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November 15, 2021 1:00 am
Does going to church on Sunday morning feel rushed? How do you practically prepare before, during, and after the service? When you come to hear the Word of God, you are listening for your name. You are coming and you are saying, “Oh God, what do You have to say to me today?” If you come to it with pride or to merely listen, then you’ll go away without any transformation. In this message, you’ll take home more from church than you ever thought possible.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
A three-point outline can help us make the most of hearing a sermon is where learning one outline comes in the book of James today to take home from church than you never thought possible. Stay with us church in Chicago. This is running to win sir helps us make it across.
What does it mean to be blessed by the word of God will Dave, in answer to your question, the image that comes to my mind is that of a runner who has the wind on his back. We've all had the experience of receiving help from above. That doesn't mean that life goes well, but it does mean that we are experiencing God's blessing we are carried along by God's strength as we think of the immediate future Thanksgiving.
Of course, is just around the corner and after Thanksgiving.
There's Christmas as we think about the holiday season.
We began to think about Christmas music. We have a special gift. We are making available to you.
It's a CD entitled songs for a holy night that what's unique about this is that the songs are those sung by the kings carolers as well as the soloists on a radio program that was begun by Billy Graham entitled songs in the night for a gift of any amount. This can be yours.
Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for songs for a holy night before sermon cleansing during a sermon. Humility after a sermon.
Obviously the word that you're expecting me to say and I will say is obedience. But let's look at the text okay verse 22 but be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like, but the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer not being a hero who forgets but a doer who acts, he is going to be blessed in what is going James is like a man looking in the mirror. Now I need to tell you that in Greek. There are two different words for man. There's one word for man, which means mankind could include women is not the word that James is using here. He's using a word that can only be translated male. He has a man now whenever you approach the gender issue you begin to get a little nervous. I mean after all were living in a day and age where you can't even build a snowman anymore. It has to be a snow person that asked but I'm going to skate across this really fast now. Just tell me honestly one on one who is it that spends more time in front of the mirror, the male species or the female species and is there any debate about that. I don't think so. I don't think so.
You see, James knows that it's not like a woman to look in the mirror and then go her way, and forget what she was like, man will bill look at the Maryville maybe use a little bit of mouthwash throw on some cologne.
And hey there fine and they forget about all the rest.
James is that's way auditors do it to see what they do is they look at the log buried there on Sunday. They listen to a sermon and then they go their way and they forget about it and they don't apply it in the they forget the truth of it. The word of God is in mirror and it tells you the truth about yourself is not been you know years ago when I was a little boy I was in what in Canada would be like state fair and I was in a house of mirrors. I don't know if you've ever been in one of those, but you know you are in some rooms and you're just as tall. You know your like Jack in the beanstalk. You know you're up and then you're in some other rooms and you discover that you are short and very rotund. The other some people who are running around trying to find a mirror that makes them look. The Bible is a mirror that tells it the way it is, it reflects it reveals who we are.
Years ago I remember a missionary telling the story and I believe it to be true because the missionary told us that they were in a primitive tribe that had never seen mirrors in their life.
So here they are.
They bring a mirror to these people and a woman looked in the mirror. Obviously, she had never seen her face and according to their translation in English and I'll give it to you just the way they gave it when they told us she looked in the mirror and then she looked away and said who is this hag that has come into our village. She never seen herself before. You see, and the word of God tells us who we are. It reveals God reveals us, but it also reveals reveals God and it becomes redemptive you see in the Bible and I want to be clearer than what I just simply said, we not only see ourselves.
We also see God beyond the sacred page. I see the Lord. So the mirror not only reveals the mirror also sanctifies it brings us the transformation that's the word I'm looking. Remember second Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18.
The Bible says we also with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by this word, the spirit what the word of God does is it reveals us to ourselves as to who we are. But then it also reveals Christ and there in the word we see his grace and we see is power and we see his love and we see his redemption the Bible contains in itself. All that we really need from now to eternity all their and and then that's why James says that what we have to do is we have to look intently into the law of liberty, we have to persevere in it and then he says that person will be blessed in his deeds, and then he gives us some deeds that we should be doing. For example, in verse 26 he talks about the tongue.
He says if you can't control your tongue.
I don't care how many sermons you listen to.
I don't care only songs sung.
Your religion basically is vain. James puts a tremendous amount of emphasis on the tongue, and then he says he deceives his heart because he thinks once again.
