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Getting a Standing Ovation from Jesus

posted Feb 9, 2014, 7:41 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Feb 9, 2014, 7:42 PM ]
February 9, 2014                    
Key Passage: Acts 6:8-15; 7:51-60

“Getting a Standing Ovation from Jesus”

“You may never have to face the decision of whether or not to die for your faith, but every day you face the decision of whether or not you will live for it.”  DC Talk … from the book, Jesus Freaks

Someone once pointed out that if Jesus isn’t Lord of all, he’s not Lord at all.  That’s truth, and it’s easy to agree with in thought but difficult to flesh out in action.  Much like the double-edged sword we discussed earlier, truth cuts both ways.  We must either accept it or fight against it … truth never allows us to remain neutral … it always drives you to one side or the other.  So here’s the question for today: Why are you here?  Are you here to soothe a troubled conscience?  To gain information?  To fulfill an obligation?  To meet with friends?  Are you here because you had the strength and conviction to actually acknowledge and not ignore the alarm that had the gall to go off on your precious “day off?”  Or have you come to meet and worship the one person truly worthy of meeting and worshipping…the Living Savior?  Keep in mind: a “religious” person is just trying to avoid hell; a saved person has already been there …

Acts 6:8-15; 7:51-60 What “Radical” Looks Like – Stephen, the first “Jesus Freak”

1.  What “radical Christianity” is NOT
* Deuteronomy 29:19 (those who feel “safe” because they’ve walked the aisle, prayed the 
      prayer, and have been baptized – yet there’s no discernable difference in their life.)

* Revelation 3:15-17 (again, those who lazily “straddle the fence,” are lukewarm.  Here Jesus
  promises to “spit you out of my mouth.”)  

* Matthew 13:20-22 (those who begin strong, but then “fall away” because of the problems of 
  this world and the material wealth it offers)
* 1 John 2:4-6 (again, the bottom line – failure to obey is failure…..period)

2. What “radical Christianity” IS
* 2 Corinthians 13:5 (examine yourself; test yourself – Q: What does this look like?)

* 2 Peter 1:5-9 (here’s the answer to the previous passage and question)

* Philippians 1: 21; 3:7-11 (well, there you have it – the true definition of “radical Christianity”)

Q: In your heart of hearts, are you sure of your salvation?  Why?  What can you point to in your life?
Q: What has it cost you to follow Christ?  Cite specific examples…
Q: In our church, the 80/20 rule applies: 20% give 80% of our tithes; 20% do 80% of the work here; 20% attend 80% of the time.  What will it take for you to become part of that 20%?  Better yet, why can’t we move beyond 20% to 50%? 75%? 100%!?

Bottom Line: Because we live in a time and place where we have relative freedom from violent persecution, we tend to forget that being a Follower of Jesus Christ makes us enemies of the evil prince of this world and his companions (notice I said “Follower,” not “Believer”…. Simply being a Believer will rarely get anyone’s attention.  Satan and his demons are “Believers”).  A worldly Christian (read: “Believer”) is no threat to Satan’s domain of darkness.  He gets us to live for the selfish pursuit of comfort, with a little church attendance thrown in to round out the good life.  Keep in mind that the moment a Follower moves out of this comfort zone and begins to aggressively go after souls for Christ, or to give radically to the cause of Christ, or to speak out boldly for God against sin, he also moves into the line of enemy fire.  We should be prepared and not surprised when we commit ourselves 100% to the Lord and then suffer for it.  I think we’d all agree … getting a standing ovation from Christ is worth it!