Purpose Driven Life (part 7)

 PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE (Part 7)

The Heart OF WORSHIP

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)     INTRODUCTION – THIS MORNING WE ARE CONTINUING OUR SERIES ON THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE.  THE TITLE OF MY MESSAGE IS “THE HEART OF WORSHIP”.  JESUS SAID THE FATHER DESIRES WORSHIP, BUT THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM SHOULD WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. Rom 6:13 (NIV)  “…do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”  TODAY’S ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF ROMANS 6:13 SAYS “GIVE YOURSELVES TO GOD…SURRENDER YOUR WHOLE BEING TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUS PURPOSES.

II)    THE HEART OR ESSENCE OF WORSHIP IS SURRENDER to god.

A)   SURRENDER IS AN UNPOPULAR WORD TODAY, DISLIKED ALMOST AS MUCH AS THE WORD SUBMISSION.

B)   TO MOST PEOPLE IT IMPLIES LOSING, AND NO ONE WANTS TO BE A LOSER.

C)   SURRENDER BRINGS TO MIND THINGS LIKE LOSING IN BATTLE, ADMITTING DEFEAT.

D)   WE ARE TAUGHT NEVER TO GIVE UP – WINNING IS EVERYTHING, SURRENDER IS UNTHINKABLE.

E)   WE WOULD RATHER TALK ABOUT WINNING, SUCEEDING, OVERCOMING AND CONQUERING THAN YIELDING, SUBMITTING, OBEYING AND SURRENDERING, BUT SURRENDERING TO GOD IS THE HEART OF WORSHIP.

III)   surrender IS THE NATURAL RESPONSE OF GOD’S AMAZING LOVE AND MERCY.

A)   WE GIVE OURSELVES TO HIM, NOT OUT OF FEAR OR DUTY, BUT IN LOVE, “BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US. (1)

B)   AFTER SPENDING ELEVEN CHAPTERS IN ROMANS EXPLAINING GOD’S INCREDIBLE LOVE AND GRACE TO US PAUL URGES US TO SURRENDER OUR LIVES IN WORSHIP: Rom 12:1 THEREFORE I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

C)   TODAYS ENGLISH VERSION EXPRESSES ROMANS 12:1 SO THEN, MY FRIENDS, BECAUSE OF GOD’S GREAT MERCY TO US…OFFER YOURSELVES AS A LIVING SACRIFICE TO GOD, DEDICATED TO HIS SERVICES AND PLEASING TO HIM.  THIS IS THE TRUE WORSHIP THAT YOU SHOULD OFFER.

D)   NOTICE THAT WORD OFFER – WE ARE TO OFFER OURSELVES ONTO GOD, WHICH IS REASONABLE GIVEN WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR US.

E)   TRUE WORSHIP  – BRINGING GOD PLEASURE – ONLY HAPPENS WHEN YOU GIVE YOURSELF COMPLETELY TO GOD.

F)    THIS ACT OF SURRENDER IS CALLED MANY THINGS: TAKING UP OUR CROSS AND FOLLOWING HIM, MAKING HIM LORD OF OUR LIVES, DYING TO SELF, YIELDING TO THE SPIRIT – IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU CALL IT – ONLY THAT YOU DO IT.

G)   THERE ARE three major BARRIERS that BLOCK OUR SURRENDER TO GOD: FEAR, PRIDE, and CONFUSION.

IV)  1st FEAR KEEPS US FROM SURRENDERING TO GOD.

A)   CAN we really TRUST gOD?  TRUST IS ESSENTIAL TO SURRENDER.

B)   YOU WON’T SURRENDER UNLESS YOU TRUST HIM, BUT YOU CAN’T TRUST HIM UNTIL YOU KNOW HIM.

C)   FEAR KEEPS US FROM SURRENDERING, BUT the bible says PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEAR.

D)   THE MORE YOUR REALIZE HOW MUCH GOD LOVES YOU, THE EASIER IT IS TO SURRENDER TO HIM.

V)   HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT GOD LOVES YOU?  THE EVIDENCE IS OVERWHELMING:

A)   god declares his love for you.  john 3:16 “for god so loved the world…”

B)   the bible says HE CARES ABOUT EVERY DETAIL OF YOUR LIFE.   matt 10:30 even the hairs on our head are numbered….

