Spiritual Margins

How Can I Create More Spiritual Margin In My Life?

Tim Lundy
Jan 26, 2020    45m
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In this message, we will learn what steps we can take to create more spiritual margin in our lives and what that looks like. By looking to both what Jesus told us, but also how He lived His life, we can understand the difference creating spiritual margin makes to our lives and how it helps our relationship with God. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy (00:00):
It is good to be back. Missed being here last week, but I appreciate your prayers. It was a full week, but a great week of ministry. A week ago, I was at a men's conference in St. Louis. There was about 1,200 guys there. It was really exciting to see what God was doing through the ministry of it. And then all this week, I've been in Dallas, the Dallas seminary and speaking every day at the seminary. And again, I appreciate how much you prayed just with all of it. In preparation, I thought it's God's sense of humor in the middle of a series on margin, I found myself up working on a sermon with it. And I go, okay, God, I'll have to trust you with that. But it's good to be back. And I'm excited about this season in our church. I'm excited about next week. Next week, we're having a celebration Sunday.

Tim Lundy (00:45):
We'll have our worship. We'll have a message. But we've really, we're going to celebrate some key things and especially baptism. We've got a number of people who've stepped forward, some who are new in their walk with Christ, some who've walked with Him for years, but God's really convicted them that they wanted to declare it publicly and get baptized. And as I say that, I want to challenge some of you. Some of you have never been baptized as a follower of Christ. You know, here at Venture, we believe that baptism is a call of every follower of Christ. Now we don't say that because it's a way of salvation. You don't get saved by being baptized. We don't believe that. That's not this extra thing that you have to do. You're saved by faith. It's not an act of salvation, but it is an act of obedience that Jesus said when He made disciples, every disciple declares that being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Tim Lundy (01:37):
And so I'd encourage you, if you've never been baptized, you need to as a follower of Jesus. You need to in your decision. You know, some people say, well, I was baptized as a baby. And I always say, that's awesome. But that was your parents' decision. I don't think you had any vote in the matter. I don't think it was an act of discipleship for you like Jesus calls us to. And it's interesting when I talk to some people, invariably, especially in a large church like that, people are like, I don't know. What will people think in that? And we start getting nervous around that. And one of the things I love about Jesus, everything He calls us to do, He did. And so He calls us to be baptized and He was baptized. And it's interesting, you know, the baptism He did, it was John the Baptist that did it. John's baptism was a way of expressing confession and repentance. It's interesting, if you're Jesus, He might've sat there and thought, wait, if I get baptized, is everybody going to think I'm confessing and I'm a sinner. What will they think about me? But He did it in obedience. He did it as an example. He trusted His Father with it. And when He was baptized, you remember God called down from Heaven. And He goes, this is my beloved son in whom I'm well-pleased. There's no sin in Him. He doesn't need to confess about anything.

Tim Lundy (02:51):
God took care of it. But He was obedient and He gave us a model. I'd encourage you, some of you, you've been wrestling with it for a while. You get kind of nervous about what people think or anything else. You need to put that aside. You need to get baptized. Now we have a class that's going on this morning during this hour. And some of you go, well, I missed the class. Hey, we got a clip course. Right after this service, if right now you're sitting there going, I need to get baptized next week, I want you to meet me right over there by the baptism. We're going to do about a 10, 15 minute time. We'll walk you through what it means. Give you the opportunity. We had about 10 people signed up last night right after service because God had really put it on their heart and they were listening to that and they responded. And so we'll meet right over there and give you the opportunity. They'll keep your kids if you have kids in there and give you the opportunity that next Sunday, you can celebrate with us and be a part of it. I'd encourage you, follow up on it. It doesn't really get any easier and it really is an important step in the life of every believer. Now we're in this series on margin and it's been an interesting series. The response of it, of all of us really feeling the need for it and the need in our life and how we're trying to figure out life.

Tim Lundy (04:06):
Yeah, heard a story about a pet store delivery driver who's driving down in his truck and he comes to the stoplight. And as soon as he gets to the light, he jumps out of the truck with a two by four and slams it on the side of the truck. Jumps back in, takes off when it goes green. Comes to the next stoplight. Jumps out, slams the two by four. And as he does so, this lady that's been watching it finally says, what are you doing? And he goes, oh, well, you see, I got 2,000 pounds of parakeets in the back of the truck. And the truck can only haul 1,000 pounds. So I got to keep a thousand pounds of them in the air at all times. He kind of figured out a life hack. You know, we kind of laugh at that, but we're not much different. But instead of slamming the two by four against the truck, we're slamming it against our head. That we add on another appointment, bam. Stay up late at night trying to answer emails, bam. Stop at the stoplight. And what do we do? Well, I can answer a text. I can do a call. I can do that. The cars are honking behind us because we need to go. It's green. I'm usually one of those people honking by the way, I'll confess that.

