I was recently blessed with an opportunity to share the word with a youth group in Southern California. So Authentic was the title of tonight's message. This was a great group of students with unlimited potential. Current and future artists, pastors, authors, dancers, musicians and much more all in one room. Very inspiring. As promised, I said I would share my sermon notes on my website so they could use as a reference after I left.
7 Applications to be an authentic disciple no matter what you do or where you go!
Acts 9 we learned about the Saul to Paul conversion.
(NIV) Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Let's look at Mercy briefly: Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. (Google.com) God carries mercy for all of us, when He is more than capable of punishing all of us for all our sins we have and will commit.
Application 1: Sacrifice - We all need to ask if what we are doing is pleasing to God. If it is not, we might need to sacrifice it. Sacrificing who you think you are or think you should be and start asking God who you truly are. This will allow you to learn the true you. You will never know who you truly are if you never slow down to ask what you were created for.
12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Application 2: Filter Out - Protect your mind by watching what you watch and what you listen to. All things have the ability to influence your mind and actions. Take note of what you allow to influence you intentionally and start praying if this needs to continue. On the other side, start to ask, what should I be doing to be proactive in renewing my mind?
Application 3: Test It - Once you believe you are on a path God has aligned for you, ask God about it. Continue to pray about it, seek out scriptures to help guide you, and ask your pastor for input. Ask people for help but only if you trust they have a quality relationship with God.
12:3 - For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Application 4: Don't be feeling yourself! - Give credit to God for allowing you or enabling you to do what is good. Be thankful to God for providing the skill, talent, ability or resources you currently posses. Keep in mind and remind yourself often, it is by his Grace that you have been empowered to do anything you are currently doing.
12:4-8 - 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Application 5: Help Others - Help others to become successful. When you help others, you sow a seed. It will come back aground when you are trying to achieve your goals and success. Help others and care as if you were the one trying to achieve their goals. Do not do anything for the praise. Do it because we are supposed to be united in the body as one. When someone is achieving success, it is something as believers we all should celebrate. This will help us all to remain humble. For those who have reached a level of success, do not forget about those who helped you obtain victory. Never be too important or busy to serve others.
Application 6: Do You! - Now that you are learning more about you and what God wants for your life, do what you do and do it well! Know God is working in you, through the Holy Spirit, empowering you by grace. He is what allows you to accomplish what you set out to do. You know you are at this place when the following things are occurring:
12:9-10 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Application 7: Love Authentically - When you receive true love from God and allow yourself to be loved, you then will know how to love others with truth and sincerity. Allow your light to shine in what you do. Remember, God died for your sins so you may discover your true identity regardless of your sins. He did not die for you to be someone you are not. Unlock the true you by asking the one who knows you best to reveal the true you. To do you, you have to be you. To be you, you have to know you. To know you, you need to know what God intended for you. This is how you will become So Authentic, it doesn't matter where you go. You will walk around with the confidence in knowing you are a beloved child of God and a disciple of Christ. The love you receive from God, is the love you will lead with wherever you may find yourself around the world.
Talk soon & God bless,