Jumping Into the River Part 4

SERMON NOTES
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
9/7/2014
Jumping Into the River
Romans 12:14-21

 

 

If we choose to jump into the river and follow Christ with our whole lives, it does not guarantee the external circumstances of our lives will flourish and in many cases throughout church history Christians have faced persecution.In the book, The Good and Beautiful God, James Smith states that spiritual transformation usually occurs when we create an environment for spiritual intimacy by learning, practicing, in the context of spiritual friendships.

The early church faced hostility - culturally, financially, and even physically. But Paul challenged the early followers of Christ to be different, to stand apart from the culture of that day by expressing love even in hostile environments.

Theme: Immerse yourself in the Kingdom of God by being Kingdom people who express love to everyone. Period.

If we truly want to be a church and a people who lead people to the river so they can touch, taste and immerse themselves in the love and grace of God’s living water then they must be led by us. The way we live our lives must lead them there.
 

As we are transformed by God’s grace we live it out.

·   Who is God calling you to be?

·   Where in your life would you like to make a difference?

 

Jumping Into the River Part 2

SERMON NOTES  
8/24/2014
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Jumping Into the River
Romans 12:3-8

 

So what does it really mean to be “all in,” in regards to our following Christ?
What does it mean to have depth in our faith?

 

Greg Ogden in the book Discipleship Essentials describes being a disciple as a lifelong process of dying to self while allowing Jesus Christ to come alive in us.

 

In the book, The Good and Beautiful God, James Smith states that spiritual transformation usually occurs when we create an environment for spiritual intimacy by learning, practicing, in the context of spiritual friendships.

 

When we talk about jumping in and immersing ourselves into the Kingdom of God…

 

  • We need each other.
  • We have to understand our calling.

 

Primary Calling: We are called to be in relationship with our savior, our creator.
We are first called to be followers of Christ.

 

Secondary Calling: God calls us to live for Him with specific gifts and talents.

 

Questions for Reflection

 

  • If you were to describe your passion for life in one sentence, it would be?
  • What are some unique characteristics about you? strengths? abilities?
  • If you knew you would not fail, what would you do in your lifetime for the glory of God?

 

Jumping Into the River Part 1

SERMON NOTES
Jumping Into the River
Romans 12:1-2
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
8/17/2014

 

So what does it really mean to be “all in,” in regard to our following Christ? What does it mean to be totally immersed in the Kingdom of God? What does it mean to have depth in our faith?

 

Greg Ogden in the book Discipleship Essentials describes being a disciple as a lifelong process of dying to self while allowing Jesus Christ to come alive in us.

 

In the book, The Good and Beautiful God, James Smith states that spiritual transformation usually occurs when we create an environment for spiritual intimacy by...

 

…changing our thinking by learning how to follow Jesus through a biblical worldview
“be transformed in the renewing of your mind”

 

…engaging in new practices and new behaviors
“present your bodies as a living sacrifice”

 

…participating in spiritual friendships

 

Questions to Ponder

 

Does your spiritual life in Christ give you a sense of peace?

 

Are you learning and growing in your faith?

 

Is there someone in your life other than your spouse who encourages your spiritual development?

 

Is your faith integrated in most aspects of your life?

 

Do you spend time in worship and praise every day?