Faithlife Sermons

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About two weeks ago Leanna went on a trip and she parked her car at the airport car lot for a few days.
When she came back, she had a sense that she needed to check the car tires.
But she didn’t see anything.
Later that week she told me that the car was making some weird noises.
I didn’t listen to her car, rather I assumed it was the brake pads making some noise.
So when I drove her car, I didn’t hear anything beyond what I assumed were the brake pads.
Leanna persisted in telling me saying that her car was making weird noises.
I heard her, but I didn’t listen to her.
I didn’t examine her car.
I had plans to check it.
I just didn’t have time.
You know how life is busy with work, kids, regular chores at the house, then compounded by chores that come with the change of weather.
By the end of the week, Leanna insisted it was more than the brake pads.
I said I’ll take your car to work and see if I’ll hear this noise you are describing.
As I drove her car to church, I noticed that she was right.
There was a bad noise and it wasn’t the brakes like I thought.
As I was driving, I kept thinking that it must be the wheel bearing, because it sounded like a train going over the tracks.
As the day move on I was convinced that it was the wheel bearings of the car that needed to be replaced.
However, even though I had now not only heard Leanna and the noise in the car I still had not taken the time to actually examine the wheel yet.
My plan was to go home and take the time to carefully examine it.
On my way home the noise got so bad, that I thought it was going to be too late to examine it.
I couldn’t even hear the engine or much of anything else while driving.
I wasn’t sure I was going to make it home.
Her car was vibrating so badly.
I was driving all the way home with white knuckles because it seemed like something bad was going to happen at any moment.
As I was driving I was just thinking this is not good, but it will be a perfect illustration for this sermon.
By God’s grace, I got home.
When I got home I acted on what I heard, which seemed to be the last warning.
Therefore, I started to examine the car carefully.
As I checked for a bad wheel bearing, I realized that there was something strange on one wheel.
There was a lug nut missing, then I checked the remaining three lug nuts, and two of them were very loose.
The remaining one lug nut was barely tight.
We are not sure exactly what happened, but assume someone attempted to remove her tire while it was in the airport parking lot.
The wheel was literally ready to fall off her car!
I am telling you this story neither because you might find it entertaining, nor as a warning to check your tires after parking at the airport.
But because it is a great example of hearing but not listening or acting on what we heard.
Here is what we need to hear today.
God tells us in these verses how we can strive to enter His rest, that is by spending time examining and studying His word.
In this life, our job is to meditate, think, and study God’s word.
Now, therefore, let’s do some of that work as we examine these verses, starting with v 11.
Before we dig into this verse, let’s remember the context of these verses.
This section started in Chapter 3:7 with the warning to enter God’s rest.
We studied in detail the quote in chapter 3 of Psalm 95, we reviewed some of the contexts of the quote which is pointing to Numbers 14.
We heard the warning to not harden our hearts towards God.
And we saw the centrality to fear God in order to enter His rest.
From these 13 verses in chapter 4, there are only two commandments, to fear God in v 1 and now here in v11, the other commandment is to strive to enter that rest.
Allen a commentator translates this word strive as “Let us make every effort.
The idea is “to push on with something zealously” or “let us become zealous”.
A Greek dictionary (Louw-Nida) defines it as “to do something with intense effort and motivation—‘to work hard, to do one’s best, to endeavor.’”
This is what we should be doing in this life while we await Christ's return or our death.
We should make every effort or strive to enter that rest.
In this verse, the author also tells us why we should strive.
It says “so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience”
We might ask what sort of same disobedience?
Here the author is reminding us of the wilderness generation that was unfaithful to God because of their evil and unbelieving hearts.
They heard God but refused to obey God.
Ultimately, the problem of disobedience to God is a heart problem not the fact of hearing or understanding.
Let me say that again.
It is a heart problem!
The wilderness generation is a good example.
They had heard God through Moses.
They heard God on the mountain.
Yet they didn’t obey.
It was not because they didn’t hear, nor that they did not understand what God was saying.
Rather they decided to respond out of fear of men and lean on their own understanding, and follow their heart rather than respond in faith.
God’s message throughout the centuries to the world has been clearly perceived since the creation of the world.
Why do people turn their backs on Jesus and Christianity?
It is because their love for themselves, their love for the world, or the things of the world is greater than their love for Christ.
Piper talking on this topic said, “most shipwrecks of faith are not at root intellectual, but rather because I want what I want and Christianity is in the way.”
People will reject Christ because in their hearts they have a stronger desire for something else.
Like Piper said, “most shipwrecks of faith are not at root intellectual, but rather because I want what I want and Christianity is in the way.”
Let this never be true of any of us here.
Let us always check our hearts and our desires, and make sure they are in submission to Christ.
If we let any desire rule our hearts, we will start questioning the goodness of God, because He is not giving us what we think we need.
Instead, we start seeing Christ as something that is going to be in the way of this deep desire.
Therefore, we need to strive to enter that rest, making sure that we have hearts that are soft and tender towards God.
Putting every desire in subjecting to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Each of us has a throne in our hearts.
Desires, even good desires, such as marriage, children, success, or even ministry, can take priority in our hearts.
We need to have Christ always on the throne of our hearts, ruling over everything in us, even good desires,
Matt 10:37-39 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Christ reigns in your heart if your love and desire for Him are stronger than anything and everything in this world or even leaving this world to join Him!
Here in verse 11, God commanded us to strive, then He tells us the why… so that we may not fall.
Then in the next two verses, God tells us how we can strive in this life to enter God’s rest.
Because if we are completely honest, none of us love Jesus the way we should all the time.
Why don’t we?
Because in this life we don’t see the glory of Christ, but we are bombarded with lies of this fallen world and we are vulnerable to the deceitfulness of sin.
Therefore, we need to have our minds renewed by God’s word and be transformed by it daily.
Let me repeat… Why don’t we love Jesus the way we should all the time?
Because in this life we don’t see the glory of Christ, but we are bombarded with lies of this fallen world and we are vulnerable to the deceitfulness of sin.
Therefore, we need to have our minds renewed by God’s word and be transformed by it daily.
Here we see a description of God’s word.
This implies that in order for us to strive we need to pay attention and give thought and time to God’s word because it is effective to discern… shine light… or reveal the deepest part of someone’s heart.
God’s Word is LIVING
The first description of the word of God is that it is living.
The word is alive because they are the very words from the living God.
God spoke and creation came into existence.
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