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 Well, good morning. So glad that you're here. If you have your Bibles turn to first John chapter four first John chapter four, and we continue our series walking through this book and just thinking about the idea of how to enjoy your faith for those of you that are parents you'll understand this, you know, there are things as a parent that we want to instill in our children. And so we, there are certain things that we say over and over and over again. Right. And for those of you that have several children, like we do, you know, when you get to the end, you're just like, you, you just tired of saying that. 

I mean, you've said that so many times over and over and over again, you know, and I think like my older kids Hannah's here today, so home from college. And so they look at us with our younger kids and they're like, you're so much easier on them than you were on us. Well, we've given up, I mean, we're just tired. We just, we just can't, we don't have nothing else in us. And so we just kind of survive. And so, especially when you have the family, like our family y'all y'all know where this is going. That number six for us as a total different ball game than the other five were. And so we're trying to instill some things in Harper and she really just doesn't want to listen. 

I mean, that, that's the bottom line. The, the other day, a couple of weeks ago now she was doing something. I don't even know what it was, but I was explaining to her that I was the boss and she was trying to explain to me that that's not the way that it is. And so I just to kind of roll my eyes at her and I said, I don't know what I'm going to do with you when you're a teenager. I think I'm going to send you to live with your sister. And she looked at me five years old. Now she's looked at me and says, well, you'll be old. And I'll be the boss. That's basically what she told me. So that's what we're dealing with. 

Right? But even in spite of that, our goal and desire is there's things that we want to invest in them. There's things that we want them to, to understand. And some of them are really big things. Some of them are, may seem small and they can't stand them. Like for instance, one of the things that Wendy and I have tried to instill in every one of our kids is to show respect for adults and just say, yes, sir, no, sir. Yes. Ma'am and no ma'am. And so after a while you get tired of when they answer a question yup. Or Nope, which I can't stand either one of those that you're yes. 

Ma'am and no you're reminding them over and over and over again. Why do we do that? We do that because there's things that we want to know that are going to help them as they grow, as they become adults, to be a part of society, to be what we would term as successful. And so just with that little example, the reason we do that is because if you can learn to show respect for people, and if you can begin to recognize authority, it changes everything about the way that you're able to succeed as an adult. 

So we say to them over and over and over and over again, knowing that eventually, hopefully we pray to Jesus that it will sink in. Right. Well, think about that as it relates to God's word and at a specifically with John that through the power of the Holy spirit, there's a couple of the messages that he gives us throughout the book of first John, over and over and over again. And if you listen to every single one of the messages that we do in this series, and there may be some times that you are thinking, well, why are you going back to that subject once again? 

Well, because that's the message. When you look at the book of first John above everything else, the one thing that he keeps coming back to over and over and over again, is this idea of love. One another, love one 

Another. And in case you thought We were going to go on to something else today, we're going right back to that subject again. But I think it's going to be a little bit of a different slant, but think about the, the, the John in all that he went through in his life there at the beginning of ministry, I've shared this with you. Before that he was known when Jesus met him as one of the sons of thunder, he was a rough guy. He was all about revenge. He was all about getting back at someone if they got you about attacking and about destroying things. And Jesus taught him through a series of relationships and examples and illustrations and sermons and talks over and over and over again to what you're supposed to do is you're just supposed 

To love one another. And at the End of John's life, as he writes this book, and as he travels around, that was his one central message over and over and over again. And so as we look at this again today, what I want you to see, don't just check out, all right, don't just check out and say, well, I understand that. And, and I know that, and you've already told us that, why are you coming back to that again? Because there's a reason if we believe that the Bible is in the inspired Word of God, then we need To stop trying to dance around things, or just find things to make us feel good. And then when you just study the word, allow the Holy spirit to speak to you. And what I would say to all of us today is there may be something about the same subject that we're going to talk about. Again, that God may show you in a little bit different way  That may transform who you are that may transform your relationships and just smite along the way, help you to enjoy your faith in a much different way than you ever have before. So in chapter four, he goes back to the same thing. I'm going to read the whole chapter. I encourage you to go back and read it this week. But throughout at the beginning of chapter four, all the way to the end of it, there's two basic things he talks about. He comes back to the issue of what is real and what's not real. What is Jesus? And what is the anti-Christ those that are not true followers of Jesus, those that are distracting you and leading you astray. And he goes back through us, reminding ourselves again, of what is real and what really matters. And they jumped right back into this subject of loving one another. 

And it's interesting that he uses the Trinity of throughout the chapter four, to really describe how you can, I, how you and I can love one another. And as we walked through this this morning, I want you to see these three different parts. And I want you to think of this practically, because if you were here with us two weeks ago, when we looked at the end of chapter three, it was the command to love one another. And the command is still here, but this time it's more of, here's how you do it. Here are the things. If we're really going to love the people that God has placed in our lives, if we're really going to be the people of God that reflect the love that he has for us, how is it that we're going to do that? 

And so there's three things that we're going to walk through, just a few of the verses today that will help us. And I believe the application, 

How you can truly love like Jesus. The first thing is this was That you and I must submit to the Authority of Jesus. 

We must submit, or we must surrender to the authority of Jesus. Now, what that means is, is that we recognize that he's the boss and that he is in control. If you have your Bibles open to it,  John look at verses two and three, look at what it says here. And these two verses  By this, you know, the spirit of God, once again, it's talking about the difference between Christ and the antichrist, right? This is how you know, this is the spirit of the true living. God, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and is from God. And the essence of that means that he is God, right? Anyone that confesses that Jesus is God right, continue on with that, right. Go ahead and put that back up. There. It is where to go. There it is. All right. And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. 

This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. So think about this for a minute. All right. He says that the way that you begin this idea or this mindset of loving light Jesus, is that you recognize that Jesus is the authority. And what that in essence means is is that you come to a place in our life where we are not based on our emotions, not on our experiences, not based on what we've been taught within our culture, not based on anything that anyone has ever done to us, but that we say that I choose to live my life under the authority of Jesus. 

I'm going to draw a line in the sand and I'm not going back at it. It moves away from just going off of your feelings and you make a decision that Jesus is your Lord. Now that's what you do. When you become a follower of Jesus, you say, God, I know I'm a sinner. I know that I can't get to God on my own. And so God, I ask you to forgive me of my sins and God, I placed my life into your hands. When you place your life into someone's hands, that means that they are your authority. 

And what it does is it changes everything because here's what happens in our lives. That all of us have the tendency based on culture, based on emotions, based on our experiences that we, even though we always believe in God, we can just kind of drift away, right? We just slowly begin to drift away from the things of God and the priorities of God. And we begin to rationalize and justify have justification for the things that we do in our life. 

That don't line up with the authority of Jesus. When I was a kid, I grew up in, in mobile. And so we were about an hour or a little bit over an hour from the beach from Gulf shores, which was an incredible thing. And we, we love the beats even today, but as we grew up, anytime that we would go to the beach. And, and for those of you that are familiar with Gulf shores, when you come down the, the main road that goes to, into the beach, 59, when you get to the beach road right now, there's, the hangout is right there. And there's all these buildings and all kinds of stuff. 

But when I was a kid, when you got to the end of that road, there was a huge public parking lot in for those of you that are old school like me, there was a McDonald's that was also there on the corner. I have no idea how that McDonald's inmate. Anyway, there was the McDonald's that was here on the corner and there was only one building that was right there. Now that building is still there, but you can't really see this much. Then it really stood out back then. And for those of you that grew up, like I did go on to the beach. You remember this building? It's still there. It's called the pink pony pub. All right, listen, you don't have to raise your hand. 

Cause I know many of you have been in there, but you don't want to admit it. And Church all right, but the pink pony pug, and every time that we would go to the beach that we went to park ourselves out, right by the pink pony pub. And the reason was this, you couldn't miss that building. I mean, it was an ugly, it was an ugly building. It was right there, but here's what would happen as we, as kids would get out in the water and we would begin to play in the water. You know what happens when you play in the ocean? That if you're not careful, you look up and you're like a mile away from where you started. 

So that the pink pony pub was like a reference point. You know that, Hey, don't get too far that we went with my friends, with their family. They would tell us, Hey, don't get too far down the beach. And this is your reference point. You always come back to this. You want to stay where this is so that you don't just drift slowly Away. Because when you were out There, you didn't know it, right. You just kind of out there playing and you look up and you're long a ways from where you started. That's what can happen in our relationship with Jesus. Maybe this happened to some of you that you've looked up and you know, you still love Jesus. And you know, you still want to follow him. But when you look at your life and you look at the things that you're doing in reality, you are a long ways away from where you start.  It's not because you don't love Jesus. And it's not because you don't care. It's just because you've been ruled by your emotions. You've been ruled by the culture. You've been ruled by your experiences and you just slowly drifted away.  So one of the greatest Things that we can do in order to be obedient to this loving light, Jesus is just make a decision today that we're confessing that Jesus is the Christ where we're drawing a line in the sand and saying, Jesus, you are my authority. Jesus, you are Lord. And whatever you say, I'm going to do it because I would imagine there's some of you that every week as we've discussed this issue of loving one another, there's people that have come to your mind and you are very, very resistant. You don't want to think about it. 

In fact, you're trying to block me out right now, even as I talk about it again. But the reality is is, you know, Jesus wants you to love them.  And what you Need to do is draw that line in the sand and say, Jesus, from this point forward, I'm going to do this simply because it's what you call me to do. It's not punishment. God knows you. God knows what you need.  And because of that, he asked us, he calls us to just live under that confession. You see, because walking with Jesus is more than just at some point in the past, declaring that he is Lord. It means a daily lifestyle of coming back to the place, drawing that line in the sand and say, in Jesus, you are my Number two 

Is that where to rely on the Holy spirit, we were to rely on the Holy spirit. Now this is an interesting section of scripture. And as we think about this, I want you to understand what John is trying to teach us about loving, like Jesus, about walking through this. Look at what it says in verses seven and eight verse seven says this beloved, let us love. One another for love is from God. 

