Monday, January 26, 2015

RADICAL - The Multiplying Community - Make Disciples (a blogpost for a sermon based upon David Platt's "Radical" for a sermon to be preached on February 4, 2015)

The very power that called creation into existence resided within Jesus.  He could call 10,000 angels, offer unprecedented displays of power, bring the dead back to life.  He could.

If I had that kind of power, I would not have chosen Jesus' method of promoting His cause.  Albeit, the followers of Jesus did go on to do some amazing, miraculous things; their standard operating procedure was to make disciples.  They would change the world, not by brute force, but by the transforming nature of discipleship.  The apostles would show others how to faithfully follow God by showing them how Jesus demonstrated a life lived toward God to them.

I would have acted like a dictator, not a teacher; a king, not a servant; a son of man in power, not a son of God in weakness.  I would have forced their hand.  I would have acted just like me, but perhaps that's why Jesus chose the discipleship model.  The point is not that others become like me, but that we all become like him.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

RADICAL - What about your neighbor next door? (a blogpst for a sermon based on David Platt's book, "Radical", to be preached on January 25, 2015)

I really believe that our interest in the soul of someone on another continent may correlate to our concern for the eternal destiny of our next door neighbor.  It's hard to imagine concern for people you don't know if you don't have concern for those you do know.  Or perhaps love for the "hypothetical person" is easier than reaching out to a real one?  Or perhaps people only show up on your radar when they "should"?  Or perhaps you don't even think beyond yourself?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

RADICAL - Why the world? (a blogpst for a sermon based on David Platt's book, "Radical", to be preached on January 25, 2015)

Do you see yourself as a "global Christian"?  The term has been thrown around for a few years now.  The idea is that we need to, not only identify with believers around the globe, but we must become involved in the work of the church around the world.  

I come from a tradition that is more interested in the church universal than the church denominational.  Our perspective is that we are all a part of God's church which is the company of believers on this planet, and that sub-dividing the whole church into smaller parts is only a sub-dividing of the whole.  What I mean is that the reality of God's church is found in pieces all around the earth.  Our connection will certainly be different with people on the other side of the world than with those we worship with, but we have a connection none-the-less.

I remember finding out a few years ago that I have more relatives in the metro Detroit area than I once thought.  I knew I had an aunt, uncle, two cousins and their children, but it wasn't until a copier salesman came into my office that I learned that I have many other relatives from my paternal grandma's side of the family.

I called my dad and asked questions I had never thought of before.  Could this salesman be related to be?  His last name was Hensley after all.  Is there family that is my age or my son's?  How close were they to my grandma?  Where do they live?  How have I lived here for almost 14 years and nobody ever mentioned this?  

Although I did not realize that I had family right next to where I lived, I did.  Even though I never thought about them, they existed.  Not seeing a connection does not mean there is not one there.

We have family all over this planet if we belong to the family of God.  We use that image a lot at Kenwood Church.  We see ourselves as close family members who love, serve, and care for one another.  We also need to see our brothers and sisters in faith as family as well.  Even if we have never thought about them, they are family still.  

I need to find the Hensley's in metro Detroit, and we need to find our Christian family scattered near and far.  Good hunting.

Monday, January 19, 2015

RADICAL - The Great Why of God (a blogpst for a sermon based on David Platt's book, "Radical", to be preached on January 25, 2015)

How did the God of the Jews become the God of the entire world?  Why did the nationalistic God of  Israel jump into the affairs of every person on the planet, for that matter, every person who ever lived?  How did the King of the Jews become the Savior of the world?  How did the anointed one become the special one of mankind?  How did the lion of Judah become the lamb of the world?

Why does this God who cares so much for people on the other side of the globe want me to love them as well?  Why can't I just worry about my neighbor next door?  Why?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

RADICAL - Power (a sermon based on David Platt's "Radical" for a sermon to be preached on January 18, 2015)

How much power do you have available?  If you take my power and add it to God's power, we only have God's power.  I am a weak vessel, inefficient system, short circuit.  Any power that comes from me comes from Him.  I am, at best, a conduit for His power, and I am only that because he remade me that way.

We have, no more and no less, than the power that created the universe, destroyed death, brought Christ back from the dead, and gave me new life with us in the Holy Spirit of God?

Enough said.

Monday, January 12, 2015

RADICAL - Beginning at the End of Ourselves (a sermon based on the book "Radical" by David Platt for a sermon to be preached on January 18, 2015)

Do you get it yet?  Do you understand?  Do you know the answer?  Do you?

The question is "Why does life have to be so difficult?"

I believe the answer is very simple.  Life is difficult because I am usually doing it the wrong way.  I try to live life by my own power, and no matter how hard I try, committed I am, practiced up, improved, and prepared I am I still struggle.  I have successes . . . sure.  But the number of challenging moments overwhelm the victories.

