Thursday, July 28, 2016

How to Live in the Last Days

Our sermon Sunday asked us if we were living in the last days?  The last days are a time where God is completing His purposes for His people.  

How should we be living in these last days?

1. With Godly Discipline:

How we live and serve today will determine who we are judged and rewarded on the day we stand before Him. 
a. We are to make up our mind to live for Jesus. 
b. We are to be watchful or disciplined in our prayers.

Three  things can help us in this:
1. Commitment - by realizing that our connection with the Holy Spirit is our source of real power. Part of this comes through reading Scripture but it also comes through our prayer life. We must be committed to pray. We tend to make time for what is important to us. It takes commitment to pray.

2. Consistency - Often our prayer life depends on our situation.  Being committed to prayer calls for consistency. Praying at all times, not just the bad times.
3. Conformity - This doesn't mean we pray a certain style or pattern. It means our prayer life should have a desire to be shaped and conformed in the image of Christ. When we pray "God make us more like Your Son, that is conformity in prayer. 
*A clear mind and disciplined prayers come out of our quiet time alone with God. What others see is the result of the discipline behind the scenes. We won't live God honoring or Christ centered lives without discipline.  In the last days what we have done or not done in our quiet times will begin to reveal itself. 

2. Live with Generous Compassion:
Once our mind begins to change, it affects our heart. The love of Christ shows itself in three ways:
a. The first is full strength love. This is a love that gives all it has to give. This is what God wants from us. Sometimes we leave love in our heart that could have been shared, God's Word tells us we should give all our love away.
b. Forgiving love. "Hatred stirs up strife up conflicts, but love will cover a multitude of sins." Peter urges us to love for the sake of unity. In the church the spirit of unity is love. When we reflect the love of Christ, we are unified in our purpose which is to fulfill the Great Commission. A church that is committed to embody the love of Christ, will look for ways to serve and work together. 
c. Family love. A love which says that there is a place for everyone. It means making someone feel at home. "A family love looks at others and sets another place at the table for them." Shouldn't church be this way?  Does your love have room for one more:  That is the love modeled and the love we should show.

3. Live with Grateful Service:
We are urged to guard and grow our minds and then to love others are Christ did. "It is impossible to have our minds conformed to the image of Christ, our hearts stirred to share His love and not have our actions begin to model the servant image of Christ." 
Jesus had only two priorities in His life. There were times where He got away to be with God. Then there were times He was with the people, healing, teaching, loving and preaching. A mind that has drawn away to be with God and a heart that has been stirred by Christ, needs a place to serve the people. When our hearts and minds begin to model Christ, so will our lives. 

If we want to have lives that show the power of Christ, then we must be disciplined, compassionate and servants. It all begins with the commitment to spiritual discipline. The process of having God's power in our lives begins in the commitment to spiritual discipline.  

The world desperately needs to see an example of God's power. Are you desperate enough for God, that His power could be displayed in your life? 

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