13 Nov 2016
Titus 2:11-15 On Fire Pastor Mike Redick 13 November 2016 Many people due to the hustle and bustle of life or the lure and lust of the age- have lost their passion for God and their spiritual life is dry and heart is cold. Maybe your spiritual life is but a flicker of what it used to be but this is not a place you want to be. And maybe you have been wondering-‘how can I recapture my love and passion for God? ” “How can my heart be set on fire again? ” That's what our message in Titus 2:11-15 is all about.
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Turn in your Bibles if you would please to the book of Titus, Titus chapter 2. I want to share with you a subject I I think that is oh, so important in the crazy days in which we live, are we not living in crazy days. Have you been watching the news lately? I mean, it is a crazy world you say, yeah it's crazy in America, it is true what is crazy in South Korea as well, it is crazy all over the world. I mean I was reading news today and you know you know another ISIS attack, 52 people die here, a hundred people die there, what a crazy world, but men in the midst of this crazy world, God is still on His throne.
What we need to do in the midst of all that's happening is to cast their eyes upward and ask this wonderful God of grace to shower in our hearts His love and His passion that we might in these last days, have a passionate love for Him.
Titus chapter 2 is our text today. You know, when I was a boy I did not grow up in the city, but as a boy I grew up in the mountains and I remember as a boy my father said to us children, he said, he said kids when you guys go out into the woods make sure and he emphasized, make sure that you never come between a mother bear and her cubs.
Now that was good advice if you're traveling in the woods, but it's also good advice in life because I heard the story of a man in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas who came between a mother and her child and I venture to say after you hear the story, he wished he would heeded my father's advice.
It happened on July 15, 2005, as a lady with her three kids pulled into a gas station and she was filling her car with petrol. And as she was doing so, a man approached her with a gun and demanded her purse. When she refused to give the man her purse, he pushed her aside, jumped in the car with all the intent of stealing that car and so the mother, as you can well imagine, she flew into action and she began to scream to her three kids, get out of the car and the six-year-old immediately bolted out of the car. She reached in and she grabbed her four-year-old, but before she could reach in and take out her 18 month old child that was still locked in the car seat, the car sped off and this mother became enraged as you can imagine, and started running alongside of the car and just before the car left the gas station parking lot and headed down the street, she was able to reach into the window and grab a hold of the steering wheel.
She grabbed it for her dear life in this would be purse snatcher who has quickly turned to be car thief, punched it, you know, put the gas, put the pedal to the metal so to speak, and as he was flying down the road, she was hanging on it, you could picture this in your mind, she's hanging on to the steering wheel and the man began to punch this lady in the face, trying to get her to let go of the steering wheel. But nothing was going to come between this mother and her 18 month old child. So she held on for dear life and she pulled herself into the front, in into the driver's window. I mean, this is an amazing woman and as she pulled herself into the front seat, she began to hit and to kick this guy, and in the confusion of it all, this man stalled the car, realizing that he had made a terrible mistake trying to come between a mother and her child, he opened the door and he fled for his life.
You know I read that story, I, I want to say to this, I want to say, man, don't you want to stand up and applaud that mother, don't you want to say go woman go. I mean, what an incredible and amazing woman. I believe that man, as he was running away, I bet you, he regretted coming between a mother and her child.
But what motivated that mild-mannered mother to do what she did, what moved this mother in action. Well of course you know, it was this mother had a passionate love for her child, because isn't it amazing what a person can do when they are passionately in love with somebody or something. Haven't you done some crazy things in the name of love? It is amazing what a person will do and can do, when they are passionately in love with somebody or something and everyone of us, we all need a passion, we need a passion for our work, we need a passion for family and of course we need a passion for our God and a passion for our church, because if a person doesn't have a passion, if there's not a fire burning in them for what they do, you know that they will accomplish very little in life. In fact, this is true both in the spiritual and in the secular world in which we live.
