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Knowing, Following, Sharing and Leading For Jesus:

THE CHRISTIAN MANDATE IN OUR MILLENIAL WORLD


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Dss. Monica May Ramos

Celebrating Christian Education month is unique for us - Methodist


Christians. We celebrate Christian Education for one purpose. We remember that we
have a calling, a call to be a student, a learner, a disciple. We never stop learning.
We keep on knowing and developing our faith anchored from the Word of God.

The theme is Knowing, Following, Sharing and Leading For Jesus: THE
CHRISTIAN MANDATE IN OUR MILLENIAL WORLD (Transforming The
World, One Person At A Time) The text given is Matthew 9:9-13
I. KNOWING: He “came not to call the righteous, but sinners”

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September 29, 2019, Christian Education, Kamuning First United Methodist Church

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II. Knowing (The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of
the Great Value)
a. Hidden Treasure – God’s own special people
b. Field – World
c. Man (who found the treasure) – Jesus Christ

Same with the parable of the Great Value, both parables emphasized a reaction
or response made by the man who found the hidden treasure/pearl. The response of
that man who found the hidden treasure is he gives and sells that he has and buys
that field (ESV). In the next parable, the response is he went and sold all that he had
and bought it. These parables would like to teach a simple lesson. Jesus has
exemplified to us what to do. We need to put a great weight, importance, value and
meaning to the treasure that we have found in him. It has a cost. Why is there a cost
associated with following Jesus? Why do we need to do the same? Why do we need
to sacrifice our possessions or everything that we possess? May it be our
relationship, family, job, dream, even our lives… it is because of what Jesus did on
the cross. It is by His grace. We are very familiar with the teaching of grace.
However, there are two perspective about this grace.

III. The Cheap and Costly Grace (from the book of Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Costly means – expensive, dear, high-cost, high priced, extravagant. The opposite
is Cheap, anything low in price; worth more than its cost2.
The biblical basis of the costly grace is found in Luke 14:26, if anyone comes to
me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters ---
yes even their own life --- such a person cannot be my disciple.
The general rule is “You cannot be my disciples.” An exception to the rule is “if
you love Jesus more than you love your Father and Mother.” The supporting verse
is also found in Luke 14:33, in the same way, any of you who does not give up
everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Why do we need give up even our own family or even our own lives? It is
because Jesus has paid the price. He calls us to put value on His Kingdom. The worth
of Kingdom invites us to trade everything we own to possess it.

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Oxford Dictionary

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If we do not respond in this call, we take for granted the so-called costly grace.
It is said that if we bestow grace only on ourselves, this grace is called cheap. It is
CHEAP if it amounts to justification of sin without repentance, if we preach
forgiveness without repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion
without confession, without discipleship, without cross, without Jesus living and
incarnate.
It is costly grace if it calls us to follow Christ. It costs a man his life. It gives
a man the ONLY True Life. It condemns sin. It justifies the sinner. It costs God the
Life of his Son.
Again, as a reminder, we need to respond to the call of God with costly grace
because we were bought at a price. What has cost God much cannot be cheap for
us3.
IV. FOLLOWING: The Kinds of Response – Standard of Christian
Obedience
As a Christian, it is important to set a standard whether we are responding to
the call of discipleship according to His will. We have to set a maximum and
minimum parameter so we know how to follow the standard Christian obedience.
It is minimum if we are just becoming an ordinary Christian, Christianity
without living Christ, Christianity without discipleship and having the salvation
story as a Christian myth.
It is maximum faith formation when discipleship brings you to the fellowship
with Jesus; When we respond to the call of God; When through our lives,
impossible things happen because of our faith.
Assess. Evaluate. Reflect. Do we respond according to the call of God based
on costly grace? Or Cheap grace? If we are in the minimum kind of obedience,
how can we improve it. There are two propositions/facts that we have to deal with
about obedience. It is said, “Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who
is obedient believes.4” Faith comes first before obedience. Faith is only real when
there is obedience. Faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience. For instance,
your child obeys you because he believes on your authority and character as a
parent. The child knows you have this kind of authority over him.
Can it be “Obey first then believe.” No, it cannot be vice versa. Obedience is
consequence of faith. It should be natural to us, human to believe and obey. This

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Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
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Ibid

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might be the real ISSUE of our disobedience, perhaps we lack faith or worst, we
DO NOT HAVE FAITH. Because if we believe, we must take the First step… to
OBEY.

