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Finding Your Priorities Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
October 22, 2020 1:00 am

Finding Your Priorities Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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October 22, 2020 1:00 am

As members of the body of Christ we have a mission to fulfill, and a disciplined use of our resources is key to getting God’s work done. Let’s look at how to determine our priorities, and then, how to live by them. 

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The ring is looking to Jesus in perfecter as members of the body of Christ, we have a mission to fulfill disciplined use of our resources is key to getting God's work done today will look at how to determine our priorities and then live by them. Please church in Chicago this morning with Dr. Erwin Sir helps us make it across the finish line. Estimates are sometimes we give into the tyranny of the urgent. I'm sure you'll be helping us get our tasks in the right order. Those who know me well of heard me say many many times that life is short and eternity is long and that's why it's so important for us here at running to win, to continue to stress the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the glory of God running to win is now heard in more than 20 different countries. It is heard in the Middle East in many countries and all that because of the support of God's people. I really do believe that when you invest in the ministry of running to when you are investing in eternity. And that's why I encourage you to become an endurance partner endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts you want to find out more. Here's what you can do good RTW that's RTW Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337. Now let's open our Bibles to understand once again how we can think about eternity, even as we continue to exist right here in time to begin today by asking a question.

What is the church. What is the church. Is it a building. I'm sure by now you know that the answer is no, it's not a building back in the New Testament that word church is used many times and it is never used for building it is always used for a group of people. What is it that binds the people together. What brings people here. Is it because we have a common interest in the same music styles and we all like to come together and sing many of the same hymns and listen to sermons from the Bible. Is that really what bonds us together here at the church. Let may be part of it. But that's not the main point is it because we share common values were all upset with the immorality of our country were all pro-life. Is that what binds us together know we may agree on those things. But that's not what binds us together into one.

Remember that the church is not a collection of individuals. The church is a body. It is an organism that has been created by God and we are a part of Christ and therefore a part of one another.

Members of his body, of his flesh and of his bone. As we emphasized last time, there's nothing that you can do to get away from the fact that if you're a believer you belong to the body, you're stuck with us just like my phone is stuck with the rest of my fingers.

That's it.

Will all of us. I think all of us. I hope, would like to live in such a way that we die with very few regrets.

Thank you.

Know that one of the purposes of Moody church. It can be stated differently, but one of the purposes is to prepare for eternity. Somebody asked you what, what's Moody church all about wealth. They're preparing us to live forever, and we know that we are going to give an account in the judgment seat of Christ for the way in which we lived and we all want to do is well as we possibly can. How what should our priorities be well I've chosen is the text Romans chapter 12. A very familiar passage of Scripture. But we shall look at it in its context. Romans chapter 12, where the apostle Paul is going to argue that first of all we should submit and then we should serve in that order will be talking about spiritual gifts because the title of this series of messages is finding where you fit.

We want to help you find where you fit within the body. Notice it begins by saying I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship first phrase to underline is to present your bodies those three words present your bodies to God not amazing that God would be interested in these bodies whether they are wrinkled or smooth, whether they are strong or weak, whether they are old or young, whether they are beautiful or not so beautiful. Whether they are the right weight or not. The right weight in relationship to your height were to give our bodies to God like us to do is to notice how this offering is to take place, and some of the characteristics of this gift that we are to make the Almighty. First of all, notice it is voluntary. I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God. Nobody is forcing you to do this.

This is something that Paul is saying you should agree on notice the contrast in the Old Testament I Lamb was chosen and laid out on the altar. It had no alternative. Nobody went to the lamb and said you know were looking for a sacrifice. And you look pretty good. Would you consider this all lamb was chosen had no say in the matter was put to death, and it died, but God is no longer interested in those dead sacrifices. He is interested in the living sacrifices and while if we are his people.

We have been chosen. The other fact, of course, is that voluntarily by the work of God in our hearts. God wants us to be willing to give ourselves to him.

This is a voluntary choice. I urge you to make it. It is voluntary.

Secondly, it is complete and when that lamb was taken in the Old Testament and laid out on the altar. Everything was accounted for that which was not burned would have been eaten.

It was it was a total sacrifice to God.

And Paul says that's the way you should give your body to God. I think personally that it becomes much more meaningful if we give our bodies to God. Peace by peace.

It means that when we yield to God, we give him our eyes and we say whenever we see we want these eyes to receive those things that please you went to get them our hands and say whatever these hands do. May these hands please God wherever these feet take me. May they take me to places that please God and not to those places that grieve the heart of God.

