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Detox for the Soul

Simplify - The uncluttered Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:54
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This morning we are starting a Sermon series entitled - “Simplify - living the Uncluttered Life” — Detox for the Soul.
Have you noticed that we are constantly fighting the law of entropy where things move from order to Chaos? On of the battles is has to do with all the Clutter !
If your house is anything like ours.... there are a couple of problem areas in our house where where things get dumped and things accumulate.. for example we come into the house with mail and keys..... and you need a place to put stuff down… you look for empty surface..
The problem is that over time if you keep on doing the same thing … Eventually - you loose sight of the surface… and there comes the point where you have with that you have to deal the clutter or else its going to spill into other areas of your house…
Clutter can come up in all kinds of forms in our lives… It can come up in our marriages, our relationships, our Finances, and in our Churches…
Clutter comes into areas that we neglect for a period of time…
What often happens is that by the time we get to it --- we do feel overwhelmed..
In this sermon series we are Going to be looking at one at one area that can be easily neglected… and that is our spiritual formation.,
What do we mean by Spiritual Formation?
In the book of Galatians Paul is concerned about the spiritual life of the Church. They had started off on the right foot by abiding and depending on the Holy Spirit… But at some point they were drifting back into old and familiar patterns of behavior and began depending on themselves…
After being set free from the bondage of legalism they were going right back to the same thing… Paul Challenges the Church to return back to that intimate relationship with God… of knowing and being known by God.
Paul likens his anguish for the church as woman who is about to give birth… just have to stop for a second... none us men can really relate to child birth… but I think Paul was thinking of maybe the most painful thing to describe his feelings.
He is agonizing over the church going through motions rather than enjoying true freedom.
Paul says..
Galatians 4:19 ESV
19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!
Let’s look at this phrase “until Christ formed in you.” This is where we get this idea of Spiritual Formation… It is a unique phrase and is the only place in the scriptures where it comes up.…The word “formed” means to become or to be developed into a distinctive entity…
The metaphor is that of an embryo developing and being shaped within the womb of A mother… The changes are incremental of over a time --- Being transformed from something simplistic to a fuller form of a Baby…
what Paul saying is that Faith is so much more that believing it is growing,-- Coming to Christ is just the beginning of the journey - Paul longs to see Christ being formed in them, to see them transformed into the image of Christ, ‘until you take the shape of Christ’....
This is not a one time event this is continual process… I think would be helpful is to get some workable definitions
Spirtual formation is.. Kenneth Boa..
“the grace-driven developmental process in which the soul grows in conformity to the image of Jesus Christ.”
Kenneth Boa
T/S How does Spiritual formation Happen … What steps do we need to take… Peter comes us a plan to develop the inner life..
Peter was the disciple of Jesus who later became the prominent leader in the church in Rome. He writing to Christians who were scattered and were blamed by the Emperor Nero for the Burning down of Rome in 60 Ad-- These early Christians are facing harsh persecutions... Paul calls it the "Fiery trial" --. Peter himself was martyred for his faith and crucified in Rome in 65 AD... The church was looking for spiritual leadership in a very dark time… Peter was a great encouragement and was known as the "Apostle of Hope".... And his letter is one of pastoral encouragement… He encourages the church to trust God no matter your circumstance and to keep the faith and their eyes fixed on their relationship to God....
1 Peter 1:13–15 ESV
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
There are several lessons that we learn from Peter when it comes to the Spiritual Formation.. Peter is systematic in his approach to spiritual grown and each of these principles builds upon each other… Each principle that unlocks the door to the next...
We grow in the Spiritual life when we first...

