Archive for January 7th, 2014

Make a Difference

January 7, 2014

Our lives impact those around us.

Introduction:  Impact- Job 35:4-8

“I will answer you,
And your companions with you.
Look to the heavens and see;
And behold the clouds—
They are higher than you.
If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him?
Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him?
If you are righteous, what do you give Him?
Or what does He receive from your hand?
Your wickedness affects a man such as you,
And your righteousness a son of man.

Our lives do have an impact on those around us.  Our sins hurt people.  Our righteous acts can help people.  We make a difference.   All of us.

I.  Let Your Light Shine:  Matthew 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

This is one of my favorite verses.  Here it is clearly stated that our light is our good works.  People cannot see our thoughts, but they can hear our words, and observe our deeds.  We should pray that what they hear and see in our lives will be the light of Christ shining through us.

II.  A Living Faith Produces Works:  James 2:15-18

 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

One of the charges that I hear most frequently is that the church is full of hypocrites.  May God help us to live out in our lives the faith that we confess with our lips.  May we be not simply hearers of the word, but doers of the word.  If we have a living faith, then the Spirit of Christ is dwelling within us.  If that is true, our lives should be changed.  We should live a life that is filled with good works, not because we are trying to be saved, but because we are saved.

The most important thing that we can do is to love God, and the people around us.  This is an attitude that is expressed in our actions.

III.  Faith/Love/Works:  I John 5:1-5

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Faith produces love.  Love produces works.   The works of faith are to keep the commandments of God.  See the Bible for specific details, but a brief summary would include the following.

Keep God first in your life.  Take the time to pray, read the scriptures, and worship with other believers.

Do not lie.  Our society seems to think that occasional lies are acceptable.  As the people of God, we should speak only truth.

Do not steal.  This includes things like being honest at tax time and giving our employers a full days work for our pay.

Do not commit murder.  This is expanded in the New Testament to not hate our neighbor and to not speak evil to our neighbor.  We are called to love all people, even as God loves all people.

Do not covet.  This is rooted in the idea that we are to seek fulfillment in the things of God, not in the things of this world.

Be sexually pure.  God created sex.  He intended for it to be only between a man and a woman in a marriage relationship.  Anything else is wrong.   Marriage is meant to be a lifelong commitment.  It takes work.

Be compassionate.  We are to care about other people.  We can express this by listening, praying, and when possible, physically helping.

As Christians, we should make a difference.  We are called to be salt and light in the world.  People should be able to see the difference that Christ has made in our lives.  They should see that difference in our words, deeds and the attitudes that we express.

These are the sermon notes from  12/29/13.  Feel free to make comments or ask questions.

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