And whoever loves has been born of God and knows God, anyone who does not love does not know God. And that's not new information, right? We've been, we've been saying that over and over again. But look at this last phrase and the reason that we know that we're from God, that if we do love and if we're not from God, because we don't love. If we don't love one another is simply because in these last three words in verse eight, because God is love. 

Now, If you have your Bible like a real Bible, right? Okay. And not, not one of those things on the computer, but a real Bible and you have a pen or something you ought to just underline those three words. God is love. It's who he is 
Now. I don't know about you, but growing up in church, I heard this phrase all the time and it kind of confused me because I didn't really understand how God could be something that describes something that we're supposed to do. And that may not make any sense to you. It didn't make any sense to me. I have a weird mind. I understand that. But I want you to think about that phrase for a moment. What does that mean? That God is love. It means that when you think about love, you think about God, because that's who he is. Let me say it this way. There are people in your lives right now. When you think about certain things, you automatically think about them. There are people that, that when you know, we're getting into hunting season, right? And there are certain people that love hunting. And when you think about it, you think about that person because that's just the part. That's just who they are, right? There's some of you that your routine, because you're such a fanatic LSU fan, there are people in your life. They know where you're going to be. They know what you're going to be doing. They know who else is going to be around. They even know what you're going to be eating because that's just the part that's just who you are. Think about it in terms of the things that we send. One another, you know, the, oftentimes you may see something online through social media or whatever, and it's a meme or a video or something. And it just makes you think of somebody else. And so you send it to them, right? Because it reminds you of them. It's just, it's just who they are. What that also means is you can tell what people think about you, about the stuff they send you. All right. Anyway, that's another story for another day. But the idea is, is that we do those things because we know people and that's just who they are. 

This idea that God is love just means that that's just who he is. You can't understand the true, perfect love without him. You can't give true, perfect love without him. It's impossible for us to understand really all that love means outside of who God is because he is the true definition of what love is. 

You say, what does that have to do with relying on the Holy spirit? Well, hang on with me. All right, 

Look back a few verses in verse four, look at what it says. And then I want to put these together. This is the little children you are from God. 

You have overcome them talking about those that are not of Christ. Those are, that are not of God. You overcome them. Why? Because he who is in you 

Is greater than he, who is in the world now. And the gospel of John, which is the same author, John 

Describes the Holy spirit, which is to come right. He describes it. The Holy spirit that when Jesus ascends to heaven in the Holy spirit is coming in, Jesus loves the disciples. Know he, that he has the comforter, that he is your helper, that he is your God. He is the one that will bring you into all truth and do all knowledge. It's the idea that the Holy spirit is coming. So now when the book of first John, who we see that the, the, the Holy spirit has come and the book of acts the, the, the day of Pentecost, the Holy spirit comes. 

And from that point forward, that when anyone gives their lives, they surrender to the authority of Jesus. The Bible teaches us at the Holy spirit that God himself takes residence inside of us. And so the reality is, is that the cause he takes residence inside of us. And remember that the Holy spirit is God, that that means that residing inside of every single one of us is the capacity to love as God loves not based on our own strength, but based on the strength of God, that is in the us, You and me. And so when we rely on the Holy spirit, what would you, 

And what we were doing is the reminder that greater is he, that is in you. The Church the follower of Christ greater is he, that is in you than he, that is in the world. The world says, There's some people that are impossible to love. The world says that there's some people that don't deserve for you to Love them. The world says That you ought to seek other things, and you have to worry about yourself and not be so forgiving, not be so merciful, not give grace, not be so loving. That's what the world teaches us. But the reality is is that we can love those that are difficult to love. We can love those that have hurt us. The most, the reason we can do that is because greater is he, that is in me. 
Then he, that is in the world. So you just come to a place where you just rely on the Holy spirit and listen, that sounds so cliche. And it almost sounds like a cop out, but I want you to understand what that means is that the, the Holy spirit is always working inside of you. And there are times when God calls you to do things and you don't really understand it. And you really can't wrap your mind around that. And what God wants you to do is once, once again, come back to the place you draw a line in the sand, God, I'm surrendering to your authority. 

And based on what you asked me to do, I'm just going to start being obedient. And then I'm going to rely on the Holy spirit to do the things I don't know how to do. I'm going to rely on the Holy spirit to lead me in ways that I don't know how I'm going to get there. And I'm going to rely on the Holy spirit because he is in me. And that means that love is inside of me. And that I have the capacity to love in a way that I don't even know that I do not based on my own strength, but based on Jesus, that is in me. 

And can I tell you something Then when you drift and when you start living by your experiences and your understanding of what the culture teaches you, you will live A defeated life and it is a miserable place to be. 

But when You come to a place where we draw that line in the sand, and we say, God, you are my authority. I'm going to begin to walk in obedience. God gives you a strength. God gives you wisdom. God gives you the ability far beyond what you ever thought was Possible. You know why? Because greater is he does end you than he lives in the world. Rest in that, lean on that, trust that. And then finally, today chapter 

Teaches us that were to follow the model of God. We're to follow the model of what God Has done for us. Now, Before I jump into this, let, let me, let me say this to you. There's some of you that need to hear what I'm going to say in this section, because the reality is that when you think about having a hard time loving, and when you think about people that you hate, The Person that you hate the most As yourself, And you don't feel worthy of the love that God provides for you, you don't feel worthy of even being able to do the things that God calls you to do, because you just feel so consumed with all the guilt and the shame of what you done in your own life. And so, as I talk about this last section, just real briefly today, I want you to hear this in a way, first of all, that this is how God feels about you. But then for those as followers of Jesus, this is the model that God calls us to be a part, as it relates to the other 

One, another, he, here's what he says. Look at verse 10 In. This is love. And not that we love God, but he loved us. And he sent his son to be the propitiation for our sin. Now, first of all, before I go any further, how many of you were really impressed at the guy from Alabama could say the word propitiation, all right. I can't spell it. All right. Well, this is right. The idea. There's no way I can spell it, but I want to, I want you to understand what that word means. If you've never heard that before, but before we get to that word, look at what it says there again, it says that we didn't love God, but that he first loved us. 

So the first thing within the model of God that you need to understand is this is that what we are to do is that we are to pursue love out of the character of who we are. We're to pursue love out of the character of who we are. God pursued you That long before You ever existed, God knew your sin. He knew the things you're going to be involved in, but he chose to pursue you. We see it in the story of the prodigal son, right? That God set out a way for us, for you and I to, to see a picture of his love for us, the father didn't wait for the sun to come back and to make him feel guilty of all the junk that he had done. The father was waiting for him. The father was anticipating him. 

He pursued him.  And if you're Struggling with hating yourself today, I want you to know that the God of all creation, the God that spoke the world into existence, he is pursuing you. He loves you with all of his hardens and the model that he establishes in that. And the reason that John sets that up, it's for you to not have to understand that. What would it look like if with the people that we struggled to love the most, if we just begin to pursue them, not wait on them, not fold our arms and say, well, I've done all I can do. 

We're going to see what they do hide the I can't do anymore. As opposed to having that idea, that mindset, what have you. And I just constantly pursued them the same way that God pursues us. 

You didn't first love God. He first loved you. So cool. We were to pursue love out of the character of who you are. But the second thing is, and don't miss. This is that we have to remove the barriers that you can control. What if you and I begin to pursue people in a way that says, I want to love them the way that God loves me. And then I'm going to remove every barrier that I can control. That would prevent us from having a great relationship. That's what God did. 

God pursued you. And as he pursued you, he saw your sin. And because God's holding, God's perfect. He couldn't have anything to do with that, right? So he said, man, I love them so much. And I won. I love her. I want to love them the way with everything that I have inside of me. And the only way for me to do that is I've got to find a way to remove that barrier. And so he sent Jesus as the propitiation for our sins, which means he took our place. 

He did for us. So we could not do for ourselves. He did not what he does deserve to have happen to him. But he went beyond that. Why? Because he thought more about God's desire to have a relationship with you than he did about the pain that it was going to cause him. 

That's how God feels about you. What if you and I did that for others, we pursued them. 

And as we pursue them, men, there's barriers that are there. And there's things that have caused that division. There's things that have caused that person to be one that is hard for you to love. And what if you said, God, I want you as a, as a walking obedience. And as I rely on the Holy spirit, God, I want to remove every barrier that I can control. They will cause that relationship to be more of what God desires. What if you and I began to do that now, I, I'm not living in a fairytale world. 

I'm not telling you if you do those things, the boy is going to be perfect. And it's going to be a hallmark movie at the end of the day. I'm not telling you any of those things. I mean, who we want to watch a hallmark movie anyway, but anyway, that's also another message, but I'm not telling you that. But what I am telling you is that what Scott, that's what God calls us to do. And the people may not deserve it, but neither did you, neither did I, but God did it for, 

So what are today? Those easy relationships and those difficult relationships and those people that we are living in the same house with and those people that we work with, those people that we come in contact with, what if our mindset was just simply to say, God, I'll make a decision today that I'm going to live my life. I'm going to draw a line in the sand and have the authority of Jesus. And to God as I do that, I'm going to recognize the greater is he, that is in me than he is in the world. 

And because of that, I got, I'm just going to rely on you. I don't know how I was going to turn out. I don't know what the end result is going to be, but God, I'm going to stop worrying about all of the and buds 

And got an, I am just going to walk in obedience and I'm going to trust you to do it. Only. You can do POD as it comes to people that you place in my path and that you put before my mind, you've got, I'm going to pursue those at the end, hardest to love. And I'm going to remove all of the barriers that I can. And then God, I'm going to trust you. Can't tell you something. If you and I can come to that place, it we'll begin to transform ourselves. It will. I promise you begin to transform some relationships and here's the greatness, right? That in the middle of all that, regardless of what the results are on this, this horizontal world that vertically God we'll receive, the glory in the gospel will go forth. And at the end of the day, isn't that what we're really all about it was about the gospel is about God being glorified through our lives. So let's make a commitment that we're going to love. 