Look, I heard the word I memorize the Scripture, but it hasn't gone down into his heart and then it says in verse 27 take care of the orphans and the widows and today we may include in that pre-born infants and their mothers send in this way. James says we live out our faith so that it becomes practical and it becomes real because we have been gripped by God's holy word and by the way, all the statistics indicate that there is a tight connection between people who are in the word consistently and people who serve in the church people who are committed to the church people who are loyal to God's ministries. People who are generous. There is a direct connection between the word of God and the way in which we live. And so James says that what you need to do is to look intently and persevere in the word and by the way, in the next message in the series. I'm to be talking about meditation. The meditation in the Scriptures so that we understand how we can persevere in the word. How do we nail this down for ourselves so that we can leave here today not just merely as auditors.
First of all, keep in mind that the outline that I want you to remember. First of all, before a sermon cleansing during a sermon. Humility teachability after a sermon.
Obedience to what God said.
First of all let me put it to you this way. Glancing glancing is not the same as gazing. Glancing is not the same as gazing. I don't know how to put that were clearly except to say, being present doesn't mean that you're experiencing transformation years ago when they had transistor radios now of course I'm sure the technology is passed way beyond them, but transistor radios was really quite a big thing because you could carry a radio in your pocket and there was this man who went to a concert with his wife Symphony concert and she appreciated the fact because he didn't really want to go.
He didn't enjoy those kinds of things that he can even complain that always seem to enjoy the smile participate and she thought, later on, on the way home I commend you for the fact that attending the concert isn't your big deal but nonetheless I you are such a good companion tonight is in Wellington and he had to confess to you that I had a little earpiece and I was actually listening to a baseball game. That's the way some people come to church.
It may not be the transistor radio.
It could be the phone that could be other distractions, and even if it's none of those. Their minds are somewhere else and what I'm saying to you is glancing is not the same as gazing you look at the Scripture of those who encountered God. Now they encountered him in ways that you and I don't but we encounter God for the word. What did Peter say depart from me, for I am a sinful man Job after he encountered God directly said I've heard of the by the hearing of the year, but now my eyes CZ.
Therefore I poured myself dust and ashes. The word of God will slay you. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. It takes us apart if it lays us on the table. The imagery there in the book of Hebrews chapter 4 is a medical kind of imagery it it takes us apart and shows us our need. Glancing is not the same as gazing with a heart that is intending to obey you see the man who looks in the mirror and walks away. He's a man who does not look deeply into himself, nor into God, nor into redemption so glancing is not the same as gazing hearing is not the same as doing hearing is not the same as doing Jesus repeatedly talked about those who heard, but they really didn't hear they they listen to the words they they had those words come into their hearts, but nothing really happened. Beyond that, there was no there was no follow-up and then I have to emphasize something else and that is that we should remember that knowing and hearing is not the same as believing, you know, in the fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews we have an amazing passage of Scripture that I want to remind you of it is a marvelous example of how an nation of Israel heard God's word understood what he said there is no doubt about the fact that they all heard the same thing and yet they turned away from him because they didn't believe what they heard. Listen to this. The author of Hebrews is writing about those people and he says take care brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day as long as it is called today that none of you may be hard by the deceitfulness of sin on a pause there for a moment. It's possible even when it comes to sermons that the sermons can harden your heart every time you hear about the need to receive Christ as Savior and to receive his grace. You can continue to harden your heart because you say no no no no and the more often you do that pretty soon you discovered that it no longer bothers you, and it no longer brings any conviction because your heart is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Sin is incredibly deceitful. It promises one thing and then gives us another but we go bungling through thinking to ourselves. This has to be right because I want what I want when I wanted and the author said beware lest you heard the word of God and all that it did is harden you rather than soften and then you'll notice it says in chapter 4 says this you don't need to turn to it. But listen carefully for good news came to us just as it came to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them because they were not united by faith with those who listen I memorize the book of Hebrews in the King James version. Many, many years ago and it just simply said this, the word preached to them did not profit them because it was not mixed in faith and what happened they died in the wilderness and did not experience God's best. You see, it's a tragic story. Jesus said in the Old Testament, and of course he says that explicitly in the new through his own words and through the writings of the apostle Paul and other writers of the New Testament that I am offering you grace.
I am offering you forgiveness. I am offering you the promised land, the words of James say that whoever is intent in the law of liberty and obeys will be blessed in his deeds. That's what I'm offering you, but it's possible for our hearts to be so hard.
