My prayer template

A.C.T.S.

Prayer is all about fellowship/relationship with the heavenly father through the finished work of Jesus by the ministry of the holy spirit.

A – Adoration

C – Confession

T – Thanksgiving

S – Supplication

A – Adoration 

Gospel presupposes the finished work of Jesus.

Purpose – to preach the Gospel into our hearts.  What are the top 3 things from the Gospel that are most important in your heart (emotional level)?   Awe… focus is on greatness and immeasurable enormity of the power of God.  (Not on things God has done for me.  This part is not about me.  this part is only about God.)

1)

2)

3)

This is to remind ourselves:

1)   Who is the triune God?  _______________________________________________

2)    What do I know to be true about the magnificent trinity now that grace has invaded my heart?    ______________________________

C – Confession —- posture of humility – agreeing with what God already knows to be true about us.

The place were we are FREE to admit:

1) I don’t get it ___________________

2)  I  hurt ______________

3)  Here is where I know there is _______________________ sin in my life

4)  Here is where there is sin in my community __________________________

T – Thanksgiving  —- Again we are preaching the gospel to our heart

1)  Thank God for the promises that he has made to ME – What are the top 3 biblical promises that God has made that are meaningful to my heart:

Promise #1:

Promise #2

Promise #3

In this part, don’t forget to thank God for other believers and the things I have observed them doing.  per Eph 1.

 

2) God has committed himself to hear us.  God commands that we bring our weariness to him.  God commands that we cast our care upon him.

 

S – Supplication  —– Requests,  Intercession, prayer list

1)   What is my list?  Concentric circles (Me, wife and kids, parents and brother, Grandparents, small group, friends, co-workers, neighbours,  community, city, province, country, continents, world.)

2)    PLEASE advance your will God ____________________

A)  What is prayer?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK5sum-LFFA

Prayer is intentionally conveying a message to God.  (Intentionally from my heart.)

Why in the world do you define prayer as “Prayer is intentionally conveying a message to God.”?   WHY do this?

1)  Prayer is talking to God? – Romans 8:26 – Spirit is groaning with MEANING.

Romans 8:26    26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

2)   Prayer is communicating with God?  – Prayer is always one way.  Us to God.

3)   Intentional? – MOTIVE for prayer?   Does it matter?  Does it make a difference?   Where do our Prayers go?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OssBHX5rSiE

B.2)    Does prayer really change things?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_rViLK1vG4

  1. C)  Skeleton – put some fat on it.

https://www.rightnow.org/Content/VideoElement/122415

 

A.C.T.S. Prayer | 3:41

http://www.gtycanada.org/resources/articles/A215/our-triune-god

Seven Simple Tips to Refresh Your Prayer Life

http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/seven-simple-tips-to-refresh-your-prayer-life

Pray in concentric circles.

Equality

If someone accuses a Christian of “inequality” the Christian is either not biblical or the accuser is wrong.

Mark 12:28-34

The Great Commandment

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

Jesus says “‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’”   God first and equality second.

Jesus himself says that the 2nd most important command is equality worked out through love of our neighbour.

Loving our neighbours is (in part) is giving them grace.  Grace is giving our neighbour something they desperately need but have not earned.  Before we know what they desperately need, we need to get down and throw away our assumptions/bias/preconceived prejudice, walk around (relationship, understand, empathy) and pray.

Logos of Philo – Divine Reason – Jesus

John 14:1-7

I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life

14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;[a] believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”[c] Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Me (from “No one comes to the Father except through me” above) = Logos of Philo – Divine Reason = Jesus

The Way = Logos of Philo – Divine Reason = Jesus

Jesus is he Word of God

Jesus is the Divine Reason of God

Jesus is the Way

in this context…

John 1:1-5

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Me = word of God.

  1. In the beginning the Word already existed.
  2. In the beginning the Word was God
  3. In the beginning the Word was with God
  4. Everything in the world exists through God.  Not one thing exists without God.
  5. God is the source of life.
  6. Life is the light for humanity.

Following from:   http://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/1-1.htm

1. There is no doubt that by the λόγος Logos is meant Jesus Christ.

The Logos of Philo is pre-eminently the Divine Reason.