C)   HE HAS GIVEN YOU THE CAPACITY TO ENJOY ALL KINDS OF PLEASURE. 1 Tim 6:17: to put our hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (niV)

D)   he has good plans for your life: Jer 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. NIV

E)   HE FORGIVES YOU not just once but when we ask: 1 john 1:9  “if we confess our sins…”

F)    HE IS LOVING AND PATIENT WITH YOU:  Ps 145:8 says “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  NIV

G)   THE GREATEST EXPRESSion OF HIS LOVE FOR YOU IS THAT HE SACRIFICED HIS SON JESUS FOR YOU:  Rom 5:8  (niv) “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

H)   GOD LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLE IMAGINE. GOD IS NOT A CRUEL SLAVE DRIVE OR A BULLY WHO USES BRUTE FORCE TO COERCE US INTO SUBMISSION.

I)     SURRENDERING TO GOD BRINGS FREEDOM NOT BONDAGE, HOPE for DISPAiR AND an AWESOME POTENTIAL THAT CAN ONLY BE FULFILLED WHEN WE SURRENDER TO HIM.

VI)  THE 2nd BARRIER TO SURRENDER IS PRIDE.

A)   it is so hard to ADMIT OUR LIMITATIONS.

B)   WE DON’T WANT TO ADMIT THAT WE’RE HIS CREATION.

C)   WE ARE NOT IN CHARGE OF EVERYTHING AND WE ARE UTTERLY DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR EVERYTHING.

D)   IT IS THE OLDEST TEMPTATION: TO BE LIKE GOD – THE DESIRE TO BE IN COMPLETE CONTROL; THIS WHAT SATAN OFFERED EVE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN.

E)   LIFE IS A STRUGGLE BUT WHAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE, LIKE JACOB, OUR STRUGGLE IS WITH GOD not others.

F)    WE WANT TO BE LIKE GOD, BUT WE WILL NEVER WIN THAT STRUGGLE.

G)   WE ARE STILL TRYING TO GIVE THE ORDERS, TRYING TO MANIPULATE GOD FOR OUR OWN PURPOSE AND AGENDA.

H)   A.W. TOZER SAID: “tHE REASON WHY MANY ARE STILL TROUBLED, STILL SEEKING, STILL MAKING LITTLE FORWARD IS BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T YET COME TO THE END OF THEMSLEVES. WE’RE STILL TRYING TO GIVE ORDERS, AND INTERFERING WITH GOD’S WORK WITHIN US.”

I)     WE ACCEPT OUR HUMANITY INTELLECTUALLY BUT NOT EMOTIONALLY.  WHEN FACED WITHOUR OWN LIMITATIONS, WE REACT WITH IRRITATION, ANGER AND RESENTMEnT.  WE WANT TO TALLER, SMARTER, STRONGER, MORE TALENTED, MORE BEAUTIFUL AND WEALTHIER.

J)    WE RESPOND WITH ENVY, JEALOUSY AND SELF-PITY WHEN WE SEE THAT GOD GAVE OTHERS abilities and TALENTS, AND THINGS THAT WE DON’T HAVE.

VII) WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SURRENDER TO GOD?

A)   SURRENDERING TO GOD IS NOT PASSIVE RESIGNATION, FATALISM OR AN EXCUSE FOR LAZINESS.  IT IS NOT JUST ACCEPTING THE STATUS QUO.

B)   IT MEANS THAT EXACT OPPOSITE: SACRIFICING YOUR LIFE AND ACCEPTING YOUR SHARE OF SUFFERING WHILE BEING USED OF GOD TO CHANGE THE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE CHANGED.

C)   SURRENDERING IS NOT FOR COWARDS.  IT DOES NOT MEAN THROWING AWAY THE MIND THAT GOD GAVE YOU.

VIII)       SURRENDERING IS DEMONSTRATED BY OBEDIENCE.

A)   YOU LEARN TO SAY “YES LORD”.  SAYING “NO LORD” IS A CONTRADICTION.

