Thursday, January 21, 2010

I never knew you!!

The title of this message brings an immense emotional response to rise up within me..Matthew 7:21-23 speaks of this "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]"

The parable of the Sower speaks of what might cause us to fall into this category of people who will try to claim Christ as Lord but will instead be told "Depart from me I never knew you"..(chills again)

Matthew 13:22 "As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit."

The part that stands out in this verse is "the cares of the world"...Those are the thorn's that choke out our ability to bear fruit..The kind of fruit that Christ expects of those who love Him and desire to follow His commands..

I believe there are largely three areas that need to be addressed when looking at this topic..

1. Time - Where is your time spent. Do we get caught up in the cares of the world that we cant find time to intake the Word of God..? I believe our technology driven society is an ever increasing problem in the life of a believer..We are unable to devote time to hearing, reading, memorizing and meditating on God's word..because we are way to busy with cell phones, social networking sites, kids, errands, jobs, chores around the house, etc, etc, etc..This list is not at all exhaustive..but the point is clear..Technology has allowed us to do things more efficiently but has also kept us constantly in a state of stimuli that slowing down long enough to get quiet and alone and spend time with our Creator has become secondary..What could matter more? We find that time is an acceptable excuse in our society so when we reflect on our days, we say I was just so busy, I just did not have time to do _____________(you fill in the blank)..If we truly took an honest look at our days and allowed ourselves to be honest, we would find time is not at all the problem...Priorities are the culprit..Everyone has the same amount of time to work with..We are allowed to choose for the most part how to spend that time..and so we choose to place God on the back burner in lieu of missing that favorite ballgame, sitcom, exercise regimen., etc..This stings me at the core of who I am because I am painfully aware of this misaligned priority in my very own life..So I challenge you to take that excuse out of the Rolodex and realign your priorities to include making God first..Give Him time and spend time with Him and He will make your way straight..He will lengthen the days, He will provide avenues and ways for us to get done what needs to be done..but try as you may without Him and chaos will rule your life..

2. Heart - Where is our loyalty? Does our heart yearn to know God deeper and more intimately or is our heart caught up in our children, our spouses, our jobs, our extra curricular activities..From the heart is where the well spring of life flows..Wherever you heart goes, there you will be also..The cares of this world are all to often competing for our heart...and our flesh is determined to keep our heart from seeking God...but rather pleasing self.. Our heart is not ruled by many would say..I submit to you that our Heart is ruled by what fills it..If we fill it with the cares of this world, we are left empty at the end of the day..but if we fill it with the immeasurable love of God and what His desires are for us, our loyalty is clear to those around us and our life will bear fruit and the thorn's will not have the chance to choke us out..We cultivate the field of our heart and constantly open it up to the overflowing grace that God desires to offer us and replace all the self reliance, self-centeredness that normally dwells there.. We must understand that we can not serve two masters..It is either US or GOD..It is NOT US and GOD or GOD and US..It is US OR God..So I ask you, where is your loyalty..

3. Energy - The last of the three areas I wanted to address.. So where to focus our energy..This is closely related to our time and our loyalty..If those two areas are out of whack, then this area has no choice but to be out of whack..We spend our energy on the things that matter most to us..We spend very little energy on things that have no effect on us or we think have no effect on us..If you want to get in must expend some of that energy to go to the gym, lace up the running shoes, stack on the weights..So when you expend that type of energy, you will find that you begin to gain more energy as a result..yes for the first few weeks, you will feel tired after working out but if you will stick with it you will find that exercise provides you with more in return than you ever spent...Your energy levels get higher and you begin to feed off the extra energy exercise provides you..SO why say all this..Because spending the necessary energy getting to KNOW God has the exact same effect on you..mentally, spiritually and I would also argue physically..Yes it is hard work and it requires an enormous amount of our energy to take in God's word and live out His commands for us..but just as exercise brings more energy, so will the investment we make in spending some of our energy on God.. Spending time in God's word will not return void..It will only increase your reserves, increase your desires and increase your loyalty to Him and that is a NET positive result for those around you in your inner circles but also for those who you come in contact with who no nothing or very little about God..God will provide you everything you need if you will earnestly seek him and devote your energy to Him each and every day..

This is what most Christians want from God...... " God please help me now so I can live my life my way". We don't want God to come in and rearrange our already comfortable schedules, to do lists and priorities because we like it how we have it..We just need You to help me do what I already do.....I say NO..When we call on our Creator , The Holy One, to come into our life, that means we lay our lives down and surrender to Him all that is His..Our Time, Our Heart and our Energy and when we do that, He, El Shaddai, will remake you in His image and begin to sanctify you for His good works and fruit will sprout from you like a tree planted by the waters as Jeremiah says in chapter 17 verse 8..and so when the Heat (the world) comes, it will have no effect and you will not cease yielding fruit for the One who called you to Himself.. The words "I never knew you" will be a distant memory. Your life will take on new meaning..

How is your current TIME, HEART (Loyalty) and ENERGY affecting your Intake, Digestion and Application of God's word..? You can fool me but God knows your intentions, your thoughts and your desires..

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