1/1/2012 More Time with God!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Friday, January 6, 2012 Under: Sermon
James 2:14-17 (HCSB)

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.”

Proverbs 16:3 (HCSB) “Commit your activities to the LORD, and your plans will be achieved.”

Intro: A new year, new goals: weight, organization, priorities more time with family, and the list go on… I am sure we all have a list of hopeful things we want to accomplish this year 2012! What about the Church? More time with God… SO WHAT ABOUT IT? Do you want to spend more time with God?

My whole message is based around commitment and making yourself more available for God, which presents the next statement: the more Faith one has the more time that is committed to God! A good goal for this church in 2012 would be: Give more time for God.

Application: Word of God teaches what we do reveals who we are.

I have three thoughts I want to share with you about Commitment. If we want to spend more time with God there needs to be commitment!

1. Commitment isn’t a Chore: "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?"

When is the last time you enjoyed mowing your lawn?
When is the last time you enjoyed racking leaves?
When is the last time you enjoyed taking out the trash?
When is the last time you enjoyed vacuuming the carpet?
When is the last time you enjoyed making the bed?

This is a short list of things that would be considered chores, stuff you have to do whether you want to or not!

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven”. The inner light that the Lord gives His people will always shine outwardly in the form of good deeds. Later in the message, Jesus expanded on that truth, explaining that “not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

No where with those references did it mention this will be a chore! It is a lifestyle. You want to be involved with the ministry God had given you! There are a lot of things in this world we just don’t like to do, loving and serving God is a commitment but it shouldn’t be a chore, one of those things we dread doing. We should want to spend more time with God! If that takes a lot of time to think about, you might want to rethink whether you really have a relationship with Jesus Christ? The Holy Spirit that God gives you isn’t lazy.

A student once purchased a new mechanical pencil. After some time he found himself in the middle of an important test, and his pencil ran out of lead! There was a great deal of frustration and anguish as he wasted precious minutes going around to other students trying to borrow another pencil. Later the student found out that his new pencil was designed with a complete supply of extra lead inside that could be dispensed with a mere press of the button. Christians are often like this student: although they have all of God’s sufficiency available to them, because of lack of knowledge they do not draw on it in their time of need. Faith must be linked to knowledge to be exercised and to grow. Faith produces commitment.

We might say that it costs us nothing to become a Christian but everything to live fully as one. Commitment gives you more time with God.

2. Commitment is an Action: “In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.”

Love in Action: This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16 (HCSB) What have you sacrificed for a brother or sister? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? God wants doer’s not just hearers who deceive themselves. IT IS TIME OCEAN VIEW COMMITTEES TO THE MINISTRY IN KILL DEVIL HILLS! We are supposed to be “On Mission by the Sea Sharing Christ love!”

At a circus a huge elephant was tied to an eighteen-inch stake. Could he not easily have pulled it out of the ground and be free? Sure! But he had tried it when he was a baby and was unsuccessful. The elephant had concluded that he could never pull it out of the ground. So there he stood a massive creature capable of lifting whole trees, yet held captive by a puny stake. What small stake could faith release you from? Things that we are often taught when we are young or immature in the faith if allowed can haunt us, disable us, hinder our ability to experience the true power of God!~

Faith is connected to action! When we believe in something, we act upon that belief. Otherwise, we are merely intellectually, not physically engaged.

“This is the most important,” Jesus answered: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 “The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (HCSB)

This is an action: “Love the Lord your God with all of your Heart!”

Prospective drivers of automobiles and trucks must pass a written test on road rules and a skill test on the road. Lawyers must pass the bar examination, and accountants must pass the CPA exam. Students in all institutions must show their knowledge on examinations. It is only reasonable to realize that our profession of Christianity demands a test. That test is the production of works. Without works to demonstrate faith our claim becomes false, and we show our deception. Commitment takes work there must be an action! So what are you acting on? What you can do or what you say and think you can’t do?

3. Commitment results in Blessings:

A man was walking along a narrow path, not paying much attention to where he was going. Suddenly he slipped over the edge of a cliff. As he fell, he grabbed a branch growing from the side of the cliff. Realizing that he couldn’t hang on for long, he called for help.
Man: Is anybody up there?
Voice: Yes, I’m here!
Man: Who’s that?
Voice: The Lord.
Man: Lord, help me!
Voice: Do you trust me?
Man: I trust you completely,
Lord. Voice: Good. Let go of the branch.
Man: What???
Voice: I said, “Let go of the branch.”
Man: [After a long pause] Is anybody else up there?

Psalm 37:5 (HCSB) Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act. This person will be blessed!

22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does
(good) works—this person will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 (HCSB)

Conclusion: Some years ago, two teenagers were discovered in an attic room chained to their beds, where they had been confined since early childhood. They were totally disoriented and almost animalistic in behavior. They had been undernourished and unloved, and, as would be expected, were underdeveloped in every way—physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally. They were the product of child abuse at its most malevolent extreme.

Equally tragic is the condition of many children of God today who are undernourished spiritually and, consequently, are underdeveloped, confused, disoriented, and immature in the things of the Lord.

In the great majority of cases, weak churches are the result of weak leadership, especially weak pastoral leadership. Spiritual weakness makes both leaders and congregations subject to almost every religious fad, no matter how frivolous. Like an undernourished and anemic physical body, they have little resistance to disorders and maladies that weaken them still further. And because they have no resources but their own, the smallest difficulty is distressing. Because they have so little understanding of and confidence in the Word of God, they turn to psychological bandages and worldly solutions. They have little defense against Satan and are easy prey for false teachers. They are spiritual “children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming”. Because they have left “the elementary teaching about the Christ,” Hebrews 6:1 (HCSB)

Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, Ephesians 2:8 (HCSB)

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—

Part of the blessing is Grace! Good deeds are not done UN noticed.

Many years ago it was decided to put a suspension bridge across a wide gorge. How could they build a bridge across such a wide space? In fact, how could they even start? They shot an arrow from one side to the other. The arrow carried across the gulf a tiny thread, and thus the connection was established. By and by the thread was used to draw a piece of twine across; the twine carried after it a small rope; the rope soon carried a cable across—and in good time came the iron chains the bridge was to hang from. Although often weak in its beginning stage, a seemingly small faith can draw us to a stronger and stronger faith that will accomplish greater and greater things.

The question about the destiny of the inactive believer must be carefully answered. Only God is able to save. Only those who do the Word make valid claims to be believers. God will not show mercy in the judgment to those who have been unmerciful. But neither profession of faith nor deeds of faith actually “save” anyone; only God saves. It is thus much more advisable to emphasize what James emphasized: faith without deeds is good to no one. He was not implying that the deeds of faith are effective for salvation. Rather, the deeds of faith demonstrate the validity of the claim to be a believer; without them the claim is empty or “dead”—but more importantly, without deeds the needy do not receive help.

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