God First Spiritually – Apathy & Righteousness

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See full series: lights-in-a-dark-world-2019

God First Spiritually – Apathy & Righteousness

Sermon by  Thomas Thornhill Jr


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Sunday, May 19, 2019 am

LIGHTS IN A DARK WORLD (18)
PUTTING GOD FIRST IN EVERY AREA OF OUR LIVES (2)
Seeking First His Kingdom (2)

We have begun an examination of putting God first in every area of our lives. Last week we began discussing where this begins – seeking FIRST God’s kingdom.   We noted how we need to live with the understanding that it is a spiritual kingdom. We also briefly examined Matthew 6:19-34 as a text that helps us understand some of our responsibilities. Today we want to notice some factors associated with the spiritual nature of this kingdom.

I.    Am I apathetic?

  1. Apathy – defined as a lack of emotion or interest, indifference.   This is the “I don’t care” attitude that seems prevalent today.     Far too many have adopted this type of an attitude in our society. For some, the problems they see are so overwhelming, they don’t know what to do, so they choose to do nothing and/or not care about it.   Many are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t care.
  2. It is a serious concern.
    Apathy causes decline in a congregation, and can lead to their death (cf. Sardis – Rev. 3:1-3, Laodicea – Rev. 3:16-17, & Ephesus – Rev. 2:4-5– churches on their way to demise unless they repented).   NOTE: 3 of the churches had problems that could have included apathy. Apathy causes problems to go unchecked or fail to be addressed.
    It is also a condition that makes brethren vulnerable to wolves entering in and consuming the flock.
  3. As brethren, we are certainly not immune from this.
    Ecclesiastes 10:18, Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks.
    Proverbs 18:9, He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.
    Understand that it doesn’t take a wrecking ball to destroy a building (that just accomplishes it faster), you can destroy a building by simply neglecting it or failing to repair it.
    Similarly, one doesn’t have to burn down a crop for it to fail – simply do nothing – don’t weed it, fertilize or water it or don’t plow the field.
    We may not be lazy people, per se, but maybe in some area of our lives, we are.   Many Christians are apathetic when it comes to their spiritual lives. Seen in attendance, preparation for services, diligence in carrying out one’s spiritual duties, what they do outside of the assemblies.
  4. The Bible and apathy –
    Let us give the more earnest heed lest we drift away – Hebrews 2:1
    Awake – Romans 13:11 – it is high time to awake,…
    Beware, lest you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin – Hebrews 3:12-13
    1 Corinthians 15:58 – be steadfast, immovable, always abounding…, Titus 2:14 – zealous for good works.
  5. Is this reflected in our lives?
    How much do I really care: About the church? My brethren? Others? My own spiritual growth?

II.    Am I righteous?  

  1. What is righteousness?
    Simply defined, it means being right.   More specifically, it is related to what we do to be right.
    Our goal is to be righteous before God – which means we do those things which are right in His sight.
    NOTE: This is not about meritorious acts.   It is not a checklist that when we complete it, we have earned our salvation, or if our good works outweigh our bad works, etc.   Titus 3:4-5 speaks of the grace of God has appeared, “not by works of righteousness which we have done…”
    It is about obeying God! Hebrews 5:9. Romans 1:16-17 – in the gospel we find the righteousness of God revealed.   Romans 6:16.
  2. By God’s standard.   Matthew 6:33 – we sometimes gloss over this in that text.   We are to “seek first the kingdom of God AND His righteousness” (Emp. Mine – TT). Cf. Romans 10:1-4.
  3. Is righteousness reflected in every area of my life?
    • Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness…
      Romans 6:13 – do not present yourselves as instruments of sin, but righteousness to God.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:34 – awake to righteousness
    • 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be unequally yoked… what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?
    • Ephesians 6:14 – put on the breastplate of righteousness
    • 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22 – pursue righteousness
    • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – scripture given…for instruction in righteousness
    • Titus 2:12 – the grace of God has appeared…teaching us that we deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and that we live soberly, righteously and godly…
  4. This is but a handful of verses that address our need for righteousness.   As we conduct ourselves in this life, we need to constantly be asking, “Is this right before God?”
  5. Our goal is to be pleasing to God – one in whom He is well pleased – 2 Corinthians 5:9, 10:17-18, Hebrews 13:20-21; cf. Matthew 25:21 – “well done good and faithful servant…”
  6. And that has to supersede our personal desires and how we deal with others.
    Consider that our righteousness means we are living with integrity and virtue, and so many qualities that make our environment and the world a better place – humility, genuine caring, self-control, dignity, etc.
    But it also means we CHOOSE Him over worldly pursuits.

These are a few things Christians need to consider as we think about letting our lights shine spiritually.   Are we seeking first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) as we noted last week? And is that impacting our behavior in everything we do?   May we resolve that such will be the case.   Think about it.