Going Beyond in our Connection to Christ

Week #2 of our “Go Beyond” Series
NOTE – Due to technical difficulties, no audio is available for this week. Instead, the notes from the message are provided below and the audio for this message is from Week #1 of our series.
Mike Smith – Senior Minister
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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭ESV
If we are in Christ, we are a new creation and we have a new identity.
When we get our feelings hurt, we change our identity. When we live in that pattern, our feelings take control.
There is a difference between feeling lazy, jealous and hurt than being lazy, jealous and hurt.
Our identity is not in our feelings, it’s in Christ.
When you put your identity first, you’re making a conscious decision to act that way and feel that way.
As you follow Christ, he’s going to call you to do uncomfortable things that stretch and challenge you which you don’t want to do, but you’re a Christ Follower.
Sometimes we need to talk to each other to encourage each other.
Stage #1 – Come and See
“The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.”
‭‭John‬ ‭1:35-39‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:12-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬
The people we’re trying to build relationships with should see our light shining for Christ.
Stage #2 – Come and follow me
“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭4:18-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Jesus continually challenges us with more difficult things to do so we’ll go beyond.
Once you get proficient at something, how do you go beyond?
Sometimes we go beyond and need to focus on Jesus for approval, not others.
Stage #3 – Come and Be With Me
“And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Jesus wants us to spend time with him on a deeper level.
We are called to a participation connection. We need to participate with Jesus in relationship.
The evidence of being in relationship with Jesus and learning from him is found in how we live our life.
Stage #4 – Remain in me
“”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:1-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬
When we calibrate our lives to Jesus, everything else will work itself out.
Do you notice that all of these stages revolve around following Christ?