Summary: It is time to rekindle the flame of passion we have for Christ and allow it to burn brightly within us.
We have an exciting move of God in our life…we climb the mountain and meet with the Lord…then we climb down and things just don’t seem to feel the same…something is missing…our heart is not as hot for the things of God…We can feel a cold breeze blowing in…and we begin to question my experience. Do you know what I am talking about? Do you realize we can be in the midst of revival, something that is happening here at Ballard right now, and yet not experience the full impact, or even an impact at all of what God is doing.
In Matthew 22 the Sadducees and Pharisees had come to Jesus and the Sadducees who taught there was no resurrection after one died brought this question to him while he was with the crowds. Jesus gave a masterful answer which astonished the crowd and silenced the Sadducees. At this, the Pharisees gathered together, no doubt talking over what kind of question they could ask to trip Jesus up. Finally they sent forward one of their experts in the law and we pick up the dialogue at verse 36: Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
Lets digress for a moment. In the Old Testament Moses was given the 10 commandments from God. Jesus, understanding our modern society, gave us the Readers Digest version, the Two Commandments. In Readers Digest they condense the book down so you know the whole book without having to read the whole book. Well the two commandments Jesus gave here in Matthew, the condensed version, if you follow them, will also lead you to following the other 8 without having to carry them around. Remember, the Bible says Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. I think WE NEED TO GET BACK TO GOOD OLD FASHION LIVING HOLY TO GOD, don’t you? It has become so laid back living here on earth I think at times we have forgotten we have been seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. We need to get back to where Jesus means everything to us. I do not live in the muck of the world, I have been seated in heavenly places which are located up the trash…can someone say Amen!
We have become so concerned about our horizontal relationships we have forgotten what it means to live in the vertical. We are practicing Jesus second command, to love our neighbors, our horizontal relationships we have neglected the first commandment, to Love the Lord our God, our vertical relationship. We spend more time on the horizontal but can I tell you, if you have your vertical relationship with God working, the horizontal relationships will stabilize themselves. If my plane is not going up, it doesn’t matter how horizontal how level the plane is, it is still going to go down. Your friends might be able to give you a lift from time to time, but they are not going to be there 24 hours a day to keep you up. Have you had friends come over and you have a great time, and then when they are gone, you have a let down? Jesus is on duty day and night, never closes His doors, seven days a week, always lifting, always carrying your burdens, always available when you call on Him.
Can I tell you, when you get vertical, when you become radical for Jesus, watch out because there is an impact which happens all around you. People look and take notice. Years ago before I became vertical, I use to tell vertical people, “You can get so heavenly minded you will be of no earthly good.” Have you ever said that? Well, I have a revelation for you tonight. Before I knew Jesus I wasn’t of any earthly good anyway. People we need to keep serving Jesus, we need to be radical for Him and when we get in the flow, we will not have to worry about our love growing cold. I was not born, you were not born, to be of any earthly good. When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was born into the Kingdom of God to live in heavenly places not dwelling which have been built my man. Remember the sisters Mary and Martha? Martha came to Jesus complaining because Mary was not running around the house dusting things off and Jesus said that was okay because Mary was doing the greatest work in the world, sitting at the feet of Jesus. Loving the Lord thy God with everything that is within us. Mary was establishing the vertical relationship first, then the housework would get done. If the greatest thing is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, then the greatest sin in the world must be to not do it. If you want to keep the fires burning, keep your vertical relationship with the Lord strong and then we will do some radical things for God.