Let me ask you a
rhetorical question... are you
happy? Or are you burdened / plagued / troubled / angry? Do you go to church that way?
The pastor wants you to leave happy, content, and rejoicing in Christ.
August 13th, 2000, Sunday Morning
"The Secret to Becoming Surrendered Saints"
Give yourself to God before claiming your work is what He wants
OPENING: 2 Corinthians 8:4-5, KJV
2 Corinthians 8:4-5: In this passage of scripture, a group
of believers in Macedonia are performing fellowship in ministering to the saints. This
is a key to being a successful Christian.
Before you are motivated to execute a plan to do a good work to bring glory
to God, first give yourself to God (i.e., ask God if what you're doing is what He wants).
So many good intentions are wasted because people didn't ask God, "should I do this? Tell
me what you want me to do" before they perform the "good work." Don't put the cart before
Simply "give up and surrender" to God. Don't ask for inputs from your family,
wife, or pastor--ask (pray) God what He wants you to do.
2 Corinthians 8:1: What these churches in Macedonia did was beyond
Paul's expectation. Paul simply expected them to give of their 10% however these churches
not only "gave themselves to God" first, they "jumped in the collection plate" by continuously
giving a majority of what they had.
- God is not unrighteous and greedy. While we
tithe and give offerings, the
"Economy of God" gets that money and then some back to us!
So what were the eight secrets of the Macedonian churches' ability to be
successful and give above and beyond what they had?
- #1/8: Readiness of mind to receive the truth
- If someone really wants to know truth, they'll get it--like the Macedonian
churches of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea
- Acts 16:9-10: Paul wanted to go in all directions of his own choice
to preach the word of God but God told Paul, in effect, "no--go to Macedonia. They are
ready to hear."
- Acts 17:11: Berea was even more thirsting for the truth than
those in Thessalonica. (This verse ties in with the name of our church--Berean Independent
- Acts 10:1-4: A man named Cornelius was one who fasted and always
prayed to God. He wanted the truth and was deemed ready for God's use.
- #2/8: Readily accepting God's word (KEY)
- 1 Thessolonians 2:13: Notice the attitude of the Thessolonians
toward God's word. They're continuously thankful for it.
- You should not be mad or offended at the word of God when it tells you how
to act or if you're doing something you shouldn't be. You should be thankful you're
- To surrender to God is to readily accept his word (key).
- #3/8: Suffer for God's cause
- 1 Thessolonians 2:14: One of the first ways to suffer as a
believer is to give up your own wants for the word of God--whether it be skipping church
for a family reunion or giving up your Friday night drinking social for a church
- 1 Thessolonians 1:9: There are all kinds of
in the world today (and its growing in the United States). Just look at all
the late night psychic hotline commercials! (no, don't...) Those who are not
saved and rely on God's word are on the
broad road to destruction (hell).
- While psychics are to be ignored, they shouldn't be taken lightly. Some
psychics who are truly focused on "channeling spirits" may possess some power of Satan
and bring him into your home. If psychics do accurately foretell your future, be assured,
it's from a power ... just not God's.
- #4/8: Research the word to seek the truth (KEY)
- Acts 17:11: Even after hearing the word being preached, many
searched the scriptures to see if what they heard is true. To seek God's word is to seek
God because God is in the word (bible) and the word is in Him.
- Researching and seeking God's truth doesn't happen overnight. It takes time
(an effort not many are willing to make today). Just as we spend time researching what
the preacher has told us in his sermon, a preacher is accountable to God for what he says
in church for his weeks (and perhaps months) of scripture-searching sermon preparation
- #5/8: Daily scripture review; it's good to perform daily reviews of the
scriptures. Make it a dinner table discussion!
- #6/8: Not only research, but
resolve to do it!
- Philippians 4:13: You can do all things
through God ... even if you think you can't.
- #7/8: Rejoice in the Lord
- Whenever you do something for Jesus Christ, do it cheerfully and happily--no
matter how hard the labor is.
- Philippians 4:4: Today, God's people are gloomy with sad faces.
It's like they ate a sour lemon! ...it's as if they had no God! BUT YOU'RE ON YOUR WAY TO
HEAVEN (if saved) -- YOU'RE IN CHRIST!
WHAT COULD EVER BE BETTER?
- Rejoice in God and not circumstances because circumstances change (i.e., you're
happy because everything "is going your way today." That can change in a flash!).
- If you're not happy, why not? God is still on the throne! He hasn't gotten off!
- #8/8: Rest upon the word of God
- Philippians 4:6: Pray with thanks and need requests to God -- always.
- Philippians 4:19: As a result, God will take care of all your needs
(in His way--not yours).
2 Corinthians 9:1-3,8: Even Paul admits that what he's writing is
not necessary because of the Macedonian churches' level of success in ministering and
Are you happy? Are you sure you'll go to heaven when you die?
Are you surrendered to God's will?