It was in 1984 a man by the name of John Schnader. Now he founded what we know in the Western world, a pizza chain, called Papa John's pizza. Now I'm not sure you, if you know that pizza chain, but it was a pizza joint, Papa John's pizza, 1984. And it is said from in the first seven years, that chain of pizza grew from 1 to 46 stores. In the next seven years, it grew from 46 to some 1,600 stores. In fact, it is said that there was a time that it was the fastest growing pizza joint of any pizza joint in the world, opening one store every single day of the year and a few years later, Papa John, this man John Schnader was interviewed by Success Magazine and they asked him, this question, they said, what is the secret to your success and here's what he said, one word, he said it was passion.
You see, here is a man that had a, a passion to make pizza better than anybody else and friends you know that a person can have great character, they can have great credentials. They can be highly trained and wonderfully experienced, they can come on the right side of the tracks, but if that highly trained and extremely intelligent person does not have a fire burning in them for what they do, if there is not a passion and drives them, do you realize, they will accomplish very little in life and actually be tempted to give up at that first sign of trouble.
In fact, here's something I think might be interesting to you. Did you know that 50% of all CEOs of Fortune 500 companies had a C or C- average in college, young people, this is good news for you okay, parents, this is bad news to you, young people, this is good news to you. Hey, 75% of all US presidents were at the bottom half of the graduating class, thus the mess in America today.
Now, we are not going to get political. Someone asked me before the service, are you gonna preach on Donald Trump and I thought of course I'm not gonna preach on Donald Trump but anyway, 75% of all US presidents were at the bottom half of the graduating class. 50% of multi-millionaire entrepreneurs never even finished college and yet, having said that, although that is true, friends, do you realize that each and every one of these men and women had an absolute passion, there was a fire burning in them for what they do or for what they did, because every single person needs a passion and we as the people of God is a community of faith, we need a passion for our God, because do you realize, it, it, it is, is passion.
It is a passion for our God that gets us up in the morning and drives us to our God before our day begins, it's a passion for God that enables me to be, be honest in my conversations and truthful in my business dealings, it's a passionate love for God you see, that keeps me from kicking my dog and scolding my wife and yelling at my kids, it's a passionate love for God that enables me to let go of my bitterness, you know and to love my enemies, it's a passionate love for God that keeps me from sin and shame and we all need a passion, we need a passionate love for our God.
You see, passion fuels our will, it ignites our obedience and inspires our giving and it even motivates our service. You see its passion, it's a passion for God that drives me to my knees when times are good, and keeps me faithful to God when times are bad. Friends, we must have, as a community of faith, as a people of God we need to have a passion, we need to have a passionate love for our God, because when we lose our passion, we lose.
When we lose our passion, we lose that engine that drives our spiritual life; we lose that fuel that ignites that spiritual flame. In fact, I think when we lose our passion we decamp we, become like that man, I once heard of who was on the golf course, ready to take his tee stroke suddenly he heard some noise behind him, looked back and he saw funeral procession and the moment he saw that funeral procession, he dropped his golf club, bowed his knee, took off his hat and began to pray. His friend was shocked and he began to laugh, he says, wow he says I, I, I, I've never seen this in you before; I didn't expect this from you. You know this is so nice, this is so loving, this is so compassionate. The man looked at his friend, after he looked back over at that funeral procession and he says well, you know it's the least I can do, he says, we were married for 35 years. But that's what happens you see when we lose our spiritual passion.
You know, we lose our passion, we wind up like that man, simply bowing our knees, tipping our hat, giving God the nod, when we lose that passionate love for God, we wind up going to the spiritual motions, spinning our spiritual wheels. You see, when we lose our passion for God, you know, we know He needs us to witness to our neighbors, we know we need to love our enemy but we have no heart to do so. And maybe that's where you find yourself today. Maybe due to the lure and the lust of the age, and the hustle and the bustle of life, maybe for some reason, you have lost your spiritual passion, maybe your spiritual life is dry, maybe your spiritual life is cold, maybe your heart is hardened for whatever reason, maybe you find yourself just going through that spiritual motion, coming week after week, week after week, knowing you need to do this, knowing you need to read the word, knowing you need to obey the Scripture but you just have no heart to do so.
