0 (8s): Welcome to everyone around campus who is watching right now. Hello to everyone at home. We just send our love. When does welcoming God's presence this morning to be in our midst all over this County, wherever you're gathered. So let's go before the Lord together and prayer, as we begin today, heavenly father, we look to you. We don't look to the left. We don't look to the right to you. Would you set our hearts on your truth on your goodness, on your faithfulness towards us? 0 (51s): So we weighed upon your presence. Holy spirit, would you come we're in need of you today? Would you touch every heart that is hurting every mind that is racing with anxiety? Would you come and bring peace passes our understanding today? Would you restore our souls and lead us beside those still waters? Refresh us, renew us, strengthen us and the weekend. Thank you, Lord. 0 (1m 25s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible>. 0 (18m 45s): Thank you. Thank you that you always find us. There's no pit too deep or too dark that your love can't meet us there. So thank you, God, that we're never out of your sight. It's your love can always reach us with your hope can always find this. So we just welcome your presence in this season of our life. Would you come in and bring light and bring healing? We just open our hearts to receive all that you have for us to stay free, that you would help us to receive your word as it's preached this morning, that would just take root deep in our hearts. Those seeds that are planted. 0 (19m 27s): Welcome you Holy spirit to come and have your way in our hearts and in our, in our lives, in the precious name of Jesus. Amen. Amen. Awesome. Well, this would be a great time to say hello to someone around you. If you're here on campus at home, this hug someone that's with you, or take a moment to just spend some time with the Lord if you're by yourself this morning, but just know that his love was in our hearts, that we share that with one another. So would you take a moment just to greet those around you went back in just a few minutes with some announcements. 1 (20m 5s): Hey, good morning. Harvest Church glad to see you all here. I'm glad for those of you who joining us in person. And then for those of us who are for those of you who are joining us online as well. We're so glad you're, you're, you're connecting with us and yeah, another Sunday. And if you are joining us for the first time in person, we'd love for you to stop by the info center. That way you can get a free gift and just find out ways to connect to Harvest Church. So please do that at the info center right next to the coffee station, just heads up. We have a few different in-person venue options this week. So in case you didn't know, we are back in person this week, but the, the changes are as follows. 1 (20m 48s): So we have the loft and parsonage, which are our mask only options. We have the patio outside, which we've expanded more seating out there. So we've got some, you know, that's, that's where I think the majority of folks are gathering in the outdoor patio. We've got those heaters. Hopefully those are keeping you guys warm. We have currently at this time, the sanctuary is close to in-person. We're hoping to open that up in the future. And then also kids and youth are resuming this week as well. So they will be open up a second service. We'll have the youth group. There's a few ways to give. You can give online at AGU Harvest dot org or there's some collection boxes throughout the campus. 1 (21m 28s): There's a one in the parsonage as well as one on the patio for you to give. And let's see, we got some great winter life groups coming up. That is the season we're kicking off right now. So we got S we have some home groups. We have a yarn crafting group men, and women's Bible studies, young adults and golfing. I didn't know there's a golfing group. I am not a golfer, but I think what I might have to do is start a rock climate adventure group. So we got a groups ticket for your, for you to join. You can find those. If you go to the info center, as well as online, you go to the website on the website, you go to the next steps and then there's a connect option. 1 (22m 10s): So click that connect. And that gives an email so you can send out and find out ways to connect to our church. And then lastly, next week is the sanctity of life, Sunday, sanctity of life Sunday. So the lifeline we're having a lifeline baby bottle drive, and that will be next Sunday. So just be prepared to come pick up a bottle, fill it with change or some cash. Cause I guess there's a chain CA change shortage going on. So maybe fill it up with some cash and then you'll bring it back the following Sunday. So come find out what lifeline is doing in our, within our community and amazing ministry. So find out more next week and then I want to welcome up pastor Steve. 1 (22m 55s): You're very good to be here. Welcome. Good morning. It is 2 (23m 0s): So good to be back in. Church good to be here. Last week, we had Brad Degas speaking from Pacific justice Institute and he did a great job. And then we had Brad come and speak to our pastor's group on Wednesday. So we had about 25 pastors gathering for lunch, and then Brad talked about his ministry to, and, and, and the ministry that supports religious liberties in our nation. And so anyway, good stuff. A lot of really wonderful things have been happening this year already. I'm really glad 2020s behind us. I'm looking forward to 2021. I've got some re five reflections on 2020 before we get into our texts. 2 (23m 41s): This morning, we'll be in second Thessalonians chapter one, but five reflections really quick. The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 plan 3 (23m 49s): Planner in tonight do not 2019. 2 (23m 54s): We were to stay away from negative people and in 2020 we're to stay away from positive people. So a number three old folks are sneaking out of the house and their kids are yelling at them to stay 3 (24m 6s): And doors. And number four, 2 (24m 9s): This virus has done what no woman has been able to do. Cancel sports, shut down all bars and keep men at home. So that's been a good thing. And then number five, never in a million years that I ever think that I'd be going up to a bank teller with a mask on asking for money. So there we go, 20 things we learned in 20, 20, happy 20, 21. It's a new year. We've got a new president, but we've got the same God who is on the throne. And so with that, let's go ahead and stand up. We're going to pray as we jump into second Thessalonians. So Lord, we stand in honor of you. We pray, we thank you for this time. God, I pray that as the ministry of the word, it goes forth. 2 (24m 51s): God, that you'd speak to us. And I know that you've been speaking to me as I've prepared the message. I pray that you would just continue that good work and speak to everybody who might be listening online or in the loft, in the parsonage, on the patio, wherever we may be. Lord God. And whenever this message is listened to, I pray that you would encourage and not just with the message, but also with the worship. The worship was just so powerful this morning. And we pray that as we worship God, that we'd worship in spirit and in truth, God, that we would approach your throne of grace with such gratitude, with such excitement, with such appreciation God, that we would grow in our faith this year, that we'd grow in love this year that we grow in Endurant this year that we would grow in every area and arena of our lives. 2 (25m 41s): Lord God. So be glorified as we do, as we trust you, as we look to your word this morning, Lord in Jesus name, amen. Amen. You can be seated 3 (25m 52s): Jumping into second Thessalonians 2 (25m 54s): Today. This letter was written by the apostle Paul, like the letter of first Thessalonians. It was written from Corinth like the first letter was, and it was written very shortly after, shortly after the first letter, some would say as soon as a month after. So anywhere from 12 to one month to 12 months after the first letter was written, Paul wrote the second letter. He wrote it to clarify truth and to combat lies that the people in this church had begun to believe. So Paul communicated a letter about the second coming of Christ, and there were some misunderstanding about that. The people were experiencing great persecution during this time for their faith in Christ. 2 (26m 37s): And some were telling them that the day of the Lord had already happened and they missed it. And they began to believe that you might imagine the great persecution that they were under. They were discouraged. It's never fun going through hardship through persecution. And it actually leaves us a little vulnerable sometimes. And we're vulnerable to maybe the lies of the enemy. Maybe we begin to misunderstand what the scriptures said, and maybe we've missed God maybe we feel like we've missed God. And so Paul writes this second letter to address the issue of the second coming. We get to that. And chapter two, Paul talks in chapter two about the second coming and chapter three, Paul addresses the, 4 (27m 20s): He Challenges the People 2 (27m 23s): The followers of the Lord Jesus to continue to work, to support themselves and to work for the kingdom as they trust and obey the Lord. And so that's kind of chapters three and two chapters, two and three, and then we'll get into chapter one today, 4 (27m 34s): The sermon title God Encourages and Challenges His People okay. 2 (27m 40s): And I've found throughout the course of my life as a follower of the Lord, Jesus Christ, that he does 4 (27m 44s): Both he Encourages Andy Challenges, what do you need today? What do you need in your life? 2 (27m 52s): Do you need to be encouraged? Maybe you're doing some things really well and you just need to be reminded that God is pleased with you. Maybe you're struggling a bit and you need to be challenged in your faith and God will, God will do that for you as well. And I say for you, because 4 (28m 6s): He does it with your best 2 (28m 9s): And, and, and, and his heart and mind, he wants to bless you. And everything he does is for our good and for his glory. And so Paul, and as he's under the influence of the Holy spirit, writes this letter to the church 4 (28m 22s): To both encourage and to 2 (28m 25s): Challenge the people of God. So Paul Encourages the Thessalonians for their faith, their love, and for their adherence. 4 (28m 35s): And he Challenges they're wrong thinking he th th they needed to be challenged with 2 (28m 42s): They're wrong thinking, because if they're wrong, thinking were allowed to go on. Then the area of faith and love and endurance would begin to suffer, and they begin to waffle a bit in that area. 4 (28m 55s): They were doing well, but 2 (28m 57s): If they don't fix their stinking, thinking their faith love and endurance will be impacted. Maybe you're doing really well in some areas, but you've got some stinking thinking. You've got some under you just misunderstand what God is saying in the scripture. And you're beginning to believe some wise, I would just challenge you to always go back to the word of God. We understand best the word of God. When we just read the word of God, the word of God will speak to us. And God through the power of the Holy spirit will begin to enlighten and illuminate that truth to our understanding. And it will, it will fix errors in our thinking and our understanding. So again, if they continue to believe these lies that Jesus had already returned, they will begin to lose heart. So let's just talk about that kind of that the order of events before we get into second Thessalonians, let's kind of talk about the order of events, it's of an outline of the book of revelation. 2 (29m 45s): So revelation is 22 chapters, and we're not going to study revelation probably for a few months, but I think we'll probably get to it. And probably three or four or five months here sometime this year, I think, but just to help us understand. So first Thessalonians talks about the rapture in first Thessalonians, chapter four, and first Corinthians chapter 15, beginning of verse 51, we read about the rapture, and this is going to be a time when God comes from heaven and he doesn't actually land on the earth. But what he does is he comes in from the clouds and he raptures, he takes up so that in Christ will rise first. And then those who are alive will follow and we'll will be taken to heaven. 2 (30m 26s): This is what we believe. We believe that at the rapture, we, the believers in Christ and the dead in Christ will rise and we'll, we'll go to heaven. And then that will begin the tribulation period. The tribulation period is a time that begins in revelation, chapter four, all the way through revelation chapter 19 seven year tribulation period. It's, God's judgment on the earth for against those who refuse to obey and refuse to believe who he is and accept the mercy and grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ. And so we see that revelation chapter four through revelation, chapter 19 and the seven-year tribulation period. And then at the end of that, we see the return of price and the battle of Armageddon. 2 (31m 9s): We see that in revelation chapter 19, verses 11 through 21. So the return of Christ. So you've got the rapture that's when God comes to get us Church. And then at the second coming the return of Christ Christ actually returns with the Church to reign and rule for a thousand years on the earth. So when Christ returns in revelation, chapter 19, verses 11 through 21, it's at the end of the seven year tribulation period. And then the millennial reign of Christ. Satan is bound for a thousand years, that's revelation 20, and then Satan will be released again to deceive the nations. And that's in revelation chapter 20, verse seven. 2 (31m 50s): And then after that revelation, 20 verse 11 is the great white throne judgment. That's when not believers, but unbelievers will be judged and, and, and sent to the bottomless pits to hell. And then in revelation 21 and 22, we see the new Jerusalem, the new heaven, the new earth eternity, and that's where we will spend believers in Christ will spend eternity with the Lord. And so that's kind of a breakdown of revelation. The first three chapters of the revelation, one, two, and three are letters to the Church. And after revelation, chapter three, we don't hear mention of the church on the earth. And so, anyway, that's kind of what we believe. 2 (32m 33s): And so when we read about the second coming and the, the rapture, they're two separate events. And so we just need to be aware of that. So first Thessalonians deals with the rapture second Thessalonians deals with the second coming of Christ. So let's just jump, jump into second Thessalonians chapter one, and we'll unpack it and see what the Lord has to speak to us. This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the Church and festival Anika to you who belong to God, our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So Paul's writing to the Church to the Church at the festival and Church, but also to us in this 21st century church called Harvest Church, God's speaking to us and the 21st century church, capital C church globally, the global church, he's speaking to the church then. 2 (33m 23s): And he is speaking to the Church. Now may God, our father and the Lord, Jesus Christ, give you grace and peace, grace and peace, but it's something we constantly need. We need the grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Shalom of God, the peace of God, you're brothers and sisters. We can't help, but thank God for you because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. So in spite of persecution, in spite of very difficult, difficult circumstances in their life, a couple of things are happening. Their faith is flourishing and their love for one another is growing number one. And your notes is your, I just want to ask you this question is your faith. 2 (34m 6s): Flourishing is your faith flourishing. And we're saved by grace through faith. And so we're, we there's this powerful faith element involved in our salvation, but then our faith has the opportunity to grow and in endure through difficulties, and sometimes our faith waivers, meaning we're not believing God as much as we should. We're not trusting God as much as we should. We're not following God as much as we should. When Paul talks about their flourishing faith, he's talking about their ability to remain faithful in the face of difficulty, but what a great opportunity that it is for the church to grow in this area of faith. 2 (34m 48s): As we face difficulty, they haven't quit. These people of God haven't quit because things have gotten difficult. This letter is to us to encourage us not to quit when things get difficult, no matter how long you walk with the Lord, whether you're mature or brand new in the faith, you're going to face, difficulty in your faith will be tested. These people haven't stopped because God is allowing persecution. They haven't stopped believing because God is allowing persecution. They have declared till they are. They have decided to live as Christ and to die is gain. So whether they lived or died, they were going to live on to the Lord and die. 2 (35m 29s): Knowing that they'd be with the Lord in heaven, they realized that suffering is part of the call to follow Jesus. I think, especially in the Western church, In this 21st century world that we live in, we need to be reminded of some things in scripture about suffering. The apostle Peter wrote in first, Peter four 12 through 19, he talked to a lot about suffering and, and Peter suffered. He was martyred for his faith history tells us he was crucified upside down and 4 (35m 58s): Martyred for his faith. 2 (35m 60s): This is what he said. Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials. These are not just light little things that happen to us, but difficult, deep, deep difficulties in our lives. Don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through as if something strange were happening to you. And that the way we feel sometimes like Lord, what's going on. And we forget that this is part of the deal. We forget that trials and tribulation are part of the deal. We see it throughout the scripture. Well, the people of God suffered in the old Testament. People have got suffered in the new Testament instead. Be very glad, 4 (36m 38s): Interesting. Be very 2 (36m 40s): Glad for these trials, make you partners with Christ in his suffering so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed for the glorious spirit of God rests upon 4 (36m 59s): You. So if you're 2 (37m 1s): Suffering persecution, because of the name of Jesus, hang in there on this side of heaven 4 (37m 7s): Or the other God will, God will, God will bless you. And I think it's both. I think 2 (37m 14s): God will bless us and our spirits and in our lives, when we separate persecution, giving us the grace to endure it. And then obviously on the other side of heaven, there's going to be amazing blessing for those who endure. But verse 15, Peter says, if you suffer, however, it must not be for murder for stealing, for making trouble or prying into other people's affairs. So if you're suffering because you're doing dumb stuff, you're not going to, you're not going to be blessed. So don't be involved in, in bad behavior and expect that the Lord is going to bless you. There's a difference here. We sometimes suffer because we are meddling in other people's affairs, making trouble stealing murder. 2 (37m 55s): There's, there's all kinds of dumb things that we do that get us into hot water. So Peter saying, Hey, be careful. Make sure that you're living above reproach. And that the suffering that you're experiencing is really for standing up for the Lord. And not because you're just causing trouble for 16, but there's no shame. We're still in first, Peter. It's no shame to suffer for being a Christian praise God for the privilege of being called by his name for the time has come for judgment. And it must begin with God's household. 4 (38m 26s): Whew. 2 (38m 27s): And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits, those who have never obeyed God's good news. And also if the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to sinners? So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God keep on doing what is right and trust your lives to the God who created you for, he will never 4 (38m 45s): Fail you. 2 (38m 47s): Is your faith flourishing? Is it growing? Do you see a difference, an obvious difference in your faith from maybe a year ago or even six months ago, maybe even last week, you have the opportunity to, 4 (39m 1s): And endure and decide to believe and to allow your faith to flourish. I don't know what you're going through. I don't know, but God does. 2 (39m 16s): And as I said earlier, everything that God allows us for our good and for his glory. So if you can just rest and God and that truth and allow your faith to flourish, maybe just ask the Lord, Lord, I don't know how to make my faith flourish right now. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. I don't understand, but I want my faith to flourish. But what, what great opportunity that the Lord has in your life to just strengthen you, to teach you, to give you the grace that you need for your circumstance. So is your, is your faith flourishing? Are you growing and becoming more solid? Are you unshakeable? Are you fully in with God? If you've got a back door escape plan and your walk with God, then you're not fully in with God, but if you don't have that backdoor escape and you're saying, God, I'm all in unshakeable, I'm solid. 2 (40m 1s): I'm growing. I'm committed myself to you. Then, then, then your faith will we'll grow and flourish. And that's 4 (40m 10s): Really, it's really a lot of fun actually, when you're 2 (40m 14s): Coming out of something, reading in the midst of something. And you're, you're just saying, Lord, I'm, I'm, I'm hunkered down by your grace because you're good. I'm going to just stay with you. I, I want my faith to flourish. I think sometimes we, we, we get, we, we don't allow it to flourish. We waffle, we backslide and then we have to start all over again because God's not gonna relent. He's gonna take us down paths that mature us. And that grows up in our most Holy faith. So just go for it. Just allow God his good work in you grow to that next level in your faith and your next level of understanding and watch what God will do to bless you. That'd be great fruitfulness in your life. 2 (40m 54s): Number two is your love for one another growing. And that's what w that's what the church that Thessalonian church was, was praised for that their love for one another was growing. Hardships can either humble 4 (41m 7s): You or harden you hardships can either humble you or, 2 (41m 12s): Or hard. And you, I would just encourage you and ask you to allow hardships to happen. 4 (41m 20s): How, what does that mean? And I think it just means it, it, 2 (41m 23s): It takes you to a new level in your faith. You're saying, Lord, I don't, I don't like it. I don't understand it. I don't get it. But Lord, I, I trust your, your Lordship. I trust your leadership. I trust that you were the King of Kings and that, and you've, you're, you're taking care of me. And, and so I'm not gonna allow my heart to get hardened, but I'm gonna humble myself. If hardship is hardening you, you will find it more difficult to love people. If our chip is humbling, you, your love for people will grow. So a quick question, do you have a growing list of people you can't stand 4 (42m 6s): A growing list of people that you just can't stand, that you can't get along. 