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Summary: The book of James gives us a process, a picture, and a promise about how we can have a life-changing experience at church today.

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HOW TO HAVE A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE AT CHURCH TODAY

Text: James 1:21 – 25

Introduction:

· What would it take for you to have a life-changing experience at church today?

o Inherit $1,000,000

o Cure for chronic illness

o Find out you are expecting

· Every time you come to church you ought to have a life-changing experience

· 100,000s of people across America will go to church today and leave the same as they were when they arrived

· Lord tells us in James how to have a life-changing experience at church today: gives us the process, a picture, and a promise

Body:

A. The Process (vv. 21, 22)

1. Prepare yourself for the Word

· Strip off every sin, wrong motive, bad attitude like a filthy garment

· Hebrews 12:1

· Pray before you come to church and as you come to church

2. Receive the Word

· Engrafted = implanted, reminds of parable of Sower and the seed

· Wayside = hard heart, Satan takes away its influence; Stony places = accepts Word but is offended because of tribulation or persecution; Thorny ground = Word is choked out of life by cares of the world

· Matthew 13:23

· With meekness – don’t get mad, don’t pitchfork, grab onto with all your strength

3. Act upon the Word

· Greek present tense = “Continue being doers”

· Greek be = often translated become; portrays a continuous struggle to allow God’s word to change your life

· A lot of people hear, some understand and agree, but only a few will obey and act

· Can’t remember last Sunday’s sermon

· Take notes; review during week; pray for God to help you to be changed accordingly

B. The Picture (vv. 23, 24)

· Best mirrors of the day were made of Corinthian bronze, and were owned by only the wealthiest of people

· A regular person only rarely got to see himself in a mirror, and would walk away soon forgetting what he had seen

· When we come to church and hear a sermon and don’t apply what we have heard, our lives are not changed, and we soon forget what God was trying to tell us

C. The Promise (v. 25)

1. Gaze into God’s Word

· Look = gaze intently with a desire to learn and change (requires some effort)

· Greek = bending over for a closer inspection

· Same word used to describe what John did when he came to Jesus’ empty tomb

2. Abide by God’s Word

· Resolve to put into practice what you learn

· Daily commitment to listen to and to act upon what God teaches you (requires some effort)

3. Remember God’s Word

· Take steps to remember what you have learned

· Take and review notes, memorize, talk to others about it, pray about it, write yourself reminders

4. Be blessed by God’s Word

· I can’t live it – God promises to help you if you try

· Not expected to learn it all at once

· Piano lessons, learn one song at a time

Conclusion:

· A large percentage of Christians never mature in their faith and live only marginal Christian lives

· If you never apply God’s Word to your life, you have deceived yourself into thinking that salvation is all that God expects (v. 22)

· 2 Timothy 3:14 – 17

· Resolve to obey and act on God’s Word from this point onward and you will have a life-changing experience each time you go to church or read God’s Word

· Unsaved – God’s Word can change your life too if you will listen, obey, and act upon it (Romans 10:17, 8 – 10, 13)


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