Summary: We all need to recognize that we are in Christ and Christ in us. We need to serve Him most of all in this life. How so? 1- Remember others in prayer 2- Recall the faith of others 3- Refuel the flame in you
INTRO.- I thank God, whom I serve. Who are you serving in this life?
ILL.- When I worked for Safeway stores many years ago in Joplin, MO, the manager often made you feel like you owed Safeway your living and you should be totally dedicated to Safeway. For example, my manager would often call me even when I wasn’t scheduled to work and say, “Could you come to work at 1 p.m. and work till 10. Or maybe 3 to midnight?”
I hated to get those calls because I was young and had lots of irons in the fire, as most young people do. If nothing else, I wanted to play, visit friends, chase girls, work on my car, go drag race or whatever.
Whether I realized it or not, what I did in life showed the one I served and at that time in my life, it wasn’t the Lord because I had stopped going to church.
When I finally came to my senses and realized I was a sinner and needed forgiveness, I came to Christ and surrendered to Him, confessed Him and was baptized into Him. At that moment, life changed for me. Even though I still liked cars and worked for Safeway, I had a new boss. I now served the King. We all serve the King no matter what we do or what we don’t do in life!
Is this similar to your life?
PROP.- We all need to recognize that we are in Christ and Christ in us. We need to serve Him most of all in this life. How so?
1- Remember others in prayer
2- Recall the faith of others
3- Refuel the flame in you
I. REMEMBER OTHERS IN PRAYER
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
ILL.- The Sunday School teacher asked the little boy, “Do you say grace before you eat?” The little boy replied, “It ain’t necessary. My mom is a good cook.” Good cook or not, good food or not, we should always say grace or give thanks for the food that the Lord has provided for us.
Likewise, prayer is something we should always do, whether good or bad comes our way. But many people don’t pray with any regularity, perhaps only when they get into trouble. They may only use prayer in times of emergency, like sending God an SOS signal (save our ship or save our souls). IS PRAYER YOUR STEERING WHEEL OR YOUR SPARE TIRE?
Many people may well think it doesn’t do any good to pray or else they may think they can get along just fine without anybody’s help, including God. Or they may not care about others enough to pray for them.
ILL.- Henry Ward Beecher, “I pray on the principle that the wine knocks the cork out of a bottle. If there is an inward fermentation, there must be a vent.”
What did he mean by that? If it’s on the inside it’s got to come out. If your heart is in tune with the Lord, you can’t help but pray and commune with Him.
ILL.- Max Lucado wrote: Did God call us to preach without ceasing? Or teach without ceasing? Or have committee meetings without ceasing? Or sing without ceasing? No, but he did call us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).
ILL.- Peter Kreeft on Prayer: "Let's get very basic and very practical about prayer. The single most important piece of advice I know about prayer is also the simplest: JUST DO IT! How to do it is less important than just doing it.
"Less-than-perfect prayer is infinitely better than no prayer. Similarly, no program, method, book, teacher, or technique will ever succeed in getting us to start doing anything unless there is first of all that simple, absolute choice to do it. "Just say yes."
"The major obstacle in most of our lives to just saying yes to prayer, the most popular and powerful excuse we give for not praying, or not praying more, or not praying regularly, is that we have no time.
"The only effective answer to that excuse, I find, is a kind of murder. You have to kill something, you have to say no to something else, in order to make time to pray. Of course, you will never find time to pray, you have to make time to pray. And that means unmaking something else. The only way to install the tenant of prayer in the apartment building of your life is to evict some other tenant from those premises that prayer will occupy. Few of us have any empty rooms available."
Kreeft is right! And let me suggest that praying for others is probably the best thing we can do for others. And then tell them we are praying for them.