1. Develop a Healthy Perspective.

Any kind of positive change or growth that happen in our lives can only occur when our Perspective is changed. A number of years ago people were using the term “Para-dime Shift.” If you were using a template for life but it wasn’t working — there was a need to adopt different Template.
Unfortunately for most of us... change normally comes only after an event or a Crisis… We go to the doctor he gives us some bad news and he recommends we change our diet… all of a sudden faced with some medical facts ..we change…some of examples of this is the way that safety has changed in our world… Before 911 - we took certain things for granted… like getting onto an plane… there was no TSA and xray machines.… 911 changed our Perspective of the world.. The same goes for school shootings Columbine, Shady Creek, Florida shootings… again changed the way we think about these things.... unfortunately these things have become our new normal..
Peter tells us that Spirtual Formation begins with our thinking... with our minds.
Peter says therefore.... Prepare your minds for action - or some translations say -Gird up the loins of your mind for action… It’s the picture from the ancient world of when men had long flowing tunics… and in order to move into action or do anything strenuous they would tuck in their tunic into their belt.... It would be equivalent of saying role up your sleeves and get down to it..
Peter is pointing out that..
The believer’s mind occupies a central place in his spiritual development. God uses it in his understanding of truth.
Spiritual formation comes with effort and often involves the strenuous activity of thinking..
There’s a story told about the German-language poet Rilke who was visiting Athens. He went to a museum, and he spent the whole afternoon contemplating a statue of Apollo, the sun god. All he did after hours of contemplating Apollo was he came back to his hotel and he got out his journal and he wrote one thing to himself. He wrote, “You must change your life.”
When facing something greater than himself... it caused him to think deeply about his own life more deeply… Contemplation is key in spiritual formation.
Peter says--- Prepare your mind for action
If you are going to move forward you have to get out of park and into first gear… The mind has to be readied and prepared.... We need alerts alertness to Spiritual things…
Peter gives us the next Key… How is this done?
2. Set your hope fully on the (grace)gift of Jesus that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ
Peter encourages us to have future thinking… Thinking about the hope that is to come when Christ comes… We are reminded that he writing to Christians that are being martyred for their faith… One of the problems we have today.. is we get caught up in the Now thinking…
We get caught up in all the issues of the day… now I’m saying we check of life… but what often happens is we can get negative patterns of thinking
We can find ourselves in destructive patterns of thinking that can get us caught and entrapped and lead to depression...
Peter tell us to Change the setting on the dial…from the problems of today the Hope that will come at his appearing… This is the blessed hope or the great expectation that has been in the church for over 2000 years… Christ’s return… big part of the early church theology was to live in the light of His return..
Peter says this kind of thinking does not happen automatically.. It requires effort concentration and intentionality...
3. Be committed to the process.. Peter
Peter loves to use word picture and again he tells us that our commitment is like Obedient Children…
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance..
Obedient Children listen to their parents… takes a level of discipline and persistence… Obedience isn’t always easy and the reason is that there are so many destractions
I reading the statistic that any given time only 17% of people use their Gym memberships…
They are commited to the idea of the Gym but not to the process..
Obedience talks about staying the course… you will never reap the benefits without sticking with something… We can’t continue business as normal and expect that formation… is going to take place.. Peter tells us that we have called to Holiness…of Wholeness....
Spiritual formation and wholeness takes time… to be shaped into the image of Christ.
The first principle that it takes engaging the mind to grow spiritually...
T/S Peter explains this point further in Chapter --- He tells us how to go about growing spiritually..
1 Peter 2:1 ESV
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
T/S WHAT MUST I DO TO THRIVE IN MY SPIRITUAL LIFE?

2. Discard Unhealthy Behaviors.

In the first section Peter tells us to Prepare our minds for Action… Pick up the loins of our minds… Here Peter tells to let go of somethings that are going to slow us down.. Peter says there are things that we need to put away…
Again he still dealing with the mind and attitudes that we may have developed...
Stop what you have been accustomed to doing... Continuing in old destructive Habits are not conducive to Spiritual growth.. We need to get rid of the things that are holding us back… Peter gives three examples of the types of things that should be left behind...’
Obedient Children listen to their parents… takes a level of discipline and persistence… Obedience isn’t always easy and the reason is that there are so many distractions.. Peter lists 5 Vices… or you could say five things that will stop spiritual growth in its tracks… These are behaviors…
Malice.. Promoscuity… these are things that are immoral.. We have huge issue in this area… we live in the age of relativism where most things live in gray areas…
2.. Deceit- projecting one thing and being another (false hood) deceit” means “to use a second face.”
In other words, it means to pretend to be something you are not—to wear a mask.
3. hypocrisy - is similar to deceit but it carries the idea of saying the right words...
4. Envy - jealousy of others
5. Slander - tearing down others,
Why would these things impact the inner life? The issue is authenticity… In order to feel sense of progress we as humans need to feel… change we are experiencing is real....
Example...
1 Peter 2:2–3 ESV
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

