Man Month Finale – Aaron Lehman
All Be ready and one person in particular should be more ready than most of us Erin come on enough ready or not here we go.
Pick Mike is on to area you can tell by my novel that hopefully I am he's ready so I don't earn for us by five six years we kind of debated with less than the first service I know you and C.C. been here for a little bit longer but when the one of the reasons why I asked Aaron is because to preach he has a strong faith and I've enjoyed hearing his comments whether it's after a service it's an Sunday school class he obviously knows his Bible well and he loves the Lord and so this is a great opportunity for us to hear how God is working in his life and hopefully you'll be encouraged I'm sure all be encouraged I've already been encouraged just meeting with you and talking about this but I just pray for you right now and then I will just go to sleep in your heart dear Lord I pray for my brother Aaron I'm excited for him I'm sure he's excited nervous but Lord at this time he's just sharing with us your eternal truth this is your truth and I just pray that you'll use Aaron as the mouthpiece just give him freedom that he can share clearly what you lead on a certain Prince of Christ's name human.
James Chapter three verses one and two a start off not many of you should become teachers my brothers because you know that those who teach will be judged more severely than others.
They're really as I think a reverend on earth and responsibility and addressing congregation so I apologize for I'm a little bit nervous because I keep on looking down that's on purpose.
But I think my my heart has definitely been a little bit heavy just making sure to be properly prepared and I'm also able to paraphrase I say a six five word says I'm a man with unclean lips I live amongst the people of unclean limbs so this morning I just. This is an area I think that we've been talking about this past week being real I really feel that this is an area that I need my own encouragement with and so. I think I'm really kind of coming from not a position a sincerity of a lot of strength or insight but definitely a place where I also feel like I need to be encouraged So once more just want to pray and then we'll get started Lord Jesus Christ again just thank you for for this opportunity be with my heart be with my nerves speaks through me speak in spite of me let your words come through and just be a. Testimony and encourage not only to me but my brothers and sisters in Christ Thank you Lord Amen.
One of the things I think about having different men speak is one of sociate that you're able to associate with the different stories in the different areas that were N. and so I think one of Josh is ideas in choosing the lay men.
Because that's my name get this Mr Dan told me last week that he really appreciated my jokes so if you don't well it's going to be a long twenty minutes.
You know it just shows I think people from various walks of life basically so we can associate so we can share so we can encourage How else if can you associate necessarily with me unless you know a little bit about me so I think before we actually get into the sermon just share a little bit about my testimony share a little bit about my background and then from there we can kind of launch him and I'm coming from I am a native Phoenician born and raised apparently there are not that many of them it's something that always serves as a conversation starter The only time I've ever spent outside of the metro Phoenix area I spent in Tucson going to school so I'm really pretty familiar with Arizona and the Arizona ways I was born into a Christian home my parents are here this morning so I have to be a little bit careful what they say. But I turned out so well so we know that everything worked out great.
My parents are a fantastic Christian people fantastic Christian examples I recall accepting Christ at a very very young age I remember.
Waiting in the bathroom while my mom was preparing a bath and so I really don't know of life a way from kind of a Christianity or a Christian example.
I really am if you want to even call it didn't necessarily know better but we listen to Christian radio in the car we had Christian cassette tapes for music. Listen to Christian books I went to Christian school I was in rolled over northwest Community Christian school for a few years we had Christian video games Christian bicycles Christian yogurt Christian glue sticks.
I am exaggerating a little bit. We were not allowed video games we played Christian who know.
I did I went to school in in Tucson I graduated in two thousand and four so I'm a little bit sad this weekend for those who don't follow college basketball with Lost.
These days I met while I met my wife Stacy we met back in two thousand and seven we were married in two thousand and nine.
