10-22-17 Down the Road: A Living Sacrifice
God loves you! – NOTHING CAN SEPARATE YOU FROM HIS LOVE (Romans 8:31-39)
Believe in Jesus & be Saved (Romans 10:9-13)
Romans 12:1– And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. [NLT] WE ARE ALL MADE TO WORSHIP – ARE YOU A LIVING SACRIFICE?
Hebrews 12:1-2– Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. LOOK AT JESUS, NOT AT YOUR SITUATION OR PROBLEM
Put on your God glasses – look at people like God sees – made in His image
Romans 12:2– Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. [ESV]
Romans 12:3– Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.
Matthew 16:23– But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” [ESV]
Philippians 4:8– Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. [NLT]
Colossians 3:17– And whatever you do, whether in WORD or DEED, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. [NIV]
Romans 12:12- Rejoicein hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. [ESV]
1 Peter 4:11– If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.
Romans 12:9 – Don’t pretend to love people. Love with genuine affection. Honor each other(bestow value upon a person). Hate evil. Hold on to what is good.
Romans 13:14 – But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. [NASB]
Colossians 3:12-14– Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. [ESV]
Romans 12:11– Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. [GW]
Romans 12:13– Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. [NIV]
Romans 12:16 –Live in harmony with each other.Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! [NLT]
Romans 12:17 –Never pay back evil with more evil.
STAY ON THE ROAD – ENDURE TO THE END – KEEP THE FAITH
Hebrews 11:39-40– These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something betterfor us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. [NIV]
Hebrews 10:36– You need enduranceso that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised. [GW]YOU WON’T ALWAYS SEE THE FRUIT RIGHT NOW!
2 Timothy 4:7– I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. [NLT]
Not long ago, a professor and I were having a discussion about having confidence in the Lord rather than in ourselves. We then moved our thoughts to competitions. Within the discussion, the professor challenged me with 1 Corinthians 9:24, where Paul wrote, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win” (NASB). This passage is telling us that running is not the same as winning. We need to win the race. We need to finish the race to win. However, it is not a race where there is only one winner. We each can receive our crowns if we finish the race. It is all about running the race to the finish line. As 2 Timothy 4:7 states, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (ESV). At the end of the race, it’s all about keeping the faith; it’s all about trusting in God to the finish.
The big problem that we have with running our own race is that which deters us and moves us away from our walk with Christ. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV). This passage warns us that there are things that will hinder us in this race. In John Bunyan’s book, “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” this man name Christian is on his journey to salvation and the Celestial City, only to meet up with a wide array of people who tell him to turn around or try to give him another way to travel. Each person tries to hinder his race, some more purposeful than others. Paul says this in Galatians, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (5:7 NIV).
You see, this race to the finish is not a race where we are competing against others. We are competing against ourselves and our own sin nature. We are to be running forward, trusting God, running in the way of Christ, obeying the Truth. There are many runners on the course with us, some running right alongside us, others trying to get us to turn around, others falling asleep on the course, and others trying to get us to attempt taking a “short cut” which really isn’t a short cut to the finish line, but a derailment. Then there are those runners who make it a competition in hopes of getting a better position in heaven or to draw attention to themselves here on earth, and these runners have somewhat derailed themselves too.
Philippians 2:6 of the NLT says, “Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.” Paul encourages us to follow the Word of God, to run the race that is set before us as Christ ran the race, following the Word of God. So keep running. Keep following the course set before us. Many will try to hinder us whether purposely or not, but if we cling to the Word of God and trust in Him who is faithful, we will have victory.