ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

"Where Your Experience In Christ, Makes You A Member"

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DECEMBER 5, 2004

DEAD DUCKS DON’T FLUTTER

 SCRIPTURE READING: ROMANS 7:14-25

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Romans 7:24-25  

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.  

INTRO:  Many years ago, a wealthy man went duck hunting with a hired hand named Sam. They took a horse and carriage, and along the way a rim came off one of the wheels. As Sam hammered it back on, he accidentally hit his finger. Instantly he let go with some bad words. He quickly fell to his knees, asking God's forgiveness. "Lord, it's so difficult at times to live the Christian life," he prayed.

   "Sam," said the man, "I know you're a Christian, but tell me why you struggle so. I'm an atheist, and I don't have problems like that."

   Sam didn't know what to say. Just then two ducks flew overhead. The man raised his gun and two shots rang out. "Leave the dead one and go after that wounded bird!" he shouted. Sam pointed at the duck that was fluttering desperately to escape and said, "I've got an answer for you now, Boss. You said that my Christianity isn't any good because I have to struggle so. Well, I'm the wounded duck, and I struggle to get away from the devil. But Boss, you're the dead duck!"  

   One of Satan’s favorite tricks is to discourage us when we fail in our relationship with God. 

   He seeks to convince us that our relationship with God has failed because we have sinned. 

   Those who sinned but fail to feel remorse are like the dead duck, those who sin and feel remorse but don’t know where to turn are like the fluttering duck. 

   The Bible has many characters that failed in the relationship with God but kept on going in spite of these failures. 

  1. Abraham
  2. Jacob
  3. David

   The one I have chosen is one of my favorite Bible characters, I often feel like I am much like him.  Not in his victories but rather in his failures. 

I.  PETER: 

NOTE: Often when we consider godly men and women we only think of them in their moments of triumphs and fail to consider their failures. 

  1. His brother Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus.

JOHN 1:40-42 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.  And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.  

  1. Jesus called Peter.

Matthew 4:18-20 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.  

  1. Peter loans his fishing boat to Jesus.

Luke 5:3-11 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.  

  1. Peter was one of the inner three.

v      The raising of Jairus’ daughter.  MARK 5:21-43 (37

And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.  

v      On the Mount of Transfiguration.  MATTHEW 17:1-12 (1

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  

v      In the Garden of Gethsemane.  MATTHEW 26:36-36 (37

   And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  

  1. He was very impulsive. 

v      He walked on the water.  MATTHEW 14:22-33

v      He cut the servant of the High Priest’s ear off.  JOHN 18:10

v      He swam to the shore to see Jesus.  JOHN 21:7 

  1. At times he said the right things.

MATTHEW 16:16-17 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  

JOHN 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  

  1. Other times he said the wrong things.

Matthew 16:21-23 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.   But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.  

Matthew 17:4-5 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  

  1. He denied Jesus.  MATTHEW 26:69-74

Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

NOTE:  He was forgiven. 

Mark 16:6-7 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  

  1. He preached the great sermon on the Day of Pentecost. 

       ACTS 2  (3,000 souls were saved) 

  1. God used him for miracles of healing.  ACTS 3:1-10 (6-7)

Acts 3:6-7 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and anklebones received strength.  

ACTS 5:15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.  

v      The healing of Aeneas.  ACTS 9:32-35

v      The raising of Dorcas.  ACTS 9:36-43 

  1. Paul withstood him for wavering.

Galatians 2:11-12 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.  

  1. He willing suffered for Jesus.

v      Imprison at least three times.  ACTS 4:1-22; ACTS 5:17-41; ACTS 12:1-19

v      Beaten at least once.  ACTS 5:40   

  1. He died a martyr’s death.

II.  GOD KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS OUR WEAKNESS.

 Psalm 103:13-14 (NLT) The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust.

 PSALM 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

PROVERBS 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.  

MICAH 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.  

III.  GOD WILL ALWAYS FORGIVE A REPENTANT HEART. 

1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

Psalm 130:1-4 A Song of degrees.

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.  Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.  If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

CONCLUSION: Struggling is one evidence of God's work in our lives. Forgiveness of sin is available so don't despair. Remember, dead ducks don't flutter. —Dennis De Haan

 Struggle, yes, it's part of living,
Nothing's gained on beds of ease;
But when our heart is set on Jesus,
Struggle drives us to our knees.

—D. De Haan

 

DECEMBER 12, 2004

“WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF”?

 SCRIPTURE READING: MARK 5:35-43 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: MARK 5:36 

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.  

INTRO: A young woman was waiting for a bus in a crime-ridden area when a rookie policeman approached her and asked, "Do you want me to wait with you?" "That's not necessary," she replied. "I'm not afraid." "Well, I am," he grinned. "Would you mind waiting with me?"

Like that policeman, we as Christians must be willing to admit that sometimes we become fearful—about dying, about getting cancer, about losing our mind, about losing our job, about our children getting in trouble, about getting old. We don't like to confess it, so we may ignore, deny, or repress those fears. But to overcome our fear, we must first acknowledge it.

