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How the Automobile Wrecked Discipleship - Hebrews 10:24-25 - Mercy Hill

Made for More / Mercy Hil Church
The Truth Network Radio
November 26, 2022 7:00 am

How the Automobile Wrecked Discipleship - Hebrews 10:24-25 - Mercy Hill

Made for More / Mercy Hil Church

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November 26, 2022 7:00 am

What does the automobile have to do with discipleship in the church? You may think, “Nothing?” but it had a huge impact on every facet of the mo life... including discipleship!

Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
The Steve Noble Show
Steve Noble
Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore

Thank you.

It's great to be with you. And I want to start out by asking a question, and it's simply this. Have you ever wondered why churches talk so much about small groups and the New Testament says so little? Actually, nothing.

But there's a really good reason for it, and it's simply this. We forget. The New Testament church was a small group. That's what it was. They were house churches. And if I know anything about house churches, they don't have bands with hazers. They don't have elder boards and all of that.

These kind of things. They were small and already a house church. There was no mobility. And because of no mobility, that meant, and we'll talk about this in a little bit, everybody knew everybody else's business.

It was literally Mayberry USA way back then. But then Henry Ford came along, and he mass produced something called the automobile. And that's why I call the teaching we're doing today How and Why the Automobile Wrecked Discipleship. Because the automobile, when it was mass produced, changed everything because it gave mobility to people that had never in all of history been given to us as an opportunity. And one thing it did is it allowed everything to get bigger. When my folks were young, the automobile was, you know, in most households of middle class or above, but even then there was just one car.

And so what would happen is my mom who didn't work would stay home until dad came home, and then they could go to the grocery store or whatever. And the mobility allowed things to get a little bit bigger, but still things were pretty normatively neighborhood oriented. But now the automobile is ubiquitous. You go by any apartment complex, there's never enough parking, right? It's everywhere.

Because you've got three college students, you have four cars. That's just everywhere. And what that means is it's so easy now to go past the closest to what you consider to be the better. And that's what created big box stores, and that's what created big box churches.

It's the freedom of choice that the automobile has given to us. And a lot of that's a really good thing. I'm very, very thankful for it. But like every good thing, there's a dark side to it.

And that's what we're going to talk about today. And the sense of how our larger churches have slowly over time, we've begun, began to miss out on an understanding of all the things that are needed for us to be true disciples, followers of Jesus. Now I want to be quite clear, I'm not against large churches. I've had the privilege of pastoring one. There are so many cool things and advantages that come with having a larger ministry, the quality of programs, the things that can be done.

But if we're not careful, we're going to be missing out on something that for nearly 2,000 years has been everywhere in every church that ever existed. Most of us are like fish and water. You ask a fish, how's the water? What's it say?

What water? Because that's the only thing the fish has ever known. And so we go through a life like that. We tend to think that the world's always been like the world that we have experienced. So when it comes to church, and well, let me step back this way. When it comes to even reading the Bible, we read our culture into it.

And we assume that the things we're reading about are taking place in an environment similar to what we live in. One of my favorite examples of reading that in the culture is a guy named Joseph of Arimathea. Have you heard of Joseph? He's the, for most Christians, he's a conjunction between the death of Jesus, well he has to be buried somewhere so he can resurrect. And I know as a new Christian when I read the story, as a pastor, I've done a whole lot of in-depth study of the death of Jesus and all that leads up to it and everything. Then, well of course he had to be buried and some Joseph of Arimathea guys a tomb and then major stuff on the resurrection. But what's weird is when you go back to the day of the New Testament, Joseph of Arimathea was not just a little conjunction so Jesus had somewhere to be buried.

He's a massive hero to all of them. Why? Well because of something we as fish in the water don't read back in the Scripture. We think dead bodies are buried or cremated.

Right? But back then, if you were a criminal that was put to death by crucifixion and a Roman citizen couldn't even have that happen to them, what do you think happened to your body? It was taken down off that cross.