2 (42m 13s): You don't like. I think as we get older in our faith and get older just in our life, we, we either harden up or we humble ourselves. We harden up and just get more rigid. And like fewer and fewer people love fewer and fewer people distance ourselves from more and more people, or we just humble ourselves. And then out of that humbling, that decision to humble ourselves, our hearts grow our CA our capacity to love 4 (42m 43s): Expands. And we find the ability we find in us, 2 (42m 47s): The ability by God's grace, to love people that are just really challenging and hard. Of course, you know, that we can waffle and backslide at times, invited hard to love them, but that we, we, we, when we're humbling ourselves constantly, we find ourselves back in that place. We're saying, you know what? I don't necessarily agree with that person and this area or that area. I don't like the way they live their lives, but I, I just find a love for them. I, I find like I want to pray for them instead of judge them and that sort of thing, the Thessalonians through all of their hardship, we're choosing to love and growing in their love for one another. If you're having our time, loving people, invite God to love people through you. 2 (43m 30s): Love is, is part of the fruit of the spirit. So Galatians five tells us in 22, through 25, but the Holy spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives. The first thing that he mentions is love the world will know that we're the followers of Jesus Christ, disciples of God, because of our love. One for another God wants to produce this stuff in our lives. Love. Let's go back to that verse, but the Holy spirit will produce this kind of fruit in our lives. Love 4 (44m 2s): Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 2 (44m 8s): Gentleness. And self-control, there's no law against these things. And there's no judgment coming from God against these things. This is, this is righteous stuff that God accomplishes in us. Those who belong to Christ Jesus verse 24 says those who belong to Christ. Jesus 4 (44m 24s): Nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. So 2 (44m 32s): Our desire to hate people or to be angry with people, but we we've nailed those things to the cross. 4 (44m 40s): And we take the 2 (44m 42s): Attitude of Christ for God. So loved the world that he gave. His only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We have this grace perspective toward People this love perspective towards People. Since we are living by the spirit verse 25, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part 4 (44m 59s): Of our lives. 2 (45m 3s): If you're struggling to love people, invite the power of God through his Holy spirit to teach you how to love. But if your faith is strong and your love is strong, be encouraged. It's okay to be encouraged. It really is good to be encouraged. If your faith is strong and your love is strong, be encouraged. God is doing a good work in you. So you can be grateful. Say, Lord, I'm thankful that I don't think it's arrogant to say I'm, I'm thankful that my faith has grown. I, I probably would have responded differently to this circumstance a year ago, but I, I just, for some reason, by God's grace, there's spending growth there. And I think it's okay to, to, to recognize that you're becoming more and more like, God, it's the same. 2 (45m 44s): It's the process of sanctification. And it's good to rejoice in that. Paul obviously pointed to this Church as examples of people, of faith and love. So it's okay. If you're finding that you're, it's easier to love people or this you're deciding to love people rejoice in that if your faith is strong and your love is strong, be encouraged. Let that put a smile on your face, enjoying 4 (46m 7s): Your heart. I think sometimes 2 (46m 9s): We're, we don't know what to do when we're doing well, where we don't want to be proud and we don't want to be proud, but, 4 (46m 15s): And we certainly can be joyful. We can be happy 2 (46m 20s): And excited and grateful. And anytime God's doing something good in my life, I know that it's by his grace because he's good. Not because I'm good. And so I just want to walk around with gratitude saying thank you, Lord. I, I dunno know why I've all of a sudden had growth in this area, but I I'm so glad that I, 4 (46m 39s): I have certainly don't want to, you know, not yeah. 2 (46m 43s): Be growing. And so let's rejoice when we're growing, not brag about it, but just say, yeah, thank you, Lord. God is good. If you're struggling, I just want to encourage you. God will help. 4 (46m 55s): He's 2 (46m 56s): So loves you. He just is so much he has for you. And he knows the area of your struggle and he just wants to help you. That's why he's given us his word. That's why he's given us Church so that we can come together as the body of Christ and as iron sharpens iron. So one person can sharpen another so we can encourage one another praying for one another, challenging one another and loving on one another. All of that from the first few verses, verse four, we proudly tell God's other churches about your and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships. You are suffering. 2 (47m 36s): Number three, how has your endurance and faithfulness as you deal with hardships, how is your endurance? We've kind of been talking about this thing. Your endurance during hardships proves that you belong to God that you're empowered and filled with the Holy spirit. The Holy spirits has come into your life. And this filled you, the fruit of the spirit is obvious. And the power of God is obvious 4 (48m 11s): In your life. And 2 (48m 13s): You know, we talked about all this time. Ephesians five says to be continually filled with the Holy spirit. We just constantly need the Holy spirit to strengthen us, to give us in Durance and faithfulness. As we deal with 4 (48m 25s): Hardship in our lives, 2 (48m 27s): Verse five says, and God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his kingdom, for which you are suffering. So the enduring Thessaloniki sons would be counted worthy of God's kingdom because of their suffering. According to the word of God, their faithful endurance doesn't save them. Their suffering doesn't save them. They and we are saved by grace, through faith, the suffering saints, that Thessalonian church and us, that we demonstrate our faith by our willingness to suffer and not to give up our faith is demonstrated. 2 (49m 10s): Faith without works is dead. And so we demonstrates that our faith is real when we decide to endure and remain faithful in S in, in, in, in, in, in spite of the difficulties and, and hard things that we are up against 4 (49m 31s): The suffering 2 (49m 32s): Saints demonstrate their faith by their willingness to suffer and not give up. If you can trust God, because he is faithful. And he is just, so what will ultimately happen to those persecuting God's people? 4 (49m 47s): Well, 2 (49m 48s): In his justice, God will judge them verse six in his justice. He will pay those who pay, pay those who persecute you. He will pay them back. They will be held accountable for their lives and for their decisions. God has just, and he will balance the scales in Romans 1219. And the new King James version says, vengeance is mine. I will repay says the Lord. And so we're not to take vengeance on people who are persecuting us. We just let the Lord handle that. 2 (50m 29s): We will see this, and we will, we will see that this judgment we'll see this judgment in verse eight, but let's look at verse seven. First. It says, and God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted. And also for us, when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven, the people of God will ultimately find rest and the coming of 4 (50m 48s): Christ, but let's 2 (50m 51s): Not forget that Christ has already come and go 4 (50m 54s): Two hour lives. And so we can have the rest of God, the peace of God in our life 2 (51m 2s): Lives in the midst of persecution. 4 (51m 6s): Rest means a relief. 2 (51m 8s): It's like a bowstring on a, on a bow it's when not in you. She released the string. Otherwise the most rain gets stretched out. And so that's kind of the picture. It's like the bowstring is taught. It's tight to be used for a purpose, but when not in use, you release the bowstring. So it doesn't get stretched out. So it can be used. So that release of pressure is what that word rest means. It means 4 (51m 35s): That the stress will be taken off 2 (51m 39s): It's it's a, it's a great picture. And it's, it's a wonderful promise from the Lord. It will happen in this life and in the next God will give us a 4 (51m 49s): Time of rest 2 (51m 51s): At his coming. Everything will be made, right? Again, first Thessalonians focuses on the rapture when the Church will be caught up and second Thessalonians deals with the second coming. 4 (52m 2s): And either way, when 2 (52m 4s): Rice returns there'll be arrest for the persecuted rest for the persecuted, but judgment for the unbeliever. I mean, now we're going to look into, in a verse seven, getting into verse eight, kind of what, what it will look like when Jesus returns, he will come with his mighty angels, verse eight in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God. And on those who refuse to obey the good news of our life. 4 (52m 33s): Lord Jesus. So there's judgment. 2 (52m 38s): The punishment verse nine says with eternal destruction, it's a never ending hell experience that these people will be going through. It's for those who don't know God and those who refuse to acknowledge his Lordship, those who refuse to receive his grace message, 4 (52m 57s): They 2 (52m 57s): Will be punished with eternal destruction. Again, this is a never ending destruction that we're talking about here, eternal without and forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. So essentially God is giving the unbeliever what they've wanted. They've wanted to live their lives apart from the goodness of God, the mercy of God, the grace of God. And so God is honoring their 4 (53m 24s): Wish and their request by allowing 2 (53m 26s): Them to live forever and ever apart from His 4 (53m 29s): Great, grace and mercy. And that is indeed what hell is going to be in jail? 2 (53m 38s): One 17. It says every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. So everything that is good, that we experience in this life comes from 4 (53m 54s): God everything. And so when he turned a T and M 2 (53m 60s): This sense apart from God means that we don't get to enjoy the benefits 4 (54m 3s): It's of God and all of the gifts of God. 2 (54m 10s): I wrote down just a few names of God to help us kind of get a glimpse of what this will look like. Number one, he's called Jehovah Gyra. 4 (54m 20s): He is our 2 (54m 21s): Provider, right? So in hell, apart from God, there's no provision 4 (54m 27s): For our daily needs, 2 (54m 30s): The common grace over the earth that everybody's under common grace. It says God's prov, you know, providing we've got air to breathe. We've got food to eat. We've got a level of health apart from God. There's not going to be that grace of provision 4 (54m 48s): And for any person in hell. So none of your needs, none of your needs will be met. Not one of your needs will be met. 2 (54m 60s): You're thirsty. That need will not be met. You're lonely. That need will not be met. 4 (55m 7s): You're injured. Well, Jehovah Rafa Jesus is my healer. God is my healer. You will never be healed. You will never have health in hell because you 2 (55m 20s): Or forever separated from his presence. Jehovah Shalom, 4 (55m 24s): And God is my peace. You will be without peace in hell. Absolutely no peace will be present in hell. It will be peace less. Why? Because Jesus is the Prince of peace. And without Jesus, there is no peace. Jehovah Shalom without God. There is no peace Jehovah Shama. The Lord is there with his people. So the Lord will be absent. God will be absence and his gifts and blessings, his provision, his kindness, his mercy is absent there. 4 (56m 8s): Jehovah said, canoe. The Lord is my righteousness. We are, 2 (56m 14s): Hey, for those of us who know Jesus, we're saved because of his righteousness. We are, we are, we have righteousness imputed to us. And that's the only that we can stand in the presence of God. So there's an absence of righteousness in hell I could go on and on. There's lots of names for God. I think there's like a hundred different names for God and all of those attributes of God will be absent in hell Jehovah, Rohit. The Lord is my shepherd. Imagine Jesus, he's the good shepherd. He shepherds his people, keeping them from trouble, making sure they've got good resource food and water that they're protected from, from danger, no protection. 2 (57m 8s): God is honoring your choice to live your life without him and eternity. It's going to be hell for you. Literally firsthand. When he comes on that day, his second coming, he will receive glory from his Holy People praise from all who believe. And this includes you for you. Believed what we told you about him. As Church believed, they believe the gospel message that Paul preach. They believe the message of the gospel. And so they are saved. Now the second coming of Christ, 5 (57m 45s): They will offer praise to the Lord. So we keep on praying for you. Paul writes asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do? So you're here in the earth. You still got a pulse. What has God asked you to do? What has he asked you to do with your life? It's 2021, a brand new year. We have an opportunity to refresh our minds and make new goals and recommit our time, talents and treasure to the Lord. 5 (58m 26s): May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do? This is Paul's prayer for the church, the Fest Loney and Church. And this is Paul's prayer for us today that the Church down 2 (58m 42s): Throughout the ages would accomplish the good things. Our faith prompts us to do 5 (58m 46s): Verse 12. Then the name of our Lord, Jesus will be honored because of the way you live. I want to honor I as a church. I want us to honor the Lord and the way that we live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ God Encourages and Challenges His People what do you need today? And I feel like a little bit of both. I don't know about CA a little bit of encouragement and a little bit of challenge is your faith. Flourishing is your love for one another. How has your endurance and faithfulness as you deal with hardships, as I pray, I'm just going to invite the worship team to come forward. 5 (59m 30s): And I'm just going to pray for us as a Church and ask the Lord to help us, to encourage us and to challenge us in our faith. Lord, we love you. We bow our heads in prayer, and we thank you, God, that we have the ability to our His in prayer, that we, we have the privilege to talk to you Lord, and to be talk to you that you talked to us and thank you, Lord. I I'm encouraged in some areas and need some challenge and other areas, Lord, and I'm thankful for that Lord. I know that we are your church. Your people were working progress and, and you're going to be continuing that good work all the days of our lives, sanctifying us, changing us, challenging us, loving us to the next level. 5 (1h 0m 20s): God, I pray that every person will be encouraged where they need to be encouraged and, 6 (1h 0m 24s): And where they need to be challenged and worked on the end of the day. God each person will be growing, growing, and faith and endurance. We love you, Lord and Jesus. Amen. Amen. Let's worship. 6 (1h 0m 44s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> yeah, everything we've heard today, everything we've sung today, which really take root in our hearts. 6 (1h 9m 54s): And could you remind us of your faithfulness towards us? Your promises never fail. I spray over every heart and every household, God be with us and keep us healthy feeling for your presence would go before us and behind us and your left hand. All right. And then she would cover us and protect us. We love you, Jesus. You for this time to gather together and you pay what you would keep a safe until we gather again and again in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. Church thank you so much for worshiping with us today. We love you guys. We're praying for you and we look forward to worshiping again next week, have a wonderful day. 6 (1h 10m 40s): Enjoy the sunshine. We'll see you there.
0 (1s): Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us this morning. Online it's a little different for me and the band and just like last week, we're going to go ahead and we're going to worship here. We're going to trust that you're going to worship with us at home. You know, we'll remember that it doesn't matter where we're at. God is everywhere. Omnipresent. We can praise him from the rooftops, from the empty rooms to the living rooms, to the bedrooms. He's worthy to be praised. So wherever you are, join us worship with us this morning and we'll get it going, Lord, please accept our worship this morning. 0 (45s): As pleasing we come to you, we humbly confess that we have nothing to offer. Lord. Everything we have is because of you. We praise you. We worship you in Jesus name. Amen. 1 (1m 6s): <inaudible> <inaudible>. 1 (6m 21s): Hi, <inaudible> <inaudible> 2 (11m 30s): <inaudible> 1 (11m 42s): <inaudible> <inaudible> 0 (15m 51s): Lord, we thank you this morning for your great gift of grace to each one of us. We thank you, Lord, that you've made it obvious to everywhere. We look at your creation, cries out of a creator. I pray this morning that you'd help us all to remove the scales from our eyes. Only you can remove Lord that we could see that every day we'd sent your presence. Remember who we serve and worship. Pray that you'd bless your word this morning. 0 (16m 32s): You anointed. You'd give us ears to hear what you want to say to us. We ask in Jesus name. Amen 3 (16m 42s): For let's see here flows of you standing there in the back. We've got a couple of seats right up, over here in front. And then I think we have a seat right back there in the back free. Now I'm just having fun with you anyway. It's great to be here. You guys, and let's let's, let's go ahead and pray and Lord God, we thank you father that you, that you do see all Lord God that you do know all. And just thank you father, that you have equipped us as believers with everything that we need to address and face the challenges that come before us. Even if we feel powerless, even if we feel like there's a we're out of control, like we don't have control or God, these are, these are the opportunities father for us to lean on you completely. 3 (17m 27s): And to see your power work in your grace abound father, we pray for your Holy spirit to move through this message this morning. And for those who don't know you father, we pray Lord God, that they will be receptive to your Holy Spirit's call to become a member of your family in Jesus name. We pray amen. What happens in when everything is going really smooth and there you are driving, and you're finally on cruise control and things are going really well. What happens in life? I'll tell you what happens. Suddenly a big cow gets in the middle of the road and you have to go left or right, or have lots of hamburger meat. 3 (18m 9s): And you know, that works much better in Texas, but anyway, but the reality is that's what life is about. We have, we, we never had a stay on cruise control forever. There's just things that happen. Even if you think you're doing everything correct. We live in a fallen world and things happen. I know I was challenged once I was a Western regional coordinator for an organization called Rutherford Institute, and that was coordinated litigation in 14 Western States out of our, out of the Sacramento office and everything was going really smooth. I had this network of attorneys developed and Aaron's going great coordinating over 40% of their active litigation. 3 (18m 50s): And what happens? The national office calls me and says, Brad, we're shutting down the last regional offices, including yours, but don't worry. We have a promotion for you. Why don't you hit up our public affairs office in Washington, DC you'll have a higher salary, larger staff, larger office. You'll be the face of the organization. You'll be literally the media and media rep for all television and radio throughout the country. For all of our litigation. Of course, I don't have to pray about that. You know, I mean, right. When something is just like, so obviously God was closing, wonder opening it elements. You don't have to pray about that. Yes. Yeah. And I had insomnia. 3 (19m 31s): I couldn't sleep. Couldn't sleep the next night couldn't sleep the next night. Why? Because I was wrestling with the Lord. I knew that if I prayed that God was going to probably challenge me to take the rough path and not the easy path. That's just what happens in my life. You know, when, when you pray, I usually very rarely feel led to go the easy way. It's this thing called faith that needs stretching going this way. And so I went ahead and prayed and that's what I should've done from the beginning. But I prayed. And when I did the Lord gave me this question, which is Brad what does Isaiah I put on your heart real pointed, really clear. 3 (20m 12s): And the answer was to make sure people got the help they needed here on the West coast. That was a passion on my heart. The next question was, what do I choose to follow the passions on my heart or something else? So with boldness and courage, I stepped up and I said, Lord, I will face the challenges I will boldly go. I will do exactly on several conditions. And isn't that what we are sometimes in life, we say yes to we're going to do it, but I'm scared. That's okay because God's stretching us. And when he stretches us, it's not supposed to just really be, you know, when you're, when you're lifting weights, I had some, maybe some guys here in the audience here, weightlifters, you know, we lifted the weights. 3 (20m 54s): You lift it with. So it's easy. No, you lift as hard and you're stretching those tit, those muscles and everything. Well, that's what God does with us spiritually. When we go through situations where we have to stretch our faith. And so I says, God, I've just, I got a few things here. One, I want to make sure that we have a free office space indefinitely donated free in Sacramento, a free computer system donated, you know, keep me on the radio stations for free. There were two, a rate, two radio stations. At the time we have to use the black Lord in just three months. And I'm never going to charge anyone at any time for any legal work I ever do. Ever. I thought it was very reasonable with my business model. 3 (21m 35s): And anyway, God, he knows where he knew I was at. He knew exactly where I was and he takes us right where we are in that great that God knows inside and out. He says, so he took care of everything. I get a call out of the blue. We're shutting down the other for the office. It's the last month I get a call. I didn't tell anyone about the free office space I was looking for. I thought I don't have to. I told God, God doesn't provide it fine done. It's not at him. And I'm getting on my boat and I'm leaving Nineveh. Okay. I'm just from head to Barcelona. I'm just, I was already, you know, it's anyway. Yeah. 3 (22m 15s): Biblical analogy there. Okay. Gotcha. So, so there, so, so what happens? I get a call answer. The phone guy says, yeah, I heard you needed office space to have office space for you. Free office space. Now did I say praise the Lord? Thank you. No, this was my ticket to avoid going to Nineveh. Okay. The office space. So instead I raised my voice and said, well, Hey, how'd, you know, I need office space. Well, my secretary who's my tone quickly comes in, says, put him on hold, put him on hold. She goes, yeah. I just, I Brad, you didn't know this, but I knew there before we knew they were shutting down our office, I knew our lease was going to expire here. 3 (22m 55s): So I thought I would surprise you. And so I called KYC radio and I asked him to put in an announcement that we're looking for free office space too, because yes, we need office space. But that's how God works in the computer. I told one person computer system, we needed. One person goes, Oh yeah, I've got a computer system for you. The boat is not leaving. It's going to stay in it. So it's how God works. Radio stations. They said, Oh, we'll keep you on. And now by God's grace, we have a half hour radio show and it's heard on over 500 stations and transmitters across the country for free the, the commentary. 