Can you believe that next week is Thanksgiving? This is a good time of year to slow down and do a bit of reflection. We take a look at our lives and we give thanks for all of the blessings that God has given to us. Sometimes, we do not even realize everything that God has blessed us with. There are blessings that we may even take for granted. Let’s be truly grateful this Thanksgiving for everything that our Heavenly Father has given to us, His children.
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon comes from Colossians 2:6-14. The title of this sermon is: Walk in Christ.
This morning we are taking a break from James. We will be back in James next week. This morning we want to take a look at a very urgent message from the apostle Paul.
There is a term in the church world that is very troubling. The Christian Athiest. It is very discouraging to even hear the words. Those words should not even be in the same sentence. It doesn’t make sense, does it? Yet, here we are.
The term describes the average person who goes to church on Sunday and sings like God is alive. They pray like God is alive. They hear a sermon proclaiming God is alive and then they leave their church and live like God is dead.
I believe that they live like God is dead because they are dead or close to it. These are the Christians who are code blue. Look, people with joy – rejoice. People that are thankful – give thanks. People that are steadfast or standing firm – are not easily shaken or moved. So along the same lines, a person that lives like God is dead, has their faith on life support or they are in a very real need of being revived, or recharged.
You are who Christ says you are: Holy, Saint, Righteous, Redeemed. You are not identified in Christ by your mistakes. You are identified in Christ by Christ in you – the hope of glory. It is Christ in you that bonds you to Him. It is Christ in you that bonds you to other believers as brothers and sisters. It is what bonds you to your church as family.
v6. Therefore….see verses 1-5 I can say what I am about to say because of what I have already told you. All Christians have been called by Christ and received Him. Jesus is our Savior from sin, death, and wrath. Walk In Him. Christians are to make their thoughts, habits, actions, conversations, anything they engage in, their whole way of life, conform to the image of Christ.
There is no line or distinction between who you are and what you say. Daily walk with Christ – Daily have communion with Him.
Paul would not have written these words if Jesus was dead. There would be no chance of ever having the Holy Spirit in you. If Jesus was dead, you would still be making animal sacrifices in the temple for the forgiveness of your sins instead of being able to rejoice in that all of your sins, past, present, and future were covered by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.
v7. The more we walk with Christ, the more we are rooted or grounded in Him. The deeper we are rooted, the closer our walk with Him will be. Give thanks for the people who have taught you, helped you, and established you in the faith. Be thankful for growth, conviction, correction, teaching and rebuke. A sign of maturity is how quickly you repent after you have been convicted.
We are called to Christlikeness. All through Scripture we are called to become more and more like Jesus in our actions, in our minds, in our words. We do not have time to cover all of these Scriptures today but this would be a good Bible study or Facebook video study.
We are called to holiness. Leviticus 20:26 says,
26 You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.
We are called to perfection. In Matthew 5:48, Jesus says,
48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Jesus is wanting us to get to a level of maturity where we understand that when we are faced with severe temptations, and trials that attack our deepest level of desires and passions, we know that we do not have to sin because God has provided a way out. Sin is not inevitable. You are progressing in sanctification. You are becoming more like Jesus in every way. However, when you do sin, you repent immediately. You take note. This is where you failed. This is an area that you need work in so that you can be more like Jesus in this area of your life.
You crave spending time in the Bible. You delight in being obedient to your Heavenly Father. You enjoy learning how to make your life match up to Scripture.
As you mature, what starts out as discipline becomes a delight.
v8. Study the Bible – journal, take notes. Study Scripture. Study Doctrine. Study Theology. A study of the Word leads us to the knowledge of God. It confirms our faith in Him. Studying the Bible provides you with discernment to understand what is truth and what is false teaching. Those who put their faith in things or other people have been deceived into believing lies.
Our greatest need is communion with our Heavenly Father by being in His Word daily.
Our greatest threat is our failure to be in God’s Word. Our failure in this way is significant. It slows our progress in becoming more like Jesus. We fail to be consumed by the fire that comes from God in us. We fail to have our minds transformed by the Scripture. We fail to walk in Christ Jesus, as we have received Him.