V. SHARING: THE CHRISTIAN MANDATE IN OUR MILLENIAL


WORLD (Transforming The World, One Person At A Time)
Millennial5 – who are they? It is easy to typecast millennials as self-entitled narcissists whose
only goal in life is to take the perfect flat lay for Instagram. But that’s only one side of the story. We are
also the generation most vulnerable to the precarity of the gig economy and displacement from
environmental destruction, savage globalisation, and violent conflict.

analytical value of the term 'millennial,' the different ways in which we experience the
digital, and the importance of deliberation across generations

New Tools in Faith Formation


When we speak of tools, we speak of non-living things--- it can have a life if
that thing was used to give life, it could have a value, it if became beneficial to
your neighbor. New tools may be in the form of social media. It is considered as
having an amoral value ---- it has no moral value per se but the moral values
belong to the person who uses it.
Allow me to use Kuya Mighty Rasing’s material. We are allowed to use the
social media as new tools in faith formation; however, we have a responsibility
to know how to use this with sanctity and costly grace. It has to be safe and
sanctified.
This material emphasized that we are becoming a Distracted Generation6.
(Examples: Because of myriads applications (facebook, twitter, viber, whatsapp)
we miss the value of face-to-face communication.)

Our generation is facing:

1. self-esteem issues.
2. Cyber-bullying, undue comparison with friends
3. Lacking critical and analytical skills – example: assignment/research work
is being done instantly. (copy paste skill)
4. Mental and spiritual pollution.

Facts:

1 in every 100 Pinoy youth has recorded himself/herself having sex

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https://www.facebook.com/fearlessmotivationofficial/videos/732114443801770/?t=5
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Mighty C. Rasing, Safe and Sanctified, Purity and Social Media

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4 in every 100 Pinoy youth had sex with someone they met online or via text
6 in 100 Pinoy youth engagedin phone sex
1 in every 4 Filipino youth has sent or received sex videos through cellphone
or the Internet
1 in 3 Pinoy Youth has engaged in Pre-Marital Sex7

What is the danger if we do not pay attention on this issue? Ms. Maria
Marquez, University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) said, “Increasing
prevalence of premarital sex may mean greater acceptance of behavior among our
youth than in the past.” Another thing, our generation is being deceived of losing its
true worth or identity. As Hilary Duff said, it's hard to stay true to yourself and what
you want in life when there are so many distractions and so much craziness going
on around you.

Lastly, “Technology, particularly New Media,is a great SLAVE, but a terrible


MASTER.8” The challenge is if we use these tools without knowledge, guidance from
the Lord, we could become a form of DESTRUCTION in this world. That is why
we have the responsibility to TEST the 'digital' spirits. We need to be guided by the
Word of God.

VI. LEADING: CHOOSING/PRIZING/VALUING

The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea and gathered fish of
every kind… when it was full, men drew ashore, sat down and sorted the good into
containers but threw away the bad.
What is the lesson we can take from this parable. We are being challenged to
have that attitude of PRIZING, CHOOSING AND VALUING the important one.
We have to choose which among these things have VALUE because the Kingdom
of heaven should only be filled with those important ones, those which are valuables,
which are worth keeping.
Lastly, Jesus asks, "Have you understood all this?" His disciples respond with
'Yes' and so Jesus says: "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the

7Young Adult Fertility Survey (YAFS) 2014 by the UP Population Institute (UPPI) & the Demographic Research
and Development Foundation, Inc.http://www.drdf.org.ph/
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Mighty C. Rasing

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kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure
what is new and what is old." (Matthew 13:52).

We are being compared to the master of a household. This master of a


household is being compared to a scribe who is trained in the word of God, the
"treasure" would be knowledge and understanding of God's kingdom. Jesus wants
to emphasize that we should be leaners, students, and disciples who study and know
the word of God. We are rich with knowledge and understanding of God's kingdom.
This understanding is valuable and essential for salvation.

The following activities are examples of present tools in our times. We can
still develop new tools without ignoring the traditional ones.

Traditional Tools New Tools


(tools which are proven, tried and (safe and sanctified)
tested)
Bible Study /Extension classes/ Mission Good news in digital form
Sunday school Preaching - mainstreaming
(youtube/FB live)
Sunday Service Skypleship (discipleship thru video
calls)

Conclusion:
How do we respond to the call of Jesus. Are we willing to give up our own
lives to follow His example? Are we willing to develop/improve our means in order
to win souls? Do we have that attitude of PRIZING, CHOOSING and VALUING in
using new tools in faith formation?
Let us reflect, what is that controlling your life making it hard for you to
Prioritize God? Reflect further, what do you want to do? Really want to do? And
really really want to do in your life?
Prayer: Lord, araw-araw po kaming sibusubok at hinahamon ng mundo.
Tinitignan kami ng sanlibutang ito kung kami ay may matibay ng pananampalatay.
Tulungan mo po kaming palaging ikaw lamang ang piliin at tunay na pahalagahan
sa aming buhay. Tulungan nyo po kaming sumunod at maglingkod. Salamat po muli
sa inyong pagtitiwala. Amen.

“The Faith that has not been tried, proven nor tested cannot be trusted.”
-Dss. Monica

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To God be the Glory!

Sources:
Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Mighty C. Rasing “Safe and Sanctified”
ministry website: http://PinoyYouth.org
Podcast: http://PinoyYuppie.com/theHappyYuppie

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