Summary: Sometimes we can be guilty of putting too much emphasis on DOING things for the Lord. This sermon talks about 4 practical things believers should BE that will facilitate spiritual development.
“Being” in Relation to the Lord
September 28, 2014
(A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon upon request by emailing me at email@example.com.)
TEXT: 2 Chronicles 25:1-2 – “Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.”
Sometimes we can be guilty of putting too much emphasis on DOING things for the Lord. Doing service for God IS no doubt important, for we see we’re taught to do it many places in the Bible. We ARE to be busy in the Lord’s vineyard, serving the Master and others.
But God is not just concerned about what we are DOING for Him, but what we are BEING for Him. Our text is an example of this. Amaziah was a man who DID the right thing, but he was not BEING the right thing because he didn’t do it with a perfect heart, which means with his whole heart.
One reason we focus more on DOING than BEING is because that’s what people see. Someone has said that: “REPUTATION is what people think you are. CHARACTER is what you are.” We like DOING because it enhances our REPUTATION without necessarily affecting our CHARACTER. But God is most concerned about our WHAT WE ARE because He is interested in our CHARACTER.
So today, I want to talk about some things that God wants you to BE:
I. BE REAL
1 Timothy 1:5 – “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”
1 Peter 1:22 – “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.”
Philippians 1:10 – “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.”
(EXPAND AS LED)
II. BE TENDER
Hebrews 3:7-8 – “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.”
Hebrews 3:12-19 – “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
There are basically two kinds of Christians in the world with regard to this point in our outline:
• First are sensitive and tender-hearted Christians
These are moldable, tender, soft-hearted before the Lord. Their attitude is immediately, “Yes, Lord” to whatever He says or wherever He leads. My pastor used to say, “We need Christians with tough hides, but tender hearts.”
• The second kind of Christian is the hard, calloused, unmovable Christian.
A hard-hearted Christian tends to be cold to one of three things or all three:
1) First, he is cold to God and His things – Isaiah 29:13 – “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.” (EXPAND AS LED)
2) Second, a hard-hearted Christian tends to be cold to forgiveness and restoration – Note Ephesians 4:31-32 – “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (EXPAND AS LED)
3) Third, a hard-hearted Christian tends to be cold to compassion – 1 John 3:16-18 – “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (EXPAND AS LED)