Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Max Lucado’s book is the idea behind this series. The heart of Jesus is a key characteristic in being a Christian. In an opening to the Max Lucado book of the same title he says: “God loves us the way we are. He loves us too much to leave us the way we

Just like Jesus

In an opening to the Max Lucado book of the same title he says: “God loves us the way we are. He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. He wants us to be Just Like Jesus.” In the book are 12 sections dealing with the heart and how we can have a heart like Jesus. If the church is to be the strong vibrant living organism it is called to be, we need to have a heart Just Like Jesus.

Max begins by telling us of his wife Denalyn. She is a lot like my wife Loretta. She never settles into a home, she helps transform the home. Me, I would be satisfied with a chair or couch, TV, refrigerator, and a bed. Loretta has to decorate, pictures, wall pieces, curtains, drapes, carpet and so on. Like Denalyn, I suspect Loretta got her gift from her Father, not her earthly father but her heavenly Father. God too likes to decorate, just look at the fields in the Spring and Autumn. When God moves into a heart he will change that heart. It is not enough for God to live in you He wants to own you. He will spare no expense in doing so either. Look at Eph 1:19 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength

Our Creator is remaking us into the image of Christ. He wants us to be Just Like Jesus.

We are to have a Heart Like His.

God’s plan is simple; he wants us to have a new heart. We sing, “Create in me a new Heart O God and renew a right spirit within me.” Do we mean it? What if Jesus lived your life for just one day? What if tomorrow, you woke up and you were Jesus? What would be different? Would you treat people the same? Would you see things the same way? Would you see Sunsets, birds singing, Death and Taxes, traffic delays, the same?

God loves us the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.

Eph. 4:23-24 says

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.

God is in the renewal business. IT is time we let go and let God do what He does best.

When my boys were younger they loved to play in the yard. John was probably the most mischievous of the three. John just had to investigate, he had to find out why or how. I had brought home pizza one night from our favorite Italian restaurant. John came running in, filthy from head to toe, face covered in dirt and mud. I found out he was playing in the garden trying to see how the vegetables were growing. Did I love him any less because he was filthy? No, but I loved him too much to leave him that way. We can stay dirty if we want, but then we miss out on God’s better offer.

Maybe you were born like Archie Bunker, always grumpy, bigoted and always seeing the glass as half empty. If our bodies malfunctioned we would seek help, so why don’t we seek help when our character malfunctions. God has a better offer

Jesus cared for women, yet never accused of lustful thoughts. He loved and yet he was scorned, but he forgave even before they ever sought forgiveness. Both Peter and John concluded this about Jesus “A lamb unblemished and spotless.” (1 Peter 1:19) and “In him is no sin” (1 John 3:5).

The Apostles fretted, Jesus fed. The Apostles saw the storm, Jesus slept. Peter lifted his sword, Jesus lifted his hand to heal. The Apostles abandoned him and denied him, the soldiers spat at him, and the crowd mocked him, yet he forgave. Jesus was led by the Spirit, what leads us?

His heart was pure, ours is greedy. His is peaceful, we need tranquilizers. He was purposeful, we are distracted. He was pleasant, we are cranky. He was Spiritual, we are earthly. Yet the same Spirit that led him can lead us. Paul knew this when he wrote Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

When we give our life to Jesus he can change whatever we let him. There once was a wealthy man who invited Jesus to come and live with him in his home. When Jesus arrived the man led Jesus to an upper room. It was the largest and most beautiful room in the house. This is your room Jesus. That night there was knock at the door, it was a demon trying to get in. The man struggled for hours with that demon trying to keep him from coming in. Finally as he bolted the door he looked up at the door to Jesus’ room. Jesus had not come out. The next night the scene is similar, only this time there are several demons. After struggling for many hours, the man is able to bolt the door and keep the demons out. Again, he looks up and sees that Jesus had not come out. This puzzled him. The next night, as the knock came on the door, the man looked up at the room where Jesus stayed, wondering if tonight Jesus would come to the rescue. This time it was a legion of demons. The struggle to keep them out lasted all night. Finally bolting the door, the man decided to confront Jesus. As Jesus answered the door to his room, the man came in very angry. Jesus, he said, I have invited you to my home, gave you the best room in the house, yet for the last few nights I had struggled against many demons and you have not even lifted a finger to help me, why Jesus? Jesus answered him saying, you only gave me this room, the house is still yours. With that the man said; Jesus the whole house is yours, everything I have is yours. That night there was a knock on the door, this time it was Satan, but this time Jesus answered the door. Satan saw Jesus standing there and said “Oops wrong house.”

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