Let this not be said of us!
Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8
v9. The presence/fullness of God dwells no longer in a temple but in Christ. The One through whom we have salvation, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and will have glorification. Christ. The One whom we are crucified with. Christ. The One we take up our cross to follow. Christ. The One we serve by renouncing all things. That Christ. That Jesus. He is God.
v10. Renounce sin. Be reformed in your mind. Transformed. Romans 12:2
v11. Put off the old man. Put off the old self. Kill sin. Live by the Spirit. Romans 5:8
v12. Baptism – Your old life has been put to death and you also are raised in Him and you rejoice that He has given you a new life.
v13. All our sins have been forgiven.
v14. You are made new.
You are alive! Don’t just sing that God is alive. Live! Live like God is alive because He is alive! Your sins have been nailed to the cross. You are alive in Christ!
May your faith be strengthened.
May you walk in Christ as you have received Him.
May you rejoice and be abundantly glad because Jesus chose you, redeemed you, and has called you.
May you worship Him because He is holy, righteous, majestic and He is our Savior, our Lord, our Shepherd, our Sustainer, our Redeemer and our King.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!
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We are now in November. It is crazy to think that we are almost in 2017.
I hope that you have been enjoying the videos and the sermon recaps. We will continue these videos so that you can continue to watch them on your own time.
This coming Sunday will be our first Bible study. We will be in the book of John and we will focus on spiritual growth. We will begin the study at 5:00. I look forward to seeing you.
Tonight is our time of fellowship and Bible study. I can’t wait to spend time with our Faithpoint family as we share food and recap the sermon together.
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon comes from: James 4:1-12. The title of this sermon is: Run To Your Daddy.
When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit is given to you. The gospel starts to infiltrate and rush into every area of your life. It’s like when people in your house have been sick. There are germs that have been brought into your house that if not dealt with, will cause other people to be sick. So, you grab the Lysol and you attack every room in the house. You vacuum the carpets. You change the sheets and pillow cases. Why? You want to get rid of the crap in the house that is making people sick.
That is the Holy Spirit’s job. He gets rid of the crap in us that is making us sick. However, there are some things that we know are harmful to us but we don’t want to part with them so we try to hang on. The longer we hang on to it, the more damage we do to ourselves.
James is going to show us that there is a way of life that we used to live and a way of life that we are called to live. The two cannot live together harmoniously so they clash. There is a war going on inside each of us. Our passions and desires are at war with each other.
We remember from last week that we are called to grow (increasing in) purity, peace, gentleness, reason, mercy, and bearing fruit that makes it evident that we are pursuing becoming like Jesus.
James is talking to the church. If we believe false wisdom or foolishness, then we see no consequences or repercussions at doing whatever it takes to make ourselves happy. Perfect judgment made by a Holy God means nothing to us because in our foolishness we believe that God serves us instead of us being created to serve and worship Him.
Quarrels and fights happened because of bitter jealousy and selfish ambition. Vile, dark things are going on in the church. You don’t rejoice when God blesses other people because you feel left out. You don’t celebrate, you grow in disgust and contempt. You see that someone else has something that you want, so, you just kill them and take it. Coveting anything, power, position, title, money, someone’s spouse or another person, anything comes out of the dark places within your heart. You think that you deserve that more than anyone else.
Friendship with the world is enmity or hostility with God. Do you want something so bad that you would make yourself an enemy of God?
Screaming out like a child that something or someone should be yours because you deserve it. You get mad at the person for having it and then get mad at God for giving it to them. Your feeling of entitlement cries out that it is not fair.
You adulterous people – How many times have you tried to make a deal with God and then you fail to keep your part? How many times did you make promises that you never intended on keeping. How often do you sing songs of worship to God on Sunday and then you turn around and you give your heart to something else and you worship it instead?
Your deepest desires and passions are not for God. They are for something that you don’t currently have. Your cravings are for the next place you want to go on vacation.
