To serve God's purpose in our generation through loving relationships with God, His church, and His world. (Acts 13:36a; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 2:52)
Prolog: INCARNATION An object lesson w flower.
Transition: "So, Then how do we live, how do we express what Christ has done for us in 1999!!!
Mark 12:30 states….I. In OUR Spirit
1. Enjoying God more? Spending quality quiet time in Prayer & devotions…Partaking in the JOY of our relationship w Him!!!
2. Knowing God better? Spending time in His Word, well are you willing to read it through in 1999, it only takes 15 min a day to read the entire Bible in one year! And let the experience and knowledge of who God is, transitioning, and challenge us powerfully and fully!!!
3. Making decisions in light of eternal values? Are we asking ourselves what would Jesus do? We know what would Jesus do by knowing his charecter, and we know His chariter by knowing his Word!!
4. Living in expectation of Christ's Second Coming? Do you know Jesuscan come back next Tuesday or next year or in the next thousand years! The point is we are to live our lives in the devotion He may come back tomorrow, Yet plan ahead as if he's coming back in a thousand years!!II. In OUR Mind
1. Disciplined in the depth of study in the Bible? Are you attending regular bible study, were you can learn and have others hold you accountable, if not 1999 is a good year to start. If you do not have time, then its time to reevaluate your priorities. Because what is more important then gaining knowledge of our lord, and communing with him!
2. Growth in Christian mind through tapes, books, seminar, courses? There are many avenues to grow as a Christian. One way that I have found vary helpful in my personal growth is attending conferences, that specialize in teaching and challenging. There are also good radio teachers as well as books and tapes. Warning, be discerning on whom you read and listen too. Always compare what you here to the Scriptures. There are many false teachers out there that want your money and to tickle and trick your ears to a path away form God! If in doubt come and see one of us on staff!
3. Reading and taking courses for broader understanding of the world? You mind does not retire, no matter how old or young you are. It has been my observation that when people retire and continue on with no hobbies or interests or challenges-they waist away and become depressed. Most Socialologets will agree that when your mind becomes idle, we lose the will to live. Do not be robed of your contribution to the kingdom of Christ. At my last Church in So. Ca there was a lady named Hilda who taught a regular Bible study every Sunday afternoon. She was a missionary in Africa and Alaska, and now she is enjoying her retirement, Yet she still is active in her church. It was ironic that at this church, us staff had a hard time requiting people for teaching and even deacons, as a matter of fact, most of the committees were under staff by ½! The main objection was, " IM retired and I just can not do this any more. Most of these people were in their 60's, Hilda the ex missionary who taught a weekly bible study, the only one available to adults, is 99 years old and will turn 100 in July! So are you too old-God does not think so!
4. Keeping up with current thoughts & trends by going to "listening posts" of our society? (e.g. lectures, films, plays, political events) There are other activities we can engage our mind into current issues. Try reading magazines attending lectures, getting involved in city Government. Basically do not be idle, God can and will use us powerfully if we let him, but he can't use us much if we are stuck on a couch. Remember we can always do better to give the lord Glory!
III. In OUR Body
1. Rest? Well do you? Are you taking care of yourselves? Remember this essential truth, as a Christian we are the temple of the Holy Sprit! As stated in John 14:17. Just as you have taken great care in remodeling the church, to make it better and more useful, do you do this with yourselves? If we do not take proper care of our bodies, how can God use us for His Glory? Yes He may be able to use us for a while of limited purposes, but how much more can we be of use for him if we just put a little more effort in the care of His temple!
2. Diet? Are you eating right? Most people have not a clue of what is healthy and what is not. Basically eat fresh vegetables and fruit. Whole grains and stay away from processed food. And drink 8- 10 glasses of fresh filtered water, and you will do fine! Maybe conceder vitamin supplements.
3. Exercise? Physiologists tell us that if we do not exercise regularly arebodies will deteriorate and break down, not vary well for a temple ofthe holy sprit!
4. Personal grooming and wardrobe? Well we may not think this isimportant in our contemporary California society But we are ambassadors of Christ on this world, So should not we dress like it?
5. Recreation/Relaxation? Do you enjoy life? We should! God placed us here for his Glory and purpose, so enjoy the ride of life, have fun, and be happy even in the mist of trouble and suffering. Christ is in you, what possibly else can you need or want?
6. Manual skills developing? Agan do not be idle!
IV. In OUR Work
1. Handling money in terms of Biblical priorities? Are we being a wise steward of the blessings the Lord has given us? If you think God has not blessed you, think agin. He has given you life and a life style that is in the upper 3% of the world, that is if you are lower middle class! There are always things to be thankful for, So we should show it. How we use the money God gives us shows our true character!
2. Handling time in terms of Biblical priorities? Being a wise steward does not mean just finances, it means all we have Time, treasures and Talent! The way we use time shows the priorities we have. We need to ask are our priorities centered opon the Lords?
3. Choosing a career in terms of Biblical priorities? If you are in the processes of trying to find out what Gods Will is for your life. Then conceder what Gods word says, God is more concerned with our Obedience than our carrier. God is more concerned with our relationship to him than any thing we do. The will of God has more to do with controlling our hearts than what we do with our lives! Yes a career is important and we should strive to do our beast with the spiritual gifts and talents we have to further his Glory! But let us never forget what is truly important!
4. Carrying out work in terms of Biblical priorities? Everything we do is under the topic of work, weather a housewife or placing control rods in the reactor at Deablo, what we do is mirror the image of God! So concider this, are we mirroring Christ's Image well, are we nice to the shoe clerk as we are nice to our friends!
V. In OUR Relationships
1. Good manners/etiquette? (Take a course, read a book!) How we act toward others shows people around us what Christ is like! If you have one of those fish symbols on you car, and drive around cutting people off like a crazy person; then, people see Christians as jerks! This is not the best way to glorify Christ!
2. Conversational skills? What does come out of our mouths! What comes out is telling others our character. The book of James has a lot to say to us on this subject! Do we treat others with dignity and respect! Do we listen to others!
3. Taking initiative to develop relationships? It has been said people donot care what we have to say until they know how much we care! If no one will talk to you, then take the initiative, take a risk and let others into your circle!
4. Understanding how to "be in the world" but not "of the world?" The bible calls us to be salt and light, that is we are to be involved in the world, while not letting the infection of sin to penetrate our selves. We are to act and respond, to be involved in life. We are called to love and take care of others . Such as to care for the Gay person while not condoning the Sin!
5. Getting to know people generationally older and generationally younger? We should spend more time with others of different ages. One of the things I like being a part of a small Church is that I talk to so many people of different live stages. When I was on staff at a large Mega Church I rarely spoke to others out side my age level ministry. So with our call we can disciple people younger than us and be discipled by those older, sharing experience with love and caring!
6. Exercising hospitality? This goes beyond inviting people over, it is about how we treat others
Do you enjoy being in your relationship with God, well we should. You see the reason we were put on this world is to experience relationships. O ur relationship with God through what Christ has done for us is our first priority. The second priority is to experience relationships with others, and the third is relationships to those around us! With God, His Church and the world! Let us look to Christ, "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" Well-rounded development is being a person of Intellect, social and Spiritual, a holistic person! With our Sprit, Mind, Body, Work and Relationships! This is how we can give God the glory in our lives, in 1999!