Tim Lundy (05:20):
Bam. And instead of parakeets in the truck, they're flying around our head because we're trying to do a way of life that frankly is not working. You know, we looked at a passage shortly. We're going to spend some time in it today. Go ahead and turn in your Bibles to Matthew 11. Matthew 11. There's a short passage there where Jesus extends an offer. And He really hits the heart of this issue because this issue is a spiritual issue. As much as we think it's a scheduling issue, it's a calendar issue, it's time issue, commitment issue, at the heart of it, it's a spiritual issue, a soul issue. And if we don't deal with it at that level, we won't get there. Matthew 11. If you have your Bibles. If you don't have one, you can use the one in the room right in front of you, page 970. And I'd encourage you, if you've got your own Bible, go ahead and turn there. I'll have it. We're going to go through it pretty slow because it's so fundamental what Jesus is offering. Now, if you look at the passage, He calls out, look who He's offering to at first. He says, come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, all who are trying to live life this way. The word labor there is actually you're wearied. You're under it. It's more than you can carry. You have a 1,000 pound capacity and you're trying to drive around with 2,000 pounds all the time. It's literally wearing you out.

Tim Lundy (06:44):
And there's a part of this that I think is fundamental and I think it's really important for us that we've just got to admit and recognize. All that He's talking about here, and here's the first point. You got to recognize that life is not working your way. You can't keep doing this. I can't keep doing this. It's not working this way. And it's amazing the power of denial where we can kind of tell ourselves, oh, that's not so bad or the delusion, oh, it's just this season. Just get through this time. Just while the kids are little. Just during this season at work. Just this project. Just this, just that. And in this delusion, we think somehow magically margin is right around the corner. But then you get around the corner and it's just as loaded up. If we don't come to a place that you recognize this is not working. You remember Dr. Phil? He's probably still on TV. Dr. Phil and he'd get people and it was always interesting. He'd have them describe their life and their life was a train wreck. It was all messed up and this. But then they start justifying it and how they're doing it and what they were going to do. And he always had one question he would ask them. Remember what Dr. Phil would ask? He'd always look at them and go, now how's that working for you?

Tim Lundy (08:03):
It was just this indicator to go, everything you just described, that's how you got there. And if you don't make some recognition, if you don't come to a place of admission to go, this is not working, you're just going to keep doing it the same way, the same way. So Jesus looks at us and He goes, hey, if you want to get real about life and if life's not working, if you are the people that would finally admit, okay, yeah, I am the weary and I'm the heavy light. Look what He tells us to do. He tells us, come to me all who are weary and heavy laden. And look what He'll do. I will give you rest. You come. I give. And as you look at this, man, that's a pretty great deal. Look how I come, labored, heavy laden, weary. Look what He gives. Rest. And so the call to us is you got to make a decision. This isn't working. And so I have to come to Him.

Tim Lundy (09:09):
And as I come to Him, you can see it in the next point here. I come to Jesus and I experienced the great exchange. Your burden for His rest. Here's what I bring. I bring a burden. Here's what He gives. Rest. Here's what I bring. This broken way of doing it. And He goes, okay, let me show you a better way. This great exchange. And what He's describing here, guys, it's just the gospel. This is what you see all the way through the Bible. The good news, the gospel, what it means to get saved. A lot of times we just reduce getting saved, I got to pray a prayer so that I can go to Heaven one day, kind of ticket to Heaven. And Jesus goes, no, no, no, no, no. It's so much bigger than that. It's good news for all of life. And if you look throughout the Bible, it's always this exchange where I come to Him, I come with my weariness, He gives me His rest. I come to Him with my sin, He gives me His forgiveness. I come with my brokenness, He gives me His wholeness. I come with all my junk in life and He says, let me give you my righteousness, what I did that was good. This is unbelievable exchange in it. And so when somebody talks to you about, hey, have you embraced the good news, have you been saved, it's not just a belief system that we're adding. It's this exchange of life that I take all this junk and death and weariness. And I go, Jesus, man, I need You. And He says, let me give you goodness, let me give you life, let me give you rest. He never limits what He gives.

