The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The early chapter of the Book of Acts uses different terminology to refer to God’s Spirit coming upon people, it is called, the promise, the gift, the baptism, the power and the fullness of the Holy Spirit. They are different aspects of the Spirits coming upon believers.  They were already believers. Jesus had breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit. In Acts were the power is emphasised it was for the disciples to go into all the world with the gospel.  They were told to wait for the Spirit because if they had gone out on their own strength nothing would have happened.   Nobody would have been saved at Pentecost if the Holy Spirit had not blessed Peters preaching. They would have laughed at him and mocked him. He would have been frightened as he had been when the little girl pointed him at as being a follower of Christ, he denied Christ. No matter how well a man is educated or how many theology degree’s he has he will make no impact if he is not filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God Hovering Over the Water

Genesis 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit was not skimming over the waters  but it was Gods dynamic wind of His breath, His creative power. He breathed life into creation.  In Genesis 2:7 “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”  Man was just dust, dead mater. But God breathed divine breath in him and he beame a living soul.

The Spirit Came Upon Bezeleel

It says in Exodus 31:2-3 “I have called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri . . . . and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.” It includes others in Verse 6 the Holy Spirit came on them, “In the hearts of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded them.” Also: “Then hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work of the engraver and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer in blue and in purple and in scarlet and in fine linen of the weaver, even of them that do any work and of these that devise cunning work.” (Exodus 35:35).

Samson the Spirit came upon Samson.

Elijah’s received a double portion of the Spirit

Zerubbabel rebuilding the temple, it is said: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord.” (Zech. 4:6).

Our Lord was born of the Spirit, walked in the Spirit, but the Spirit came upon him at His baptism for service. Jesus Himself was a perfect child.  He lived a spotless manhood.  He was holy and undefiled in His life.  Yet even Jesus, before He began His messianic ministry, must first be anointed with the Holy Spirit from God.  And that happened at His baptism, when the Holy Ghost came down in the form of a dove, and abode, lighted, upon Him (Matthew 3:16).

The disciples were followers of Christ, he breathed on them the Holy Spirit but told them to wait in Jerusalem until the received power to go out into all  the world and breath the gospel.  Jesus Himself was a perfect child.  He lived a spotless manhood.  He was holy and undefiled in His life.  Yet even Jesus, before He began His messianic ministry, must first be anointed with the Holy Spirit from God.  And that happened at His baptism, when the Holy Ghost came down in the form of a dove, and abode, lighted, upon Him [Matthew 3:16]. Prayer

In Acts 1:14- 15 it says, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren.”   “The number of names together were about an hundred and twenty…These all continued,” it says  In Acts 2 the Pentecostal chapter begins, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”  And verse 4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”

What kind of men turned the world upside down?

Was it Peter who cowered and denied his Lord when a little girl pointed him out as a follower of Jesus Chris? Was it doubting Thomas who did not believe his Lord was rised from the dead?  Was it the disciples who ran away in the Garden when their Lord was being taken a prisoner?  Was it the disciples of Jesus who were in the Upper Room hidden from the public praying and waiting for the Promise of the Father (Acts 1:4), that is, the outpouring of the ascension gift of Christ, waiting for the promised power of the Spirit of Jesus.

God is with us, and the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon us today.  God is for us He does not God work against us.  Life may be hectic, there may be many discouragements, but, “In all things God works together for good, to them who love the Lord, to them who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28.

However we at Agape wait another outpouring of the Spirit, and for the joy, the power that come along with it and the effect it will have on our community.  We are continually calling on Him to come on that capacity.

Being assembled together with them, the Lord said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). Peter said, “This is that which was spoken by Joel the prophet” (Acts 2:16) the whole assembly prayed for him to come. We long for, we desire an outpouring. He has promised to do it in his word.

