Reconciliation Soup Part 2 (The Stirring, Serving and Tasting)

Many of you all know that before my family and I came here three years ago we had been missionaries in Botswana for nine and a half years. Being Americans living in a foreign country, there always tends to be a few things that you miss. One of the things my son, Judah, and I missed the most was American football. We were excited the day that we found out that Botswana was going to start broadcasting ESPN. We thought, “Great! Now we can watch football again.” It was to our sad surprise to discover that there was something known as ESPN Euro. Yes, it was sports dedicated to European sports fans. What a letdown. Then, it happened for real. They announced that they would start showing American football. Boy, were we excited. Because of the ministry I was doing I was not able to be home when the games aired; so, I would set it to record. Once again I encountered another letdown as I was watching the game that I had recorded. All of a sudden, a voice came on and said "due to the time constraints we now move ahead in our programming." This happened about three times. We missed a lot of the good stuff. Well, last week even though a lot of the goods were presented, there were still some crucial items that were not covered.  I encourage you to come back for the last courses of reconciliation soup: “The Stirring, Serving and the Tasting.” It will definitely be worth your while. Be ready to taste and see how good our Lord is.

Hope to see you Sunday.

 

Sincerely,

Pastor Michael

Comments

2017-01-29 MW

 

Songs:

From the Day

I Fall - “Blessed Catastrophe”

Rise

Forever Reign - “I’m running to your arms / My heart will sing no other name. Jesus”

10:28 - Prayer - Will

Come Thou Fount - by Like Sons

 

Video - http://www.uspray100.com/, http://presidentialprayerteam.com

 

In the many groups I associate and work with, I find myself among different camps. As a result, I have to watch what I say. Because what I say may offend someone.

 

At the end of the day, Romans 13 says we’re to honor our leaders. And Titus says we’re to pray for our leaders. As believers in Christ, this is a responsibility we’re called to do.

 

I appreciate what the politician from GA said in the video: “If there’s corruption, we as believers area allowing it to happen.”

 

We need to cover our nation in prayer. We read that in the last days there’s going to be a tide of immorality. We’re seeing a celebration of perversion today, as if it were a beautiful innocent thing. We live in a very gray world. Sometimes it’s hard as believers to figure out how to negotiate in such a gray world. 

 

We should find ourselves camped out with our buddies, friends, acquaintances PRAYING for our government, our world. When we pray, God will move in the hearts of men.

 

Go to that site, and begin to pray for our president and our leaders.

 

10:41 - Prayer - We don’t worship a leader. Lord Jesus, I know you’re Lord of ALL creation. As I look in your word, I see ordained times and things that are going to come. I constantly look and these words are constantly coming out of my mouth and resonating in my heart (2Chron 7:14) “ 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

As people from other nations come to our land, may they find your grace at work here. Maneuver in our hearts and check the things we speak and the way we respond. As we as a church, a body of believers, we are commissioned to be leaders. I pray for President, VP, Cabinet, Senate, House. 

 

I know that there are people who lobby for agendas. But we pray that there would be a movement of your Spirit within our country, our leadership. That you would impassion the hearts of our men and women, all who trust in you and know you. That we would adhere to your word and fall on our faces before you.

 

I pray for grace and mercy for our country and our leaders. That we would not just be a religious group. That we wouldn’t be a people with human agendas. Show us how to pray. Men, women, and children. That in our homes, we’d begin to pray for our leaders and our country. Lord, we desperately need you.

 

I pray you begin to stir in the hearts of men and women and that your the kingdom would be established and that this nation would reflect your glory.

 

10:45 - Again, welcome. If your’e a visitor I pray you’l be encouraged and challenged. You’ll hear the Word of God today. And if you hear the Word of God, then the Spirit of God will be at work in your life.

 

(calling out Ethan)

 

We’ve been talking about reconciliation of man to himself. We started looking at the process, which begins with God revealing himself to us as Father, Son, Holy Spirit. It’s a process that brings us to salvation and walking under the lordship of Jesus Christ.

 

We talked about how the process has a certain order.

 

A part of reconciliation that I struggle with is reconciling my message with time. Last week, I zoomed through some things and ended up leaving out some critical points that if we miss will skew our thinking.

 

I want to paint the full picture.

 

Once we’ve been reconciled to God, we have Deut 6:4-5

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

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

 

We know that when it says to love your God in this way, this is an incomplete way to worship God because it’s the fallen nature trying to please God.

 

1Th 5:23-

 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.

 

Here we see that when we surrender our life to Christ, we’re made complete, able to worship God in a complete way, and love him in a complete and pleasing way: spirit, soul, body.

 

Going back to the fallen man, in that process, we see that our body is affected through some time of encounter through our eyes, ears. And our mind processes. And then that develops our soul.

