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WAKE UP! (CC)

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[WE ARE PRIVILEGED THIS MORNING TO HAVE THE REV. RICH KOGLEIR (WELS) SERVE US WHILE PASTOR DAVE'S AWAY.] FELLOW BELIEVERS IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: THE WORD OF GOD BEFORE US I'VE READ ALREADY BUT I'D LIKE TO SHARE IT WITH YOU IN THE 1984 TRANSLATION OF THE NIV. AND THE WORD THERE REALLY CAPTURES THE GREEK IDEA OF PATTERNING ONESELF AFTER SOMEONE ELSE. IT STARTS OFF HERE IN VERSE 1 OF CHAPTER 5: [VERSES 1 - 2] BE IMITATORS OF GOD, THEREFORE, AS DEARLY LOVED CHILDREN AND LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE, SUCH AS CHRIST LOVED US AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR US AS A FRAGRANT OFFERING AND SACRIFICE TO GOD. AND THEN WE'RE GOING TO JUMP TO THE CLOSING VERSE 14: FOR IT IS LIGHT THAT MAKES EVERYTHING VISIBLE. THIS IS WHY IT IS SAID: "WAKE UP, O SLEEPER, RISE FROM THE DEAD, AND CHRIST WILL SHINE ON YOU." THESE ARE THE WORDS OF OUR TEXT THIS MORNING. A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, MY SON-IN-LAW WENT CAMPING WITH US FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. AND AS HE DID, HE BROUGHT WITH US A SKILL SET. HE'S A GOOD COOK. HE'S ALSO A VERY DISCIPLINED INDIVIDUAL. WELL HIS BACKGROUND IS, HE HAD SERVED FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AS ... IN THE MILITARY AS A NAVY SEAL. AND NEWLY MARRIED TO MY DAUGHTER, WE INVITED HIM TO COME ALONG ON THE FIRST CAMPING OUTING THAT WE NORMALLY DID, AS WE WENT UP TO SOUTH MONTEREY, BIG SUR, BEAUTIFUL AREA OF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA AND THERE'S A CAMPGROUND THERE THAT'S CALLED: JULIA PIPER BIG SUR STATE PARK. AND SO WE WERE IN AND FOUND OUR CAMPING SPOT, AND THAT EVENING BEFORE WE ALL TURNED IN, HE RAISED HIS HAND AND HE SAID: I'LL TAKE CARE OF BREAKFAST. AND WE THOUGHT: WELL, ALL RIGHT! USUALLY MY WIFE AND I DO THAT ON OUR OWN AND HE SAID HE WOULD TAKE CARE OF IT AND WE KNOW HE WAS A GOOD COOK AND WE SAID: OKAY! GO FOR IT! WELL, WE SLEPT WELL BUT THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN ABOUT 6 A.M., A LITTLE BIT EARLIER THAN WE'RE USED TO GETTING UP WHEN WE GO CAMPING, WE HEARD THIS SING-SONGY VOICE: WAKEY, WAKEY, EGGS AND BAKEY. [LAUGHTER] AND, UH, BRIGHT AND EARLY AS A GOOD NAVY SEAL, HE WAS UP AND AT IT, BUT WE REALLY DIDN'T MIND TOO MUCH BECAUSE THE BREAKFAST HE HAD PREPARED WAS JUST OUTSTANDING. AND WE REALLY ENJOYED IT. THERE WAS A CALL TO WAKE UP BECAUSE SOMETHING WAS THERE FOR US AND IT WAS GONNA BE SPECIAL; IT REALLY WAS. YOU KNOW WE GET THOSE KINDS OF WAKE-UP CALLS THROUGH OUR LIFE. BUT YOU KNOW AS A CHILD, I CAN REMEMBER MY MOTHER COMING IN. MY DAD HAD ALREADY GONE OFF TO WORK BY 6 O'CLOCK AND MY MOM WOULD COME IN AND SAY: RICHARD, GET UP! YOU'RE GONNA