Delivered on: November 23, 2008. Streetsboro.
How often do you practice your religion?
Is your religion a “once a week” religion?
Is your religion a “twice a week” religion?
Once a month? A year?
How important is your religion to you?
Is it right there with school, work, sports, etc?
I would suggest to you that if you want a religion that is pleasing to God (and surely that is what all of us want), then you need to have a daily religion.
When we are truly devoted to something, and love that thing, we do not consider it a chore.
Luke 9:23. Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Let’s look at some of the things that the early church did on a daily basis.
DAILY DEATH. 1 Corinthians 15:31. I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
In what sense did Paul die on a daily basis?
He gave himself completely over to service to Christ.
Romans 12:1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 6:6-7. Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
We too must die on a daily basis.
Have you given your life over to Christ as a living sacrifice?
If we get this right, then everything else will fall into place.
2 Corinthians 8:5. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.
Luke 9:24. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
DAILY FELLOWSHIP. Acts 2:44-46. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.
Sometimes I worry that we don’t really appreciate the idea of Christian fellowship.
The first church had fellowship.
They had all things common.
They were together on a daily basis.
They took meals together on a daily basis.
We need this type of fellowship in the church today.
I realize that work and school schedules don’t allow us to do as much as we would like.
But we can do better than we are.
How can we pray for one another if we don’t know each other well enough to know each other’s needs.
There have been times when we have had members going through serious problems and they never let anyone know about it. That is not fellowship!
Fellowship is sharing our joys and trials with our brethren. 1 Corinthians 12:26. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
We are told to exhort one another daily. In order to do this, we must be together. Hebrews 3:13. But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
DAILY BIBLE STUDY. Acts 17:11. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
We need to search the Scriptures on a daily basis.
Matthew 5:6. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
1 Peter 2:2. As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.
2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
1 Peter 3:15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
Psalm 1:1-3. Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
We need to search the Scriptures so that we can become teachers.
Hebrews 5:12-14. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
We can’t be a good soldier of Jesus Christ if we don’t know how to use the sword of the Spirit.
The sword of the Spirit is part of our armor.
It is our only offensive weapon.
We need to study with our children daily.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
One might say, that is Old Testament.
Hebrews 2:1-3. Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
DAILY EVANGELISM. Acts 5:42. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
All of us either ought to be teachers or working toward the time when we can be teachers.
Notice Acts 8:4. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
Notice from verse 1 that the apostles stayed in Jerusalem.
It was the congregation that was scattered.
And they were the ones who did the teaching.
Not only that but they were teaching at the risk of their own lives.
Are you ready to teach others? Romans 1:15. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
2 Timothy 2:2. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
DAILY BENEVOLENCE. Acts 6:1. Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
Benevolence – helping those who can not help themselves.
James 1:27. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Galatians 6:9-10. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Our benevolence need not be limited to the first and third Saturdays over here at the food pantry.
We can visit the sick and shut-in.
We can help shovel the neighbor’s driveway.
We can go to the local nursing home and sit and talk with the residents.
Don’t fall into the habit of thinking that since the church is helping feed the poor that it releases all of us as individuals from seeking to do good for others.
How would you describe your religion?
If not, make a correction.