God wants you. All of you. He wants your whole heart but your deepest desires and cravings show that you want something else instead of your Heavenly Father.
You would think, I would never worship anything other than God. That sounds good but that is not reality. Anything that you hold on to more than you hold on to Jesus is an idol. Anything that you won’t let go of – idol. Anything that you can’t or won’t share or let someone borrow – idol. Anything that just the thought of not having it causes anxiety – idol. Anything that the thought of letting it go seems like it would be too painful – idol.
You give your heart over to idols because you don’t trust the Bible when it says that Jesus is enough. It tells us that Jesus is all we need. We don’t believe it. We run to our idols and then we get mad when God wants to take it away or blesses someone else instead.
But…He gives more grace. This is a beautiful thing.
Now James is going to show us how to walk in the grace of God. It is in direct opposition, it clashes with the way of life that comes from foolishness and wickedness. He gives more grace to those who walk in humility.
Instead of thinking you deserve something or are entitled to something, you pick up your cross and die to yourself. You die to the foolish and wicked parts of your heart. You want to as John Owen said, kill it before it kills you. Put to death the things inside you that push you away from Christ instead of towards Him.
Submit – You are under God not above Him. You submit to Him as He knows what is best for you better than you do. Submission leads to obedience.
Resist – Withstand the action or effect of
Put up a fight. Don’t give in. Stand your ground. Stand firm.
Draw near to God like a child running to their daddy.
Be a person of peace. Walk in peace.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!
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Here are a few announcements for you:
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon comes from James 3:13-18. The title of this sermon is: Wise Living/Foolish Living. This is week 6 in our Faith Works series.
Wisdom. The very word brings to mind people or even fictional characters that we would consider wise.
To even begin to discuss something like wisdom, we have to look through biblical lenses. In other words, our perspective must line up with the Scripture. So, let’s look at two statements that will help us navigate through this Scripture.
God doesn’t owe us anything. Everything that was created is for His good pleasure. He is completely sovereign. He is omniscient. He surpasses space and time. He does not answer to anyone and He takes advice from no one. He love us. He has given us a purpose. He gave us Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He wants us. He does not need us. Everything God does is to make His name great. Everything He does is for His renown and His glory. He is uppermost in His own affections. He is for you but you do not replace Him. God does not worship you. He loves you.
Psalm 23 is a wonderful example for us to see.
God has designed everything for us to submit to Him by walking in delightful obedience.
Wisdom. To talk about wisdom as a way of life, means that there is an opposite or contrary way of life. The Bible presents us with a way to live that is holy and wise or one that is stupid and foolish.
Now this is challenging and some of you might wrestle with where we are headed. Everything in our culture will push back and rebel against this. Why? Because our culture will tell you that everything you do, eat, drive, wear, watch, read, everything is to make you happy.
Look at commercials on TV. You are the center of your own universe.
There is a way to live that is wise. If you are wise, show you are wise by the way you live. Your conduct. You do this in humility, and meekness – proof of wisdom.
Conversely, bitter jealously and selfish ambition argue that it is all about me. They get jealous because they don’t have a Lexus with a bow on top for Christmas. They get upset when they don’t get the Instagram or Facebook likes. They have selfish expectations of everybody doing things for them. Their job revolves around them. Their spouse and kids are there to do their bidding. If life is all about you, then you will be miserable when something happens that is outside your control.
The Bible shows us that living in delightful obedience is freedom. We are free to serve our spouse and our kids, we are free to serve others, we are free to serve our church, we are free to praise, edify, and make much of God.
What you sow, you will reap.
You sow discord and selfishness that is what you reap.
If you sow in righteousness and peace, that is what you will reap.
A person of wisdom is a person of peace.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!
If you liked the notes from this sermon, please like and share. If you would like to share how God is growing you through this James series, head over to my Facebook page and continue the conversation.
We are almost finished with 2016. Can you believe that? We are ten months in and there are only two months left in the year. Most people that intend on making resolutions wait until the last week of December. The journey for them will begin on January 1 or 2, depending on the person. They may go all in and do well for a week or two. However, you don’t reach the top of the mountain (your goal) in two weeks. By week three or four, most people have already given up and quit. They tapped out. They threw in the towel. They are done.
