All of life is a series of “yes” and “no” decisions…At every moment, a “no” to one thing is a “yes” to another. Imagine if we only said “yes” to the right things – how much simpler would life be? Because none of us ever has everything perfectly figured out, that’s not actually possible. But when we line our lives up with Jesus and agree with what he says about how we should make decisions, we enter a way of life more beautiful than what we could have chosen on our own. Join us for this Sunday’s message as we close out our Presence series and discover what it means to agree with God and trust his plans for our lives.
1. Give back what he has given you.
1 Chronicles 16:28-29
- We learn from James 1:17 that every good gift we enjoy in life is from God. God is a good Father who loves to bless us, and his blessings always have a purpose: for our delight and enjoyment, for his glory, and for the good of his creation.
- God’s gifts don’t come with strings attached – but they do come with a trust. He entrusts good gifts to us, so that we might steward them for his purposes.
Each of us must examine our lives and ask ourselves how we can utilize the gifts God gives for his purposes. We usually think of material resources this way, but this also includes relationships! (Not that we “use” people – far from it). But our Christ-centered relationships can be devoted to God for his glory too. In everything, we set ourselves apart as followers of Jesus.
- When the people of Israel gave offerings to the Lord, it was often in the form of cattle or other livestock. That might seem odd to us now, but at the time that was one of the greatest sacrifices they could make. Cattle were their livelihood and nourishment! Giving back to God required tremendous trust. Why? Generosity is a disposition of the heart that trusts the God who provided for you in the first place to provide more for you in the future.
How can you dedicate and set apart the gifts God has entrusted to you?
2. Join with the joy of creation.
1 Chronicles 16:30-33
- All of creation praises God – we see it in the world around us and all throughout scripture. Only humanity has a “choice” to praise God or not. The rest of the natural world just cries out glorifying God as part of who they are.
- The truth is, God is glorious whether we acknowledge it or not. But he doesn’t need us to glorify him – we need it. God designed us to relate rightly to him, to praise and glorify him, to exist in loving relationship with him. And when we live within the bounds of his design for us, our lives take on the fullness, beauty and joy God always intended for us. That’s worth celebrating.
How can you celebrate all that God is doing in your life and in the world?
3. Live an amen life.
1 Chronicles 16:34-36
- We think of “amen” as the word we say at the end of a prayer, but we can say amen with our entire lives. Living an amen life is lining our lives up with God and his will in such a way that we are in agreement with how God has asked us to live and with his will for our lives. Amen isn’t passive acceptance. It’s the stamp of a heart’s approval that we trust God, and implied within that is a posture of surrender before God. The key to truly following Jesus is being able to say, “Amen. Not my will but yours, Lord.”
- So much of life is defined by how we deal with the things that go on that we don’t understand. When we trust God, we can face our unanswered questions with courage, believing that God is good and so is his outcome for our lives.
- We all struggle at different points to trust God with the details of our lives, but we have to choose to keep “amen” – a trust in the Lord no matter what goes on – at the top of our minds and our lips.
What would it look like for you to just say “amen” in your present circumstances and trials?