What God Expects From Us Part 2

Pastor Mike will be speaking on What God Expects From Us Part 2. He will be reading out of Amos 6:1-14.

He went to that cross to take care of our past, and he came out of that grave to take care of our future. And my friends, that’s the best news out there. That’s why God has you here. That’s why you’re still living.

And friends, when you are done, God will call you home. Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders, pastor of the Open Door Church. We are grateful to be able to be with you today, and we welcome you to our program.

Thank you for tuning in. And today we’re going to begin our study in Amos chapter 6. We’re going to learn what the scriptures teach us about what God expects from us. We touched on this last week, but we want to continue to go deeper in what the scriptures teach us about what God expects.

So let’s get into our study right now. The Word of God to us, God would use the Jewish people to bring about His truth. He would use the Jewish people to bring our Lord and Savior into this world. And it would be through, it would be through the heritage of the Jews, that Jesus Christ would bless all nations in that we could come to Christ by faith.

Remember the promise that was given to Abraham? Is that God would bless the nations that bless Abraham and his people. And remember that we are promised that God would send a Messiah, and that He would bless all the nations.

And yes, all that is true, but that was never designed to cause the people of Israel to think that somehow they’re above others or better than others. The Bible reminds us that the ground is level at the foot of the cross, amen?

And we must remember that even though we have been touched by the hand of God and that the grace of God has awakened our hearts and that we now can see the truth of God and the blindness has been lifted from us that it’s not in any way make us better than any person on this planet.

The people of God had built a sense of superiority. They had looked around and they thought look at what we’ve accomplished and look at our achievements and look at what we have as their sense of superiority was growing and increasing their concern for others was decreasing.

Yeah, it was decreasing. If we’re not careful as believers we can begin to think that we’re better than others but we must remember that apart from Christ we are no better than anyone else. The Apostle Paul said that I can do all things through who?

Christ. Jesus said, without me, you can do nothing. You cannot do anything without Christ. My friends, I want you to know that it is only through Christ that we are what we are. The Apostle Paul said that it was by the grace of God who he was, who he was.

And friends, if it were not for the grace of God touching your heart and awakening your heart, then you and I, as we look out into some of the craziness of the world and we see so many lives that are made a mess, there go I if it was not for the grace of God.

Yeah. What happens in your spirituality is that when you become complacent, you not only become overconfident, but you become self -righteous. The third thing I want you to learn about complacency is that complacency leads us to indulgence.

We come down to verse three, here the prophet begins to give another woe or another warning to the people of God. Listen to what he says, woe to you who put far off the day of doom, who caused the seed of violence to come near, who lie on beds of ivory, stretch out on your couches, eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall, who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments and invent for yourselves musical instruments like David, who drink wine from bowls and anoint yourselves with the best ointments, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

Friends, I want to stop right there because it’s not that God is upset that they’re enjoying all things richly as the scriptures teach us. It’s their attitude, it’s their heart. And in verse six he says, you’re doing all these things and you’re just…

indulging in all the blessings that I have bestowed upon you and in the midst of it, verse 6, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. When the Israelites heard that, they remembered the story in the Bible when Joseph’s brothers threw him into the pit, only because his father favored him, only because they were upset with Joseph, because Joseph liked to tell his brothers about his dreams.

And you know what was even worse is that when they threw their brother into the pit, they sold him into slavery and then they acted like nothing happened. They went on with their lives and they kind of just put it in the back of their mind and they created this new narrative to their father and they literally lied to their dad about what possibly could have happened to his son Joseph.

And what he is saying is that in a comparative sense, that the people of God have just kind of forgotten those who are afflicted, and forgotten those who are poor, and forgotten those who are suffering, and they have kind of just moved on with their life, and they’re enjoying the blessings of God, and they don’t realize that God has blessed them to be a blessing.

Do you understand that everything that you have, all that God has entrusted to you, is not really about you? And I know that’s hard, because you’ve got many voices, and you’ve got the entire world telling you day after day, moment after moment, that it’s all about you.

But there is a counter -truth, and that is God’s truth. And it is the truth that it’s not about you and me, it’s about Jesus Christ, amen? And that we are called as the people of God, not to indulge in our blessings, but we are called to understand our blessings, enjoy our blessings, but we are called to share our blessings with others.

When the Apostle Paul was warning the church in Rome, about those who might infiltrate into the family of God, and that they might try to lead them astray, he begins to describe who those people are, and he says in Romans 16 verse 18, for such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.

By smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the hearts of the naive. It’s so sad to see good people, godly people, lead astray in their immaturity, in the faith, lead astray by those who are only in it for themselves, who are only interested in serving in the kingdom of God, for what they can get out of it, so that they can just revel in all the indulgences of this world, when God has called his people to remember.

that we are servants and that we’re to take up our child and we’re to serve others and we’re to care for the poor and we’re to reach out to the hurting and we’re to minister to the suffering. The great antidote doesn’t matter if it’s your children your grandchildren or your own self.

The great antidote for those who have everything and have been blessed immensely our children we think about how blessed they are. What is the answer pastor? How do we help these kids who have so much when it comes to means and provisions hear me hear me it is servanthood.

Jesus said to whom much is given much is required and if you want your children to be balanced if you want your grandchildren to be balanced with the blessings that they have been bestowed with by God Almighty then you help them to realize that God has put them in this position he has given them this platform he has bestowed his blessings on them for one purpose that they might bless others.

that they might serve others, that they might help others, that they might minister to others, that they would make an impact for God Almighty. The children of Israel had come to a point where they were just reveling in all that they had, forgetting about others, moving on.

And the Bible sends a warning to them. I want you to jump back to chapter 5 in verse 27. It’s right there before chapter 6, so you shouldn’t have too far to go. But remember what the Bible warned, what Amos said to them?

Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts. We jump over to verse 7 of chapter 6. Therefore they shall now go to captive as the first of the captives.

All those who recline at banquets shall be removed. He’s talking to the leaders of Israel and here is what he’s saying, the party is over and the end has come. They serve as a warning to you and to me.

A warning that we would not follow this path. Church, I want to say to you this morning that complacency in your spiritual life will choke and strangle your spiritual life. If you have lost that fervor, if you have lost that zeal, if you have lost that passion for God and for His truth and His gospel, if you have lost that passion to see souls saved, if you have lost that passion for the glory of God to be exalted in the nations and in your community and in your home and in your life, you have to look at yourself this morning and say, God, is there any area in my life that I am becoming complacent and is it reflected in my indulgence or my self -righteousness or my overconfidence?

What God expects from me is for me to keep moving forward in my faith, no matter what trials I faith, no matter what detours I encounter, no matter what struggles are before me, no matter what speed bumps are in front of me.

God wants me to keep moving forward. Here’s what I’m fearful of as a pastor, is that many of God’s people in this post COVID times that we live in, that they have adapted habits that have caused them to become complacent in their faith, in their spiritual vitality.

And now they’re at ease in Zion and they don’t wanna step out anymore. And they don’t wanna step up anymore. And they don’t wanna speak up for God anymore. They just wanna get along so they can go along and just be at ease in this world.

God didn’t call us to be like that. He called us to be a voice in the wilderness. He called us to be a church that was on the march for His movement, that we might be trophies of His grace, that we might be monuments of His mercy, that we might be able to proclaim the wonderful good news of Jesus Christ, that Christ went to the cross for our sins, and that He died on that cross, and He took the punishment of our sin, and my friends, He went to the grave, and on the third day, He arose again, so that we might have eternal life with Jesus Christ, and that we might experience the forgiveness of God Almighty in our life.

What does God expect of us? That we would keep moving forward in our faith. But number two, God expects that we would show humility in all of our relationships. This complacency of the nation of Israel had led to great pride in their life.

In verse eight, God starts off saying, the Lord God has sworn by Himself. The Lord God of hosts, I abhor the pride of Jacob, and hate His palaces, therefore I will deliver up the city, and all that is in it.

Now God had made a promise, and the Bible tells us that He is gonna bring judgment upon the nation of Israel, not because He is impatient, not because He does not care, not because He’s not merciful or compassionate, but just the opposite.

Because He is all those things. Because He has been patient, and He has been wooing them, and He has been drawing them, and He has been calling them. But they have rejected Him, they have refused, they have just dug deeper into their pride, and refused to follow God.

When God makes a promise, there’s no one else He can swear by but Himself. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 6 .13, for when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He swore by Himself.

It is God who is the Lord, he is the God of Jacob, he is the God of holiness, he is the Lord Yahweh, and he is calling on this nation to repent and to turn back to him, but they have refused, they have become determined in their pride.

Now why is God opposed to pride? Well first of all, pride strives to steal the glory from God. Remember the Bible tells us Satan was an angel, Lucifer, and many scholars believe from their understanding of the Scriptures Lucifer was the choir director of heaven.

He was the musician in heaven that led all the angels in unison to bring glory to the name of God, but somewhere in the midst of eternity past, if we can save that, Lucifer decided that he, would be lifted up above God.

