Reconciliation Soup

I don’t know about you all but I love a good chili on a nice winter day. A good chili for me must have a good meat. The best meat of course is chuck that you chop up yourself. Beans are ok as long as they have a good texture: kidney or red beans. I also prefer adding a dash or two of liquid smoke to give it a hint of smokiness. You also need a good mixture of spices such as: cumin, coriander and a couple of cloves to help ignite the taste buds. Of course, there are few extra secret ingredients that I like to use along with some good canned San Marzano tomatoes and onions fried in a little oil. However, the true start of a good chili is the chili peppers. But you can’t just throw a bunch of any old chili peppers in. You need to know your peppers. There are multiple types from smoky, sweet and fresh, hot, to rich and fruity. All of these play a major part in making a good chili.

So, now that I have your taste buds enticed and you understand that it takes order, balance, process, and understanding to make a good chili; this is even truer for a successful reconciliation soup. This Sunday we will look more at the important balance of ingredients needed to truly be successful in fulfilling the ministry of reconciliation. I hope you all will join me this Sunday for this important topic.

 

Pastor Michael

Comments

2017-01-22

 

Family Assistance special offering next week

Business meeting 2/1/17

Discipleship training beginning 2/8/17

Potluck next Sunday evening

 

Song: Psalm 100

 

Be Glorified

 

Prayer at 10:26 - Father, when we run to you in our time of need, we pray that we would have your full attention. We pray that we can come to you as small children. As children sit at their father’s feet and listen to words of encouragement. Even correction. We know you love us. With love that goes beyond measure. Speak. That we would hear. That we would revere what we hear and that you’d transform our lives.

 

Glad to have you all here. We pray that God would encourage and speak to you and challenge you today.

 

If you saw the enewsletter, you saw that my synopsis is different from usual. 

 

You know I enjoy a good hot chili. We have had chili competitions here. And our family wins them. We love a good chili .There are key ingredients to making chili. And just as there are key ingredients to making a good chili, there are must-have ingredients for walking in the fullness of reconciliation.

 

I don’t want to belabor this analogy. If you look at the empire state building or the sears tower, and you want to get to the top from the bottom, you know it’s going to take one step at a time. While most of us would take an elevator, in reconciliation, we have to take steps. And pause and contemplate. And we must be patient as we strive to understand reconciliation.

 

A famous children’s fable: Stone Soup. This is the version I grew up hearing. (http://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/stonesoup/mtale.htm)

 

Stone Soup

 

Stone Soup, a Portuguese fableA kindly, old stranger was walking through the land when he came upon a village.  As he entered, the villagers moved towards their homes locking doors and windows.

 

The stranger smiled and asked, why are you all so frightened. I am a simple traveler, looking for a soft place to stay for the night and a warm place for a meal.

 

"There's not a bite to eat in the whole province," he was told. "We are weak and our children are starving. Better keep moving on."

 

"Oh, I have everything I need," he said. "In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you." He pulled an iron cauldron from his cloak, filled it with water, and began to build a fire under it.

 

Then, with great ceremony, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a silken bag and dropped it into the water.

 

By now, hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come out of their homes or watched from their windows.  As the stranger sniffed the "broth" and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their fear.

 

"Ahh," the stranger said to himself rather loudly, "I do like a tasty stone soup.  Of course, stone soup with cabbage -- that's hard to beat."

 

Soon a villager approached hesitantly, holding a small cabbage he'd retrieved from its hiding place, and added it to the pot.

 

"Wonderful!!" cried the stranger. "You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salt beef as well, and it was fit for a king."

 

The village butcher managed to find some salt beef . . .  And so it went, through potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and so on, until there was indeed a delicious meal for everyone in the village to share.

 

The village elder offered the stranger a great deal of money for the “magic” stone, but he refused to sell it and traveled on the next day.

 

As he left, the stranger came upon a group of village children standing near the road. He gave the silken bag containing the stone to the youngest child, whispering to a group, “It was not the stone, but the villagers that had performed the magic.”

 

