Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Importance of Doctrinal Succession

Temple Baptist Church - 9-29-2013
2 Timothy 2:2
A. One of the major problems with the end-time church is that of doctrinal ignorance! I am not talking about ignorance among the unsaved; I am speaking of doctrinal ignorance among the faithful within the local church. The problem can be for several reasons:
1. Not being in a good church after you are saved. Yes, it does matter where you go to church! Denominations and churches do not save you but, after salvation, you need to be in a good bible believing church under a good doctrinal preaching pastor!
2. Shallow pulpits! Many preachers of our day preach topically most of the time. Topical preaching is a necessity but the majority of our preaching should be expository in nature: line upon line and precept upon precept. Many preachers, when they have preached all of their topical sermons, have a way of moving on to another church. Expository preaching is a work that will never have an end and the church will be stabilized and strengthened through it.
3. Now, to the problem we face in verse 2: people who have sat in good churches and under good pastors who never learn either from the preaching and teaching of the pastor or to feed themselves.
Hebrews 5:11-14 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (12) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
B. In our verse, we find a couple of things that we need to look at:
1. “Among many witnesses.” Here, I find a succession of teaching or, we may label it, good company! As there is a trail of blood throughout history (believers who have suffered and died because they would not compromise the faith), there is a succession of doctrinal pureness (the bible refers to this as “the old paths … wherein is the good way”). The doctrine that I teach is not new; it is as old as the scriptures.
2. “Commit.” To leave something in trust. In chapter one, Paul committed this same doctrinal pureness to Pastor Timothy. You and I will not live forever, therefore, there must be a generation to follow in our steps and they must be worthy of the “trust” that we commit unto them.
3. “Faithful men.” Paul is not chauvinistic in this statement as the Holy Spirit is speaking by interpretation to the teaching aspect of the local church. God does not call women to teach or to usurp authority (1 Timothy 2:12) over the man in the church. God does not allow women to teach, preach, or to be in spiritual authority over men!!!!! Like it or not, God said it. These men are to be faithful men! Paul is not just talking about being regular in church attendance because many faithful men in the local church do not know their doctrine. Paul is speaking of men who are faithful to hear, learn, and study!
4. “Who shall be able to teach others also.” Your pastor is now 65+ years old. I may or may not have “one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.” I would love to go to heaven today but feel that, with the lack of pastors in our day, remaining here is more needful. I do know this, I have a lot less days ahead of me than I have behind me and someone will have to “step up” one day to fill this pulpit. Not fill my shoes because that man will be different and be his “own man” but one who will be able to teach doctrinal correctness with love and longsuffering.
C. I have had people come to me and want me to explain to their loved ones why we believe what we believer or what the bible says on certain subjects.
1. Why we have eternal life and cannot be lost.
2. Why tongues and other sign gifts are not for our time.
3. What difference does it make if we are independent Baptist or not?
4. Why we are pre-tribulation rapture saints. About Eschatology, etc.
5. And the list could go on. I do not expect you to be able to answer every question but these questions should be ones to which mature believers have an answer.
D. I am not talking about such requests from newly saved people; I am talking about such requests from people who have been saved for years.
1. The danger of a lack of knowledge: it destroys God’s people.
2. The danger of doctrinal apostasy: it infiltrates the local church.
3. The danger of lack of adherence to sound doctrine: it undermines the testimony of the saints.
4. The danger of lack of personal study of the bible: it spiritually starves the believer and leaves him or her in a state of carnal babyishness.
5. The danger of not hearing and learning from your pastor: a failure to realize that God’s man is there to teach and preach the word of God and failure to hear and learn causes spiritual defeat and failure.
6. The danger of not being able to teach others, both in the home and outside of the home. The spiritual welfare of our families should be utmost in our hearts and minds and, then, those we love and those we meet that we do not know. We all can be spiritual leaders and teachers to those the Lord places in our way.

