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Vision Series: Formed by His Life

Galatians 5:16-6:9 CSBTrey VanCamp | August 14, 2022


The end goal of the Christian life is to commune with God so that we become people of love, joy, and peace for the sake of our neighbors (Ga 5:13; 16-26). The problem many of us face is that we simply don’t know how to get there.

Without a roadmap, we naturally give all our attention and time to self-gratification, pleasure, and selfish ambition. Instead, Jesus offers us a better way to live.

By learning to walk in the Spirit rather than in our flesh, we slowly begin to kill the desires of our flesh. We do this by training ourselves with the practices of Jesus rather than trying to better ourselves through our own willpower.


You can take interactive notes here. At the end of the message, you can email the notes to yourself.


I’m gonna read tonight’s scripture. It comes from Galatians chapter five, verse 16 through 18. I say, then walk by the spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh for the flesh desires. What is against the spirit and the spirit desires? What is against the flesh? These are opposed to each other so that you don’t do what you want, but if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law.

Awesome. Thank you, Lisa. I would love for you guys to open your Bibles to Galatians chapter five. That’s in the new Testament. We’re in a series leading all the way up to the fall break and we are learning. What does it mean to be formed by Jesus together for others? So we are gonna be spending these four weeks.

So this is week three, talking about what it means to be formed by Jesus. How are we to be formed by our rabbi? We are formed by Jesus, through his love, through his life, which is tonight. And then also through his. Leadership. I also hope you’re enjoying the new together groups format last week in your groups you guys talked about, okay, let’s analyze our pace in life.

So I hope you guys had some good discussions there, but then also after you realize where you were hurried, you would replace that with the practice of Jesus. And that’s really what tonight’s all about is what are the practices? How do we replace these hurried habits, these habits that we naturally fall into in the world with practices of Jesus, how do we become more like him in our day to day?

Life and the goal for every person in the room, every person in our church is to embody the fruit of the spirit. Galatians five verse 22 says, but the fruit of the spirit is love. Joy, peace, patience, kindness. Isn’t this just describing you so far, right? Goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self. does that describe your life?

I know that I have quite a few gaps. Don’t ask my wife how I’m doing on that checklist, but I’m hoping decades down the road. This truly is who I am, not just in public, but also in private. And that is my prayer. And I believe it is possible for every single one of us. The title of tonight’s message is formed by the life of Jesus.

Let’s. Father God, thank you. Just for what you’re doing in the life of our church, God, it is such a privilege to baptize. It’s such a privilege. I love the picture of baptism, God of us doing something with our bodies, us participating in a command that you’ve given us. And when we do so we’re opening up ourselves to the power of God and God, I pray that tonight you would center our hearts on.

God, this topic tonight is loaded with a lot of preconceived notions and a lot of struggles that people have had in the past, cuz people really pervert these, especially in church leadership. And so God, I just ask you that we come tonight with open hearts and that you would, we would leave here. God truly changed, not just in our minds, but also our hearts and in our bodies in Jesus name, I pray.

Amen. People don’t buy what you. they buy why you do it? Have you heard of that line before it’s by Simon Sinek, it was a Ted talk that he gave in 2009. And it was from this Ted talk that he was like, springboarded into notoriety. It’s still one of the most popular Ted talks of today, which by the way, let me just say this.

A lot of people say. Sermons should be Ted talks these days, cuz they’re like 22 minutes long. Did you know on average it takes 250 hours of prep. Time to give a 22 minute Ted talk. You’re not getting a Ted talk for me. Amen. That is a lot of time, but here’s the thesis of his talk. It was very simple. Those who succeed, don’t tell people what they do, but why they do it.

For example, let’s take a cake. Let’s say you run a cake shop and here is what Simon Sinek would say to you, which is great. Your why isn’t to make a cake instead. Your why is to create family moments. So to succeed, you don’t share how you made the cake. Instead, you show a family making memories around your cake.

Does that make sense? This is how you get people to buy in. Here’s the idea don’t share the recipe. share the result. And so this helped me in my leadership when I was fundraising for our church seven years ago, because people, they don’t just give to anything. They want to hear your why they don’t want to hear about what sound system you’re gonna buy or where you’re gonna meet.