Hey maybe that's where you find yourself today, but maybe this is not the place you want to be. Maybe you've been thinking to yourself, you know, I wish I could recapture my spiritual passion because you know that your spiritual life is but a flicker of what it used to be and maybe you have been asking yourself how can I have my heart set on fire.
How can I recapture my spiritual passion, well that's what our passage here in Titus chapter 2 is all about. Friends, these words, the Spirit of God to the apostle Paul, reminds us how we can have our spiritual life set on fire again. And friends I'm telling you what, we live in a day where we must be a passionate people. Friends our world today is seeking truth and you have it and they see it first in your life. In fact it is said that you're the only Bible people will ever read and friends they need to see Jesus burning, reigning and ruling in you. You have to have your heart set on fire, if we are going to be the people that God wants to be. If we are going to be a community of faith, sharing faith for a lost and dying world than we must have our heart set on fire.
So let's take a moment and let's look at Titus chapter 2, and in these great words, let us see how we can recapture our spiritual passion and how we can have our heart set on fire again.
Begin reading with me here in Titus chapter two and verse 11. The Spirit of God said to Paul the apostle, for the grace of God that appears, the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. The grace of God, what a great phrase, the grace of God.
Have you ever tried to define grace? It is not easy. Some people have tried by simply using that, that, that, that kind of acrostic grace, God's riches at Christ expense. Others have said that you know grace is simply unmerited favor, God giving us what we, what we do not deserve. And although those are very, very good definitions and they are true, but sometimes better than a definition, is a description of the word, and I think one of the greatest descriptions of grace come from a story from a man, by the name of Henry Moorhouse who lived about 100 years ago and he worked in the, in the down trodden streets of London.
The story is told that one day Henry Moorhouse was walking along, he saw a little girl carrying a clay pitcher filled with milk and as she stepped off the curb, she slipped and fell. The pitcher fell out of her hand, shattered on the ground and the milk ran down into the gutter. The little girl sat up and then she began to cry uncontrollably. So Mr. Moorhouse sat down next to the little girl, put his arm around her and he said honey, do not cry. He said, everything will be okay and she looked up at him and she said, sir, you do not understand. She says, my mother is going to give to me a severe whipping when I get home. He says, no, I think I can help and so he began to grab the pieces of the pitcher and he says, I can put this back together again and then kind of reconstruct that pitcher, that pitcher, but every time, of course it crumbled, she began to cry once again uncontrollably.
This time he picked her up and he put the little girl upon his shoulder and walked into a crockery shop and there he bought a brand-new clay pitcher. Then he had that pitcher filled with milk and as he and the little girl were walking home with this brand-new pitcher filled with milk, he looked down at this little girl and he said, you think your mother's going to give you a whipping now. There with a big broad smile upon her face, she says, no, because this pitcher is better than the one we had before.
And friends, that's a wonderful description of grace, because you see we can define grace this way. Grace is unmerited favor, God's unmerited favor poured out on those who do not deserve it, could not earn it and could never repay, God's grace. Grace, His divine favor, His unmerited favor, poured out on you. Do you see, if you have received that grace, that simple choice of faith, then God, you see, He has poured out on you, His grace, although you do not deserve it, you could not earn it and you could never repay.
So let's ask this grace, a question, alright, for further clarification. So what has the grace of God specifically done for us? This, this amazing unmerited favor poured out, what has it done for us. Well, notice what Paul said in verse 14 and we will get back to verse 11 and verse 12 in just a moment, but notice he says, and he is referring to the Person of Jesus Christ, you see grace is embodied in a person and that Person is Jesus Christ and it says, who, Jesus He gave Himself for us that He, Jesus Christ might now, notice this other word, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, wonderful theological words, grace, and in this word redeemed, redeemed.
