Friday Night Sermon 02-08-02 [Living It Part 2]


Thank You Jesus!
Registered Senior Member
Welcome back. I'll bet you've been itching to get back into this study just as I have. Last week we covered the very important aspect of our faith being, basically, the fulcrum upon which our relationship with the Lord pivots. In the example of crops, faith can be looked at as though it were the relationship between a fruiting plant and the nutrient rich soil it needs to live and to thrive. Here, I'll show you.

This plant can be placed on a stone. We all know that it's soon to die. This is the person without faith at all. This person has no chance of receiving the nutrients of God.

You can place it close to, in fact, right next to the soil but, it'll still die. This is a great deal like the good and nice person that only stays away from the bad crowd and hugs close to those that are actually plugged into the nutrients of God. This can even be the kind of person that's been born into a good Christian family and is very closely influenced by, but not intimately by, the things of God. This person, also, is starving for the things of God and has no hope.

Try even taking the same plant and placing it directly upon the soil. It still will not thrive. Here's the unfruitful church pew warmer that thinks he's saved and is really nowhere close no matter how many services he attends or ministries he's involved in.

This plant must be planted in its soil if it is to have the opportunity to draw nutrients and the products of life. Though a plant has no choice where it is planted, a person does. When we have faith, we are in submission to and enveloped by the thing in which we choose to be nurtured by. To have faith is to say, "I set my hope here! This is where my sustenance will come from!"

Faith is a willingness and an openness to receive. That is submission! Submission is not weakness. Rather, it's wisdom to know what is good for you. God would have us to have faith in Him and to be willing to be open to Him, and fully enveloped by Him so that He can give to us what is GOOD for us! Christ gives it to us as the example of the True Vine and the Branches. The True Vine gives everything that is good for the Branches. The Branches, even though they may be grafted in, must be submissive to the life giving True Vine to live.

I bet that we've all heard it said that God does not want our ability. He wants our availability. That can be better translated, God does not want our works. He wants our faith! He wants us to be open and willing to have our sustenance come from Him and Him alone. Why?

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

God has designed us for a cause. When we are fully given to Him with all of our hearts (our wills not our works), that is when we are planted in Him. That's why we are guaranteed to find Him then. It's because, in that state, we are fully enveloped by and submissive to God. We are planted and grafted in and Saved. That's when the lines of communication flow between God and man through prayer established by faith! There is no place for the works or practices of a man to bring this relationship into being. This faith relationship is most beautifully, I think, given to us, by God, in the mother who nurtures her child with her own essence only by the acceptance of her weak, powerless, and unknowing newborn.

We are newborns that God wishes to share the only existing reserve of eternal life giving sustenance with. This only happens by faith in Him and His Word. We must be willing!

Luke 18:16-17

16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.


Matthew 18:1-4

1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Herein is the Power of God revealed through man. With greater submission and an increasingly humble heart, the more the essence of God, the very nutrients for eternal life, can flow into and through the deeply planted and deeply faithful Christian.

Now, let me remind you. By God's design, we are supposed to exude and reflect the very image, nature, and power of God. To do this, we know that we must abide in Christ and Christ in us. We also know that God wants a relationship with us in the which we are willing subjects. Now, what we need to know is what takes place in this abiding to get us to all of that
exuding and reflecting.

I think that we already know that prayer and open communication has to take place to get us there. I'll bet that most of us can even point to submission right about now. Still, there's something yet between all that and the power the Holy Spirit expresses in our lives. There's still something else important that God's Word gives us that we far too often neglect as part of this abiding. It's our thought life. You see, even if there's prayer and as much submission as we know how to allow, without a proper thought life, the power of God has a powerful hard time being manifested in us. Jonah is a perfect example of this. He communicated with God alright. After all, what is prayer but communication with God?! The Thee's and Thou's need not apply. He even had submission toward God but in that he was clearly a servant of God. Yet, the work that God wanted done through Jonah could not be done as it happened to be that Jonah was of a different mind than the Lord God on High. Because Jonah did not choose to think like God, he chose to respond to God's plans differently than what God would have had of him.

There is a key lesson to understand here. Suppose, if you will, a plant could think. What do you think it would think about more than anything else? Of course, we all know that it would be plant stuff. Whatever that plant would need to live and to grow would dominate its thinking. Why are we so different? Wouldn't we do just as well to have this kind of thought life? The fact is, that's exactly what God would have of us. Thought life is the bridge between Prayer with God and the Power of the Indwelling Holy Spirit that regulates our will to be submissive to and effected by the very nature of God. Like Jonah, if we don't think like God thinks our forward spiritual progress will be hampered and we'll have a hard time seeing the power of God show through in our lives. Let's look at some verses to help drive this home.

James 4:1

1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Matthew 15:16-19

16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Luke 6:43-45

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Deuteronomy 6:4-16

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. 10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; 12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. 16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Since our bend is toward our lusts, God has shown us in His Word that we should think about Him and good things always. "Why?", you ask. The Bible gives us that answer too.

Proverbs 3:3-4

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Proverbs 21:21

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

Who's the source of this life we'll find? It's God!

Friends, that's not the end of it. We've got much more to go through from here. Be ready next week for what God has to give us.

Seek Righteousness,