Website Copy:This is the first week in our series “Well Seasoned,” where we are taking a look at how to become a fully developed follower of Christ. This week Kent targets our desires and challenges us to bring them in line with what it is that God desires. Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request.Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (http://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (http://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)
MEMORIZE: Matthew 20:25-28SCRIPTURE STUDY: Matthew 20:25-28, 1 Corinthians 11, Genesis 2
OPENING ILLUSTRATION: One of my goals for our church is to equip you for ministry – for you to take your faith to the level where it impacts those around you It seems to me, that there are some people who come to Christ and they soar -they have significant changes in their relationships and in their life – I’ve even seen peoples position in life elevate -these people have God moving in regular way and are encouraged by Him Then there are others who seem to pop up, they accept Jesus and get baptized, but they don’t seem to mature very far – they are like a steak that doesn’t have enough seasoning on it… What is the difference? I’ll tell you what I believe is at least part of the equation The first group has changed their desire point and the second hasn’t -One group wanted an entirely new life, the other one simply wanted salvation – except that’s not REALLY what Jesus offers – He does not offer salvation apart from death to self Listen to what Romans says Romans 8:5-8 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. ILLUSTRATION: [Something about desire – maybe around dieting.] Paul is saying, What we desire directs our destiny if you desire the things of the flesh Power no matter the cost Position no matter the cost Pleasure no matter the cost you will reap death – your mind will ultimately be hostile to God and you can’t please God Because you are still living as though self-gratification is the highest aim in life and it’s not Spirit gratification – pleasing the Father, is the highest aim… So, the question becomes, how do I become one of those people?How do I set my mind on what the Spirit desires? I think there are two parts to setting your mind on what the Spirit desires. The first is to understand at a global level what it is that the Spirit desires. The second occurs as you focus on the global level, then the Spirit begins to speak to your spirit and direct you into the things He desires at a personal and specific level. Globally, what does the Spirit Desire and how do I know if I’m living it? Christianity only has one command, did you know that? John 15:12-14 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. Jesus gave clear ways to see if that command was being lived out Three Categories to evaluate how you are doing at loving like Jesus:TIME – How you think about and spend your time…TALENT – Who’s applause you seek most…TREASURE – What you treasure most…TIME: How you think about and spend your time… Jesus tells this parable in Matthew 25:1-13biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Matt/Awaiting-Bridegroom about these 10 virgins who are all waiting for a bride groom to arrive 5 of them were prepared and had spent the time to get enough oil, the other 5 just brought what they had. They all fell asleep waiting for the Bridegroom to arrive, The cry comes out, “the bridegroom is arriving” . The other 5 tell them, go get some more oil quickly and come back and this is how Jesus concludes the parable… Matthew 25:10-13 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. I think there are people who believe they will be in eternity with Jesus but won’t be because they treated Jesus like He was a ticket to their favorite ride instead of a King to give your life to. Let me ask you How do you spend your time? Does God and His desire to love people through you have the priority of your life? Does He have the ability to change your plans? If not, you may not have your desires set on the what the Spirit Desires… TALENT: Who’s applause do you live for? You can do the right things for all the wrong reasons… ILLUSTRATION: When we church planted, I can remember driving around on my lawn tractor and dreaming about the hundreds of people who were going to show up. And this feels so childish to tell you, but I remembered thinking about what I would say when people invited me to conferences to speak… We were doing something that extremely difficult, sold our house, gave up tons, and I have to be honest with you – at that time, my ego was more involved in the process than I would have wanted to admit. It has taken a lot of work from God to pull me to a place or being more transparent and recognizing how much my desire to have people like me and appreciate me plays into even the good things I do… This is why Jesus, over and over again in Matthew 6 says to Do good things but do them in secret – then you’ll know the only one who saw them was your Father and He will reward you! If you are wondering if you do things for the applause of anyone other than God, there is one simple test you can apply Do you get upset when no one notices your work or gives another the credit you feel like you deserve? This is really a test of whether you TRULY believe that God is real. If you believe that, then there is no reason to defend yourself or to make sure others know, because He knows, and that should be enough. If you seek the applause of people, you will never get the reward from God you are hoping for: you are trading tickets to Disneyland for a chocolate bar… TREASURE: What you treasure most… Matthew 6:2121 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I think if I were the one saying this, I would have said it this way “Where your heart is, that’s where your treasure should be” right, if it were up to me, I would have said, you need to put your treasure where your heart is. But that’s not what Jesus says Jesus says, “wherever your treasure is, that’s where you will find your heart.” It’s not pie in the sky, it’s practical and exposes us for who we REALLY are. It’s literally, open your banking app right now and I’ll tell you what matters to you… Statistically, some of you tip more than you tithe to God’s mission in this place. Why would God EVER trust you with big things like the salvation of a persons soul if you can’t be trusted with little things like the money He puts in your pocket? Luke 16:10-12 10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? Church, I want us to be a body of believers who brings life change to those around us. I want you to be one of those people whose life is changing, that you can see God working in their day to day life But you can’t keep doing the same things you’ve been doing and expect different results CLOSING: Easter is coming up, there are people who haven’t been to church for years, maybe never, who will be willing to consider going. The question to me, is are we ready. I want you to become the kind of person who sets their mind on what the Spirit desires and it starts with these three things – your time, talent and treasure. Because one of these, Jesus was clear about it – that we know where your heart is based on your treasure. In my experience if you start there, the rest will fall in line. So, here’s my challenge I challenge you to take the next 6 months and start tithing -to give 10% of your income to God’s Kingdom -Give it first before every other bill, every other commitment (the bible calls this first fruits) -See if God doesn’t start to bless you as you make Him FIRST Give the tithing commitment. -if you tithe and you don’t see God move and bless you in the next 6 months, we’ll give you back your money.. And, if you think this is about me wanting your money, you are right, I want to use that money to change lives – not to put in my pocket. It’s why my family gives more than 10% of our income and are currently praying about and seeking to see how we could increase our giving amount. Because this is the best investment we could EVER make! My desire, is on what the Spirit desires – how about yours?