Summary: Challenging people to build the core essence of who they are as followers of Jesus

So hey there, good to see you. If you weren’t here last week we are in the second week of a series called Build Your Core which according to the experts is especially relevant this time of year since most of us who have made resolutions or decisions to change up some things in our lives this year have diet, exercise, and weight loss at our near the top of the list. We know that we are healthier, that life is just better when we decide to build our core, to work on our bodies and a lot of us have decided that 2020 is the year that we need to do that. Which is a good thing. We learned last week that God even says in the Bible in 1 Timothy 4 that...physical training has some value in our lives. So it’s great to build that core, but what we are really after together heading into this new year is building a different kind of core. See, those same verses that say that physical training has some value also say this. Training ourselves to be Godly has more. That’s a focus on a different kind of core and that’s what we are chasing after together in this series in an effort to make 2020 different for each of us.

So last week as we kicked this thing off, we said before we get to what we need to do and how we are supposed to do it, there are a few things we need to know. We have to understand that church alone is not the answer, and that it’s relationship with Jesus not religion that leads us to the life we are looking for. If that’s true, the question is, and we asked it last week, are we really following Jesus or are we walking into yet another year inviting him to follow us? We ultimately landed the plane with this. Nothing really changes when we decide to change, things begin to change when we commit to change. So, let’s pick it right there and jump back into this. Now that we are committed, it’s time for us to give a little time to what needs to change and how we go about doing that.

ILLUST> One of the books on my Kindle that I have been jumping in and out of for some time now is called Atomic Habits. I really do recommend the book and think that it is especially helpful at this time of year but if I am honest I’ve had trouble staying with it and staying in it. The author James Clear has a tendency to get into some of the science behind our habits. Honestly, I’m just not a science guy, and despite my best efforts, my eyes tend to glaze over and my mind starts to drift as we start to go there. There is a reason why I went to law school and became a trial attorney. Pretty early in the book Clear tells the story of Dave Brailsford, a man who was hired to coach the British Cycling team in 2003, a disappointing team that had never really been competitive internationally. Five years later Brailsford led them to winning 60 percent of the gold medals available at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. 4 years later they set 9 Olympic records and 7 world records when the games came to London. So, yay, that’s great but what does that have to do with us as we sit here today thinking about building our core in this new year? Here it is. I think we need to pay attention to his philosophy and strategy. Brailsford says “it is about searching for a tiny margin of improvement in everything. If you break down everything that goes into riding a bike and then improve by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.”

So, maybe real change in our lives is not as hopeless as it might seem. As we continue to dream about our desired destination someday, it’s important that we not miss the small steps in front of us today. I think that is a helpful mindset for all of us to keep in front of us as we jump into this and begin to talk about what really needs to change and how we are going to go about changing things up in our lives in this new year. If you brought a Bible we are going to be in Romans chapter 12 today. If you don’t have a Bible they are back on the back tables that you can grab right now if you would like if you close or on you can always grab one on your way out. As always you can hit our app or the YouVersion app too. Or you can ignore all of that and read along with me on the screens. So here we go Romans chapter 12 beginning with verse 1…

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