Summary: Part two - looking at how God has equipped us to serve Him.
Loving God with All Your Strength (Part 2)
January 31, 2010
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY'S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Me: Last week was one of those messages that I really struggled with as I was preparing it, because I just didn’t want to say some of the stuff that needed to be said.
Preaching is one of those things that unless you’re really called by God to do it and other godly people around you can see that that’s what God has called you to do, you shouldn’t do it.
Most pastors and preachers will tell you that preaching is hard work. And not necessarily because we have to study and all that stuff, but also because sometimes we have to say stuff that we know is going to get people upset, or at least has the potential to.
The Bible says that sometimes pastor have to rebuke and correct.
The sad thing is that some preachers really like doing that. They love just shouting and screaming at their congregations about all the stuff they might be doing wrong.
I hate doing that stuff.
I have to get in your grill sometimes – and I don’t enjoy it. If it looks like I do, then I’m sorry – but really I don’t.
At the same time, I don’t want to have to stand before God and say, “You know what, God, I just didn’t want people to get mad or upset at what I had to say, even though You’re the One who told me to say it, and it was in Your Word.”
And so as I was going through those six reasons, and especially the fourth and fifth ones, I was quaking in my shoes.
When I was talking about how if you’re withholding service in the church because you don’t agree with the vision and direction of the church, then you should leave that church, I was trembling.
And it could be that some of you walking out the door last Sunday thought of a seventh reason for not serving here: Pastor Brian!
I think today we’re going to working in a more positive vein, but there will also be some stuff that’s going to be a bit uncomfortable because it’s going to challenge some people’s ideas of what the church is all about.
We: How many of you here today, after you gave your life to Jesus, thought, “I wonder how I can just be totally useless for Christ and His Kingdom?” Probably nobody here.
But I’m willing to bet that many of you, on coming to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior wanted to serve Him somehow.
You probably didn’t know what or how, but you thought there might be something you can for Jesus, and if you got connected to a church, you may have tried something there.
But for many folks, you were never told that God has given you some special equipment to serve Him in accordance to the personality and temperament He gave you.
And so in a lot of churches, they were put into whatever open slot was available, even if it was something they were totally unfit and unsuited for.
And if that happens too often, people give up on serving, and we don’t want that.
So how can we become people who serve Christ joyfully and effectively?
That’s what I want us to focus on today.
God: The great thing about all this is that God has given us direction in the Bible.
God hasn’t left us in the dark about how we can serve Him effectively and with joy, and in a moment we’re going to start looking at some Scripture to help us find that out.
We’re not the only ones who have wondered and struggled with this whole deal. And God, being the all-wise and all-knowing God that He is, knew we’d struggle with it so He addressed it in His Word as He dealt with it with His servants back in Bible times.
But before we get into today’s message I want to just once again look at the passage of Scripture we’re using as the foundation for these messages, and it’s found in Mark 12:30.
This is Jesus’ response to a question about what Jesus thought was the greatest commandment.
And Jesus said this –
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
We spent the first week of this series talking about the fact that we love God with all our heart and soul by loving Him passionately – loving in a way that tells Him that He’s the most important thing in our lives – even over the Minnesota Vikings and the Twins.