Address The Mess Part 3: Inside Out 


On Sunday 15th January at our morning service,we continued our new series 'Address The Mess' with the topic 'Inside Out'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.

To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.

Talk Summary
In the talk this week I spoke about how sometimes we can spend our lives just trying not to mess up. But living our lives this way limits us and God. 
Christians can sometimes find ourselves simplifying our faith down to “I try to avoid messing up but if I do mess up then God forgives me.” Sometimes we can even approach our relationship with God as if it were just a cycle of messing up – being forgiven, messing up – being forgiven.
If you are anything like me you want more for your life than trying to avoid messing up. You want more for the lives of those in your family and for your friends, too. And guess what; God wants more for us than this, too!

Don’t let the fear of messing up limit you – let God grow you through it.

In the book of Philippians, chapter 1 verses 3 – 6, Paul tells us that there is a better way to live our lives. You can read this by clicking here.
Paul was pleased with the church at Philippi – he was pleased that their initial commitment to God (their partnership) and the spreading of the good news about Jesus that had been going on when the church was established was still continuing. And he was confident that God, who had started to work in the lives of the Philippians when the church was established, was continuing to change and grow each one of them. But Paul knew that this growth would take time.
It is the same for us today. When you become a Christian - when you partner with God - he begins to do something in you. This is the start of a process or journey and you, like Paul you can be confident that he wants ‘to carry it on to completion.’ 
God wants to partner with you and to help you develop into the individual that he would like you to be. He wants you to take time to nurture your relationship with him; to deepen your faith; and he wants to begin to develop your character. But this is your decision – you have to choose to partner with God and be willing to allow him to work inside of you to complete what he has begun in you – just as it says in today’s passage, - and over time you will be bear the fruit of this partnership in your behaviour. You will become more like Jesus – more loving, more joyful, more peaceful and patient, kinder, full of goodness, more faithful, more gentle and have more self-control.
If you allow God to work inside of you, you will ultimately have more capacity to love others – even those people who we find difficult to love. Surely this way of living is better than just wanting to avoid making a mess of things?
Don’t let the fear of messing up limit you – let God grow you through it.

This is a life-long process – as long as we are following Jesus he is going to continue to work inside of us to accomplish something on the inside of us that is ultimately going to come out on the outside of us and impact our behaviour.
We have an inside out faith.

Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)

1.    Are you living your life just trying to avoid messing up?

2.    Is your journey with God being hampered by a mess in your life at the moment? What could you do about this?

3.    Are you willing to participate in what God is trying to do in your life?

4.    What do you think God would like to develop about your character? (Check out the fruit of the Spirit passage found in Galatians 5 vs 22-23 as a starting point.)

5.    What might God be asking you to do, or not to do? How might you find this out if you are not sure?

Karen Bugg, 23/01/2017