3 (23m 40s): We have the legal EDS for that over. Well, I'll say over 790, plus at least radio stations Monday through Friday, it's for free. I mean, this is how God works. And we now have offices. Pacific justice. Now has offices went to theaters anyway. I've I don't know how many offices, but coast to coast, Miami New York, Dallas, Mississippi, Denver, Seattle, Salem, foreign, California, Reno, Nevada, all donated office space. It's it's what God does. It's when we let go, we let God, he goes beyond what we can think or imagine when you're facing things in life. 3 (24m 23s): Remember none of this takes God by surprise. If you feel out of control, it's obviously it's a great time for those spiritual muscles to be stretched called faith. And we could put our trust and hope in the Lord. Now, why is this a good introduction? It's a good intro because what we're going to talk today is about perilous times from God's word. If you turn, if you will, to second Timothy chapter three second, Timothy chapter three, verse one, are you don't bother turning there. Just trust. I mean, I'm a lawyer. So that was a joke. That's good. You guys laughed. Okay, good. 3 (25m 4s): Yeah. It starts off what I love about this. This is understood by many to be the last writings of the apostle Paul. So this is, this is the last two chapters. We're going to finish all chapter four for time, but this is the last two chapters of the last letter of the apostle Paul and Guest who he's writing it to. He's really addressing it to us, I believe. And here's why here's the first verse, but understand this, that in the last days there will come times of diff difficulty or perilous times. That's, that's not, I think, written to the early church. I think it's written to the last days. I think it's written to us. 3 (25m 46s): And yet we act as though some, some strange things happening and we see crazy things happening our world, right? And yet Paul makes it really clear of the word of God, makes it very clear that we're to face these things. Verse two also love it. That he doesn't leave it just obscure. Like what does he mean by perilous? Well, he actually says it real clearly here. Verse two for people who we lovers of self don't. We see that in our society, what's the most common picture for someone to take, what's it called? 4 (26m 16s): Selfie? It's not a 3 (26m 17s): UAE or they it's a selfie. Right? And lovers of self lovers of money. Don't we see that that's part of our culture materialism and, and it's very apparent. And we see it around the world and we see it around the world now arrogant, abusive disobedient to their parents. Now I used to say, you know, things that disobedient to parents, you know, I thought, well, this is the end of the world's happening. 3 (26m 58s): All these teenagers are just so rebellious. Well, that's part of growing up in a way you've becoming your own person. I get that. But what we're talking about here is rebelling, not just becoming their own person, but disobedient to the parents and the teachings of their parents pulling away from the faith of their parents. We see that statistically, like we've never seen it ever in us. History is greater now than it was even back in the late sixties. And they're the, the counter, the cultural revolution it's happening at a very fast clip in our society. The fastest growing religion in America today are nuns. Now I'm not talking about the ladies with the black, you know, thing and the okay. 3 (27m 40s): And the Catholic church. No, no. I mean, there are none there, nothing. They don't believe in anything you say, Oh, you're an atheist. No, you are you this? No, I'm just nothing. That's the fastest growing religion, turning away from the parent teaching of their family and their parents. Ungrateful ungrateful. It's interesting because I think the synonym for an ungrateful is entitlement. You don't need to be grateful for something. If you're entitled to it. If, if you're owed it, if you're dessert, if you deserve it, do we have that in our society? Is that a part of what's? Our children are learning and our government schools in particular and our universities, actually a lot of private quote, Christian universities. 3 (28m 27s): I know there's a number here in the state of California, frankly, that need to be called out because of this, this, this new thinking of, of entitlement, very progressive quote unquote philosophy that goes totally against the teachings of scripture and the word of God. So it's unholy. What's that? Holy being separate from God and what's righteous. And what's good. A turning from God heartless on a, on a peaceable slanderous without self-control. When I was a kid, self-control was a good thing. 3 (29m 8s): It's what we learned. Right? Self-control exercise. Self-control what do they teach you? What's our society embracing. Now I'll tell you right now, we're all indoctrinated. I'm going to say the first few words and you're going to repeat it. If it feels right. Good do it. We're programmed. And our society does that. What God's word says no, no. Self-control is a good thing. We're human beings. God has given us moral choice. And with that comes a responsibility and self control. And our society is just, if it's a log as someone, you know, wants to, or it feels like this is something they're there they desire to do, then that's who they are. 3 (29m 51s): They should do it. Well, no, no. That's called temptation. We should turn from temptation because temptation leads to sin and see it. Sin leads to destruction and death. And that's what the stats show the statistics lovers. I was always, sorry. We'll keep here without self-control brutal. No loving good. Instead of what's hip in our society is, is to love that, which is evil and it's evil to, and instead to, to hate that, which is good. We see it in our society today. When I was growing up, there are two kinds of people. Pretty much there were those who went to church and those who are knowing that they should be going to church. 3 (30m 33s): Right? That's what I grew up with. Yeah. I know we should give you one. Church I just our society today, not that Church saves us, but it's just, it's an indicator oftentimes of our desire to, to be close and to fellowship. Fellowship is a part of healthy, spiritual growth as Christians. And yet our society today are those who go to church and then you have, and they have those who despise churches and what they stand for and what they teach and a very large part of our culture society. And then those, even those who go to church, you have those. When I was a kid, I'm selling an old man, this is not good when I was a child. Let me tell you no, but it was always thinking like two groups of Christians, you got those, the sprinkle and those that dunk. 3 (31m 20s): And that's the big divider. That was my mind thinking I was a kid and I wasn't sure about the sprinklers. Okay, boy, have things changed. The real question today is, is your church one that believes that Jesus is the way the truth and the life that no one comes to the father, but to faith in Jesus, is your church, or is it, or is it more of a universal status that decides to dilute the word and believe just everything sort of gets there. We see main did not mainline denominations falling into this deception. We also see, you know, is your church one that believes that the Bible is the Holy word of God and you don't need to apologize for this, but it live by it because this is God's word. 3 (32m 3s): Or do you believe, are you part of a church that decides to dilute, cross out, tear out and modify what the word of God says? That's where we are in our society today. Unlike at any time in world history, do we have a tearing away among the churches from those who are followers of Jesus and the Holy word of God and those that follow something else. And then love is a good treacherous. Reckless this verse for swollen with conceit pride. Pride is basically saying that I know more than God. I know that I know the way and I'm, and I know what's best for me more than God. That's sort of the conceit. 3 (32m 44s): It's pride lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God. I'll never forget. When I, the Supreme court decision regarding same-sex marriage came out from the Supreme court. It was a five to four decision, very close, actually. And the majority of the decision wrote that not only was equal protection, the basis of it. And I thought that's probably how they're going to go with the equal protection clause. We'll get into the details of that. But instead, they went much farther than that. And they said they defined a sexual fulfillment as a fundamental right. Individuals' sexual fulfillment. I looked at this, I thought this makes bigamy, polygamy, BCL. 3 (33m 30s): I mean, my mind started going, going off the edge there, thinking this just opens up the flood gate for all kinds of just immoral activity and justifying it as a constitutional fundamental, right? What's the fundamental, right? By the way, it's something given to us by our creator. How can you ignore the laws of nature? And nature's God the source of our fundamental rights in claiming something that goes totally against those rights. It's, it's, it's crazy. It makes no sense. And yet that's what we see facing us today. And that's what the Supreme court ruled. It basically, it was like, they shook their fist at God and say, we'd rather be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of you. 3 (34m 22s): First five, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. I remember I was on an airplane. You know, those people that they talk and talk on the airplane and you're just like, I wish it'd be quiet so you can CA that's me. Okay. Right here. It just happened. So I'm sitting here talking with this guy and I said, somehow it comes up. I said, if you don't mind me asking, I said, what'd you do you have religious background? And he says, he goes, no, I'm not religious, but I am very spiritual. So we know it. We know the language, we know the lingo, right? Spiritual, it's very hip to be spiritual. So I said, well, what does it mean? What do you, what do you believe? 3 (35m 2s): Well, I just really feel that I'm at one and at peace with the universe. Okay. And where does that come from? What's 1 (35m 17s): That's it. 3 (35m 20s): Okay. So there's nothing to this cloud. It's just a cloud. It's a floating, it's a floating cloud. There's no nothing, no substance. And our society embraces sort of this spiritual ism as an alternative because it makes you feel good. Doesn't it? You feel like you're, you're somewhere, even though you really know where, but it makes you feel better. Right? And, and yet it's a deception. And yet it says, but denying its power, it has no power because, or does not come from our, our mind. It doesn't come from our, our own energy. Doesn't come from the universe. Power comes through Jesus Christ and the powerful working of our creator. 3 (36m 5s): One thing I love about being a Christian and I'm a lawyer too. I'm sorry. Okay. Let me just tell you something about lawyers. It's the 99% out there. They give us 1% of bad reputation. No one laughed at that one. That was a lawyer joke. Okay. Very good. Thank you. Some courtesy. Laughter. Appreciate it. Okay. But anyway, I keep talking about before I lost my place. This is not good. Okay. So beginning, back onto where I was. All right, here we go. But the thing is, is that God wants us to recognize that we need to understand that. 3 (36m 49s): Like I said, all power comes from him. I have a very logical mind. So as a Christian it's makes sense because we have a history. We have God, two thirds of the prophecy has already been fulfilled. We have 12 eye witnesses that gave their lives. The concept that Jesus has been not only risen from the dead, but they saw him risen from the dead, from an evidentiary perspective. It makes sense. Even the understanding of the, the origins of the universe and the development correlates with the science correlates, with what we've learned, it makes complete sense. And then we also have the witness and the power of the gospel transformation in our lives and what we've seen. 3 (37m 34s): And yet that's shunned by the world to follow something else. None of this takes God by surprise. And it shouldn't take us by surprise. And yet the word says in verse five, avoid such people. No, Whoa, wait a minute. We, as believers are not to avoid people who don't know the Lord, right? So we're talking about, we're talking about people that are invading the church. That's very different. Actual, these are people eating the Church with these attitudes and philosophies and ideas. And that's why the church has to be strong too, for extra rotation. We're going to see that in a moment. Now, if we were to stop right here, be terrible. Wouldn't it it'd be like this terrible cycle. 3 (38m 15s): Do you know the world's coming to an end? Now let's go out and have some coffee. What's really awesome. Is that starting in verse, verse 10, we have a whole blueprint of victory and miss these hard times. So let's continue. Let's go on right here. But you have followed my teaching, my conduct, my, my aim until in life, my faith, my patients, my love, my steadfastness. Now notice that word love is right there. I always say, then he has my persecutions and sufferings. Love is right there. Missed all these things have challenged. How can we love when we're going through persecution? Right? 3 (38m 55s): Instead, you know, long suffering stays is another word used for steadfastness. How can we love? We can't love in these situations. Can we not on our own, but through Jesus, we can. The more of a church is persecuted. The more we're trounced on the more we're attacked, the stronger our testimony, because the more resilient and more evident is the love of Christ. And it baffles the world. When we are able to love those that hate us, able to turn the other cheek. We're able to walk the extra mile. These, these are coming from from Jesus. And we can do that as followers of Jesus, verse 11, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch and a code them. 3 (39m 38s): And it lists what persecution is. I had toured yet from them all the Lord rescued me, wait a minute. How did Lord rescue them? You guys know what Paul went through, right? He had a shipwrecked stone poison, flogged near death or died. I mean, the guy, you really can't get much more persecution than what this guy went through. I mean, he didn't end his life even with a big mansion. I mean, he didn't have a nice ending. Yeah. You know, and his power from his testimony was all the more powerful because of all that he went through it. Wasn't about avoiding persecution. It didn't say the Lord prevented me from going through persecution as the Lord delivered me for what? We're a purpose to continue to share the good news of Jesus to share the gospel and the life changing opportunity to hope in Christ, verse 12. 3 (40m 26s): He see, he reveals that. He says, indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ. Jesus will be persecuted. Isn't that a great promise. You're going to be persecuted. Now let me know if you're like, well, I don't want this promise. We don't live for this world. We live for a whole nother world. This is a train station. This is temporary. And, and we're going to be suffering persecution. Verse 13 while evil people and imposters will go from bad to worse deceiving and being deceived posters is he, there's going to be imposters in the Church right? Who are deceiving. I've seen him on television before for you continue in what you've learned and from an F and have firmly believed knowing from whom you've learned it. 3 (41m 15s): And now from childhood you've, you've been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ. Jesus. What are the sacred writings? Is it from some ancient something? No, it's the Bible God's word. And so we're supposed to, to, to clean to it. We're supposed to, to, to learn from it and, and, and, and to grow from it. Verse 15 and now, and how from childhood, you have been acquainted with the sacred rice, which we would like your wife to Christ for salvation through faith in Christ. Jesus. All scripture is breathed out by God profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training and righteousness. 3 (42m 3s): Would you say that the Bible is pretty, has it all together? I mean, this is the most important book. Good read. This is, this is it. And oftentimes we neglect the word don't we so much of our time. We, or we could be religious about it. I remember my life. It was a time I read one chapter a day. If I didn't have time, I read the chapter and the presence of many witnesses, trust, phase one managers or <inaudible> and quickly go through it and say, okay, what one thing did you get out of it? I don't know. I was too busy reading it. You ever been done that before? It's called religion and death. God doesn't want religion. He wants a relationship. It's better. I think to read one verse and to be open to the spirit of God than to go through this big rigid ritual. 3 (42m 48s): I got to read the whole Bible in one year. So I got to quickly do I didn't make time. Walk with God and let him speak to you in his word. He's talking to you in his word and is it has a trustworthy will verse 16. All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training racist, that the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work. Did she love these absolutes and God's word. We can put our hands, our trust completely. And when he teaches us and tells us in his word, it's proven itself, time and time again, and the testimonies and the evidence is overwhelming. 3 (43m 33s): If we'd only listen and hear what God has to tell us, we're going to face tough times. Verse four, chapter four, verse one. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ. Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead and by his appearing and his kingdom. Would you say what he's about to say is pretty important? I mean, I don't, I don't, there's not many times in scripture. I see this kind of an intro to an exhortation, to a command verse two. We see what that command is. Preach the word. Pretty awesome. Isn't it preach the word whenever you feel like it? 3 (44m 16s): No, no, no. Preach the word. Be ready. The in season and out of season. In other words, when you see the results and when you don't see the results, DePaul always see the great results. When they're about to just read acts chapter 22, you know, it was, he was preaching and they wanted a fling. Dustin, the air traffic cooks. They wanted the guy dead. He didn't base his ministry on results. His ministry was on faith in Jesus. God's the one who moves Gaza. Results person is a great that God doesn't count on us for results. What does he want from us? He wants to obedience and we can put our trust in him, preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching. 3 (45m 7s): I'll never forget. There was one guy. I was getting my house in citrus Heights and it was a for sale by owner. And I was writing down the number. He says, Hey dude, you want to commit? Obviously, dude, he goes, Hey, you want to come in and see the house? And my uncle's not here, but he really needs it. So I go in and watch, look at it and everything. And, and, and I said, wow, this, this ad on here had this big add on with the slanted roof, but it's okay. The floor matched it. So it was fine. So it's all slanted. I said, well, you could, you could have a church service here. He goes, Oh, are you a Christian? I go, yeah. Are you? He goes, no, I go, well, what are you going? Well, you don't want to know. I said, well, yeah, I do. No. I thought I'm not gonna be able to get this house anyway. 3 (45m 48s): And by the way, I ended up getting the house. So it was like, like a total God thing, another story. So I sit down with him and he goes, cause I was, since I went to college, I learned some new ways of thinking, Oh, well there are no absolutes. Yeah. And how it may be right for you, but it may not be right for me. And he goes, yeah. And how everything is relative. Yeah. I said, well, let me tell you that's wrong. And I went through and I went through the apologetics and I gave him the, the bridge diagram, you know, man on one side, God, since separating, you know, and then I gave him more than a carpet. But the book later on, more than a carpenter and his eyes were just glassed over. And I thought, what a waste of my time. 3 (46m 31s): And that's what my attitude was. I'm going to be honest with you. It wasn't like a whole Lord just work in his life. No, I thought kids hopeless rebel. What a waste of my time. And I shared this story. A number of times with people saying, nonetheless, we still need to share the good word. Even if we know people have rejected it and they're not going to, well, you don't have it. About 17 years later, someone knocks on my door. I wasn't there. Someone else answered the door. He says, yeah, yeah. I'm here to see brags on here. Okay. Well, he shared with me gospel about 17 years ago here in this house. And I didn't accept it and made some bad decisions. I went to prison, but when I was in prison, I remember what he shared with me. 3 (47m 14s): And I gave my life to Christ. I'm now out of prison. I'm now in full-time ministry. I just wanted to come by and thank you for taking the time. And when I heard that, I was like, Chris, where are you going to be like happier praise the Lord. Well, you know what the Holy spirit did. First thing was brought to my mind exactly what I said and felt afterwards, which was what a waste of my time. I wish I hadn't bothered that. So reality is it's not a waste. So, and let the Lord do the reaping. Let God, let God move in his, through his Holy spirit. And maybe someone else down the road will, will lead them to cry. So the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. 3 (48m 5s): Do we see it? There's churches in this town probably that fits this criteria very well. We have denominations that have pledged to be followers of this and to do this verse four. And we'll turn away from listening to the truth. What is the truth? This the word of God and wander off into myths. As for you always be sober-minded enduring suffering. Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. Sometimes in life we say, well, that's, I don't really have a ministry to talk about pastor Steve, pastor Steve we're rooting for you, pastor Steve. 3 (48m 48s): No, no. They're talking about you. If you've given your life to Jesus, the way God wants to work in your life, how do you know if God has a ministry for you? Ask yourself two questions there. One, have I received Jesus, my Lord and savior. And number two is my heartbeat. Cause otherwise God to take you home, he's a gracious God heaven so much better than this place. He has a purpose. Even this one lady, I know she was going blind and she loved Jesus. She says, I can't even do anything. And I says, this is a prayer warrior. You can be a primary, like never before she goes, you're right. And she was a prayer warrior all the way up until the time she passed away, two months later, it's a living for Jesus and not ourselves. 3 (49m 31s): And, and also I, when I was 16 years old, I w too much time on this cause time. But I loved the Lord. I was in my little Opal GT driving motorcycle hits me head on, goes through my windshield smashes through this whole part of my head, I was going 55 on a, how fast he was going, rushed me to Parkland general hospital. I was in ICU. I had major brain damage. How many people can say I had major brain damage? Not many. My parents were told quote from the doctor. I was struggling to live critical condition. They said your son has had major brain damage. 