Posts Tagged 'service'

Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Get Off The Throne

Get Off The Throne

Joshua 24:14-18; 1 Peter 3:13-17; Isaiah 14:13-14

Here we are, Sunday before Christmas starts. We’re focused on the arrival of the Savior in the Manger. But consider what the Savior LEFT: the Throne of Heaven! God is on His throne! PS 47:8; There is ALSO a throne in each of us. Who has the right to be THERE?

To Keep Your Throne Clear for Christ

* Install to Serve Him ~ Joshua 24:14-18

  • 14 respect AND serve are linked: can’t do one without the other
  • 15 CHOOSE: a **human** exercise of will
  • 16/18 they respond IN THE MOMENT: it’s possible to make a commitment one moment, but not count the cost of KEEPING it. Have you done this? What has been the cost of keeping your commitment? Of NOT keeping it?

* Invest to Assert Him ~ 1 Peter 3:13-17

  • 13/14 this is a follow up from verses 8 on; PEOPLE (not just Christians) suffer- SO do what’s right!
  • 15 Sanctify/make holy: INVEST; if you were on a ball team, and you never showed up for practice to learn necessary skills, would you be ready to play? Would you even be SELECTED to play? What are you “making holy” in your life?
  • 16 we are to respect God; we’re ALSO to respect people… as a means of showing God respect as well!
  • 17 not suffering is ideal; if that’s NOT what happens, at least don’t DRAW suffering to yourself by doing what is evil

* Abdicate to Affirm Him ~ Isaiah 14:13-14

Choosing evil isn’t possible when you’re submitted to God. Why? Because evil is that which is OPPOSED to God… and God cannot oppose Himself. But WE can:

  • 13: You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
  • When WE kick God out of the driver’s seat, we do the SAME THING AS SATAN. Don’t DO that! GET OFF THE THRONE

Lord Jesus, I willingly relinquish the throne of my life and invite You to once again take control as Lord of my life.

Autumn Thoughts:The Intimacy of Service

The Intimacy of Service

John 13:1-20

The Dead Sea is so salty that it contains no fish or plant life. What accounts for this unusual condition? There are absolutely no outlets! A great volume of water pours into this area, but nothing flows out. Many inlets plus no outlets equal a dead sea.

Some “Christians” are like the Dead Sea. They have several “inlets” but no “outlets.” To be vibrant and useful believers, we must not only “take in” all we can, but we must also “give out” in service to others!

Every Christian Should Expect

* The Inconvenience of Intimacy ~ John 13:1-11

  • 1/3 Jesus loves ON PURPOSE; He KNOWS terrible things are going to happen, but shows love anyway
  • 4/5 uncomfortable intimacy then; what response today?
  • 6/8 Peter knows how inappropriate this feels! Jesus’ response? “you don’t know what I’m doing” – DO WE?
  • 9/11 this was never about cleanliness, or even intimacy: this is about the cost of caring for others: this is LOVE in ACTION – WHOSE FEET DO YOU WASH? WHO DO YOU UNCOMFORTABLY SERVE?

* The Submission to Service ~ John 13:12-20

  • 12 We STILL grapple with this question “do you understand what I have done for you” DO WE?
  • 13/15 Jesus EXPECTS us to follow His example
  • 16/17 Be honest: do you tell yourself “I’m too good for *that*”? WHEN you do, what do you give up? WHAT BLESSINGS HAVE WE MISSED?
  • 18/20 Jesus USED His Pain to Point to God’s Promise

Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:16-17) NONE OF THESE ARE PASSIVE, NONE ARE PRIVATE – Jesus expected it and did it; why aren’t we?

Purpose Driven Plus One: Ministry

Purpose Driven Plus One: Ministry Sermon Audio Here

Matthew 5:43-48; Leviticus 19:9-18

From Rick Warren’s message on Ministry~ Priscilla Presley, wife of famed singer Elvis Presley, said this in an interview: “Elvis never came to terms with who or what he was meant to be or what his purpose in life was. He thought he was here for a reason; maybe to preach, or to save, or to serve and care for people, and that agonizing desire was always in him… and he knew he wasn’t fulfilling it. So he’d go on stage and he wouldn’t have to think about it. Elvis hadn’t a clue about where to begin to look. In a sense, he was lost.” Elvis was successful, but not fulfilled.

Be A Person On Purpose:

See Kingdom Standards ~ Matthew 5:43-47
This is Jesus’ teaching pattern for the Kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount

  • 43 Level of Law (entry level: the bare minimum)
  • 44/45 Goal of Godliness (achievement unlocked!)
  • 46/47 Practice of Piety (how do we get there?)

Live Kingdom Concepts ~ Leviticus 19:9-18

  • 9/10 more than just “feed the poor” PLAN to help others
  • 11/12 reminders: section doesn’t replace 10 Commandments; it’s a COMMENTARY on the Commandments; You are now reading the Law- more complex than you thought
  • 13 “Do Not Cheat or Swindle”
  • 14 “Do Not Taunt”
  • 15 “Be Fair to ALL” (don’t pander to the poor, or revere the rich)
  • 16 “Do Not Slander or Endanger”
  • 17 “Do Not Hate; Reason Rightly”
  • 18 “Release Revenge”; Love Like Your Life Depended On It

Matthew 5:48: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” This is the Completion of Christlikeness.

Lent: Our Struggle

Lent: Our Struggle Sermon Audio Here

Romans 8:6-11

When your engine making weird noises, or your computer is behaving strangely, or there’s a sudden change in health status; It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on internally!

Why Is The Spiritual Life A Struggle?

We’re Stuck With Two States ~ Romans 8:6-8

  • v6 “mind of the flesh” to live according to that state; “mind of the Spirit” to live in the state of the Spirit
  • v7 description of the meat-minded: hostile/OPPOSED; it wants its OWN way, not God’s, and it CAN’T choose God on its own!
  • v8 NOT merely “controlled by” but IN THE FLESH; there’s no separation. We do NOT have a neutral nature that is somehow influenced by a bad fleshly side and a good godly side

we are either living led by the Spirit, or we are quite literally meat-heads

We’re Settled By One Spirit ~ Romans 8:9

  • v9 IF the Spirit lives in you, you aren’t “of the flesh”; Spirit brings life and peace to the spiritually dead (God breathed the Spirit-becomes a living soul); CONVERSELY, if the life lived isn’t of the Spirit, that means the Spirit isn’t present = meat-minded

If a person can’t live led by the Spirit, they’re lost

We’re Saved To Serve Forever ~ Romans 8:10-11

  • v10 NOTE: your body is dead because of sin whether you have the Spirit or not; all flesh dies. The point Paul makes here is that even though your meat-tent will pass away, what is YOU, your SELF, doesn’t need to: when you allow the Spirit to make Your life His HOME, He brings you to life, KEEPS you alive, and produces His righteousness IN you to show you it works
  • v11 God’s Spirit OVERRIDES death; we no longer need fear it, because we will live THROUGH/PAST it; our bodies will still fade, but they are merely temporary dwelling places for our SELVES which have been joined to the Spirit. And since the Spirit (our roommate in us) will live forever, so will we!

Ezekiel 37:14~ I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'”

God DESIRES to bring us to life: but we have to receive what He gives on His terms so we know HE is at work, not us.


Pastor Ed Backell

Flickr Photos

Pastoral Tweets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 212 other followers


%d bloggers like this: