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April 23, 2018 11:06 am
Turn if you want your Bibles to Romans chapter 12 and will be looking mostly one verse, verse 11 but we will also be looking at verses nine through 21 so Romans 12 verse 11 is where we will spend most of our time today.
I love being a part of something you I take that task with great enthusiasm. I put my plan together and then do my best to execute that plan. I think most of us can identify that things that are in you are exciting. They hold a lot of potential, and they give us the opportunity to invest ourselves in something that's just not the same old same old.
I can remember being a part of a church plant years ago we embarked on this opportunity to reach new people with great enthusiasm.
We were meeting in a local elementary school in the gymnasium.
Each week a group of us would gather together on Saturday night. First off to play basketball in the gym and then to pray together for the services. The next day and then to set up chairs for the worship service. Everyone in this new church plant was inviting people to come to church. We were excited about reaching people for Christ Sunday four days of Bible study of fellowship and enthusiasm at the end of the day on Sunday.
We would tear everything down and put the school back in the place. Things did not seem like work because everyone had a job and everyone was doing it together about eight months into this church plant. The things began to change. We began to see the need to expand this growing ministry we needed children's ministry we needed student ministry we needed acquire a music ministry and everybody began taking more assignments, more responsibilities and these things that used to be fun like setting up chairs used to be exciting, like reaching out to new people. All of a sudden began to be work.
Have you ever been a part of a church plant. It seems to happen that way then you wears off and the excitement wanes and doing church begins to be a bit a little bit difficult to get tired.
This pattern seems to happen not only with church plants but also with meaning you projects we can start a new project with enthusiasm, but before long, is a little bit of struggle and then you begins to wear off. I found this pattern to also be true in my spiritual life.
How many times have I made a recommitment to the Lord and committed to do things right this time. I'll put my plan together daily quiet time check.
Regular prayer time.
Check attend church and attend my ALG check witness to my family and friends and coworkers.
Yep, that was on my list volunteered to serve, check even ties check I make a commitment and establish a plan to have me drawing closer to the Lord. I've done that many many times in my life. I'm gonna change my schedule and make God a priority.
Have you ever done that I will be super disciple. Have you ever done that. It seems like every time I start with this type of renewed commitment to the Lord.
I start with impressed that with with a passion to embrace those things that are needed to grow spiritually and then they fizzle out the things of this world began to choke out my renewed commitment to the Lord. Things get busy at work. Kids need rods to activities or to practices or an event. The family wants to gather together for this event or that opportunity. Friends invite you to play golf or whatever that recreational activity might be in the time that you had set aside to do those spiritual things seem to have gotten gobbled up and that renewed commitment to Jesus Christ and just a short time begins to be a big fat fail. Have you ever been there. My plan for recommitment. Many times looks like crushed New Year's resolutions things of this world seem to have a way of cooling off our passion for Jesus, don't they and everyone of us here knows that this is true.
We've been through it one time or another. There is a constant battle in my heart for my heart, let me say it again, there is a constant battle in my heart for my heart in this battle is over the things of this world and the things that God wants me to do. Jesus explained it best in Matthew 1322 when explaining the parable of the sower, he said.
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and proof it unfruitful. Let me tell you that I believe as a Christian that the greatest thing that we can give the world is a heart that is passionately in tune with the desires of God. The greatest thing that we can give the world is a heart that is passionately in tuned with the with the desires of God. The greatest thing that I can get my wife or that you can give your spouse is a heart that is passionately in tuned with the desires of God. The greatest thing that I can give my children that you can give your children or your coworkers or your neighbors or that law enforcement officer is a heart that is passionately in tuned with the heart and the desires of God. Jesus said it in Matthew 2237. He said you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. We should be on fire for the Lord does the Scripture say that we should love the Lord with just some of our heart does it say that we should love the Lord with some of our soul.
The Scripture say that we should love the Lord with some of our mind. No, not at all. Jesus said you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and the thing about that is the only way that we can love our neighbors as ourselves as Jesus continued that passage in Matthew 2522 is whenever we love God with all our hearts. You can't love other people. If you don't love God, you can't love them rightly.
