How To Glorify God // Sermon

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To Be in the Faith.

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” – 2. Corinthians 13:5

To be in the faith. What does that exactly mean? And how can we test it as Paul suggests here?

All of us at some point in our lives have made a statement about faith; that we believe in something or somebody. Maybe your mom told you right before you had a hard exam: “I believe in you” or maybe before starting a project you said to your classmates: “I believe this will work!”.

When we enter into the spiritual level, many of us have professed faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, Redeemer and their Creator God. We have surrendered our life to Him, we were baptized and have accepted to enter into a love-relationship with God.
Some of us have decided to give a year in volunteer work for Him or to be part of local church activities, mission and outreach-projects or maybe even to go into fulltime ministry. Most of us would probably dare to say: “Yes, I am in the faith”.

But then again, what does it really mean to be in the faith?

Well, the text in 2 Corinthians 13:5 is very plain. To be in the faith means that Jesus Christ dwells in you. It means that He is the core, the center of my life. My existence revolves around the One, who lives in me.
How can we see that on a daily basis? How can we actually test it as Paul suggests?
Matthew 7:16 provides the answer – “You will recognize them by their fruits”.

We can see it by the “fruits” we produce. – Now, what does that mean?

It signifies, that it is possible to follow Christ by the words we say, but not by the acts we do. Okay, so yes, we all know that if we say one thing, and do another thing we are hypocrites. But I believe this one goes even deeper.

It is possible to profess faith, to attend church, to sign up for the church choir, to be a Sabbath-school teacher, to be active in religion, to produce fruits but still not to have Jesus as the Commander-in-chief, as one’s Master of the heart.

Just think of the Pharisees!

As we proceed to exist in this sin-stricken world, as we go on with the decisions we made, as we live with the statements about the faith we claim to have, let us test ourselves by looking at our fruits – if they are good or bad.

What is the motive behind our actions? How do we use the time that has been given to us, on what do we spend the means we have available, our talents – on behalf of ourselves, or for the cause of Jesus?

Sometimes it can be painful to see and accept the reality about ourselves; that we tend to fall into hypocrisy, because what we say does not reflect the truth about ourselves.

It all comes down to this: Let Jesus dwell in you at all times. Let the love to Him be your motivation. Only the connection to Him will produce good fruits and by that prove that you truly are in the faith.

Therefore, let us return in humbleness to the mercy seat every day. To a God who is all loving and all forgiving and who promises us strength in times of struggle. A God who will turn that hypcrite into a warrior for Christ. To someone who truly stays in the faith.

All we need is Jesus in us.

This is my prayer for you.

GYC in Europe … what now?

THE HOUR HAS COME.

This was the theme of the 1st GYC (gyceurope.org) in Europe in Linz, Austria. Over 1300 young people from 47 countries had gathered in the Design-Center in Linz for this conference.

By being part of this grassroots-movement from the beginning on, I had the privilege to see miracles happening as God prepared the way for this evangelism-training event. I will never forget the many blessings we recieved. It became evident that God has a plan for the youth of Europe. The call to reignite the dormant embers of the Reformation was heard! I am excited to see what will happen next. Humble and on our knees we are waiting for God to reveal His next step.

Many decisions have been made during these days in Linz. Decisions to follow Christ, to give a year in service for Him and to walk in the path that He has prepared.

Full of joy, motivation and a burning in the heart, the attendees of this conference left this GYC Europe for their hometown. The question remains: What now?

What happens once you return to your familiar surroundings, to your family, your friends and your church? Will you return to that old routine? Will the decision(s) you made have a major and long-lasting effect on your daily life? Will you make a difference where you are? Will you let God reignite the dormant embers of the reformation through you in the area of your influence? Will the Son of Man be glorified through your life by the work of the Holy Spirit in you?

One thing is clear. The archenemy is not sleeping. The devil has his own masterplan ready to destroy everything we have learned, everything we have decided on throughout this GYC Europe.

There is only one thing we can do in order to make the decision to serve Christ an everlasting one. Stay connected to Him. Abide in Christ daily, stay faithful, stay humble and question all your routines. Ask yourself, is Christ being glorified through my thoughts? Through my actions?

It is crucial not to give the devil one single foothold. The smallest compromise can have major negative effects on your spiritual life.

However we know, we are not left alone in this battle. God is with us and as long as we stay close to Him, we will be safe.

When you are back now, ready to put your church “upside down”, ready to go out to preach the gospel, ready to walk through any door that will be opened, keep in mind that God must stay the chief-commander. Always. Stay humble, PRAY and be open for the divine to take control of your life.
It will never be the same again.

“We are to be laborers together with the heavenly angels in presenting Jesus to the world. With almost impatient eagerness the angels wait for our co-operation; for man must be the channel to communicate with man. And when we give ourselves to Christ in wholehearted devotion, angels rejoice that they may speak through our voices to reveal God’s love.” – DA {297.3}

Glory to God alone.

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