Part 8 of 9 – Bigger Than… Series

Don’t live life trapped in the mundane. We often hear statements like, “If it’s good it won’t last.” And, “Things will never change.”  These kinds of hopeless statements put us in a survival mode. The more we believe them, the more likely we are to live life as though we are merely surviving until we die.  Today, let’s upgrade our expectations for ORDINARY. All that we need to do is embrace the disciple’s worldview that God is LIFE, we can be alive or stay dead. So choose to live!

Jesus is Alive!  Jesus is the reason that we know this to be true. He is the basis for a turning point in our lives. In John 20 we find the disciples afraid and hiding from the Jewish leaders. But everything suddenly changed when Jesus showed up.

John 20:19b-20 (NLT) Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!

We need Jesus to show up in our lives. When He is revealed we are free from condemnation and empowered to do the right thing. We’re also given understanding and purpose. These are the gifts of Jesus that give us real life.

The Best Argument For A Living Christ Was His Disciples!

They Lived Without Fear! Before Christ appeared to them, even though they had received word from Mary that He was alive, they were terrified. All of them had previously run away when Jesus was arrested. Peter had denied Jesus three times for fear of a slave girl. But that all changed when Jesus showed up. Within weeks, they were standing in front of crowds declaring Jesus as Lord and Savior. They would suffer prison, abuse, condemnation and ultimately death. Yet they did not stop. They were fearless.  Would you lay down your life for a corpse? No. Jesus was alive! And, His story was worth any cost.

They Helped Others! They also made a big difference in the world. Jesus gave them a purpose. They were to help people and change lives. He gave freely to them and expected them to give freely to others.

Matthew 10:7-8 (NLT) Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!

Would You Like To Live?

God is Life, I Can Be Alive or Stay Dead. So LIVE!  It is easy to get trapped in popular thinking. Reason and logic work fine in the natural world. But as a follower of Christ – as a Disciple – we live from a supernatural world. We think differently. That thinking is somewhat clarified in 1 Corinthians 2:10-16.

We can also get stuck in the past. Would a baby ever walk if its future was defined by its past? How could it? Our future must be defined in some other way. We must allow Christ to define our potential, our hope, and our future. But how?

We Must Learn Jesus. We need to start looking at Jesus as our example. Of course, there is no doubt that Jesus was special in that he was the son of God. But he came as the first son of God. He came to demonstrate how God wanted us to live. If we keep living as though Jesus teachings and behaviors are beyond our reach, we will never experience real life.

Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT) And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Believe as Jesus Believed. Living as a disciple of Jesus is much more than knowledge, it is belief. To be a disciple is not merely to do what Jesus did, which seems beyond us, it is to believe as Jesus believed.

Mark 5:36 (NLT) But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”

Live in a way the NEEDS God’s Power!

If you would like to live in power, grace, and victory, start following Jesus. Don’t follow the latest Christian idol, pastor, or church. It is time to stop being limited by the faithlessness and powerlessness of modern Christianity. It is time to rattle the gates of Hell and set people free.

But, as always, it’s our choice. We can certainly do nothing and just keep surviving until we die. Or, we could learn what it means to truly live.

John 10:10 (NLT) The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Talk About It…

  • What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
  • What do you think about the common negative statements people make regarding the difficulty of life? (I.E. Anything good will not last. Things will never change.)
  • Review John 20:19-23.  What do you think of the disciples’ fear? Discuss the radical change in verse 20. What can we learn from that change?
  • Discuss your ideas for a truly great life? Discuss John 17:3, John 8:12, and 1 John 5:20-21.
  • Review Hebrews 13:6. How can this verse help us be free from the fear of people?
  • Review Matthew 10:7-8. What have we received that we could freely give?
  • Read Colossians 2:8-20 as a group. Discuss the phrase, “…don’t let anyone Capture/Condemn you”. Discuss verse 20.
  • What are some ways that we could learn Jesus? What are some ways that Jesus may have believed differently from us?
  • How would you like your life to look one year from now?  Discuss some ways that we can upgrade our ORDINARY.
  • Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?