Asking For A Friend III
Week Three: How do I navigate an upside-down world?
Question: On God’s Prophetic Time Clock, Where Do You Believe We Are?
3 For the time is coming (is now here) when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Ti 4:3–5)
How do we navigate in an upside-down world?
Example from a short-term missions trip to a roman province
Text: Mark 5:1–20 (ESV)
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.
14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
Four things we need to understand about living, navigating, and ministering in an upside-down world
1. WE ARE FILLED WITH WHAT WE ARE IMMERSED IN
Clues to His Spiritual State… Filled with
* An Unclean Spirit (vs 3, Lk 8:29)
* A Tormenting Spirit (vs 5)
* A Spirit of Confusion (vs 9)
* A Perverse Spirit (Lk 8:27)
4 Tenets Of Postmodern Culture
* Relativism Is the new truth
* Inclusion is the sole virtue
* Secularism is the religion
* Pleasure (Hedonism) is the ultimate pursuit
The Result Has been a crisis in
Direct your enmity at the right target
Question:Tips for talking to your kids about sex? I want to be honest and make sure they hear the truth from their parents, but I'm also afraid to compromise their innocence.
Question: How do I protect my child's eyes and mind while not completely cutting them off from popular streaming services?
Actively Screen & Filter, Converse, and Immerse
Some Helpful Links
2. MANY COME EXPECTING HATE & HOSTILITY BUT WHAT THEY NEED IS FORGIVENESS AND FREEDOM
When Jesus arrived, the man had two initial responses
1. Tried to Control the Conversation
2. Expected To Be Tormented
Nine out of ten outsiders found Christians too "anti-homosexual," and nearly as many perceived it as "hypocritical" and "judgmental." Seventy-five percent found it "too involved in politics.” - David Kinnaman, Barna
Question:Why does the church teach hate toward the LGBT community?
We are Unconditional in our Love and Unwavering in His Truth
Question: How do we show love towards those in alternative lifestyles while not condoning?
"People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” - John Maxwell
3. IDENTITY IS DEVELOPED THROUGH DISCOVERY AND DISCIPLESHIP
Jesus asks, “what is your name” and the man responds, “My name is Legion, for we are many.”
The text implies a man who is in deep chaos and confusion... he does not know WHO HE IS
Basic questions of life… Who Am I? What Am I Here For? Where am I Going?
IDENTITY is not a DECISION; it is a DISCOVERY
Parents and Leaders have a responsibility to guide that DISCOVERY process through DISCIPLESHIP.
Jesus brings clarity by separating what is clean from what is unclean.
Question: My grandson just came home from college and announced he wants to be a girl. How do I show love when it comes to the situation? Do I have to use the proper pronouns? Where do I draw the line?
4. WHAT ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR, NOT WHAT ARE YOU FIGHTING AGAINST
There are two different reactions in the region
1. The People Beg Jesus to Leave
2. The People Marvel at the Miracle
The church must be known by WHAT WE ARE FOR… more than… WHAT WE ARE AGAINST
What are we for? LIFE IN ALL ITS FULLNESS
What are we against? The work of the enemy who KILLS, STEALS and DESTROYS
Question: In this political atmosphere, it is a battle of Good v Evil. Why don't more pastors call out political parties and warn the people, so they don’t go astray?
Paul's advice to Timothy on living in upside-down times
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Ti 4:3–5)
How to Live In an Upside-Down World
1) Be Sober-Minded
2) Persevere through every trial
3) Focus On The Gospel
4) Serve One Another