Saturday, January 5, 2008

Experience The Journey, Part 1



Today we started our new series based on a study of the book of James by Rick Warren called, "experience the journey." If you missed it, be sure and listen to the podcast later this week. In the mean time, here are the notes from the message below. Don't miss our BLOG Message this week called, "Crash Test, How To Grow From The Wrecks In Your Life." That will begin Monday morning so check it out and encourage a friend to do the same. Back to the notes...

Part 1, ROADBLOCKS
How We Become Mature Believers
God's will for every person is personal growth and maturity. The book of James defines what maturity means.
Road blocks to maturity: Many people believe that the road to maturity is blocked unless we have the right stuff in these four areas of our lives...

Road Block #1- Age (we have to be old to be mature)
Road Block #2- Appearance (we have to look a certain way)
Road Block #3- Academics (we have to have the right pedigree)
Road Block #4- Achievement (we have to be successful)

God says that our maturity is determined by ATTITUDE.

5 Turns that spiritually mature people take

Turn #1- A Mature Person is POSITIVE UNDER PRESSURE.
""Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." James 1:12

Turn #2- A Mature Person is SENSITIVE TO PEOPLE.
"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, `Love your neighbor as yourself' you are doing right." James 2:8 (See 2:1-6, 14-16)

Turn #3- A Mature Person has MASTERED HIS MOUTH.
"We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check." James 3:2 (see vs. 3-11)
"Do not let any negative talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs ..." Eph. 4:29
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." James 1:26

Turn #4- A Mature Person is a PEACEMAKER, not a TROUBLEMAKER.
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?" James 4:1

2 Sources of Conflict:
* (vs. 2-3) Selfishness & Pride
* (vs. 11-12) Judging Others

Turn #5- A Mature Person is PATIENT & PRAYERFUL.
"Be patient then, brothers, until the Lord's coming ... As you know, we consider blessed those who persevere." James 5:7, 11
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
James 5:16b

Do you turn your road blocks into opportunities or obstacles? Since life is a journey that leads us to a destination, where are you headed? Be full of joy despite the challenges that you may be facing because each day is a gift from God! Watch the closing video here