They want to know your why, what keeps you awake at night. But I have noticed as I have pastored over the years, there’s only one problem to this approach. Your why is empty if it doesn’t have a. if it doesn’t have a what, and I’ve noticed this, especially within the Christian world. See, for years myself, I spent all of my time preaching.

Why you should follow Jesus, but little to no time teaching you how to follow Jesus. You notice that it’s you hear? Yes. It’s a pep talk. I knew I want to do it, but how do I do it? So it’s really easy to stir. People’s affections. But that does little to actually stop people’s addictions, Dallas Willard.

He’s one of the greatest influences on my life said this in his great book, the great omission. He says, I do not know of a denomination or local church in existence that has as its goal to teach its people to everything. Jesus said, I’m not talking about a whim or a wish, but a. Willard, welcome to passion Creek church, cuz we’re trying to put together a plan to actually do everything Jesus said because that’s in the great commission.

Jesus told us to go and baptize and teach them to do everything I have commanded. And so at passion Creek, we continue it we’re this isn’t perfect, but we’re on a journey together to make a roadmap of how you and I can become more like. And here’s the thing. People don’t buy, what they do. They buy, why you do it.

That’s great for marketing, but it’s not very good for maturing. And so we, that our, why is a great reason to pull people in. , but we want to be very specific about our what, so you know what you can do tomorrow on Monday morning. In other words, we need not only the results, but we also need the recipe. So the book of Galatians is really helpful for that.

Paul, he does a wonderful job telling us both the results and the recipe of following our rabbi king Jesus. A key verse is Galatians four 19. Go ahead and look at that real. This is actually what informs our language here at our church about formation. It says my children, Paul has this fatherly approach to his church.

My children, I am again, suffering, labor pains, and all the women are like, you don’t know what that is, Paul. Be careful Paul, right? He didn’t have a wife to go wait a minute. No, but this is holy spirit given. So this is a good imagery. I am again, suffering labor pains for you, the congregation. Why or how until Christ is formed in you.

We believe that formation is to be formed by. Love by his life and by his leadership, eventually I’m just gonna pause and you’re gonna say it we’re gonna figure this thing out. So we’re gonna be formed by his love, his life and his leadership. So jump over again to Galatians five. What we have is Paul shows us the results, the two different results we have when we follow two different recipes.

So let’s look at result. Number one, this is what we called throughout this series. So far unintentional formation. This is what happens by default. We’re using that language a lot. Look at verse 19. Now the works of the flesh are obvious. The flesh. We’re gonna dive into this more. It’s just not talking about your body.

Your body’s not bad. It’s the sinful nature of your body. So now the works of the flesh are obvious sexual morality, moral impurity, promiscuity. Do we have that today? Yes, very much tender hookup culture, the local bar, then it has idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealous. Outbursts of anger. Have you ever been on Twitter, right?

Actually, most of you aren’t, I’ve had several of you say quit talking about Twitter. We’re not on it. I am. So I’m gonna talk about it. Cancel culture. Most of the news is this outbursts of anger, selfish, ambitions, dissensions factions politics. We have this everywhere. Envy. This is just the internet.

This is the mall. These are ads. This is Instagram. You’re just diving into envy drunkenness. I ne I have the hardest time saying this next word. Is it carousing? Corra. Every I’ve preached this passages like 10 times and every time I’m like carousing, coring, whatever. And then and anything similar. This is like all, most of the things on Netflix, this is HBO.

And then he goes on to say, I’m warning you about these things. As I warned you before that those who underline this practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. So these practices lead to this terrible result. Of death and decay and destruction, but now he goes to the good news in verse 22, he says, this is intentional formation.

This is by design. This is what we’re trying to do at our church. But the fruit of the spirit is love. What’s helpful for me is understanding the opposite. So what is the opposite of love is actually fear. It’s when you’re with God, it’s not a fear. It’s love. Joy the opposite of joy is despair. Peace. That means we don’t have anxiety, patience, which means we don’t have resentment, kindness, which means we don’t envy.

