Taking Faith to the Streets!
Romans 12: 1-2
We are to take faith "to the streets" in how we live-for ourselves, for others and even for our enemies. Yet, most Christians respond with a "rear end" firmly planted in a pew that goes nowhere in service or in glory to Christ. They hold on to a will that will not allow conviction or change to enter their routine or life. Thus, church is just a club for comfort, not a huddle to play the game and receive orders from the Coach.For many pastors, the church becomes a place of power and control.A pastor must allow the Spirit to transform him beyond his comfort zone and remove any fears of conviction; if not, how could, or why would God use him?
· Living Sacrifice refers to the fact that we belong solely to God, not to ourselves or anything else. (Rom. 3:25; 6:12-17; 8:13; John 15:13-15;37-38; 1 John 3:16) His shed blood paid for us!
· Do not be conformed means that our minds and our thinking must be based on Christ and Scripture, through which the Spirit guides us. (2 Cor. 4:18; 1 John 2:17). If this is not so, the culture and pleasures of life will sweep us away from God's best for us. Our faith will become neutered!
· Renewing of your mind is changing our false mindset from our selfish nature to His character and call. We accomplish this by reshaping our minds to conform to God's Word. Until we do this, the deeper things of God's Will cannot be available to us. (Rom. 8:5-9; 13:11-14; 2 Cor. 4:18; 1 John 2:17)
· Being renewed and conformed is our Christian life and purpose! Our standing before our Lord is solely upon His mercy, thus we are to reciprocate it. Since God forgave us, we need to forgive others. Do not just ask God to use you, but, rather give yourself to Him to use!
· The opposite of your being obedient is not just your being selfish or lazy, but, rather, creating your own opportunities with zeal, instead of the Lord's. In other words, it involves placing your passion on the wrong things. (1 Sam. 15:22; John 7:17; 13:17)
· We are to cling to His highest standard, not compromise to the flow of the group with whom we hang out (peer pressure). Will you obey?
· When we allow God's standard to be our "carrot on a stick," then our paths will be straight and every aspect of our life will be governed by our Lord, in perfect harmony. When we debate with God and refuse His guidance, we lose sight of His path, and fall on rocky terrain. Stop, drop to your knees, and wake up to Him. (Eph. 4:30)
· The question is, will we be dedicated to our Lord or to ourselves (1 Cor. 6:19; 9:27; Gal. 2:21; Phil. 2:12). Being freed from sin, we must show a response and a responsibility. So, what is yours?
· We can only build our trust as far as we know something for certain. The more you learn and know about our Lord, the more you can put your trust in Him! The knowledge we gain from the Bible of our Lord will build our intimacy and our faith (John 17:3)!
1. Have you ever taken a Biblical stand and been persecuted by other Christians for standing in the faith?
2. What is the barrier that keeps you from being convicted?
3. What needs to happen in your life to move you from complaining to faith?
4. Why would Pastors, who are in charge of the care for other Christians, elevate their desires, goals, and aspirations over anyone else's, even the Lord's?
5. If Satan were to sit down in a counsel of demons to implant a strategy to tear down your church, all he would need to do would be to place a few key individuals in each church to spread gossip and rumors. Do you agree with this statement? Why, or why not? What are you going to do about it?
6. Do you believe that, as Christians, we have the responsibility to act as the disciples of Christ wherever we are and whatever we do?
7. How do you influence others?
8. Are you putting on a performance, or are you genuinely focused on the Lordship of Christ, so that He flows to those around you?
9. For you, as a Christian, the time must come when the reality of who you are in Christ will hit home in power and conviction. Has this happen to you? If so, how? If not, what would it take to make this happen?
10. What can you do to further build up your trust in Christ?