Spiritual Priorities: How Should We Live
Introduction: Beware Of Terrorist Groups In Church
Latest news reports are that five terrorist cell groups have been operating in many of our churches.
They have been identified as: Bin Sleepin, Bin Arguin, Bin Fightin, Bin Complainin, and Bin Missin. Their leader, Lucifer Bin Workin, trained these groups to destroy the Body of Christ.The plan is to come into the church disguised as Christians. and to work within the church to discourage, disrupt, and destroy.
However, there have been reports of a sixth group. A tiny cell known by the name Bin Prayin, is actually the only effective counter terrorism force in the church. Unlike other terrorist cells, the Bin Prayin team does not blend in with whoever and whatever comes along. Bin Prayin does whatever is needed to uplift and encourage the Body of Christ.
We have noticed that the Bin Prayin cell groups has different characteristics than the others. They have Bin Watchin, Bin Waitin, Bin Fastin, and Bin Longin for their Master, Jesus Christ to return.
NO church is exempt, however, you can spot them if you bin lookin and bin goin!!
1 John 2:6 LB “Anyone who says he’s a Christian should live as Christ did.”
I Peter 2:21 NIV “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” WWJD?
This decision and opportunity of Spiritual formation and maturity happens over a lifetime, not overnight – We grow like oak trees, not dandelions.
What does it mean to be a Christian?
- Jesus explained what it meant to be a Christian in Matthew 16:24 (NLT). He said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me.”
- Put aside your selfish ambition – The desires we naturally have are in opposition to that which God desires (Gal. 5:16-17). But the Holy Spirit makes us a new person (2 Cor. 5:17) and gives us new desires (Rom. 8:9).
- Shoulder (Carry) your cross – The cross as a vivid pic that the disciples fully understood. To take up your cross meant to face death spiritually & possibly physically. Our sinful way of life dies (Rom. 6:6, Gal. 5:24) and Christ’s new life lives in us (Gal. 2:20). And for some, following Christ would cost them their lives physically.
- To sacrifice is to give up something for the sake of something else that is much better.
- What is my cross? The place of our greatest pain
- Follow me – To be a Christian, we must follow Christ. We must act the way he acted. We must speak the way he spoke. We must love the way he loved. He is the Ultimate example of life.
- Jesus came not just to teach us how to be “spiritual” but how to live as a human (purpose of the incarnation)
- Embrace God’s will no matter what the cost
2 Reasons People Don’t Become Christians
1. The’ve never met one 2. They have met one
I love Jesus, but sometimes “Christians” frustrate me. Why? They fight & argue about the dumbest things. Too judgmental, act holier than thou, incredibly condescending.
Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Dear Christian: Don’t load Bible verses like bullets in your gun to fire at your theological opponents. Scripture is too sacred for that!
How Should We Live?
Matt. 11:29 MSG – “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
1. Live With Humility
Humility – Modest opinion of one’s own importance or rank. To lower oneself; lowly; abasing yourself, “down to earth”.
Humility – The discipline of putting others ahead of self -the choice to value others above self – its a matter of faith
Matt. 5:3 NLT “God blesses those who realize their need for him…”
It recognizes how inadequate we are by ourselves.
James 4:10 NIV “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up”.
People who are not humble think they know everything, no one can correct them, and they believe they have the answers to everything
Proverbs 16:18 ESV – Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
2. Live With Simplicity
Freedom from complexity. We live mismanaged lifestyles
Luke 12:15 NIV “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
•We have become slaves to our belongings – St Francis of Assisi insisted that true freedom lies in the abundance of life, not the abundance of possessions. Many times those possessions that we have acquired exercise power over us.
Matt. 16:26 NLT “How do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Living simply means that we carefully examine what it means to fully live. How? By focusing our efforts on things that are true, beautiful, and essential. Like Faith, Family, Healthy, Friends, and our Church, our Community
Psalms 131:1-2 MSG – God, I’m not trying to rule the roost, I don’t want to be king of the mountain. I haven’t meddled where I have no business or fantasized grandiose plans. 2 I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content.