Hearers of the Word

Temple Baptist Church - 9-29-2013
Amos 8:11-12
A. Two things need to be done in light of people “properly” hearing God’s Word. I often use this verse which can both be properly interpreted and practically applied this morning.
Amos 8:11-12 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: (12) And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
1. The Word of God must be made indiscriminately available to the people. “Shall not find it.” The Word of the Lord needs to be preached in every land, to every creature! Before saving faith can be implemented, one must hear the Word of God. We hold up the King James Bible for many reasons but here is the most important one: without the Word of God, there can be no salvation. There is certainly a famine of sound, doctrinal preaching in our country.
2. God’s Word must be uncompromisingly magnified in the sight of the people. “The word of the Lord.” This bible I hold in my hand is more than the work of man; its preservation is an act of God. If it is errant, then our preaching is flawed. If it is fallible, then our eschatology is in doubt. It is not perfectly right, then our doctrine cannot be perfectly right. Psalm 138:2 declares that God has magnified it about all His name. With that being said, “Please leave this precious Bible alone! If you do not believe this precious Bible, then just leave this preacher and this church alone!”
3. God’s Word must be earnestly sought by the people. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD.” There must be a burning desire in the hearts of God’s people for God’s Word; there must be a hungering and thirsting for its precepts; there must be an earnest acceptance and obedience to it.
B. Having said that the Word of God is essential, let me say that the Word of God is also effective! One, it must be preached as it is; two, the hearer must listen to what the Word of God says; and, three, the hearer must believe God’s report through the Bible.
C. I want to look at another verse in order to make an application: Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (There are two hearings found here and they are in reverse order. There is an outer hearing [with the ear] and an inner hearing [with the heart]. Once again I will use the illustration: “You hear me but you don’t listen!” Now, I want to make a practical application with this verse.)
D. Though this particular hearing is salvation, there is much said about hearing to God’s children. Saving faith comes by hearing the Word of God as does sanctification, surety, service, etc.
1. The new believer needs the milk of God’s Word. God “grows” the child of God slowly and methodically. He is so careful with these new born children and so is this pastor. I try to preach fully and carefully (which is not compromise) for God’s children are tender when new born.
2. The mature believer needs the meat of God’s Word. God allows the preaching to feed both at the same time. The church is much like the old one room schoolhouse. It had up to 12 grades in the same room with the teacher instructing all grades together. As God’s man preaches, it is milk to the new born and meat to the mature.
E. Having said all of this, I believe that it is important for us to “hear” what God says. Preaching is for admonition, instruction, and motivation.
1. We need to prayerfully prepare our hearts to receive the preached Word.
2. We need to pray that the Word of the Lord have free course and be glorified.
3. We need to keep our hearts and minds stayed upon the preached Word.
4. We need to understand that God’s man is just a man and, yet, the Word preached in the Lord’s
5. We need to rightly, personally apply the Word of God to our hearts.
F. If rightly preached and rightly received, the Word of God should do some things.
1. Preaching should instruct your mind. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (We need the whole counsel of God in ord to be perfect or fully equipped. A good education is a well-rounded one!)
2. Preaching should tan your hide. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (The Word of God chastens.)
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
3. Preaching should warm your heart. Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (God’s people don’t get mad; they get glad when the Word is preached compassionately straight. I have had people come us to me and say, “Preacher, that did not offend me.” I am not here to offend but I am here to preach straight and straight preaching get us all. It should warm our hearts to know that God cares enough for us to give it to us straight.)
4. Preaching should provoke your will. Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (We are here to provoke each other unto love for the brethren and also unto good works. The preaching presents a challenge that demands a decision.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Word Of Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 9-25-2013
Colossians 3:16
A. Here, we find the phrase “the word of Christ.” The word of God has many names in the bible but this is the only reference of this kind.
1. Many of the commentators believe that the “word of Christ” only has to do with the gospel along with person and work of our Saviour but I believe they have missed the point. I believe that the “word of Christ” is the same as the “word of God.”
2. The reason for the wording is important. I have often said that God neither wastes nor minces His words. Every word in the bible is important. It says what it means and means what it says.
3. Therefore, I feel it is important to find its meaning in this verse.
B. Two things are tied together in the first part of this verse: the word of Christ and wisdom.
1. In John 1, we find that Jesus Christ is the Word of God and the Word of God is Jesus Christ. The fullness of Jesus Christ is found in the Word of God. This book is about Him! It is the word of God that brings us the story of creation, sin, the fall, sacrifice, salvation, heaven and hell, and eternity. You cannot change the word of God without changing the Christ it enfolds.
2. In the Book of Proverbs, we find that wisdom is a person, Jesus Christ. Wisdom is knowing Christ and keeping His word. As the fool denies God, the foolish disobeys Him. “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
C. Therefore, we who know Jesus Christ as Saviour need to allow the word of Christ to dwell in us richly in all wisdom.
1. Knowing person of Christ in salvation. Paul said his desire was “that I may know him.” It is through the word of God we know Christ in salvation and it is through the word of Christ we know Him fully or intimately. We come to Christ in a moment of time and spend the rest of our lives getting to know Him in His fullness.
2. Knowing the word of Christ in sanctification. It is through the word of Christ that we understand God’s purpose and will for our lives. It is through the blessed old book that I hold tonight that we are changed from glory to glory into His image.
3. My definition of wisdom is “the right application of knowledge.” Knowledge is not wisdom! Some of the most educated people I have ever known have been some of the most foolish! Some of the least educated people have been the wisest!
D. This brings us back to the verse:
1. We must be infused (saturated, permeated) with the word of Christ. Job said that the word of God was more important than his necessary food. Necessary food is that which we must have in order to remain alive. Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
2. We must be possessed (controlled, influenced) by the word of Christ. Many people have memorized God’s word and yet that word does not affect their lives. I know a man that I have witnessed to for years who can quote the bible by the chapter. He is a lost man and prides himself in his ability to memorize the bible. God’s word is of none effect in this man.
3. Therefore, we must possess the word of Christ and the word of Christ must possess us!
E. Why must we “let the word of Christ dwell in” us in all wisdom?
1. The Indwelling Word is Important For Surety. When I say this, most of the time we think of assurance of salvation and this is important, but I believe that Paul is writing to an assured people. Therefore, the surety that I speak of is much more than assurance of salvation. It is the surety that we can trust what the bible says. We trust it for our salvation but many times we fail to trust it when it comes down to our problems and needs. If this book is right, and I know that it is, we can trust our lives to its precepts and expect it to work in every circumstance!
2. The Indwelling Word is Important For Sanctification. As the world changes, religion and the religious have a natural tendency to change with it. Peer pressure is a strong force as we naturally do not want to be different or “stick out in a crowd.” As we try to live a life that is pleasing to Christ, we need to know that we are right, not the world. Change and decay in all around I see is a terrible reality. We must trust God’s word and God’s way in our lives!
3. The Indwelling Word is Important For Stabilization. I have often said, “The word of God is an anchor in the shifting sands of human theology.” I do not trust nor do I advocate any version of the bible other than the authorized King James Bible. Things that are different are not the same and things different cannot be the word of God. Our foundation for faith and our authority for living for Christ is found in this blessed bible that I hold in my hand and it is neither for sale nor is it negotiable! In its pages, we find our foundation. Change your bible and you stand upon a flawed foundation and your theology will change with it.
4. The Indwelling Word is Important For Safety. The bible describes an area of safety for God’s children. It prescribes boundaries within which we find the safety of God for it is “in Him” that we move and have our being. Someone said, “Study God’s word to be wise and obey God’s word to be safe.” You will never go wrong when you do right.
5. The Indwelling Word is Important For Sharing. 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Salvation is from faith to faith as we share Christ with those who do not know Him in salvation. The bible says that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. As we allow ourselves to be infused with God’s word, we are able to breath out that very word of God to others. The verses that we need to share do not come naturally to our minds as we witness. A preacher of sorts once said, “I just stand in the pulpit and let God fill my mouth with His word.” Another said, “And God will fill your mouth with what you have studied!”

