Sunday, November 5, 2006

House of Faith - Part 5 - The Acting Pillar

SCRIPTURE READING

James 1:22-25

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.”

PRAYER

Our protection and benefits in this world are from God.

He is our shield, and our protector, our mighty fortress.

He has given believers the ability to use His spiritual armor to protect ourselves and our families.

But to be able to use this protection, we must have the foundation of Christ and His teachings. Our lives MUST be founded on the rock, Jesus Christ.

To hold up our protection so it works to the fullest, we must have pillars upon this foundation in our lives.

The first pillar we must have is our thinking pillar.

Our thoughts and thinking must be filtered so we can avoid the corruption and pollution of worldly thinking.

Thinking on what is holy and pure, meditating on God’s word.

As we study and fill our minds with God’s word, He writes His word upon our hearts and it begins to fill our hearts like a file cabinet, filled with goodness at our immediate grasp. This next pillar, our believing pillar, is our heart. This pillar is a direct RESULT of the first pillars operation.

As we continue to read God’s word He fills us with it and with His Holy Spirit which in turn over flows from us.

This overflow becomes evident first in our speech.

This overflow is the Holy Spirit flowing like a river of life from us and into this world through us.

And as a RESULT we come to the next pillar, our confession or speaking.

Speaking goodness and the word of God, through our confessions, speaking those things as if they were and believing in them, we begin to see miracles in our lives and those we pray for.

This brings us to the last of our 4 pillars, the Acting Pillar.

Unfortunately, in the world of Christianity, what you see is not always what you get.

We read in James a moment ago, that we must be DOERS of the word and not just hearers.

Otherwise we are deceiving ourselves.

A child can HEAR his parents tell him to do something, but if that child does not DO IT, he is disobeying his parents.

Living in disobedience ties God’s hands in our lives.

The child must not only HEAR what the parents are saying, but DO what they are telling him.

How many of us would last more than a day at work if we heard instruction from our boss, but didn’t follow them?

Could you sit back comfortably relaxed and say, “I heard what he said!”

Or with much confidence say, “every week I hear what my boss says!”

Would you feel secure in your job because you can say, “I read the instructions!”

Would it please your boss if you could recite those instructions to others while you sat there, not doing them yourself?

Or better yet, “I hear what the instruction book says once a week.” Yet, you do not move to put those instructions into actions.

This is Christian mentality today.

“I know what God wants”, but you don’t do it.

“I read my Bible everyday”, but you don’t live it.

“I tell people all the time what they are doing wrong according to God’s Holy Word”, what about what you’re doing wrong according to God’s Holy Word?

Telling others, but not doing yourself. You just defined a hypocrite.

God’s Word was designed by God to change YOUR life, not become a weapon for you to hurl at everyone you have a disagreement with.

The Word of God is not a cache of ammunition to pull out every time you want to prove YOUR point.

The Word is the truth, and when you read you must read “Seeking the truth”, and Jesus promises you will find.

That is, if you are seeking the truth.

These instructions in the Bible were written for YOU, not everyone else.

Stop looking at everyone else’s splinters and start dealing with the plank in your own eye! Or entire barn as the case may be.

You can tell everyone how many times you’ve read the Bible, you could memorize it if you want from cover to cover!

You don’t impress God.

You may be able to impress men with your feats of hay and straw, but in the end, all of that will be burned away before the judgment seat of Christ.

Even the devil has the word of God memorized, do you still think just knowing God’s word does you any good?

What does Jesus say about it?

Matthew 7:24-27

24Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Did you hear what it said in verse 24?

Hear Jesus’ Words and put them into practice.

Practice…Practice does not make perfect.

Don’t’ believe me; ask any Doctor who has a practice.

I remember when I was first in college, and I was about 20, and I got sick and had to go to the doctor.

As I was walking up to the door I saw that it said Dr. so and so “Practice”.

I thought, “Man, I don’t want the guy that’s still practicing, I want the guy that does it right!”

You know why they call it a practice?

Because after all the years in college, and medical school, and all the hands on training, and work in the hospitals, all the Doctors have discovered one thing, not how much they know, but how little we know about the human body and it’s workings.

Sure, we have learned a lot over the centuries, but the doctors and all their practice will never make them perfect.

It is the same with God’s Word.

No matter how much we study it, there is always more to learn.

And no on is an expert at it.

Because the key to knowing the Word of God is also Doing it, and none of us are capable of doing it perfect!

Therefore, Christianity is a learning experience that never ends.

We are told in the scriptures that “Christ will continue a good work in us until the day He returns.”

We should continually be growing because of the Word of God.

We should be practicing what it says to do daily, and as we practice, we get better at it.

Though we will never be perfect, we do still grow.

And as we grow, we are to help those around us grow, not attack them and destroy them for not being perfect, but reach out to them, and build them up so that they to can move forward in their relationship with Christ.

God did not give us His Holy Word as a weapon against each other, remember Ephesians 6:12-18, we battle not against flesh and blood, the real battle is spiritual, but He gave us the Word to be used as a tool to edify and build each other up!

We must not only hear God’s word, but we must do God’s word.

There are a lot of fake Christians today.

Plastic.

They look or sound like the real thing, but when put to the test they are but tares among the wheat. Goats among the lambs.

I think we have all had the experience of knowing the guy who walks into the family reunion or other gathering, with his bible in the air in his right hand, a 1 ½ pound cross around his neck hanging to his belt buckle for all to see, quoting scripture of every kind, and yet, you know him.

You know about the time last year when he lied on his taxes to save money.

