STUDIES FROM BRETHREN IN CHRIST

SERMON MENU SELECTIONS

9/8/2013 ~ Materialism Inhibits Spirituality


For many entangled in gadgets, contrivances, and techno-wizardry,
A war can rage between self pursuits and God’s call to be.


... those who are in the flesh cannot please God. ~ Romans 8:5-8

TO LIVE
MIND SET
OUTCOME
RESULT
According
to the Flesh

On Things
of the Flesh

Death
(Concrete)

Displeases
God

According
to the Spirit

The Things
of the Spirit

Life and Peace
(Abstract)

Pleases
God


It is essentially substance which we strive for.
Substance maintains both concrete and abstract values.


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for;
the evidence of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1


Temporary
Events


The
Ultimate Truth
is Unknowable

 ─── 

Ultimate Truth is
Obtained Through
Speculative Means


Eternal
Events


Confined
in a
Finite Box
   CONCRETE ABSTRACT    An Infinite
Open-ended
Box
Faithless
Reality is
Guided by
Only that which
is Perceivable

Most of All is
Unperceivable and
Therefore only Obtainable
by Leaps of Imagination
Faithful

... the things which are seen are temporary, but the things
which are not seen are eternal. ~ 2nd Corinthians 4:18


Choice is a soul’s unique privilege.
One’s beliefs reflect the heart's character.


"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose
for yourselves this day whom you will serve, ..." ~ Joshua 24:15


Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light,
and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
~ Isaiah 5:20


God’s word commands truth.
Without an endearing relationship with God, only clamorous times ensue.
To be healed, one must obtain understanding delivered by God’s word.
God tells us to never abandon our pursuit of Him.


                            To always be together with Him. <─┐
"... these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, ..." ~ Deuteronomy 6:5-7


Leaving God to the wayside is not one of His options.
People more often do not acknowledge the blessings from God,
To the detriment of living …

WHY?                                                                              
↙                                                                                   

"Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness
of heart, for the abundance of everything, ..." ~ Deuteronomy 28:47


                                                                      (Instructions of Heart)
Troubling times advance on all void of God’s insightful wisdom.
Concern of ownership over thankfulness of purpose
has consumed many a multitude.


                              Ignored the Lord. <─┐
... "Because of My house that is in ruins,
while every one of you runs to his own house." ~ Haggai 1:2-9

Freely pursued their own interests. <─┘                

... They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, ...
~ Isaiah 56:11


Spiritual death is experienced by all those desperately seeking more.

Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.
~ Proverbs 27:20


A steamroller that never stops crushing self along with all others.

... They were not at all ashamed, Nor did they know how to blush. ...
~ Jeremiah 8:12


The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?" ~ Jeremiah 17:9


... having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, ... a heart
trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. ~ 2nd Peter 2:14

                       
It is about the nasty habit of always taking and never giving.


... men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving,
unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
... ~ 2nd Timothy 3:1-4


The Spirals of Spiritual Death
Unholy
Unloving
Unthankful
Unmerciful
Unforgiving
The Ungodly
Undiscerning
  Untrustworthy  
Lovers of
Themselves

Headstrong
Haughty
Boasters
Proud
Lovers of
Pleasure rather
  Than Lovers of God  

Lovers
of Money

Greedy
Idolatry
Covetous
Jealousies
  Bitter Envy  
Brutal
Violent
Murderers
Manslayers
Outbursts
of Wrath

Hatred
Haters
of God

Despisers
of Good

The Unrighteous
No Shame
No self-control
Sexual Immorality
Eyes Full of Adultery
Fornicators
Lewdness

Self-Seeking
Sorcery
Wickedness
Evil-mindedness
Inventors of Evil Things
Liars
Deceit
Perjurers
Traitors
Thieves
Kidnappers
  Extortioners  
Profane
Slanderers
Backbiters
Whisperers
Blasphemers
Maliciousness
Passion
Evil Desire
Selfish
Ambitions

Revilers
Drunkards
  Disobedient to Parents  
Contentions
Heresies
Dissensions
Strife
Confusion

The world is filled with those hindered in the despicable.