So in different than we harden them against God and the word preached is not mixed with faith and it profits none and we are the losers. So as we think about our own commitment to listening to the word of God in 40 days. That is to say the New Testament or reading it and if you're behind you continue to to go ahead and some of you I know are behind. I have to believe that you're behind because I'm a day behind, and if I'm a day behind Ike. I'm sure I represent any within the congregation were all going to persevere. Why, because James says that when we do that we will be blessed in our here is my concluding plea to you. Don't harden your heart.
That's what it says in the book of Hebrews is harden not your heart today you hear his voice, don't don't don't don't don't bring so much anger to the situation. Don't bring so much love of sin. Don't bring so much unbelief to the situation that you cannot benefit from God's holy word and is most blessed promises of forgiveness and hope and help fellowship and all those things await those who look intently and continually in the law of God is a very sobering thing to realize that there are people who sing the same songs because they're singing in the same church people who listen to the same Scripture read people who listen to the very same sermons and yet one group of people is on a trajectory to heaven and to blessing and the other people are on their way to a place that the Bible refers to his damnation and the problem is that we frequently can't tell the difference because to us.
They look so much alike that I ask you, as a result of this message how inadequately it might've been preached to simply ask God to search your heart and ask you where are you on the continuum are you a true believer or are you a believer but you have also hardened your heart. Don't do that. Remember that old story about the $50 bill, the fake $50 bill.
The counterfeit $50 bill that was used by some groceries and help the child bisons shoes and did a lot of good along the way. But when I got to the bank totally disqualified because it was fake.
Only you know your heart you don't know it, as well as God knows it but where are we James says when you listen, don't be an auditor receive with meekness the word which is able to save your souls. And it does.
It's the implanted word is the word that God has sown in our heart, and in response to that. What is the promise that James gives a man like this. He says who obeys will be blessed in all that he does is nothing but blessing for those who pursue God and his word father we ask today in the name of Jesus that you might take these remarks and help all of us to understand that we have been brought to this moment. With this great opportunity to be involved in your word help us father to come to it with the same reverence and openness with which we come into your presence. Help us to listen to learn to respond. For those who have never trusted Christ as Savior. No matter where they are. We pray that they might believe on him right now and be saved. And for those of us who know you make our hearts tend toward you and your words. We pray in Jesus name. You know, as I prayed that our hearts might be tender and want to speak to your heart for just a moment.
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior.
You understand why it is that it is so important that we celebrate Christmas when we celebrate the incarnation, the coming of Christ. To this sinful world. And you know is we think of the holiday season.
Our hearts are touched and we are making available to you a very special resource that we believe will be the kind of blessing that all of us experience at Christmas time. It's entitled songs for a holy night. Now this CD is not made by the choir here at the Moody church but rather those who have sung on the songs in the night Glenn Jory and the kings carolers and throughout the years many of you have been blessed as a result of its ministry. Now this CD has all of your Christmas favorites for a gift of any amount.
It can be yours.
Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and as we approach this season of the year.
It is indeed a season for giving it's a season for spreading the good news of the word of God. Thanks in advance for helping us we are listener supported.
Once again, let me give you that contact info go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks so much for helping us, making sure that the message of Christmas goes to thousands upon thousands time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life when to go to court Diane in Indianapolis listens to us on WGN are she has this question. Does the Bible give any guidelines on taking legal action against the company that's responsible for negligence in a personal injury resulting in what may be a lifetime disability. I think that there is no problem in terms of you taking legal action against the company. When the apostle Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 6 that Christian should not take Christians to court what he was doing is speaking about individual Christians.
In fact, they may even be in the same church. Can you imagine what that looks like here to Christians. They believe in Jesus and they can't resolve their disputes and they have to go to an ungodly judge because one is taking the other two court pulses don't do that because it is a very bad witness. It is better for you to suffer loss.
But when it comes to a company. If you have legitimate grounds to take legal action against them. I would say that you have the right to do so, you have the right to use the legal process. The laws that are in place and if the company has been negligent and you feel that you have a legitimate case I think it's perfectly fine if you take legal action. Some wise counsel for Diane from Dr. Erwin Luther, thank you Dr. lutes or if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 188-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Next time I'm running to win.
We look to someone and find out how the word of God gives us a new mind this is Dave Alister running to win is sponsored by the teacher