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Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

1. Introduction:
· Luke 10 – The region was oppressed by demonic powers, they asked Jesus to leave.
· One man, a Christian for one day, testified of the life experience with God and how this impacted the people of that region.
· Draw near to God to see good things for testimony. Testimony has the power to change us, to share about the goodness of God. It gives hope to something that is different.
· Luke 8:39-40 - “Return to your house (home) and tell (testify) what great things God has done for you!”
· The Power of Testimony – Telling others of your experience of the Goodness of God.
· A whole city was impacted – not by preaching but by the testimony of a changed life.
· Our Personal Testimony:
i) Humility – openness about our failures, struggles, pain, freed others to admit them.
ii) Honor – acknowledging the Goodness of God brought hope to others.
· Sin always has consequences – bad choices have bad consequences.
· Forgiveness removes the guilt and establishes the connection with God but a person will still experience the consequences.
· Christians have the tendency to cover their struggles and remain broken and alone.

2. The Great Commandment - Fervent love:
· Luke 10:27 - “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself”.
- The priority of fervent loving relationships is declared by Jesus.
- We are human beings created to reflect and carry the image of God.
- God loves passionately – He is expressive.
· How we express something in connecting/loving people is the number one indictor of how our relationship with God is.
· Spirituality without God = disconnected with people.
· He rejoices over you, He is a passionate God.
· We are designed by God to reflect what He is like – He is full of expression.
· Jesus is full of expression e.g. prayed in the garden, strong tears flowed and He wanted friendship.

a) The Religious Spirit is devoid of Compassion:
· The parable of the Good Samaritan – verse 30 – 37.
· The wounded man represents any person in life.
· Priests and Levites represent religious people.
Priest = we’re all called to be priests, to minister, to praise, experience and love.
Levites = served in the house of God as we serve in the house of God.
=> They knew the Bible, fasted, go to church, they tithe, have good behaviour. Good behaved spiritual church people – but it never overflowed to what God intended - it didn’t flow through their hearts. They are so caught up in church flow that there is no overflow to other people in need, they cross to the other side of the road. Don’t want to get involved. In their activities they didn’t represent God.
· Religious People – supposed to be Godly representatives:
· Focused on spiritual matters.
· Self absorbed in their own life.
· Avoided people in need.
· Disconnected from people and opportunity.
· Revealed their own brokenness covered in spiritual fig leaves.
· Had no concept of Divine Design to be God’s ambassadors.
· 1 John 3:14-18
· Becoming a neighbor is not just to love a neighbor.
· Samaritans were despised by people.
· Carry the life of God to people who needs it. Are we too busy to see those people? It is our responsibility to bring the heart of God to people.
· The Priest and Levite missed an opportunity. They missed what God wanted to do. They have issues in their own live they have to deal with. They missed their divine design.

b) True religion/Spirituality is revealed by Relationships with People:
· The Good Samaritans’ actions revealed his spiritual maturity.
· Compassion, ask God for it.
· Feeling, Initiated connection. Apostolic Commission
· Identified the man’s brokenness, he (Reaching out to the Lost) went there and inspected. Good listener and good talker.
· Poured in oil and wine, carried anointing of God, something supernatural given to others, anointing of the Holy Spirit. Pastoral care/Discipleship
· Took him to an Inn. (Healing and Restoration)
· Provided for his ongoing healing.
· Recognized healing is a process.
· Embraced the need for others to help.
· It’s for the Church to arise and enter to engage the community to equip and connect relationally.
· Go into the world as a sent person - wherever you go. Every believer is called to do this.
· So often people are part of a Church body but are unable to heal others because their own lives are broken and they won’t admit it.
· So often there is a gap between beliefs and experience (how to live life)
· Pastoral care and discipleship, he knew his limits. (Can’t do it all yourself). He took him to an Inn, (Church) – where someone else can do the job. He also provided resources.
· To access the source and never give out leads to frustration.
· Acts 1:8
· Engage God, allow Him to shape us and give back to others. It comes at a cost.
· The Holy Spirit is given to us and heals us when things go wrong. We will get hurt, won’t be liked, it won’t always be fun, it will get messy, it comes at a cost like the oil and wine came at a cost to the Samaritan.
· We are called to carry a Glorious Mission, people around us impacted by Jesus and to see how their lives change.
· It must be proclaimed in the entire world. Will you be part of it?
· Learn and build yourself – go for it and make a difference.