This is the short version of part two from this past weeks sermon:
Building your life in obedience to Jesus. James 1:19-25
This is about sanctification, how we live the Christian life. We have been saved and now we hear the word (look into the mirror) and we respond. As followers of Jesus, we are secure in our salvation and His grace.
Be an active ‘doer’ not a forgetful ‘hearer’:
I appreciate what Warren Wiersbe adds: “It is not sufficient, however, to receive the Word; one must respond to it in active obedience. One must “become,” or “keep on becoming” a doer of the Word and not just a hearer. The growing numbers of sermon-sippers who flit from one doctrinal dessert to another like helpless hummingbirds are deceiving themselves. “Deceiving” is from a verb used only here and in Col 2:4, means “to cheat or deceive by false reasoning.” The deception comes from thinking they have done all that is necessary when actually listening to the Word is only the beginning.”
The word for “looks into” means “to stoop down” in order to have a good close look.
The “Law that gives freedom” seems like a paradox. Law seems to imply restraint and therefore a lack of freedom. Not so with God’s Law. His perfect Law provides true freedom. “Hold to My teaching,” Christ said, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
This life he brings us is an ‘abundant life’. We’re free to take His word and make application and thus be doers, bringing Him glory!
So what is it God’s calling you to “do”?
Yesterday I began my sermon with four things I really like. We had just baptized three individuals with beautiful stories of grace written all over them. So I said, “there are four things I really like: baptisms (whether I’m the one dunking or not), seeing people saved (whether I’m leading or not), preaching, and pie.” Not always in that order!
Before the day was over I experienced all four!
I preached one of those unusual sermons that pastors love to preach. You can read more about it tomorrow. Or you can hear it here and see the notes.
Before the service was over we saw 3 people stand and confess Jesus as Savior and Lord! It was awesome. Our church exploded in applause. As did heaven’s angels.
And because God is awesome and actually created us to laugh and enjoy pie, later that afternoon Laurie and I joined up with one of our fabulous Grace Groups and they offered PIE! There you go. Day complete. I can go home now.
Wow. I loved Father’s Day at Grace. I loved that we honored dads. I loved that we prayed for the many that were out at that very hour fighting the fire that shut down Sinagua. And I loved that we had a place to meet for church. I’ve gotta tell you I was pretty energized having three services on a Sunday morning. Our attendance was down considerably, but WE DIDN’T HAVE TO CANCEL! Praise God we could fit over 200 people in the Ministry Center throughout the morning.
A big shout out to the team that served our body that morning. Many came early and stayed through all three services. I think the Worship Team, the Levites, the Tech Team, Aaron and Matt could each retell the sermon better than I could by the third time.
Thanks, Grace, for being so gracious. We need to be ready for whatever the Lord has for us.
On a personal note: I’m taking a few days of what is called a study break. A few days this week and a few next allows me the opportunity to be away from the office and pray, read and meditate on how God is leading me and Grace. I’ll be back Thursday for a couple of appointments and will stay through the weekend before taking a few days next week to do the same. I want you to know so you can pray for me. I love what I do, and I take it seriously.
After these couple of partial weeks, I’m going to take Laurie away and go find a vacation spot to rest together. No apologies, we all need some time away. Make plans, take care of your family!
All that said, I’m so thankful for the guests we’ll have at Grace. This week, we’ll get to meet Paul Wegner. Check it out here, http://www.allaboutgrace.com/#/welcome/guest-speakers
Can’t wait to see all of you on Sunday. I’m looking forward to hearing Paul and worshiping with our Grace family!
I’m pretty jazzed about preaching John tomorrow. I really don’t want to finish this book because it’s been such an amazing study on the Gospel of Grace! Yet, I’m excited because of how it finishes. Really comes down to two words. Follow Me. Many of you have, most of you will be challenged to take the next step in following Jesus.
Tomorrow we’re launching “Grace Gives”. I really can’t wait to invite our entire church family to give freely of the grace that we’ve received. This is going to be huge.
Thanks Lord for giving us Your Word and Your Mission! We are free to live in grace and pass it on to others as well.
I just noticed Zac posted his sermon from our church on his blog today. Check it out when you have a few minutes. Still amazes me. http://www.hello-righton.com/
Tomorrow right after church we have a lunch for EVERYONE at Grace. So, come and plan on sticking around for a bit. It’s a GREAT way to meet others and have some chilaxing time! Bring someone with you to introduce around. Wouldn’t it be great if we ran out of food?!! Sorry hospitality team… what I mean is, wouldn’t it be great if so many more came and hung with us? Don’t just bring someone from another church, bring someone that doesn’t have a church home yet, is looking, is your guest, or even someone that may just be a bit curious. Let’s Eat!
If you wanna read ahead, tomorrow I’ll be teaching from John 13:18-38. Grace Groups have begun and it’s been a great first week. Let’s pray for our time together tomorrow and for God’s amazing grace to go forward to many others through Grace Community.
As we come prepared, rested, and seeking a time to worship, fellowship, serve and learn, we can come expecting God to do amazing things among us. I’ll see you in the morning.
If you’re reading this from another time zone, go to your church; prepared and expecting. God is going to do great stuff through His church.
Oh…one more thing, Happy Birthday, Pastor Bob!
Just a reminder, you can hear sermons from Grace online at http://www.allaboutgrace.com Go there and listen to this past Sunday: Three Stories. Sermon by Zac Smith. Amazing. I apologize but somehow the link between our site and itunes isn’t working, but you can listen from the site or maybe download on mp3, just not itunes.