Beltline Church of Christ      

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Stretched (PM)

A Christian response to the Covid-19 Quarantine
"Stretched" - A Christian response to the Covid-19 Quarantine
John 1:17

Balance isn't easy. We often find ourselves out of balance in many areas of life. Although it's not easy to maintain spiritual balance, it is imperative to do so! Our study in Scripture must be balanced. As we just read, Jesus brings both grace and truth! His truth reveals our problem, sin. And His grace helps us to overcome our problem! There's a tension in our growth, and it's a balancing act that we must all participate in as we learn to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)!

1. Purpose - Ephesians 5:15-16
A. ILLUSTRATION: Rubber band's strength is in the tension
B. There's a tension in our struggle to overcome our foolishness, with His wisdom! 1 Corinthians 1:20-24, Proverbs 11:30
C. Make no mistake, our mission is to carry on His mission - Luke 19:10, Matthew 28:19-20
D. But here's the Christian tension in our faith, we keep looking at the end result rather than living in the here and now, making disciples and leading the lost to Jesus! If we were progressing in disciple making, the end would take care of itself! - Romans 8:28-31
2. Progress - Ephesians 5:17-18
A. Rather than focus on the outcome, focus on the identity - Galatians 5:22-23,
B. We each need to ask ourselves the question, "Where do I want to go?" If the
answer is heaven, then the fruit of the Spirit is the path you take! It's a practical,
measurable guide to your journey of faith! "Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do!" Ephesians 7:17
C. ILLUSTRATION: Atomic Habits by James Clear
D. By stretching your faith, exercising the Spiritual muscles of love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control will lead you right into the power of God that sustains you through life & into eternity! - Hebrews 1:3

3. Power - Ephesians 5:19-21
A. When our faith is being exercised, we keep the tension of obedient faith, and we progress into His strength, our Christian duty becomes a delight! Our delight in Him is revealed in our worship, our life of thanksgiving & praise!
B. ILLUSTRATION: Flashlight & Wrench!
C. There's no power to be found when we fail to live in His Grace & Truth. Or when we forget to apply one or the other. His power is in the tension of both grace & truth! John 1:14-17 - If we fail to be gracious or fail to tell the truth, we fail to be like Jesus!
D. When we're failing to be like Jesus, we've totally missed it! Our worship will feel boring, our study will be non-existent, our praise will be half-hearted! - James 1:5-8
E. When we're stretching to be like Jesus, we're making disciples, we're progressing in the fruit of the Spirit and we're praising God like there's no tomorrow!! -  Revelation 7:9-12

Some of us haven't stretched in a long time. It's time to get busy again. The truth is that you're not living out your faith, and you know it. The grace is here to change that, but you'll never experience the grace until you submit to the truth!


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