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Sermon Outlines - Higher Praise Topical Sermons- What Shall I Wear?


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          "WHAT IT TAKES TO BE INTERESTED IN THE LORD'S WORK"


INTRODUCTION

1. All admire one with strong faith, active in their work, happy and
   content...
   a. As Paul was in Judaism - cf. Ga 1:13-14; Ph 3:6
   b. Then later as he served Christ - cf. Ph 3:12-14; Ga 2:20

2. Yet the range of interest among Christians often varies widely...
   a. Some are filled with zeal - cf. 1 Th 1:2-3; 2 Th 1:3-4
      1) Attending services regularly
      2) Willing to make sacrifices
      3) Studying the Bible diligently
      4) Teaching and inviting others to the Lord
   b. Others become lukewarm - cf. Re 3:15-16
      1) Attending services sporadically
      2) Giving "left overs" to the Lord
      3) Neglecting opportunities to study
      4) With little personal work
   c. Some even become cold, forsaking the Lord - cf. 2 Ti 4:10
      1) Quitting the services of the church altogether
      2) Covetous in their time and money
      3) With Bibles collecting dust due to lack of use
      4) Ashamed of the church and the gospel of Christ

[What does it take to maintain a high level of interest in the Lord's
work?  In Co 1:9-10 we find Paul praying for the Colossians, in which he
mentions three things that contribute to interest, desire, fervor, and
zeal.  Note that he prayed that they may be filled with...]

I. KNOWLEDGE

   A.  KNOWLEDGE INCREASES INTEREST...
      1. Knowledge of a subject always increases in that subject
      2. In sports, the more one knows, the more interested they become
      3. The same is true with various hobbies - e.g., birding (bird
         watching)

   B. KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL INCREASES INTEREST...
      1. The Colossians bore fruit in response to their understanding of
         God's grace - cf. Co 1:6
      2. The more we learn of God's will, the more excited we will
         become - Psa 119:111,162,164
      3. Obtaining this knowledge requires diligence
         a. If we are negligent, we will have to be taught all over
            again - He 5:12
         b. To grow, we must always desire the Word like a babe desires
            milk - 1 Pe 2:1-2
         c. The Psalmist provides a good example - Psa 119:15-16,97-104

[As we return to Paul's prayer for the Colossians (Co 1:9-10), we note
his desire that they "walk worthy of the Lord".  To knowledge,
therefore, we must add...]

II. PARTICIPATION

   A. PARTICIPATION INCREASES INTEREST...
      1. This is true in many things
         a. Sports - the difference between participants and spectators
         b. Hobbies - fishing, birding, woodworking, sewing, etc.
      2. The more you participate, the more you want to participate
         a. Sitting on the bench is no fun
         b. Having an opportunity to participate just makes you want to
            do more

   B. PARTICIPATION IN GOD'S WORK INCREASES INTEREST...
      1. There is a blessedness in the very doing of God's will - Jn
         17:13; Ja 1:25
      2. Happiness comes to those who walk in the ways of the Lord - Psa
         119:1-2
      3. Certainly there is a happier conscience, and a satisfaction of
         knowing that you are a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only!
         - cf. Mt 7:24-27; Ja 1:22-24

[Any labor that we do for the Lord will not be in vain (1 Co 15:58).
And that leads to the third thing Paul prays for (bearing fruit, Co
1:10) that will lead to a heightened interest in the Lord's work...]

III. SUCCESS

   A. SUCCESS INCREASES INTEREST...
      1. If we engage in activities without success, discouragement can
         be the result
      2. Failure to succeed has led many to lose interest in various
         ventures

   B. SUCCESS IN GOD'S WORK INCREASES INTEREST...
      1. Bible study - learning the meaning of a passage makes you want
         to learn more
      2. Personal work - seeing someone obey the gospel makes you want
         to convert more
      3. Personal edification - to see those you have taught growing in
         the Lord produces great joy - cf. 3 Jn 3-4
      4. Many lose interest in the Lord's work because they have never
         tasted the joys of success!

CONCLUSION

1. If you are not interested in the Lord's work, or have lost interest,
   it is likely due to a lack of these three things:
   a) Knowledge
   b) Participation
   c) Success

2. For those willing to maintain interest in the Lord's work, Paul
   shares two more thoughts with us...
   a. We will not be alone in our efforts; God will work with us! - Co
      1:11; cf. Ph 2:12-13
   b. We should be thankful that God has qualified us to receive the
      rewards to come! - Co 1:12

Are you showing your gratitude by maintaining a high level of interest
in the work of the Lord...?
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