THE CIRCLE - learning
Power of symbols - what does this symbol mean (SLIDE NIKE TICK)
Three circles what does that mean (SLIDE THREE CIRCLES)
More Symbols (SLIDE MCDONALDS M)
In our culture we tend to learn and remember things using symbols
The Nike tick is rich with meaning over the years Nike have told us heaps about their product through a simple tick
We Learn more by what we see rather than what we hear – life shapes –
Life shapes is about using the power of symbol – giving the symbol meaning and learning some pretty simple Discipleship skills.
First symbol is a circle. (SLIDE LEARN)
In looking at it we will find answers to some of these questions...
How do we learn?
How do we know when God is at work in our lives?
How does God guide us?
How can I grow closer to God?
Will I ever change?
We are bombarded day and night by experiences – some good some bad, it’s as if our life is a series of events that pile up on each other - the question is God saying anything to us through these events or are they just a random collection of coincidences?
Is God trying to communicate with us through these ordinary things of life?
When you think about it – He must be.
One of what I believe the basic understanding of being a Disciple of Jesus is that not only do we learn from scripture but scripture forms and shapes us so we learn form life too
So that if we are disciples then Jesus will be or want to disciples us through these events and experiences
We need to be people who are able to hear and see what God wants us to learn then, and to be willing to act and learn form experiences
What that means is that we need to bale to hear Jesus voice in the midst of our life and to be able to engage with what he is saying in these ordinary things.
There is an old saying that we learn form experiences – that is not strictly true we learn because we have decided to learn form them – that requires us to take the experiences look at them and make some decisions based upon what has happened.
Prime example driving in a car in the wet – you skid on a corner and loose control
- that’s an experience
- you learn from it by – adjusting your speed next time
o Putting more grippy tires on your car
o Not driving in the wet
o Doing defensive driving so that when your back end goes you know how to respond
Just carrying on driving is not learning from an experience.
How you learn from it is be in its simplest form observing what happened – the car skidded
And changing something so it doesn’t happen again
Or if it does happen you have more control...
The process of learning from life is always pretty similar – observe, react.
Being a disciple is no different – if life gives you experiences then we should pretty much guarantee that in there God wants you to learn how to react accordingly
That’s discipleship – learning how to live in response to the one we are following.
Events when filtered through our understanding of God then can teach us.
Scripture shapes us – because it from the scriptures that we meet and understand Jesus
But Life also shapes us as we respond in ways in which Jesus would or how Jesus shows us to respond.
The more we reflect, the more we grow, the more confident we can be in life’s experiences
Viv Grigg – I want you humility, it comes through being broken again and again and allowing God to rebuild you again and again – his life experiences made him humble – he could have juts turned around and said Nuts to you God when the first painful experience came around – he didn’t because the God revealed to him in scripture – Jesus doesn’t walk away – that gave him peace – that grew his confidence.
So how does the circle work?
Some people view life as a passage of time (SLIDE LIFE)
Greeks differentiate this view of time (SLIDE CHRONOS AND KAIROS)
But remember we said that life is also a series of events
In the following passage what sort of Time is Jesus talking about? (SLIDE BIBLE BIT)
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come”, he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14, 15)
Time – kairos – not just the passage of time but an event in time (SLIDE EVENT)
So it’s an opportunity to learn (SLIDE KAIROS)
Positive or negative
You’ll recognize it by the impact it has on you
E.g., loosing a job, gaining a promotion
Signal opportunities to grow
What Kairos moments have you had in your lives?
The Kairos moment is the space and place in which you enter the ‘circle’ – hopefully they are opportunities for growth
Kairos Time is like - entering God’s gym
THE IMPORTANT thing about them is that you do not stay as you are, YOU NEED TO GROW…
Going back to the scripture we saw earlier (SLIDE BIBLE BIT)
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come”, he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
We saw it was Kairos Time.
There are some other words to make a note of (SLIDE KINGDOM)
The kingdom (God’s presence, God’s rule) is within reach for all of us!
What do we do about it?
How do we reach it?
How do I find God?
We need to according to Jesus
Repent (metanoia) =Change your mind, a process of transformation
Believe (Pistis) =Step out in faith, something you are sure about
Put that in terms of the circle (SLIDE KAIROS TIME)
REPENT SIDE OF THE CIRCLE (SLIDE REPENT SIDE)
OBSERVE – look at your life, hoe have you reacted to the situation, emotion, what are your thoughts about it - BE HONEST
REFLECT – think about the observations you have made – process them, why did you react like you did. –NOTE easier for introverts to do this
DISCUSS – invite other in, chat about it with others, obviously in many cases this will need to be someone you can trust. When working with young people the best way to build trust is to be open with them – watch your barriers though
In Matthew 6 Jesus does just this – Sermon on the Mount – cost of being a disciple – its decision time for the listeners.
He make an observation - Look at the birds of the air, look at the flowers of the field,
He asks them to reflect on this observation do they worry?
The question would prompt discussion…
We cannot stop here; we must learn to believe (SLIDE BELIEVE)
Repentance is an internal thing,
Belief is external it is action in light of a new way of behaving
PLAN – strategy for recognising the problem and embracing a proper way to act – this is not about thinking – we have done that- it’s about action. Without a plan we will intend to put thing right but fail miserably – the road to hell is paved with the best intentions
ACCOUNT – someone to hold us accountable – internal repentance has an outworking in faith – as the scriptures say confess your sins with one
ACT – Action, do something about it
(SLIDE FULL CIRCLE) Often people go half way round the circle. We are good at reflecting but often don’t change because we are not accountable and don’t act
Parable of the wise and foolish builder (SLIDE MATTHEW)
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'  Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
What I think it is saying is that repentance - Lord, Lord, without action or belief is not real repentance
Wise - put what they hear into practice – built on a solid foundation
Foolish – don’t put them into practice – no action – disaster……
Me and soccer – event was a kairos moment
Observe – what did I do – lost my rag, blew my stack
Reflect – why did I do it – bad mood, took the game too seriously, forgot about the fun
Discuss – talked about it with those who were there, accepted their criticism
Plan – put something in place to stop it happening – a cool down period, asked people to tell me if I was being too serious, apologised privately and publicly
Account – team held me accountable.
Act – changed behaviour
LIFE IS LIKE A SLINKY – full of Kairos moments (SLIDE SLINKY)