of Solomon 2:15 ~ Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in
      • Sidetracks ~ Sometimes we’re involved in so many “good” things that we lose sight of the God things that HE has for us!
        • When life gets busy ~ Get back to the basics!

 

 

  • Single track ~ Our obligations… Those times when our focus is so much on where we’re going that we can’t see what God is doing around us… Eph 2:10
  • Life Suckers ~ You need a Life Saver, but all they do is suck the life out of you! Take and never give, until you have nothing left to give and then they’re gone!
  • Life Sucks ~ We are broken people in a broken world and we are not immune from the difficulties of this life. Horrible things happen to Christ followers too!
    • Rom 8:28 niv ~ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his
  • If your problems are growing then your God is shrinking ~
    • Get away with God ~ Know who He is

Have an encounter with Him ~ Focus your heart and mind on Worship!

  • Indescribable – Encountering the Glory of God in the Universe by Lou Giglio & Matt Redman

 

When you’re Sleepy, Exhausted, Worn Out, Undone,  you have to ~  Pull over

~ Stop  ~ Put the Kickstand Down ~ and…

  • Pull Over ~ Get A Fresh View of God
  • Stop ~ Hear The Word of God (for YOU)

 

Rev 10:3b-4 ~ When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”

  • Over and over through scripture God’s voice is depicted as Four times in Revelation, In 1&2 Samuel, in Psalm 18:13 ~ The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.
  • Then John heard to seal up what was said – Don’t write it
  • We don’t know what it was… but it was a personal word for John…
    • What we do know is that John heard it, understood it, and was ready to write it down and God said no…. It was a personal word for John….
    • …And God has a word for you!
  • Let me say right now ~ Not every thought that pops into your head is a word from God!!!
    • We have an enemy ~ He is like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour!

 

  • If you have someone running around telling you how God told me this and that…and they don’t explain how… be cautious….
  • Ways God typically “speaks” to us…

 

 

Method Frequency Test
From Word of God Itself. (Bible) 1000x   very common Don’t test it! just do it!
From Word through a person. 100x   less common Be Humble & receive it. Check it to the Bible.
From a Person.

Does not contradict the Word

10x   not common Check it Carefully.
From the Holy Spirit to Our Spirit 1x  uncommon Check the Bible Very Carefully Check with other mature Christians.
In a Dream to my Mind 1/10x   very uncommon Be Extremely Cautious Check every way!

Credit: James MacDonald

 

 

  • When things start piling up ~ you need to seek God and get a word from

Proverbs 8:17 Hebrew Bible ~ I love them who love me, and those that seek me earnestly find me.

 

•          When you’re Sleepy, Exhausted, Worn Out, Undone,  you have to ~  Pull over ~ Stop

~ Put the Kickstand Down ~ and…

  • Pull Over ~ Get A Fresh View of God
  • Stop ~ Hear The Word of God (for YOU)
  • Put the Kickstand Down ~ Anticipate The Judgement of God (For John)

 

Rev 10:5-7 ~ And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, 7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

  • The Mighty Angel took an oath….Swore by Him who lives forever…
    • Judgement is coming!
  • Jesus is returning!
  • There would be no more delay….
  • The end would be fulfilled just as the prophets has announced!
  • For John it was “Anticipate the judgement of God”
  • For you & I, it’s the fulfillment of his revelation to
    • Our response is the same either way… leave room for Him to work!
  • What is it that has you exhausted, worn out, undone?
  • What is the word you have from the Lord about it?
  • It may seem like a delay in your situation… It lingers…. I’ve been praying…
  • Don’t take matters into your own hands…

 

  • Habakkuk 2:3 niv ~ For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not

 

When you’re Sleepy, Exhausted, Worn Out, Undone,  you have to ~  Pull over ~ Stop

~ Put the Kickstand Down ~ and…

  • Pull Over ~ Get A Fresh View of God
  • Stop ~ Hear The Word of God (for YOU)
  • Put The Kickstand Down ~ Anticipate The Judgement of God (For John) (For us, the fulfillment of his revelation)
  • Rest ~ Embrace The Call of God

 

Rev 10:8-10 ~Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

 

  • God told John to go and take the little scroll ~ the personal word for him ~  and eat
    • Sweet in John’s mouth, but Bitter in his stomach….
      • Have you ever noticed this life is many times bitter sweet?
      • Work, Relationships, Your Kids, or Parents, even this Christian walk…

 

 