3 (50m 11s): Even if he lives, he still could be a vegetable. You may still have to pull the cord and quote. And yet Californians. Our God is a great recycler. He loves to take that, which the world throws away, do something new. And that's what he did in my life and incredible healing buddy, by the act of God, do I still have the same brain? No. I think my kids will tell you. I'm a little weird. I got my idiosyncrasies, but, but the reality is it's not about us. It's what God wants to do with us. It's not about what gifts we have. It's not about, it's not about who we are. It's about whose we are. We realize it's about who we are in Christ and not about this other stuff. 3 (50m 53s): We have freedom. There's freedom in Christ because it's not about us. It's about who we are in Christ and what he wants to do with what he's given us at this time. And this day, by the way, I supposed to have serious problems with, with logic, reasoning, analytical skills and speech communications, the left frontal lobe. This whole thing was like was swelling. I've had to cut a large hole just for the swelling. You could see the swelling of the brain. Talk to a neurologist. I'll tell you that's not a minor head injury. I ended up getting my degree in finance at Texas a and M university. That's where I learned my manners. And that was a joke. You could say, you're not supposed to do that guys. I could just sit here. 3 (51m 33s): And I graduate with a finance degree, logic reasoning, 3.8, six in my major, put myself through school. Undergrad worked two years, went to one of the top 20 law schools in the country graduated the top half of my class by God's grace, because it's not about us. It's about him and what he wants to do through us and, and following his direction. It's exciting. Being a Christian. You want purpose in life, become a member of the family, of other living and powerful God that created life. Verse six for I'm already being poured out as a drink offering at the time of my departure has come. 3 (52m 16s): What's that mean? I'm about to die. People say really important things right before they're going to die. Here's what he says. I have fought the good fight I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. There is laid up for me, the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that day. Wait a minute, Paul, you're the Zola bin Ladin of the early church. Your name needs to be saw. It used to persecute the Christians. You are the biggest loser. The righteous judge giving you a crown of righteous. Yes. You know why? Because it wasn't based on who he was or what he'd done based on who who's. He was that he'd received Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior. And he was washed clean by the blood of the lamb. 3 (52m 59s): What about the rest of us? Oh, he responds to that. But the rest of the verse, it says, and not only to me far as awarding the crown, but also to all who have loved his appearing. You, what I love about this is that he didn't say all people who've went to confession or went to church camp or goes to church all the time, or even set a certain prayer a certain time. It's loved his appearing. There's a relationship. And you may not have a relationship with the Lord. You may have gone through religion. You may be a religious person all your life. But if you knew that Jesus was coming back tomorrow at 2:30 PM and no one knows the day of the time I get that, this is hypothetical. 3 (53m 40s): Okay. If you knew that two 30 he's coming back, what would you be thinking and feeling? Would you be loving his appearing or would you be saying to yourself, Oh shoot. At three 30, I've got a big real estate deal. I've got a corporate merger. I've got this big data I'm going on or would it possibly also be, Oh shoot, he's not going to take me. He's not going to take me. I I've got this ugly closet, this dark ugly closet. W and by the way, just for the record, everyone has a dark ugly closet. Okay. But you see, but all, but this mine's really bad. I've got stuff here. So shameful. So disgraceful, I can't even forgive myself. How can God forgive me? 3 (54m 22s): You know what you're really doing? When you say that it's like walking up to Jesus on the cross. Let's just say, he's he's right here at lacrosse bleeding and dying in pain and agony for our sins, gasping in pain and agony to bear our sins on the cross, to pay for our death penalty for our sins on the cross that he's paying for. And we walk up to him and we say, nice try Jesus. But you see, for me, that's just not good enough. In other CROs, his response to that lie was revealed when he said it is finished. 3 (55m 5s): And all's we have to do in humility is to believe it and receive it. Receive his gift of payment for our sins on the cross and surrender our lives at the foot of the cross to be a follower of Jesus. And he will separate that ugly sin. As far as the East is from the West. He will wipe, you will wash you clean from, with his blood on the cross. He will wash you clean and pure in his eyes and receive you as a child of the living God for eternity. Awesome. Some of you may, what I just shared that may just felt convicted. There's a good chance. 3 (55m 45s): That's the Holy spirit. Speaking to you, giving you the call right now to receive Jesus. And we're going to give you that opportunity to do that right now. Let's please bow your heads, father. I thank you, Lord God that you are on the throne. Thank you, Lord God, that you are the way the truth and the life through Jesus Christ, your son, and that no one comes to the father. No one gets clean. No one gets redeemed, but through faith in Jesus Christ, Lord got to pray for the believers, hearing this father right now that we will be exhorted not to follow into the, the trappings of this world. Oh Lord God, where we're tempted. And we fall, Lord God, bill that put us back up, father, Lord. And, and to be followers you Lord God, not to give up, not to turn to the left or right, but to keep her eyes on you and to share your good news father, many people right now watching this broadcast or here, even here. 3 (56m 35s): And they say to themselves, I really felt convicted when he said about shame, about not having that personal relationship, playing religion, but never receiving Jesus in a personal way and surrender my life to him as my Lord and savior. If I would pray right now, father for your Holy spirit father, to speak to them in their hearts. And w and, and if you're one of those people out there right now, just pray this prayer with me, right? Where you are just say, Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner. You know, all the garbage in my life, all the shame. And right now in faith, I receive your full payment for my sin on the cross, through Jesus Christ. 3 (57m 21s): I thank you for forgiving me for covering all my sin through dying on the cross in my place. And I receive that forgiveness right now. Thank you for forgiving me and I surrender my life to you. I want to be a follower of Jesus from now on. Thank you for being my Lord and my savior from this day forward in Jesus name. Amen. Now, if you just prayed that parameter to tell you, Satan is really ticked off because he just lost his hand, a dominion in your life in a he's hoping you. So you're going to forget what just happened. So what I'm gonna exhort you to do is to, is to contact someone, maybe contact us. 3 (58m 1s): Church give them a call, talk to them, let them know that you just made that decision that you want to grow, because we need each other as we're going to grow as Christians and they'll help you. They'll give you some, some good counsel on how to grow as a Christian and be a follower of Jesus. As we move forward today, this is not the time to hesitate. This is not the time to fear. Fear is gripping our nation, but we have not received a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and discipline, or sound mind through faith in Christ, brothers and sisters. Let us live that faith as we move forward. Amen. 2 (59m 8s): <inaudible> 1 (59m 35s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> stop. 1 (1h 7m 46s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible>. 0 (1h 10m 3s): And remember, there's not much else to say, but that you are worthy. The one true and Holy God, thank you for your word this morning. Thank you for speaking to us. We pray that you would be with us this week. Give us strength to walk hard after you let me pray in Jesus name. Amen. Everybody have a great week.
1 (3s): Good morning, everyone. So glad to be with you on this Sunday morning, after Christmas in a different situation than what we had anticipated, but we're glad to be with you to be, to be celebrating our Lord this morning. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, but let's open with a word of prayer here now, and we'll worship together, even though we're not, not physically here, the spirit we are all together. So let's pray. Jesus. We thank you. And we praise you that we can have this marvelous season to celebrate you, help us Lord Jesus to get our, our minds and our hearts away from all of the creature comforts around us and the celebration and all the, the things that are are leftover from these past few days. 1 (58s): And just focus in on you today. The Lord, the cry of our heart is that you would be exalted, that you would be lifted up, that you would be worshiped above all things, and that you would be recognized as Lord of glory, the God who, who holds all things together. The one through whom creation came to be, and the one who will bring everything to a culmination at the end of the age. So we come to worship you. Now Jesus empower us by your spirit and be glorified in our hearts this day in Jesus name, we pray amen. 0 (1m 41s): <inaudible> <inaudible>, <inaudible>, <inaudible> all the choices, but our hope in Jesus this morning that is hurting today. 0 (12m 45s): God, that she would fill it with your joy and with hope where there's been discouragement and despair. Turn our mourning into dancing today. <inaudible> right. 0 (13m 10s): <inaudible> celebrates you this morning. 0 (16m 38s): So grateful that you are joy. Our hope, our peace, our reassurance, and shifting sands. God, you hold a steady and you are always with this. Thank you for your presence. That is Hebrew in our midst this morning. And every household watching merely know your love. Would you continue to speak to our hearts, help us to receive all the gifts that you have for us today. All the promises that you want to secure deep in our hearts this morning, let every heart repair you room this day and every day, 1 (17m 30s): Good to worship the Lord and that great when we can get together. And even if it's just in our hearts and spirit to come in to the presence of God, with other believers and rejoice in his presence, we're so glad to have all of you with joining us online today. It's just one of those times when we, we have to be flexible in our approach to, to worship in these days of COVID and the days of, of pandemic and holidays and people traveling and, and just insecurities and unsure. It is about life in this time of trial. 1 (18m 15s): But as we gathered together today, we still gather in the presence of all mighty God. We still gather to worship him. And we're so appreciative of your patience with our changes in the services this week, having last minute to cancel our, our Christmas Eve services and do those virtually to, to change this to a virtual service this morning, we just really thank you for your willingness to, to flex with us on this. We would typically have in-person Church, but with the increase of COVID we're having to back off and, and do this a little differently than we'd anticipated. 1 (18m 56s): So we're foregoing in-person gatherings for this week. The Church office is closed this week. It normally would have been, but even so we're, we're still trying to abide by what the guidelines are yet at the same time, while not allowing those guidelines to take us away from worshiping our Lord. We'll keep you posted in regard to next Sunday service, we'll have to kind of again, play it by ear, seeing where we are and how things are going. So watch our social media platforms the week weekly email update, you know, whether it's you go on to see our Facebook page or our website or our Harvest app, you'll find it. 1 (19m 40s): And if you're not currently receiving our equally, we mail a weekly equally we mails weekly emails. Please send your email address to info at AIG Harvest dot org. And we will get you included on those that weekly email blast that goes out next Sunday. We're planning on having a special speaker, the president of the Pacific justice Institute, Brad Degas will be speaking at Harvest. Now you say, why are we having a lawyer in the pulpit next week? And the thing is, this lawyer is an evangelist. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true. 1 (20m 22s): This guy is he's a really effective in this communication of the gospel. And, and we're just looking forward to having him be with us next week. Putt, just Pacific justice Institute. PGI is a legal defense organization that works to support churches and church leaders and their members by providing crucial help and resources to preserve their mission and project protect our religious liberties. And it should be a really dynamic service. So definitely plan to join us next Sunday, January 3rd, hard to believe that next Sunday is 2021. 1 (21m 2s): Winter life groups are kicking off mid January. There's an awesome lineup of groups that you can look at the weekly email update that's coming out and, and see what's available and what you might like to be a part of and to sign up for a group, head to the connect link on the app or the website, and let us know, and we'll contact you with more details. And again, just a final reminder Church office will be closed until January 4th. So a week from tomorrow, the office will be back open again, and we'll be back to our normal schedule. So with that, I'm going to turn this time over to pastor Steve. 1 (21m 45s): He is going to be finishing out the book of first Thessalonians this morning. So if you have your Bible with you, I encourage you to keep it with you, encourage you to bring a with you when we're back in service so that when things go up on the screen, it's great to have the, the, the, the passage go up on the screen, but it's always good to have that Bible in hand. So you can highlight and Mark and take notes and, and put down those special things that are spoken that the Lord speaks to you. So with that, I'm turning it over to pastor Steve, pastor Steve, take it away. Thank you. 2 (22m 21s): I appreciate that very much. Yeah. We're we are in the final Sunday of the year, and it's been, you know, with all of the challenges that we've experienced this year, it's actually been a very good year. Just kinda recapping a few things. We've baptized bunch of people this year. It was just a wonderful year for just people committing their lives to the Lord and deciding to get baptized. We talked last week about our goal to hit, to pay off a third of our second mortgage while we hit that number. It said last Sunday that we needed an additional $34,000 to reach our $120,000 Mark. While we came in the week after that Sunday and asked if we hit our number. 2 (23m 2s): And they said, well, we brought in $34,141. So we brought in everything and just a touch, more that we needed to pay off that first part, that first installment of our second mortgage. So thank you so much for your faithfulness. You guys have been super, super generous this year. It was it's. I think it's our biggest giving year, just in, in terms of Thai gifts and other giving is been off the charts as well, but it's been just a great year for that. We had our biggest Easter outreach gathering ever. It was all virtual online, but we had more people participating watching the service this year from home than we've ever had people in person. 2 (23m 47s): So many wonderful things have happened. So many churches, not just Harvest Church, but so many churches have ramped up their online media presentations so that there were also much more effective in getting the word out. And so that's been one of the upsides, you know, things that maybe we wouldn't have focused on so much if 2020 didn't happen the way 2020 happened, but 2020 happened the way it did. And so we had to ramp up and improve equipment and processes and everything just was really, really good. So I, for all of the negative things that have come out of 2020 with COVID and everything else, there have been amazing, good things as well. 2 (24m 27s): So think about that. Think about what God has done in your life this year and, and be grateful for that. Why don't we pray before we get into first Thessalonians and get into our passage today and, and then we'll jump right in. So as we bow our heads, Lord, we just thank you for this time. Thank you for the opportunity to wrap up this book of the Bible first Thessalonians at the last Sunday of the year. And thank you that we get to go into second Thessalonians here coming in to the new year, and that we'll continue our study through the new Testament Lord, and, and just allow you to speak to us and to teach us. And so God, we commit this day to you and we commit all of 20, 21 to you. We say, Lord, your will be done in the year in that year, as well as we believe that your, your will has been accomplished in this year. 2 (25m 11s): As crazy as that all sounds, we know that your sovereign Lord, so we can trust you Lord. So we, we're going to continue to trust you in 2021 and a prayer that you would encourage people, speak life and grace and truth to each of us. And as we open up the word today, Lord, I pray that your message would be written on our hearts would be in our hearts and minds. And that we'd be, we'd be excited to hear the message and to glorify you in our listening. So thank you Lord. For this time, bless us. We pray in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. So it is almost new year's and I always look forward to the time, the times square show every year, you know, you get up and you're watching the show and I'm always expecting a great, great show in every year. 2 (25m 58s): They drop the ball. It's crazy. Every year they drop the ball. All right, one more joke. That was, that was a joke. By the way, if you didn't catch that, the punchline there, one more joke. Knock knock-knock who's there. How we, how are we going to stay up till new year's Eve? I'm so tired. That is terrible, right? It is terrible. So let's skip the jokes now. Forget the jokes and moving right into our texts. First Thessalonians, chapter five, the title of the message. Living Out Your Faith in the Community of the Saints Living Out Your Faith in the Community of the Saints. I say this often that we don't live our lives in a bubble, but everything that we do impacts people around us. 2 (26m 45s): And so what does that look like for us as believers, as followers of the Lord, Jesus Christ. How are we to live our lives as followers of Christ, especially in the Community of the Saints. When I say the community of the Saints, I mean, within the Church Paul's writing in this letter to a church and he's writing to these Church and he's speaking something to us since he's got wisdom for us in our relationships, one to another. So I'm excited to help us understand hopefully, and for myself to get a better grasp on what that means. Living Out our Faith Living Out Your Faith in the Community of the Saints first Thessalonians chapter five verses 12 and 13 says this. 2 (27m 26s): We ask you brothers to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work be at peace among yourselves. This is a difficult passage for pastors to preach, right? I'm essentially preaching a message that says, Hey, respect me, respect me. Right? So it's kind of awkward, but really the truth here is that we are to respect those who are in authority over us in general, but in the church, this is true as well. So pastors, elders, deacons, we have this responsibility to respect leaders and I've learned good leaders. 2 (28m 11s): Don't need to demand, respect, good leaders get respect because they are good leaders. So if you're a leader and you're wondering why you're not getting the respect that you think you should I check yourself, check yourself in and ask the Lord, Lord, where am I not being a good leader? And, and that's the Lord's of direct you. And if you're struggling with your ability to respect your leaders as the Lord, what's going on, why am I struggling to respect this leader, this person in my life, Lord, I want to reflect your word in my attitudes, actions, words, thoughts, and deeds, but I'm having a hard time. So just ask the Lord. Number one, in your notes, respect, esteem, and love your leaders. 2 (28m 55s): That is what God has asked us to do in the scripture. Respect is steam and love Your leader. So this text gives clear instruction. It's not ambiguous at all. It's very clear. We have this responsibility to respect esteem and love our leaders, but this isn't new information throughout the scripture. We see that we're supposed to respect those who are in authority over us in Exodus chapter 18. It says to honor father and mother in Hebrews chapter 13, it says, obey your leaders and submit to them. And in first Corinthians 16, it says, be subject to and give recognition to spiritual leaders. 2 (29m 36s): We have this responsibility, we see it throughout the old Testament and the new Testament. We have this responsibility, respect. Those who are in authority over us. Now, positionally pastors and elders and deacons are not more important than others, but positionally pastors and elders and deacons will be held accountable to God for the way they lead. So we have this responsibility for those of us who are either pastors or elders or deacons. We have this responsibility as CA, especially pastors and elders. We have a responsibility to honor God in the way that we lead and we will be held accountable for the way that we lead. And so we need you guys to be praying for us. 2 (30m 16s): And Paul addresses that at the end of his letter saying, Hey, pray for us. We need people praying for us that we might lead effectively. We read first Peter five verses one through five. We see kind of a elder's responsibility. And it's a heavy responsibility in first Peter five verses one through five says, so I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder Peter saying, as an elder, I'm speaking to the elders as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed shepherd. The flock of God, that is among you shepherd. We have this responsibility to exercise oversight says exercising oversight, not under compulsion, not because you have to, but willingly as God would have you, not for shameful gain, but eagerly not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock and verse four, having done this well, having done this well when the chief shepherd appears you will receive the unfading around of glory when the chief shepherd appears it. 2 (31m 28s): And that's true for all of us, actually, we're all going to be giving a, given an account for our lives and we'll be receiving gifts or not rewards or not based on how we've lived our lives. It says here, and when the chief shepherd appears speaking about the coming of Christ, the return of Christ, just as a side note in first Thessalonians in every chapter, mostly at the end of every chapter, there's, there's a verse or two that talks about the return of Christ. That's kind of the, the, the running theme throughout the whole book of first Thessalonians. You see it in after one verse 10, chapter two verse 19 chapter three, verse 13, chapter four, verses 16 through 18. 