We have two boys Declan his age two and a half he didn't show up until I was thirty three so probably for most of the young men or the families I'm only about a decade or so behind you Desmond is two months old so at home I have a potty training toddler and I have a newborn and I would be lying if I said I wasn't questioning some of my life choices right now at the scariest And if we're actually honest about it I haven't been able to get through the sermon in under fifteen minutes without pausing every five minutes to escort a toddler back to the potty so you guys are good like if I just run off every right now it.
So as I said I I was born and raised in a Christian home but at some point in time one has to make one's faith. One's own and if I think if I'm honest about my biggest struggle it's I think I've done a pretty good job of kind of being able to turn on the Christian needs when you show up for church on a Tuesday or Wednesday and Sunday but then it's also very easy to kind of go back to. Just the way that life is because it's just kind of how sort of always been and at some point in time as Josh has been talking about this past week how do we make our faith real R.T. How do we make it experience will I think honestly I am a pretty good candidate exactly for that so now that you know a little bit about me let's launch in or sermon and my official sermon training that I received said that an excellent way to introduce that is through an analogy or a story and one often does that through your youth employment experience so.
Now I work church maintenance which means I have a lot of experience with food bowl and bathrooms and writing golf carts I did not have anything truly spiritual like package delivery or pancake delivery.
So let's not use one of those to lead and instead of we're talking about a relationship I'm going to talk about my relationship with my wife Stacy and specifically how we look to grow that because I think that's kind of a nice lead and for our spiritual a ship. You know I want to spend time together all men want to plan a date night we usually do so around food now I know most of you are probably like everybody does things around food but there is a term if you've ever heard it before which is the term foodie and if you haven't while it's pretty straightforward I would Ridgeley think that way it's just somebody who really likes and appreciates food now of course once you're is sitting around a hunting campfire. Or trying to explain to the likes of one Steve McFadden why anybody would possibly want to spend more than six dollars on a meal all the sudden that simple explanation is not quite so simple but let me just talk a little bit about what when we want to plan a date night special with two young children first you have to pick a time in a place it's not just something where you can just run off and go you have to set the time aside do we have is this a particularly good day do we have too many consecutive nights.
If we need to we have children we either take the children the other right or we have to communicate with with parents or with the babysitter Hey parents are you all of vailable and then are you going to come to us are we going to go to you because then I have to make sure more time babysitter then we get into more of the cost and when it is the babysitter available once you actually go out to a restaurant you do have to make sure you actually have the funds to pay for that Alternatively I guess you could also cook at home we do enjoy cooking but you have to know what you're going to make and if you're going to know what you're going to make you have to be going to the store to make sure you have all the ingredients and once again we have to crazy town boys and who is going to occupy them all somebody cooks and once you're done cooking then now you have a whole mountain full of pots and pans and somebody has to clean them all whilst a two year old jumps all over everything asking for a garbage truck videos.
Basically date nights don't happen unless you plan for them they require dedicated time resources planning.
They're always enjoyable they're at are always satisfying at the end but if and when we don't make date night a priority but simply do not happen.
Life is always simpler and more convenient just to let things be so if we want to commit to our relationship we have to set aside the time the resources I must be intentional otherwise life swallows set up and I believe the same. Can and does happen our relationship with Jesus Christ we have to premeditate both time and resources otherwise simply the results aren't going to be there and that really brings me to my primary point which I we must be intentional in our spiritual life in our relationship with Jesus Christ and so I'm going to add I for intentional so we are really are already a way to our man month and if anybody has any letters too bad I took them.
So I would like to open up to first Peter take out your Bibles Let's open up and we're going to go to our key verse which is first Peter chapter one verse thirteen as you search I will help you Peter one you will find right before first Peter chapter two.
As we turn there my my last parting shot because I have the opportunity has anybody ever noticed as Pastor introduces the chapter he never actually introduces the verse I've talked to a few people and you've all said yes and so everybody has to be cued up like in verse number one and then we launch and in a minute scramble in order to find where we are I'll try not to leave you hanging.
See see it's.