  • We are not exempt from the trials and tribulations in this life because we are Christians. But we do have a hope and joy that other do not….
    • James 1:2-4 ~ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking
    • So much of our growth in our faith comes from standing up under the pressure of the trials God has allowed in our
    • PSALM 46:10 ~ Be still, and know that I am
  • It’s in the receiving of our word from God that our view of God is made true;
  • That our faith grows and our strength is returned and we receive the Good that God promises and He receives the Glory that He deserves!
    • That is how we can STAND! That is how we can REST In the LORD!
  • Even though it was a bitter sweet word from God, John did what he was told to do….
    • You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings…
      • John’s vision wasn’t over, but his break, his time with the kickstand down was…
    • “YOU MUST” “You must again” (v11)
    • Time to get back to your calling
    • Enough of a break, there’s work to be

 

 

  • What must you do?
  • What is God desiring for you to do, or continue doing with Him that’s causing such unrest in your soul…. Sleepy, Exhausted, Worn Out, Undone…
  • Are you Resting in the Lord, Trusting Him to empower you to do what he has

called you to do?

 

  • Maybe it’s just time to weed… do a little spring cleaning and get rid of some of the junk that accumulated over the winter… Run some little foxes out of your .
  • Maybe it’s some leaches that have been sucking the life out of you for to long… always

taking and never returning.

  • Maybe shift some priorities…
  • Maybe sifting some sin out of your life…

 

 

  • I don’t know….. BUT GOD DOES!
  • He knows exactly what’s going on with you, even better than you do. And he is present and desires to recharge, refresh and rejuvenate you for the work he prepared for you before you were even born…
    • Eph 2:10 You are God’s masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus, to do the good works he prepared in advance for you to do!

 

  • The 1st place to start is whether or not you even have a relationship with the
    • James said “You say you believe in God, good, even the demons believe, and they ”
  • The question is: Do you know him as LORD? IS HE LORD OF YOUR LIFE?
  • John 3:16 ~ For God so loved the world that he gave His only son, that whomever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting
  • Romans 10:9 ~ If you declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart

that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

  • Dont miss out on all that God has intended for you by settling for the cheap imitation this world has to offer!
    • Don’t miss out on the REST that only HE can
      • Don’t miss out on the BEST that he has purposed for your life.

06-11-17 – “Serving” – Part 3 – Serving Others

Serving God – Part 3.  Serving Others!

 

Why do we Serve?   If we’re Surrendered to Christ, if we’re willing to Sacrifice our life for Him… then we belong to Him, we are not Servants or Volunteers…  We’re His Slaves and it’s out DUTY to SERVE the Master!

 

How can we Serve?

  1. Passionately!
  2. We can Serve God most effectively with our S.H.A.P.E
  • S – Spiritual Gifts
  • H – Hearts Desire
  • A – Abilities
  • P – Personality
  • E – Experiences

 

We don’t use our SHAPE for ourselves, to serve ourselves…  We Serve Christ as we Serve others

Author Jim George said, “There is no impact without contact.”

 

To SERVE effectively (the way Jesus wants us to SERVE) we have to be involved, engaged, and connected with PEOPLE! 

Matthew 4:19 – Jesus said, Follow me and I will make you Fishers of Men.  The Message (Follow Me); The Method (Being made by Christ); The Motive (A Fisher of Men.)

 

There are two primary groups we Serve or Minister to. 

  1. The Body of Christ.

Romans 12:10-11 NIV – 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

1 Peter 4:10 NLT – 10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

Galatians 5:13-14 NLT13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law (Bible) can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

The Church will never be what it’s supposed to be unless we learn how to serve one another.  If we can’t minister to and serve one another in love…  How in the world are we going to reach the lost?

 

 

  1. The World or the Lost! Those who don’t have a “relationship” with Jesus Christ.

 

Matthew 20:27-28 NCVWhoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave. 28 In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people.”

Romans 5:8 NLTBut God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (John 3:16… For God so loved the World…)

Acts 1:8 NLT – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 

The world is full of people who don’t know Christ and for many the only thing that will change their mind and heart toward Him is when they see people who are Surrendered to Him, Sacrificing for Him and Serving Him!  It’s in our SERVICE where they see the Surrender and Sacrifice.

 

 

Before we just “dive-in” there are some things we need to do that will help us be more effective.  

  1. Pray: Pray for Wisdom, Discernment, Guidance, Strength, Endurance.

Proverbs 3:5-7 NIV – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

James 1:5-6 NLT – If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

Psalm 119:105 ESV – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

John 16:13 NLT – When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth…

  1. Wait for God… Be Patience but don’t Procrastinate:

Many of those doors are already open for us to Serve…  We just need to be observant and look to see where God is already working.

God’s working everywhere.  All we have to do is join Him.  Don’t get ahead of God but at the same time don’t be lagging behind.  God’s timing is perfect!

