What’s Your Response?
Casey Ingold’s Sermon, Covenant Baptist Church, December 26th, 2010
This week Casey asked us the question, “How have you responded to what God has done for you?” We see Mary’s response in her magnificent prayer of praise to God, found in Luke 1:46-55, and in the words of Zacharias as he was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied in Luke 1:67-79.
There may be no better proclamation of what God has done for us than the one we find in Ephesians 1:3-14. Here Paul seems to get almost carried away as he enumerates the blessings of God.
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
EVERY spiritual blessing! God has withheld nothing from us. He has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ.
- He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.
- In Love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself
- In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace.
- He made known to us the mystery of His will – the eventual summing up of all things in Christ – things in heaven and things on earth.
- After we heard the Gospel and believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, given as a pledge of our inheritance – as a down payment of our eventual total redemption to the praise of His glory.
For another perspective of what God has done for us, look at Psalm 103. This is a picture of God’s heart and here we see how much He loves us. Look at verses 6-14.
The Lord performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
How can we respond to a God who has loved us and cared for us like this? As one author has put it, “How should we then live?” If all the above is true, and Christ really did come and die for me and pay for my sins, how should I respond in the way I live my life before Him? Casey has suggested three areas of our lives should be evaluated to see if we are living in gratitude to God:
Attitude – The place to begin is here. Our attitude will determine everything about how we live our lives. Meditate on the verses below and examine yourself.
- Philippians 2:3-11
- Philippians 1:1 (bond-servants)
- 1 Peter 2:13-3:12; Colossians 3:18-4:1
- Colossians 3:1-3; 12-17
Words – James said, “If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.” Am I honoring God with my tongue? Meditate on the verses below.
- Colossians 4:6
- James 1:26; 3:1-12
- 1 Peter 4:11
- Proverbs 10:19-21
- Proverbs 11:9, 11-13
- Proverbs 12:13-14, 17-19, 22, 25
- Proverbs 13:3
Actions – Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Are you loving Him by obeying Him? We show our gratitude for all He has done for us by living the kind of life that pleases Him. Use the verses below to examine your own life.
- James 1:22-25
- Matthew 7:21-29
- 1 Peter 4:10
- 1 John 3:18
- 1 John 1:5-6
- 1 John 5:1-3
It would be easy to be discouraged by this kind of self-examination if we don’t remember that God accepts us based on Jesus’ payment for our sin by His death on the cross. But it is essential that we be honest with God and with ourselves in these three areas and that we continue in the process of growth. Always keep Ephesians 1 and Psalm 103 in mind. He loves you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)