Saint Patrick's Church Schola

Lenten 2006 Class -- Classical Spiritual Disciplines

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

SUNDAY SERMON COMMENTS (10.23.05)

On Sunday we returned to our series: 7 Character Traits of a Disciple. The topic Sunday was Chastity. Below are the central ideas of the sermon.

Chastity

Chastity is a word that can have negative connotations. I want to make it a positive word again. Based on 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, chastity can be defined as God pleasing or God centered sexuality. So what does God pleasing sexuality look like? What does a chaste person look like?

1. A Chaste Person Celebrates Sexuality-
-Genesis 2:18
-God created sex
-We are to celebrate it as God does
-The Hebrews celebrated it:
-cf. Ps. 19:5 -- the bridegroom's chamber.
-Song of Songs

2. A Chaste Person Honors Marriage
-Genesis 2:23-25
-God intended for sexuality to exist within the lifelong covenant of marriage.
-The interesection of intimacy and covenant: intimacy without commitment is destructive -- intimacy with commitment is life giving.
-A single person honors marriage through abstinence
-A married person honors marriage through faithfulness
-This is the benchmark by which all sexual behavior is judged.

3. A Chaste Person Knows the Limits of Sexuality-Matthew 22:23-33
-in the Kingdom there will be no marriage
-a creation truth -- marriage is to be honored
-a kingdom truth -- marriage is provisional
-this stands against our culture's obsession with sex
-this stands against the tendency in the church to prioritize marriage
-sex is not a human need
-God calls some to singleness/celebacy -- the church needs to celebrate and embrace this posture as well

4. Closing Thoughts-most if not all of us have sexual brokenness as part of our story
-God's grace is sufficient to free us of the guilt and shame that can be associated with this

|

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

SUNDAY SERMON COMMENTS (10.09.05)

Here are thoughts from Sunday's sermon. I am looking forward to the comments.

-------------------------

SELF-CONTROL
First we looked at gluttony as the sin that counters the character trait of self-control.
-Gluttony is about food
-But we may think of it as intemperance or lack of moderation
-Lack of self-control is allowing the good things of this life to control me.
-Lack of self-control is allowing my passions to control me.

How Do I Lose Self-Control?
-By Making a God Substitiute
-Philippians 3:17-21 – my belly is my God; my belly is a God substitute
-ILLUS: I illustrated this point by discussing how I made a God substitute of ministry while I was a pastor in Iowa. I worked 6 or 7 days a week and regularly 4 or 5 nights a week. All this with a wife at home with a new born. I loved serving God more than I loved God himself.

Exodus 32 - The Logic of Idolatry or How to Make a God substitute
(caveat: This is not a story about pagans who do not know the true God. It is about God's covenant people turning to idolatry. It is quite germane to we who name Christ as Lord!)
-The Israelites were impatient with God's timing
-So they made a God that suited their sense of timing and what a God ought to be
-When Aaron called Israel to worship the calf he told the Israelites they were going to worship YHWH -- the calf was a God substitute
-They worshipped the calf with revelry -- i.e., gave up self -control
-We find God substitutes when we miscontrue or are impatient with God's timing and ways. We find an alternative that gives instant or faster gratification.

How Can We Cultivate Contentment?
1. Live Under the Promise
-HEBREWS 11: People of faith in God and his promise of salvation - they all died without receiving the promise. We can think God will fulfill all his promises now. When he doesn't we are disappointed. So we turn to a God substitute.

-ILLUS: Prosperity or Health/Wealth Gospel. The error is not in promising wealth and health. The error is in the timing. They promise health and wealth now rather than the coming age of the Kingdom of God. We are called to wait in faith until the coming of the promise.

2. Silence/Solitude and Fasting
-These are spiritual disciplines that can wean us from God substitutes
-They strip us of everything but God
-They surface the places where we are depending on God substitutes
-We can then allow God to work in us to free us from these dependencies

|

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

SUNDAY SERMON COMMENTS (10.02.05)

My outline from Sunday's sermon on Contentment follows. I am looking forward to the comments.

-----------------------------

DEAD POET’S SOCIETY
-REMINDED US OF THE FILM
-THE SOCIETY WAS FORMED TO "SUCK THE MARROW OUT OF LIFE"
-BUT THE MARROW THAT NOURISHES THE SOUL IS NOT FOUND IN THIS LIFE.

THE POINT
-CONTENTMENT HAPPENS WHEN I GO TO THE RIGHT SOURCE TO FIND THE MARROW THAT NOURISHES THE SOUL.

TWO MISTAKES ABOUT CONTENTMENT
-WE HAVE CONTENTMENT WHEN WE HAVE ALL THE THINGS FROM THIS LIFE THAT WE WANT -- 1 TIM 6:6-10
-WE HAVE CONTENMENT WHEN WE GET RID OF OUR DESIRES -- ILLUS: SQUEEZING A BALLOON

CHRISTIAN CONTENTMENT
-PSALM 73: GOD IS THE STRENGTH OF OUR HEART AND PORTION FOREVER
-ILLUS: SHORTY -- HE COULD HAVE MANY EXCUSES TO BE DISCONTENT, BUT HE HAS FOUND THAT THE MARROW THAT SATISFIES HI SOUL IS GOD

CULTIVATING CONTENTMENT
-EVALUATE TO SEE IF THERE IS ANYTHING BESIDES GOD I AM LOOKING TO TO BE THE MARROW THAT SATISFIES THE SOUL (THE BIBLE CALLS THIS IDOLATRY)
-PURSUE GOD, I.E., ACTUALLY OPEN MY LIFE TO GOD.

BLAISE PASCAL –"THERE IS A GOD SHAPED VACUUM IN THE HEART OF EVERY MAN WHICH CANNOT BE FILLED BY ANY CREATED THING, BUT ONLY BY GOD, THE CREATOR, MADE KNOWN THROUGH JESUS"

JESUS AND THE DEAD POET’S SOCIETY
INSTEAD OF INVITING THE 12 TO SUCK THE MARROW OUT FO LIFE, HE WOULD INVITE THE 12 TO SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD -- THE REAL MARROW THAT SATISFIES THE SOUL - THE SOURCE OF CONTENTMENT.

|