Our horizontal relationship with others is only as good as our vertical relationship with the Almighty God. So let's talk for a moment about our vertical intimacy with God. What are some things that the world uses the poor on our fire for Jesus. Think about it. What are some of the things of this world that are poured on our hearts to quench our fire for Jesus is rebutted with enough courage to shout one of those out. I know it's a big auditorium. But what quenches our fire for Jesus, being tired from work, money.
Anybody else sports busyness grease possessions. Failure, disappointment, sin last. Social media and him step know some people's toes. Now, not reading your Bible, not worshiping each week. These are things that are in our life that compete with the Savior.
And guess who's winning most of the time the world. The world is winning. Making a commitment to the Lord is good. I've done it hundreds of times but somehow the world keeps pouring cold water on that hot passion for the Lord is anybody else like that here today. I want you to know that Jesus Christ salt you he bought you he died on the cross for your sin, and he longs to walk with you in an intimate, passionate relationship with him and he does not want to settle for anything less. Listen to what the Scripture says in Revelation 3 verses 14 through 16 Jesus said about the church in Laodicea.
I know your works. You are neither hot nor cold word that you word that you were either cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot or cold. I will spit you out of my mouth. This church had lost its first love. And Jesus said I want you hot for me. I want you passionate for me and that's how Jesus wants to be in each of our lives, how is your love for Jesus is a passion that would take about what Jesus doesn't want what you think about a wedding imagine me in my bride Anna down here at the front were getting married were standing here together and the pastor says are you ready to sell your valves and what if I said that Anna well I don't know. It may be kinda maybe a couple days a week. It wouldn't take long before should be heading right back up that I'll not be standing here by myself. You think that's what the Savior wants you think that the one who gave his life on Calvary's tree for you and for me deserves that he doesn't want Luke warm. He says either be all Anna hot or go and serve the world.
Cold there's no such thing as a lukewarm uncommitted comfortable Christian, you never see it in the Bible. So today the question is are you hot or are you cold for the Lord. My goal this morning is that maybe God will turn your heat and my heat in my affection for the Lord is one verse that were going to be looking at today in Romans 12 in this verse 11 and I think it's going to come up on the screen AC do not be slothful in zeal, but fervent in spirit serve the Lord. Can you say that with me.
Do not be slothful in zeal but be fervent in spirit serve the Lord. Can you say it without looking at the screen. Do not be slothful.
Okay, I think you said love it better than that. Do not be okay you got one memory verse committed today. I so that's our verse for the day.
Now I want you know that we have and I want to scrape.
I understand that memorize this whole section Romans 12 verses nine through 21 and they had an ice cream party this past Wednesday for reciting this verse now the series of verses now. No ice cream party for you today for memorizing the verse right, but I do want you to know that that God's word says do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit serve the Lord.
Now this is our main text for the day and divided into three parts, one negative and two positive. The first part is the negative where Paul says do not be slothful in zeal. Now let's look at the word slothful for just a moment whether he could see Heather some kid sitting appear close. What kind of an animal you think of the word slothful might come from any kid can tell me I have since lost. Now you know what a sloth is it is one of those slow moving animals and why think about animal slaughter. Think of the the Geico commercial insurance commercial whether playing Pictionary and one of them has on their team. The sloth and he draws very slowly align it takes and the whole time and it's supposed to be. I think a tandem bicycle and it ends up being just a line because the sloth moved so slowly. I also think of a movie I don't like to mention too many movies, but this was not too bad of any of you see the movie utopia.
You say that what any know that the sloth is this loss are the people that run the DMV. How fitting is that as an Anna mad and they move so slowly. I have nobody here works for the DMV and I'm in your line because of the trouble. The Bible tells us not to be like that. Don't be slow moving in our spiritual passion for God.
What is zeal. Do not be slothful in zeal a Christian zeal is our spiritual energy. Don't be a sloth in your spiritual inner energy in your enthusiasm for the Lord, don't be a spiritual sloth. Don't be a lazy person. Don't be's beer truly lazy in your passion for the Lord, you know how you can tell if you're a spiritual sloth is a test. Ask other people if they know that you're a Christian, go to work go to school go to your neighbors.
Go to the places where you go regularly.
