Obedience

SERMON LEFTOVERS 7.18.16

‘God is with us, are we with Him?’

John 14:15-24

Jesus Farewell Discourse (John 13-16) is preparing his followers for his departure and their continued service

 

God is with us in his Trinitarian nature

Jesus has already given them implications of his being One with the Father

To trust Jesus is to trust the One who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (v6)

He is the fullness and the revealing of the Father (v9)

Throughout chapter 14, Jesus has given reasons why God being with them brings hope and confidence: 

In chapters 14-16, Jesus repeatedly adds that the Holy Spirit will also be with them

Jesus will send “another Helper”. The Greek word for ‘helper’ means “to come alongside”

The Holy Spirit comes alongside to fulfill Jesus’ work in us and through us

Throughout this discourse, Jesus keeps coming back to the Holy Spirit as the “Helper”

He wants to magnify this great reality about God with us

By nature, the Holy Spirit is all God is; and by inclination he is all God intends (Romans 8:9-11)

Jesus also frequently mentions the Holy Spirit in his post-resurrection appearances

When Jesus presents our mission, he adds that the Holy Spirit will enable us (Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 24:46-49, John 20:21-22 & Acts 1:8)

Jesus says, the Spirit who is already with you, will be forever “in” you

The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a significant difference between Old and New Testament believers

Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit simply help us without indwelling us, as he did in the Old Testament,?

The answer is that God’s great purpose in salvation is to bring us into communion with the Triune God (v20)

The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Truth”

Jesus combines these titles three times in this Farewell Discourse

The help brought by the Holy Spirit is not just empowering, it is full truth

We need this because Satan who is called the ‘ruler of this world’ in v30, is also called ‘the Father of Lies’ in John 8:44

Living with a Trinitarian perspective is not theological minutia

This is God’s nature; as a Triune being, he is a relational and communicative person

What a wondrous reality! God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are committed to us

 

What does it mean for us to be with God?

We are to be as fully committed to God as he is to us

In the middle of assuring the disciples that he would be with them, Jesus says our love for God is shown by obedience (vs 15, 21, 23 & 24)

Why bring that up here?  It is a reminder that God is with us, so we can be with him

God saves us into a relationship; that relationship requires obedience

Disobedience is sin, and sin ‘separates us’ from God

Obedience doesn’t maintain our salvation; it verifies and honors our salvation

God does not leave us as “orphans” (v18), so we should not abandon him

An orphan is without parental care; God will never leave or neglect his covenant responsibilities to us

Jesus repeats the connection between love and obedience four times – this is serious!

We don’t have the freedom to define how we love Jesus. Some Christians minimize biblical teaching by saying “I just love Jesus”

But love is more than feelings; the Bible defines love by its actions

Action Jesus gives is to obey God’s word; these are the only actions we have to give God

Jesus calls us to be obedient as he was 

1.  Compartmentalized obedience is disobedience 

2.  Half-hearted obedience is disobedience

3.  Common disobedience, doesn’t provide any cover

4.  So called “justified” disobedience (when we think we have been mistreated or we deserve a break) is just plain ole disobedience

5.  Oblivious disobedience is still disobedience

God gave us his word and he speaks through it, so we are responsible to know what’s in it

We are also responsible to examine our hearts, because not all sin is easy for us to see   

Jesus moves in only one direction – which is to serve the Father’s eternal purpose

If we live ignoring or disobeying where Jesus is going, we are not with him

But if follow this path, even in weakness the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are with us

AN AMAZING TESTIMONY OF FAITHFULNESS

51KFqwRceDL

My book suggestion this month is a change of pace. Usually I am suggesting a title on Christian living; this month’s recommendation is biographical.

Franz Hasel, was a 40-year-old deeply committed Christian. The odd twist was that he was also a German soldier during World War Two.

A Thousand Shall Fall by Susi Hasel Mundy (his daughter) shares his truly amazing story.

There are many stunning points in this fascinating and encouraging true story of standing for Christ when evil surrounds you.

Franz Hasel not only never killed anyone, his side arm was a fake carved out of wood (he was in an engineering company, so he was not involved in shooting at enemy soldiers).

