Rhythms: Introduction
Message by Michael Hearn

Lead Pastor

January 6, 2019

Sermon Notes

Our Vision and Mission

  • To see 5% Kingdom of God growth in Clark County over the next 10 years. 
  • To see a movement of disciple-making churches advancing God’s Kingdom throughout the world. 
  • To equip and empower the body of Christ to lead and impact every sphere of life with Gospel-Centered Living. 

Prayer points for 2019

  • We need bigger facility at Westside 
  • We need more room at Heritage Park 
  • We believe God is leading us to plant a third campus 

The why is not the structure, the what is the structure/buildings. The why is that God is bringing people here…we are growing. The why is that people are coming who have never heard the Gospel, there are people hurting that are searching for a family. There are little boys and little girls that need to be discipled, there are young men and young women that need a safe place in the broken world, there are married couples that need encouragement. 

The church is not a country club for saints but a hospital for sinners. We need more room at our hospital and more hospitals in our city. 

Even today, I would ask that you begin to pray about how God might position you to partner with what God is leading Summit View to do in the future.  

To see a movement of God we must see a movement in our souls…our prayer is not first God change this city, but God change me. 

To reach this city with Christ, we must reflect Christ more and more. 

So, before we learn to lead others, we must first learn how to lead ourselves.  

Before we speak, we must learn to listen.  

  • Bring your Bible 
  • Take notes 
  • Discuss the message with friends and family 
  • Join a small group  
  • Lean in and watch God’s grace become manifested in your life like never before.  

The deepest longings of our soul are not physical but spiritual. 

  • Our longing to experience more of God. 
  • Our desire to replace the deep distractive habits of our lives with life and vitality. 
  • Our desire of fulfillment, forgiveness, and faith. 
  • Our realization that there is more to life than what we are experiencing.  

We often experience a longing from deep within and think a physical thing will satisfy it, but the reality is our deepest longings are spiritual not physical.  

“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” Psalms 107:9 

Is your soul hungry?  

Jesus said “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10  

Our deepest longings for 2019 can only be satisfied by Christ.  

  • Christ-sized hole 
  • To become like Christ 
  • To push back darkness and doubt…fear and anxiety… worry, guilt, and shame 
  • To be loved and to love 
  • To know and be known 

Our goal this year and every year is to become more like Christ. To reflect him in our lives more and more, to seek him, know him, and experience him more fully.

We are molded by the forms of our thoughts and practices.

Spiritual disciplines are practices that help mold us into the image of Christ.

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 

The vehicles that God uses to help take you to the destination of being conformed to the images of His son is through people, circumstances, and spiritual disciplines.  

  • People – Proverbs 27:17 – iron sharpens iron 
  • Circumstance – Romans 8:28 – life situations…he works all things for good
  • Spiritual disciples – practicing the way of Christ

Jesus made certain practices a part of his fixed pattern of life. We call these practices Spiritual Disciplines… or we say we are practicing the ways of Jesus. 

  • Meditation and memorization (of Scripture) 
  • Prayer 
  • Fasting 
  • Study and memorization of the word 
  • Simplicity 
  • Service 
  • Silence and Solitude 
  • Etc. 

Spiritual disciplines are practicing the way of Jesus: they are actions of the body, heart, mind and soul that we actually do. 

If we truly desire to be like Jesus, then we will want actually to do the things that Jesus did, and live how Jesus lived when he walked among us in the flesh. 

Think of molds to make chocolate candies. The mold you use shapes the chocolate you make. 

  • Practicing the ways of Jesus are the molds that shape your life and determine who you will become. 
  • Practicing the way of Jesus conforms you into the image of Christ from the inside out. 
  • Practicing the way of Jesus is more than going to church. It is living as Christ lived. 

They say you are what you eat.

Who you become is determined by what you think, and what you do is determined by what you think…or, what you believe.

Practicing the way of Jesus teaches you and shapes your beliefs, which in turn shape your actions and behaviors; the convergence of these transform your life. 

The form we want to use is Christ… so we will look at the life of Christ. 

We are molded by the forms of our thoughts and practices. Spiritual disciplines are practices that help mold us into the image of Christ. 

  • Each disciple helps mold different things…just like exercise shapes different parts of the body.
  • If you just work out your biceps, your biceps will be strong, but your forearms will not be. 

 Practicing the way of Jesus is sweet but requires sweat

It requires effort. Common Myth: Good things should be void of effort. 

“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 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. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” I Timothy 4:7-9 

The word train in the Greek is gymnasia. It is from this word that we get our English word gymnasium or gymnastics. 

  • Sweat —–train, exercise -the idea of effort, sweat, persistence.  
  • Sweet —–godliness comes from training- practicing the way of Jesus/ Spiritual Disciplines.
  • There is value in this present life and the one to come. 

A discipline is something we can do that enables us to do what we haven’t yet been able to do by our own direct effort. Trying is not enough. (“Don’t try — train!” is a way to paraphrase 1 Tim. 4:7.) Our training is connecting us with a power much greater than our own — the Spirit of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead! 

  • It is lifelong. Common Myth: It should happen fast. 
  • This is not a microwave process but a slow, steady, continual process over time. 
  • Healthy expectations required – we read the Bible once and expect to know everything. Just like lifting weights one time, you want change your fat content to go from from 23% to 4%. 

It starts with desire and moves to discipline and ends with more desire. Common Myth: It doesn’t require discipline.  