 

When we wait on God it’s so much easier, resources come, wisdom is given, there’s unity and harmony and it’s almost effortless.    

 

Isaiah 40:31 NKJV – But those who wait (trust, hope) on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

 

 

  1. Be Proactive and Plan: If you’re shooting at nothing you’re going to hit it every time! (And the sad part is you might think you’re making progress!)

A lot of people think it’s unspiritual to Plan.   I don’t need a plan… let’s just trust the Lord.   We’re letting the Holy Spirit lead.

 

We “Plan” projects, vacations, events, activities, rides, birthday parties, evenings out, meals, etc…  Our calendars are FULL of Plans!   We “PLAN” everywhere else but we won’t “PLAN” to SERVE?

 

When we plan we are more effective, more efficient, and we accomplish our objective more often with a Plan.

 

If we Plan “worldly” things why wouldn’t we want to be effective and efficient in Serving God!?  Is it really unspiritual that we should “PLAN” to our “best” to Serve God?

 

Proverbs 21:5 NLT – Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

Proverbs 11:14 MSG – Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

Luke 14:28 ESV – For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

We CAN go to the extreme and have everything planned to the point the Holy Spirit has no room to work or do anything.   That’s not planning, that’s restricting God. 

 

  1. ACT on it!  Start INVESTING your Gift!  

 

Don’t dig a hole and bury what you’ve been given by God!  Use it, start investing it for Him!

More often than not, it’s not the Fantastic, the Phenomenal, the outrageous…  It’s in the little things…  the day to day menial tasks of everyday life where God wants me to SERVE Him, to honor Him!

 

If we aren’t serving God faithfully in the little things…  why would we be expecting some Fantastic, Phenomenal or Outrageous assignment from God!?

 

 

  1. We Serve the Lord by serving others. We don’t serve ministries, programs, a process, agendas or ‘to do’ lists…

 

Ministry is about People.  We need to be intentional and focused on the People God puts into our lives! 

 

The body of Christ: John 13:35 MSG – Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

 

The world, those who are lost: Romans 12:20 –   … “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

 

  1. Prepare for Problems You think the devil is just going to stand by and let us serve one another and reach people for Christ and do nothing!

 

James 1:12 ESV – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast (doesn’t give up, give in, keeps going) under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

 

Ephesians 6:11 NLT – Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

 

CONCLUSION:

More than anything, the devil wants to keep us the Body of Christ from Serving…  from using our SHAPE to Serve God!  Why?   

 

  • Think of the influence and impact our Serving would have on the world.
  • Think of how the Church (and each one of us) would grow, develop, mature in our relationship with Christ and become more like Him as a result of our SERVING.
  • Think of the issues in the world that could be addressed and possibly eliminated if all God’s people SERVED.
  • Think of the number of people who would be introduced to Jesus Christ? Who would Surrender their life to Christ… simply because we Served.

05-28-17 – “Serving” – Part 2. “SHAPED to Serve!”

05-28-17 – Serving God – Part 2.   “SHAPED to Serve!”

 

Recap: We serve because it’s out DUTY to serve.   If Surrendered to the Lord and Sacrificing our life for the Lord then we have a desire to Serve because we aren’t Servants or Volunteers…   We’re Slaves of Christ!

 

Slaves have only one motive…. To please and obey their Master.  

 

Once Again, I’m not suggesting someone who doesn’t Serve isn’t “Saved!”  

 

For some that IS the case.  They aren’t surrendered, they aren’t willing to sacrifice and they aren’t going to serve.   There are some who are religious, who go to church but they don’t belong to Christ.

For some, I believe it’s a matter of what we’ve been taught.  “Just say this simple prayer, sign a membership card, get baptized and you’re good… you’re in.  

 

 

We are SHAPED to SERVE!   How? 

  1. Passionately! Romans 12:11 NCV – Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart.

 

Other Trans.:  Work Hard, Never be lacking in zeal (great energy, enthusiasm, passion, devotion, eagerness intensity), Keep yourselves fueled and aflame, Fervent in the Spirit

 

Fervent in spirit means to be boiling over! Excited, Enthusiastic, Eager, Passionate about SERVING the Master!

 

Remember back in Revelation, Jesus speaking to the Seven Churches.  To the Church in Laodicea he said this.  Rev. 3:15-16, Jesus said, because you are lukewarm, neither hot or cold (not useful), I will spew (vomit) you out of my mouth.

 

DON’T BE LUKE WARM IN YOUR SERVICE TO THE LORD!  IT MAKES HIM SICK!

