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Hanging Around God: The Start of The Growth Cycle

(38)

Sermon shared by Ed Vasicek

July 2000
Summary: Hanging around God both exposes our spiritual need and helps us to address that need; it both diagnoses our problem and starts us on the road to recovery; it is a growth cycle that can be described in several phases...
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
1. I do not deny that I am a fan of Frozen Custard....lemon custard sounds bad but is delicious!
2. Interesting watching the groups of people who go there...groups of
teens/adults...alike...birds of a feather flock together...
3.Ever wonder, which comes first?
(1) people choose to hang around those like them...
(2) people who are alike find each other...
4. Sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes a little of both...
5. One good rule of thumb regarding change is this: hang around the
kind of people you want to become like...OFTEN PEOPLE WHO REALLY DO CHANGE DO THIS....
6. But nothing can change a person quite like "hanging around" God...
7. To hang around God means to contemplate Him (worship), study His Word (and I mean study), talk back to Him in prayer (throughout the day) and place yourself in the position as His servant...

MAIN IDEA: Hanging around God both exposes our spiritual need and helps us to address that need; it both diagnoses our problem and starts us on the road to recovery; it is a growth cycle that can be described in several phases...

I. Contemplating God as Revealed in the Bible Helps
Us See Ourselves in Comparison (1-10)

1. David reminds God of His obligation to care for His servants (1-4)

(1) in OT ethics, masters owed protection to their slaves...
(2) Joshua & Gibeonites...
(3) One of the fringe benefits to becoming the Lordís slave is He is
obligated to care for you...
(4) save your SERVANT (2)
(5) He"lifts up His soul" expression for prayer? Presenting self to
God? (4)---certainly NOT the prayer of one who is distant†
from God

2. David reminds God of what He is like (Direct Worship) (5-10)

(1) Prayers that move God anchor themselves to Godís character
and are more than petition, but also worship..."in Your†
compassion..."

(2) God is forgiving (conditional--repentance)vs. 5--Davidís sin...
When I sin and confess my sins....(I John 1:9)

(3) God is good...."upright, virtuous, righteous, worthy, exemplary,
conscientious and blameless"

(4) God is rich in love/compassion...Jonah learned/Nineveh

(5) Unique (8)

(6) Powerful doer of deeds (8)--Red Sea....

(7) Vindicated (in Millennium) (9)...Jesus Shall Reign

(8) Great, and alone God (10)

Contemplating God leads us to the second phase of the cycle

II. When Weíve Been With God, We Are Awakened to
Two Needs (11)

1. To learn more (11a)
---w/a view toward following, not just gaining information
---Bob S./Chicago...prophecy {no QT, did not support family...}
---People who love God love His Word...
---We must become teachable....that means we learn to LISTEN and take
time to contemplate/study...

2. To become more sincere in following the Lord (11b)

(1) an "undivided heart"---we all have it...; more aware of it when†
we walk with God & better addressed when aware and bothered by
it
(2) Prv. 11:3--- duplicity (double dealing/deception) elder, "not
double tongued"
(3) Jer. 24:7--all the heart
(4) James 1:23

3. Our biggest problem is not that we donít want to serve the Lord, but it is that we donít want to serve the Lord with our whole heart...or at least, not for long....it is a problem of SINCERITY....we ALL fight it...
(1) we can change---John Mark deserted Paul....
(2) Peter denied Christ....later became a pillar...
(3) Solution: Godís grace as we orchestrate our lives so we can
hear
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