Faithlife
Faithlife

CE Week 8

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Being a Christian

CE Week 8

Secular:

  • What gauges or other gauges on a car’s dashboard
  • Let the congregation list…
  • Why do we need oil pressure… water temperature… battery charge…?
  • We want our car to do well… not break down… blow-a-rad… fail to start…. Seize up on Furry Creek hill…
  • And we want to finish well in our Christian walk…
  • To be a Christian is to be one who has trusted in Christ… salvation, by faith through grace…
  • But it doesn’t end in a single moment… our faith continues as a journey… a journey joy, and celebration… and a journey of trials….

Biblical:

  • Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
  • The consequences are real… scary if not terrifying.

Personal:

  • FoodSafe teaches… if the fridge temperature rises above 4º C then we have a problem… bacteria and molds can grow and destroy the food…. And very likely make us sick…
  • If the temperature gauge in the car soars… and we continue to drive… we can overheat the car and do severe damage to the motor.
  • If you take your temperature… and you have a fever… you have something to deal with… it isn’t just another day… it is time to rest, drink, fluids, do whatever it takes to rebuild your body, your strength

Bridge:

  • It is something we do as a church… communication cards, ministry reports, leadership team meetings, business meetings… are all important tools to make sure we are healthy and doing what we ought.
  • We MUST do the same a Followers of Christ… we need to pay attention to our walk…
    • Part of  being a Christian is watching our walk… because completing the journey is important…
  • Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

When we look at Jesus’ ministry we can identify at least 4 aspects of walk with us that can help us monitor our relationship with the Father.

Body:

Intimacy:

  • Meaningful relationship impossible without proximity… intimacy… closeness
  • Jesus life was focused on the Father and He encountered him with Prayer…
  • After feeding the five thousand:
  • After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray.
  • Its personal… it’s seeking after God…
  • It is about connecting with God…
  • In Prayer… in worship… in attitude…
  • Personal holiness… cloistered… Arrow story
  • John 17:20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

  • In our trials… we need to depend on God… and we need our closeness to the Father…
  • Mark 14:32 They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here until I have prayed." 33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34 And He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch." 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by.
  • Intimacy is important to our walk…
  • Closeness to God… personal holiness… is something to monitor
  • Are you praying faithfully… don’t wait for the next prayer meeting…
  • Are you worshipping whole-heartedly
  • Are you connected to the body of Christ
  • Are you building up…
  • Do you have intimacy with God…?
  • It’s time to pull over and check the gauges…
  • Mark on your sheet… where you are…
  • Intimacy is conversation and proximity…
    • It is about prayer
    • It is about communion
    • It is about dependence
  • We are not talking about a simple mechanical problem….
  • Part of being a Christian is watching our walk… because completing the journey is important…
  • Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
  • Mark your intimacy gauge

Character:

Our character is built by truth and our willingness to stand for it… our integrity… living life inside out…

We need to monitor this in our lives…

  • Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
  • … v 10. Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'"
  • Jesus came to claim the world for the Father… Satan offered him the world… but the price was Christ’s character… He said “No”
  • Hebrews 4 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
  • You know the saying oh what a tangled web we weave… it is the same with character stuff… one lie, one manipulation, one nefarious action… and we spiral… we hand over control of our lives from the good to the unholy.
  • We need to monitor the gauges!
  • “ …every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be one kind of creature is heaven: that is, joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”
  • This is an issue of the core of being…
  • What can we do… the Word… Accountability…
  • Mark your Character gauge…
  • Part of  being a Christian is watching our walk… because completing the journey is important…
  • Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Ministry

  • Have you ever thought about the seeker movement in the church… exactly who is seeking?
  • It isn’t those who wonder in our doors… it is us… in Christ seeking those who are lost…
  • NAU Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
  • Jesus came to heal…
  • When asked why he was hanging out with sinners…
  • Matthew 9:12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
  • This is not some council of Pharisees…
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation (hey… a job we have a job), 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ (sounds like something to do!), as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
  • Jesus modeled intimacy with God…
  • Jesus modeled character…
  • And now it looks like this isn’t just so we can be holy potato chip eaters in front of 100 Huntley Street!
  • We have been called to action…
  • Check the gauge…
  • In the spring they warn you to dump any stagnant water you may find on your property… instead old tires… old buckets or pails… old bird baths… why? (wait)
  • Old water breeds pestilence and disease…
  •  If you are not faithfully ministering… you are stagnant water! Period. And your vitality as a believer is in grave jeopardy…
  • There are so many fantastic things we can do… to the glory of God… and sometimes so few bodies…
  • John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"
  • Part of  being a Christian is watching our walk… because completing the journey is important…
  • Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
  • Mark your ministry gauge…

Community

  • John 17:20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
  • The writer of Hebrews reminds of the importance of being together… Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
  • It is about preserving, protecting, encouraging, and loving one another!
  • Small Groups, LMO, Youth, Sunday Morning…
  • In our homes… in this building… in a coffee shop… stopping and strengthening
  • We want an Acts 2 church… fiercely protecting truth, passionate about the gospel, fervent in prayer… intentional in community…. Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
  • Part of  being a Christian is watching our walk… because completing the journey is important…
  • Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
  • Mark your ministry gauge…

Conclusion…

  • Intimacy… are you praying… are you alone with God… are you in prayer…
  • Intimacy is knowing Christ as Saviour… expressing that love…
  • Take the time… and check your gauge
  • Character… are you living life inside out… do you live a life of integrity…
  • Do you have to tell people you are a follower of Christ… or do they ask… because you live it?
  • Take the time… and check your gauge
  • Ministry… what are you doing?
  • Are you an Ambassador of Christ?
  • Are you Proclaiming the Gospel... are you serving the community in his name…
  • Are you being strengthened in your walk… by the exercise of your faith?
  • Take the time… and check your gauge
  • Community… if we disappeared tomorrow… would you miss us…
  • If we were not here to pray with… worship with…  would you miss us?
  • If we didn’t come together for fellowship… for teaching… for caring… would you miss us…
  • Are we being strengthened by the body? Are we strengthening the body?
  • Take the time… and check your gauge

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