The Preparation for Pentecost.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:1-3). God wants us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Joel 2:28

Joel was written when disaster came upon Israel. A plague of locusts came and destroyed every green thing on the land. It brought destruction to the land and the people were in a life and death situation. Joel prophesied everything would get worse, greater judgement was to come in the future. However he went on to say great blessing would come in the latter days. God would pour out his Spirit upon all flesh. That’s what Peter preached in his first sermon  and then God added unto the church those who were being saved.  It was a clear and powerful preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Joel said, “And those days have come to pass.  They are fulfilled in our time, in our generation, in this dispensation and day of grace.  The Lord said to these apostles, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).  And in the epistles, the apostle Paul wrote by inspiration, in Ephesians 5:18, “Plerouste.”  Pleroo means “to be filled.” Plerouste is an imperative.  It’s a command, “pleruste, be ye filled.”  God has poured out the fullness of His Spirit, and it is His will for us to be filled with the Spirit of God.  It is to be alive for God. It is to be enthusiastic for the things of God. It is to have more interest in God than sport, music, entertainment, TV, computers. It is the will of God that we be filled with the Spirit Ephesians 5:18. It is to be continuous.

Goodness and Mercy Follows us To Heaven

Psalm 23:6

Constant Love and Care

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

Many people cannot enjoy life because they are constantly worried about what tomorrow might bring. They worry about their job, about their health, will the doctor tell me I have cancer. When our life is not going well we begin to question God’s care.  Our natural reaction to trials is fear, worry and to ask “why?” We begin to think He really doesn’t know what He is doing with me. We get tempted to panic and want to run from His care. We get the idea we can survive better on our own

When our health breaks down, someone is taken from us in death, we lose our security, we cannot meet our bills or our kids are going in the wrong direction we can wonder where God is. But His goodness is pursuing you.

Many people live in fear of tomorrow But Jesus aid, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” When you know that the Lord is your Shepherd, you know, “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” This brings peace and confidence. The Hebrew text indicates that the goodness and mercy pursue us.

“Surely” No guess work, no doubts, no wondering, no hesitation, no question marks, It is not I hope it will, or “I think it will” or “maybe” or “perhaps”, goodness will follow me, but David is certain and has absolutely no doubt about it he says, “Surely!” David believes and expects God’s goodness and mercy to follow him every day of his life. God is always at work even when we do not comprehend what is happening. We don’t always understand His infinite wisdom. God’s promise assures me that He is covering all areas of my life; He misses nothing, He knows all possible outcomes. Surely means it is a certainty. When we go through times of confusion, discouragement and depression we can be sure that means we can be secure. We only become insecure when we forget how much God loves us. When the Lord is your shepherd He is for you. Psalm 56:9 When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me.

Since the Lord is our Shepherd, we need not let fear and or let worry rob us of joy. We can take refuge in His goodness and mercy. Like David, we can be confident, even though we do not deserve it, He will take care of us always.

Goodness – Loving-kindness

God’s goodness means God blesses us with what we don’t deserve. Goodness blesses us with heaven; mercy keeps us out of hell. We deserve judgement but his goodness protects us from it. Goodness heals us when we are sick. The goodness of God means we can look forward to good things from him. We can look to the future with hope. Psalm100:5 “For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”

God always does us good to make us a better person. When we ask for something sometimes he says yes, sometimes no and sometimes wait. Sometimes things will do us more harm than good so he says no. David has needed his soul restored, direction, help with fear and assurance of God’s presence.

Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Even in our toughest times God moulds us into the people He wants us to be.

Those things which would prove to be detrimental to our good have been kept from us. God takes all the positive and the negatives and works them together for “good.” God arranges and controls all things in order to make it work together for good for his child. Everything in the life of the Christian is designed for accomplishing the “good” God has planned for us.

Sometimes it takes time to see the “good” which God purposes for us. We don’t see the future He does. It will involve being tested perhaps by suffering, as the “good.” For our holiness.

God makes “all things” work together for our ultimate good this includes difficulties, obnoxious people, the things people say about us, bad circumstances, hardship, it includes our failures and our sins, our innocent suffering, our stupidity.

When Satan’s attacks and seeks to harm us God bring good out of it and we grow in faith. God makes, “all things” even the smallest things as well as the major decisions and actions, work together for our good because he is a good God.

God causes all things to work together for our good, for Joseph, for Moses, for David, for Jesus, and he will for you. He will bring good out of bad.

