Closer: Looking UP Living UP

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Closer: Looking UP Living UP

Lovers of the English language might enjoy this. It is yet another example of why people learning English have trouble with the language.  Learning the nuances of English makes it a difficult language. (But then, that’s probably true of many languages.)

There is a two-letter word in English that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP.’  It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is itI> UP to the secretary to write  UP a report? We call UP our friends and we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir UP  trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.&bsp;

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special. And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixedUP about UP !

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP  , look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP . When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on & on, but I’ll wrap it UP , for now  ……..my time is UP , so time to shut UP!  Oh…one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U      P  Don’t screw UP.   Now I’ll shut UP

Text: Colossians 3:1-4 MSG – So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. 3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

The Definition of worship is trapped in a lot of modern terms. Use examples

It is really what our main focus is in life

I. Don’t Shuffle along, Head down, absorbed with the things Right in front of you

Look UP! When you look down you have limited scope and perspective. When you look down you don’t see the bigger picture.

Do you want a bigger better life? Look Up!

Hebrews 13:15-16 ESV – Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God

What Does Looking Up Mean?

  1. Looking Up Heightens Our Awareness of God in Everyday Life

Don’t be unaware of God and His Presence.

Psalm 121:1 NIV – I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?

Gandhi said, “When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon,, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.”

Psalm 123:1 NIV – I lift up my eyes to you,  to you who sit enthroned in heaven

Time with God: Use to be “Devotion”, “Church”, “Bible Study”, then the rest of our life. Don’t make time for God, DO life with God. No such thing as “a Spiritual Life” in Hebrew. We capartmentalize our lives. Open up your whole life to God!

Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Since Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, this means He is also at work right now with our lives. As long as we keep looking to him we will find the sufficiency to move forward in the many areas we are daily being challenged in.

In the midst of temptations, problems, difficulties, sorrows, various tasks and opportunities that will come your way during this coming year, stay focused on Christ, who is the Author and Finisher of your faith. He is there to hope you though any circumstance you may encounter.

Psalm 28:7 NIV – The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him

Secular vs Spiritual examples: Music, marriage, Movies, etc… You can find God outside religious settings

Don’t limit your worship to 20 minutes on Sunday. Worship is for Everyday!

Psalm 34:1 ESV – I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2. Looking up is presenting your everyday life as an offering to honor and glorify Christ

Colossians 3:17 NIV –  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Your Job is Working for God – Your skills, business, talent, etc…. Came from God! You are what you are because of Why you are! It’s Worship to God

God belongs in the context of your everyday life (Ex: Tricia is called to the medical field)

Eric Liddell (1924 Olympics – Chariots of Fire Movie) His father said to him, “Eric you can worship God by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection. Don’t compromise. Run in God’s name, and let the world stand back and wonder! He honored God with his life! He had 2 great passions: China and Running. When he served both he felt God’s pleasure.

Do what God called you to do! 

Romans 12:1-2 MSG  1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Our Lives Are To Be An Act Of Worship.

Hebrews 12:28 ESV – Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

3. Looking Up is Constant Communication with God

I Thess 5:16-18 NIV  Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Prayer is our lifeline. Prayer is our communion with God. Prayer is the means by which we speak to God. And whatever it is that God has designed for us to do in praying is what we ought to do and not something else.

Matthew 6:9-10 NIV – This, then, is how you should pray:“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10  your kingdom come,  your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Smart Phones – Text messages, Twitter (140 characters or less) = I communicate with u. Distance doesn’t matter

Talk with God through out the day

Psalm 141:2 ESV – Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

You can engage in life and still be looking up! 

•Adam & Eve walked with God in the cool of the day

•Enoch walked with God and was not for God took him

Philippians 4:6 ESV – do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

As a Result…

We Are in God’s Presence Every Moment of our Lives

Psalm 139:2-12 NLT – You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,too great for me to understand! 7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,10  even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

A New Strength will Come to You! 

Matthew 11:28-30 Message – “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

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