Summary: Godliness comes from having your eyes on Jesus
Godliness-Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Do It Yourself Casket by Norman Wilson, March 4, 2008. Would you believe it, a mail order kit for building your own casket? According to an article in a US News and World Report, it’s true. Fred Lehmann, a Wisconsin carpenter offered a do-it-yourself casket kit for $989. For those who would like to literally work through the grieving process, he would send a kit complete with pre-cut, pre-drilled boards, screws and handles. He offered a completely assembled and finished willow casket for an additional $100. Mr. Lehmann explained, “If you were having a child, you would redecorate the nursery. This is the same concept on the other end.” The report did not indicate how successful this unusual mail order business was, but I find it hard to believe he would have had very many customers. Not that there isn’t a wide market for his product, after all, we are all going to be in need of it at some time or other. The problem is the general reluctance among us to think about death or plan for it in advance. But, even if we did, we probably would not want a casket stored in the basement or attic until it is needed. The old saying is, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Apparently with some of the legal loopholes available there are those who manage to avoid the latter, but no one has yet devised a means to escape the former. Dying may be inevitable, but it is living that ought to concern us most. Building your own casket may be one way to prepare for death, but living every moment to the full is a far better way.
"THE GREAT MYSTERY OF GODLINESS" 2 Pt 1:5-9
What kinds of music do you like? Has Music always had a place in the church? Some churches split apart because of fights over music styles. In the First Century Church we do not know of any vocal groups, soloists, or bands. The verse we have for toady is thought to be one of the earliest hymns of the new Christian Church. The words are forever fixed in the record of our Holy Bible. We know that God’s Word will last forever. This song is about the great mystery of godliness. There was strong faith in the early church about the divinity, the messiah ship of Jesus. "Beyond all question" they believed that Jesus was the Christ promised by God and the prophets. When this song was inspired, there were those who had been changed from sinners to saints. Today you will be challenged to live like Jesus.
We have spoken last week about godliness in that it means to have your heart set as Jesus as Lord. This week we want to talk about godliness as always having our eyes on Jesus as our example.
Let’s take a line by line look at this old hymn sent by Paul to Timothy and apply it to our lives in the world we live. We will see here six characteristics we work on to be like Jesus.
I. Jesus APPEARED IN A BODY. In Him Spirit became flesh. He was born of virgin named Mary. God created Adam and Eve from the dust of the earth. Jesus was created by God in the womb of Mary and therefore had the blood of God in Him. In John 1 we have the statement that Word became flesh. This means that Jesus came to earth to live and breathe. He was tempted and tried, to understand life as a man. He died like all of us will do. The godly are to make God personal to others. Jesus brought God to us. He made God’s presence real. He brought heaven to earth. When He spoke people realized what He said was different. The Bible says Christians are the body of Christ. The words “In Christ appears 72 times in the New Testament. William Barclay wrote, "Look at Jesus, and you will see the mind and the heart of God, in a form that men can understand." We read in the Bible that Jesus is "the image of the invisible God." He was before all things. He created all things and became in person like man. He did not commit sin. He was the only perfect man. It is through him we see and reach the Father. JN 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” I challenge you to make God’s presence real in the lives of others.
II. HE WAS VINDICATED BY THE SPIRIT. Vindicated means, justified, endorsed, proved. Acts 2:22 “ You men of Israel hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know.” The Holy Spirit came down on him when He was baptized. With His words and miracles He convinced and convicted and converted hearts and lives. Even before his crucifixion, the disciples worked signs and wonders in his name, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The church began and will continue for ever. The Spirit still gives him vindication. Justice is to be given out by God on others. We are not to try and deal out to others to repay them for the wrong they have done to us. The Bible says, “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” “He was despised and afflicted for our sin.” Why do some think they have the God given right to repay others for the wrong that they have done to them? Did you know Jesus said that even thinking bad thoughts towards others can be likened to murder? Jesus was made fun of, accused of healing on the wrong day, told He was wrong for not washing his hands before He ate, ate food with the wrong people, saying He was the Son of God the wrong people and they said He worked for the devil. When you feel misrepresented, underappreciated, misunderstood, disapproved of, criticized, or accused don’t be tempted to jump in and straighten everyone out. The energy we would use for that should be directed in better ways. What a difference it would be if we directed that energy in constructive ways such as prayer, reading the Bible, being forgiving, doing good to others and thinking good thoughts about life. We live in a broken world and should expect bad things to happen. We have a choice to join in the thinking and doing wrong or to be like Jesus of whom the Bible says, “He went about doing good.” Would there ever be a time in your life that you could completely repay those who have done you wrong? I would challenge you today to live with a clean conscience, a clean reputation and completely trust that God will handle things in a better way than you can.