2 (32m 14s): And in this chapter, chapter five verses 23 and 24. So you see that theme of the return of Christ. Jeremy talked about that when he covered the last portion. And so we see this theme, Jesus is coming, he will return. And when he returned, we will give an account for our lives. What we'll have to stand before the Lord and give an account for the way that we've lived. Our lives. Let's continue. Verse five, likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Now, traditionally elders are older, older men, older people who have lived some life and have some spiritual depth and understanding. 2 (32m 56s): So we sing, likewise, you, you who are younger, be subject to the elders, clothe yourself, all of you with humility toward one another for God opposes the proud that we're to poses means to set himself against. We never want to live in such a way that God is against us, that he sets himself against us. We want him for us. So God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble that grace is his favor and his acceptance. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble elders. And pastors have a responsibility to lead with humility. And those who are under in this case, younger people, but all who are under the authority of an elder, a pastor had the responsibility to submit to, and to esteem those who are in authority over them, elders and pastors have responsibility to lead. 2 (33m 52s): And if a pastor, as the leader, doesn't lead, that person is not doing their job. Our job is to lead. And boy, what a difficult season to lead in right through this whole 2020 with COVID and all of the changes. It seems like every day, it's a little bit different than it was the day before every week, for sure, a little bit different than it was the week before. And so we've had to be very flexible. Kind of, of the statement that we use often around here is blessed are the flexible for, they will not be broken. We've had to be super flexible, paying attention to what's going on in the culture, but also listening to what God is telling us. And boy, every church leader. 2 (34m 33s): And I know a lot of them on the central coast, every one of us are doing their very best. I don't know anybody. Who's just taking this in stride. And he was just being flippant about their decisions. Every one of us is leading on our knees. We're prayerfully thinking about what we're doing and we're asking the Lord for wisdom. So it's our job to lead. And we've had a multitude of counsel around us. It's helping us to make those decisions. It's our job to, to lead and make difficult choices. There are difficult parts to leading. And part of that difficulty is sometimes we have to bring correction. 2 (35m 13s): It says, says in the verse that we're actually to admonish people who are in need of it, that sort of correction. According to our opening verses actually churches, leaders, church leaders, job to admonish to bring correction. We have to work to be humble and respect and esteem our leaders. When especially they're bringing correction to us, it's Def difficult to receive correction and admonishment. It's it's uncomfortable, uncomfortable, honestly, for me to even talk about it because it's, doesn't usually reap a good reward. It doesn't usually, it's not usually fruitful when a leader admonishes someone in their care. 2 (35m 58s): Honestly, often that person ends up leaving the church, misunderstanding the heart of a pastor there's misunderstandings when there's correction that is needed to be brought to people and, and they get their feelings hurt. And I think it's comes from just the lack of understanding about what the job of a pastor is. It's our job to lead and to teach and to lead by example and to humbly and love lovingly admonish, people who are in need of admonition. And so listen, if, if, if you're being admonished or corrected by somebody who's in authority over you, I would just encourage you to receive it with humility and know that boy again, I'll say this with the broad brush stroke, every pastor that I know is wanting to bring correction with just the greatest amount of compassion and love. 2 (36m 54s): Sometimes it doesn't come across that way because in our humanness, we just make mistakes, but it's never in my mind, a pastor's heart and desire to hurt somebody with admonition verse 14. And we urge you brothers admonish, the idol, encourage the faint-hearted help the weak be patient with them all. So it's not just a leader's job actually to admonish, but it's the church's job. Individual's job within the church to admonish one another verse 15 says, see that no one repays anyone for evil, evil for evil, but all we seek to do good to one another and to everyone. So Living, Out, Your, Faith in the Community of the Saints number one, respect esteem and love Your leaders. 3 (37m 39s): Number two, serve 2 (37m 41s): One another. How do we serve one another? Well, the text actually tells us how we are to serve one another. All Christians have a four part ongoing and continuous responsibility to one another. Number one, according to the scripture, it's our job to admonish the idol. We all have duties and responsibilities within the body of Christ. We have practical duties duties to our families and to our churches and to the people in our lives. We have spiritual duties. We have duties to the Lord and to the Church things that God has asked us to do things that God has called us to do. 2 (38m 23s): And so we're actually to admonish those who aren't doing, the things that God has called them to do. So maybe, maybe you're in the church and you're being idle, not doing the thing that God has asked you to do. So I want to admonish you with the heart of God right now, the church needs you. The church needs you operating in your gifts, using the gifts and talents that God has given you within the body of Christ. And if you're not doing your part than the church is missing out and not nearly as effective or fruitful because you're not doing your job. So don't minimize your role and your responsibility within the church, figure out what God has asked you to do and get busy, doing what God has asked you to do. 2 (39m 9s): It's the most fulfilling and gratifying thing that you'll ever find yourself doing in life, doing what God has asked you to do. So I'm lovingly admonishing you in the body of Christ. If you're sitting around and you haven't a figured out what you're supposed to do, figure it out and then get busy doing that. Or if you know what you're supposed to do, but you're just not doing it. Maybe because you're busy or your priorities are to where they should be, or you're just being lazy. Then just acknowledge that and just tell the Lord I've been busy or lazy or whatever. My priorities haven't been in the right place. And God, I'm going to get busy in 2021, doing what you've asked me to do. So that's just a, a subtle admonition to you to get busy because God has equipped you. 2 (39m 56s): He has given you gifts and talents to be used within the body of Christ and to be used within the world for his glorious purposes, for your good and for his glory. Amen. So first Thessalonians four 11 and 12 instruct Christians how to live. And we just looked at this verse. I think last week it says live quietly gives us kind of three things to do live quietly. It says that I think because idle people tend to stir up trouble. They have too much time on their hands. And so he says, the verse says, live quietly, mind your own affairs and work with your hands. As we instructed you, you have this responsibility to live quietly, mind your own affairs. 2 (40m 42s): That means don't metal in the end, the end of the line lives of others and work with your hands. As we instructed you, you have this crazy responsibility within the kingdom to do what God has asked you to do so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one that's first Thessalonians, four, 11 and 12. So all Christians have four ongoing and continuous responsibilities to one, another. Number one, admonish, the idol. Number two, encourage the fainthearted. Some are just easily discouraged and their Faith and it's our job to encourage one another, to pray with them and to help them. So in the body of Christ, we have this responsibility to get to know people so that we might know how they're doing that. 2 (41m 25s): We might speak into their lives and encourage them. This has been a discouraging year and probably more times this year than in any time up to this point, I've had to encourage the faint hearted and say, Hey, God's in control. He's sovereign. And we've been doing that with each other within the body of Christ, encouraging one another to stand firm, not to give up, encouraging people in their faith to stand firm and a trust the Lord. And then we're supposed to help the weak. According to the verse, help the weak, the weak in faith are usually those who have a hard time leaning on the Lord and they still lack strength. And so we have a responsibility to know what's going on in people's lives to help those who are weak with the goal, that that person would always be weak, but that person will, will grow in the Lord and become strong in the Lord and learn how to lean on the Lord and not necessarily need to reach out to somebody every time they're feeling weak. 2 (42m 27s): I've got a grandson who was born premature, and just this week, I think it was this week. He took his first steps. He's two years old and took his first steps. And, and we've been kind of waiting for this. He's been making progress slow because he was born 94 days early, but he's been making progress and we've been patient with his progress. And, and now that he's up and walking, we're so excited for him because we've been waiting for this moment because we know that while he was born 94 days early, and he's taking a little more time to develop, we knew that he would be walking eventually. And to see him walk has really been exciting. 2 (43m 8s): It's God's desire that you would walk as well. I think some of us crawl way too long in our faith. We, we depend on others way too long in our faith in God's designed is that we would stand up and that we would learn to walk on our own two feet and not be so dependent on others, but that we would lean on the Lord moving forward as followers of the Lord, Jesus Christ, finding great strength in him. So if you've been crawling for a long time and you feel like you're ready for the next stage in your life and your development, then just ask the Lord, Lord, I want to walk. Or maybe you've been walking for a while, but you want to run as the Lord say, Lord, I want to run. And then just begin to invest yourself in the things of God and watch your strength increase. 2 (43m 51s): You'll go from crawling to walking from running to, or from walking to running. And, and you'll become the strong person that you desire. Strength won't happen, unless you're about growing that those muscles in your life, you need to set that goal for yourself and become strong. Maybe 2021 is gonna be the year that you become stronger than you've ever become. And I want to encourage you in that because God has great stuff in store for you. There's nothing to be fearful about in your growing. Just continue to keep your eyes on him, stay humble and watch how the Lord will use you. As you grow in your 4 (44m 29s): Strength, your strength 2 (44m 32s): Will come as Your spend daily time with him as you trust him. Strength. I was thinking about this the other day, strength happens as we daily gather manner. Remember the kid that the children of Israel on the wilderness, they had to daily go out and gather Manoj, and they couldn't save it for the next day because it would go bad. It would turn to worms. And so every morning they had to go out and gather manna so that they would have their sustenance for the day. And I thought, why, why is it that every day I have to get up and read the Bible again? Why does it every day that I have to get up and re read and pray some more? 2 (45m 12s): Why doesn't it last longer? And I just had this revelation recently that this is God's design. I believe this is God's designed to keep us dependent on him. It's much like having a meal. You know, I can eat breakfast today, like I did, but by tomorrow, I'm ready for breakfast again. So there's natural, natural hunger and, and, and a filling. And then there's a spiritual hunger and a filling. And as we allow the Lord to do what he wants to do, we find ourselves getting filled. And as we find ourselves being filled spiritually, we find ourselves being strengthened in the power of his might, and then there's growth. But imagine if I had breakfast today and then waited to have breakfast again, till the next Sunday, I'd be pretty hungry, right? 2 (45m 58s): That'd be pretty, pretty hungry. It's because that's not the design that we would have one breakfast a week. It would start. That's the design that we'd have a breakfast every single day that we'd have meals every single day. So if you're feeling faint, hearted and weak, learn to trust the Lord turned to him to find strength, to open up your Bible and be filled with the power of the Holy spirit, make that your daily priority and watch your step 4 (46m 22s): Strength returned to you. Watch your strength returned to 2 (46m 26s): Sometimes I'll be a little lazy in the morning. And I won't get to my Bible readings till about 10 or 11 or noon. And I think on Christmas day, I didn't get to it till about two o'clock. And, and I just felt kind of like I was out of step with things until I took the time to read and kind of get nourished in my spirit. There's just good things that God wants to do as we nourish ourselves in him. And then the final thing that we have to do as believers is we have to be patient with everyone, be patient with them. I'll be patient with everyone. And really all of these four things require that we're patient, right? What's the opposite of patience. 4 (47m 0s): It's irritability, anger, arrogance judgment, 2 (47m 9s): W w the opposite of patience is all of the ugly stuff in life. Patients is a beautiful thing. And when we exercise patience with one another, when people exercise patients with us, demonstrate patients with us, man, it's just a beautiful thing. It gives us opportunity to grow. It gives us an opportunity to figure out who are in Christ and, and we're able to do the things that God has asked us to do. But the opposite of that is irritation, judgment, anger, arrogance, all of these ugly things. And so maybe God's working in you this year, the patients, and someone said, never asked for patients, because God will give you plenty of opportunities to, to exercise patience. 2 (47m 50s): And so you just know that patience is part of life and developing patients as part of developing your spiritual life and out of patients, you'll be able to administer more effectively, because when you're in inpatient with people, you can't minister to people you disagree with. When you're in patient with people, you can't minister to people that you don't really, that you're having a hard time loving God wants to develop within you patients so that you can minister to those around you and such. You become mature as a follower of the Lord, Jesus Christ. So find the grace. You need to serve people by keeping a tender heart, but at the same time, when it's, when it's right at Monesh, the idol do the hard things that God has asked you to do. We are to lovingly walk with one another and help each other grow. 2 (48m 32s): That's just what the scripture says here in first Thessalonians. Living, Out, Your, Faith in the Community of the Saints number one, respect esteem and love your leaders. Number two, serve one another. And number three, live as spirit filled. Yeah. Godly people. How do we do that? How do we live a spirit-filled godly people. We just ask God for it. Do you? I mean, that's just, and then we need to ask for all the time, multiple times throughout the day, Lord, I, I need to be filled with your spirit. And I think much like the manna for the day and being spiritually filled every day, we need to be asking the Lord constantly for his presence. We need God to come into our lives and help us to do the things that the scriptures told us to do. 2 (49m 14s): Well, what does that look like? Well, when we are filled with the spirit of God and we're godly people, our behavior will demonstrate that that's true. Our demo, our behavior will actually change. It will be transformed. I've watched the habit in my life. I've watched that happen in friends' lives. When a person is filled with the Holy spirit and they're living godly in Christ Jesus there, their actions actually reflect. And they begin to do with the verses in this, in this passage, talk about verse 16 says Joyce always, that's the verse. Rejoice always, man, for some. And for me, it's been hard to rejoice this year and I've had to be intentional. 2 (49m 59s): It had to be intentional about thinking about all of the good stuff that God has done. And that's why I opened the, the, the sermon this morning, the way that I did, because God has done some really good stuff. And so we don't rejoice in COVID, but we rejoice that God is faithful in the midst of a pandemic that he is loving in the midst of a pandemic. We can rejoice that he's never left us in the midst of this pandemic, but he's been faithful and good to us, even in spite of the pandemic. So we rejoice always. And so maybe you're in a really, really hard season of your life. Maybe you've lost someone due to COVID and maybe you've lost your job or your business. I don't know how you rejoice, but I know God knows how you rejoice in moments like that and seasons like that. 2 (50m 42s): And so ask the Lord, Lord, you said that I'm supposed to rejoice always. What does that look like in my season? I think the most effective thing that we can do, the most important thing that we can do when we're going through hard times is to keep an open heart and an open mind to the Lord. Sometimes we just shut down and we get angry at the Lord, ask him, Lord, how do I obey this verse? Rejoice. Always. What does that look like in my circumstance with my situation? Rejoice always emits the hard stuff. What God, what has God done in you this year? What good stuff has he done in you this year? Maybe start with that and just begin to make a list. 2 (51m 24s): Well, God, I've learned to trust you this year. Like, 4 (51m 27s): Like never before 2 (51m 30s): Lord. I I've learned to believe 4 (51m 32s): You, 2 (51m 34s): Lord. I've learned to lean on you instead of on others, because I haven't had others to lean on 4 (51m 39s): On 2 (51m 42s): Lord. I've watched you minister, like maybe I've never seen before as people have been desperate during this season. So thank you for that Lord. And just ask the Lord how you might rejoice in him and then do that rejoice always. And then verse 17 says, pray without ceasing, listen, none of this stuff can be done unless we're spirit filled, seeking to be godly. People seeking to be spirit filled, godly people, rejoicing always pray without ceasing. How do we do that? I think if we're not careful, we can go a day or few days or a week without ever praying without ever really inter engaging God in prayer. And I think God, I don't think that's God's design. 2 (52m 23s): In fact, I know it's not God's design because he tells us pray without 4 (52m 26s): Ceasing. So 2 (52m 28s): Spiritual health is, is prayer. Prayer is to spiritual health is breathing is to physical health. We have to pray on a regular basis. And so what do you pray about it? I don't think you have to pray about what socks you're going to wear. You can't, I suppose, but you don't have to pray about that kind of stuff necessarily, but there are important things throughout the course of your day that you do need to be praying about, pray about your attitude at work, your relationship with your spouse or with your kids or with your grandkids. Pray about your financial decisions, pray about all kinds of stuff. Pray when you're being tempted. Pray when you're angry, pray when things aren't going well, you just continue to come before the Lord and pray without ceasing. 2 (53m 11s): I think that's how the apostle Paul got through his life and ministry. I believe that he prayed without ceasing. He did what God asked him to do and what he recorded here in first Thessalonians prayed. He prayed without. So how's your prayer life. I was talking to a guy who just recently went through a really, really horrific sort of personal circumstance. And he said during that whole time, I never even considered praying. And I was surprised by that because this is a godly guy, but he had just in his words, he kind of fell asleep spiritually and he'd stopped praying. Like he knew that he should pray. And through the circumstance of his life, he realizes, he realized that he was asleep spiritually. 2 (53m 55s): He still knew the Lord and still was saved, but spiritually, he just was kind of, well, he was asleep. Maybe you're asleep spiritually. And God's trying to awaken you this year today. Maybe God's trying to awaken you, you will awake. And when you begin to bring God into the midst of every circumstance of your life, when you begin to pray and when you pray without ceasing. So it just simply means, I think, pray whenever there's a need, pray whenever there's a thought to pray, pray, whatever you're going, pray through whatever you're going through and just watch what the Lord will do with your life. And then it says in verse 18, give thanks. It's kind of like verse 16, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you give thanks in all circumstances. 2 (54m 41s): So back to, you know, you kind of figure that out as you figure out how to rejoice, always give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you, Lord. How do I give thanks. I don't want to give, thanks for this is a tough season. The tough circumstance. How do I give things and watch what the Lord will do with your soul, with your heart? When you choose to offer up a sacrifice of Thanksgiving, the sacrifice of praise give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. And the number 19 verse 19 says do not quench the spirit. How do you quench the spirit? 2 (55m 23s): Well, when you don't do with the spirit asks you to do you're quenching the spirit. So if God's asked you to do something, do what he's telling you to do. And don't quench the spirit. As I was at my house yesterday, I felt like Laura was trying to get my attention about something. And I felt like the Lord communicated something to me where maybe I quenched the spirit. Cause I wasn't paying attention to what he would have me to do in the certain area of my life. I said, Lord, I don't want to quench your spirit. I don't want to miss on what miss out on what you have for me. So Lord, would you help me next time to pay attention so that I do what she had me to do. It was kind of a, maybe a synable mission or just not paying attention. 