At Gateway Church in South Austin I shared about how we have all we need to become who God created us to be.
A new season means a new start!
I believe God has something very special for each of us! God is inviting each of us into a deeper relationship. He wants each of us to trust Him more, to know Him more, to experience Him more, and even to step out into the next great adventure He has for each of us.
And what’s amazing is we have everything we need to do it!
Listen to this:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” – 2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV
When we say ‘yes’ to following Jesus, we receive the Spirit of God within us! And with that we have access to God’s divine power and God’s divine nature!
His power enables us to live a transformed life, a godly life, a life where others see the difference between who He has made us to be and who we’ve been without Him!
When we follow Jesus we have everything we need within us already! We just need to discover the divine power within us through Jesus.
Divine power defined – “dunamis: (miraculous) power, physical power, might, strength, force, energy”
Divine nature defined – “the underlying constitution or make-up of someone (something).” “partakers of a divine nature, a participant who mutually belongs and shares fellowship; a ‘joint-participant.’”
We see an example of this in nature.
A baby has everything he or she needs to grow up to become mature. It takes time, nourishment, learning, and community to help that happen, but a baby has everything he or she needs to be an adult!
Think about it: a baby has 10 little fingers and and 10 little toes, two arms and legs, and torso.
A baby isn’t born with just a head!
And then a few months later develops a torso and then a few months later develops arms and then legs!
And I’m glad! That sounds like an unpleasant experience!
Just as a quick aside. Did you know that one of the reasons babies are so cute is because they have little versions of adult bodies but also because our eyes never actually grow. They are the same size throughout our lives! We have adult sized eyes in little baby heads! That’s why babies look like those Precious Moments figurines or those Big Eyes paintings.
But our nose and ears never stop growing! Ever noticed that?!
The Scriptures tell us you have all you need to live a transformed and godly life!
How often do we walk around defeated when we should be walking around knowing we have the divine power and the divine nature nature within?!
You have all you need to be all God has called you to be!!
When you choose to follow Jesus, you have God’s divine nature within you! You’ve been given the Spirit of God, the same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead! You’ve been promised some very great and precious promises!
Choosing to follow Jesus is a moment in time and it lasts a lifetime. You cannot lose God’s presence or Spirit. A relationship with God is just like a relationship with faithful friend or devoted spouse or loving parent. He will never betray you or divorce you or disown you.
Now we can turn our backs on Him but that doesn’t mean He let us go. We can wander into some pretty dark places, and maybe that’s been your story even after deciding to follow Jesus. That’s not who you really are.
If you aren’t seeking after God, you can feel distance. You will live less than you are capable of living.
When we mess up, when we relapse into sin and bad habits, that is not who we are in Christ!
That’s who we used to be, but not who we are.
That may be the default behavior of our flesh, but that’s not our life in the Spirit!
The problem is we forget who we are!!
So then what should we do?
How do we live that out and experience that transformed life?
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV
Effort defined – “zealous diligence, one’s ‘best’, earnestness, enthusiasm”
To become who God created us to be requires trusting and obeying God’s call to a new life found in Jesus and community!
Some of these attributes of the Spirit are lived out vertically and some are lived out horizontally.
Some can only happen by walking closely with Jesus.
Some can only happen by walking closely with others.
There are things that God wants to do in you internally.
There are things that Gid is calling you to do externally.
Jesus said it this way when summarizing the message of the Hebrew Scriptures: “Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself.”
You cannot say you love God and not love the people around you.
Goodness defined – “a gracious act, virtue, uprightness, moral excellence”
You don’t have to give into rudeness because you have the capacity for goodness!
You don’t have to gossip or slander or judge, you can assume the best, offer grace, be willing to do I’m sorry and be willing to forgive.
Need more goodness in our world. It’s a rare commodity!
Knowledge defined – “‘experientially know’ – functional ‘working’ knowledge gleaned from first-hand (personal) experience, connecting theory to application; ‘application-knowledge,’ gained in (by) a direct relationship.”
You don’t have to give into ignorance.
Self-control defined – “self-mastery, self-restraint, self-control, continence”
You don’t have to give into being out of control, a life that is unmanageable, incontinence.
Perseverance defined – “remaining under, endurance; steadfastness, especially as God enables the believer to “remain (endure) under” the challenges God allows into our life.”
You don’t have to give into quitting, giving up, not following through.
Godliness defined – “someone’s inner response to the things of God which shows itself in godly piety, in reverence, a godly heart-response which naturally expresses itself in reverence for God
You don’t have to give into godlessness, living as if there is no God in your life, immorality.
Mutual affection defined – “brotherly love”
You don’t have to give into hate or even gossip, slander, envy, jealousy. You can appreciate how each person is created in the image of God. See the image of God in them in spite of the terrible choices they might make.
Love defined – “divine love” the kind of love God shows us, unconditional love
Gateway South, you are doing this! You are creating the community where people can belong, grow, heal, and serve! In doing so, you are experiencing these very things!
Some of us may be here today, and we are free agents. We used to be leading or serving but right now we are in between. I want you to know, that’s ok.
But I want all of us to consider what’s next. God has something more for each of us! And we will only experience what He has for us when we step out in faith, when we step out into our next leadership adventure.
So today listen with an open heart and open mind to what He has for you!
I believe for those of us serving and leading, there is a next level He has for us.
I believe for those of us in between groups right now, there is a new calling for you.
I believe for all us walking with Jesus, He is inviting us to trust Him even more with our time, with our talents, with our finances, where we work, in our homes, among our friends, and with our neighbors!
How will this fall be different than other recent seasons for you? Are you going to get sucked into all sorts of busyness but miss out some of the most important things like your relationship with God, your relationship with others following Jesus?