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Identity, Rebellion & Jesus

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Identity, Rebellion & Jesus – Philippians 2:5-18

·      Yun’s story p.139

·      Mobile phones

o  changing covers, adding dangly bits, ring tones, screen-savers

·      Clothes

o  turning up in the same as someone else!

·      Homes and gardens

o  put your own mark on it

·      Desperately trying to fit in

o  by desperately trying to stand out

o  trying to find out who we are

§  for many, not all, identity

·      Not necessarily a bad thing

o  fingerprints

o  eyes/iris

o  we are unique and individual

§  God made us that way (Psalm 139:13-18a)

·      If we believe in God then...

o  who is He?

o  who are we?

·      The problem with seeking for identity and individuality is when we look in the wrong place

o  when we try to create ourselves

§  celebrities re-creating themselves – new image

o  ‘My Way’

§  “no-one can tell me how I should live my life”

§  the temptation to rebel against what seems to be the expected norm

·      Quite often, being a Christian is seen as one of the worst culprits for getting people to conform... but

o  David dancing before God (2 Sam 6)

o  the woman with the jar of perfume  (Mark 14)

·      Yes, there are things that God calls us to do – all of us

o  but those things are radical, counter-cultural, earth-shaking and world-changing

§  what could be more unique than being the only one of your friends or colleagues who’s willing to say they believe in God, go to Church or are a Christian?

§  what could be more counter-cultural in a world that says to get whatever pleasure you can for yourself now than to be devoted to love other as much as yourself and to serve the poor and needy?

§  what could be more worthwhile in a world that says that the here and now is all there is than to have sure and certain hope of spending eternity with God?

§  what could be more rebellious than to seek after purity and holiness when all around us tries to tell us that life, our own life and body is to be exploited for short-lived pleasure?

§  What could be more inspiring and life-changing than to be made able to withstand taunting, threats, persecution, even torture because of trying to share the truth with people (Yun)

·      In our reading God says, through Paul, that we, Christians, ‘shine like stars in the universe’ when we live as God intends us to live

o  being a Christian might sound quite wimpy and boring at times

§   

·      Sounds huge, doesn’t it?

o  sounds beyond us – we could never do all that

§  millions have, millions are

o  God helps us every step of the way and gives us all we need

·      Knowing God, knowing Jesus and knowing who we are in Him is at the centre of everything

o  God’s creation, unique, individual and loved

o  called to live a life that refuses to conform to what the world around us want or expect us to

§  following Jesus’ example...

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