Sun, 4 October 2020
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strouma Baptist Church
All right. Well, good morning. So glad that you're here, get to see you today. You like you’re in a bit of a better mood than you were last week, so I'm glad to see that. So, I went last, I went yesterday to a little football gathering they did in Tuscaloosa and so on my way back. And by the way, it was weird. I don't know if any of you, you went to the game here last week, but being in a stadium with 25% full it's just odd that it was very relaxing. And of course, we knew it will be at the trash that it takes any of them. So that meant it even better.
And, but all the way home a will. And the other thing made it yesterday, great day is that the Georgia be in the trash out of Auburn because anytime Auburn loses that a really a great day, but the whole way home, I was praying for you because I was really praying for myself. Cause I thought If LSU loses to Vandy, but these people ain't come to church tomorrow in the ones that dear are going to be ready to kill me. So I'm really thankful for that. We got through that and it was a really good day for all of us. And we will live to tell more stories next week. But anyway, if you have your Bibles turned to first, John chapter three first John chapter three, and I am really, I was having a hard time during worship this morning, which was phenomenal by the way, because everything that we sang about is an aspect of what we're going to talk about this morning.
Because what I want us to think about this morning is about family, because that's what John describes in the book of a first John chapter three is this idea of us being a part of the family of God. So this on the screen is my family. That's us. All right? And so there's actually two more. There's six kids altogether, the older two or 27 and 23, I think met something like that anyway. And I'm not sure what their age is our own. We might, there are much older and they're out of the house. We don't have any pictures with all eight of us together, which is kind of weird.
But when the oldest is 27 and the youngest is five, it was just hard to get everybody in the same place, the same time to wait. But this was my family right now. And so when I looked at this picture, there's a lots of different things I think about. Alright, I think about these or the people that are probably arguing with the most, that you probably, that your family's proud at the same way, these or the people that are, that keep me up at night. And that wakes me up earlier in the morning. These are the ones that, that really, if I'm really going to just be completely transparent with you, these people are expensive. I mean, all of these folks, they are extremely in.
There are lots of days, but this group of people right here that they drive me insane. Now, if they were up here, they could tell you a whole lot worse things about that, about me and then about them. But the reality is that anytime you have a family, there are issues. But at the end of the day, this group of people, man, I dye for them. I love them. This is not care about all of you, but these are my people, right? That these are the, is this is my people.
And there's nothing in the world as a father that I would not do for my children. There is nothing in the world as a husband that I would not do from my wife. This is my family. And when you are a part of my family, you are going to have the best of whatever I can provide for you because that's how much I love you. Now. I would say that as I look at my family, that it is a privilege for me to be a part of the family that God has allowed me to be a part of growing up.
I hope that my family will say the same thing about the family that Wendy and I have created for them. But one thing I know for sure, the way that your family looks like mine are whether your story has like mine are whether you have a good memories or bad memories about your family growing up. There's one thing that all of us have in common. And that is, is that we have been invited to be a part of a family that's far greater than what any of us could ever, ever, ever deserve.
We have the opportunity to be called Children of God Right? Just let that soak in for a minute today. Right? You said that the truth of that, but before we ever just read the, the word I want you to just allow the truth of just that reality that you have the opportunity and notice I said opportunity, I'm going to explain what I mean by that in just a moment, because just because you’re on this earth doesn't mean you're automatically a child of God, but you have the opportunity to be a child of the King, a child of the one who created this world, a child of the one who holds all power and his hands, a child at the one that there is absolutely nothing that is beyond his control.
There's absolutely nothing that is beyond his ability. There's absolutely nothing that he can't afford, or there's nothing that he can do that, that same God looks at you in a way that's even greater than the way that I look at my own children. You have the opportunity be a child of God. So as we read this passage, it's more in first John chapter three. I want you to think about what that means and just the power of that, because it may have some of it.
