GOD CALLED US TO SERVE THE LORD FAITHFULLY.
Pastor Lewis Cushman. St Cloud Church of God.
Paul's Suffering for the Church:
“ …Now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:24-29
Our walk with God is a walk were we are expected to please him.
Christians are not called to be self serving or self centered.
There are practical steps towards spiritual maturity. If we are not taking steps then we are not growing as Christians. Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
GOD CALLS US TO SERVE OTHERS.
Everyone has a place and way to serve. Our service to the Lord is not the same as others the church. We all have different gifts and different ways that God can use us. We all have things to do in the body. Every day we are around people who need Jesus. It is up to us to share Jesus with them. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:” Ephesians 4:11-13
We did not get saved to pick each other apart. God saved us from sin so that we might edifying one another. We as Christians are supposed to mature and serve. Not sit and complain. Our service must continue till the Lord calls us home. It is a 24 hour call.
Q: What spiritual gift are you exercising?
Q: Have you asked God to use you?
Q: Have you received a gift?
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:1-4
GOD CALLS US TO BE GOOD STEWARDS and TO HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY.
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10 The Bible also says, “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48
THE GOAL OF OUR SERVICE:
Our goal needs to be to glorify God in everything we do.
There are lost people just outside the doors of church, what are we doing for them?
We are not called just to sit in our pews each Sunday, but to serve him every day.
THE COST OF SERVICE.
It involves suffering. We may not understand this, but if we look at those in other countries we can see what saints are going through. There are those who are in jail because of their faith. There are those who are put to death because they are Christians.
Q: If you were arrested for being a Christian, and to that you would be put on death row would you still stand for Jesus? Would there even be proof?
Don't be a lazy Christian. When the church sits back and does nothing then the world takes over a community, when the church tries to be like the world it will not have the power it used to. We must work to please God, it will not come easy. Jesus said, “Then said to his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
When God calls you to do something you will either follow that call, or disobey the call.
Q: What do you think the outcome of each would be?
Q: God is calling us to service, will you answer?
HOW WE ARE TO WALK AS CHRISTIANS?
Pastor Lewis Cushman.
Sunday Morning. St. Cloud Church of God.
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4:1
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT:
There are many things different about us. The way we look, the way we sneeze, the way we dress, the way we act, the way we eat, the way we talk, even the way we walk. Some walk on their toes, some bow legged, son have knocking knees, some walk still legged, some have a lot of swinging, some with hands in their pockets, some like they are in a marching band. We all walk differently. But when it comes to spiritual walking there is one walk that Christians need to walk. That is to walk with the goal of pleasing the Lord. If we believe that Jesus is coming back then we should walk like a Christian.
Q: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT WALKING LIKE A CHRISTIAN?
1-For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
1 Thessalonians 4:2-7
2- This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. Ephesians 4: 17-19
3- For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Ephesians 5:8
1- WHEN YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, YOU ARE TO WALK A LIFE OF HOLINESS.
“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7
Ask yourself, if unsaved people see me do this will they think I am a Christian or a non Christian?
Don't be a stumbling block to those around you.
Let you light shine.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
We should not live like the world lives.
2- WHEN YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, YOU ARE TO WALK A LIFE OF OBEDIENCE.
Some people want to live however they want to live. They pick and choose what verses to follow and forget the rest. Some live self-centered and only care about what can benefit themselves. To please God we need to know what he wants us to do in our life. When Christians learn that the scriptures are commands and not suggestions, then they will see change in their life. The bible is full commandments. What can you do when you hear the bible? Two things you can do..
A – Connect with what it says and apply it to your own life.
B – Ignore it and pretend you did not hear it.
One of this will lead to success the other to peril. It is up to you.
A youth leader takes his group to skate... They kept changing their skates. No more... One kid looked like he was in pain. Two left feet.. Why did you not tell me. Here is a person who knows how to obey.
If we as Christians could understand obeying.
3- WHEN YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, YOU ARE TO WALK A LIFE OF LOVE.
The call that God has put on our life is one of love.
“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;”
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
Q: Are you showing love?
If we have love we will have unity.
