Sermon Briefs: September 13, 2015, “They Won’t Know it ‘Till You Show It”

This second of sermon slides 9-4-15five sermons that explores the discernment of God’s will/vision and then making it our mission to do.  Following God’s plan makes for a less anxious and healthy life as well as connecting us to eternity. 

Passion is essential to knowing God’s Vision for our lives.  We have to want it before we can know it or share it.

The Fisherman’s lesson….

I am a stick and earthworm sort of fisherman but found myself on the Walmart fishing aisle looking at plastic worms.  Real fishing folks know that if they could talk a fish into the boat, there would be no fish out there to catch.  There is always someone on the fishing aisle to talk to.

On this day a gentleman fishing had this passion to teach me the ways of plastic baits and he had to get out or it might cause him physical harm.  He told of big fish and many adventures along with my need for 7 1/2 inch watermelon colored worms with a circle hooks.  This was the answer to life’s questions and the way to slay the most elusive fish. He told of these magic worms with such passion that I was ready to chew on one just to share the experience.

In the back of my mind I thought that if I presented Christ with the passion that this fellow had for rubber worms, we would be short of parking spots and seats on Sunday.  Passion is essential for mission.  Too often Christians become Walmart talkers instead of Kingdom fishers.  As Paul said ( 1 Corinthians 4:20) “For the Kingdom of God does not exist is talk but in power.  Passion is a key ingredient to discernment.  We are Christ’s love in Action and not Christ love in talking.  Faith is learned by DOING!

Check out this worship video that reinforces the sermon:  The Fishless fisherman’s society, courtesy of EZ Zwayne,  Click Here

LESSONS FROM THE GOSPEL, Click here to follow my notes:   John chapter 21:1-19

  • Jesus gave them coaching before they recognized him-“hey use the 7 1/2″ Watermelon Flip Tailed Worms!”THEY FOLLOWED AND PROSPERED-THIS WAS NOT ABOUT THE FISH BUT THE FISHERMEN
  • Peter was led by passion over the gunnels and into the lake.  He wanted Jesus! The rest were left to row the boat-That takes passion too.
  • This fishing advice became advice for life. They were fishing for survival and not recreation. Follow Me.
  • Jesus didn’t send them to a conference or form a committee, he identified himself clearly and in him, defined the role of a disciple.
  • Jesus met them on the beach, where they were living the day-to-day
  • The Mission was that of Love and Nurture. Peter the bold, passionate and clumsy, was asked if he loved Jesus three times, and received his calling, first to love Jesus, then to feed and pastor Jesus’ people
  • Peter accepted this ordination fully knowing the danger and difficulty of his mission.  His calling was simply, “Follow Me.”

SO WHAT?  What do we do with all of this?

  • Jesus is meeting us where we are, to tell us  we can handle life , to do what needs to be done.  Follow Him.  Do the Life in Christ with Passion! Want it!
  • Live a balance of study and action, inreach and outreach, and reflect our passion outside with a clear focus on Jesus’ direction
  • Don’t over think-JUMP IN, live by faith with grace enough to share

sermon slide passion sept 13 2015

PUT YOUR FAITH INTO PRACTICE WITH THIS EXERCISE
Don’t complicate this Process.  Talk to people God Brings your way.
  • Fish-Practice the power of letting someone speak for 2 minutes or more uninterrupted. Inhale each time you are tempted to speak.
  • Concentrate-listen for something spiritual to be said in this conversation
  • Know-You are a beloved child of the living God-God put you in this conversation.
  • Invite-JUMP IN! Tell them about your church family, and your faith. Bring them to church and sit with them
  • Lead by following-Don’t lecture them, tell of how Christ works in your life everyday. You grow when your show your passion.  This may be loud and rowdy, but more likely it will be quiet and conversational.fishing 1

Write a comment of this encounter and I will mail you a 7 1/2″ watermelon colored fishing worm!  Yes, Really.   Follow Jesus with passion. Who knows, You might change the world.

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www.cheathamumc.org

Sermon Briefs: September 6, 2015 “How to Pray for A High School Football Game” 1Thessalonians 5:1-19

buldog football solidarity

So, how do you pray for a Friday Night Football Worship Experience?  In general, here are three basic ways to pray for a football game.  The coaches have their way, the players on the field have their way and the alumni in the stands have their way.  All three want to God to know it is His will for us to win.   The educators pray for good sportsmanship and their players to be better people for the win, the players pray  to be stronger athletes more popular for the win, and the alumni pray to live bygone days  and are more open to the visitors leaving blood on the field

How do we pray for God’s will in our lives?  Where do we start.  Deep down we want that win. OUR win.  Deep down we want to  become closer to His Son Jesus for the experience and keep us on the high moral road as we do it.  However, if some force were to viciously smite the opposition that’s ok, as long as we can claim it as God’s will and not any doing of our own hands.   That is not discernment.  What is the real deal? How can we discern what God wants without feeling like a loser.

Discernment is seeing what God Wants, Mission is doing what God wants

The reading today, from First Thessalonians chapter 5, Gives some clear direction for us in how to find God’s will to perform our mission!

