Presentation on theme: "A Plan for Personal Transformation The values of the Kingdom of God and how we apply them to our lives Adapted from a presentation by Attorney Raineer."— Presentation transcript:
A Plan for Personal Transformation The values of the Kingdom of God and how we apply them to our lives Adapted from a presentation by Attorney Raineer Chu
The Beatitudes Read Matthew 5 verses 1-16 This is the lifestyle of the Kingdom These attitudes are the way we cooperate with the Holy Spirit so personal change is possible This is how Christ is manifest in us
Matthew 5 verses 1 to 12 Being poor in spirit Mourning with the grieving Being meek Hungering for justice and righteousness Being merciful Having a pure heart Being a peacemaker Enduring persecution
How does change take place? The gospel is simple but people are complex. Although we know that having knowledge alone has not changed us at all, we continue to approach discipleship in the same way, in a very rational and cognitive manner that assumes wrongly that if a person understands and knows, they will change. Many Christians have learned the password and have not gone beyond that point. An ongoing encounter with the living Christ thru’ His Spirit and His Word changes His servants.
There are two stages of the kingdom The Kingdom present The Kingdom present is that of the suffering servant and it is 80% of all our experiences of Christ on earth. It is a present reality. Hardship that endures develops to godly character – Rom.5v1-5 The Kingdom to come The future Kingdom is that of the Triumphant King, which is the glorious kingdom and it is 20% of all our experiences of Christ on earth. It is a prophetic dimension.
A theology of change from the Beatitudes We want to derive principles of change from the Beatitudes Not a formula, Ten Steps toward becoming Holy, that will give people more control over others? Not to give a greater ability to live in the flesh? True discipleship means giving in to “grace” which will feel like jumping off a plane without a parachute. Letting go and letting God take over. A life submitted to His Spirit, truth, will and plan.
Our deep poverty and depravity Both material and spiritual We must see our dependent condition We cannot boast, we can only receive Being poor allows us to receive “Grace”. Gratitude or gratefulness opens our hearts to receive, and turns us from receivers to givers, because all we have, we have received as a gift from above. We want nothing but Christ. St. John of the Cross; “to own nothing, to desire nothing, to know nothing but Christ.” It is a counter-cultural movement backward, against the status –quo and materialism of this world, amassing wealth, acquiring hoarding things, abusing people.
Mourning, an expression of compassion Those who are poor will mourn Mourn because we live in a fallen world, we mourn for sin, mine and the world’s Grieving is a gift to help us survive life in fallen world. It helps us experience the pain of Christ, the pain of the poor and unjustly treated. Most of life is miserable. Christianity is very realistic. It enables us to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Even so we have hope. Many will resist this notion, hoping for an escape, a quick-fix, refusing pain and grief. To mourn is to embrace our loss, to move towards brokenness, to maturity to live for something higher. Maturity means being set free to live for others. Psalm 51 verses 1-12; Psalm 53 verses 1-6; Psalm 57 verses 1-11
Psalm 90 verse 10 Seventy years are given to us, some may even reach eighty! Even the best of these years are filled with pain and trouble. The truth is we face a lot of disappointment in this life and grief is a common human experience. Get used to it. If it was good for the Son of God to experience pain and grief then it is good for us!
Meek Those who mourn will become meek Meekness is strength under control It is giving up our demands We live to deny ourselves, resisting the temptation of this world and through weakness we become strong, 2 Cor 13v 9. Brokenness is giving up our demands on God and everyone around us?
Demandingness Demandingness is an attitude that says I will not accept no for an answer, I demand that life work in my favor. I refuse to suffer injustice. People fight to have what they want, but in the end, those who are meek get it all. The way to have what is important in this world is to be generous not demanding.
A deep longing that cannot be quenched Those who are meek, who give up their demandingness, will yearn for justice. One of the things we mourn is the fact that we have this deep thirst that cannot be quenched. We are made for glory, we live for something higher than ourselves. The rule of law, the sense of justice, our only hope is to live counter-culturally, to seek His glorious Kingdom by being suffering servants.
A sign of health in a fallen world Hunger is a basic condition of people who live in a fallen world. One sign of health in people is their awareness of their hunger. We are not fully loved and hunger for the “agape” (unconditional love) of God. We feel this as a painful emptiness. We are people made to live in the Eternal City of God with a host from every nation.
Ask yourself ????? What is your deepest longing? Are you in touch with this thirst? Those who live as Kingdom people long for Christ’s return, for His justice and reign. Those who live with this desire thirst and groan in their spirit. Romans 8 v 26-28
Merciful As we receive God’s comfort, we become merciful, compassionate, and tender. Jesus had mercy on people, he showed this with healing, giving food, etc. He was fully in touch with the depth of human need. Let your life show mercy to the poor. Read Micah 6 v. 8 “walk in justice mercy and humility”; Matt 9 v.13 “Love mercy more than sacrifice.” We live by grace and live out of that grace to others. We forgive because we have been forgiven. Matt 6v12 We forgive otherwise we will not be forgiven.