 

  1. With our SHAPE! In 2002 Rick Warren wrote a book called “The Purpose Driven Life.” In it he described what it meant to serve.

 

He used the acronym SHAPE. 

S – Spiritual Gifts

H – Heart’s Desire

A – Abilities

P – Personality

E – Experiences

 

 

S – Spiritual Gifts:  These are Special “God empowered abilities” given to us by the Holy Spirit of God when we give our life to Christ and as we serve God.   They aren’t for our individual benefit but to benefit the Kingdom of God and the Body of Christ.

 

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NCVThere are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve but the same Lord to serve. And there are different ways that God works through people but the same God. God works in all of us in everything we do. Something from the Spirit can be seen in each person, for the common good.

 

Ephesians 2:10 NLT – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

 

WHAT ARE THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS…
Romans 12: 6-8 –
Prophecy, Serving, Teaching, Encouraging, Giving, Leadership, Mercy.

1 Corinthians 12:8-11 NCV – The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak with wisdom, and the same Spirit gives another the ability to speak with knowledge. The same Spirit gives faith to one person. And, to another, that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 The Spirit gives to another person the power to do miracles, to another the ability to prophesy. And he gives to another the ability to know the difference between good and evil spirits. The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak in different kinds of languages and to another the ability to interpret those languages. 11 One Spirit, the same Spirit, does all these things, and the Spirit decides what to give each person.

 

Why is it important to know our Spiritual Gift?

  1. To find our place to serve and minister and fulfill God’s plan for our life!

 

  1. To better determine what our priorities are and what they should be. (Maybe God gave you the gift of Mercy but you’re trying to Lead. You’re frustrated (and so are others) because you don’t have your priorities lined up according to what God created you to do.)

 

  1. As we SERVE, we discover and develop our Spiritual Gift and we grow, discover, develop in other areas that make us stronger in our Faith and our walk with God.

 

Matthew 25:29 NLT – To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given and they will have an abundance.  But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

 

There are several sites on line, and books that can give you a general idea of what your Spiritual Gift may be, however, the best way to determine your Spiritual Gift and develop it is to start serving and ministering in the body of Christ.   Let the Holy Spirit guide you in all truth.  John 16:13 

 

 

H – Heart’s Desire – What are your desires, interests, ambitions, dreams, and things you love to do.

Here at FBC we’re passionate about Motorcycles and the Motorcycle community.   And we’ve simply taken our love for Motorcycles and are using it to Serve God!  To reach those (in that community) who don’t know Him and build up and disciple those who do.

 

Two areas to determine your Hearts Desire:

  • Enthusiasm – You most likely aren’t going to be very enthusiastic about something if your hearts not in it!
  • Effectiveness – Enthusiasm drives our effectiveness.

 

When you’re doing what you love to do no one has to motivate you to do it well and do it with all you’ve got!  If you have no desire to do it with passion and excellence, then it’s probably NOT your heart’s desire.

 

 

A – Abilities – Our “Natural” God given talents developed over time.

God didn’t give us those abilities just so we can make a living, have a cool hobby or pass the time away in this life?   There’s a greater purpose for the abilities we have?   1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT – So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

 

In Exodus 35 Moses was sharing with the People about construction of the Tabernacle.  In verse 10 Moses asked those with special skills and abilities to come and use those skills and abilities to help build the tabernacle to honor and glorify God.

 

Where’s the tabernacle of God today?   It’s YOU, ME, US…  the CHURCH!   And God wants us to our skill and ability to build the Church of Jesus CHRIST!  1 Peter 4:10 TLB10 God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.

 

 

P – Personality – There is only one you.  Only you can be you.  No one else in the world will be able to contribute what you can contribute.

God uses all kinds of people, with all kinds of personalities to balance the HIS Church, advance His Kingdom, and reach those who don’t know Him.

Most of the time… our personality determines how and where we use our Spiritual Gift. 

Example: Two people with the Gift of Evangelism.  Introvert and Extrovert…   Is their approach to Ministry/Serving God going to be different?  Absolutely!

This is why we simply need to be ourselves when we SERVE!    Don’t try and copy someone else and what they do.  That NEVER works because that’s not who you are.  God wants you to be you and serve where He planned for you to Serve!

 

 

E – Experiences – We’ve all been SHAPED by our life experiences, many of which were out of our control.  God allows things to happen (good and bad) to mold us and shape us so we can SERVE…  and use those experiences for Him.  

