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Stop trying -- just do it! (CC)

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Pastor Dave - Zion (WELS) October 7, 2012 Sermon Text: JAMES 4:7-12 (NIV) Recorded for us in the Epistle of JAMES where we read from Chapter 4, beginning with Verse 7: SUBMIT YOURSELVES,THEN, TO GOD. RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU. COME NEAR TO GOD AND HE WILL COME NEAR TO YOU. WASH YOUR HANDS, YOU SINNERS, AND PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, YOU DOUBLE-MINDED. GRIEVE, MOURN AND WAIL. CHANGE YOUR LAUGHTER TO MOURNING AND YOUR JOY TO GLOOM. HUMBLE YOURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD, AND HE WILL LIFT YOU UP. BROTHERS, DO NOT SLANDER ONE ANOTHER. ANYONE WHO SPEAKS AGAINST HIS BROTHER OR JUDGES HIM SPEAKS AGAINST THE LAW AND JUDGES IT. WHEN YOU JUDGE THE LAW, YOU ARE NOT KEEPING IT, BUT SITTING IN JUDGMENT ON IT. THERE IS ONLY ONE LAWGIVER AND JUDGE, THE ONE WHO IS ABLE TO SAVE AND DESTROY. BUT YOU - WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE YOUR NEIGHBOR? This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION: 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: Have you had this conversation with one of your friends? You know, they come up to you and they say: You know I've had this thing on my arm, you know it started about 3 or 4 months ago, and it's getting bigger and it really hurts! And I don't know what I should do about it. Or: You know, I've had this pain back here. And it gets worse all the time. But I'm wondering what - what do you think I should do about it? I looked on the Internet; I looked up back pain; I talked to a lot of people. What do you think I should do? And you tell them: Go to the doctor. And they're like: Oh, no. No, I don't wanna go to the doctor. He might tell me what's wrong. It could be something really serious. And you just kind of give up. Because you think: That person isn't going to go to the doctor until he can't get out of the chair. Or she's not gonna get that thing on her arm fixed until she can't use her arm. What is it about us sometimes as human beings that we just don't want to do what we know we have to do. That it's just so much easier to ignore some things in our life and keep going and think that everything's gonna be fine. And we do that with our faith, as well. We do that in our life with God. It is so important for us to hear this morning that James says: Come near to God and He will be with you. How often in our life, as the children of God, don't we just wanna stay away from God? Maybe it's because everything's going fine and we're all comfortable and we don't think that we really have to have Him. Or maybe it's the fact that sometimes we think that our sin, the thing that we have done, has been so great that God Himself, in all of His goodness and kindness, would not be able to forgive it. Or maybe we forget the fact that God loves us! That He loves us so much that He sent His Son for us. And how important it is for us, as the children of God, to be near God. To spend time with Him. To be with Him. To realize that that is where we get our strength for living; it is our support for going through this world of sin. And sometimes it is a reminder to us that we are sinful human beings. That we need to go to God, not always happy and laughing and joyful, but grieving, mourning, and wailing. That's a pretty serious business that James tells us about this morning. To grieve, mourn, and wail ... over our sin ... because we are sinful human beings that deserve to be condemned to hell. We can't save ourselves; there is no one outside of God who is going to bring us true comfort. Because He is the one who has taken care of that need. Taken care of that great need in us by sending His Son to take the punishment that should have been placed on us. We shouldn't take sin lightly. We shouldn't just keep going on our life day after day, just thinking: Well, God's gonna forgive me again. You know it's the sin of habit; it's the sin that I repeat all the time; but God still forgives me. Hear those words that Jesus spoke in our Gospel Lesson for this morning: "IF YOUR HAND CAUSES YOU TO SIN, CUT IT OFF." [MARK 9:43a] If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. If your foot is causing you to sin, cut it off. God is serious when He talks about sin in our life. Don't live with it. Don't become comfortable with it; don't rest with it. Is it so important for us in our lives to be comfortable here with all of the sin that we would throw that away for the eternity of being with God and rejoicing with Him? Those are things we need to think about. Not just that our life should be easier. Not just that we should be comfortable. Not that God should make our life so much more palatable here. 'Cuz we're in a struggle. We are in a war with Satan and our own sinful nature ... to keep our faith; to stay close to God where He will guard us and keep us and protect us safe through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. By the power of His angels and the strength that is His alone He keeps us as His own. Living in Him, rejoicing in Him, putting into practice in our lives the things that we hear and the things that we know. Being near to God we will resist the devil. We will just stop it. And that's a word that we don't hear a lot even in our world today. Because in our world it's so easy to say: Well, I'm gonna try that. I'm gonna try to be better. I'm gonna try to stop smoking. I'm gonna try to diet. I'm gonna try to do a lot of things. And in reality, we're not trying to do anything! We're just putting it off. God says: Resist Satan. Stop ... it! Stop ... that ... behavior that you know you shouldn't be doing! James gives us one example: Stop slandering each other. Stop talking bad about the people that are around you. Don't TRY to do it. Don't think you're gonna some day later on maybe attempt it: Just ... stop it! Who of any of us has the right to judge someone else? There's only one Judge and that Judge is Jesus Christ and He has the right to judge because He is the One who kept the Law perfectly. He is the One who ENDURED that Law and its full punishment ... so that we wouldn't have to. To live in His grace; to live in His forgiveness; to live a life that shows God how thankful we are and that we appreciate what He has done. So we just ought to stop it. Resist Satan and come to God. Submit to God and His will. And have that beautiful fellowship ... that wonderful fellowship with the Divine ... He IS our loving Father! That great relationship that is built around God's Word and studying that Word and spending time in worship and in prayer with God ... THERE is where we find peace! THERE is where we find rest! THERE is our joy! THERE is our reason for happiness! And our reason for dancing! Our reason for being alive as the children of God! To do what He asks of us. One of the things that is so important about the Epistle of James is it's short and it's direct and it's to the point. What more needs to be said? Draw near to God. Confess your sins. Resist Satan. Submit to God and come near to God ... and He will be near to you. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 42 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 60
Posted by: hischild on Oct 11, 2012

This closed captioned message by Pastor Dave (WELS) is a powerful reminder of the need to not procrastinate but to get our priorities straight in this short earthlife.

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