Spiritual Restoration

Sunday Morning: Revival Message; Don Graham 4-18-12

Easter Sunday

  • It is important to keep in mind the Cross – Salvation – Redemption – as the central focus of our life. Our entire being needs to be geared towards living the Truth of His Agape Love. Chaos will ensue to attempt to divert our eyes away from Jesus. Easter reminds us to stay centrally focused on the Lamb of God, whose blood was shed for our sins in order to JUSTIFY & REDEEM us.
  • Luke 24:15 “While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.”
    • He was known to them in the breaking of bread – some translations say it this way
    • This is the moment when they finally recognized that they were looking at the Resurrected Jesus
    • This passage in Luke 24 is then followed by verses of BEING BROKEN
      • Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to those who are broken”
      • James 4:1-12 “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.[d] The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”

1)   Admit your Spiritual Alienation:

  • ANY and ALL sin alienates us from God. It breaks our fellowship with God
  • We have to confess “I am altogether not right with God”
  • Any kind of quarrel comes because we do not have our lusts, our deepest desires under control due to our self seeking ways

2)   Uncontrolled Desires:

  • We are to set aside our deepest desires and submit to God
    • To let Him show us His desire for us, and go after it over our own personal desires. We have to let our hearts seek only after what God wants more than what WE want.
    • Our deepest desires can be idols
      • If I have to be without this desire of mine (be it person, item, goal etc) will I feel like life is not worth it anymore? If the answer is yes, then the desire IS an idol!
      • As we become more like Jesus, our desires CHANGE – they becomes the same things that Jesus wants

3)   Uncontrolled Passions:

  • Friends with the world are enemies with God. God wins – ALWAYS. All it takes to be an enemy of God is to be a friend of the world
    • In the way you think, act, talk, etc
    • If you are like the world and go to church on Sundays, then “you are an adulterer”
    • You are nothing more than a whore if you are a friend of the world is more close to the imagery in the original Greek
      • The word adulteress used to be shocking to be heard from the pulpit, now it is laughed at. Oh see how far we have fallen to look like the world!

4)    Unbroken Pride:

  • Vs 6 “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
  • This will alienate our fellowship with God.
  • “A proud look” is the #1 of the deadly sins. It is what caused man to fall in the Garden of Eden
  • God HATES pride
  • It is what caused Satan to fall from heaven
  • God RESISTS the proud and gives strength to the humble – say other translations
    • Resists literally means that God sits Himself up in full battle array against the proud.  GOD GOES TO WAR AGAINST THE PROUD!
    • Nebuchadnezzar was so proud and he set himself up to be a god and then in an instant God cursed him to walk on the ground like an animal
    • Herrod in the book of Acts was proud. As soon as he set himself up like a god and in an instant he fell dead and the worms ate his flesh
    • God sets Himself up against you if you are proud!
    • Everyone suffers from pride in some form

5)   Breaking the Bread:

  • This is what was going on when they realized it was Jesus with them
  • It was so to tell us that we have to allow our pride to be BROKEN
    • A) Admit you have a need
    • B) Accept your spiritual obligation
    • Vs 9 “Come to God in utter brokenness”
    • It is not time to laugh, to act like it is all ok – this is the time where we mourn and weep and wail. We are NOT ok. God has set Himself up AGAINST US because of our Pride!
    • TO BREAK – literally to crush, to grind. Imagine corn in a grindstone.
    • In Mark 4 the paralytic was lowered onto the floor to see Jesus
      • They broke up the roof to lower him in
      • It would have been a GREAT honor for the home owner to host this meeting. Jesus Himself was going to be there to speak. Everyone in the countryside has heard about Jesus. The owner would have been excited. It would have made him a big somebody! His home would have been the very center of the activity. Jesus was there and ALL the neighborhood was gathered together.
      • When the entire roof was “broken up” the man was lowered and healed
      • Your life has to be broken up before you are healed!!
      • You have to be broken sufficiently enough for you to be healed!
      • It means – EVERYTHING. You must be willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING
      • Your healing is worth MORE than what you will be giving up!
      • Vs 8 “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

6)    Come with Utter Forgiveness:

  • Vs 11-12 “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, He who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”
  • If you don’t forgive you are judging others
  • Humble yourself and seek to be reconciled! It is not always possible to reconcile – but make sure your heart is willing to seek reconciliation, and make every possible attempt to reconcile if it is physically possible

7)   Accept Your Spiritual Restoration:

  • Draw near to God AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU
  • That’s EASTER! That’s GRACE! That’s the CROSS!
  • Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
  • If you allow God to break you, you can be right with God
  • If you are a Christian, the Spirit of God dwells inside you. He is fiercely jealous of your allegiance
  • You can be Forgiven of your Pride

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