It was thrown in the garbage heap and within 24 to 48 hours there's not any evidence that you were ever here. Well I want to take this same principle and show how it applies to a couple of key verses in the book of Hebrews. So if you're not already there I encourage you to find on a paper Bible or digital device this book that we call Hebrews and we're going to look at only two verses here and in these two verses we're going to see what they actually say versus what we think they say and then I want to walk into the application of what does that mean about the way we pursue our own relationship with Jesus.

Okay so here we go it's going to be Hebrews chapter 10 and it's verses 24 and 25. Let us consider how we may spur one another or encourage one another to love and good deeds. Not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another and all the more as we see the day approaching. So the key thing here he's telling us to do the command is don't stop meeting together. Now my bet is most of you have read this passage the way I always read it. Don't stop going to church. Right? But this passage isn't really about don't stop going to church which by the way don't stop going to church.

Okay? That's not my point here but my point here is to understand there's something significantly more to this. Not giving up meeting together means not stopping going to church but it's a command to do something far more than going to church. It's a command to be in relationship not just attendance. If you're a note taker that's a phrase you need to write down and maybe the margin your revival it's not a command.

Hey make sure you show up when the doors are open. There's great value that comes from that but that's not what I'm talking about. It's to make sure that you were in relationship.

What kind of relationship? The one we saw at the beginning of this verse. Consider here's what the passage says. Consider think about Mulan. What is it going to take to spur and encourage one another on to love and good deeds?

Here's what it's going to take. Living in relationship. Because you see when he wrote this nobody was getting in their chariot to go to church with 150 other people. They were going to a house church. They were going to a small group of people not very far away who knew everything about one another and he says he's basically saying don't move to isolation. Now would you agree with me in this day and age thanks to the automobile we can be in crowds but live in isolation. In fact sometimes I'm working with a brand new church a small church plant or a a smaller church and and they will tell me oh we are just really tight we're like this.

And I go no you're not anywhere near as much as you think. Because unless you're living communally or all living on the same block you're getting in the car and driving to gather together. And it's pretty cool that you're gathering together two or three times a week and you're all that tight but I'm pretty sure you're a lot like me. From the time I get in the car to the time we walk into the house I can clean up that little fight I had with Nancy.

Like that right? I mean there are so many things that we're able to shape and change during that ability to go from here to go there that if we're not intentional about being in the kind of relationships where we can't hide everything's going to go sideways. Now as I said I have nothing against big churches. I am thrilled to be a pastor at a at a massive church. For instance one of the cool things that happens a bigger it gets the more you can serve the whole family very well. The easier it is for what I like to call come and see evangelism where instead of coming to a special program you're just able to tell people well just come and see what we do.

The quality I mean there's just so much good about it. But there are some negatives. Because when we stop at attendance instead of moving on to relationship these things happen. Programs.

If you want to jot down some things these free friends. Programs replace relationships. See anytime a crowd just 150 200 much less thousands. Anytime a crowd is is large what happens is I start going to the program instead of the relationship. Now and so what happens when the program's not any good what do we do? We go somewhere else where the program's good.

You know but think through the holidays and all of that when when you know well Thanksgiving dinner wasn't all that good last year or Christmas dinner wasn't or whatever do we go well I'm gonna find another family. No we we stay together and so one of the signs that something has gone wrong and how the automobile has wrecked discipleship. Which is we're discipled we've become like Jesus based on content and peer pressure iron sharpening iron is we've lost iron sharpening iron. We're just going to groups and we think well I went to church. Well what happens then is we're motivated but not mentored. See programs can motivate at North Coast Church where I have privilege of being one of the teaching pastors. We we we actually say our church is all about the small groups that's the hub of our ministry. The weekends are very important because they're the catalyst in which we're able to motivate we're able to encourage we're able to do a whole lot of things. But it's only when people walk out and do life on life with the things we talked about that real change takes place. Otherwise it's kind of like the diets I've been on.

