Available for Good Works

Available for Good Works

~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore.  You can hear the whole sermon, Works Under Grace (part 4), from Agathos Church. Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.

It’s all about grace in terms of earning right standing with God!  “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.  But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.”  (Rom. 11:6)  There are no works to do FOR right standing with God, but there are plenty of works to do BECAUSE OF right standing with God!  “We then, AS WORKERS together WITH HIM also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” (2 Cor 6:1, emphasizes mine)

God is not asking for our ability.  God is just asking for our availability. “Lord, here I am, send me!”  You may wonder how to stay “available” to God.  You can do that by intentionally staying sensitive to the Lord and trying to listen to Him.  Often we are afraid to step out on an impression that we have.  The recent documentary Holy Ghost does an excellent job of describing the process of learning to hear and act on the lead of Holy Spirit.  Remember, we don’t carry a belief system, we carry The Spirit of Christ.  Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit as well.  God was with Him and He participated with God!

“. . . God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

So, what did Jesus tell us to do?  He gave us one commission and one command.

  • Commission:  “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15, emphasis mine)
  • Command: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:34-35, emphasizes mine)

PREACH and LOVE

Do those action items produce fear in you?  If so, remember this . . . FEAR is about focusing on our OWN ABILITY.

FOCUS ON GOD’S ABILITY.

If you make yourself available, the Holy Spirit will take it from there!

But what if I am not very available?  “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.'” (Matt 16:24-25)  Sometimes even the thought of making ourselves available to God can sound so costly! Can we do it? Can we pay that cost? But Jesus’ words in Matthew 16 show that there is a secret hidden inside our decision to wholly give ourselves to the Lord’s service. When we are wholly surrendered to the Lord, there is literal zoe life is on the other side of the door of that decision! We will find the God kind of life! A life so rich that it makes our previous way of life look like a street beggar’s life. It may sound costly to give our lives wholly to God, but as we do, we will only then experience the full joy of the Lord.  This is what takes us into the full-time Christian life!

If your life is not adding up, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus!  If you are grasping for your own life, going after that career, relationship, etc.,  you’re grasping for life in all the wrong places. You will loose it!  But whoever will loose his life (destroy, blow up, let it go) for God’s sake, will find life and life abundantly!!!

 

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