Summary: A sermon encouraging people to not go into "let down" mode after the Easter holiday.
Back to the Grind?
(April 7, 2002)
Last week I mentioned that because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can avoid the despair of defeat, approach the potential of the present, and anticipate the hope of heaven.
And today I want to expand that second point a bit, by looking at just how we can go about living a life that pleases God and opens the door to the full and abundant life that Jesus wants for us to experience.
I don¡¦t know about you, but after a holiday, I find it easy to get into a mindset that says, ¡§Okay, back to the grind ¡V time to move on and get back to real life.¡¨
Any of you like that? I think it¡¦s most obvious just after Christmas. The New Year is past, and now we just hunker down until the next major break in the calendar.
The problem is that holidays, especially such holidays as Christmas and Easter, are meant to draw our hearts and minds back to God, with the hoped-for result that it will stick this time.
I hope this last Easter was one of those times for you. And I want to offer you some very practical help in helping it stick in your life, not just be another episode of ¡§here today, gone tomorrow.¡¨
I hope you will take this message and apply it, and enjoy the life God has for you. Because the Christian life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.
So if you¡¦re tired of the same ol¡¦ same ol¡¦ when it comes to your walk with God, listen up!
Let¡¦s jump in, shall we? The first thing we need to do to enjoy the full and abundant life in Christ is to¡K
I. Look in - Walk in the power of the Spirit.
When you gave your life to Christ, the Holy Spirit entered you to live and work.
Every believer in Christ has this promise. But to get the maximum out His working, you¡¦ve got to let Him have His way in you, helping you live for Christ, and enjoying the life God has for those who live for Him.
Romans 8:1- 4 says this:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
How do we walk in the power of the Spirit?
It all begins with the Word of God. First, you need to¡K
A. Read the Word.
No surprise here, I¡¦m sure.
The Bible has everything we need to know about living for God.
Peter tells us in his first letter that..
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
So if we want to know what God expects and how to appropriate the power He gives us through the Holy Spirit, we need to spend time in His Word.
If you¡¦re not doing this already, why not start today? Take 5 minutes and read a chapter from the gospel of John.
You¡¦ve got to read the Word if you hope to get any long-term benefit from it.
I¡¦d love to tell you that all you have to do is listen to me read you the Word or tell you what it says, but I¡¦m not that good, folks!
Let me give you a hint about reading the Word. Don¡¦t try to find time to do it. You have to make time to do it. Make the time, okay?
While you are reading the Word, you next need to¡K
B. Pray the Word.
When we come to God in prayer, we tend to come to Him with our prayer list of things we need God to work in.
There¡¦s nothing wrong to praying to God for needs, and I hope you do. Often. On a regular basis. Lots.
But our first order of business in prayer should be in response to what we are reading in the Bible.
If you are reading the Bible, you will have questions ¡V pause for a moment ask God about those. You will come across things in the Bible that the Holy Spirit uses to convict you about something. Take some time and pray about that before going on.