Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering Church Lesson 6 of 7
Painting Your House Revelation 21:5, Galatians 6:7-9, 1 Chronicles 16:23-31
I hate to paint a house or building more than just about any other kind of work. I hate it most because I want it done right and for painting to be done right you have to prepare the surface to be painted. You have to strip away the old paint, evenly sand the surface and apply the right primer. After a coat of primer you can paint and then you put on the second coat…if you wanna’ do it right. If you want to hurry the job you’ll be sorry later. The paint will dry, but it won’t stick, or if your surface is rough new paint just accentuates the ugliness.
I remember many a botched paint job in my life. There was the bedroom done in love… poorly. The holes were patched with rock hard putty rather than spackle and a scrapper was not used in its application. When the project was presented to me I smiled and said thank you but inside I was reeling at the little painted peeks all over the walls. Later I tried to fix them and repaint but let me tell you that rock is very hard to sand. I remember painting our cabin twice. We didn’t strip it or prime it. We just didn’t have the money. That is why we did it twice (Thank God we finally sold it!) . Another time I painted my bathroom in latex paint. Clean up was great but I found out you can’t paint latex over enamel. In time it all peeled off in sheets. The last time a pro did it. He scraped off all the latex, then the enamel, then he sanded, then he put on a primer and then painted two coats of paint. That was a year ago and it still looks great! I’m praying that Jesus comes back before it needs painting again.
How many of you want your paint job done right? How many of you want that fresh coat of paint to stick and look beautiful into eternity? How many of you would rather let the professional do the job if it didn’t cost you a thing?
I am using paint as a metaphor in my lesson today and God is the professional while you and I are the ugly wall in need of painting. God is making everything new! Spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. He is applying beautiful new color to our drab lives. Do you want it to stick? Do you want His new application to accentuate your flaws or do you want them hidden away forever? Do you want His masterwork to peel off in sheets after a time or to remain until He comes again? God has a plan to morph our lives into something beautiful and He is the professional that is freely coming to your house to make all things new. He will come and redo every room that you let Him into, but you must prepare the walls for painting. He will instruct you and help you every step of the way, but you must prepare yourself for His work.
The Apostle Paul encourages us not to grow weary in doing this good thing. We are encouraged to sow (plant seed) to please the Spirit. What pleases the Spirit of God you may ask? To Give God His worth…which is exactly what worship is. In fact God commands us to worship Him and none other. 1 Chronicles 16:23-31, Exodus 20:2-6 Giving God the worship and praise that He commands not only lifts Him up but primes you for the work He wants to accomplish in your life. Do you want to be morphed into something spectacular by the Master? Then worship Him!
Offer Yourself Up Romans 12:1-2, Deuteronomy 6:5-7, James 4:5-10
Jesus once told the Pharisees that if his disciples didn’t praise Him then the rocks would cry out. Luke 19:40 Make no mistake about it, God’s people must give Him praise and worship. It is what pleases Him and offering our bodies as living sacrifices is our expected and reasonable act of worship. Romans 12:1-2 Only then can we be able to test and approve God’s new work in our lives.
When the Word says to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice” it means our whole self: Spiritually, Mentally, Emotionally and Physically. God’s people were ordered to do this from the onset of their relationship with God. Love the Lord your God with “all”. Jesus called this the “first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38 How you express your love , thanks and adoration to God is how you worship Him. When we submit ourselves to God in worship He shows favor to us and the devil flees. When we come near to God in worship He comes near to us. As we humble ourselves before Him in worship He lifts us up and does His masterful work in our lives.
Our Worship and praise of God in every aspect of our life prepares us for His spiritual, mental, emotional and physical work in our lives. Are you preparing yourself for His work? Are you giving the Master painter the praise He is so worthy of?
Morphing through Worship in “Spirit and truth”. John 4:23-24
Your praise and thanksgiving to God are vital in your relationship with Him. Each of us are unique. There is no one with your fingerprint, your exact expression or testimony. In fact we could have had any of your public testimonies before the sermon today instead of none. What a joy it would be to have a list of those wishing to testify before a service or writing them out for a newsletter. I do see many of you morphing into God’s beautiful creations and your acts of worship are growing in this place, but some of you are still holding back in giving God the worship He so greatly deserves and that you are so in need of. If your praise and worship is not expressed then it is sorely missed by God and you are not getting the make-over that God wants to accomplish in your life. He is gracious and will paint the walls of your house, but it will become obvious that the work of the Spirit will not stick to your unprepared walls of flesh.
Jesus said that the worship that the Father seeks is in the Spirit and in truth. Unless there’s a real appreciation and passion for God, there will be no Spirit of God expressed in us. At the same time, we must also have knowledge of the God we worship or there is no truth. Both are necessary for God-honoring worship. Emotion without truth leads to a shallow experience. Truth without emotion can result in joyless legalism. The Father wants the Spirit and truth! The more we know about God, the more we appreciate Him. The more we appreciate, the deeper our worship. Allow God to do the work He wants in you.