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SermonServing God Requires Spiritual Connection
An all-creatures Bible Message

Serving God Requires Spiritual Connection
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
26 November 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Ezekiel 34:1-10
Matthew 25:31-46

Serving God requires spiritual connection, because we cannot truly serve the Lord unless we are spiritually connected to Him, for a vital part of serving God is living in His heavenly will.
 
In addition, serving God requires spiritual connection to the whole of His creation, for we can only serve the Lord when we are working with Him to help free creation from its present corruption.
 
Additionally, we need this spiritual connection to feel the pain and suffering of all other humans, all the animals, and the environment in which we all live.
 
As an example, the White House ceremony of ďpardoningĒ innocent turkeys is very hypocritical, which we hope we all recognize, for the turkeys didnít do anything to need pardoning from. The names they were given, Wishbone and Drumstick, are demeaning and exploitive reflecting the corrupt nature of this world; all turkeys deserve to be freed from corruption, and they deserve to live the lives that God created for them to have.
 
Furthermore, we hope we all feel the pain and suffering of not only all the turkeys, but of every other exploited animal.
 
Letís think about why serving God requires spiritual connection as we look at Ezekiel 34:1-10Ö

1. Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,
 
2. "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, 'Thus says the Lord GOD," Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?

The shepherds of Israel referred to here are not shepherding any animals; they are the religious leaders who had been taking advantage of the people they were to actually care for.
 
They are benefiting themselves and not their congregations; which is against the heavenly will of God, so He is telling Ezekiel to prophesy against them because of their ungodly actions.
 
And we believe that there are still a very large percentage of religious leaders who are still doing these ungodly things today, and we need to take a stand against them.
 
We can see that these corrupt shepherds are not serving God but the devil, and this is why serving God requires spiritual connection.

3. "You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock.

What God is saying here shows the hardness of heart of the religious leaders, but things are even worse today, for the very fact that they are killing and eating animals and promoting others to do the same shows their hardness of heart and ungodliness; for in Godís heavenly will there is no pain or suffering or death, all of which these religious leaders are promoting in one way or another.
 
Serving God requires spiritual connection to Him and His heavenly will.

4. "Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them.

This sounds exactly like what humans are doing to so-called food animals; they have hardened their own hearts to such a degree that they no longer have any empathy for any living being.
 
Instead of freeing creation from its present corruption, these religious leaders are further corrupting creation.
 
Instead of working for God, they are working for and following the devil.
 
This is happening because serving God requires spiritual connection to God and not the devil; we cannot serve two masters; we need to be serving the Lord our God.

5. "And they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered.

And the animals became food for gluttonous human beings.

6. "My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill, and My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth; and there was no one to search or seek for them." ' " 

This is still going on, and we need to change what is happening all over the world. We need to end the violence and corruption, and the key is that serving God requires spiritual connection.

7. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
 
8. "As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;
 
9. therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
 
10. 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I shall demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I shall deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be food for them." ' " 
NASB

We strongly believe that this is referring to all humans and all animals, for God lovingly created us all.
 
In Matthew 25:31-46, we switch gears, and we listen to Jesus telling about His return, and what He is going to do.

31. "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

Jesus is referring to Himself in the third person as the Son of Man in His second coming.

32. "And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
 
33. and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

This is the way that a lot of the people talked then, which is similar to the demeaning way that they speak of animals today, but here Jesus is using the example of the sheep and the goats, which He knew that the people understood, to illustrate the way He will separate the true born again believers from everyone else.

34. "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

These are the ones that truly understand that serving God requires spiritual connection, and He tells them why they are the chosen ones who enter heaven forever and ever.

35. 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
 
36. naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'

And we believe that this applies to all living beings whether human or non-human, for when we feel their pain and suffering, we just know that we have to help them.
 
This is what the children of God naturally do, and they donít always realize that what they are doing is anything special.

37. "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink?
 
38. 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
 
39. 'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
 
40. "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

This is why we say that serving God requires spiritual connection; to be truly serving God and the whole of His creation, we need to have within us His love, compassion and empathy.
 
And then Jesus addresses everyone else, who unfortunately seem to be the vast majority of the people in the world.

41. "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

We need to really understand that those who are not serving God in His heavenly will, are really serving the devil, even if they are attending church.
 
We need to really think about the way we treat the whole of Godís creation, including what we are eating and wearing, for it all reflects upon whether we are serving God or the devil.

42. for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
 
43. I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'

And as before, we believe that this refers to both humans and other animals, for we are all part of His creation.

44. "Then they themselves also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'
 
45. "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
 
46. "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
NASB

We need to decide who we are and who we are serving, for we cannot serve two masters: either we choose to follow God and His heavenly ways, or we choose to follow the devil and his ungodly ways.
 
Serving God requires spiritual connection to Him and His heavenly ways.
 
Amen.

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