Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Church Notes From the Past: Principles to Live By

"You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food." Hebrews 5:12, NLT

• This is the time in our lives when we need to grow as a child of God.

• A person who is living on spiritual milk isn't very far along in their Christian life

• There comes a point where we must mature and crave "solids" by gaining the ability to recognize the difference between right and wrong; doing what is right

"So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start all over again with the importance of turning from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don't need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding." (Hebrews 6:1-2)

• We shouldn't be spiritual babes drinking spiritual milk

• We don't have to lay the foundation for things God established

• You cannot be a strong Christian if you are living a hit/miss Christian life.

Here are some principles to live by:

Principles:  your foundational belief system

1. Learn to obey God without excuses

• Example was given of Abraham in Genesis 12:1-4 who obeyed without questions or hesitation.
“Then the LORD told Abram, ‘Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed him…”
• Obedience is better than sacrifice.
“But Samuel replied, ‘What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to Him is much better than offering the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

2. Learn to put our trust in God even when it doesn't make sense

“It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in people.” (Psalm 118:8)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

3. Learn to wait on God

“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14)

• “But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

4. Learn to give to God's work (time, talent, and treasures)

• This is a direct promise from God:
“If you give, you will receive . Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

• Giving of your treasure:

“They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave. Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind; The grave is their eternal home, where they will stay forever.” (Psalm 49:6-11)

“So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich, and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they carry nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. In this life they consider themselves fortunate, and the world loudly applauds their success. But they will die like all others before them and never again see the light of day. People who boast of their wealth don’t understand that they will die like the animals.” (Psalms 49:16-20)

“And I have been a constant example of how you can help the poor by working hard. You should remember the words of the LORD Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

“For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10).

5. Learn to live a Christian life with God's strength

• You can’t be victorious in your own strength.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
(Philippians 4:13)

“And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the world world, you will share in all his glory.” (Colossians 3:4)

6. Accept that God Loves you unconditionally

“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)

“But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (1 John 1:9)

 WE/US includes ALL.

7. Remind Ourselves that God is in control

• God has never been out of Control

“The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been!” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

• God knows our limits

“For it is not up to mortals to decide when to come before God in judgment.” (Job 34:23)

• God knows what we can handle. Whatever concerns you, concerns God

8. If we are saved, forgiven, and in the family of God, His Spirit dwells in us

• The Spirit dwells in us.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.” (John 14:16-17)

• Spirit of the LORD will be with us in fear, temptation, etc. We are to seek refuge in Christ.

9. Must have meditation of God’s Word as a priority

“I will study Your commandments and reflect on Your ways. I will delight in your principles and not forget Your Word…Even princes speak against me, but I will meditate on Your Word.” (Psalm 119:15-16, 23)

“How I will delight in your commands! How I love them! I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your principles.” (Psalm 119:47-48)

“Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.” (Psalm 119:78)

“Oh how I love your law! I think about it all day long.” (Psalm 119:97)

• We should be watchful, waiting on our next orders from God.

“I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.” (Psalm 119:148)

“ I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how He will answer my complaint.” (Habakkuk 2:1)

10. Let the Word of God radically transform your life by falling in love with Christ

• We must study the Word to be victorious

“Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the Word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Forever, O LORD, your word stands firm in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)

“Your Word is a lamp into my feet and a light into my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

“As your Words are taught, they give light; even the simple can understand them.” (Psalm 119:130)

Look it up, Let it in, Live it out!

**Notes from the sermon by Dale Faulkenbury titled “Principles to Live By” given on 11/30/2011 and 12/14/2011

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I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.