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July 23, 2019 2:24 pm
Harvest messages are brought to you by harvest partners receive free email daily devotions or to become a harvest partners, please visit us firstname.lastname@example.org so let me ask you a question. Have you gotten a call in the middle of the night. Well, may we should say early in the morning, say two or three member. The phone rings your heart jumps right nobody wants to call it that our of the morning and I don't know why but the caller will always ask, did I wake you.
Did you weakening and what is it that we generally say no why we say yes I'm asleep, it's nighttime, you will be what we did not. Sometimes I watch cartoons with my grandkids. I and so will sit there for a while and in the other day my grandson Chris was a pop up. Why do you always fall asleep when you watch cartoons with us and immediately I denied it. I go but actually I do. And so there's something about sleeping we want to deny I bring this up because your Romans 13 Paul tells us as Christians that we need to wake up and stop living in denial about the fact that some of us are actually sleeping spiritually. Some years ago we were in Israel, not the last trip. A number of years ago and Christopher are our oldest son was probably around 13 years old and Jonathan, our youngest son was around three so we had a Bible study that Nitin and Chris were still just like we said watch your brother were going to go down to the Bible study so we went to the Bible study and after was done I came out of there in the lobby of the hotel is some woman I've never seen before. Holding my son Jonathan was fallen asleep in her arms. I'm a little alarmed by this like what what is this you know and I said excuse me and she was always this your son. I said yes what we figured out what happened was being well up in the room. Christopher, who can sleep like no one can ever sleep will come combined with jet lag and fall of the sleep little Jonathan tried to wake him up. Christopher would wake him up so he taught alone over the front door and is walking around the hallways of the hotel some very nice lady take them waits for the irresponsible parents to show up and returns are sent to us, but that's all. Some of us are were asleep and we don't even know were asleep we went to Christopher what are you doing because I didn't even know and that's all some of us can be as well. So let's read no Romans 13 and Emma read verses 11 to 14 do this, knowing the time. It is high time to awake out of sleep for now. Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent the D is in him. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lawlessness and usually not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts of his lot there of those verses are to severe taking notes here is point number one word. Well, actually it's wake up. Point number one is wake up and I want to to notice what he says in verse 11. Knowing the time. Knowing the time JB Phillips translation puts it this way. While the stress on behavior because I think as you realize the present time is of the highest importance. What is the present time, the Paul is referring to what he says. Knowing the time. It's time for you to wake up.
I believe Paul is alluding to the fact that Christ could come in our lifetime. How many of you believe Jesus could come back today razor Hannibal that's good you're very very astute, theologically because that's correct he could come back today, so be aware of the fact that this could be the day Christ comes back and then there's another thing I would add, be aware that that you don't know how long you're going to live. You know I'm kind of getting to the home stretch now in life.
You know I'd I don't know how much longer men live 10 years 20 years 30 years, God knows, maybe more, maybe less, but I'm not at the beginning of my life anymore.
I am coming toward the end of it, and I remember when I was young I thought I had all the time in the world and in a way I did, but then you get older and I remember when I was young I would think one of these old people come from there. Strange, and they move slowly in who are these people were one of the world. What were they live it well now you look at your something in well it happened to me to. But here's the thing you know you are younger as a gag in a breach of the old people great.
Well I am. I'll do that, but I know many young people that have passed on. I mention my son Christopher he he left this world for the next one. He went to heaven at the age of 33 who would've ever thought that would've happened. So what is this meeting means live every day is though to be your last day because one day it will be and I don't mean that in a morbid way but back in ancient days they had a phrase they would write over financial documents. In particular, and the phrase was Momento more.
What is that mean it means think of death and the reason they put it on a financial document is because it would just be a grounding thing to be reminded of all look too much money I have in savings. Look at how much money I have invested hey buddy Momento Mori think of that you can leave it all behind you one day so keep perspective in and make each state counts. That is why the Scripture says, Lord, teach me the number. My days that I may apply my heart to wisdom so make each day significant make each day important. Make each day count so we need to wake up verse 11. Knowing the time. By the way Paul is addressing these words to Christian. He is addressing his remarks to genuine believers whose spiritual lethargy and laziness made them appear and act as though they had no spiritual life objectively.
