The Bible teaches that Christ was made perfect through suffering. As imitators of Christ we should expect that our lives will involve some suffering as well. Greg discussed self-sacrifice and other principles of Christian discipline.
Point: If you give the mustard seed (God) room to grow, it will dry up the weeds around you. Unfortunately, we often try to dig up the weeds ourselves by our own power, not by God’s power. We need to trust God instead.
It is crucial that we yield to God and let the mustard seed grow into what God wants for us. When God works in our life, we are supposed to “brag on God” with our testimonies.
Hebrews 5:7 (NIV)
7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
- Jesus was heard by God because of His reverent submission. Jesus also learned obedience from the things that He suffered. Once made perfect, Jesus became the source of salvation for all who believed Him.
- Jesus was made complete for the purpose for which God intended Him. To be complete, Jesus had to go through suffering and learn obedience.
- The Bible implores us to follow, imitate Jesus Christ. Imitate = we are to mimic Jesus; take our cues from Him.
How can we mimic Jesus Christ?
- Discipleship isn’t supposed to be a pain. It brings joy. The flesh may gripe though.
- You need to give yourself to Jesus – you get endless rewards! Selling your possessions etc. to be sold out to God! Sacrificing to God takes discipline. To get the joy, you have to sacrifice. You go through the discipline because God loves you, not to get God’s love. You are just reflecting God’s love.
Getting the weeds out of the way so that the mustard seed of God can grow. Unclogging the pipes so that the Spirit of God can flow in your life (get out all that earthly, fleshly garbage!) The more you yield to God in discipleship, the more rewards you get (but remember God already loves you; you don’t have to do “good deeds” to win God’s love).
Discipleship: sacrificing through…
- Fasting: It requires discipline and it opens up the Spirit of God.
- Withstand temptation, sin through discipleship
- Disciplined lifestyle – Don’t keep on worrying about where you will get food, shelter, etc… Instead, strive for God’s Kingdom and all these things (e.g. food, shelter) will be given to you too.
Don’t pig out (pagan-out) on the things of this world, but strive for the Kingdom of God. Don’t put the worldly stuff at front and center.
Where your treasure is, your heart will be also. Thus, you cannot serve both God and money – you’ve got to serve one or the other.
You can workout without the reward of the smoothie. God says, “Give up the smoothie”. Don’t need a carrot at the end of a stick as a reward. Say yes to the mustard seed of God, not the stuff of this world. Invest instead in the Kingdom of God.
The sin of today’s culture is materialism.
See Isaiah 58. If you want to have revival happen, you need to have a concern for those around you. Money takes on meaning when it is given.
Live with a view of: “What can I give with this money, these resources?” In trying to hoard the things of this world (e.g. money, gold, etc.) you end up with nothing (it is merely transitory).
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