Faithlife Sermons

Step up to the Plate

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Introduction

The little boy just walks right up the stage where his daddy is sitting, and climbs on daddy’s lap. The little boy is coy. He knows all eyes are on him. He also knows where he sits. He knows that no one else in the entire congregation dares sit on daddy’s lap while he waits to preach. Not even mommy. So he beams in delight. And daddy, too, couldn’t hide his pleasure at his son’s uninhibited boldness. There we see them together, father and son, seated together, fully at ease in each other’s presence.
The message that God has seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus captures the heart and stirs us beyond the limits of joy. This is so because sitting describes our truest position in Jesus Christ. And the Christian life begins with sitting.
READ
Before we can talk about advancing in the Christian life, the first thing we must learn it to sit down. Watchman Nee in his book titled Sit, Walk, Stand describes what sitting down means.
When we walk or stand we bear on our legs all the weight of our own body, but when we sit down our entire weight rests upon the chair or couch on which we sit. We grow weary when we walk or stand, but we feel rested when we have sat down for awhile. In walking or standing we expend a great deal of energy, but when we are seated we relax at once, because the strain no longer falls upon our muscles and nerves but upon something outside ourselves. So also in the spiritual realm, to sit down is simply to rest our whole weight—our load, ourselves, our future, everything—upon the Lord. We let him bear the responsibility and cease to carry it ourselves. pp. 15, 16.
Our Christian life begins with the discovery of what God has provided.
From this point onwards Christian experience proceeds as it began, not on the basis of our own work but always on that of the finished work of Another. Every new spiritual experience begins with... a new “sitting down”. This is the principle of life...each successive stage of the Christian life follows on the same divinely determined principle. pp. 17, 18 (emphasis mine).
But
But sooner or later you must get up and walk. Step up to the plate and live in a way worthy of your calling. Eight times God reminds you to walk a certain way. (cf. , , ; , , )
READ (see further 4:17, 23; 5:2, 8, 10)

How should we walk?

1) What the two prepositional phrases teach you about your walk:

1) Love like Jesus

That a worthy walk begins with the most basic attitude of the mind.
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What the two participial phrases teach us about our walk: that our walk consists of “putting up with...” and “being passionate for...”
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2) Move like the Spirit

Humility — “lowliness of mind”. A humble person is someone who sees him/herself accurately. Someone who knows his or her own strengths and limitation. Someone who has no illusions of self-importance. No burning need to better than they actually are. But someone who does not take harsh or condemning approaches toward themselves to magnify weaknesses and severely punishes failures. People are humble to the extent that they consider their own small role in the universe, their weakness in comparison to an omnipotent God, or their indebtedness to others people.
Quote
Ask: Have you seen a humble person? See that gentleness requires humility, and patience—the ability to bear up under provocation—requires both gentleness and patience.

2) What the two participial phrases teach you about your walk:

That a worthy walk consists of “putting up with...” and “being passionate for...”

3) Learn to use grace for living

Why?

3) What the appearance of another kind of grace in teaches us about our walk:

4) Learn to cherish people as gifts

That just as sitting down is by grace, so walking is also by grace.
Watchman Nee continues:
Our Christian life begins with the discovery of what God has provided.
From this point onwards Christian experience proceeds as it began, not on the basis of our own work but always on that of the finished work of Another. Every new spiritual experience begins with... a new “sitting down”. This is the principle of life...each successive stage of the Christian life follows on the same divinely determined principle. pp. 17, 18 (emphasis mine).
But how do you do this

4) What ministers teach you about grace:

“Because I feel like I’m a defeated person. I feel like God is thumbing me down. I feel like whatever I do, I can never measure up.”
I say, God is not thumbing you down. He wants you to rise above the shadowlands of this world to live a life that would give praise to the one who seated you with him in the heavenly realms. Eight times in Ephesians God reminds you to walk, or order your behavior, in a manner worthy of your high calling:
That a worthy walk means that ministers are grace personified to be cherished.
, ; , ,

1) Unite your purpose with the Spirit’s

READ (emphasize v. 3)
READ (emphasize v. 3)
Look at what verse 3 is saying. The Spirit initiates and protects the unity of Jesus’ body, and he does it by means of the one thing that glues us all together—the peace that Jesus won for you and me. This is the Spirit’s mission. And
What does this have to do with your walk? Ministers and lay people are, so to speak, locked in an embrace. Ministers equip. God’s people serve and build. Your walk consist of all three, in fact. Equip, serve, build.
Ministers are God’s gifts. We think of gifts as things. Something to be utilized. God says, not always. Gifts are people to be cherished and loved. Not work horses to be run to the ground.

Conclusion

Find an anecdote to wrap things up:
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