You Are the Church All Week Long

The intro and conclusion was different:

It is Sunday. This means that we are supposed to be at church, right? We are here to worship, we are here to grow, we are here to see our friends and maybe learn something and then we are done. True?

I don’t think so. We need each other through the week.

Have you ever been lonely?

I remember being in elementary school and at that time I had school friends and then friends at home. I did not want to cross connect those groups. If I knew you from school and saw you outside of school, I think it was a reminder of school. Obviously, as I got older I got over that. But during that time, I was also very lonely at school. I was an extreme introvert and that plagued me up until high school. In addition to that when I was in kindergarten they started taking me out of class and making me take special tests. Eventually, the specialist teacher, not my actual kindergarten teacher, was walking me back down the hall to my kindergarten class. She sat me on the bench and said, “You may wonder why we are doing these things.” I said, “Yes.” She then explained that some people need some special education or something like that in kindergarten terms. From first grade through half way through third grade I would leave my normal kindergarten class at certain points in order to join this learning disability class. That is what they called it, though till this day I don’t really know what my real disability was. I remember being told, “You will always have a learning disability, it will always be more difficult for you to learn things.” Well, I hated it. At least through first grade and part of second grade I felt different. I was already a shy and introverted kid and had a difficult time making friends, but it didn’t help that I was in and out of my home room class. The learning disability teacher would give me a picture of a clock and say, “At this time get up and walk out of the room and come to my class.” For a second grader it just felt like everyone was looking at me when I left and came back in. I remember entering my normal class and they had books out and were in the middle of something and I was wondering what they were doing. I always felt behind the rest of the class, even though I was really being helped. I remember in second grade we had three sessions of recess: morning, after lunch and then afternoon. At the beginning of the school year I went out to recess with my class. Then my learning disability teacher came out and yelled at me all the way into the school telling me that I am not supposed to go to recess because I am supposed to join her class during that time. She said I was told that. Therefore, for the rest of that year, I did not have morning recess. I know they meant well and I know I was helped, but it was hard emotionally. By third grade I was excelling and half way through the year I was able to exit the learning disability class for good. I did have to go to a tutor, but I was so relieved. Sometimes that catches up with me. I am still a very slow reader, though I think I learn things better now than ever and maybe it is because of that class. They always reminded me how grateful I should be that I had a school with a special class like that. I remember in an inductive Bible study class in seminary and something hit me. It was as if the devil was telling me, “What are you doing? Who do you think you are looking at these Greek words. Remember those days in the learning disability class? You can’t learn this stuff.”

 

I don’t write all that to make you feel sympathy for me. My point is that I was lonely. I hated school. I couldn’t make friends and that experience made my introvert self have a more difficult time making friends. I needed friends. I needed a friend my age, or more friends my age at school. I needed support. Now, they came eventually and I got through. I am here. But it was rather difficult. I remember thinking about what it would be like to be a normal kid, as if there is such a thing. We need each other. We all need each other. We are not meant to be alone.

 

I heard someone say:

“A friend is someone who walks in when everyone is walking out.”

 

Today, let’s talk about the church:

 

My theme: You are the church all week long.

The Application: Stay connected, support each other emotionally, spiritually and with real-felt needs.

 

Let’s read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:

Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their labor:

10 If either of them falls down,

one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

and has no one to help them up.

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,

two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. [1]

 