And also one other element I'm going to be reading from the international standard version which should be relatively close to what's up on the screen but it's not going to exactly slip there so in the form of avoiding controversy I'm not doing a good job with that either. First Peter chapter one verse thirteen through sixteen therefore prepare your minds for action keep a clear head and set your hope completely on the grace to be given to you when Jesus the Messiah is revealed as obedient children do not be shaped by the desires that used to influence you when you were ignorant instead be holy in every aspect of your life just as the one who called you is holy for it is written you must be holy because I am holy I think this is an outline for how we can be intentional in our relationship with Christ. So let's dig into this verse together shall we.
What is it therefore let's flip back a little bit because we looks like we need some context we're going to flip back in the same chapter two verse three. Blessed to be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah because of his great mercy he's granted us a new birth resulting in an immortal hope through the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the dead to an inheritance kept in heaven for you that can't be destroyed corrupted or changed through faith you're being protected by God's power for a salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end of this era OK we have a there for we have a why Peter tells us we have a new birth we have an inheritance kept in heaven for us there's a payout we don't have it yet but it's coming and this payout results in an immortal hope through the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah and if you return back to verse thirteen Peter doubles down on that point set your hope completely on the grace to be given to you when Jesus the Messiah is revealed.
The apostle Peter is telling us repeatedly to stay conscious of the fact that Jesus is not yet done a he is coming back and when he does there will be something to look forward to in both grace and inheritance and Peter is not alone in this advice our Savior Jesus Christ encourage us exactly the same way so let's turn to Matthew chapter six we're going to pick up in verse nineteen and you'll find Matthew six right after Matthew five.
How long until this job gets old.
Matthew six starting first one thousand stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth where mobs and rust destroyed where thieves break in and steal but keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven or mobs and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal because where your treasure is there will heart be also so we are to live our lives in anticipation of a page. Out of the treasure there is an objective to be obtained and we have something to look forward to Peter tells us this should be the basis for how we approach this life and this foundation is what gives us and moral hope I do believe we have a key sermon point and official sermon training now says that I'm supposed to give you three or so bolted easy to follow points and so our first point for those of you following along or taking notes is Peter tells us to keep our eyes on the prize and we approach each and every day with the knowledge that one day God's plan will indeed cumulate Jesus Christ will be revealed and given full dominion over everything we will experience and share in his inheritance set your hope completely on the grace to be given to you in Jesus the Messiah is revealed but if we're honest isn't that really how we we approach a lot of our goals here on Earth if I'm trying to be intentional in my relationship with Stacy we're setting aside time and resources in order to make our date nights happen if you're looking to make a big purchase like a house or a car if you're looking to go on a trip if you aren't dieting. Basically every in every single one of those you are setting it aside short term game and sacrifice in order to meet the end objective a lot of you don't know and probably really nobody knows.
If that I am actually the result of a fairly significant weight loss probably not back in college I was high to twenty's I know a surprise and really what it was is I was just kind of done with with where I was and I kind of started trying to do this and that in the one thing that worked was running I hate running hated run but the end objective of being more physically fit overcame my in this case completely dislike of running the end of the ject of was worth the short term sacrifice.
This focused on the end result keeping our eyes on. Prize looking forward to having that treasure is exactly also how the Apostle Paul encourages us and so let's flip over to First Corinthians Chapter nine we're going to pick up in verse twenty four.
You know that in a race all the runners run but only one wins the price don't you you must run in such a way to be victorious everyone who enters an athletic context contest practices self-control in everything they do it to when a reef that withers away but we run to win a prize that never fades that is the way I run with a clear goal in mind that is the way I fight not like somebody shadowboxing know I keep on disciplining my body making it serve me so that after I preach to others I myself will not somehow be disqualified.