You may have come in this room today and you may feel defeated by life. You may be disappointed by the people around you, the ones that are supposed to love you are the ones that have mistreated you. And you may just feel like you're all alone, but I want you to know this morning. You are not alone because that good, good Father that we sing about a few moments ago. His not just for the religious and for the people that have got all the answers and done everything, right? It is for you. Those that are down and low and owl to those that are made a huge mistake with your life.
It doesn't matter who you are and what you've done. You have a father that loves you. There was no way we are going to finish this in 30 minutes today. And you ever go to try it right? First John chapter three, I have no idea why. I think the music has wound me up this morning, Doug. I don't know where the rest of those people went, but I'm just anybody. So here we go on to try to get through this because we got another service that's coming behind this. All right. And I, and I want y'all to come back next week. So first John chapter three,
Look at verse one. Right? See what kind of love the father has given to us that we should be called in there. It is. Children of God. And so we are, I love that phrase. I, in fact, if you have a Bible and you're not scared to right in it, just underline that phrase. And so we are, Ooh. The reason that we are is because God said we were, then it is, it just is. So, I mean, it's just, it's just the way that it is. It's amazing to me sometimes how we just go right past it.
A little simple phrase is in God's word, that's a powerful, powerful phrase. We should be called children of God. So we are that. That's just who we are. Just a matter of fact, the reason why the world does not know us is that it didn't know him. The reason why the world doesn't understand us, and they can wrap their minds around who we are. And what we do is because they don't know the Father because they're not a part of our family. You've ever had someone that was maybe scared to death too, to come to us to one of your family events.
I mean, my family's crazy, right? I remember the first time that Wendy came to my house for Thanksgiving, her family is very quiet in the very reserved and so that my family is not all right. If you have thin skin and don't come to my house, all right, is loud. It is obnoxious. And there are people that are making fun of you nonstop the whole time that you're there. It's just family. That's that. And so when she came to our house, the first time, I didn't think she was ever going to come back because I mean, it is just a different, different environment, but the reason she didn't understand, because he wasn't part of our family.
She didn't know us. And so when the world looks you that like, you're crazy for some of the things that you believe or some are the ways that you respond or, or the ways that you establish your priorities is not because there was anything wrong with you is just because they don't know the father. And as some of you, you’re thinking you're at verse one, right? All right, we haven't got to anything yet. All right, verse two, here we go. Beloved we are God's children now. And what we will be has not yet appeared. So the best as you have to come, but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see the him as he is.
And that's going to be an incredible, incredible day. The first three and everyone who thus Hope's in him, purifies himself as he is pure. Everyone who makes up a practice of sinning also practiced lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. You know, that he appeared in order to take away sins. And he's going to tell us another reason he appeared in just a few moments, but that that's a very important point. That the reason he appeared talking about the reason that Jesus came is to take away those sins, because God desires for you to be part of this family.
But what separates you from the, the, the ability on your own to be a part of God's family is that sin is lawlessness. It separates all of us from God. And so, Jesus came. He appeared in order to take away those sins in him talking to that, Jesus, there is no sin. So no one who abides remember that word from last week, we talked about what it means to a boss to allow the word of God, to be at home in us and to allow us to be able to rest in his authority. So the one who abides in him keeps Nope, no one who abides in him keeps on sending no one who keeps on going.
He has he ever seen him or know him known him little Children let me see. No one deceive you Whoever practices. Righteousness is righteous as he is righteous. So that, that's how you know, someone's righteous. Is there a practicing rights? That's the reason why they do that Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil for the devil has been sending from the beginning of the region. The son of God appeared we hear is that another phrase, right? The reason the son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
All the things that keep you from God that's the reason why Jesus came was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning for God's seed abides in him. We're going to come back to that in a few months and he cannot keep on sending because he has been born of God. Now think about the story and the gospel of John, where Nicodemus comes to Jesus, right in Jesus makes that statement to him is a, it's not about being a good person, not about to doing all of the, the things in the law, but in order for you to enter the kingdom of heaven, you must be born again in nicotine.
