May 7, 2018


Years ago there was a phrase called, “Bust-A Move.” It is a dancing term, more along the lines of break dancing. But it also means to get moving, which is what we need to be doing as believers and as a church, because time is short.

And so today I’d like to look at how we are to “Bust-A-Move” for God.

Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4 NKJV).

We are also told of our need to make the most out of every opportunity because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).

Since none of us are guaranteed tomorrow we need to get moving today. It’s time, therefore, to Bust-A-Move for God, to start getting busy doing kingdom of God business rather than just our own. It’s time we started getting busy doing what Jesus has called for us to be and to do.

But to be effective in this endeavor, we need the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to move into our lives and into the church. This is necessary if we’re ever going to move up in the calling of God, and then to move out as a church.

Move In

The problem with the church, and hence believers, is the same thing Paul saw in the Corinthians church. He saw that they were more controlled by the world and their sinful desires, than they were controlled by the Holy Spirit.

“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?” (1 Corinthians 3:3a NIV)

When Paul looked at the church in Corinth, he wasn’t seeing anything different in them than those outside the faith. Paul didn’t see the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit so he basically asked, “What’s the difference?”

A person had a heart attack one Sunday during the pastor’s sermon. When the paramedics arrived the pastor was still preaching. As they were leaving the usher heard one paramedic say, “We had to pick up six people before we found the right one.”

Someone said that a lot of churches are like decaffeinated coffee. They’re look like the real thing, but with no energy or oomph. This may be why over 3,500 churches close every year.

The average church in America is 75 people, and 85% of them are either plateaued or on the decline. So all I can say to Living Waters Fellowship is that we’re on the right trajectory. We’ve been growing every year and we need to expand soon. We have people coming to know Jesus or rededicating their lives on a regular basis.

And it’s not from anything we’re doing; rather it’s because of what the Holy Spirit is doing in our midst. And the really neat part is that He wants to do so much more.

Jesus said something very profound that applies to this idea of being empowered by the Holy Spirit. He said that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10a). But then He contrasts what He came to do.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b NKJV)

So the question becomes, “Which side of the comma do we want to live our lives, life or abundant life?” Do we want to live or really live? Are we existing in our relationship with God or thriving in this relationship? Are we living for self, or for God?

In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul identifies three types of people.

1. The Natural Person

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV)

This is someone who doesn’t have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. They are not born again, thus they possess the spirit of the world rather than the Holy Spirit, which is why they are unable to understand God’s word or receive God’s revelation.

They live day by day with no sense of their value, worth, or divine purpose.

2. The Carnal Christian

Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1 NLT)

Carnal means someone who is continuing in his or her sin. Paul goes on to point out the two main characteristics of a carnal Christian. First is immaturity, in that the only thing they could eat is baby food (1 Corinthians 3:2).

As parents we expect babies to poop their pants, but not when they are sixteen. When we first come to know the Lord we’re considered babies in the faith and expected to make boo-boos. But Paul was saying that they had been Christians for far too long to mess their pants.

One person had a great definition of babies. He said that a baby was one who has a digestive apparatus with a loud noise on one end and no responsibility at the other.

The other characteristic is selfishness, which he defined as envy, strife, and division. The Corinthian church hadn’t yet realized that it wasn’t all about them. They hadn’t yet come to that place of loving others as an extension of our love for God.

Now in the middle of these two, Paul describes a third type of person within the church.

3. The Spiritual Person

“The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:15-16 NIV).

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ we change our classification from the person we described as “natural,” to that of being filled with the Spirit, or a spiritual person. It’s where we no longer live our lives based upon natural wisdom but God’s supernatural wisdom. It’s where we now know the grace of God that has been freely poured out upon us.

“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12 NIV)

But here I must go back to what I asked earlier as to which side of the comma do we want to live our lives. For you see, there is our being filled with the Holy Spirit, or we can be empowered and overflowing with the Holy Spirit.

After Jesus’s resurrection He showed Himself to the disciples where He breathed on them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). This is the left side of the equation, that is, where we have life. This is where they first come to faith and became born again.

But remember that Jesus promised abundant life as well. Prior to His accession into heaven Jesus said to His disciples, “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49 NKJV).

“You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now … (and) you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:5b, 8 NKJV)

And so while we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, a greater filling of the Holy Spirit is available known as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and it’s in this power that we can live an abundant life, a life on fire for God and one where we fulfill to the fullest extent possible the Great Commission.

And so with the filling and baptism of the Holy Spirit we’ll be able to discern not only what God is doing in our lives, but the deeper things of God. We will have the ability to evaluate, appraise, and understand the plans and purpose of God, which mainly come through time spent in prayer and God’s word.

