Calvary Chapel 1997-04-05 - Welcome to Boot Camp

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Do you really trust God? I mean we all start out at that rugged cross, we see our need as sinners for that sweet salvation. We begin our trust believing that His atonement is good enough for all of our sins. But what about the daily walk thing? Do we trust Him enough to forget about ourselves and concentrate on Him, and Worship Him His way? Or are we trying to avoid trials and afflictions or just flat out doing it our way with an "In Jesus' name … amen" attached???

Philippians 2:3 - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Sometimes the simplest things can become so complicated. And I guess some of the biggest reasons they are complicated are because of our insecurities and fears. Yet where do those fears come from? Certainly not God's plan for your life. So why let Satan the liar, deceiver, and accuser of the brethren, rent space in your head??? Grow in grace, read the Bible and apply the Bible (ummm, maybe believe it, too?)

II Timothy 1:7 - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self discipline.

And that ain't all He did either!

I John 4: 16-18 - And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so we are in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves torment. But He who fears is not made perfect in love.

Don't hinder the truth with some unrighteous ideas or deeds. Don't kid yourself.

Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

Believer on not … see that word all above? Do it His way, be blessed; do it your way, look out!

Do we try to avoid suffering by listening to that other voice that speaks to us, that tries to erase the one simple message - be faithful today? And if we are listening and it's now become a habit, why are we doing that? Worse yet, what affect is it having on other people? Do we even care, or is self the dominant factor??? Today there is so much emphasis placed on ourselves. A Calvary Chapel Pastor coined this phrase as the trinity of stupidity: me, myself and I! I think modern church thought forgets, sometimes, that the Apostles gave up their lives (never mind they forgot about their selves), to be those living sacrifices, worshipping God in Spirit and in truth, to minister in love to other people. They truly forgot about themselves, and as Paul said, he counted his life as not too important and also as someone who was beaten, jailed, and stoned. He called all that light affliction. So what is our problem today? Do we just want to look good, feel good, be rich in the stuff God said not to store up on earth, where moth and rust decay? Or do we listen, learn, and obey, regardless of those trials and tribulations and the suffering that will come anyway, you're not gonna escape it. Take a look at what the Bible says will happen to a believer.

Paul speaking to the Thessalonian church, said they ought to know, and we should too, that we are appointed to afflictions.

I Thessalonians 3:3 - that no one should be shaken by these afflictions, for you yourselves know that we were appointed to this.

Philippians 1:29 - For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for His sake.

Jesus said we would suffer tribulations, and Peter said we would undergo trials and well … these refine our faith and in turn help us by the ordained experience by His Spirit in us, to trust in Him and to know Him in the fullest way.

Take a look around you; I know I have! In two years, I have been all over America and I have seen the needs, big and small, for a people to do what God says - to forget about ourselves, concentrate on Him, and Worship Him, and to have a love that is so very different that it is not the self-seeking variety.

This kind of love touches lives, bonds friendships, and gives a deep and special meaning to life.

Or do we spend our lives thinking of ourselves? Living life upside-down???

Personally, I have seen God take care of a man (myself) who lost his wife, and four months later, I gave away all I owned (except my computers, my Bibles and my desire to win, disciple and send people for the Lord Jesus Christ). I traveled the east coast, landed in Los Angeles with 23 dollars in my pocket, prayed and cried and made my way all across America, and did my best to do things His way. Now this was not always easy at times. Yet God saw me through and I know … I know that along this most difficult journey across America and back again … I hope there are people who will never be the same because I forgot about myself and suffered for the sake of Christ and did my best to endure hardships. That one important thing: be faithful today, and along with that, be real. And I hope and pray people are mature enough to overlook me, and know what that giant red cross on the back of my denim jacket stands for and, see God in me, because that is what makes me different if I am different at all. And I may add, God ain't no respecter of persons, what He does for one He will do for all, yet we must be serious with God and willing to do it His way, because He is always serious.

LIV4YESHUA more than a name folks it's a way of life.

Life this side of Heaven, my friends, can be called spiritual boot camp. Remember, judgment starts in the House of God. Grow in grace, receive the truth, or fall in disgrace. Someday we will all stand before that judgment seat of Christ, and give an account to him of what we did with Jesus. Are we filled with His ways? Or are our deeds going to be wood, hay and stubble?

I Corinthians 3:14-15 - Each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire: and the fire will test each one's work of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

So ummm, look up folks -- LIV4YESHUA!!!

In His Service,
Rick