Friday, December 28, 2012

Hearing & Doing {Thinking Theology} | Part 2

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock..." Matthew 7:24 (to 27)

As I mentioned in Part 1 of Hearing & Doing,  we are saved to something.  We have not been freed from sin and death to seclude ourselves from the world or to continue on in our lives the way we want them to be.  Instead, the Lord says that if we are listening to His word, we will be called to action because of it (James 1:22, 2:14; 1 John 3:18 etc.).

I referenced verses from Romans 7 & 8 in the previous post but I wanted to move further into chapter 8, verse 26 which says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness..." This, to me, is the key.  Christ accomplished salvation on the cross and when we put our faith and trust in Him, we receive the free gift of salvation (this is the gospel).  We must remember this daily - sometimes even by the minute - but we also must remember that, with the introduction of the Holy Spirit into our lives, we are called to action.  No, these actions will not save us and our salvation is not dependent on them, but a hearer that is truly changed will desire to do.  James says this and more so clearly.

I turned to Acts 2:42-47 for a guide for my own life with regards to how my life should be shaped by these revelations.  These are my initial observations about what the church in Acts became devoted to as they were filled with the Holy Spirit:

They were...
  • Devoted to teaching (learning)
  • Devoted to fellowship & meals
  • Devoted to prayer (& praise)
  • Meeting needs
  • Meeting together
  • Reaching out to the lost
What a list!  When I first read through his passage I was slightly overwhelmed, but as I mentioned before, we must remember that we partake in them with the help of the Holy Spirit!  It is in God's strength that we learn and fellowship together and meet each others needs. 

To bring this close to home, I'll point out a few areas in which I've been challenged:
  • Finances
    • How are we spending the money God has entrusted to us?  
    • Do we wait on helping others until we have taken care of our own needs first?
    • Are we willing to sacrifice our more lavish desires for simpler things so we're living within our means and able to give more?
  •  Friendships
    • Who do we spend our time with?
    • What does that time look like?  Is it profitable or always self-focused?
    • What is the point of your friendships?
    • Are you friends with non-Christians?  
      • I'd say this is one of the most important things to ask yourself.  Do you have friends who do not know Christ that you spend time with for the purpose of showing them His love?
  •  Free Time
    • How do you spend your free time?
    • Do you use your free time as an excuse to do what you want, or what the Lord would have you do?
  •  Work
    • What is your focus on when you are at work? 
    • Are you a living representation of Christ to your co-workers?  
    • Do you work hard and do your best because you represent Christ?
    • Do you look for opportunities to invite your co-workers into your life so they can see Christ in you?
  • Home
    • Have you asked the Lord where you should live? 
    • Do you feel compelled to live beyond what you can afford?  
    • Are you opening your home to others?
    • Are you reaching out to those in your community? 
Those are some loaded questions, huh? I'm answering them myself as well. They aren't all-inclusive, but they are a great start to get us thinking about our daily lives.  I pray these questions would prompt us to ask the Lord to show us what needs to change and then change it with His help!  I hope that we would make this life about Him - not us.

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For sermons on these topics and others like them check out the end of The Mission of God series titled "The Gospel in Real Life" by Cornerstone Church.