Summary: We cannot get so wrapped up in being a good church that we forget the reason we were saved.
Unthawing a Frozen Heart
Key thoughts inspired by Michael L. Brown’s Go and Sin No More
Mar. 2, 2008 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the rich want it, the poor have it, and if you eat it you die? Nothing
1 Nothing in this life is more important than your relationship with the Lord.
a God has created you to be in a relationship with Him.
b God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor 1:9 (NASB) NASB/NIV: fellowship, KJV: communion
aa Greek translation: kay-nahn-ee-o: fellowship or communicate
bb He wants us in a loving relationship with Him
2 The devil is on a last-ditch suicide mission to steal, kill, & destroy your relationship with God.
a Unbeliever: if you allow him to accomplish his mission, that means eternal separation from God (he’ll lie & try to convince you that you don’t need God’s love, or you’re out of reach of God’s love).
b Believer: If you allow him to accomplish his mission that doesn’t mean he can steal your salvation, but you can allow him to steal its joy, get you to live in defeat/despair, dry valley.
B Remember how alive & in love with God you were the hour you first believed?
1 We often slowly slide into our old habits, patterns of behavior, thinking that we had before we were saved.
a Not a new strategy
b ’I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance , and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 ’But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 ’Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. Rev 2:2-5 (NASB)
2 In many ways, Ephesus is a model church.
a Good works (check), doctrinal purity (check), good pastoral leadership (check), didn’t give up when things got rough (check).
b Jesus says, "Not enough" (v. 4)...you’ve left your first love.
aa Their enthusiasm, freshness, & sensitivity to the Spirit had wavered.
bb They were so wrapped up in being a good church that they forgot the reason they were saved to begin with.
3 It’s easy to get so busy with the business of living that we become like the Ephesians.
a We love God, but we stop acting like we’re "in love" with Him.
b It’s such a big deal to Jesus, He said, "If you don’t turn around, I’ll shut you down."
aa I don’t feel comfortable enough with Jesus to tell Him He’s overreacting.
bb If it’s a big deal to Him, it must become a big deal to us.
How do we know if our hearts have grown frozen? How do we unthaw it if it has? (Transitional sentence)
I How to tell if your heart is frozen.
A Questions you can ask yourself:
1 Is there a decrease in my personal devotion to Jesus?
a Less time in prayer & a diminished passion for the Word
b You used to sing "Jesus Loves Me" & feel the Spirit...no more
c You used to be able to relate with Paul when he wrote More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ...Phil 3:8 (NASB)
d Yes, you sing, clap, raise your hands-but what about your object of worship, the Lord?
2 Is there a decrease in my personal satisfaction in God?
a Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15 (NASB)
b What do you desire? What bring you satisfaction?
aa Would you rather be recognized/accepted by God, or flesh & blood?
bb Does you joy come from the world, fellowship with folks or with the Father?
3 Is there a decrease in my passion for spiritual work?
a You don’t feel as excited about ministry as you used to (winning the lost, revival, outpouring).
b Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Gal 6:9 (NASB)
But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 2 Thess 3:13 (NASB) We have done that! We have lost heart & grown weary.