 

We talked about how our environment, what we were taught, the things we’re exposed to. E.g., here in HSV, there’s something that breeds engineers. Not just the parents, but their children. the environment here really breeds that. IT causes the DNA of young people to have this mindset and thought process. So their soul is formed in a certain fashion and they have a certain behavior.

 

This happens in abuse as well. When you’ve been absued as a child or have gone through tough situations…. I shared about a young lady who was a missionary, she was walking outside my office. And the Lord told me I needed to call her into my office. “Can you tell me your story?”

 

I found that she had been abused by her uncle, then a cousin, then a boyfriend, then another man who was a stranger to her.

 

She said that, because of this, I don’t trust men today. I’m on the verge of hating men.

 

My heart broke and grieved for her. I began to apologize. “On behalf of all men, I hate what we’ve done to you. Treated you like an object. Used and abused you. I pray that some day you would be able to forgive.”

 

And she wept. God began to cleanse her.

 

Later, she called and said, “That time in your office changed my life.”

 

Her soul had been infected. She had mistrust, anger, fear of men.

 

And you can imagine that, when we talk about God the FATHER. And that Jesus is a MAN. Then then enemy could cause her not to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ i the way we’re called to.

 

In the fallen state, when the body is exposed to certain things, it gets into our heart. And then anger happens.

 

We can *strive* to love God with all we have, but striving means we’re working heard to do something we’re actually powerless to do. We can’t love God. We can’t forgive. We can’t fulfill our destiny. So instead we get weary and become disheartened.

 

We start living in a soulless way.

 

Mark 7

 14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, ‘‘Hear me, all of you, and understand:

 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.’’

 16

 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.

 18 And he said to them, ‘‘Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,

 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?’’(Thus he declared all foods clean.)

 20 And he said, ‘‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him.

 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.’’

 

As we zoomed through, there’s something here that bothered me all week long.

 

In Gal 4:4-5 -  4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

 

In Mark 7, the Pharisees were complaining about how the disciples weren’t washing their hands. Here we are striving to be holy and look at your disciples.

Jesus says, “You’ve got it all wrong. It’s not about the outward things you do. If your heart’s not right, then it doesn’t matter what you do.”

When people havent given their heart to J, their heart is deceitful, full of immorality and evil desires.

This is what Jesus addresses.

 

Ironically, there were factions and they were in disagreement about how to serve God. And they were in disagreement with each other.

 

1Th 5:23-

 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.

 

Catch this, He’s a “God of peace.” Where there’s animosity, he brings peace. He’s the creator of peace.

 

Some of us are still struggling to walk w/ reconciliation w/ ourselves because we’re still struggling w/ who God is.

 

I love the word “sanctified” - it means to be holy, set apart for God’s purpose.

 

Jesus said, “I sanctify myself for your service so that I can give my followers my spirit and my power to follow you. They become a child of God, set apart for your service.”

 

You have been set apart and made holy because Jesus was holy. And when you’re alive in Christ, the Spirit of God now lives in you, you’re set apart to live for Him.

 

Ethan, what does “completely” mean?

Ethan: 100%.

 

Right, not leaving anything out.

 

But here’s a problem. because some sitting here are saying, “If this is true, then what’s wrong with me?” Why don’t I feel completely sanctified and reconciled? Why do I still struggle?

 

It’c because we have a quickened spirit, made alive, Spirit of God inside us. We have a new heart (Galatians, Ezekiel, Jeremiah). But we have a relentless soul that’s in need of sanctification.

 

We have spirit, new heart, but a relentless soul.

 

All these things your soul’s been exposed to.—what the enemy has brought in to your life—In the OT, it’s about heart, soul, strength. In the NT, it’s Spirit, soul, body.

We’re new in Christ, but our soul is still wrestling, struggling with our past. The struggle continues. That’s why there’s the *process* of sanctification.

 

Php 2 talks about sanctification. There’s a process. We’ve been sanctified and made holy, and now our mind is being renewed by the Word of God. 

 

I can tell you for a fact that I’m not the same person I was when I called on the Lord Jesus. I’m not even the same person I was 10 yrs ago.

 

As I continue to surrender to the Lord and have my soul continually transformed, I’m made more and more in the image of God. It’s a process taking place.

 

So the problem, where many believers are, is that we continue to have that *striving* nature. About the “do’s” and “don’ts”. What I need to do and have to do and should do. Rules and regulations.

 

We’ve been made righteous through the blood of Christ. Yet we still strive.

 

In Hebrews 4 it talks about this.

 

 4:1 ¶ Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.

 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, ‘‘As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’’’although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.

 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: ‘‘And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.’’