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Strength In Adversity

Temple Baptist Church - 9-22-2013
2 Timothy 2:1
A. By interpretation, in these "Pastoral Epistles," the Apostle Paul is preparing young pastor of the important work of the ministry. By application, every one of us can profit from these verses as we remain faithful in these last, perilous days before the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ!
B. We have spent a long time in chapter one laying the groundwork of chapter 2, verse 1.
1. "Thou" is personal. I wish that every believer had a desire to "shine" as lights in a dark time and place but, to be perfectly honest, too many are too earthly minded to be of any heavenly good. For the most part, they are Laodicean to the hilt.
a) The word "Laodicea" means "the rights of the people." When we get saved, we forfeit our rights! We have been bought with a price and are to glorify God is all that we do.
b) 1 Corinthians 6:20    For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
c) 1 Corinthians 10:31    Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
2. "Therefore" ties this verse to the preceding ones in chapter 1. When you see a "wherefore" or a "therefore," go back and see what they are there for. Chapter divisions are not necessarily the end of thoughts. In our verse for tonight, we find a reason for the context.
C. In Ephesians 6, Paul dealt with the Christian Warfare and the spiritual armor provided. He prefaced the armor with this statement: "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand!"
1. "Withstand" carries the though of "taking a punch." The Bible says that all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. In another verse, Paul mentioned suffering as a Christian. When we live our lives for Christ, we will suffer persecution or "take a punch."
2. "And having done all, to stand" is a strong phrase. When we have done all we can, there is no biblical place to go so the order is to stand! We not only do not know what to do, we cannot do anything. We have done all that we can so we cannot move forward, we cannot compromise by leaning to the left or right, and we certainly have no right to retreat. Now, we get back to our verse as Paul told young Timothy to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
D. Two things that need to be noted:
1. Where our strength is not found. Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Proverbs 24:10    If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
2. Where our strength is found. 2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (Strong in God's grace, not personal strength.)
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
E. The preceding chapter laid out several areas where we are to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
1. Strong in Assurance - 2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
2. Strong in Afflictions - 2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
3. Strong in Allegiance - 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
4. Strong in Adherence - 2 Timothy 1:13-14 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
5. Strong in Affiliation - 2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

