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Sun, Jan 20, 2019

The Christian Experience

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Your relationship with Christ is influenced by what you believe to be true. Thoughts lead to belief and belief leads to behaviour. You cannot follow Christ and live contrary. People are attracted by an attractive behaviour.

Christians influence other people through their lifestyle.
- Your Christian lifestyle can irritate, intrigue or inspire others.

Jesus was killed because He was drawing the attention of crowds.
- Jesus did not have any credentials but yet managed to draw people to Himself.
- John 12
- Never underestimate the power of a few to cause distraction.
- The holocaust was caused by a small group of people who met in a board room for 15 mins.

Why do we live the way we live?

- What drives your behaviour?
- The way you think, leads to how you behave and how you behave leads to your lifestyle.
- A Christian lifestyle is an offshoot of a Christian experience (relationship and interactions with God).
- When Christianity is practiced properly it is a magnet that attracts everyone.
- Your lifestyle speaks more than any sermon.
- You cannot behave contrary to your thought process.

1 Peter 3:15 (The Message)
A Christian life is not only made up of mountaintop experiences but valley experiences too.
- Whatever season you are facing be alert that your life is a permanent form of worship to God.
- Whatever phase you find your life at, keep your heart's attention in adoring Christ, your Master.

- You are a disciple/student of God
- Disciple - living a life of becoming like Jesus.
- Discipleship isn't about acquiring knowledge but building character.
Our purpose in Christianity is not to know the Bible but live like
- Christianity isn't about the number of Bible verses you know but how the verses have transformed your life.
- It is not the accumulation of knowledge but a relationship with Christ.

Why are you living the way you are?
My relationship with God must result in a lifestyle that brings glory to Him.
- Every time you live a life that doesn't reflect God, it results in people becoming irritated with you.
- Jesus managed to empty a temple as people followed Him. How come we are not able to fill our Churches?

People have a genuine interest in how you live.
- They tend to pay attention to your behaviour than what you say.

Your relationship with Christ affects your thoughts process.
- Romans 12:1-2 - as the mind goes so does the behaviour goes.
- Your thought processes dictate your behaviour.
- Your interaction with Christ needs to influence your throughout process.

What you believe is true affects your behaviour
- The test of Christianity is your belief system
- If Christ means anything to you, His behaviour should be expressed through you.
- Things that were important to Christ should be important to you too.

People are always attracted to behaviours that are attractive.
- Inspiring people to love Christ is what we need to focus on.

1. The believer's life
Life is whatever you put at the centre of living.
- Christ should be at the centre of your living.

 Philippians 1:21-22
- Christ needs to be everything to you. This will make your life fruitful, fulfilled, etc.
- Excellence is a given when you are a disciple of Christ.
- Exposure to Christ makes you naturally become like Him.

4 alternatives to pursue besides Christ:
* Fortune
-  Basing your life on making money

** Fame
Building your life to become famous for the wrong reason
- If you pursue fame and not vocation you will crush those on your way.
- God has to compete with other gods in your life.

* Family
Building your life around your family
- If it is not balanced, it makes you become self-centred.

** Fun
Basing your life on being entertained.

Every behaviour is based on a mindset and belief system.

Make Christ everything as you make Him the centre of your life.

John 15:5
You can do a lot without Christ but it all leads to nothing.

You need to excel in loving others just as Christ has done.
- When you truly love people they will want to know the God you belong to.

You need to rethink your relationship with God and how it impacts the way you think, speak and behave.

Make Jesus the only reason for your living.


2. The believer's template
Attitude always expresses itself in specific activities: good or bad.
- Everything you use as a reference impacts your mindset and how you see things.

Philippians 2:5
Model your life on the life of Christ:
* Jesus understood He had a privileged position which was a call to responsibility.
- Ability to respond to felt need
- There are needs all over us.
- Your tithes and offerings help to ensure that the Church fulfills it's  mandate.
- You need to use your time and skills to serve God and those around you.

**  Our Christian faith is an invitation to sacrificial service
You cannot be a member of Church and not volunteer to help in one of the ministries.
- Service has to be a normal part of your lifestyle.
- Be of service wherever you are.

* Submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ
- Your ultimate pleasure as a Child of God is to submit to the Lordship of Jesus

** Humbly commit to the cause
- Are you committed to the cause of Christ?
- You need to committed to a cause that you are ready to die for.

3. The believer's goal
Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.
- If you don't define what motivates you, you will never accomplish anything in life.
- What drives you to pursue what you are pursuing?

Your life becomes what you are motivated by.
- Be weary of fortune, fame, family and fun; they have potential to derail you.
- If you are not careful about what drives you to do certain things, you will do what is right for the wrong reasons.

Philippians 3:10-11
I want to know Christ
- Christainity has become weak because people are driven by the breakthrough they need and not a relationship with God.

Your end goal in life is to know Christ and live a life that pleases Him.

Four pursuits of uttermost importance for our spiritual progress:
* His person
** His presence
* His purpose
** His power

What do people see when they interact with you?
- A position of privilege is a position of responsibility.

John 17:3
Eternal life is to know Christ.

Colossians 2:3
If you have Christ, you have all you need

4. The believer's inspiration
Christ is best at drawing the best out of the worst

Philippians 4:13
Because our eyes have seen Christ we can serve with a genuine heart and do what seems to be impossible.

1 Timothy 1:15-16; 1 Corinthians 15:10
When you understand what Christ did for you, God draws out the best from you.

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