Summary: Message one in a series exploring the Biblical directives for a healthy walk. This message explores the first element: Continually Cultivate a dynamic relationship with God.
Chico Alliance Church
“CPR for a Healthy Walk" Part 1
The sins of the churches in Revelation so severely condemned by Jesus have become common place in the church today.
Ephesus in spite of doctrinal purity, lost their devotional passion.
They lost the passion of their first love for Christ.
Jesus urged them to repent and return to the first deeds.
Pergamum believers lived in Satan’s territory and held fast the faith but neglected the walk.
They had become sensually focused and assimilated by their culture.
Jesus urged them too to repent.
Thyatira demonstrated love, faith, service and perseverance but tolerated immorality and association with the things of the devil.
Jesus urged them to hold fast till he comes.
Sardis succumbed to an external religious practice without the inward committed passion.
They bore the name “Christian” but were dead because their faith was name only.
Jesus found their actions failed to demonstrate a genuine faith in Him.
Jesus urged them to wake up and strengthen the things that remained.
He called them to remember what they had received and heard and to keep it and repent.
Laodocia became satisfied in their lukewarm commitment.
They no longer felt their need for Christ when in actuality, they were wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
Jesus advised them to return to him for the things that matter.
He knocked at the door of their church so that he might be allowed back into their life and they would enjoy nourishment and communion with Him.
What about us? What kind of letter might Jesus write to us? Have we become enslaved once again to the flesh? Have we become so fleshly focused that we have lost our distinctiveness in the world? Paul talked about the deeds of the flesh. Paul talked about the fruit of the Spirit that will be clearly evident in those surrendered to the Spirit. There is a war for dominion over our soul. It is a war between God and Satan.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
The war will be won by Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. How many battles and skirmishes will we lose in the mean time? How do we recover from a fleshly focus and restore or renew a spiritual focus? We as a church must heed the warnings of Jesus to repent and restore our first love, return to the basics, look to Jesus the only source of true eternal life.
As a church we run the risk of losing our distinctiveness in the world unless we do.
The first step is to admit you have fallen victim to a fleshly focus.
Look what you do with your time.
Look what you do with your money.
Look what kind of things you read and allow to come into your mind.
Look at your fervency for the Word.
Man lives by every word that come from the mouth of God.
Long for the pure milk of the word that you may grow.
We are purified by the Word of God.
If you are not continually pursuing truth in the word you are not living or growing.
If you are not continually pursing the word you are unclean.
If you are not sowing to the spirit you will not reap eternal life.
Look at your family life.
Look at your thought life.
Look what controls you. Flesh, sexual and sensual experiences and feelings, visual stimulation, adrenaline rush, food, sensations, pride wasted time?
We must first recognize our vast need for renewal. We must come to the place where we cry to God in our desperate need.
In the next several weeks we will be learning CPR for a dying church or believer. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. I will focus on three basic non-negotiable areas of the Christian life. If we are to lay hold of the eternal life and work out the salvation God has already worked into our life, we must fervently engage in these things.