I'm like an expert on I've been on hundreds just hundreds and I get motivated and I get on it somewhere between three and four hours. And have you been there? You know what I'm talking about? And and so church because when churches primarily a motivator without relationships to mentor we get filled with guilt. And we live a life I should I should I should but we don't get the help to move on and do it. A second thing that happens when we settle just for the gathering is that image replaces reality. And that's natural. You know you know what's what's the phrase you use when you see somebody at church? We say hey how you doing? Right? How you doing? And what's the answer that always comes back?

Help me, talk to me, my church does. How you doing? Good or fine?

Right? Listen you're not doing good or fine. Under your breath you're saying my kid was out till 3 a.m. last night and I got a call from the cops they were in jail and my marriage is on fumes and this is going on but when I say hey how you doing? Fine, fine. Which basically means it's none of your business. But it's cool with me because I didn't really care anyway I was just letting you know I see you. Right?

And so we settled for that. And and it's it's all about an image I mean I say fine no matter how bad I'm doing because I know you don't really care and I don't have the time to stop and talk. But man I need some people in my life who could say you're not fine.

And sit down and get real with. When we settle for attendance and don't add that relationship the third thing that happens is privacy replaces accountability. Because with strangers you can't hold me accountable. Have you ever been in a large group where somebody has no EQ and they come up and they tell you how to run your life though they have no authority or relationship to do that?

Right? The authority to speak into somebody's life, to tell them hey that's not a good thing or let me encourage you with this or whatever. That comes out of relationship or a jerk for Jesus one of the two.

And the only one you're going to listen to is the one you have relationship with and what happens is when we're not in those smaller intentional things that were natural. That's why the New Testament I said earlier didn't talk about them. We didn't have to talk about them back then. I'm not that old but they didn't need to talk about them that back then for the simple reason they were already in that group. It's none of your business.

Man how many times you heard that? Among people. Some of us who love Jesus follow Jesus. That's our answer when some of it's none of your business. Or my favorite it's between me and God.

It's like no it's not. There are over 30 one anothers in the Bible New Testament. Things were to do with one another.

None of them can be done once the church gets over 150 200 people. How you doing? Fine none of your business all that takes place. Let me give you some of the one anothers. One of them is we're supposed to bear with one another. Well bearing with one another and and I began to learn this at North Coast Church once we hit we were less than 200 people when we began to realize we got to wake up every single day structuring ourselves to make it hard for people not to be in real relationships rather than waking up every day to say how do we get more people on the weekend. Because once we hit nearly 200 people you know what bearing with one another meant? You bugged me so I'm going to go to the other service. No bearing with one another means you work it out.

You know and and and and pre-mobility you had to work it out because that fool was still living next door to you and you had to find a way to do it. How about this one confess your sins one to another. Well I want to say somewhere around 20 people that one falls apart. You know it it better not to you know some churches do meet and greet you know take a few minutes to turn around and meet and greet people or whatever like just imagine now you know you've got a campus that's doing meet and greet and I turn around and say yeah I was watching porn yesterday how are you doing?

That's like what? Truly confessing our sins is only going to be to somebody who's safe and somebody who's real and somebody's going to help. And we have settled for larger gatherings and then we wonder why these bearing with one another we don't know how to do it. I mean we're living in a trigger happy age in terms of everybody getting upset about everything and and because we live in the culture we as Jesus followers end up you know we're influenced by the culture we live in and and we're posting things about other believers and one another we we know nothing about bearing with one another because we're just acquaintances and strangers. We'll grow to become like Jesus when we have those more intimate relationships. Just really pray for one another, admonish one another.

You can see how all of those only take place when you're in that smaller relationship. Let me take them pray for one another. Am I the only one in this room that gets asked to pray for something you don't really care about?