Goodness, which means we’re not hypocrites faithfulness, which means we’re not fair weather followers of Jesus or fair weather friends in general gentleness, which means we don’t have a superiority complex. And self-control, which means we’re not impulsive and addicted to whatever our body wants. The law is not against such things.

So here’s the question, which result do you want in your life? I will take the fruit of the spirit any day. That’s what I want. But the question we have to ask ourselves as followers of Jesus is how, and here’s the biggest misinterpretation people have of this text in verse 22. We think verse 22 is the recipe for Christ’s likeness.

In other words, we go, okay, I want love. So this week I’m gonna try really hard to love. Okay. I want peace. I’m gonna try hard today. The recipe is peace. Let me figure out peace, but Paul’s language here. Isn’t a command. It’s a conclusion. The command in the Greek here is actually in verse 16, 18 and 25.

So in other words, the. Is in verse 16, 18 25. What happens because of the action? The conclusion the result is the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, and all those. Okay. Let’s look at verse 16. Let’s figure out what those verbs are. What are the commands? Verse 16 says, I say, then walk by the spirit and you’ll certainly not carry out the desire.

Of the flesh. So walk by the spirit next in verse 18. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Last one, verse 25. If we live by the spirit, let us also keep in step with the spirit. So what is our job is to keep in step walk, be in the spirit, write this down. The recipe is to walk by the spirit and the result is the fruit of the.

we do great damage to our success. When we think the fruit is the recipe, it is not the recipe. It’s the result. God’s in control of the result. You and I have a part to play in the recipe. So when Jesus walked this earth, he modeled this, see this, especially in the book of Luke, he walked by the spirit.

So we learned he was fully God fully, man. But Philippians two mentions Jesus didn’t count equality with God, a thing to be grasped. In other words, he struggled like you and I struggled. He went through temptations like you and I go through temptations where we are different than Jesus is. Jesus never fell.

He never sinned. He always stayed. Sure. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have to battle and how he battled, how he stayed. Perfect was walking in the spirit. So you and I, when we read our scriptures, when we read the life of Jesus in the book of Matthew, mark, Luke, and John. What we’re called to do, cuz he’s our rabbi.

We are called to be formed by his life by paying attention and practicing the things that he did here on earth too often, we look at the gospels and we just hurry up to go to the crucifixion, but Jesus lived this life on purpose to show us how you and I should live his life. So read the gospels. Jesus spent a lot of time in Sol.

He would go away to pray and be alone. He spent 40 days fasting and there’s many other instances where he would fast. You would see that he spent a lot of time praying with the father, but also Jesus spent time with sinners. They called him a glutton. They called him a drunkard because of how often he hung out with the least of these, he would serve by washing people’s feet.

He would sacrifice, he made the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life. These are what we call at our church, the practices of Jesus, other people call this the spiritual disciplines. Okay. So that’s what tonight’s about. So we’re formed by his love. We talked last week about identity, but also started to talk about habits.

How really our habits really form our loves, but also now let’s talk zero in tonight. How do we practice the practices of Jesus? How do we be formed by his life? And here’s the hard news. It takes a lot of effort. It’s not. but the reward is surely worth it. And one reason why it’s very hard to practice the practices is because our flesh is waring against us.

Let’s look again at verse 16, you guys with me, all righty, then verse 16, it says, I say, then walk by the spirit. And you will certainly not carry out the desire, the flesh for the flesh desires, what is against the spirit and the spirit desires, what is against the flesh? So these two are at war with each other.

Also see Romans six through eight to learn more about this. So these are opposed to each other so that you. Don’t do what you want. You ever feel that battle within you? I wanna do good, but I seem to always be doing bad. He says, but it, but if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. He’s contrasting here.

Flesh verse the spirit, the flesh language we used last week is our habits are running after deceitful desires. And the spirit is when we practice the way of Jesus, John, mark comer. He has this definition of the flesh. I think it’s really helpful. He says, basically the flesh is our base primal animalistic drives for self gratification, especially pertaining to sensuality as in sex and food, but also to pleasure in general, as well as our instincts for survival domination and the need for.

Desires that are in all of us. I love that. He includes that line. Whoa, to us, if we think we don’t struggle with these things. So these, this is the flesh. A lot of people theologically, mistake it and call this just the body. No, the body is it. That’s not what’s sinful. It’s the flesh. These are two different things.