And John if this event vision of what this prize is what to look forward to at the time and revelation of I'll just kind of read this Revelation twenty one one through four then I saw a new heaven and a new earth because the first heaven in the first earth disappeared and the sea was gone I also saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven prepared like a bride adorned for her husband I heard a loud voice from the throne say see the tent of God is among humans he will make them his home and them and they will be his people God himself will be with them and he will be their God and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes there won't be death anymore there won't be any more grief crying or pain because the first things have disappeared. That's pretty awesome we know the ending and we know just like our earthly goals are worth the effort and worth the short term sacrifice how much greater will be the payout and inheritance with Christ Jesus Amen.
Let's move on and let's actually return back to our key passage in first Peter let's pick up in verse fourteen.
As obedient children do not be shaped by the desires that used to influence you when you were ignorant instead be holy in every aspect of your life just as the one who called us holy for this written you must be holy because I am holy all the possible Peter is using a fairly common approach once again to achieving goals and this is our Step number two which is don't do that do this.
So as I said.
I was some weight loss and you know if we're honest like sometimes the don't do that do this doesn't that sound a little bit contrived if we're honest about things there was a series of books that were really popular several years ago and had web articles that would come out they were called Eat This Not That and they were completely ridiculous if you really read I least I thought they were because they would talk about things like check out this deep fried onion bacon don't a cheeseburger. That's really bad for you instead you should eat a leaf of kale.
They know obviously I'm exaggerating a little bit but they're always just frankly ridiculous and now for those of you who are really tracking deep fried onion bacon donut burgers are not foodie that's Carnie Now if we were talking like peanut butter jelly for Gras foodie it's a big difference in their own be a quiz afterwards.
Sometimes though hearing about those types of alternatives especially when you're in the throes of say a diet and you're hungry all the time and then the the alternative of all just focus on eating kale doesn't always sit all that well which is why you're looking basically to establish a foundation of easily met objectives and then to build upon that foundation.
A few months back I was asked to be a part of a men's group and Bruce camper. I had the opportunity to to mentor from him briefly and he shared with him that it was just a group to talk about being men and taking responsibility and the different challenges that we encounter and Bruce and shared that his eighty or so you are so old that he still struggled just as regularly with certain things that he always did and a first that was very encouraging other Here's a strong man of the faith and he opened up that he was struggling with these things and then almost immediately crushingly depressing because here is a man who is one of the most godly examples that I've had the opportunity to know and he just shares these earthly temptations can be just as bad even after living a life such as if he had.
So it's not exactly like we're looking at a particularly easy avenue with this here.
And if we go back and take a look at what Peter says he really kind of tells us not necessarily to focus on the negative but he says to focus on the positive instead be holy and every aspect of your life so let's take a look when Peter says to be holy what exactly helps What do we do to us Peter says the holy holy or the Greek word which can make that and I guess can tell me if that's right or not awesome.
Really means the likeness of the nature of the Lord because. Different from the work world. That's a key distinction be holy in every aspect of your life just as the one who called you it is holy for it is written you must be holy for I am holy Well are there places in Scripture that sell us what God wants us to be or how to be a likeness of the nature with the Lord Well let's take a look let's first turn to second John chapter one it will begin in verse six.
And then I've got a whole plethora of verses Saul probably just read them on the shelf on the screen but second John chapter one verse six.
And this is what demonstrates love that we live according to God's Commandments just as he was heard from the beginning what he commanded you must live by it all right here we go on verses I will read to you Ecclesiastes Chapter twelve verse thirteen. Let the conclusion of all of these thoughts be heard fear God and obey his commandments for this is what it means to be human so I would say pretty definitively being lightness of nature with the Lord is obedience to God's Commandments Well the simple question then how can we demonstrate love and obey God's commandments unless we know what they are well are there any verses that deal with guidance towards I learning God's Commandments on the if they are here we go strap in first Peter chapter two verses two and three say like newborn babies for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation Surely you have tasted the Lord and know that he is good Psalms chapter one verses one through three How Blessed is the person who does not take the advice of the wicked who does not stand on the path with centers and who does not sit in the seat with mockers but instead he delights in the Lord's instruction and meditates in his instruction day and night he will be like a tree planted by streams of water yielding its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whether he will prosper in everything he does I think the trend is forming some one nineteen in verse nine How can a young man keep his behavior pure by guarding it according to your word I have sought you with all of my heart do not let me drift away from your commands I've stored what you've said in my heart so I want sin against you.
