Sunday Morning, June 9, 2002 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: “Requirements For Revival”[#2]
1. As we continue in our series “Requirements Of Revival”, let me ask the same question I did last week. “Do you really want revival?”
2. Stand and turn with me to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Last week we identified some things about God’s people. Let’s read 2 Chronicles 7:14 together.
3. Please notice the word “If”. This morning we are going to look at he first requirement necessary for revival and that is humbleness. As we study the subject of humbleness, we are going to identify what happens when we are not humble.
4. In the 60’s a book was written titled “Games Christians Play”. Let me give you an example from this book. Imagine your pastor asks you to help with a project. What do you do? If you hesitate you’re a goner. So, think how much better it is to say immediately, “Oh, I’d love to, but… I have seven small children under the age of four at home.” Or, “ … my pet rattlesnake died and we’re holding a memorial service.” [To which the pastor says], “Oh, that’s too bad. I am sorry.” [And you reply], “Perhaps next time, Pastor. Do try me again.” But, after this happens once or twice whenever your name is mentioned, someone will automatically mumble, “Can’t”, and passes on to the next name.
5. These games are not unique to our time. James found himself confronting the most widely played game among Christians then and now – the game of playing God. In our text, James is giving us clues to why we have fights and quarrels. The source is our own desires and pride.
6. We have two choices in our lives: We can either fight to get what we want or we can humbly allow God to take care of it by surrendering to His control.
7. James urges us to be humble. He knew that choosing the opposite would lead us to playing God. Are you a humble servant or are you playing games? Let’s find out.
8. Turn with me to James 4:1-12.
The Game Christians Play
The Rules (If you want to play God)
1. Speak against your Christian brother or sister. This is the idea of talking about another person with the goal of lowering your listener’s opinion of that person. The best way to play this game is when the person you are discussing is not present to defend him or herself.
2. Judge others. This is not “constructive criticism”. This is a statement made as fact – about the values, motives, and intentions of another.
1. We play this game in order to excuse our own faults.
2. We play this game because it appeals to our pride.
We love gossip. It makes us feel better about ourselves.
The Reaction (The Outcome/Results of the game)
1. It “tears up” the unity we have in Christ. We are a family. Family members are to love, support, and protect one another.
2. It shows we have little love for others.
3. It places us in a position of authority reserved for God alone.
When Is It Wrong To Judge?
The Bible does say there are times that we should judge (especially ourselves), but there are seven times that we are told, “Do not judge.”
1. It’s wrong to critically condemn others when I am practicing the same sin.
2. It’s wrong to critically condemn others when it blinds me to my own faults.
3. It’s wrong to critically condemn others when you draw conclusions based on outward appearance.
4. It’s wrong to critically condemn someone before you hear the facts.
5. It is wrong to critically condemn someone on the basis of external religious observances.
6. It is wrong to critically condemn others when it causes me to speak evil about another Christian.
7. It is wrong to critically condemn other people’s motives.
1 Corinthians 4:5
Winning The Game (How Do I Break The Judgment Habit?)
1. Remember that I’ll be judged by the same standards that I use to judge other people.
2. Remember that I am accountable to God.
3. Remember how merciful God has been to me.
1. Why spend an entire sermon on this? Because it’s one of our most common problems.
2. When we spend all our time trying to get our way, and will do anything or say anything to get it; are we being humble?
3. Let me read to you the invitation this morning.