Summary: Priorities, pleasing god, Stewardship of time and engery
GETTING RID OF THE CLUTTER
2 Cor 3:18 (p818) (v 12-18) August 15, 2010
Is there anyone here who enjoys driving in downtown Louisville at 5:00 o'clock? Or sitting on the Gene Snyder with bumper to bumper construction traffic? "Cones to the left of me…workers to the right ,here I am…stuck in the middle with you!" (Sing it to Steve Miller band).
Congestion is horrible…It's frustrating. People hate it…you can see the stress as people grip the steering wheel and set their jaws. .. Traffic is stopped no one is moving…the snail waves at us as he zooms past. The roads were not designed to handle that many cars…there's nowhere for them to go…so everyone sits and waits.
All the clutter is keeping you from getting where you need to go…congestion stinks…all the clutter traps you in place.
Many churches are trapped by the clutter…stopped in their tracks by congestion...spiritual movement is stifled… and instead of moving forward with a powerful purpose...they are standing still just burning a lot of gas. Congested churches are filled with the same people. I'm not talking about the absence of new people, although many times that’s telling in and of itself. I'm referring to people staying the same…unchanged…unmoved.
People that stop being transformed…week after week, month after month, year after year. Many people are the same stagnant believers and congested, cluttered churches go hand in hand.
Many of these people are sadly tuck in the same place they've always been spiritually and there is no intentional plan to move them forward…or desire by them to be moved forward.
God's word sure points a different picture in regards to spiritual growth…according to scripture a believer's life is to be transformed more and more...people are not suppose to remain the same…there is to be progression, movement…GROWTH
Churches are designed by Jesus to be filled with people who are becoming. Becoming more like Christ, Becoming more loving and joyful…being transformed and that involves…
REMOVING THE VEIL
2 Cor 3:18 says "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
The Apostle Paul is taking the Corinthian church back to Moses day… you see when Moses would walk up Mt. Sinai and meet with God he would be transformed by God's presence.
In these encounters where God gave Moses the 10 commandments and the instructions something powerful happened to the Israelite leaders "Aura" every time Moses went to meet with God on the Mountain he came back glowing…every time he was in God's presence he was transformed…He looked different…In fact the first time "Mr. Glowworm" came down from the mountain the Israelites were terrified…the change was that remarkable.
So Moses began to wear a veil over his face when he came down from the mountain…and we know why he wore the veil…"To cover the fact that the glory began to fade as soon as he left God's presence" (2 Cor. 3:13)
With every step Moses took away from the mountain the glory-glow would decrease.
Moses had a veiled face…but we have unveiled faces…we, as followers of Jesus, do not have to wear a veil because the glory isn't diminishing. In fact the opposite is true. The glory is every increasing why? Because we never have to leave the presence of God We never come back down the mountain, because the mountain is in us. (the glory comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit)
We have a relationship with God that even Moses didn't have…God's spirit lives inside us.
2Cor 3:9 says "We are in the New Covenant that brings righteousness, not the old covenant that brings death."
Moses had to climb up Mt. Sinai to meet with God…we don't …his presence isn't on a Mountain…his presence is inside us. and just as God transformed Moses…he transforms us when we place ourselves in his presence.
This word…transform is written in the passive voice and present tense…Here's what that means…the passive voice indicates we are not transforming ourselves…God IS…and the present tense means…this transformation is taking place right now…not just a past transformation but an ongoing one…right now!
The word for transformation is "Metamorphosis" It means to change the essential nature of something…its real change…its change to the core…inside and out…it's the word we use to describe a "caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The nasty, wormy creepy crawly becomes a beautiful butterfly. The process is metamorphosis."
God deserves to bring His people through this metamorphosis process. He wants the people at Fern Creek Christian Church to be shaped into his image…and he wants to do so with ever-increasing glory. That means he wants us to be more like Jesus today than we were yesterday.
Congested churches…churches caught in the clutter are the antitheses of God's plan.