Summary: Church, preparation, purpose, doing Church, preparation, purpose, doing
CHURCH: The Place of Roaring Lambs or House Cats
Romans 12: 2 (p 803) June 5, 2011
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is---his good, pleasing and perfect will”
In the mid 1990’s a band called P.C. Talk released a big hit record called Jesus Freak…and I have to admit…I kinda liked it…but, my favorite song from the album was “What If I Stumble?” If you get in your Delorean and go back in time with me it was the first time I was introduced to one of my favorite writers…because the song “What if I Stumble?” begins with a quote from Brennan Manning.
Here it is……”Play Quote”
[“The greatest single cause of atheism today is Christians, who acknowledge, Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny him with their lifestyle. That’s what an unbelieving world simply finds…unbelievable! As we consider Paul’s words in Romans 12:2 its essential we understand that church is not a place we go, but a people we are.
Being a follower of Jesus isn’t just showing up at the appropriate times to do the appropriate things. If you begin to think like this in terms of defining your Christianity you will never understand God’s will for your life….and instead of becoming a lamb that Roars you will become a house cat.
Maybe that’s exactly why Paul begins this 12 chapter with these words- “therefore, I urge you bothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - THIS IS YOUR SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP”
Paul starts in the right place when it comes our salvation…GRATITUDE. Thank you God for your mercy…and because I’ve experienced that amazing grace I now surrender my body daily….I deny myself…I take up my cross…I follow..Jesus…This is what holiness is all about…this is what please God…This is my purpose….worship that takes place daily…not just on Sundays.
How can I really do this?
I DON’T CONFORMTO THE WORLD’S PATTERN.
The message translates Romans 12:1 this way, “So here’s what I want you to do God helping you. Take your everyday ordinary life---your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around lift---place it before God as an offering…”
The reason many become “House Cats” when it comes to their faith is that Jesus has been used as a “get out of hell free card” instead of Lord of my day to day life. We acknowledged Jesus with our lips…maybe even got baptized in the process, but walk out the door still retaining “ownership” of our day to day lives.
The extreme problem with this is it’s a lie that leaves an individual with a false hope and a wordly pattern of living. It’s a belief that I can say I surrender my life to God and then not really do it..but because I’ve said it…”I’m o.k.” Jesus warns about people who teach this type or religion and the consequences of following it. Matt 7: 15-24 (p 685)
The key to all this is who we allow to shape our hearts. Either our hearts will be shaped like the Kingdom of God from within- or they will be shaped b y the pattern of this world…Jesus said you’ll be able to see this taking place by the fruits a person produces…not the stuff he or she does.
[We’ve all played with play-dough…As kids we watched the dough go through a press and become stars, or squares, or rectangles. The dough was shaped by the pattern…]
People are shaped by patterns also—our hearts become what shapes them…
Here’s the pattern that shapes the world’s heart…”Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world the Love of the Father is not in him…For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1st John 2:15,16 (p862)
Satan wants our hearts to be shaped b y his worldly pattern…”I want my own way…I want it for me….I want to be important.
Saying Jesus is Lord does not guarantee that you were really surrendering all your ownership rights to him…What really proves it is transformation.
II BE TRANSFORMED WITH A RENEWED MIND
Transformation is a heavy duty thing…what use to be one thing has become something completely different. The word Paul uses in Romans 12:2 is “Metamorphoomair”…we get the word Metamorphises” from it…it’s what happens to a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, It’s the same word used for Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration…”He was “transfigured, “Transformed” before them.
Ask your kids what happens to “Bumblebee, the Comars in all the “transformer” movies and you’ll get an idea of metamoprphise.