I was offered two weeks in a row to teach at Hayward Wesleyan. The first week was called: What Are You Building Your Life On? I originally was planning on talking about the foundation we build our lives on, Jesus, which I did in the first week, and then what are we building our lives with, which comes from Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. However, after the first teaching, I sensed that I wasn’t supposed to go on to the “building with” idea, but further tease out what a life looks like as one who “repents and believes.”

So the second teaching ended up being part 2 of What Are You Building Your Life On.

What Are You Building Your Life On? (part 2)

This message had several components to it:

  • I wanted to sort of summarize Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount in a way that wasn’t a mere review of the words, so I started the teaching with “Imagine a world if…” to sort of illustrate and paint a picture of what our world would look like if we actually put into practice what Jesus’ taught.
  • Then we reviewed the teaching from the previous week: wise human and foolish human, Jesus’ words in Matthew 5-7, specifically the ones on persecution and anger/murder, and Jesus’ central thesis of repent.
  • We then looked at the response Jesus got from the crowds after he was done teaching in Matthew 7:28-29
  • We then looked to what another gospel writer, Mark, said about Jesus’ thesis (1:14-15) as well as Peter’s words (Acts 2:28) and Paul’s words (Acts 26:20).
  • Then I asked the question, what folks’ experience was like the past week as well as in general in life around the practice of repenting and believing. I gave some options around why we humans find it difficult to repent.
  • The main thrust of the teaching was to locate the act of repentance and belief in a person, Jesus. Not an idea, a philosophy, or even a religion. Christianity is a way of living life surrendered (repent) to a person: Jesus.
  • My wife, Amanda, had an experience she relayed to me this past week that was helpful to illustrate this.
  • We looked at an account in Luke 5:1-10 where Jesus is teaching (sharing his words) and he is with Simon Peter. They go out fishing and they catch a lot of fish. But it is Peter’s interaction with Jesus and Jesus’ words back to Peter that is helpful for those who want to be a part of Jesus and his kind of world (the kingdom of heaven).
  • Finally, I brought forth an illustration of putting all this together. The kingdom of heaven is like a car. The gospel is like the engine of the car. Our human act of repent and believe is what activates and fuels the engine that allows the car to move.
  • And then we moved into communion


source YouTube


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