  1. We must let people into our lives.
    1. I do not doubt that many of you are connected with others. But I wonder, are you connected with others?
    2. Do you let other people into your life? Do I let others into my life?
    3. A problem with social media is that we only allow people to see what we want them to see. Many times I can only show the face that I want to.
    4. There are major problems with depression because of Facebook and social media. Truly, we get online and we see how happy these other families look, we see the vacation spots they are going to, but we don’t see their struggles.
    5. Of course because of this we don’t let others into our lives. We are ashamed.
    6. Don’t compare everything you know about yourself with everything you don’t know about someone else.
    7. We are stronger together.
    8. We must be willing to be humble and let others in our lives.
    9. We must get rid of pride and let others in.
    10. We must get rid of envy and let others in.
    11. We must understand that many times they are dealing with things we are as well.
    12. It will feel so good to share what you are going through with others.
    13. We must let people in in three ways: emotionally, spiritually and with real felt needs.
      1. Emotionally: many times this is really difficult. It is for me. It is hard to share emotions; they are so personal. But we aren’t meant to live alone. We need the support.
      2. Spiritually: This is difficult because we have privatized religion. But we cannot be helped if we not share with others. Listen, we can’t live the Christian life alone. We cannot discern God’s will on our own.
        1. We must check ourselves and see why we will not share our spiritual state with others.
        2. We must check for pride. Maybe we will feel less than someone else.
        3. Oftentimes the spiritual and the emotional go together.
        4. Meet with another believer and pray about your struggles and also your desires.
        5. Are you waiting on a spouse? Pray about that with a close friend.
        6. Are you struggling with your job? Pray about that with a close friend?
        7. Are you struggling with weight and diet? Pray about that with a close friend?
        8. Are you lonely? Pray about that with a close friend.
        9. Do you have a son or daughter or grandchild dealing with drug abuse or maybe an abusive relationship? Pray about that with a close friend.
        10. In praying with another believer you are supporting yourself emotionally and spiritually. You are also helping the situation.
        11. We become like rope weaved together and strengthened.
      3. Physical felt needs: This is the easiest to get help with. It is not humbling, or nearly as humbling asking for help with a move as it is asking for emotional help. It is hard to admit to depression. But for someone it is. So, the challenge is to let people in to help you with physical, felt needs.
    14. We must be willing to be involved in the lives of others.
      1. I must be willing to sacrifice for others.
      2. This goes both ways. We must be willing to listen to others and to pray with others.
      3. We must be willing to be that close friends.
      4. The Bible says a friend sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
      5. Also, if someone shares their heart with you. Share something back. Share a struggle you have.
      6. We grow as Christians together. We grow stronger together. We weave that rope together as a Christian family when we add tension to the rope.
      7. The passage says that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. George Sheen once told me that he has a rope machine and it takes more than one person to make the rope.
      8. It also takes a church sharing together through the week to really be the church and really help us grow.

 

 

Close:

High school youth group and JROTC changed me.

You know, I had trouble making friends all the way through Jr. High. I was heavily bullied in Jr. High and I fought back which made it worse. The kids were cruel. We were the class of 2000 and so many people made a big deal of that. My aunt taught our class and said she never had a class like we were. She meant we were the worst. Maybe it was all the entitlement. But high school came and in ninth grade I was invited to a youth group. I met good friends at the youth group and I saw them at school as well. Now, I had friends at school with similar interest to me. Now, at school I could talk about the Bible and Christian things with friends who I knew through youth group. It was great. These new friends introduced me to other friends. I joined Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp. which is a high school military training group. I met more friends that way and I came out of my shell. I also had a few part time jobs and that helped me get out of my introvert shell as well. Things changed. School was not as bad. I still have friends that I met in high school youth group who I still keep in touch with. One of them is my wife and she became my permanent room-mate.

 

We need each other.

We need each other emotionally, spiritually and with physical felt needs.

 

I encourage you to join one of the Christian Connections opportunities at the church. Most of you know each other pretty well on the surface. Go deeper. Meet with one of our brothers or sisters for prayer. Meet often. Don’t just meet every other month.

 

We are the church through the week. God speaks through His Church. You won’t discern His will alone.

 

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

 

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

[1] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ec 4:9–12.

Are the Ten Commandments Still Relevant?

Introduction:

 

I have keys up here, why?

 

Why do I need keys?

 

Do you all lock your doors? Why?

 

God has given all cultures general revelation. God has written on our hearts that certain things are right and certain things are wrong. This is God’s common grace to us. This is really not unlike how even in the animal kingdom they know how to take care of their young, this is because God has written it on their hearts. The Ten commandments are a formalization, writing down, of what is right and wrong. We know that in other ancient cultures they had similar lists of right and wrong such as the Code of Hammurabi. God has given us this common knowledge.

 

The Ten Commandments have been important to us for most of human history.

 

Play clip:

 

Movie clip:

 

Today is ask the Pastor Sunday and we want to talk about the relevance of the Ten Commandments. The question was submitted:

Does the New Testament teach all 10 commandments from the Old Testament? If so, where and how? If not, why not?

