Now and Forever Part 6

February 12, 20180 Comments

The preaching notes for this message are included here on Online Ministry Training:

We are talking about loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are going to be looking at loving God with all our strength today.

Scripture Reading

Mark 12:30 (NIV)
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Loving God with all our heart, soul and mind are about inward things. Loving God with all our strength is the outward expression of our heart, soul, and mind love for God.

1. How Do We Love God with All Our Strength

We love God with all our strength by choosing to live all in for Him on a daily basis. There is something very important I want you to connect with in this idea of loving God with all our strength.

Loving God with all our strength is not about our loving him with our own strength, it is about loving Him with the strength He gives us.

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Everything that we have has been given to us by God. God will never ask us to give something that He has not already given us.

We are to live each day as people who understand that everything God requires of us to give God will give to us.

When we begin to really understand that our Christian life is through Him – everything changes.

We all receive different gifts from God so that we all can be givers of different things for His glory. In loving God with all our strength, we need to figure out how God wants us to give from the blessings, gifts and talents we have received from Him.

2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

This life of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is not about following a bunch of rules, it is a life of the power of God flowing through us that we can experience.

It is a life giving power that changes everything and allows us to live for Him in His amazing grace and mercy.

2. Living by trying to do the next right thing

As we begin to experience the real life that comes from living in His divine power as receivers and givers, we should begin to comprehend that He is way better at taking care of us than we are. We need to learn that we can trust Him. He is not some big giant meanie in the sky who is just waiting for you to mess up so He can squash you. He wants you to be blessed, to prosper. When we do mess up, we just need to go running to Him, asking Him to forgive us and He does. We need to respond to this love by doing things His way, by following the book instead of the culture. If your understanding and His understanding are different, you need to trust Him and do it His way.

I want to talk about the practical aspects of trying to live by doing the next right thing.

Life presents us with opportunities to choose to do the wrong thing. We usually call these wrong opportunities “temptations”. What do we do when they happen? Fortunately, God has a plan in place to help us when we are living by trying to do the next right thing.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The evil one uses the same tricks to tempt you, as he did with Adam and Eve and how he tried to distract Jesus. He tries to tempt you to get focused on the things of man rather than the things of God.

1 John 2:16 (NKJV)
16 For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.

The enemy uses the same three tricks to distract you over and over again.
Genesis 3:1-7 and Matthew 4:1-11

a) The lust of the flesh

Adam and Eve (good for food)

Jesus (turn these stones to bread)

Us (if it feels good do it)

b) The lust of the eyes

Adam and Eve (beautiful to look at)

Jesus (all this I will give you)

Us (You need it, you deserve it, and life will not be complete without it)

c) The pride of life

Adam and Eve (You will be like God)

Jesus (If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down)

Us (I did it my way)

d) He provides a way out

When you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (do the next right thing)!

When you are feeling tempted, the most important thing to do, is pray, and then change your focus. Sometimes we think that the way to avoid temptation is our will power, I am not going to do it, but the reality is, resistance is usually futile. In the Bible we are not told to resist temptation, we are told to resist the devil, which is a different issue. The secret to overcoming temptation is not resisting, it is a change in focus.

Change the direction of your thoughts. Shift your attention. If you are watching TV and something comes on you don’t like, you don’t sit there and say, I’m not watching, I’m not watching, you change the channel. That’s how you handle temptation. Don’t just say, “I’m not going to do it”, change your focus. Remember that He is with you and will help you.

Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Living by trying to do the next right thing allows us to experience the most joyful and Christ-centered life by continuing to grow in loving God with all we have and all we are.

Filed in: Ministry TrainingNow and ForeverSermons

About the Author ()

Child of the King, husband to Alice, father to Sarah and Douglas, grand father to Samuel, Avery, Stevie, Eloise, Reed, Madeline and Margaret, pastor to the Vineyard in Big Pine Key, sometime writer and blogger, jogger, kayaker and founder of the Jesus Moment Bible Institute and Seminary (onlinebibleinstitute.org).

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