Practicing Humility (Luke 7:36-50)Pastor Travis Cardwell, August 10, 2014
Part of the Practicing Godliness series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
I don’t know about you, but things seem to ramp up for our family about this time each year. Fall brings a feeling of new beginnings: another school semester, another football season, new ministry opportunities—all fresh ways to finish the year on a good note (no matter how optimistic you are for your favorite sports team). And most of these activities require preparation. College and NFL teams are in the dog-days of training camp, students are going shopping for supplies and reviewing notes, churches are gearing up for a busy ministry season and so on. There’s a theme of preparation, training and practice in the air . . . even if we’re not quite ready for these activities to begin.
As Christians, our goal isn’t to win football games or make good grades (both worthy goals in their own right), but to know God and make Him known—to savor the goodness of God, to love Him with all of our being, and introduce others to His saving grace. But is this our default disposition? Are we automatically inclined to want more of Christ and call others to Him? The author of Hebrews makes it clear that our default setting isn’t godliness and our normal posture isn’t characterized by a hunger for more of Jesus. He writes of the glorious realities concerning Christ:
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14 ESV)
Have you ever been in a place spiritually when you could relate to this? Ever struggled with a spiritual dullness of hearing? Maybe you’re in that place now, characterized by a lack of excitement and sharp attention given to the person of Jesus. Instead of the solid food that the Bible offers, we have allowed ourselves to be accustomed to milk—perhaps for many reasons: busyness, pride, anxiety, greed or just plain fear. Our theme for our Family Camp this year is the power of the Word of God, and we thought that as we walk toward this weekend (September 5-7), we need some preparation . . . some training . . . some practice.
So, for the next four weeks, we’ll be looking into scenes from the ministry of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel in a series entitled “Practicing Godliness.” But this isn’t just a series on the spiritual disciplines that gives us a new checklist this fall to work through. We want to look into the heart and ministry of Jesus in four defining scenes that we pray would remind us of what this life is all about . . . Jesus. So, if we’re too busy or too worried, or too interested in making money to have time for Jesus, no wonder we feel distant and disconnected from Him. You can see the sermon schedule below for the next four Sundays. We hope that you’ll join us and invite a friend to this series as we seek to follow Paul’s word to Timothy:
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV)
8/10/14: Luke 7:36-50—“Practicing Humility”
8/17/14: Luke 10:38-42—“Practicing Rest”
8/24/14: Luke 19:1-10—“Practicing Mission”
8/31/14: Luke 12:13-34—“Practicing Trust”
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