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If you were personally responsible for making one resolution for the congregation’s spiritual health and well-being, what would it be? Think about it.

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Presentation on theme: "If you were personally responsible for making one resolution for the congregation’s spiritual health and well-being, what would it be? Think about it."— Presentation transcript:

1 If you were personally responsible for making one resolution for the congregation’s spiritual health and well-being, what would it be? Think about it.

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3 Resolutions are usually made this time of year (and subsequently broken). We typically vow to do better at a number of things: Self- Losing weight- exercising more and/or taking better care of oneself Externals- Managing money, time, and other resources Relationships- being a better parent, spouse, etc.

4 And we’ve probably all heard sermons which translated these typical resolutions into spiritual ones:  Lose the extra weight of Sin- Heb.12:1-2  Auditing and allocating our resources differently, Phil.3:8; Matt.6:19-21; and  Being more concerned with our spiritual relations, 1John 3:1 and Luke 14:26. While these are valid and even valuable points and objectives, they are not the direction we’re going in this lesson.

5 Instead, think in these terms: If you were personally responsible for making one resolution for the congregation’s spiritual health and well-being, what would it be? This is not meant as an opportunity to vent complaints or dislikes- like auditorium temperature, song selection(s) or leading, or sermon or bible class criticisms. It is meant to get us all to think of what we need to do to be a healthy, strong, and pleasing to the Lord congregation. So really think about it, and if the one resolution you come up with is different from the one suggested in this lesson, write it down and give it to me or one of Elders.

6 The one resolution each of us, and all of us as a congregation, need to make and keep is to: “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness” Matt.6:33 Notice from the verse itself that: It doesn’t say “Look occasionally for His kingdom”- it says “Seek first His kingdom”. Perhaps some definitions will help our understanding: “Seek” is translated from zeteo, which means “to seek in order to find” and/or “to seek (in order to find out) by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into” and “to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after”. It also can mean “to crave” (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon). Thus “seeking” isn’t a casual glance from time to time- it is a hungering quest of mind and body to find and possess. cf. Matt.5:6; John 7:37 Are you/we resolved to seek first His kingdom?

7 The one resolution each of us, and all of us as a congregation, need to make and keep is to: “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness” Matt.6:33 Notice from the verse itself that: It doesn’t say “Seek also His kingdom”- it says “Seek first His kingdom”. “First” here is the word protos- which can mean first in time or place, or in an succession of things or persons, but also can refer to first in rank, influence, honor, chief, principal- perhaps some or all of these meanings are intended. But don’t think it just means to get a check mark by your name Sunday morning for attending and the rest of the week is yours to spend as you see fit! No one ever “finds” (see above) the kingdom that way! Matt.13:13b-15 Are you/we resolved to seek first His kingdom?

8 The one resolution each of us, and all of us as a congregation, need to make and keep is to: “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness” Matt.6:33 Notice from the verse itself that: It doesn’t say “Seek first our own kingdom”- it says “Seek first His kingdom”. We cannot be both “selfish” and “Christian.” We can be one or the other, but not both, Phil.2:3-4. Christianity is not like the burger joint- you cannot “have it your way”- not even Jesus did, Phil.2:5-8; John 6:38. It is so very easy for us to assume that this life is ours to do with as we please, but it isn’t, 1Cor.6: It’s not my (or your) kingdom. Neither am I (nor you) the king! Are you/we resolved to seek first His kingdom?

9 The one resolution each of us, and all of us as a congregation, need to make and keep is to: “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness” Matt.6:33 Notice from the verse itself that: It doesn’t say “Seek first God”- it says “Seek first His kingdom”. Some might say, “But isn’t that the same thing?” Actually, it isn’t. “God” can be discerned from His creation, Rom.1: Though some seek Him only through that medium of nature, environmentalism as a religion is rank idolatry, vv Seeking the kingdom requires immersion into the words of revelation, Eph.3:3-5; 2Tim.2:15; and into water, John 3:3-5 to discern. But to seek His kingdom also means to seek His reign over us, Rom.10:9. Such includes baptism, but certainly does not end with it! “Lord” means “the owner; one who has control of the person, the master” as well as “sovereign, prince, or chief”. (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon). Seeking the kingdom and Lordship of Christ is a lifetime commitment of submission! Are you/we resolved to seek first His kingdom?

10 “So how do I, and we, Seek first His kingdom?” That question probably has any number of answers, but understanding and applying what we’ve already covered is a great start. Additionally, and from this context, note a couple of concluding points that will help us to seek first His kingdom: 1.Use the right bank for your treasure, vv Maintain proper vision (perspective), vv Understand and make your choice with regard to whom you will serve- then stick to it, v Know that this life is not what “it” is all about, vv.25-32,33.

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