The night prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, a young sailor was at a Bible study, and the leader asked people to recite their favorite Bible passage. Try as he might he couldn’t think of one, except John 3:16. The only problem was that the guy right in front of him recited it. And so there he was without a Scripture, and he thought to himself, “Here I’ve grown up in the church and I’m still a baby.”

The next morning the Japanese attacked, and the young sailor grabbed his gun and started firing. After 15 minutes he realized that he had been firing blanks. It was then the Lord said, “That’s exactly the way your life is. Your life is full of blanks. No power, no effectiveness, no salt, no light, just blanks.”

If we don’t want to fire blanks at the enemy of our faith we have to grow up and become spirit filled Christians.

And so we need to allow the Holy Spirit to move in, and when we do that is when we’ll start to move up.

Move Up

That is we have to step up to the plate and start using the gifts and talents given to us by the Holy Spirit so that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We see this admonition given to Timothy by the Apostle Paul.

“Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you” (1 Timothy 4:14 NKJV)

And while this could be examined in much greater detail, in fact it could be it’s own sermon, I’d like to bust-a-move and move on.

And so it’s when we have allowed the Holy Spirit to move into our lives and into the church, and when we move up into the gifts and talents given to us by the Holy Spirit, that is then we can move out.

Move Out

This is where we as a church become everything that God has designed for us to be.

If there ever was a church plan that worked, it was the one used by the first-century church. It was effective because it was a spirit filled church where the believers knew why they were there and what they were supposed to do.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47 NKJV)

If we were to do a side-by-side comparison of the first-century church and the church today, we’d find they don’t even come close. In other words, we have a long way to go to get back to where we need to be.

Now the first thing we see about the first church is that it was an evangelistic church.

An Evangelistic Church

This evangelistic aspect of the church was and is at the heart of Jesus’s desire for the church throughout the ages. It is seen in His Great Commission.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19 NKJV)

When the church began operating as outlined in our signature verse of Acts, their evangelistic efforts became apparent quickly.

“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized … And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:41a, 47b NKJV)

As we read the accounts of the first church in operation, it quickly becomes apparent that everything they did centered on evangelism. Proclaiming the gospel was what everyone did, not just a selected few. And so evangelism was a daily activity and not something that was pigeonholed to a Sunday morning, or an evangelistic crusade.

Now, if Jesus is as important to our lives as we say He is; then truthfully we can do nothing less than let everyone know. When our lives have been touched by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, then letting everyone know about Jesus is the only natural thing we can do.

Evangelism isn’t something that is planned; rather it’s a natural outgrowth in a believer’s relationship with Jesus.

A Learning Church

What a lot of people miss when they quote the Great Commission is what Jesus went on to say, which is what defines the making of disciples, and that is teaching what Jesus taught.

“Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:20b NKJV)

And that is exactly what the first church did. They taught what the Bible had to say.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42a NKJV)

To be healthy as a Christian and as a church there needs to be a commitment to teaching and learning God’s word. And the commitment needs to be done faithfully. This is seen in the wording, “continued steadfastly.” They listened attentively to the teachings and put it into practice. They were growing in what they were taught.

This is what Paul also said to Timothy.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2 15 NKJV)

There needs to be a genuine hunger for God’s word, where we allow God’s word to penetrate our lives and train us in the way we ought to live.

Simply put, there is no healthy Christian life apart from being in God’s word on a daily basis.

A Loving Church

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need” (Acts 2:44-45 NKJV)

The first church was living out the second part of the Great Commandment, and that is to love their neighbor as themselves, or as I like to think of it, to love others as they themselves wanted to be loved.

Being a loving church is about people that are connected to one another in close fellowship and serve one another. This is part of the mission and at the heart of our Lighthouse groups. And that is learning how to do life together.

Further, our love for one another is one of our greatest witnesses to the world. The world doesn’t know how to love, and so they need to see it in action. Also, why should they want to become a Christian when we as Christians don’t get along?

There’s an old song whose chorus goes like this, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

A Worshipping Church

“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, praising God and having favor with all the people” (Acts 2:46-47a NKJV)

It says in verse 43 that when they continued being this sort of church, fear came upon everyone. Now this isn’t “Fear of the Walking Dead” kind of fear, but rather it is a getting down on our knees reverence for God.

Worshipping God is more than singing songs; it is how we live our lives. And we worship God by coming back to the founder and head of the church, Jesus Christ, and when we start living our lives and doing church His way and not our own.

When Jesus met and spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, He told her that the time was coming when those who worship God will worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23).

And so we worship /god based upon the truth of who He is as outlined in His word, and then in and through the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

And so it was that when the disciples allowed the Holy Spirit to move into their lives and into the church, and then moved up into the gifts and talents given by the Holy Spirit, that is when they were able to move out into the community and the world.

And so as believers and as a church it’s time we started to bust-a-move for God.

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