The sermon we heard on Sunday has been echoing in my mind. So many phrases that jumped out as the pastor addressed our nephew’s confirmation class (see yesterday’s post) along with all of us within the hearing of his voice.
He started out telling them that with all they had learned over the course of 8 months the biggest question was…
Did they love Jesus more that morning than they did in September of 2014?
We have to ask ourselves that, you know…
Do you and I love Him more today than we did a year ago? A month ago? Yesterday?
If we don’t..then we probably have lost focus.
We have stopped learning about Him and spending time with Him. Because in truth, the more we know Him….really know Him…the more we love Him <3
Pastor Mark also asked us if we were letting what we are learning about Him change us from the inside out….
How do we do this?
By applying the Word….A P P L Y I N G the words we read in the Bible, the only Word we have that teaches us TRUTH because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself…We are truly blessed with many wonderful writings and commentaries and devotionals that expand God’s Word, but we must MUST read His Word ourselves before we read anything else.
We know and understand application…we will apply sunscreen this summer…it does not protect us in the can or bottle. We must open it, pour it out and APPLY it to our body in order for it to work.
We have apps on our phones and computers and iPads and Pods and all manner of equipment…but we have to download them….install them.
And then we have to OPEN them to use them…and sometimes we have to learn HOW to use them….
In order to apply God’s Word, we have to start by READING it …. and then using what He says to examine our own thinking and actions and attitudes. We must pray and ask the same Holy Spirit that inspired the writers of Scripture to TEACH us how to apply His Word to our daily lives.
Wherever my living out of daily life is NOT lining up with something in Scripture, then I apply the Word by adjusting ME …. not the other way around. I can ask God to help me.
We ask Him for all kinds of guidance regarding decisions for jobs, family, spending, health…we must also ask Him for help in understanding His Word, as well as allowing it to CHANGE us!
Pastor Mark said our challenge is to constantly and consistently bring ourselves in line with what we know.
And then he pointed out that we also have the responsibility to pass on to the next generation what we have learned and how it has transformed us….
With the added understanding that, “Every generation has to reaffirm for itself the truth of Christianity.” Pastor Mark Evinger
And that’s the thing of it….
As I read God’s Word and seek to gain knowledge and understanding…
As I apply His Word to my life and allow Him to change and transform me…
As He shows Himself to me and I fall more and more in love with Him, and….
As a result, develop such a passion for the generations coming behind me to know Him, love Him, and be transformed by Him…
I must learn to trust Him more as the Author and Perfecter of ALL faith…I must trust Him to do that work in each of them, just as He has done in me.
In every generation, He has raised up authentic and genuine disciples.
He will do so with this next generation; as WE, who are older, MODEL transparent and transformed lives of those who FOLLOW Jesus Christ and His teachings.
As we look around at the rip tide of culture, let us turn our eyes to Him who has Authority over all things.
Let us turn our faces to Him with hands raised that He might teach us, each one of us, to love Him more…to lift up His Name….even as He Himself has been lifted up…that ALL the world will be drawn to Him <3