BE LATE FOR SCHOOL. AND I WOULD HEAR THAT WAKE-UP CALL AND SOMETIMES I DIDN'T PAY ATTENTION. AND HER PROPHECY ABOUT LATENESS, IT WAS FULFILLED IN MY LIFE. WE HAD TO WALK SOME DISTANCE. IT WAS NOTHING TOO HEAVY BUT, IF YOU DIDN'T GET GOING ON SCHEDULE, YOU USUALLY WALKED INTO THE DOOR AND YOU WERE MARKED TARDY. WELL THAT HAPPENED A COUPLE OF TIMES TO ME. ON OTHER OCCASIONS WHEN I HEARD HER WAKE-UP CALL, OUTTA BED, HAD BREAKFAST, ON THE WAY, GOT THERE, IT WAS A GREAT DAY. YOU KNOW WE GET THOSE KIND OF WAKE-UP CALLS ALL THROUGHOUT OUR LIFE AS WE GO HERE, AND GO THERE ... IN OUR FAMILIES, AS WE DO BUSINESS, AS WE JUST LIVE AS PEOPLE. THERE ARE MESSAGES COMING TO US THAT SAY: WAKE UP AND START SOMETHING! AND THEN OTHER MESSAGES THAT SAY: WAKE UP AND STOP SOMETHING! IT'S LIKE, UM, YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR AND HE SAYS: WAKE UP! IF YOU DON'T START TO EAT DIFFERENTLY, YOU'RE GONNA DEVELOP DIABETES. WELL THERE'S A WAKE-UP CALL FOR YOU! THEN AGAIN WE HEAR THOSE MESSAGES THAT SAY: WAKE UP AND STOP TEXTING WHILE YOU'RE DRIVING! OR YOU'LL GET IN A WRECK. AND SURE ENOUGH THE LAW WAS PASSED BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE WHAT? THEY WERE TEXTING WHILE THEY WERE DRIVING. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THAT? HAVE YOU EVER TRIED IT? IT'S PRETTY TOUGH TO SEE WHAT'S AHEAD WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING DOWN LIKE THAT. YEAH! AND WITH THE SPEEDS ON THE FREEWAYS THAT WE DRIVE HERE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, JUST LIKE THAT! A NIGHT DRIVE CAN BECOME A WRECK. AND DEATH AND SEVERE INJURY CAN OCCUR. IT'S A WAKE-UP CALL THAT WE REALLY NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO. SO SOME OF THE WAKE-UP CALLS WE GET ARE BENIGN. YOU KNOW IF YOU DON'T PAY ATTENTION ... IT DOESN'T REALLY AFFECT YOUR LIFE TOO MUCH. OTHER WAKE-UP CALLS, DRAMATIC, CUZ IF YOU DON'T PAY ATTENTION, DON'T MAKE SOME CHANGES, THEY WILL AFFECT YOUR LIFE. IN OUR TEXT TODAY, THAT PHRASE ... WAKE-UP ... IS IN THE FOURTEENTH VERSE AND THAT WAKE-UP CALL COMES TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, AS CHRISTIANS. "THE WAKE-UP" BECAUSE IF WE DON'T IT WILL AFFECT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. AND IF THAT RELATIONSHIP IN FAITH IS BROKEN OUR ETERNAL DESTINY WILL BE IMPACTED. AND WE WILL 'NOT' BE HEAVEN-BOUND, BUT HEADED FOR HELL. IT'S A SERIOUS WAKE-UP CALL THAT WE HEAR IN OUR TEXT. AND THAT WAKE-UP CALL IS ONE THAT IS COUCHED IN GOD'S LOVE FOR US. YOU SEE IT'S GOD'S LOVE FOR US THAT COMPELS US. TO WAKE UP AND IMITATE THE ONE WHO HAS CALLED US TO FAITH. THESE WORDS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL, INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, REALLY ARE REFLECTIVE OF JESUS'S WORDS. VERY SIMILAR. JESUS HAD SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES ... EARLY ON IN HIS MINISTRY: "LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE MEN SO THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN." [MATTHEW 5:16] SO OUR BEHAVIOR, AS WE LIVE, IMPACTS OTHER PEOPLE AROUND US. THEY SEE US AND IT CAN DRAW THEM TO JESUS, OR IT CAN PUSH THEM AWAY. THE APOSTLE PAUL IS LED TO WRITE SOMETHING VERY, VERY SIMILAR AND SAYS IT A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT IMITATING GOD OUT OF LOVE FOR HIM WHO FIRST LOVED US. AND HE SPEAKS THESE WORDS OF "WAKE-UP" TO THE EPHESIAN CHRISTIANS. AND THEY WERE A GROUP OF CHRISTIANS LIVING IN THE CITY OF EPHESUS AND AS THEY LIVED THERE, THEY INTERACTED IN A PAGAN SOCIETY. THEY WERE LETTING THEIR LIGHT SHINE IN THE MIDST OF GODLESSNESS. THEIR FELLOW GREEKS WORSHIPED HERCULES, DIANA, ALL THE CONSTELLATIONS HAD A NAME AND THE PEOPLE REVERED THOSE CONSTELLATIONS THINKING THAT THEY WERE SOMEHOW GODS WHO WOULD IMPACT THEIR LIFE. WE SEE THAT THE MORALITY OF THE DAY WAS DEBAUCHERY. SEXUAL RELATIONS OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE: COMMON, A WAY OF LIFE. IN FACT ... RIGHT! AND THEN WE ALSO SEE THAT EVEN THE WORSHIP PRACTICES OF THEIR GODLESS, THE PAGAN WORSHIP PRACTICES INVOLVED FORNICATION, ADULTERY, SEXUAL IMMORALITY. IT WAS EVERYWHERE. IN THE WORKPLACE, HONESTY WAS NOT THE WAY TO GO BUT GET AHEAD NO MATTER WHAT ... IT'S ABOUT SURVIVAL. YOU HAD THE ROMANS BREATHING DOWN YOUR NECK, AND THEN YOU HAD THE LOCAL MAGISTRATES TRYIN' TO GET THEIRS AND THE TAX COLLECTORS COMING AROUND WHENEVER POSSIBLE SO WHEN IT CAME TO BUSINESS ... IT WAS A DOG-EAT-DOG WORLD. AND IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THAT ... WERE CHRISTIANS. AND THE APOSTLE POINTS OUT THAT AS YOU LIVE IN A GODLESS SETTING, A GODLESS COMMUNITY, YOU HAVE TO BE ALERT. YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP. WAKE UP AND REALIZE WHO YOU ARE. WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU. AND WHERE YOU'RE HEADED. SO THAT YOU ARE 'NOT' ... LED AWAY FROM JESUS! SO THAT YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY IS NOT LOST. SO THAT YOUR LIFE SHOWS ... WHO YOU ARE AS A CHILD OF GOD. I'D LIKE YOU TO JUMP FROM THEN TO NOW. IS IT MUCH DIFFERENT TODAY? CHRISTIANS LIVING IN A COMMUNITY, IN A SOCIETY IN A PLACE WHERE THINGS THAT WERE ONCE RIGHT ARE NOW WRONG. AND THE THINGS THAT WERE ONCE WRONG ARE NOW RIGHT. MORALITY IS SOMETHING THAT'S DETERMINED BY YOUR OPINION. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVEN'T YOU TALKED TO WHEN YOU SHARED WHAT GOD'S STAND IS ON SOMETHING AND THEY'VE SAID: WELL, EACH TO HIS OWN. IF YOU WANNA BELIEVE THAT, THAT'S GOOD FOR YOU, BUT DON'T PUSH THAT ON ME. DON'T THINK THAT'S WHAT'S TRUE. SO WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TURN ON THE TELEVISION, SELECT THE MOVIE LISTING AND WHAT DO WE SEE? IMMORALITY IS MADE TO BE A GOOD THING! AND WILL BRING GOOD TO YOU WHEN, IN FACT, WE KNOW BETTER! GETTING AHEAD IN THE BUSINESS WORLD? ENCOURAGED TO DO THAT DEAL. RIGHT? CHEATING ON TAXES? WELL, YOU NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR YOURSELF WE'RE TOLD. I MEAN THE LIST GOES ON. YOU CAN FILL IN THE SPACES. WE LIVE IN A SETTING VERY SIMILAR TO THE EPHESIANS AND IT'S IN THAT SETTING THAT THESE WORDS SPEAK TO YOU AND ME. WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP SO THAT YOU ARE NOT LED AWAY FROM CHRIST. SO THAT YOU ARE NOT LED TO EMBRACE THE THINGS OF THE WORLD. RATHER THAN LIVE AS A CHILD OF LIGHT. WAKE UP! AND LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE MEN THAT THEY MIGHT SEE YOUR GODLY LIFE AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. WAKE UP! NOW WHY SUCH A STRONG WAKE-UP CALL? WHY DID THEY NEED IT? WHY DO WE NEED IT? BECAUSE WE HAVE A SINFUL NATURE. WE'RE NOT PERFECT PEOPLE. AND WE'RE DRAWN INTO THOSE THINGS THAT WOULD APPEAR TO BE GOOD AND YET LEAD TO TROUBLE. WOULD THE OFFERING OF SOME PLEASURE FOR THE MOMENT AND YET ... MESS UP OUR WHOLE LIFE BY ONE ACTION. YOU SEE WE'RE SINNERS AND SAINTS; WE'RE DUAL NATURED AND WE NEED THAT KIND OF WARNING. OTHERWISE, WE BECOME COMPLACENT. WE BECOME LUKEWARM. WE JUST GO ALONG WITH THE CROWD. WE JUST GO ALONG WITH OUR COMMUNITY. WE JUST GO ALONG WITH WHAT IS POLITICALLY CORRECT ... RATHER THAN WHAT'S RIGHT BEFORE GOD. AND SO WE NEED ... THAT WAKE-UP CALL. I MEAN, WHO OF US HAS NOT FALLEN TO THE THINGS THAT ARE LISTED HERE? LISTEN TO THE LIST AGAIN AS I READ IT FROM THE TEXT. THE APOSTLE SETS IT OUT THERE FOR US SO THAT WE CAN HAVE GOD'S STANDARD TO MEASURE OUR LIVING AGAINST, RATHER THAN MAN'S. SO WE NEED THAT CLARITY. IT SAYS: "BUT AMONG YOU THERE MUST NOT BE EVEN A HINT OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY, OR ANY KIND OF IMPURITY, OR OF GREED, BECAUSE THESE ARE IMPROPER FOR GOD'S HOLY PEOPLE. NOR SHOULD THERE BE OBSCENITY, FOOLISH TALK OR COARSE JOKING, WHICH ARE OUT OF PLACE, BUT RATHER THANKSGIVING. FOR OF THIS YOU CAN BE SURE: NO IMMORAL, IMPURE OR GREEDY PERSON -- SUCH A MAN IS AN IDOLATOR -- HAS ANY INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND OF GOD. LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU WITH EMPTY WORDS, FOR BECAUSE OF SUCH THINGS GOD'S WRATH COMES ON THOSE WHO ARE DISOBEDIENT. THEREFORE DO NOT BE PARTNERS WITH THEM. FOR YOU WERE ONCE DARKNESS, BUT NOW YOU ARE LIGHT IN THE LORD." [EPHESIANS 5:3-8a] WHEN WE LOOK AT OUR LIVES IN COMPARISON TO THAT LIST, WHO OF US CAN SAY THAT WE'VE 100 PERCENT ALL OF THE TIME LIVED UP TO THAT LIST? WELL, NONE OF US. THE BIBLE SAYS: "IF WE SAY WE HAVE NO SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US." [1 JOHN 1:8] AND THE TRUTH 'IS' IN US! AND THE TRUTH IN US LEADS US TO SAY: I'VE DONE