Jesus. I'm going to ask you if you would just pray with me for just a moment and just with your heads bowed and your eyes closed for just a moment. I just want you to answer two simple questions. Number one, what does God's saying to you today? 

And then number two, what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do in response to what God said to you today? You take just a moment just in the quietness of this room. Just process those two questions with God. What did God say to me? 

And what am I going to do about it? 

Lord, you've heard the cries of your people all across this room and you know, their hearts. God would you begin to do what only you can do. Thank you for loving us, help us to love like Jesus. Now I'm going to ask you if you would just to stand at your feet and I'm going to read one more verse to you today, because what I would say to you is this. 

Some of you, God just sent some things to you that you're scared to death about. You're not sure how you're going to be able to do, but I want us to put this one more verse up on the screen. This is verse 18 at the same chapter. Look at what it says. There's no fear in love, but perfect love casts out. Fear for fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 

Perfect love is seen in God, right? And so today you and I, we don't need to live in fear. We don't need to live with the, the, the fear of that. We're going to be punished because we're going to mess up again. Can I tell you something you're going to mess up again, but the great news about the grace of God is that perfect. Love it, casts out all that fear, fear from the ability to let God love you. And then fear from the ability to love other people. 

Life is not perfect, but we serve a perfect God that has given us everything that we need. So let's, don't be slaves to that fear any longer let's don't allow it to keep us captive. And the confidence that we have is knowing that at the end of the day, no matter what else happens, that you are a child of God. You're a child of the key. And because he is perfect and because he loves us, we cannot lose. 

So as we sing this song and just to close out our time together, let's use this, the place for us to draw the line in the sand, to no longer be a slave, to the fear that causes us to not trust Jesus and not to love others as we should and less be the people that God's called us to be. You are a child of God. Amen. Let's stand together. 

 

Direct download: IBC_20201025.mp3
Category:John -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Istrouma en Español
Oct 25, 2020

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Octubre 25, 2020
El peligro del engaño espiritual.
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1 Juan 4:1-6
Queridos amigos, no les crean a todos los que afirman hablar de parte del Espíritu. Pónganlos a prueba para averiguar si el espíritu que tienen realmente proviene de Dios, porque hay muchos falsos profetas en el mundo. Esta es la manera en que sabremos si tienen o no el Espíritu de Dios: si una persona que afirma ser profeta reconoce que Jesucristo vino en un cuerpo humano, esa persona tiene el Espíritu de Dios; pero si alguien afirma ser profeta y no reconoce la verdad acerca de Jesús, aquella persona no es de Dios. Tal persona tiene el espíritu del Anticristo, del cual ustedes oyeron que viene al mundo, y de hecho, ya está aquí. Pero ustedes, mis queridos hijos, pertenecen a Dios. Ya lograron la victoria sobre esas personas, porque el Espíritu que vive en ustedes es más poderoso que el espíritu que vive en el mundo. Esas personas pertenecen a este mundo, por eso hablan desde el punto de vista del mundo, y el mundo les presta atención. En cambio, nosotros pertenecemos a Dios, y los que conocen a Dios nos prestan atención. Como ellos no pertenecen a Dios, no nos prestan atención. Así es como sabemos si alguien tiene el Espíritu de verdad o el espíritu de engaño.

1.    Una amonestación:
“Amados, no creáis a todo espíritu, sino probad los espíritus para ver si son De Dios..."  (4.1)

a.    No creas a todo espíritu.
b.    Probad los espíritus.

2.    Una advertencia:
“…porque han salido por el mundo muchos falsos profetas. 2 En esto pueden discernir quién tiene el Espíritu de Dios: todo profeta que reconoce que Jesucristo ha venido en cuerpo humano es de Dios; 3 todo profeta que no reconoce a Jesús no es de Dios...” (4.1c-3)

a.    Verdaderos maestros.
b.    Falsos maestros.

3.    Un acuerdo:
“Hijos míos, vosotros sois de Dios y los habéis vencido, porque mayor es el que está en vosotros que el que está en el mundo. 5 Ellos son del mundo; por eso hablan desde el punto de vista del mundo, y el mundo los escucha. 6 Nosotros somos de Dios, y todo el que conoce a Dios nos escucha; pero el que no es de Dios no nos escucha. Así distinguimos entre el Espíritu de la verdad y el espíritu del engaño.”(4.4-6)

a.    Somos hijos de Dios.
b.    Dios nos oye .

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Istrouma Baptist Church
Oct 18, 2020

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October 18 | Go Global (BR)
Welcome Back! We're glad you've joined us today for our Sunday morning worship service! For more information about Istrouma, go to istrouma.org or contact us at info@istrouma.org.  

We glorify God by making disciples of all nations.
==========

Update
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October 18, 2020
"Go Global"
Acts 13:1-4

Acts 13:1-4
Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

See how the Holy Spirit sent out missionaries

Reactive Fasting

See the strategic choice of sending Barnabas

Revelation 7:9-12
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

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Good morning. My name is Clint. If you don't recognize me. And it's probably because I've got a beard on my face and shoes on my feet, because when I was here to stay from a, I often didn't know, were either won. And so as a new attributes that people were getting used to what I'm here to serve. But when me and my, and my family were serving overseas, we have been overseas for about two years. And particularly when we miss family, we miss friends. But when we come here to Istrouma, we particularly feel very special because we equate this with seeing family. 

We love you. And I'm kind of shaken right now. I don't think from stage fright, but just because I'm so happy to be at a store, a man I've been dreaming about speaking to you and reporting to you and how you've invested in us and how that's reaching the nations. So Istrouma from the bottom of mine and my wife's heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So this morning I have got 20 minutes. Okay. So this is going to go quick as, as the third eighth in line for Noah's art. 

And it's just started to rain. We are moving this morning. Okay. To get through this. Okay. So this morning we're going to be in acts 13. So if you wanna turn in your Bibles to acts 13, we'll have it on the screen. As if you don't have a copy in while you're finding your place to act 13, kind of laid down in the context of where we're at, because we're starting about halfway through the book of acts. Okay? So by acts 13, Jesus has ascended into heaven and the Holy spirit has sent the Holy spirit has been sent to equip the church from a ministry. 

Okay. Persecution. At this point, it's increased greatly. Okay. If you've heard the name, Stephen, he was a believer that was bludgeoned to death by stones for following Jesus. Okay. Christians, they fled from this persecution and they have been scattered all throughout the region and they have been forming churches where they've gone. Okay. Antioch where were looking at this morning? This is one of those cities. Okay. We're a church has been formed and the persecuted Christians have come together to form a church. Okay. So now let's read, we'll have it on the screen. 

Acts 13, one through four. Now there we're in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers Barnabas Simeon who was called Niger Lucius of Cyrene Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch and Saul in While. They were worshiping the Lord and fasting the Holy. Spirit said Set apart for me. Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off. 

So being sent out by the Holy Spirit they went down to Seleucia and from there, they sailed to Cyprus, 

What's your name, 

Father, this, this record of your work and the first century Church I pray that you, that you can pick your heart's with how they operate on how they serve you. And we serve as a model for how we continue to strive in reach the nations or pray blessings over Istrouma as they, as they receive these blessings that they've turned them around to serve you further. Amen okay. So what we just wanted, this marks, the beginning of Paul's first missionary journey. 

Okay. After all these new churches have started from as a result of this lethal persecution. OK. And there were two observations that I want us to look at this morning from those four verses that we looked at the first is I want you to see how the Holy spirit sent out missionaries. Okay. How the Holy spirit sit on a mission is the heart of this church in Antioch, it beat for God's mission 'cause they were all together worshiping as you saw and Fasting together as one. 

Okay. So this is a service that they're having where they're coming together to worship. And, and through this coming together, they are praying. And so, like I said, we started halfway through the book of acts, but let me remind you of what has happened in the church since they've been praying. Okay. So in acts one, okay. We see that they prey in the upper room for 10 days and the Holy spirit comes and 3000 people are saved as a result of Peter's preaching. Okay. Acts four and five, they pray. And they were emboldened by the Holy spirit. 

And then we see there are nearly 10,000 believers in Jerusalem at this point. Okay. In some of those are the worst opponents to Jesus. And in his message that he brought was you have the, you have the priest and then you have Paul who we'll see later. Okay. And then acts 12. We see the church praying and God up in the prison to rescue Peter. And then God strikes down King Herod Agrippa, who was the lead persecutor at that time. And now in acts 13, where we are, we see the church pray and they send off Paul, the greatest missionary that we've known. 

If the award Jersey his number would be a retired today. So the Holy spirit sent Barnabas and Paul, as a result of their prayers, they, they were scent as a result of their prisons. This was the point that you have to see is the Holy spirit, responding to your prayer, not your responding to the Holy spirit. 

Okay. Samuel Chadwick. 

He was a Wesleyan minister who wrote this in his book and the path of prayer. And this was a great quote too, to reflect on in this importance of praise it's Satan, dreads, nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, from prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray 

Okay 

To worshiping, we see the next thing we see the church was Fasting and most of the world familiar with what Fasting is. And in this case, it's abstaining from food to drive our focus on our dependence on God. But what is peculiar here that we want to look at is when the church was Fasting okay. Because there was a drastic difference in when they fast it from the old Testament to how the church in Antioch right now is Fasting they are in Antioch. 

Okay. So let me 

I'll I'll tell you the story to illustrate the reference. I'll say in the old Testament. Okay. So I'm paraphrasing the book of judges specifically chapter 20. Okay. And if your familiar with the book of judges, this is dark history for God's people, the Israelites, and in Joshua, as a leader, he's just died. And at the beginning of the judges, OK. In his last thing, he was dying breath. He was saying, Hey, you need to obey God's law, obey the Torah. And part of his command was they needed to drive the Canaanites out of the promised land. 