B)   AFTER A NIGHT OF FAILED FISHING, SIMON PETER MODELED SURRENDER WHEN JESUS TOLD HIM TO TRY AGAIN.  PETER RESPONDED, “MASTER, WE’VE WORKED HARD ALL NIGHT AND HAVEN’T CAUGHT ANYTHING.  BUT BECAUSE YOU SAY SO, I WILL LET DOWN THE NETS.”

C)   SURRENDERED PEOPLE OBEY GOD, EVEN WHEN IT DOEN’T MAKE SENSE.

D)   TRUST IS A PREREQUISITE TO THE SURRENDERED LIFE.

1)    NOAH WORKED ON THE ARK 120 YEARS KNOWING TRUSTING GOD THAT IT WOULD SAVE HIM FAMILY WHEN THE FLOOD CAME.

2)    ABRAHAM FOLLOWED GOD’S LEADING WITHOUT KNOWING WHERE HE WAS GOING.

3)    ABRAHAM WAS WILLING TO SACRIFICE ISAAC, KNOWING THAT IF NEED BE GOD WOULD RAISE HIM UP.

4)    HANNAH WAITED FOR GOD’S PERFECT TIMING FOR THE BIRTH OF SAMUEL WITHOUT KNOWING WHEN.

IX)  how do you know if you are surrendered to god?

A)   YOU KNOW YOU ARE SURRENDERED TO GOD WHEN:

1)    YOU DON’T TRY TO MANIPULATE GOD OR MANIPULATE OTHERS TO GET YOUR HEARTS DESIRE AND WHEN YOUR HEART’S DESIRE IS HIS HEART’S DESIRE.

2)    YOU DON’T REACT TO CRITICISM AND RUSH TO DEFEND YOURSELF.

3)    YOU DON’T DEMAND YOUR RIGHTS AND YOU AREN’T SELF-SERVING.

B)   THE BIBLE SAYS in ps 137:7: “SURRENDER YOURSELF TO THE LORD, AND WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM AND HE WILL BRING IT TO PASS.” (13)

C)   INSTEAD OF TRYING HARDER, TRUST HIM MORE.

X)   ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT AREAS FOR MOST PEOPLE TO SURRENDER IS THEIR MONEY AND THEIR FINANCES.

A)   OUR SELF INTEREST SAYS, “I WANT TO LIVE FOR GOD, BUT I ALSO WANT TO EARN ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE COMFORTABLY AND RETIRE. RETIREMENT IS NOT A GOAL OF THE SURRENDERED LIFE.  

B)   JESUS SAID, “YOU CANNOT SERVE BOTH GOD AND MONEY.” (14) AND “WHEREVER YOUR TREASURE IS, YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO.” (15)

C)   BEFORE HIS CRUCIFIXION, JESUS SURRENDERED TO GOD’S PLAN, EVEN THOUGH IT MEANT DYING ON A CROSS.  “FATHER, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU.  PLEASE TAKE THIS CUP OF SUFFERING AWAY FROM ME.  YET I WANT YOUR WILL, NOT MINE.” (16)

D)   GENUINE SURRENDER SAYS, “FATHER, IF THIS PROBLEM, PAIN, SICKNES OR CIRCUMSTANCE IS NEEDED TO FULFILL YOUR PURPOSE AND GLORY IN MY LIFE OR IN ANOTHER’S PLEASE DON’T TAKE IT AWAY.”

E)   SURRENDER IS NOT ONLY HARD WORK – IT IS INTENSE WARFARE AGAINST OUR OWN SELF-CENTERED NATURE.

XI)  what are THE BLESSINGS OF SURRENDER?

A)   THE BIBLE IS CLEAR ABOUT THE BLESSINGS OF SURRENDERING TO GOD.

B)   1ST surrender to god BRINGS PEACE.  THE ON-GOING QUARREL AND STRUGGLE WITH GOD ENDS.  JOB 2:21 (NLT)  “STOP QUARRELING WITH GOD!  IF YOU AGREE WITH HIM, YOU WILL HAVE PEACE AT, AND THINGS WILL GO WELL FOR YOU.

C)   2ND surrender BRINGS FREEDOM.  JESUS SAID “YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.” KNOWING THE TRUTH IS NOT JUST AND INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH BUT OBEYING THE TRUTH AND ALLOWING IT TO CHANGE YOU – THIS IS SURRENDER.

