• on March 20, 2018

Slaying The Dragon Of Carnality

Slaying the dragon of carnality: Making sure the good does not blind you to the best
Preacher: Afolabi Oladele
Texts:
Ps 40: 6 – 8 (NLT); Luke14:15; Isaiah 5: 8-10; 1 John 2:15-16; James 4: 4; 1 Corinthians 1: 3; Ps27:4-6; Matthew 28:18 – 20; Luke 12:42 – 48; Luke 15: 4-7; Philippians 1:12-17; Ephesians 3:8 – 10; Acts 20: 22-45 ; John 10:20; Ish 50; James 10; John 10, Luke 13; and Galatians 6.
Summary of Message:
We need to watch out for the situations or things that makes us focus our attention more on the present than on our destiny and our eternity. 1 John 2:15-16 states, Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
The best that God has for us is in relation to the Kingdom of God and not our current circumstances. James 4:4 says, You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
We need to put God first, this should be our desire as it was David’s, even a busy King’s desire was to only to put God first as seen in Ps 27:4-6 – The one thing I ask of the Lord- the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.
When this becomes our desire as it was Paul’s also, we will see that Grace is already available as seen in 1 Corinthians 1: 3 says, May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
As the church of God, in order to be balanced, we need to stand on two legs. We teach and are taught the word of God but do our lives evangelize to the world?
Matthew 28:18 – 20 states that 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Luke 12:42 – 48 states,
And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
The servants in this text knew and understood their roles as ministers. They knew the mind of their master and they knew that he had a goal, the goal of reaching a number of completion. In the same way, we need to ask ourselves, do we know the mind of Christ, do we know His goal and do we work towards it?
 
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
luke 15:4-7
The parable of the lost coin and sheep, were all aimed at reaching a complete number, reaching the goal of the master.
 
Paul was so driven by the goal of the master that he did not mind sufferings or insults. We need to do our part in reaching God’s goal. Let our lives reach out to those around us.
In order to reach God’s goal, we must learn to live a sinless life; working towards dropping our sins and leaving them for good. God wants us to delight in him and share this same delight with the world not living religiously. Ps 40:6-7 (NLT) 6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand— you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.7 Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: 8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” for your instructions are written on my heart.”
 
What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field, until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land. But I have heard the Lord of Heaven’s Armies swear a solemn oath: “Many houses will stand deserted; even beautiful mansions will be empty. Ten acres of vineyard will not produce even six gallons of wine. Ten baskets of seed will yield only one basket of grain.”
Isaiah 5:8-10
 
Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”
In the times we are, we are seeing that the things of this world mean nothing and the only delight a child of God will have is the joy of looking forward to meeting Jesus. Luke 14:15
Points to Ponder:
– What am I doing in pursuit of living a sinless life?
– Do I know God’s goal and am I aligning with it?
– Is my life ministering/evangelizing to the world?
– Lord help me let go of any good that is distracting me from the best you have for me.
Prayer Points:
– Lord, help me live a sinless life and not just a religious one
– Lord, help me tap into the grace available to live a life for you
 

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