A Merry Heart

Temple Baptist Church - 9-22-2013
Proverbs 17:22
Introduction: My theme verse is Proverbs 4:23, which says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
A. This morning, I want to deal with one of my favorite verses: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
1. I love this verse! I love to laugh, joke around, and have a great time. You can ask my wife, I meet no strangers. One of my sons said, “One day, Dad is going to get maced!” That may be but, in a world full of trouble and worry, laughter is essential for survival.
2. For the most part, I have found people to have a sense of humor and laughter is good for the soul. I lady in the checkout line at Wal-mart (I was picking at her) said, “Never lose your joy. I lost mine a few months ago.” She was referring to the death of her husband but what she said stuck with me. People need to laugh.
3. Remember the words: “Smile a while and give your face a rest.” It takes a lot few muscles to smile than to frown and frowning will give you a headache!
B. “Merry:” to cheer up; to be glad; to have joy; to brighten up. There are three verses dealing with a “merry heart” that I want to look at for a few minutes:
1. A Merry Heart Maketh A Cheerful Countenance – Proverbs 15:13 - Most people today look like a mule that has been eating saw briers! Everywhere you go in this world, you see sad faces, hear cursing and complaining! People are dissatisfied and disgruntled. This should not be the lot of the child of God. We should be a satisfied, happy people. We are someone going somewhere!
2. A Merry Heart Maketh A Continual Feast – Proverbs 15:15 - Enjoyment of life! We are so blessed and yet people are still not satisfied and often live lives of quiet desperation! A feast is a merry event! I remember the old family reunions back in the 50’s and 60’s when our family would come from all over and spend the day together eating, pitching horse shoes, and just sitting around catching up on family news. It was a day looked for with great anticipation. We had a ball.
3. A Merry Heart Doeth Good Like A Medicine – Proverbs 17:22 - A smiling face or “drieth the bones?” Can you imagine a medicine prescribed for you with all good and no bad side effects? Today, they send you several pages of what may happen to you if you take the meds prescribed.
C. “Medicine:” to cure. Most medicine prescribed today is for treating your symptoms and does little to cure your problems. The Bible word for medicine means to cure your problem.
1. It has been said .. that 50% of the people in the hospital are suffering from what is called "E.I.I." "EMOTIONAL INDUCED ILLNESS". (Worldly physicians always recommend Prozac, Paxil, lithium, etc. to help with these “emotional imbalances.” I am not saying that all of the uses for these products are bad but, many times, they are used as a cover up for the real problem.)
2. Jesus is the Great Physician.
3. This proverb states that a merry heart is good for us like a medicine.
(a) A medicine soothes.
(b) A merry heart soothes us and our attitude & anxiety is reduced.
(c) A medicine reduces pain.
(d) A merry heart reduces the pain of hurt feelings, failed expectations and misunderstandings.
(e) A medicine makes one feel better, especially when infection is removed.
(f) God’s prescription for your heart problem isn’t just to smile and ignore your problem but to smile in spite of it.
(g) You are either happy and healthy or depressed and dried out!
D. Depression is distressing, damaging and deadly to you and those whom love you.
1. Sadness can become sickness
2. Anger can become acid in the soul
3. Bitterness can become brokenness and barrenness in the life
E. Learn to enjoy life! Learn to enjoy the goodness of God in the land of the living! Yes, there is a lot wrong in this world but there is also a lot that is right and it is important to meditate on the good things rather than the bad things.
Philippians 4:6-8 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
1. A Merry Heart Comes Through Conversion – You will never be happy until you know Christ.
Philippians 3:7-14 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
a. Saved - Psalms 9:14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.
b. Sanctified - Psalms 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
c. Safe - Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
2. A Merry Heart Comes Through Contentment – 1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
a. Content With Your Lord - Psalms 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. (The Lord has been so good to me!)
b. Content With Your Bible - Psalms 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.
c. Content With Your Wife - Proverbs 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
d. Content With Your Possessions - Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
3. A Merry Heart Comes Through Commitment – trusting the Lord in every part of your life. (Whatever my lot thou hast TAUGHT me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!”)
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Psalms 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
a. He Is Our Defense - Psalms 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
b. He Is Our Strength - Psalms 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
c. He Is Our Help – Psalms 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
d. He Is Our Rejoicing - Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
4. A Merry Heart Comes Through Consecration - Matthew 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. lose life and find it – most people never find their lives because they never lose their lives! “Let me lose my life and find it, Lord, in thee!”
a. Consecration To Service - Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
b. Consecration To Sanctification - Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
c. Consecration To Souls – to be soul conscious to not to be self-conscious - John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Conclusion: God wants you to be happy in this life even though it is full of troubles and sorrows.
You will never be happy until you are converted!
You will never be happy until you are content!
You will never be happy until you are committed!
You will never be happy until you are consecrated!