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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

WAHT DOES GOD EXPECT OUT OF ME?


WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT OUT OF ME?

Video sermon links of "What Does God expect out of me?"








WRITTEN MESSAGE
“LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER: FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN”
(ECCLESIASTES 12:13)
What does God expect of us?  The words “trust” and “belief” are the answer to that question.  The words often translated into “belief” occur over 220 times in the New Testament alone.  The meaning of belief is “to put one’s faith in and to trust.”  Belief and trust are verbs - something you do, not something you think or feel.
Fear can mean many things to many people.  In Ecclesiastes to “fear God” can have the meaning of  “reverence” and “respect”.  This means to value and believe what God says.  It is obvious that “keeping His commandments” means to keep His commandments.  When our Lord and Savior, Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment, He replied.  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  ( Matthew 22:37-38).  That leads us to the question on “How do we love God?”.  We can love Him the same way we love others, and that is through “trust” and “belief”. 
When Jesus was asked this question:  “What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them:  This is the work of God, that you believe on Him, who God has sent.”  (John 6:28-29).  This is our daily work, the work that God has asked you to do - to trust in the Lord Jesus to help you make it through each day.  When you can do this you will receive results from your prayer and in turn receive joy in your Christian life.  There is no joy without trust.
Can you see yourself through the eyes of God?  You can if you read His Word.  “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”  (Romans 8:32).  If God didn’t withhold His very own Son that He gave on the Cross for you and me, then will God withhold anything else we need?  The answer is no.  If trust must be earned, God has earned that trust through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is thanksgiving that shapes a theology of trust.  The Bible is a book of memories recounting the results of many different groups of people and individuals who put their trust in God.  God reveals Himself in rearview mirrors.  At the Last Supper, the Lord Jesus Christ asks us to remember by giving thanks.  “And He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them saying: This is my body which is given for you: This do in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22 19).  If Christ gave thanks for His broken body and shed blood, we can show our trust in Him, by thanking Him during difficult times of our lives.  We can trust that even in suffering and pain, He will allow us to have a resurrection.   “Behold I make all things new....”  (Revelation 21: 5).  Even though God never changes, He can change all things, and that includes working miracles in our lives when necessary.
Another meaning for the word “fear”, is failure to believe.  If saving faith is trusting, then the opposite of faith is not just doubt, but fear.  A failure to be thankful and trust is a failure to believe.  A lack of being thankful and a lack of trusting is both doubt and fearing that God will fail.  Fear and doubt are the ideas that God’s love ends.  Fear and doubt believes that  there is not going to be enough love and miracles for you because you have failed so many times.
There is a desire the Holy Spirit puts into God’s children, and that desire is to please our Heavenly Father.  There is no mystery into pleasing our Heavenly Father.  It is a simple word called “faith”.  We have already described “faith” with the synonyms of “trust” and “belief”.  There is a whole chapter in the Bible dedicated to examples of faith.  One verse in Chapter 11 of Hebrews summarizes the importance of these words.  “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards them that diligently seek Him.”  (Hebrews 11:6). 
What does God expect from you?  He expects you to believe in Him and in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He expects you to believe that He loves you and has your best interest in mind. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a good future.  Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will listen to you.  And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.”  (Jeremiah 29: 11-13).
Why would the children of God live in a life of doubt and fear when he has given us this promise?  Jesus said: “If you can believe, all things are possible to the person that believes.”  (Mark 9:23).  This includes eternal life; healing; help with material needs; deliverance from harmful habits, worry, stress; and wisdom and strength to solve daily problems.  
The Lord has many wonderful things planned for your life on Earth and in Heaven.  He is not asking you to live a perfect life or achieve some unrealistic goal.  There may be times when the Lord Jesus asks you to change some things in your life.  “If any person will come after me, let them deny themselves, and take up their cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23).  Believing is acting upon what you know, think and feel.  It is not just words.  “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26).
Thanksgiving is another way to demonstrate your “Faith”.  Just tell God ahead of time “thanks, for helping me in this situation”; “thank You for what You are going to do”; “let Your will be done, and I will trust You, even if it wasn’t the answer I wanted”.
Today, you have been taught what it is that God expects of you as one of His children, as a born-again believer, and as someone He loves very much.  If you are having trouble with trust and believing in what God can do for you, pray the prayer of another person who came to Jesus and said:  “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24). 

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