 

~~~

So, when we look at this story, I see a few key ingredients. 

 

The first key ingredient is the stone. The second is the man. The third is not the pot, the water, the cabbage… but the inspiration that the man spoke through his voice.

 

Most of the people in the town had pots. Others may have had some food. But all were reluctant to share it. But when they saw the ‘magical stone’, their fear was overcome by curiosity. They saw that something different was going on. As they smelled the aroma and licked their lips…

 

The reality was they’d never be able to have this soup if this man hadn’t come to their town. Maybe the man already knew the situation of the village and came intentiaionaly to get them over their fear and feed their desperate need.

 

The man’s coming was a key ingredient.

 

As they see the man preparing the meal, licking his lips. smiling. calling to the people. Then they begin to hear his inspiring words, “you know, something that would make it nicer is some cabbage…” As the people were inspired by the words that were spoken, the village came together.

 

I want to look at several verses, beginning with Deut 6:4.

 

 4 ¶ ‘‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

 

The self-existing one who *needs* no one, the great I Am. He’s a God in plurality. He’s God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. When he says “one”, he means perfect in unity and completion. He truly is one.

 

God says, “I’m revealing myself to mankind/creation as three-in-one so that you understand that as you’re created in my image, there’s a process of understanding me as Father, Son, Holy Spirit and at the same time one.”

 

IN Genesis 1:1-2

 1:1 ¶ In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

 

And as God speaks, you hear him speaking things into existence.

 

 3 ¶ And God said, ‘‘Let there be light,’’and there was light.

 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

 

And then he speaks man into existence.

 

We see that as God is speaking, we also see the spirit of God hovering over the waters.

 

Let’s look at a few passages in John 14

 

John 14:15ff

 15* ¶ ‘‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

 

This is Jesus speaking.

 

 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,

 

I want you to see something here…

 

 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

 

Right here, right off the bat, the Son of God, Jesus, is speaking. He says, “I will ask the Father”, he’s recognizing the Father’s authority. And he’s saying, “I’m helping you know and have a relationship with the Father”.

 

And He says, “I’ll go back t the Father and He’ll send a helper.”

 

The Helper dwells WITH you and will be IN you. So while *I* have been a visible expression of God, God will reveal Himself by His Spirit. His Spirit testifies to you. And as you confess me as Lord, His Spirit will be in you forever.

 

Your spirit will be made a live in Christ, and I will be in you forever.

 

It’s a process.

 

 18* ¶ ‘‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

 19* Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

 20* In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

 

This is important because Jesus says He’s going back to the Father. He says, “I am *IN* you.” And if the Spirit is in you, then *I* am in you.

 

 21* Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.’’

 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘‘Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?’’

 23 Jesus answered him, ‘‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

 

Who sent Jesus? God the Father. And God the Son says, “I’m here because God the Father has sent me.” THere’s a process and order to things.

 

 25 ¶ ‘‘These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

 26* But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

 

I could go on and on, and you’ll see this build. You’ll see there’s a process and an order to how God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

 

 

John 16:4ff

 

 4* But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. ‘‘I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

 5* But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’

 6* But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.

 7* ¶ Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

 8* And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

 

Who’s going to convict the world? The Holy Spirit.

 

 9* concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;

 10* concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;

 11* concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

 12* ‘‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

 13* When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

 

Who’s authority is the Holy Spirit speaking on? God the Father’s.

 

 14* He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

 

Who’s speaking now? Jesus. And Jesus is saying that the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus.

 

 15* All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

 

All that Jesus has is in the Father and all the Father has is His. And as he declares these things about himself and about His Father.

 

John 5:19ff

 19 So Jesus said to them, ‘‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

 

See the relationship within the Godhead.

 

 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.

 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.

 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,

 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

 

There’s a process.

 

 25 ‘‘Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

 

When I bring you to the truth and where you can understand the truth and recognize your desperate need of me. There’s a process.

 

In Philippians, we see that Jesus emptied himself and God gave him the name above every name.

 

This gives me a baby aneurysm. At the name of Jesus every knee will bow. 

 

Php 2:

 5* Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

 6* who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

 7* but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

 8* And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 9* Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

 10* that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,

 11* and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Dr. Bagwell, what does “Every” mean?

Ans: leaving nothing out.

 

So Php says that God’s giving Jesus a name above the name of the Father even. And as people confess Jesus as Lord, it’s to God’s glory.

 

There’s a perfect harmony and unity taking place as God reveals Himself and brings salvation.

 

Back to De 6:5ff

 

 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

 

You shall love the self-existent God with all.

 

This is a bit of a set-up. The Fall has taken place. But, at best, this is how you can love me.

 

Jeremiah 17:9

 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

 

Mark 7:21-23

 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,

 22* coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.

 23* All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’’

 

The heart in a fallen condition is treacherous, deceitful, rotten to the core.

 

David is a “Man after God’s own heart”.

 

The heart is the core. Prov 4:3

 

