Summary: We must live a life of holiness before God.
“CHANGE MY HEART, O GOD”
TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27
Paul disciplined himself and subdues it for the fear of being a castaway or rejected at the last day. If the great Apostle Paul dreads about this after suffering many things for the sake of the Gospel, how much more are we if we don’t give regard to our life.
In the lives of the Israelites during the time of the priest Eli, they did not think that the glory could depart from them. The Ark of the Covenant is the symbol of the presence of God. So during a battle, the sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, brought the Ark of the Covenant in the battle. But because they sinned against God, He allowed for the capture of the Ark and the death of 30,000 Israelites including the two sons of the priest. The wife of Phinehas who was about to give birth named her son, ICHABOD, which means THE GLORY HAS DEPARTED FROM ISRAEL.
If you thought that the presence of God would not leave you, think again. There are many instances in the Bible that this happened. It is time to see our lives the way God sees us. It is time to change if we want to experience the presence of God. To prepare the way of the Lord is to prepare our lives in his coming.
I. MEN WHO LOST THE GLORY
A. Adam (Gen. 3:17-19)
• Adam was created in the very image of God.
• But he allowed that image to be destroyed when he sinned in rebellion.
• All his privileges of sonship were lost in exchange for a single fruit.
• He lost the garden, the blessings and the honor of the fellowship of God.
B. Samson (Judges 16:20)
• He was one of the most powerful of all the judges.
• He was a man dedicated by his parents to the Lord being a Nazarite.
• But his love for women led to his downfall. God’s presence left him.
• He did not only lose his honor, his eyes but the Spirit of God.
C. King Saul (I Samuel 16:14)
• He was chosen among so many to be the first king of Israel. Taller than any man in the whole Israel.
• But his continued disobedience to the Lord leads to his destruction.
• While he was still alive, the kingdom was given to another.
• Instead of the Spirit of God, an evil spirit terrorized him.
• And finally, after consulting a medium instead of God, he took his own life.
D. Judas (Matthew 27:3-5)
• He was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
• He has the privilege to see all the miracles of Jesus and even preach the Gospel.
• But his stealing became a habit and a bondage that lead him to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
• He lost his friend and Lord and eventually killed himself.
II. SIN AND ITS EFFECTS
• Is lawlessness against God? Don’t call it a mistake, a wrong or an error. Sin is sin. Do not put make up on it.
• Is our most persistent, determined and destructive enemy.
• Seeks to rob us of every good thing God has designed for us.
• Creeps into our lives when and where we least expect it.
• Packages itself so attractively that we are lulled into thinking that it cannot really harm us.
• Can blind us to its presence. Especially when you habitually doing it.
A Worm in an Apple
How does a worm get inside an apple? Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. No, scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside. But, how does he get in there? Simple. An insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Sometime later the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats his way out. Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart and works out through the person’s thoughts, word and actions.
B. The effects of sin
1. Your Relationship with God (Isa. 59:1-2)
• When you sinned, the first thing that happened is you are separated from God.
• The more you sinned, the more you draw away from God. The less and less you feel His presence.
2. Your life
• Because your relationship with God has been affected, you will soon realize that your life is also being affected.
• You will lose your boldness and you will find it difficult to pray.
• You will lose your joy and the praise from your lips.
• You will be overcome with fear and be filled with guilt.
• Look at David (Psalm 51:6-12)
3. Your family
• If you think that others will not be affected by your sins, think again.