2 (56m 6s): And we can quench the spirit by just not paying attention by just not listening to what the Lord's saying and not really caring about what he has to say. So we're told, do not quench the spirit. The spirit of God is the third person of the Trinity he's co-equal with the father and the son. And he deserves our honor, our worship and our obedience. So don't quench the spirit quenching the spirit will quench Your Faith punching the spirit will CA will quench Your your Christianity and it will make you, it will make you powerless in Jesus. It will make you powerless to do what God's asked you to do. So don't quench the spirit, do not despise prophecies, but test everything. Hold fast to what is good. 2 (56m 47s): I can't tell you how many times somebody's word of prophecy to me has helped me. I'm talking about new Testament. The new Testament give to prophecy where a person gets a word from the Lord and speaks something to me. Often, a person with the gift of prophecy actually has the gift to interpret dreams as well. They just have this capacity to hear from the Lord, interpret dreams, speak prophetically over a person's life. And I can't tell you how many times the prophetic people in my life have, have been a blessing to me. Sometimes we despise prophecy because we don't understand. We don't understand the prophet, the person, and we don't understand their gift. 2 (57m 28s): And so we just don't want anything to do with them. I believe in we believe that prophecy continues. It's different than the old Testament use of prophecy, but it's, there's a new Testament use of prophecy that is very effective and fruitful for the church. And so don't despise prophecies. Even if you don't understand it, just ask the Lord, what is it, Lord that you're trying to help me to understand? What are you, what is it that you want me to understand about this gift, this spiritual gift, and then test everything. So you don't not to take a prophet's word in the new Testament sense of a prophetic word as directly as voice from the Lord necessarily. But usually it'll be a word that confirms what God has already said to you and communicates a edification to you as a follower of the Lord. 2 (58m 12s): Jesus Christ. I think we despise prophecies. I think when we despise prophecies, we quench the spirit. And then in verse 22, it says abstain from every form of evil. Well that's wide open. Isn't it abstain from every form of evil. Not, not a lot to say about that. Just figure out what's what God would have you to abstain from and abstain from every form of evil. And I bet there's probably something there that if we prayed, God would show us that we weren't really paying attention to before that Living Out, Your, Faith in the Community of the Saints number four, allow God to complete his work of sanctification in your life. There's a process of sanctification. 2 (58m 53s): So salvation comes when we believe on Christ and he comes and he forgives our sins and he adopts us into his family and he takes up residency in our life. But then there's a process called sanctification verse 23 says, now may the God of peace himself sanctify. You completely may. The God of peace himself sanctify you completely like through and through and may your whole body spirits and soul and body be kept blameless that the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, he who calls you is, and he will surely do it. So God has the process of a, there's a process of sanctification. I think sometimes we, we compartmentalize our lives. We allow God in most areas of our life, but we've got our area, our life kind of compartmentalized, and God wants to break into every area of your life and bring sanctification. 2 (59m 42s): Sanctification means to be set apart, to make Holy. And so he wants to sanctify. You make set you apart and make you Holy in every arena of your life. And number five, consider others in everything you do. This is how we live in our faith community. With the, with the Community of the Saints consider others' in everything you do. And then Paul wraps up this book in this chapter with verse 25, where he says brothers, pray for us. Sometimes, you know, you think about Paul and all of the work that he did and all of the, you know, writing that he accomplished and the mission missionary journeys. 2 (1h 0m 23s): And you think, man, Paul should be praying for me, but man Paul saying, I want you to pray. He's saying to that, that first century church brothers pray for us, pray for our work. He understood that without the Saints praying that they'd be opening themselves up for danger. So he says, pray for us, consider others in everything you do. Who do you need to pray for? Do you, you need to pray for your spiritual leaders. I'm asking you to always to pray for me and to, for the elders and pastors of our church, but also pray for those in your life who needs salvation or who need a healing or who need a touch from the Lord and watch what God will do for others. 2 (1h 1m 4s): Pray, consider others and everything you do. Then verse 26 says greet all the brothers with a Holy kiss. We joke about that verse a lot, right? And COVID, we can't actually do that. People are afraid if you get within six weeks, eight of them. So we can't actually greet people with a Holy kiss, but there's implied. There's implied relationship and connectivity there where we're saying, Hey, we need one another within the body of Christ. This is why it's so important that we gather as the church. And so if during this time we're meeting online, you can gather some people around you when you're having Church within your home. Whether it's your family or people within your sphere of influence people that you're already around. 2 (1h 1m 47s): And if you can do it safely and gather with people, there's we there's an implied need. Here. We, we need one another. I need you. You need me, you need one another Sigrid, each other, greet all the brothers with a Holy kiss. And then he gives some pretty strong language in verse 27. He says, I put you under, under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers. So this, this letter and all of the letters, Paul wrote are pretty important. And so he's saying, Hey, read these out. And then he says the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ be you. And that's how he wraps up first Thessalonians the book and then the chapter. 2 (1h 2m 27s): And so we've got so much to be grateful for this year. As we wrap up 2020, I would just encourage you to think about what you're grateful for. Be thankful, ask the Lord to give you a thankful heart and watch what he will do with that heart of gratitude. As you get into the new year with that, I'm going to pray and we're going to invite the worship team to come forward and we'll sing a few more songs and worship the Lord together. So Lord, we bow our heads in prayer. We thank you for this time. We thank you, God, that you are faithful. And Lord, we just invite you to continue to speak to us as we worship. And I pray that this message would go out on the worldwide web Lord and speak to those. 2 (1h 3m 8s): You designed it to speak to you and that people would listen and that people would be blessed as they have Lord. So thank you for this time in Jesus name. Thank you, Lord. Amen. Amen. Let's worship. 0 (1h 3m 20s): Hey man. So good. Well father, we do worship you this morning. We'll give you our hearts moving worse, worse, worse, worse, seen again. 0 (1h 4m 9s): <inaudible> 5 (1h 7m 2s): I don't see it's your work. He even went. I don't feel that you can never stop. Never stop, never stop, never stop. Or even when I don't see the work, he never stop. Never stop. 0 (1h 7m 28s): <inaudible> 5 (1h 10m 51s): Thank you for this time that we've had to gather together. Thank you for your presence that has been here in our MIS in this time. And I just pray as we enter into the new year this week, God, you would stir our hearts just with passion or for the things of your heart. God, that you would give us dreams and things to accomplish the year ahead to expand your kingdom, to extend your love to the world around us. And just as Steve is talking about living out that purpose, the reason that you made a sky, just pray that this would be at different County year for us ahead, God, that you would stir hope where there's just spent lots of discouragement this year. 5 (1h 11m 33s): How would you stir into stoke that fire of hope and passion in our hearts again? So we look forward to what you want to do in and through us individually, what you want to do in and through us as a church family. And so God, we just invite you to come into our MIS to give us all that we need to strengthen us deep on the inside. You are the well that never runs dry. So thank you that we can tap in to your spirit for all that we have need of in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. Church show good to be with you virtually online. We love you guys. We miss seeing your faces here in person. 5 (1h 12m 13s): We send our left from this place. Pray that you have a wonderful, happy new year. Stay safe, stay healthy, and we'll see you again next Sunday. God bless. Yes.
0 (0s): Well, Merry Christmas, everyone. Hello from Harvest Church we sure wish we could all be together in person tonight. We know it's just much safer for us all to be apart, but we're still unified in hearts. And we have all come together to gather together all around this County from every corner to lift the love and light of Jesus. And so Lord, we just welcome your presence in every home. Every household watching just are inviting your love just to fill the space. So find a comfortable spot to join into worship with us. Maybe you want to grab a cup of hot cocoa or your favorite blankets, but just gather your family and friends around whoever you're able to be with today. 0 (41s): And let's get to that place where we're going to worship together. Would you pray with me as we begin our time? Thank you, Lord. Thank you. That you came, that you chose to enter this world citizen, a helpless baby, that you would understand what it's like to stub your toe and skin your knee. That's you're not just a far away God, but you came to walk among us to know sorrow and grief and pain and suffering. You understand us so intimately and intricately. We just pray that your presence would be felt by everyone who's tuned in either live in this moment or later watching the replay. 0 (1m 27s): That's your beyond space and time that you are everywhere Lord. And so we just welcome your presence just to come right now. Emmanuelle wonderful counselor, almighty God and Prince of peace. Would you reveal more of yourself to us this night, just as you came in that stable in that plan and you change the world forever. Thank you. So let joy bubble up in our hearts tonight. As we celebrate the birth of our King and we declare joy to the world tonight for the Lord is come <inaudible> <inaudible>. 0 (5m 47s): Amen. Thank you. Thank you that you came, what a gift we come to adore you tonight. Jesus, just to lay all of our burdens at your feet, Jesus, to say that we have need of you. So we bring our hearts. Every anxious thought, every care and concern. There's nothing that's ever out of your sight. Ooh, <inaudible> <inaudible> 1 (12m 42s): Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas. Hey, thank you so much for inviting us into your home. This Christmas Eve 2020, this is not how we intended to have Church today, but this is how we are having Church today in your homes live fed live-streamed and we're so grateful for this opportunity. And we're praying that as we have made this choice, that everybody around us stays healthier for the balance of this year. And S and beyond that, it has been our tradition. It has become our tradition to read a Christmas story, a children's Christmas story every every year. 1 (13m 25s): And so we have a great Christmas story this year, and then I will be sharing a 20 minute message or so also following that, and, and then we'll sing some more songs and then we will just to continue to enjoy the holiday season. So I want to take a moment and pray before we get into the reading. And then we'll read the story and hear a brief message. So shall we bow our heads in prayer? Lord, thank you so much for your amazing grace. Jesus. We are so thankful that you were born into this earth into this world so that we might know you so that we might be known by you. 1 (14m 7s): So God, I pray that every person would have an encounter with you and a personal encounter with you. That would be life altering God, that you would reveal yourself to people that you would work in people's lives and that you would change lives. That's our prayer. That's our desire for, from you today, Lord God. And so as we celebrate your birth, be glorified, thank you for this time in Jesus name a men to the story towards the evening of Christmas towards the evening of Christmas. When all through the town, every end was so crowded, no room could be found tired. 1 (14m 50s): Mary and who went door to door at last found a place on a small stable floor. Thank goodness said Mary who tiptoed inside the mice, saw the donkey and scurried to hide the rest of the creatures. All cuddled up tight in hopes that they might have a calm, peaceful night. The pigeons were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of breadcrumbs danced around in their heads. The cows closed their eyes and the oxen laid down the doves cued. So gently, the lambs made no sound. 1 (15m 33s): The moon through the trees was just starting to glow with a glimmer of light on the stable below. When quite by surprise came in newborn baby cry that woke all the animals sleeping nearby up, jumped the cows and the oxen and sheep up popped. The pigeons are roused from their sleep. They all came to gaze at the small baby boy as his mama and Papa hugged him with joy. Now, donkeys. Now cows now pigeons and sheep. Now oxen and mice in the manger did peep his eyes. How they twinkled his dimples so sweet as they nuzzled his fingers in cute little feet and out in the fields, taking care of their sheep. 1 (16m 25s): Some shepherds were just getting ready to sleep. When all of a sudden they had such a fright as a whole choir of angels lit up the nights. But the song of the angels, the words that they said soon, let them men know they had nothing to dread. Dear shepherds. It's wonderful news that we bring as savior is born. He is Jesus. The King. They ran to the stable and peek through the door and saw something never imagined before they're in a manger. A baby boy, lay no blankets, no pillow. 1 (17m 7s): His bed made of hay. And to that small stable came three splendid Kings with gifts for the baby, all beautiful things. They jumped from their camels and knelt at his feet with their frankincense golden murder that smelled sweets, the stable was filled with a wonderful light as stars above Bethlehem. Twinkled so bright and high in the heavens. God whispered my son. You'll bring hope to the world and love everyone. Then back to their slumbers. 1 (17m 48s): The animals curled amazed at this babe, who had entered their world as Mary and Joseph got ready for bed. They snuggled their baby and kissed his 2 (17m 58s): Sweet head is married late. 1 (18m 2s): He's asleep in the Hey. She, she thought about all that had happened that day. The mice heard her whisper as she tucked him in time. 2 (18m 11s): Night's Merry Christmas, my son, and to all a good nights. What a great story. It was the evening of Christmas. 1 (18m 26s): That's what we're celebrating. We're celebrating Christmas Eve, the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus, 2 (18m 30s): Jesus Christ. But before 1 (18m 33s): Or in keeping with tradition, a joke, a joke. It's Christmas Eve, it's Christmas Eve and Amanda's out shopping and he realizes he's going to be late. So he calls his wife and says, babe, I'm out shopping, doing some last minute shopping. So I'm going to be home a little late. And she out of curiosity asked the question, well, where are you shopping? And he said, well, you know, you remember that, that, that jewelry store where we saw those beautiful diamond stud earrings that you appreciated so much, she said, yes. I remember. I remember he said, well, I'll be at the hardware store. Next door, Silly Christmas jokes. But they are a part of the tradition around here. 1 (19m 14s): We've titled the message today. Fear not Jesus brings hope to the world that will be in Luke chapter two verses eight through 14 today. And this is what it says in Luke chapter two, verses eight and nine. It says, and in the same region, there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And the angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they were filled with great 2 (19m 42s): Fear. Imagine, I mean, this is a common reaction 1 (19m 48s): When an angel of the Lord appears to people. There's great fear. There's great. Awe there's great honor. For example, when them in the old Testament, when bail him saw the angel of the Lord, he bowed down and fell 2 (20m 2s): Fall on his face. Great fear. Great honor. Great. All 1 (20m 10s): Samson's mother was visited by the angel of the Lord and she described the angel as awesome. Now we use that word a lot and we don't always use it appropriately. We use it for all kinds of different stuff, but the word awesome means extremely impressive. Daunting. It means overwhelming, inspiring, great admiration, apprehension, 2 (20m 34s): Or fear. 1 (20m 36s): This is the proper and expected response. When someone encounters a heavenly being, I mean the glory of the Lord shone around them. You can imagine, you can imagine. I imagine a great lights, a sense that someone powerful is present this night was like no other night they had 2 (20m 56s): Since. So a great fear 1 (21m 0s): When Samson's mother had a second encounter with the angel of the Lord, she and her husband fell on their faces to the ground. There was even fear that they might die from their encounter. There was fear that they might die because they encountered the angel of the 2 (21m 15s): Lord. When Mary, 1 (21m 17s): The mother of Jesus encountered the angel Gabriel, she was greatly troubled. She was troubled by his message 2 (21m 25s): And fearful. The angel told her do not be afraid. Mary, for you have found favor with God, do not be afraid. Mary, for you have found favor with 1 (21m 39s): God. It's a lot to take in for a teenage girl. Who's just found out. We're about to find out 2 (21m 45s): She's going to give birth to a baby. 1 (21m 49s): Good news. No matter who you are today, you have found favor with God, no matter who you are 2 (21m 54s): Today, you, you have found favor with God. I mean, think about it. In what ways did Mary find favor with God? Well, God revealed himself to Mary 1 (22m 8s): And then God worked in Mary's life. And then God changed Mary's life for the wonderful, 2 (22m 14s): Good. Okay. 1 (22m 17s): For every one of us, all of us, God wants to reveal himself. He wants to reveal himself to us. He wants to reveal 2 (22m 27s): To you specifically, God wants to reveal himself to you. He wants to work in your life and he watched it change your life for the wonderful, good. This 1 (22m 40s): Was certainly the experience of the shepherds. 2 (22m 43s): Back to Luke chapter two, 1 (22m 45s): Verse 10, it says in the angel said to them, to the shepherds 2 (22m 50s): Fear, not for behold, I bring you good news of great joy. That will be for all the people. 1 (23m 0s): God revealed himself to the shepherds. Through the angel. God worked in their life and God changed their life for the wonderful, good. They got a front row seats, 2 (23m 12s): The birth of the Lord, Jesus Christ, who is new life here in the earth. This year, 1 (23m 17s): Birds experience something other worldly it 2 (23m 21s): Edge in there. They're all their fear. They didn't know what to expect when the angel appeared and the message of the angel was this fear, not fear, nots, whatever the Lord wants to do in your life. His message to you is the same fear. Not fear. Not God wants to do something in your life. He wants to reveal himself to you. 1 (23m 51s): He wants to work in your life and he wants to change your life for the wonderful, good. 2 (23m 57s): And he wants to 1 (23m 57s): Comfort you with the truth that you've got nothing. Absolutely 2 (24m 1s): Nothing to fear. These aims 1 (24m 5s): That we've been talking about, their messengers of God's speaking for him, 2 (24m 10s): Their message is God's message. Fear. Not maybe you've 1 (24m 17s): Got some fear in you when you think 2 (24m 20s): About God, maybe it just makes you uncomfortable to think about God. God's message 1 (24m 26s): Is the same to you as it was to 2 (24m 28s): Mary. And as it was to the shepherds fear, not fear, not God 1 (24m 36s): Send an angel to tell of his plan, to send Jesus into the world, to be the savior of the world. This is the good news. Verse 10. The second part says, I bring you good news of great joy. 2 (24m 47s): That will be for all the people. So 1 (24m 50s): What is this good news that the angel 2 (24m 53s): Was talking about? What might possibly 1 (24m 55s): Bring great joy to all 2 (24m 57s): People? Well, it's the news of a savior. 1 (25m 0s): The news of a savior is the good news for all people. Verse 11 says for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ 2 (25m 9s): Waste. The Lord fear, not Jesus brings hope to the world because he loves you because he loves everyone. It is 1 (25m 23s): Because of his great love for us, that he willingly became our savior. We read about his great love in John three 2 (25m 30s): Verses 16 through 18, where it says for God, so loved the world that he gave. His only son that whoever 1 (25m 39s): Believes in him should not perish, but have 2 (25m 41s): Eternal life. 1 (25m 44s): 17 for God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world. But in order that the world might be saved 2 (25m 52s): Through him. First 18, whoever believes 1 (25m 55s): He was in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only son 2 (26m 2s): Of God. The angel 1 (26m 6s): Gabriel is telling the shepherds 2 (26m 9s): What has happened. The savior has been born. That's what Christmas is all about every year. It says 1 (26m 17s): Declaration that the savior has been 2 (26m 20s): Born. We declared that to you tonight, 1 (26m 23s): Today, as we have this Service and stream it into your home or into your office or wherever it is that you may be watching, the savior has been born. Luke chapter two, verse 12 says this, and this will be assigned for you. You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling claws and lying in a manger and suddenly there with the angel. And, and suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying glory to God in the highest and on earth. Peace among those with whom he is pleased. I wonder how big a multitude is. Was it a hundred? Probably not. It wasn't a a thousand, probably not. 1 (27m 6s): It could have been tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions. We don't know, but there was a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying glory to God in the highest and on earth. Peace among those with whom he is pleased. This is a profound moment in history, a profound moment in time when God out of his great love since his son, Jesus Christ into the earth so that we might know him and experience his love. Fear, nots, 3 (27m 39s): Jesus 1 (27m 40s): Brings hope to the world because he loves everyone. And because he has the ability, he has the ability to give peace to everyone. Jesus has the ability to give peace to everyone in the Greek. That word means peace between individuals 3 (27m 57s): Walls. 1 (28m 1s): God wants to bring peace between you and him. He desires to bring peace in your relationship to him, to the father, to God in James three 18, it says in those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. And Jesus is the ultimate peace maker. He came into the world as the savior to make peace between God and man, the reason for his birth, the reason for Christmas Jesus came to bring peace. And one of his names is the Prince of peace. 1 (28m 41s): Jesus is the Prince 3 (28m 43s): Of peace. 