Romans 8:28 NLT – 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

 

Life Experiences:

  • Family Experiences – What did we learn or experience growing up? 
  • Educational Experiences – Where we went to school? Where we studied? (Or not.)
  • Vocational Experiences – What jobs we’ve had. How we’ve used our abilities in the past.
  • Spiritual Experiences – Salvation, how we came to repent and surrender to Christ. Areas where I’ve Sacrificed, Served…
  • Ministry Experiences – Areas where we’ve served God in the Past…
  • Painful Experiences – The Hurts, Habits, Hang-ups, Trials, Tragedies in your life you’ve experienced and learned from.

 

More often than not, the “Painful Experiences” the one’s we regret, want to hide and forget… are the ones God uses… where we are the “most effective” in Serving!  

Who can better serve or minister to someone in a tragedy that someone who has lived through that same tragedy?

2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT – He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

We all have Hurts, Habits and Hang-ups from our life experiences.  Therefore we ALL can SERVE!   One of the greatest opportunities for us to Serve (with those experiences) is through Celebrate Recovery.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

If we’re Surrendered to Christ and willing to Sacrifice our life for Him…   we will Serve…  we have been SHAPED to SERVE!

And Passionately using our SHAPE is the secret to success and fulfillment as we SERVE.  A lot of Christians are bored, confused, frustrated and/or burned out simply because they aren’t using their SHAPE to SERVE!  And or they aren’t passionate about doing so.

Until we’re actually SERVING, we most likely aren’t going to know what our SHAPE is, what we’re good at, or how, when, where God wants to use us! 

“You will be most effective when you use your Spiritual Gifts and Abilities in the area of your Heart’s desire…  and in a way that best expresses your Personality and your life Experiences.  The better the fit, the more successful you will be.”  – Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life.

05-21-17 – “Serving…Just doing my Duty!”

05-21-17 – To Serve…  Just doing my Duty!

If Surrendered to Christ (He owns me.  And not just parts of me… HE OWNS IT ALL!)

If a living Sacrifice for Him (I’m killing/crucifying the natural man by denying self and living for Christ)

Surrender and Sacrifice can only lead to one thing?!     We SERVE Him!

Paul told the Ephesians about “LIFE in Christ” in Ephesians 2:10 NIV –  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

To sum up the “Rules for Holy Living” Paul told the Colossians.   Colossians 3:17 NLT – And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

One of the last things Samuel told the nation of Israel in his farewell address (Saul was confirmed as King).  1 Samuel 12:24 ESV – Only fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart.  For consider what great things he has done for you.

When we’re Surrendered to Christ and living a life of Sacrifice for Christ…  WE SERVE.  

 

We aren’t Servants or Volunteers…   WE ARE SLAVES OF CHRIST! 

 

What do Slaves do?  What’s their only duty?  To serve and obey the Master!

 

Paul, Timothy, James, Peter, Jude…  all introduce themselves as “SLAVES” of Christ Jesus…  not Servants, not Bond Servants, not Volunteers but Slaves.

Ephesians 6:5-7 NLT –  Paul was writing about those who were Slaves… Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

I Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT – Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Colossians 3:23-24 NLT –  Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

 

Servants and Volunteers don’t have a Master – Slaves do!   

  • Servants/Volunteers choose when, how, and where they serve. Slaves don’t.
  • Servants/Volunteers can quit, give up, give in. Slaves can’t.
  • Servants/Volunteers can decide if they don’t want to serve… volunteer anymore. Slaves can’t.
  • Servants/Volunteers have certain expectations and requirements. Slaves have only one… obey the Master.

Jesus shared a story with the Religious leaders about Faith and Duty in Luke 17:7-10 MSG –  “Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, ‘Sit down and eat’? Wouldn’t you be more likely to say, ‘Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I’ve finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper’?

Does the servant get special thanks for doing what’s expected of him? It’s the same with you. When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.’”

Serving and Obedience isn’t a sacrifice… it’s our Duty IF we belong to Christ!  It’s our duty and our responsibility because of God’s Mercy and Grace!  Because of His sacrifice on the cross for us!  Because of the TRANSFORMATION that takes place in our Heart, Mind, Soul Body…  Therefore, we should have a passionate DESIRE to SERVE Him!

 

But I don’t want to be a SLAVE!!   We’re all SLAVES!   We’re either a slave to Christ and righteousness…  or to the devil and sin. 

Romans 16:16 NLT – Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

 

Jesus gave a great example of the importance of Serving in Matthew 25.

A Master goes on a long trip and gives his Slaves money to invest while he’s gone.

He gives 5 bags of silver to one, two bags of silver another, and one bag of silver to the last…  dividing it in proportion to their abilities(Note: It’s not how much we have, but how well we use what we have!)

Two of the slaves “immediately” go to work (serving the Master, investing what they’ve been given…) and there’s a return on their investment.  They doubled what they were given.