The bank, the restaurant of the grocery store. The people that you see often throughout the week and asked them, can you tell if I am a believer in Jesus Christ asked them if they would say that you are on fire for the Lord or lukewarm. God doesn't want you to be a spiritual sloth.
Instead, he wants you to be someone on fire for him, someone burning for him. This is the Savior who gave his life for you and me.
He deserves better than a lazy, slothful Christian. He deserves our greatest passion and don't serve for.
Don't settle for any thing less that you detect that short little test anything less than a burning desire for the Lord today is a great work day to go to war with those things that the struggle in your life for the Lord in just a few minutes were going to be coming to the Lord's supper and will remember his broken body that he broke for you and that he broke for me will remember that in the blood that is shed on the cross for my sins and your sins will remember that he gave it all for you and me, because he had a burning desire that none of should perish but that every one of us should be saved.
Doesn't he deserve that intense love and before we come to the Lord's supper in just a few minutes you going to be given that opportunity to recommit your life to him of notice that there are a couple of common characteristics of slothful Christians a slothful Christian has become unimpressed with God.
What is it mean to be unimpressed with God to look outside at a beautiful day like today you see the sunshine or how things are greening up and blooming and you see how beautiful the earth is around you and you don't think God are you unimpressed with God you go the beach and you see the power of the ocean.
You hear the birds you see the San you see what God has created for your enjoyment and instead of thanking him. You just go for a walk, slothful Christians have become unimpressed with God. Do you see God every day as you walk through life.
The Bible tells us in Romans 1133 through 36 all the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways for who has known the mind of God or who has been his counselor or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid for from him and through him and to him are all things to him be glory for ever. Are you a Christian is on fire for the Lord impressed with God in the every day of life were you become slothful and unimpressed. Another characteristic of a slothful Christian is it that back become unimpressed with the word of God with the Bible. They have become unimpressed with God's word note, let let me just hold the subcu for just a minute. Do you know that this boat that God has given us is God's love letter to us a slothful Christian does not spend much time in the word of God. Another test you spend more time reading the paper each day than you do. The word of God. Do you spend time daily reading your horoscope more than the word of God, you spend more time each day on social media than you do with the word of God. What is your life, your values being shaped by the things that come into our eyes are the things that shape who we are. The psalmist of 119 says open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law, we need to read God's word daily and let it change our lives. Are you impressed with the word of God. Another characteristic of a slothful Christian. I gotta move quickly is that they have become unimpressed with prayer. How often do you pray, take things to the father you walk in conversation with God. They say that one of the most impressive things about Billy Graham was not how he preached, but how he prayed. It is said that he was in constant conversation with God about the lost world those people that are lost in the world. When we begin to pray our heart becomes the father's heart, a slothful Christian is unimpressed with prayer. Another characteristic of a slothful Christian is that they are on stirred by witness by me. I'm sorry about worship. Are you stirred up when we worship together here Calvary church as we sing to the Lord as we hear our wonderful choir does it stir you for God or do you just go through the formalities on Sunday morning in worship. Yes, great to look around this room during worship we were singing or praising God because we've got many different types of worshipers here. Some hold her hands up some saying very loudly.
Some got a little dance going. When we worship and you can tell us Baptist in the bunch because were doing absolutely nothing during that time in the worship.
The psalmist tells us to clap your hands all you people shout under God with loud songs of joy. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth, a slothful Christian is on stirred by witness about worship and finally lastly a slothful Christian is not concerned about a world who was dying and on their way to hell. When was the last time you witness to someone told them about Jesus. Did you know that there are 7.47 billion people in the world today. 7.4 7,000,000,003.14 billion of them do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior.
42% of our world would go to hell today if the Lord would come back now wished was a better way to put that you know none of us like to hear the people are going to hell.
But for the slothful Christian. We are apart of that group that doesn't know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Are you concerned about those family members.
Those neighbors those work associates who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Let me move quickly. I told some ALG leaders are be finished by 1045 and that was that was a lot to go quicker okay so let me give you a couple positive notes there is a positive side and I know you've been beaten up a little bit already. Paul said before about in spirit event comes from the Greek words, they of which means the oil that literally means to boil over. You and I will see things boiling too much anymore. We just throw stuff in the microwave, but I can remember growing up we have rice that would boil over.
