by Matt Sapp

We’re working through the Sermon on the Mount together at Central this summer. Last week I shared five things you can “be” this summer based on the last five weeks of worship. We have five more weeks to go, so here’s a preview of what’s coming up over the next several weeks.

Here are 5 more things you can be this summer.

Be Measured (Matt 6:19-34)
Balance in life is important. So be measured in your pursuits. Jesus warns against single-minded devotion to wealth, and we should be careful not to be single-mindedly devoted to anything but God.

We don’t often make a connection between wealth and worry, but Jesus does in the Sermon on the Mount. When our attention is focused on storing up treasures here on earth, it’s easy to worry about material possessions and outward appearances. But when we are focused on God, we needn’t worry. God will provide for us, and all the other pieces of our lives will find their proper place. So be measured in your pursuits this summer, and keep God in the right place.

Be Self-Aware (Matt 7:1-6)
Understand your flaws. Work on yourself before you turn your attention to others. Too often, we magnify other’s shortcomings while being blind to our own. Be more self-aware this summer. But self-awareness isn’t just about knowing your flaws. It’s also about knowing your worth.

So know your value, too. Recognize your strengths, and don’t sell yourself short. And remember, you are a child of God. All of what God has created you to be is sacred. Reserve what is best and most sacred in you for the best and most sacred people in your life.

Be Open (Matt 7:7-12)
Be open to the activity of God in the world and in your life. God is ready and prepared to help you make your way in the world. If something’s really tugging at your heart, ask God to help you with it. And then be open to the ways God might be nudging you in a particular direction.

God is faithful to provide us what we need, and God knows even better than we do what that is. So this summer, be open to all the ways that God is directing your life, and ask God to bless you with the courage and integrity to follow.

Be Revolutionary (Matt 7:13-23)
Shake things up by being willing to go against the grain. It’s awfully easy to go with the flow, but Jesus reminds us that the path he calls us to walk is one that few are faithful to follow. If you’re following the crowd, you’re probably headed in the wrong direction.

In fact, even people who claim to be doing the will of God can lead you in the wrong direction. So trust your instincts. If a message doesn’t feel right to you, or a person doesn’t, take a second look before you align yourself with them.

Instead of following along and blending in, be willing to stand out by standing up for what’s right. Be revolutionary this summer.

Be Wise (Matt 7:24-27)
There’s an old saying: Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.

True wisdom is about more than accumulating information; it’s about understanding how and when to best apply what you know. And sometimes it’s knowing when to keep your mouth shut. Don’t be like one of those proverbial people who knows the “price of everything and the value of nothing.” People who are able to truly embody the truths of God have strong foundations and are able to weather, and even excel in, life’s storms. So be wise this summer.

These are our topics for worship between now and the end of summer. I’ll have a lot more to say about them on Sundays. When you’re in Newnan, I hope you’ll join us.

See you Sunday.