Desire to be more like Christ:

  • Spiritual Disciplines produce more desire.
  • Taste and see… You start to crave these practices.

Spiritual disciplines are rhythms of life, not rules and regulations. 

  • They are lifestyle changes – just like getting physically healthy. 
  • They are to be integrated into all of life. 
  • Just as you don’t diet, you have lifestyle change for physical health. 
  • You don’t check off a box that says prayer. I did it, like some legalistic action, but you incorporate prayer into your life. 

Practicing the way of Jesus through spiritual disciplines helps free us from the soul-crushing patterns of death and creates joy-filled patterns of life.  

Discipline without destination is drudgery. 

Imagine: A child being told by his parents they have to play the piano versus a child’s imagination being captured by seeing the best piano player in the world put on a concert and saying, “I want to be like that one day.” 

  • One is motivated by fear. 
  • The other is motivated by a vision of possibility. 

As long as the child remembers the why, they are motivated to focus on the what. 

  • Read the Bible, pray, fast, confession, memorization, meditation, silence and solitude, stewardship, sabbath. All these things can seem to be weights, burdens, bondage, and bearing them an impossible task. 

Let me paint you a picture. A portrait of Christ.  

The beauty of the Christ 

  • How He lived
  • How he loved
  • How he served
  • How he forgave
  • How he encouraged
  • How he had peace
  • How he had Joy
  • How he persevered
  • How he trusted and had faith
  • How he had compassion
  • How he spoke with people
  • How he treated the marginalized
  • How he valued women
  • How he spoke truth
  • How he was able to rest
  • How he pushed back sin and Satan 
  • Oh, the beauty of the Life of Christ!

Bible study isn’t just something we check off our list. It is a burden without the proper motivation. That motivation is not found in rules or religion. That motivation is found in the life of Christ. 

The beauty of Christ creates a desire in us so that we want to: 

  • We want to study the Bible to understand more of who Christ is 
  • We want to pray to talk with Christ 
  • We want to memorize to learn the word that is Christ 
  • We want to fast to focus on Christ 
  • We want to sit in silence to make sure we know the voice of Christ  
  • We want to sabbath so that we can fellowship with those who are on the journey with us practicing the ways of Jesus 

The beauty of Christ compels the heart to practice the ways of Jesus.  

The goal of practicing the way of Jesus….IS to become like Jesus.  

Spiritual disciplines are about positioning yourself not achieving something.   

  • By positioning ourselves along paths of grace. 
  • By opening the doors that lead to experiencing God. 
  • Spiritual discipline is the means not the end. God has ordained the disciplines of the spiritual life as the means by which we place ourselves where He can bless us. 

Disciplines are the means God uses to build in us an inner person that is characterized by peace and joy and freedom. 

  • They do NOT make you more righteous, more loved, or earn you anything. 
  • They simply place your mind, body, and spirit before God.  
  • Any results of this process are all of God, all of grace.
  • Spiritual disciplines are the way we can spiritually place ourselves in the path of God’s grace and seek Him.  
  • i.e. Just as Zacchaeus placed himself in the path to see Jesus, so practicing the way of Jesus in spiritual disciplines places us in the path to experience God.  
  • We are constantly placing ourselves before God in anticipation of enjoying His preens and receiving His grace. 
  • Spiritual disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done. God does the doing. 
  • I want more of God…more of Christ… I want to see him, know him, and sense his presence.
  • Exercise leads to experiencing. 

 To neglect practicing the way of Jesus is to be in danger of missing God. 

 This feels like a burden… you mean I need to DO these things? 

 Don’t look at these things as a burden or bondage, think about these things as FREEDOM. 

  • The fruit of these practices will cause you to experience God in new and rich ways. 
  • The fruit of these practices will free you from struggles and burdens. 
  • The fruit of these practices will produce joy, peace, etc. 
  • The fruit of these practices will enrich your life. 
  • The fruit of these practices will help tune your ear to the voice of God. 
  • The fruit of these practices will begin to work through every area of your life. 

You want to have your best life now? Practice the way of Jesus. 

You want to see God do amazing things in your life? Practice the way of Jesus. 

You want to experience God? Practice the way of Jesus. 

You want to get a handle on sin, finances, and struggles? Practice the way of Jesus. 

For, in practicing the way of Jesus we learn to lead ourselves through being led by the Spirit. It is from this posture we are ready to lead others.

  • 12 disciples practicing the way of Jesus changed the world.
  • I wonder what God could do through 1500? 

Follow me as I follow Christ, Paul said…. 

Taste and see the Lord is good. 

Oh, that you may know the power of the resurrection. 

The same God that rose Christ from the dead lives in you…empowers you…equips you.

This year you will need a Bible. 

This year you will need a journal. 

This year we are going on an adventure to discover Christ and how He calls us to live in this world. 

  • It will confront some 
  • It will convict some 
  • It will compel some 
  • It will convince some 
  • It will be counter-cultural to some 
  • It will push against what you know or have been told 
  • It will cause you to think, read, study, and pray 
  • It will show you a picture of Christ that will compel you to let go and follow after Jesus. 

Are you ready? We are heading out to a new land, full of new opportunities and new challenges, we are burning the ships, planting our flags, and not turning back.

Together, one person at a time, we will pursue Christ, and together we will stand back and watch him work. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory both now and forever more.  

Our world is hungry for genuinely changed people… Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself. Let us be among those who believe the inner transformation of our lives is a goal worthy of effort. – Richard Foster