Whatever my mind if things I want to get my mind it to God. Whatever it may have within it, and then my heart, my affections, a total submission of ourselves to God as a living sacrifice. It is voluntary, it is complete. It is a priestly sacrifice, you didn't know that you are a priest. Maybe you didn't know that you are a priest and that you would even offer a sacrifice.

The Old Testament was limited to the priests, the people brought the sacrifices that the priests had to offer them here. We are invited to offer these sacrifices because we are priests before God and the Scripture says that it is acceptable to God, Christ makes our yield goodness acceptable. The Old Testament you have the sacrifice of praise you have the sacrifice of our wealth, but here we have the sacrifice all of our selves, and when that happens, God sees that he really does have all of us every bit of us as a sacrifice to God. It is worship.

Notice it says and this is the new American translation.

It is your spiritual service of worship. That's the way you worship God. Now we come together here at the church and we sing hymns and we are led in prayer and we are led in Scripture and we have an exposition of the word and in a sense, that of course is worship. In fact, we have a committee that meets together because we want to do all that we possibly can to make this a worship experience. My friend today.

Worship does not stop 12 o'clock on Sunday. I worship happens 24 hours a day.

Worship is also supposed to happen on Monday and on Tuesday because worship means that I have given my body to God as a sacrifice for him to use it as he wills.

And that is something that I'm committed to day in and day out.

It is worship that is acceptable to God. And finally, let me say it is reasonable. The King James says, which is your reasonable service.

And and certainly it is reasonable you know when Paul says in chapter 12 verse one. I urge you, by the mercies of God you can understand that unless you realize what happens in chapters 1 to 11 Paul talks about sin and the fact that we are born in sin and slaves to sin.

He talks about redemption.

He talks about sanctification. He talks about the role of Israel in God's plan and how the word of God will never fail any breaks out in that great crescendo of praise in Chapter 11 verse 30 3O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable his ways for who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has become his counselor or who has first given to him that he might be paid back to him again for from him and through him and to him are all things to him be glory for ever online. And that is reasonable, isn't it reasonable to say God here I am totally let me ask you question why is it so easy to do that on Sunday to put ourselves on the altar on Sunday and then find ourselves crawling off the altar on Monday. Why is it well he says in verse two. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of the mind is the pressure of the world.

It's the pressure of the world. Without that corresponds to our old nature within and that's why sacrifice of this kind is very difficult, very difficult.

It is not at all easy.

There is such a thing as this suffering, the suffering of temptation. You know that Ted Phillips puts it this way, said do not let the world to push you into its own mold and that's a very interesting translation. You know that when you have a mold that means that all offenders go into this mold and that's why when they get taken out and they put on a car all those cars look alike.

I don't know how many of you remember these days, but I can actually remember back to the 50s that amazing.

I can remember before I was born, but in the in those days you could see a car a half-mile away and tell which one it was because there were just boards and every Ford looked alike and the shadows all looked alike and then I think at the Plymouth in one or two other kinds and I was at those at those were the only kinds they all looked alike today. I can't find my own car in a parking lot. It is so confusing.

Listen, my friend, you know, the world says you're old and a look alike, you can look alike, and the pressure is there, the pressure is there to see the same movies to be bought at the same price to love the same money to fulfill the same lusts. The pressure of the world is there and that's why it's so difficult to stay on that altar.

Paul says do not be conformed to this world but be transformed and the Greek word is metamorphosis same word that is used for the translation. The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

How often do you need to have your mind renewed every day before 9 o'clock in the morning every day before 9 o'clock in the morning you spend that 15 minutes poring over the Scripture and sing God. I want put the Scripture down until I have a promise or something from your word to sustain me by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the will of God. That which is good and acceptable now here is what Paul is saying. First of all he's saying I want you to submit submit and now he says I want you to serve. If you underline the words present your bodies. Now you can underline the phrase prove what the will of the Lord is that is good and acceptable and perfect. And how do we prove we've given ourselves to God. We have yielded ourselves to God and now how do we prove is will now you're looking at the text, aren't you know I believe we make a big mistake in stopping at the end of verse two and preaching a message and telling everybody to go home.

I think that verse three is a continuation of verse two because he says, for through the grace that is given to me he is still thinking of the very same idea, namely the will of God and what is going to say is the way in which we experience of the will of God is first the Bolton no ourselves for through the grace given to me. I say to every man and this of course includes all the women not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think so as to have sound judgment as God has allotted to each measure of faith to know who you are, don't think of yourself more highly than he ought to think.