Tim Lundy (10:41):
We're the ones who I think limit what salvation really is. We're the ones who want to reduce it down to just kind of what I believe. And then hopefully one day when I die, I get to go to Heaven. He goes, no, no, no, I came to change all of life now. I came to give you life abundantly now. But you have to make that decision. Notice what He says. Come to me. You got to come. He'll always give, but you have to come. That's why I say at the fundamental part of this, it's a spiritual decision. It's a heart issue. It's a soul issue that He's talking about here. Now as you look at that exchange though, you go, well, who wouldn't do that? I mean if I'm always bringing the bad and He brings the good, why wouldn't anyone come to Him and experience that? It's because of the next line I think. Look at it. He says, come to me, I'll give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Now the yoke here, in this agricultural society, they'd readily understand what that meant. But it's a piece of wood that when you have a team of oxen, you have a team of horses, that piece of wood that links the two together as you partner them together, shaped to their body. And as Jesus is describing it, a lot of rabbis would use this term as well, come be yoked with me, because they understood that often they would put the older oxen, the mature oxen with a young one. And they'd yoke them together that the young one would learn. The young one would be partnered with the older oxen.

Tim Lundy (12:17):
Now here's what you need to recognize and why I think a lot of times people hesitate to do this great exchange. Because the yoke ultimately is a tool of control. It's a tool of control. And so if we're going to really experience this, you have to give Him control. You have to take on His joke. And if we're honest, a lot of us have control issues. It's part of the reason we struggle with margin so much. We're trying to do is too much. We're trying to control too much, trying to stay on top of life too much. And Jesus looks, and He says, we got to change that equation. And we often picture it, you know, think of like, if your life was a car and you're driving along and you find yourself out of gas. I have nothing left. There's no fuel in the tank. And we do this all the time. And so then we go, Jesus, here's what I want from you. I want you to be kind of a gas station rest stop. So I'm driving. Here's my life. I'm out of gas. I don't have anything. And I pull into Jesus. Okay, I'm going to get a little time with Jesus. Fill me up. A little rest stop. You know, get a few snacks. And then, okay, this has been great, Jesus. And then I go live my life again. And I'm going to just go until I'm out of gas again. And then I pull back in with Jesus.

Tim Lundy (13:39):
It's often how we think of church even. It's kind of like I got to live all week and I'm doing life, I'm doing life. Oh, I'm exhausted. I hope church is good this week. I hope they sing good songs that really help me. And I hope this message is good because I need to get filled back up. And there is a part that hopefully you are spiritually refreshed in it. But if all of life is just the gas station approach, you realize we're going to just stay exhausted. Jesus says something much more radical. He looks at us and He says, how about you give me the keys? How about I have the car? How about I drive in all of life? Suddenly, we feel that whoa, take His yoke on? I mean this partnership of a yoke, there's kind of three things when you think of the yoke, linking them together. First one is partnership. It's a partnership together And it's amazing God would even enter in that kind of relationship with us, that God says, be yoked with me. Together we'll do life. And if you read through Scripture, that's what I mean. You could walk, walk according to the Spirit or walk according to the flesh.

Tim Lundy (14:48):
And in that, in a partnership, picture it. If you had someone who came to you and they said, hey, I want to be in a partnership together. I want to go in business together. I've got this idea. I want to go in business. And you go, great, that's awesome. As you think about all the requirements of that and they tell you don't worry about money. I've got all the financing. I personally had the money. I'll provide all the money. And you go, that's great because I actually have a little debt. Can you cover the debt? They go, yeah, we'll cover the debt. They go, I have a great reputation. I am so respected in the community. You go, great because my reputation is trash. They look at you and they go, I have all the experience. I know what to do. I have the expertise. And you go, yeah, I'm clueless. I don't know what to do. They go, I actually have office space. I have a building. I have plenty of space. And you go, yeah, I'm still living in my mother's basement. Are you getting the picture here of this partnership? Now all those things. And then you go to sign the partnership and then you look at it and you go, wait a second, this says that you're going to be the controlling partner and you want me to be the silent partner.

Tim Lundy (15:53):
I'm not doing this. You're going to be in control? And you look at it. It's ludicrous that someone who brings nothing to it demands so much in it. But that's often how we approach Jesus. Where He gives. He gives life. He gives forgiveness. He gives salvation. He gives rest. And yet we look at it and go, I don't know, Jesus. I don't know. You're going to be the controlling partner here? This is my life after all. There's a partnership. Second thing that yoke, there's also purpose, purpose, direction. Where are you going to go? They put the older ox with the young ox because the older ox knew how to plow in straight lines, had been trained to know the signals and the cue. The younger ox wonders all over the place. And so part of what Jesus says, He says, come be linked with me and I'll give you purpose, I'll give you direction. You're not going to go all over the place. The third part of that, and this may be the hardest part of it, is also pace, pace.

Tim Lundy (17:05):
To know the right pace, to know that you got to go a whole day, not just sprint out there. And if you look at it, when Jesus says come be yoked with Him, and maybe this is our biggest struggle, it's according to His pace, not ours. In fact, if you read through the Bible, you know, so often people in the Bible, you know where they get in the most trouble?. Know where they mess up the most? Is when they want something faster than God wants to give it. And so they try to do it on their own means. And in that Jesus said, come be yoked with me and together in a partnership. Now I'm the controlling partner. Together in purpose. I'm going to give you direction. Together, we're going to do this according to my timeframe, not yours. Guys. I'll tell you, I think this issue, this point is the biggest point of breakdown on why we live marginless lives, of ultimately being willing to come to Him and go, okay, you're in control, not me. Okay, it's yours. I want to be yoked to you.

Tim Lundy (18:17):
And we want to turn it into a belief system. I want to give Jesus part of my life. I want to have this compartment kind of over here instead of really letting Him have life. We struggle with doing that. But again, I'll come back to you. How's that working for you? I mean it's scary as it is to actually give Him control, do you want to keep living like this? Do you want to keep doing life like this? Jesus says, come be yoked with me. And then notice, He says, learn from me. You need to learn directly from me. And I would say in that, you can see it in your point here, learn from Him, both what He said and what He did. Part of being His disciple is we obey all that He commanded, all that He said, but also how He lived His life. You ever watch how Jesus does things? If you look here, I'm just giving you just several points of things that we need to learn, things that we apply in our life, things that we follow out of that. How do we learn from Him?

Tim Lundy (19:16):
You know, years ago, John Ortberg who pastors at Menlo Church, great pastor in town, great church in our area and so thankful for it. And John was mentored by Dallas Willard. And he called Dallas and he said, I am struggling. I feel the weight of things. Help me. How would you, give me, prescribe for me how to grow. And so Dallas was quiet for a minute. And then he responded. He said, all right, ruthlessly eliminate hurry. Then John goes, okay, got that one. What's next? Dallas goes, no, no, that's it. And I would say, first point, I just stole it straight from him. Ruthlessly eliminate hurry. And here was Dallas' point. Jesus was never in a hurry. You want your life to look like Jesus? There's never a point you read through the gospels where Jesus goes, oh, I'm late. Oh, how'd I get so far behind?

Tim Lundy (20:19):
Now his disciples thought He was. Often, they'll go, Lord, you need to go. Lord, you need to be. And He goes, nope, God's time. God will reveal this in His time. God will do this in His time. Jesus' life was constant. He had people all the time, in ministry and the parts of it. But He's not in a hurry. And what about you and me? How much of your life is marked by hurry? How often do you find yourself, I'm late, I'm busy, I'm in a hurry, I got to go, I can't even concentrate on what I'm doing? Here's what I'd encourage you over the course of this week. You know, as you're driving through your life, let hurry be one of the warning lights on your dashboard. Here's what I mean. If you find yourself in a place, you go, oh, I got to hurry, okay, the warning light goes off. Just stop in that moment and ask God, I'm yoked with Him, I'm learning from him. Okay. God, why am I in a hurry here?

Tim Lundy (21:14):
Is it because I never leave myself enough time? Is it because I've wasted time on things? Is it because I over-scheduled in this moment? Is it because I'm just so used to having a hurried spirit? I think I'm in a hurry no matter. Ask Him in that moment. Go, okay. I want to learn in this moment to be more like you, Jesus. And sometimes if you don't diagnose why you're there, you never learn from it. And so just this week, every time you feel a sense of hurry, just stop, ask God and go, okay, what's going on here? How do I eliminate this? How do I stop living like this? A key point with that then is you also have to have silence and solitude. Silence and solitude. Alone and quiet with God every day. Time that you're quiet with Him. For me, I think first thing in the morning is the best. Some people take a lunchtime. Sometime where literally you shut everything down. You're absolutely alone. Nobody else is with you. It's absolutely silent and quiet. That verse when God says, be still and know that I'm God. It's that reorientation of just going, okay, you're God, I'm not. And I'm going to be quiet before you.

Tim Lundy (22:32):
I'd encourage you have this in another room. I'm serious on that. We're like Pavlov's dogs. As soon as it dings, we can't help and it interrupted in that. And you go, no, I'm going to have that quiet in it. It's interesting, Mark 1, Jesus' ministry starts exploding. Disciples are all excited. I mean He's doing miracles. People are coming. In fact, literally He's healing people almost all night. People are coming to the door of the house. He's healing. He's doing all this ministry. And it says the next morning, they can't find Jesus. He had slipped away to go be alone, go be quiet, go be with His Father. I mean the disciples are like, whoa, whoa, we got ministry here. We got momentum here. We got things to do here, Jesus. Jesus goes, no, this is really important. Guys, if it's important for Jesus, how much more so for us?

Tim Lundy (23:25):
Of just stopping and I would encourage you just when you start to do this, to truly just be silent before God, we're not silent or alone much in our culture anymore. And so it'll be a little disorienting. You'll feel like you've gone a long time. And then you kind of look down and you go, that wasn't that long after all. But in that peace, remember what we talked about? The rest of the world's trying to conform me. I need to be transformed. And so that silence and that solitude where I go, God, you're God. Be God in my life. Redirect me towards you. As you do that, one of the key things you're going to need is Bible intake, His Word. And so you read it or you think about it. That's what meditation is. You think more deeply about His Word. Memorize it. Now study is a good thing, but I would encourage you, we're such a study culture, we could turn a Bible study time into an information that I'm trying to master instead of communication that's transforming me.

Tim Lundy (24:29):
And so I really would encourage you, you need some time where I'm not trying to master it, I'm not trying, I'm just reading it because I believe it's actually a living book. It's alive. That's how God describes it. So it's alive. And so it wants to speak to me today. It's one of the chief forms of communication. And then as I think about it more, I think about, okay, what does this say? What does this mean in my life? And then memorize. You come across verses as I'm struggling with things in the day. Say okay, oh man, that verse speaks to it. So memorize it. Then when God says, be anxious for nothing. I'm prepared in that moment. Man, I'm feeling the anxiety. Oh, okay, this is what the verse said. And the verse says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Man, I'm afraid today. Okay, I claim that verse again. That truth in it. It's interesting. I was studying Jesus' temptations this week. You know, Satan came to Him three times. He tempts Him. And every time He answers him, Jesus answers with a memorized verse. He answers from His Scripture which is our Old Testament. But He answers him every time from a verse. It shows that pattern in His life. But I started thinking about it. You know, when you're Jesus, you're God, everything you say is inspired. And that's why we have everything in red letter that's His because it's inspired.

Tim Lundy (25:40):
He says Scripture. So He didn't need Scripture to say it. He could have said something new to Satan right there and it would have been just as powerful. I think one of the reasons He quotes Scripture is He's modeling for us. He does something we could do in temptation. He says, hey, here's the power of God's Word and the power to be able to use that. And we need that power in our life. It's interesting. This book has not changed in over 1,900 years. But it's more alive today than ever. This little conformity machine, the information on it is literally changing by the second and it usually does a second later. What am I letting shape my life? Now with that, you're going to want prayer. Prayer. And in prayer, you talk to Him and you listen to Him. Obviously that should be a part of it. If you're going to be yoked to somebody, you probably want to talk to them. You probably want to communicate. it needs to be a constant part of life. And Jesus would go and He would pray. We go and pray.

Tim Lundy (26:46):
And in that really kind of two forms of prayer. There's set prayer. There's set prayer. There's times of prayer. There's prayer that I go through. And in my set prayer time, probably the tool that helps me the most is what Jesus taught in Matthew 6, His prayer, the Lord's prayer. And I use that as my template over and over again because I realized when I go through the Lord's prayer and I use that as my launching point, I've covered about everything. He was trying to teach me how to pray. And it really helps me in set prayer. But then you also need continuous prayer. And all that means is I have times that I've set aside for prayer and then I have continuous prayer where as I'm going through the day and I face something, I go, okay, God, help me here. God, show me here. God, why am I feeling this? That's a great prayer. When you have all these emotions and especially that sense of hurry, asking God to show, God, why am I feeling this? God, why does that person intimidate me? God, why am I so angry? Why do I do this? And ask Him to show you through prayer. And He'll show through His Word and He'll show through other people. He'll show it speaking in your heart, in your mind and your life with that.

Tim Lundy (27:51):
Worship. Worship. Together and privately expressing how awesome He is where we just come together. And in this context, we worship Him, both here together and then also privately. And then again, remember we're trying to get our minds transformed. And the great thing about worship is in worship, it reorients me that I realize, wait a second, He's God, I'm not. So when I come here and we start singing together and we express it together and you start looking at the truth that you're proclaiming, okay, that's who God is. That's His character. Oh, that's what God's done. That's what God's promised. And instead of making life about me because I have a real propensity to worship me, worship breaks me out of that and go, it's not about you. It's about Him. And so I express it to Him. And that's why we're called to the Scripture. That's why we come collectively to do that. That's why we do it in our individual lives in that. That's why we have a night like tonight, just a night of worship because it reorients me that I go, oh, it's not about me. It's not about anyone out there. He's the only one worthy of this. He's God, I'm not. Oh, that's so freeing. And He's the only one worth our worship.

Tim Lundy (29:05):
And then you add to that Sabbath. Sabbath. One day a week for refreshment, recreation and reorientation, that worship of Him. One day a week that was set aside. Now Sabbath, remembering the Sabbath, this one of the 10 Commandments. It's not restated in the New Testament in the same command with that. So we don't want to apply the same law or rigor that people lived under. But if you look at the reason for the Sabbath, there's two different reasons given, one in Exodus. God says, remember the Sabbath. Have that one out of the seven. And the reason He said is because the creation cycle. When God created the world, six days, He creates and then one day of rest in that. Now why did God set it up that way? Did God rest on the last day because He was exhausted? Like, oh, creation wore me out. I've got to crash. No, He's omnipotent. He never gets tired. He did it for our sake, guys.

Tim Lundy (30:10):
And if you look at the cycle of it, it's interesting. Different times in human history, people have tried to mess with that cycle. After the French Revolution, they tried to change it off of seven days. The Soviet union at one point tried to create a 10-day cycle. And as much as they would enforce it and call people to it and try to structure everything about it, the human body is set up on a seven day cycle. And in that seven day cycle, that one day that we stop and we need refreshment. We need reorientation. We need recreation in that. Be recreated in it. You know, when He mentions it again in Deuteronomy, He doesn't appeal to the seven day cycle or the creation cycle. He says, the reason that you remember Sabbath is that you used to be slaves in Egypt and you're not a slave anymore so don't live like one.

Tim Lundy (30:58):
It's that day of declaration that I have freedom and I'm not a slave to my work and I'm not a slave to money and I'm not a slave to anything. So I carve out this day. Now here's the hard part about Sabbath. A Sabbath is not just a day off. Sometimes we're more tired after a day off. You ever had that? Where you have a day off and you have to work around the house, you got the bills, you got the kids. You've got all the things you got to do. You get to the end of the day off and you go, I need to go back to work. I'm exhausted. Sabbath's not a day off. It's a day set aside and they're different. It's one day a week where you set aside and you don't do the normal activity. You don't do the normal work. You know, if you can make it, Sunday is a great day because it's a day of reorientation. It's worship around it. It's a day of rest. Part of Sabbath might be taking a nap. I mean one of the most spiritual things you could do is take a nap. I'd rather you not do it during the sermon personally but.

Tim Lundy (32:01):
And one of the things we don't want to do, we don't want to get real where we start applying the rules like they did in the Old Testament. Jesus actually had to say the Pharisees, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. It's not supposed to be this oppressive thing over you. And Paul says in Colossians, don't judge how other people use their Sabbath time. We're wired differently in that. There's some core things of worship and rest and recreation. But there may be things that you do that's very life-giving to you. But you're meant to set that aside every week and to do that. As you do that as well, He calls us to fast. Fast. Have a time where you abstain from food or maybe it's meat or something else. But food is one of the core things where you don't eat for a day or Jesus went 40 days.

