February 4, 2013 “God is Doing a New Thing”

ILLUSTRATION – The recording artist Beyonce has had some important gigs lately.  She will be the featured entertainment at the Super Bowl halftime show tonight … hundreds of millions will see the show.  But her performance will be a bit controversial, because of something that happened a week ago when she had the privilege of singing the National Anthem at the President Obama’s presidential inauguration in Washington D.C.  Well, she didn’t actually sing the National Anthem live.  It was revealed later that she lip-synced it to a recording she had made earlier.  She later told reporters that she was a perfectionist and that she had been spending so much time rehearsing for the Super Bowl that she didn’t have time to properly prepare.  She didn’t want to mess it up, so she lip-synced it.  Now in fairness to Beyonce, lip-syncing for an outdoor event like the presidential inauguration isn’t uncommon, and she assured reporters that her show tonight at the Super Bowl will absolutely be live.

But as I watched that story unfold last week I couldn’t help but think how easy it is for us in the Christian life to give the impression that we are doing what we are doing from the heart, when really we’re just spiritually lip-syncing.  The song of our life that we “sing” before others (our witness and our worship) isn’t live; it isn’t real … we’re just pretending it is.  And in times like that the Lord comes to challenge His people to live authentic lives before Him and before others.

Now what I have just done is to use a teaching tool that Jesus often used.  Isn’t it great how stories like that can make truth come alive for us?  Well along with being the Savior of the world, Jesus was a powerful teacher.  And in that He often told great stories called “parables.”  This morning I’m beginning an eight-week series on “The Life Stories of Jesus.”  And to get started let’s turn to Luke 5:36.  There are scores of life stories that Jesus told recorded for us in the Gospels.  Some are lengthy; some are as short as a sentence.  I’ve chosen eight parables from the Gospel of Luke.  While the other Gospel writers were Jewish, Luke was a Gentile.  He was a physician and his Gospel reflects a very orderly and systematic collection of details related to the life and teachings of Jesus.  To get started just look at Luke 5:36.

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  • Bio & Introduction

    Dr. Michael Dean has been the senior pastor at Travis Avenue Baptist Church since 1991, having also served churches elsewhere in Texas and New Mexico. He and his wife Nan are blessed with two married children and three grandchildren. With a keen sense of calling to shepherd the flock of God entrusted to his care, Michael longs to see people become passionate followers of Jesus Christ. His hobbies include long-distance running, golf and hunting.

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