The problem is that I try to live a life that I cannot because my nature is not able to accomplish what life demands.  I am, however, equipped to live above this life through the power of God living in me, the Holy Spirit of God.  "What is impossible with men is possible with God!" (Luke 18:27)  God takes the difficulty of living out of my hands and places His power within my reach so that He can live through me.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

RADICAL - Too Hungry for Words (a blogpost for a sermon based upon David Platt's book "Radical" to be preached on January 11, 2015)

Do you really believe the Word of God?  Not, do you believe in the Word of God.  Do you really believe the Word of God?

This fundamental question gnaws at me all the time.  Do I really believe what God has said in scripture?  Do I trust that He will do what He says?

The revelation of God tells of His wonderful love for me that is willing to offer forgiveness to me and all of us at the cost of His son.  The Bible also tells us that we will be changed, reborn, renewed, given a new heart, become the righteousness of God, be a holy people, regenerated, cleaned, empowered, escaping sin, united, powerful, and victorious.

Why do we hold onto the first part but act like the second part "might" possibly happen?  As certain as God's salvation is for His children, our regeneration and sanctification are the byproducts of God's mercy and grace.  Why would God clean us up to send us back to our pitiful state?  Why would He spill His own son's blood to leave us in our depravity and sin?  Why would He offer purification that would not lead to purity?  Why would He give us hope that would only result in despair?  Why would He give so much to see so little change?  Why would He impart to us His Spirit and expect us to live by our own devices?  Why would He send us into the world without the power from on high?  Why would He?

Do you really believe in the Word of God?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

RADICAL - Too Hungry (a blogpost for a sermon based on David Platt's "Radical" to be preached on January 11, 2015)

"Too hungry"?????????????????  I must admit that I have been too tired, sore, poor, slow, old, young, tall, but I don't remember many times that I could claim to be too hungry.  I have been hungry (actually I usually am).  I have been really hungry.  But, too hungry, I don't think so.

I don't think I have ever been at the point to where I couldn't go just a little bit longer without food. A few minutes or hours would not have made a real difference in my life.  My appetite has always been blessed with enough food to never get to the "too hungry" stage.

I have witnessed children in Mexico who were so hungry that they could not eat all that their bodies wanted.  The pain from the hunger was a real problem.  They had to eat a little so they could eat a lot.  I also remember these children at times getting food but without substance, and their little bodies were "too hungry" for what was served.

I wonder if I am not "too hungry" for God's word because I have so many other good things in my life.  A good house, car, job, friends, income, family, all keep me pretty satisfied.

"Too hungry for words" conjures the idea that words alone are not enough.  Platt is challenging us to get to the place where we desire God so much that words are not enough.  Is your spiritual diet so filled with words that you do not desire to move beyond them?  Are you prepared to make your meal from the actions of discipleship rather than the words of an acolyte?

Monday, January 5, 2015

RADICAL - Too Hungry for Words (a blogpost for a sermon to be preached on January 11, 2015)

Who do you know that has the greatest hunger for the Word of God?  For me, it is definitely my wife.  I thank God often that He had me go to Bible college for 4 years and seminary for 5 years just so I can answer most of her questions.  Her desire for God's revelation has become voracious.  She delights in what God has communicated to His people.  She longs to learn and become.  She is so hungry.

How does your hunger compare to that person in your life?  Why?  What keeps you from having the same craving?  Have you asked God to give you an appetite that cannot be quenched?  Have you ever asked that person how they got to where they are?  Would you ask God to open your heart to His Word?  Will you do that today?  Will you do that now?

RADICAL - Radical Abandonment sermon outline from Jan. 4, 2015 (a sermon series based upon " Radical" by David Platt)

RADICAL - Someone Worth Losing Everything For


Buying followers-youth ministry in TN, Ziegler
Gyms, youth departments, member incentives

Today I am going to try to talk you out of following Jesus


A.  Eat flesh and drink blood

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (‭John‬ ‭6‬:‭53-58‬ NIV)

B.  3 guys talked out of following Jesus

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭57-62‬ NIV)

Become homeless.
Let someone else bury your dad.
Don't even say good-bye to your family.

C.  More required

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (‭Luke‬ ‭14‬:‭25-27‬ NIV)

D.  Rich guy

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (‭Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭17-31‬ NIV)

ILL - Article in a Christian publication with opposite articles
$23 million on new church building - $5,000 to help the refugees in Darfur region of Sudan (350,000 dying of malnutrition by the end of that year)


A.  Follow Me

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (‭Matthew‬ ‭4‬:‭18-20‬ NIV)

B.  Abandon everything

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” (‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭1-5‬ NIV)

1.  Radical abandonment
Dietrich Bonhoeffer- The Cost of Discipleship
"the call to abandon the attachment of this world"
"when Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die"


“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (‭Matthew‬ ‭13‬:‭44‬ NIV)

A.  Hidden treasure
B.  Sold everything
C.  Dealt with nobody understanding


The Cost of Undiscipleship
A gospel of prosperity, convenience, and self
People buy into a Trojan horse

1.  Commit to believe whatever Jesus says.
2.  Commit to obey.