We would have grits. I'm a southern boy that bolivar on the stove. Sometimes it was because a guy was a bad cook.
It was just because things boiled over. This is what Paul is talking about here being fervent in spirit means that we are bawling over overflowing literally hot enough to boil.
Do you boil for Jesus. What if every believer at Calvary church was on fire boiling over for the Lord, the difference could we make in this community and in the world. Paul in Romans 12.
Let me read through that quickly because he gives us some emotionally charged words in verses nine through 17 that gives us that the marks of being a true Christian.
He says let love be genuine. That's what a boiling over Christian does.
We love people unconditionally, not expecting anything in return. No self-seeking motive.
We are poor, what is evil and that's a flaming hatred for that which is evil in the world. We hold fast to that which is good.
We clean like your life depended upon it to those things that are good in the world. We love one another with brotherly affection and this is being willing to give your life for another because you love them so much outdo one another in showing honor and a great word honor showing honor means that we treat other people like they are royalty.
Then he goes and says be not slothful in zeal, but fervent in the spirit serve the Lord. He says rejoice in hope that means celebrate in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Be patient.
That means knowing God's in control and tribulation, be constant and praying, pray without ceasing. We go to verse 14. Bless those who persecute you.
This was a tough one for me because what that means. Bless those that persecute you is ask God to look favorably on those who treat you unfavorably. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep care for one another, grieving like a mother would grieve when she's lost her child for that the needs of those in our congregation. Never be wise in your own site show humility repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to what give thought to do what is honorable do what is morally right in the sight of others. These are all positive things that we need to add to our lives that make us a Christian that is bawling over to the Lord God calls us to love what he loves and to hate what he hates. These are the marks of a true Christian, there is no middle. There is no neutral ground. There is no place for lukewarm Christianity.
Only when Jesus is the chief of our affections. Is he rightly valued as a stop again for a moment and ask ourselves is, your hardware needs to be. Do you need to get things right with him today.
Do you need to cry out to Jesus for a heart that burns for him enclosing there's one little section serve the Lord in this verse and I want you to know that I failed so many times that my recommitment to the Lord and most the time when I failed is because I've tried to do it on my own.
I've tried to do it myself and I didn't remember that I've got God's Holy Spirit in my life that I can lean into during those times of weakness and he strengthens me and helps me to go away from those wrong directions. This final part of the passage serve the Lord. I want to give you an acrostic to help you in your walk to renew your commitment with him and it's using the word serve as his serve is see Jesus in the Bible we need to read the word of God see Jesus each and every day see him calming storms see him casting out demons seem crucified for my sins and your sins see him raise from the dead and alive forevermore, we need to see Jesus for who he is.
Every day in the word of God as the Almighty God.
Next we need to express your heart to the Father in prayer, cry out to God every day to create a new heart in me oh Lord, cry out for a heart that boils over for him and is not satisfied with anything less than a passionate heart for him. Our repent. Confess daily your sins to the father, be honest and tell him that you need his help through his Holy Spirit to live each and every day to walk as a boiling over Christian the value friendships engage in people to hold you accountable in your spiritual walk. How many of you are discipling others are being discipled by others. Iron sharpens iron. Surround yourself with people who make you better, instead of people who bring you down and finally evangelize.
Tell others about Jesus serve the Lord by being a bold witness to him.
You start off by sharing the love of Christ with law enforcement officers you can start off by sharing Christ with your family members with your neighbor with the work associates were God has called you to serve, participate in a go trip get involved as a family serving the Lord God does not want us to be sloths, spiritually. He wants us boiling over in our passion for him and committed to serving him and this lost and dying world. What about you where you today and your commitment to him.
Let's pray together. Father, we thank you for the opportunity to study your word. It's amazing how when we read your word that your spirit reaches down into our hearts and moves us father calls us into deeper commitment to you and father. Now we move to this time in our service where we express that commitment where we make that decision as to what were going to do with your word and the moving of your spirit in our hearts so guide this time father forth in Jesus name we pray. Amen