What does it mean? Well it means simply to purchase for the purpose of setting free, but you know in Paul's day, it was possible to purchase a slave and to keep that individual as a slave, but that's not what this particular word means. This word means to purchase for the purpose of setting free and that's what grace has done, that's what God's grace has done for us.
You see, the Bible says we were dead in trespasses and sins. We were destined for eternal hell, deluded by Satan, but by God's grace, because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we who have received that grace by faith, we have been redeemed. We have; in essence, we have been set free from the penalty and yet even from the power of our own sin, purchased for the purpose of setting free.
I remember reading a story about a a little, a pastor one day who was standing out in front of his church and he saw a young boy coming towards him and this little boy was carrying a rusty old cage. And in this cage were, were a bunch of old wild birds and as the boy approached the pastor, he stopped him and he said, son, what do have in that cage and the little boys says, well I have a bunch of old birds.
He said, where did you get these birds. He says well, I caught the birds out in the field. And, so what are you going to do with those birds. He says well, I'm going to play with them for a while and then you know after a while I'll feed each one of these birds to my old cat. I thought to myself, that's my kind of a boy, growing up in the mountains, that's kind of thing that we would do right and not something that I have done, for you animal lovers but something I would've done and so the pastor didn't quite like that idea and he said so aah, son, tell you what I will do, let me buy that old rusty cage and those birds from you. The boy began to protest he said, sir, you don't want to buy these birds; you don't want this old rusty cage. These birds, the really he says, they're good for nothing. He says, they don't even sing very well. The pastor says, no, I'll buy them from you. I tell you what; I will pay you two dollars for that rusty old cage and those birds.
Well, I think this little boy was Donald Trump in the making, that's my only political slur, okay, Donald Trump in the making. So seeing a good deal before him, he says okay and so the pastor gave him two dollars and little boy happily went off to start his real estate empire and the pastor, sorry that was my second political statement, I won't do anymore, control your mind, the pastor took that cage, with those birds and he walked behind his church and there, in an act of grace, he opened that rusty cage and there he set those birds free, he redeemed them. You see those birds, were destined for destruction, but by grace, that pastor purchased those birds and set them free, that's what grace does, grace redeems us.
You see, grace sets us free, because, like those birds, we, too, you see, were destined for destruction. We were on our way to an eternal hell, to pay for our sin throughout eternity, but by God's amazing grace, Jesus came and thereupon that cross He died for our sins, and He purchased our salvation to set us free. By God's grace we have been wonderfully redeemed and we know that, don't we. You know the Bible says this, just to emphasize this a little bit. The Bible reminds us that without a doubt every single one of us we are born in this world as sinners. I know we know this basic truth we don't become sinners when we sin, but we sin because we are by very nature sinners right, we do what we do because we are what we are, we are sinners therefore man does sin and you know that's true especially if you're a parent with children today. You know you never have to teach children to do right, right? Don't you parent spend 18 years of your life teaching your children to do right. We never teach them to do wrong. Are you with me? are we straight, did I say that backwards. No, I said right, right, right right, is that right or is that wrong. Now you are real confused, hey listen, we never have to teach our children to do right. We spent our life teaching them to do right, because they naturally do wrong, that's right. Right.
I've never met a father okay, just to unconfuse you, I'm just waking you up out there alright, just unconfuse you for a moment, you know, I never met a father who said to his son, daddy is going to teach you something very important today, daddy is going teach you how to be selfish, so please repeat after me, little boy, okay daddy, okay, say, mine.
Hey, you never have to teach a child to be selfish, why, because they are by nature selfish and grandparents are bad at making the selfish a little bit more selfish, grandparents, be careful. I see grandparents out there right, we never have to teach our children to do wrong. They just do it naturally like that little boy I once heard of who was running away from home and one day a police car pulled alongside of him, policeman said, son, where are you going. Little boy look with that look of defiance, I'm running away from home. The policeman says, why are you running away from home. The little boy said because my parents will no longer obey me. Why does a child operate like that, because you know, like that child, they are born in this world as sinners.