Okay. But rather than this, this first command, rather than drive them, 

I'm out, they assimilated. 

So they allowed the outside influences of this surrounding culture to change them, to wear. They were indistinguishable with the world around them. Okay. They didn't drive out the Canaanites. They became just like the Canaanites in the Canaanites. They were worshiping idols and there were sacrificing children. Okay. So all this lead to a civil war within Israel, and many of the tribes of Israel have come together at this point that I'm paraphrasing. And there were at war with a tribe of Benjamin. Okay. And in Israel's army, there are 400,000 strong, okay. 

Day one have this battle against Benjamin 22,000 Israelites die. Okay. The people they went and they prayed asking God, should we go back? And should we fight again? And God says, yes. In the second day, 18,000 Israelites died. And the Israelites, they were really on their last leg. Okay. I mean, they have prayed. They were sincere about it to the point that they even cried and wept over it a little bit. And now they're asking 

God what do we do? Okay. 

No, the third night, when they were addressing God, they bring a whole army up and they fasted and they burnt sacrifices. And they did all of the things that they know that God likes. And on the third day, God gave them victory. And so set in motion, what I'll call Reactive Fasting. This is how they did it in the old Testament is the Israelites are in a, in an emergency. And they react to the emergency by Fasting as their last resort option. 

Okay. You see the Israeli, you see, those are the ones they repeat this process throughout the old Testament. Really beginning from this, this pair four is a story in judges to where this is their last act of desperation. Okay. And this is, this is similar. When you hear people who are in emergency themselves and they say something like, well, I've done. All I can do. All that's left to do is pray as though praying is their last act of desperation and not their first act of prep. 

Okay. 

The difference in how Antioch fast and in what we read in acts 13, and this is where the question of when they fast, it is really important because the church in Antioch, they proactively Fasting 

Because 

The church in acts 13 here in Antioch, they're at a point, a slight relief. Okay. In the next 12, just before this, the King a King Herod had just executed James and he's got Peter in jail that I referenced earlier in God has now struck there, a lead persecutor down here, they have free Peter. And now we see a church that is getting ready for mission. Okay. Barnabas he saw the mission field and he recruited Paul to come to Antioch to prepare. And before the church was sending them off before they sent them off, they go fast. 

The Israelites they use Fasting right. 

As a hail Mary in the fourth quarter with seconds left on the clock. But the church in Antioch, they use Fasting as their pregame warmup before they even went on a mission. The, the concept of when it's really, really stark and when they do it and, and this week Istrouma is about going, but Istrouma no one will go. If you do not pray and prepare for the Holy spirit to send them okay, I'm in Louisiana. And so I have to squeeze some French in here. 

A laissez Faire attitude is not going to reach the nations. Okay. In with this proactive prayer, with this proactive, Fasting the church. They did it together. Okay. Because look in verse two in your Bibles, it says as they were Fasting or worshiping the Lord, and Fasting the Holy Spirit said, OK. So the wording of this pronoun, it's not exclusive to just the leaders that were mentioned. 

This was for everyone because we see in acts 14, just after, at the end of the journey, they come together and they call the whole church together where they report on, on the success, how the Holy spirit works on the Island of Cyprus. And so you can say in the context, this was the whole church was all in, on sending Barnabas and Paul. So we must not saturate missions with individualism. This is not how the church did it in the first century. 

This is not our model for how we do it in the sermon. It would be untrue to save me and my family that we were simply on a mission trip for two years. When in reality, we were sent by you, you sent us, you discipled us our first discipleship before going overseas, was he read Istrouma you financially gave to us in a way that didn't have any stipulation that this would be an investment that would have returned yields back to yourself. This was a kingdom investment outside the walls of Istrouma. 

Okay. I'm making a slight semantic difference. And between going and being sent out. But it, the difference is sharp because there is no individualistic in mindset and going to reach the nations. Okay. The church nurtures and it disciples members from within to be sent out outside of these walls and out of this culture of prayer and discipleship, the Holy spirit will, will call upon you as a Church to send members locally, regionally, and internationally. 

So the church is intimately connected with those who go on mission, because it is a team effort of sending those people out so that you are so tightly bonded with those that are sent out there. Just like any other member of your church. Now just serving in another location. Cause the Holy spirit sent missionaries from the church as one where they proactively worshiped. And Fasting. So the second point is see the strategic choice of sending Barnabas okay. 

The church in Antioch, they were in a unique location at this point. So at this point in history, Antioch their third of importance in the Roman empire. Okay. So you've got Rome itself and then Alexandria, and now you've got Antioch. This was a major trading center. They had, 

They had a Seaport and So this diversity of all of these people being a hub there socially and culturally ethnically and linguistically diverse. The whole city is okay. So look back in verse one at your Bibles again, and I want you to see the people that are mentioned and the leaders in this Church okay. First you have Barnabas okay. Barnabas he's a Levi, right? And he's a native of the Island in the Mediterranean Sade called Cyprus. Okay. And he has been living through this persecution or responding to God's use of Stephen stoning to plant churches. 

Okay. So he's a first, second Simeon who was called Niger. So he was a believer of dark complexion, presumably from Africa somewhere because they were referred to him by the Latin word for black. Okay. Lucius of Cyrene he was possibly a friend of Simeon. That was from the North African city of styrene Manaen he was later described as to foster brother of heroine and the Anthropocene. Oh. And then you have solved who we knew as the Christian persecutor and after his conversion, he became known as Paul. He led the international church planting efforts and the first century, and he wrote the majority of the letters that you're holding and your new Testament Bibles today. 

Okay. So do you see the diversity of this church? Just from the few that are mentioned? Okay. You've got a beach boy fishermen from Island life. You've got two African men, someone on a royalty and dog to a Christian bounty Hunter worshiping in one church. And so it's, it's a lot with only the five that are mentioned. And if you count the rest of the Church members of that nature that are not mentioned, you're possibly looking at three continents and three to four languages represented just in this one body of believers. 

And, and I bring this up because I hope you see yourselves in this same predicament. Okay. Cause look at yourself, your, your already well-represented with English and American side and Spanish And the Holy spirit. He said to set apart for me, Barnabas and Saul and the church sent them to Cyprus coincidence. I think not Barnabas is from Cyprus. Okay. He's the one in acts four. He he's sold his field and I gave all of his money to the apostles for missions. 

And Barnabas was sent by the Jerusalem church to discover the rumors of the church. And Cyprus from the persecuted church planners at Barnabas. He shows up and he sees the work and he goes, and he finds Paul to share in the work they are in Cyprus, in his hometown so that they go to Antioch and they prepare for one year teaching in the church and writing and the church to send on mission back to Cyprus. So the church in Antioch, they sent two missionaries to Cyprus. One was native to Cyprus. 

One was foreign to Cyprus, it's a mission trip. They are not exclusively for those that are native or foreign to the location. But what I'm showing to show you is when you pair the two together, you traverse obstacles 

Better. Okay. 

So it took us about a year and a half overseas to pick on this in a way, a cultural blunder that, that we had just, I mean, natural personality, we would like to compliment people. You see something nice and you want to give attention to it and say, Hey, it's a good skill you've got. Or like, by example, you see a baby and your thoughts on that was the cutest baby I've ever seen. And you just want to tell the mom how cute the baby is. And we would give people these compliments, but we would sometimes kind of see some odd behavior like, Oh, well that's just acute as a baby I've ever seen. And, and the mom's like, yeah, 

Okay. And 

You're just going to have taken a back. And, and you're like, I'll just like elevate it like that. Just like some of that's a really good compliment or about your baby. And its almost like they've got a super strict cuteness, maybe judgments there's something. And it's like, I don't understand. And so, but not just for babies, but just on a whole string of compliments that we do. And we'd see weird, weird behavior from this. And then after about a year and a half, we come to learn about what has this cultural concept was all over the world. But our people really believe it in what's called the evil I, and this is that you can kind of a think of it as a karma, a system of beliefs to were they, if they get to much positive attention, then they, then there are more susceptible to this curves from the evil OD is going to like balance it out and bring the curses upon them in. 

So when you complement, not everybody, but it was a substantial portion of the people that are, Oh yeah, no, no, no, not really. And they're kind of like, and here I am not realized. And I picture of this evil eyes, like the evil eye have solver on and more door and here like Frodo is trying to sneak across and I'm just complimenting and like dancing around the sand, waving the flags, getting the evil eye to look at him. And I'm done that for a year and a half before I finally catch on. And I'm like, Oh man, if I had Barnabas with me, he would have been like, no Clint stomp, you have no idea what you're doing. You're making these people really uncomfortable right now because it was very intentional two work together. 

The church, the first century Church they sent payers or teams and missionaries to work together. And assuming you have to see the multicultural, ethnic, social enlisted, linguistic environment that you live in America, it's a nation of immigrants. And can you imagine saving your Indian neighbor and then you to go on mission together to India, think of that, the benefits of that kind of ministry partnership. And so particularly for you, I want you to see something unique and how God has equipped you. 

Istrouma for reaching the last in your area every year, the IMB, they put out statistical reports and they give values for the number of people and the number of professions of faith and the baptisms churches planted. Okay. So within the deaf affinity of the IMB, there were 69.9 million people, 1,534 of those deaf people die every day without knowing the Christ within that in the Americas affinity, that's the Mexico to the Southern tip of Argentina, 633.9 million people and 10,283 of those people die every day without knowing Christ two, six are taken from international reporting. 

So they're not the local context of right here in Baton Rouge and there's over 200 sign languages and there's many more languages than just Spanish that is South of us. But I want you to see this, to get a grasp of what is ahead of you, because if the diversity of your church is not unified, it will be like fighting with a hand tied behind your back. When you're engaging a diverse, Will you take the gospel to someone else? There's always going to be barriers and walls between you and them. 