If you ever noticed in business or in work relationships, how often times a person's perception of himself is so different from the perception that other people have of their abilities and their gifts and their talents and end were all subject here to the possibility of deception. Remember this, that if you believe a lie, it becomes the truth for you and if you think that you are something that you are not you actually believe that lie and find it very difficult to accept the truth you know of course that all of us struggle with thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think and we express this. First of all, through bragging, but everybody knows nobody loves a braggart so we do it in another way we don't overvalue ourselves, but we pretend to undervalue ourselves, hoping that someone will correct us hoping that somebody will set the record straight.

So the woman might say, you know, I'm so sorry for the food that I just cooked you because I am I'm just a terrible cook but she wants you to say is hey you're not a terrible cook.

This sounds or whether this tastes great this tastes great summary says you know I'm not very good at speaking and and what they want you to say is you're very good at it really, really, really want you to correct you know the way to expose the hypocrisy is of course just to agree with them simply say yeah that's right I I agree you are a terrible cook yeah you aren't very good at that. As a matter of fact, your you're very perceptive when it comes to this.

Please don't miss this point, you know what Paul says. He says that you should not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think as a way of having sound judgment. The Greek word means sanity. Come to think of it.

What is a characteristic of insane people. They think that they or someone whom they are not going to mental institutions and find those who believe that there Jesus Christ or Napoleon, they don't really know who they are and they are thinking of themselves in terms of some on L's if you want to be saying know who you are okay. No yourself.

That's the way you'll know the will of God and then know your gift.

Know your gift or score for just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we who are many, are one body in Christ and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ in aren't you glad they do. According to the grace given to us. Let each exercise them accordingly and now he lists seven and could I say that many people believe that these are the basic core gifts. Probably you have one of these seven prophecy. That's the ability to to give forth the word of God and then to exhort the men and women to repentance and faith to service verse seven, in his serving now do well in your serving or he who teaches, in teaching the ability to communicate God's truth or he who exhorts, exhortation and teaching are related but in exhort her is always very anxious to see the change in the lives of people because of the word of God and the way in which he has taught it. He he always aims toward changed lives. He who exhorts, in his exhortation who he who gives, let them do it with liberality. Most of the giving in the early church was secret, some of it may not have been but but the person who has the gift of giving usually does it secretly is not like the person who stood up in a meeting and said you know I would like to give $100 to this project I would like to do it anonymously cannot live like that. No notice.

It's is he who leads, do it with diligent he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness and and so those of the seven gifts and and what I interpret Paul to be saying is that if you want to know the will of God. If you want to know where you fit, you must know yourself and you must know where you fit and how you serve within the body. Paul is really saying is, first of all you submit and then you serve.

And that's the order. You know, my friend, this is Pastor Luther, and like to ask you a question. Do you think that this statement is correct, it's just coming to mind right now as I speak that God has given to the church all the resources that the church needs to fulfill his sovereign will and what he wants all of us to do is to live up to our potential to the opportunities that he gives us and you know it is of course an investment in our church.

That's what we've been emphasizing in these messages, but also an investment in ministries that continue to share the gospel. Running to win is now heard in Arabic in Egypt and Iran, Iraq and others countries of the Middle East and we do that because we are deeply committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is for everyone. Would you help us. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. I like to think of it as holding our hands as together we are making a difference. Here is what you do go to RTW that's RTW Click on the endurance partner button for information or if you prefer, call 1-888-218-9337 it's time once again for you to ask Pastor Luther question about the Bible or the Christian life.

The Bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.

This poses a dilemma for Jesse. One of our many running twin listeners. Here is the question Jesse asks.

I have heard that faith is a gift from God and not something we can obtain on our own. Is this true.

Can you tell me how we can obtain faith, a Jesse it's a very good question, but let me say this, I do believe that faith is a gift of God, but that doesn't mean that this faith is given to us in some kind of a vacuum. We just simply walk around hoping that God someday is going to give us this gift of faith. Faith is generated actually by the word of God. The faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If you want to know how to get faith, what you do is you read the word of God.

Now, I do believe that on behalf of those who believe and trust Jesus Christ as Savior.

That faith is indeed a gift. It is not something that you and I can conjure up that it is a gift given to us by the Holy Spirit, but that gift is nurtured and it is given to us also by the word. The word and the spirit work together to grant faith. So there's your answer. Get into the word of God have it wash your soul and it will also bring more faith to your heart. Thank you Jesse and thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, Hanoi 60614 in the body of Christ. The strong help the weak and the healthy living mailing sometimes economic hardship takes its toll and so on. Our next going to win will hear about some practical ways we can support each other in times of need plaintiff to noon. Is there when lutes are tells us about the gift we can use in the body of Christ running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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