THE BIG IDEA
Just like spending time working out makes you healthier and eating good food makes you feel better, spending time with God helps you to be the best version of yourself. All those traits we want to be a part of our personality (love, patience, etc.) become a part of who we are when the Holy Spirit is a part of our lives.
The world tells us that we need to work hard to build these character traits in ourselves (love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, self-control). So we read self-help books, try behavior modification, and a bunch of other fruitless strategies to become better people and earn our way to Heaven. But Jesus, who perfectly displays these traits, tells us that these attributes will be a part of us too when we are a part of him. He’s already done the work for us.
In this series, we’ll explore the traits that the Bible tells us will be a part of us when we’re fueled by the Holy Spirit, and we’ll contrast these traits with how the world defines them. Most importantly, we’ll help each other develop some routines to spend more time with God and grow into the people God intended us to be.
Central Text: Galatians 5:13-26
JUNE 2, 2019: LOVE, NOT LUST
The world uses “love” as a term to describe how we feel about everything from food to TV shows to other people. In this context, love is conditional; our feelings of love change based on circumstances and what we think about these circumstances. They are often feelings of lust, desiring after a person based on physical attraction. The love that Jesus has for us, that he showed us on the cross, is never-failing. This unconditional love is what we strive to show those around us.
Scriptures: John 2:1-11
Sermon Text: Galatians 5:16-26
JUNE 9, 2019: JOY, NOT PLEASURE
When our favorite sports teams win, we celebrate. When we complete a major project, we are ecstatic. As we monitor our bank accounts, we find satisfaction when we see the amounts increase. These experiences are full of happiness and pleasure. But we don’t have to feel happy and pleased to experience joy. Joy comes from knowing our eternity is secure in Jesus.
Scriptures: Psalm 16:5-11
Sermon Text: Nehemiah 8:10
JUNE 16, 2019 (FATHER’S DAY): PEACE, NOT TOLERANCE
In order to achieve peace, we often compromise. Even though we don’t agree with someone’s viewpoint or actions, we tolerate it because we want to keep the peace. We tolerate our circumstances, but we aren’t content in them. True peace comes from God, from immersing ourselves in his promises and knowing that his love for us never fails.
Scriptures: Psalm 16
Sermon Text: John 14:26-27
JUNE 23, 2019: PATIENCE, NOT JUDGMENT
We quickly judge the world around us and the people in it. Rather than taking people’s words and actions in the kindest possible way, we quickly assess their sin and dismiss them. We lack patience to see people and situations for what they truly are: opportunities to show and share the love of Jesus. God demonstrates the most extreme patience with us, forgiving our sins over and over.
Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:15-17
Sermon Text: Matthew 18:21-35
JUNE 30, 2019: FAITHFULNESS, NOT CONVENIENCE
It’s hard to stick to our promises to ourselves to stay healthy when it’s more convenient to go through the fast food drive-through or skip a workout. It may be easier to skip your daily devotion or going to church to make sure you’ve got time to get everything else done, but what’s the result of this? God is always faithful to you, and being intentional about spending time with him helps you set priorities straight, making time for the things that matter most.
Scriptures: Colossians 2:6-15
Sermon Text: Isaiah 49:15-16
JULY 7, 2019: SELF-CONTROL, NOT WILLPOWER
Whether it’s junk food, acting on lust, over-committing, or some other sin we know we should avoid, saying no to temptation is hard. What we often forget when struggling with self-control is that it’s not all on us to stay away from sin. We don’t have to rely on sheer willpower; we can rely on God to help control our desires and be the people God intend-ed us to be.
Scriptures: Proverbs 25:27-28
Sermon Text: Titus 2:11-12