Summary: Is "church" just a club? Do we attend a congregation just to be entertained or is there a deeper reason? Learning to OBEY God is essential to our lives. It is part of our passion for the One who is passionate about us!
1. Bad News
The doctor shook his head. "John, you’re in terrible shape. You’ve got to do something, and I mean starting today. First, I want you to tell your wife to cook more nutritious meals. I want you to stop working like a dog. And tell your wife you’re going to make a budget, and she has to stick to it. And have her keep the kids off your back so you can relax. Unless there are some changes in your life, you’ll be dead in a month."
"Doc", John said, "this would sound more official coming from you. Could you please call my wife and give her those instructions?’ “OK.”
When John got home, his wife rushed to him and began to weep on his shoulder. “Oh, Honey, I talked to the doctor. You poor man – he says you have only 30 days to live!"
2. Priorities: Good Better; Best//Important vs. Urgent (Tyranny of the Urgent)
3. Last Week’s Sermon (“Awaken, America!”) hit a nerve
a. I appreciate your support and will appreciate it more when they start enforcing hate speech
b. But, I have a question: “What practical difference did the sermon make for you?” – Some registered to vote; some are asking – “What do we do now?”
1) Sometimes preaching feels very useless – lots of study; little change
2) Maybe I need to pray more; study more; find better stories; maybe worship and sermons need improvement
3) Maybe WE need to be more serious about our walk with God; the spark is being fanned
4) Too often we want to make God a “take it or leave it” proposition and there are no consequences
5) What would keep you from making God your TOP Priority? Ball games? Entertainment? Who said we are supposed to be entertained? Following God DEMANDS effort!
4. 13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12.13-14
a. This is a reminder of the battle all of us face – easier to rock along than take the time and exert the effort to DO
b. The answer comes in our relationship with God
5. The “Conclusion” of the matter – summary of instruction; snatching away; the termination
I. The #1 – Priority is GOD (not Me) – See also Matthew 22.37-40
A. God Is Not Interested in:
1. Our convenience
2. Our Luxuries
3. Our “Economy”
4. Our Entertainment
B. God IS Interested in Our Faithful Obedience
[BTW, I have been thinking that maybe we are “too familiar” with our Savior – twice in the gospels he was addressed by his name, “Yeshua” (Jesus); maybe I need to be more respectful
1. Motivation of FEAR – Reverence – 2 Corinthians 7.1
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
2. Keep the Commandments
a. Key indicator of our love for God