Faithlife Sermons

Through Serving

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The life of a Corinthian public servant was nothing glamorous, in fact it was very short of it. Though the head of the city were always appointed through political or financial persuasion, those under the heads had to be men who could run everything. He had worked hard to some day be one of those men, a man who could get it done, who could be depended on, and who while not made wealthy might hope to live comfortably, therefore the day he succeeded his boss was one worthy of great celebration. For years he had toiled trying to rise above the station into which he was born, and here he had found hope. He had struggled and tried, he had offered sacrifices, he had worshiped in every temple open to him, he had held nothing back that was required from any god in the hope that one of them might grant him favor. In doing so, as a true Corinthian he continually sought the elements of the divine, through sacrifice, through worship, through indulgence. For what is there in this life if it does not lead to fulfillment. Fulfillment of our monetary desires, desires for status, desires for personal gratification. IS not the self the highest ideal, is not the fulfillment of desire the ultimate goal. Am I not deserving/available to enjoy the best that this life has to offer. Therefore his recent promotion was cause to celebrate, to offer sacrifices, to celebrate but he paused. A while before in his pursuit of help and hope from any deity, he found himself listening to a sharp featured plain spoken rough handed tent maker who spoke next to the synagogue. This man spoke with a sense of urgency, and while the prudish Jews had little time for him, something about the hope in this mans eyes caught him. He found himself drawn to Justus’ house day after day to hear Paul speak about Jesus. And he knew with this recent promotion he would thank Jesus, but more than that he knew his pursuit of the divine could not be fully captured in his personal gratification and desires, but would ultimately somehow be found solely in Jesus.
Our Future transformation shifts how we live today

Transformation has come

What do you desire most?
To be human is to desire.
Desire that the mundane would become the miraculous, meritorious, magnificent, munificent.
That this life would be marked by exception and fulfillment.
We desire to win, to rise above, to exit the perils and problems of life into a deep abiding satisfaction and peace. But it always seems to tarry, to linger to long just out of reach.
No matter how many beers we drink, or how big our bank account looks, or how many accolades and acclaims, how fulfilling this current relationship is, or the potential of the next, how good our health is, we are on the search for more.
More, because we think there should be more than life has laid at our feet. More than what we have achieved or accumulated.
Because the pain still resides, the longing has never been quenched, the desires never seem satiated.
Jim Carey - “I am two-time Golden Globe Winner, Jim Carey. You know, when I go to sleep at night, I’m not just a guy going to sleep. I’m two-time Golden Globe winner, Jim Carey, going to get some well-needed shut-eye. And when I dream, I don’t just dream any old dream. No sir. I dream about being three-time Golden Globe winning actor, Jim Carey. Because then I would be enough. It would finally be true. And I could stop this terrible search for what I know ultimately wont fulfill me.””
Jim Carey is worth $150 million dollars and I would have guessed one who brought so much laughter might have found some semblance of peace. But we are all desiring
Our desire is rooted in the search of fulfillment. Completion. A finality of meaning and reason for life on this earth.
Would you believe me if I said Jesus can fill that longing, the desire for fulfillment, purpose, for acceptance
Yeah Jesus has been over promised before
But where Jesus succeeded where others failed, after death took him to the grave, Jesus rose again. Resurrection is the feat no other guru, no other leader could do.
The desire is met in the person of Jesus, because Jesus was resurrected - Death and Sin were conquered, and peace, forgiveness and grace were no available and on offer
Our sin is wiped away, and our future is shifted because Jesus rose from the dead - transformed in to His fullness
Our Souls have left death behind
1. So we might know - You are made new in Jesus the moment you surrender your life
Our Souls have left death behind
Sin has been conquered by Christ, when we surrender our spirits are unshackled and set free

