- I surrender all of me (and my "stuff") to God
- I choose to make my life about God and not about me
- I humble / submit to the LORD of heaven and earth
- His will! Not mine!
Jesus starts His sermon on the mount with this foundational principle: POOR IN SPIRIT. Want to live in the Kingdom of Heaven? Then, you must be poor in spirit! Several years after Jesus spoke these words, Peter spoke to a large crowd of people - the first sermon in the kingdom of heaven - the first day the "church" began:
"Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38.
- Repent? Turn from your ways! Take up the path of continual surrender of your sinful and prideful life to life God's way! Poor in spirit!
- Be baptized? Let someone else bury you in water. Jesus and John modeled this type of surrender when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River to fulfill all righteousness. It takes submission and surrender to allow someone to do this for you, in the name of Jesus. Born again! Poor in spirit!
Yesterday morning, as every Sunday morning, millions of christians around the world gathered to remember Jesus Christ. We did that! Our local church family has been meeting in a high school while our new building is being built. Yesterday morning there were heater challenges in the auditorium, so we moved to the cafeteria.
Most who gathered have already made the decision to surrender to Jesus for the reign and rule of our lives. Each week we remember His surrendered life on this earth by celebrating a memorial service of His life, death, and resurrection. Mike B. led our thoughts by continuing our focus on surrender. Nine young men volunteered to help him. He gave each of them a poster board t-shirt with words of different types of sin on them:
Romans 12:1-2 "...offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. "
Our communion time had set the stage for Steve to continue connecting with last week's theme words: SURRENDER AND ENDURANCE. His sermon topic? WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HELL.
Steve said he wanted to get out of the way and let God have a voice. When Jesus came to earth, He spoke a whole lot about a few things. One of those things was HELL. Out of His love for us, He knew we needed warnings and reminders of what life was all about and the consequences for not surrendering to the path God has for ETERNAL LIFE.
Together, we read more than a dozen scriptures of WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HELL. I have listed them on a separate post that you can reference after you finish here (right underneath this post).
One of those scriptures begins like this,
Someone asked Him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"
He said to them, 24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'
"But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'
We had just read through many strong words of Jesus. Steve stressed that there comes a time in everyone's life that we must make a decision as to what we will do with Jesus.
- CHOOSE JESUS: The Kingdom of Heaven
- REJECT JESUS: Opt for Hell
Choosing Jesus is a personal decision to TRUST what Jesus says and OBEY Him wih our whole hearts. Surrender! There were many gold nuggets that Steve shared yesterday. I will share more of them with you throughout this week.
Steve ended his lesson by asking us "How many of you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?" After most raised their hands, Steve went on to ask, "Now what have you done or will you do with the following verses?"
- Jesus said we have to REPENT: Luke 13:5 "...unless you repent, you too will all perish."
- Jesus said we must ACKNOWLEDGE HIM before men. Matthew 10:32-33
32 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
- Peter said, BE BAPTIZED because that is what saves us. 1 Peter 3:20-22 "...God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand-with angels, authorities and powers in submission to Him."
- Repent? Turn from your ways! Take up the path of continual surrender of your sinful and prideful life to life God's way! Poor in spirit!.