Summary: Tools for Living: A healthy, positive relationship with Christ is at the center.

Talk about the wall… assign “names” to the plates and studs. (ie – church attendance, dressing nicely, going to a bible study, so on… maybe call for input)

Then talk about how you could dress it up… drywall… cut off the funny ends… use a bunch of spackle, etc.

1 Sam 16:6,7

6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD."

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Here we see what is important to the Lord. Our hearts… all else is secondary. Speak of the OT priests and the rituals, clothing, etc and that if they went it to the HH and their heart was not right… they died.

It is the heart that is at the center of a growing relationship with Christ… not the outward stuff.

But what about where Paul says… follow me as I follow Christ. (1Cor11:1)? Doesn’t that say that we should be able to look at one another and learn how we should grow? Not really… at least not in the way most people look to others for direction. Let’s deal with this scripture first.

You gotta take this in context. In chapter 10 he has finished talking about how he has done all he can to remove the obstacles before others so that they may come to know Christ. So what is he saying? He is laying down the principle that it is more important to do things to the glory of God than for you to be able to do the things you want to do… even if there is nothing wrong with what you do. Then when Paul says to follow him as he follows Christ… he is offering a principle, not a formula… he is indicating that the principle of doing things to bring people the gospel is most important and must be done without knowingly offending other growing Christians.

We may look to others for encouragement and minor direction… but we must not pattern our lives after them just because it appears that they are growing in Christ.

So, what are we to use to determine what our lives are to be like… or whether we are growing as the word tells us to… There is only one things that in primary… without it, all other things are useless. It is the Word… the Bible.

2 Tim 3:14-17

14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Word is the level… talk about that with the wall.

What about prophesy?

What about TBN?

What about great Aunt Sue or Grandpa Jim?

None of these replace the Word… you must allow the Holy Spirit to teach you from the Word… (speak on bad interpretation)

Examples –

1 Tim 2:1-4

1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

(Simple Explanation)

2 Chron 7:14

13 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

(Simple Explanation)

One a whole… you need not worry about interpreting something wrong.

Wrap up with call to action and time of repentance.

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