Okay. There's always going to be a barrier between Doug packets and the barbershop that he wants to reach with the gospel. But if he brings somebody like Mike and with him, they may just reach that barber shop together. Okay. And I spent two years overseas studying the language and the culture and us still make dumb mistakes like complimenting babies and attracting the attention of the evil eye. I'm surrounded by seven different languages. And the almost all of them were entirely different than the one that I've I've learned. 

And my closest local friend who knows for languages where on a daily, no one of the seven is my closest partner in ministry. So Istrouma those of you that cannot sign the gospel to the deaf person. You know, you're not handicapped when you partner with somebody that can sign the gospel two, that deaf person, you know, in the same, those of you that cannot audibly share the gospel. 

You are not handicapped. When you partner with somebody who can audibly share the gospel. And this same principle applies when English or Spanish is your first language. Okay. When you're crossing that barrier between English and Spanish or vice versa, the diversity of believers in the church is not a progressive trophy for display. The diversity in the church is a gift from God use for communicating the gospel to a diverse world. 

And this is for me, if you would, let's stand together and we're going to close our time by praying this scripture over It, Revelation seven that For tells me the end result of God's mission. Okay. I will read the text in white and you as the church, you read the Text in yellow. After this, I looked and behold a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages standing before the throne. 

And before the Lamb clothed in white robes with Palm branches in their hands, in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb and the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. And they fell on their faces before the throne and worship God saying a man Blessing and glory and wisdom and Thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might be to our God forever and ever amen. 

A minister for a month. Let's continue 

Our focus this morning on going by saying this update from some of your members serving overseas and our city. There's only one Baptist Church for every 100,000 people. 100,000 people can fit into tiger stadium. When you see a tiger stadium, please pray for the millions of people and our city, the need remains great, but God is building his church. 

Even in the midst of this pandemic, two new Baptist churches performed in our city. This summer. One of these new churches now exists in an area of the city where no evangelical church has ever gathered before. Please pray for more churches to be planted in our city. Please pray for us that God would give us grace to continue to learn language, wisdom, and courage. 

Please pray for all the brothers and sisters and our city, the life-wise and the wisdom and purge. You might not be able to see the impact of your support with your own eyes or your support is extremely tangible in our lives, in the lives of our local friends, because of your giving. We were able to continue learning a new language Online even while our school remain closed. And now we can simply share the good news of Jesus Christ in this beautiful language, because of your giving. 

We've been able to purchase Bibles and gospel tracks to give to people in partnership with our local Church. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and generosity. We love you. Istrouma 

To be recognized those voices. I know probably many of you here recognize the voices of our missionaries in Eastern Europe. And we sent them from a streamer in January, and they've experienced a lot of challenges as COVID hit their country as well, but even so we can see God working through them, using them to work with the local people, to plant new churches in their areas. They asked me repeatedly, please thank Istrouma for praying. Please think a stream of forgiving 'cause every time you give a huge portion of that goes directly to support our IMB missionary. 

So they thank you for giving so that they can be on the field, that they can provide resources for their local partners, and just keep working with these ministry opportunities. You can continue to give online or by text, or even as you leave this morning. So, Amanda, thank you all for being here. We are so happy you're we know that a lot of times people we'll have questions for people living overseas. So I just want to ask a couple of those questions and then give people the opportunity to, to respond to maybe the call of God has placed that on your life to become missionaries. 

So many of our families here at a parish at a streamer who have expressed to me their desire to go and to become oversees missionaries, but they're hesitant 'cause they have children. You have three small children, one on the way. So you know what its like to serve as a mom, especially in another country. Why would you encourage families to go, even though it is challenging? Well, honestly we went over with two kids and you have difficulties, no matter where you're at, you have difficulties here, you have difficulties they're they just might be different difficulties. 

So for me personally, I think the best verse that really encouraged me was the first Corinthians 10, 13, where it's talking about God never giving you so much that you can't handle the temptation. He's never going to tempt us beyond what we can handle. And so for me, that first holiday season, the holidays are really important to me. And I was really struggling. I was pregnant with our third, throwing up a lot, having a one-year-old and a three-year-old never felt like I could keep the house clean. And so I have that temptation to just be like, I can't do this. 

Like, I don't know if I can stay here. I think we might need to go home. I hit a wall with language, felt like I couldn't get any further. And that was when that verse was just so encouraging to me because it's like, God is not going to give me so much that I can't continue the call that he's called me to do with serving overseas in sharing the gospel with these people because others may not Go. And so for me, that was versus was really encouraging to let me know that God's going to help me through it. He is going to provide for me, whether it's through Clint, with helping while I was sick through teammates, through a language teacher that was really encouraging and helping giving me the other resources to study, it just really allowed me to See and to remind me of that, God is going to provide everything I need and that the temptation will never be so great that if I am truly called to go overseas, then God will provide everything needed for me. 

Yeah. I think she describes a lot of moms, right? I mean, you're going to struggle here or in there, so don't let going like a scare. You go to the point where you do not follow God obediently as a family on a mission. Thank you. Clint, give us an update. What is the Lord doing in your area? 

Yeah, I'm excited to put this question. Okay. So I mentioned earlier, like So at 14, they come back Barnabas and Paul, when they report back in the church on, on what's happened. And so this is something that I said was really, really healthy. I'm being cited about because like I mentioned, we're all invested in the us with no stipulation of that investment coming back to you, but solely go in to God's kingdom. And so if that makes me happy to come back, be like, Hey, here's a little bit that's that's been going on. And so we a, we were there for a little, a little over two years in that first term has really focused on culture or language acquisition. And we were able to get an advanced, a level of the language there in that first term, which we were proud of. 

And that really advance us to get involved in a lot of the cool things that are happening. The there's several, a hundred thousand people that, that we live among and we know have less than 10 believers. And most of them were scattered. They don't know each other, some of these believers, other than a foreigner that's come in like us. They've never met another believer in their lives. And so they're very, very isolated. And so its kind of hard for me for church planting when people are so spread out like this, but in one particular village we have three young men all in their twenties, they're close, close to the agents. 

So we connect really well. This is like in, in 20 years that we've not seen anything like this where we have three people in one location, it's like, Oh you all get together and you all get started. You know? And so it's, it's a very, very, very exciting. So for us in particular, that's where we read a really long for you to partner with, with, with us in prayer and these people that we work with and particularly in this village, because God has, has really been working in a very dark place. And we've seen things that you just can't deny. This was the Holy spirit at work. 

So that's our, our quick report of how you've given to us and how the world was continuing to work with them. 

That was awesome. Yeah. We really want you to pray for our missionaries. Update Clint and Amanda have a prayer card scattered throughout the four year. And I know there are some on this back table here, but there's some at the welcome desk. Please grab the line before you leave today and put it somewhere. You can see it and just constantly remember them in prayer. Also remember our partners that are in Eastern Europe, in the middle East and the gins that aren't in the Americas. So last question, people, anyone may be called to be a missionary. 

They really don't know how to go about even beginning of the process. What advice would you give to them? 

You don't do it alone. I mean that was kind of 20 minutes of do it together. So that, that is so if, if, if you, this is something that your, your, even for the short-term long-term, if your, if you were feeling a sense that, Hey, maybe a little, it could be leading us on our hearts. Then don't hold on to that to a long cause the whole focus, the whole aim is to do this as a Church. So with that, if you are feeling a sense of it, Then talk to talk to your fellow church members, talk to the, your leadership and your church get connected. 

'cause you need to be appropriately discipled and loved on. And so you can be sent out in a healthy way and the support. So really, if that is something that's like, I mean, please, please, please, in a way, voice it a voice it to yourselves among yourselves and to your church and don't keep it to yourselves for sure. 

So if you are feeling that call to be an overseas missionary, even if you just think, Hm, maybe I want to explore it a little bit and see what that might look like. Clint and Amanda will be here after the service. I will be here. We would love to just talk with you and get you connected. And it, you know, it doesn't commit you to anything obviously, but we would love to just hear if God is calling you to that. And as a streamer, we would love to walk alongside you. I'm in that process of that as the way that you were going. 

So thank you for being here this morning. Let's give them a hand. Thank you so much. So everyone is not called to be in overseas missionary. We know that the majority of people aren't, but our mission field is still here. We have many opportunities in a stream of missions to go and make disciples. It's not a project missions. Isn't something that we do. Missions is who we are called to be. 

It is a life that we are called to live. So in 2020, all of our mission trips were canceled due to COVID. We're hoping that 2021 is different. So there are a list of opportunities. Trips are not scheduled yet that we will put that information out. So begin praying about it. If the Lord would send you on one of these short term missions, we also have things that are happening within our state disaster relief right now is our biggest opportunity to serve. William did not. No I was going to do this, but could you like stand up for me? 

People know who you are. This is William Davis. We need help in disaster relief. We we need people that can work chainsaws. We need people that can work rakes and shovels. If you are able to serve in any capacity and disaster relief, we need you to get involved. So they use our one time, one day trips. This week, we have a one week trip going out, but please sign up. You can text the word disaster to that number on the screen and you'll receive texts with every single trip. 

Update an opportunity that we have. And lastly, we want you to always be prepared to share the gospel. The Bible says always be ready and seasoned to share this truth. So we will have an evangelism training this Friday from six to 8:00 PM and Saturday from nine to 12, it's a two-part training. The first 50 people to sign up will receive access for 90 days to the Billy Graham, rapid response sharing hope in crisis training, you will become equipped to share the gospel in crisis with people that believe differently than you do is important in this political climate. 

I think to be able to share the gospel with different beliefs and thoughts, but we want to equip you and then we want to help you equip others. So sign up@istrouma.org, SLAs missions, go down to Go Global and sign up for that. And we would love to see you this weekend and we'll pray. And then we'll continue to worship the father in heaven. Thank you much for this day. Thank you for a day where we can celebrate what is happening around the world and just to learn about ways that we can join you in that work. 

