Monday, January 12, 2009

Contemplations on a Sermon - 1/11/09

I'm starting a new weekly (I hope) entry; thoughts, reflections, notes, etc on Sunday's sermon.  I am doing this mostly for myself to force myself to sit down and truly reflect on the sermon, not just take notes on Sunday morning and forget it until the next week.  It's a step in the direction of one of my New Year's Goals to improve my walk with God.

Sermon Series: The Jesus Life
Sermon Title: I Want to Be Like Him
John 10:10b "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher

Matt 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even tothe end of the age."

Matt10:24-25a 24"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25"It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.

We started a new sweries in church this week about living as Christians vs. living as disciples.  The series is titled "The Jesus Life," and asks the question, 'How might the life of Jesus transform how I live?'

Pastor first started by asking us to imagine someone who we look up to and emulate or want to be like.  An expert in our field, a loved one, an athelete of some sort.  If we were to be like that person, it would only change our life one-dimensionally.  But if we strove to be like Jesus, it would transform our whole life and our whole being.

A Christian is someone who proclaims Jesus as Lorda nd savior, goes to church and does the "church" thing; a disciple is someone who commits to fully experiencing Jesus with his/her whole heart, soul an dmind.  Jesus wants us to have a full and abundant life.  We can live that full life by becoming, growing and living as disciples.  

Matt 10:24 calls us to be like our teacher in every way.  How do I become like my teacher?
Let's start with:
  • daily time with God
  • scripture memory

Disciples are constantly shaped and formed.  Applying a growing understanding of Jesus' life to every aspect of their lives on earth.  Jesus' connection to the heart of the Father allowed him to know God fully in His love, kindness and steadfastness.

The Sermon Notes in the bulletin had three main points:

The Big Idea:
Jesus does not intend for you to live the Christian life in name only; he invites you to be his constant apprentice so that you may gorw to be like him.

The Problem:
"There is an obvious Great Disparity between, on the one hand, the hope for life expressed in Jesus - found real in the Bible and in many shining examples from among his followers - and, on the other hand the actual day-to-day behavior, inner life, and social presence of most of those who now profess adherence to him."  Dallas Willard

Applying it to your life:
Discipleship is about seeking hard after the quality of life that Jesus makes possible through intimate connection with him.  It is not head knowledge alone, as good as that is.  It is living engagement with our master teacher in day-to-day walk of trust and obedience.

Personal Study Guide
1) Read John 15:1-8.  What are the implications of this text (especially verse 8) for your life as a disciple?
We are constantly growing and changing through Christ.  If we break away from Him, our spiritual life will fade away; but if we live through Him, God will be glorified.

2) Read Luke 6:40.  What is Jesus saying?
We can be like Christ if we commit to being trained fully by Him.

3) In real life ways, how is  Jesus to be our teacher and master?
by reading his daily word and committing his word to memory, we can live like Him and for Him.  Christ's example is the best example.  For starters, remembering how He fought Satan and temptation by quoting scripture and having a God-heart.

4) Do you agree or disagree with Dallas Willard?  Why?
Agree.  Because I've lived it.

5) What does it take for people to move from being Christians "in name only" to being disciples of Jesus?
A committed heart.
A desire to be Christ-like
A willingness to forego the things of the world.
Daily committment and focus on Him

6) How does the "applying it to your life" quote apply to you?
It's time (yet again) to get away from the head knowledge and get into a day-t-day walk of trust and obedience.

On the surface, this seems like a very simple message.  One that I think all longtime church-goers have probably heard many times.   While it seems simple, it was deep and meaningful, and yet again, exactly what I needed to hear.  God never ceases to amaze me with his ability to speak through my pastor in exactly the way I need.

I think the Key Verse from this message isJohn 10:10b.  However, I'm still hung up on a verse from last week's message; I just need to get it written on a verse card so I can memorize it.

1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

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