Sermons

Summary: How to we draw closer to God so we can reach our Full Potential when He calls us.

Connecting with God!

The Great Adventure

James 4:6-10

January 28, 2018

Two weeks ago, I told you my hope, my goal and vision for the year is that we would move closer to reaching our FULL POTENTIAL. That idea came from a quote by Kobe Bryant. He said ~

My deepest fear is not using what God blessed me with to its full potential. ~ Kobe Bryant

Is it possible that this is one of your deepest fears as well. When you look back on life, you realize you never became who you were called to become. That’s a scary thought. I don’t want that to be who I am or who we are. So for 2018, I want us to strive and push to reach our FULL POTENTIAL

About 1 week ago, I read a quote from Lebron James. He was talking about his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. He said,"I love our potential." The article then commented . . . . The question is whether that potential will ever be realized. Can that be said as well for us?

So, to move us in that direction, two weeks ago . . . we were looking at what it means to draw near to God. How do we do that? Well, my first premise was to remind us that God is God and we aren’t! When we try to be God, we’re acting in a prideful manner which is not consistent with our call to be Christ - followers.

God seeks to bless us because we’re His kids, He loves us, He saved us, ransomed us, sent His Son to die for us, and has prepared a place in eternity for us, a place which is perfect. A place where there are no tears, no suffering, not too hot, not too cold. Nobody has the flu! It’s heaven, the place of perfection.

Until that time comes, God’s greatest desire is that we would live a life of abundance. Not abundant living because we did it our way, but abundant living because we did it His way! Abundant living doesn’t mean you’ll never have health issues or financial issues, or job loss, or issues with your kids or marriage. It means you’re resting secure in the promises of God. It means you have an inner joy, power, confidence and strength because of Christ! Not because of you!

So, how do we get that? How is it that when Jesus simply says, “Follow Me!” They follow Him! How do we get this abundant life?

I believe it all starts with us! God is always ready, willing and able to pour His Spirit into us. But we have to do some things to prepare for this indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Two weeks ago we were talking about humility, humbling ourselves in the face of God. This week we will continue talking about humility and what that means. And we’ll move forward in the next few weeks.

We looked at James 4:6-7. James tells us ~

6 God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:6-7

We saw how God opposes or resists those who are proud, arrogant, and self-righteous, but He gives grace to those who are humble, to those who are God-reliant and not self-reliant.

James calls us to submit ourselves to God, becoming dependent on God as our Lord and Master. We’re also to resist the devil, stand and fight him. And when we do, he will flee from you, because the devil is a coward. And God will give you everything you need to fight off the temptations which are thrown your way!

I read an interesting quote this week . . . it said –

Before we commit a sin, satan minimizes it.

After we commit the sin, satan makes it look to big to be forgiven.

satan makes the sins you’re tempted with seem small and insignificant, but

after you commit the sin, he makes you feel like they are unforgivable.

How true is that? Yet, God promises us that He will provide the way out from the temptations that are thrown before us. Usually, just saying NO is the answer!

Now, with that in mind, let’s move on to verses 8-10 ~

8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. – James 4:8-10

I want to break these verses down a little so we can better understand what James is getting at, because I don’t believe we fully grasp what the author is getting at until we slow down and break it down.

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