I want to encourage you to develop a new strategy.
If you want to stick to new resolutions, you have to develop new habits and new ways of doing things.
So, instead of waiting until the last week of the year to make resolutions, go ahead and do a review of your life now. What are things that you want to change? What are the things you need to change? What have you done in the past that did not work? Learn from those mistakes so that you can do something differently and get better results.
How is your spiritual journey? We said at the beginning of 2016 that you should not be the same person at the end of the year that you were when you started. There should be a change in you. Don’t give up no matter where you are at.
I invite you to lay the groundwork now for 2017. I invite you to start. Start making changes now in the areas you want and need to change so that by the time January 1 gets here, you have already created new habits in the areas that you need change or in the areas that you want to grow in.
Join me on this journey. I look forward to taking you with me.
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon is from: James 3:1-12. The title of this sermon is: The Power of Words.
This is week 5 in our Faith Works series.
Words have power. They have power to influence. They have power to create change. They have the power to persuade. They have the power to challenge. They have the power to build and the power to destroy.
Because of this, James says, that small things can cause great results or more specifically, the tongue is a fire.
Let’s jump in.James 3:1-12
Teachers are held to a higher standard. We see James say that teachers will be judged with greater strictness.Luke 12:48 Hebrews 13:17
This is the verse that weighs heavy on me. I want to be careful how I teach and what I teach because I am being held accountable by God. I don’t know how other “preachers” can stand in front of people and tell them things that are not true or lead them further from the Bible. A Bible teacher needs to be diligent in their study so that they can speak grace and truth. This goes for any teacher of children to adults.
However, for the Bible teacher, they don’t just teach with their words, they teach with their life. They are also going to be held accountable for the way they live because a Bible teacher should be living in such a way that their life is being shaped by Scripture.
You will be held accountable for the way you live your life but a Bible teacher is held to a higher standard for the words they use and the life they live because they are a living, breathing example of a disciple who is walking in the Scripture and then teaching others how to do the same.
A Bible teacher’s motto: 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ
Vs 2 – 12 Here is a reason for why we need grace and mercy. We all stumble in many ways. We need grace – not for us to abuse it but for us to humbly progress in sanctification as we are being led and directed by the Holy Spirit.
A person that does not stumble in what he says, is perfect. This person is able to guard their mouth and heart. They are able to keep their bodies in check because they will not do anything that is immoral or dishonoring. They are a master at discipline.
Discipline is awesome. We need discipline. Discipline is where we get the word disciple from. However, we are not called to perfection. We are called to holiness. We are told to be holy because Jesus is holy.
The Bible does not put a classification on words. The Bible does not consider words to be good or bad. God created language. God also said that everything He has made is good. It is always humans that take what God has made and jacks it up.
Because the Bible does not categorize words as good, awesome, wicked, evil, powerful, disgusting whatever…it does give us guidelines on how to use words.Ephesians 4:29
If there is a word that you want to use and you cannot use the word to lift up, edify, encourage, show love or compassion, you should not use it.Proverbs 18:21
Our words reveal what is in our hearts.Matthew 12:34-37
It is about what you say and how you say it. Every word you speak and how you speak it reveals immediately what is in your heart.
Sometimes it is the words that are not spoken that do as much damage as the words that are spoken.
You do not learn or grow from speaking. Wisdom, knowledge and faith all come from hearing.
The words you use can point people to Jesus or point them away from Jesus.
Take your words into account. Weigh your words before you use them. This is not easy but if you practice this, you can create a new habit of speaking blessing instead of cursing.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!
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C.S. Lewis said, “Do not be scared by the word authority. Believing things on authority only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy.”
Here are the notes from the sermon last Sunday:
The text for this sermon comes from James 1:22-25. The title of this sermon is: Hearers and Doers.
