Apostles Church | NYC

A Life of Worship

A Life of Worship
Heb 13:15-19
I) Intro
We’re conditioned to approach life as a meritocracy: create an image based on my merit, convey that image to other people for their approval and acceptance. If they accept me, I should feel pride. If they reject me, I should feel shame.

Gospel frees us from this and gives us an identity not based on our merit that either leads to pride or shame, but rather on the merit of Jesus that leads to forgiveness and gratefulness.

II) Love God & Love People

  1. Always go together; corollary; two sided coin (Mt 22:37, Deut 6:5, repeated 2x daily by faithful Jews)

Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: d The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [2] 5 You e shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And f these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 g You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Mt 22:34 b But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced c the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 d And one of them, e a lawyer, asked him a question f to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, g “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And h a second is like it: i You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 j On these two commandments depend k all the Law and the Prophets.”

  1. Love God (v. 15) - With holistic life response
    1. Reminds of Micah 6:8, Is 58, Sacrifice of Praise in Psalms (50:14, 50:23, 107:22, 116:17)
    • Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and f what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
    • “Is not this the fast that I choose:to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not l to share your bread with the hunger and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him...  Is 58
    1. All of life is worship (eat, drink, whatever (1 Cor 10:31); spiritual act of worship (Rom 12:1), Hawaii lovemaking send off) - we’re created as worshippers, so we’re always worshipping.
    • 1 Cor 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
    • Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
  1. Love Others (v. 16) - With generosity and good deeds
    1. Generosity
      1. Litmus test of our love for God. You can be generous without love for God (common grace), but you can’t love God and fail to be generous (can’t serve two masters [Mat 6:24], where your treasure is, there your heart will be[Mat 6:21]) We vote with our feet. (Next Retooling DATE).
      • 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
      • 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
      1. Illus: Gates/Buffet secret philanthropy society (give 50%) (http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2010/06/16/gates-buffett-600-billion-dollar-philanthropy-challenge/?hpt=C2)
      2. Global rich list visual (www.globalrichlist.com)
      3. Rich Mullins - Navajo reservation in NM, account manager
    2. Good Deeds
      1. Breast cancer survivors, 100% involvement in Susan Koman, pink bows everywhere, walk-a-thons, etc. Those who have been helped much, help much. Church sometimes is like a community of cancer survivors amongst whom Susan Koman can’t raise a dime. Wear pink, sure. Put a sign in  your yard, sure. Give and serve in commensurate measure to which you’ve been given to and served, nope. Tragic irony. Those who’ve been forgiven much, love much (Luke 7:41-49)

41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

      1. Difference: Do good deeds for two reasons:
        1. It’s what God created us for, so we’re living out our created intention (Eph 2)
        2. It’s a result and demonstration of the gospel, not a reimbursement of the gospel (Guy having good year at work, needs to do something good to keep up karma)
      • 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

III) Obey your Leaders (v.17) - So They can lead with joy
    1. Why is this tacked onto the first (most important) two?
        a. Obeying leaders reminds us that we are first and foremost followers; humbling    

   and kicks against our pride and desire for autonomy (1st & 2nd John in Hawaii)

            i. Even leaders are submitting to others (presbytery, convention, plurality

  of elders, etc.)

b. Assumes that leaders are leading you to love God and people. If not...?

    2. They Have to give an account - difficult job, high stakes
    3. How can you help your leaders lead with joy (stated in the affirmative)
        a. Pray for them (v.18) - group does this weekly
        b. Call attention to problems only when you’re willing to be part of the


            i. Doesn’t mean you don’t like the way something is, you have an agenda      

  to change it and yes, you’re willing  to implement your own plan

            Illus: church hoppers come, cause trouble & leave
        c. Be a contributor, not a consumer

IV) Closing

**james 1:27, 1 pet 2:5,
**Fruit of the lips – Hos 14:2


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