Right? And here's what pastors are going to do. We learn to say, look I'll pray for you and then as soon as they're walking away, Lord just take care of that, cure them of the cancer, amen. So the next time I see I can say I was praying for you.

And why? It's just like too many people and too many things I can't really care. But in my small group, and again whether it's an official church small group or an unofficial small group but that group of people where we really know each other and can't hide, guess what? I remember to pray every single day. And that one another takes place rather than some list that I never actually look at more than once or until the next time I see you and I quickly throw another prayer so I can say I've been praying for you.

Don't look at me that way, I know you're all the same. So let me tie this all together with some thoughts. That better together is not a cliche, it's a fact. And I want to put it in the framework of those two simple verses we saw in Hebrews. Figure out a way to stimulate and provoke one another to love and good deeds.

And by the way, you'll never be able to do that if you stop meeting together in relationship again, not attendance. So five things the automobile has caused us to forget and we need to remember. Number one, Christianity is a team sport. Christianity is a team sport. We have a personal relationship with God, but we do not have a private relationship with God. And I think what has crept into our culture, I know my church and most churches I work with, we've confused the two things. It's me and God, it's a private relationship, it's none of your business.

No, you have a personal relationship, but it is not in any way private. The pursuit of an intensely private relationship with God is about as unbiblical as you can get. And yet for some of you who've had the privilege of maybe growing up in a Christian home, you've been a long time Christian, we even use that kind of language. We talk about becoming more intimate in our relationship with God and all this kind of stuff. It's just, you know, Jesus is my boyfriend and we're just like all tight and just me and Jesus and that's what really matters. And in reality, what does he say? He says, no, they're going to know my disciples by how you love one another, how you relate to each other, not how intense your prayer life is.

Not how much you seek after me like a deer panteth after water from the Psalm or whatever. The maturity in the Christian life always, always is life on life with others. And I realize from conference speakers to books to all kinds of things, there's been this tendency to make it so intensely private that we think God is good when we live in isolation.

And by the way, it's not new. This one crept in before the automobile. It's a problem the monks had. The monks thought they could love God more by staying away from people more. Exactly the opposite of what God called us to do. Let me just give you some verses quickly. The Bible says we're the body of Christ.

Have you heard that one? First Corinthians chapter 12, 12 to 27 and other places. And it says this, the eye cannot say to the hand, I don't need you and the hand cannot say to the feet, I don't need you.

But that's what our private Christianity does. Like you're frosting on the cake, but the cake is just me and God. I don't really need you.

Yeah, we do. And when you hurt, I hurt. And when I let you down, you know, if my eyes suddenly said, ah, I'm taking a vacation, the rest of my body wouldn't be, well, we're cool with it. I need my eyes. And pain. You know, you poke me in the eye, my foot's not going to say, well, at least it wasn't me.

No, the whole body hurts. And the body of Christ isn't a theological construct. It's a reality that if we don't live out, we miss out hugely. Did you know the Bible also says we belong to one another?

Now that's one strong, it's none of your business. No, the Bible says we belong to one another. Romans 12, 4 to 5.

Each member belongs to the other. We're told we serve God, not by reading the Bible more and praying more. We serve God by serving others. I always thought he was more impressed the more time I spent reading my Bible. As if somehow reading my Bible. By the way, I wouldn't have spent my life teaching the Bible.

I wouldn't be doing this. I love the Word of God. It's the lamp unto our feet, so understand that, okay? But God's not so impressed when I read the Bible and journal.

He's impressed when I walk out and do the things I journaled about. Okay? Because if reading the Bible and robust theology and journals filled with just inner reaction and commentary between God and me, if that was the key to it, then there were no mature Christians before Gutenberg came along. Think about that. Nobody had a Bible by their nightstand to read until Gutenberg came. Self-feeding, robust theology is a wonderful thing, but it's a worthless thing if I'm not in relationship, practicing those things.

It's a team sport. Number two. We've already touched on this one.