THAT, TOO. BUT THE TRUTH IN US ALSO LEADS US TO SAY: LORD, FORGIVE ME FOR FAILING TO LET MY LIGHT SHINE, FOR BECOMING COMPLACENT, FOR FALLING ASLEEP, AND STARTING TO EMBRACE THESE GODLESS IDEAS AND GODLESS BEHAVIORS THAT ARE SO BLATANTLY AGAINST YOUR WILL. PLEASE FORGIVE ME. AND YOU KNOW WE DON'T DESERVE HIS FORGIVENESS. WHAT WE DESERVE IS HELL. PAUL MADE IT SO CLEAR. HE SAID: IF YOU LIVE THIS WAY, IF YOU CONTINUE IN UNREPENTANT SIN, YOU'RE HEADED FOR ETERNAL DAMNATION. THERE IS NO SECOND CHANCE. THERE'S ONLY ONE DESTINY FOR YOU. AND THOSE WORDS RING IN OUR MIND. NOW WE DO NOT WANT THAT FOR OURSELVES, BECAUSE GOD HAS CALLED US TO BE CHILDREN OF LIGHT. AND WHAT WE DESERVE ISN'T WHAT WE'RE GONNA GET. ISN'T WHAT WE'RE GONNA GET. THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS! THE APOSTLE GOES ON. HE SAYS: YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED TO BE CHILDREN OF LIGHT. YOU KNOW THE LOVE OF GOD SHOWN YOU, IN CHRIST. YOU KNOW ABOUT FORGIVENESS. HE SAYS AT THE VERY BEGINNING: HE SAYS: "BE IMITATORS OF GOD, THEREFORE, AS DEARLY LOVED CHILDREN ..." [EPHESIANS 5:1] THERE IT IS! OUR STATUS! WHO ARE WE? WE'RE DEARLY LOVED CHILDREN! WE'RE NOT OUTSIDE OF THE FAMILY, WE'RE PART OF GOD'S FAMILY. WHY? HE SAYS IT IN THE FIRST VERSES: HE SAYS: BECAUSE OF JESUS! WHO GAVE UP HIS LIFE AS AN OFFERING AND SACRIFICE TO GOD FOR US. THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS! THE GOOD NEWS IS WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET WHAT WE DESERVE. WE'RE GOING TO GET WHAT JESUS HAS WON FOR US. YOU KNOW, THIS PASSAGE REPEATS THE WORD 'LOVE' MANY, MANY TIMES. IT TALKS ABOUT OUR LOVE FOR GOD AND THEN IT ESPECIALLY TALKS ABOUT GOD'S LOVE FOR US IN CHRIST. THINK ABOUT THAT LOVE FOR JUST A MOMENT HERE. WE THINK ABOUT IT IN OUR HYMNS. WE THINK ABOUT IT IN WORSHIP. WE HEAR ABOUT IT HERE. BUT THINK ABOUT IT FOR YOU. THAT LOVE. DIVINE LOVE. SELF-SACRIFICING LOVE. THE BIBLE IS FILLED WITH PASSAGES THAT TALK ABOUT HOW GOD REACHES OUT TO US AND THE WORLD IN LOVE ... THROUGH CHRIST. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WE READ VERSES LIKE THIS ONE FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH: [CHAPTER 53:5] "HE WAS WOUNDED [REFERRING TO THE MESSIAH] FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES; AND THE PUNISHMENT THAT BROUGHT US PEACE WAS UPON HIM, AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED." IN THE NEW TESTAMENT WE READ THESE VERSES: "THE SON OF GOD [REFERRING TO JESUS] CAME INTO THE WORLD NOT TO CONDEMN THE WORLD, BUT THAT THE WORLD THROUGH HIM MIGHT BE SAVED." [JOHN 3:17] HERE'S ANOTHER NEW TESTAMENT VERSE: "HE WHO KNEW NO SIN BECAME SIN FOR US THAT WE MIGHT HAVE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD." [2 COR. 5:21] OUR STATUS BEFORE GOD THE FATHER IS ONE OF FORGIVENESS. OUR STATUS BEFORE GOD THE FATHER IS ONE OF CLOTHED IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS. OUR STATUS BEFORE GOD THE FATHER IS: MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY; DEARLY LOVED CHILDREN. BROTHERS TO JESUS ... THE HOLY SPIRIT OUR COUNSELOR AND COMFORTER. THAT'S OUR STATUS. THAT'S WHO WE ARE. BECAUSE GOD HAS FIRST LOVED US. AND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THAT, AND WHEN YOU HAVE THAT IN THE FRONT OF YOUR THINKING ON A DAILY BASIS; WHEN YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING IT SHAPES HOW YOU LIVE, IT SHAPES HOW WE THINK. IT SHAPES OUR ACTIVITY BECAUSE WE ARE NOT LIVING FOR OURSELVES. WE'RE NOT LIVING TO PLEASE THE WORLD. WE'RE NOT LIVING WITH WORLDLY GOALS. WE ARE LIVING TO SAY 'THANK YOU' TO GOD WHO REDEEMED US IN CHRIST; WHO HAS SECURED FOR US A PLACE IN HEAVEN. AND WHO ASSURES US EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE FORGIVENESS WE HAVE IN HIM. AND THAT SHAPES HOW WE LIVE. WHO ARE YOU IMITATING AS YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE? THAT'S THE QUESTION. IN THE EARLY CHURCH, CHRISTIANS WERE NOT ALWAYS CALLED CHRISTIANS. SOMETIMES THEY WERE CALLED 'FOLLOWERS OF THE WAY'. AND SOME OPENLY SAID THEY WERE 'FOLLOWERS OF JESUS'. THEY WERE HIS DISCIPLES. BUT IN THE EARLY CHURCH, THEY GOT A NEW HANDLE THAT STUCK AND STILL STICKS. AND THEY WERE FIRST CALLED CHRISTIANS IN ANTIOCH, WE'RE TOLD. WHY DID THEY CALL THEM CHRISTIAN? WELL, THE WORD CHRISTIAN LITERALLY MEANS LITTLE CHRIST. THAT'S RIGHT. LITTLE CHRIST. SEE THE PEOPLE SAW, IN THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS, THEY SAW IN THEM A LITTLE BIT OF JESUS. AND THE PEOPLE THAT THEY SAW, SAW THEIR SELF-SACRIFICE, SAW THEIR LOVE OF OTHERS, SAW THEIR FORGIVENESS OF EACH OTHER, SAW THEIR HOPE OF HEAVEN, SAW THE WAY THEY LIVED AND HOW THEY TALKED. SAW HOW THEY WEREN'T CONFORMING TO THE THINGS OF THE WORLD, BUT RATHER WERE LIVING FOR GOD. AND THAT STOOD OUT AND SO THEY SAID: WE'RE GONNA CALL YOU CHRISTIAN. SO WHO ARE YOU IMITATING? DO PEOPLE LOOK AT YOUR LIFE? WOULD THEY SAY THE SAME THING OF YOU? I HOPE SO. I PRAY SO. I THINK WE WANT THAT, DON'T WE? WE WANT PEOPLE TO SEE US AND SAY: THERE GOES A CHRISTIAN. IN THE WORKPLACE, IF YOU GET THE HANDLE: HE OR SHE IS A CHRISTIAN ... PRAISE GOD! CUZ THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT! WE WANT TO BE SEEN FOR WHO WE ARE. DEARLY LOVED CHILDREN. REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. MEMBERS OF GOD'S FAMILY. WE WANT TO BE SEEN AS CHRISTIANS. THERE WAS A LITTLE BOY WHO WAS SHOPPING WITH HIS MOM AND DAD. THEY WERE GOING OUT THE DOOR AT SEARS. I'LL NEVER FORGET THIS. I'M GONNA SHARE THIS STORY WITH YOU. A LITTLE BOY WAS WALKING CLOSELY AND THE FATHER, EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE AS THEY WALKED OUT THEY WOULD STOP THROUGH THE APPLIANCE SECTION. AND YOU KNOW HOW THOSE ARE ALL SET UP WHEN YOU LEAVE SEARS IF YOU'VE EVER SHOPPED THERE, AND HE SAID TO HIS WIFE: HONEY, I'D LIKE TO BUY ONE OF THESE [POINTING TO A WASHING MACHINE] FOR YOU. