Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sermon: The Lukewarm Test in 3 parts

But, where does that leave us…here in Fowler? Are we a lukewarm church? Are we lukewarm Christians?

I have three questions to ask you that will help you determine where you are at and where we are at. Examine your heart. See if you sense that your are lukewarm in your faith, or passionately committed.

1. Are you just a FAN of Jesus, or are you his follower?

Jesus does not need a fan club. Christianity is not a spectator sport. Jesus does not need us in the stands, choosing when to clap and when to boo. Jesus needs us in the game. In the midst of the game, in the middle of the battle. He needs us taking the truth of God to the field of life. Christianity is less about giving intellectual assent to a series of ideas, it is more about living those truths in every moment of our lives.

There are plenty of people who say they believe in Jesus because they agree with his ideas, but the way of Jesus is not shown in their life’s journey. These are the folks display the Bible in a prominent place in their house, but they don’t let the Bible into their heart. They have “God so loved the world” on their bathroom wall, but the minute they are unforgiving and short-tempered with their family, have alienated all their friends, and have fueds with their neighbors. They talk about the importance of sharing the name of Jesus with those who don’t know him, but the only time the name of Christ comes out of their name among their friends is as a curse word. They feel comfortable with the facts about Jesus, but they don’t surrender their lives to his lordship and mission.. They like Jesus, but they don’t live Jesus. They are fans of Jesus, but not his followers

2. Are you living a life of comfort or of dependence on Christ?

We don’t like the world dependence. We like to be independent. Self-sufficient. Yet the Scripture over and over again shows us that we need to live our lives depending on his grace and his provision for us.

The Laodicean church was comfortable. They had their toys. The stuff they wanted. Yet, they were wretched, naked, poor. Why? Because they trusted in the wrong stuff. They chose safety and ease and comfort over a complete dependence on Jesus.
If we are not careful, we can be the same way. We can choose the comfort of what we know and feel safe with over the call of Christ in our day to day lives.

We can know that we are supposed to talk to that stranger, but never do it. We can know we are supposed to give that gift to someone in need, but hold on to what we have for the rainy day ahead. We do these things because we are afraid to put ourselves in a place of dependence on God. We would rather try and control things.

The Scripture is full of people who took risks and completely depended on God. Abraham trusted God to lead him to a new land. Moses trusted God to lead him and his people out of Egypt. Paul and Silas trusted God to provide for their needs as they went from strange town to strange town to share about the good news of Jesus.

3. Do you want to do all you can for Christ and his kingdom, or you want to do “just enough” to be a good Christian

We are funny creatures. Christ sets the world before us, and tells us the harvest is much but the workers are few. Then we try to look for the least we can do to somehow make him happy or get his approval, or more likely the approval of others.

We spend time trying to figure out if when we tithe we should give on the gross or the net, and then we give10 percent to the penny. Or less if we think we can get away with it. We impress ourselves doing just enough Bible study. Of showing up to church just enough to consider ourselves good Christians. We believe we should wait for sex until marriage, but instead of asking ourselves how pure we could be, we ask how far is too far to go physically.

We treat God like an obligation instead of loving him. We want to spend just enough time with him to appease him, give just enough to keep him off our backs, obey him in a way where we can give him just enough of our lives instead of all our lives.

God wants us to love him passionately, devote ourselves to Him completely, trust Him implicitly, offering Him our total allegiance. And we settle for an hour on Sunday like we are punching a clock at work and expect him to be impressed.

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