Tag Archives: Christian Living

Commitment to the Lord

Commitment to the Lord sermon

Mark 12:28-30

I. LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART

    A. More than just words (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3)
    B. Full dedication (Matthew 6:24)

II. LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR SOUL

    A. Barnes: “to be willing to give up the life to him, and to devote it all to his service; to live to him, and to be willing to die at his command”
    B. Stephen (Acts 7:57-60)
    C. James (Acts 12:1-2)
    D. Smyrna (Revelation 2:10)

III. LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR MIND

    A. Train our minds (Acts 17:11)
    B. Realize the importance of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 2:15)
    C. Realize the importance of fellowship (Hebrews 10:23-25)
    D. Realize the importance of obedience (Hebrews 2:3; 1 John 5:3)

IV. LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH

    A. Commitment (Romans 12:1)
    B. Strength comes from the Lord (Philippians 4:13)

Using the Word to Overcome Temptation

In his sermon on July 26, brother Tim Dooley emphasized the importance of knowing God’s Word in overcoming temptation. As he mentioned, the Psalmist wrote, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” A good friend and brother posted a saying on Facebook: “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.” We must know what is in God’s Word to do His will, but it also protects us from violating His will.

If we can identify those things that tempt us most, we can better prepare ourselves to deal with situations as they arise. Consider the following temptations, and a few passages that might help Christians remain pure. Memorize the Scriptures that will help you fight temptations you face, or if you struggle with memorization, write them down on an index card and keep them in your purse or wallet.

Pornography: Psalm 101:3, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.”

Foul language/dirty jokes: Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

Laziness: Proverbs 13:4, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”

Greed/materialism: 1 Timothy 6:6-10, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Pride/selfishness: Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Worldliness/idolatry: Colossians 3:1-2, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Bad attitude at work: Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

Racism/sexism: Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Disobeying God: John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Disobeying parents: Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

Disobeying the elders: Hebrews 13:17, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

Envy: Proverbs 23:17, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day.”

Apathy: 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

You may not struggle with any of these temptations, but there is something that keeps gnawing at you, trying to pull you away from God. Be honest with yourself, know yourself, and identify that temptation. Then discover how God has equipped you to deal with it through His Word.

Stand and Fight

2 Samuel 23:11-12

I. Shammah Stood His Ground

    A. The church needs Christians to fight the battle against evil (Ephesians 6:11,14; Joshua 23:10)
    B. What can be accomplished by faith? (Hebrews 11:32-38; Proverbs 28:1)

II. Shammah Fought and Defended the Land

    A. Spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:11-13,17; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:3)
    B. Satan is powerful – but God is more (1 Peter 5:8-10)
    C. God perfects, establishes, strengthens, and settles us through:
            1. Prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
            2. Purity (2 Timothy 2:22)

III. The Lord Brings the Victory

    A. Satan doesn’t stand a chance! (2 Samuel 23:12; Romans 8:31-39)
    B. Faith is the victory (1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:10)

“Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say”

An American website recently reported that the media in the United Kingdom was shocked by singer Adele’s obscene language during her Glastonbury concert. According to the article, the singer of the popular song “Hello” cursed more than thirty times. It was further reported that “the average adult curses once every eight seconds.”

Brothers and sisters, this is one area in which we must strive to be well below average! Is the average adult so poorly educated that he can find no better way to express himself? I am not suggesting that controlling one’s tongue is a simple task; James makes that clear in his epistle. However, he writes, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:10).

Paul says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Obviously, this refers to more than just obscene language. This can include gossiping and lying, sinful uses of the tongue that have destroyed many relationships—both in and out of the church—throughout history.

Paul expands on this in Colossians 3:8-10, “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”

I will never cease to be amazed at the things I hear and read coming from self-proclaimed religious people. Claiming to be Christians, they will commit the very sin that James condemns in James 3:10! As the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we must be setting a better example for those around us.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

The Responsibility of the Hearer

The listener has a great responsibility in preaching. Observe the attitude and action of the Bereans in Acts 17:10-11: “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

We are to consider how our lives compare to the Word, not resisting the preaching by making excuses or rationalizing sinful behavior. We must prepare our minds and hearts for the lesson, ready to apply it so that we can serve God more faithfully. It is not enough to just sit quietly and listen to the sermon; we must act accordingly based on what we learn. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-25).

We also have a responsibility to make sure the preacher is staying on track, that he is not preaching doctrine that contradicts the revealed Word. We should study along with the lesson, not just accepting what the preacher says, but verifying that his message is in agreement with God’s inspired Word.

Men who commit their lives to gospel preaching take on an important work; we should be as supportive of them as we possibly can. As long as they preach the truth we should encourage them at every opportunity. Show them that we are listening by turning to the Scriptures during the sermon, by taking notes, by putting their words into action in our everyday lives. Tell them how much we appreciate the sacrifice they have made to serve God.

Saving Faith

There can be no denying that faith is essential in God’s plan of salvation. Jesus says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Paul writes, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

The Hebrews writer identifies the marks of the faith that saves in Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Before anything else, we must believe that God exists. This is the very foundation of saving faith. We can be certain of His existence through the evidence of His creation (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20; Hebrews 11:3), as well as through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Second, we must believe that God is a rewarder (Hebrews 10:35-39). Peter calls it “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4), and that the “end of your faith” is “the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 3:9).

Who does God reward? The Hebrews writer says that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God desires men to seek Him and find Him (Acts 10:26-27). The Savior said that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

The logical result of these things—believing in the existence of God, believing in a rewarding God, and seeking Him—is obedience. If we truly believe what He has revealed, we will submit to Him. We will not try to make excuses or find loopholes, but quickly do what is necessary to please Him. We can avoid struggling with submission and obedience by spending more time in His Word, further developing and strengthening our faith.