It’s just a fact of life that the fire in your faith can grow cold. Be sure to tune in today to be encouraged and challenged to get that fire going again. You can do it, we want to help! Help us advance the Kingdom, support our online ministry (harmonychurch.cc/give). Got kids? Check out Harmony Kids online (updated weekly) https://www.harmonychurch.cc/harmony-kids-online/!
Sermon Notes Slide Key:
- Sermons always start with “OPENING ILLUSTRATION:” and end with “CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:”
- Red = Scripture slides (reflect formatting of scripture on slides, i.e. – underlines, bold, etc.)
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OPENING ILLUSTRATION:We recently got some firewood delivered to our house and I’ve been trying to build some fires in fireplace. Oh man, this wood still has moisture in it. So, every time I try and build fire, I can barely get it going. So, I did something crazy. I had made a bunch of bacon one saturday and saw the bacon grease sitting there… It was cold, and I wanted to get a fire going. So, I came up with a crazy plan. I poured the bacon grease on a small stack of paper plates, I put a bunch of paper towels in the grease and placed the whole thing under my wet wood and lit it. Ha, some of you are thinking I’m crazy, you know that’s right! Ha. The fire started licking up that wood and eventually the wood caught!
Look, I’m hoping that some of you are here today because you’re wood is wet… Spiritually you’ve been distant from God and you’re ready to give Him one more try…
I want to take you to a passage we are going to be in all month and hope that we can get a grease fire going under you!
Ephesians 4:17-1917 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
ILLUSTRATION:I would struggled parenting our kids when they were toddlers. Able to walk around and do things like, turn off the tv or maybe pull a ladies hair when she’s holding that baby. I knew I didn’t want them doing those things, but let’s be honest, they don’t exactly speak English.What do you do with that?A toddler, they doesn’t know if things are right or wrong. All they know is what’s fun – they don’t have beliefs. So when they are allowed to behave a certain way, they develop a belief that behavior is acceptable.
One of the best things I learned when we were parenting toddlers was this idiom, “For toddlers, their behavior dictates their beliefs”-when the baby has negative feedback for a negative behavior, they develop a belief that behavior is bad, when they get good feedback, they develop a belief that it’s it’s a good behavior
Pewww… Mind blown – it totally helped me learn how to parent and it taught me something about spiritual things…
The reason this didn’t occur to me is that For adults, our belief dictates our behavior-right, if you belief something, it will influence how you act. For instance, I believe this chair will hold my weight, so I sit in the chair.
What I actually believe has tremendous consequences on how I actually live
Note, I didn’t say, “what I claim to believe”, but what I actually believe…
Listen again to Paul’s words to the Ephesians 4:17-1917 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
Did you hear all the “Belief/Thinking” words?[bring in each of the below statements one at a time]“Futility of their thinking”“Darkened in their understanding”“Separated from God because of ignorance”“Hardened Hearts.”
Paul is saying that those who are far from God have a way of thinking that clouds their view of seeing Jesus.
ILLUSTRATION:I remember when that cloud was lifted for me. When I came to really believe Jesus. I’ll never forget, I had tried reading the bible 4 or 5 times before in my life. Every time, it would get boring to me, it would seem unrealistic. Then I gave my life to Jesus, I said Yes to Him. All of the sudden the cloud I had lived under started to lift. Everything I read in the bible was popping out to me. I would read the scripture and I could picture it. I would sit there and read a passage and pretend preach it to people who weren’t in the room. It was crazy.
I don’t know how to explain it except my thinking had changed.
And Paul says, “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles”bSo many of us have come to Jesus for salvation and missed the fact that He was inviting us into a Kingdom.bHe gave you a way of life, not just a new life…
Listen to how Paul finishes this passage…Actually, my challenge for the rest of this month is for you to memorize this passageEphesians 4:20-2420 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We are going to spend the rest of the month spring boarding off of this passage into other ideas…
But for today, I wanted to just remind you of one thing
Jesus came to change your way of life – to adjust your belief’s so deeply that it alters the way you live in the world around you.
Ephesians 4:20-2120 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
CLOSING APPLICATION:As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that the sins of the young are typically sins of passion, the sins of older age seems to be the sin of stagnation.
When I was young, I could see the Kingdom of God all around me.As I’ve aged, I have a mortgage to think about, Kids, a wife, a job, pressures, indulgences and more.
And what was once a blazing fire in me can so quickly become a heap of coals that are barely holding on.
I wanted to speak to those of you who have felt like your fire went out over the last year.
It is SO easy to return to a way of thinking that is based more on the principles of this world than the precepts of the Kingdom
If I could do one thing, it would be to remind that Jesus is calling to you.
He said things like, If you want to follow me“You have to take up your cross”“You have to lose yourself“I have an easy yoke and a light burden”“You have to love me more than all else”
My challenge would be for you to take one step back into the way of life you learned.-maybe that means joining with me in reading the gospel of John-maybe that means joining with me to memorize this passage-maybe that means making a commitment to spend 10 minutes a day in silence and prayer
But as we start this series, I want to ask you to dig deep into what you believe, what you REALLY believe and ask yourself if your actions are reflecting that belief?