When our life is not going well we begin to question God’s care.  Our natural reaction to trials is fear, worry and to ask “why?” We begin to think He really doesn’t know what He is doing with me. We get tempted to panic and want to run from His care. We get the idea we can survive better on our own

When our health breaks down, someone is taken from us in death, our job folds, we cannot meet our bills or our kids are going in the wrong direction we can wonder where God is…. But His goodness is not far behind!

Mercy – lovingkindness.

God’s mercy means He shows us His lovingkindness. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Mercy is God holding back the judgment we do deserve because Jesus experienced it in our place. Mercy is letting us free and forgiving us because Christ bore our sin and judgment on Calvary. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s his mercy in action. God loves you unconditionally, just as you are, but He loves you too much to let you stay as you are. He wants to change you, make you a better person. He loves you. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. This is love, this is mercy beyond words.

I Timothy 1:15-16 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life”. That’s mercy.

His mercy is not just in the past and the present mercy also follows us all the days of our lives. He will be merciful to us in the future. It pursues us always. He is a merciful God.

David says, goodness, mercy,   loving-kindness and abundant provisions follow us daily. God cares for his sheep, He anticipates our needs, has provision for them before we ask. The  Lord’s sheep are pursued by His two sheepdogs, goodness and mercy.

Both the goodness and mercy of the Lord manifest his love toward us. While these two principles are closely related, their operation is along different lines. David knew the Great Shepherd was caring for him, David that he would not suffer want, that he would experience no need, when he needed green pastures, and still waters, when he needed the restoration of his soul, and led in paths of righteousness. He knew God’s presence in the valley of the shadow of death, the provision of the table in the wilderness, the rod to beat away the enemies and the staff to comfort him. He knew God would anoint his head, to protect him in the heat of the day and refresh him with His Spirit. David  had confidence that this would be true all the days of his life. That’s God’s mercy. He also does the same for us. He pursues us he same way. We can say with David, and with equal confidence, “I shall not want.”

 “Follow me ll the days of my life”

Heb 13:5 Be content with what you have; for God Himself has said, “I will never, never let go your hand: I will never never forsake you.”

God does not give up on us. He never lets us go. His goodness and mercy follow us because He loves us. Even when we doubt or are fearful, even when we make mistakes or are discouraged, He follows us with goodness and mercy. He even pursues the back-sliden and cold Christian, because he is good and merciful. He draws them back to Himself. Nothing in life or death, no trouble, no heartache, no disaster, no demons not even Satan can separate us from His love. In good days and bad His goodness and mercy pursue us. David say they pursue us today tomorrow and in the future. Whatever David faced he chose to have complete confidence in God. He was confident that goodness and mercy followed him even when he could not see them.

Our Future Home

Vs 6 “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

John 14:1-3 Jesus said to his disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” The heart is the mind. He says don’t start worrying. He does not want us to be troubled, or worried or agitated. The disciples are already allready perplexed. Their emotions are all over the place. That’s what happens when you worry or are deeply troubled. Everything seems to be falling apart. Life is in an upheaval. Fear, depression and gloom can set in. The prospect of Jesus Christ dying and leaving, left alone troubled them deeply. They had been confused they thought Jesus was going to establish the kingdom of God then but now he talks about dyeing. Their hopes dreams were shattered. He still offers them this comfort.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions”. When God created the heavens and the magnificent galaxies, the amazing stars there were none good enough for his sheep. Modern man spends billions of money to try and find a star that we can inhabit. He is looking for another home. He has not found one. The Lord Jesus comforts his disciples and tells them of a special place he is building for his people. There is nowhere else in the universe like it.   This promise is comforting. Jesus is saying no planet, no galaxy, no universe is good enough for my people, I will make them a special place, just tailored for them. I will design it and build it. The conditions will be perfect. That is our destination, HOME.

His goodness and mercy have pursued us all the way, to bring us to the Father. It is beyond words, beyond our dreams. All our labours and trials will then be over—no more sorrow, no more sighing, no more tears. But there will be work to do.  The Good Shepherd will lead us to the fold, the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world.—Matt. 25:34

“My Father’s house.”