I'll give you a chance to jot it down. There is no biblical right to privacy, but there is a biblical responsibility to accountability. Now, we've read the right to privacy into the Constitution, and not being political on the thing, but I kind of look at it and I go, well, it's probably better than reading no right to privacy into it, but the problem comes when I read it into the Bible, because it's not in the Bible. The idea that my relationships, my sexuality, my financial choices, and my actions are none of your business because they're between me and God is the exact opposite of Scripture.

Before the automobile came and wrecked everything, there was no way to have any of those things as secrets. Right? See, one of the things that privacy has done is to foster sin, because anonymity and privacy fosters and breeds sin. Would you agree with me we all live better when mom's around?

Right? Why do we live better when mom's around? Because she's watching. Now, we know theologically God sees everything, but it's amazing. Somebody will tell one joke at work you wouldn't tell at church, as if God was not listening at work. For me as a pastor, one of the things I love, especially a large church like we are in our community where tons of people know you, I have some friends who think that's a bad thing, because everywhere you go somebody is going to say, Pastor Larry.

Now, here's how it really works. We're at a restaurant, and the food's not good or the service is not good, and I'm just about to complain, and my wife kicks me under the table and says, Larry, they'll be at church in the front row next week. Be nice. And when they come up and say, Hi, Pastor Larry, it's never at the beginning of the meal.

It's after everything's all done. Okay? And I've learned to know that, that like, you know, you probably go to the church, you know, just a little look, a second look. You probably go there.

You're not going to tell me until you find out what I'm like offstage. I love that. Because guess what?

It's like I live in a glass house. And in our stupidity of privacy, we'd hate that. And I go, if I want to live at my best, I want to be reminded people are watching.

Can you see where I'm going with that? The greatest gift I have in my life that I feel sorry that those that aren't on a stage don't have is everywhere I go, somebody knows me. So I actually have to act like Jesus is watching all the time. What a beautiful gift. But when we've substituted it so that we have other reasons to hide, we will never live our best because we'll forget God is watching.

How easy is that to do? We'll think of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter 3. And they didn't even have us in nature. And it's just how we're wired. I want more people around me knowing more about me, and I will always be able to live better. And it's not because I'm disingenuous, it's because we're spurring one another onto loving good deeds. We always use the word peer pressure like it's a negative thing, don't we? It's not negative. Peer pressure can be negative, or it can be the most positive thing in your life.

Pursue it. And the power of it is just mind-boggling. I mean, all you got to do is, they used to have these things called yearbooks, everything's digital now, but when I say yearbook, do you know what I mean? Right? And if you ever go back after about, yeah, all it takes is 10 years. Imagine 40, 50 years afterward, you go back and you go, what was I smoking that I thought that looked good or what? It's because everybody else, we shape to everybody else and what they're doing and what they're wearing. I want to shape to everybody else and how they're living when they're godly people.

I've chosen to be in deep relationship with. A few other things quickly. A third principle is this. Some decisions are too important to be made alone. That's another reason why we need more than just going to church. We need that smaller group who knows the real us and we're close enough to, we can be honest with. And the problem is, though some decisions are too important to be made alone, we don't usually know which ones until after we made it. Amen?

Like, oh crud, I should have done that. And one of the great beauties of wisdom is it's not just found in prayer, it's found in godly counsel. And so what I've always wanted to do in my life is surround myself with wise and godly people who I'm close enough to, I can ask about smaller things and not just a huge thing. So when I get to that decision that's too big to be made alone, I know who's wise and who's not.

Because otherwise I just look, well who's most successful financially or business wise? And I think they're wise. Or worse, we turn to our friends. You know, like seeking advice from friends is not necessarily seeking wise counsel, right? We'll be like the guy in the bar, you know, he's sitting there ordering another drink and just kind of whining about his marriage being in trouble and guy next to him says, oh man, let me talk to you, I'm an expert, I've been married five times. But that's what we do. Let's be honest, how many of us have decided it's okay or not okay to do this or whatever? We get our advice with a friend who has a track record of a train wreck life.