The flesh really pertains to our own desires and our sin that we desire to consume others to self gratification. Pleasure. And dominat. Write this down without intentionality, we develop habits that feed our flesh. So this is the interesting part. Our flesh demands to be fed. And here’s the thing. Our flesh is like a monster and the more you feed the monster with bad habits, what happens?

The monster gets bigger. And so it gets harder and harder. And maybe you’ve noticed this in your life. You wanna live a holy life, but you keep naturally going back. Your sin is because you keep feeding this beast. And the only way to get rid of this monster is to starve it, to take those habits away and put them in with new ones.

The more we feed it, the more we need it. And so you need to develop new pathways in your brain to actually choose life. And that’s not easy, but here’s the warning. James gives this in James one 15. I think it’s really helpful. It says then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And when sin is fully grown, here’s the warning.

It gives birth to death. so as we talk about the flesh, we talk about habits. This isn’t just, it seems on the surface. Ah, it’s just, you probably shouldn’t do it. No. It leads to death and destruction and division throughout your life. Remember last week we said, what you do does something to you, and that can be really positive or really negative.

What do we do? Write this down to walk by the spirit. We must counter our habits with the practices of Jesus. So for every habit we have that leads towards destruction. We need to see it release it, replace it with a practice of Jesus. And to be honest, this takes a lot of discipleship. We’d love to meet with you.

Talk with you to figure out what this looks like in your. But your flesh creates habits to satisfy what we would call your cheaper desires, but your spirit creates practices to satisfy your deeper desires, right? So the flesh lies to you saying you need this cheap desire. And we say, okay, there’s something better than that cheap desire.

There is a deeper desire, easy example, sex outside of marriage. We would say that is a cheap. What you are craving is something called a covenant marriage and intimacy within the confines of a covenant. That’s the deeper, more wholesome, more fulfilling desire. So that desire is right, but don’t do it the wrong way.

So we have to go into the practices of Jesus. So for the rest of our time, we’re to answer two questions. Number one, what are the practices? And number two, how do we practice? So first, what are the practice? Okay. These practices we have. If you’ve been here for years, we’ve always categorized it into these four groupings.

Number one is go time. Go time. Here are a few examples. Oh, sorry. Did I say go time? God time. You’re doing great back there. I did. I. What am I doing? Okay. God time. That was me. Not you. Okay. So here’s four, but there’s a million different ones. To be honest, there is no official list. I think that’s a good thing.

Cuz it’s just so different. So what is God time? Here are few examples. Silence and solitude. I mentioned that as number one, cuz that is the hardest one. So I just want you to feel guilty like right away. No, I’m just kidding. No, there’s grace to all of this, but silence and solitude. This is my. Difficult one.

The only way I pull this off is by going on walks or hiking, something of that nature. I will say my spiritual director keeps telling me, I need to learn silence just by sitting still can’t do that, but I can walk. Okay. Fasting. This is by the way, when we mention fasting, we’re mentioning food here.

Abstinence is another thing that’s great. So you can abstain from social media and all those things, but fasting is actually. Not having food so that you can give yourself to the Lord more SAB. We actually believe this. It’s not like we don’t have to do it, but we think it’s like a really great thing to do.

It’s to Sabbath once a week for 24 hours and then also prayer. So praying in the Lord talking to him and we just did a whole prayer series right before this one, of course what’s assumed here in all of these practices, as scripture is bathed in. To all of these things. Now the next one is gather time.

So that’s what you’re doing tonight. Bravo, you are practicing the way of Jesus. Look at you. You look amazing and holy, okay. So here’s what we do when we gather together. And I believe there’s something about gathering in body as much as you can singing. When we sing to the Lord, it does something for our soul.

Also service. There’s so many people here, like they make this thing happen. We have people serving kids. We have a set up and tear down team, the media. There’s so many different ways. People serve giving we’re super grateful for the sacrificial giving. Nothing is free. You guys bless our staff. So we can actually like.