He desired the glory that was only rightly God’s. He believed that he was worthy of praise. He was worthy of worship, only to find out that God would not share his glory. And the Bible teaches us that he was cast out of heaven and a third of the angels was cast out.

And my friend’s pride led to the destruction of Satan and it’ll lead to the destruction of every person. So the Bible says in James 4 .6 that he gives more grace. Therefore he says God resists the proud but he gives grace to the humble.

Such an interesting passage of scripture, he gives more grace. John in the gospel of John says it’s grace upon grace. As believers sometimes we think the saving grace is sufficient. It’s enough, it’s enough to save our soul but it’s not enough to sustain us.

The truth is I need God’s grace every moment of my life. I need God’s grace every day. And I need grace in all of my relationships in this world. If you think about your family, you think about your work responsibilities, you think about your role in the community.

The truth is that we all need grace and we need more grace. And the Bible says he gives more grace and why is it that so many relationships are tanking? And why is it that so many relationships are falling apart?

Hear me, pride, pride. And the only way that you can overcome pride is through God’s grace. The Bible says you can receive that grace when you humble yourself. God resists the proud but he gives grace to the humble.

I wanna give you some practical things to help your faith to keep moving forward and to help you to show humility. and all your relationships. But I first need to help you understand that pride will lead to death and destruction.

Look at Amos chapter six again, look at verse eight. The Lord God has sworn by himself, the Lord God of hosts, I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his palaces. Therefore I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.

Then it shall come to pass that if 10 men remain in one house, they shall die. And when a relative of the dead with one who will burn the bodies, picks up the bodies to take them out of the house, he will say to the one inside the house, are there any more with you?

Then someone will say none. And he will say, hold your tongue, for we dare not mention the name of the Lord. When the Assyrians come upon the nation of Israel, they are so anti -God that people are not allowed to mention God.

They are not allowed to mention Yahweh. but the Assyrians will be so complete, so thorough in destroying the people of God that if there are any who are hiding in a house, that they will destroy the house and they will destroy all that are in the house.

He is helping them to understand that it is pride that leads to their death. It is pride that is leading to their destruction. The second thing we learn is that pride leads to a lack of discernment. So we come down and we look.

Let’s just jump to verse 12. Do horses run on rocks? No. Does one plow there with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into gall and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood or bitterness. What he is saying is that common sense has left the building and that when we are stuck in our arrogance, we can’t even think straight.

We don’t even think with discernment. And what he is saying is that all this is gonna fall apart as the nation of Israel is stuck in its pride and it can’t even make good decision and its thinking is delusional.

Pride leads to delusional thinking. Pride also leads to spiritual defeat. Spiritual defeat. I want you to jump down to verse 14. But behold, I will raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel, says the Lord of hosts, and they will afflict you from the entrance of Hama to the Valley of Araba.

Pride leads to spiritual defeat. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 10, 12, let him who thinks he stands take heed. Lest he watch, church. What is… the answer, Pastor. God expects that you and I would keep moving forward in our faith.

He expects us to be humble in all of our relationships. So let me give you some things real quickly before we leave today that’ll help you to manifest those two expectations from God as we look at the life of the children of Israel.

And the first thing I would say that if you are going to keep your faith moving forward and you’re going to be humble in all your relationships, you need to have a very sincere, close walk with Jesus Christ.

Do you understand that your private life determines your public life? And when you privately are neglecting your time with Christ and you privately are not pending time in his word, in prayer, worshiping, singing, lifting up God.

I’m telling you that what is gonna take place in your heart is this. The devil is going to allow complacency to seep into your heart, and you’re gonna just look at your faith as religion, and you’re gonna look at it as just a place that we go to.

You’re gonna see it from a mindset that is gonna lead you to becoming arrogant and prideful in all of your relationships, and it’s gonna be destructive to your heart. That’s why you gotta walk with God.

You gotta open this Bible up every day, church, and you gotta spend time with Jesus, and you gotta let Jesus speak into your life. You can’t be just amused by little stories and little encouraging truths that kind of like a cup of coffee to help you make it through the morning.

My friend, you gotta get into the Bible, and you gotta let God expose your heart, and you gotta let God say, Mike, there’s some things in there that need to be addressed, and I noticed that you’re kind of slacking and becoming lukewarm in these particular areas.

No one speaks better into your heart than Jesus Christ through his word. And I would encourage you that if you’re gonna keep your faith moving forward, that you walk with Christ. Now, in order for me to be humble in all my relationships and to keep my faith moving forward, I also not only have to walk with Christ, but I have to learn.