1 (28m 45s): Jesus Christ is the only reason. And the only way we can surely live peacefully with God, Jesus Christ is called the Prince of peace because he restores our broken relationship with God and provides the assurance of eternal life. Every one of us needs the Prince of peace. We need peace in our relationship with God. We need God to establish that miraculous work in our lives, 3 (29m 16s): The bird, 1 (29m 17s): Life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes that piece possible. I found that real peace can only be experienced in Christ. It's not in stuff I've tried. I've tried finding peace by adding stuff to my life. All that stuff does is make me busy and feel responsible for all kinds of stuff. It's not in stuff. It's 2 (29m 42s): Not in romantic relationships. It's not in money, not in achievements, not in position or status. It's nothing external. It is found peace. Peace is found in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Real peace is found in Christ alone. Luke two 14 says glory to God in the highest and on earth. Peace among those with whom he is pleased. That's a question who is God pleased with? What does that even mean? Well, apart from Christ, it's not possible for us to be pleasing to God, but in Christ are we are pleasing fear. 2 (30m 27s): Not Jesus brings hope to the world because he loves everyone. And because he has the ability to give peace to everyone and number three, because he makes it possible for us to please, God, Jesus makes it possible for us to please God, have you ever wondered in your life? How do I please, God, well, Jesus has done that on your behalf. And as we find our lives hidden in Christ, as we accept the grace and mercy and the love of his, of, of Jesus Christ, we find ourselves hidden in Christ and acceptable and pleasing to God. There is peace among those with whom he is pleased. 2 (31m 10s): So how does Jesus make it possible for us to please God? And why don't we please God, in the first place? Well, there's a great quote. I mean, there's a great questions. Well, there's a little word with big implications that the Bible talks about from the old Testament to the new Testament. And this word is sin, sin, sin. What is sin? Sin is anything that is displeasing to God. So there, this thing called sin that is interrupted our communion, our relationship with God, as soon as anything that is displeasing to God. And the Bible says that all of us have sinned, Romans three 23 in the Bible. 2 (31m 51s): It says for all, have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, all the sin and fall short of the glory of God. The penalty for that sin is death. Romans six 23 says for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Our Lord, this penalty is the whole reason Jesus came and died on the cross. It's the reason he was born. He lived, he was crucified and then ultimately resurrected from the dead Jesus was born so that he might die for me. Jesus was born so that he might die for you so that we might know a relationship with God and be pleasing to him. 2 (32m 37s): So how does Jesus make possible for us to please God? Well, Jesus died in my place and yours to pay the penalty for our sin. Have you ever had someone paid a debt for you? You own maybe a big debt and you had somebody to come along as a gift to you and just pay that off. I have. It's a, it's a liberating feeling to have that debt finally lifted. Have you ever had someone forgive a debt? Just say, you know what? That thing that you owed me, that money that you owed me, don't worry about it. And what a, what a great relief that is because debt can be a heavy burden to us as human beings. 2 (33m 18s): But when somebody pays that debt for us or when somebody forgives that debt, it's, it's a, it's an incredibly liberating experience. It's this is precisely what Jesus has done for us. And he's the only one who could do it. Jesus, the God man, fully God and fully man came to cancel that debt to forgive that debt, to pay that debt for us, what a relief it is to have that debt forgiven paid and eliminated. This is what he did. He died so that our sin debt might be forgiven and he has made it possible for us to have peace with God through those actions. 2 (34m 5s): This is the gospel and this is why we have nothing to fear. Fear, not Jesus brings hope to the world. And I, I don't. I want to say it this way. Jesus can bring hope to your world. Maybe your world is feeling very small right now. Maybe you've been hunkered down, quarantined, staying close to home, fearful, anxious, nervous, worried. Jesus can bring hope to your world wherever you are, wherever you are. 2 (34m 46s): Jesus wants to reveal himself to you. He loves you. He has the ability to give peace to your life in your circumstance, whatever it is that you're going through. And he makes it possible for you to please God, it's an amazing gift. Jesus, the person and work of Jesus. It's an amazing and profound gift. And I just want to say, I hope you and I hope in a fresh way that I, that together we experience God and that he works in our life and that he changes our life for the wonderful, good, let's take a moment and pray. 2 (35m 33s): And then we're going to sing some more songs and wrap up the Service here in just a few moments. Let's bow our heads. Lord, we thank you for this time for the opportunity to be encouraged through a wonderful children's story, a book that communicates your birth in such a creative way. Lord God. And we're thankful for the word of God that is eternal and has the power to change lives. Lord God, we're thankful that we have the opportunity to gather and to stream this message so that people's lives might be touched and minister to God. I pray that this Christmas season wonderful, wonderful, and profound things would take place in the lives of every person on the central coast and throughout the world. 2 (36m 20s): As people tune in and hear, hear the message. Fear, not fear, not Jesus brings hope to the world. Bring that hope. We pray. Thank you for this time. Lord in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. Let's sing some songs. 0 (36m 40s): This would normally be the time where we would light a few candles. So maybe at home, if you have some candles, maybe find some candles and light them, maybe turn on your Christmas lights on the tree. But we do this as a symbol to remember that Jesus is the light of the world that he came into the darkness to be the light. And I love it. The whole world lights up at Christmas time. And so let's just celebrate him as we sing these songs together, the light of the world. 0 (37m 9s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> one more time. 0 (46m 3s): Just start voices to celebrate the lanes. <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> just rest in your peace. 0 (47m 19s): Thank you for being with us. I just pray that each family as they celebrate this year, that you would just be in our midst, that you would make a special year, even though it's a little different what'd you do surprise us with your presence, with your joy, your peace, your love, your hope in our hearts. We pray that your perfect love would just cast out all fear that we wouldn't have anything to be afraid of. So thank you for this time to worship together. May your love and light fill our hearts and homes this Christmas and always in Jesus name. Amen. 0 (47m 58s): Amen. Well, Merry Christmas, everyone. We hope you have a wonderful night and day tomorrow celebrating the birth of our King. We look forward to worshiping with you again soon on Sunday, have a wonderful night Merry Christmas.
0 (1s): Well, good morning. Merry Christmas, everyone. Welcome to Harvest. Church. My name is Sherrilyn. If we haven't met yet, her so glad that you joined us this morning. Hello to everyone who's watching online and all over campus today. We're all staying warm and safe and cozy this Christmas season. If you're able to be in the room with me, why don't you stand as we began to prepare our hearts for worship this morning. 1 (30s): Awesome. 0 (30s): What's just go before the Lord together in prayer, 1 (36s): Lord, we just welcome you. Holy 0 (41s): The spirit. Would you just come pray that you would touch every heart this morning? Just that we could be overwhelmed by your loving presence today, just as you came into the hat's stable in Bethlehem so many years ago, God, we just sense your presence here in this space with us. I pray that every family watching at home and just sense your presence and your peace just fall upon their whole family or whole household down in Jesus name. 1 (1m 12s): Need you want you and we welcome you. 1 (1m 24s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> CA <inaudible> <inaudible> 0 (13m 11s): Here from him this morning, some fresh manna 1 (13m 14s): <inaudible> maybe there's some of you. 0 (13m 26s): I have a word of encouragement for all of us to be a great time to, to share that 1 (13m 29s): <inaudible> Jesus <inaudible>. 0 (18m 42s): As a reminder this morning, just how the Wiseman came very gifts to lay before the King has even thinking of a story of a little drummer boy and have a heat, brought his gift of music to the King. And even those who don't have anything to bring your heart. That's really what he's after is after our hearts this morning. So even if you feel like your checkbook is slim, and maybe you're like I had a stump, know that I have much to offer. God says, I just want your heart. Plus spring on our hearts this morning together, we're gonna sing this together. Our affection art emotion. 0 (19m 24s): We're gonna pour it out on the feet of Jesus. 1 (19m 31s): <inaudible>. 1 (21m 21s): We worship you with all of our hearts this morning. Just pray your presence. Just be so felt in the season. Remind us again and again that you are Emmanuel God with us. There's nowhere that we can go from your presence. God can be in the deepest of pits and your presence is still going to find us there. Thank you that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ. You make room in our hearts for you. This season make room in our hearts this day, we open our hearts wide to receive all that you have for us and the precious and beautiful name of Jesus. 1 (22m 7s): Amen. Amen. So a good church to be together this Christmas and to celebrate those of you who are in the room here with us or on campus and how some neighbors around you. Let's take this time to greet someone with the love for Jesus this morning. And we'll be back in just a few minutes with some more announcements. 2 (22m 29s): Welcome to those who are in the sanctuary, in the loft, in the parsonage and on the patio. It is good to have you welcome. So I've been gone for the last couple of weeks, so we've had a w C we had Dave preach and then we had Ron preach and today we're having Jeremy preach. And so we've got the whole lineup going here and then I'll be back on for Christmas Eve. I'm thinking about being here three, four, and five o'clock that's who wants to join me all three services? No, all three everybody's hands. As soon as I said three services, the hands went down. Okay, Ken, he's going to be here. 2 (23m 9s): So we do have three Christmas Eve services, and we're going to make the patio a kind of a cool, kind of a venue where with fire pits and all kinds of fun stuff. So that's going to be really, really fun. If you are new to the church, we encourage you to stop by the info center. You've got a free gift there and, and then fill out a communication card as well. You can do that on the Harvest Church app. I think you can even fill out the communication card on our website, but also we've got communication cards that you can fill out and you get those at the info center. We just like to hello to you and welcome you here. 2 (23m 50s): Hey, we have been collecting food like crazy. So Thanksgiving, we gave away all kinds of food baskets for those in need. And at Christmas for this holiday, we gate we collected and provided 25 baskets, Christmas dinners to 25 families in need. And then because of your generosity, we've been able to partner with grace. Church grace, grace Bible, and, and we served another 130 families, their foster families with, with a Christmas dinner. And so together combined, we served a 155 dinners this year. That's I think that's our biggest year ever. So thank you so much. Yeah. Thank you for your generosity. 2 (24m 31s): None of that happens unless you guys bring sides and hams and turkeys and all of that stuff. So thank you so much for your generosity into those who spearheaded that, where you're so, so grateful here, the Church office will be closed as it is every year between Christmas Eve. And it will be here Christmas Eve for the services at three, four. What time of the services? Again? Three, four or five. Thanks. So we're going to be, we'll be here, but then beginning the 25th until January 3rd, the office will be closed. We just like to give our staff extra time with their family. And, and Hey, I haven't talked about the second mortgage for probably almost a year, a year ago. I talked about the second mortgage because we've got this Need, we're trying to raise over the period of three years. 2 (25m 16s): We're trying to raise $360,000. So people have been giving faithfully every month, every week. People give faithfully. We are, we are at around $86,000 that has come in. So if you do the math, we've got $360,000 over three-year period. That's a $120,000 a year that we're trying to raise over and above our regular ties and offerings and that sort of thing. So you guys have been amazing and we had brought in 86,000. So that means if we're going to write a check at the end of the year for a $120,000, we need 34,000 more to come in. So that's the challenge, but we've already raised 86,000. So if you are here and you want to make a year-end gift to the second mortgage, you can just Mark right on your check, second mortgage, and we'll make sure that goes to that. 2 (26m 5s): And, and we'll just trust the Lord, do what we always do and just trust the Lord's provision for all of this stuff that, that we're trying to do and trying to get accomplished. So with that, Jeremy, come on up, Jeremy's preaching today. He'll be in first Thessalonians chapter four, and he'd be taking us through the first part of chapter five. And so we were kind of arm wrestling about who was going to preach this weekend and he, let me, have you, have you seen the guns on this guy? Yeah, so he actually did when our family was exposed to COVID and we weren't sure if we were going to get the test results back in time for me to prep and be ready and, you know, we could have both prepped to be ready, but then that's not necessary. 2 (26m 54s): So we said we just tagged Jeremy. So again, it was Ron or Dave and Ron now Jeremy, and then I'll be back up. And so I want to pray for you and just pray for us as a church. And so why don't we all stand up everywhere, all over the campus, outside, inside, let's stand up and extend our hand to Jeremy Lord. Thank you for Jeremy. Thank you for pastor Jeremy and his desire to teach and the gifts that you have given him. Lord, we're so grateful. Thank you that he's an amazing a pastor at our church. We love him. We just pray that as he brings forth the word, God, that we would hear what we need to hear, that we'd be challenged, encouraged, edified, and built up in our most Holy faith. So thank you for this time. Thank you for your living word. 2 (27m 34s): Use it to speak to us. We pray in Jesus name. Amen. 3 (27m 39s): Thank you. Stoke to have my wife, my daughter Posey here in the service, and then my youth group is up here and kind of spread out. 4 (27m 49s): So 3 (27m 51s): Love you guys. You guys are awesome. I'm a fan. Yes. I have a fan club there. It's awesome. You guys are awesome. Hey, let's open up our Bibles to first Thessalonians chapter four. I'm going to be picking up where Ron left off. He did such a, an amazing job last week. So many just points to take home and to work on. And you know, just a summarize. He talked about this, Holy living that God's calling us to do, and the purity that God's calling us to have as we, as we prepare for what, what God has for us, and then not only purity, but then what does it look like for Holy loving and then Holy leading. 3 (28m 32s): And it was a, it was a, it was a great and timely message. And you know, I like second service. I kind of get to forget about the foibles or first service and learn some things. And so actually I want to, I wanna, I want to grab you with a wedding. Everybody loves a wedding just, just last week. We got to go down to Santa Barbara and see two of my former fifth and sixth grade students get married and they love the Lord. They have committed to each other. They've committed to God. They've, they've walked in purity. And, and it was amazing thing to see these two former fifth and sixth graders walk down the aisle and say, I do. 3 (29m 13s): It was, it was amazing. And the funny part is I can remember those two specifically on one of the days that I was like planting seeds, like, Hey, someday, some of you guys might get married and if you get married, this is what you look for. And I would play at Lucy's into look at this wedding and see it. And they really, they walked in that they walked in, in God's purity and his loving is leading. So I was really stoked. So I want to pull you into a wedding because I think this will help us understand the rest of the chapter and maybe understand some context. One of the things as we studied the Bible is the Bible was written in a different To a different people, grew up in a different culture. And so as we learn more about the culture that was during the times of Jesus, I think we can understand more about the Bible. 3 (30m 2s): And so let me take you through a wedding and not just a Jewish wedding, but a specifically a Galilean wedding. Okay. And there were some things that set a galleon wedding apart. And just in saying this it's important to note that Jesus was from Nazareth of Galilee. The disciples were all we're from Galilee and even Jesus. His first miracle was in kina of galley. So that's, that's important and understanding the context Jesus was doing. So let me jump in. So the bride and groom, they would gather at the city gate to come together for a covenant in a way, a contract. And they would gather their families. And this wedding covenant would have been red agreed upon by both parties, the bride and the groom. 3 (30m 48s): And then the, the, the, the father and the, and the groom would, would take a dowry. And that would be paid towards his, his bride. And it wasn't a purchase. It was closer to an insurance policy. If something were to happen to him in the time of their patrol, he pays this price. Then the young man after that's all read it, if that's all done, they'll give me a little, pour a cup of wine and he'll hold it out. And this is one of the things that separated a Jewish wedding is as the groom extended that cup of wine out to his possible bride. She and only at a Galilean wedding, the opportunity to either accept or deny it, Jewish weddings, often the parents sets each other out, like that's kind of a done deal, but here in a Galilean wedding, we're learning from, and this is all taken from archeological digs and we're learning all this stuff. 3 (31m 44s): And so the young, the groom would reach out his cup and he would, he would offer it to her and she had the opportunity to then drink it. And if she chose to drink it, that was her signal that she was entering into this patrol level. And she would then be called the one that was bought with a price. The one that was bought with a price, I'm giving you a little things. I'm hoping that you're feeling in your mind, how this fits in with the Church. Okay. So she was then the one bot with a price and the S the, the groom would then take that cup. And he would say this, he would say, I will not drink this cup until the time when we are together again, does that sound familiar? 3 (32m 27s): What Jesus did. And we took the communion cup with his disciples because We, I miss that. But in it, as Jesus is at that, that round the table with his disciples, the disciples are realizing, well, this is, this is like a proposal. This is like a though this is, they were realizing that this is what Jesus was doing. He was offering that I will not drink this cup until we are get together again. And there was another huge part of a Galilean wedding that sets it apart. 5 (32m 51s): You know, we, we, we, we get a, a, a N 3 (32m 54s): A letter in the mail that says, save the date for this day. This is when this couple is going to get married. A gal Leanne was what was different than a wedding was different because there was no date set. It was solely up to the father of the groom of when the time was right for his son to go get his bride. So no date was set. And sometimes that was a year. Sometimes it was two years. There was a period. Okay. So there's no date set. So from that point on, after the groom has taken the cutback, they would separate. And the groom would then as during that period of separation, the groom would begin to prepare a place for his bride in his father's house, in the insula. 3 (33m 35s): And it was a large courtyard surrounded by a lot of small houses, mult Wellings. And so the sun would go back like, yes, my patrol, we're going to get married and he'd go back. And he began building on to his father's house, preparing that place, and the bride would then go herself and begin to prepare herself. She began to, to assemble the fabrics needed for the wedding dress. She began to make preparations and pick her, her a bridesmaids, all those things. They're all she's preparing herself. And the groom is preparing a place in his father's house and the groom in a galleon where he would often send gifts periodically to remind his bride of his love. 3 (34m 15s): And the interesting, Hey, don't forget about me here. Here's a little love gift. Here's a little gift. Here's a gift to remember that. I love you. We think of the gifts of the Holy spirit. God, I love you 5 (34m 30s): Exactly. 3 (34m 30s): When would it be building in the community that as, as they saw the walls go up and the roof and begin to fill it with furniture, there was an excitement in the community. And those who had the wedding invitations, they'd be like, Oh, I'm invited to this, this feast. This is, this was the party of the year. This is what you wanted to be part of it as a Jewish wedding. And as it, excitement is building, the groom is getting ready, but the bride is also getting ready as well. In fact, she has done her own preparations. She picked out her bridesmaids. She's getting them prepared as the day draws closer the day that they don't know, but they just have to be in preparation. The father is still holding on the bride is with her bridesmaids. 