He has looked at him like he was crazy, you know, and if we would not have been people that he grew up in Church we would of looked at him like he was crazy as well, because I am I supposed to go back into my mother's womb again. But what is Jesus talking about? And that's a net to a conversation he's talking about being a part of the family, that when you are born, you are born into a family. And in order to be a part of the family of God, you must be born again. There's something that must happen in you and through you in order for you to be a part of God's family.
So no one's born of God is going to continue to it. Sin verse 10, by this, it does evidence who our, the children of God and who are the children of the devil, whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God nor is the one who does not love his brother. Now that I know a couple things before I just to point out for or five things that we find in this passage. First of all, we see some things that we've already seen as we've been reading the first two chapters of first John and John, repeat some things over and over and over again in this short book in oftentimes when things are repeated over and over again, we just begin to glossy.
I heard that yet. I heard that, but there's a reason why he keeps repeating them. And the reason he keeps repeating them, this is because you need to know them. And because he knows it, if we're not careful, we're not going to pay attention to them. And so he is emphasizing some specific things about what it looks like to be a child, God, but he comes back in chapter three and he tries to wrap our minds around how we become a part of the family of God. And then what it looks like, how we know for sure, there's some assurance that there's some of the things that he shows is in here, that we need to make sure that we can wrap our hearts in my, in Japan, the, the, the first thing I want you to see as he walked through this this morning is that God chose us to be its Children God chose you to be his child.
The Bible says that you didn't love of God first, but that God first loved. You are going to look at that in just a few weeks is the idea that the God came after you, then God is pursuing you. And whether or not you have a big already begun in a relationship with him, or whether or not you've been running from him then in either situation God is pursuing you if your here today, and you've been trying to get to God on your own. You're never going to get to God on your own. You're never going to be good enough, but I want you to know that God's done all that is necessary.
He is pursuing you because he loves you. And just like we see in the story of the prodigal son, that when the sun ran off and began to do his own thing in his own way, that we see that the Father was not busying himself doing something else, but the Father was awaiting his return because the Father has chosen that he desires for you to be a part of his family. I showed you a picture earlier of my entire family.
There there's two of my kids. I want to put back on the screen. If you notice, you know, Harper never just stands and just takes the picture she has to post for everything that she does. I think that we didn't ask her to do that right there. I, that that was, I was, Hey, listen. That's just who she is. Anyway, Harper and Mason are not, we're not born in terms of biologically into our family. There are both adopted, and their stories are just, I don't have time to go into them today, but it's just amazing.
The things that God has allowed us to be able to provide for them, that just the chaos that they would have grown up in, which has been absolutely just, it has been destructive. And so we think a lot about how we're going to have those conversations as they get older. And they already both know that they were adopted, and we make it just a normal part of the conversation. We don't ever want them to be surprised. But the biggest thing that we emphasize with them is that before we ever met you, before you ever knew we were, we chose you.
We chose you to be a part of our family. And we love you the same way that we love Taylor in HANA, who our children, biologically, we chose you to be a part of us. And what our prayer is that they see that their, that they don't see themselves as different as they grow up, but they see themselves as valued. They see themselves as understanding and knowing that we love them with all of our heart. And we were willing to sacrifice financially.
We were willing to sacrifice in terms of just comfort. And we were willing to sacrifice the fact that we're old and we shouldn't have kids as young. We are willing to sacrifice all of those things, but because we love them, we chose for them to be a part of us. Amen. Thank you.
You got the reality that God looked down from heaven. And when he desired more than anything else, he was for you to be his adopted son or daughter. He designed for you to be a part of his family. And listen, if you don't hear anything else, I say today, would you walk away with the understanding that regardless of what else is happening in your life, God, you, he chose you to be a part of his family.
Now, let me go back and read it right now. But verse one is the reference for you to go back and see how that,
That sets that up. The second thing I want you to see as this is the God removed every obstacle to becoming His children, vs member. I told you that he said there was two reasons that he came, and he came a, so that we wouldn't have to keep on sinning. He, he, he came to be the sacrifice for our sins, but then we also see the, ah, the idea or the mindset that he came to destroy the works of the devil. And that is, is that no matter how strong a sin may be in your life, I want you to know that God is stronger. And he came to remove that chain from you.