The Logos of S. John, therefore, is not a mere attribute of God, but the Son of God (Jesus), existing from all eternity, and manifested in space and time in the Person of Jesus Christ. In the Logos had been hidden from eternity all that God had to say to man; for the Logos was the living expression of the nature, purposes, and Will of God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

THE WORD IN ETERNITY, IN THE WORLD, AND IN THE FLESH

God the Father, Spirit, Son

The second clause of John 1:1 asserts the eternal communion of the Word with God. The preposition employed means accurately ‘towards,’ and expresses the thought that in the Word there was motion or tendency towards, and not merely association with, God. It points to reciprocal, conscious communion, and the active going out of love in the direction of God. The last clause asserts the community of essence, which is not inconsistent with distinction of persons, and makes the communion of active Love possible; for none could, in the depths of eternity, dwell with and perfectly love and be loved by God, except one who Himself was God.

Observe the three steps marked in three consecutive verses. ‘All things were made by Him’; literally ‘became,’ where the emergence into existence of created things is strongly contrasted with the divine ‘was’ of John 1:1. ‘Through Him’ declares that the Word is the agent of creation; ‘without Him’ {literally, ‘apart from Him’} declares that created things continue in existence because He communicates it to them. Man is the highest of these ‘all things,’ and John 1:4 sets forth the relation of the Word to Him, declaring that ‘life,’ in all the width and height of its possible meanings, inheres in Him, and is communicated by Him, with its distinguishing accompaniment, in human nature, of light, whether of reason or of conscience.

Compare the Saviour’s own declarations respecting himself in the following places:

John 8:58; “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

John 17:5;  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 6:62; Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!

John 3:13; No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.

John 6:46; No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.

John 8:14; Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.

John 16:28. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Ephesians – Amazing Grace – I am a letter from Christ.

I am a letter from Christ.  What am I saying?

Ephesians 4:25-26     25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

I am a letter from Christ.  If I choose to let this come from my heart…  what is the “letter from Christ” saying???   This = “bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, slander, malice”

Ephesians 4:29-32       29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

All Christians are commanded to “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,”  This is a good way to know if someone claiming to be a Christian really is a Christian.

Matthew 15:11   11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.

Luke 6:45   45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Acts 2:37-41   37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptised, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Mystery of growth of our wisdom, knowledge from birth to death.  Life… the gift from God.  Life is priceless – most valuable thing on earth because only God can create and sustain it.

  1. Know God & understand his big picture.  GRACE
  2. Recognize where I stand in relation to God (humble, hands of God, here for a purpose, not equipped to do it by myself, self centred self focused, want to strive for my best interest first, this conflicts with God’s plan)  GODS PURPOSE of creation:  Eph 1:3-10 (to unite all things in him) Why people?  Eph 3 (be made known the manifold wisdom of God) – FAITH – gift of God (GRACE)
  3. Repent & be baptised for the forgiveness of your sins – I accept
  4. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit  (GRACE – gift from God)
  5. Work out my sanctification under God’s plan  (per my the wisdom of God that starts with #1 and #2 above and continues to grow as I live out God’s plan.)
  6. Continue in my suffering and through my suffering and sacrifice, get to know God better.  This equips me better to understand and empathize with others.
  7. Write my legacy – plant seeds in the hearts of people I touch  (People are God’s treasured possession, people are God’s in inheritance, people are God’s legacy, God’s hands, God’s voice, God’s revealing of his plan)  I am a letter from Christ.  Corinthians 3:2-3  You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our  hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
  8. Die according to the counsel of God’s will (decisive resolve of God).
  9. Judged  (Matt 7:1 – “For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. “)
  10. Heaven

“manifold wisdom of God”  not one dimensional, not two dimensional,

man·i·fold   : many and various.  (not limited to 2 or 3 or 4 or x dimensions…)
Wisdom of God — LOVE first, greatest thing.  Love God first. Love neighbour like you love yourself as equal.

