Flip Your Lid
January 1, 2006
Video: What is Worship? I can think of no better way to start the New Year than to set our hearts and minds on honoring God. To make a decision to Flip our Lids for Jesus!
Story: A few months ago, we had some guests from the Netherlands. While here, one of the guys was overwhelmed w/ God’s presence but was unable to articulate it. He told one of our members – I want more of God, but I don’t know how to flip my lid.
Trans: Those words have raced through my mind many times since I heard them. As we look to a New Year, I want to lay before us a new challenge – to FLIP OUR LIDS for God in 2006 – to move to a new level in our relationship w/ Him, w/ our families, w/ our ministries, and w/ our church. But how?
Text: I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you’ll be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rm.12:1-2
Trans: In this passage Paul offers (2) principles that are juxtaposed to one another, but are essential to flipping our lids. Verse 1 is the positive side – something to do, while verse 2 is the negative side – what not to do. As Christians we are to offer our bodies to God, while separating ourselves from the schemes of this world.
I Let’s SACRIFICE to God
Trans: If you want to make a total commitment to Jesus, then you first must make a sacrifice. Now many of us flinch when we hear the world “sacrifice” b/c we think, “What’s it going to cost me? How is it going to hurt my wallet?” But we’re not talking about giving up some thing; we’re talking about the giving of self.
A Make a PERMANENT Sacrifice OFFER Your Bodies
Word: offer (paristasis) It is the same word used in the O.T. of the priest who’d go to the altar, take an animal, lay it down, and sever the animals jugular. He did this to make atonement for sin. Then he’d cook the animal and eat it - this was part of the Jewish sacrificial system. The same word is used here. Paul says, “Offer yourself”
Trans: Now, I want you to pay close attention for a moment, b/c this is why preachers learn Greek, so we can read it in the original language. It would make more sense to me if I told you that offering yourself is something you should do all the time – daily. But the word is in the aorist tense, meaning it is a once-for-all transaction.
Story: Most of you know of Dr. Glen Weekley – pastor at FBC Hendersonville. Dr. Weekley is recovering from a kidney transplant. His daughter donated her kidney to give him life. This was a once-for-all commitment on her behalf – there’s no going back. She didn’t tell her dad, here is my kidney, but I’m going to want it back in a year. She gave of herself to give life to her dad knowing it required her surrender.
Insert: As believers, total surrender is always better than repeated re-dedications.
Trans: I think one of the problems we have today in church is that people think they can dedicate themselves today only when it’s convenient, but once they’re faced w/ putting their commitment to the test, they bail thinking they can rededicate later.
Insert: Missionary in China – baptism (from IMB Devotional) This is flipping you lid!
Note: If you’re the kind of person who continually rededicates yourself, then you don’t understand the true nature of dedication. There are times we need to reaffirm our commitments, but this idea about continually rededicating goes against this verse. This verse says, “Once and for all, God, here I am. I surrender my all to you.”
Trans: I like some of Ray Stephens songs b/c they make me laugh. One of my favorite is the “Mississippi Squirrel Song.” It’s about a kid who takes a squirrel to church:
Song: I was sit’in way back on the very back pew, I was showing him to my good buddy, Hugh, when that squirrel got loose and went totally berserk. What happened next was hard to tell. Some thought it was heaven and some thought it was hell. But the fact that something was among us was plain to see. As the choir sang, “I Surrender All,” That squirrel crawled up Harv Newman’s coveralls. Harv leaped to his feet and said, “Something’s got a hold on me!” As he fell to his knees to plead and beg, The squirrel ran out of his britches leg, Unobserved to the other side of the room.
Chorus: The day the squirrel went berserk, In the First Self-Righteous Church, In that sleepy little town of Pascagoula. It was a fight for survival That broke out in revival. They was jumping pews And shouting “Hallelujah.” Verse: Well, seven deacons and the pastor got saved, and $25,000 got raised, and 50 volunteered for missions in the Congo on the spot. And even without an invitation, There was at least 500 re-dedications. We all got re-baptized, whether we needed it or not.
Note: If you’re tired of rededication, why not try a once-for-all dedication of surrender.
