Sunday, February 9, 2014

Your Deepest Need: Peace

Peace - (Audio Recording)

February 9, 2014

Your Deepest Needs
Philippians 4:4-7

(Advance Slide #1)

A famous Japanese Christian said that in the cross he found Christianity’s greatest uniqueness. 
  • He said, “I am grateful for Shinto, for Confucianism and for Buddhism...I owe much to these faiths. 
  • Yet these three faiths utterly failed to minister to my heart’s deepest needs. 
    • The deep need of a Savior and all of the spiritual blessings that are a part of being his
(Advance Slide #2)

This next month I want us to study a series of lessons titled, “Your Deepest Needs”
  • Last week we studied FORGIVENESS as a deep need.
    • We need our sins forgiven.
    • Why? So that we can be justified…live righteous before God.
    • We know the alternative is that we are eternally lost and are subject to His wrath.
      • Also, so that we can experience and live the “forgiven life.”
      • Forgiveness is also an expression of love…we accept love and we give love.
(Advance Slide #3)

This morning we will study the PEACE
  • We need peace, not just the absence of conflict, and we will define this words better.
    • Why do we need peace though?
      • The peace that God gives eases and comforts us.
    • We will see that the peace of God is a bi-product of our joy/rejoicing.
      • Anxiousness is ingrained in us…Jesus taught this.
      • Through His grace and mercy we can have peace!
      • Just as we can live the forgiven life as can also live the life of peace!
  • Understand our need for the Father’s peace.
  • More than that that though, so that we can experience the freedom that comes only from Him.
    • Jesus himself said,
      • "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”John 14:27
      • "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33
(Advance Slide #4)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:4-7

Paul begins these verses with the challenge/blessing of joy.
  • He then instruct (once again a blessing) of bringing every bit of your concerns or anxiousness to God in prayer.
(Advance Slide #5)

vs. 7 begins with the word “and” this word is more important than it looks.
  • It doesn’t just add to vs. 4-6
  • Rather it gives the results of the thankful prayer that we read about in vs. 6
Paul says, “If you follow my advice you will have “peace with God.”
  • This is a peace that transcends all understanding
  • This is a peace that stands like a garrison over our hearts/minds
(Advance Slide #6)

What is the peace of God?
  1. Is it an overwhelming sense of contentment?
  2. Is it the serenity that characterizes God himself, who is never anxious?
  3. Is it the result of God’s redemptive/justifying work in Christ
  • "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
(Advance Slide #7)

It seems that the peace here is contrasted by the anxiety mentioned in vs. 6.
  • This is an inner sense of contentment supplied by God.
  • The peace that is greater than “all understanding.”
    • Paul, anticipated a reaction of anxiousness by the Philippians and their persecution.
**In this text Paul supplies (actually God does) an attitude that doesn’t fit into normal categories. 
  • People would normally be anxious, but God offers another alternative…PEACE!

(Advance Slide #8)

We need the peace of God in our lives!
  • We may not think so, before we make a snap decision let’s try to see this as the Philippians would have.
Think about this, anxiety was a way of life for many in the pagan world.
  • What do I mean?
  • They had a multitude of gods and goddesses to keep happy.
    • There were those that they knew about and those that they might not know.
    • They saw danger around every corner.
We are lucky…we don’t worship god’s and goddesses today…right?
  • We may not call them such but there are things that are pushing, pulling, combating us.
    • What does it create….anxiety!
(Advance Slide #9)

God revealed Himself in the person and work of Jesus.
  • He forgave us and age us grace and mercy.
    • He also gave sanctified, justified, and made us righteous.
  • We also receive the deep need of a “peace of God.”
    • A certainty (peace) that God is in control…that he hears and answers prayers.
Paul has just announced/blessed the Philippians with this:

(Advance Slide #10)

  • Pray to God about EVERY area of your life.
  • Prayer and peace like that means that He will keep guard around two targets that create worry.
    • In the heart - wrong feelings
    • In the mind - wrong thinking
(Advance Slide #11)

Action Step:
What is a deep need that we have?
  • We become overwhelmed by anxiety…it’s going to happen.
    • We try to fell a void that can only be filled by God.
  • Through our justification by faith we can have “peace with God”
    • A peace that is beyond our understanding.
    • A peace that guards our hearts.