John 13:34-35   34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbour as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Not one dimensional Western Movie version of Love.  Not just erotica, Not Lust,  Not Arousal, Not Ecstasy, Not Happiness, Love is so much more.  (See below Greek words for love)
Love is NOT (Love is different):  Affection Anger Angst Anguish Annoyance Anxiety Apathy Arousal Awe Boredom Confidence Contempt Contentment Courage Curiosity Depression Desire Despair Diligence Disappointment Disgust Distrust Ecstasy Embarrassment Envy Euphoria Fear Frustration Gratitude Grief Guilt Happiness Hatred Hope Horror Hostility Humiliation Hysteria Interest Jealousy Loneliness Lust Outrage Panic Passion Pity Pleasure Pride Rage Regret Remorse Resentment Sadness Self-confidence Shame Shock Shyness Sorrow Suffering Surprise Trust Wonder Worry Zest

From WIKI – Greek words for love
The Greek language distinguishes at least four different ways as to how the word love is used. Ancient Greek has four distinct words for love: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē.
Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) means “love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.”[2] Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse, and it was also used to refer to a love feast.[3] Agape is used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children.[4] This type of love was further explained by Thomas Aquinas as “to will the good of another.”[5]
Éros (ἔρως érōs) means “love, mostly of the sexual passion.”[6] The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love.” Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction.” In the Symposium, the most famous ancient work on the subject, Plato has Socrates argue that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal “Form” of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire – thus suggesting that even that sensually based love aspires to the non-corporeal, spiritual plane of existence; that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence.[7] Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth through the means of eros.

Philia (φιλία philía) means “affectionate regard, friendship,” usually “between equals.“[8] It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle.[9] In his best-known work on ethics, Nicomachean Ethics, philia is expressed variously as loyalty to friends (specifically, “brotherly love”), family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. Furthermore, in the same text philos denotes a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

Storge (στοργή storgē) means “love, affection” and “especially of parents and children”[10] It’s the common or natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring.[11] Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant. This is also used when referencing the love for ones country or a favourite sports team.

ANGER – an angry person is a person reaching out for help to deal with their fear

Blessed (successful/accomplished) Success Redefined: God’s Love For Those With Mental Illness

5 November 2012, 06:00

Stephen M

20

The following article was written by Stephen M. In 2001, when Stephen was 19 years old, one of the many things he experienced emotional turmoil in was a second job–a job he quickly came to despise. He could not quit without experiencing overwhelming guilt because (as he understood it) his mom (and/or God) did not want him to quit. Between a rock and a hard place, he eventually snapped; while on a break during this job he recklessly drove his parents’ car and crashed into a street lamp. Though physically unharmed, he was nonetheless escorted by ambulance to the hospital where he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.On November 2, 2003, a European missionary named Ian Green came to the church he was attending. He preached a sermon entitled “Jesus: Better Than You Think.” It was a 50-minute legalism-detox-with-God’s-grace session. It proved to be a watershed moment in Stephen’s life. Contrary to some doctrine Stephen had previously been taught, Ian showed that someone could lose sight of God’s love and be burdened by guilt that was unnecessary. About six months later, Stephen was baptized of his own choice.

Stephen says, “I have come to learn that the cognitive and behavioral changes needed to overcome Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) run contrary to IBLP teachings. Actually, after years of study and exposure to the stories of many others with mental illness, I now feel the general way IBLP approaches the topic of mental illness is an abomination. With IBLP, way too much emphasis is placed on God’s law at the expense of God’s grace; people have had the burden of responsibilities and how they must not fail drilled into them. For example, on page 11 of my Basic Seminar workbook it says we are responsible for five things: “Every thought, every word, every deed, every attitude, and every motive of the heart.” However, in my treatment for OCD I have learned to transfer responsibility for these things from myself to Jesus–after all that’s what the cross was about wasn’t it?! (Dr. Ian Osborn demonstrates this transfer of responsibility principle beautifully in his book, “Can Christianity Cure Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?”) I also remember learning in the seminar that there probably isn’t any such thing as “false guilt” but rather it is “misplaced conviction” (Basic Seminar workbook, page 38); I have now rejected this as a categorical lie which leads people into bondage.”

One of the pioneers of the protestant reformation, Martin Luther, was no stranger to mental affliction and depression. He once wrote, “The devil beleaguers and storms a heart with doubt. Often he has offered an argument of such weight that I didn’t know whether God exists or not.” He also says, “The content of the depression was always the same; the loss of faith that God is good and that he is good to me.” That Martin Luther knew what some people suffering mental illness went through might be evidenced when he wrote, “Those who experience sadness of spirit, to them all creatures appear changed. Even when they speak with people who they know and in turn hear them, the very sound of their speech seems different, their looks appear changed, and everything becomes black and horrible wherever they turn their eyes.”