If you can't stand certain people in church then you might want to change that stinkin thinkin.
Q: Do you know how to show love?
Q: What would happen to us if God did not love us?
Q: How would we be saved?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35
We should show love, not hate and spite. God is love. Love is a fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus showed love even though... One loved him, One betrayed him, and One forsook him.
When they were discussing who was the greatest, Jesus washed their feet.
A very affluent church up town that had it all, except love for each other. The biggest problem was amongst the deacons, who was going to be the greatest. The pastor called them and had them sit in a circle. The pastor came and washed their feet, they were shocked to see the pastor do such a thing. He did that to them all. They confessed their sin and revival came to the church. If you love someone you will do anything for them.
HOW ARE YOU WALKING YOUR CHRISTIAN WALK TODAY?
Some day judgment WILL come and we WILL stand before God and if you never asked God for forgiveness then you will be judged according to your works, none will be saved by works, salvation is a gift from God. But if you trusted God for forgiveness of your sins, then you will receive eternal life with him forever. The choice is yours.
You may not have internally missed the mark, but we all do. We all need Jesus because we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If there are people you are holding a grudge against, release them. Pray to God to cleanse your heart and mind.
THE BREAD OF LIFE.
“Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:31-37
JESUS IS THE B.R.E.A.D. OF LIFE.
Do you enjoy bread? Do you like to have bread with your meal? Bread it goes with meals, toast at breakfast, sandwich at lunch, rolls at dinner. Not to mention the yeast rolls at golden coral. Egg mc Muffins, burgers, hot dogs, garlic bread with pasta. Now am I making you hungry yet?
We also need to crave the life Jesus gives. He is the bread of life and goes with all aspects of everything we do.
When we need healing, we call on Jesus.
When we need strength, we call on Jesus.
When we need salvation, we call on Jesus.
Simple truth, we need Jesus.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE BREAD OF LIFE:
1- BRINGS REAL LIFE into our life.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11-12
The living bread imparts life. It gives us satisfaction in living. It gives us something to look forward to. Have you ever sat in the doctor’s office looking forward to getting prodded and poked? People on most occasion don’t like going to the doctor. That's not life, that's not satisfaction. I would rather sit in church and worship God and hear some preaching.
“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” Isaiah 55:2
Q: Do you feel like you are living a fulfilled life?
2- REFRESHES OUR SOUL.
Like a hungry person who is given bread to eat, so being in fellowship with Jesus refreshes our inner soul. Jesus is our peace in this life. He is our rest, and our refreshing.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 11:35
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15
Q: Is your soul in need of refreshing?
3- ETERNAL LIFE is found through Jesus.
Eternal life comes through Jesus. It is what Jesus did on the cross that brings full payment of our sins, we must trust in what he did and believe in our hearts to receive salvation.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” John 6:35
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:18.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
Q: Are you trusting in Jesus alone for eternal life?
4- AVAILABLE TO ALL.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
If any man....
Bread is the one food that transcends social barriers.
You may eat lobster, or crawfish, pudding, or steak, but those also eat bread.
Bread in a can... Slice that up with some cow butter, and some Saturday night beans.
When you think about all the good food, there is almost always bread.
So it is with the Bread of life. It is available for whosoever wants it.
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
Q: Do you feel like you need to get better before becoming a Christian?
5- DELIVERS US FROM SIN.
We trust in a lot of things, is or not time to trust in him?
When you have Jesus in your heart, God will always provide. Jesus provides for your needs.
Entertainment is taking the place of the Word in some churches. There is already a famine of the Word, it shows in how the church is acting. They have no sound teaching.
REMEMBER: God is more than able to meet our needs AND sustain us.
Which brings us to a question, Why would people serve God and then after some years of service, go back to the world? Why do people back slide?
They might enjoy your sin for a time, but it will never bring true satisfaction. Sin will drag you down and make you backslide. Stay focused on God.
NOTHING in this world can replace what God gives.
Q: Are you tired of the weight of sin in your life?
DO YOU NEED ETERNAL LIFE?
The Bible says:
That if you confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-13
Graphic Art and Blog content by Matthew Law, inspired by Pastors and visiting speakers messages.