While We Slept
Intro: The spiritual climate of this nation is not improving but continues to grow worse. Most people today have rejected the biblical idea of spirituality and developed their own. One w/ a God who is not so demanding in their view. They have ignored the parts of scripture that they don’t like e.g Cindy. Many others have developed a beliefs based on theory or their self-centered ideologies.
Text: Matt 13:24-30
How’d We Get Here?
A.) We’ve lost our distinction
Church has just become another part of American culture. It is no longer looked at as a necessity or a place of engaging the presence of God. We’ve changed our church services to resemble cultural norms so people would be inclined to come.
By losing our distinction, we’ve lost our relevance.
B.) The lack of discipleship
What’s done is done; we cannot undue the past. We must learn from it and make ourselves ready.This entire twelfth chapter is an exhortation to strengthen the weak areas.In the eleventh chapter, the writer testified to those who had gone on before and showed their strength and resolve.
God has always reserved for Himself a remnant.
The Greek word here for “strengthen” is ἀνορθόω. It means to build something up again after it has fallen—‘to restore, to build up again.
Notice that we are told to do this and not that God will do it for us.
How Do We Strengthen Ourselves
We must Purify our hearts before Him.
Purifying our hearts reveals godliness 1 John 3:1-3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.Godliness is synonymous w/ strength.The more pure something is, the stronger it is.
Purifying our hearts reveals growth
2 Tim 2:20-22 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
We must Practice the righteousness we’ve been given.
Righteousness is not about condition but position.
2 Cor 5:21This is easy to understand when you learn that you live out of who you are, not what you want to be or are striving to be.
We are not striving to be righteous! B/c we are righteous, the Holy Spirit leads us in the way we should live (Rom 8:15). What this means for you and me is we must stop trying to justify ungodly behavior and live according to the word.
As we flesh out the character of God by living according to the righteousness we’ve been given, we will regain our distinction and influence in society.
We must Pursue His presence.
His Presence must have the preeminence in our lives.
Our culture is entertainment crazy.Athletes and celebrities are treated as gods, and we pay them more money and respect than we do our leaders.
There is nothing inherently wrong w/ these things, but we cannot let them interfere w/ our pursuit of God’s presence.
The FAA revoked the licenses of two Northwest Airlines pilots after their airplane flew for 91 minutes out of contact with the ground and overshot their destination city by 150 miles. The revocation took place because of recklessness caused by “inattention.” Airline pilots must direct their aircraft safely from Point A to Point B. However, these pilots had their personal laptops on in the cockpit and were researching job conditions and scheduling rules brought about by Northwest’s recent purchase by Delta Airlines. They wanted to know how their job situations were changing. While that is understandable, that was not their assigned task. They took their eye off their primary responsibility and gave their attention to something of lesser importance.
Heb 12:1This entire twelfth chapter is an admonition to keep the faith, which is why it follows “the hall of faith.”
His Presence must be Passionately pursued. Isa 55:6; Jer 29:12We must be like the psalmist of the 42nd Psalm. “As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul thirsts for you the living God.”
Conc: We do these things by walking in obedience to the word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.