Sunday, February 3, 2019
Unstoppable: The Revolutionary Gospel
Part 4: Has “Just Ok” Become Ok?
Acts 3: 1-16
Have we come to a place in our Christian life where “Just Ok” is ok? Have we reasoned with ourselves to just settle rather than expecting more? Has our view of God become so small that we don’t see Him as powerful, limitless, trustworthy?
God is not limited by anything. He can and will do whatever He chooses to do. The trouble is not with God! The trouble lies with us who, with doubts, and second thoughts & guesses picture the almighty God as one far removed, too busy for our needs. Why would he want to waste His time on us? Our view of Him is tarnished by our sin and the fallen world we live in.
The trouble is that we set our expectations too low and are satisfied with mediocrity. We go to God to patch our tires when in fact, God wants to give us a brand-new set. It’s not like he doesn’t have the power, he is just such a gentleman that he will wait for us to ask for what we want. Do you want a patch, or do you want a whole new set?
The Book of Acts is the history of a group of revolutionaries who were not satisfied with the mundane, with the “just ok” attitude. They understood the power they had within them and knew that they believed in and served a big God who does big things. They refused to settle until the whole world would hear the message of the Gospel. They knew how liberating it is.
The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
They understood what it was to be enslaved to sin and darkness. But they also understood what it meant to radically changed and released from the captivity.
Paul continues in Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
READ Acts 3:1-10
Have we lost our passion for the Gospel? Have we lost the excitement of seeing a life saved, transformed, healed by the power of the Gospel?
Have we replaced the greatness and authority of God and the unlimited power of His Holy Spirit with a ho hum, just ok attitude?
When we settle for the mundane and the ordinary, and when our desires and needs become most important and not surrender to the magnificent and perfect will of God, we can become like the crippled beggar at the gate and only expect or want very little from God.
When we adopt a “just ok” mindset, we move farther away from what the church was called to be. When we do that we settle for:
> Safe Christianity—we would rather stay gathered than to scatter. We find comfort and safety within these wall. We feel no one can hurt us here.
Jesus said in Mark 8:34-37 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”
After the day of Pentecost, Peter and the other disciples, put themselves in harm’s way everyday for the sake of Jesus’ name and the Gospel. Time after time we read of them being arrested, stoned, even killed for their faith. They didn’t believe in playing it safe. There we souls as stake.
> Comfortable self-centered worship—our worship of God is to be God-centered. The church in America gets caught up in the entertainment value of attracting people. We like to worship in a way that makes me happy. Worship has been delegated to a Sunday only thing and is forgotten the rest of the week.
Hebrews 12:28—13:15 “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe...Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”
> Politically Correct Sermons—how dare we ever preach a cut-to-the-heart sermon that offends or convicts someone.
The cross already does that to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18). Pastor’s today run the risk of being charged with hate crimes, labeled and bigoted or narrow-minded.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 tells us to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
> Data Dump Bible studies—Studying the Word is meant for life change not as an information data dump. Today, Bible study classes have become more of a social gathering than a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led encounter with God.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
> Selective or even non-existent witnessing—With a “just ok” mentality, sharing the Gospel becomes a second thought or more of a suggestion than the way of salvation that changes lives.
Matthew 28:19-20“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
> A Prayer-lite diet—we tend to regiment prayer to times before meetings, opening and closing of services, and maybe meals. So often prayer becomes an unnoticeable characteristic in our lives.
Prayer, real prayer, is life-changing. Missionary William Carey said that “prayer-secret, fervent, believing prayer-lies at the root of all personal godliness.”
Isaiah 56:7 “these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
House means more than the temple or the church building, it means the Body, the people who are called His children.
> Spirit-less life—We quench the Spirit by choosing to operate in our own strength and power and not by faith. We look to the world for answers and meaning rather than to the Spirit of God that is in us.
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
So, with that being said, where do we go from here?
Do we continue down the same path as other 21st century American churches and buy into the “just ok” thinking or do we make a change and become the Church that Jesus started, handed to His disciples, and wants to build today until He returns?
“Just ok” in our Christian walk is NOT ok!