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Summary: Intro to the series on Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

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Tending to Life Beneath the Surface

Series: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Brad Bailey – January 15, 2012

Intro

Most of us know something of the tragedy of the Titanic. [1]

It was created with great pride and potential… created as the largest and most lavish passenger steamship in the world at the time. On April 10, 1912, she began her maiden voyage… setting sail for New York with 2,223 people on board… including many wealthy and prominent figures.

On the upper decks… it was all about keeping the party in luxury… but on the fourth day of that maiden voyage…tragedy occurred. She hit an iceberg…. That tore open the hull and began to take in water.

There were two worlds tragically divided…life on the upper decks looked so impressive… and it was moving with remarkable speed…but on the lower decks…beneath the water line…there was damage and danger that was being ignored until it was too late.

That ship reflects our lives. We were created with great pride and potential…but when we’re only focused on the upper deck… and avoid the problems below… we face the tragic consequences.

> What we need to grasp is that we are each the captain of these lives… who must make choices …choices that can prove destructive and even deadly… or can prove to restore us and lead to the fullness of life which Jesus came to bring.

We need to begin by realizing that the ship is like the iceberg that destroyed it… in which only 10% can be seen. 90% lies unseen beneath the water…and ignoring that 90% can prove fatal.

Today we are beginning a series…. entitled Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.

This series is about tending to life beneath the deck… below surface.

The fact that you are here… I believe reflects that you value the deeper life that God has given you. But Jesus reminds us of a tendency that we are all vulnerable to.

Jesus confronted the religious leaders of his day with words that must speak to all of us today.

Matthew 23:25-26 (NIV)

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Jesus was not talking to some pagans… the local criminals of his day.

He was engaging the religious leaders. These were those who appeared to take God most seriously….most centrally. These were those who went to every service…. memorized every teaching…. did every proper thing one should.

Jesus uses the analogy of a drinking cup… something that gets washed everyday between the many times throughout the day when people stopped to drink water or tea. It notes that while the outside may be what is seen…it is the inside that determines whether it is healthy to drink from.

Jesus is speaking of the heart… what Hebrew culture understands as the inner life.


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