B Make a PERSONAL Sacrifice Offer YOUR Bodies
Point: What God wants from you is YOU! He doesn’t want your money, time, or talents – He wants YOU! If you give Him you, all the other things come w/ you.
Story: I heard about a man who was in a worship service who felt God’s call. As the offering plate was being passed, b/c he had no money to give, took the plate, excused himself, walked out of the pew, stood in the aisle, and put the plate on the floor, and stepped into the plate, exclaiming, “Here I am, Lord, I’m all yours.”
Note: I think one of the biggest problems in the church today is people trying to receive something, rather than to give something. Some people say, “I didn’t receive much from the service. I didn’t like the music. I didn’t like the sermon.” Well, friend, all you’re doing is telling me about the condition of your life. The point of coming to worship isn’t to get something; it is to give something, to sacrifice something.
Story: I heard of a family visiting church and as they were leaving the dad said, “That was the worst sermon I’ve ever heard – it was long and boring.” The wife said, “The music was bad. It was off-key, loud, and I didn’t like the songs.” The girl said, “The people weren’t friendly either.” Finally the son, who watched his dad when the offering plate was passed, said, “Dad, you’ve got to admit it was a pretty good show for only a quarter.” You usually get out of something what you put into it.
C Make a PHYSICAL Sacrifice Offer your BODIES
Note: Did you know that we’ll either offer our bodies to sin or we’ll offer them to God.
Verse: Don’t offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, rather offer yourselves to God, as those who’ve been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. Rm. 6:13
Note: When Paul penned these words, Greek philosophy was prevalent teaching a division b/w the physical and the spiritual, b/w the body and the soul. Thus the Romans lived a life of fleshly indulgent. They believed so long as you were honest and noble w/in your soul they were okay. They never connected conduct w/ character.
Verse: What? Don’t you know your body is the temple of the H.S., and you aren’t your own; you’ve bought w/ a price, therefore, glorify God w/ your body. 1 Cr. 6:19
Note: I like Bud Robinson, the great Nazarene preacher. He had an uncanny way of seeing the funny things in life. Once he was leading a service and at the invitation, and a lady came forward who was known as a notorious gossips. As she came to the front, she said, “Bro. Bud, God has convicted me, and I came tonight to lay my tongue on the altar.” He said, “Our altar’s only 12 feet long, so do the best you can.”
D Make a PRACTICAL Sacrifice A LIVING Sacrifice
Note: Remember I told you the priest would put an animal on the altar and kill it? That was it; the animal was dead. That’s what makes our sacrifice different. We are still alive, and God wants us to be a sacrifice but to keep on living for Jesus.
Insert: Would you die for Jesus and will you live for Jesus?
Note: When I think of these questions, I think of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the (2) shooters at Columbine High School in Colorado. At 11:16 on April 20th, they entered the school, pulled out automatic weapons and started shooting – screaming, “All jocks must die.” Then they went upstairs to the library looking for Christians.
As many of you know by now, they approached a 17-year-old girl, Cassie Bernall. Cassie was a beautiful young lady who had given her life to Christ. A couple of years earlier, she had been confused and messed up. She had gotten into witchcraft, demonology, horoscopes and the occult, but at youth camp when she was 15, she met Jesus and was born again and was totally transformed. (2) days before she was killed, she taped a video for her youth group where she was looking to the camera, and said, “I just couldn’t live w/out Jesus.” Cassie was approached by one of the gunman, who pointed a gun at her and asks, “Do you believe?” And you know the rest of the story.
Note: But I want us to stop here for a moment. What would you have done if you were in her shoes – knowing that if you said, “No, I don’t believe,” you’d probably continue living physically, but if you said, “Yes, I believe in God,” then you’d likely die.
Note: We may think that will never happen to us. I’ll bet Cassie didn’t think it would ever happen to her either. But Cassie looked at the shooter and said, “Yes, I believe.” In a split second, she was in the arms of Jesus, and He was welcoming her home.
Note: I think in some ways, it might be easier to die for Jesus than to live for Him. I believe if somebody pointed a gun at our head and said, “Renounce Christ or die,” we’d say, “Shoot!” and we’d go on to glory. But to go to work or school tomorrow and actually live a Christ-surrendered life may be harder to do than to die for Jesus.