   All of us have experienced fear at one time or another. 

   There are those who live in constant fear. 

   The Bible tells us the fear has torment.   

I JOHN 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  

   Whenever we come face to face with something that we fear, we experience great discomfort. 

   We may begin to: 

v      Sweat

v      Shake

v      Hyperventilate

v      Our minds begin to run wild negative thoughts. 

   If the fear is strong enough, we may either freeze or turn and run. 

   What are some of the things that cause fear? 

v      Uncertainty

v      Lack of control

v      Pressure

v      Negative expectation

v      Danger

v      Guilt

v      Unbelief or lack of trust 

I.  JARIUS MUST HAVE RUN THE WHOLE GAUNTLET. 

   A.  UNCERTAINTY.  

v      Not knowing what was going to happen to his daughter.

v      Not knowing how the other rulers of the Synagogue would react by his going to Jesus.

v      How Jesus would react by him coming to Him. 

   B.  LACK OF CONTROL. 

v      There was nothing he could do for his daughter.

v      The medical people could do nothing. 

   C.  PRESSURE. 

v      The pressure of the need.

v      The pressure of family & friends.

v      Failure to meet the need and the expectations of others. 

   D.  NEGATIVE EXPECTATIONS. 

v      She would die before he could get Jesus there.

v      Jesus would be too busy to come.

v      Jesus would refuse to come because of who he was. 

   E.  DANGER. 

v      Of losing his place in the Synagogue.

v      Of Jesus not coming soon enough.

v      Of his daughter dying while he was gone. 

   F.  GUILT. 

v      Of waiting too long to come to Jesus. 

   G.  UNBELIEF OR LACK OF TRUST. 

v      It was too late; all his fears had come true. 

Mark 5:35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

II.  WHAT TO DO WHEN WE ARE AFRAID. 

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  

NOTE:  Christians do not need to live in fear. 

   What do you do when you are faced with fear? 

v      Some people run from their fears.

v      Some people hide from their fears.

v      Some people seek to deny their fears.

v      Some seek to face their fears alone. 

Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.  

   Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe”. 

   Jesus tells us that we overcome our fears by our faith. 

   What is it that we must believe to overcome our fears? 

   A.  BELIEVE IN THE LOVE OF GOD. 

JEREMIAH 31:3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  

ROMANS 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  

1 JOHN 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  

   B.  BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF GOD. 

JOB 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.  

PSALM 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.  

ISAIAH 43:13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?  

MATTHEW 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

   C.  BELIEVE IN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD. 

1 Chronicles 29:12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.  

Jeremiah 27:4-5 And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.  

NOTE: We must believe that God is in control of all things and that nothing can come against us that He has not allowed and if He has allowed it, it will be turn into something good. 

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  

   D.  BELIEVE IN THE MERCY AND GRACE OF GOD. 

NOTE: God does not meet our needs because we are someone special nor does He deny our needs because we are unworthy. 

LAMENTATIONS 3:22-23 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  

Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.  

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Afraid To Be Afraid: RBC Ministries, OUR DAILY BREAD; Grand Rapids, MI 49501-2222, December 9, 2004

OUR DAILY BREAD: Dec. 1, 2004; RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-2222

Ibid.

 

DECEMBER 19, 2004

“ARE YOU SEEKING HIM?” 

SCRIPTURE READING: MATTHEW 2:1-12 

SCRIPTURE TEST: MATTHEW 2:2 

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?  For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.  

INTO: This is the most important question, “Are you seeking Him and if so, for what purpose.” 

   Christmas to the vast majority has become a time of partying and celebration without a thought of whose birth we are honoring. 

   Most people are more concern in finding what makes them feel good than finding God. 

I.  ARE YOU SEEKING HIM? 

NOTE:  Have you ever stop to think that the vast majority of those involved in the Christmas story, never took the time to seek the Christ Child. 

   There is two times within the Western world that everyone’s thoughts should turn to Jesus:  Christmas and Easter. 

   Satan has replaced the Christ Child with Santa Claus and our Risen Savior with the Easter Bunny. 

"Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God." 

   A.  THERE ARE THOSE SEEKING THE PERFECT GIFT. 

NOTE: The perfect gift was given some 2,000 years ago. 

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:  

JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

   Many go into heavy debt, buying some expensive gift that will soon be discarded for something else. 

   How often have we spent a great deal of money on a gift for our kids, only to see them ignore the gift and play with the box? 

   B.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE SEEKING THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOXES

        AND WRAPPINGS FOR THEIR GIFTS. 

NOTE: God sent His Great Gift wrapped in humanity and clothed in rags so that all could receive Him. 

Luke 2:7, 11 & 12 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn… For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  

   C.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE SEEKING THE MOST ATTRACTIVE

         DECORATION TO HANG ON THE TREE. 

NOTE: God allowed His Gift to be hung on an ugly cross. 

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  

   D.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE SEEKING FOR THE FINEST FOOD TO

         SERVE. 