... put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, ...
passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. ~ Colossians 3:5


Sex, stuff, lust, one’s consumption images fate.
In our frantic lifestyles, turmoil invades the faint of heart …
For those that would pursue their own interests
~ over that of submitting to the will of God.


... bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, ... is earthly, sensual,
demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and
every evil thing are there. ~ James 3:14-16


Material Mongering is a Twisting Evil
ENVY + SELF-SEEKING = CONFUSION + EVIL

As coughing on one’s own death,
Always wanting more of the tangible can only leave one empty.
It appears that for many, the more we have, the less content we are.
                              └─> (Howard Hughes Syndrome)

┌─> Self Control (Genesis 4:7)            
Learning to be content has more value than all of the world’s riches.
└─> Love of God (John 14:23)            


"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world,
and is himself destroyed or lost?" ~ Luke 9:25


... Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned
in whatever state I am, to be content: ... ~ Philippians 4:11


Be anxious for nothing, ... and the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:6-7


One can only know the bottom of one’s own heart and no other.
Without submission to God, peace of mind will only elude your heart.


And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
~ 1st Timothy 6:8


God does not promise us a lifestyle in His simple calling for thankfulness.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him. ~ Colossians 3:17


~ Do you ask for too much?
(Most of us do)


... "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not
consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." ~ Luke 12:15


Possessions will not fulfill one's life's quest to be.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. ~ Psalms 23:2


Without God, nothing will satisfy you.  
In His bosom is the source of the peace we all seek.
                                                                    └─> Helping others and self.

There are those that deny the power of God and rely on self.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, ... ~ Proverbs 16:2

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
~ Proverbs 16:25


The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the LORD. ~ Proverbs 19:3


Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret - it only causes harm. ~ Psalm 37:8


... Trust in the LORD, and do good; ... feed on His faithfulness. Delight
yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
~ Psalms 37:1-4


Ours can be an overwhelming fretful world.
To fully trust in God, one must embrace all of His word.


... The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. ...
~ Psalms 18:30-31


It is by not paying attention to the word of God that humanity fails.
                      God does not call us to be divided.                   ↓

                                                                                                    FALLS
... that you all speak the same thing, and that there be
no divisions among you, ... ~ 1st Corinthians 1:10


"No one can serve two masters; ..." ~ Matthew 6:24
←    ME    →
With so many directions, having too many irons in the fire
at once can make the definitive and decisive path unclear.


... the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man
who walks to direct his own steps. ~ Jeremiah 10:23


Man's modern ascension is to conquer both nature and self?
Perceptions can be the most difficult to decipher attaining unity.
Some believe that knowledge and endless studies will deliver satisfaction.

For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who
increases knowledge increases sorrow. ~ Ecclesiastes 1:18


Some of the most advanced degreed people lack the simplest of abilities.

... Of making many books there is no end, and much study
is wearisome to the flesh. ~ Ecclesiastes 12:12


Understanding is more important than knowledge.

Get wisdom! ... in all your getting, get understanding. ~ Proverbs 4:5-7

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
~ Ephesians 5:17


In our quest to be, multiple hectic schemes can pierce the heart.

"Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright,
But they have sought out many schemes." ~ Ecclesiastes 7:29


Consumed in an economic furnace lacking loyalty and honor,
Many of us are now asked to do more with less.
We are unable to give full attention to our tasks at hand. <─┘        

Our excellence is compromised when demands exceed ability.

┌─> Arrogance blinds the spirit.                                         
Some pride themselves on being able to efficiently get it all done.
Consciousness can only focus on one task in any given moment.  
This "Multitasking" is an imaginary construct.


