Summary: This sermon talks about the second key to finding God’s purpose and that is to become like Jesus. Being a follower of Jesus is not about just believing in Jesus, it’s about the life of Jesus invading yours and mine and transforming our thoughts, words and
To Be Like Jesus
The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but people dying without ever knowing or living their life purpose. Last week we learned the first way to discover the purpose you were created for is to follow Jesus into God’s work in the world. You just can’t sit there and try to figure it out. You have to get off the bench and get in the game, in your neighborhood, your community, your church, the world. Go serve and your life purpose will begin to emerge inside of you.
Today we’re going to talk about the second key to finding God’s purpose and that is to become like Jesus. Being a follower of Jesus is not about just believing in Jesus, it’s about the life of Jesus invading yours and mine and transforming our thoughts, words and actions to become more like Him. But how do we become more like Christ? To answer that question, we first have to own where we are spiritually. As the church, you and I are supposed to be an army of selfless servants, but in reality Paul says the church is a nursery of self-absorbed infants. We have fallen under the idea that church is really about us, a place where we are ministered to and where we get our needs met. The problem is that that attitude means we always remain a child in the faith. A child is always about their needs. It’s like being a perpetual 1st grader. Can you imagine never getting out of the first grade? Being 47 years old sitting at this desk? The desk doesn’t even fit. You get the same old stories about Dick and Jane year after year: Up, Spot, up. Go, Spot, go. Good, Spot, good. Silly, silly Spot. You’re doing the same old things: finger painting, working on your ABC’s, cutting contruction paper into shapes. . . boring! Same old, same old! And what we find under these circumstances is that we start going through the motions. We never leave the elementary teachings.
The same is true in our spiritual journey as well. We are no longer trying to grow and learn for we are emotionally and spiritually unplugged. And the result is that you don’t ever gain the maturity to be able to understand the greater things of God, like your life purpose. You can’t explain physics to a first grader. They do not have the maturity to comprehend the abstract nature of physics. And spiritually, you can pray; you can fast; you can ask for God’s purpose, but you’re not going to understand it until you grow up in the disciplines of the Spirit. Not until you leave elementary things is God going to entrust you with your purpose in life.
Most of us in the church have been living on milk, and many of us not much of that at all. Milk is the Word of God. Only 18% of Christians read the Bible weekly and 23 percent say they never read the Word of God. The only Bible they ever get is in worship and they usually just wait for the preacher to tell them what to believe. And what most know of the Scriptures is usually the stories of the Bible: Jesus and the Good Samaritan, Jesus feeds 5,000, the healing of the blind man. But they never take the time to discover the deep truths of the Bible or to hear the voice of God speaking to them through the Scriptures. So the Word of God remains just that, the Word of God, and never becomes the Living Word of God which speaks to them. Hebrews 6:2 says the written word is our foundation. It is in here you discover and learn about the basic things like sin, repentance, Jesus Christ and forgiveness, but you don’t live in the foundation. The house that you live in is built on the foundation and the written word is just that. If you’ve never gotten beyond the written word, you’re still in elementary school.
Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Solid food is to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit. Listen to what Jesus said in John 16: “There is so much more I want to tell you but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but he will tell you about your future.” Whoa! As long as I remain a child in the faith, I’m just reading about Dick and Jane. I’m reading what Jesus did 2,000 years ago, but I’m not hearing the voice of God for me today through the Word. It’s not becoming the Living Word for me. And until it does, I will never hear God’s will for my future. “He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will tell you whatever He receives from me.” Jesus said everything that belongs to God, everything God has, Jesus is willing to reveal to you, but it’s all dependent on your ability, through discipline, to discern and hear the Holy Spirit. That takes maturity.