He came to remove that power from your life. He came to give you what you can never give for yourself. He removed all the berries because you see the, ah, the, the barrier of between you and God is sin. And what I want you to understand this a, this morning is that we have this mind set within our culture. Will of God is a loving God. Then why would God ever send anyone to hell? And I want you to understand God does the same. In any one day, God removed every obstacle. He removed every barrier.
And if you choose to reject him, you are choosing to ignore all of the things that God has provided. He has made a way so that no matter who we are, no matter what we've done, no matter what we've been through, no matter what, a mess we've made of circumstances or relationships or parts of our life, that God looked down, he came to this earth, Jesus, as God in the flesh.
And he removed every obstacle. You see it because when he died on the cross, when he, his, we looked out a couple of weeks ago when he became the propitiation for our sin, he took our place and he gave us access to God. So, here's the, the, the point of that, the point of that is this is that we serve a loving God. Who's who made a way in, in God's desire is not that anyone should perish that anyone should spend eternity without him.
God loves you. And God wants to be your father, Right? But you're not automatically a child of God, just because you were born. Because as he told Nicodemus, you must be born again. What does that mean? It means is John three 16 says that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. The word believe we talked about it before. I, it means to put you're a whole way to pause, to say, God I put my life until your hands. And I want you to understand this. If you've never come to a place in your life where you say God, I know that I'm a sinner.
I know that I've made mistakes in my life. God, I ask you based on the sacrifice of Jesus to forgive me and my sins. And God I give you my life. Listen to me. If you've never done that, then you're not a child of God. That's the harsh truth. But the good news, the opposite of that is this is that for all of you who have done that. And for all of you, that desire to do that, that God will not reject you. That if you just say, God, I give you my life, he will not do anything except receive you as his sons and daughters, because that's the good, good Father that we sing about a few moments ago.
He's removed all the obstacles, but you need to understand it's not, it's not automatic. Number three, when we become Children of God, God changes our want to, I tried to find some, you know, a, a very intellectual way to say that this week. And I just couldn't even do that because that's what God does. When he talks through this chapter about the idea that when you are a board of God, you don't keep on sinning.
And then he said, now, listen, don't get me wrong. He doesn't say you don't sin because all of us that we have fallen short, or the glory of God, I'll all of us have a sinful nature. And there is a spiritual battle that has always taken place, but we can't use that as an excuse just to keep on sinning. Because when you are born of God, when the spirit of God, he uses the word that when his seed or when the spirit comes to live inside of you than what begins to happen is, is that your desire is to please the father.
Now, you always do that. No do I always do that? No, but there is a conviction of the Holy spirit. There is a pursuit of the spirit after me that will not ever allow me to be comfortable living in sin because he changes you want to. My mom is one of the greatest human beings that I think has ever lived on the face of this earth.
And my mom has always been my greatest encourager. My mom has always been my greatest supporter. I mean, ever since I was a kid, I listen. If you saw pictures of me when I was a kid, you know, when they say this a face only a mom can love that. That was me. All right. I'm the reason why they made that phrase. All right. But my mom has always thought that I was great. I mean, she, a sometimes I don't anyway, my mom's just who she is in the, you know, there's been times I've been this disappointed her. There's been times that I disobeyed her.
There have been times that I've been rebellious, and I've done things. And I know that she doesn't want me to do. And listen, I'm not saying that I've been a perfect child because God knows that I have it, but I always, always, always feel horrible about anything that I do. That's not what she wants me to do. You know why? Because she's my mom, because he is my biggest supporter. And so, I want to make her happy. I want to please her. And for you, if you are truly a child of God, the spirit of God comes to take a resonance in you.
If it changes you want to. And so if you are living just a pattern are a way where sin. It's no big deal too. You and were you enjoy it. And you never feel any remorse. You never feel any conviction. Then what you need to evaluate. And I'm not trying to scare you or guilt. You I'm just want you to understand what the word teaches us is that you need to examine or evaluate whether or not you're really are a child of God. Because when the spirit of God comes to take residence inside of you, it changes your one two.
