Soft Difference: The First 8 Pt. 3
Speaker 1:0:00Here's a few reasons why people don't go to church. I can't come to church until I get my life together. Churches, how I got my life together. Church is filled with a bunch of hypocrites and there's always room for one more. All they care about is your money. They care about me, not about my, is there some kind of dress code? Yes. The code is where? Some clothes.
Speaker 1:0:41church. It just makes me nervous. I was nervous at first and then I felt right at home.
Speaker 1:0:51I'm not sure. I believe everything that you believe, but you can still belong. Churches for Wimpy, girly man. You all sit down again.
Speaker 1:1:09If you knew me and what I've done, you wouldn't want me. If you knew me and what I've done, you wouldn't be worried. You can come to my church even if you were brought up Catholic, Jewish warming, Lutheran Pentecostal, Presbytarian Church of Christ, southern baptist. A little bit of everything at a whole lot of nothing. See, it's not about her religion. It's about a relationship. So please come to my church where nobody's perfect, where beginners are welcome. We're socks are optional, but grace is required where forgiveness is offered, where hope is alive and where it's okay to not be okay. Really.
Speaker 2:1:59Thank you.
Speaker 3:2:06It got it confessed. Somebody says confession is good, but it's okay. It all worked and, and, and forgiven. Forgiveness is offered as the video says. So last week I talked about common ground, which is all about how we're the same as people. This week I'm going to talk about a soft difference or how we're different from other people. And so I want to talk to you a little bit about the two ways that humans differentiate themselves from others. Okay. There's only two ways. Really. There's your different than me, right? Have you ever experienced that from anybody? You're different from me, you or that sort of thing. And that's always comes with judgment. It's been going on since right after the fall. Adam and eve start hiding. Why? Because they see they're different from each other. Right? From that moment, they start judging each other as different. Ooh, we're not the same. And so they make up this, this, this, this plan essentially that we've been following ever since. And this is it. Are you ready? I'm not like you. You're not like me. That's how we know we're different. And we watch and we judge each other as different
Speaker 3:3:32in the scripture that I'm going to read this morning from first Peter. There's, there's a nuance to the text that, that God offers us a new way to differentiate ourselves. And that is to not be as we used to be. And then to let others not be how they used to be. And you see that that's quite a difference from, you're not like me too. I'm not the way I used to be. So this is from first Peter Chapter two starting in verse seven this is about God. He is indeed precious for you believers. But when you don't believe the stone which the builders rejected has become the heads cornerstone and a stumbling block or a rock of offense, they stumble as they disobey the word, which indeed was the destiny of those who disobey. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's possession.
Speaker 3:4:32You're purpose is to announce the virtuous deeds of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light once you were no people, now you are God's people. Once you had not received mercy, now you have received mercy. This is, I once was lost, but now am found right? This is the amazing grace part of the sermon. And we talked yesterday about how we're all the same, but we are not supposed to be living out of the fall anymore. Did you? Do you know what I mean by that? When we fell and we started judging people and we thought we might be God and we had full knowledge and all this stuff because we were humans after all, and we started judging people is different. That's living out of the fall, but you've been redeemed by God. Now there is no need necessarily to live out of the fall.
Speaker 3:5:30One of these things that, that I understand is that we live in a fallen world, but God has redeemed us out of it. I'm gonna move over here. I've got a really hot spot right there. And so this is how it's done. We have to start to learn how to make the differences between us, where we're not putting up barriers that other people have to cross over, get to know us. So as soon as I tell you you're different than me and you're not right, do you know why? How that happens in us? Do you know why you always judge somebody else's not right? Because you only see from your eyes. And that must be the right way to see because that's the way you see.
Speaker 3:6:17And so you start judging people that see different or look different or dress different. I loved that thing. Is there a dress code for church? Yes. Where? Some right people. You don't clean yourself up before you come to God. There's no way for you to do that. He only cleans you up because he's the only one that can do the cleaning.
Speaker 3:6:46You can try to Gussy up all the stuff, but it's like you're out at the dump picking other garbage to put on until God dresses you in his own garments.
Speaker 3:6:58And so here's this thing. Can, can you put up my, uh, my
Speaker 3:7:05We're doing okay. See, this is, this is really high falutin stuff. This is Dave. Scale of spiritual formation. Okay, I'm Dave. So this is my scale. I went, I went to a fancy school and this is how I learned to do it. Okay? Do you see over here unformed. This is unformed spiritually. Do you see this red line right here? You know what that is? That's you accept Christ before you accept Christ. Your spiritual formation is uninformed. Would you agree with that? Before God starts forming you into who you were shaped to be? You're uninformed, but see, then you start out mostly unformed. I have a friend who was a, who was a nuclear attack on a submarine and he, he lived the life of going from Port to Port with no accountability, sort of. And he used to say is as I walk deeper and deeper into this pit and I got hip deep in the Glock and I accepted Christ, I turned around. The problem was I was still hip deep.
