Archive for February, 2011

Matthew 6.24-34 Worry, about God things. JUMC 02/29/2011

Matthew 6:24-34
6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

The birds don’t worry about God’s love
The birds don’t think about bills, clothes, and
Maybe you’d rather be a bird.. some of you are.

The lilies, starting to see them breaking through, remind me of one of my father’s poems:
Yellow Daffodils
Lord, have mercy! They say they gonna cut my welfare check;
They say I get too much. They say my children will probably no longer Get free lunch at school.
And the radio says I’ll get a big rise in my Georgia Power bill.
But look out yonder in my front yard— There come my yellow daffodils.
Washington can’t bother them; They can’t cut them down;
They can’t make them come up any sooner, or later; They can’t take the color out.
And even if they put my eyesight out, I’m gonna still see those beautiful yellow daffodils.
For they’ve been coming up every March For longer than my years can tell,
And I know they’ll keep on coming back Long after I have been planted beside them.
You beautiful yellow daffodils, You better not get frightened away
And stop popping up your lovely heads Out of that cold, hard clay.
Lift your head up high and show your stuff You’re bulbs of beauty.
Let me stand with you Barefoot on the hard, cold earth
And signal anew the advent of hope.
I lift up my head. I lift up my eyes. For my help and my beauty, my dear daffodils Come also from the Lord.
The Lord? The Lord’s not cutting us out on anything!

The plain on which Jesus first spoke these words was filled with spring flowers that were perennial.
They were planted by God.
Pollinated by God’s bees.
Enjoyed by God’s people,
Wither in God’s sunshine, &
Returned to God’s earth for another season.

You can worry about all the things God knows you have on your plate,
But what in your life is worth your very life?

What is of most value to you?
Family? Members die.
Pictures? They fade.
Accounts? Grow and are spent.
Careers? They retired
Friends? Here for a time, but die or fade

What matter eternally? God, If it is God.
How do you tend to God’s work in your life?
What is God wanting to grow in your soul?
What will be with you in all times of your life, happy/sad, rich/poor, tragedy/joy,

Here is the heart of this lesson..
Look at the season you are in… this is at the end of Winter and the birth of a new Spring.

What needs to wither, die, be left behind as lessons for the past.. and
What needs to spring forth? To start fresh, to begin again, to be reborn or rekindled.

How much time and energy are you investing in prayer, study and hands-on witness/mission?
How much wishing, hoping, planning and intending has led to spiritual thought, but not spiritual life?

One of the great disappointments of my trip with to visit the plane where Jesus taught on lessons of the Sermon on the Mount. The entire area, with only a small exception, is covered with buildings: sanctuaries, dormitories, offices, and a gift shop, gardens, crops and trash heap. No open plain, busy, cluttered, heavy, political, trampled ground..
Is that what the message is about? I don’t think so…

What do we make of Jesus teaching to worry about the right things..
Don’t worry about the temporary ones.

SO WHAT? So be springing into the things of God, right now.

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“Missiology vs. Messiology (Phillippians 3)

Sept 27  Missiology vs. Messiology (Phillippians 3)

This one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Philippians 3 -1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh– 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

When I told my maternal grandmother, Tommye, I felt called into the ministry, I recall that she told that serving in ministry was a lot like changing diapers: no matter how messy it gets you can always wash your hands and be ready to try again in just a little while.

Living a Spiritual life in a world of the Flesh: things are going to get messy.

The study of how to carry out the ministry of witness is called: MISSIOLOGY, I suggest it be known as MESSIOLOGY

Paul writes a letter of encouragement to the church at Phillippi and it calls us to see that following Jesus Christ is not neat, pretty and clean living…

He offers his own legalistic devotion to the law, the flesh, and passion in being a literal keeper of the rules…

Q: What did Paul find for all that clean living?

A: Rubbish, to have kept myself at the sake of loosing Christ.

INSTEAD… he found (vs 10)

ü  I want to know Chirst,

ü  and the power of his resurrection

ü  and the fellowship of his suffering,

How do I get the prize?

   Forgetting what binds me to the past

  • Here is where it may be the MESSIEST
  • What are you not forgetting…
    • Not keys, wallet/purse, tickets, mail
    • RATHER: holding on to millstones
    • What are you remembering that limits?
    • What are holding over someone else?
    • What is being held over your head?
    • LET IT GO.

   Straining toward what awaits

  • It is messy to strain.
    • We might break a sweat if you strain
    • No Strain, no gain the prize
    • WHAT AWAITS is WORTH IT

   Pressing on toward the goal

  • Press on: Keep straining, keep trying,
  • PLAY IN THE DIRT AGAIN: Pike’s

Live knowing what country holds your spiritual citizenship.

When in heaven, live like you are in heaven..

When you are in the flesh, live like you are in heaven…

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