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Learn Jesus
Scripture: Ephesians 4:22-24; Luke 6:39-40; 1 Thess...
Track 8 of in the series
Running time: 58 minutes, 34 seconds.
All habits and practices are ultimately trying to make us into a certain kind of person. So one of the most important questions we need to ask is: Just what kind of person is this habit or practicing trying to produce, and to what end is such a practice aimed

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Learning Jesus

All habits and practices are ultimately trying to make us into a certain kind of person. So one of the most important questions we need to ask is: Just what kind of person is this habit or practicing trying to produce, and to what end is such a practice aimed? James K. A Smith

Wow, that is a tough question to ask and then to honestly answer. So, of all that you do and the routine you go through in life, : Just what kind of person is this habit or practicing trying to produce, and to what end is such a practice aimed?

That is a really deep question and when we actually take the time to contemplate what our habitual habits are and who we are, to what end is all this taking you? What in real life, according to your habits, do you really want to be? For me, when I look deep inside myself and recognize which sins still have power in me, I am grateful that Jesus has Grace for me. Left to my own actions, I am a doomed man. But Jesus makes that darkness come to light so though the Holy Spirit, together we can work these problems out.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV) You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires (old habits); to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

True or False: Many Christians want Jesus cloths, but not the training.

Here comes that questions again, What would Jesus do? The same is true with the phrase,” Be like Jesus”. Yes, I believe most Christians want to handle life the way Jesus would handle it or act more like Jesus every day. But that reality does not happen magically. I would like to look like Sam Dancer in the CrossFit world but unless I do something about it, work toward it, I will never have a body formed like his.

Luke 6:39-40 (NIV) He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

When I looked at my old body and compared it to those who were competing at the CrossFit games last summer, I wanted to look like them, move like them and experience the satisfaction in changing into a better fit man. That is when I was invited to join and train with the CrossFitters. When we desire to wear Jesus’ cloths, to look like Him and to act like Him, that is when we are invited to Jesus’ gym. Our church contains within its history and its walls an immense treasure chest of what it means to train in Jesus. This training is the art of discipleship. There is no better place to train than to be here right now.

In Ephesians 4, Paul explored what it means to be clothed with Jesus. He contrasted their old life (habits) with the new ones. They learned new techniques on how to train and they had to unlearn destructive practices. When I started training at CrossFit, I had to learn new ways to move, learn the proper ways to lift and to reteach my muscles to act and react in a new way. My muscles flexed in memorized patterns; I had to reteach them to do what they were supposed to do. I also had to stop the destructive practices, most of which was my diet…I am not nearly there yet.

When we ask, What would Jesus do, or seek to be like Him, all this requires that we learn Jesus. How is that exactly done?

1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 (NIV) Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Kevin and Belva Dodd are two amazing people who do some pretty wonderful things for the Kingdom. They are known for their dancing skills and for being very good dance instructors. But they take that passion way beyond their love of dance; they use that passion to bring others to Christ and to help support other Kingdom programs. Their dance ministry is a big financial supporter of Teen REACH plus others.

Their dance Ministry is called GUIDance (God, U and I Dance). I love that name because that is exactly what Paul is talking about when he explains how to “Learn Jesus”. The urging Paul gave to the Thessalonians to do more and more to please God was not in a dogged, religious plod, but like a living, spirited dance. To watch a couple like Kevin and Belva dance together is enjoyable. It catches people’s attention and in many instances, it inspires others to learn how to dance like them. Paul said it this way:

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV) Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

There is a first rule to couple dancing, the man leads, the woman follows. The reason for this is, dancing doesn’t work when both partners want to lead and the same is true when both want to follow. The dance requires 1 leader and 1 follower. It has nothing to do with who is better or who has the authority, it is all about the dance. A beautiful dance is when two people flow as one so the dance itself is what attracts attention. To see a couple dance in perfect sync is a beautiful thing to see especially when they are on the dance floor with others who don’t know how to dance.

Proper dancing requires a strong leader. Not the kind of leader who grabs and pulls his partner through the dance, but gently leads his partner though the dance. A good leader communicates to his partner what dance moves to perform by body motions, leading of the hand, pointing and directing his partner in a certain direction, by feel and touch. It takes a lot of practice on the part of the leader to get it right. A good leader can take almost any partner through the dance and make her look good.

BUT proper dancing requires a partner who is willing to follow. Basically, a good dance partner learns her partner. Kevin and Belva dance so well together because Kevin is an accomplished leader and Belva is accomplished follower. As both lead and follow each other, they are beautiful on the dance floor.

So what is your spiritual dance like with God? Who is the leader? Are there times you want to lead and even try to lead in the dance of life?

Kinetics: Can anyone tell me what kinetics is? It is the study of the movement and the rates of reaction. Human kinetics is the study of human movements and the prescribed exercises to strengthen and rehabilitate movement.

Roger Edwards this week came out to the gym to evaluate if he needed to better his body. He always said that it is hard for him to be humble being perfect in every way. Well he found out that some of his perfection fell off somewhere. Travis Corrigan, our functional movement coach, first assessed Roger’s body movements. He placed Roger through different stretching exercises, talked about his daily routine, eating habits and explored previous body injuries. The purpose for this was to see where Roger was physically so Travis could prescribe the correct workout to improve his perfection.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV) Train yourself (train naked) to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Where are you exactly in your relationship with Jesus? Is it healthy, exactly where it is supposed to be? Training naked starts knowing exactly where you are (no lies about your real situation). It starts from your current reality and develops from that reality.

The proper spiritual training program to learn Jesus and become like him includes the following:

Self-Assessment: Admit who you are, admit the habits you need to correct, and admit the direction you are going in and then decide the direction you want to go…to be like Jesus.

True or False: Socrates stated: The unexamined life is not worth living.

Information Input: Every exercise program has tons of information on how to do it correctly and all the tips and tricks to be successful. The Christian has the WOD instructions (God’s Word) to follow. It comes in many forms: church sermons, Sunday school, small group studies, personal studies and interaction with other Christians.

Asking Questions: As we grow more and more to be like Jesus, we also develop the art of asking good questions. Jesus asked a lot of questions, good questions, unnerving questions, realigning questions, transforming questions. Unfortunately some Christians believe in a deadly myth: Proper spiritual formation is all about knowing the right answers.

True or False: Easy answers instead of hard questions allow us to try to change others instead of allowing God to change us.

Here are some questions to ask ourselves daily when we pray:
1. What is my current picture of God?
2. How am I plugged into God?
3. Who are the companions I journey with?
4. Am I a gift to someone though my unique contributions?
5. Whose shoes am I called to wear?
6. How can I serve with my resources and privileges?
7. What can I do for you?