Speaker 3:8:07I was facing a different direction, but I was still hip deep in it. Right? I had been changed about my situation in life. My life patterns haven't changed. Nothing had changed except for now. I had grace, but I still didn't deserve it,
Speaker 3:8:26but he is mostly unformed. Okay, so as you start to be coming, become a Christian, you're mostly unformed. Did you know that, that most people that come to Christ, right, they don't instantaneously, they're not instantaneously deep, fully formed Christians with all the habits that they need to be living properly. You've experienced that. Right? Okay. I thought for a second that maybe everybody here was instantly fully formed in Christ. The second they believed. I kind of wish that that had happened. I mean, it would be like, like Christians. Once you became a Christian, you were fully formed. You acted completely, utterly different from everybody else in the world and you were blue or something so everybody could see who you were. But that's not how it happens. And you don't get Zap straight into heaven. By the way, straight into heaven is this other red line over here. Do you notice where the red line is in relation to us and perfectly formed? Are you in heaven yet? Is this place just like having only much, much worse or something? No, until you go to heaven, you're not fully formed. And so you're mostly formed and you're sort of formed and you're generally formed and you're mostly form. The problem with this is this where I'm mostly formed. Some of you aren't. We're, I'm not formed. Some of you are.
Speaker 3:9:52And we need each other to help form Christ in us. This is the soft difference. This is the reason why this is such a big deal. This soft differences, such a big deal. See as I'm mostly formed, am I perfectly formed? Do I know everything that God knows him? I now capable of judging as God judges because I'm mostly formed.
Speaker 3:10:19So what business do I have judging somebody over here that's mostly unformed or unformed cause I don't know everything about what's going on in their lives. No one else I know about this, that God is always, always, always, always, always on his number one priority in every one of our lives. It just isn't the same priority because in your life he's working on something that he's not working on in me and he's working on something in me that he's not working on in you. And this is the one thing people often will come into my office when I was in, in my other churches and they say, well, so and so's having a problem and I want you to go fix that for them.
Speaker 3:11:03well first off I would say this and so if you ever come in with the gossip and all this stuff, you're going to hear this line for me. Okay. I assume you're in my office because God has called you to help them with that and you only came to me because you need help going to them
Speaker 4:11:20and helping
Speaker 3:11:23most people at that point and say, no, that's not why I'm here. I'm here so that you go do this and say, well, God's talking to you about it.
Speaker 4:11:33Not me.
Speaker 3:11:36But the other thing I know is this, that because God is always on his top priority and I trust him utterly to work on his top priority. I also am not in charge of assigning God the priority list.
Speaker 3:11:50He has his own priority list in each of our lives. And I, and I'll use this example because it's, it's not a big deal to me. Okay? I just using it, but I was in a group and they were, there was a man being brought up for leadership and he smoked and there was people in the group, so he can't be a leader because he smokes and he's not dealing with that. And God, God's got to deal with that in his life before he can be a leader. And my words were this. God's dealing with him on some pretty big issues and when it gets around to whether or not he quit smoking and God's working on him with that, he'll quit because I know him. But you will kindly let God have his priority list in somebody else's life. Now we're back into the soft difference, right? Famous famous theologian. Are you ready? Lee Trevino says it this way. We're all a can shy of a 12 pack. Okay? The problem is, is the can is missing from different areas and we're all missing something. We need more than we are and the, and if we were perfect, we wouldn't have needed the holy spirit to begin with, but the Holy Spirit is coming into our lives and starting to form us into, into Christ shaped people.
Speaker 3:13:19The difference is our starting points are so different from each other, aren't they? How many of you know somebody that's slightly different than you? Have you ever met anybody exactly the same? Okay. People say in lots of ways that I'm just like my dad. You know what I know is that I'm an a curious mix of my dad and my mom. My mom is the real spiritual one in the family. My Dad and I have almost never had a conversation about spiritual things and so I can't be just like my dad because he won't talk about it now he lives it. Okay. He spent years fixing churches as an architect so that they function for spaces for people to worship in. And you can't do that if it's not important to you. But here we are, we're in this mostly unformed, a mostly form. I sort of think generally that I'm generally formed. It's kind of like thinking you're a deep thinker. Did you ever notice somebody that really thought they were a deep thinker but wasn't thinking you're a deep thinker, doesn't make you a deep thinker, does it? But this is the soft difference that I'm talking about. If I'm free to be different than I used to be in Christ and praise God in I am different than I used to be
Speaker 3:14:56and I can tell you now that you wouldn't have liked me at all.