However, the last slave was afraid… so, he digs a hole and buries what he was given.

Then the Master returns and settles the accounts with the Slaves.  He praised the first 2 servants/slaves for their good work.  “Well done my good and faithful servant/slave.  You have been faithful in handling this small amount so now I will give you a lot more.  Let’s celebrate together!”

Note: You won’t hear “Well done…” just for entering Heaven…  Well done is reserved for those who invest what they’ve been given… for those who SERVE and obey the Master! 

 

Then the Master took what was given to the last slave (the one who was afraid and dug a hole and buried what he was given) and gave it to first slave who had ten bags.  And that last slave was judged and punished!

Matthew 25:29-30 NLT – To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given and they will have an abundance.  But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

Now throw this useless servant/slave into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

Some people use this Chapter to support losing your Salvation in Christ.  If you can lose your salvation then you’re telling me the Holy Spirit of God isn’t powerful enough to Save, Seal and Secure us.  The Natural man (satan) is more powerful than Jesus and the Holy Spirit!?  Come on now…

The real question isn’t loss of Salvation… it’s whether they were ‘Surrendered’ in the first place! 

 

A lot of people attach themselves to God and to the Church by name… Many are simply “playing a part” but they’re not really Surrendered… they don’t Sacrifice…  and it’s revealed in their SERVICE!  

 

This was the case in Matthew 25.

  • He was part of the Master’s house, Kingdom…
  • He was given mercy and grace and something to invest…
  • But, there was no Surrender, no Sacrifice! The slave tells the Master that he’s a hard man and not gracious when in fact He’s just the opposite!

He was surrendered, sacrificing and serving HIMSELF…  Me, Myself and I!

Key Point: How we use ALL that God has given us… (Our talent, time, treasures, abilities and influence just to name a few) is an indication of our Surrender, and our Sacrifice!  

 

We have to be so very careful…  the Master we serve is Christ and Christ alone!   

When Jesus was tempted by the devil himself Jesus told him in Luke 4:8 ESV – Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’

 

YES, a by-product of Serving Christ… means there’s impact in our life.

  • It makes us feel good,
  • It fulfill us,
  • It makes me feel like I have a purpose.
  • It makes me feel valuable.

BUT THAT’S NOT WHY WE SERVE!

 

Yes, there’s also an impact in the life of others. 

  • We serve one another – Gal. 5:13
  • We bear one another’s burdens – Gal. 6:2
  • We even lay our life down for one another – 1 John 3:16

 

BUT THAT’S NOT WHY WE SERVE! Our Service to the Lord MUST be motivated by and through our Surrender and Sacrifice to Christ…   If not, we will serve for all the wrong reasons.  

 

Galatians 1:10 NIV – Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant (slave) of Christ.

1 Peter 4:10-11 NCV – 10 Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace. 11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen.

 

CONCLUSION:

So, “WHY” do we SERVE the Master?   

  1. It’s my duty to obey and serve the Master! IF He’s my Master!
  2. So that in everything… (EVERYTHING) God will be praised (NOT US) through Jesus Christ.
  3. To bring glory and honor to Him (NOT US) forever and ever!
  4. To become more and more like Christ. Matthew 20:28 ESV – even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  5. In our SERVICE to the Master the world has an opportunity to see the TRANSFORMING Power of Christ in our life. Hopefully through the Holy Spirit and our SERVICE they will want to know Christ!

One day the Master is coming back and He’s going to settle up with us… What will he find?  

05-14-17 – “Mother’s Day, Honor”

05-14-17 – Mother’s Day!

The Value of Mother’s – https://youtu.be/HB3xM93rXbY

Every year the 2nd Sunday in May is designated as a day to celebrate Mother’s!   A special time that we as a Nation have set aside to show our Mother’s how much they are appreciated, and a special day to honor her.  

 

This idea of “honoring” Mom wasn’t started by man, or our Nation.  It was initiated by God…  And it wasn’t once a year!

 

Exodus 20:1-11 NLT – 20 Then God gave the people all these instructions: “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.You must not have any other god but me. “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on thosewho love me and obey my commands.

“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

 

The first 4 Commandments God gave the Israelites were about their relationship with Him.   The last 6 are about their relationship with others.  (Love God – Love Other)

 

In the 5th Commandment… notice who’s first on the list!  

  1. 12 Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land theLordyour God is giving you.

 

Have you ever noticed it’s the only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise!

 

It isn’t just an “Old Test.” commandment, written just for the Nation of Israel. 

