|Create Date||January 22, 2018|
|Last Updated||January 22, 2018|
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SERMON SUMMARY - CHRIS KHOURY - 21 JAN 2018
EVALUATE YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
When you look back at last year - was it a good year? If you had to evaluate your spiritual life over the last few years how have you done? Out of 10, what score would you give yourself? 5, 6, 8? Have you grown? Are you more devoted to God, a more committed Christian? Do you walk in greater faith today than you did last year?
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO WALK THE SPIRITUAL WALK?
We don’t know what lies ahead of us this year. Is it going to be a year of turmoil and upset? Will you be battered and beaten by the storms of life. Its like you are this little boat caught in a raging sea. With no control over what is happening. The storm is just so much greater than you.
When the disciples found themselves in a little boat that was about to sink because of the raging storm, they woke Jesus, “Lord, save us! Don’t you care that we are about to drown?” I can tell you this, no matter how bad the storms in your life are, Jesus is right there with you. In the boat!
“Why is our spiritual growth so stunted?”
WHAT DOES STUNTED SPIRITUAL GROWTH LOOK LIKE?
- Same problems, year after year.
- Don’t reach our full potential.
- Spiritual commitment is lacking. (The good I want to do-I don’t do)
- Isolate ourselves from the community when facing trials. Withdraw!
- Lack of communion with God.
- Feeling sorry for yourself.
- Feelings of guilt.
- Lack of passion.
WHAT IS THE ANSWER? 3 Things I would like to highlight.
POINT 1: WHO IS JESUS?
This is the foundation of our faith. When we know and believe who Jesus is, then we will experience God in a personal way.
JESUS ASKED HIS DISCIPLES THIS VERY QUESTION:
Who do people say that I am? Elijah, a prophet, John the baptist. Who do you say that I am? Peter gave him an answer. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!
You are the Christ - the messiah, the saviour of the world. The son of the living God. Not a dead God. Not a made-up god, or an idol. The son of the living God!
As The son of God, Jesus has to be all powerful, alive, seated at the right hand of the Father as our high priest. Interceding on our behalf. Only with this as our foundation are we able to grow in grace and knowledge, faith and understanding.
Lord, I became a Christian because I was called, compelled, and committed. Help me to work hard and faithfully today, driven by that original sense of passion. Open my eyes Lord and let the light of your truth flood in. Amen."
POINT 2: SOLITUDE
Matt 14:23 (GNT) 23 After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone;
Being alone with God. Talking to God, reading the word. Developing a relationship with Him. Spending time with God. Solitude, is food for the soul. In solitude we feed on the Word of God. We are nourished! If a child does not get enough food (right kind of food) their growth will be impaired. Stunted. Malnourished.
Our spiritual lives are no different.
Psalm 42 (GNT)
42 As a deer longs for a stream of cool water,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
2 I thirst for you, the living God.
5 Why am I so sad?
Why am I so troubled?
I will put my hope in God,
and once again I will praise him,
my saviour and my God.
DISTRACTIONS: Our modern way of life can be so distracting it can makes solitude almost impossible. Today we have a lot of “stuff”, material comforts that make life “easier” and they entertain but they rob us of our time, peace and solitude.
CELL PHONES: Even when we do snatch 10 minutes for prayer - the cell phone is never far away. Heaven forbid it should beep. Someone has sent us a message! I bet it was not from God? And I guarantee it cannot wait 10 minutes!
What are some of the other distractions? TV, internet, facebook, movies, games...
CHALLENGES: If you live in small house. Sharing living space. This can be a real challenge. We all have to set our own rhythm. Some will find weekends easier, for young mums, mid morning, for others, it might be 4am in the morning. God’s awake all the time.
QUALITY TIME: We spend quality time with our children when they are small. Not just sitting in front of the TV. Go out and play a game, read them a story, go for a walk. We need to spend quality time in the Word of God. After all the Word of God is the Living Word!
WHAT TO DO? Develop a reading program. Start off by reading the Gospel of John. Psalms, Isaiah, Romans, Hebrews. That will be enough to take you through this year. Read the Bible often and reverently. Allow the living Word to speak to you! There are no short-cuts to pure spirituality.
Lord help us today to escape and retire to solitude even for a short time. Lord make it possible for us to experience you in a personal way. Because of your great love, show me your glory!
POINT 3: SET YOUR FACE TO DO THE WILL OF GOD.
2018 Is a new year. We hope and pray for fair weather, but there will be storms. Whatever the weather in your life, set your face to do the will of God this year. Determine in your heart, to follow Jesus.
When Israel needed a strong leader, someone to set the example, Joshua put up his hand. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Dan 1:8 Daniel “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself by eating the delicacies on the kings table.” He set his will. Made a resolution and stuck to it. God honoured him for it.
Jesus set his face towards Jerusalem, knowing that he was walking to the cross.
Paul determined, “ not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”...
Lord, today I renew the vow I made, (some many years ago) to serve you. I am often pulled in other directions, but keep me focused and faithful, undeterred and undefiled. Guide me on this uncharted sea of a new year as I daily seek to know you in Your word. Use me this year as I step out in faith to proclaim your word. Amen