Get The Life!
Now imagine that someone is asking you for advice: Help me to have some kind of church life and church experience but not really ever relate with God.
What would be your advice for this person?
What influences have caused you to miss out on an interactive life with God?
Pirates of the Caribbean II, Dead Man’s Chest Chapter 7 - 31:08
We’re all a little like that. We see the Bible as somehow important, although we’re often not sure even where to begin. We might as well even read it upside down for that matter.
We also think we credit for trying!
We gather at a service such as this to celebrate, seek, to discover life, not to somehow get credit with God for being here.
We come in search of, or to nurture a life with God, the with God life. There are two types of life- physical life and Zoë- a spiritual, eternal life.
Zoë: the eternal uncreated life that has existed for all time.
There are two types of death: physical death and spiritual death.
The life that is in Jesus Christ, the life that He offers us, opens us up to a hidden reservoir of divine love and power. God's life, this Zoë is brought into us and forms us into communities of Jesus' disciples who are enabled to express His life and love through our own life.
Listen to what God says:
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
1 John 5:11
And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
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.
Dallas Willard writes that, "the simple and wholly adequate word for salvation in the New Testament is 'life.'"
Zoë is indestructible.
This life, this Zoë, is only for participants, not consumers nor observers. The consumer approach says that it is my life and I will utilize this "with-God life" to suit my needs and my purposes. God's life doesn't work that way.
To enter Zoë—the eternal, uncreated life that originates in God alone—I must surrender my life.
In entering into life-with-God it is not my life any more; it is Christ's life and I am privileged to be a participant in that life. Your life isn't your own!
Zoë was modeled by Jesus, comes from Jesus Himself, and was validated by the cross of Christ.
It enables us to have the kingdom in our bloodstream!
"In most evangelical environments, including mine, we have been overwhelmed with models and programs that are designed for local churches to grow bigger. Unfortunately, most really don't work...Many have also come to define Christianity by a set of beliefs. Churches are concerned that people know a set amount of doctrinal truth, and there is nothing wrong with that. But that set of knowledge is not Christianity." Mike Breen
Trust isn’t a mental state; trust is a relational state!
“…As a final question Alan asked Bill Bright what Jesus meant to him…Dr. Bright could not answer the question. He said Dr. Bright just started to cry. He sat there in his big chair behind his big desk and wept. I knew then that I would like to know Jesus like that, with my heart, not just my head. I felt like that would be the key to something.” Donald Miller
"If you can be talked out of your faith, you probably should be." Roger Ward
Would you want lawyers involved in a business deal with Donald Trump?
Remember that trust is always relational. Jesus is most trustworthy and knowable!
"Don't ever deny someone the luxury of being human or broken. That is not a luxury you yourself can afford to lose." Sarah Cunningham
Communion and kenny's story:
last night we went to b.p's and at the table next to us was a group of twenty-somethings obviously christians discussing a girl whose dress had become unbecoming and how they were going to have to deal with it, rather than talking about what might be plaguing her soul that was causing her to need the approval of the men around her. i wanted to get up and scream at them but i know i would only be screaming at myself cause i do the same just different people, mainly the self righteous. where does it end? as soon as i find something to hate in someone else i find born inside me. the only way is jesus...
1 John 2:15-17
Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world--wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important--has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out--but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.
Close your eyes for a moment and picture a worrisome and troubling situation to you. Or picture someone who causes you to worry.
‘You are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.’ Says God.
"I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father"
Allow the life of God, like a strong wind to clear any black clouds of worry and fear in your life.