CASUALLY LISTENING OR COMMITTED LIVING?

16 01 2019

god wants your heart!

Too many times, people try to limit a God who is absolutely limitless. They attempt to build a wall around a love that abounds beyond any man-made boundaries. When what we feel weighs more than what God said, we present a watered-down faith to a watching world. True Christian love is shown not only to believers, but toward all human beings regardless of their color, creed, crowd or credibility. It’s easy to love those you already like, but it’s extending that courtesy to those who don’t believe as we do or they that we might even consider our enemies. I can only imagine what would happen in our crazy culture today if the love of God was truly unleased to go where Heaven directs rather than only those places that earth determines.

   

If you read the New Testament carefully, you will learn that the early church actually believed that Jesus was going to return during their lifetimes. 2000 years ago, the Apostles Paul and John and Peter taught that they were living in the “last days.” If they thought that the second coming of Christ was imminent, how much more should we be acknowledging that today could be the day that the trumpet sounds. How might we live differently if we looked up rather than get weighed down? Our Lord’s return should be keeping us on our toes in the Christian life. Our proper posture should have us living on the edge of our seats! We need to be ready to rock and roll when the role is called up yonder.

 

Posture matters! Have you seen the commercial on television where the guy who is out on his first date with a well-dressed gal comes up small because he is adorned in a stretched-out t-shirt? When a young man meets a young woman that he wants to impress, he needs to stand up straight, get his shoulders back, tuck his gut in, make sure his clothes are washed and ironed, maintain eye contact and flash a sincere and genuine smile. The posture of proposal is for the man to get down on one knee. When he has messed up royally and needs to apologize, it’s show-up on two knees. I want to shout to today’s Believers, “Assume the Posture…” “Strike a Pose…” “Get in Ready Position!”

 

When I Coached Baseball, before every play, I would remind our defense to make sure that they got in the “Ready Position.” That meant the players would get that glove on the ground, and be on their toes ready and even hoping the Batter would hit the ball to them. Too often, I see Christians come to worship with almost the same fervor that they show when they want to take a nap. When you decide to engage your heart and it gets caught up in the experience of the moment, your body responds outwardly. When Christians decide to engage their hearts and they get caught up in experiencing the God of every moment, the Body of Christ responds outwardly in a manner that nobody can ignore.

 

If the Lord isn’t getting inward then you can bet that the Lord’s not flowing outward! Could that be why we aren’t making the impact that we should be having? Our Government right now is in a state of chaos. Both Republicans and Democrats are too busy playing egomaniac charades of “King of the Mountain.” Their stubborn pride has caused them to exhibit an amnesia that causes them to forget that they took an oath to serve the people and not their own selfish interests. Maybe you might expect the world to behave badly, but those who claim to have the Spirit of God alive within them should not be following suit!  Outward expression defines the inward reality. Don’t claim to be followers of Jesus if His footsteps go one way and ours go another! Your present posture in this place points to your personal priority in whether you are properly participating fully with the power being presented to you.

 

God wants all of us! We should plead with Jesus daily to captivate our hearts and reveal any sin that might be keeping us from seeing and savoring him with all we are. God wants our hearts, not just our fake smiles, arms raised or our knees bent. He wants more than just our shouts or our songs. He wants more than just our theological intellects. The enemy wants us paralyzed and compromised by what-ifs, opinions, accusations, and misunderstandings. Even Jesus prayed practically and yet powerfully that the definitive mark of those who say they know Him would be their unconditional love. A love that goes everywhere and grows with every step it takes.

 

In the New Testament, success of a church is gauged by how much people learn to love each other, forgive one another, listen to one another, support and pray for one another, and reach out to those in need around them. And that style of immense and intense concern wouldn’t be limited only to those in the clubhouse. I don’t care what you say, you cannot separate conduct from character and that’s why real Christianity needs to be all about consistency! Everyone needs to open up their hearts to allow Jesus to rescue them. Everyone needs to know that real faith grows up to maturity. If it isn’t going forwards, it goes backwards! Everyone needs to know that as part of the Family of God they have a divinely assigned position in God’s program. Is your character and conduct holy and blameless before God? If not, why not? We must Lead to and Lead on so that everyone Lights up this world! What shall we do? We need to be an encouragement and stand guard to guide all to make a stand!

 

God’s Word gives us an inside-out look at who and what we really are. But that only happens as we look at it intently, meditate or think regularly on it. We must interact with the Word on every aspect of our life. Read it every day. Read it chapter by chapter and topic by topic. Study God’s viewpoint regarding issues you are facing in your life. Read it with the attitude that says, “Lord, I give You permission to use what I read in Your Word to transform me into the image of Your Son. Reveal Yourself to me, and reveal myself as You see me.” Read the Word but also Live the Word you Read!

 

Forsake and resist the world’s overwhelming message that seeks to warp your mind. Don’t allow yourself to be squeezed into a conformity that robs you from real community with the Lord! Retrain your brain! Commit to believe and obey what it says, regardless of how you feel about it. Only then can you grow stronger in faith, love, and holiness. “Only then” needs to be right now! Believers need to lead the way out of the mess that we are in; but we do so not to draw attention to ourselves but to Jesus! Jesus, only Jesus!


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