Monday, September 05, 2005

Living Words...A Dying Man

Blogging buddy Susan Bunts (see picture) takes copious notes when her pastor, Chuck Obremski, preaches. I would too if I thought that each Sunday could possibly be my pastor's last Lord's Day here on earth before being promoted to heaven's glory. Please continue to pray for Chuck and, as you go over these notes, remember that these are living words from a dying man. This is a very recent photo of Chuck. Physically he is only half the man I used to know. Spiritually he is a giant who dwarfs me as I stand in his shadow. What an inspiration Chuck has been to me!

Notes from Chuck Obremski's sermon on 9/4/05:

1. The Soul has been given to God (Romans 12:1A) Urge, Brethren, Therefore
2. The Body must be given to God (Romans 12:1) Present, Bodies, Living and Holy, Spiritual
3. The Mind must be given to God (Romans 12:2A) Conformed, World, But, Transformed
4. The Will must be given to God (Romans 12:2B) Prove, Acceptable, Perfect

Romans 12:1-2 - 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. 2Do 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.

According to God’s standard, all are guilty before God. We may think we are pretty good…but all fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 1:16 - I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

This is our mission statement. We are to share God’s word with a world in need.

Chuck shared that he is asked, what we will do as a church, when God calls him home. What we will do…is to do that which God has called us to do…and that is to share the Word of God.

God does his finest work when nobody knows what else to do.

Continue to reach those who need it…with the gospel message. God has a plan for the lost in the world. We must walk by faith, not by sight. Fix our eyes on Jesus…focus on him. Know Jesus personally. God has given believers everything that we need to be like Jesus.

Many thousands of believers flock to various places to get that which they believe will benefit themselves. Instead we need to remember that real satisfaction is in giving everything that we have to the Lord. We have to give it all back to the Lord. Therein lies satisfaction.

John 4:23-24 - 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Give yourself 100% to the Lord…a living sacrifice. Ask yourself…do you really do that? Serving God…by serving in his name. We are to offer ourselves wholly and continually to our God.

Our Souls have already been given to God. Paul says, “I urge you brethren”. Urge…encourage you…come alongside you. Urge is a longing command…“I beg you”. Brethren…ones who have come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Have you come to Christ? None righteous, no not one. All are guilty before God…and must seek God’s forgiveness. Once I understand that I am guilty, I can then seek forgiveness. Is that true of your life? Are you one who has not been born again? If not…you can not think like Christ. Only the redeemed have true spiritual life.

Therefore…refers to what went before: Romans 11:33-36 – 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" 35 "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

The filling…wonders of God’s omnipotence.

Bodies…must be given to God. What’s involved in giving our bodies to God? Our bodies presented as a living sacrifice. Once and for all…period…done! Today…this day, present your body a living sacrifice. People will see through our lives a commitment to God.

Our body is still the center of sinful thoughts and actions. In order and for people around us to see…we need to seek God’s forgiveness. They need to see a real difference in how we live. See how we conduct ourselves, i.e., how we life and think and act. What comes out of our mouth?

James 3:10-12 – 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

What do we listen to? What do we read? The Bible? How do we use our hands? Do we use them to help others in his name?

Romans 6:13 - Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

Stop presenting your body as an instrument of unrighteousness. Start asking yourself what do you do, say, think or hear that is pleasing to God? Do you think good or evil? What do you say…you have the power to put down or build up. Do you use wholesome words? Do you embarrass or abuse others? Do you go to or from evil? Do you go where you should or shouldn’t go? People are watching our lives.

Chuck then told the story of a friend who after becoming a Christian continued on in his old life style. Only after his friends came to him and said that they had been worried that when he became a Christian…he’d be no fun anymore. But since it didn’t stop him from partying, drinking, doing drugs…it wasn’t too bad. Their word convicted him…and caused him to change.What kind of message are you sending to others? A living sacrifice? The first example was Isaac. He willingly yielded himself as a living sacrifice. Jesus actually gave himself as that sacrifice.

Surrender all your hopes, dreams and plans to the will of God? Do you put your will first, or God’s will?

Do you struggle with what God’s will is? We need to walk by faith, not by sight. God’s got a plan…we need to continue to serve him until he calls us home. Trust him…everything God does is good.

Spiritual act of worship. Mind must be given to him. We are not to be conformed to this world. But instead be transformed.

Romans 12:2 - 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 the Phillips translation…he words it, “don’t be squeezed into the world’s mold”. You have a choice to make…how will you live? The world’s way, your way or God’s way? Don’t let the world system tell you how to think. Some examples on where that’s happening today: evolution…told to believe it, all roads lead to heaven as long as you are sincere, woman’s choice. (A woman’s choice…yes…before she gets pregnant, not after.) Racism.

Chuck then told a story that illustrates how ridiculous racism is. A guy was talking to his friend. He said, “I was born black, when I’m scared I’m black, when I’m cold I’m black, when I’m in the sun I’m black, when I’m sick I’m black, and when I die I’ll be black. Now you on the other hand were pink when you were born, when you are scared you turn white, when you are cold you turn blue, when you are in the sun you turn red, when you are sick you turn green and when you die you turn purple. And you have the nerve to call me colored.

Chuck then continued to illustrate the world’s mode. It’s okay to have protected sex, divorce is okay (God however sees the heartbreak of divorce). Drink responsibly…but God’s word tells us this is dissipation. It’s a waste of time…useless. What does it matter when you turn 21…drinking age? It doesn’t matter if you are doing God’s will. Are you being conformed to this world? You instead need to give God your mind.

But…instead of being like everything else. Be transformed. We are commanded to be transformed inwardly and in turn outwardly. Let God take your life and make it into his will and way.

How do you renew your mind? Through the reading of God’s word. How much time to you spend in the Word of God? It transforms our minds…which in turn transforms our lives. How much time do you spend in the Word of God?

We are to take our mind and saturate it with the Word of God. Then you will know when something is against the will of God. When you see it, you’ll say…what a minute that’s not God’s voice.

We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We are who we are in our hearts.

Our will…this is the fourth element of the total dedication to God. Offering that is please to God. Remember Cain and Abel?

How can we have a genuine mind of God?

1. Give your soul to God. Repent and trust in Christ.
2. Give your bodies to God. Are you still going to the wrong places and doing the wrong things?
3. Give your mind to God. Take every thought captive.
4. Give your will to God.

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