Eat and have food and pay our bills. And we can also, look forward to buying our own property. So those that happens when you give, and we also give to missions, 10% of our budget and communion. When we partake in the elements, we are honoring the Lord. This does something for your soul.

In fact, this is one thing that is highly neglected today. People used to believe communion was so essential to your growth. And now it’s such a neglected practice because we’re so afraid of being quote unquote religious. So we’ve gotten rid of a lot of these things and I think it’s helpful for us.

One writer said the future is ancient. In other words, we need to go back to some of our old practices, but just with the right heart with grace at the center, the next is group. This is why we’ve been really pushing together groups. It’s not so that we fulfill some checklists for our church growth strategy.

It’s to help grow your soul. Like we want for your life to be a person of love, joy, and peace. I’m convinced this doesn’t happen without a group, a family of believers, living life with here’s. Some of the things you do in your together groups, you just have fellow. I believe fellowship means you’re having food.

And you’re talking about the things of God. You have a Bible study, right? We’re getting into it, asking questions, learning confession. This is a great opportunity to get vulnerable with each other vulnerable in community. There’s freedom and confession. Read the book of James conflict resolution. This one’s the hardest one, but it is inevitable.

If you join a group, you eventually will have conflict. And what’s sad is most of us just stop attending or go to another church. But what if that conflict was an opportunity to grow your Christ likeness? I’ll tell you, there are people in this room that at times I haven’t liked , but we’ve resolved our conflict and we are closer than ever before.

And let’s be real. You didn’t like me. You’re like, I don’t like you right now. It’s all right. Let’s talk about it after food. But anyways, conflict resolution, this is a part of growing in Christ. You actually see it all throughout the scriptures. Paul had some fights with Peter and with John mark, it’s all over the place.

Next one is go. So we want to help you. Okay. In your God time, gather time, group time, go time. This is how you practice the way of Jesus hospitality. It just means making dinner for somebody inviting a nonbeliever over and living life with them and just seeing opportunities to share the love of Jesus evangelism.

This is sharing the gospel, sharing the truth of your story and how you got saved. Peace. This is similar. This is where there are issues in the city. You are helping bring Shalom to the city. You are helping bring peace to families who don’t even follow God. And then disciple making. We believe making disciples first starts when they’re not believers and you invite them into the journey.

We’re just scratching the surface, but this is a good. and the plan for our church is starting in the new year. We’re gonna have a series on one of these practices, go forward to six weeks, diving into that topic. And then going back to a new Testament book for a while or an old Testament book, and then going back to a practice.

So this will take a couple years, a few years who knows, but the desire is to help equip you. Okay. How. Do I read my Bible? How do I engage in solitude? All of those things. We want to be a resource to you. Why? Because we don’t wanna just tell you why you should follow Jesus. We wanna show you how to follow Jesus.

And this is the roadmap and we want to be here for you to help you with that. And what I love about our vision. Yeah, is that you can follow this vision, even if you moved, right? Like our vision is not even passion Creek, church unique. Like it’s just, we want to make disciples based on scripture. And this is what we think so far is the most faithful way we can do it.

So now those are, what are the practices? That’s a very brief overview now real quickly. How do we practice? There’s I have four key thoughts on how we practice the practices of Jesus. Number one, write this down, trying. Relies on willpower, but training rests in God’s power. Amen. I want you to notice the difference there.

The difference there, some of us, we have only followed Jesus with our willpower. and so your life is full of guilt and shame, and you keep letting the Lord down. I don’t know about you, but for me, my willpower is strong at 5:00 AM. I’m that guy morning person. It’s amazing. 2:00 PM. I tell everybody all the time, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

The no trade zone. I got nothing. I have zero willpower. And honestly, that’s when I most succumb to temptation, that’s when I can get frustrated with somebody or mainly really discouraged. It usually happens between two and 5:00 PM. And I’ve started to notice that about myself, but look, that’s just, if I’m trying in my own power, if I’m trying to perform, this is why we call ’em the practices, not the performances for Jesus.

So look, this is what the practices do. The practices, those, all that I just mentioned are what we do in our power. to make space for what God could only do in his power. So I show up in the scriptures and that gives my soul over to Jesus so that Jesus can do things that I cannot do. All right, let me help you a little bit more.