You don't need us, that you allow us to walk with you and others is they reach the nations with your truth. God, in a moment, we were going to sing words and I pray that they aren't empty words were, were going to sing that this world is dying to know who you are in the world is dying to know who you are. And we're going to sing that, change our hearts in a way that only you can and make us more like Jesus. And it's going to be easy to just Mel, the words because we were here on a Sunday morning and they're not just words. 

I pray that they will be the cry of our hearts today. And always that you would remind us constantly missions is not a project. It's not an activity. It is who you have called us to be in this in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen. 

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October 11 | First John (BR)
Welcome Back! We're glad you've joined us today for our Sunday morning worship service! For more information about Istrouma, go to istrouma.org or contact us at info@istrouma.org.  

We glorify God by making disciples of all nations.
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October 11, 2020  | Jeff Williams
"Love Matters"
1 John 3:1-10

1 John 3:11-18
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Followers of Jesus should never be associated with...
       Murder
       Hate
       Indifference

1 John 3:23-24
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

How I treat other people is a big deal to God.

How I treat other people is evidence of a life changed by God

How I treat other people is a choice not an emotion

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

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All right. Well, good morning. So glad that you're here. If you have a Bible, it turned the first John chapter three first John chapter three. And for all of you that are worried, or we're not going to talk about it. All right. So the first John chapter three were going to jump right into it this morning. And I do seriously. I do want you to go back to the very first a day when we started this series. And I shared with you some things about John the author of the book of First John. And I want to go back to a couple of those today, because I think they're very, very important for where we're going to go in this message this morning and within the book of First John I shared with you that John wrote this book towards the end of his life.

And so somewhere between the ages of 19 100 as how old John was a, when he wrote this, and as you wrote, this book has had this journey one, whereas a, a, a really young man walking with Jesus, into seeing the differences of what Jesus made while he was all on this earth. And then John was a part of a team of people that got used to start the Church and to, to see God just do a movement that literally Hugh and I are impacted by because of the things that John saw him throughout his adult life.

And as you look at that period of time, what you find is, is that John changed dramatically when Jon was a young man, when Jesus first found him, it probably before then, John he was a, a fisherman. He was a little, for lack of a better way of saying he was a little rough around the edges. And he was a rough guy. He was a tough guy. And in fact, him at his brother were known as the sons of thunder. All right. Which meant that they would rather go in and destroy something and they would fix something. All right. And so everything that he did was a built on that month set, but as he spent time with Jesus, and as he gave his life to Jesus, does he surrendered to the mission that God had for him that over the years, what we see, and by the time we get to the book of First John, and as we look at history about his life, that he became not only known as the disciple that Jesus loved, but he became known as the one who understood this concept of loving one another.

He understood it may be better than any of the other disciples and is a testimony too. The difference that Jesus made in his life that he went from this God, that was rough around the edges that wanted to destroy everything to at the end of his life. As he traveled around from different churches in the region, he was carried because he was so feeble that he couldn't walk himself. He couldn't even a ride on an animal because he just didn't have the strength and his message. When he went from place to place a shared this with you on the first week was just simply three words, love one another.

And they would be upset with him because he wouldn't share more. Right now he wouldn't talk. Lorie is a sermon. He was just that short. And imagine how many of you all would be upset today? If my sermon was just three words, then we went home, but its not going to be so we're way past that and were just getting started. So anyway, that, that was his message. And they asked him, why is that all of that? You say, he says, because at the church to just get a hold of those three words, it would radically change the impact that we have in the world.

Love one of them. So would that in mind, we've already addressed this issue. In fact, Mike, on the second week of this series, he, he did, I did a great job as a part of the message talking about this issue of love and hate within the body of Christ in the way that we are to conduct ourselves as followers of Jesus. But in this section of John chapter, a first John chapter three, that the second half of the, of that chapter, he deals with this exclusively. And we're going to talk about this for the entire time this morning. And I want you to think about just this idea that Love Matters and I don't mean just love for God, but I mean love for one another.

And as we look at this passage, he's talking specifically about relationships within the body of Christ. But I believe when we look at scripture, there's no question there's application about our relationships with all of the people that God places in our life in this morning. I want you to think about this in terms of where are you in relationship to this idea or this command? It's not just an idea, right? To love one another. So we're going to look at a couple of different sections of this part of first John chapter three, and just looking just for a few minutes at what God says he was.

So the first John chapter three were going to begin to reading in verse 11. He says, For, this is the message that you have heard from the beginning that we should love one another. Once again, that was John's message. He knew the difference that it would make, but he also had seen the difference that God had made in his own heart. For that subject, we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him?

Because his own DS were evil and his brother's were righteous. It goes back to the story in Genesis, we see if Cain and Abel Cain killed his brother and it was all built out of this idea that he hated him, right? He says, Do not be surprised brothers, that the world hates you. Now, this doesn't seem to fit within the context that he's talking about. Relationship between brothers and these talking about what that murdered the other day. And then he jumps into this idea of the Do not be surprised when the world hates you. He's talking about the world.

Those that don't know Christ hating a, those that do know Christ that are followers of Jesus. And the essence of why they hate is because they don't understand is because they've never experienced the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. So he says, don't be surprised when they hate. And he's not saying this is a negative live on the world. He is saying that, Hey, this is just a reality. The reality is is that people without Jesus, people that don't know Christ they don't have any other choice because they've never experienced true love.

John also teaches us that God is love and that we are outside of knowing God, isn't it possible for any of us to really know the love that God talks about, then his word he says, don't be surprised when the world hates you because that's, that's just what they are. All that they know to do that it would is his next is we know that we had passed out of death and to live because we love the brothers. That's how we know that the evidence, the evidence of whether or not you are a follower of Jesus is whether or not you love the brothers.

You love other followers of Jesus. You love those within the Church Whoever does not love abides in death. Just that last word to say no, I'm from Alabama. I can read it. I know y'all can read it. All right. Whoever abides. Whoever does not abides. Whoever does not love. I can't read. I guess they do right? Whoever does not love abides in death. What's the word say death. No, no, no. That's a strong statement.

Isn't it? That if you don't love one, another Love is not in your hearts. Then you abide in death. How does the Bible describe death? Death is a, not just something that is physical, but it is spiritual. It means eternal separation from God, in essence, what he says. But if you don't love one another, then you're truly not a follower of Jesus. You really are not a Christian. You don't have a relationship with God. Now I'm not saying to you today, but if there's anyone that you Hate, then you're not a Christian.

No, John might be saying it, but I'm not saying it right. Okay. This is not me saying it. Oh, but he gives a very, I mean, just, this is a very powerful statement that we need to pay attention to you, that you can abide in love and have Hate and your heart looks at the next First. This is Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. This is, I mean, I mean, he's not, this is not just a and encouraging self help talk.

Is that all right, everyone who hates his brother, you're a murderer. I mean, Jesus said the same thing in Matthew chapter five, right? A and a five, six to seven, the sermon on a mountain. He was talking about this idea of that Hate being equivalent to Murder and you know that no murderer has a turn of life abiding in him. No words. You can't be a murderer and be a follower of Jesus. That can't be a who you are. By this, we know love that he laid down his life for us talking about Jesus, right?

And so we ought to lay down our lives for the brother's is the equivalent of all of us understanding that if you recognize that Jesus laid down his life for you, that the result of that is going to be that you're willing to lay down your life for others and look at this next verse. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need yet closes his heart against him. How does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or in tol, but indeed.

And in truth, now let's stop there for a few minutes because it gives us some very powerful things that a statements about followers of Jesus, and that if you are a follower of Jesus, it gives us three different things that you should never be associated with. These should not be a part of your life. The first word is this is a Followers of Jesus should never be associated with Murder. Got it. It makes that a pretty clear, right? That Murder and in other words is a CIN.

You get that right? That's I don't think that if I have to go into too much detail about that, we all know that murder is a sin and we should not do that. And the good news at this point is most of us feel pretty good about ourselves because I don't think there's probably very many murderers in the room. Now, there may be a few. I mean, there's, there's no question in a room, the size of the, tell him what a, some of us have done a but for most of the most part, that's not where we are. And so there's a part of us. It's kind of feels good about ourselves cause of the cheque. I'm not that Wright, but the second thing as we go on this passage that we just read as the followers of Jesus should also never be associated with hate.

Then that gets a little more difficult. That is that there's probably someone's name that comes to your mind. As we, as I say, that, that you're struggling with right now. And the reality is is that the, that Hate is something that does Jesus very specifically in a sermon on a mountain or that he equated with. This is the same thing as Murder there's a reason why does that? We were going to come back to that in just a few here. He says, you can't hate your brother and say that you abide in Love.

I mean, to you, can't say that you are a follower of Jesus. If you are allowing that hate to be in your heart. Now, listen, understand this is not talking about the idea of the emotion of hate. We all have that at times in our life, but throughout the, all of us, chapter three, and even back into chapter two, he has this idea over and over again of the word abiding, right? And the word abiding means to do basically take a residence inside of, or to be at a home in eww. And for a while, what to Jon is talking about is for those of you that hate is like taking residents inside of your heart.

It is at home inside of you in is who you are. If you are so filled with rage and anger and bitterness and hatred and your heart towards other people than you need to evaluate whether or not you truly understand the grace and the mercy of Jesus, because John's argument is, but there's no way that you can understand all the Jesus is forgiven. You have, and you not be willing to show that towards the other people that God's placed in your life.

All of us have those individuals that get under our skin, right? Many of you have those individuals in your life. They've done you wrong. They have hurt you deeply. But the problem is is that we are looking at it through the lens of ourselves. Instead of looking at it through the lens of someone who's life has been changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. And when you honestly look at your life, when honestly look at my life, and I think what I've done to the heart of God, there's nothing that AMIA you could ever do to me, that would even compare to what I've done to Jesus Hate  Is, should not be something that is associated with a follower of Jesus. But then this is where it really gets tough in this passage is that we would just read it also tells us that followers of Jesus should never be associated with Indifference. He says, if you, if you see someone that's a need, I mean, how can you say that you're a follower of Jesus and listen, can not just tell you something. I'm just going to get in your business for just a minute. All right. That's the beauty of being in or around. Let me, I'm going to be gone soon anyway.

