John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
Jesus said He was the one with the resources and power. If we abide in Him, we’ll have access to those resources and power.
John 15:16-19 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
In the Old Testament, there was a man named Noah that God called to obey (build a boat). It was bizarre, what God commanded. It had never rained before.
Gen 12:1 “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:”
This was a little crazy too.
Gen 12:2-3 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
In order to have this blessing, he had to come out, to obey God. Abraham brought Lot with him and later had to finish obeying. When he finally separated, then he was able to receive the blessing.
Right now, there is a call to separate. You may not feel it because it isn’t something you want to do. The media says we need to come together. Yet, God calls us to separate from the world. God takes us away from stuff in order to bless us. It’s foreign to our culture.
God calls a man to obey (Noah), to separate (Abraham), to follow Him (Israel).
Repentance often means to apologize for sin. In the days of the Bible, Jesus said repentance wasn’t just to say, ‘I’m sorry,’ it was also to turn away from, to separate. Repentance is shutting down everything else in this world and aim your thinking to the things of God. Leave the world and enter into His presence. It’s an ‘about-face,’ a complete turning from the ways of the world. It’s a full 180-degree turn. Instead of going one way, you turn and go in the opposite direction.
God has called you out of this world to follow Him. He hasn’t called you away from this world to be a hermit. Instead, He has called you to be different from the world around you, to be Jesus to the world.
Because of your allegiance to God, people will start hating you. Friends will leave you.
2 Cor 6:14-18 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
God is calling you to change.
Eph 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
God is calling you to change the way you are in order to become something else. He’s changing you from a beast to a beauty.
God won’t always give you a hug. Sometimes, He will call you to come to Him in repentance and willingness to give up your old ways and instead do things His way. Then, He will hug you and comfort you and love you.
Don’t fight God’s call. The world’s hold on you is getting weaker and weaker because God is calling you to Him. Don’t fight it. When the call of God is on your life, you start to see things and hear things. He is calling you out.
Maybe you’ve been in the church for a while and you’re so used to doing what you’re supposed to do that you don’t hear God so well anymore. You’ve got to get out of that worldly rut and seek God. Seek His face, His will, His way, ‘His kingdom come, His will be done.’
Get an understanding of separation in your spiritual life. Separate from sin and God will bless you. Separate from the world and God will bless you.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- As you reflect on Sunday’s sermon, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp? Why?
- If Pastor Anthony had to give an abbreviated version of Sunday’s message, what two points or ideas would you tell him to include no matter what? Why?
- Read Romans 8:1-15. How do these truths change you? How do they challenge you? What does it mean to you to be able to call God, ‘Father?’
- What resistance do you deal with in answering God’s call? How can you better walk with Jesus and ‘walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh’ depending on His strength and not only on your own?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!