We’ve been using the language of a recipe, right? So don’t just share the result. We’re saying let’s share the recipe as a church, but Paul also uses the language of a training regimen. Look at first Corinthians nine, starting of verse 24. I love this training language has been helpful for our church.

Don’t you know, that the runners in a stadium, all race, but only one receives the. But millennials go. Are you sure about that? Let’s go back. Sorry. I wasn’t finished run in such a way to win the prize. There’s only one winner verse 20. Now, everyone who competes exercises, self control and everything, the training is difficult.

You don’t just wake up and run. They do it to receive a perishable crown. He’s saying it’s an award, but it’s not that great. But what we get, we an imperishable crown one that lasts for eternity. So this should motivate us. So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air instead.

I discipline my body. This is hard for us because we have so spiritualized the Christian faith, even the word spiritual, we assume it’s just in the mind realm though. It’s also with our bodies. I discipline my body and bring it under strict control. And again, when we hear that, we think that’s not freedom.

Paul strict control strict. That’s why I don’t follow the church anymore. That’s why I don’t follow Jesus. I don’t like. Friends. We have been bought. We come next week. We’re talking about narratives of the world and there are so many, I’m gonna try to nail, but look, we have bought the lie. That freedom means doing whatever you want.

That is not freedom. That is actually slavery. That is you being enslaved, your desires, and you will never find freedom. Freedom is actually saying no to a lot of things. Disciplining yourself under strict control so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified. See all of this training.

A lot of it is saying no to your bodies to use Comer’s language, animalistic desires. So Willard again, really great quote. When Jesus taught about discipleship, he made it very clear that one could be the servant of the body and its demands, and also succeed in his course of training. Go ahead and put that on the slide.

Sorry. Next slide. There we. When Jesus taught about discipleship, he made it very clear that one could not be the servant of the body and its demands, and also succeed in this course of training. I love this training language because it assumes you’re not gonna get it overnight. If I decided to run a marathon tomorrow, I’m not running 26.2 miles.

If I do that’s dumb. First of all, and that’s me trying, and I will. . But if I understand this is training, I go, okay, it’s a success tomorrow. If I just get up and run one mile, the time doesn’t matter. But the point is I got up and ran and then I build off of that and I build off of that and I build off of that.

That’s the following. That’s how we follow Jesus. We look at our life. We begin to put this training regimen together. I need to start reading scripture. I need to do something with my God time, gather time, group time and go. And I believe when you begin to do this training and we want to help you in that at this church, you will begin to exhibit the fruit of the spirit in your life.

And it’s not just from willpower. You can even be peaceful at 3:00 PM. Tray van camp. It’s possible now, number two, Christlike character. I’ll grab it now. Christlike character is comprehensive, not compartmentalized. Where do I get that? Verse 22? The fruit of a spirit is. You ever notice that in the scripture it’s singular, it’s not the fruits of the spirit are the fruit of the spirit is meaning all of these, the fruit, it grows holistically together.

So it’s improper for you to see the list of the fruit of the spirit and say, oh, I’m really good at peace. I just haven’t figured out. Self-control. No, that is it’s at the reality is no, even if you weren’t a Christian, that means you could have been good at peace, but to rely on the spirit is to say, look, you are only as strong as your weakest fruit.

So if you’re not really good at self control, that’s about the level you’re at in all the fruit that shows how much you’re allowing, not allowing the spirit to take over your life. Now this could seem super discouraging, but here’s the good news. God is working on all. , he’s not just trying to give you peace.

He’s here to give you love and joy and patience and all of those things. And so God doesn’t pick and choose what he blesses you with. He gives you all of the fruit. And so what’s so great. If you and I, we faithfully follow this recipe, God will faithfully provide the result. Now I know this kind of language about you do this, and God will do that.

Makes a lot of people nervous, which leads me to my next point. The practices aren’t designed to attain right. Standing with. But to maintain light living with God. This is huge. I am against the practices. If it means you it’s how you now are loved by God, but that’s not what these practices are. It’s how you get to love God yourself.

there’s a difference between right standing and light living. Look, the moment you put your faith in Jesus, what we just celebrated with these baptisms, this is what the scripture says. Your sin in the past present and future is forever forgiven. Hear me the moment you put your faith in Jesus, your right standing with God is secure forever in Christ.