We want to build these people in on the front end. Proverbs talks about with many advisors plans succeed, the way of the fool seems right to them but the wise listen to advice. There's always a way that appears to be right but in the end it leads to death.

Because we don't have relationships and because we've made this thing so private, we have a new moral standard we turn to in our culture and therefore in our churches. The standard for morality and big decisions fall into using these three things. Number one, I'm good with it.

Have anybody give you that one or have you ever used it? You go, hey man, this is not the right thing to do and they go, I'm good with it. Or my favorite is this one, I have peace about it. Well, so does most of the people in jail right now they have peace about, well God I'm in jail, you know? I mean very few of them said, I wonder if I can go to jail for this.

No, in the moment it made total sense to them. I have peace about it. The question isn't whether or not you and I have peace about something, the matter is does God have peace about this? And I need godly people in my life because I can deceive myself with my sin nature so quickly. I look back pre-Christian and I look post-Christian and I realize, man, I've had a lot of peace about stuff God had a new peace about.

And nobody's going to step into my life when I'm living with image, when I'm just attending and they can't see the real me and the real thing. By the way, my favorite one is the newer one over the last 10, 15 years. I Googled it. Right?

All you got to do is get a search engine and you can find somebody who agrees with you on whatever goofy idea you have. Here's another one. Some trials are too hard to bear alone. You know, you come to church and everybody looks like they have their act together and yet we know most people don't have their act together. But when everybody looks like they have their act together, nobody's able to raise their hand and say, I need help. And if we're honest, in most of our environments, the one who does raise their hand to ask for help is the one who's always asking for help, has no EQ and a whole bunch of other things because we're not setting the stage for regular people to simply say, help me. We tend to even think it's a sign of weakness to need help. I want to point out to you something. Even Jesus asked for help.

Right? The sinless Son of God in a human body said, I cannot handle this alone. Me and my relationship with God, the one who said, this is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased, it ain't enough to handle this.

I need you guys. It's the Garden of Gethsemane, Matthew 26, 36 to 38. Let me read it to you. Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane and he said to them, sit here while I go over there and pray. And he took Peter and his two sons of Zebedee along with him.

Notice, not the crowd, not even all the apostles, that inner circle of the three that he had the most intimate, close relationship with. And he took them with him. And he began to be sorrowful and troubled. And then he said to them, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. If Jesus needed help, who in the world am I to think that me and the Spirit and my journal is going to figure out how to handle the hard trials of life?

But here's the key. Without a safe place to share our concerns early, we'll end up asking for prayer too late. I'm a part of a life group at North Coast Church. Now, I've got all kinds of relationships and all of that could do, but I'm also in this group. And it's not our vacation group. It's not our best buds. It's like that Mayberry neighborhood where everybody knows everybody. We meet weekly.

And here's the beauty of it. Because we're in that group, we've kind of figured out who's safe and who's not. And we share things on the front end. But when groups are not really close that way, we don't share things on the front end.

We share them on the back end. I want to tell the story of my wife's cancer. Now, by the grace of God, she is fine now. It's been over 20 years, but she had what looked like stage four cancer at a younger age where with breast cancer, it's more deadly than older.

Well, here's most of the small groups I'd ever been a part of. She feels a lump and she tells me. She goes to the doctor. We wait until the biopsy because we don't want everybody kind of looking at you funny and all that kind of stuff. And then when the biopsy comes back bad, then we tell the inner circle, will you begin to pray for us?

Is that true? That's how it works. We were so blessed to be in a group where we could say, hey, there's a lump.

The doctor says there's nothing to be worried about, but I'm going in to get a check. On the front end. Because see, when you only share on the last, it's far easier for Jesus to heal the sick than raise the dead. And when we don't have relationships, it can share stuff.

