This week Graham began to teach us a series based upon the book “Surprise the World” by Michael Frost.
You can listen again to the sermon here:
Part 1, What is a questionable life?
1 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.
Question: What are the things in your life that may provoke people to ask you, or themselves, why you are different?
A questionable life is:
- Ready to speak
- Ready to serve
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
2 Ready to speak
1 Peter 3:15-16
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Question: Do you have things ready to say about you and your faith? If so what are they?
3 Ready to serve
The concept of the “neighbour”, in terms of a faith lifestyle, did not start with Jesus. In the OT we see teaching about the connectedness of humans in the use of the word. Warnings against stealing, coveting or adultery are mentioned again and again in the context of the use of that word “neighbour”, reminding us that we are all connected and should value each other.
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.
As followers of Jesus we may claim that it is Jesus who has commanded us to love our neighbours. But it is a more ancient command than that coming from the creator and reaffirmed by the incarnate creator.
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ 37 Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’
Summed up in Titus 2:10
“So that in every way they will make the teaching about God our saviour attractive.” In other words by arousing curiosity.
Reflect on the rhythms of your life. Which of these rhythms are motivated primarily by your faith?
Of those, which do you think would qualify as practices that non-Christians in your life would find surprising or intriguing/interesting?