He only missed celebrating one Sabbath Day (he was an Adventist) during the entire war.

Since his company move ahead of the rest to work on bridges, he was able to warn Jews to hide.

Franz was hated, mocked and persecuted by other German soldiers and officers, yet God protected him throughout the war.

Franz served on the Eastern Front is areas like Stalingrad, so he experienced horrifying amounts of bloodshed, brutality and deprivation. However, what stands out most is the warmth of his love for God.

“A Thousand Shall Fall” will appeal to those interested in biographies, history, WWII, Christian living or inspiration!

 

WHAT KIND OF LOVE IS ENOUGH?

by Adam Ford:  Adam4d.com

2015-06-23-love-jesus12015-06-23-love-jesus22015-06-23-love-jesus32015-06-23-love-jesus42015-06-23-love-jesus52015-06-23-love-jesus62015-06-23-love-jesus72015-06-23-love-jesus8

RULE FOLLOWER or GOD LOVER?

stay in love with God

by Debbie Huber

I love to bake. 

Baking is a little more of an exact science than is cooking a main course. With baking, it is important to follow the recipe fairly specifically.

I like recipes that are clear and give lots of specific information so the finished product will look just like the picture on the internet or in the cookbook. It makes the people to whom I serve it happy as well!

I can be a recipe or rule follower when it comes to obedience to God as well. It is so much easier to read “10 specific steps to a godly marriage” and then check it off my list. Won’t it look like the “picture-perfect” marriage then?

But why should I obey God through His word?  Is it just to do the right thing to get the proper end product?  Is it to make others around me happy and have them see me as responsible and doing what is right?

It is good to be responsible and it is good to do what is right, but my motivation should not be for myself. I want to obey God because I love Him and trust Him.

The Bible teaches that genuine love in my heart for God is generated by an awareness of His love for me. And nowhere is the love of God revealed more clearly than in the Gospel.

The more I am captured by God’s amazing love toward me; my heart increasingly burns to do His will and thrives on it.

Why should I submit to the headship of my husband?  Why should I respect Him?  Because I love and trust God.

The more we read and know the glory of God, (His beauty and His greatness), the more satisfied we will be in God alone.  And obeying Him and following Him will be irresistible. 

SERMON LEFTOVERS 10.29.12

Last week I had to fill in to preach at short notice, so I had not prepared my Sermon Leftovers. Hopefully they are still good a week late!

Who do we serve?

“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” Luke 16:13

God wants to have our undivided heart

Everything belongs to God and is meant to glorify and serve 

When we fail to see ourselves as servants for God, we fail to see His worthiness

God is far more worthy than anything else we can serve

We like worthy causes because we feel they give our life value

Only in serving God’s agenda do we find the most worthy cause, because it is eternal

In Luke 16, money is the ‘other Master’ Jesus warns against

Jesus focuses on money because it represents our agenda. Money is the engine for becoming our own master. The danger of money is how it’s so easy to idolize.

We often look to money to fill God’s role

We look to money to have a sense of security and peace

How can we know the place money has in our heart?

  • Our decision making – where does money fit in compared with God’s word
  • Our generosity: Randy Alcorn wrote, “Giving is the antidote for materialism”

We may tell ourselves that we are balancing God and other stuff

But that in itself is a compromise, because it implies that God has “a” place in our life, when He wants all our life!

Luke 16 tells us there has to be a distinct order of place

We do need balance, but it is a balance under God, not with Him

This means God rules over every interest we have

Let nothing be neutral, being God’s servant is all encompassing

Where we don’t make God master we will be the master

A voice whispers it’s not necessary go overboard with God, but our lives need God to be fully Lord

Many of us are passionate about the coming election because it chooses a leader over us, are we this passionate about who is Lord over us?

Having a divided heart has consequences

1. We dishonor God by minimizing His value

Rather than the all glorious God, he is God with some glory. God becomes an option for us; He is in the mix of life

What does your life say to God?

The central principle of serving God above all, is His worthiness

Worship has irreplaceable importance in making God highest

2.  We try to use God to “serve” our agenda

We begin to see God’s role in our life to be that of a genie

Like the centurion Jesus praises in Matthew 8, do we expect Jesus to take the role of Lord, and do we expect ourselves to be His servant?