 

Today we will talk about the relevance of the Ten Commandments.

My theme sentence:

The Ten Commandments are still relevant: Love God and love people.

 

We just watched the Ten Commandments and so we are not going to read the passage. You can find them first in Exodus chapter 20. But I want is to read Matthew 22:36-40, please turn there with me.

 

Let’s read Matthew 22:36-40:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

  1. The First four commandments relate to our relationship with God.
    1. In the passage we just read we see a person come to Jesus and ask what the greatest of the commandments is.
    2. This person was a lawyer and seems to be testing him.
    3. That is when Jesus gives the answer.
    4. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
    5. That sentence spoken by our Lord sums up the first four commandments:

(1) “Do not worship any other gods besides me” (Ex. 20:3).

(2) “Do not make idols of any kind” (Ex. 20:4).

(3) “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God” (Ex. 20:7).

(4) “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Ex. 20:8).[1]

  1. We love the Lord our God so we do not have any other gods. Now, that is a sermon on itself which we will save for another day.
  2. If we love the Lord, God we are not going to set up idols. That is another sermon we will save for another day.
  3. We love God so we are not going to misuse His name. That is another sermon for another day; however, I will say that misusing the Lord’s name happens way more than we realize. We actually do not even know how to properly say the Lord’s name in Hebrew because the Hebrew people thought of His name as so sacred they would not say it out loud.
  4. The fourth commandment is regarding the Sabbath Day. This is referenced in the New Testament but never as a commandment as such. It still fits in relation to God because we see at the end of creation the Lord rested. We are called to cease activity.
  5. It is never listed as such a command in the New Testament, but we can easily make the case that we need a day of rest. This does not mean laying on the couch. This means a cease from our normal work. I think working on the house can be okay, if it is not your normal work. If your normal job is cleaning houses, you need a break from that. If your normal job is building houses, you need a break from that. If your normal job is teaching, you need a day off. We need rest.
  6. In your bulletin, in the sermon notes, we have included a chart with the references to the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and the references in the New Testament. When you look up those passages you can see that they are all critically important in the New Testament, though as I said the Sabbath is never given the same commandment. Though we do see that Jesus did observe the Sabbath.
  7. But I wish to make the case to you that all of the Ten Commandments fall under Jesus’ response to the lawyer which is summed up, Love God and Love people. So, let’s talk about loving people.
  1. The last six commandments relate to our relationship with others.
    1. This is summed up in Jesus’ words: And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
    2. Jesus Himself said that all the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.
    3. Jesus is saying that the Old Testament law and all of the prophetic writings fall under the commandments to Love God and to Love people.

(5) “Honor your father and mother” (Ex. 20:12).

(6) “Do not murder” (Ex. 20:13).

(7) “Do not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14).

(8) “Do not steal” (Ex. 20:15).

(9) “Do not testify falsely” (Ex. 20:16).

(10) “Do not covet” (Ex. 20:17).[2]

Conclusion:

Let’s play a game. It is called crossover, but I don’t know that you all want to cross over so, let’s just play raise your hand:

  • Raise your hand if you have been hurt by murder, directly or indirectly.
    • I had a co-worker murdered.
  • Raise your hand if you have been hurt by some not honoring their father or mother.
  • Raise your hand if you have been hurt by stealing.
  • Raise your hand if you have been hurt by lies.
  • Raise your hand if you have been hurt by covetousness.
    • Maybe we have hurt ourselves in this way.
  • Raise your hand if you have been hurt by a lack of rest.

As I said, these Ten Commandments can easily be ten sermons. But I hope we all realize they are all critically important, still relevant. Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

 

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

Prayer

 

[1] H. L. Willmington, The Outline Bible (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), Ex 20:1–8.

[2] H. L. Willmington, The Outline Bible (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), Ex 20:8–17.

You Are the Church, Congregational Praise (Psalm 150)

Introduction:

 

How many of you are breathing right now? How many of you have breath?

I got an idea, how about we try to hold our breath until the end of the sermon. No one wants to try that. I think I can go about thirty seconds without breath and that is about the same amount of time I can go without talking or eating. Breathing is very important in life. Actually, one could argue “to live is to breathe.”

 

Everyone let’s take a deep breath. Let’s do it together. Let’s breathe in and now let’s breathe out.

