Sunday 28th August
Is Holding Onto Offence, Hurts & Unforgiveness a SIN? - Ps Len Bradley
If so how does it affect us to hold onto this stuff?
And how do we get free from it?
This is the Devil’s playground… this is the suicide bomber of all broken marriages, family splits and the fastest growing Church in our Nation the Used To Go To Church movement!
And frankly this is perhaps the most volatile of all the questions here today… it’s time to declare war on this little Stronghold of the Devil.
Let’s take the A.P.E.S.T. approach:
Apostle says: We have bigger things to accomplish in this world than settling our personal grievances – we have a world to reach for Jesus Christ: 2 Timothy 2:4
“Soldiers don't get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.” 2 Timothy 2:4
Prophet says: You cannot claim to have God’s love in you and still hold on to grudges and un-forgiveness: 1 John 2:9
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.” 1 John 2:9
Satan knows that if he can derail the Christians on this level he has short fused the message of the Gospel, which is repentance of sin and finding forgiveness; especially when we don’t deserve it.
Evangelist says: Times of offense are ideal moments for the Saving-love of Jesus to win out: Luke 7:47-48
"I tell you, her sins--and they are many--have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love. Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven." Luke 7:47-48
The writer of “the Word for Today” devotional book recently stated it this way: “You’ll never meet a person focused on yesterday who had a better tomorrow.”
Shepherd says: The love of God will always put sin aside (ours and others) to show that Jesus is the healer of all our hurts. Jesus sets us free from the feelings that imprison us:
"In my distress I prayed to the LORD and the LORD answered me and set me free” Psalm 118:5
“Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
Teacher says: Forgiveness is a character trait of the sons and daughters of God: Proverbs 19:11
“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” Proverbs 19:11
How do we deal with it, and get free of it?
It’s extremely hard to stay angry and judgemental against anyone that you are constantly praying to God for, that He would “bless them”.
"Lou" Holtz is a retired American football coach says it so well:
“You'll never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him!”
Jesus said it, too, didn’t he? Luke 6:28
“Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” Luke 6:28
To deal with being offended, I must reframe that one that has offended me, in my mind, to be the one who needs saving and repentance, and ask God to do whatever it takes, including my forgiving them, to turn them around.
Finish this with Mark 11:25& Luke 17:3-4
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father, in heaven, will forgive your sins, too." Mark 11:25
“So watch yourselves! If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive." Luke 17:3-4
What happens when we die? - Ps Dave Marrett
a) Can our loved one’s see us from heaven, seeing the pain we are in, how could they enjoy the fullness of God’s presence?
Scripture is somewhat silent on the awareness of the Christian, in regard to the temporal world upon death. Second Corinthians 5:1-3 tells us about being clothed with our heavenly body, which will release us from the burdens of mortality. Verse 8 provides us with a particularly heavenly perspective: "To be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord.”
Luke 16 speaks of the rich man asking someone to go to his family to warn them about their impending doom. However, his request is based upon his lifetime recollection of his family's lack of spiritual life and not necessarily on his observing earthly events after he died, there is also no evidence that Lazarus, whom he observed in paradise had any idea of his location or situation nor the current events on earth.
Some teach that our deceased Christian loved ones can see us from heaven. They frequently cite from Hebrews 12:1, which says: "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us . . . run with endurance the race that is set before us."
They interpret that to mean our departed loved ones watch us like spectators do in a stadium, seeing our every move and cheering us on or wringing their hands over our rebellion. While that may seem comforting or NOT, we don't believe the Bible is really teaching that.
The witnesses in this verse are not modern-day loved ones, but the faithful saints in Hebrews 11 who lived victorious lives by trusting God. Those saints are witnesses to us because their lives testify about the value of trusting God no matter what hardships we face. They are active witnesses who speak to us by their example; not passive witnesses who watch us with their eyes.
Consequently, when we understand Hebrews 12:1 in its context, we realize that it doesn't really support the idea that our loved ones are watching us from heaven. Our comfort comes not from knowing they can see us, but that they can see Jesus and one day we will see Him with them as well-never to be separated again. What also seems like long periods of time for us here on earth, separated from our loved ones may be like mere seconds in eternity….again no one knows because God didn’t feel it important enough to get into those details.
b) Soul sleep?
We often read especially in the Old Test that upon ‘death’ David or one of the other patriarchs said to be ‘sleeping with their fathers.’ This was written from the authors Jewish perspective where the words to sleep, were used synonymously with the word dead or deceased. It certainly wasn’t a basis for any doctrine of the afterlife. Paul’s statement to be absent from the body to be present with Jesus seems to push us toward an understanding of when we are released from this body we are immediately in the presence of Christ.