The Bible reminds us that sin is a very serious matter. Now we live in a day and we live in an age where sin doesn't seem to be as sinful as it used to be. I mean, we take it lightly, you know we kind of overlook it, you know our politicians you know, they, they, they sin they, talk about sin, they gloat in their sin, they boast of their sin and it just doesn't seem to bother anybody today.
But I want you to know something; sin is still serious with God. The Bible says because of our sin there is going to be a penalty; there will be a judgment for our sin. In fact the Bible puts it this way that's Psalm 51, the Bible says of the wages of our sin is, is death that refer to eternal death and eternal separation from God in a place the Bible calls hell.
Imagine it this way, you see every single one of us we are, without exception were born in this world as sinners separated from God and as sinners we are marching step-by-step to an eternal hell, because the wage that man is earning because of their sin is death. Now that's true (sounds like), did you catch the picture, every man without exception every person, everybody on this planet is born in this world, dead in sin and destined for an eternal hell. Everyone, you were, but by the grace of God, are you with me.
Friends, you realize everyone of us are born destined for an eternal hell but by the grace of God, you see, because of God's amazing grace, you see, He sent Jesus into this world to do for you and for me what we cannot do for ourselves. Jesus Christ came to pay for your sin, that He might redeem you, okay, that's from every lawless deed that He might wash away your sin.
And friends, the price that Jesus Christ paid to redeem you and I from our sins, the Bible says was the price of His own blood, it is the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son that can cleanse you of your sin, nothing else cleanses you, you don't wash away your own sins. The church doesn't wash away your sins, your parents can't wash away your sins, your good works cannot wash away your sins, you see, your noble deeds don't wash away your sins, your prayers doesn't wash away sins. What does, it's the blood of Jesus Christ, that's why grace is grace. It is unmerited favor, it's not what you do, it's what He did for you, that's grace.
You see grace, the grace of God appeared in a Person and that Person is what that Person, is the Person of Jesus Christ. You see Jesus Christ came to do what you cannot do. And friends although you could not earn it, you did not deserve it and you could never repay, Jesus Christ, if you trust in Him as Savior, He has redeemed you from every lawless deed, grace.
Let me tell you a story, this is a true story by the way and I say that because the story so shocking, sometimes we think this cannot be true, but it's true and illustrates God's amazing grace.
One day, a bus driver had picked up 40 students from school and they were traveling home and as they were going on a sharp incline, the brakes on that bus failed. The bus driver could not turn off the road to the left because there's a sharp ravine, he could not turn right because there is a a, a, a a wall of mountain. But the bus driver knew that the end of that road was a very, very narrow gate and as long as nothing was blocking that gate, if he could make it to that gate, there was a big open field and he was sure the bus would naturally just slow down and thus save the lives of the children. His only hope is that there is nothing blocking the way. And so he held on, as he got down towards the end of that road, he saw the gate ahead of them and it was coming very fast as the bus was moving rapidly.
But there to his horror, he saw sitting upon that fence a little boy and the driver he could not move left, he could not move right, there is nothing that he could do. So, he began to you know, honk his horn and to flash his light, hoping to alert this child, danger ahead, get off that fence. But the boy didn't get the message and that bus driver did the only thing that he knew what to do. Couldn't turn left, that would take the lives of the 40 kids, couldn't turn right and so he finally just crashed into that fence and there instantly, killing that child.
The bus came to a stop and thus he saved the life of all 40 children. Soon emergency vehicles, ambulances came, parents, grandparents came and everybody was excited. Everybody was happy that their child was alive, everybody but one, and that was the bus driver, because you see, that little boy was that bus driver's son and yet in a greater way, friends, that's exactly what God has done for us.
You see our sins broke God's law and as a result, we were destined for an eternal destruction, but by God's great grace, Jesus Christ came and upon that cross, He came to do for you what you cannot do for yourself, He came to redeem you, He came, through His purchased life, through His shed blood, He came to free you from the penalty and the power of your sin.
