Summary: In this message we look at the practice of confessing our sins to another believer. (The Life part 9)
I Am The Man
The Life – part 9
The Practice Of Confession
TODAY – is our 8th week in this awesome message series that we are in, called, “The Life,” – a message series that has the potential to radically change your entire life in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine.
LISTEN - IF you embrace the principles that we’ve been talking about now since October 13th - you will be; a better; husband, wife, parent, worker, student, person – a better Christian… AND – Central will be a much more powerful and more effective church… UNDERSTAND – an incredible invitation has be placed in each of our hands…
I’d like to start off our time today by reading a parable that Luke records for us in the 14th chapter of his gospel… Jesus told this parable is response to a man who had misunderstood BOTH the reality and the opportunity of being a part of, of being a participant in, the kingdom of God.
READ – Luke 14:15-24
LISTEN - this parable is a stark reminder that there are so many lost opportunities in this life…. The GREATEST - of which IS, the lost opportunity of God’s invitation to know Him, through his Son, Jesus Christ. TO REJECT the opportunity to be right with God, to refuse to have your past forgiven and your future guaranteed THROUGH the mercy and grace found at the foot of the blood stained cross IS more than tragic… It is to reject the invitation to life and INSTEAD choose death…
BUT UNDERSTAND – even among those who have accepted the invitation offered through the crucified Christ are countless lost opportunities. LIKE the opportunities that are lost when we ignore God’s invitation to join Him in what He is doing in this world, when we ignore his invitation to live and experience a new way of life. A way of life that leads us to a richer and deeper relationship with God - AND that also enables us to become all that God desires and wants us to be… A way of life that WILL make an impact and change this world (one life at a time).
LISTEN – in a very real way, God IS throwing a party for His children, and we are invited… BUT UNDERSTAND - this parties participants, are those, who embrace spiritual disciplines; those who develop holy habits, spiritual practices that will lead them to; real growth, genuine change and authentic transformation…
QUESTION – is every believer, and will every believer embrace these disciplines, does every believer live this new life? YOU KNOW the answer to that, but way?
YOU SEE – like those who missed the party in Jesus’ parable, we are all full of excuses. One said, “I just bought a field. I must go see it. Please excuse me.” Another said, “I have bought 5 yoke of oxen. I am on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.” The third said; “I just got married, so I can’t come.”
SAME old excuses; I have places to go, things to do and people to see (I have a job, a career, I have my purchases, my recreation and my family) – I am just too busy right now to accept God’s offer to a new way of life – please excuse me…. Maybe I’ll have more time later…
QUESTION - did you NOTICE in the parable that the first two people basically said, “I choose not to come,” but the one who just got married said, “I can’t come - I’m not allowed.”
Erwin McManus in his book, Seizing Your Divine Moment, writes;
It is amazing how often the very ones who are supposed to encourage us to move forward are the ones who hold us back. I’ve personally known so many women whose hearts are filled with God’s passion and yet find themselves unable to seize divine moments (unable to live the new way of life) because of the passivity and opposition of their husbands
(and I have seen it the other way as well wife’s holding back husbands and also parents holding back their children). Our lives should be filled with friends and family members who long to move forward and capture all the life that is to be experienced.
QUESTION – do you right now, at this very moment long to move forward and capture all the life ‘in Christ’ that is to be experienced? LET ME TELL – you I most definitely am longing to move forward (like an Olympic skier on a downhill, I am leaning forward not back) – because I know like Paul’s says in Phil 3;
“I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason he made me His. Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ TO THE LIFE ABOVE.