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Growing In Devotion To God

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SERIES:  To Do List for 08.



Matthew 22:34-40



INTRO:  Good morning take your Bible and turn with me to Matthew 22:34-40.  This morning our focus is on growing in devotion to God, or in a word, “Worship.” 

Review last week:

                        -1.  Tithe 10%.---worship

                        -2.  Invite 12 people to church---witnessing

                        -3.  Grow in Prayer.---worship

                                    -a.  Reading a book on prayer.

                                    -b.  Devote 5 good minutes to prayer.

                                    -c.  Find a prayer partner---fellowship

                        -4.  Discover your spiritual gift.---discipleship

                        -5.  Discover your witnessing style, and learn to witness.---witness

                        -6.  Cultivate one relationship with a lost person.witness---witness

-7.  Develop a system for reading the Bible, or memorize bible verses. Or pick a book of the Bible and study it for yourself.---dshp

-8.  Pray for other Christians and other Churches.  Get to know Ledell Bailey.---fellowship

I started to call this series Intentional Living because my purpose is to challenge you to put on paper some concrete plans for growing in the Lord.  The reality is that if you are not growing in the Lord, you are not being fruitful. 

Talk about where the real battle in life is all about.  To cure a disease, you don’t treat only the symtons, but the cause of the disease…. This morning’s message is going to focus God’s way to spiritual health.  True spiritual health begins and ends with a life devoted to God.  When we live our life fully devoted to God, we are healthy Christians.  But when our devotion to God is diluted or misapplied to other areas of life, we suffered spiritual health issues.

Dear friend, what is your heart’s desire toward the Lord right now?  Do you want to grow in your devotion or worship of God?  This morning I want to talk about what worship is, and how we can out worship in our daily life. 

-I.  WORSHIP IS___________________.


-A.  My definition is putting God first in everything you do, say, think, and in every relationship you have.  Worship is living a life of devotion for God. 

            -1.  Realize God is God and you don’t make him more God!

            -2.  Worship is giving God his place in your life.

-3.  Worship is seeking God’s glory among your glory, or even your own good.

-4.  Worship should effect every decision that you make in life, and it should influence every are of life.

-5.  Worship is only partly a weekly even, it is a life to be lived

-B.  Our focal text for our sermon this morning is found in Matthew 22:34-40 this is IMHO one of the clearest and greatest texts on worship in the N.T.  Perhaps only John 4 is greater. 

-1.  Matthew 22:34-38--- 34When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together in the same place. 35And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him: 36“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38This is the greatest and most important commandment.(HCSB)

            -2.  Why is this a great text to learn more about worship? 

                        -a.  It cuts to the clutter of legalism.

                        -b.  It doesn’t define worship as a single act.

-c.  It defines as a life lived out of a love for God.  A love that incorporates your own being.

-d.  some people try to worship God only on Sunday, and live for self the rest of the week.  They done their duty, now God owes me something.  That’s not worship.

-e.  Worship is not about rules alone, but in a primary sense about a relationship with God.

-C.  In one sense worship is so simple a child can do it, but so deep that we struggle with it for the rest of our life.  Let’s face it we all struggle with our devotion to God. 

-1. I blv most of your would be very sincere if you were to pray this Psalm 73:25---25Whom do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You. (HCSB)

-2.  But we know living that out is a spiritual battle.  It is tough. 

-a.  Think with me about all the things that we are tempted with in this world.

-b.  All those things are battling for your devotion to God.  (name some)

-D.  Let’s move on but:  Worship is a life of devotion to God.  The second part of my sermon is going to focus on two areas by which we can grow in our devotion to God. 

-II.  WORSHIP LIVED _____________________.


-A.  Friends, I want to challenge you in two areas that will help you grow in your devotion to God.  There are many many many others.  In fact, the reality is that all of our 8 commitments will help you grow in your devotion to God.  But I want to put two under the area of worship.

            -1.  Tithes and Offerings.

            -2.  Praying. 

-B.  Now sometimes when pastors preaching on tithing and offering people who do not understand think that all we really want is their money.

            -1.  I do not want your money.

            -2.  God doesn’t need your money.

            -3.  WHY GIVE?

                        -a.  Tithing is an outward expression of trusting God.

                        -b.  Tithing keeps our priorities in order.

                        -c.  Tithing is commanded in Scriptures.

-4.  Malachi 3:8-10---8“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!” You ask: “How do we rob You?” “⌊By not making the payments⌋ of 10 percent and the contributions. 9You are suffering under a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are ⌊still⌋ robbing Me. 10Bring the full 10 percent into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.(HCSB)

-a.  God tells the Jews you are robbing by not bringing to my house the tithe.

-b.  God tells the Jews to test him in this manner.

-1)  This is the only time in Scripture were God tells His people to test Him.

-2)  We are often told not to test God.

-3)  But here we are told to test God.

-c.  We do not have time to trace every Scripture on giving to God.  Here’s the deal:  What’s the Lord saying to you right now about your tithing? 

            -1)  we can think of a lot excuses for not tithing.

            -2)  grace giving.

-3)  I want to do something beginning next Sunday AM tithe every Sunday for 5 weeks.  Then ask yourself are you blessed in tithing?

            -a)  not mean you are going to be rich.

            -b)  healthy.

-5.  For those who tithe why not take the time to give more.  Give 11% percent.

            -a.  Not a fan of RW, but one thing he does is a reverse tithe.

            -b.  He gives 90% to the Lord, and lives on 10%

                        -6.  Why challenge you in this area?

                                    -a.  Because is worshipped in our world today.

-b.  Its not about how much you have, its about your desire of money.

-c.  Giving helps you put money and your love of money in its proper place.

1 Timothy 6:6-10---6But godliness with contentment is a great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.(HCSB)

            -B.  We also can express devotion to God thru prayer.

-1.  The difficulty of measuring our prayer life, should not keep us from setting objective goals.

-a.  We cannot JUST rely on our satisfaction level.

-2.  Remember I have challenged you to grow in prayer three ways.  This week I have added two more.  Why not choose at least one?

            -a.  Read a book on prayer.

            -b.  Devote 5 good minutes to prayer.

            -c.  Find a Prayer Partner.

            -d.  Keep a journal.

            -e.  Keep an active prayer list.

-3.  How do I pray?

            -a.  Prayer is simply talking to God.

            -b.  Listening to God.

            -c.  Here’s what I do, may not work for you.

                        -1)  Journal.

                        -2)  Begin by reading a devotion.

                        -3)  I then read other parts of the Bible.

                        -4)  At times I will read a good devotional booklet

-5)  I keep a memo pad handy to write now any thought that come to me.

-6)  I have two sets of prayer list.

-7)  I just talk and listen to God.

-d.  The point is not praying just like I pray.  But the point is to grow in prayer.  The more you pray the more you will learn to pray.

CONCLUSION:  Friends the opposite of devotion to God, is idol worship.  I am not here to promote these two things as cure all for everything in life.  But I do challenge you to give God his money, and learn to talk and listen to God.  These two things will help you grow in your devotion to God.  I am asking you to make a commitment in these two areas.  Don’t wait till you figure out, by faith do that right now.

 How to make a commitment to God?

è    Respond the Holy Spirit’s work in your heart.

è    Respond to the Truth of God’s Word.

è    Record your commitment with date.

è    Share your commitment with someone.

è    Reflect on your commitment daily/regularly.



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