People who are asleep at the wheel read an article the other day in the paper like she was in the pre-Brenneman read the paper anymore. How many of you have a newspaper delivered to your house like really almost no one a few of you. That's why the newspapers are having all these struggles and everything is online now but I was reading a new story online the other day about a car that had autopilot and the person who was driving the car or should I say the robot was driving the car. The driver fell asleep so the cops see this car driving by the guy won't respond to them. They finally had to force the car over this guy was completely asleep as his car drove on my own will be programmed wherever he was going to take me home or wherever I was asleep at the wheel and kinda crazy right but there are Christians today that can be asleep at the wheel instead of walking in the spirit there in effect, sleep walking by that I mean there's a lethargy there's a passivity. Sometimes there's even a laziness in their life.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, by the way that is something we also used to read encyclopedias back in the days we Sisk subscribe to newspapers. There were beautiful books that you can put on your shelves there were very impressive. Now way of Wikipedia right back in the day.
Encyclopaedia Britannica defined sleep this way and I quote a state of inactivity with a loss of consciousness and a decrease and responsiveness to events taking place. I get the regular frustration.
I'm reminded of a story that my friend Poncho war is told me you know Pastor Poncho so I one day Poncho got up in his home and he went into the bridge and there was a sixpack of beer and there we doesn't drink very thinking with these crazy kids doing one of us kids went out and bought beer and had it in the fridge in plain sight. Joy brings the children the kitchen who bought the bear. They also we didn't buy the beer that no one of you bought the beer that we didn't buy the beer so he found the receipt went down to the market demanded to speak to the cashier. I want to see your video there up from last night somebody bought beer. I have it right here, the receipt, even the time they went to the video and guess who bought the beer. Pastor Poncho and he didn't remember doing it.
So what happened is you come back from a trip I think to Israel had severe jet lag, so he took a sleeping pill and he didn't even realize it but he got up, dressed himself God in this car drove in the market bought a sixpack of beer came back, put it in the fridge and went back to sleep and didn't remember a thing of that business thinking crazy story. By the way, I think you took Ambien to watch out for Ambien but we can be, you know, in a state of sleep and not even realize it or denying a no no I meant asleep and sometimes the last person to know that there asleep is the one was sleeping so God is saying to us wake up wake up from this state of sleep and by the way, these words may have more relevance to an older believer than a younger believe because when you're younger, believe you're full of energy you're full of vim and vigor. I don't even know what dim and vigor are but you're full of it, you know, when you're a young Christian, you want to do things for God. You want to read the Bible you want to go to church you want to share your faith you want to change the world, but sometimes when you're an older believer, you want to take a nap when you're a little kid. In some moments a goatee can that I don't want to get that taken that was like a punishment know when you're older summonses taken up your responses.
So maybe this is more relevant to an older believer, then a younger believer that we need to wake up. That's why number one number two. We need to suit up suitably diverse 12 let us cast out the works of darkness and put on the armor of light cast out the works of darkness. Put on the armor of light.
How many of you fallen into a septic tank, raise your hand. Nobody raising one person recent visit. Did you really is why there's empty spaces around you there.
We I got the horrible thing to have happen. I have a friend one site we were on a houseboat together and we were cleaning it up and he was emptying the septic tank and he got a direct hit right in the face. I it was brutal but let me just say that aside for the sake of illustration, let's say you are maybe new outfits you bought.
Really liked it. You fell into a septic tank, forget about your new outfit.
I don't try to wash it. You'll just destroy your washing machine and everything else will smell like it.
Take the outfit thrown away parties over at say the same thing if you got a direct hit by a skunk. Just let that go. So here's the analogy that Paul is using cast-off the words of darkness.
Get rid of them. The date they smell their toxic their destructive and replace them with the armor of light. We all know that when the spiritual battle.
Some of you got beat up a little bit this week.
Some of you gain some ground and some others maybe lost a little ground that for the Bible says put on the whole armor of God put on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness.
This shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God because in this spiritual battle is not a choice of being in the time Susie it's a choice of victory or defeat of winning or losing.
But there are times we feel a bit overwhelmed Boxer Mike Tyson was quoted as saying everyone is a fighter until they get hit. That's true especially if you get hit by Mike Tyson because if you see matches in the opponent was hit or bit by Tyson. You could see the reactive site so there just to keep you know your cartoon almost but remember them then and knows how to get so you can talk will telephone the Internet afraid of the devil like an invalid, then you get in the womb and what was that all about spiritual battle put on the armor of God. Point number one. Wake up point never to suit up. Point number three sober up, sober up. Verse 13 says don't live in revelry and drunkenness.
Let me put this into the modern vernacular don't party and drink. The phrase that Paul uses is a description of a bunch of inebriated people walking down the street together. That's revelry. Don't engage in revelry. You know, you'll see party of people. Maybe in a restaurant. They ordered drinks and they start getting louder.
Pretty soon there laughing who knows that the reason laughing that Andy kill you. Just goes on as it does then and so Paul is saying that should not be true of you. You should not have this other substance controlling your mind, alcohol, drugs, whatever it might be the Christian should not be under the control of the spirits. The Christian should be under the control of the holy spirit. The Bible says don't be drunk with wine, wherein is excess but be filled with the spirit speaking to yourself in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
So we need to wake up. We need to suit up, we need to sober up.
Number four. We need to clean up.
We need to clean up looking verse look at verse 13. Don't live in lewdness and lust. The word lewdness comes from a Greek word that simply means that, and it's the same connotation as we would use today. If you were to say of two people. They went to bed together. We understand that does not mean they took a nap.
That means they had sexual relations. So don't live this way then the word that he uses here for lust is very graphic. It doesn't just describe a person given over to immorality. This is a description of a person who is living a morally what is incapable of feeling shame.
It's shameless access, and the complete absence of restraint. This is a person that's living a morally but they're proclaiming that they're flaunting that they're proud of it. We see a lot of this coming from Hollywood don't me. Hollywood wants to make bad things look good and they want to make good things look bad.
~Take something that's forbidden something we know is sinful sinful in the way they shoot it in the music behind it and the way it's presented to make it look very appealing, very tantalizing.
Another thing something that's good and virtuous and wholesome in the make light of it, make fun of it, or even outright attack it. No, don't live that way it it frightens me when I hear of Christians engaging in sexual activity out of God outside of God's constraints having affairs extramarital sex having sex before marriage.
Premarital sex first Corinthians 618 says run from sexual sin. No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one. Sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Listen to this when you're spiritually lethargic or sleepy.
You become more vulnerable to some point. King David he was no longer the shepherd warrior of his early days we find him in first Samuel skews me second Samuel kicking back complacent, sleepy board with too much time on his hands and second test Samuel 11 to says late one afternoon after his midday rest.
David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace and as he looked over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath and ironically the woman taking a bath was named Bathsheba know we read this walking on this report is that Mina means the back and those in those days the roads were flat. It was still living space on top.
So we were recently in Israel and we went to the city of David, that would've been Jerusalem one. David was rolling his call. Just palace would have been perched above the other home so standing up there get a vantage point. He could see into other people's rooftops. He could see the weather people's yards. He could see people down on the street he could survey everything in one fell swoop. It was his kennel looking around was David looking for trouble. I think he may have been sent that can happen to us over surfing the web in a we have time in our hands. We just are clicking clicking links go over here all my Facebook feed. Here's click faith here is a subtle picture.
Check this out.
I click that. Then I click this other thing that I click another thing and one thing leads to another. That's what was happening to David and then of course you know the rest of the story.
We had sexual relations with Bathsheba and Alton ultimately ended up murdering her husband to cover it up.
One assorted thing.
It was so what was David doing he was sleeping in and being lazy physically and spiritually when he should have been leaving his troops into battle and said he was taking a spiritual vocation member years ago I was over and the island of Wahoo in Hawaii and I was in a mall. Some guy came up to me and recognize me and we started talking a simple warty live. He told me was Oregon.