In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake because of his witness for Christ. 
  • On the night before Ridley's execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort. 
  • Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as ever he did in his life. 
  • When asked why and how he stated.
    • Because he knew the peace of God.
(Advance Slide #12)

Are you at peace with God?
  • Through God’s grace, mercy, sanctification, and justification we received His peace.
  • Just as we can live the forgiven life we too MUST live the life of peace!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Your Deepest Needs: Forgiveness

Your Deepest Needs
Matthew 18:21-35; 1 John 1:8-10

(Advance Slide #1)


(Advance Slide #2)

What do you need?
  • More money? More time? A new job? Newer stuff?…what is it that you need?
  • The consumer market spends billions each year to tell us that we need things, so that we will in turn spend millions buying what we need.
    • Are our needs met?
      • Of course not, that is because we all have deep needs that this world cannot fulfill.
(Advance Slide #3)

This next month I want us to study a series of lessons titled, “Our Deepest Needs”
  • The first need that I want us to consider is FORGIVENESS.
    • We need our sins forgiven.
    • Why? So that we can be justified…live righteous before God.
      • Also, so that we can experience and live the “forgiven life.”
      • Forgiveness is also an expression of love…we accept love and we give love.
ILLUS - A story from Madrid, Spain.
  • A father and son had become estranged.
    • The father searched for months to no avail.
    • In the end he put an add in the Madrid newspaper.
      • “Dear Paco, meet me  in front of this newspapers office at noon on Saturday…All is forgiven, I love you, Your Father.
    • On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers.
  • Understand our need from our Father to be forgiven.
  • More than that that thought, so that we can experience the love, mercy, and grace when we forgive others.
    • Jesus himself said,
    • "14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
(Advance Slide #4)

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22

(Advance Slide #5)

Peter begins this lesson by asking Jesus, “How do we forgive?”
  • He’s asking "how many times” but the real question here is how to we forgive.
  • Jesus explains with a parable, “The Unforgiving Servant”
(Advance Slide #6)

The First Servant:
Answers the King's call  to settle his accounts.
  • This is an ominous note that sets the stage for what will happen.
    • This servant owed 10,000 talents.
    • How much is this?
      • It is an incomprehensible amount, an incalculable debt
  • Since he could not pay…his wife, kids, EVERYTHING would be sold.
    • Debtors slavery was more of a punishment than payment for the debt.
  • The reaction of the servant was to be expected.
    • He falls on his face and makes a ridiculous petition.
      • Just a little patience please…I’ll pay it all back!
      • The king’s pity lead to mercy and he gave the servant what he didn’t deserve…he forgive it ALL!
(Advance Text on Slide #6)

The Second Servant:
The first servant finds someone that owed him 100 denarii
  • This amount was extremely small compared to the his own debt to the king.
  • Just as the first servant he too plead for patience.
  • The reaction was different though.
    • The first servant grabs the debtor and begins to choke him…ordering him to pay!
    • He then takes him to debtors prison.
      • This is an even greater punishment than his would have been.
(Advance Text on Slide #6)

The King’s Reaction:
The first servant’s wrongdoing wasn’t hidden…someone went to the King and reported his actions!
  • The King calls the man “wicked” - worthless, guilty, sick, vicious, degenerate
  • "And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” - vs. 33
    • What he’s saying is that my actions towards you should have impacted your life.
  • His punishment was that, the original deal was revoked.
    • He was handed to jailers "until he should pay all his debt."
      • “jailers” - prison guard, oppressive jailer, torturer
      • Since he would not be able to repay the debt a grim picture is painted.
      • It is one of unending punishment!
The core meaning of this lesson is found in the final verse.

(Advance Slide #7)
  • "So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” 
The central principle to this lesson.
  • This is the kind of kingdom life Jesus brought.
(Advance Slide #8)
    • "7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” Eph. 1:7-10
  • Someone who has experienced His grace and mercy will be transformed.
    • What does this mean?
(Advance Slide #9)
  • It means that a transformed HEARTwill lead to a transformed LIFE:
    • "13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  Col. 1:13-14
(Advance Slide #10)

  • How will be see or know of a transformation?
    • It will be evident in our words and it will be evident in our actions!
  • Let’s do a compare and contrast.
    • If you have not experienced God’s forgiveness you haven’t experienced His grace and mercy.
    • An unforgiven heart is hard and wicked and it won’t be penetrated.
(Advance Slide #11)

Action Step:
You have been greatly forgiven…live the forgiven life!
  • Give that forgiveness to others.
We need forgiveness…how do we know?
  • If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; 
  • If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; 
  • If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; 
  • If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; 
  • But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.
(Advance Slide #12)

God forgave us through His Son, Jesus Christ’s blood.