Living a fearless (resurrected) life

ImageFaith in the resurrection means I serve a living God who wants me to believe, trust, and live without fear. The cross shows that our relationship with the Lord begins with FEAR, but the resurrection shows it ends in love with casts out all fear:

1John 4.15-18 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  

Living the resurrection frees me from fear:

  1. The resurrected life frees me from fear of a meaningless life—I am adopted by the King
  2. The resurrected life frees me from fear of disapproval from others—I am approved by the King.  
  3. The resurrected life frees me from fear of not being happy—I am provided for by the King.
  4. The resurrected life frees me from fear of failure—I am an heir of the King.
  5. The resurrected life frees me from fear of my place in the world—I am an ambassador for the King.
  6. The resurrected life frees me from fear of what I cannot control—I am protected by my King.
  7. The resurrected life frees me from the fear of suffering or dying—I am redeemed by the King.

There is no fear in love.  The question is not WHO is your Jesus, the question is WHERE is your Jesus?  Dying on the cross? Dead in the tomb? Or alive sitting on the throne? 

Taken from Sermon titled: Jesus on Fear | Matthew 6.25-34

Re:Sermon | Fear makes us selfish

Taken from Sermon titled: Jesus on Fear | Matthew 6.25-34Image

Fear is a nasty thing.  Fear doesn’t lead us to God; it leads us away from Him and others.  Fear does not build trust in God, it creates doubt.  Fear does not generate intimacy with God, it fosters mistrust.  Ultimately, fear leads us to sin.  Fear destroys relationships because fear makes unfaithful and unloving.  All of our faith, all of our love, all of our time, all of our money, all of our energy is given to that savior NOT named Jesus. Fear takes us inward until all we think about is ourselves, robbing us of joy, and our family (or friends) of us.

  1. Fear of the future enslaves us to self-preoccupation
  2. Fear of failure enslaves us to self-reliance
  3. Fear of unhappiness enslaves us to self-indulgence
  4. Fear of disapproval enslaves us to self-promotion
  5. Fear of rejection by men enslaves us to self-consciousness
  6. Fear of rejection by God enslaves us to self-righteousness
  7. Fear of suffering/death enslaves us to self-preservation

Fear enslaves us to self.  Driven by a commitment to self, we will do everything we can to avoid punishment (also known as pain). We do not need to live free from total fear as much as it needs to be redirected.  We suffer from misplaced fear.  In other words, we fear the wrong people, things, or circumstances.  The gospel is the only thing that truly frees us to live a life where we are fearlessly loved, and empowered to fearlessly live.

1John 4.15-18 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Part 2 tomorrow…”What it means to live a fearless (resurrected) life”.

7 Ways the Resurrection Changes Me

  1. Jesus’s resurrection ensures our substitution | THE SACRIFICE IS MADE
    The resurrection of Jesus proves that Jesus was received an acceptable substitutionImageary sacrifice.  Jesus was the sinless priest who offered the Himself. His sacrifice perfectly represented man and satisfied God.  The resurrection proves that Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of God’s law on our behalf.
  1. Jesus’ resurrection ensures our propitiation | THE DEBT IS PAID
    The resurrection is God’s receipt that our accounts have been “paid in full”.  The ransom price was not paid to God’s enemy.  The debt was owed to God.  Jesus saves us from God’s wrath by absorbing all of the divine punishment man deserved.  The resurrection proves God’s wrath is forever appeased.
  1. Jesus’ Resurrections ensures our regeneration| THE CURSE IS LIFTED
    The resurrection reveals what it looks like to go from death to life.  As a result of man’s sin, God cursed creation.  As a result of God’s curse, everything died.  The resurrection demonstrates God’s intention to lift the curse and “make all things new”, beginning with our life and relationships now.
  2. Jesus’ resurrection ensures our justification | THE LAW IF FULFILLED
    The resurrection declares me innocent.  Guilty of rebellion, the judge has declared has cleared me of all charges.  My slate is clean and I am not longer condemned.  The law has no claim on us, we live under grace.
  1. Jesus’ resurrection ensures our imputation | THE HOLINESS IS GIVEN
    The resurrection proves I am more than just “not unrighteous.”  Jesus has taken my place and received the penalty I deserved. It is the great exchange—Christ takes my sin on the cross and I receive His sinless-ness through the resurrection.  God sees us as He sees His Son, perfect.
  1. Jesus’ resurrection ensures our sanctification | THE POWER IS HERE
    The resurrection means that my savior is alive.  As Paul says in Galatians, “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”  The Spirit of Christ dwells in me, not only giving me the power to resist sin, but helping to transform me into greater Christ-likeness.
  1. Jesus resurrection ensures our restoration | THE HOPE IS REAL
    The resurrection gives me hope after death.  More than that, Jesus resurrected body reveals what my own body will look like one day. We will not simply become some weird creatures with wings and a halos.  Those who believe, will be restored to perfect humanness God intended and live with Him for eternity.

Believing the resurrection changes who I am:  In Christ I am saved, I am forgiven, I am free, I am innocent, I am righteous, I am strong, and I am destined for eternal life and total restoration.  

Re:Sermon | Changing how and what I pray

The following is taken from the sermon on Matthew 6.5-14:  Jesus on God-glorifying PrayerImage

Jesus teaches us that prayer is not a means to manipulate our good God into doing the good things we want.  Prayer is not our chance to vent to God, argue with God, or beg from God.  Prayer is not even about fixing problems, fulfilling needs, or even changing circumstances.  We don’t pray to impress God and be admired.  We don’t pray to control God and be blessed.  Both rob Him of glory. We pray to remember God, forget self, and be a changed in order to give Him more glory.  

