In the movie, Nacho Libre, there is a sub-plot that parallels life and scripture almost perfectly. This sub-plot helps us with a core part of Christianity. We will call it:
4 Parts of Connecting Others with God
Nacho and Esqueleto become friends and wrestling partners. Nacho is a friar. Esqueleto is…well we aren’t sure what he is.Their relationship takes a very unexpected turn during their first wrestling match.
Nacho: You take the stallion, I’ll take the pony.
Esqueleto: I can’t wrestle him.
Nacho: But you’re tall and fast like a gazelle, you can do it. Pray to the Lord for strength.
Esqueleto: I don’t believe in God. I believe in Science.
Nacho is Shocked that his partner is not a believer in the Lord.
Nacho is shocked and saddened. This gives us point #1:
1. We Discover that Others are Far from God
This is the first step. The realization and the responsibility of ‘the Lost’.
We see the destruction of loved one’s lives around us. Their lives often frustrate us. We are often disgusted with our friends, neighbors, co-workers. How could you? Why did you? Why don’t you?
It seems so obvious where others go wrong. From our outside perspective, we can often give advice or prescribe a solution for them. When we see their mess and their pain, this is a God-given red-flag. This is a system given to us by God, not to judge or condemn or EVEN give advice.
What we are seeing is their distance from God. Instead of their lifestyle making you frustrated or mad or calloused to ambivalence, we should feel a burden for their separation from God.
Romans 9:2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.
Probably what ever thing or sin that makes you the most frustrated or upset is the area of people that God is calling you to reach out to.
After feeling the burden of the lost,
2. We Participate in Their Relationship with God.
One day while preparing for a match:
Nacho: I’m a little bit concerned about your salvation and stuff. Why have you not been baptized?
Esqueleto: Because I never got around to it, Ok?!
We participate with others’ relationship with God, Just as Jesus participated in our relationship with God
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…
So we are commanded to participate in others’ relationship with God:
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
The movie shows an accurate picture of life:
3. We Often Stumble and get Anxious in the Process.
Nacho stumbles with his humanity. He is frustrated and gets anxious with the process.
Nacho: I’m not listening to you! You only believe in Science. That’s probably why we never win! The kids have no food because of you!
Esqueleto: I’m sick of hearing about your stupid orphans.
Nacho: What did you say?
Esqueleto: I hate orphans
Nacho: Say it again to my face
Esqueleto: I hate dem
Nacho: Come again
Esqueleto: I hate all de orphans in the whole worl!!
In the midst of living life with others, we screw things up. We often expect those who have no relationship with God to somehow live like they do.
We often don’t say enough or when we do talk, we show the wrong attitude. Our sin shows up.
What do we do in that instance? Get up, dust off, refocus on God and continue your pursuit of God. Demonstrate your dependence on God.
This leads us to our final point:
4. We Tell a Story and Reflect the Light. God Saves.
Nacho’s life, his example, his testimony in the natural rhythm of life influences Esquelto.
Acts 1:8 …You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…
In spite of our sin, God uses our story to bring His truth and power to others. Jesus Christ reveals Himself in our weakness! He is made present or appears to everyone when we suffer weakness and then overcome. This tenderizes the heart of those around us.
In the movie, God changes Esquelto’s heart. We see a conversion.
- FIRST, shows up in his practical life.
Nacho: I have given up wrestling.
Esqueleto: Nacho, you are great fighter. You’ve got something none of these guys have. (heart). And the childrens need a real hero.
Nacho: I thought you hated all the orphans in the whole world.
Esqueleto: Not anymore. I like them. And they need you Nacho.
- SECOND, it shows up in his religious life.
When Nacho is facing Ramses, in the final match, it is Esquelto that leads the prayer.
Esquelto: Maybe we should pray.
Write the names of three people who you know need an encounter with Jesus. We are going to pray for them.
Some of you are a name on someone’s list. You are ready to commit your life to Jesus today! Let’s pray right now about that!
When you want to participate in someone’s relationship with Jesus Christ, a powerful tool that you have in your toolbox is inviting people to PromiseLand San Marcos.
This is something we talk about in 101 (first Sunday of every month).
We specifically design our worship services to reach the lost. We want you to have a place where you can worship God intimately yourself, but you can also be confident to invite friends and know that they will have a place to meet God themselves.
Sorry folks, this week’s notes are not as thorough as usual. There was a lot more in the sermon than represented here. Listen to the podcast for more info. They are posted Tuesdays on iTunes “PromiseLand” or go to our direct podcast site.
Gospel Message/Flesh and Spirit Living
Romans 8:3 …So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace… 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
In this series, we want to teach and preach about what happens when your life is FILLED with the Spirit and you are LED by the Spirit.
Here is a divine dichotomy: You can live in the Flesh or the Spirit. A brutal way to live is to try and live in BOTH the flesh and the Spirit. Remember last week we discussed that it is completely acceptable to be led by the Spirit and also work hard and plan things out. Working and planning things is not ‘living in the flesh’.
The difference in living in the flesh and living in the Spirit can be better described as living for the flesh or living for the Spirit.