Give God Our All

We have several students graduating this spring.  It brings back memories of my own graduation from college back in 1987.  Since I was graduating from a Bible college it was no surprise that instead of a student presenting a speech, we had a student preach a message.  I still remember the title “More Than Just a Little Bit”.  That line came from a popular Christian song by the group Glad.  The basic theme was that we were to give God our all, not just a little bit.  It was a great message and it has stuck with me through the years.

I.  Inconsistent!  Ezekiel 14:1-6

 Then some elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols.”’

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations.

A.  Idols:  These elders had come for a word from the Lord.  That looked good on the outside.  They were a part of the children of Israel. They were supposed to seek guidance from God, through the prophets.  The problem is that it was not with their whole hearts.  They “set up idols in their hearts”.  God was not pleased.

Do we have idols in our hearts?  Chances are pretty good that none of us actually have physical idols that we worship or consult, but that is not the only type of idol that exists.   Anything that we allow to be more important to us than God is an idol to us.  Anything that we place our trust in, more than we trust in God, is an idol to us.  God wants to be first in our lives.  The most important thing to us, and the thing in which we place the most trust.

B.  Stumble:  “The stumbling block of their iniquity”.  We are called to repent and believe the gospel.  Although we are saved by faith we are still called to turn away from sin. We should be careful in our lives to avoid those things that cause us to stumble.

II.  Repent and Live!  Ezekiel 18:26-32

When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”

A.  The Righteous Man:  These verses are both a warning and a message of hope.  The warning is to those who are serving God in righteousness and truth.  The warning is that we need to continue in righteousness, if we fall into sin we will be judged.  God does not want simply a part of our lives.  He wants us throughout our lives.  We are not to walk with God for a while, we are to walk with God throughout our lives.

B.  The Sinful Man:  There is a message of hope for the sinner.  As long as we live, there is still hope for us to repent and call upon the Lord.  We can still be saved, even if we have lived a lifetime of sin. Even as the thief on the cross was forgiven in his final hours, so we too, can be forgiven.  This should motivate those of us who are believers to continue to pray for those who are lost.  There is still hope.  Never give up hope!

III.  All of Us:

A.  Confession and Faith:  Romans 10:9-10

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

A public confession of faith in Jesus in important.  It is even more important that we actually believe the message in our hearts.  It affects both our inner and our outer person.  What we think, and what we say are important.  God wants all of us, not just the inside, not just the outside, but all of us.

B.  Faith and Action:  James 2:24-26

You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

These verses do not imply that we are saved by our works.  We are still saved “by grace, through faith”.  What it does mean is that if we are saved, then our lives will be changed.  That should not come as any surprise.  Do we really think that having the Spirit of Christ in our hearts would not change us?  A living faith will produce works of righteousness.  Our lives should be producing “good fruit”.  God does not want us to have a merely a saving faith, but a transforming faith. This is a faith that changes us from who we were, to who we are becoming in Christ.  This process of becoming will continue throughout our lives as we grow closer to Him.

God does not want a part of our lives.  He wants all of us.

These are the sermon notes from 5/18/14.  Any advertisement that may accompany this blog is placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

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