The poor become merciful… The poor will have to change too, from being receivers to being givers because Christ gave though he was poor, and we were poor before but Jesus has made us rich. Compassion is love in action, sin must be defined no longer as breaking the law but violating people by refusing to love as Christ loved us, by disobeying the greatest Commandment. Matt 5v43-48
Pure in heart As we live under God’s mercy, it will be safe for us to be our real selves the pure in heart live authentically and honestly in both cases, when we live under so much light, we will see God at work in our midst those who live under the truth will see God
Living without masks To be authentic is to be vulnerable to be fully human is to be vulnerable To love is to be vulnerable Integrity means the courage to honestly face what is confronting us. Integrity leads to advocacy. We must embrace the two realities: within and without. Only those who are real can be touched by God.
What then is normal??? The ability to love and to receive love To long for justice, and the splendour of God To mourn To ache in our hearts because of the emptiness within To be real means to love, in a fallen world, where there are many disappointments, but not losing faith or hope Healthy means being able to love and to receive love
We are peacemakers… Kingdom life is a life in community We are only fully human because of other people (Mandela) As we enter his rest, we become God’s peacemakers Shalom is a three dimensional peace. Peace with God, with men and with creation
Building communities Peacemakers build communities through reconciliation, unity, encouragement, developing godly leadership. Incarnational living with the least in the community. Multiplying communities through God’s gifts and gifted ministries.
And you will be hated…for My sake John Stott wrote, “we will be persecuted when we do right.” In our desire for Jesus and the Gospel, we will suffer. Life in the Kingdom will be rough, and tough. The example of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11 verses
8 elements of change We need to move on from just knowing the password into the kingdom, to living out the Kingdom. We need real change from the inside Not formulas Not gaining more control Not abuse as this to become just another way we change based on the flesh.
#1 Gratefulness Gustavo Gutierrez wrote that only grateful people can change this world Grateful people have embraced God’s grace for their lives Grace is violent for the soul We know grace instinctively The flesh hates grace
Take a minute... To count your blessings All that we have, we have received as a free gift from the unconditional love of God All that we have received we do not deserve Why do we judge others so severely?????
#2 desire Jesus above all We cannot make it our goal to become holy for that would be idolatry The only goal allowed us is to know Jesus, to know his love, to be loved by Him Any change coming from the flesh will not last When we come to know Jesus, we will change thru’ encountering the agape of God
#3 Sin is redefined Sin as most people know it is breaking the law, when it is breaking relationship Sin must now be defined as violating people Breaking their godly design Sin is to violate the Greatest Commandment Sin is not loving The opposite of love is selfishness
Selfishness Our self-protection, giving everything except ourselves is not loving, it is not the agape of God. To forgive and not desire the uplift of the person you forgive is not loving.
#4 Real repentance comes when we are exhausted Many believe that repentance comes when we apologize and seek to live the right way but in reality, true repentance comes only when we get sick and tired of our sins. CS Lewis wrote: “how do you deal with a fool? By exhausting him”. A pertinent sign is when we want to vomit when we do it again. When this happens, we will mourn, grieve.
We must not stand in the way of God We must be discerning as we deal with people There is a time of visitation Before that time, there maybe a long time of groaning and vomiting A vacation only results in a more determined sinner
#5 mourning must lead to brokenness The goal of all training programs must be brokenness It is embracing our loss, giving our demandingness, and bowing under God’s will, submitting to His reign. Grieving is a 3rd option Grieving must lead to brokenness.
brokenness The opposite of brokenness is demandingness Maturity means being set free to live for others Brokenness understands the pain of those suffering injustice
#6 change can happen only in community We cannot change in isolation, we are Christ’s Body on earth inter-related to each other. Love is a relationship, it is the greatest commandment Bonhoeffer wrote: “the closer we are to each other the clearer Christ becomes”. We must seek community, build community, enter community, and experience the joy of ministering to others, and receiving ministry from others.
Community Bonhoeffer wrote: “A healthy sign of community is when we cannot choose who will become a part of our community”. Community occurs primarily because each one is seeking to obey Jesus. He draws His Body together. Read Matthew 12: 48 Marriage brings us to a community of people who are our exact opposites. The church likewise puts us in a cauldron of differently gifted people. The purpose is clear: iron sharpens iron. The growth principle is: We grow in the opposite direction to our strengths, if you are very rational or intellectual, you may need to grow more in your personal relationships or emotional character. The four areas of growth are: the intellectual, the charismatic, the activist and the mystic. Jesus was all 4.
#7 we must live authentic lives To be vulnerable To live with integrity To not be self-conscious To be real To live out what we believe not just preach it.
# God’s highest priority Dr. Ajit Fernando of Sri Lanka said, “people in this country (America) do not have a theology of suffering”. The highest priority of God is not our happiness, his priority is in our becoming like Christ. George MacDonald wrote: “Jesus did not die for our sins so that we will no longer suffer but in order that our suffering will become like His”.
To Review - The 8 elements of change are; 1. A grateful man can change the world 2. Our goal should be to know Jesus and his love 3. To refuse to love is to sin 4. When we get exhausted, we will give up our cherished sins and we will mourn and grieve
5. Mourning must lead to brokenness 6. Community is where change takes place 7. We must live authentic/truthful lives 8. We must align our priority with God’s: that we become like Jesus, a mirror image of His Son.
Acknowledgements Attorney Raineer Chu, Manila, Philippines prepared this presentation for an urban poor leaders training week in Manila in Raineer Chu suffered greatly in his pursuit of justice and land rights for the urban squatters in Manila who were defrauded of their land by corrupt officials. He was hunted by armed gangs employed by those officials for many years.