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LAST WEEK:
God’s plans for your life are better than your plans for your life.

Sometimes we act like we really don’t want God… so much as we want His stuff…

DROP OUR RIGHTS

Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT)

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

 

Paul, an apostle of the early church…

…started out as Saul, a persecutor of the early church

Acts 8:1 (NLT)

Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen.

A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.

 

But a miracle hits him, blinding him, revealing to him who Jesus really is.

And Saul becomes Paul (small)

Acts 9:3-5 (NLT)

As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting

Paul a devout Jew, a Roman citizen, a trained Pharisee decide that Jesus was more than all of that..

His focus in life was to become smaller as Christ became great in his life and in the world.

Paul dropped his RIGHTS

POSTMODERNISM: broad skepticism, subjectivism, or relativism; a general suspicion of reason

 

Example: There is no absolute truth each person gets to decide their own reality.

1 Corinthians 9:18b-23 (NLT)

That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News.

19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

Why did Paul choose to drop his rights and follow Jesus?
Because Paul actually met Jesus.

It’s easy to fight against the authority we have no relationship with.

1. Jesus will not ask you to do something He hasn’t done Himself.

Jesus laid down His rights so you could be righteous.

2. Laying down your rights turns your focus from yourself to others.

Philippians 2:3-11 (NLT)

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
    and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

3. Putting things in God’s place will leave you displaced

Exodus 20:3 (NIV)

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

Jesus gave up His divine privileges so that you could be forgiven and truly free.