Los Alamos Church of Christ

2016… Connections

Enthusiast 1

 

 

 

 

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!

 

 

If you are an enthusiast this might be your favorite verse… join me one more time…

 

 

--We connected in thought with the Intellectualists.

--We connected in serving with the Caregivers.

--We connected in symbols with the Traditionalists.

--This morning we connect in rejoicing with the enthusiasts.

 

 

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!

 

The Enthusiast loves God with gusto.  These cheerleaders of the faith connect to God in praise! Deeply inspired by joyful celebration, Enthusiasts are usually quite comfortable expressing emotion when praising God.  You may see them cry or kneel or raise their hands or jump up and down as they feel the Spirit’s leading.  Enthusiasts connect to the LORD with all their… hearts.

 

 

Enthusiast Christians are like downhill skiers who love the Lord on the edge of excitement!  They are the adrenalin junkies of the faith. Completely unconcerned with what others think of them, their hearts long to be unleashed in the joy of the LORD.  Enthusiasts want to go all in with their praise of God.  Enthusiasts connect to the LORD with all their… hearts.

 

 

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Obviously, when we come together to worship, there is going to be tension between Enthusiasts and Intellectuals and certainly, between Enthusiasts and Traditionalists.  Caregivers think none of it matters much… go help someone.  One of the major points I am making this year is to be more understanding of other believer’s temperaments.  We need to understand that others need their connections… these may be different than our own druthers.  This freedom for each other is what unity in the body looks like. 

 

 

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Enthusiasts are found in Scripture.

 

--Miriam…

Exodus 15:19-21  For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea.  Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.  And Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea."

 

 

--David

2 Samuel 6:13-17 And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.  As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart.  And they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.

 

 

--Elizabeth

Luke 1:39-42 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

 

 

--Jesus… Condemned the Pharisees for their judgment of Him.

Matthew 11:16-19   "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, "'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'  The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."

 

 

Jesus was accused of being a party animal. 

 

--And Luke pictures God as an Enthusiast… the Prodigal Son

Luke 15:21-25 “And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'  But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate.  Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.”

 

Enthusiasts connect to the LORD with all their… hearts.

 

 

The Enthusiast temperament is bigger than just a party.  There is another characteristic of Enthusiasts… that I find more fascinating… they are drawn to the mysteries of the faith.

 

 

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We worship and serve a mysterious God.  God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.  Unlike the intellectual who wants the answers, the Enthusiast connects to the unknown.  Enthusiasts long to preserve the mystery of faith.  They understand that there are certain things about God that can’t be understood.  The wonders of God do not need explanation, only exultation. 

 

 

The Enthusiast longs to be moved into the mystery of the Spirit.  Just like Peter, the Enthusiast, quotes Joel…

 

 

Acts 2:16-18 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:  “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.”

 

 

The Enthusiast connects through visions and dreams and dwelling in the Spirit.   Enthusiasts connect to the LORD with all their… hearts and they don’t need to understand why.

 

 

Many of us of the intellectual variety are uncomfortable with this mysterious Spirit stuff.  “What will happen if we lose control?  This could lead to all kinds of wrong.  New Age, the Occult, Buddhism and unbridled supernaturalism can lead to chaos.  If we leave the Bible who knows where we will end up?”

 

 

Let me advocate the opposite needs to be the case.  It is the poo-pooing of the mystery of the Spirit that can drive Enthusiasts from the church.  Driven from the faith, it is possible for Enthusiasts to be seduced to the dark side.  If they can’t find their joy in the church, they could leave to find it elsewhere. I suspect many Enthusiasts have given up on the rest of us, to go find the mysteries in other places.  That is sad.  We need them. 

 

 

The church needs to embrace the mysteries of God.  We need to sanctify the supernatural within us. We believe in the Spirit.  We believe He moves in mysterious ways.  We believe God moves in our midst.  We pray for God to be alive in us.  But because we are uncomfortable with how THEY express it we can shuffle them out the door.  That is sad. 

 

 

But, if we can allow our temperaments to complement each other, we can keep each other grounded in Scripture while being led by the Spirit.  This is my prayer… a church solid in theology, anchor in the symbols of the faith, as it is moved by the Spirit to connect to people in giving.  The interaction of all the temperaments complimenting each other with their gifts is my prayer for this church. 

 

 

All temperaments desperately need each other.  Without enthusiasts, we become legalistic, lifeless, and disconnected from the mysteries of the Spirit.  The Spirit should be alive in the daily encounters of the church.  It is the Spirit who moves us deeper into life.  We need the enthusiasts to keep us real.  To keep us connected.  To keep us alive!  We need the mysteries of the Spirit within this body. 

 

 

We must cherish the Enthusiasts amongst us.

 

 

So let’s find out who they are.  It is time for the Enthusiast Temperament Test.  (Handout)

 

 

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Enthusiasts Temperament Test

 

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 describing you…

 

1. I love worship music.

2. I raise my hands when I connect in worship.

3. I play with children, because I am childlike.

4. I like parties, fellowship and celebrations.

5. The music is not too loud. 

6. I like sports; playing and watching, because I am competitive. 

7. I connect to God through experiences I can’t explain. 

8. I am unconcerned what others think about me.

9. I am a glass-half-full optimist

10.  I don’t worry about where the Spirit may lead me.   

 

Add your score.  All over 50, 60, 70… Check scores so far…

 

 

God bless all of you who worship the Lord with all your hearts…

 

 

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Which brings us to the Shema…

 

ESV Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

 

My temperament is God’s gift to me.

My temperament is my gift to God.

My temperament is my gift to the body.

My temperament is my gift to the world.

 

Tim Stidham

April 24, 2016

Los Alamos Church of Christ