You are the righteousness of God, and nobody can do anything about that. Not even your. But here’s the invitation cuz discipleship is not just about getting to. It’s about getting heaven into you. It’s about light living today. One of my favorite scriptures, Matthew 1128. It’s how we started our series.

This is the message paraphrase from Eugene Peterson. He says, are you tired? This is Jesus speaking. Eugene’s paraphrase. Are you tired? Worn out, burned out on religion. Come to me, get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me, work with me, watch how I do it.

This is the process we’re trying to do at our church. Look at this next line. Learn the unformed, forced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and light. , this is the invitation we have. You already have, right? Standing if you put your faith and trust in Jesus, but the beautiful opportunity today is to also walk in light living.

Your status is forever secured, but your capacity to enjoy the father is dependent on if youre participating in worldly habits or for your, you are participating in the practices of Jesus last. dwelling on. God’s love for me, keeps the practices from drudgery. So it’s important for us to know we are not just formed by the life of Jesus, which is what we’re talking about tonight.

We’re also formed by his love. And so when I forget to follow, when I forget to remember all the ways Jesus loves me, I admit the practices, feel like a burden, silence, and solitude sounds like the worst thing on the planet. The other thing is it also feels like a waste of time. If we think it’s just about the results, because here’s the thing, results are hard to see and results take a long time before you see them.

And so the whole point of these practices, I wanna make that clear tonight. It’s because it’s to usher ourselves into the love that God has for us. And we walk in those by keeping in step with the spirit, Galatians six, seven, a lot of people forget that Galatians six. After Galatians five. And so as we talk about the fruit of the spirit here in Galatians six, Paul is still talking about your character.

Okay. He says, don’t be deceived. God is not mocked for whatever, a person sews. He will also reap or what we say, what goes around, comes around, or karma, which isn’t right. But it’s a similar vein, right? Because the one who sows to its flesh will reap destruction from the flesh. But the one who sows to the spirit will reap eternal life from the.

Look at verse nine, let us not get tired of doing good. Let us not get tired of doing all of these practices, cuz we are tempted to why for, we will reap at the proper time. If we don’t give up, I love that he’s saying keep working the recipe and God will keep making the result. Paul is talking about a harvest because planting takes.

and I wanna be clear these practices we’re gonna do together in our community. It’s not gonna happen overnight. You’re gonna need a lot of grace. We’re all gonna need some grace, but we cannot give up. I know for me, this is where I’ve really gotten frustrated with myself. In 2018. I stumbled into the world of Dallas Willard and a lot of the stuff that I’ve been talking about you with you now.

And I had a honeymoon phase. Where like fasting was not only the good thing for me to do, but I enjoyed it. Sabbath was immediately the best thing ever. And I experienced contentment in my soul in a way that I never had before ministry wasn’t as draining for me. It was such a good time of life. But 2020 hit things got a little more frustrating and it got really hard to stay consistent.

And not only that, but I got really discouraged cuz my character is not where I wanted to be. Like despite my greatest efforts, I’m still anxious. Fear is always on my mind. My mind races and thinks of the worst thing possible. Like literally digging at our church, Dave. He text me last week. Hey, let’s have lunch.

And then that’s all he said, and he knows how anxious of a person I am. He goes, don’t worry, nothing bad. Just want to hang out. I was like, oh, I praise the Lord. This is what I do. If you say we need to meet, I’ve been burnt so many times, I just assume, oh, no, he’s mad at me, whatever. This is stuff.

I don’t like this about me. I want it to change. Like I get agitated with my kids way too easily. I get easily dis discouraged by just one critic. But this scripture, this whole passage is reminding me. Keep practicing. Don’t give up, keep pursuing the way of Jesus. Cuz if we don’t stop, we will reap.

If we don’t give up, we say this all the time at our church. If we keep sewing, even when nothing seems to be growing James clear, have you, I don’t know if you’ve read atomic habits, I’m almost done. He said your work or your habits are not wasted. They’re just being stored. I think that’s really helpful.