Proverbs 18:14 says, “A person’s spirit sustains him through sickness–but who can bear a crushed spirit?” (NET)

Dr. Dwight L. Carlson writes of the “famous preacher Charles Spurgeon, who lit the fires of the nineteenth-century revival movement.  (Charles Spurgeon) struggled so severely with depression that he was forced to be absent from his pulpit for two to three months a year. In 1866 he told his congregation of his struggle:

‘I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go (through).’ He explained that during these depressions, ‘Every mental and spiritual labour had to be carried on under protest of Spirit.’”

Sometimes people can look at someone suffering from mental illness and form an opinion based on ignorance, and even their best efforts to help can fall short. Have you ever been counseled by someone who did not seem to understand what you were going through? A church elder once asked this question of a doctor: “The Scriptures tell us that in Christ we have everything we need for life and godliness, correct? So can you explain to me why Anna’s bipolar disorder and her dependence on medication is not an issue of weak faith or sin?”

In the Bible, Job suffered the loss of his material possessions, all of his children, and then finally his physical health as well. In a spirit of anguish Job says, “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, ‘There is a man child conceived.’ Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it” (Job 3:1,2). On top of all this, after hearing Job’s anguish of mind, Job’s friends then began to unjustly criticize and condemn him only adding to the immense physical and emotional pain which already burdened his confused mind.

Job declares in chapter 7: “…I have been made to inherit months of futility, and nights of sorrow have been appointed to me” (vs. 3).  Ask yourself this question: Does your theology allow for a time of  “futility” in which someone does not seem to be accomplishing anything?  Or do you ask how someone could be experiencing the power of Christ if they are wallowing around in depression and sorrow?

If You are depressed, if you are going through difficult times, some people have the idea that it is your fault God cannot heal you. Maybe you don’t have enough faith. But the fact of the matter is that you may be right where God wants You. You may be closer to the life of Jesus than you think. Jesus declares in Matthew 5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit and Blessed are those who mourn…” (Matthew 5:3,4). In Luke 6 Jesus declares, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you. Blessed are you who hunger now for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now for you will laugh.” (Luke 6:20-22, NET)

The world says I’m successful when I have a good job; the world says I am successful when I have lots of money; the world says I’m successful when I have good health; the world says I’m successful when I have the comforts of life; when I’m free of depression or anxiety and when I have lots of friends. Unfortunately, sometimes the Church says the same things. However, we know from the Bible that God’s unnatural selection redefines success. The apostle Paul writes, “So that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me–so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak , then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NET)

For many Jewish people, Jesus coming and dying on the cross caught them off guard. The Messiah was supposed to overthrow the Romans. The Messiah was supposed to bring peace on earth. Isn’t this what a successful Messiah would look like? Do we have faith that He will one day do these things? Likewise is our own salvation–It is dependant on faith; It is dependant on something we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Faith is believing in the character of God when life demands the opposite!”

But God has not left us without hope. Romans 8:23-25 says, “But we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly wait our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.” (NET)

Hebrews 2:8,9 says, “…But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus…”

When we suffer physical affliction, does God care?  We know that Jesus suffered physical pain!

We may be crushed by depression, but we know that Jesus said in Mark 14:34, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death.” (NET)

We may feel rejected by God. But Jesus said in Mark 15:34, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (NET)

Other people might judge us in something they do not understand or in some way we think is unfair, but we know from Isaiah 53:4 that people “thought He was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.” (NET)

Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant.” (NET)

Jesus suffered anguish. In his sermon, “A Call to Anguish,” the late pastor David Wilkerson defines anguish as“Extreme pain and distress. The emotions so stirred that it becomes painful. Acute deeply felt inner pain because of conditions about you, in you, or around you. Anguish. Deep pain. Deep sorrow. Agony of God’s heart. All true passion is born out of anguish. All true passion for Christ comes out of a baptism of anguish.”

When Jesus was judged unfairly, when Jesus was left to suffer humiliation and abandonment of death on the cross, He suffered anguish. Jesus Himself, the God of the universe, was baptized in anguish!