You were there when he told the insurance company there were more items destroyed in the garage fire than were actually in there.

You know about the time he swindled and elderly couple out of money with a dishonest proposition.

You know about the language he uses when he’s mad at someone.

We all have these types of people in our families, or distant relatives.

What is wrong with the picture?

They scream “I’m a Christian” when they come into a room because they want you to see them for what they say, not what they are doing.

It’s like the wizard of oz, there’s the big infamous OZ in his might and glory for all to behold, while all the time, it’s really a small insignificant man hiding behind a curtain orchestrating a lie to hide his true identity.

These people have heard God’s word, but they don’t do it.

They know what they are supposed to do, but they do what they WANT to do.

They put themselves BEFORE the word of God.

They exalt themselves and what they want above God’s word.

They know what is right and good, but they don’t choose it.

The scriptures tell us to cast down ALL imaginations, or thoughts, that exalt themselves against the Lord.

Anything that exalts itself against the word of God is SIN and will lead to destruction.

Anyone who puts even themselves or what they want above God’s word is doing the same thing the devil did that got him kicked out of heaven!

He wanted HIS word to be law.

He wanted what he wanted instead of what God wanted.

These fake Christians are nothing new.

They have been around since the 1st Century.

In fact, they are often referred to as carnal because they know the truth and word of God, but don’t do it. Their flesh rules them.

A lot of Pagans who adopted Christianity didn’t actually convert during the 1st century; instead they added the one true God to their long list of other God’s they worshipped.

But this isn’t how God works.

“You shall have NO other God’s before me!” That’s the first command.

Do you think you can impress God just because you can deceive man?

On the Day of Judgment when you stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, you will stand naked before the creator.

And you will be like a child, and without excuse, give an account for every idle word in which you spoke.

Do you truly believe you can stand before the Father in heaven and cry out any defense for your actions and behavior while you were here?

The scriptures say, “None will be with excuse on that day!”

The Day of Judgment is not a trial…it is a sentence.

The trial is NOW, and here!

And Jesus Christ is our mediator, and the Holy Spirit is our power and gives us the fruits, and gifts and armor of God and authority on earth!

But if we do not call on the name of the Lord, we will not be saved.

And all of our loud words and flamboyant behavior will not cover up the deception in our hearts.

Remember our scripture reading today;

James 1:22

“22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves”

Are you deceiving yourselves today because you know the Word, but do not do it?

Plastic Christians cannot fool God.

The scriptures say that “Even all of Sheol is bare before Him.”

Even the place of the departed spirits is bare before the eyes of God.

Could the Sadducees and Pharisees impress God?

They tried.

Jesus called them the synagogue of Satan, a brood of vipers, an evil generation.

These were the so called “Men of God” in that day!

Just as today we have so called “Men of God.”

Men, who claim the Word and Name of our precious Lord and Savior yet have sinful relationships, do illegal drugs, embezzle millions of God’s tithes and offerings.

They have only deceived themselves, for they know the Word, but do not do it.

Do you know what you’re doing when you try to impress God?

When you try to impress someone, whether it is God or another person, you think you are something, and you want them to think you are something as well.

That’s PRIDE.

We are nothing without God, and until we recognize that within ourselves and humble ourselves to the Lord, He has no use for us.

God seeks the humble, not the prideful.

God works through our humility, not our pride.

We must be DOERS of the word, not just hearers.

2 Chronicles 7:13 – 15

13 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

We must be humble, prayerful, seeking God, and repent.

Men, God has placed us, you, as the spiritual head of the house.

We need to start realizing the severity and weight of our responsibilities.

Sin came into this world by one man, Adam.

If you’re saying, “Wait! Eve was beguiled by the devil, she ate the apple first, she took it to Adam and she got him to eat it too! What about Eve!”

Romans 5:12

12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–“

Sin entered through ONE MAN.

Why is the fall on Adam and not Eve?

Because, God placed Adam as the spiritual head not Eve.

Genesis 2:15 – 18

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

God gave His Word, His instruction; His command to Adam BEFORE EVE WAS CREATED!!!!

It was Adams Spiritual responsibility that his household did not sin against God.

God commanded or gave the word to Adam. He was placed as the spiritual head. The command was not given to Eve.

This is why the devil used that to trick Eve;

Genesis 3:1

“Did God really say you could not eat of this tree?”

Adam failed as a spiritual head because he did not lead Eve in the word of God.

He wasn’t a DOER of God’s word himself, obviously he proved that when he ate of the fruit.

So why would his family be doers?

We as men are to lead our families through EXAMPLE by being DOERS of the word of God.

Do you realize what it does to your wives and children when you play Christian on Sunday, but you’re a carnal man the other 6 days of the week?

How does your family see you?

As the man you are for one hour every Sunday morning or the man you are for the other 167 hours that week?

Which do you think leaves the bigger impression on them?

Or rather, which man are you?

Which man are you?

You act like the world for 167 hours but like Christ for 1.

And when you act one way in front of the church, and another at home, what values are you teaching your family?

We are told in the word you can’t serve two masters.

This carnal Christian behavior has to end.

You can’t go on in your life PLAYING church for one hour each week.

Well, you can.

But you are not impressing God with your act, and though you may fool man, and the people around you, you are not fooling God, or the people who know you.

As the scripture says, you are only deceiving yourself.

Revelation 3:15 – 17

“15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

We are to be “useful” to God.

Lukewarm means, you know the Lord and His ways, but you are not DOERS of His word.

Let us pray that we become doers of God’s Word, and put those Words into practice.

Let us pray that God finds us “useful”, and continues His good work in us!

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