You know why God poured out His grace upon you although you did not deserve it, could not earn it and could never repay; do you know why God did it for you? He did it for one reason; He did it because He loves you. In fact John 3:16 says, for God so loved the world, and that's you and friends may I just remind you, doesn't matter who you are today. It doesn't matter what you've done, in fact it doesn't even matter what you think about God because when God thinks about you, God thinks about how much He loves you.
God so loved you, if you are the redeemed today, God so loved you. Question, how much does God love us? John 3:16 remind us, for God so loved the world, that's you, that He gave His only begotten Son. That's how much He loves you, He loves you so much, that He allowed His Son to come and to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. He allowed His Son to die upon that cross and thus dying upon that cross, to redeem you of all your sin, and the Lord says this, if you want to be a recipient of that amazing life changing saving grace, John 3:16 says, you need to make that simple choice to believe, for God so loved the world, that's you, that He gave His only begotten Son, that's Jesus, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish. And here's the promise they shall have everlasting life and I want to know something, friends, that is God's amazing grace, grace that redeems us from all iniquity,
So let's ask this thought, another question can we, here's the question, what then does this grace teach us? This grace redeems us, it sets us free, and if you are a child of God today and you have received that grace, you have been set free. By the way that's the most exciting news on the planet, because that's news that's going to carry you throughout eternity.
It doesn't matter what happens in an election, really, because in light of eternity, that's my third pun, right. But in the light of eternity it really doesn't matter does it? Hey, listen, what matters is have you received that amazing grace, have you been redeemed from all iniquity? Has there been that time and you placed your faith and your trust in Jesus Christ, that's what matters?
But grace doesn’t only redeems us, I want you to know this, grace teaches us. Notice what Paul said in verse 11 verse 12, he said, for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, and that grace teaches us, that grace inspires us, that grace motivates us to do what, to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, that we might live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age.
You see friends, the, the grace of God teaches us, it inspires us, and it motivates us to live the life that God wants us to live. So let me ask you a question, what motivates you? What inspires you to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, to live soberly, righteously in the and godly in this present world? The answer friends the only answer is God's amazing grace.
Friends, do you realize that we, we do not live an obedient life because we want necessarily to be blessed by God or we fear being cursed by God. Listen to me we are talking about grace, God's unmerited favor poured out on you and that grace teaches us, that we are to deny ungodliness, we are to live soberly, righteously and godliness on the motivation to live that kind of a life. Friends it's not so He will bless me or fear that He might curse me. We do it, why, because of what He did for us. That's our motivation, that's our inspiration. You see, we obey not to gain God's favor or not to to gain His acceptance and not to secure His love.
You already have His love, but you see that love that grace is been poured out on you is to inspire us; it's to motivate us. In fact, we do what we do because He did what He did. My friends, that is so vital. It is so important. In fact, I think the Bible puts it this way and I love this verse. I think this is probably without a doubt one of the key verses in the entire New Testament. John said in 1 John 4:19 we love him, why, because He first loved us.
Friends when you begin to understand how much He loves you, then it will build in your heart a fresh love for Him. In fact I think Paul echoed those words when he said in 2 Corinthians 5:14 he says, for the love of Christ constrains me. It's the love of God, it's the love of Christ that drives me, it's the love of Christ that motivates me. You see His love and His passion for me ignites into my heart a fresh love and a fresh passion for Him. That's it. That's the point of this message, one truth. This is what I want you to take away, alright.
This is what I want you to take away. This is it! That His love and His passion for me ignites and inspires in my heart a fresh love and a fresh passion for Him because you see, when we begin to understand God's grace, God's amazing grace, grace that has freed me from the penalty of sin, grace that has freed me from the power of sin, grace that has robbed the Spirit of God within, enabling me to live in all that He has done for me on the cross. When we begin to understand His amazing grace, grace that has set me free, not based upon what I have done, what I do or what I will do, but grace, unmerited favor poured out on you.