 

You all have breath and Psalm 150 tells us that means we can praise God.

 

Let’s read Psalm 150.

 

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

 

I am continuing a series titled: “You are the church.” Today I focus on Congregational praise.

Theme and challenge:

I want to challenge you to praise God with your breath. That is my theme and challenge.

 

According to Psalm 150 you are to praise the Lord.

  1. In verse 1 we see the call (150:1)
    1. They are called to praise the Lord.
    2. Notice that the verb “to praise” is used 13 times in these six verses. It is used twice in each verse and 3 times in verse 1.
    3. I would say that praising the Lord is pretty important.
    4. This is the conclusion of the Psalms and it is all about praise. But this Psalm is not simply about praise, I believe it is more community driven.
    5. Praise the Lord “in His Sanctuary.” This is likely the Holy of Holies and in the temple. It is awesome that we are now the Temple of God. (1 Cor. 6:19) We can praise the Lord anywhere.

 

  1. In verse 2 we see the cause (150:2)

Chorus: Awesome God

  1. Why do we praise God?
  2. We praise God for His acts of power.
  3. We praise God for His greatness.
  4. When we praise God we are loving God. God loves us (John 3:16; 1 John 4:19), we are loving God back.

 

 

  • In verses 3-5 we see the celebration (150:3-5)

Shout to the Lord

  1. This is a celebration.
  2. When we have a birthday party, do you do that alone?
  3. Can you celebrate on your own? I don’t think so. No, you invite a group of people and you celebrate.
  4. Worship, praising God, is something that we do as a community.
  5. Look down at verses 3-5. We can’t do this on our own, can we?
  6. We have instruments.
  7. This is a loud worship service.
  8. Take your finger and stick it up in the air and now point it at yourself and say, “I am the church.”
  9. You are the church and you are here to praise God.
  10. We are celebrating how awesome God is. We are loving God.

In verse 6 we see the culmination (150:6)

Be the Center (verse 1 and chorus)

  1. Do you have breath?
  2. Try it again, let’s take a deep breath.
  3. Now, let’s praise the Lord with our breath.
  4. Everyone let’s say, “I love you Lord.”

 

  1. Some Applications and I am applying these to myself as well. They are in this first person.
    1. Do I take praising God seriously?
    2. How do I view the hymns and songs in a worship service?
      1. Am I singing them to God?
      2. Am I singing them like I mean them and like I actually care?
      3. What is going on in my head? Am I just going through the motions.
      4. What about prayer? Am I echoing the prayer to God?

Conclusion:

Research in the field of bioacoustics has revealed that every day we are surrounded by millions of ultrasonic songs. Did you know, for instance, that the electron shell of the carbon atom produces the same harmonic scale as the Gregorian chant? Or that whale songs can travel thousands of miles underwater? Or that meadowlarks have a range of three hundred notes? Supersensitive sound instruments have discovered that even earthworms make faint staccato sounds! Arnold Summerfield, the German physicist and pianist, observed that a single hydrogen atom, which emits one hundred frequencies, is more musical than a grand piano, which only emits eighty-eight frequencies.

Science writer Lewis Thomas summed it up it this way: “If we had better hearing, and could discern the [singing] of sea birds, the rhythmic [drumming] of schools of mollusks, or even the distant harmonics of [flies] hanging over meadows in the sun, the combined sound might lift us off our feet.”[1]

All of creation is worshipping God. When we come together to worship, are we praising God?

You are the church, please come and praise God as a body of Christ.

Jesus said in John 4:23:

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Let’s praise Him now.

Prayer

 

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

 

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

[1] Adapted from Mark Batterson, All In (Zondervan, 2013), pp. 118-119

You Are the Church, Part III, Being Fed and Feeding Yourself (Hebrews 5:11-14)

When Mercedes was born we had to feed her all the time. Seriously, we had to feed her and feed her and feed her and change her and change her and change her. Now, we don’t have to do either. I mean, she can feed herself and she is fully potty trained. It is great. I will say, it is great when they start talking, but when we are trying to order at the drive thru and she is in the back saying, “I want a milk shake!” I wish she couldn’t talk. But the point is that she is growing up. I remember when she was starting to hold her own bottle. She didn’t know how to tip the bottle back so she would tip her whole body back and fall backwards. I remember the first time we fed her a type of baby food, I think it was bananas, she did not let us take the spoon out of her mouth. She loved it so much that she just wanted to suck on the spoon. But she was used to a bottle and a bottle you don’t take out of your mouth to get more. Mercedes had to grow out of these things. You know how many times I hear her say that she does not like a certain type of food? That does not mean it is not important.

