Priest's Perspective · Sermon

Nourished by the Word of God

Let the word of God implanted in you take root and nourish all you say and do.

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

We have been given a new identity – and it is one that we need to recognise in ourselves. the description of this identity is contained in scripture and if we want to see how true we are how consistent we are with this identity then we must look to our actions.

One way that we do this is that when we read scripture we ask ourselves a few Questions.

Which Character am I most like in the story, which Character am I least like, What happens to those characters and what would happen to me if I behaved like either one of them.

Let the word of God implanted in you take root and nourish all you say and do.

for the world to be planted it has to be read and read diligently and intently.

I want to ask you – do you believe what the bible says – ??? have you read it?? are you basing your response to that question on your own reading of it or on what others have said – get a reading plan Start with the Gospel of St John -but read the scriptures. Read the seeking to find the truth in them – don’t waste your time… and don’t just read the slogan scriptures – read the story. Read and ask yourself what is this story telling me about who God wants me to be and what God wants me to do – read the story to find out what happens when you live for yourself, when you live for God, when you make mistakes, when you ask for forgiveness when you fail to ask for forgiveness. its all there.

But the bible is not a book of computer code – it is not a do this and that will happen text – it is a narrative – a journey and it has scenarios you have to seek out, and learn to understand – it is a book about relationship – and we are not computers but we are complex beings.

Our attitudes affect our actions – our actions affect our relationships, our relationships grow and go through seasons – you can’t do a good thing with a bad attitude and expect a good result.

You cant just think good things and know the difference between right and wrong – you must behave in way that is true – to what you believe..

The great Franciscan teacher Richard Rohr says that you can’t think your way into anew way of living you have to act your way into a new way of thinking. In other words change will only come into your life when you do things differently, when you behave differently

thinking differently changes the way you think about life

behaving differently changes the way that you live your life.

St James tell us that we need to recognise who we are and then act accordingly.

We need to see in ourselves what God sees and then live up to that image of ourselves.

There is no room in Christian living for   thinking poorly of yourself – for undervaluing ones self worth.

You have heard that Christians need to be Humble – now a humble person is not a nobody a humble person is not someone who has nothing to boast about –

a humble person is someone who is great and powerful and mighty and terrific, but who doesn’t rub that in your face – someone who though they are entitled to many things – chooses to interact on the level with others so that others can be lifted up and see and feel their true worth.

Humility menas rich but not showing off your wealth to make others jealous of you!

humility means being special but using that fact to make others feel special and not inferior.

Only people who are special can be humble and being humble does not mean ignoring who you are – being humble doesn’t mean allowing yourselves to be intimidated by others and join them in doing wrong – being humble means doing what is right, with the right attitude and doing what is required because you see that just pleasing yourself and dong what ever everyone else is doing meets your life is rooted in the desire for popularity and acceptance – if you doing something to be cool and accepted – then you are not being humble.

Humble means you need to put God’s desires for you life first – you need to put your God given identity first – and that means standing out form the crowd, it means swimming against the stream it means knowing how you are and being true to yourself and not looking for your identity in the eyes of others – but in the eyes of God.

When you look in a mirror you see your reflection – I try not to look in the mirror first thing in the morning – I’m afraid I might scare myself – I was my face and brush my hair and then say morning handsome – even though I am the only one who ever said that about my face…

but scripture is not talking about what you see when you look at your physical features – scripture is saying when you see yourself you need to see what God sees. This imagery comes from the Tabernacle when the ritual purification was done in a brass bowl, in the wilderness people didn’t have bathroom mirrors – but when the went to purify themselves they saw the forgiven image of themselves in the bowl   – that’s what we need to see when we think about ourselves – a forgiven sinner, made righteous in God eyes – without sin  – blessed

when we look in the mirror we must see someone who is chosen by God to do the things that God has set aside for each of us to do in His name –

So this mirror is the word of GOD – is the prayers that we use is the songs that provide thought processes about life in Christ – this mirror is the actions that we do here on Sunday’s

the mirror that we hold up is the characteristics that scripture tells us we have when we are in Christ

St Paul Says. Philippians 4:8

brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Our Character in Christ is filled with the Gifts of the Spirit

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control.

And so when we look at our actions we must ask –

is what I just did done in love

Did it bring joy

did it contribute to making peace

did I exercise patience

was it kind

did it bring about good

was it faithful to God and to who I am

did I exercise gentleness – and that is did I do it with humility  – did I use my strength to heal and not to hurt

did I take control – did I take responsibility for my actions – was I led by the will of others or by my desire to be true to myself and my God – was I following Christ in what I did.

this is the mirror – we look upon who we really are

STRONG, Purposeful, noble, caring, kind – if we don’t consciously exercise these characteristic in our lives then it is as f we have forgotten that we have them.

when facing other people or situations we need to prepare ourselves – we need to take responsibility and say I will DO what is true to the character of Christ how dwells in me.

we all pray that Lords pray – thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven – well the Kingdom comes when the people of God know their identity – no what they look like and live accordingly.

Psalm 26:2 says – “Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;”

What Does God see when he examines your heart – how dose he seeing you trying to please

What gifts does he see at work in your life.

If you were accused of being a Christian and taken to court – would anybody be able to find enough evidence from your life – to prove that you were one.

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 

Let the word of God implanted in you take root and nourish all you say and do.

and the God of peace will fill your heart with joy as you trust in him and live true to your God given identity.

Amen

All Bible quotations taken from Biblehub.com

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