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Summary: THE DEEPER WALK IS THE RESULT OF A LIVING SACRIFICE

THE DEEPER WALK PART II: A LIVING SACRIFICE

ROMANS 12: 1-21

AUGUST 3, 2003

INTRODUCTION: JUDGE NOT . . .

A small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial -- a grand-motherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?" She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the brains

to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you." The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?" She replied, "Why, yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. The man can’t build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him." At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be jailed for contempt!"

Contributed by: Dru Ashwell

“Falling Out of Bed”

A little boy constantly fell out of bed. No matter what his parents did, the boy couldn’t sleep without rolling out of bed. An uncle came to visit and in the middle of the night the usual thump and cry was heard. In the morning the uncle teased the boy and asked him why he fell out so often. The little fellow thought for a moment and then said, “I don’t know, unless its because I stay too close to the place where I get in.” Contributed by: Bruce Howell

TRANSITION THOUGHT: Today I want us to continue to think about what it means to go deeper in our walk with the Lord. I believe you cannot read any of the Bible and not sense God’s desire for us to go deeper. The problem we face is that we often stay too close to the place where we get in. Remember, God loves us so much that HE will accept us wherever we are. BUT, HE loves us too much to leave us there! One other thought here, do you remember last week when I told you about how John Wesley viewed the Christian life. He viewed the front porch as repentance, or the place where we turn to God. The doorway of the house was salvation, the place where we meet God. The house itself, namely the interior was the deeper walk which scripture calls sanctification, or the place where we live with God. Today we are going to talk more about this deeper walk and what it looks like in the real world.

THESIS SENTENCE: THE DEEPER WALK IS THE RESULT OF A LIVING SACRIFICE

I. A LIVING SACRIFICE IS BASED ON GOD’S MERCY: THEREFORE (VS. 1)

A. MERCY IS GOD’S CHARACTER

1. Moses said it this way in Deuteronomy 4:31, “For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.”

2. The Prophet Nehemiah adds to this, 29 “You warned them to return to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, by which a man will live if he obeys them. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God (CHAPTER 9).”

3. You see, God doesn’t react the way we do! Praise the Lord! Our God shows mercy. He demonstrates love in the purest form: He does not treat us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10)!

4. Remember the difference in Justice and Mercy: Justice is getting what you do deserve and Mercy is not getting what we do deserve!

B. MERCY IS GOD’S RESPONSE TO US: “THEREFORE” VS. 1

1. Mercy is our justification through faith (5:1)

2. Mercy is our being set free from sin (6:18)

3. Mercy is our release from the Law (7:6)

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