Now on the flip side of that, some of you are Children of God and you are running is far in as fast as he possibly can. That's the reason why you’re so miserable, then no matter what you get, no matter what you do, no matter what happens, it just never seems to be enough. And the reason is, is because you are running from the one thing that will bring you the joy and peace and satisfaction that you desire. He changes our warranty. Number four is this is it God's children are a reflection of their father or the, the, the phrase.
And there in verse six, seven, it talks about the righteous and the sending. And this says that the one who practiced the righteousness, that's the one who is righteous, that they don't become righteous because they practice righteousness because outside of Jesus Christ, there is no righteousness in any of us. But the reason that we practice writes this, this is because that's what we are because of who we are or because of who's. We are right, because we are children of God.
And so we become a reflection of our own Father You know, that all the phrase is you hear about family, his, you know, the Apple didn't fall far from the tree, and it was a chip off the old blog. You know, just the phrase is that we, that we say are all, because you can see parents in children, you ever find yourself. And some of you that are younger than me, the older you get you’ll; you'll find yourself as your kids get older a that you become your parents. Now you've seen the commercials on TV about where you become your parents.
That, that that's what we do, right? Because we find ourselves, we've been by them. And so what John is saying is, is, Oh, what the world needs to see his children of God that, or a reflection of their Father. This is one of the greatest witnesses that we have is that as we begin to practice a righteousness, as we begin to understand that the spirit God is in inside of us there, or something that begins to change in a way that is so unbelievably powerful and this, because we just become a reflection of who he is.
It, you ever had a relationship with someone that you just knew. They walked with Jesus. He just knew there. And it wasn't because they were a, a, a, a, an arrogant about that. And it wasn't because they were, you know, a super spiritual in the sense that very religious, it was just evident by the way they conducted themselves. It was evident by the conversations that they had. It was evident by their priorities. It was the evident, by the way, they respond that in tough situations, it was evident because you just knew that person walks with God.
Those individuals are a reflection of their father. And, and here's the question I asked myself this week in, because I had to deal with it will make you deal with it too. Right? So here's the question. I asked myself all week long. Does it, when, when people see me, I don't mean here on Sunday morning. I mean, there, this is the, this is too easy, right? But I mean, during the week does this, this is my family, Right?
The people that I work with when they see me as there, anything about me that reflects Jesus, did you do, do they know that I've spent time with Jesus, by the way that I respond to difficult situations, but by our conversation's in the things that are important to me, do people know that I'm a child of the King? Because the reality is that if I'm, if God's changing my want to see if I've given my life to him and I'm doing everything, I can not to run from him, but to run to him, then my lives should be a reflection of who he is.
That was so interesting in this passage, did he, he begins by encouraging us and God chose you. And he shows his what Jesus did that, man, Jesus has done all the work. He's done. Everything is needed to be done. And then he gets a little, you know, a little too close to home to me. And he gets up, you know, in our business, write with the idea of man, look at your life. And are you sending, or are you being righteous? And whose child really are you, but then he ends with reminding us once again, of the goodness of being a part of the family of God, because he shows us that God's home is our home.
Is our home in verse two. He talks about the fact that he's going to return again. Right. But that is going to come back. And as he comes back, that we're going to see him as he is. We are going to have the privilege of being with him and that all the things that we've been anticipating, all the things that we've been enduring, but that all of those things are going to come to fruition. And we're going to find that is far greater as we talked about at the end of last week.
So, it is far greater than anything that we could ever imagine, Right?
This past We Wendy and I got away for a, just a few days, just the two of us with no kids, praise God for that. Right. I mean, I love my kids, right. They're my people but is great to be away from them. And it really, it really, really is. All right. I listen to any of you that are not married, and you got your own kids. The best thing that you can do is drop them off at grandma's house and go away for a couple of days. Now, I know you think you're the greatest mam in the world, but I promise you, they raised other kids. They can handle your kids.