Paul was torn between the need to evangelize the least the last and the lost or to be released from his ministry of HARD TIMES to be in the presence of Jesus. Knowing Paul’s passion, at times wishing that he could take on the curse of unbelief for his fellow Jews, His desire for all to hear the good news that the Kingdom had arrived seems to be in-congruent with the notion that when we die we enter into some kind of soul sleep. Knowing the passion of Paul, the option of just opting out, for a nice long nap until Jesus returns seems to be in stark contrast to his passion to spend everything for the sake of the gospel. Same as in Acts as Stephen is being stoned he is given a vision of Jesus in the place that he was about to himself enter! later in revelation we read of Christ’s return accompanied by those who had already passed into eternity - So I believe the bible gives great weight to the hope of being absent from this body is to be in the presence of Christ.
c) Will we recognise one another in heaven
I think there is a weight of evidence that we will!
The Bible declares that when we arrive in heaven, we will “be like him [Jesus]; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Just as our earthly bodies were of the first man Adam, so will our resurrection bodies be just like Christ’s (1 Corinthians 15:47). “And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:49, 53). Many people recognized Jesus after His resurrection (John 20:16, 20; 21:12; 1 Corinthians 15:4-7). If Jesus was recognizable in His glorified body, we also will be recognizable in our glorified bodies. We will be recognised by God, our names written in the lambs book of life, so I think there is great probability that you’ll be able to say gidday to one another
Angels - Ps Kev
Malak - Hebrew
Angelos - Greek - Messenger of God..
It can be used in the bible to describe angelic spirit beings who can take on human form at God’s command, or it can also be referred to as in revelation the angels of the 7 churches. Human church leaders... Either way - they are still simply messengers of God.
Where did they come from?
Angels are created beings by God they are not like human who go through a birthing & development phases they are just created.
Created by God & to carry out his plans & purposes. It would appear that there is some kind of leadership structure. As you find three archangels that turn up a special time.
Dan 10 - Michael in a battle with the prince of persia when Daniel is praying.. (Theologians belief Satan)
Luke 1 - Gabriel to announce to Mary the plan for the Saviours’ birth,
Revelation 12, Isaiah 14, Ezek 28 - Lucifer ‘Son of the Morning” - who sadly out of his beauty & giftedness in worship and music became filled with pride and rallied a mutiny in heaven to usury God’s throne. As a result he and a 1/3rd of the angels of heaven were cast out of heaven and they are now referred to as demons as they await their final destiny in the first of hell with Satan and all those who choose to side with him. And there is no salvation for angels who have fallen away..
And their is also - “The Angel of The Lord” which is a scary dude.
Something’s we know about Angels from the scriptures...
Ps 78:25 Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.
Jude 1: 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
What is their purpose & function?
Heb 1:14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.
This is probably this most distorted portion of scripture in hyper faith circles. I have seen this used of context by people to actually try and command and manipulate angels to go out & do my human bidding... Eg Bring in that Money, get me that Job, find me that girl or guy, get me that car etc etc
The Angels are being sent by the Father to do his bidding to keep us on the journey of being conformed to the image of Christ... They are to serve us by doing whatever the father instructs to help us inherit that salvation.
Eg Angels / sometimes will even bring destruction into our lives if we are straying from the path of life.. They are serving us by fulfilling the Father’s commands to keep us on track.
Other times like in the wilderness Jesus is ministered too by angels in accordance with His need for the Father's plan & purpose of salvation to be accomplished. Lot & his family were rescued from the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah by angels. All were saved except his wife who kept looking back at the things of the world.
Help Us Inherit Salvation
And when Jesus returns they do the sorting out of what who spends eternity in heaven & who is condemned to hell..
Mt 13: 49 -50 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Sort Out Who’s IN & Who's Out for Heaven & Hell..
Does Everyone Have a Guardian Angel?
A Jewish myth started to circulate out of the account in Acts 12 when Peter was broke out of jail by an angel..
Matt 18:10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.[fn]
Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,
I am inclined to think our God has a myriad angels watching over us & depending on the circumstance & course of action required that determines whom the Father sends on the mission.
Angels are created by God, they are at God’s disposal to be sent to serve those of us who are inheriting salvation. They could be sent to rescue like Daniel in the lions dens, they could be sent to strengthen like Jesus, or they could be sent to bring disaster or judgment to get our attention to get us back on the right path.
I personally don’t think the scripture lends itself to a singular guardian angel for each person but to a myriad of angels before the Father and at His disposal to help us inherit salvation.
Every time angels show up people fall down to worship in fear..
Relationships - Ps Danny Everingham
What do you do when you are married to someone who wants nothing to do with God and you feel lonely living faith on your own?
Disappointment, hurt, frustration, loneliness, lacking love……how do you keep your marriage going?
go back to the start……..marriage was created by God as a picture of the covenant keeping love that’s between Jesus Christ and his Church, a covenant keeping love is never cheap, never easy. It cost Jesus his very life to be in this kind of relationship with us.