Although you do not deserve it, you could never earn it and you could never repay it. When you begin to grasp that great amazing grace, it's going to build into your heart a fresh love and passion for God. That's what grace teaches us and if you have lost your passion, if your Christian life is one where you are bowing the knee, tipping the hat, going through the spiritual motions. If you dive into the Word of God and you're always coming up dry, then you need to draw near. You need to draw near to the one who died for you and asked the God in heaven to give to you a fresh appreciation and understanding of God's amazing grace. When that happens, friends, that grace is going to set your heart on fire.
Let me tell you a story some years ago there was a lady who worked in the employment of Queen Elizabeth. This lady dressed as a man, hid in the Queens closet with one intention that was to stick a dagger and a knife into the Queen. But unknown to this lady, the attendants would come in the evenings before the Queen would retire and check the closets and, lo and behold, that evening they found this would-be assassin, there with dagger in hand.
And they arrested this person and brought this young lady into the presence of the Queen and she, knowing that her situation was absolutely hopeless she fell upon her face and she just simply began to ask the Queen to please show me grace. The Queen responded to this would-be assassin with these words, and I quote she says if I show you grace, what promise will you make for the future? The lady responded to the Queen and she said this. She said grace that has conditions; grace that is fettered with percussions is not grace at all.
And with that the Queen thought and then she responded and said you're right. Therefore, I pardon you of my grace. And she was sent away a free woman. Grace. And yet the story ends this way. History records that this lady was re-employed in the Queen's service and became the Queen's most faithful and dedicated service to the rest of the Queen’s reign. But that's what grace does. You see friends, grace motivates. It inspires us to live for Him and to love Him.
In fact Paul reminded us that it's grace that makes us zealous for good works. Notice he says Jesus, it was Jesus who gave Himself for us that Jesus might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people who are zealous for good works. Three great words, grace, redeemed and zealous. God's grace reminds us that we been redeemed, which motivates us to do what, to be zealous. And the word zeal means to be on fire. And Paul is saying this, when we understand God's amazing grace, His grace that has been poured out upon you, it will set your heart on fire and you will be on fire for good works.
So I ask you, would you like to be zealous for good works? Do you want your heart set on fire? Then you need to draw near to Him who died for you and ask the God of heaven to give to you a fresh appreciation and understanding of God's amazing grace. Are you tired of going through the spiritual motions, has life taken your zeal? Has the hustle and bustle of your life, the lure and the lust of this age, has it taken your zeal, has it left you empty, are you but a near flicker of what you used to be in the past? Friends can you look back and see at a point in your life that you were flaming for God, your heart was on fire and yet as you stand before Him today something has happened, maybe discouragement, maybe an individual, maybe a church, maybe words spoken inappropriately, but has robbed you of your passion.
Friends, don't let the things of life rob you of your passion for God. Don't ever blame God and punish God for the actions of men. Are you with me? Don't never punish God for the actions of men. It it always blows my mind when a person walks away from God and say, I'm not going to church anymore. You say why, because that person said that. I say why are you punishing God for the actions of that carnal person, hey unsaved people always act like unsafe people. Carnal people always act like carnal people. Don't punish God. God loves you and He died for you. And He came to redeem you of your sin.
God's not changed, man changes. God remains the same. His love yesterday is the same love today and will be the same love tomorrow. Now God wants you to be zealous for good works, He wants to set your heart on fire and yet we keep arise at such a low level and God wants us to lift our eyes upward and see a great and almighty God, a God of grace, a God of love a God who has showered upon His His unmerited favor. Although we don't deserve it, we could never earn it and we could never repay it. God showered His grace upon us and He's redeemed us from every lawless deed and He says if you can take this in your heart and you can let my love and my passion grab a hold of your heart. God says that will set your heart on fire for me.