•’I think the devil has made it his business to monopolize on 3 elements: noise, hurry, crowds… Satan is quite aware of the power of silence.”
•”The Value of our western culture demands us to be busy…”
Eccl. 7:29 – “God made man simple: man’s complex problems are of his own devising”
“To much clutter in your mind leaves insufficient room for devotion to Christ” Remember – Your NO to others will soon translate into a YES for God!
3. Live With Faith
Potentiality for favorable or interesting results.
Faith is… To have trust or assurance, confidence, conviction, belief, reliance in what God says. Trust that produces actions.
“The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting.” ―Oswald Chambers
Matt. 19:26 NLT “With God everything is possible.”
Mark 9:23 NIV “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
“Our faith develops out of the most difficult aspects of our existence, not the easiest.” Eugene Peterson
•Believing when I donʼt see it.
(Hebrews 11:1 NIV) “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and
certain of what we do not see.”
•Obeying when I donʼt understand it.
(Hebrews 11:7 NLT) “It was by faith that Noah built an ark to save
his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about
something that had never happened before.”
•Persisting when I donʼt feel like it.
(Hebrews 11:27 NIV) “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the kingʼs
anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”
“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins. Not through strength, but through persistence.”- Unknown
“Feelings are notorious liars, especially in matters of faith.” Eugene Peterson
•Trusting if I donʼt get it.
(Hebrews 11:39-40 NIV) “They were all commended for their faith yet
none of them received what had been promised. God had planned
”Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe” –Augustine
•The law of faith is the greatest law in the Word of God. Believe and ye shall receive.
• “I can get more out of God by believing Him for one minute than I can by shouting at Him all night.”- Smith Wigglesworth
4. Live With Love
C.S. Lewis said, “If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it.”
I Cor. 13:1 NIV – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge…but have not love, I am nothing.”
•The more spiritual you become, the more love you will show to others.
Matt 5:44 MSG “I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer.”
Luke. 6:37 NIV”Do not judge, and you’ll not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
When grace is pierced, it bleeds pardon. When grace is crucified, it doesn’t condemn.
“Love deems this world worth rescuing.” – Philip Yancey
•Love takes no account of the evil done to it. Love does not filter its current emotional state through the screen of past hurts and offenses. Instead, it shows the grace and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ who loved us while we were yet sinners, even suffering the shame of the cross
What really happens when we are critical towards people: “Criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but having faults different from your own.”
•Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person. Natural human love requires a person to prove themselves before love is given. However, Christ-like love offers itself to those who are both lovable and unlovable. Instead of assuming the worst, it tirelessly looks for the best in others. True love hopes all things and lives with an expectant faith towards others.
In Jesus parable, the rich man ends up in hell, not bc he failed to believe the right things, but bc he failed to love Lazarus. @BrianZahnd
(1 Corinthians 14:1 LB) “Make love your greatest aim…”
•Accept others unconditionally.
(Romans 15:7 NIV) “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted
you, in order to bring praise to God.”
•Encourage others continually.
(1 Corinthians 13:7 LB) “If you love someone…you will always believe
in him, and always expect the best of him…”
•Serve people cheerfully.
(1 Peter 4:10 NIV) “Each one should use whatever gift he has received
to serve others…”
•Forgive others freely.
(Colossians 3:13 NIV) “Bear with each other and forgive whatever
grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
•“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” Martin Luther King
•It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing. FRODO.
Choose to be kind and compassionate rather than critical and condemning. Decide to build up instead of tear down.
I HAVE DECIDED TO LIVE AS CHRIST LIVED:
To follow the example set by Christ.
(1 Corinthians 11:1) Follow my example, as I follow the example of
(1 John 2:4 LB) Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my
way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ
tells him to, he is a liar.
To declare my commitment publicly.
(Matthew 10:32-33) “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will
also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever
disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”