Glad to have you join us again for Faith Matters. Another week has passed us by and we are almost half way through the year 2015. This past week our youth group got together and did what is called a color clash. I didn’t know what it was until they showed me but pretty much there are several different colors of paint, each one in their own 5 gallon bucket spread out, and the team that keeps their captain with the least amount of paint on them wins. Does that sound interesting? Let me tell you what, so glad I was the photographer for the event and not covered in paint but they had a blast. I have a ton of pictures to prove it. The best part was after the paint war Pastor Dan did a short sermon and 10 teenagers gave their lives to Christ. Now that is what it is all about.
Before we go any further let us open up with prayer. God you have been so good, You have provided for the things we need, You have closed the doors to protect us from disasters, and You have opened new doors to test our faith further. God I am constantly in a state of awe at how you work. I pray that You use me and the words that I speak to touch the hearts of those that are listening. I am believing that the words spoken today are not just words, but a call to those that have questions, an answer to those that need to hear your words. Lord, please use me, speak through me, and may you receive all the glory. In your name we pray, Amen.
Recently for those of you that follow me on Twitter, you have had the chance of catching me broadcasting live video. I sent one of those videos to my sister, she watched it and she said and I quote “pretty awesome.” Now coming from little sister I was excited to hear that I did something that impressed her. I wasn’t quite prepared for the conversation that followed. Now before I quote what she sent me, let me give you some background on the video she saw so that it all makes sense. I was talking about how we see ourselves versus how God see’s us and why we don’t go up to for the altar call. Pretty much we compare ourselves to those around us and we feel we are better half than the guy next to us so no need to step forward. Now if you listened to last week I went into a deeper discussion on how we are not supposed to compare ourselves to other Christians but to Christ and try to be more like Christ. I will leave my summary there so that I can get into her questions, but if you missed last week please go back and listen to it so that you can listen to some of the treasures that I found in the word of God.
Back to my sister’s conversation and yes I did get permission to share this with everyone:
“So I don’t go for several of the reasons you mentioned: 1) My life is going pretty well so I don’t have anything that would need prayer 2) I have something that would need prayer but I’m too afraid of openly admitting that 3) I think my relationship with God is just fine. No need to work on that. – Not the best attitude since we should always be working on ourselves. Who was the prophet / disciple who continuously sought God despite being totally awesome? There was someone I’m thinking of in particular. Anyways, and, the biggest one 4) FEAR. My life is going well. I’m doing middle of the road. I long for that amazing love and relationship with God but I’m too afraid of what I’ll have to give up – my relationships, my “normal” habits that everyone does – what will I have to give up since I’m not a porn addicted alcoholic? Since I’m a normal person what will I have to give up? And once I’m there, won’t I just be a big target for the devil? What if I have to do 7 years of famine before the 7 years of plenty? Can I make it 7 years? Is it worth rocking the boat? There really are so few people who walk hand in hand with God that you see the light in them. Most of us will never get there. So isn’t being a good person enough?”
That was a lot to cover all at once so I am going to break it down piece by piece because I know that my sister is not the only person that has these types of questions. I am sure that we have all felt the same way at some point in our walk with God.
Let us start back at her first point. My life is going well so why should I go up to the altar? This really depends on your own personal definition of “well”. Is your life just “well” or could it be swell or maybe even awesome. Having been in a relationship that was spiritually dead and going through the motions before I met my wife I didn’t really know that my own life of “well” could be much better. Sometimes we get to a point in life that we think oh well that is it, I am married, we have several kids, and our marriage is just blah, nothing else for us but to get old and gray. No, no, no, God wants so much more for you, BUT you have to deny your flesh, you have to be ready to be changed from the inside, it all starts with your own heart. Once God changes your heart, then He can begin to work on the heart of your spouse. The great I AM is not okay with status quo. Let me throw a scripture at you:
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
If you are living a life and your life does not capture what is mentioned in Galatians 5:22 then we have some work to do. Don’t go out and try to change your spouse tomorrow, oh no, let God do that. First we need to begin in our own lives. A journey always begins with the first step; let’s make that step together to be closer to The Lord today.
Looking at her second point, I have something that I need prayer for but I am too afraid of openly admitting it. Isn’t that every single Christian? I am sure that if I had you write down the things you need prayer for on a piece of paper, you could easily come up with at least 10 different things. But if I do the same exercise and ask you to come forward and let me pray for you if you need prayer, you would stay in your seat.