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN A LITTLE VOICE THAT SAYS: HONEY, I WANNA BUY ONE OF THESE FOR YOU. WHEN THEY GOT TO THE LAWN MOWERS HIS DAD JOKINGLY TURNS TO HIS WIFE AND HE SAYS: HONEY, I WANNA BUY ONE OF THESE FOR YOU, TOO. AND THE LITTLE BOY SAYS: HONEY, I WANNA BUY ONE OF THESE FOR YOU, TOO. WELL, HERE IT WAS THE LITTLE SON WHO WAS IMITATING HIS FATHER. ONE OF THE HIGHEST COMPLIMENTS A CHILD CAN GIVE THEIR PARENT IS TO WANNA BE LIKE THEM. THEY IMITATE THEM. WE AS PARENTS WANT TO GIVE OUR CHILDREN A CHRISTIAN GODLY EXAMPLE TO IMITATE. AND WE'RE REJOICING WHEN OUR KIDS SEE A LITTLE CHRIST IN US. THE HIGHEST COMPLIMENT THAT WE CAN PAY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS TO IMITATE HIM. IN OUR THINKING, IN OUR SPEECH, IN OUR BEHAVIOR. WHY? BECAUSE WE LOVE HIM. BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US. SO IF YOU THINK OF YOUR LIFE, ASK YOURSELF THIS WEEK: WHO AM I IMITATING? HAVE YOU BEGUN TO SLIDE DOWN THE SLOPE OF THE WORLD THAT SAYS: LIVE THIS WAY, LIVE THAT WAY? IMITATE THIS PERSON? IMITATE THAT PERSON? AND WE FIND THAT ALL OF THESE EXAMPLES THAT HAVE RAISED UP ARE GODLESS, PAGAN PEOPLE. AND WE BEGIN TO PATTERN OUR LIFE AFTER THEM. OR HAVE WE BEGUN TO LOOK AT THOSE HEROES OF FAITH IN THE SCRIPTURE, JESUS HIMSELF, AND SAID THAT'S WHO I WANNA BE LIKE. BECAUSE OF WHAT HE'S DONE FOR ME. I'D LIKE TO CLOSE BY PRAYING WITH YOU THE PRAYER THAT I ... UH, THE ONE MAN WHO RECENTLY QUIT HOLLYWOOD. HE WAS THE HIGHEST PAID CHILD ACTOR. HE WAS MAKING $300,000 PER EPISODE. YOU MIGHT KNOW HIM. MIGHT KNOW HIS NAME. IT WAS ANGUS T. JONES. YOU KNOW ANGUS? HE WAS THE LITTLE KID ON THE SIT-COM, TWO AND A HALF MEN. BUT HE GREW UP AND HE QUIT A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. WHY'D HE QUIT? HE BECAME A CHRISTIAN. HE SAID I CAN'T BE INVOLVED IN THAT KIND OF HYPOCRISY. I CAN'T BE INVOLVED IN THAT KIND OF FILTH AND STILL BE A CHILD OF GOD. AND SO HE QUIT. SO YOU AND I HAVE BEEN CALLED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS TO BE CHILDREN OF A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER. THAT'S WHO WE ARE. AS WE LIVE OUR LIVES, MAY WE ASK THE LORD TO HELP US EVERY DAY TO BE IMITATORS OF THE ONE WHO FIRST LOVED US. AMEN.

Video Details

Duration: 23 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 44
Posted by: hischild on Aug 28, 2014

Guest minister Rev. Richard Kogler, (WELS), in this 8-24-2014 sermon at Zion in Torrance, California, earnestly reminds us it is "Christ's Love that Compels us to Live as Children of the Light". www.ziontorrance.info

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