We started the Weird Series on October 13th with the intention of rallying Grace around the flagpole of being different from the world's version of normal, not just because it's normal doesn't work, but because it's not obedient to God's commands.
My intention with the blog was to keep a running account of what we're learning, at least from my perspective. Clearly, I'm getting an "F" for that! So, I decided to put down some thoughts from my sermon notes:
Week 1: Weird Time. Time is a limited resource that we should do our best to properly and advantageously structure. You don't have to be a Christ-follower to appreciate that; but if you are a Christ-follower, we have a royal imperative as much as a moral imperative to be good stewards of our time. Let me give two zingers Rick mentioned: (a) Opportunity is a shipping term (“port”, in fact, is in the middle), lending to the idea that there is a best time for tide to unload or load material. The lesson? We need to be good stewards of taking advantage of our decision for His Kingdom Come and Will Be Done when the right opportunities present themselves. This implies that I am: (i) growing in my knowledge of the Word (ii) walking in the Spirit so that he teaches me how to wisely take those opportunities, and (iii) praying for and (iv) seeking those opportunities that would please God, which of course means (v) a denial of those things that are best, and not just good opportunities. (b) “When opportunity comes, it’s too late too prepare.” John Wooden. How can you go wrong with John Wooden? (c) "We can’t make up for lost time, but we can make the most of what we have left." We're sinners. We'll never perfectly execute opportunities when they arise. But a .400 batting average means you only get on base 4/10 times; it takes just 3 yards ever down to get a touch down ... do what you can, and leave it to God to make up the difference.
Week 2: Weird Money. Money is also a limited resource that we must be wise stewards with. Some great sermon quotes: (a) "Normal is loving money and discontent; Weird is finding contentment in God." If we see money as a means towards self-worth, esteem and power to control others, we'll never be safe or rich enough. (b) "Save for the future, but don’t let your future be dependent on your savings. Things don’t mean happiness.” There are so many examples of people who are rich in savings but poor in happiness; of course, there are just as many poor who are also unhappy. The issue is not how much you have, but do you see yourself as valuable to God? Do you see yourself as critical to His Mission on earth? There's no such thing as a poor Ambassador for Christ.
Week 3: Weird Relationships. I preached the sermon for this one, and - if I may humbly submit - there's just one zinger I'd love for you to think about: If time is the currency of love, how are using your time to love others as Jesus calls us to?
Week 4: Weird Sex. Oh, that title! "Perversion" does not have to have a sexual connotation, but it certainly should. But if there is a perversion, it means there must be a version that must be ruled out before rejected. Rick reminds us that with the complications upon complications upon complications, "normal" is literally killing us or enslaving us. Let's focus on this statement by Rick: "We will never find and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives if we insist on engaging in sexual immorality." This is a universal axiom that is hard to explain, but indubitably true: one engaging in sexual sin can never be used of God; God always builds in a workaround. We leave him no choice. The question we must ask ourselves: is the enjoyment of earthly pleasure worth the cost of standing before God and giving account?
Next week: wrapping up Weird with Values!
By the way, you can find more discussion with Rick on the Living Your Dash podcasts. Also, we are out of "Weird" books, we will not be re-ordering but you can find it on Amazon (Kindle or old fashioned paper) or Christian Book Distributors.