When we make a marriage covenant, we make that covenant firstly with God, then secondly with each other……..it’s a powerful thing, 2 become 1 flesh
So when isn’t working, when 2 are torn apart, even just a bit, very hurtful
1st truth, pain is real
The fact that our marriage Covenant is firstly made with God is really important…….sets the purpose
Making you happy right now……. is not the ultimate goal of your marriage.
If it is your in trouble, because your spouse isn’t making you happy
Bringing Jesus Christ honour in your marriage, displaying His covenant love……..that is the goal of your marriage
And that’s not dependant on your spouse
Even if your spouse is against God, you can still fulfil your part of the covenant, you can still bring honour to Jesus Christ, you can still display His undeserved love….it will be hard, but God is faithful
2nd truth, goal of our marriage is to honour Jesus Christ & display covenant love
How are we going to do that??
(Mk 10:9) marriage isn’t man made, we are joined by God, it’s His design, we need to fix His way
1 cor 7, Eph 5, Col 3:18-19, 1 Pet 3…..says
even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
Nutshell…..serve as if you are serving Jesus Christ
we need to love our spouse out of obedience to Jesus Christ, not because they deserve it
Basically the same as the rest of our lives following Jesus Christ, we need to die to self & allow Holy Spirit to live thru us…….because we can’t do covenant keeping love in our own strength….but thank God we don’t have to.
When our self gets out of the way, & Holy Spirit takes over, empowering us with HIS grace and HIS strength. We are able to pray when we’re tired of praying and able to love when we don’t feel like loving.
And as we live in obedience to Jesus Christ, His grace keeps our eyes fixed on him, let me tell you an awesome promise. All the way through scriptures, the great reward for obedience……is a closer walk with Jesus Christ
Rom 5:3 We can rejoice, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, (spiritual maturity) and this strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
In other words, your spouse may disappoint you in 100 different ways,
But if you respond with hope filled obedience to God…….that will not disappoint.
There might be a 1000 little acts of grace that you will do, that your spouse will not even notice……But God sees. He sees every expression of your patience and mercy and respect, & He writes them all down. They are sacrifices to Him & He will reward them, maybe in this life, definitely in the next
Your children will benefit ….1 cor 7:14….kids under covenant
So bringing Jesus Christ honour in our marriage doesn’t depend on our spouse keeping up their end. We stand before the Lord, and we do all as unto him. Prayer is our strongest ministry toward our spouse.
Shouldn’t think, “guess I’ll pray since nothing else is working.”
I want to pray because it is the best way I can love my spouse, I know that only God can transform them
You can pray for your spouse like no one else can. You know them closer than anyone else, you are more invested in them than anyone else. You love them the most, so you can pray for them the deepest.
You know what makes them tick, strengths & weaknesses, but what you do with this is important. We can attempt to “fix” things ourselves. But the bible never tells us that it is our job to change our husband, or wife…….bible tells us we have to ask HS to change us & we have to trust Holy Spirit…..to do His work…..in his timing…….and in his power…….to change them
Here's the deal
Prayer changes the dynamics of your relationship. We’re no longer focusing on the problem but on the one who can solve it.
We are saying, Jesus Christ I need you, I need you to heal my marriage, I need you to save my spouse………& I need you to transform me.
You see praying for your spouse does a work in your own heart as well. We gain humility and compassion as we realize that we both are in desperate need of grace.
3rd truth prayer is your main job
Aunt Elaine married to difficult, spiteful, hates himself, totally opposed to God. 100k ac property, 160klm outside of broken hill, kids went to boarding school
She knew lonely
Sometimes I couldn’t pray for my husband anymore, I had nothing left to pray with ……christian friends, that’s what we’re here for
I don’t want to forgive him, he has hurt me too much / do you want to be like Jesus Christ?
Didn’t have her own love to give, only love she has to offer husband is Jesus Christ love
Please don’t let me get bitter, or retaliate………don’t want hurt to stay there, get rid of poision straight away, I give it to you Lord
Love isn’t feeling, act of will…..compassion, grace
1 Cor 13 love defined
Married 52yrs, now is full time carer for husband
Trust only in God, hour by hour, day by day
Total reliance on prayer
Value of obedience
When she focuses on Jesus Christ, she can rejoice in Jesus Christ even when hurting badly on inside
Now she actually thanks God for giving her a difficult husband because it has drawn her closer to Jesus Christ, given her deeper understanding of Fathers love
If you feel lonely living faith on your own……..I want you to hear God’s heart for you
He does want your spouse to be saved, He does want them to be the husband or wife they were designed to be…..He wants that…..but your spouse still has a choice,
So even if they won’t
Jesus Christ desires to fill you up with His love, with His devotion……
Jesus Christ was cut off, abandoned by father……..so that you don’t have to be………nothing can separate you from His love
I want you to hear Him say…..I will never leave or forsake you
Know that Jesus Christ is always more than enough
There is a great depth of spiritual maturity if you understand this
Corrie ten boom put it this way…..you can never learn that Jesus Christ is all you need, until Jesus Christ is all you have