Love It Less
LOVE IT LESS Introduction:
- “The trouble is we are trying to get from our efforts what we never put into them.”Ravenhill
- Wanting results without putting in the work.
- Getting ourselves into spiritual shape requires a holy resolve.
- We all say we want to be free of anything that robs joy, peace, prosperity and eternal life from our lives – so let’s put in the work.
- Today we will begin with one of the most difficult scripturesMain text:
Luke 14:26 (NKJV) “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
- The resolve of becoming a disciple is learning to love everything else less.1.1. If anyone comes to me…
1.2. Hating anything or one that pulls us away from Christ.
1.3. This is a hard saying and very strong language.
1.4. One scripture never nullifies another so there must be aa way too harmonize our understanding of what the Word is instructing us.
1.4.1. Hate our father and mother – he who honors his parents will have long life.
1.4.2. Hating ones wife or husband – the two shall become one. 1.4.3. He whose quiver is full of Children is blessed and should rear them up in the ways of the Lord.
1.4.4. And then hating one’s own life – love thy neighbor ass thyself.
1.5. Jesus is teaching us the primary principle of following Christ – loving everything else less than we love and are devoted to Christ.
1.6. To love less.
1.7. There are things that need to happen in our life when we come to Christ.
- Learning to love praying.2.1. Not just the idea of praying.
2.2. Not just the knowledge of knowing we are suppose to be praying.
2.3. Not just passing prayers when time allows.
2.4. No I’m talking about the kind of loving praying the reorganizes one’s life and schedule to make sure there is time enough in a day or week to be spending time in prayer.
2.5. Ela… my Elias is a very squirmy always on a mission sort of dude. Every now and again he will come up and cuddle on me. It does not happen that often but when it does I try to make sure that I posture myself to receive him and cuddle for the whole 30 seconds he allows.
2.6. Learning to enjoy the communion. 2.7. Learning to need the communion. 2.8. Learning to find the encouragement:
- We receive guidance in our prayer time.
Luke 6:(NKJV) 11 But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. 12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:
3.1. Jesus healed a man and they were enraged at him.
3.2. What was called for after that was an extended time of prayer.
3.3. From that extended prayer time Jesus was ready to call to Himself the men who would shape the Christian world once he departed.
4. Great things happen in our prayer closets.
Words from E.M. Bounds:
“nothing is done well without praying because it simple leaves God out of the work” Bounds
Who was E.M. Bounds: E. M. Bounds was a man hidden away by God and with God in prayer. During his lifetime he never attracted a large following or gained the success and reputation that one might expect. After forty-six years of faithful ministry, he still was virtually unknown. Out of the eight classics on prayer he wrote, only two were published during his lifetime. Though hidden and unrecognized while alive, E.M. Bounds is now considered by most evangelicals as the most prolific and fervent author on the subject of prayer.
“How easy it is to slip away from the prayer closet. Even the Apostles had to guard themselves at that point. How closely we need to watch ourselves at the same place. Things legitimate and right may become wrong when they take place in prayer. Things right in themselves may become wrong things when they are allowed to fasten themselves excessively upon our herts. It is not only sinful things that hurt prayer. It is not only questionable things that are to be guarded against, but it is also things which are right in their places but which are allowed to sidetrack prayer and shut the door of the prayer closet, often with the self-comforting plea “we are too busy to pray”.
5. Learning to hate sin happens when we learn to love prayer.
Romans 7:13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
5.1. Sin becomes utterly sinful the longer we spend time the one who is completely perfect.
5.2. “If anyone comes to Me”
5.3. Prayer is to sin as water is to fire.
5.4. Sinning while communing with God is utterly impossible.
5.5. Ela… time when I ended up in the bedroom of an old friend. And I began to pray to get out.
5.6. However, sin is to prayer as water is to fire.
5.7. Sin must become utterly sinful in our heart for sin to become utterly defeated in our life.
5.8. Often times we are kind of ok with sin, as long as:
“Revival is no more a miracle than a crop of wheat. Revival comes from heaven when heroic souls enter the conflict determined to win or die – or if need be win and die! The kingdom of heaven suffer violence but the violent take it by force” Charles Finney
“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.” E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer