Chuch yesterday was all about developing God's perspective in good times, bad times, and all the times in between. There was a LOT of good stuff in the sermon, but the two things I will remember always were these:
1) When dealing with bad people, remember Phil. 1:28 "...without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God."
Whether you have a crummy boss, a lousy relative, or a bum friend, the reason they are "bad" is because we have some fear of them. A boss can take away our livelihood, a relative can damage relationships with family, a friend can disclose the secrets we want kept quiet. Or...we may be afraid of not being liked. But Paul, who had some experience with bad people opposing him, says to not be frightened of them. Psalm 23 says God will prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies.
The preacher said, "It's never good to be the enemy of one of God's own."
2) When dealing with bad habits, remember Colossians 3:5-8 "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry...But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." (italics mine)
As the preacher said, "What is it about 'Put to death' and 'rid yourself' you don't understand?" Turn it off, get rid of it, stop it, end it, don't touch it... It doesn't say, "Keep it under control" or "don't let it get to you too often" or "only have a little". Whatever you find captivating will soon make you its captive. Whatever it is, put it to DEATH.
Instead, do as Col. 3: 12-17 says. "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
"Lumpy Christians," the preacher said, "are those who put righteous clothes over the top of the vices they were supposed to get rid of."
Wow...do I love it when a preacher gets at the heart of something and really nails me to the wall. Okay, maybe I don't always love being nailed to the wall, but it's still good for me.
Until next time,