Summary: This brief message was part of a special service called "Summer in the Son."
[This sermon was part of a service called “Summer in the Son.” In this service, there was also a message on representing Christ shared by another pastor. His church participated in and attended the service. My outline was borrowed from Craig Groeshel of Lifechurch.]
Have you ever lost touch with a close friend? I have. [Share example.]
It’s often said, “Relationships take work.” The same is true with our relationship with God. We can lose touch with God if we don’t work at our relationship with Him.
Today, I want to talk to you about maintaining your relationship with God. Or, depending on your situation, a better title might be improving your relationship with God. Or, for some of you, your real need might be starting a relationship with God.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).
We like our drinks cold or hot. We like our coffee hot and our juice cold. When our coffee gets lukewarm, we would rather spit it out than swallow it.
Jesus said that spiritually we can be either hot, cold, or lukewarm.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
What does it mean to be spiritually hot, cold, and lukewarm. And why did Jesus say He would “spit out” those who were lukewarm? (The original Greek word for “spit out” means “vomit.”)
1. HOT: You are GROWING.
“…your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).
2. COLD: You do not KNOW God yet.
“…he who sent me is true. You do not know [God], but I know him because I am from him and he sent me” (John 7:28-29).
3. LUKEWARM: You are DRIFTING.
“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1).
Have you ever laid down on an air mattress in a pool or lake and then closed your eyes for a couple of minutes? When you open your eyes, you often discover that you’re far from where you started. You have drifted away.
Sometimes we can drift away from God without even realizing it. It’s easy to drift. It takes no effort. That’s what often happens in human relationships. People slowly drift apart.
God doesn’t want us to be lukewarm. He doesn’t want us to drift away from Him. He wants us to pursue a relationship with Him that grows stronger and deeper each day.
What is the temperature of your relationship with God? Do you want to increase your temperature?
1. What DISCIPLINES best help you experience God?
If you want to be successful in an area of your life (for example, getting in shape), you need to practice certain disciplines.
“You have forsaken your first love… Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:4-5). Their relationship with God was no longer growing. They were starting to drift away from Him.
___ Bible study
God has made us all unique. What works for others might not work for you. For example, every Christian should read the Bible, but we don’t all need to do it in the same way. Waking up at 5:00 a.m. and reading for two hours might work for some, but maybe not for you. What might work for you is getting the Bible on CD and listening to Scripture while driving to work or taking a walk.
2. What BARRIERS are hindering you from experiencing God?
“If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
___ Sexual lust
“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
What do you put ahead of God?
What are you going to do to change it?
1. Listen to an audio book while you drive on your vacation.
The audio books below can be found at Halifax Public Libraries:
• The Message: The Bible by Eugene Peterson
• God Is Closer Than You Think by John Ortberg
• In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado
• Hearing God’s Voice by Henry & Richard Blackaby
2. Listen to a chapter of the Bible while you enjoy a walk.
You can download a free KJV audio Bible or receive a free Bible on CD at firefighters.org (Firefighers for Christ).
3. Try to read one book this summer.
The books below can be found at Halifax Public Librairies: