Message Recap – 4/29/2011 – What's on Your Mind? Part 2

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This week we are continuing the the new series from special guest speaker Kris Miner. You probably remember that in our series' within a series we've already covered two things that are big battles we all face as Christians: the tongue and purity. The current series is about the battle going on in your mind.

You can catch the recap for part one here:

Part 1

Luke 15:11-32 tells the parable of the prodigal son. There's a lot of powerful stuff in that story, but we're going to focus on the older brother. The one who had it all together. He was mature. He stayed on the farm, worked hard and remained faithful. But when the younger brother came home and was celebrated he became jealous. He angrily said to his father that he had never even gotten a goat to party with. And really, who can blame him. Isn't that what we all want out of life? The father responded that the whole farm was already his!

The older son didn't understand – he didn't have a relationship with his father.

Take a look at what 1 John 3:1-2 says:

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.

Do you know that you're a child of God? Do you understand that relationship? You have access to everything He has! The older brother in the prodigal son story didn't get that. He served faithfully, growing more and more disgruntled, but he never asked for anything that was rightfully his.

Do you understand what it means to be a child of God? How much He loves you, how much He cares about you?

The Bible says that when Jesus died the veil in the temple between the holy of holies and the common area was ripped from top to bottom. What does a torn curtain have to do with us? It was symbolic, showing that we don't have to go through the high priest any longer. We can directly access God now, because of Jesus! He bridged the gap so that we could be called children of God! God wants you to know that you're His children. You're not slaves. You serve because you have a relationship with the Father and love Him.

Jesus was once having a conversation with the Pharisees. They were the religious people of the day – they did everything right, followed all the commands to the T. But they were missing something vital – they didn't know the Father!

As Christians we can do all the right things. Go to church, not curse, stay in school, steer clear of sin. But it's not enough. Yes, you need to obey the 10 commandments. But that's not enough; you have to have a relationship with God.

Do you talk to God? Do you pray? Do you find yourself thinking about Him throughout your day? Or picking up your Bible and reading it? Do you take time to hear what God has to say to you?

If not, you should try it. It's important for us to have a relationship with God. It's important to know our Father, as children of God.

If you want to get to know God a bit, a great place to start is the Bible. It's like a glimpse of Him – it doesn't contain Him, but it gives a glimpse. If you really want to know Him, the best place is on your knees. Spend some time talking to God, pouring out what's on your mind, and take time to listen to what He has to say to you, too.

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the most often quoted scriptures in the Bible. But most people stop before verses 12-13. Check out Jeremiah 29:11-13:

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

God has a plan for you; He wants to prosper you; He has a future for you; He wants to give you hope! But the next two verses are extremely important. Seek God. Find the Father's heart. Seek to know God. You are a child of God. He wants to have a relationship with you!

Be purposeful in your relationship with God. Spend time talking to God and reading the Bible. Not just to ask for things or fulfill your duty, but to have a conversation with Him, to know Him.

Don't just be religious; build your relationship with God today!

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