There is a point of tension between a parent and child and it usually occurs when the parent tells the child to do something. For example: a parent may tell the child to clean their room. The child goes to their room and when the parent goes to check on the child, the parent notices that not one toy has been put away.
What has happened is that the child would rather play than clean up. The action is defiance. Willful disobedience. Now the child may not be thinking about defiance but his actions speak volumes. What makes the child do this?
It is not that the child does not love his parents. In fact, it does not matter how often the child hugs his parents or tells them that he loves them, it does not change the fact that deep inside the child, defiance remains. There is sin in the heart of the child.
The child hears what he is supposed to do but does not do it. This is a sign of immaturity. This does not mean that you stop loving your child. It means that you have to be more intentional with helping your child grow. You also pray earnestly that God would save your child’s soul.
This is a very real example of what happens in church every Sunday.
When the Bible is preached faithfully, the Holy Spirit is already working in the lives of the hearers. He convicts of sin, He compels us to repentance, He commands us to obedience, and He demands a response.
Every time you hear the Bible, you give a response.
One of two things happen. Either you surrender to what you have heard and decide to obey the Scripture, or you determine to not obey. This happens every week.
Hearing the word without action results in self deception.
The key to this text is verse 22. We are to be doers of the word and not hearers only. The only proper response to the Word of God – the entirety of Scripture is to allow it to cut your soul and to take root.
Jesus tells us a story, a parable of four types of dirt. A parable is a story that is told to teach something important. I encourage you to read this parable in Luke 8:4-15
The four types of dirt is:
I pray that you all are good soil but ultimately you have to decide what kind of soil you are.
Vs 23-24 How sad is it that a dude would get out of bed, go look at himself in the mirror and is made aware that he needs to do something about it but he leaves and does nothing?
This is an example of a fool.
This verse demonstrates the folly or stupidity of hearing the Word, the Holy Spirit brings up some sin or something else to your mind, you are made very aware that something is wrong. There is something in you that is preventing you or blocking you from being conformed in the image of Jesus and then you do nothing about it.
When you know that something is wrong, when the Holy Spirit has brought it to your attention, made you aware – the right thing to do is to do something about it.
Here is our encouragement:
Vs 25 We want to look into the perfect law of liberty. We saw earlier in chapter 1 that trials are the road to maturity. Obedience is the car. Why is James talking about the law of liberty. Obedience leads to freedom. Jesus came and fulfilled the law. We obey the law when we follow what Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Obedience to Jesus will lead to perseverance. We are called to steadfastness. Obedience to Jesus will help us persevere, endure, and remain steadfast. We are not called to be a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts.
A doer who acts will be blessed in their doing. Doing = obedience. Obedience to Jesus = blessing.
We do not get to choose how God will bless us. I believe that God will open doors and opportunities for you to share your story and the gospel. He will give you influence as you pour your life into the lives of others. As you walk in obedience, you will have a measurable track record. You will be able to look back and look at where you are now and see the progression.
We want to be more like Jesus. We want to be obedient. We want to progress in sanctification.
Do not be a hearer only.
Be a doer who acts by walking in obedience to Jesus.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!
If you liked the notes from this sermon, please like and share. If you would like to share how God is using this James series in your life, head over to my Facebook page and continue the conversation.
The first sermon in our Faith Works series is in the books. If you were not able to watch it, I encourage you to go to our FaithPoint Facebook page or my page and watch the sermon recap video. I am excited about this series and I hope that you are too.
Here are some suggestions for getting more our of this Faith Works series:
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon comes from James 1:1-18. The title of this sermon is: Testing of Your Faith. This is week 1 in our Faith Works series.
Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the Word of Christ. Romans 10:17.
Why is this series called Faith Works?
If you are a Christian, you know by now that it is impossible for you to stand on your own in your own power in the face of overwhelming adversity. You do not have the strength to tackle every trial and temptation that comes your way.
Let’s jump into the text.
James 1:1 James was the half brother of Jesus. He was skeptical at first, not convinced that Jesus was truly the Son of God. Then after Jesus died, and rose from the dead, it clicked for him. He became one of the lead elders of the church in Jerusalem and he was devoted to Jesus. James would ultimately be killed for following Jesus by having his head bashed in.