Why does God allow suffering? One pastor has succinctly put it this way, “It’s simple: because He values it.” (Jon Morrison)

Sometimes it is when we ourselves experience pain, and we ourselves are at our weakest, that we are best able to relate to others going through hard times. Jesus associated Himself with the lowest in society. In the Bible we are called to empathize with other people. Hebrews 13:3 says to “Remember those in prison as though you too were in prison with them, and those ill-treated as though you too felt their torment” (NET). Galatians 6:2 says,“Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (NET).

It is often the people with direct experience to the pain and suffering of mental illness that are best able to relate to others who are afflicted. Sometimes what we find from the ignorant is judgment or criticism. What we can find with the afflicted is grace and compassion. Jesus was afflicted, and He wants to show compassion.

Light and salt – expectations

The gospel is about mending relationships.

“me first” is the cancer of the heart.

We cannot get rid of it without something radical.

Repentance and faith is the only radical thing that can remove the cancer.  Repentance and faith are the only things that connect us to God.

Repentance is saying self centeredness, self absorption, self righteousness, me first permeates every part of my being even my good deeds.  Often, we do things to try to control God, trying to control people.

Christianity starts with saying, “I realise that my biggest problem is me first” and then the flip side is repentance and faith.

 

http://rise.redeemer.com/sermons/

Timothy Keller, April 3, 2016,  April 3 — Counter-Culture for the Common Good

RISE-Counter_Culture_for_the_Common_Good2.mp3

 

“Blessed” – closes word meaning is “successful/accomplished”

Matthew 5:11-16English Standard Version (ESV)
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Jesus redefined what it means to be meaningful and accomplished.

The beatitudes, before they point to me, they point to Jesus.

Why is it that I will become as rich as kings?  Because he became poor.

Why will I be comforted?  Because he wept, greaved and died in the dark.

Why will I inherit the earth?  Because Jesus was meek, was like the lamb taken to the slaughter?

Why will I be filled?  Because Jesus on the cross said “I thirst”.

When I see Jesus being persecuted and saving ME without any self pity… I can do this too for others.  When I see Jesus Christ pouring himself out for other people, who do not deserve “it”, my enemies, I can do it. I can do it by looking to him.

 

Christianity then politics

  1.  All political parties support policies that can be found in the Bible.   You can always find something in the bible that supports  (or something Jesus says) where your political party stands.
    • Jesus did not come to take sides.  Jesus came to take over and to be first in our lives.
    • This requires more than reading what the bible says and looking at what Jesus says.   We need to look at what Jesus did.  What Jesus modelled for us….  Put God first, the put people second, then put politics after that.
    • We can disagree on what is best for people.  We cannot disagree that what is best for people is “what is best”.
    • Love GOD and demonstrate that you love God by “Love your neighbour as yourself…”   ALL the law and all the profits hang/hing/”are contingent upon” this.  This shows your true love for God.  How I treat people is a reflection of how I love God.
  2. Political parties are man made.  Worshipping man made things over God is the sin of idolatry, it grinds against God’s infintely perfect plan.

http://northpointonline.tv/messages/avoiding-election-infection

Avoiding-Election-Infection.mp3

Everybody’s behaviour makes perfect sense to themselves. Otherwise, they would not do it.   When I do not know how someone could do such a thing, support such a thing, believe such a thing…. it is because there is SOMETHING I DO NOT KNOW.

I need to be a student NOT a critic.   BECAUSE it is an opportunity for me to LEARN something.

Get down, walk around, write it down, pray.

The way we learn, the way we grow, the way we walk God’s path of sanctification is that “WE DECIDE WE WILL BE A STUDENT FIRST” and a critic second.

Jesus follower should be the most confident… not ARROGANT…  because we believe:

  1. Eternity is all worked out.
  2. God knows my name.
  3. I am a son of God.  I am in his book.
  4. I know my God has INFINITE wisdom and infinite power.
  5. Science – we should be the most curious – when ever there is new discovery, we say “ohhhhh – so that is how he did it….”

Jesus followers should be the most curious…

Jesus followers should be the most compassionate…

As a Jesus follower we have a responsibility to do what we have been called to do: LOVE GOD, LOVE Neighbour.

  1.   What led you to that view, what led you to believe that, what led you to that position.  What was the process that got you to believe that?
  2.  That is interesting, do know him, do you know her?  Oh…
  3.  You know I get most of my information from the media how about you?