Summary: We read and learn daily from the truths of the Word of God. But how do we live those truths out? We are surrounded by all sorts of examples (some good some bad). Paul uses two servants to show us how God uses ordinary people to do the extraordinary!
Cornerstone Church October 18, 2015
“Follow the Right Example”
“I’m not a role model… Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”
Sir Charles Barkley in 1993 the “Round Mound of Rebound”
Charles Barkley is a Basketball Hall of Famer and was part of the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team in the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
* It is true that God holds parents responsible to raise their children physically and spiritually. It is their calling.
* It is also true Charles Barkley is a role model whether he wants the role or not.
Every one of us in the Sanctuary this morning is a role model!
While millions of people aren’t watching us, many important people are observing us:
* Our families
* Our friends
* Our unsaved neighbors
* Our coworkers at work
* Fellow Believers in Christ (either encouraged or discouraged in their walk with Christ)
Role models can either be a good example or poor example to others!
“WHOM DO YOU WANT TO BE LIKE WHEN YOU GROW UP?”
That question can be applied in many ways:
* What do you want to do vocationally?
* What kind of spouse do you want to be (good husband / good wife)?
* What kind of parent do you want to be (good father /good mother)?
* What kind of follower of Christ?
* What kind of servant do you want to be in the church?
We are all at different stages or ages and need different role models!
Good role models are important to help us grow onward towards spiritual maturity in Christ!
It was he (JESUS) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Eph. 4:11-13 NASB
THE GOAL IS:
“…become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ…”
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed
to the likeness of his Son,”
The example is Christlikeness! Christ ruling and reigning in us!
We live here day to day on planet earth.
* We need to combat the negative influences of the world system.
* We need to overcome our flesh that at times preoccupies us with doubts, worry, impatience, and all other kinds of things that do not please Christ.
* Noise, busyness and the clutter of life plague us!
We learn about Jesus in the pages of the Bible, but we were not there to observe Jesus first-hand.
* We know Jesus experienced everything we experience yet remained sinless.
* How did Jesus handle stress, unreasonable people, difficult bosses or supervisors, day-to-day problems, juggling priorities, paying bills, crying or whining children?
The good news is God has given us examples of men and women who were filled with the Holy Spirit to follow!
We do not have to be part of a “Dream Team” to make a difference for Christ!
God uses ordinary people to do the extraordinary!
* Broken People
* Imperfect People
* Damaged People
God’s “Dream Team” is made up of:
* Forgiven People
* Redeemed People
* Holy Spirit Empowered People
Here is a great verse:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show
that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Cor. 4:7 NIV
Ray Stedman said: “we have this treasure in Peanut Butter Jars!”
A key mark of maturity is realizing or recognizing you are not yet fully mature!
* We still need to grow!
* We are still running our race daily for Christ!
The Christian Life is a marathon!
* Some might be nearing the end of the race!
* Some might be in the middle of the race!
* Some might be at the start of the race!
Growing to spiritual maturity is “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.”
Chuck Swindoll coined it this way: “Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Backwards.”
WHAT DOES GROWING UP IN CHRIST LOOKS LIKE?
* Timothy – A Selfless Servant!
* Epaphroditus – A Suffering Servant!
PAUL PICKS ORDINARY SAINTS TO BE OUR EXAMPLES.
* Serving is not optional!
* Serving is for all “Born Again” followers of Christ!
* Call to live in a Manner Worthy of the Gospel – Phil. 1:27-30
* Exhortation: Humility the main ingredient – Phil. 2:1-4
* Example of Humility: Jesus – Phil. 2:5-11
* Exercise of Humility worked out in our lives and Body of Christ – Phil. 2:12-18