January 10, 2010

"Getting Things Set Up"

This is the text outline from my sermon this morning at our Sunrise Campus. It was the 2nd of a 5 part series entitled "It All Goes Back In The Box" (inspired by the book from John Ortberg entitled "When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box").


Philippians 2:1-11 will serve as the groundwork for our conversation this morning. From here we'll talk about 3 different things to keep in mind as we look at getting things set up in this game we call life.

One of the first things we want to know when setting up a game is How To Keep Score:
-We are by nature scorekeepers

-Our sense of the score influences the decisions we make, the attitudes we keep, and the perception of ourselves

-Examples of score keeping from scripture include: Cain & Abel; Leah, Rachel & Jacob; Saul & David

-We tend to keep score by comparing, competing and climbing

-Ortberg writes, "The problem with spending your life climbing up the ladder is that you will go right past Jesus, for he's climbing down" (p 45).

The Game Pieces:
-The two main pieces consist of the outer you (physical body, reputation, etc) and the inner you (character, spirit, soul)

-The outer is temporary, the inner is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:7-12, 16-18)

-Ortberg writes, “You look down at your hands one day and realize you’re looking at your parents’ hands” (48).

-There are plenty of ways to measure the development of the outer you, we must find ways to develop the inner you. A couple suggestions...
*self-examination and confession
*find friends that love you enough to speak truth into your life (in Christianese we call this an accountability partner, which I wrote about here)
*find time to be alone and listen to God
*examine your calendar and your checkbook

-A practical place to start is by spending as much time caring for the inner you as you spend on the outer you being reminded that the inner you is going to be around for a long time (Romans 8:35-39)

When It's Your Turn:
-Remember you don't control the game
*The story of Joseph & his brothers is a great example of not being in control (Genesis 37:12-36)
*When we not only recognize but embrace this, we can truly experience the freedom to love, to hope, and even relief from anxiety
*Galatians 5:1

-Remember that what you did in the past doesn’t determine the outcome of the game
*whether you won or lost the last game doesn’t matter
*free yourself from the guilt, habits, past mistakes or failures that are weighing you down
*”Sometimes we would rather complain about our ropes than untie them.” (56)
*the action doesn’t have to be amazing, just a concrete action

-Remember you can’t pass
*like Daniel, you and I have freedom to make choices though we don’t always get to choose the situation
*avoid falling into the “would haves” of regret: I would have loved more deeply, laughed more often, given more generously, lived more bodly
*Evaluate your convictions and your commitments, ideally where you commitments are is where your convictions lie
*Jesus makes it very clear that God and people are what matter