Summary: Part 5 in series, The Company We Keep, this message addresses intentions. How do you intend to live your life?
Intending To Live
The Company We Keep, prt. 5
Wildwind Community Church
May 30, 2009
How do you intend to live? That’s a strange question, isn’t it? How do you intend to live? This is a question most people don’t think about, and it’s this fact that is responsible for the significant numbers of people who are chronically unpleased with themselves. They are living for the moment. They want to watch their TV shows or enjoy their computers and other distractions (pick your distraction), but they have not determined to live in a certain way and then arranged their lives so as to live that way. I’m going to give you a very specific challenge at the end of this sermon geared toward helping you live in a certain way that is necessary in order for you to learn to obey Jesus. I hope you will take it seriously and go for it, because I think it has potential to start a revolution in the lives of a lot of people. I’m not going to tell you what it is right now, but I’ll tell you that today is the day when we stop dinking around with the idea of following Jesus and get serious about doing what it takes.
How do you intend to live? Living the Jesus life, as I said last week, requires that you get a vision for how your life could be different, and better, if you were actually living that life. Indeed many Christians do not even seriously attempt to live like Jesus because our vision of the Jesus life is a dour and somber vision. We cannot imagine that life would be any fun if we were holy. We can’t see ourselves BEING holy and in our most honest moments some of us might even say we don’t want to be holy, or that holiness is too much of a spiritual term for them – they’re just regular people.
But we are called to be holy. That’s the thing. That’s our call.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Jesus has issued that call to you – come and work with me and walk with me. Watch how I live and let me teach you. Well, if Jesus has issued a call for us to learn from him how to live, and Jesus was God and therefore holy, what is our calling actually TO? Our calling is to holiness!!
So last week I shared with you that we need to have a positive vision of what it would mean to be holy, to be like Jesus, to live the life he has called us to live. If you think that the more you live like Jesus, the more miserable you will be and the less you will enjoy life, then you will simply never muster what it takes to follow him. You cannot motivate yourself to a basically negative vision for your life. I passed out that sheet last week where the Apostle Paul lists all the great stuff that comes from a life of holiness, and I’ve been talking to you for weeks about what it would mean for you to live free from fear, from anger, from addictions, from pettiness and jealousy and resentment, etc. etc. I’ve been trying to help you get, or reinforce, a positive vision for life in the Kingdom of God. Because that’s the kind of life it is – one of richness and depth and fullness and joy and completeness. In order to follow Jesus you must believe that the life he calls you to is better than the life you are already living. If you do not have that trust in him, you simply will not be able to follow him. This means that you must understand that the life of holiness Jesus calls you to IS a life of joy! Some of you might have to wrestle with that for months. Do whatever it takes to bring yourself to understand that, because you’ll find it hard to motivate yourself to a life that deep down you think is going to be terrible.
We talked about how existing and accepted methods of “following Jesus” are not bringing the transformation Jesus promised. To bring that home to you, let me repeat some recent statistics I have shared with you.
In November 2006, A Christian research organization surveyed a region of the FMC.
46% reported negative on relationship with spouse specifically
29% ongoing problems in sexuality—porn, extra-marital affairs, uncontrollable lust, fantasies, masturbation