D)   3RD VICTORY IS ACHIEVED THROUGH SURRENDER. AS JOSHUA APPROPACHED THE BIGGEST BATTLE OF HIS LIFE HE ENCOUNTERED GOD, FELL IN WORSHIP BEFORe HIM AND SURRENDERED HIS PLANS. THAT SURRENDER LED TO A STUNNING VICTORY AT JERICHO.

E)   WILLIAM BOOTH, FOUNDER OF THE SALAVATION ARMY, SAID, “THE GREATNESS OF A MAN’S POWER IS IN THE MEASURE OF HIS SURRENDER.”

F)    SURRENDERED PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE THAT GOD CAN USE: GOD CHOSE MARY TO BE THE MOTHER OF JESUS NOT BECAUSE SHE WAS TALENTED OR BEAUTIFUL BUT BECAUSE SHE WAS SURRENDERED.  WHEN THE ANGEL ANNOUNCED GOD’s IMPROBABLE PLAN, MARY REPLIED, “I AM THE LORD’S SERVANT, AND I AM WILLING TO ACCEPT WHATEVER HE WANTS.” (20)

G)    NOTHING IS MORE POWERFUL THAN A SURRENDERED LIFE IN THE HANDS OF GOD.

XII)          EVERYONE SURRENDERS TO GOD OR SOMETHING.

A)   if you refuse to surrender to god; you surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to things to your pride, your lusts or your ego. you were designed to worship god – and if you fail to worship him, you will SUBSTITUTE idols, to dedicate your life to.

B)   surrender to god is not only the best way to live; it is the only way to live.

C)   romans 12 says surrender to god is reasonable. surrendering your life to god is not a foolish emotional impulse, but a rational, intelligent act, the most responsible and sensible thing you can do with your life.  that is why paul said, “so we make it our goal to please him.” (24)

D)   sometimes it takes years, but eventually you discover that the greatest hindrance to god’s blessing in your life is not others, it is yourself – you self-will, subborn pride and personal ambition.

E)   if god is going to do his deepest work in you, it will begin with this.  so give it all to god:  your past regrets, your problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts and hang-ups.  take your hand off the steering wheel and let him drive.

F)    in phil 4:13 (amplified) “i am ready for anything and equal to anything through him who infuses inner strength into me, that is, i am self-sufficient in christ’s sufficiency.

G)   paul’s moment of surrender began on the road to demascus. he was knocked down by a blinding light.  jesus spoke to him out of that light.

H)   there is a moment of surrender, and then there is the practice of surrender, which is moment-by-moment and lifelong.  the problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the alter.

I)     JESUS SAID, IN LukE 9:24  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  ANOTHER TRANSLATION PUT IT THIS WAY:  IF PEOPLE WANT TO FOLLOW ME, THEY MUST GIVE UP THE THINGS THEY WANT.  THEY MUST BE WILLING TO GIVE UP THEIR LIVES DAILY TO FOLLOW ME.

XIII)       CONCLUSION – BILL BRIGHT WAS ONE OF THE GREAT CHRISTIAN LEADERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY.  BILL FOUNDED CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST.  THROUGH CRUSADE STAFF AND THE FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS TRACT AND THE JESUS FILM (SEEN BY OVER 4 BILLION PEOPLE), IT IS ESTIMATED THAT MORE THAN 150 MILLION PEOPLE GAVE THEIR HEARTS TO CHRIST.

A)   WHEN ASKED WHY GOD SO BLESSED HIS LIFE AND MINISTRY, BILL SAID, “WHEN I WAS A YOUNG MAN, I MADE A CONTRACT WITH GOD.  I LITERALLY WROTE IT OUT AND SIGNED MY NAME AT THE BOTTOM.  IT SAID, “FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, I AM A SLAVE OF JESUS CHRIST.”

B)   HAVE YOU SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH GOD OR ARE YOU STILL ARGUING WITH GOD…AN ARGUMENT THAT YOU CANNOT WIN. NOW IS THE TIME TO SURRENDER YOUR LIFE TO GOD’S GRACE, LOVE AND WISDOM.  ROMANS 6:13B TELLS US TO SURRENDER YOUR WHOLE BEING TO GOD TO BE USED HIS RIGHTEOUS PURPOSES.

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