Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Life of Obedience

These are my notes from Dr. Charles Stanley's sermon, "A Life of Obedience" which was broadcasted on January 11 and 12, 2010.

So how do you make decisions?  A believer should make his decisions based upon what the will of God is.  Convictions should be based on the truth of God, including that He is sovereign over all.  If you believe in God's sovereignty, then you have to trust Him, love Him, obey Him and listen to Him.

There are always consequences for the decisions you make, and it is unwise to ignore the consequences.  The "It's not going to happen to me" mentality is a deception of the devil.  You should be interested in the consequences of your decisions because they will have an impact -- positive or negative.  Some consequences are short-term while others last a lifetime. 

Live life in full surrender. The area of your life that is not surrendered to God is the area which you have chosen to be disobedient.  Disobeying God will cause you to miss out on opportunities to serve Him and others and will stunt your spiritual growth. Disobedience will also diminish your joy. You are responsible for the consequences of your disobedience.

God is responsible for the consequences of your obedience.  With obedience comes success, but the success God grants will unlikely be like the success defined by the world.  Also, when you obey God you will be filled with a sense of serenity, peace and joy. 

It takes courage to be obedient to God because with obedience comes conflict and suffering.  This is because we live in a world that is against God and the things of God.  However, continued obedience through conflict and difficult circumstances will result in spiritual growth.  One person's act of obedience can motivate others to obey God, but chances are you will never know the impact of your obedience. 

You should obey God and leave all of the consequences to Him.  If you obey God, He will bless you in ways beyond your imagination.  You cannot go wrong by obeying God because the consequences are always good. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Wonderful Name of Jesus

The following are my notes from listening to Greg Laurie's December 25, 2009, sermon entitled "The Wonderful Name of Jesus".

Names tell us who we are, and they identify us. People will have a certain perception of us based on our name. In Biblical times names meant something, and they revealed something about the person, such as their personality traits.  Today names are given based on trends, whims and what sounds good.

Jesus is a name above all names.  In Isaiah 9:6 several of Jesus' names are identified, and each title gives insight about Jesus, His character and what He can do in a person's life.
  • "Wonderful" - Jesus takes care of the boredom and emptyness of life.  The more you know of the Lord, the more in awe that you will become of Him.  God causes us to be amazed, in awe, surprised, astonished and bewildered by His character, nature and actions.
  • "Counselor" - Jesus cares about the details of your life.  He wants to give you personal counsel and direction which He will accomplish primarily through the Bible.  The problem that occurs often is that people will look for answers to their problems in all the wrong places (i.e. anywhere and anyone other than Christ).
  • "Mighty God" - Jesus can take care of the demands of your life.  Jesus has all the power you need to be the person He wants you to be because His power is without limit.  We lack self-control, the power to control ourselves, but Jesus can give us the power to live a Christian life.
  • "Everlasting Father" - Jesus will take care of your future.  What you do with Jesus will determine where you will spend eternity.
  • "Prince of Peace" - Jesus will take care of the disturbances of life.  There is peace on earth among men who are pleasing God.  Lack of peace occurs when we disregard God's Word and His Will.
  • "Government of His Shoulders" - Jesus will come back to earth to establish His kingdom.  Before Jesus could bear the government on His shoulders, He had to bear the cross for our sins.
Also, Isaiah 9:6 reveals man's persceptive and God's perspective of Christmas.  "For to us a child is born" is man's perspective - Jesus' arrival on earth by being born as a child.  "To us a son is given" is God's perspective - Christmas marks the departure of God's only Son from Heaven to come to earth to provide the ultimate gift for all humanity.  It is important to remember that Christmas is more about God's gift to us than our gifts to others.



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