I have to learn to serve Christ. I have to learn to serve Christ. Peace. Here’s what keeps me, I’ve already mentioned it to you. Here’s what keeps me from being prideful, is to stay in peace. out there in the field of souls, helping the hurting, reaching out to the suffering, ministering to the poor.

There’s just something that God does in my life and in your life when we don’t get so haughty that we think we’re above that. Every once in a while, someone will say, that’s not my job. And at that point, it becomes their job in my mind.

You think you’re too good to clean the toilets? You think you’re too good to vacuum? You think you’re too good to do something around here for the cause of Christ? Then my friends, you’re already on the wrong track.

None of us are too good. We must all stay fully engaged, and we must recognize that God wants to keep us humble. Think about what Jesus did when the disciples came in to the room wherefore they partook of the Lord’s Supper.

before they were getting together with Christ. What did he do? He got up from the table and he washed their feet. Jesus should have had his feet washed. This was the custom. The servants always washed the feet of the people from the dusty roads of Jerusalem.

And the disciples, instead of thinking about others, they were only thinking about themselves. And guess what they were discussing? Who’s gonna be the greatest? Who’s gonna be the greatest in the kingdom of God?

And Jesus stood up. His answer to them was to stand up and serve and wash their feet. Now, when’s the last time? Whether it was your spouse, whether it was a coworker, a neighbor, a friend, when’s the last time you said, I just wanna serve you, I just wanna help you, just wanna be a blessing to you.

Because friends, that’s how God works in our life. In a practical way, how he pours more grace upon grace when we put ourselves in positions where we have to humble ourselves and serve others. Now, do not pick up the habits of this world.

Do not think like the world. Do not become like the world in that you’re all caught up in these crazy narratives that are out there. The third key to you being humble in all your relationships and to making sure your faith is moving forward is simply to stay on mission.

And why are you here? Jesus said, I came to seek and to save that which was lost. I came to seek and to save that which was lost. save that which was lost. Jesus said, I didn’t come to be ministered to, but to minister.

I came to serve and in this serving, I wanna win people to Christ. I wanna lead people to the gospel. This is what God has called us to do, is to bring people to the understanding of the wonderful truths that Jesus Christ died for their sins.

That he rose again so that they might have eternal life with him forever and ever. He went to that cross to take care of our past and he came out of that grave to take care of our future. And my friends, that’s the best news out there.

That’s why God has you here. That’s why you’re still living. And friends, when you are done, God will call you home. Not a minute before, some of you are all frantic, worried about this and that. I want you to be careful and cautious, but friends, I don’t want you to lose your mission.

I don’t want you to get off track. I don’t want you to forget why God has you here. Some of you, God has you here because you are called to reach a family member. You are called to reach a neighbor. You are called to reach a co -worker.

You are called to reach somebody that God wants to use your influence in their life. I remember the story of a lady when I pastored in Indiana. She would come down every Sunday right there and she would pray for her husband.

And what’s so interesting about it is that she was 87 years old. It wasn’t long before her 89 -year -old husband who always came to church, more faithful than many members, but he sat in the back, the back pew, and he came forward one Sunday and he gave his life to Jesus Christ.

Now there’s a woman who would not give up and there’s a wife who stayed on mission and remembered why she was here. And friends, I haven’t done many 89 -year -old baptisms. And if you’re 89 and want to be baptized, come talk to me.

But I’m just saying, you don’t do a lot of that. How joyful it was that this 89 -year -old man had finally come to Christ. And friends, we got to baptize him, welcome him into the church family. It was a glorious moment.

Don’t get off mission, no matter what problems exist in this world. You got to keep moving forward and you got to be humble in all your relationships. Let’s pray together. When we think about the expectations of God, I know that it can be daunting.

But remember, everything that God requires from us is supplied through his life. grace to us. So God is not putting you out there and saying, Hey, you need to measure up and you need to straighten up and you need to be all this and that, but rather He is providing you the grace.

He is providing you the power. He is providing you the ability to be able to live a life that is godly, honorable, and pleasing to Him. So we encourage you to make sure that as you are growing in your faith, that you are constantly remembering that it is God who is the one who helps us and He empowers us.

So let’s look to Him in these times. It’s so important. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you out there that support Hope Worth Having Ministries. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your gifts.

Thank you for all that you do so that we can keep telling every person on this planet about Jesus Christ. And we could not do it without God’s people praying and God’s people sharing. So we just want to put a shout out there to you and know that God sees every effort that you make.

so that the gospel can go farther, and we just want you to be encouraged. Remember that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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