All right. It, it is absolutely a, it is life giving. I don't think if Wendy and I wouldn't of practice, that we probably wouldn't ever made it. All right. But just so we got away for a couple days. And one, the days we were sitting down by the pool, you know, doing a lot of a real hard work, basically nothing. That's what we did all day long it's. So, we're sitting around by the pool now. And we were just reflecting all what we talked about last week. So just reflecting on what heaven we'll be like, just reflecting on what God is preparing for us.
And I know we talked about this last week, but I want you to come back and think about this again, this way is in this passage adverse to, as he talks about, listen to everything that we are doing is anticipation for something that God is preparing this far greater than what we could ever possibly imagine, that we're going to see him. And God says, Hey, there are times in life when you just got to hang on it. And there are times in life that you just, you just got to get through, but know is on the other side, it has, the Bible describes our life.
Our life has a vapor. That is just a twinkling of an eye. When this life is over that we're going to be together. You're going to see me face to face in this, going to be far greater, far more amazing than anything this world has to offer. You know, those days before you go on vacation, you know, usually the, the, the last few of them, they're usually a kind of crazy, right? I mean, you're running around trying to get things done and it, you want to get everything in place and you probably work harder than you do any other time, because you just want to be able to it when it's over.
You want to be able to just enjoy it. But there's something about the anticipation of that. That just drives you, right? There's something about the anticipation that has to come. Then it makes the long days in all the work you did; it makes it worth it. Because, you know, if I can just get through this, I'm going to be able to receive this. That's exactly what John is describing to the church that, Hey, there's going to be some of those days. There's going to be some of those times when you're going to have to work harder and you’re going to have to be more disciplined and you’re going to have to endure things that you don't want to enter in it.
But if you could just hang on what God has for you just around the corner is so much greater than all the other stuff that this world has to offer so that I don't know about you. But when I read that section, just those 10 verses, I just be honest with you. I struggle putting together an outline for this passage, because it just seems like it’s all over the place this week on Friday, it's like, God just made it just very clear as I was just reading through it again.
And basically, what he says is that this is a picture of what it looks like to be a child of God. You are loved deeply and immensely. You are loved by your father. More than you are loved by anyone on the face of the earth. But because he loves you, he has turned out of the everything that you need, but he also has provided expectations for you because he desires for you to see things and beat things that you don't understand at this point.
But if you will trust him and if you will follow him, what a waste for you on the other side and even what a waste for you tomorrow as far greater, far more amazing because when he is preparing for You is the best. And when you have no limit of resources, when you have no limit of ability and you're providing your children the best, that's pretty good.
So, you and I need to trust him. If you don't know him, you need to surrender your life to him. You need to today become a child of God. And then we need to listen to him. We need to follow him. We need to stop running away from him and start running to him. And no matter what we face today, whether the good, the bad or the ugly, we know that God is in control. And we know that God has a plan.
And because he is our Father, we can trust him. Amen. Amen. Let's together today, Therefore I pray for us. Take just a moment just with your heads bowed and your eyes closed, and you make application. What does God is saying to you today in what do you need to do in response to his word?
We thank you that we can be called your Children Lord. I pray for anyone. This room is still wrestling with whether not they really know U whether or not they're truly a child of God. I pray that this morning they will just surrender to you. Trust you, trust what your word says, and they'll place their life into your hands. I pray for those this morning that are running. There are a lot of the prodigal son and they're going all kinds of different directions.
They're trying to do everything they can to satisfy their own needs and the desires of their hearts. I pray you and show them how to empty. That is a pray that you will continue to pursue them. I pray they will surrender it to you today. Come back to you as their father. God, I pray for all of us today that we will walk out of this place with our heads, held high with a confidence in our hearts, knowing that you love us, that you are good.
Thank you, Jesus, for being everything that we need and this in Jesus' name that I pray. Amen. Amen. Thank you for being here. If we can help you, please let us know, hope that you have a wonderful week and we'll see you next. Sunday