These past few weeks we have talked about living a Holy life and what that looks like as we apply it to our lives. As Pastor Aaron continues through the book of 1 Peter in our series, “Exiles in Hope,” we are presented with the two greatest issues of the Bible. Two BIG points that we may have missed in Sunday school as a child. Two important pieces of the “bigger picture-puzzle” Jesus was putting together before our very eyes. Without these two key elements, we basically miss the whole point of the Gospel.
First, is the salvation of the soul. You may be thinking, “well, I was saved years ago and have been obediently going to church ever since, doing my share of serving in the church and giving to the church, so I’ve got this one down.” But hear me out on this. Are we all really living in that Salvation we received years ago? Or are we letting the enemy get to us over and over again with sin creeping at our doors? We spend so much time thinking about our behaviors and how we are going to make ourselves look like the Christian we ought to be, that we forget about dealing with the issues of our heart; our soul health.
We let our hearts get jealous, bitter, angry, and thus fall into sin, but on the outside we look presentable. We look like we have our whole life planned out and like we have it all together. No one can see what’s fighting you on the inside, and as far as you are concerned, they don’t need to see it… let alone “know” about it. So, the best way to hide it is to hide it from yourself too and continue to focus on your outward actions so that it simply cannot be possible for anyone to know a single hint of what is going on inside.
Friends, let me tell you something, drop what you are doing and look at these problems for what they are! Take a moment and ask the Lord to reveal your true soul to yourself. Ask Him to allow you to see your heart as He sees your heart. The enemy is creeping in because you are too focused on the outside, but the Lord works from the inside out! While you are focusing on making yourself look as good as that “always-put-together mom,” there is a war going on and it’s waging for your soul!
The second issue of the Bible is the glory of God. Why is this an issue? Because Jesus is simply not getting His glory! How is this so? As ones who are called to Holy Living, ones who are consecrated for the Lord, we need to keep our behavior so excellent that we glorify God through it. Jesus isn’t getting His glory because our behavior is not glorifying to the Lord. I’m not just talking about us as a church here, I am talking about people all around the world. I am talking about those that are Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, etc. I am talking about anyone who worships anyone/anything other than our God, the Great I Am. I am talking about anyone who gives their time, energy, and life to something other than Jesus, our Great Savior.
Did you know that there is a portion of the world that has no idea what the Gospel is? A part of the world that has no idea that there is a God who loves them? …So much so that He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross to wash away our sins, cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and return for us in the very near future!? It is called the 10\40 window. The unreached people groups in this region (including America), have no idea that they can receive eternal life and love. While we are here, jealous and letting the enemy creep in with sin in our lives, there are people who have never heard of Jesus. Talk about Jesus not getting the gory He deserves! He died for these people, and they have no idea who He even is!
When we allow our behavior to be transformed by the death Jesus bore on the cross and His resurrection life, we become His light. We become the lamp in the darkest of places. Through this behavior, it opens doors to talk about the beauty of the Gospel. How? Because when you have the Holy Spirit within you, you are different than those who are not saved. They will see a difference in your behavior, even if it’s something as simple as leaving a bigger tip at your favorite restaurant, saying hello to a stranger, or helping a family member. People need to know about the salvation of their souls …and God needs the glory He deserves.
Friends, I challenge you to change your behavior. Allow the Spirit to work through you, shaping you into the person that He has called you to be. Stop letting ungodly behaviors rule over your life and step into the light, out of the darkness, and be the light! Join me in this new step of faith so that Jesus may finally receive the Glory He deserves!
It’s not about being better than one another. It’s not about being a better Christian, holding your life together, or even just having everything you desire. It’s about God being glorified in all that we do. Church, I tell you, let that other mom be better than you, let the world come at you with all it has, and give your desires to Jesus because like we just talked about last week, Jesus is the rock on which we stand and we will not fail when we trust in the Rock!
I encourage you to listen to this past week’s sermon from “Exiles in Hope.” http://painesvilleag.com/exiles-in-hope Learn more about the two greatest issues of the Bible, as well as the battle for your desires and behavior. Ask the Spirit to show you a certain area in your heart, behavior, or desire that you need to give over to God completely. Church, let’s be a Church that walks in out salvation with fear and trembling. Let’s be a light in our community; letting Jesus work through us and glorified like He deserves!
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