┌─> Alone and Lonely.            
... "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things."
~ Luke 10:40-41


Busyness can be a selfish means of social avoidance.
Over-achieving can lead to unhealthy isolation and burdening
narcissists are emotionally fragile requiring constant affirmations.


MULTITASKING = MANY TROUBLES

Fragmented focus leads to inattentiveness and carelessness,
increasing stress for lack of controlled timely conclusiveness.

Truly, one cannot chew gum and talk at the same time.

In this fast paced “got to get it done yesterday” arena,
People are irritated with interruptions; impatience is invasive.
Many are so absorbed they are unaware of their own duplicity.
                                                 The obsessive delusion. <─┘

To fully live in the moment, one has to get off the r o l l e r c o a s t e r.

~ Spirit is the presence of the soul.
In both action and word, all that we are is in one presence.
To have a healthy living presence, one must employ empathy.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. ... ~ Galatians 5:22-25


Isolated self-centered scheming disconnects the surety of a soul.

... wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it. ~ Ecclesiastes 8:8

... he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. ~ James 1:8

DOUBLE MINDED = ½ OF A PERSON

Only a whole (spiritual) person may obtain peace.

Commotion’s noise holds no restful peace.
In a miserable mad race to achieve more, what is true value?
As the overwhelming suffocating throbs steal a spirit’s sanctuary,
when the crunch is felt like a hammer, backpedaling occurs
more often in a vague panic, as the sure course is lost.
Busy scramblings blur the dock-less horizon in a fog.

Are we rats or humans?
Are we led or do we lead the desires of our hearts?
It is a question of what we choose to anchor to;
God or self?


This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, ... ~ Hebrews 6:19-20

Our dependence on technology reduces
many of us to tunnel-vision materialists.
Many passively accept this continual onslaught.

In a frantic search,
Many are swift to obtain that next time-saving novelty.
Planned obsolescence increases the desperation.

Some suggest that inventions such as the television cripple
young flourishing imaginations and that intelligence is stifled.
It's claimed that casual Internet anonymity curtails genuine associations.


Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?"
For you do not inquire wisely concerning this. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:10


With all the modern day innovations,
some maintain that the times are worse today,
but the methods of sin have always been convenient.


MUSE = 
To Ponder
Deeply upon

AMUSE = 
Distract from
Serious Thought

THEIST = 
Belief in one
Creator God

   ATHEIST = 
Denies
Existence of God

As is a coin, hypocrisy can be a two sided wobbling fence.

... I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.
~ Psalms 143:5


But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law
he meditates day and night. ~ Psalms 1:2


... any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy
- meditate on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8


God tells us His word saves.
Many are divided without passion for the whole word of God.


... receive with meekness the implanted word,
which is able to save your souls. ~ James 1:21


Solutions can only work when they are applied.

Do Not Neglect to Meditate on These Things
BE AN EXAMPLE
GIVE ATTENTION
TAKE HEED
  IN WORD
  IN CONDUCT
  IN LOVE
  IN SPIRIT
  IN FAITH
  IN PURITY

  TO READING
  TO EXHORTATION
  TO DOCTRINE

TO YOURSELVES
TO THE DOCTRINE

1st Timothy 4:12-16

... in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
~ 1st Timothy 4:12-16


┌─> Sons of Light.                                 
... let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. ...
~ 1st Thessalonians 5:5-10


One's life application holds the keys to success.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince,
rebuke, exhort, with longsuffering and teaching. ~ 2nd Timothy 4:2


Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. ~ 1st Corinthians 16:13

A strong heart is one ready to sacrifice for another.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness
of mind let each esteem others better than himself. ... ~ Philippians 2:3-4


Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being.
~ 1st Corinthians 10:24


... warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted,
uphold the weak, be patient with all. ~ 1st Thessalonians 5:14


"And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two." ~ Matthew 5:41

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh,
to fulfill its lusts. ~ Romans 13:14


An upward draw avoids practices mired in the flesh.

Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."
~ 1st Corinthians 15:33


And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, ... ~ Romans 12:2


Materialism is Satan’s oppressive tool binding us to the mundane.

    ┌─> Satan's Manipulations
... whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe,
lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,
should shine on them. ~ 2nd Corinthians 4:4

  ↓                                     
The light of the truth calms the raging inferno.

... without Christ, being aliens ... and strangers ...
having no hope and without God ... ~ Ephesians 2:12


Without faith beyond all, life can only end up meaningless.

"... the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
~ Luke 19:2-10

        \   |   /
Many seek a means of escape, and it is here, in the word of God.
        /   |   \

Test all things; hold fast what is good. ~ 1st Thessalonians 5:21

... Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?
- unless indeed you are disqualified. ~ 2nd Corinthians 13:5


If you have the passion to take the good path less taken,
to seize faith and stand for what you believe in serving Him,
Come to Him now and forever.


I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, Nor did I rejoice;
I sat alone because of Your hand, ... ~ Jeremiah 15:17


It is the self that stands up for righteousness.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, ...
~ Colossians 3:23


Wanting is more potent than needing.

... The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, ...
But time and chance happen to them all. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:11


It takes courage and conviction to put the bitterness of life away.

... lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble,
and by this many become defiled; ... ~ Hebrews 12:14-15


Life’s intrinsic call is to rise.

... the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
~ 1st Corinthians 15:42-49


FIRST
AFTERWARD
BODY
Sown in Corruption
Raised in Incorruption
Sown in Dishonor
Raised in Glory
Sown in Weakness
Raised in Power
Sown in Natural Body
Raised a Spiritual Body
Man of Dust
Heavenly Man
To more than just live, one must take on the principles of Christ to be alive
FIRST MAN ADAM = A LIVING BEING
LAST ADAM (JESUS) = A LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT


"... come, take up the cross, and follow Me." But he was sad at this word, and
went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. ... ~ Mark 10:17-23


"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife
and children, ... yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. ..."
~ Luke 14:26-27


"... whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple."
~ Luke 14:33


In the metamorphosis of conscious life, God’s wisdom prevails.
In truth, awakening to our Creator’s gift of creation of all
is no less than a humbling speechless revelation.


He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses
his life for My sake will find it." ~ Matthew 10:37-39


Having things is not bad in itself.
It is all about what your heart is attached to.


"... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
~ Matthew 6:19-21


If Christ is not cherished in your heart, oblivion in self destruction looms.

... if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth,
there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation
of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
~ Hebrews 10:26-27


What attachment on Earth could ever compare with the
wonders of eternal life in the presence of God Himself?


For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, ... ~ 2nd Corinthians 4:17-18


Heavenly anchors are eternal as all shallow earthly ones perish.
The ladder to heaven starts with one step followed by another.


      Baby Steps:
Pray/Study Luke 18:1
Think about your life James 1:23-25
Be with other Christians Hebrews 10:24-25
Start small (Pull the easiest weed) 1st Corinthians 10:13
               └─> Be ready for resistance
                                          └─> From self and others
Stop being selfish Philippians 2:4
Get a sense of humor Proverbs 17:22
Focus on relationships 1st Peter 3:8
                          └─> Time
Listen James 1:19
Fast – Give up something Matthew 16:24
Play the “Why Game” Psalms 42:11
Announce your convictions Romans 10:10
Ask someone else about character improvement Romans 5:3-4

Do not let this world steal the life given to you, to be.

"... I have come that they may have life, and that
they may have it more abundantly." ~ John 10:10


His sacrificial offering covers our penitent sins in His Love.

Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins. ~ Proverbs 10:12

GOD’S LOVE HOLDS INCOMPARABLE COMFORT
HE TEACHES US HOW TO TRULY LOVE


I would like to thank my dear acquaintance and brother in Christ, Bret Carter.



 

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