3 Luke 17: Thursday Sri Lanka Increase Our Faith5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.Unworthy Servants7 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”Thursday Sri LankaNo time to rest: the work is not yet finished.Note the order above: From faith... to action
4 The value of intimacy“One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus” ...“so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, ‘Lord, who is it?’” John 13:23-25Jesus said to him, ’Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?’ —John 14:9“. . . I have called you friends . . .” John 15:15. True friendship means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit.Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away . . .” John 16:7. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to walk more intimately with Him. The bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be the visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ:John 15: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.‘IN’ appears 13 times... not abide ‘with’ me - Jesus wants an intimate relationship...
5 God yearns for intimacy with us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit God yearns for intimacy with us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit... and for us to reach out to Him
6 Heart first... 862 references to ‘heart’ in the Bible Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.From the right heart attitude, we will want to give ourselves over completely to His service. Without a heart response, without love, our response will be shallow beliefs & hollow words, like the ‘clanging bell’ of 1 Corinthians 13.Or, worse still, we will simply choose to stay in our comfortable seats once a week...
7 A social gospel or the Bread of Life John 6:27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”What ‘work’ are we filling our lives with today? Work to give ‘the bread of life’ first and God will provide the rest.
8 The example of Jesus’ brother James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[b] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
9 So, how can we put our faith into action? Push in to deeper, more meaningful prayer: where...when...how?Matthew 14:23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.Luke 3:21 When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as he was praying, heaven was openedLuke 6:12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.Luke 9:28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.Luke 9:29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.Luke 22:24 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.P...R...A...YHow much time did we spend on the phone, text messaging and social media sites this week? More or less than talking with God?
10 So, how can we put our faith into action? Push in to deeper, more meaningful reading of God’s Word:Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Note the order here!)Deuteronomy 17:19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decreesDeuteronomy 29:9 Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do.Joshua 8:34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law--the blessings and the curses--just as it is written in the Book of the Law.Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.Psalm 119:18 Open you my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.How much time did we spend on TV, the Internet or secular reading this week? More or less than in God’s Word?
11 So, how can we put our faith into action? Fellowship (Church life)Acts 2: The Fellowship of the Believers42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.The Book of Acts Christians were not content to meet once a week for services as usual. They:Met daily (2:46), cared daily (6:1), won souls daily (2:47), searched the scriptures daily (17:11) and increased in number daily (16:5). Their Christian faith was an action-filled, day-to- day reality; not a once a week routine.Why? Because the risen Christ was a living reality to them and His resurrected power was at work in their lives through the Spirit.Cornerstone Church offers almost daily opportunities for fellowship. Great teaching through Matt and Duane on a weekly basis, but how much are we involving ourselves mid-week for other Apostolic church activities? Open Lounge; Men’s & Women’s Ministry; Midweek Worship; other groups and activities...
12 So, how can we put our faith into action? The Power of Praise and Worship - Revival Hezekiah style; Jehoshophat; Rajesh’s testimony last weekFastingTithing: Malachi calls us to ‘bring’ and to ‘test’ = actionConviction: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking (conviction/reproof), correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3: 16)SurrenderForgivenessListenSacrificeAdventure - going out into the wildernessStepping out when the heart starts thumpingMission: Workers’ camps; mission trips; your work canteen; the person on the plane next to you; the playground... yes, youth, God needs you!
13 How are you feeling about this right now? Difficult to swallow? God is stirring you to action but Satan is doing his best to distract you.Spiritual war: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)Praise God when tests comeA predictable enemyGod always protects us: For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
14 Getting out of the boatPicture Simon Peter: impulsive, fiery character, getting it wrong like denying Jesus, cutting off Malcus’s ear, taking his eyes off Jesus when walking on water and losing faith. BUT: he was willing to get out of the boat!Comfy? Asleep? It’s time to get up out of those theatre seats and do something about the calling God has on your life. Are you willing to get out of the boat today?When Jesus called His disciples, they responded ‘immediately’. The time to act is now! If we all respond to the fulness of what God has planned for us, imagine what we can do...Like the servant in Luke 17, it’s time to do our duty, to serve Him to the end, without sitting down.Intimacy... discipleship... missionA call to arms - in a prayerful song...
15 Beautiful Lord, Wonderful Saviour I know for sure, all of my days are held in your hands, craftedinto your perfect plan.You gently call me into your presence, guiding me by Your Holy SpiritTeach me dear Lord to live all of my life through Your eyesI'm captured by Your holy callingSet me apart, I know you're drawing me to yourselfLead me Lord I prayChorus:Take me, Mould me, use me, fill meI give my life to the Potter's handCall me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
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