 

In like manner, we as Christians must grow. We must learn to feed ourselves. We must learn how to eat solid food. Sometimes this is difficult. Sometimes we choke on the solid food. Sometimes we don’t like it, but we must take it in. We may not like vegetables, but that does not mean we do not need them. You need them. I need them. We may only like the sugary items, but you cannot only have sugars. You need meats. We need protein. In the Christian life sugar is the feel good messages that may not take a lot of thinking or struggling. But the meat contains the deep messages and content that we may struggle through. The deep things of the Christian life may not be just content. The deep things of the Christian life may be, “Where is God when life hurts?” You don’t get into the depth if you don’t learn to feed yourself.

 

Today, I want to talk about feeding yourself.

Theme:

You are the Church, being fed and feeding yourself.

 

You are all the church if you have believed in and committed to Christ. As part of the church I am to feed you, but you are also to feed yourself.

 

  1. My main point of application is to learn to feed yourself and grow as a result. Let’s read Hebrews 5:11-14:

Hebrews 5:11-14:

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!  13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.x [1]

 

  1. Starting in chapter 4:14 the writer transitioned to write about the High Priest. Prior to 4:14 the writer was warning the Hebrew people not to fall away. The writer gave the example of the Hebrew people in Numbers 14. This was the situation when Moses sent spies to see the land of Canaan. All but two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, were scared of the people in the land. Because of their lack of faith, God punished Israel by making them wander in the wilderness for 40 years. The writer was writing about Jesus as the great High Priest from 4:14 until now. In 5:6 the writer says that Jesus is the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. The writer spends the next few verses (until 5:10) talking about Melchizedek. Melchizedek is found in Genesis 14. He was a priest-king. He was the king of Salem. Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe, being 10 percent of his spoils from the battle he had with the kings of the east who had taken his nephew Lot. Melchizedek was a priest who was not of the priestly line which would be the line of descent from Aaron or the Levites. Jesus is the great High Priest even though He is not from the line of Aaron or the Levites. Abram submitted to Melchizedek and Abram was prior to Moses and prior to Aaron so it should follow that Melchizedek is someone important.
  2. That is how we get to here. But in this passage the writer says that he would like to give them more, but he can’t because they are stuck as babies. The content I just gave is straight from the Bible but we do have to follow it.
  3. I have referenced Mercedes and could also reference Abigail about growing up. Abigail is learning to peddle her bike, learning to put her shoes on and so much more. But Mercedes is two years ahead of her. For some time now, Mercedes has wanted to run with me. I love running with my children, but they are getting too big. But we still go out and run several times a week. Well, a few years ago I weighed like twenty-thirty pounds less and I was a much faster runner. Mercedes also weighed less as she was just two years old. I was running the Alliance Rotary Castle run. Mercedes and I were running and we were moving. It was great. She was riding along just talking and singing. Then we started coming down Glamorgan or some street over there and I saw Tonya Penturf. I thought how cool it would be to pass Tonya when I am pushing a baby. Of course Tonya is much, much, much older than me so I should run faster. We passed her and then Mercedes threw her shoe. I then had to stop and pick up her shoe and Tonya passed me. Tonya finished ahead of me and Dave Penturf gave me $20 for letting his wife beat me. But when we run Mercedes will say, “Daddy, can I run with you?” I will say, “No, Mercedes you need to ride in the jogging stroller.” She will say how she can run so fast and even show me. She wants to run with me so bad. Someday, I believe that she will grow up and I hope I can run with her then. Mercedes has to grow up for this and we expect her to grow up. We expect her to grow stronger.
  4. We want, we desire, we expect that children grow up and get stronger.

One of my favorite preachers says this:

I love babies. I think others ought to have as many as they wish. I think it’s a delightful, enjoyable experience to watch babies grow up and to become little people, little men and women, adolescents, and functioning persons. But you and I know that there are some things about little babies that are not very attractive. We humor them because they’re babies.