We need to change how we define success, to be what honors God

If we start each day this way, then serving Him will be a priority

If we examine what we do this way, our decisions will honor Him

3. We resent God as intrusive in our life

Living for our wants cannot co-exist with full obedience to God

Are we bothered by reminders to be more devoted to God?

A warning sign is when we consider full obedience to be bit fanatical

If Jesus is our master we will “despise” other masters who seek this role

4. The end result will be wasted life (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

Jesus is the only master that will endure in eternity, so only what serves him now will last 

A well lived life serves God in the smallest things (Luke 16:10)

Being faithful in little things demonstrates that He is truly Lord of all!

How do you view God’s role in “very little” things?

An encouragement to us is that this is the pathway to being faithful in “very much”

If God is not Lord, our efforts will serve what opposes God

Luke16 says we cannot serve two masters, because they have different wills

In areas of life where God is not our Lord, another agenda is leading us

Where is God less than first in your life?

SERMON LEFTOVERS 10.15.12

Is God Worthy of Our Obedience?     II Kings 5:1-15

 Naaman who had leprosy came to the prophet Elisha for healing. When Elisha sent a messenger instructing Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan, the proud man left in anger and belittled the prophet’s instructions. When a servant of Naaman urged him to do what Elisha said, he was healed.

We have a lot in common with Naaman

Naaman had a deeply felt need

Naaman was given clear instructions which he could fulfill

Naaman’s unwillingness to obey would have left him without hope

Why do people in need fail to obey God’s Word?

1.  We fail to obey God when our expectations are not met

v11 Naaman had expectations for how God’s prophet should have helped him

Expectations are one of the biggest reasons for conflict in relationships

  • Our expectations hold up what we want others to do for us
  • Our expectations minimize the perspective of the other person

These attitudes carry over to our relationship with God

Naaman’s expectations started with what he “thought”  v11

It’s amazing that we make conclusions about what God should do!

What experience do we have with being God?

  • He is almighty and eternal, which are concepts we cannot grasp
  • He is always perfect, and we know failure “like the back of our hand”

How does the greatness of God affect our expectations?   

Do we expect Christ to be Lord?

Do we expect our role to be that of worshiper and servant?

2.  We fail to obey God’s Word when we do not find it compelling

Naaman could not see how Elisha’s instructions would do any good

The eternal destiny of all creation will be compelled by God’s Word, yet we vacillate about obeying it

How many times have we heard the importance of consistent prayer and bible reading; yet are we compelled to make this our habit?

How compelled are we to act upon the clear biblical calls for us personally to “make disciples”, or to care for “one another”?

We miss so much by failing to fully follow God’s Word

We cannot get anywhere, when we only go half way

  • Do you wonder why fears and sins dominate your life: do you feed on God’s word?
  • Do you wonder why your family life is filled with tensions: is your home biblically directed?
  • Do you wonder why your life feels empty: is your agenda based on God’s word or yours?

Naaman eventually found out the fruit of obedience is very compelling

3.  We fail to obey God when we think we see better alternatives

Naaman thought there were “better waters” to cleanse in, in his country

From commercials to political campaigns, we are bombarded by promises

Yet, the consistency of human failure should make us wary of them all

While the faithfulness of the gospel, should makes us confident in Christ

Many people think the gospel is too simplistic. They are more impressed with their own efforts and sophistication

Gospel is simple truths, but Christ death which paid for sin and resurrection which promises life – are far from simplistic

Christian, does the old adage ‘trust and obey’ seem too simplistic?

God’s plan that saved you forever, will sustain you through all things

God’s Word is all one plan, we cannot pick and choose what we will follow

What is the result of trusting and obeying God’s Word?

Obedience made Naaman clean and led him to know God is real

These are things God has done for all who follow Him

The Bible repeatedly tells us those who trust in God “will not be put to shame”

It was Naaman’s “servants” who had the right perspective

Servants are trained in the perspective of listening and obeying

Obedience is to be based on God’s decision making, not ours

The greatness of God, should make obedience to all He says, the obvious choice

What level of obedience does God deserve?  And what does He get?