March 3, 2013 – Pastor Tim – “I Am Dead Set On Living” – Click to download
Genesis 22:9, “Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.” And Isaac said, “ummmmm…dad???”
Do you ever have the tendency to feel that God expects us to give up the things we love in order to become an accepted follower of Christ?
God is not so much concerned with our giving up this or that in order to please Him, but making sure we get rid of the stuff that keeps us at a distance from Him. Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” [Illustration–between you and God] John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” He’s already done the hard part. Jesus died so we don’t have to. We just have to recognize and understand that before we can ever be ready to die for Him, we must learn to live for Him. Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
This is life; it is not about death and sacrifice, but about getting rid of what we don’t need, and living—living abundantly, filled with His joy and peace.
Psalm 100:1-5, “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness;?Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord, He is God;?It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;?We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,?And into His courts with praise.?Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;?His mercy is everlasting,?And His truth endures to all generations.
God nowhere tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He wants us to be a “living sacrifice.” Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” To present ourselves as a living sacrifice we need to let Him have it all, to be completely saved and sanctified through Jesus. This is the thing that is acceptable to God.
Romans 8:1-2, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Let’s ask God to use us—all of us—all that we have and all that we will be. Ask Him to give us the courage to let go of the things that keep us from being completely filled by His love.
Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17-23, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
And in Ephesians 3:18-19 Paul also prayed that we, “may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
May our lives be like lifting the stones from a pool of water. The water fills in the empty space. God, as we move things out of the way in our lives—God, please flood in and fill the void with Your life-giving power. Warning: as you move stones in the pool of water, sometimes the water is a little murky.