And so I just a whatever, I just want to, I want you to hear this clearly, because I do think this is a problem. How can you say that there's succeeded. There is someone in need and just do nothing. And the idea's not whether or not you have the resources to meet that need that. The idea here that is painted by John is that we are indifferent. We just don't care. If you want to push, this is a, a, a plane Alabama, Alabama, and we just don't give a rip. I mean, that, that's pretty much what he says and that if you feel that way, that listen, he equates that with the same thing as Murder.

And the problem is for many of us, we are so self absorbed. We have so much stuff that's happening in our own lives that we are consumed with, that we don't even care about people that are different than us. We don't even care about people that disagree with us. And in fact, sometimes if you think about the way that you view life and the way that you view people, anyone that is different from than you are, or anyone that disagrees with you, if we're not careful, we even find ourselves, we celebrate their demise that we, Edward Lee, we may say out loud that we are praying for someone, but in really were almost happy when bad things happen to them because were really just don't care.

In what John says is that don't you remember that Jesus laid down his life where you are. He laid down his life for you and the people that he laid down his life for him were the very ones that cost him to have to go to the cross. And you see for us what we need to understand that true, the loving one, another. It's not just a loving those people that love us. I mean, we all have family and close friends that we are closely tied to in connected too, that we would do anything in the world for a while.

I put the pictures of my family on the screen last week, I would do anything in the world for them. I love them. But what about the people that don't see things the way I see them? No. What about the people that don't believe the same things I believe politically?  No. What about the people that we see that they have a different viewpoint that have a different mindset, or they have a different, a, a standard about the way that they live in really well, oftentimes if I'm not careful because I'm not associated with him and because I don't see them on a regular basis and because I'm not connected to them and because they don't affect my life or affect my world, I'm not just don't really care in the heart thing about this in this passage, is that what John says is, is that if you're just indifferent in the eyes of Jesus is really no different than hatred is really no different than Murder. This is In the compassion of Jesus. It doesn't mean that what God calls someone else to do is what you have to go and do. That's their story. But it must matter when James talks about that pure religion is to care for the orphans and the widows. It doesn't mean that everyone has to have the same specific ministry to those groups of people. But if it doesn't matter, there's just this element of Indifference in you, that you really, you know, you just, you have to examine whether or not you truly know Jesus and listen, this is not a message of guilt or trying to scare you into thinking that you don't truly have a relationship with Jesus, but John's just being very honest about the reality that this is what makes the difference.

So in this first part of this section, he just of, of chapter three, he just simply says, listen, followers of Jesus, shouldn't be associated with those things and will talk at the end about it. If you struggle with any of those areas, we're gonna talk about how you get beyond that, but Murder hatred and the difference. So he says the same thing, a few different ways than the next few verses, but I want us just, just for the sake of time, I want us to jump to the very end of this chapter.

And in verse 23 and 20 For, he basically, he summarizes exactly what he wants us to understand. He says in this is his commandment. This is the commandment of Jesus. This is the commandment we see in the new Testament. And we see in the old Testament, here's the commandment. We believe in the name of his son. Jesus Christ. Now remember what that word believe means. Write the word believe is not talking about just mentally. It means that you are putting your whole weight upon God.

I put my life in your hands. God, I surrender to you. God, you are in control. Here's a commandment that you are to surrender to and believe in the name of his son. Jesus Christ. Jesus is Lord. And that means Jesus is my Lord. That's what it means to believe, right? And you are to love one another, just as he has commanded us. That's the commandment, right? All of life is built on those two things that were the love, the Lord, your God, with all of our heart, we surrender to him.

He is Lord. And we are to love our neighbors or say, if we're to love one another, Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God. And once again that you are resting in his authority and God is abiding in him as well. And by this, we know that he abides in us by the spirit of God, whom he has given us in an essence, when he says his, that the commands is a very clear in whether or not you have truly a URL abiding in God.

And God has a biding in you through the power of the Holy spirit. The evidence of that is what we see in our relationships by loving one another. So just real quickly as we wrap up D just, I want you to see three things that this past is teaches us, that we need to understand about this issue of loving one another. The first one is this is how I treat other people and is a big deal to God.

It's a big deal. You know, we categorize sins. Don't we, you know, the, the, the things that are embarrassing to us or the things that may be heard ourselves or her in our family, and we try to hide those. And we don't want to talk about those as a whole lot, because those are considered the quote, the big sins. But when it comes to the two thirds of the parts that we've talked about, people that you hate, or you can't stand, or if you laugh at someone who goes through a trial, regardless of who they are, you know, if you were indifferent about things and society of the things around us, those are things that oftentimes, if we're not careful about looking at our Facebook page, sometimes you know that we celebrate it, right?

But what we needed to understand is the secret sins that we would never want anyone else to know about that God sees this issue of hate. He sees this issue of Indifference on the same level is those. We need you to understand that this is a big deal to God. It's a huge deal. Number Tuesdays, how I treat other people is evidence of a life. This has been changed by God. That's really John's point.

Jon's not trying to guilt people into a, or trying to figure out whether or not they truly have a relationship with Jesus, what he wants them to see and understand. If you are a follower of Jesus, the evidence that your life has been changed, his, by the way, you treat other people around, you buy the love that you have for one another. That's the evidence. And the problem is, is that oftentimes what the world sees is not us loving one, another, some of the most amazing memories I have in my entire life have been in church, but also some of the most horrific, I don't remember as a senior in high school, on a Wednesday night, I sat in a business meeting in my church that was about to split right down the Biddle, all over the things that were surfaced in, worried about the gospel.

And I heard and saw people act in ways that were some of the nastiest, meanest things you could ever say to anyone. They said inside of a quote, worship center, going to tell you something that Church LA mean that, that was my goodness as the long time ago. That was 31 years ago. I didn't know. I could add, did you have 31 years ago?

Right? That's Church and that community has never been the same. There are people in that community that any time they hear of that Church 31 years later, or they might not have been there that night, but they heard, they heard how those Christians treated one another. If they heard, how have those followers of Jesus acted about things that had nothing to do with the eternal Matters.

And I believed it damaged the cause of Christ in that community 31 years, all because people got more consumed with what they wanted, then about having a kingdom perspective and truly understanding the grace of God and letting that play out in their relationship with one another.

Did you realize that the world knows more about what we're against than what we're For we talk about the cross of Jesus, but then we live in a way that doesn't reflect that how they treated people is evidence of a life. This has been changed by God man. Imagine if what gee, what Matt and I listen, I know so many of you in this room, I'm looking at your faces and I know the way you feel about what Jesus has done for you.

Imagine if the church of Jesus Christ could allow that mindset and that belief and that knowledge and that understanding to the played out in the way that we treat other people doesn't mean that we ignore sin. Does it mean that we don't have a conviction in standards? That just means that at the end of the day, what matters to us is truly showing the grace of God, by the way that we love one another.

And then finally, who, excuse me, how I treated the people. It's a choice. It's not an emotion. It's a choice. You say it was, if you don't know what they did to me, you're right. I don't Jeff you don't know how much that hurt me. Jeff you, you don't understand. And what they would they say are what they do or I'll let you're, right. I'm may not understand or understand the people that drive me crazy. I understand that.

Right. A but I may not understand what you've been through or what you're walking through, but what I'm telling you is, is that it is never, ever, ever going to be good for you or for the gospel going forward. If you allow those emotions to control you, how you treat other people's is a choice. When it was a kid, as the guest, I was nine years of age, my parents divorced, and it was a shock to me as a kid.

I, I didn't know you. No, I'm dumb a little kid. I knew it was wrong, but they're was it. And it was a very humbling experience, broke both of my parents. And I'm thankful to Jesus that even in that bad, horrible time, that most By both of my parents decided to run to Jesus, not away from it. And I'm eternally grateful for that, that their relationship never repaired.

I never got back together in terms of being husband and wife again, but they made a decision in their brokenness. They made a decision that they were never going to talk bad about one another in front of me and my sister. It listen to it. I didn't know it at the time, but there was a lot of bad things they could've said, right? But they made it for my entire growing up yours. I never heard my dad or one negative or bad about my mom. And I never heard my mom utter one negative word about my dad. And it wasn't because they didn't have the emotions.

They just were mature enough to recognize there was something bigger steak. There were something more important than a steak. And so they made a choice based on real life. Can I tell you something today for most of us in this room, in this and be included, I've had the deal with this all week long, write, you only have to do with it for a half an hour, right? But for most of us in this room, what we need to do is we did to make a choice to love the people that God has placed around us.

We did make a choice to love those people that are the most difficult for us to Love. We need to make a choice to remove hatred from our hearts and lives, and just begin out of the heart of what God has done for us to allow that to overflow in the way that we treat one, another first Corinthians 13 gives us the model now. Well, we normally read this at weddings and is a great application.

For husband and wife, that this has written to the church. This has written to the church that was struggling. Think about the choice in this passage. Love is patient. That's not an emotion right now. It makes us have emotions. When we have to be patient, right. Love is patient and kind, it does not envy. It does not boast. It is not arrogant or his roof or not rude. It does not insist on its own way.

It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing. There's that Indifference but rejoices with the truth. Love bears. All things, love believes all things, love, hopes, all things and endures all things. And I love the very beginning of verse eight. Love never ends .

He uses the word that love never fails. You will not be defeated. You can not lose by loving people. You cannot lose, even though you've think that they're getting the best of you and that they one, because you show mercy and grace, what the Bible teaches us, that when we truly love one another, when we make that choice, that we cannot

The loose. So, so what do you do today?You said, Jeff I know I'm a follower of Jesus, but I struggle with whether it's Hate or Indifference. What is it that I do? Just a couple of things real quick, and that I'm gonna pray for her. The first thing you need to do is you need to confess it as sin, stop making excuses for it. Stop rationalizing the way that you feel. And once again, I'm not minimizing. The pain has been calls to you, but understand this, that you're not responsible for what someone else has done to you, but you are responsible for a God by the way that you respond.