Ephesians 6:1-3 NLT – 6 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

 

God was teaching them the value of Family…  to learn obedience, respect, authority, loyalty and to Worship Him! 

 

The Family unit (according to God’s design) is the foundation and bedrock of any society.  And once the Family unit begins to break down everything else in society begins to crumble.   As the family goes – so does society.

 

AND, Mother’s have TREMENDOUS influence and impact in the family… especially Mothers who are:  Surrendered to God, Sacrificing for Him, Serving Him, and Sharing their Faith in Him.  A Godly Mother is the closest thing to God’s love on earth!

 

Mother’s (and Father’s) feed the soul of a child as they grow and develop with Safety, Nurturing, Basic Trust, a sense of Belonging, and Love.  And Mothers are the primary influence in those early years.

 

Mother’s DESERVE to be honored for their impact and influence. 

 

Honor = To show great value, great respect, admiration, appreciation for or toward that person.

 

We never stop honoring…  At some point we grow up and move out and we’re no longer under their authority and no longer have to be obedient…   However, we never stop “honoring” our Father and Mother. 

 

My Mom.  Most of the time she doesn’t really know who I am now… however, I KNOW WHO SHE IS!   Therefore, my brother and I honor her by making sure she’s cared for properly.

 

NOTE: Some folks may not have had great parents, even good parents.  Some of you may not have had a great Mom, or even a good Mom.   For some, your Mother may have treated you harshly or may not have even been there. 

 

Are we STILL supposed to honor her?  Yes.  God didn’t say honor them if they were great or good or treated us good… He just said to honor them.

 

ILLUSTRATION: Commander in Chief: Many of us may not agree with our Commander in Chief…  may not even like Him.

Or the previous Commander in Chief.  But the fact remains that he’s our Commander in Chief and therefore we should honor and respect him.

 

The same applies with honoring our Mother.  We should honor her and as a result we will be blessed by God!

What if you don’t know your real Mother?  Well, honor the person in your life that was the closest thing to a Mother to you.

 

If you do know her, but don’t have a relationship with her, now would be a great time to start.  On this Mother’s Day be an example and a witness to her of the Grace of God! 

 

Choose to honor her because you choose to honor God.  It’s a great act of Surrender and Sacrifice to do so.   

 

The opposite of honoring her is to dishonor her and there are significant consequences for that!  Proverbs 20:20 NCV – Those who curse their father or motherwill be like a light going out in darkness.

 

Jesus was a great example for us of honoring his Parents and his Mother. 

Luke 2:41-52 NLT – Once per yr. they travel to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.  One year, Jesus is 12, they go to the Feast and they’re headed home and he’s missing.  They’ve been gone a day and he isn’t with any of the relatives in the caravan!  They go back to Jerusalem.

After 3 days…  they find him in the Temple courts sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him they were astonished.  His Mother said to him, Son why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been frantically searching for you.

49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  50 But they didn’t understand what he meant. 51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. 52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people. 

 

From age 12 until he was 30, Jesus was obedient to his parents and grew is wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and all the people.   

 

And even on the Cross as Jesus was being crucified, He honored His Mother by making sure she was taken care of.   

John 19:26-27 NLT – 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.”27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

 

What’s the greatest way to teach our kids to honor their mother?   By letting them see their Mother Honored!   Father’s, Husbands, Men… honor your mother…  and the Mother of your Children!

 

  1. Love Her! Unconditional love because she’s your Mother.

 

  1. Provide for her Security and Protection! – What need does she have? Does she know you’re there for her?

(Note: Love and Security are the top two basic needs for a woman!)

 

  1. Spend Quality Time with her. Undivided attention focused on her.

 

  1. Spend more time talking and “listening” rather than doing stuff. Women need communication. It provides intimacy and emotional support.

 

  1. Be her Shepherd! (As Christ was our Shepherd!) She needs to know she has a man she can count on and trust.  A godly man who would give up his life for her as Christ gave up his life for the Church!

 

  1. Be Transparent. None of us are perfect.  We all make mistakes and will continue to make mistakes.  Encourage your Mother/Wife and don’t let her be consumed by guilt!  Romans 8:1 – So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

 

  1. Help her. Give her a break.  They work non-stop.   Do something special for her more than once a year!

 

  1. Be more thoughtful. It makes her feel valued and lets her know you care.  Most of the time it’s the little things that mean the most.

 

  1. Get away! Sometimes we need a break from things.  Even if it’s a couple of hours.  Give her some time to rejuvenate and refresh… She will be a better Mom for it!   If you can do that together it’s even better.  (This goes for your Mom and your Wife!)