            Here’s a list of things: they are dependent and demanding. They are unable to feed themselves. They are unable to stay out of messes. They love to be the center of attention. They are driven by impulses such as hunger, pain, sleep. They’re irritated when they are dirty, even though they made the mess, and you’ve gotta clean it up. They have no manners, no control. They have little attention span, no concern for others, no abilities or skills.

            Now these are natural things that are part of babyhood. But when you see adults with those characteristics, something tragic has happened, something terribly unfunny. The Christian who is not interested in growing wants to be entertained. He wants a diet of milk when he cries for it. He wants his way. And he’s gonna get it, no matter how many he will have to disrupt to get it.

            You see, in order for a Christian to handle solid food, he has to have a growing, mature digestive system. He needs teeth. He needs to have an appetite that is cultivated over a period of time for deep things, for the solid things of God. Spiritual babies must grow up. Some of the most difficult people to live with in the church of Jesus Christ are those that have grown old in the Lord but haven’t grown up in Him.[2]

  1. Sometimes we stay as babies.
  2. On the other hand, sometimes we only eat once a week. We think it is enough to be fed spiritually only on Sunday, yet we wonder why we vomit the spiritual content. We wonder why we are nauseous the rest of the day. We wonder why we have spiritual Charlie horses. We wonder… I once heard that when people are starving and they start eating they get sick. For example, people who were prisoners of war and finally get out start eating. When they eat they get sick. This is because their body cannot handle it. In that case it is not their fault. But it is my fault if I willingly refuse to eat except on Sundays and then gorge myself, making myself sick.
  3. Sometimes I like to run twice on one day of the week so that I can skip the next day. Sometimes I like to run extra long one day and skip the next day. However, sometimes my body cannot take that. My body is more equipped to handle 7 runs that are 6 miles than one run that is 42 miles. Or, actually, my body can handle 5 runs that are 6 miles and then 1 run that is 20 miles.
  4. You cannot sacrifice spiritually as a Christian all week and catch up on Sunday.
  5. Let me make a disclaimer. If you are a new Christian God will give you something on Sunday. The problem is that after you have been a believer a certain amount of time and you ignore the Spirit through the week, then I highly doubt God will give much on Sunday. This is because you have been desensitized to the Spirit. I know that is a strong statement, but it is our fallen human nature. We ignore something so long and then our minds get used to it. For example, I know there are things in your house that you don’t notice, this is because you no longer intentionally notice them. You don’t use that item.
  6. True story: a church got a new piano, but people would not allow them to get rid of the old piano. It was donated by someone or something like that. So, it was no good, but the church could not move it out of the sanctuary without upsetting people. They didn’t use it but it had to stay in the sanctuary. Well, they moved that piano an inch or a few inches back every week. They had a large side aisle and they just gradually moved that piano back until it was gone and no one noticed. No one noticed because it gradually moved back. We do that spiritually, don’t we? We gradually push God out of our life.
  7. So, here is the grand application. Learn to eat strong spiritual food. Spend time with Him through the week. Invest in your relationship with Jesus.
  1. Let’s talk about feeding yourself.
    1. Try to read Scripture most days of the week.
    2. Try to read a chapter. Pray first for the Lord to guide you and speak to you and then read.
    3. As you read, make an application.
    4. Try to pray every time you think of something, but also have dedicated prayer times.
    5. Meet with another believe and pray and sharpen each other.
    6. Read some books to aid your spiritual growth. Just read a few pages at a time. I can recommend some:
    7. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The Cost of Discipleship”
    8. Rick Warren: “Purpose Driven Life”

 

 

Close:

 

I referenced Mercedes having to learn how to feed herself. That is true. Eventually she learned how to drink her own bottle and then she learned how to eat and drink and walk and talk and much more. Now she even rides a bike. But some day I expect her to grow up. Someday my prayer is that she can take care of herself, really. My prayer is that my children grow up to be responsible.

 

As Christians we need to grow so that we can be responsible spiritually. We need to be able to feed ourselves and then we can actually help feed other believers.

 

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

x Isa 7:15

[1] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Heb 5:11–14.

[2] Swindoll, Charles R. Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Page 80.