Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, June 19
  • Way Maker
  • Graves Into Gardens
  • Build My Life
  • Great Are You Lord
  • Goodness Of God
  • Knowing who we are and reaching our potential begins with knowing God.
    And we know Him through faith in Jesus Christ. Knowing Yahweh, our Heavenly Father is intended to be relational, holistic, involving the whole person - ultimately experiential. Knowing God is not merely a mental activity or belief. That’s religion, but this is relationship – real people experiencing a real relationship with a real God, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
    Jesus said,
    John 17:3 ESV
    And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
    The word
    “Know” (Gr. ginōskō) - to know a person through direct personal experience.”
    2 Peter 1:3 ESV
    His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
    If I were me, and I think I am, I would be asking myself some questions about this experiential relationship. Have I, am I, do I want to … experience God?
    Where do we experience God? In the physical, spiritual, and emotional. We’re mind, body, soul. Because we’re physical, spiritual, and emotional, it is my opinion that God wants us to be healthy or reach our potential in these areas. By healthy I mean that
    We manage our lives in such a way that best honors and represents God to our world, especially unbelievers.
    1 Peter 2:12 ESV
    Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
    Or, as the Westminster Catechism states, the
    “Chief aim of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Westminster Catechism
    Enjoy – experiential. To glorify God means to make much of Him. It should be our goal to live in such a way to make God look good and attractive.
    It’s difficult to make God look good when we mismanage our lives. So, we manage our lives to honor God and represent Him, but also,
    We manage our lives as a means of witnessing.
    What does that mean? We’ll get there in a moment, but
    The biblical principle of managing that which we are responsible to manage is called stewardship (Gen. 1:26-28; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Matt. 25:15).
    1 Peter 4:7–10 ESV
    The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
    So, what is it that we are responsible to manage? What God has given us, but more than that, I can only manage those things that I can control. I can’t manage something that I can’t control. Keep that in mind.
    Let me connect some dots. Our goal is to reach our potential in Christ – physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Part of reaching our potential and experiencing God is through wise and biblical management of what we can manage - the physical, spiritual, and emotional. When we manage these areas to the best of our abilities, it increases our witness and honoring of God. What does that mean? Let’s look at the physical, spiritual, and emotional and make sure we’re on the same page.
    1. We manage the Physical – our relationship with our possessions.
    What do we possess? Our bodies, time, money, things we own, our skills, talents, our recreation, our schedules, etc. This is a broad category, but we must apply the principle of stewardship across the board. For example, why do I manage my body, why do I manage my money? So I can reach my potential, so I can honor God, represent God, and be a witness - so I can go where God wants me to go and do what God wants me to do.
    If I mismanage my money, and then God says give to missions or go on a mission trip and I can't because I blew all my money …. How is that reaching my potential? How is that helping someone else reach theirs? I may not be able to manage how much money I make, but I can manage how much I spend, or where and how. I may not be able to manage everything that happens in my body, but I can manage how many Twinkies I eat. I’m not perfect at this, nobody is, but we as Christians should be mindful of the physical more than others.
    2. We manage the Spiritual – our relationship with God.
    Jude 20–21 ESV
    But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
    Hebrews 6:1 ESV
    Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
    Yes, there are things that only God can do in us and through us, but we’re not responsible for His part. We’re responsible for our part – to put ourselves in a posture and in positions for God to do what only God can do. We must engage in spiritual disciplines - prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other Believers, and worship … even when it's a chore, or mundane, and it doesn't seem like much is happening – why – because when we consistently engage God, it will eventually pay off. Look at Jude 20 again – waiting for Jesus to come ….
    3. We manage the Emotional – our relationship with our mind.
    That sounds a little funky, but what I'm talking about is primarily how we think and feel about self, about others, about God, about life (circumstances). What we think, how we think, and how we manage our thinking as Christians is critical, because our thinking shapes so much of our experiences (and behavior).
    How important is it to manage our minds? Where are most of your battles fought? Who’s your worst enemy? Who’s your worst critic? Godly thinking is critical. Rom. 12:2 (renew). Phil. 4:6-8 (think on). 1 Cor. 2:16 (mind of Christ). 2 Cor. 10:5 (take captive).
    I’m not saying any of this is easy … not giving tools at the moment, just getting on the same page of how critical these areas are.
    An ending thought and a personal example.
    Some may think that all this management stuff is legalism.
    Stewardship is not legalism. Stewardship is love.
    It’s really about loving God, loving others, and loving self. It’s my belief that the more we love God, the more we will want to manage our lives - the physical, spiritual, and emotional. The more we drift …. The more we press in ….
    The more we love God, the more we will endeavor to manage the physical because we want to make room for the spiritual. If the physical encroaches on the spiritual, I need to make some changes in the physical. Make sense? Or if my thinking has been off (stinkin’ thinkin’) … make some adjustments to the physical or spiritual.
    This stewardship gives us permission to say no to what distracts us from God and His purposes so I can say yes to God and His purposes.
    Personal example – I have not managed my Mondays very well (my day off – the physical), which bleeds over into Tuesdays, Wednesdays, …. I have not made time to do the activities that reenergize and replenish my soul. That mismanagement is affecting the spiritual, emotional and the physical, not just in me, but also in others. So what’s happening is more is going out of me than what’s coming in, and a person can do that for only so long. If I am going to reach my potential, and if I’m going to help others reach theirs, I must make adjustments somewhere so I can fill up and give out. See, this really is about the Great Commandment.
    So, I’m switching my days off to Sundays. JK - Fridays and Saturdays.
    Take some time to make some lists ….
      • John 17:3NIV2011

      • 2 Peter 1:3NIV2011

      • 1 Peter 2:12NIV2011

      • Genesis 1:26–28NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 6:19–20NIV2011

      • Matthew 25:15NIV2011

      • Genesis 1:26–28NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 6:19–20NIV2011

      • Matthew 25:15NIV2011

      • Genesis 1:26–28NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 6:19–20NIV2011

      • Matthew 25:15NIV2011

      • 1 Peter 4:7–10NIV2011

      • Jude 20–21NIV2011

      • Hebrews 6:1NIV2011

  • Firm Foundation (He Won't)

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