Note: This is why a sacrifice has to be practical. We need to learn how to live our faith daily. On one side of the transaction you say, “God, here I am, I offer my body to you.” But the other side of the coin says, “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How?
II Let’s SEPARATE from the World
A Do not CONFORM
Note: The world is trying to pressure us to act like everybody else, to look like everybody else, and to dress like everybody else.
Word: Pattern (schemata) scheme. What is the scheme of the world? Look out for number 1 – do unto others before they do unto you.
Word: world (mankind without God) The world doesn’t want us to disbelieve in God, but they do want us to live for ourselves – to make “self” god. They say, “You better watch out for self, b/c if you don’t watch out for you, nobody else will. You must promote yourself, protect yourself, and pave your own way. You’ve got to get yourself up where you need to be, b/c if I don’t, nobody else will.
Note: That is just the opposite of what the Bible teaches about the Christian life. The Christian life is one of surrender and service, where you give yourself away to God and to others for His name. You don’t think first, “How is it going to affect me?” You think, “How is it going to honor God?” We’re supposed to be different from the world. That’s where the word “holy” comes into being.
Note: Many people don’t understand holiness. Some think it means that you don’t wear make up, or pants, or play cards, or you don’t smoke, drink or chew. And if you are really holy, you don’t go to movies or watch TV. But that’s not holy.
Note: Do you know what the word “holy” means? It means that you are set apart. You do not think like the world, you do not act like the world.
Story: I heard about a parade one time, and there was a marching band participating in this parade. Everybody was marching in sequence, in step, except for one band member and he was totally out of step with the rest of the band. When you looked closer at that guy that was out of step, you could notice that he had on a set of headphones, and he was listening to a totally different song.
Point: It really is true that when it comes to me and you and the world, we march out of step from the world. The world is goose-stepping in a certain pattern. And you and I, b/c we’re Christians, are listening to a different song; a different tune and we have a different pace of life. The world points a finger at us and says, “You guys are weird. You’re strange and peculiar.” We should say, “Thank you very much.”
B Be TRANSFORMED be transformed by renewing of your mind.
Note: It doesn’t mean that you change yourself, it means God changes you, and then you start thinking differently.
Verse: When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Cr. 13:11
Note: Paul is saying that before I came to Christ, there was one way I thought, one way I acted, and it was like everybody else, like the world. Now that I became a man in Christ, everything is different. I think about things differently.
Story: Just as a caterpillar is metamorphosed into a butterfly, and just as a tadpole into a frog, God wants to take us and metamorphose us into a different kind of person who thinks and acts differently. We have to repent and turn from the world toward God.
Note: To repent means a change of mind that leads to changed conduct
Note; When we repent we start looking at things differently, and the things we used to like, we don’t like anymore. When I was in the 1st grade, I was a great kickball player. Do you remember kickball? The pitcher would roll a big rubber ball, and the person at bat would take a running start and, boom, kick the ball and run around the bases. I want you to know, I got a home run nearly every time I kicked the ball. I was the best one in my grade and I was always picked first. I decided in 1st grade that I was going to be a pro kickball player. I was going to be a star in the NKL when I grew up. But something strange happened b/w my 1st and 2nd grade year. I was watching TV, and saw this guy named Fred Bilintnikoff of the Oakland Raiders. He was this incredible WR who could catch about anything thrown at him. When I saw him play, I said, “I don’t want to play kickball, I want to be a pro football player. I forgot all about kickball once I discovered football, b/c it was better. That’s the story of the Christian life. Once you discover life w/ Jesus, you’re going to say about your past, about the way the world does it, “Forget about that. I want to be the person Jesus wants me to be.”
Note: Dedicating your body to God is a one time transaction. Some of you might say, “I’ve never done that.” I want to give you a chance to do today. I’d like for you to bow your heads, but I don’t really want you to close your eyes. I’d like you to glance down at this little contract I’ve prepared, b/c it may express what you want to do right now. I’m not going to force you to do this. We’re not even going to check this; it is b/w you and God, but I am going to ask you to lay it on the altar.
Decide: Contract w/ God
I hereby surrender, once for all, my body (that means my mouth, my feet, my eyes, my hands, my arms), my soul and my spirit to God. I am totally available to God.