Verse 2, “In My Father’s house are many mansions (dwelling places.) If it were not so I would have told you so.”  I am not lying to you. You can trust me. Jesus came from there to reveal the Father to us. Heaven is a place of “MANSIONS” it is a lasting, permanent, and eternal dwellings. We live here in temporary bodies or tents, that change and decay, that will corrupt and die. Heaven is our eternal dwelling place. “Here we have no continuing city.” (Heb. 13:14.) Jesus said, I promise you I will come again and take you there.

The word home is sweet to all of us. Heaven is “a Father’s house,” Jesus says, “I go to my Father, and your Father.” It is HOME, the home of Christ and Christians. Home is the place where we are loved and wanted and cared for. A place we love to be and we are always welcome. This is one idea of heaven. Believers are in a strange land, and at school, in this life. In the life to come they will be at home.

We love to go home after a hard day. The soldier loves to come home from the war, the sailor can’t wait until his ship docks so that he can go home to be with his family. It brings tears of joy to their eyes. Big men cry.
Home is not a building it is where those we love are. It may be one bedroom and one living room but it’s where our loved ones are.  The father’s house is where our brothers and sisters are. It is called the Fathers house or heaven. It is a family of millions who dwell there along with God and the angels. It is the family of God. A great home awaits us.
There are “many mansions.” Heaven is very spacious. It has multitudes of redeemed people there, millions of angels which no man can number. There is plenty of room!
“Where I am, ye shall be also.” It is where Jesus is. We will be in His presence.
After his resurrection, He spent forty days among his disciples, the could see the evidence. His body is real. We also will see him, we will hear him, we will see our loved ones.
And He will come again when we die, or in his Second Advent, “to receive us” to Himself. Then our hearts will not be troubled. It is “far better” than the best that earth could offer.

“My Father’s house”  is heaven. Heaven is called a country, emphasizing its vastness. Heaven is also called a city, because of the large number of inhabitants. Heaven is called a kingdom because it’s a structured ordered thing. And heaven is also called a paradise because of its beauty. It’s called a country, a city, a kingdom, and a paradise. It is called our home, “My Father’s house.”

Vs 3 “And if I go and prepare a special place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there ye may be also.”  “I go to PREPARE a place for you.” Heaven is a prepared place for a peculiar (special) people, a place Christ is making ready for His “bride” the church. It’s a place of rest, a place to relax. A place without wars. A place of many dwelling places. A place for all of us. There is enough for everybody. Rev. 21:16, “And the city lieth foursquare and the length is as large as the breadth and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” Now that’s 1500 miles approximately, 1500 miles in every direction of a cube. Two million, two hundred and fifty thousand square miles. It  could hold thirty times the population of our world right now and still have plenty of room to spare. .

Revelation 21: 1-2, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away and there was no more sea.” “And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven say, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.'” God is living with man and that is in the Father’s house, we’re all there. “And He will dwell the house of the Lord forever” Gods people will be with Him. God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away.” In the Father’s house He takes care of all the hurts and the needs of the children, He eternally drives them away. Jesus went up there just to get it ready for us.

Rev 21:18, “And the building of the wall of heaven was of jasper and the city was pure gold like clear glass.” This is a new material that he makes.  “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation is sapphire, jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls.” Each one of the gates was one pearl, giant pearls. This is an amazing city built for us. It is a city, a golden, transparent, diamond city with diamond walls and light from the Lamb’s glory flashing through the coloured jewels and forming a spectacle of dazzling beauty and no defile and glory all over the place.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you.”  That’s one of the things our Lord is doing now, he’s praying for the saints, he’s acting as their advocate, and he’s preparing a place for them.  Jesus is just getting it ready for us. He says, “If it were not so I would have told you.” That’s so good. “Trust Me, I’ve always told you the truth.”

“Where I am, ye shall be also.”

We shall see his face, and be for ever with Him. The Good Shepherd will bring us home. The past life is over but the future holds wonderful things. Christ as a real visible person in the glory of Divine manhood.
The Good Shepherd knows the Way Home.

Vs 6, “Jesus saith unto them, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Follow me I am the way.  I’m coming to get you and take you there. Don’t worry about how to get up there.