Now let’s go to the SOUL. Psyche. Basically, it’s the intangible of the intangible. It means “life”. When we talk about Michael Walker, we are talking about my psyche, the intangible of who I am.

 

The Bible says that when Rachel died, her soul left her.

 

The soul is the essence of who we are. The experiences of the soul affect the heart of the parson.

 

Ps 42:11

 

David’s heart goes into despair. He becomes depressed. And then he catches himself:

 

 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

 

If your heart and soul are deceitful and wicked, then we see something interesting.

 

A good analogy for me — before Darth Vader was Darth Vader, he was Anakin. I remember watching Darth Vader in the theater. And seeing how grotesque he had become.

 

And when you see the prequels, you see a young boy with special abilities. Fighting the bad force. (Don’t critique me on my Star Wars lore.)

 

Senator Palpatine began to influence young Anakin until he becomes more and more deceived. Because of those influences, that was affecting the soul/psyche of who he is. And we see the transformation that takes place. His heart has died and he’s become a dark, lost soul: Darth Vader.

 

The environment and things around us can sway the soul. As our soul is swayed, it affects our heart. Grieved, saddened, brought to despair. And that becomes the wellspring for our life.

 

When people come to me for counseling, I often ask, “Tell me your story.” When they tell me their story, I can begin to understand where they are today because of what has affected their life. And I can see the condition of their heart: angry, fear, despair, distrust. I’m able to hear the story and see their life. Hear about the condition of their soul and heart.

 

IN a fallen state, here’s what happens: something comes at a person. They receive it with their senses. and then their mind processes what their experiencing. And then their soul starts to absorb it. And it hits the heart. And the heart responds, “I don’t trust anyone!” Because their heart is untrusting, the soul closes up. The experiences of the heart cause the mind to say: “Manipulate, defend, argue. Do not trust.” The mind speaks death, poison. The body begins to shut down. Or to lash out.

 

The word body is SOMA. Basically, “slave”. [I DON”T THINK SO] Slave to what the mind is speaking.

 

Something happens when you confess Jesus Christ as Lord of your Life. Then the Spirit of God comes into your life.

 

1Th 5:12ff

 12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,

 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

 14* And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

 

Paul’s admonishing believers…

 

 16 ¶ Rejoice always,

 

We’ll find out why shortly

 

 17 pray without ceasing,

 

Because the Spirit of God is dwelling in you.

 

 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 

Here’s a key verse:

 

 19 Do not quench the Spirit.

 20 Do not despise prophecies,

 

prophecies - the Word of God spoken over you.

 

 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.

 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

 23 ¶ Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

 

Listen to what’s going on here. Paul’s saying, “Listen, as believers, you’re very DNA has been spiritually changed. You’re now Spirit, Soul, and Body. So no matter what the circumstance or situation, no matter what your soul’s experienced, now you have the ability that when situations come and enter the body through the senses, and your mind receives it, and your soul wants to grab onto it, the Spirit says, “No. Ah ah ah.”

 

What does Heb 4:12 say?

 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

The soul wants to respond *this* way, but the Spirit says, “Aak”.

 

The Word of God is alive and active. Even though the flesh wants to respond in one way, the Spirit says, “You’re free from the way the soul wants to respond.” Let the Spirit give you a response.

 

God says, “I’ll give you a new heart, a heart of flesh.”

 

This is where reconciliation of Man to Himself comes in. You have a choice. You STILL have a choice. Don’t rely on a dead heart and a soul-ish response. Say, “Spirit of God, speak.”

 

Be reconciled to yourself. Don’t listen to the soul and a broken heart. Allow the Spirit to be in control. Be quickened by the Spirit of God so you can walk in life.

 

Because your heart belongs to him, and your pure heart can see God. You’ve been washed in the Word. You can say, “I can trust in you.”

 

Mind, I command the slave of a body to rejoice because my trust is in the Father. Be reconciled to yourself. Yield to the Spirit and not to the old man, the soulish man, where there’s despair and a broken heart.

 

11:18 At this time, we’ll take communion. Listen, please. If you’re hear in that broken state—and all in this room have been in that state—if you’re saying, “I’m still operating in the soulish realm,” what you’re saying is “I need a relationship with Jesus Christ.” If you don’t know Jesus Christ and want a relationship with him, I want to lead you to him so that we can share communion together.”

 

We practice open communion, where you have to be a believer in Jesus Christ, but you don’t have to be a member of a church.

 

As the elements are being distributed and you don’t know Jesus, I invite you to come forward and I’ll introduce you to our Lord and Savior.

 

11:20

 

I hope you’ve had a chance to read the enewsletter and the article from the elders. Jesus was betrayed. He understands. But He responded in a way that brings forth life. And that’s what we want to do here is to help you understand who Jesus Christ is and how that brings forth life within you and those around you. As we take the sacraments, we want to be reminded of the life we have in Him.

 

He took the bread, “This represents my body, broken for you. When you eat it. Do so in remembrance of me.” Let’s eat.

 

Then he took the cup. He said, “IT’s the cup of a new covenant in my blood, poured out to wash your sins away. Wash that decayed heart away. When you do it, do it in remembrance of me.” Let’s drink.

 

Prayer: Father, we thank you for your great love. I’m constantly reminded of what you say in Php 2:1…

 

 2:1* ¶ So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,

 

You say we can have a life not of selfishness but looking to the interests of others. I pray that we can walk, alive in you, as child of God, with heart that’s been renewed.

 

 2* complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

 3* Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

 4* Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 5* Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

 

I’m the first to cry out to you, recognizing I need you to quicken my heart. Give us a deep hunger for your Word. I pray Holy Spirit that you would quicken our minds so the things we do and say will bring forth life and not death.

 

I’m thankful we’re not asked to do this on our own. But by your Spirit. I pray your continued revelation in our life. Continue to establish your kingdom. 

 

11:28 - We’re going to go ahead and dismiss as we stand and sing this last song. Please be released to go get your children. You’re welcome to respond. To come for prayer.

 

Single Minded…

 

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Go and be disciples and ministers of reconciliation.