Romans 12:1

 

Hopes and dreams for a new year.

We are going to get healthier, lose weight and eat right.

Get our financial life in order, spend less and give more.

Have better relationships, show more grace and be patient.

Grow spiritually, read God’s word and serve others.

 

Decide to Jump

A boy told his father, “Dad, if three frogs were sitting on a limb that hung over a pool, and one frog decided to jump off into the pool, how many frogs would be left on the limb?” The dad replied, “Two.” “No,” the son replied. “There’s three frogs and one decides to jump, how many are left?”  The dad said, “Oh, I get it, if one decides to jump, the others would too. So there are none left.”

The boy said, “No dad, the answer is three. The frog only DECIDED to jump.”

 

What are you deciding to do this year and what are your specific plans to JUMP?

How are you going to implement the steps to accomplish your goals?

You have to adjust your mindset and your behavior.  You have to take action.

If you are going to get healthy, then you have to buy different food and prepare it differently.

If you are going to grow spiritually, then you have to carve out time to read and pray, attend more services and make time to serve others.

 

What’s your motivation to make these changes – it is easier to do the status quo – it is comfortable. We must get out of our comfort zone and do what we need to do and what we want to do.

 

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to 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.

 

In view of God’s mercy – Remember all that God has done for us. Because He loved us first and sent Jesus to die on the cross for us.  Because He blesses us and gives us strength.  Everything we have is because of God’s mercy.  In view of His mercy be a living sacrifice, that is your spiritual act of worship.  Live a life of worship.

Worship is not only when we meet together corporately but 24/7/365.

 

Let’s look at how we can worship God this year. The Three “T’s” of worship.

Worship God with our Time, our Talent, and our Treasure

 

Time

We must submit our time to God. We always have time to do what we want.

We rearrange our schedule to make time for what we want to do and have to do.  Other things slide but that is because we have place a low priority on those activities.  Often God is who gets pushed aside.

 

Reorganize your life so you have time for God. Your life must have margins, just like a piece of paper, some white space so you have time when something unexpected comes up.  (Our financial life needs margins also.)

We all have 168 hours every week; how will you use the time God has granted you.

 

Luke 9:23  Then he (Jesus) said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”

We gain nothing running the rat race of life and have no time for Jesus. If you want to be saved you must lose your life in Christ.  That means you must deny yourself and take up Jesus’ cross.

 

So how are you going to worship the Lord with the 168 hours a week He has given you? Let’s just break down a 24 hour day.  I believe in tithing – tithing your time as well as your treasure.  If you tithe on the gross amount of time you need to give God 2.4 hours of your day.  If you tithe on the net amount of time and you sleep eight hours a night then you have 16 hours day to serve the Lord, so give 1½ hours of day to specifically be with the Lord and serve Him.  In an hour and a half, you will have time to read and study the Bible (I have reading schedule or download the YouVersion Bible app and pick a reading schedule), call and check on people, or write encouragement cards, or witness to your neighbor.  Such a short time each day to grow and serve.

 

Sunday’s and Wednesday’s are already mapped out for you if you will come and worship together and encourage each other. We are a family and want to get together.  (We have looked forward to Michael and Julia’s visit for months, we planned and have rearranged schedule so we can spend time with them – not because we have to but because we want to.)  As a Christian family that should be our attitude every week.

 

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

We come together throughout the week to worship together but also to encourage one another.  If you don’t come, you won’t be encouraged and we won’t be encouraged by you.

 

We must make time for each other. I am calling a few men to stand up and take time to shepherd this congregation.  That is why I sent a text for your input on men whom you respect spiritually.  We need shepherds to feed and protect the sheep.  We need sheep to be faithful to the flock and the Good Shepherd Jesus.  Leaders and followers have a responsibility.

 

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

(Nomination forms and Intent to Shepherd forms to fill out)

 

Be a Living Sacrifice – Worship God with your time.

Worship God with your talents.

Just like our time we must submit our talents to God. We can’t be selfish with what God has given us.

 

Matthew 25:14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

… 24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26  “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!

 

God has given you talents to use for His glory, you can use them or you can be lazy and fearful. None of us want to hear, You wicked and lazy servant.  So in Jesus power let’s use the talents He has given to serve others.

 

Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

 

Sharing your talents will be a sacrifice but God will be pleased. Pleasing God is our desire.

 

1 Peter 4:10  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

With your hour and a half, a day, your 10 hours a week find people to serve whether they are inside or outside the congregation. Serve where there is a need – Greet when you are scheduled to greet, Walt shouldn’t always have to do your job.  Teach the children or adults, open your home to a Bible study, help organize an event – take ownership of what we do as a church family.  Impact our community by being a healthy congregation and reaching out to those who have yet to come.

 

Jesus came to serve and left us an example of self-sacrificing service. If we are Christians, Christ-like, Christ’s disciples, Christ followers then we would serve others also.

 

Matthew 20:25  Jesus called them together and said, …26  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 28  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Even if that is washing feet like Jesus (John 13).

If you don’t serve others are you really a disciple.

 

Jesus said the greatest commandment is to Love God and Love your neighbor (Mark 12:28-30).

 

If you love someone you will serve them – spouse, children, parents, friends

You are accused of not loving if you are selfish and don’t serve others.

Jesus said how you treat others is how you are treating Him.

Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

 

Are you serving Jesus with the talents He has given you?

Don’t insult Him and tell me God has not given you any talents.

That would be like your child saying you have never given them anything.  What an ungrateful child.

 

Be a Living Sacrifice – Worship God with your talents.

Worship God with your treasure.

Just like our time we must submit our money to God. We can’t be selfish with what God has given us.

 

Money is a tool for us to use for God’s glory. Trust Him to take care of your needs, He is faithful.

If we are not faithful in this area, we are really stealing from God.

 

Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9  You are under a curse–the whole nation of you–because you are robbing me. 10  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12  “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

 

You are not a thief, so don’t steal from God. Start bringing your tithe, your generous gift to the Lord, 10% is a good place to begin.

How much of a tip do you leave at a restaurant?  The receipt doesn’t even have a suggestion of 10% anymore, they expect 15 to 20%.  Does a waitress deserve more than God?

I want to give God more than I give the government or a waiter.

 

Create margin in your financial life so you can really give to the Lord’s work, giving here to the congregation and the missions we support but giving to other missions as you see a need.

 

If you don’t live below your income, you can’t give. God said test Him and watch the blessings flow.

Test Him this year – commit to giving at least 10% of your income to the Lord’s work.

That will mean you have to deny yourself of what you want.

If you do that you think your other bills will go unpaid and bill collectors will start calling.

Don’t you prioritize your bills now? Put God at the top of the list – He gave you what you have.

 

Worship God with your treasures.

A king wanted to build an altar to his God so the plague that God had brought upon his people would stop.  There was a man in the kingdom willing to give the king land and material for the altar even willing to give him animals to sacrifice but the king refused.  Kind David knew he must sacrifice to truly worship.

 

2 Samuel 24:24 But the king replied, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

 

We are living sacrifices. Our life of worship will cost us our time, our talent and our treasure.

Don’t be like the frog and just decide to jump.

Let’s jump together – let’s deny ourselves for the glory of God.

Let’s be a living sacrifice because we see the mercies of God.

His mercy sent Jesus to serve us.

His mercy brought us salvation.

If you will you accept His gift of salvation come denying yourself and taking up His cross.

Come trusting Him, come ready to be immersed into Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and the indwelling gift of God the Holy Spirit.