And so if there's either one of those Hate or Indifference, it's in your heart, just confess at this morning and say, God, I know of that. This is sin. Can I tell you something? When we stop making excuses and rationalizing our, seeing that is something powerful that God does in our hearts. So just confess it. The number two, you need to begin to pray for yourself. You, you need to begin to pray for yourself, pray that God would begin to change your heart. That God would make you into the person that he desires for you to be.

Because listen to this spirit of God has sent at the end of verse 24, that resides inside of you as a follower of Jesus. He is the one that can do the work. He's the one that has the power to do that so that you need to begin to pray and say, God, I pray that you would change my heart. God, I pray that you would change my mind. The number three for the person or the group of people, whatever it might be that you Hate, or that you're struggling with, that you just don't care about.

You need to begin to pray for them. You can't consistently pray for someone in God, not change your heart. That's what prayer does. Prayer. Our lives are hard with the heart of God. And that person that you Hate is a person that Jesus died for. That group of people that you don't understand, and you don't identify with, and you don't really care about them. That's a group of people that Jesus Christ gave his for them the same way that he did for you. And when you begin to pray for them, there's something that God does.

I listen to us. That's not cliche words that I want you to understand that you really honestly confess your sin, pray for yourself, pray for them. And then go back to the last point that we just said. And basically what you need to do is make the choice to begin to act in a way that is loving. How can you treat them? How can you respond to them? How can you as the, the end of this past, he said, indeed, in truth, First 18 told us that we are to love indeed and instru that you begin to do things in a way that showed the love of God.

Imagine the difference. If we, as a part of this, start a stream of family with take this to heart and begins to love one another, but going to love our family beginning to love the people that we work with begin to love the people that live in our community in a way that honors and shows a reflection of the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. If you remember on an Easter, I shared with you the two statements that have kind of captured me and kind of helped me walk through so many times, and that is the God loves you.

And there's nothing you can do about it. Imagine if this Church imagined, if this community imagine if those around us, we're to be able to say those same things about us, Hey, I love you. And there's nothing you can do about it. I love you. And there's nothing you can do to change it. I love you. And I'm willing to lay down my life for you because Jesus Christ has changed me.

And I want to be a part of his ambition of allowing the people around me to see and know that not only his, he changed me, but I want to show them his love so that we can change the world. Amen. Wait a minute. That's a pretty good or bad. Is it so often was we do this. I want to make sure that we do this today, just with your heads, bowed and eyes closed.

What is God saying to you today? Answered that question right now. And then what does God wants you to do about it? You take a couple of minutes and just answer those questions and I'm going to lead us and pray for us as we close.

God thank you for loving us. Thank you for giving your life for us. Thank you for showing us grace and mercy. We don't deserve it. God, I pray this week that you remind us of that. But I pray this week is I come in contact with people in my own world, but I prayed that the thought at the forefront of my mind will be the grace and the mercy that you have shown me in may. My actions may. My words may be my feelings, may my own decisions.

My responses By reactions may be just my countenance to be one that truly reflects the love that you show him for me and my love for other people. Just be the overflow out of that. God, I pray this morning for people that are struggling, guy with some significant struggles. God showed them that you were all they need.

God, may we be, as we sang a few moments ago, more like, jeez, No

 Lord. We love you. And we thank you that we can have the victory over anything that were struggling with today because of Jesus. And so we surrender all of those things that we struggle with into your hands. And we ask you to use those this week to truly love one another. And it's in Jesus name. We pray. Amen. Amen. Thank you so much for being here and as always, if we can help you with love, the previous is a pray with you and talking with you and a other than that, will we hope you have a great week and we will see you next Sunday

 

 

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Istrouma en Español
Oct 4 – 5, 2020

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Octubre 4, 2020
“Un Loco Amor“
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1 Juan 3:1-10
Miren con cuánto amor nos ama nuestro Padre que nos llama sus hijos, ¡y eso es lo que somos! Pero la gente de este mundo no reconoce que somos hijos de Dios, porque no lo conocen a él. Queridos amigos, ya somos hijos de Dios, pero él todavía no nos ha mostrado lo que seremos cuando Cristo venga; pero sí sabemos que seremos como él, porque lo veremos tal como él es. Y todos los que tienen esta gran expectativa se mantendrán puros, así como él es puro. Todo el que peca viola la ley de Dios, porque todo pecado va en contra de la ley de Dios; y ustedes saben que Jesús vino para quitar nuestros pecados, y en él no hay pecado. Todo el que siga viviendo en él no pecará; pero todo el que sigue pecando no lo conoce ni entiende quién es él. Queridos hijos, no dejen que nadie los engañe acerca de lo siguiente: cuando una persona hace lo correcto, demuestra que es justa, así como Cristo es justo. Sin embargo, cuando alguien sigue pecando, demuestra que pertenece al diablo, el cual peca desde el principio; pero el Hijo de Dios vino para destruir las obras del diablo. Los que han nacido en la familia de Dios no se caracterizan por practicar el pecado, porque la vida de Dios está en ellos. Así que no pueden seguir pecando, porque son hijos de Dios. Por lo tanto, podemos identificar quiénes son hijos de Dios y quiénes son hijos del diablo. Todo el que no se conduce con rectitud y no ama a los creyentes no pertenece a Dios.

1.    La Personalidad del Padre.
“Mirad cuán gran amor nos ha otorgado el Padre, para que seamos llamados hijos de Dios; y eso somos…” (1 Juan 3.1a)

a.    Quien es Dios.
b.    Quienes son los hijos de Dios.

2.    La Obra del Hijo.
“Y vosotros sabéis que Él se manifestó a fin de quitar los” (1 Juan 3.5)

a.    Libres del castigo del pecado.
b.    Libres del control del pecado.

3.    La Fortaleza del Espíritu Santo.
“Ninguno que es nacido de Dios practica el pecado, porque la simiente de Dios permanece en él; y no puede pecar, porque es nacido de Dios” (1 Juan 3.9)

a.    Una nueva posición en Cristo.
b.    Una nueva pasión en Cristo.

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Istrouma en Español
Oct 11 – 12, 2020

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Octubre 11, 2020
¿Por que hablamos del Amor?
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1 Juan 3:11-24
Este es el mensaje que ustedes han oído desde el principio: que nos amemos unos a otros. No debemos ser como Caín, quien pertenecía al maligno y mató a su hermano. ¿Y por qué lo mató? Porque Caín hacía lo malo y su hermano lo recto. Así que, amados hermanos, no se sorprendan si el mundo los odia. Si amamos a nuestros hermanos creyentes, eso demuestra que hemos pasado de muerte a vida; pero el que no tiene amor sigue muerto. Todo el que odia a un hermano, en el fondo de su corazón es un asesino, y ustedes saben que ningún asesino tiene la vida eterna en él. Conocemos lo que es el amor verdadero, porque Jesús entregó su vida por nosotros. De manera que nosotros también tenemos que dar la vida por nuestros hermanos. Si alguien tiene suficiente dinero para vivir bien y ve a un hermano en necesidad pero no le muestra compasión, ¿cómo puede estar el amor de Dios en esa persona? Queridos hijos, que nuestro amor no quede solo en palabras; mostremos la verdad por medio de nuestras acciones. Nuestras acciones demostrarán que pertenecemos a la verdad, entonces estaremos confiados cuando estemos delante de Dios. Aun si nos sentimos culpables, Dios es superior a nuestros sentimientos y él lo sabe todo. Queridos amigos, si no nos sentimos culpables, podemos acercarnos a Dios con plena confianza. Y recibiremos de él todo lo que le pidamos porque lo obedecemos y hacemos las cosas que le agradan. Y su mandamiento es el siguiente: debemos creer en el nombre de su Hijo, Jesucristo, y amarnos unos a otros, así como él nos lo ordenó. Los que obedecen los mandamientos de Dios permanecen en comunión con él, y él permanece en comunión con ellos. Y sabemos que él vive en nosotros, porque el Espíritu que nos dio vive en nosotros.

Texto central:

Nosotros hemos pasado de la muerte a la vida, y lo sabemos porque amamos a nuestros hermanos. El que no ama, aún está muerto. 1 Juan 3:14, DHH.

1.    Principio de Identidad.
1 Juan 3:10, 19-20.
“Podemos identificar” y “demostraran” criterios sobre la identidad del creyente: aquí́, la oposición entre ser hijo de Dios o ser hijo del diablo, entre obrar la justicia o no obrarla, amar al hermano o no amarlo, ser o no ser de la verdad.

2.    Principio de Conocimiento.
1 Juan 3:11, 18.
El primero nos dice qué hacer: amarnos unos a otros; el segundo, cómo hacerlo: con nuestras acciones, en verdad, no solo de palabras.

3.    Principio de Comunión.
1 Juan 3:12, 16-17.
Caín y sus obras malas se oponen a Abel y sus obras justas. Cristo y los que aman, dan su vida y se oponen a quienes la quitan por no compartir los medios de vida.  

4.    Principio de Vida.
1 Juan 3:13, 15.
Existe una relación entre “odiar”, no amor y asesinar.

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strouma Baptist Church
Oct 4, 2020

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October 4 | First John (BR)
Welcome Back! We're glad you've joined us today for our Sunday morning worship service! For more information about Istrouma, go to istrouma.org or contact us at info@istrouma.org.  

We glorify God by making disciples of all nations.
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October 4, 2020  | Jeff Williams
"Children of God"
1 John 3:1-10

1 John 3:1-10
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared 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; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are 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.

God chose us to be His children. vs 1

God removed every obstacle to becoming His children
vs 5,8-9

God changes our “want to”
vs 3, 10

God’s children are a reflection of their Father
vs 6-7

God’s home is our home
vs 2

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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

Direct download: IBC_20201004.mp3
Category:John -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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