Vs 2: It is not if trials come. It is when trials come.
What is a trial?
These all fit into the only category listed of various.
Did you notice the tone of this verse? It is a command to be obeyed. Not a suggestion. So, we see very clearly that trials are going to come and we are called to count it all joy when the various trials come.
Vs 3 Trials are the road to maturity.
Steadfast: faithful, devoted, dedicated, constant, solid, fixed in place.
Trials help us see that we are on the road to maturity. God is conforming us to the image of Jesus.
Let what God wants to do in you, take hold in you. Let it take root and grow. Let it thrive and flourish.
Vs 5 Trials help us be self aware of our need for God. Then doubt enters the octagon.
I believe. Help my unbelief.
God I believe you can help me in this situation but I am losing my grip. I want to hold on to that belief but I can feel it slipping away. I can’t see anything because all I see is the storm.
I believe. Help my unbelief.
Vs 8 The double minded man does not even call out to God because he does not believe that God will do anything in his life. He plays the game. He actually wants to look like he has all his crap together. He wants to dress out but doesn’t want to actually play in the game. “I want to wear the jersey, but I don’t want any pads.”
I am pleading with you to drop the act. Stop acting like you got it all together when you know you don’t. We all struggle. We are all on this journey together. God put you here at FaithPoint because there are no perfect people allowed. This is a safe place.
You can say that you are broken.
You can say that you are struggling.
You can say that you feel like you are drowning.
You can say that you don’t understand.
No one is going to judge you. No one is going to condemn you.
The next fight. Comparison enters the octagon.
When you are in a trial, the wickedness of our hearts comes out in comparison.
A study was done a couple of years ago and the results were this: Instagram causes depression.
You are in the middle of your trial, struggling with doubt, eating a whole case of Pringles and binge watching some show on Netflix. Then you pick up your phone and what do you see?
James wants us to see that everyone is on a level playing field.
Everyone will experience doubt. Everyone has seasons of happiness and joy. Everyone has seasons when it is going well and….everyone has seasons of trials and storms.
Vs 13-15 Don’t view this trial with the wrong glasses. Don’t misunderstand that God wants to mature you, grow you, and make you more like Jesus. If you try to blame God or take your focus off Him during this trial, you will lose what God wants to do in you.
Vs 16. Do not be deceived. Your flesh is going to tell you that God hates you. God doesn’t want to help you. God has left the building and left you alone to struggle in your own mess. Do not be deceived.
Vs 17 Everything good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights.
Vs 18 God chose you from the foundation of the world. He loves you. He made you or wants to make you part of His family.
My MRSA story.
Sometimes God in His loving Fatherly way has to cut out the infection that is in us or else it will kill us. God wants us spiritually healthy and there are things in our lives that are holding us back from being conformed to the image of Jesus. There are things in our lives that we are holding on to that is letting doubt and comparison win in our lives. There are things that we are holding on to that we know are going to ultimately kill us but we don’t want to let them go because we know it is going to hurt.
The pain of having gunk removed in our lives pales in comparison to the unspeakable joy we will experience because He took what needed to be removed out of us and replaces it with more of Himself.
I am excited to be diving into the book of James with you this coming Sunday. The title of our series is going to be called Faith Works. I want to encourage you to begin reading the book of James and continue reading it while we are in this series. I believe you will gain both insight and application. I am praying for all of us that we will all grow in our faith and we will not hesitate to apply the truths in this section of Scripture to our lives.
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon is: Psalm 42:1. The title of this sermon is: Discipline and Delight. This is a stand alone sermon.
Do you ever take a look in the mirror and this thought enters your mind? Do you ever think to yourself that you are a fraud?
Do you ever pick up the Bible and let it speak to you? Do you let the words pierce your soul and speak life into you? Do you meditate on it?
Do you call yourself a Christian or tell someone else that you are a Christian and then when you look in the Bible, your life does not look like what is written in Scripture?
Do you even give a thought to your own soul?