So as we look to follow Peter's advice of do this not that and focus on the. Positive of being holy and we know one of the most common approaches to accomplishing the goals to set a consistent and achievable series of tasks like taking a cue from Peter and from the soul must think one of the first things we can commit to is spending regular and recurring time studying our Bible and committing it to memory.
Well what else can you I'm very glad you asked flippy Unst Chapter four verse six seven and again I'm kind of machine gunning these verses all just read them but flipping is chapter four verse six never worry about anything instead in every situation let your petition be made known to God through prayers and requests with thanksgiving then God's peace which goes far beyond anything we can imagine or guard your hearts and minds in the union with the Messiah Jesus first US alone eons chapter five Verse sixteen always be joyful continually be prayerful and everything be thankful because this is God's will for you in the Messiah Jesus efficiency Chapter six verse eighteen pray in the spirit at all times with every kind of prayer and requests light ways be alert with your most diligent effort and pray for all the Saints finally James Chapter five verse thirteen. Is anyone among you suffering he should keep on praying is anybody cheerful he should keep or citing Psalms as anybody amongst you sick he should call for the elders of the church and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord So step two B. is take it to God and pray now I don't know if I'm allowed to give you any more sermon notes that's technically for that I've given you and I think that's the the limits otherwise you are dealing with powers not understood. Let's recap so Peter gives us an outline in chapter one for how to approach our daily lives and how to be intentional Therefore prepare your minds for action keep a clear head and set your hope completely on the grace to be given to you when Jesus the Messiah is revealed we should. Be conscious that Jesus' full grace has yet to be revealed and that revelation should supply us with hope we should keep our eyes on the prize which will affect our day to day actions as obedient children do not be shaped by the desires that used to influence you when you are ignorant don't do that don't focus on the negative instead be holy in every aspect of your life just as the one who called you is holy for is written you must be holy because I am holy do this instead focus on the positive be a likeness in nature with the Lord we strive towards this lightness the foundation of time in the Bible and by petitioning the Lord in prayer and as we wrap up just like anybody who is making progress towards their goal of physical fitness or whatnot there are tangible benefits to enjoy and experience along the way yes we do have an inheritance to look forward to but there are benefits to enjoy right here and right now so let's turn to these and just focus on what we receive right now first Peter chapter one starting in verse eight.
We should be there though you have not seen him you love him and even though you do not see him now you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy because you are receiving the goal of your faith the salvation of your souls we have joy and we have that right now that's not all we have Paul at the end of his journey wrote to Timothy and second Tennessee chapter four we're going to pick up in verse seven. I have fought the good fight I have finished the race I have kept the faith. If God is the God of all creation and He designed this very life that we live how can we possibly have any regrets if we live a life the way that God designed this life to be.
And lastly Jesus Christ as he was praying in the garden in John Chapter seventeen verse three praise now this. This is eternal life that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Jesus tells us to turn a life has already begun we are already reaping these rewards and there is only so much more to look forward to when he returns and we get to share in that inheritance Let's choose to be intentional and let's also thank God and close in prayer Lord Jesus Christ thank you so much for your words thank you for Peter the foundation to be able to set a foundation for us about how to live about how to approach our life and how to reproach our relationship with you as we look to be intentional to set aside resources to set a plan and to be focused that one day we will make sure that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Just be with us this week thank you for the opportunity that I have found be with Matt as he shares again open everybody's eyes and ears speaks through Mount speak in spite of now and again just let us all be able to it to fellowship and celebrate. In in the inheritance that we have to share it man.