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Summary: Second in a series of messages from Michael Yaconelli’s book "Messy Spirituality" God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People.

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Template Oct 8, 2006 Messy Spirituality Series 2

Felt Need: What is God’s plan for my life, why is this so difficult to figure out?

Desired Results: Persons would hear the Good News of God’s grace and know that they are loved and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Message: God’s plan for Spiritual Misfits

Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-3 CEVA Large Crowd of Witnesses

1Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. 2We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side [a] of God’s throne! 3So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up.

Synopsis:

1. Why is it so difficult to follow Jesus?

A. Pretending to be more spiritual than we are.

B. Selfishness, Sin

C. godly incompetence

No one does holy living very well. Spirituality is the humiliating recognition that I don’t know how to pray well. I don’t understand God’s word or know how to navigate it properly, and I don’t know how to competently live out my commitment to Christ. Messy spirituality affirms our spiritual clumsiness.

2. Desperation meets Jesus.

A. Incompetence, story of Eric

. It is a myth that we have to fix ourselves to meet God. Pet shop story

B. God wants to meet us where we are, as we are.

3. We follow Jesus by:

A. Being honest about who we are.

B. Being Vulnerable.

C. Being Compassionate like Christ.

Lord of the Dance story

Metaphor:

Music:

Graphic Image:

Messy Spirituality 2

Land of the Misfits

Hebrews 12:1-3

Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. 2We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side [a] of God’s throne! 3So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up.

You hear the phrase, “just follow Jesus”, it is catchy, it is simple, but why is it so difficult?

That is what we will deal with this morning. It is difficult to follow Jesus because we often are pretending to be more spiritual than we are. This takes energy that goes no where. When we pretend to be spiritual we act like God is in control, when we know in our heart of hearts that He isn’t. When we pretend we put up the front that everything is ok, the family is ok, the finances are fine, my health couldn’t be better, praise God.

Pretending creates fake relationships built on fake foundations that we are in better shape than we want to admit. It is no wonder in our world, that depression has taken such a major part of our energy.

Secondly Sin and Selfishness get in our way of “ just follow Jesus.”

The whole idea that we aren’t quite what we represent here in worship sounds funny, but when we stop and think for a moment, who hasn’t dealt with loss,

fear of losing a job,

a marriage that isn’t quite living up to expectations,

habits that get between me and God,

financial issues that hound us,

Sin that ties us down

Selfishness that affects our priorities:

and the list goes on.

Do you see what I am saying? That when someone says, “Just follow Jesus” it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

The last point to the difficulty of “just follow Jesus” is our fear of godly incompetence.

This strikes at the heart of the problem for many of us. We just don’t think we are competent enough to follow Jesus. We know we are incomplete, unfinished beings who are trying to get it all together and if God could only wait until we get our act together we might be more worthy to follow him...

My friends, No one does holy very well. Spirituality is the humiliating recognition that I don’t know how to pray well. I don’ t understand God’s word or know how to navigate it properly, and I don’t know how to competently live out my commitment to Christ. Messy Spirituality affirms our spiritual clumsiness.

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