Tim Lundy (32:43):
And as you tie that physical hunger, remember it's disruptive. So I'm hungry now. And as I think about that physical hunger, I go, okay, I'm going to go to God. Do I hunger for you? Or maybe I'm longing for something or I'm praying about something? And as we hear fasting in that, now let me be clear. We're not talking about intermittent fasting. It's kind of real popular where you don't eat set hours every day. I'm actually very faithful to an intermittent fast personally. I never eat from midnight to 6:00 AM. I don't. And if you follow that model, you can have a body like this. You know? Yeah. Just saying, just saying. It's interesting. When you talk about fasting, especially in a spiritual context, a lot of people are like, whoa, super spiritual there. Whoa, a little legalistic. You're adding onto it. Or we just kind of put it in a category which is fascinating to me because when you talk about dieting or health in any other way, people will do the craziest things now.

Tim Lundy (33:42):
They don't think twice about it. I mean you talk to people all the time and they're like, oh yeah, I'm on this diet for the next 30 days. I can only drink bone broth and eat quinoa. That's it. But it's so good. It's so good. And everybody's like, oh. Then there's somebody else who's like, no, I'm on the bacon diet. I only eat bacon. And you're like, did a doctor come up with that? Or time periods, you hear that, you know, I don't eat anything after the year 1229. It's the dark age diet. I use leeches for detox. Now I just made that up. Some of you are Googling, where do I get leeches? Isn't it funny though? I mean crazy things like that. And everybody's like, oh yeah, fascinating. But then you bring up spiritual fasting and everybody's like, oh, weird. You know, Jesus when He taught on it, it's interesting to me. He doesn't command us to fast. He just assumes we will. In Matthew 6, He says, when you fast, when you do this, don't do it in a way that anybody else sees it. Don't go out and you put on a sad face. I'm fasting. It's a secret with you and God. But you make it that part of your life that you reorient even your appetites to Him, to what's important.

Tim Lundy (35:08):
Couple more. Giving. Giving. And I'm not going to spend long on this because I think Daniel did such a good job on just thinking and talking about financial margin. But as I give, it breaks the power of money as your master. Every time you give, it's that declaration and Jesus said, He says, you can't serve God and money. You just can't. Your heart's not made that way. And so our giving is this declaration that every time I give, I'm declaring money's not my master. That's why Paul tells us you can actually give cheerfully, the word's hilariously. I don't know if you've ever, like when the offering comes, you're just like, I love this. No, our hearts don't necessarily. We're like, oh, I love what I'm giving. And that's the point. It's that break to go, no, I don't. I don't love that. I'm not serving that. I'm not living this marginless life because I'm going to give my life pursuing money. I'm not doing that. You're not my master. God is. And when I give, it makes that break. That's why it's so good for the soul in that.

Tim Lundy (36:20):
The same thing happens when I serve. When I serve. I break the power of self-centeredness. I break the power of self-centeredness that I've made life about me. Guys, we're all budding little narcissists. We just are and our culture tells us that everything needs to be about us and life needs to be oriented toward us. And when I serve somebody else, when I give of myself in that, it breaks that. It frees me in that. And as we serve, and this is why it's so important that if we don't have this in our life, we can make our life, even our spiritual life about everything we're taking in. What I'm studying, what I'm learning, what I'm focusing on. And everything's about me. And I sign up for another thing that'll pour into me and pour into me. You know, in Israel, there's two seas. There's the Sea of Galilee and there's the Dead Sea. And they're connected by the Jordan River by the way. Sea of Galilee is so alive. They still fish it. You go there. It's beautiful. Dead Sea is just like it describes. It's dead. You know what the difference is? Sea of Galilee has streams that come into it, but then it has water that goes out. The Dead Sea only has water that comes in. Nothing goes out. And once it goes in there, it just dies.

Tim Lundy (37:42):
And for some of us, our spiritual growth has reached this dead point, not because I'm not taking in. I'm doing more studies, I'm studying more things, I'm looking at this, I'm researching. I'm doing, doing, doing, doing. I have no outlets. I am not giving my life away anywhere. It's interesting, you ask people around the campus and it's always true. The people who feel most connected, love our church the most are the ones serving. Story after story, they go, you know, I didn't have any community. I started serving. Man, I got connected. Man, I loved. And it's that principle of where am I serving? Whether it's here or out there, where are you serving? And I'd encourage you, that's one of the reasons we encourage, why don't we do two services and more in that. You can come one, serve one. And even as I say that, you go, oh, come to two services. Tim, I can't do that. Why? Well, I'm busy, busy, busy. Oops. Maybe I need to reorient in that.

