[Greg Miller, Associate Pastor]
What if you actually believed everything you said you believed about God?
What if you believed that you were really saved from death?
What if every desire of your soul was truly fulfilled by God?
What if you could live your life freed from any guilt or shame?
What if everything you say or do has eternal significance?
We know, in our head, what the answers are to these questions are..but why doesn't my life reflect these truths every moment of the day?
How is it possible that I could be so distracted, or so arrogant, or so ignorant that we could ignore God in any given moment?
So..how do I maintain spiritual momentum?
Hebrews chapters 10-13 are perfect reading this week if you want to maintain momentum.
- Operate in faith, with the faithful – faith is belief that results in ACTION.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV)
What a strong word to believers.. Our faith should be reflected in everything that we say and do. We should “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess”..
Wonderful Word: We see our time in the Word sometimes as drudgery. We listen to the lies of the enemy who tells us that, 'you won't understand it,' and 'it will steal your joy,' and 'you don't have time,'.. But we actually have the opportunity to hear the living words of Creator God.
Privilege of Prayer: We also have the amazing privilege of talking to God through prayer. Yet we listen again to the lies of the enemy who tells us, 'He isn't listening to you,' and 'you don't know how to pray,' and 'you're a fool for thinking you can even talk to the Holy God.'
Fellowship with the Faithful: The writer of Hebrews challenges us to be faithful in our meeting together corporately on Sundays and in the context of small groups. Too often we find ourselves surrounded by believers who bring us down rather than build us up. Can we reprioritize our relationships to fill our time with believers who encourage us and hold us accountable?
Are you taking the Word and prayer and meeting together.. too lightly?
- Be alert and decisive – avoid sin as if it were deadly.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31 NIV)
That is STRONG.
Bottom line, we need to deal with sin in our lives. We can't make light of the grace God has shown us. If you have heard the truth, then don't trample on it with blatant sin.
Know your weaknesses: be honest with yourself. We don't highlight them and excuse them as, 'that's just who I am.' That is the old self and not representative of a changing life.
Armed for battle: find Scriptures that reinforce your weaknesses. Memorize those verses, lean on them in times of temptation and struggle. If the enemy 'prowls around like a roaring lion looking for those he can devour' then let's take the offensive and FIGHT!
Deal with sin immediately: don't let it fester. Again, be honest with ourselves and take things to God immediately. Confess it quick and ask for His strength to overcome. Put up boundaries and levels of accountability to protect against temptations.
- Eyes on the road – focus on the person of Christ and the destination of heaven.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)
We can't fix our eyes on the things directly in front of us or the distractions around us..we need to keep the future destination in focus.
If we take our eyes off of Jesus then we will only see ourselves. And we will see weakness. And weakness will bring us down. But keeping our eyes on Jesus gives us strength and power and boldness.
It's time to believe that the Great Commission REALLY IS GREAT!!!
God has given us a huge task in reaching the world and we will not accomplish this on our own or in our own strength. We NEED Him.
Fall in love with your first love again.
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For,
“In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasurein the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (Hebrews 10:32-39 NIV)