Speaker 3:15:01Cause when I graduated from college, I hated people. Not not specific people, just all of them. And if you think of me as slightly friendly or semi friendly or maybe overly friendly or maybe as my wife would say, the three most friendly people you've ever met, that's a work of God and me and I am different than I used to be. And I thank God for that. But I also, because I'm different than I used to be and God is still working on on something in my life and he's still working on something and somebody else's life. And God is always calling us into a deeper relationship, always wooing us into a deeper, an ever deepening relationship. The truth is that the people of God, his possession, the sheep of his pasture, all of those things we've Sung about today are what God is forming of people that are his now who are his, I'm going to say this this way. This is my definition for the entire people of God. Are you ready? All those who've ever come to Christ and trusted him and all those who will do you know who will but hasn't yet?
Speaker 3:16:24I don't. And so I don't get to go around judging people because God's working in my life and God's working in their life. And sometimes God asks me to interact with them in a positive way. So we talk about common ground, about all the ways where the same. We know this, that God is working specifically, always in everybody's life. Doesn't mean they're listening. Just the God is actively willing.
Speaker 3:16:55He's actively willing me. It doesn't mean that I'm actually listening in the area that he wants me to work
Speaker 4:17:01on. All right?
Speaker 3:17:04Do you wonder, Oh, have I lost you on this? Do you understand where I'm at? And tell you know perfectly every aspect of their lives. Guess what? You don't get to do judge as God would judge because he knows them exactly, perfectly, wonderfully in the same way that he knows you. By the way, God knows you better than you know you. And if you can't judge yourself accurately, maybe you want to give somebody else a break. You ever experienced that you judge yourself incorrectly? Do you know why that is? Your scale is wrong. Just an example of why your scale
Speaker 4:17:50is wrong. Okay. You think that humans can be tall, but we measure the universe and parsecs. How many parsecs are we tall?
Speaker 3:18:01You want to Parse? Sect is, it's a certain number of light years and a light year is the distance that light travels in a certain sense. That section of time, which is then measured down into kilometers and miles and all these things, right, and we measure ourselves in feet and inches. Our scale is incorrect. It's utterly incorrect for the process. Our scale of good is wrong. We think what we do as good in the weekend earn good, but here's the deal.
Speaker 3:18:34If I live a really good life are really good life. Okay, you're ready. What's a really good day today? I only send three times.
Speaker 3:18:46right. That's a pretty good day. All the things I thought about that were wrong and all the things I did that hurts somebody else that I broke relationship over or something or I injured a relationship. I had a really good day. I sent three times if I hadn't been a year of really good days, that means I only send about a thousand times that year. Let's think about that. Okay, I'm 52 that means if I have lived an exemplary life with really good years, I've sent 52,000 times in my life and I think humans can be good. Really not without God's help because how in the world would you ever do enough to make up for 52,000 things and see, I'm pointing at me, aren't I? I'm not really pointing at you. You can do your own math, but we think of power that we can change things. We can, we can be powerful and strong and we can lift these rocks and all these things. Do you know the Gods scale of power is utterly different than us? He has authority.
Speaker 3:19:58can God make a rock so big he can't lift it? No. He says lift and it lifts it darn itself because it's subjected to his authority. That's power. Can you do that? I can't even do that to me. Lift yourself off the couch. Half the time, can't do it, but this is the deal. Okay? We are not ever to not be like them because that makes an adversarial situation out of everybody we come near. It creates an an amazing roadblock or hurdle for them to jump over to get into relationship with us and God's not in the roadblock hurdle business. He's in the the bridges and taken out the the impediment business for everybody to come to him and we need to join him in that work and because of that we need to pay attention to not being the way we used to be and letting other people not be the way they used to be. I think that's enough for the day.
Speaker 3:21:19I got a couple more pages. We don't need them. Will you join me in prayer? Lord Jesus this morning as we come into your presence, help us to open our eyes to see the work that's been done in us helped me see that, that the closer I get to you, the one thing I become aware of is the sin in my own life. As I become aware of the sin in my own life, helped me seek forgiveness for both me and those around me. Help me be an agent of your piece, of you're willing. Help us as a church man. This life is the people of your pasture. Amen.