Consider the following “revision” of the Lord’s prayer to reflect the heart oriented away from self and toward God:

Father, help me know your Glory

Help me adore your glory

Help me seek your glory

Help me desire your glory

Help me to depend on your glory

Help me to confess my self-glory

Help me to become more glorifying

Re: Sermon | Stop Tooting Your Own Horn

Taken from Jesus on Self-Promotion | Matthew 6.1-4

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”

“Being noticed is not evil; but trying, expecting, or wanting to be noticed may be.  And this is where all of us live.  Our culture is all about being noticed for the good, bad, or weird thing you do.  While its unlikely you’ll post a YouTube video that will go viral, you can still try and get noticed by others on Facebook, or FAKEBOOK.  If Jesus were on earth today, I think instead he may have said “what comes out on Facebook proceeds from the heart.”  Of course, you don’t believe you’re on there to get noticed…but you are.  I will contend that most of what men/women put up on Facebook is motivated out of a desire to make other people think a certain way about THEM—usually positive.  Whispering wasn’t invented for compliments and Facebook wasn’t invented for confession.

FAKEBOOK is all about making your life appear better than it actually is. We upload “artistic” profile pictures so people think we’re good looking.  We wish our brides happy anniversary to make people thing we’re good husbands.  We report the dates we go on with our daughters so that others will think we’re good Dads.  We post pictures of our food so people will think we are good cooks.  We post quotes from books we haven’t read so people will think we have good brains.  We like organizations so that people will think we are good citizens.  We friend people we’d never talk so people will think we are loving. We like comments so that people will think we are good friends.  We post rants so people will think we are good consumers.  FAKEBOOK is all about making your life appear better than it actually is—its’ a giant APPROVAL machine where we pretend to be someone else so that others will like us.  FACEBOOK is the biggest trumpet we have today—it’s a one billion person brass band!”

Wanted: “Older” Men to Help Us

The current display of men’s brokenness on the internet is grievous Old Man Prayingfor many reasons.  For better or worse, everyone has a story, or an opinion, and a Facebook account to share it on.  There is no absence of voices or words.  Among all of the stories, confessions, and calls for repentance, there is one thing missing.   Almost completely unnoticed is the  absence of godly older men who lead like godly older men should.

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness… Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Titus (2.1-8)

It is certainly possible that many of these older men tried to speak up and were silenced (or ignored) by younger men.  If Adam’s example is any indication of our sinful tendencies, it is more likely that they silenced themselves.   I can’t help but believe that much of the sickness being uncovered is a result of a bunch of younger men who were never taught to be self-controlled, dignified, and a model of good works.   Perhaps it was never modeled for them by older men.

As I grieve, I find myself wondering if any of these sinful mistakes could have been avoided through the presence of older men.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But now I find myself hoping  that we will be able to avoid any further sin through the leadership of older men.  Immaturity abounds.  The only antidote is for younger men to stop asking for help from each other and start seeking out the wisdom of mature older men.

I am not talking just about more aged men.  I am not talking about more experienced pastors.   I am not talking about older men who lead churches by filling an office at all.  I am talking about courageous older godly mature men in the church who lead  by knowing their Lord, loving their wives, leading their families, and serving their churches.

I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will show us what it means to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to be angry.  I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will show us what it means to lead by love.  I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will obey God and instruct younger immature (and older immature) men in all godliness.

Stand. Speak.  Encourage.  Admonish. Lead. Love.  We need you men, now more than ever.

 

RE:Sermon: God is Coming (Malachi 2.17-3.5)

If there is one thing I am notorious for doing in my sermons, it is trying to say too much.  I write too much and I talk too fast.  As a result, there are often a fewmalachi notes of truth that get lost in all of the noise pouring out of my mouth.  Below, are a TEN of these “notes” that may have been missed in my last sermon. They do not represent thunderbolt-like truths you’ve never heard of but are probably more akin to 42 character quips you could twitter out–clever phrases that say so much…but so little at the same time.   If my sermon were a textbook, these would be the bold or italicized words you would pay attention to while working to ignore everything else that you know won’t be on the “test”.  Enjoy.

 

  1. “Our obedience does not ever dictate our relationship with God; but it always reflects it.”
  2. “As we saw with our first parents in the garden, Adam and Eve, what begins with doubt about WHAT GOD HAS SAID always ends with lies about WHO GOD IS….[and] refusing to take the blame for our sin will eventually lead us to blame God for our problems.”
  3. “[When God is silent] We are always much more demanding for God’s immediate judgment on the evil of the world than we are for His judgment on our own.  For that we are the ones who are usually silent. “
  4. “God is not fair. That might seem like a strange thing to say about God, or even a bad thing to say about God, but it is exactly what we need Him to be. ..He doesn’t give us what we fairly deserve.”
  5. “…the judgment of God results in condemnation of the world, the judgment of God results in redemption for His people…Before the judge destroys all evil in the world, He destroys the evil in the hearts of his people.  “
  6. “Removing our sin is painful for us, but NOT before it was painful for Him. “
  7. “The cross changes HOW WE LOOK, because it changes WHAT WE LOOK AT.   It is not enough to see our sin cleansed by the sacrifice of Jesus, we must also see our sin as the reason He is on the cross in the first place.

  8. “Knowing that God is angry, and that there is a coming judgment of the world (but not those in Christ) helps me to know that what feels like judgment now is actually refinement—it should lead me to grow and worship, even in pain.”
  9. “Until you see that someone innocent took your guilt, became a victim for you, you will continue to accuse God and play the victim—you will always have something to complain about. “
  10. “…once you see the cross as the place where the judge, after justly declaring you guilty, took off his robe, stepped down from the bench, took your place as the accused, and was executed in your place—you will realize you have nothing to complain about.  “

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