Friday, June 5, 2009

The Paradoxes in a Christian life

(Below is my preaching last wednesday June 3,2009. We enjoyed the fellowship in the midts of an electrical power black out. Thanks to the flash lights and candles...nothing can stop God's Words to be preached....)

Text: Matthew 5:1-5:13

A paradox is a statement that doesn’t seem to make sense; but when understood, makes a lot of sense. In fact, a paradox says something that couldn’t be said as well any other way.

Jesus made some paradoxical statements. He did so to draw the attention of His listeners, who then had to think about what He had said. The Apostle Paul did the same.

Then there are also paradoxes in everyday life. I came across this list of several. We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers, wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences but less time. We have more college degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less judgment. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life, but not life to years. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We build more computers to hold more information that we print on more paper than every before, but we communicate less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, tall people and short character, steep profits but shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses but broken homes.
You get the idea.

The Christian life is a paradox to many people, but not to those who really live it. Consider the following paradoxes: they’ll help you to understand what being a Christian all is about:

"He that finds his life shall lose it, and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 10:39)

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Luke 6:38)

"Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

"Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

5. OUR WEAKNESS IS OUR STRENGTH (2 Corinthians 12: 9,10).
"And he said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

6. WE RULE BY SERVING (Mark 10:42-45)
"You know that those who are supposed to rule over the nations lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all."

7. WE LIVE BY DYING (Galatians 2:20)
"I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
"What shall we then say to these things?" If the Christian life is a paradox, then the actions of individual Christians should make non-Christians wonder. The very fact that Christians do the opposite of what non-Christians would do in the same situation should challenge their whole approach to life!