Summary: As we look forward to this new year, we must only look back long enough to recognize the areas we need to change. Our past should never dictate who we are only should help develop who we can become.
The great Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer, Niccolo Paganini willed his marvelous violin to city of Genoa on condition that it must never be played. The wood of such an instrument, while used and handled, wears only slightly. But set aside, it begins to decay. Paganini's lovely violin has today become worm-eaten and useless except as a relic.
Paul calls us, “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Jesus calls us, “You are the light of the world…”
As we look forward to this new year, we must only look back long enough to recognize the areas we need to change. Our past should never dictate who we are only should help develop who we can become.
So, as we begin to evaluate our role as a church, remember that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies those He calls. A good example for us is Gideon.
Judges 6:12-14 – “The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior.” 13 Gideon answered him, “But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian; I hereby commission you.”
God knew who Gideon was to become and called him to take action. Once Gideon became willing to follow Gods call, God used him powerfully. Just like Gideon, we do not have to have great power or knowledge for God to use us. If we commit ourselves to serve Him, God will open doors before us.
I. God’s Invitation
A. Feed on His Word
1. Give us this day our daily bread…
a. We must eat of the spiritual food to feed the soul
b. Christ said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
2. 1 Peter 2:2 – “Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation…”
3. To be fed, there must be a hunger to satisfy the need
4. When was the last time you were hungry for God’s word?
B. Apply His Word
1. James says, “But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out – he will be blessed in what he does.”
2. The blessed one is the one who listens to the Word of God and lives it out (Applies the word)
3. If the Word of God is not applied to the heart, there will be no desire to do what the Word says
4. God tells Moses, “You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead.” (Deuteronomy 11:18)
5. Parents, you must impress them to your heart so that your children can see you live the Word out before them.
6. Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28)
C. Become Passionate for His Word
1. You become what you love
2. “Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh
3. “Our wants and longings and desires are at the core of our identity, the wellspring from which our actions and behavior flow.”
(Smith, James K. A. You Are What You Love (p. 2). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.)
4. Psalm 119:20 – “My soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times.”
II. God’s Expectation
A. Share His Word
1. God does not expect His Word to sit idle
2. Isaiah 55:11 – “…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
B. Be a Doer of His Word
1. There is one thing to know what the Bible says while doing what it says is something more
2. It is going to be those who are doing what God says who will hear from Him, “Well done…”
3. Jesus says, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
C. Don’t Kid Yourself
1. “For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.” (James 1:23-24)