Monday, June 24, 2019, 9:00 AM - Friday, June 28, 2019, 11:59 AM
Ages 3 years - 6th Grade.
1. We Serve by the Spirit of God
Romans 8:9 says; "You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."
2. We Boast in Jesus Christ
3. We Put No Confidence in the Flesh
THE GODLY EXAMPLE
Read this text:
*The year was 2010...I was in Afghanistan and was about to watch the college football national championship featuring 2 of the hottest offenses in America. The Auburn Tigers and Oregon Ducks. Both had great years but so many people were drawn to Oregon because of this dynamic offense they had. At one point in the season they averaged 57.7 points per game, almost a point per minute. They ended the season leading the nation by scoring 47.7 points per game. They spread you out and would be on the ball running another play before you even knew what hit you. It was one of the most exciting things to watch and it was something the college football world had really never seen before. Some people referred to it as a track meet on turf because of the speed of the players. Others called it basketball on turf because of how quickly they scored. It was the invention of the Spread Option offense and it had people amazed because it was so far from the football norm.
Tony Merida, a professor at Southeastern Seminary, said this:
"We are drawn to the dramatic. The church gets sucked into the extraordinary as product of the culture, in which everything gets sensationalized around us; even the nightly weather report is often sensationalized! As a result our addiction to sensationalism, we get bored easily, we can't be still to study or listen, and we tend to downplay faithful, normal Christian service that honors Jesus. God normally meets us and uses us in the ordinariness of life.
Let me use an illustration. Fred Craddock once said,
To give my life for Christ appears glorious. To pour myself out for others...to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom-I'll do it. I'm ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory.....We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table- "Here's my life,Lord. I'm giving it all." But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 bill for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbors kid's troubles instead of saying, "get lost." Go to a committee meeting. Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home. Usually giving our life to Christ isn't glorious. It's done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it's harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul. (Darryl Bell, "Practical Implications of Consecration")
Faithful Christian living might mean martyrdom for some, and if so, then we should rightly honor those believers. But for many others, those like Epaphroditus, faithful Christian living involves pouring our lives out, little by little, in practical acts of service over the long haul. It involves "giving out quarters every day": having a lonely person over for dinner; babysitting for a single mother; inviting some international students over; doing foster care; praying with a friend; helping someone move; visiting those in the hospital; and so on. This passage in Philippians 2 involves a guy delivering a gift to Paul and getting sick along the way. Paul says essentially that he spent some quarters and should be honored.
1. He was a BALANCED Christian
What do I mean by balanced? What is a balanced diet?
A little bit of everything right...Not so much of one that you forget the other right
He was a BROTHER: which means he was family...he had become a believer...When you become a Christian you not only have a new relationship with God, you have a new relationship with other believers. Our identity has changed; God is our father; and we are adopted into the family of believers. They are just like your biological family now.
He was a COWORKER: which means they were on the same team and had the same mission. The furtherance of the Gospel. All the churches in our area are supposed to be on the same team but far too often we are all competing with one another to see who can have more members and that is not how God intended it.
He was a FELLOW SOLDIER: He was in the fight. He knew the spiritual battle they were in and it still did his part to help and be selfless.
How easy it is for the Christian to get out of balance!!
Some Christians just think we need to fellowship and kind of go all in on the fellowship.
Some Christians think we just need Bible study and go all in on Bible study
Other are out trying to service and forget both Bible study and fellowship
That reminds me of the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42(read it) She was so busy doing and trying to serve that she forgot fellowship and didn't take time to sit and listen to Jesus
*THE EXAMPLE HERE IS THAT WE MUST BE BALANCED*
2. He was a BURDENED Christian
Carry a heavy load...You care deeply about people
In other words, he had the submissive mind and thought of others instead of himself
Are we more focused on self or on others?
Are we concerned about others? Let me ask you this...if somebody in this church got caught in some kind of sin, would we be more concerned for them or more concerned about who all we could run and tell? If someone got arrested or had a public moral failure, would you be more concerned about what is going on in that person's life or more concerned about letting your best friend know what happened so you would have something to talk about?
Though he was sick and almost died, Epaphroditus' burden was for Paul and the church back at Philippi. He cared about them in the good times and bad.
We love going on foreign mission trips, and the reason I believe they are so intriguing is because we can tell people we went all the way across the world to help people...yet we live here every single day and don't help anybody.
