Sunday, August 10, 2008

Serving the Lord

The Great Commission

Part 3 – Serving the Lord

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

August 10th – Lynnette Higgins

August 17th – Walker Spriggs

August 24th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

August 31st – Grace Steadman

September 7th – Lori Ulman

WHERE WE ARE AT

The Great Commission – Restoring the Lord’s Ministry

Recognizing where we are with the Lord

INTRODUCTION

Over the next few weeks we are going to talk about our relationship with the Lord.

And how we want to do things God’s way, not our own.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

And it’s important that we remember…

2 Timothy 2:5

Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.

We need to understand that if we want the rewards of being followers of Christ that the Bible speaks of, then we have to play by the Bibles rules.

So many times people try to lay claim to the benefits, rewards, and blessings of God, without considering their whether or not they are living by God’s standards, or as 2 Timothy states, playing by the rules.

As Paul said, you can not enter a race, do it your way, and expect to receive the victor’s crown.

But so often I hear people trying to claim God’s blessings while they are living in opposition to the Kingdom.

With God, the ends do not justify the means.

We can only live 1 of two ways…in love as we are commanded, or in selfishness.

We are instructed to live in love…Loving the Lord with all of our heart, mind, body and soul.

Loving our neighbor (the unsaved) as ourselves.

And loving our brother (the saved), the scriptures say …for anyone who says he loves God, yet hates his brother is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

You can claim you live in love all you want, but your actions towards God, your actions towards those who are unsaved, and your actions towards fellow believers will show whether you are living in love, or selfishness.

We MUST live in love.

Or we are living in selfishness.

Thinking only about our wants, our needs, our desires.

Putting others last, and ourselves first.

That is exalting (or lifting yourself higher) than others…

If you exalt (or lift) yourself higher than others, the scriptures say you will be humbled, because exalting yourself is selfish and prideful.

But if you humble yourself, putting others before yourself and live in love as God commands, HE will lift you up.

If you are experiencing hard times in your life, if things seem to be going wrong for you or it seems as though your prayers are not being heard by God, it may be because you have an issue with lifting yourself up.

It may be because you are looking down on the lost, your neighbor.

It may be because you have hate towards your brother.

It may be because you are in a state of selfishness…with no love towards others.

Jesus said, “What you DO to the least of these, you do unto me…”

Think hard about that the next time you open your mouth about another person.

Whether they are unsaved, or belong to the kingdom…how you treat them, is exactly how you are treating the Lord.

{my experience with another Pastor living with hate}

Romans 12:14

Bless them that curse you. Bless and not curse.

Romans 12:17

Do not repay evil for evil.

Romans 12:21

Be not overcome with evil, but overcome with good.

When all we can think about is ‘payback’, or ‘someone getting what they deserve’, we are living in selfishness.

We are putting our desires above the Lord’s desires.

For it is the Lord’s desire that we love.

When we want anything other than the Lord’s desire, we have not crucified our flesh, but are living and walking in it.

When we are supposed to be walking in the Spirit…with a desire to serve our Lord, and ‘DO’ His commands, instead of following our flesh and the sinful desires of it.

For our flesh IS NOT REDEEMED, but remains sinful, it is only our soul that has been redeemed, and it is our soul that must choose this day whom it will serve.

Our flesh or God’s Spirit which dwells within us.

For you can not serve two masters.

This is why Paul said, “I crucify my flesh DAILY”

Daily we must choose to serve the Lord.

Today we are going to look at our relationship with the Lord;

Because we are each a PART of the Body of Christ and our individual relationship with the Lord affects us as a congregation.

This is why it is important for us to judge those in our congregation claiming to be followers of Christ.

This congregation and its health is the responsibility God has given to us.

In the scriptures, the Lord never instructed the church in Ephesus to watch over and correct the church in Sardis

For each congregation is only responsible for their immediate congregation.

There are a few steps you need to take for you to ensure you are in a proper standing with the Lord, and that you are living in Love and not Selfishness.

  1. Recognizing where you are at in your relationship with Christ
    • Do you have a relationship?

How do you know you are born again, or in a relationship with Christ?

Romans 10:9-10

9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

II Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Matthew 10:32

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.

Matthew 10:38-39

38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Are you in relationship with Christ?

Do you belong to the Lord?

Are you “saved”?

Galatians 5:24-25

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature (your flesh) with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Ask yourself, and you will know…

Have you confessed Jesus Christ with your mouth and believed in your heart?

Have you become a new creature? Or are you living the same life you lived before Christ? If there has not been a change, you need to be asking myself some serious questions.

Do you acknowledge Christ to other people? Or in other words, witness?

You MUST if you expect Christ to confess you before the Father on Judgment Day!

Finally, who are you living for right now in your life?

Are you living in love following the spirit, or are you living in selfishness following your sinful flesh?

Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

Matthew 10:38-39

38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

CONCLUSION

Who are you living for?

Your wants and desires or Christ’s?

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