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Summary: A message about the importance and power fo studying God’s word.(The Life - part 6)

You Are What You Eat

The Life – part 8

The Practice of Studying

In the 5th chapter of Acts the apostles are in Jerusalem – they are preaching the gospel, healing the sick, driving out evil spirits – and they are really ticking off the religious leaders. The high priest and his cronies were filled with jealousy because everyone was going to the apostles and not to them. SO – they had the apostles arrested and threw them into jail. BUT – during the night God sent an angel and the angel opened the prison doors and set them free. AND – the angel told them – “Go stand in the Temple courts (the place where you got arrested) and tell the people the full message of this NEW LIFE.” (Acts 5:20)

LISTEN – being a Christian is about living a NEW LIFE… The Scriptures tells us in Romans 6 when this NEW LIFE begins; “…all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father we too may live a NEW LIFE.” (Romans 6:3,4)

UNDERSTAND – the bible is very clear that this NEW LIFE begin the moment a repentant believer is baptized (is immersed into Christ)…. AND – as we read in 2 Cor 5:17; “…IF anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation the old has gone the NEW has come…”

AND LISTEN – this new life does not come automatically – YOU SEE, we have to work in order to bring about this NEW way of LIVING; the bible says in Ephesians 4:24; “You were taught, with your regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by it’s deceitful desires; to be made NEW in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the NEW SELF created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness…”

LISTEN – there is no doubt whatsoever that to be a Christian means to live a NEW LIFE. Means to live as Paul says in Ephesians 4:1 the life God has called us to live, means to live and as Peter says in 2 Peter 1:3; a life that pleases (not/ you, your spouse) but pleases God.

AND UNDERSTAND – this NEW LIFE is to be; the primary, the focus, the number one pursuit of our lives…. This new life, was most definitely Paul’s number one pursuit. In Philippians 3 Paul tells us that he considered everything else as garbage compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ…

BUT – even though Paul pursued this NEW LIFE, with great passion & intensity, he still knew that he wasn’t there yet… CHECKOUT what he wrote…

“I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason he made me His. Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ TO THE LIFE ABOVE. All of us who are spiritually mature should think this way too…” Phil 3:12-15 (NCV)

Paul says I am not yet what God wants me to be

BUT – I continue trying

Why?

Because he knows that this is what Christ wants

He knows that this is why Christ saved him

Therefore…

Paul forgets the past and presses towards the future

He reaches towards being who God wants him to be…

He strains to live the Life above

TODAY – is our 8th week in our message series called THE LIFE…. A series whose purpose is to get us unstuck spiritually – to get us out of borderland that barren and often crowed place between where we were and where we should be… between where God brought us from to where God wants to take us to…

AND LISTEN – I can think of no reason why everyone in this room who is a believer would not desire to embrace the spiritual disciplines we have talked about so far (The practice of: solitude/joy/prayer/giving thanks). NO - I can not see any reason why anyone in this room today who claims Christ as Lord – who has had His blood wash away their sin – and who has the hope of heaven would not desire to strain toward the goal of being all that God wants them to be… At least no acceptable reason…

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