When it's just a little concern that causes me to lay in bed and think about it, but we wait until it's a fact accomplished, we're missing out on the power of God and prayer. It's so, so cool to have that on the front end. And you're only going to feel safe when those relationships are significant enough. They've gone beyond attendance to knowing real people. You know, in California they have this thing that's called redwoods. And the redwoods grow to incredible height, a hundred feet plus, and they've lived for thousands of years. But did you know that they actually have very shallow roots?

Are you aware of that? The biggest trees in the world have shallow roots. But in the groves they grow in, the roots intertwine. And as these shallow roots are intertwined, the whole forest has to fall over instead of one tree. And that's how they live through those fires and those storms and the winds and all the crazy things that happen. Because when they face that, they're intertwined together.

Let me leave you with the last one. Some temptations are too strong to resist alone. We all need some people in our life to know the real us, not the image we want to portray. Because here's what you can choose when it comes to temptations.

And they're real. Coming to Jesus doesn't get rid of a sin nature and evil desires. What happens is I can choose privacy or I can choose help. I can't have both. I have to have in my life some people who know the two or three things I struggle with.

What are the buttons that, boy, you push that button, Larry's not who Larry wants to be. And if I want to grow really strong, some temptations are too strong to fight alone. If I want to be strong in the Lord, I need more than just me knowing that. I need more than just my wife knowing that. I need some people who can see, hey, I'm catching this tendency on you, whatever it would be.

And that's not going to come with the tenants once again. It's going to come with making the time and the effort in a culture that pushes us away from those kind of relationships that were always so natural to make them a part of my life. There's a thing called spiritual warfare. Boy, did we goof that one up. First of all, we think it's cultural. Every time spiritual warfare is mentioned in the Bible, it's about our soul, not about our culture.

But I want you to catch another thing. In Ephesians 6, 10 to 16, where it talks about the armor of God, you don't go to spiritual warfare putting on all the armor and then go out alone. We tend to miss this. We talk about the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness. You know, I'm all decked out ready to go. But there's another one in spiritual warfare, and pray for one another.

You and I cannot win the spiritual battle alone, no matter how well armored we are, because the battle plan calls for the right armor and the praying for one another, which has just about disappeared in a world of attendance without relationship. So let me close with this. It's been said that our calendar and our bank account reveal the real priorities of our life. I mean, you talk to people, God first, family second, right? Everybody's got the same list. I always want to say, can I see your calendar? Can I see your checking account? Because that's what's going to tell me first.

Oh, I see what's first is your kid's travel program and all the money and all the time and all the stuff you do so that they can, like, they hit a home running tee ball and you're trying to get them a D1 scholarship. Oh, I can tell it's golf. I can tell it's this. Oh, I can tell it's your job and rise in the top. All I got to do is look at that. That's all you got to do.

And here's what I want to ask, where does spirituality, your walk with God and your relationships with others show up in your calendar and your checking account? Oh, I'm not in one because, you know, we just can't afford the baby child care. Oh, really? Sure got a lot of lattes going on. Oh, we just don't really have the time.

Oh, really? See, my challenge to you is if we're going to be all that God wants us to be, we've got to put some skin in the game. We've got to have some effort because God never intended for attendance to replace relationship. Father, would you take the things that we've looked at and would you speak to our hearts, not as binoculars to judge and look at someone else and see how they match up, but Lord, use it as a mirror to help us to see that next step of obedience that you are calling us to so that we can become more like you. And Lord, I just know for a ton of us in this culture, we've settled for attendance and we've not pursued relationship unless it's incredibly easy. Would you use the words of today and your exhortation in Hebrews to cause us to enjoy the fruit of the automobile, but to get rid of the negatives that is pulled into our life and get back to the life and kind of people you've called us to be in your name for your glory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-26 15:03:56 / 2022-11-26 15:18:52 / 15

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