I am greatly concerned with the state of people whom I have talked with who do not give a crap about their sanctification process. They don’t care about conforming to the image of Jesus and they don’t give a crap about pouring their life into the life of someone else.
They are convinced that they are fine because they said some prayer when they were a kid. They don’t push their spouses to Jesus, they don’t push their kids to Jesus but they push their kids to get good grades. They don’t push their co-workers or friends to Jesus.
How many people know you but have not heard about Jesus from you?
Maybe they have fallen prey to a TV preacher who makes millions off selling books and DVDs and speaking at conferences. He gets on TV and he tells you that God is going to bless you and bless you, multiply all this stuff in your life and they neglect to tell you that God requires obedience and faith.
There are things found in Scripture that they will not tell you because you might not buy their book.
There is an analogy used in Scripture that a Christian is like a tree. The tree grows up to be strong, its roots run deep and it thrives where it is planted and bears fruit in its season.
Psalm 1:3A tree that does not produce fruit is considered worthless. It is cut down and thrown into the fire. What causes a tree to not bear fruit?
It is possible for a tree to survive cold temperatures and survive being struck by lightning.
You can blame outside circumstances. You can complain about bugs that eat the leaves or worms. You can complain about birds.
However, when a branch stops producing fruit, something from the inside of the tree caused it to stop. If this situation is not dealt with, another branch will not produce fruit, then another branch will not produce fruit. Then before you know it, what was once a strong, thriving tree, is now a dead tree.
My family used to have a peach tree. It made delicious peaches. We used to just pick them off the tree and eat these big, juicy peaches. We noticed over time that the tree was not producing as much fruit as it had normally been producing. Each year, the amount of peaches became less and less. One year, we saw that the tree had no peaches. The tree had died. The tree, looked fine from the outside.
What kills the tree comes from inside the tree.
In a lot of cases, the tree can be saved and it can bear fruit again. The branches that are not producing fruit have to be cut off.
The same is true for a Christian. If you are not intentional about conforming to the image of Jesus, it is highly likely that you are not intentional about making disciples or pouring your life into the life of someone else.
When a Christian stops bearing fruit, they have let something get inside them and kill the part of them that bears fruit.
They begin making excuses or saying things like, “I don’t have time.” Here is the problem with excuses. Nobody cares.
I don’t have time – is not an excuse.
You do have time, you are just trading it for something else.
Do you want to grow in your relationship with Jesus and make disciples or do you want to binge watch Friends on Netflix?
Have you lost your desire to live for Jesus? Have you lost your passion? Your fire is an ember and not a flame? Has your light dimmed to the point where the light is no longer visible?
A light can be relit. A flame can be reignited. There is hope.Psalm 42:1
When is the last time, your soul longed, it ached to be with God?Psalm 37:4
But what if you don’t delight in the Lord?Hebrews 12:11
There is this thought in our culture that if you are not where you want to be – fake it till you make it. In other words, you act like you have made it. Is there any wonder that people look into the mirror and see themselves as a fraud? You do what you take delight in. I believe that if you truly delight yourself in Jesus, you will be obedient. Sure, some of the things that Jesus asks of us is hard or difficult but the more you practice obedience, it will become less of a discipline and more of a delight.1 Timothy 4:7
We are to work, strive, discipline or train ourselves in godliness. We are to discipline ourselves until it becomes a delight.
A runner or a cyclist.
Couch to 5K app
It is a process. You don’t get off the couch and immediately go run a marathon. It is a process. You get off the couch and walk to the mailbox a few times. That turns into a walk around the block which turns into a jog around the block. Then you start to run and you run a mile, two miles and before you realize it you are running a 5K. Then maybe you look at that and realize if you can run a 5K, you can run a half marathon. Your goal gets bigger because you see how far you have come and you see bigger goals that you can accomplish.
It starts off as painful, hard and difficult. Over time it becomes easier and fun to where you look forward to it.
Spiritual disciplines can be the same way.
I am grateful now to be able to pour my life into the lives of others.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!!!
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