Tim Lundy (38:38):
Now as you look over that list, I know some of you are going, Tim, I came in here and already had too much going on in my life. And it feels like you added more. I would say, yes, you have too much. You have too much of the wrong things. You're like the kid who went to the cafeteria line without his parents and you loaded up on all the dessert. And so instead of all the life sucking things, these are life giving things that Jesus is teaching. Now be prepared as you go into this, prepare for resistance. As you begin any spiritual discipline, prepare for resistance. I mean when you start upon this, it's not like, oh man, it's so easy. And you're immediately on top of it. There's some resistance. It's like anything that you do. That's why Paul describes it to Timothy as a discipline.

Tim Lundy (39:20):
He says, train yourself in godliness. And he describes it like bodily training, like working out. He says bodily training is of some value. Godliness has value in all of life. That we're trained is gymnasia. Go to the gym, the spiritual gym. And I would encourage you as you start this, as you disrupt your life, as you're learning from Jesus in that, there'll be some resistance. It's kind of like going to the gym. If you haven't been to the gym for a long time and then you go to the gym and you work out, the next day when you wake up, do you go, oh, I can't wait to go back to the gym? Or do you go, oh man, I'm tired, I'm sore? That's why, what's today? January 26th? All those gym memberships for the first week of January till now, how many of them have died? Because there was some resistance. But here's what people will tell you. If you keep going, keep making it a part of your life, it actually brings new energy, new life. Expect some resistance.

Tim Lundy (40:23):
I'd say as well though, but don't turn it into a new form of legalism. Don't turn it into a new burden. Jesus gives us a great check here in that when He says, come to me, you'll find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. And so here's what I would say is your final point on this is when you go, regularly check your soul. Don't turn His yoke into your burden. That's what the Pharisees did. But see, they were trying to do all these things to earn from God. Jesus says, you don't have to earn from God but learn from Him. You're not doing this to get right. You're doing this because He's already made this exchange and He wants to teach you how to walk in that. Guys, I would really challenge you, because out of all the messages, all the different things that we will teach you, at the core of it is this passage. At the core of it is this decision. It really is a soul decision. Am I going to come to him and live life with Him? Or am I going to keep doing it my way? I want to give you a moment here to just be honest with Him, be open with Him. I'm going to walk through and pray through the passage and ask you to just respond to Him as you do so. So if you just take a moment, just bow your heads where you are.

Tim Lundy (41:52):
As we bow together, Jesus invites all who are weary and heavy laden, all who are overloaded. If that's you, just tell Him, just make the honest admission to Him today. Say Jesus, that's me and my way's not working. He says, come to me and I'll give you rest. I want to do an exchange with you. Your burden, His rest. And by faith right now, I would ask you to just tell Him. Jesus, I want to do that exchange. I want to give you my burden and I need your rest. He says, take my yoke upon you. This is that moment we go up a little bit. But I'm going to ask you, if you really want to experience this, tell Him that you're giving Him control. Now He gets to be the controlling partner. He gets the keys to your life. He says, learn from me. Maybe some of the things we talked about today, if you're honest, you go, you know, I don't do those. I haven't practiced those. Ask Him now to teach you. Ask Him to guide you as you're yoked together, that you go, Jesus. I want to start doing that and experiencing and learning directly from you.

Tim Lundy (44:03):
Finally, He says His yoke is easy. His burden is light. So ask Him to protect you from turning this into a new form of burden. Ask Him to protect you from trying to earn something with Him, but you truly could learn from Him. Lord, I pray for each of us as we come to this place and we love what you offer, but we also find ourselves wanting to take it only in doses. Lord, I pray for a complete exchange today. We've experienced your rest at a soul level, at a life level. Lord, I pray for those who've never exchanged their lives with you, that maybe today they're bringing their sin and their junk and all of it and they want to experience forgiveness. Lord, I pray for those who want to exchange a life of weariness, of marginless with you. I pray that we would learn from you, but you would guard us that we wouldn't create these good things and create a new burden out of them. Lord, I thank you that you do life with us. And so we desire to be yoked with you right now. We give you our lives. We pray this in Christ's name.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600