Summary: Jesus has given and preserved for us His Word and sacrificed Himself upon the cross for a reason and purpose that is far broader and greater than the simple salvation of our eternal souls. The salvation of our eternal souls and re-birth of our spirits i
RISING TO THE OCCASION
Series: “7 Spiritually Healthy Habits”
Perth Bible Church Sunday, November 8, 2009 AM
Rev. Todd G. Leupold
As His children the Lord God Almighty has presented us, by grace through faith in salvation through Jesus Christ, with an abundance of blessings and opportunities. With these blessings and opportunities, He has also charged us with a purpose and a pre-plotted course for our life's journey.
Like all great adventures, however, it is a long journey across many very different lands and terrains and that requires the completion of many smaller challenges before the Ultimate Quest is completed. Over the course of the journey He has set before us, there are paths of ease and paths of great difficulty; destinations where we will find rest and peace and destinations where we will find opposition and challenge; places where we will have the opportunity to meet and be joined by faithful companions and places where we will meet up with those intent upon our destruction; experiences that will increase our awe of God's goodness and beauty and experiences that require us to face an evil and ugliness that threatens to overwhelm us. This, my friends and fellow travelers, is LIFE unplugged!
Jesus has given and preserved for us His Word and sacrificed Himself upon the cross for a reason and purpose that is far broader and greater than the simple salvation of our eternal souls. The salvation of our eternal souls and re-birth of our spirits is but the starting point and foundation for our living out the fullness of His life!
John 10:10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.
Philippians 2:12-15 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose. Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.
I've mentioned before that an important part of my early discipleship as a follower of Christ was Scripture-based Christian music. One of the first and most powerful such messages, which remains constantly echoing in my mind to this day, was a song by the pioneering group Petra.
Just listen and read along with the lyrics:
We're content to pitch our tent
When the glory's evident
Seldom do we know the glory came and went
Moving can seem dangerous
In this stranger's pilgrimage
Knowing that you can't stand still, you cross the bridge
There's a higher place to go, beyond belief, beyond belief
Where we reach the next plateau, beyond belief, beyond belief
And from faith to faith we grow
Towards the center of the flow
Where He beckons us to go, beyond belief, beyond belief
Leap of faith without a net
Makes us want to hedge our bet
Waters never part until our feet get wet
There's a deeper place to go
Where the road seems hard to hoe
He who has begun this work won't let it go
And it takes so long to see the change
But we look around and it seems so strange
We have come so far but the journey's long
And we once were weak but now we're strong
Our third habit necessary for spiritual health, then, is the habit of rising to the occasion of our lives and journey.
A responsible survey of Scripture clearly exhorts all followers of Christ to . . .
RISE TO THE OCCASION IN:
1.) OUR CALLING
That is, Christ's purpose, desire and commission to all of His followers regardless of their individual distinctives or circumstances.
Matthew 28:17-20 When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Jesus makes it clear that following Him involves far more than just worship. It involves ceaseless ACTION for His glory until the 'end of the age.'
Luke 9:23-24 Then He said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.