 

  1. Have Fun! Life is too short to be so serious and/or work all the time.   Be intentional about adding some fun into your life.  It breaks down barriers, improves communication, creates intimacy and draws our families closer together.

 

Mom’s…  Happy Mother’s Day!  We honor you today and want to let you know how much we appreciate you and value your impact and influence!  We praise God for you!

05-07-17 – “Sacrifice”

Sacrifice – Part 2.  How to be a living Sacrifice…

What kind of Sacrifice are we?    One that’s Living… Holy… and Pleasing to God.

 

Romans 12:1-2 – CSB – Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present (offer) your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

 

Today I want to share some “practical” things we can do in order to be that Living Sacrifice. 

 

  1. Everything we do is worthless unless we are “Surrendered” to Him.

 

Absolute and complete Surrender.  If we haven’t done that in our heart, mind, soul, body then at best these things just make us a more “religious” person.

 

And… it’s NOT the relationship that I want or think is right with God… but the one that HE wants. 

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 James 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Proverbs 23:26 – My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

 

 

  1. God’s Word renews our mind!

Hebrews 4:12-13 NLT – 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

Romans 10:17 NIV – Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

 

John 17:17 NLT – 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

 

2 Timothy 3:16 NLT – 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

 

 

How are you going to get the nourishment and nutrition your body needs if you don’t eat?   

 

What happens if put the wrong things in your body… a lot of junk!   We become unhealthy, we don’t function properly, we get sick and and we eventually die!

 

Spiritually, the same thing happens to us without the Word of God!

 

 

  1. Prayer:

How do we develop the best relationship with someone?  YOU SPEND TIME WITH THEM

 

Mark 1:35 NLT35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

 

Why did Jesus need to pray?  He needed time with the Father!  He was God but he was fully human!  He was tempted and tried and tested just like we are!  (Hebrews 4:15)

 

IF Jesus needed to spend time in prayer how much more do we! 

Do you ever wonder why PRAYER and FEEDING ON GOD’S WORD are the two hardest things for us to do!  WHY!?   

 

BECAUSE IT TRANSFORMS US!  And we get to know the HEART of God Himself!  Our Sacrifice means nothing if we aren’t first spending time with Him to develop the right relationship.   IF we aren’t Surrendered first…

 

 

Luke 10:38-42 NIV38 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? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

 

 

  1. Take ACTION! Do what you can do and “DO IT NOW!”

 

Colossians 2:4-6 MSG – 6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

 

There is a direct connection to our Obedience and the transformation that takes place in our life!

 

John 14:21 NLT – 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

 

 

Remember the Definition of Faith? Believing the Word of God and “ACTING” on it, no matter how I feel because God promises good results!

 

Hebrews 11:6 NLTAnd it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

To be a “LIVING” Sacrifice means we have to be a people of ACTION! 

 

James 2:19 NCV – 19 You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear. 20 You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing?

 

 

James 4:17 NLT – 17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

 

A lot of people are “waiting” on God to do something when in fact the answer to their prayer, their situation, their problem, their spiritual maturity and growth happens when THEY take ACTION and become the “LIVING” Sacrifice God wants them to be!   

 

 

  1. Accountability: (Most of us cringe when we hear that word.)

The Body of Christ can’t and won’t function properly when isolated from one another!  Like the human body…  it’s designed to work together in harmony.  And it’s a form of protection.  It protects the individual, the Body of Christ, and HIS Name!  

 

Romans 12:3-5 CSBFor by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.

 

Galatians 6:1-2 NLT – Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Loving others as we love ourselves…. Laying our life down for one another.)

 

Colossians 3:16-17 NLT – Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.

 

Proverbs 27:17 NLT – As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

 

James 5:16 NLT – 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

 

 

Hebrews 10 mentions 3 things are mentioned that we need to do to persevere in our FAITH!  One is Accountability.

  1. By Drawing close to God with sincere hearts, (His Word and Prayer!)
  2. Hold without wavering, or unswervingly to the Hope that we have because Jesus is faithful…
  3. Accountability in the body of Christ.

 

Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

If we simply focus on being Surrendered and a Living Sacrifice in these 5 areas…  we will become Transformed and the Living Sacrifice that God wants us to be. 

 

BEWARE of thinking it’s too simple or “I got this.”  If that’s the case… you need to go back to Surrender!

 

How are you “increasing in measure” in each of these areas?   

  1. The right relationship with Jesus Christ… the Relationship HE WANTS! Surrender.

 

  1. Feeding on the Word of God.

 

  1. Staying connected and aligned with Him in Prayer.

 

  1. Instant Action & Obedience to Him.

 

  1. Accountability to ensure that I honor God with my Actions.