The Challenge of Discipleship

You could be a follower of Jesus Christ but not a true disciple. Far more important is not the length of your life but the depth of your life. True Christianity is total commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants you to be completely sold out to Christ. He wants us not to turn a deaf ear to Jesus Christ. I want to ask you what dominates your life today, is it business, work, family. Why is it that most church members do not attend church today? Why is it that Christians don’t really believe in a real heaven and a real Hell, and go after the lost? Why is it we prefer to be entertained and neglect the Masters command to go into all the world? The answer is we do not take our commitment to Christ serious. The Saviour is looking for men and women who will follow Him with their whole heart, who will serve Him with their talents and whole being, a living sacrifice, holding nothing back, to be totally His and at His disposal. He seeks center place in their lives. He set the supreme example of sacrificial, unconditional surrender by His sacrifice at Calvary. He asks the same of His followers.

The Lord Jesus demands that we don’t get caught up in the affairs of this world, not to be ruled by materialism, not to set our sights on this world were moth can corrupt but have our focus on heaven. Some of the Lords people are caught up in entertainment, in partying down here, or in sport, in movies, in TV, in acquiring things. Getting all the toys right now and enjoy them. They give little thought to those who are going to hell.

Islamic extremists give their lives for their false prophet Mohammad, political extremists give their lives for what they believe, we see many in Egypt and Syria at present willing to give their lives for their political cause, soldiers give their lives for patriotic reasons; communists still give their lives for political reasons. How many Christians are serious enough to follow Christ, how many truly give their lives to Him, how many are serious about being his disciple?

Many churches are lowering the commitment level to attract attenders. They’re afraid that if they preach against sin, talk about hell, they might offend some folks, so they focus on the positive and speak avoid confrontation. They don’t want to deal with doctrines that offend because people in our culture want to be tolerant and non-judgmental. They wouldn’t dream of practicing church discipline! Their focus is on being positive and make everyone feel good about themselves and feel loved and accepted no matter what their lifestyle is. Millions of churchgoers who call themselves Christians, but are not fully committed to Jesus Christ and the gospel. The majority who profess Christianity do not know basic Christian teachings and do not act differently because of their Christian experience.

Excuses for not being a fully Committed Disciple

Luke 9:57-62

Two verses later He laments that the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few (10:2).

Jesus requires that you devote everything that you are and have to Him or nothing at all. “There’s a difference between interest and commitment There are many who think that following Jesus is important, but not the most important thing in life.

These three men unnamed men came face to face with Jesus, they all thought that following Jesus was a good thing to do but it wasn’t the most important thing. They permitted something else to come between their souls and complete dedication to Him. It is easy to find reason for turning back. It may be people, or circumstance, or laziness, or selfishness, or worldliness.

The First Man and the love of earthly comforts.

The first man said, “I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.” I will go anywhere you want me, I will do anything you ask me. Jesus said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (9:58). Jesus said in 9:23, that to follow Him requires a life of self-denial. He wanted him to understand it was not going to be easy, there was a battle to be fought, and a race to be run. It would take hard work and determination. He had the devil to contend with, the world and the flesh to fight.  Following Jesus is more important than our personal comfort.

Are you willing to do without the material comforts of life? Will you sacrifice the security of a home to follow Him? This man fades out of view. His love for earthly conveniences was greater than his dedication to Christ!

The Second Man put his job and duty before following Christ.

He refused the Lord outright. He was interested in the Lord but something else took first place. He said, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” Marx uses to tell his followers in the revolution of the 19th century they must reject all past illusions and instead build a modern revolution with a new system. Marx is calling upon them to follow the new revolution and follow it.

“let the dead bury the dead”

or “After my father is gone, I will follow You.” if your

commitment to family is greater than our commitment to Jesus Christ and His kingdom, you’ve got it wrong. Some have strayed from the Lord because of their children. Their children or family are more important than God and keep them from God. This man’s father was in no immediate danger he may have had many more years to live. This was an excuse for not leaving all. Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” Only a believer can preach the gospel. The price was too great for him.

 The Third Man put family ties first.

