Recent Memorable Sermons—March and April 2013
Glory in God, not in man! This was a dominant theme this month, and means that the emphasis of our lives and everything we do is to be God, not us. In our praise, but also in other ways, we give him glory and lift him up to the world.
For instance, when we pray, are we always asking for things, or asking for the wrong reasons (the wrong things)? Bro. Mike, asked, preaching on (James 4:1-10). Do you decide upon the answer you want before you pray about it? What we first need, what we should first ask for, are changed hearts and changed desires, so that we may match our will with God’s will. In this way, He is glorified, not us.
And we should be satisfied (with his answer). “The cure for evil desires,” Brother Mike said, “is humility, or being satisfied.” Jesus’ disciples sought position more than service (Mt. 18) and were concerned about their own honor. So, Jesus used a child to show them the humble, God-glorifying mindset that God is looking for. Our humility glorifies God.
In another sermon, Bro. Mike took us to (Mt. 15:21) and the woman of Canaan, who requested healing for her child. “The disciples could not see her need.” (They had the prevailing attitude of the Jews, looking to glorify their religious biases, and couldn’t see that God would be glorified in this situation.) God is served (glorified), Mike said, when we reach out to the needy and “look for ways to serve others—to understand the beauty of the Lord.”
Bro. Jimmy preached on (Mk. 5:24), concerning both Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, and the woman with the issue of blood. “All we need as people of God,” he said, “is just a ‘pinch-worth’ of Jesus.” The woman had already tried the doctors, but now she came to Jesus with faith. And Jairus trusted Christ even after his servant came telling him that his daughter was dead.
“Our actions,” bro. Jimmy said, “will show whether we have the love of God.” God is glorified when we trust him above all else and love him enough to believe that he can do the work in us.
“Don’t glory in man,” bro. Jimmy admonished, preaching on (1Co 1:26-31), “but in God.” This walk is a calling and everything changes when we come to Christ. And though we will always have our issues, they don’t invalidate our calling. But we need to keep hearing and welcoming and repenting at the preaching of the Word. We can’t just do what we want, because we are called to his love; and “when you say you love, do something about it!” You glorify God when you walk in his way.
Bro. Mike repeated this refrain when he preached on (2Pe. 1:1-11). “Faith must result in action!” he said, action which demonstrates a transformed life. (This glorifies God.) America today is doing just what Israel did, although there is also a remnant now, as then. God is calling, “Come back to your first love!” Mike asked us to judge ourselves: “How do you live now compared to when you first believed?”
Peter, he said, gives us an “action list” for acquiring the things of God, the character of Christ. But the power comes from God, not from us; when we allow Christ to live in us, then we become partakers of his character. Exchanging our nature for his, that is the thing. Becoming like Christ glorifies God.
Are you up to it? Let’s all put more effort into glorifying, not ourselves, but our great and gracious God!