HAPPY NEW YEAR
Intro: Wednesday night we watched a video about the Christmas Story. If you take the time to really ponder so to speak and think about the events that transpired that first Christmas you can’t help but ask, why God? Why that man, why that young teenage girl? Why such a poor couple. Why did they have to travel 7o miles? Why did they have to be taxed? And this is a big question God, why a stable for a delivery room for the Son of God? What are you thinking God? This isn’t great condition for any child or mother who is about to give birth, let alone the Son of God. What was God trying to show us, or tell us? How does this affect me? Why God? Truly there were several turning points in this historical event. This event left a spiritual marker that mankind will never forget. This event was truly a spiritual marker.
In all three churches that I have pastored at there are two verse’s that have become spiritual markers for me: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
Application: Turning points are spiritual markers.
To experience God you cannot avoid spiritual markers, it could be delivery your first baby, graduating from school, starting your first job, getting married, losing a love one. These can all be spiritual markers that can led to an experience with God Seven Realities of Experiencing God:
1. God is always at work around you: He takes the initiative!
Right now God is working all around you and in your life. One of the greatest tragedies among God’s people is that, while they have a deep longing to experience God, they are experiencing God day after day but do not know how to recognize Him. Watch to see where God is working and join Him.
God reveals what He is about to do. That revelation becomes an invitation to join Him which will inevitably leave a spiritual marker. In the Christmas story that I mentioned in the introduction it was hard for those Christmas characters to fully put all the pieces of the puzzle together, but time has revealed Gods plan and purpose, He is always at work. What are you willing to do Church?
2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal:
The Israelites wondered in the wilderness for years because they didn’t understand what God really wanted. Understanding what God is about to do where you are is more important than telling God what you want to do for Him. Are you wandering in the wilderness or are you enjoying a real, personal love relationship with Him. Don’t ever forget: “Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work:
All the way through the scripture, God takes the initiative when He comes to a person; He always reveals Himself and His activity. The revelation is always an invitation for the individual or the church to adjust their life to God. None of the people God encountered could remain the same after the encounter, it left a spiritual marker. They had to make major adjustments in their lives in order to walk obediently with God.
God is looking for parenting disciples. Are you mature enough to teach others to be submitted to Jesus Christ? Sure it starts with baby steps, but baby’s grow and learn to walk more gracefully and that is exactly what the disciple must do keep growing, I understand the view is beautiful at the top.
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways:
In seeking God’s direction, check to see that prayer, the scripture, and circumstances agree in the direction you sense God leading you. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26 (KJV)
5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action:
We need F.A.T. Christians! We don’t need fans; we need completely, committed followers for Christ: “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” John 14:21 (NLT)
This is one of those spiritual markers that require a crisis of belief.
6. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His works through you: This is the first day of a brand new year, what are you going to do with it? What are you going to do for God today? What are you going to do for God this week? What are you going to do for God this month? What are you going to do for God this year? What are you going to do? The Bible says “Follow me!” "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
Part of the result of a spiritual marker comes when we realization to follow God we must deny self and we may not always like that. Our reasonable service is to present our body as a living sacrifice. Could it be that we have become comfortable?
7. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing:
Putting steps into action requires adjustments: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22
This is what makes or breaks a large majority of the Christians in our churches today. Will you make a major adjustment in your life to join God in what He is doing?
With all my heart and understanding I believe God is doing something here at Ocean View Baptist Church, but for this to become a reality there will be a major adjustment required to join God in what He is doing.
In : Sermon
Tags: "new year" "spiritual markers" "book of romans"
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