He used those contradictory words, “Lord,…me first…” They all said the same thing – Me Frist. He said, “Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.” He was first. Following Jesus was important, but not important enough to let go of the old relationships and ways. He wasn’t willing to make a clean break with the old contacts and way of life. You can’t keep one foot in the world and one in the Kingdom. Following Jesus is not just an important thing—it’s the most important thing in life. It’s not a part of your life but all of your life. Jesus is the centre of everything. My family, may career, my business is centred on following Jesus Christ and serving Him.

The Lord Jesus said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” He asks for all or nothing. To follow Him with all your heart requires:

Forsaking All

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). To be a disciple of the Lord Jesus, one must forsake all. The Lord Jesus was clear about what He was saying. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself…” (Matthew 16:24). He asks for self denial it means complete submission to the lordship of Christ He has all the rights to your life.  To “take up his cross” is to deliberately chose the cross and spend your life following Him. It means continuing in his Word, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31).   He means for you to abandon all you have for Him, serve Him work hard for Him, endevour to please Him. He means have a passion for Him. Invests everything in the work of the Lord and leaves the future with God. God assures you when you seek first the kingdom of heaven you will never lack food and clothing. He wants you not to focus on building up treasure on earth.

A Call to Commitment Romans 12:1-2

Many believer today are not making more of an impact in our society is that many church members made a decision about Christ, but have not made a commitment to Christ. This is something that is completely up to you. I want to challenge you this morning to give yourself to Christ. God desires a total sacrifice.

I urge you- God is pleading with you to give yourself totally to Christ. It is not negotiable. God wants total allegiance to Christ and His cause.

By the mercies of God– Because of God’s love, Gods grave, Gods mercy, Gods provision. Because of the gift of Jesus Christ. The motivation is to be, “the mercies of God.”  Think of what God has done for you for your life. You owe him everything.

It is our “reasonable service.” It is a logical, calculated decision that we would commit ourselves to God.

A “living sacrifices” Under the sacrificial system the animal to be sacrificed was committed to the priest, was killed and consumed on the altar. In the book of Malachi the priests were bringing their sacrifices to God. They were bringing the poor quality of lambs, the blind, the deaf the poorest quality. God told them to give that to their fathers it was not acceptable to Him. Malachi 1:13-14.

They were bringing the poor quality of lambs, the blind, the deaf the poorest quality. God told them to give that to their fathers it was not acceptable to Him. Paul is saying don’t offer God a partial sacrifice or a partial commitment.  He wants 100% commitment.  You are either committed or you are not committed. It is not possible to be a partial sacrifice. To commit ourselves to God means that we are to yield ourselves to him, surrender to him, give your all to Him your mind, don’t accept things into it He would not accept, what comes into your mind affects your heart, what comes into your heart affects your will and decisions in life, your eyes what you watch or see, he wants your ears what you hear, he wants you hands, He wants your body an life to serve Him before anyone else. He wants you to place yourself at his disposal.

He requires a supreme love for Himself. “If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). This means that our love to Christ should be so great that all other loves are hatred by comparison.

The Results of Total Commitment

Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…” Do not follow the schemes of this world.  Don’t adopt the fashion of this world, to let it force you into its mold.

But be, “transformed.” We get the English word “metamorphosis” from it.  This is an inner change, that is seen outwardly. Do people see a change in you? You present yourself and the Holy Spirit does the changes. You will be transformed. He wants you to take action. Then you will “prove,” what is the will of God. It all begins with commitment. Commitment to Christ, then commitment to the local church. Some criticize all that is wrong with the church or comment or complain.  The church gathers for worship, teaching and fellowship and prayer. The brother or sister who “forsakes the assembling together” (Heb 10:25) misses out on these. You need to attend church regularly. There is a place for you in church. Be loyal to the local church. Be involved in the work of the church, in Sunday schools, bring your children to hear about God, be involved in our youth and children’s activities, contribute to our worship, be involved in the life of the church. Invite family friends and neighbours.  Come and serve us, use your gifts, “we have different gifts, according to the grace given us.”  come and help us.

Will you make a commitment today. Will you commit yourself to Christ today, give him your life completely? Will you commit this local church today? We need you.