3. Change your Attitude towards Spiritual Growth

Have you noticed that our attitude makes all the difference?
I used think that I could never drink coffee without milk and sugar… in fact I needed at least two heaped tee spoons of sugar to enjoy a cup of coffee....Over the past few months I have been trying to eat less and less sugar and substituted Almond milk.. Surprise to find that after a few days my taste buds adjusted… What has happened is my attitude towards my need for sugar has changed...
We need to have a healthy attitude towards to Spiritual nutrition… Sometime simply taking a media inventory… What are the kinds of things that I am consuming regularly… what thoughts am I filling my mind with…Are routines and regular patterns in life conducive for spiritual growth…
When I say change our attitude.... What I am challenging is the filter.... If we are not thinking about our spirtual life on a regular basis we have the wrong attitude towards it...
I Love this metaphor that Peter uses of a new born baby… New born hasn’t been influence by anything and all that he knows is the pure milk from his or her mother… Peter says like that new born STRONGLY AND PERSISTENTLY DESIRE THE PURE (unadulterated) Spiritual Milk… Peter knew even in the ancient world all the additives they put into wine and to milk to make it go further… Additives are really?
So many times we get used too all the additives.. Unfortunately the food that we eat today is full of so many additives that just trying to eat proper food is a challenge… We have to read labels to understand… A Few years ago Fats became a negative thing and so in order compensate so food tastes better they added more sugar..... Without knowing how much we are eating...
What is the Spiritual Milk Peter is talking about?
Speaking about the Word...
we need to get an appetite for God’s word.. One of my roles as a pastor is not only to bring spiritual food… but also to show you where the pasture is…
As far as I can tell there are two extremes when it comes to butirician areound the world - there are those in third world nation that are dying of malnutrition… food and nutrients are simply unavailable… the other side of the world people are dying for obesity… two extremes… but the same outcome..
there are two extremes on Christiandom… there are those who are famished for the word… and others … who have too much… but are inactive..
Peter urges believers to desire and depend on Christ as a newborn needs and thirsts for milk. Peter tells us that we need to develop a taste for the pure milk of Gods word… Peter uses the Metaphor — of a young infants longing to be fed with their breast milk/… He says desire the Pure Spiritual milk...
Peter tells uses the imperative to LONG for the PURE milk. It means to to strongly desire the food that feeds your soul...
Don't SETTLE FOR THE STATUS QUO Get HUNGRY!
PURE SPIRITUAL MILK... is tied to the eternal WORD OF GOD... imperishable living and abiding (verb present tense participle)
Word of God... The word of God that remains--- meno - means stay reside, remain.. IT MEANS PERSIST FOR A SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME...
We are to get hunger for spiritual food... Why? It is through reading God’s word that we are going to grow n Christ.
Spiritual growth is not primarily mystical but rational, and rational in the sense that it is informed and sustained by God’s word
Pure word is going to bring us into a Holiness (wholeness) or a right relationship with Christ. The result is that we are grow up into Salvation (fully) -- are saved, we are being saved...
The only way to be enefit is to taste...
1 Peter 2:3 ESV
if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
"IF" is a conditional word... something must be met before another action or event can occur. IF your hunger and drink the pure unadulterated word... you will come to the conclusion that God is Good...
“A taste excites the appetite” (Bengel)
Peter draws from Psalms 34 where the psalmist encourages us to take refuge in God...
Psalm 34:8 (ESV)
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
We come to Christ..we get hungry for the presence of Christ
2. We come to Christ..
1 Peter 2:4–5 ESV
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
We come to Christ the Living Stone… Another Metaphor --- He is the resurrection stone… He was reject by men but Chosen of God
We are build upon Christ the living Stone… Christ is the foundation...
We are compared to Living Stones.. When your life touched the Chief stone... the corner stone... the living stone...You took on His Divine Nature..Partakers of the Divine Nature...
you too became a Living (resurrection) Stone... Jesus is the Stone we as believers are
Living Stones (plural) .. THE CHURCH...
The Church is a spirtual Building..not a completed or perfect. We are "Are being Built" into a "Spiritual house." What is interesting in first Peter is the use of this kind of
Levitical priesthood language -
a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God.
The priesthood was built arround worship of a physical temple where offerings and Sacrifices were made. This is not what Peter is talking about here.... He is using the temple as a metaphor for the believer himself.
James Dunn, a British scholar about the Bible, about ancient history. He says the earliest Christian groups would have stood out as strangely distinctive by the fact that they practiced no sacrificial ritual, named no one as priest, and looked to no temple like the one in Jerusalem.
What Dunn is saying, what was so radical … Have you ever thought of this? We always have a tendency to think surely everybody back then would’ve thought just the way we do now. Christianity came along, and it was the very first religion in the history of the world that said you don’t need a temple. You don’t need an altar. You don’t need a priest. You don’t need any sacrifices.
Every culture, every religion, sensed there was a gap between us and God. If you were going to experience the divine, you needed a temple. You needed a priest. You needed sacrifices. You need a ritual of some sort. Of course, there are as many different forms of religion as there are cultures in the world, but that was a kind of given. Christianity comes along, and here’s what’s so weird about it... There is no Temple, No High priest, No sacrifices...
there is a place where you can experience the Spirit. There is a place where you can touch the divine, but here’s how it’s done. Not by laying brick upon brick, but by laying Christian upon Christian. What Peter is saying is you find God through Christian community. The Christian community is the temple.You don’t put brick upon brick. You lay Christian upon Christian.
Martin Luther during the reformation brought to the churches attention the priesthood of believers... not just responsibility of the priest or the pastor... to declare the message of mercy and grace Salvation... but it was the work of all believers are priests. Brick upon brick..
We must not be isolated, because the world needs our influence and witness; but we must not permit the world to infect us or change us. Separation is not isolation; it is contact without contamination.
Sum up our purpose...
What is our purpose? to offer spiritual sacrifices.
T/s
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
t/s. Notice that Peter didn’t start his discussion… on our identity… He was building.... systematically… prepare the mind for action.. you

4. Build your Identity Around Health

Often we looking to find our identity from others… We hoping that we will be acceptable to others… healthy identity comes from calling into faith..
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