God Is Looking For More Than Mere Lip Service!

We are living in tumultuous times, and we are living in a day of rapid change. Our world seems to be changing at breakneck speed, and many of the discarded values of the past seem to be passing away at the same rate. Amazingly, it would also seem that a true reverence for a Holy God seems to also be on its way out with many people. Why has God been made commonplace in this day? Why do so many view God as a, “Whatever We Do Will Be Good with Him” God?

I am praying that we would see the return of reverential fear throughout our land. There are many that would assert that they can speak the mind, and will of God despite their not having talked to God this week, this month, or this year. Is God fooled by these individual’s many attempts at Mere Talk Show Religion, National Spelling Bee Laced Bible Debates, or Wheel of Fortune Faith? What good is it for one to win the Bible Trivia/Bible Debate Contest and still wind up in Hell? Winning Bible Debates does not give special admittance to Heaven to anyone!

I still believe that the War Cry of the Church should still be Holiness or Hell! I know that we are living in an age where everyone is ready, and willing to be a decorated soldier in the army of the Lord, without ever having gone through basic training. Words like process, longsuffering, patience, and sacrifice have been thrown out the window. We live in an age of Super Star Christianity, Overnight Sensations, and Pundit Faith. How many of our Internet Networks are full of musings of those who want to point out what the Church is doing wrong?

I have never ever said that the Church doesn’t have areas in which it can improve, yet it is amazing that most of those who critique the Church the greatest probably can’t be found on the financial rolls of any church in a great way. The late Bishop G. E. Patterson once said, “Money Isn’t Big until It Goes to Church!” Many of the people of today will think nothing of paying two hundred dollars for one pair of tennis shoes for their kids, or paying a couple of hundred dollars for several rounds of drinks for the fellows for a night on the town, but let the preacher ask for over fifty dollars, and this preacher is relegated to the status of being called a pimp in the pulpit!

How can there be an institution that one is so passionate about, yet that individual contributes a meager amount to that institution? Is it easier to talk Church than to do Church, or pay Church? I am not given my money to a man is the constant cry that is heard so much across our land. Yet we take our money to a man or woman each and every month to pay for our living expenses. A man at the Light Company takes your payment, a man at the mortgage company takes your payment, a man at GMAC takes your payment for your automobile. Why are so many so dead set against taking money to a man at church, when they spend a major portion of their month budgeting for all of the other men that they have to take money to?

The word hypocrite in the Greek which was the universal language of that day is Hupokrites, it means a play actor, a stage hand. Perhaps, we are living in the greatest day ever for hypocrisy. Should we have an Academy Award for the Best Performance for Impersonating a True Believer in Christ? The Book of 2 Timothy the 3rd Chapter spoke of the day that we are now living in. 2 Timothy 3 verse 1- records the following words, This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. With a roll call like that that so closely mirrors so many how could we ever deny that we are living in the days that were spoken of in this text?

Isn’t it amazing that one can have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof? Are many only seeking to date Jesus in only a casual manner? Is a total commitment to God too much to ask for in the days that we live in now? How can so many talk it, but not walk it? What can one say when we have individuals that are ready to debate the mysteries of God at the drop of a hat, yet the same individual will curse you out in a heartbeat? We are all sinners saved by Grace, yet as one that has benefited so greatly by the sheer Grace of God I will never again make that Grace, “Cheap Grace”, as the Great German Theologian Dietrich Boenhoeffer often wrote about! Boenhoeffer also said that one act of obedience is better than 100 sermons. How can we give God lip service in this day where every day that we walk outside our front doors we see just a little bit more of The Book of Revelations coming to pass?

2nd Timothy 3 verse 12 states the following (12) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. The flack that I catch comes with the territory. Charles Spurgeon once said that, “Men will never become great in Theology until they become great in suffering.” Martin Luther the Great Reformer wrote that, “Affliction is the best book in my library.” I am not in this for a bed of roses, but I am in this because I have a love for God. I am in awe over how God can use an imperfect vessel like me to accomplish his Holy Will. My calling, and my election are sure, and I am eternally grateful to God for his choosing of me to deliver his Holy Word. I once heard a great man of God pen that where there is true sorrow for sin, there will be free confession of sin to go in. I haved missed it a whole lot in the past, but I am resolute to stand for Christ until the end! God has the ability to take those of us who are from the dung heap, and set us up on high. We serve a God that has the hearts of men in his hand; we don’t even have to run after men for promotion, for promotion comes from our God Above! How can we offer a God like This Mere Lip Service?

Who’s on the Lord’s Side? I submit to you that not only is our God a Jealous God, his name is Jealous! He is a God of all or none as evidenced by the scriptures in 1Kings Chapter 18, where the Prophet Elijah asked the Children of Israel the Question of the Hour, “How Long Halt Ye Between Two Opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal then follow him. How are we letting the Spirit of This Age put us so fast asleep that we don’t even see that many of us are two-timing on God? We mix a little God with a little new age, a little God with a little Transcendental Meditation, a little God with a little Eckhart Tolle, a little God with a little Eastern Mysticism, a little God with a little Yoruba Religion, a little God with a little Metaphysical Meanderings, a little God with a little idol worship. The scriptures declare that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. That word in the Greek literally means soul, so the scriptures denote the literal reality that a two soul man is unstable in all of his ways. St Matthew 6:33 states that we should seek first the kingdom of God, and all of these things shall be added unto you. God wants to be the centerpiece of our lives. Why should we run after things, when things follow an obedient walk with God?