 5 And again in this passage he said, ‘‘They shall not enter my rest.’’

 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,

 7 again he appoints a certain day, ‘‘Today,’’saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, ‘‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’’

 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.

 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

 11 ¶ Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

 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.

 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

 

Let me explain. The writer is talking about when the people of Israel were sent into Canaan, “where you’ll be free to worship Me.”

 

When they came to this land, scouts entered and 10 came back w/ negative reports, and Joshua and Caleb came with good reports. But the people wouldn’t accept it. They lacked faith believing that God’s word was true.

 

As believers, God has promised you a place of rest. A reconciled heart.  A place of peace. But for you to acquire the place of peace, you must believe and trust the promises of God’s Word. (Heb 4:12)

 

My word is alive and active and if you yield to it, you’ll be reconciled to yourself, cease from striving, and enter your rest of knowing who you are in Christ.

 

The reason we struggle is that we don’t trust in the finished work of Christ. So we continue to strive instead of trusting God’s Word.

 

2Corinthians  3:12 ¶ Since we have such a hope, we are very bold,

 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end.

 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.

 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.

 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

 

Hear this! Believe it! Receive it! It’s the Word of God!

 

 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

 

[stomping] Transformed, from one glory to another. From Glory to glory to glory. And when this is happening, the Holy Spirit continues to sanctify us. And as we continue to trust, the soul is being reformatted. It’s being reshaped.

 

No longer will the soul be in command, but the spirit will be in command.

 

Those sins that so easily entangle you and seem to hold you in bondage. The lies and circumstances that seem to overwhelm you, as you continue to yield to the Spirit of Godod in your life, your soul will continue to be changed from glory to glory.

 

Php 2:1* ¶ So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit [so that the spirit is at work in your life], any affection and sympathy,

 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 spending so much time on this because in order for us to walk in reconciliation of man-man and man-God, we have to learn to walk in peace within ourselves.

 

Here’s an analogy. And please leave your political agendas at the door. We know that murder is a sin. Please hear me. And we know that in our country we have many places we can go and have an abortion. And there’s an unborn child there. And there are often Christians picketing and yelling “baby killer”. I wonder if Jesus were in that situation, what would he do?

Here’s where the Spirit of God and Word of God come together. “The Bible say,s “Thou shalt not murder” so it’s really plain”.

When the woman was caught in adultery and they pulled her out and were ready to stone her to death and Jesus comes on the scene. We don’t know what he was writing. But he said, “He who has no sin cast the first stone.” And slowly, one by one, you see them drop their stones and walk away.

Then Jesus looks at the woman and asks, “Where are your accusers now?” And you can imagine the woman’s heart. All the things that made her to be where she was, at that time. And all the anger she had. And not knowing how to live. And Jesus comes to her defense.

J says something important: “Go and sin no more.”

I guarantee you that made more impact on her than someone calling her an adulterer or some other foul name. Jesus came and cared for her. Brought wholeness to her: “Go and sin no more”

This is where it’s important for us not to rely on the soul. We’ve been brought up with certain traditions, ideologies, denominations, family experiences… And because of that, even in our religious faith, we can respond in a very soulish manner. According to what *we* believe is right.

As Spirit of God applies Word of God to your life, you’ll find yourself responding differently than you would. So it’s extremely important, if you’re going to be a minister of reconciliation. You may find yourself w/ prostitutes. People who do v questionable things. In situations that a Christian would never find themselves in. Because you’re being used as a minister of reconciliation, allowing Spirit of God to use you.

Then when you come in, you don’t bring condemnation, but light. Hope. Peace. Deliverance.

 

Two words important to us: STRIVING, what we do when we try to do what is right. YIELDING - when we relinquish ourselves to the Spirit of God.

 

X in you! Who lives in you? Christ! That’s not a fancy thing we say. If you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, Christ is in YOU. The hope of glory.

 

11:30 As we stand and prepare to sing this last song. Gregg, if someone comes forward to join, we’ll want to get them started in DT100.

It occurred to me that I have people in my family that don’t know Jesus. IF they were to die today, they’d suffer eternally. Away from the one who loves them w/ everlasting love.

If you don’t know Jesus—not a religious plea—you don’t know life or hope or peace. Scripture tells us, “Behold, now is the time. Today’s the day of salvation.”

If you don’t know Jesus, I encourage you, before I even stop speaking, for you to run up here and let us introduce you to a saving relationship w/ the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you don’t have a church home, and God’s calling you to join this church, please come forward.

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If there’s something else you need prayer for, don’t leave this place without having someone stand w/ you in prayer.

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We have a need for reconciliation, of wholeness, at three different levels:

-internally, within ourselves - else we don’t feel peace or purpose or lasting joy

-relationally, among ourselves - else we will have few friends, distant or broken families

-religiously, with God - else we will be separated from God in this life and for eternity

 

In the Bible, God reveals that reconciliation on all these levels is a process.

