Jesus Shaped Living: Conversing With God and Men

SERMON MANUSCRIPT: Conversing With God and Men

Like many of us I have been blessed with a cell-phone. Although, honestly, it sometimes feels more like a curse than a blessing. All throughout the day I receive email or text notifications often at inopportune moments. Nothing drives me quite as batty as being woken up in the middle of the night for a 10% discount offer from an online store that I shopped at 3 years ago or an important update from a website that I can’t seem to unsubscribe from or a blaring notification from the ESPN app in the middle of church.

 Lately however, I have been receiving texts of a different sort. These texts have begun to change my perspective towards the alerts that I get. I am actually looking forward to seeing what messages are being sent my way. Let me give you a couple examples of what I am talking about from last week. On Monday, I received a text that began, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,’ (2 Timothy 3:12) Even as we are persecuted the Lord is with us and will take care of us.” The texter then went on to ask for prayer regarding the Lord’s purifying work in the lives of those involved on a missions trip. On Tuesday, I received a sobering text following the news that a well-known preacher had walked away from his family and from Christ. The text, focusing on the importance of God’s word stated, “It creates a sense of urgency and deepening of my prayer life to know Jesus more intimately, personally. Jesus is not a formula...Our faith in Christ needs to be authentic. We must be poor in spirit and ask the Lord to instill in us a repentant heart”. This is just a small sample of communication that is happening in my discipleship group. We get together regularly and seek the Lord with regards to living out Christ before our coworkers, our neighbors, our friends, and our families.

 Am I beginning my sermon with a plug for D-Groups? Yes. Yet I have found immense value in being part of a band of brothers who have understood that a personal, deep, and obedient relationship with the Father means that we go before him in prayer. I am learning that there is something powerful about being part of a group of believers that take seriously the call share the mystery of the gospel with others. This leads me to today’s text.