Sunday, September 14, 2008

E91: Children of Light

Today, as my wife and I may have finally put an end to our church shopping and found a new church home in Indianapolis, I wanted to share some of my notes from today's sermon at East 91st Street Christian Church, affectionately referred to as E91. The topic of the sermon was Children of Light, and the message was taken mostly from the fifth chapter of Ephesians.
  • How do we live as children of light?
  • -- Use time for a moral purpose -- you never get it back again.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 [NIV]
  • -- Walk in wisdom.
  • -- How can I use my time more effectively?
  • -- For one week, write down how you use your time -- you will be amazed at how much time you waste.
  • -- Redeem the time.
  • -- Ask God to give you good things to do with your time instead.
  • -- Don't waste the precious time that you have.
  • -- Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • -- You are filled with the Holy Spirit at the time that you accept Christ as your savior. In this context, being "filled" with the Holy Spirit means to let the Holy Spirit dominate your life.
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20 [NIV]

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52 [NIV]
  • -- Make a choice.
  • -- You must make a choice to be involved.
  • -- This is a daily choice, not just a one time thing.
  • -- Confess and yield.
  • -- Deal with the things that might prevent the Holy Spirit from dominating you.
  • -- Confessing means to tell God what he already knows. He wants to hear it.
  • -- God wants us to yield, but we have to make that choice.
  • -- Walk by faith.
  • -- Actively participate in the fact that you've surrendered to God's will.
  • -- Don't sit and wait for direction. God has given His direction in the Bible. If He wants to redirect you, He will interrupt you with new directions.
  • -- The goal of a Christian is not to go to church, soak things up like a sponge, then live like it doesn't matter in his/her life.
  • What are the results of being filled with the Holy Spirit?
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, Ephesians 5:19 [NIV]
  • -- Speaking and singing.
  • -- When the Holy Spirit is guiding you, you can't help but to share that in word and song.
  • -- Not just words, but tangible activites: giving, being nice, doing.
  • -- Giving thanks.
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20 [NIV]

or although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21 [NIV]
  • -- Thank God for being in control of life regardless of the circumstances.
  • -- Trust God, even when you don't get your way.
  • -- We need to get past our desire to be comfortable and safe.
  • -- Be submitting to all.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21 [NIV]
  • -- Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. treat others as if they are more important than you are/
  • When I do something wrong, I want grace and mercy. When you do something wrong, I want justice. Why?
  • -- Lay down your life for others and love others.
  • -- Risk your life to be sure that others have a chance to know Christ.
  • When the prodigal son deserved justice, his father gave him love instead.
This sermon had me thinking about what things I do to waste my time. I'm sure there are several things I do on a daily basis that don't contribute to the Kingdom of God, don't expand myself intellectually or spiritually or emotionally, or don't help my family to grow. I'm going to be working on this over the next week as I take daily inventory of my time and see where I can trim away some of the fat. I'll share details in a future article.

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