NOTE: God has prepared the finest banquet but most people are not interested. 

LUKE 14:15-24 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.  Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.  And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.  And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.   For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.  

Isaiah 55:1-13 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.  Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.  Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.  Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.  

   “The modern world looks at Christmas and fills it with clutter, noise, and busyness. The clutter can blind us from seeing the truth, the noise can keep us from hearing the truth, and the pace can keep us from finding the truth. God’s gift came in such a simple way, in such a quiet manner, and in such a lowly place. The crowds and busyness were at the inn at Bethlehem, not at the stable where Christ was born. Who would look there for anything important to happen?

   At the manger there were no flashing lights to get the crowd’s attention, no sale signs to attract the shoppers, and no bands to stir up some passersby’s excitement. But, out of town, on a peaceful hillside, the heavens opened. A few humble shepherds, with hearts that were ready to listen, heard the most remarkable message that had ever been spoken.

   I believe God hasn’t changed. Today He still is drawing us back to the quiet waters of salvation, to the lowly place of worship, to the peace of His presence, to the simplicity of the cross, to the beauty of His face, and to the only gift that Love could ever give...God’s only begotten Son.”

 CONCLUSION: Are you seeking God? Not seeking for God's blessings, but seeking for him? 

Roy Lessin Co-Founder, DaySpring Cards

 

Citation: Larry Crabb, Finding God; reprinted in Christianity Today (7-17-95)

 

DECEMBER 26, 2004

“NOW THAT YOU HAVE OPENED YOUR GIFT, WHAT’S NEXT” 

SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN 1:1-14 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: JOHN 1:12 

   But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  

NOTE: Yesterday we opened all our gifts, what are we going to do with them? 

   Any gift that we have received is useless unless we put it to the use that the creator of the gift created it for. 

   The greatest gift we have ever received is the Gift of Jesus Christ, what have we done with this gift? 

   The gift we have received in Jesus Christ must be put to use in our lives or it is useless and can become very dangerous. 

MATTHEW 12:43-45 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.  

NOTE: Before we came to Christ our heart was the home of Satan and sin. 

   When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, Satan is forced out, but he seeks to return and reclaim old home. 

   Jesus cleanses our heart from sin but it is up to us to fill the cleansed heart with the things of God so Satan cannot return. 

   In this parable, Jesus warns us that it is not enough to ask Him to come and be our Savior, we must also ask Him to be our Lord. 

  This is where many who come to Christ make a very critical mistake. 

   They accept Jesus’ forgiveness of sin but fail to accept His commands.

   Many times they do this through ignorance, no one has told them what God expects of them. 

   They fail to replace the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit. 

Galatians 5:19-26 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.  

   “Nature abhors a vacuum” when the works of the flesh is removed from our hearts they must be replace with that which is righteous. 

   When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, there must be a change in our lives. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  

Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  

   There are three points I want to make concerning what we are expect by God to do once we have accepted the gift of Jesus Christ.

I.  WE ARE TO PRESENT OURSELVES TO GOD: 

v      A living sacrifice. 

NOTE:  We are no longer seeking to do what pleases us but rather what pleases God.

   A.  GIVE UP OUR OLD WAY OF LIFE. 

v      Places we use to go.

v      Things we use to read.

v      Things we use to watch.

v      Things we use to talk about. 

   B.  GIVE UP SOME OF OUR OLD FRIENDS. 

Ezekiel 27:26 Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.  

v      A holy life. 

NOTE: We must strive to keep ourselves as far away from sin as possible. 

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.  

v      For service. 

NOTE: God did not save us so that we could just sit around doing nothing, while there are many who have not accepted His Salvation. 

MATTHEW 20:27-28 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  

II.  WE MUST CHANGE OUR WAY OF THINKING. 

NOTE: To change our way of thinking takes a real adjustment in our lives. 

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  

PROVERBS 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:  

NOTE: Our thoughts become our actions, our actions become our habits, our habits, become our character, our character become our destiny.  

III.  WE CANNOT DO THIS ALONE, WE NEED EACH OTHER. 

Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.  

   A.  BECOME PART OF A CHURCH. 

NOTE: There are those who claim you don’t need to go to church to be a good Christian.   

   That is a lie from the pit of Hell, it just what the devil wants you to believe. 

ILL: Give an experienced logger, by himself, 100 acres of woods to cut down and give an in-experienced man a crew of men that have experience, to cut down the same amount of woods, which would be able to do the better job? 

   It is of vital importance that you become a part of a Bible believing and Bible teaching church. 

v      To receive instructions in the Word of God.

v      To receive encouragement from fellow believers.

v      To be held to accountability.

v      To be of service to others. 

   B.  DEVELOP Y0UR OWN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. 

NOTE: Being a part of a church is good but it is not enough. 

v      Bible reading.

v      Bible studying.

v      Praying.

v      Witnessing. 

CONCLUSION: The opening of the Gift of Salvation is only the beginning of our spiritual life and walk with God.   Are we willing to go all the way to spiritual maturity?

 

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