Do you care about people you work with?
Do you care about people in our community?
Foreign missions are great but we need Christians to be burdened for their own local church and community.
*THE EXAMPLE HERE IS TO LOVE AND CARE DEEPLY FOR PEOPLE AND THAT LOVE WILL DRIVE US TO ACTION*
I have at least two great sources teaching me how much I do not know: marriage and parenthood. I believe both of these are a gift given by God. I believe that in God's grace, He is sanctifying my life and using marriage and parenthood to daily depend on Him, His grace, and His forgiveness. This may sound like a negative, but that is not how I mean it. I mean this in the most encouraging of ways. For example, my wife is in the medical field, so I could sit and listen for many hours about how the Lord has constructed the human body with all of its intricacies to show His glory in creation. Parenthood has provided me with the opportunity to watch as one grows from complete dependence to (hopefully) maturity: a reflection of how God is growing us into maturity in Christ. Marriage and parenthood has also been used to reveal selfishness, pride, and areas of darkness in my life. By God's grace, He has given to me, at least in these two areas, tremendous teachers of how much I do not know.
But this one thing I know and hold on to: "I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve." (1 Cor. 15:3-5). As a church we are walking through the book of Ephesians. The first few weeks we have been reminded of the necessity of knowing Jesus. As we finish this series of Know, we will move into a series of Conquer. Some would see the idea of our knowledge and our victory as disconnected. However, once we look deeper into Scripture, know the Lord better, and are led by the Holy Spirit, we see how knowing Him leads to our victory in Jesus. Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:12, "That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return." Paul knew the Lord and from that standpoint, he knew that prison and suffering were not obstacles, but instead opportunities. Knowing God has conquered suffering, persecution, and shame!
Billy Graham once remarked, "Today we have more knowledge than at any other time in history. In seconds our laptops or PCs can call up information about a topic that would have taken years to collect. Young people graduate with more knowledge than ever before - but in spite of their knowledge, they are confused, bewildered, frustrated, and without moral reasoning." More knowledge does not mean more peace. However, more knowledge in Christ Jesus means more victory, more peace, and more security. May you know Christ. I am praying for you what Paul prayed for the Ephesians, "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better."
Did you catch that? I just wrote "Dear Church". That may be an insignificant introduction to you, but to me, it's taken a lot of years to look at the church and realize it is something I hold dear. Through the gospel of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God, my thoughts and affections for the local church have transformed in extensive ways. When I read through the Bible there are many words that describe the followers of Jesus. For example: body of Christ, bride of Christ, royal priesthood, a holy nation, assembly of the saints, city of the living God, flock of God, or the household of God, each of the descriptions point to another truth about God's work in our lives and in our family of faith on mission.
How do you feel about the church? How is your relationship with the Bride of Christ? Is the church a reminder of the reverent wife who in reverence for the Groom's provision, sacrifice, and honor, she submits to His plans? Or have you seen the church more as a bridezilla? There have been times growing up when I have experienced the church worshiping, serving, and growing in Christ; however, there have also been moments of intense brokenness, arguments, and bridezilla-like nature. And in these moments, I realize who I am. I am the bride of Christ, the dwelling place of God, and part of the body of Christ. I also have my moments when I worship, serve, and grow in Christ; however, I also have those bridezilla moments in my life.
This reveals something deeper about the Head of the Church, Jesus. His unconditional love pursues us in all seasons. His purpose is for His strength to shine forth in our weaknesses. His grace conquers our sin and shame. His mercy allows us to continue to serve and carry His name. His discipline is to remind us of His redemption and faithfulness. And His love for the Church is the fuel for all believers to give us perseverance as we serve through the church. The more I love Christ, the more I love the church He loves. The closer I am to Christ, the more passionate I am about His church. The reality of my need for grace, reminds me to extend it to the church. If you are struggling to serve, to minister, and to be a part of the church; take some time to learn from Jesus. The Church has been made precious and dear through the blood and resurrection of Christ, just like you.
Thanks for being an incredible, precious, and dear church. Thanks for helping one another. Thanks for showing the love of Christ. Thanks for allowing the Lord to use you each and every day. Thanks for allowing His grace to be the source of your peace on tough days. Thank you, Woodmont Baptist Church.