Monday, February 9, 2015

Reflection for Faith Talks

From 641Worship: February 8, 2015

I introduced our theme for 2015 on Sunday Night: Authentic.


We spent our time together on Sunday night defining the word Authentic and how we pursue it.  I laid out the following 4 questions as we begin to shape this vision:

What does authentic look like?
How do I authentically love God?
How do I authentically love others?
How do I continually assess this?

We live in a world of FAKE.  A lot of people talk about loving God.  A lot of people talk about loving others.  So, in the midst of that, what would be the greatest difference people can see in us?  The answer: authenticity.

  • So, how can authentic be defined?  From dictionary.com we find the following definitions...
  • Not false or copied; genuine; real
  • Entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy

Experience is an interesting word there.  We talked 2 weeks ago about the difference between knowing things about God and actually knowing God.  What is the difference between the 2?  Experience.  Do we know things about God, or have we experienced him?  The difference will have everything to do with how authentic our love for and relationship with him will be!

We walked through Paul's prayer for the Colossian church found in Colossians 1:9-14.  Notice Paul's central prayer found in verse 9:

"...asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding..."

Paul is praying primarily for the believers there to know God through experience.  He is praying that they would not only know God, but grow in the knowledge of his will, or the grand story of God through history, of which we are a part!  Only when we come to know God in that way will we then "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him..."  Paul then prays 4 implications that will be the byproduct of growing in such knowledge that will work its way out in the outward expression of our lives.
  1. A life that bears fruit (v. 10b)
  2. A life that increases in knowledge (v. 10c)
  3. A life that grows in the strength of the Lord (v. 11)
  4. A life of deep gratitude based in hope & our reality in Christ (v. 12-14)
Simply put, when we authentically seek God, we will grow in authenticity in the outward expression of our lives.

We closed by reading through 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 together.  From that passage we were challenged to be people who (1) spread the fragrance of his knowledge, (2) are the aroma of Christ, (3) offer authenticity in the midst of "peddlers."

I closed by offering the following 4 questions for reflection over the next week:
  1. On a scale of 1-10, how authentic would you say your love for God is right now?
  2. What is the first step you could take to begin to move that number?
  3. What would it look like for you to be the aroma of Christ among those in your circle of influence?
  4. Are you offering an authentic alternative in a world full of "peddlers?"
PARENTS: Ask your students what stood out to them from our time in the Word together.  Ask them how they are processing through those questions for reflection.

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