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Lessons from My Visit to China. Church of Christ at Medina August 21, 2011. Don’t Drink the Water. I was warned not to drink the water, even before I got there. The locals could drink it because they were used to it. Foreigners, though, would get sick from it.

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Lessons from My Visit to China


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lessons from my visit to china

Lessons from My Visit to China

Church of Christ at Medina

August 21, 2011

don t drink the water
Don’t Drink the Water
  • I was warned not to drink the water, even before I got there.
  • The locals could drink it because they were used to it. Foreigners, though, would get sick from it.
  • As Christians, we must not drink the water of the world – sin. At one time we were involved in sin as well.
don t drink the water1
Don’t Drink the Water

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3, ESV)

don t drink the water2
Don’t Drink the Water
  • Christians stopped “drinking the water” of sin when we came to God in obedience.
  • We cannot partake again, even though the world may want us to.

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;” (1 Peter 4:1-4)

don t drink the water3
Don’t Drink the Water
  • Christians should continue to purify themselves from sin. When sin does enter, it should make us sick – grieving, sorrowful and penitent.

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial?  Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

don t drink the water4
Don’t Drink the Water

“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21, ESV)

  • We need to understand that those who try to live pure lives in the sight of God will find grace and mercy.

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13, ESV)

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

when you re that different you just don t blend in
When you’re that different, you just don’t blend in.
  • It was just not possible for me to blend into the surroundings. I stood out because I looked different and I talked different.
  • As Christians, we should be different enough that we don’t just blend in.
  • We should look different.

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16, ESV)

when you re that different you just don t blend in1
When you’re that different, you just don’t blend in.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13, ESV)

  • Our speech should also be different.

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Colossians 3:5-10, ESV)

when you re that different you just don t blend in2
When you’re that different, you just don’t blend in.

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25)

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. (1 Peter 2:1, ESV)

“…Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;” (1 Peter 3:10)

homesickness is directly proportional to the affection we have for those at home
Homesickness is directly proportional to the affection we have for those at home!
  • The hardest part was not the food – it was being away from my family.
  • From a spiritual viewpoint, we are supposed to be pilgrims and strangers in this world with a desire to go HOME to God.

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:13-16)

homesickness is directly proportional to the affection we have for those at home1
Homesickness is directly proportional to the affection we have for those at home!

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)

  • We will not feel homesick, though, unless we first set our affections on things that are above.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4, ESV)

homesickness is directly proportional to the affection we have for those at home2
Homesickness is directly proportional to the affection we have for those at home!

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV)

Philippians 1:18-26

2 Corinthians 4:7-5:10

homesickness is directly proportional to the affection we have for those at home3
Homesickness is directly proportional to the affection we have for those at home!

“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:17-21, ESV)

seeing glimpses of my family and talking to them made the trip much easier
Seeing glimpses of my family and talking to them made the trip much easier!
  • Technological advances have made communications much easier and better. These made the long trip easier.
  • As Christians, it helps to see glimpses of God and talk to Him in order to keep encouraged in our time away from Him.
  • We can see Him by studying His word.
  • We can talk to Him through prayer.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Don’t drink the worldly water of sin! Keep pure!
  • When we are that different, we are supposed to stand out!
  • Homesickness is directly proportional to our affections for those at home. Let’s keep our minds focused on things above!
  • Seeing glimpses of God and talking to Him can make the trip much easier!