A weekly recap of the message and madness at First Presbyterian Kings Mountain, NC. 05/31/15:
What a great day at First Prez; as usual, much food was involved. We gathered for breakfast to honor our high school graduates. French toast sticks, biscuits, donuts…well, you get the idea.
We celebrated with 10 of our church family and friends as they finished out their high school careers. Way to go gang! Our prayers are with you as you head ‘out yonder!’
In a message aimed specifically, but not exclusively, at our graduates, a number of speeches were referenced, all of which lend value to the discussion of ‘What Now?’ Now that we have concluded this part of our lives, what now?
Randy Pausch’s ‘Last Lecture’ lecture is here.
Alan Watts’ ‘What If Money Was No Object’ talk is here.
Stephen Colbert’s Wake Forest University commencement address is here.
But as practical and helpful as those may be, we want to make sure we’re seeing the ‘big picture,’ if you will. What does Scripture say? What does God say? What really matters? What does God expect from all of us? As we move forward (and we ARE moving forward, right?) with our lives, where should our focus be? What now?
The Text: Romans 8:12-17
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
The Takeaway: We focused on verse 13: if we live according to the flesh, we will die; but if we, in the power of the Holy Spirit, mortify sin in our lives, we will live! We must be killing sin, or it will be killing us. (John Owen, 1656) This is a continual battle; we never reach perfection in our lifetime! Remember Anne Lamott, who prays ‘Help me, help me, help me’ each morning, and ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ each night. We can’t do this on our own, gang. But God has given us the power by which to accomplish this killing of sin. It is only in and through the power of the Holy Spirit that this can be done.
But do it we must! To live, really live, the abundant life promised us in the coming of Christ (John 10:10), we mortify, mortify, mortify (kill, kill, kill! This is the only time you will be encouraged to kill something).
Anne Lamott’s Amazon page is here.
And then there was lunch. A ‘make-your-own’ potato and salad bar awaited us after worship. This was a mission fundraiser luncheon for our own Sarah Johnson, who is heading to Nicaragua next month to help with medical missions. Thank you to all who came out to support missions!
What a great day! God is so good, and He wants us to live in freedom from sin. As we all graduate from today into tomorrow, may Romans 8:13 inform all we do. Peace.
p.s. Seth Godin is a marketing guru, and a fun fellow (and follow). He posted this, and I think it might be helpful if the church understood the power of this principle. Okay, it would be more than helpful; it would be transformational. How often do you brag on your church? On your God?