Summary: In a return to an earlier series, Slowing Down (this is now part six of that series), Dave talks about the importance of structuring life so that the right influences “seep into our skin.”

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What’s Seeping Through Your Skin?

Slowing Down, part 6

Wildwind Community Church

David Flowers

January 3, 2009

We’re going to do something tonight I have never done before. We’re going to pick up with new sermons in a series that I was doing a few months ago. This series will probably be a major emphasis for us at least for the rest of this year, and every time I touch on a topic in that category, I’m just going to consider it part of that series. Whoever said a series has to be preached in a series?

Our second series of this year was called Slowing Down. We can’t follow Jesus if we are in a hurry. And most of us are in a hurry because that’s the kind of culture we live in. So in order to follow Jesus we must learn to slow down, but in order to slow down we must learn to question, challenge, and then change the assumptions we have made about what is the best way to live – we must restructure our lives. Tonight’s message is called What’s Seeping Through Your Skin. The answer is whatever you’re structuring your life around. Whatever you structure your life around seeps through your skin. It gets to you at the deepest level and becomes part of you.

I know I have shared before the story of how, a few years ago, I called a friend for some spiritual guidance and he said, “You might check out the book, ‘The Life You’ve Always Wanted,’ by John Ortberg.” Immediately I replied, “I’ve already read that.” The phone line was silent for a moment, then he said, “Are you doing any of it?” There’s a big difference between hearing and doing – a big difference between knowing it would be good to do something and actually doing it. That’s why we’ll keep adding messages to this series all year. Because I might have to speak on the critical importance of structuring our lives in certain ways to make it possible to follow Christ several times a year for the next five years before most people really start applying this stuff and nailing it down. But if we don’t apply it – if we don’t have our lives scheduled properly – if we haven’t taken control of how we are living – then despite our best intentions we simply will be unable to do hardly anything else I preach about. Because following Jesus happens in a certain context. What is that context? It is a life of order, of structure, of rest, so we can remain close to Christ through the ordinary moments of our day.

Let’s look at Matthew 11:28-30 again. I know I’ve shown it to you a thousand times. Let’s keep looking at it until it seeps under our skin and into our lives. I’ve typically read this to you out of The Message translation, but tonight I want to use the Amplified Bible so you can see it with fresh eyes. This version is called Amplified because it routinely explains itself in parentheses right inside the text itself.

Matthew 11:28-30 (AMP)

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

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