I asked him where he went to church to survive and been for a while. I said why says: one is spiritual vocation site body, so in a long talk and thankfully that resulted in the making a recommitment to the Lord, you can't take a spiritual vacation. We want to keep our distance from these things because the moment you stop going forward.
Spiritually, you'll start to go backwards. The moment you fall asleep you're going to be weak and vulnerable, that happened to David that can happen to us outside. Paul told Timothy in second Timothy 222 flee youthful passions but follow after righteousness, peace and joy along with those a call on the Lord out of a pure heart. By the way that's not just directed to young people. Pulses flee youthful passions.
Yes, it applies to a young person with raging hormones, but it also applies to a dirty old man or a cougar right a person wasn't grown up. A person news acting irresponsibly.
Ladies, when you're in your 60s you could no longer stop in forever 21 just stop. Grow up. That's why my point is we need to grow up. That's point number five grow up. Verse 13 don't live in strife and envy is an interesting thing some of you listening to this message and same hole you know it I'm doing pretty well because I know living a morally and and and I'm not drinking I'm not doing any that stop okay but look at this verse don't live in strife or ending.
Why do we need to grow because you little kids are always in conflict and in their minds.
Everything has to be even Stephen. If you give a gift to one they expect you to give it to the others will say that's not fair. Why does he get to do this, why don't I get to do that in this for the Paul uses are prescribed refers to a persistent contention, bickering, petty disagreement in Emmett to eat. It reflects the spirit of antagonistic competitiveness that fights to have its own way. It's really the desire to prevail over other. This is the person that always wants to be number one, they have to be the top dog.
You tell the story the tell a better story you talk about an accomplishment. They have a better accomplishment, at least in their mind they do they want to be the star they want to be the center of attention given play a board game with them and they don't when they get visibly upset about it. This is a person is talking about. Don't be like that person, nor be living in envy. This phrase describes someone who can stand being surpassed and brought grudges. Another success and position you know you can be pretty content with the way things are going maybe her stand in front of your house and my house looks really good yard looks good. Paint told not everything just fine. I really like this house. Thank you Lord for this house and then your neighbor comes and says hey how you doing everything good. Are you neighbor says wooden room addition and I need all of my neighbors to sign off. I want to show you the plants so the role of the pendulum in the Sheehan email saying them yet but inside nursing. Why can't I do a room addition. Why do they get to do it and not me. We need to grow from things like that envy you know it's been said envy shoots at another and it wounds itself. We have to be very careful of this in the reality as a person you are envying may not even know you exist. The one you're hurting is your cell. I heard about a crab fisherman would carry is crabs around in an open market. Someone said and why do you keep your crabs in an open bucket, don't you know that they could just climb out. He says oh no the moment one of those crab starts to climb out the other crabs reach up and pull him back down again. I was not like life. Maybe you would a dream when you were a young person. He said I don't want to live this life. I don't live the life of my parents. I don't want to live this way all these people around me live. I have a dream Roman to break out and do something different. Others are safe. You can have that dream you can do that thing you're going to be just like the rest of us are going to state right here. I watched a movie on TV the other day. Actually, my grandkids. It was the story of Dolly Parton was called the coat of many colors was on network television. I thought was really good at a lot of gospel roots and it and a little Dolly was just so full of personality. The actors I played was fantastic and so they're a very very poor family, lots of children and that she had this dream that she was going to be a singer one day and the other kids didn't like her attitude and the fact that she had all this confidence and so forth and dumped her mother because they were so poor meter, a special code to where she took rags together different colors, different pattern sold them together in the coat and Dolly said it was my coat of many colors will that reminds us of a Bible story right. Joseph also had a coat that was called a coat of many colors. Well he wasn't she did real well and nor was Dolly.
She was really mistreated by her friends and but ultimately she she did realize that dream in, she became a very successful singer songwriters even has her own amusement park called Dollywood, but my point is simply this, God may give you a dream and other people want to pull you down. You can't do that, you'll never accomplish that you'll always be like the rest of us.