I'm telling you what friends we've got a world, outside these walls that desperately desire what you possess and as it has been wisely said you are the only Bible people will ever read. They see Jesus in you before they see Jesus in the word. Jesus is manifested in love because it is in unconditional love. Do you realize that the word agape is a purely Christian word? Do you realize it did not even exist in human history until Jesus coined the term, the only word the world ever knew was phileo, which is a brotherly love of eros, which is a which is a sexual love. They didn't know anything about a love, unconditional love of God that is uniquely us.
That's what the world needs, it's how you're going to grow, it's how we're going to reach our world, it's by coming to this God of grace and asking this God of grace to set our heart on fire. So maybe you need your heart set on fire. If so, I wanna challenge you with one thing this morning. One thing then we're done. I wanna encourage you today, if you know you're not where you want to be spiritually, I wanna challenge you to pray the words of David.
These words are found for us in Psalm 51:12 they read this way David said Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, and renew a right spirit within me. You know when David was inspired to pray these words, David was at an all-time spiritual low because remember this is just after his infamous sin with Bathsheba and the taking of the life of her husband Uriah. I mean talking about at being at an all-time spiritual low, are you with me. I don't think anybody's there today. I'm sure we may have some adulterers here today but I'm not sure we have adulterers and murderers.
But friends whether it's adultery or murder we've got a God of forgiveness, do we not? We've got a God who says, repent and come to me and I'll wash away your sin, but that was David. I mean, he was at the spiritual low. I mean he was at rock bottom. David prayed these words, he said, oh God restore unto me the joy of your salvation, and renew a right spirit within me. And you know what, God heard his prayer and soon this man David again became the sweet psalmist of Israel and he became a man known as one who sought after the heart of God and what God did for David is exactly what the God of heaven can do for you.
And so draw near. Draw near. Because when we draw near, friends His love and His passion for you will grab a hold of your heart. And when His love and passion for you grabs a hold of your heart, it will ignite in your life a fresh love and a fresh passion for Him and I want you just imagine for a moment what this love and this passion could do for you in your life. What this love and passion to do in your family, what this love and passion that has that that begins to breathe in your heart can do in Your Church and how to reach our community. Imagine for a moment. Imagine, if your heart was set on fire, it would bring I tell you it would bring a new life in your devotional life. It would bring a new boldness in your witness, it would bring a new joy in your service, it would bring a new reality in your walking relationship with God. It would bring a new love within your family and of course it would bring a fresh fire within our church and it will set our neighborhoods on fire because when we're on fire it will touch them.
So I asked you to join me, in a moment I'm going to give an invitation. Not going to give an invitation for salvation, but if you're here this morning and you don't know Jesus as your Saviour, I want you to know something, He is only a step of faith away always, for whosoever shall call upon the name the Lord, the Bible says shall be saved and that includes you. You can reach out that simple step of faith and you can ask Him to be your Saviour, but I want to talk to God's people here this morning I wanna talk to the family of God, this community of faith.
And I'm gonna invite you to pray this very simple prayer of faith with me, this prayer that we find right here in Psalm 51:12. Because if you find yourself right here for whatever reason you've lost your spiritual passion, you've been going through the motions, you're tipping your hat, you're giving God the nod, but you have no heart in the process, I'm going to invite you to pray with me. These simple words, I'm going to ask you to pray and ask the God of all grace to give to us a fresh appreciation of His amazing grace.
Let's pray together. Lord I just want to pray for your people today and Lord I'm certain that each and every one of us we need a fresh understanding and appreciation of your amazing grace. So blessed spirit, take your word right now and speak to the hearts of your people. Lord I pray this prayer Psalm 51:12. In my own life and for the life of your people today, that Lord you would restore unto us the joy of our salvation and renew a right spirit within us, Lord would you set our hearts on fire for you and I ask this in Jesus Name, Amen.
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More Episodes from Pastor Mike Redick:
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21 Jun 2015
20 Jun 2015
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07 Jun 2015
Episodes from other sermons:
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