 

We are created in God’s image. And God says of Himself Deut 6:4. 

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

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

 

So in the same way that the Father, Son, Spirit are all One and complete, so we can have unity within ourselves as well.

 

We see a key ingredient in that process of internal self-reconciliation in John 14:15ff.

 

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

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

 

Jesus asking the Father to give another Helper (John 14:16) shows that in the midst of the perfect relationship within God, there’s a recognition and acceptance of authority.

 

Also, we see that the Spirit of God is gifted from God to be WITH us and IN us (v17), revealing God to us. If you confess Jesus as Lord, the Spirit will be in you forever.

 

There’s a process and an order by which God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, Spirit.

 

In John 16:7-8, we see that the Spirit of God is present, involved, and convicts the world.

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:

 

In John 5:19ff, we again get a view into the relationship within the Godhead, and how God engages with us, even when we’re spiritually dead (v25) and can have life.

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.

 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.

 

The process? We hear and understand the truth and recognize our desperate need of Jesus. God reveals Himself and brings us salvation.

 

Bringing it all together. In the OT, Deut 6:4ff commands us to love God. And we can’t do that very well because (Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23) we are fallen and our heart is deceitful and desperately sick.

 

The Bible doesn’t only talk about heart. It also talks about SOUL (“psyche”). It is the essence of our person. So that, when someone dies, we understand that their soul has left.

 

Our essence, our soul, is shaped by our experiences. In Star Wars, Darth Vader starts as Anakin, an innocent boy. But his environment and the influence of Palpatine darkened Anakin into Vader.

 

Our environment sways our soul and affects our heart. For an unsaved person, here’s how that looks:

Something comes at a person. They receive it with their senses. and then their mind processes what they’re 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.

 

But it’s different in the soul of a person who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord of their life. Then then Spirit of God comes in. See 1 Th 5:16-24

 16 ¶ Rejoice always,

 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.

 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.

 

Paul’s saying, “Listen, as believers, your 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 intervenes: “No. Ah ah ah.”

 

In Ezek 36:26, God promises a new heart and a new spirit.

 

In 1 Th 5:23, God is “God of peace”. Where there’s animosity, he brings peace. He’s the creator of peace. Some of us are still struggling to walk in reconciliation within ourselves because we’re still struggling with who God is.

 

Another reason we struggle is that, although we have God’s Spirit, and we have a new heart, we still have a relentless soul. We’re new in Christ, but our soul is still wrestling, struggling with our past. The struggle continues. That’s why there’s the *process* of sanctification.

 

Php 2 talks about sanctification. There’s a process. We’ve been sanctified and made holy, and now our mind is being renewed by the Word of God. 

 

I can tell you for a fact that I’m not the same person I was when I called on the Lord Jesus. I’m not even the same person I was 10 yrs ago.

 

As I continue to surrender to the Lord and have my soul continually transformed, I’m made more and more in the image of God. It’s a process taking place.

 

2 Cor 3:12-18 

12 ¶ Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.

 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Transformed, from one glory to another. From Glory to glory to glory. And when this is happening, the Holy Spirit continues to sanctify us. And as we continue to trust, the soul is being reformatted. It’s being reshaped.

 

No longer will the soul be in command, but the Spirit will be in command. Those sins that so easily entangle you and seem to hold you in bondage. The lies and circumstances that seem to overwhelm you, as you continue to yield to the Spirit of God in your life, your soul will continue to be changed from glory to glory.

 

Here’s an analogy — comparing how we treat someone considering an abortion to the way Jesus treated a woman caught in adultery in John 8. Instead of being harshly judgmental, Jesus seemed to be low key. When the accusers all left, Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”

 

I guarantee you that made more impact on her than someone calling her an adulterer or some other foul name. Jesus came and cared for her. Brought wholeness to her: “Go and sin no more”

 

This is where it’s important for us not to rely on the soul. We’ve been brought up with certain traditions, ideologies, denominations, family experiences… And because of that, even in our religious faith, we can respond in a very soulish manner. According to what *we* believe is right.

 

As Spirit of God applies Word of God to your life, you’ll find yourself responding differently than you naturally would. As you become a minister of reconciliation, you may find yourself in the company of prostitutes and other people who do very questionable things.

 

When you come in, don’t bring condemnation, but light. Hope. Peace. Deliverance.

 

Two words are important: STRIVING, what we do when we try to do what is right. YIELDING - when we relinquish ourselves to the Spirit of God.

 

Christ in you! Who lives in you? Christ! That’s not a fancy thing we say. If you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, Christ is in YOU. The hope of glory.

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