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ

Secure now in Christ, coming the in the transformation of our physical self
Secure now in Christ, coming the in the transformation of our physical self
John 11:25 NLT
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.
Believing in Jesus takes something, its not easy. It requires me to lay down myself. I have to trust that the faith which I can not manufacture or produce, that forgiveness which I do not deserve is still offered to me because Jesus is gracious. That his love and care for us did not cease at creation, that he didn’t hide himself so that we will seek in vain. But that if I surrender, and ask Jesus to come and take my life, and make it what he designed it to be. I might find hope.
2. We are transformed - Our old identity found in sin and ultimately death can now be found in living God
Yet sin remains and still wars within us - though we are forgiven
Which kingdom rules in you
Are you Made new?
Or still trying just to pretty up your old life?
We have the opportunity to step into our transformed new self when we allow Jesus to work in our lives daily! Refining character, heart, behavior, trust, and faith

Transformation is Coming

These earthly bodies will expire, thank God - cause every year it feels less elastic, less strong, less young
These bodies cannot inherit the eternal kingdom
Paul’s image of a seed -
1 Corinthians 15:36–44 NLT
What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory. It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
The image of the seed then resonates with me, because it seems this life is intent on poking and prodding, tearing and splitting this shell which I cling too. Whether it’s my definitions of success or my sense of identity, my reputation or my usefulness at some point it all comes unto the pressure that life exerts upon us. The pressures of life are meant to split us, so that God might bring about the inner transformation where a life greener, fuller and more bountiful springs for, inaugurated and generated by His Spirit at work within us!
1. Our future is both secure and coming
Great quote going around of Billy Graham’s. He based it off a quote from D.L. Moody
“Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal—a body that death cannot touch; that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body.” D.L. Moody
Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal—a body that death cannot touch; that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body. D.L. Moody
John 11:25 NLT
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

Our future is both secure and coming
My daughters will one day transform into women, they will grow up before my eyes and I wont see it coming, but a day is coming when they won’t need me
2. Be immovable and strong v. 57
What does it mean to look toward the future transformation
To count our condition here as temporary - We are now citizens of heaven, but resident aliens here on earth
Our current physical challenges in no way reflect God’s care for us
Healing is promised in Jesus, but it might not come until we are risen with him
Our current reality in no way reflects God’s value for us
Whether in prison, in slavery, in wealth or in power. Our situation in this life is not an indication of God’s care for us, his approval of our lifestyle, or the measure of our faith
But do we brag about our future home, do we paint a picture that invites people to that same home
To look forward with Hope and purpose
That we might be found with Jesus, that those around us, whom we love might be there also
To know that our physical transformation as secondary to our spiritual transformation in Jesus
3. Sin will no longer hold dominion

Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power

There is no sting in Death, for death brings us before Christ - it is Sin that has brought death it’s sting
The law pointed out our shortcoming, and there the law revealed the power of sin, but Christ has conquered
We look ahead to our final transformation because we will be living with Christ
Healing is promised in Jesus, but it might not come until we are risen with him
Our current reality in no way reflects God’s value for us
Whether in prison, in slavery, in wealth or in power. Our situation in this life is not an indication of God’s care for us, or his approval of our lifestyle
That Life will crush me is a given, my challenge then is will life crush me to reveal the fullness that Christ seeks to produce in me, or will life crush me to kill the heart of the seed and rob God of the opportunity of producing something beautiful
Our future transformation calls us into a transformed life now, and as we have been served by Christ we now have the opportunity to serve others.

Transformation Makes you Serve Different v. 58

Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless

Gracie and Piper with the gifts for my birthday - so excited, Piper showed it to me everyday for a week, was crush when she though Lulu ruined it. So excited to give, it was something she could do. What if we were that excite to serve Jesus
1. Serve for Jesus
We are transformed and therefore no longer need to serve for our our recognition, own need for affirmation.
Because serving Jesus is at times, frustrating, unrewarding, hard, but it is one of the main ways God calls us into partnership with himself
2. Serve regardless of outcome
It is easy to serve in someplace where there is a tangible understanding of impact
When you serve and someone surrenders to Jesus
Steps to get there, greeter welcomed them, coffee team supplied them with a hot cuppa and made them feel comfortable. Tech team made the worship sound great and thew words easy to follow. Scripture read with passion, fully believing the words spoken. Every aspect of what we do leads towards God’s work, we don’t serve for impact, we serve the Lord
3. Serve with expectation
That as you serve Christ and his kingdom you might see him at work
Pray bold big prayers
Expect the transformative power of the Holy Spirit to work through you as you serve
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