I read check that God can change your history and he can put that dream and vision in your heart, say six chase after that dream. So number six. Focus your energies on becoming more like Jesus. Focus your energies on becoming more like Jesus ago. Verse 14 put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flash to fulfill its lusts. Now what does it mean to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Any does the Christ live in the heart of every Christian answer is yes. So why do I how do I put him on what this is a picture of the Paul is using the putting clothes on. You know you put your clothes on each and every day. For some people it's an outfit. Everything's in outfits. They think it all through Got my shoes that match my person I'm talking about the guys all jabbing this running start of the girls know but you got your outfit. I have a friend that even on Saturdays. You know he would show up in the psyche was always wearing an outfit I said unto over just like put on whatever's laying around. Everything is an outfit with you, then there's a person. Maybe there little more bohemian, well you know I don't care about. I'm not really into fashion, but I noticed that there genes are ripped in all the right places and assured that you don't care about it just done in a certain way and your Mr. parishes messed up in the right way. So in reality you may think about it more than the person is putting the outfit together that's it's okay to think about what you wear, but the picture the Paul is giving us here is your clothes should conform to you.
You should not conform to your clothes and so what he's really saying is let Jesus be a part of everything that you do put on Jesus make him a part of every decision make them a part of every area of your life, not just Sunday, Jesus.
But Monday Jesus Tuesday Jesus Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Jesus to put on the Lord Jesus Christ Jesus to be Lord at church, Jesus should be Lord at the beach. He should be Lord when we go to the movies.
He should be Lord over what you watch on television and what you take into social media should be Lord when you go out to dinner and when you go to work. He should be Lord of all, because even if he is not Lord of all, he's not Lord at all.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Glad to get it out of your system.
But listen, here's another transition that I like, let us be Christ men from head to foot and give no chances for the flesh to have its fling at an excellent paraphrase, put on the Lord Jesus Christ be Christ men be Christ women from head to foot. Give no chance of the flesh to have its fling unless point we need to lighten up. We need to lighten up. In Romans 14 Paul's dealing with some cultural issues within the church's focus was on diet and days. Many Gentiles and come to Christ and they were not recognizing the Jewish holy days like Sabbath and others in the Jewish believers were upset that the Gentile non-Jewish believers were giving respect to all these cultures and customs of the Jews. Meanwhile, the Jews would go and eat the meat that was offered to idols that the Gentiles refused to because the Gentiles giving out of a pagan culture did not want to eat the meat that was offered of the various temples of the false gods so that offended them and attended their sensibilities with the Jewish believers are like this is stupid.
These articles aren't even real, and it's a good deal to bind the me so this was a cultural conflict that we look at this through 1/21 century lens and it seems ridiculous but it was a conflict. Back in these days. Secondary issues were dividing them.
This happens in the church today, people divide over the most ridiculous things as denominational differences, musical differences, cultural differences, generational differences a lot of times will divide over things are not doctrinal motherboards and thought about theology. This is about all I don't like the way you do it.
I want to do it a different way. It's okay.
They have different ways of expressing ourselves less of the bind over these things. Love the words of Augustine in essentials unity and nonessentials liberty in all things, charity or love. We just need to stay in our only look at Romans 14 verse 10 what you condemn another believer what he looked down on another believer and follower of Christ because one day will all stand before the judgment seat of God to the Scriptures say this surely is a live, says the Lord, every knee will bend to me and every tongue will declare allegiance to God pulsates go you to be judging someone else maybe I would add one more point now.
In addition, the lighten up. Here's one more point shut up. Just shut up and met but I have to finish the sermons on the commission of what I say shut up. I mean stop expending so much energy into sharing other people down more Christians would take the same energy. The expend critiquing and judging each other and instead use it to become more like Jesus and sharing the gospel. This world would be a much better place supposedly look to the stem before the judgment seat of Christ to your obsessing over other people. They don't do it right and I don't like this and I disagree that okay you know it does them before God to but you just need to be accountable for what you're doing after Peter denied the Lord. He met with Jesus and Jesus implied to Peter that he was going to die the death of a martyr and then Jesus said to Peter, follow me and Peter saw Johnny was walking behind them. John the beloved Peter says what about him Peter and Jesus says to them what is that to you. Follow me love where that way.