Prayer is such a powerful tool but instead of us using it to call upon The Lord, we use it like a life preserver when we are drowning in our storms. God doesn’t say WAIT until you need my help and then call upon my name. God says cry out to me, my children, I am The Lord Your God, I am Your Provider, I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I will sustain you, I will restore you.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing,
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Luke 11:9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The problem today is that we don’t take the time to pray like we should. We have all the excuses in the world why we don’t have time for God yet we spend hours upon hours wasting time watching TV, playing games online, surfing the internet, you name it, we can create things to waste our time so that we don’t have to give God any of our time.
Point number 3 was “I think my relationship with God is just fine”. This particular statement is not one that I or any man can determine. Your relationship with God is between you and God. BUT and I do mean this is a big BUT…
Is fine good enough for you? Are you okay with just knowing about God, that Jesus died on the cross for you and being saved? Are your friends not worthy enough for you to share Jesus with them? Are we so selfish that we don’t think about the millions of other people who don’t know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord & Savior? I was there; I was completely content with my relationship with God. I had no problem just being a Sunday Christian.
You know what happened?
God set me on fire for the lost, God put a burning desire in my heart to be used by Him, God showed me the pain that others are experiencing that don’t know Him. God brought tears to my eyes every time I looked at others that were broken.
I prayed such a simple prayer and yet my life changed. I opened up my heart to The Lord and He chose me, He took me in, He showed me how to make a difference in the lives of others.
I prayed, “Lord, I want to be used by you, I want to know you, I am willing to give up everything I have right now to follow you. Please show me more, Lord don’t let anything in my life get in the way of Your purpose. If I need to be sent overseas to reach more people I am willing. Lord, I give you my heart, use me.”
After that prayer my human natural eyes began to see things differently. I lost a lot of what this world had given me, but it was to remove the things that were holding me back. If that is you, if you want to truly know God more, YOU have to be willing to stop accepting this world as your home and cry out to God for more.
To speak to her final point, FEAR. I don’t want to give up what everyone else has. Won’t I become a target for the devil?
Satan wants you to fear, he wants you to doubt your ability, he wants you to remain shy and not involved because the only way you win a war is to divide and conquer. If he can keep you away from other Christians, if he can keep you out of Church, if he can convince you that your life is “good enough” that you don’t need Church then he has already won.
If you haven’t seen the movie God’s Not Dead then please do so. I am going to paraphrase a pivotal scene from that movie. Right now if you are okay with life as it is then you have willingly walked into a jail cell. Picture yourself right now on a tour at Alcatraz. The jail cell door is open; you are living the life that you want to live. The devil is not going to attack you because he already has you where he wants you. At some point, the door will instantly slam shut and there will be no escape. Why would anyone attack if they already secretly have you trapped?
Let me key in on this phrase that I have heard countless times, “isn’t being a good person good enough?” I want you to ask yourself, is a good person all you want to be? Are you not starving to be fed the bread of life? Do you want to be content and full because the word of God has fulfilled your life? A good person is great; you can live your life, but then what? What is the real point of life? Are we just here taking up space until we die? I think not, God created us with a purpose, to be pleasing unto Him. When we realize that our life on this earth is temporary but living at the right hand of the Father is eternal, then your perspective of how you live your life and just being a good person begins to change.
Lord I thank you for allowing me to speak these words today. I know as Christians we all have questions, we all have doubts, but Lord we know that in Christ Jesus we have been found, we have been made whole, we are made new. Lord I pray for those out there living their lives to be “good enough” will catch the Holy Ghost fire and have that burning desire to seek Your face. God I thank you for lifting me out of my slumber and opening my eyes. Every day I have an unspeakable Joy and I want to share that with everyone else that I know. Lord I pray that the burning desire I have becomes contagious and spreads to everyone that listens to this message. Let them know You more. In Your name I pray, Amen.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to Faith Matters. I hope that the words spoken today speak to your heart. If you would like to contact me you can do so on Twitter @KNGMusic or via our website http://www.KNGMusicMinistry.com If this sermon made a difference in your life please download it for free from our website and share it. We want to spread the good news and in doing so always give God the glory for He is worthy. Thanks and have a blessed day in The Lord.