Summary: Many people do not connect with God. They have head knowledge but not much in heart worship. The difference between the two is the way we live our lives.
Thinking, Acting, Being like Jesus
In the last several weeks
We have looked at the church and the part that each of us plays in the church.
We have looked at compassion given us and the compassion we should have for others.
The Word of God and applying it to our lives,
Salvation of God, and our identity we have in Christ.
These things have had a great impact on this congregation.
For the next several weeks, we will go from beliefs to practices.
We are thinking like Jesus, so now we want to act like Jesus.
There is a big difference between believing something we know to be right and believing something as a way of life.
One is head knowledge and one comes from the heart.
One can be changed by circumstances and one actually get’s stronger as our faith is exercised and stretched.
When our beliefs go from our head to our hearts, they form who we are.
From thinking about it to putting our faith into action.
Many people have good intentions, but never act upon them.
While effort is a great beginning, doing is what separates greatness from average.
Right beliefs and the determination to accomplish what God called you to do sets us apart.
How can our beliefs go from thoughts of the mind to action of the heart?
The reason most suffer with faith issues is because they do not engage.
They do not connect!
They never put their faith into action.
When it is tested by circumstances or by hardships, they do not know what to do with it.
Getting into the presence of God moves us toward action (repeat)
The farther we are away from God and His presence, the more we try to humanly rationalize rather than operate on faith we know to be true.
We cannot transform our own lives spiritually.
This must be done by the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us and guiding us.
Most believers do not live Spirit filled lives because they do not allow the Lord to have control of their lives. He is allowed to go only as far as they want instead of allowing Him to do what is needed.
God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us, our spirit allowing God to make changes, the one (ours) surrendering to His Spirit, not the other way around and we yield to His influence and His direction for our lives. John 15 is the example of the transformation that takes place.
The vine is Jesus Christ
The branches- you and I / believers.
The vine is the life source- as branches we must remain on the vine to get our strength.
To be cut off would be judgment.
To take yourself off would be disastrous.
To allow God to prune us is to bear fruit.
The believers apart from the vine has no fruitfulness from His union and fellowship with God.
Do you see why some believers struggle?
Do you see why some will blame God for what is going on in their lives and truth be told, the reason is they have cut themselves off or God is pruning and they don’t like it.
We will do what we like.
We will support the things that are important to us.
We will invest in things that matter. It will be evidenced in our lives.
One way of applying our faith would be worship.
We come into church every week and we expect our worship team to lead us to worship.
What part do we play?
What pre-service things should have been done before we even came in?
Now keeping in mind what was said- God’s Spirit dwells within the believer, so we don’t have to pray God’s presence because He dwells within us.
We know that we need to be connected to the things of God. We have to be engaged and doing the things of God or we will by default move away from God’s presence.
“Come let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
Each Sunday morning when I stand up and greet you and open with an invocation, it is a call to worship.
The OT the priest or Levite would assemble God’s people in the temple- today your pastor stands before the congregation and calls us to worship.
The pre-service preparedness would be to be in an attitude of worship. That would mean a few minutes before I stand up that you and I would be ready to worship and prepare ourselves for what God wants to do in the service.
The text this morning is composed of two parts- (1) a call to praise the Lord, (2) submissive attitude of God’s people toward God.