Would Benton give him the new pay what I say do you follow me, this is between you and me are Lord is saying you just follow me, you'll give an account of yourself in that final day.
What is the judgment seat of Christ.
This is the judgment that is not about whether or not you get to heaven because in fact it takes place in heaven. This is the judgment or maybe I could call it an award ceremony will rewards are given for faithfulness to Christ. The Bible says is a reward promised to the person who resist temptation. The Bible says there's a reward promised of the faithful giver.
The Bible tells us is a reward promised to the person who wins others to Christ. This is when these rewards will be needed out these awards if you will and will all have to give an account before God of why we did what we did. It will be a judgment of motives, so don't expend so much energy in what others are doing or not doing just follow him. Just do what he is called you to do others. Another judgment that's coming in a close with this. This is called the great white throne judgment. This will not be attended by believers. I don't expect to be there. This is a judgment for the people that have rejected God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
In the book of Revelation. It says that he saw the small and the great, standing before God in the books plural were open in another book singular was open, which is the book of life and anyone not found written in the book of life was cast in the lake of fire. These books are records of everything that you and I have said or done in more but the book that matters is the book of life, and if your name is not written in it. You have big trouble and there's nothing you can do to fix this, it's too late and I believe, by the way when your name is written in the book of life, it will stay written in the book of life. You don't have to worry about that. Let me say in closing is your name written in the book. I know mine is not because of any great thing I've done, but because of the great things God did in sending his son Jesus to die in my place in the fact that I put my faith in Christ means my name is written in the book and if you put your faith in Christ. Your name is written in the book as well, but the body so maybe that would save a letter note by names in the book.
Hello, I get it there by admitting you're a sinner churning from that sin and asking Christ to come and live in your heart and life than you can know with certainty. Your name is the book memento Mori think of death. Again, I don't mean this in a morbid way. I mean it in a realistic way.
We don't know how long our life will go on with this for our last day on planet Earth.
All right, then it is all going to God's presence. Paul said to be with the Lord is far better but as long as God wants me here. I want to make my life count and I want to make sure my life is right with God. What if Christ were to come back today tonight tomorrow or they've been sitting there for years about one day is going to be the day and I hope you're ready and if you're not sure of Jesus living inside of you.
If you're not certain your name is written in the book. If you don't know with confidence that if Christ were to come back he would be ready to meet him. Why don't you respond to this invitation. I'm going to extend now as we close in prayer. If you need Jesus in your life if you want to go to heaven when you die if you want your name written in God's book of life respond to this invitation. Right now, as we all pray top our heads. Father, thank you for your word to us.
Thank you for sending Jesus to die for us, Lord Jesus, thank you for coming and lean your life down in our place. Now we pray for any person here who does not know you, any person watching wherever they may be and they don't have this relationship with you. If their name is not written in the book. Let this be the day that that happened. We ask that your Holy Spirit will convict them and convince them of their need for you double or heads of God and her eyes are closing were praying together. How many of you would say today Greg, I need Jesus.
I don't know my name is in the book, but I wanted to be. I don't know if I'm going to heaven but I want to I want God to forgive me of my sins.
Pray for me. Listen if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life if you want him to forgive you of your sin if you want to go to heaven when you die if you want to be ready for the Lord's return.
Would you just lift your hand up wherever you are and I'll pray for you today. Lift your hand up Iraq and see it saying I need Jesus.
God bless you. God bless you. Anybody else raise your hand up, let me pray for you today. If you want Christ to come in your life forever.
You are the bless you. I can see all of you. Of course some of you are watching the screen, but I doubt even you to take a little step of faith and just raise your hand and suggested this is me. I need Jesus today. Pray for me. God bless you that are raising your hand knowing and ask everyone to view this ranger can.
I want you to pray this prayer right where you are in fact you can even print out loud if you like. Just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but I know you're the Savior who died on the cross for me, and rose again from the dead. I ask you to come in the my life. I want to follow you from this moment forward thinking thank you for hearing this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen.
The bless each one of you