091108 How To Live Your Faith 02 Its Not About You!
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091108 How To Live Your Faith 02 Its Not About You!

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Sermon 2 in a series on the Book of James presented November 8, 2009, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

Sermon 2 in a series on the Book of James presented November 8, 2009, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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  • Adaptable: Adjust to many situationsTechnologically savvy: Addicted to media, process information quicklyMulti-taskers: Do things faster & betterTolerant: Diversecultures, divorce; oblivious to gender, race, living arrangements & socioeconomic statusImpatient: Want instant gratificationSkeptical: Due to lying, cheating, & exploiting from major figuresBlunt : Self-expression over self-controlImage-driven: Personal image is important


  • 1.
  • 2. Survey Responses by Generation
  • 3. We’re blessed with six generations
  • 4. Meet Generation Y
    Born: 1977-1994
    Net Generation
    Generation Y-Not
    25% US population
  • 5. Gen Y’s Priorities – “It’s about me!”
  • 6. Gen Y Pros & Cons
  • 7. Gen Y’s Religious Affiliations
  • 8. Gen Y and Church Commitments
  • 9. The church must respond to their changing mentalities
    Word-of-mouth (cell, text, IM) is powerful
    The average dissatisfied consumer tells 11 others
    We must be ready to take care of Gen Y or we’ll lose them
    Culturally diverse; oblivious to gender, race, living arrangements & socioeconomic status
    “Hell, fire & brimstone” will turn them away
    We must emphasize hope, not fear
    Nostalgia doesn’t reach Gen Y as it does Boomers
    We must adapt presentation of the gospel to reach them
    Not changing the message, but the method
  • 10. James starts by saying “It’s not about me!”
    The author was the brother of Jesus
    But he doesn’t identify self as such
    James 1:1 NIV James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
    This identification not peculiar to James
  • 11. Paul, Peter & Jude called selves servants
    Romans 1:1 NIV Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle …
    Philippians 1:1 NIV Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus …
    2 Peter 1:1 NIV Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ …
    Jude 1:1 NIV Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James …
  • 12. Why refer to selves as “servants”?
    Greek doulos literally means “slave”
    Why describe selves as servants?
    Why should we see selves as servants?
  • 13. Why do modern translations use the word “servant” rather than “slave”?
  • 14. Discipleship is not about me!
    Jesus stressed this repeatedly
  • 15. Matthew 23:8-12 NIV
    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. (9) And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. (10) Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. (11) The greatest among you will be your servant. (12) For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
  • 16. Matthew 20:25-28 NIV
    Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. (26) Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (27) and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— (28) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  • 17. Philippians 2:5-8 NIV
    Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (7) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!
  • 18. As Christians, we’re called to serve
    God & Jesus Christ
    James 1:1 NIV James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
  • 19. As Christians, we’re called to serve
    Romans 6:17-18 NIV But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. (18) You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
  • 20. As Christians, we’re called to serve
    Those in Christ
    Galatians 5:13 NIV You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
  • 21. As Christians, we’re called to serve
    Those outside of Christ
    1 Corinthians 9:19-22 NIV Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. (20) To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. … (21) To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. (22) To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
  • 22. Recognizing that it’s not about me is a sign of spiritual maturity
    Selfishness is a sign of immaturity
  • 23. Immature people are self-centered
    Newborn babies are ego-centric
    As people mature,they begin to concern selves with the needs of others
    Servants are “other” centered
  • 24. James’ description of self fits with his theme of spiritual maturity
    James demonstrates his spiritual maturity
    Mark of spiritual maturity: being “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”
    Are we servants of God and ofJesus?
    If so, we’re on the road to spiritual maturity
  • 25. Implications of servanthood
    What am I getting myself into?
  • 26. It implies absolute obedience
    In a slave-master relationship...
    The master’s wish is the slave’s command
    He has no rights of his own
    He’s the absolute possession of his master
    He’s bound to give unquestioning obedience
    Does this describe our service to Christ?
  • 27. God owns us, “lock, stock, & barrel”
    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; (20) you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
  • 28. We come on His terms, not ours
    Luke 6:46 NIV “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
    Matthew 7:21 NIV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
  • 29. It implies absolute humility
    Otherwise, obedience is not possible
    The proud cannot obey; only the humble
    No one had more reason for pride than Paul, but see how he regarded himself
  • 30. 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 NIV
    For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (10) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
  • 31. 1 Timothy 1:15 NIV
    Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.
  • 32. Does this describe our relationship to Christ and His will?
    Jesus said it should!
    Luke 17:10 NIV So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
    If we complain about what Jesus tells us to do, are we really “servants”?
  • 33. It implies absolute loyalty
    Since we become servants freely, it should be expected that we are loyal to Him first
    Galatians 1:10 NIV Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
  • 34. We don’t consider our wishes, but those of the One we serve!
    Amazing how anyone can claim to be servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, while:
    Resenting the demands of God’s will
    Complaining about having to do God’s will
    Actingas though forced against our own will
    We don’t “have to” serve the Lord Jesus, but the alternative is not very inviting
    If we don’t serve Jesus, by default we serve Satan, and are destined for hell!
  • 35. One of the great titles of the OT was “servant of God”
    As servants, we keep great company!
  • 36. Look at the company we keep!
    Abraham, Isaac, Jacob – Deut. 9:27
    Moses – 1 Kings 8:53
    Joshua – Joshua 24:29
    Caleb – Numbers 14:24
    Job – Job 1:8 NIV
    Isaiah – Isaiah 20:3 NIV
    The prophets – Jeremiah 7:25 NIV
  • 37. How would you like for God to look on you as a companion of those?
    They found freedom, peace, and glory!
    They found it in submission to God’s will!
    They served God with
    Absolute obedience
    Absolute humility
    Absolute loyalty
  • 38. “...a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”
    Can this be said of us?
    Yes, if we serve God, Christ & one another
    Here’s the first step to spiritual maturity:
    “It’s about God; it’s not about me”!