So my question to you is what are you storing in your life? And if we’re trying, we’re gonna really want instant results and we’re gonna get discouraged. But if we’re training, we know this is a long process, but God is faithful. And there’s joy in the midst of that process. And I want you to imagine with me, what can we begin to reap in our lives and what can we begin to reap in our church?

And I think it’s a life filled with love, joy, and peace in a world that is sting. Stubborn and stuck you. And I take the invitation of Jesus to become steadfast apprentices followers of his way. So I wanna invite you to get to work with me, to practice, to not give. And to do these things. And so this week you’re gonna talk about this as a community in your together groups.

Here’s the two practices and I’m done together. Practice. Number one, identify an upstream practice in every category. So the categories are God gather group go upstream means it’s the visual, you’re swimming upstream. It’s hard. So I want you to identify what is the one practice like in God times for me, it’s silence and solitude.

That’s just really tough. So for me this week, I’m gonna plan a time to actually do silence and solitude. So that’s number one, identify an upstream in every category. To be honest, for some of us, the upstream is just showing up. So just show up and you’re already doing a great job. The second thing is to identify a downstream practice in every category for me, for God time.

I love reading my Bible, but also love just reading spiritual. There is so much joy I get from it. And so I do things that I also love. And you need this balance of doing the practices that are hard, but it’s what your soul needs, but the practices that are so enjoyable and it’s also what your soul needs.

And you’re gonna talk about that. And you’re together group it’s on our website. If you just go to passion Creek, doc, church, go to the messages, there’s a whole group guide. Even if you can’t attend this week, I encourage you to look at it. Process that with yourself or with your family.

Group Guide

Meal & Conversation

Open the night with a quick prayer over your time together. As your Group shares a meal, use one or two of these questions to check in with everyone: 

  1. What’s one prayer you need God to answer this week?
  2. What’s something you’re looking forward to this next week?


Overview of Teaching

The end goal of the Christian life is to commune with God so that we become people of love, joy, and peace for the sake of our neighbors (Ga 5:13; 16-26). The problem many of us face is that we simply don’t know how to get there.

Without a roadmap, we naturally give all our attention and time to self-gratification, pleasure, and selfish ambition. Instead, Jesus offers us a better way to live.

By learning to walk in the Spirit rather than in our flesh, we slowly begin to kill the desires of our flesh. We do this by training ourselves with the practices of Jesus rather than trying to better ourselves through our own willpower.



  1. Read Galatians 5:13-15. How do you think Paul would define freedom? How is this definition of freedom different from the world’s definition? How is loving and serving others the ultimate expression of freedom?


  1. Now read Galatians 5:16-21. In your own words, what does it mean to walk by the Spirit rather than by the flesh? How can you balance following the lifestyle of Jesus while also relying on God’s power rather than willpower?


Which of the works of the flesh listed in v. 19-21 hit home for you? Where do you see your own flesh reflected in this list?


  1. Read Galatians 5:22-26. Which fruit of the Spirit do you see prevalently in your own life? Which fruit are most lacking?


Before moving on to this week’s practice, quickly debrief last week’s practice with your Group:


  1. How did last week’s practice go? Are there any thoughts or insights from last week that you’d like to share with your Group?



Take a look at the following graph:

We learned on Sunday that the practices of Jesus can be grouped by God time, Gather time, Group time, and Go time. In order to slowly kill our flesh and allow the Spirit to produce fruitfulness from our lives, we must learn to balance our lifestyles by training ourselves to love God (God & Gather time) and to love our neighbors (Group & Go time).

This week, choose one upstream practice and one downstream practice to implement from each of the four categories. To recap, an upstream practice is something that isn’t easy for you to do and requires some discipline and effort. A downstream practice is something that comes more naturally and feels more fun. Feel free to think of some practices that aren’t specifically listed on the graph.


Discuss the following questions as a Group:


  1. Do you tend to lean more naturally into loving God, or loving others?
  2. Which of the practices in each section of the graph come more naturally and seem more fun? Which seem more difficult but necessary?
  3. Where do you need encouragement from your Group as you prepare for this practice?



As you end your night, spend some time praying for and encouraging one another.