Summary: The final part in a 5 part series on giving God room to work.
WHEN WE MOVE OUT, GOD MOVES IN PART 5
Moving Out in Unity ( All my sermons use illustrations from sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
As we wrap up this series of sermons, please turn with me to Ephesians 4 and we will be looking at many scriptures from this chapter all morning, so keep it open here. Now, I don’t always know what God will move me to speak on each week, BUT, this week it seemed from the very beginning of the week that the sermon I had planned was not what we needed to hear, please note that I said we, and not you. Many of these sermons have been for ALL of us lately, this one is no exception.
We have seen how God tells us to MOVE OUT, so He can MOVE IN. We need to have authentic humility, we need to move out of the comfort zone, we need to trust God, even when we don’t understand and we need to have endurance, never quitting. There are many other things we need to move out in so that God can move in, but this is the last sermon in the series. It is my humble opinion that every church in America needs to hear more about unity. So this morning if you have your Bible with you I would ask that you turn with me to EPHESIANS, chapter 4. Now you will want to keep your finger there, we will be looking at different scriptures from this chapter at different times this morning, BUT, let’s start out with the first couple of verses.
Eph 4:1- As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
I think you would agree that sometimes, it takes someone with the proper credentials to speak to us before we are willing to listen. Paul has such credentials. Perhaps some of us in this room this morning can relate to Paul, he was not raised “in the Lord,” he was actually set on ridding the world of Christians. Now, he sits in Rome, on house arrest. AND, he is not taking time for a pity party, but, instead, he writes to the Christians at Ephesus, and implores them to “live a life worthy of the calling.” Paul is insisting that the walk match the talk, that if they claim Christ, that they display Christ and he tells them how to do this:
He uses four words that should be seen in the life of any openly called Christian, the first is HUMILITY. Now we spent an entire sermon on this subject. Humility is not thinking of ourselves as useless, it understanding that we are nothing without God. It is becoming less that He might become greater, removing our desires and our comforts in order that God can be glorified. Paul says as much in 1 COR 10:31 1 Cor 10:31-33 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God- 33 even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
I see this as Christian, or Christ Like HUMILITY - not worrying about our feelings, not worrying about our comfort, glorifying Christ, EVEN AS I TRY TO PLEASE EVERYBODY.
Meekness = humility – Dr. Samuel Brengle (Salvation Army) said “The axe cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. IT could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O that I may never lose sight of this.”
Without God we are nothing! This kind of humility, when displayed by everyone can and will create unity. Paul groups this type of humility with gentleness, or being considerate. This words denotes a controlled strength, an element of restraint, the ability to hold our tongue. James tells us that the tongue is much like the rudder of a large ship, our WORDS direct our STEPS!
That is humble and gentle, and then Paul tells us to be PATIENT and “bear with one another, in love” And I think that the word PATIENT means two different things that are equally important, first the ability to endure trials and second the reluctance to avenge wrongs. Paul is calling us to live a life that displays an ability to finish the race, to endure and persevere. He is also telling us that we need to control our anger and our desire to “pay back” those that do us wrong. BUT, we do love to get even, don’t we?