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Summary: Our desire to be like Christ will be measured in an arms length.

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Life Wide Open…Arms

Our desire to be like Christ will be measured in an arm length.

Sunday Morning Sermon

11.02.08

I used three texts to look at the life of Christ -- If you would like the power point email me the title in the subject line and I will send it to you via email for free -- good luck with it.

Intro: (Start with Title)

The Bible says that the mouth works from a condition in the heart. If I put bad stuff, in my heart – that same stuff comes out of my mouth. Just the opposite is true as well, if I put good stuff, God’s word, in my heart it also comes out the mouth. Jesus proved this himself when he was tempted by the devil – The response of our savior – Scripture. Church it was his response because that’s what he had – IN HERE. He was tempted, but the temptation never planted a seed or was it allowed to grow.

Just to make sure you aren’t asleep this morning – Who wants to be like Jesus? Do you really? Often our idea of Jesus is something different than what the Bible teaches. I remember a bunch of year’s back we had a dinner at church – and mom let me get whatever I wanted. I ran to the dessert table and took two huge helpings of apple pie. Why would I do that? Because – a young person usually likes sweets over green beans. The world we live in is good at doing the same thing when it comes to Jesus and the Bible – Just pick the parts that make you feel good – skip the green beans part when it talks about sacrifice and loving those who hate you and turning the other cheek and forgiving and patience, and the troubles you will have in this life – I’ll take “He’s got the whole world in his hands” kind of stuff.

We’ve weaked down our savior to make him more inviting – easier to swallow. Jesus sets an absolute example for us to follow.

Discussion:

He expects us to follow him – all the way, and not just the parts that we like or that help us sleep at night. You said that you wanted to be like him. Over the next few weeks we are going to look at what it means to be like Jesus. I look at the life of Christ and see some amazing things he did – that we can do, not only that but that we can teach others to do as well.

Church – if my mouth is measured by my heart. If the words that I say are connected to what I take in – then something else is true. Something else is connected to my heart as well. Hear me – the length of my arms. I know what you’re thinking – the preacher was up drinking last night. Not the physical length of my arms – but how wide open they are. Church, I look at the life of Christ and I see his arms wide open – not just open arms but a heart that allows for the open arms.

We could be here all day and make this apply to many, many times in the life of Jesus. I’ve got three examples of his wide open arms – and ways we can demonstrate the same in our lives. Our desire to follow Christ will be measured in the length of our arms.

I want us to see some of the characteristics of the people Jesus opens his arms wide for – I think you will see those around you – but I think if you are honest you will see yourself.

Matthew 19:13-15(Advance) (Read)

If I had to put a word over this text here it is: (Advance)

I. Acceptance

The parallel is in Mark’s gospel.

We accept children. We give rights to children. Not a school year goes by that we don’t discuss some young person wearing something to school that is a distraction and what do we talk about – FREE SPEECH.

a. We make them our buddies

i. And they do what they want

When I was a kid – we didn’t have a fancy buddy system. When I got in trouble at school – I got it double at home. My parents didn’t race to the school to complain about the teachers. We have changed so much.

Somewhere in the country – a man had placed several campaign signs in his yard and they would get stolen, over and over – so he replaced them again – and they would get stolen. He puts an electric charge on them – the parents of the 9 year old who had been stealing them all along – are going to sue.

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