At the cross we have a clue,Jesus asked for deliverance but cried out, “Not my will but thine be done”  It is a personal skill, lived out in the Church and can be learned

 1. God’s will  is found by those who live urgently.
The game is uncertain certain until the clock runs out. Faith is being uncertain and trusting God anyway.  We must choose darkness or light, ignorance or wisdom, fear or certainty.  Take action now.
2. God’s WIll is found by the awakened and the intentional.  Jesus died for you and me and we his church, he is the light to our cloudy path.  Grab hold of His hand
  • Study is Armor for the head, faith is armor for the heart.  Our eternity is protected by the covenant of Salvation
3. God’s will is found in community
  • We are not a loose collection of individuals, we are a team, we all win or none of us win.  Respect the co laborer, wake up the lazy, encourage the bashful and help the weak.  This letter was written to the Church.
4.God’s will is found in a life of integrity
  • We do not always agree what is truth.
  • Live the truth on the outside from  the truth we know on the inside
  • Rejoice always, Pray ceaselessly, be thankful in good and bad times, this is the fruit of faith and not the compromise of weak resignation.  God’s will is not just getting what you want, and is seldom discernible by how we feel. 
  • EVERYTHING BEGINS AND ENDS WITH PRAYER.
5. HOW!
  •   Do all of the good that you can, Abstaining from evil and staying in Love with God,  This scripture reflects our Methodist “general rules “Slide2
6.  SO WHAT
  • Discernment is way Bigger than just words and church attendance, it is hard work and many won’t do it, It is scary and many more will ignore it. Do it!
  • Many of us walk in uncertainty.  YOU DON”T HAVE TO!  in these bullet points, taken from this letter are the starting points for aligning our vision and mission with God. 
  • This is our Proposed vision Statement a statement of who we are, whose we are and a standard of testing for God’s will in our ministries for our Congregation.  This is how we will test our ministries as a group, a family at Cheatham Memorial UMC!

Slide3SO……..  How do you pray for a Bulldog Football Game?  You ask boldly, by faith and in the name of Jesus Christ for God to win regardless of the score instead of telling God what to do!  I am a competitor!  But when God wins, we all win.

sermon slides 9-4-15This is the first of Five Sermons on discernment. See you next week.

Thanks for reading this post.  I pray it encourages your life and leads you to  worship in the church of your choice.

We would love to have you visit us at Cheatham Memorial UMC!

 

 

 

 

 

Sermon Briefs: August 30, 2015 “A Listening Calling”

This week’s service honored our Teachers as they kick off a new school year.  Click here to read the text for today.  James Chapter 1

Slide1
There is a difference between Teaching and learning.  It is not measured in Words.  The entire messages of James 1 might be best taught in this one Charlie Brown cartoon?

What little I know about educational theory can be summed up in three concepts.  There is a difference between teaching and learning-you hope they both happen at the same time, The self-fulfilling prophesy-people often become exactly what you tell them, and the “Null” curriculum-what you teach people whether you mean to or not as you teach a stated lesson.  God, the ultimate educator uses all of these in the curriculum of Scripture, the working deads of the church and the “null” curriculum in the witness of the holy Spirit.  God teaches to all of our learning styles

God’s lessons are EVERYWHERE and  the means of wisdom, not just the words of wisdom.  This is the fuel and motivation of our holy calling as Christian Disciples.  The holy calling of our teachers is a witness of this calling being worked out in everyday living.  Slide2

As writer Rafe Esquith said…

Not all of those in this holy calling are as famous but are just as important?

I asked some of our educators to answer the question, “What drives you out of bed in the morning to do the work of education?”  Here are some of the answers

Slide3Slide4Yeah Right!  If you are in education for the bucks or the easy hours you are crazy.  I wish that teacher pay reflected the impact they have on every corner of our lives.

Sadly, the holy calling of teaching does not pay in accordance to the talents and education levels of our teachers.  The thousands of dollars and hours spent by teachers without anyone knowing about them speak of a passion that goes beyond just having a J-O-B.

Slide5Being relevant, having impact, getting to watch the world change, one child at a time is the real motivator.  Often the payback is in hugs.

More often our heroic teachers send a student out into the world without knowing how it will work out.  Still, you get to watch that student, “get it”, and know you fulfilled your calling and mission.

James, the writer of the book, did it all wrong as an educator, he had no credentials but that of a servant, assumed the worst trials and immaturity of his students, was paranoid about temptation, exalts the poor, insults the rich, crowns those barely hanging in there and assumes that no one understands God.  But the real lesson God has for us here is simple.  Faith is something you do, something you work on, something you live in and not just something you know.  He says simply, DO YOUR FAITH and you will have it.  He drives it home!

Slide6SO WHAT?  That’s all fine but once we are saved , what does it matter.  Our master teacher, Jesus Christ comes to each of us with a holy mission to share Him with passion and purpose.  It is personal.  Our salvation, “done” and not talked about influence others to the healthy, live giving, practical and eternal life in Christ.  It is not just for us, it is to go through us to all of those bulldogs around us and beyond that need Christ’s love so desperately.  Someone is counting on you and I to faith into practice.

Thank you for reading.  I hope this post inspires you but it is not substitute for attending church worship, whether here at Cheatham Memorial UMC or your own home church!  Blessings to you on your journey in Christ.

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