We are living in a day of Theological Anarchy where everyone is doing their own thing their own way. No one wants to submit! I know God for myself, you can’t tell me anything, God talks to me too, I taught two Sunday School Classes, and I read the Bible for myself last week, are the cries of many who regularly take the traditional church to task. There have been many wrongs in our churches that it will take a season to correct, yet the Church is still the greatest place of Healing and Hope that can be found. Our churches are our Houses of Grace, and our place of strength. How Can We Give a God Who Has Done So Much Only Lip Service?

We are rapidly coming to the day where everyone will have to choose this day whom they will serve. We are living in a time where a terrorist, or a calamity can strike anywhere, and at anytime. We daily live and see just how cold the hearts of men have become. Mama’s Baby is Now Grandmama’s Killer! Is it a heart thing? Do we just not have the heart for the things of God anymore? Are we losing the passions and fervor of the church of years past? Where is our zeal, and our zest for the things of God? Is God just someone that we can just give lip service to?

Isaiah the Eagle-Eyed Prophet recorded the following words in Isaiah 29 verse( 13) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men. The heart in this scripture doesn’t mean the pumping organ in your chest, but in that day the heart represented the very center of your being. We are supposed to Love God with our all! How can some people always spend their time whispering sweet nothings in the ear of God, while they are living a lifestyle that he arbors? How Can We Give Our Great God Only Lip Service?

When I am attacked online my flesh often wants to retaliate, but a true man, or woman or God will let God fight their battles period! How much of a victory would it be for me to win the argument and lose the soul of someone that is following these posts? If Black Men Don’t Go to Church, then it is of their own volition.

The Black Church spearheaded many of the advancements that our people have made in this nation. The Black Church carried the concerns of the people of color. Is the Black Church now outdated? Has the Black Intelligentsia become so proud that they don’t even take a backseat for God? The name of Christ is not a good luck charm, nor a conjurer’s talisman, or a metaphysical amulet. Much like the Seven Sons of Sceva in the Book of Acts the Spirit of God will never be fooled by licentious use of the name of Jesus. The Purveyors of Evangelistic Identity Theft will always be exposed by a Holy God! Why Would One Only Give God Lip Service in a Day Like Today?

Who wants to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God? God is not asking you to be as the beggardly elements of this world, but God is not pleased when you treat him as if he is your first cousin once removed. He is a Holy God that is preparing a place for a Holy People to live with him forever. Hebrews 12 verse 14 states that we are to follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. How are we missing that step? I am not talking about Holiness the Denomination, or long dresses, or no makeup, I am talking about a willingness to treat God as no other. I am talking about God’s going to the top of your very important person list. Why with all of the intellect that we have would we have people that resemble Romans 1 verse 22 which speaks of those who made a habit of professing themselves to be wise, instead they became fools? How are we rolling out the Red Carpet for this man or that one, and miss rolling out the carpet for God? God hath not called us into uncleanness, but unto holiness. How do we consistently overlook that scripture?

The time is coming for a showdown between the gods of this world, and the God of the Heavens. Time is winding up and it is not a time to underestimate the soon return of God. It was Jurgen Moltmann who said that God is our last hope because we are his first love. Many of us have tried everything else, let’s now really try God. We serve a God that will not be made a fool of, a God that you will not pull the wool over his eyes, but he is also a forgiving God that is ready to cast all of your sins into a sea of forgetfulness. It was his Amazing Grace that saved a Wretch Like Me! I am so glad that Jesus dropped the charges. How can we give a God this Good only Lip Service?

Numbers 25 records the obscure story of Phinehas who was a man whose zeal pleased God. He took it personal when foreign practices came into the House of Grace; his zeal stayed the plague in the land. Black America has suffered from many plagues, could a zeal and a fervor for God stay the many plagues in our community. Can black men stop using the excuse that’s why I don’t go to Church because they don’t know how to reach the black man? Maybe if we went to church many of the plagues in our community could be solved. Will we let the Black Church become a Women’s Auxiliary? My brothers and sisters this whole thing is about a passion, and a love for God. Is winning the Christian Debate as important as learning to know a Holy God? One man’s actions stopped the death angel from moving in Numbers 25, what could happen if several of the men here would go all out for God? How Can We Give a Great God Like This Only Lip Service?

We could turn the tables on the many problems in our nation if we placed God as a real priority in our lives. It is not a time to be a Closet Christian, a 007 Secret Agent Saint, or any other type Holy Undercover Operative. It is time for the real church to take it’s stand and worship a Holy God that is Truly Worthy to Be Praised. A God That’s Truly Worth More Than Mere Lip Service. May the Saints be Edified, May God be Glorified, and May the Enemy Be Horrified! God is Still God! He is a Mighty God that Angels Bow Down Before Him, and The Heavens and the Earth Adore Him…..What a Mighty God We Serve!

My Name is Pastor Stephen F. Smith and I Approve This Message!

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Encourage Yourself!

Pastor Stephen F. Smith encourages the Saints to encourage themselves in the Lord as David did in 1st Samuel 30! Correction: At the beginning of this tape I meant to say when David and his men returned from battle to Ziklag! Excuse the faux paus!

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