3 (35m 11s): And there every night they go to sleep wearing their gowns for the wedding. They have to be ready at any time that they have to be ready. And the groom is with his groomsmen and they are ready for the father to tap the son and say, go for it, go get your bride. And it was the father's job. Only the father knew the time that was set for the groom to go get his. And the father often would say like a thief in the night son, go get your bride. Can you imagine the excitement I've been waiting for this for a year, two years? Like this is time to go. Any, any, he wakes up all his grooves and they would have woken up. 3 (35m 54s): They jumped out. There's probably some yelling, excitement, Oh, you got this guy. That's going to go. You ready? And the procession would begin. And it would begin with the sound of a trumpet. A shofar would be blown in the streets. And if you heard that show for you and say, okay, who's getting married and how do we join? Or we have our wedding invitations, we're ready to go. And so this precession would grow as they got closer and closer to the brides house, reach the house, the bride, having heard the show far, haven't heard the procession. She would come out of her house to be gathered with the wedding party. At that point that the groomsmen would lift her up on a litter or a, or a chair. They would gather her up, they'd throw on there. And then her feet would not touch the ground as they went. 3 (36m 36s): To the wedding festival, the wedding celebration. It was said that she flies to the wedding chamber. And as they came to the wedding chamber, the whole, the whole party, the whole celebration, they would enter into that courtyard. And then the Gates would be sealed. And that, what that did is it didn't allow it. No one else to join the wedding party. Maybe they're late. Maybe they slept through it. They weren't allowed, they didn't have their invitation. They weren't ready. And so they would be kept out. But those who are inside, they were there for the party for the duration. And sometimes these wedding parties last from three to seven days is you imagine that Jesus knew about that. 3 (37m 20s): That was where Jesus did his first miracle in Kayna and Qaeda is where he was in one of those courtyards with his mom and his family and Jesus and Mary comes to Jesus like, Hey, I ran out of wine. What are we going to do? And that's a problem, because like I said, no one could leave and no one could come in. The Gates was shut. There was a party and said, no one was allowed to come. So it was a scandal that they ran out of wine. So when Jesus turns the water into wine, all the problems are fixed because they had wine. They couldn't leave her go. And after that seven days, the bride and groom, they come out, they celebrate there's feasting. How cool is that? 3 (38m 1s): So those things away, as we, as we begin to enter into first Thessalonians four, because I believe this was very much on the mind of policies right in it. Obviously it was on Jesus and the disciples as they have their conversations. But first Thessalonians asked the questions, I believe. Why do we need to Live Holy Life Why Ron messaged Lee yesterday was how, but now we're living Why and I, I, my wife will attest you. I am not good at grammar. I'm horrible speller. I'm more of a math and science guy. That's what I like. But when it comes to grammar and the Bible, all of a sudden, I like my, I kind of perk up like, okay, this is there's reasons that these are in there. So I've been kind of like obsessing over the subject pronouns here in these verses. 3 (38m 45s): And those are I We you and they. And so Paul writes this letter and he says, this, he's going to answer the why, why do we need to live a Holy life? He says, I do not want you speaking of the church to be ignorant brethren concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. He's a reminded them. I don't want you to be ignorant. I want you to know this. I don't want you to be lacking. This is his reason for writing. Paul had only spent three Sabbath in a vessel Annika. So maybe a most four weeks there as the Church, then he had to, because of persecution, tribulation, he had to leave. 3 (39m 27s): He was a, he, he had a runaway escape. And so this question is on their mind. Well, what, what has happened to those who have died? What has happened to those who died? And this is what Jesus is going to, and this is what Paul is going to continue saying, verse 14. He says, for, if we believe that Jesus died and Rose again, even so God will bring him those who sleep in Jesus. Isn't this incredible. This is the gospel message summary summarized right here in this first for if we believe that Jesus died and Rose again, and to die and rise again, it means that Jesus had to come as a baby. He had to be born into this world. He had to have the ability to die. 3 (40m 9s): And that is what we celebrate in Christmas. The Virgin birth that the Messiah came to earth as a baby boy place in a feeding trough. And now Paul is reminding them that Jesus died. He Rose again. So those who sleep in Jesus will as well posting. Remember, Jesus's resurrection. The supernatural thing on misperception for this, we say to you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede. Those who are asleep, this I believe was the concern of what has happened to those believers. Who've died before Jesus returns. 3 (40m 51s): Fess loan is actually the first L a pistol written. You know, that it was interesting to find that out, Luke, won't write his gospel. The first gospel isn't written until 63 80. This is written in approximately 50, 50, one 80, only 20 or 18, 19, 20 years after Jesus's resurrection. So, so as time has gone on, and remember the disciples were like waiting there as Jesus Rose up into the clouds, they're waiting and like, okay, what's, you know, what's going to happen. We Jesus said, he's going to come back or when's that going to happen? And the angel has a tap him on the shoulder and be like, no, okay, go do your thing. This is where you have to go, wait, he'll come back to the appropriate time when he said, 5 (41m 32s): And so this is 20 years later in believers 3 (41m 34s): Have begun passing away. And I remember the night my dad took his last breath on this world. My siblings and I all were all there. My mom was there and we watched him take his last breath. And he went to be absent from the body, but he went to be present with the Lord 5 (41m 53s): <inaudible> 3 (41m 57s): And I remember walking outside, we lived way out in the country and I just right or wrong. I went up and just yelled at Why Lord Why. And these Christians are asking Why this, these persecutions, these flesh, all these things are coming against as well. When is Jesus going to come? People are passing away. Lord. Well, don't you know about this. And so Paul says it in a very strong language, verse 15, the word of the Lord, I say to this, to you by the word of the Lord. And he says this, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede. Those who are asleep 5 (42m 32s): <inaudible> 3 (42m 35s): This is what happened in verse 16 for the Lord himself will descend from heaven, with a shout, with a voice of an Archangel and with a trumpet of God, does it sound kind of like that procession from the groom's house, the bride's house, or it's like this shot, like the groomsmen are like, let's do this. The trumpet of God blows. And the procession begins. It says, and that dad in Christ will rise up first. This is, this is preposterous in some ways to believe that we believe in the supernatural God that raises people from the dead. But we, we look towards Jesus who died first and Rose. 3 (43m 16s): First, Those three things, a shout of voice and Archangel. It's interesting. The third, the trumpet of God, I've become more and more in love with Jewish history and finding out the culture and the context with, with Bibles written. And one of the things I've, I've kind of discovered this week, and as I've been studying along as the Jew, the seven Jewish feasts, okay. There's seven of them. I want to explain a real quick there's four spring feast and then three in the fall. 5 (43m 45s): <inaudible> 3 (43m 48s): And take this as you may, but Jesus was crucified at Passover at the first feast. He was buried on the feast of the unleavened bread. 5 (43m 59s): Third, 3 (43m 60s): He Rose from the dead on the feast of first fruits. And then the spirit, the Holy spirit was poured out on the first believers at Pentecost. And then there's this period in, in the, in the, in the celebrations of these, these feasts, there's a period of the summer. Harvest, there's a, there's a gap. It would seem. And the first thing that happens at the fall entering into the fall feasts is the feats of trumpets. It's where people were gathering out in the field, they're doing their there's beginning to glean and work out in the field. And as soon as the priest on that temple wall below blew his show far, 6 (44m 39s): His horn, his trumpet, 3 (44m 41s): No matter what you were doing, where you were, you stopped and you'd come to the temple. You'd, you'd be gathered by that trumpet. And after the feast of trumpets, the second feast in the fall would be the D of a tournament or young Cooper. And I believe this first shadows, the second coming of Christ. Then lastly, we have the feast of Tabernacles. And this believes for shadows, the millennial reign of Jesus. It was a, it was, it was a partial fulfillment in scripture when Jesus came for those 33 years. But the ultimate will be when he's here during the millennial reign and forevermore, and he Tabernacles with us, he dwells with us. 3 (45m 24s): So the dead in Christ will rise first and he's comforted them with these words, the dead and Christ over it. God has not forgotten those. Who've passed away. The den Christ Rose first, then verse 17. It says we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Is it interesting that Paul included himself in that Paul believed in this imminent return of Jesus Christ for the believers, for the Church. He believed in that. And he put himself in that, like, I'm ready for that at anytime. We shall always be with the Lord. And those who have died will rise up and they'll meet the Jesus in the clouds to meet them in the Lord in the air. 3 (46m 8s): We have to contrast that with a second coming of Christ, 6 (46m 13s): Zachariah 14 is a lot 3 (46m 18s): Amazing passage of I've referenced this and other, other sermons, but Zachariah 14 four says this in a way that day, his feet will stand in the Mount of olives. This is his second coming. And that day his feet will touch or stand on the Mount of olives, which faces Jerusalem on the East. And the Mount of olives shall be split into from East to West, making a very large Valley, half the mountain shall move toward the North and a half towards Geography. I love maps. I got to share this with a youth group on a Wednesday night, G as Jesus comes back to the earthly return, as he touches down on the earth, he's going to land on the Mount of olives. 3 (47m 5s): And this is a belief different from them, the rapture, the church, this is a different event. And so as he touches down, as his feet, stand on the Mount of olives, there's going to be this huge earthquake and there will be a split. And if you, if you know the geography and I should've put a map up thinking, now we have the temple, and then you have the Mount of olives here on the East. And the Mount of olives have three peaks. And what, and what they discovered in 1964 was a fault line from the West to the East that runs right through the middle of Mount of olives so much so that they were going to build the hotel of seven arches. And they had decided they had to move at 30 meters, I think, to the North so that they wouldn't put that hotel on the fault line so that when Jesus comes, he doesn't, Need, he doesn't meet a fault line to be there, to create an earthquake, create a huge Valley. 3 (47m 54s): We, we, we believe that Jesus has a power, but isn't it cool that there is a fault line, right? Where Zachariah prophesied 2,500 years ago. Unbelievable. 5 (48m 4s): <inaudible>. 3 (48m 8s): And so when Paul uses this language, he says they shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air he's using the Latin word is wrapped Turo, where we get our word rapture, the doctrine of the rapture and the Greek word that we find here is her Pozzo. I kind of like rapture better. It sounds, I don't know, like wrap him up to be caught. To plucked 5 (48m 33s): <inaudible>. 3 (48m 38s): And this is a comfort to those who were there, knowing that God knows exactly what's going to happen, and when it's going to happen. And we're waiting for that shout that trumpet at any moment that trumpet could blow the house has prepared. Jesus has been prepared a place for us in heaven. For those 2000 years, he'd been sending us gifts, reminding us of his love. So we are to comfort one another one another with these words and Why comfort because their current afflictions, their current tribulations, their current persecutions, for those who have died or been martyred during that time, that during that 20 year time, there, there was, there was a lot of hurt. 3 (49m 26s): There was pain. What happened to these people? And God is saying, I got it. We look around the world. We're like what's happening. And I think the U S has been so insulated from a lot of the persecution and trials and afflictions that the rest of the world has, has, has felt. And I think as time goes on and the Lord tarries, we will fill more of that heat. I don't think things are getting better. I think things in this world, the world system are only getting crazier and Why comfort because purity, because of Holy living, Paul referenced that in, in, earlier in the chapter, like, you know, and just as a kid, you don't want to be with your hand in the cookie jar. 3 (50m 10s): When your parents walk in the house, like, you know, they, they give you the instruction. Don't, don't eat the cookies. It was a save for later. And you're there. Your hand is in the cookie jar. Oh, there was a cause for purity, because we want to live a Holy and pure life. We want to be that bride. That's ready for her groom to come. And it's, it's, it's an and that way. And Paul puts on a, a break here, but he's still not done with his subjects to see the chapters and verses are men's invention. So let's carry on in first Thessalonians five, he says, but now concerning the times and the seasons brethren, you have no need that I should write for you. It's interesting. They knew the times and the seasons to look for that was not what they were lacking. 3 (50m 50s): They were lacking the reason why, but the times and the seasons they knew, and they knew this because Paul had already given him this doctrine. He says for you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night, the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the knife. Paul is talking about this, a thief in the night, and it's much like a Jewish wedding, right? It happens in the middle of night. You never know when to expect and boom, there it is. Matthew 24 talks about this thief in the night as he's given us all of that discourse. 3 (51m 30s): Second, second, Peter, Peter writes in chapter three, verse 10, but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise. The elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth and the works will all be burned up. And that is that galleon who had this, this it's CA comes upon. You suddenly much suddenly like, like labor pains in verse three. And when they said peace and safety, then sudden destruction. Some destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman and they shall not escape. Let's talk about this building. You should be knowing you should being aware of what's going on. And you know, as, as I've gotten to watch my wife carry three of my daughters, lovely daughters, you get, you know, you're getting, the time is coming. 3 (52m 16s): They know it's approaching. You don't know when. And I think all three of our daughters were late, like by almost a week and is, and is building expectations, building, building, building, because you can just realize that the belly's getting bigger and bigger and the baby ain't going to fit in there and a much longer 6 (52m 31s): <inaudible> 3 (52m 35s): And suddenly comes upon them. Labor pains as a pregnant woman, they shell out escape. It's interesting that when it says, when they say peace and safety, just on a whim, I went to the Google trends and I searched the word safe. Google trends shows you what words people are searching over time. And it's kind of starts. The catalog starts in 2004. And I found it interesting that people have that the word safe has increased in the search term by over 300% from March or started from 2004 to March of 2020, this year three, a hundred percent people want to know what's safe. 3 (53m 20s): What is safe. And then these, this idea of peace and safety, they will say peace. And then sudden destruction will come, reminds me of, of Noah's flood. And then Jesus said they were marrying and giving in marriage until right up until the time that the rain started and the flood came, they'd been warned. No had been warned that over and over again. There's an awareness of the approaching and then boom, it's, it's an upon it's upon you. And Paul's remind me, Hey, you don't have to be in darkness, verse four, but you brethren are not in darkness. So that this day shall overtake you like a thief us as believers. Well, this, this doesn't surprise us. This doesn't escape us. This does not come on a, like a thief. 3 (54m 0s): We are not of those darkness. We are in the light. 6 (54m 5s): And speaking of that day, there is a coming judgment for the sin. And God is, is, is 3 (54m 16s): I believe his anger in his wrath has grown and grown until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled until that last person accepts Christ believes in him. And then boom, that old Mark 6 (54m 27s): This day. But 3 (54m 29s): This day won't overtake us as a thief. It won't overtake us as a thief revelation. Six talks about that. It says for the great is the day of his wrath. It has come and who is able to stand when we are of the light, when we were following Jesus, Jesus says, I am the light of the world. And he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. Jesus said, sorry, Paul, in verse five, you are sons of a light and sons of the day nor we are. And we are not of night nor of the darkness reminded of Noah. As he was building that arc, It took him a a hundred, I believe a 120 years To as he continued to build that Ark in the face of people, mocking him in the face of people. 3 (55m 16s): What are you building an arc? It never rained. And so this thought that there's going to be rain and a worldwide flood was just 6 (55m 22s): Crazy. The people 3 (55m 24s): Thought he was crazy and they continued on. Life just, just like they did until the day it started raining. And it, by then, it was too late. The door had been sealed, 6 (55m 35s): But there's 3 (55m 35s): An interesting man. The Bible talks Genesis talks about Hebrews talks about later, his name was Enoch. Enoch walked with God, and then he was not for God, took him. 6 (55m 48s): And I looked at this 3 (55m 48s): Timeline. I put the timeline according to Genesis together. And if my calculus calculations are true, as well as others that day, or that year, that Enoch was taken was the year of the flood. He did not go through that flood. You knock was taken in the year of the flood and he walked with God and then he was not free. He was taking. 6 (56m 13s): So there's a call to us. Verse six, 3 (56m 15s): The call to not sleep. Therefore let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch and be sober. And are we walking in the spirit of hope and awareness of what's going on around us or are we sticking our heads in the sand and trying to Berry died a hideaway, or we are we being aware of what's going on to watch and be sober. Our hope is not found in this world, society, this world system, the ones, the system that's working its way towards some kind of one world order, a sense of globalism power monopoly, all being pulled into into one system. And it's scary to read out and to find out the plans, the world, economic forum, as they talk about the great reset they've been talking more and more about this year. 6 (57m 3s): What I hope isn't found in this world, let us be watchful and sober. 3 (57m 10s): And we have times and seasons. We're not to know the times of seasons, but we can look around and see what's going on. The eminent return of Christ. You see, I believe in Daniel nine, he he's talking to the Jews and Daniel is an amazing book. And so amazing that even though a lot of liberal Christians will not believe that Daniel wrote the full book of Daniel. And that fascinates me because how do you argue with Jesus? When Jesus said, when Daniel, the prophet wrote in Matthew 24, Jesus believed Daniel wrote the book of Daniel and the prophecies are so incredibly accurate. That there's no way that they could be a man's thoughts. 3 (57m 56s): And Daniel nine verse 25 says this, and this is one of the keystones. I believe to the prophetic timeline. It says know therefore, and understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem and tell Messiah the Prince there shall be seven weeks and 62 weeks in the street shall be built again in the wall. Even in troublesome times, Daniel has given a 70 sevens prophecy that he received from God. He, he talks about these different periods and there's two periods. One's broken up by the first six to nine weeks. And then there's a gap. And then there's the last seventh week that we find in revelation the year of the great tribulation. But Daniel was saying that from the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah Prince there shall be 69 weeks, 69 weeks come out, comes out to be 483 years. 3 (58m 49s): This man named sir Anthony Roberts wrote the book coming Prince. And in it, he does the math, the calculations to take from the Babylonian calendar 360 days a year to the Gregorian calendar of 365 and a quarter and all that stuff. And he does all the math and calculate leap years, all that stuff. And he decides it's one thousand seven hundred and thirty one thousand one hundred thousand one hundred and seventy three thousand eight hundred eighty days. And we know from history that that command to restore and build Jerusalem that is marked in Nehemiah, the profit that brings us to April six 30, two 80. And in his book, he makes the case. That was the day that Jesus marked marched into as during the trail for entry Palm Sunday, he, Jesus says this in Luke chapter 19, as he drew near, he saw the city and he wept over it. 3 (59m 42s): Why did Jesus weep over it this specific day? And he says, if you had help, if you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for peace, but now they're hidden from your eyes. That was the day that the Messiah was to be revealed to the world. And no one was there to meet him at the temple. There was the triumphal entry and thus, we began the times of the Gentiles. And so we need to be watchful. And so we're, we're living in what I believe the last days. And if Paul thought that 2000 years ago, even, even so more of us, he says, for those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night, they do these things under the cover of darkness. 3 (1h 0m 27s): And you think about the wedding guests waiting for that, 6 (1h 0m 32s): That wedding, they were ready. 3 (1h 0m 35s): You ready? They had to be sober. They had to be waiting for the hear that Trump had been called. They couldn't be drunk. They might sleep through it. And they missed the whole wedding party. They had to be ready for that day. 6 (1h 0m 50s): Let us who are of the day, be sober, 3 (1h 0m 53s): Putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. And this is what I rest on in verse nine 6 (1h 1m 4s): For God, did not appoint us to wrath 3 (1h 1m 7s): Pertain salvation through our Lord. Jesus Christ are destined. Not for that wrath, that wrath, that God pours out on an unbelieving Christ rejecting world. We are not appointed for that, but we are appointed to obtain salvation through Jesus. 6 (1h 1m 26s): Jesus 3 (1h 1m 26s): Talks about tribulations. We will have tribulations, but we will not have to endure the great tribulation revelation. Six 17 says for the great day of wrath has come and who is able to stand, who is able to stand in that day. 6 (1h 1m 42s): And it was Jesus 3 (1h 1m 43s): Who spoke into existence. This mystery of the church, the church is like this mystery in the Bible. It's only unfolded through the epistles and the gospels and this mystery, but it was Jesus who spoke that Church into existence in Matthew 16 And upon Peter's confession of Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, Jesus said, the Gates of hell shall not prevail. And he uses the word Church. I will build my church on that. And the Gates of hell shall not prevail, but then you're going to come to a revelation fast forward to revelation. It says it was granted to him, the antichrist to make war with the saints and to overcome and authority was given him, him over every tribe, tongue and tongue a nation. 3 (1h 2m 25s): How is they? Jesus said this, this church that I'm a building upon the confession of me as Lord and savior. The Gates of hell will not prevail. And then in revelations 13, it says it was a grant that makes war saints, make war with the saints and to overcome them. How can that be? That's because the church isn't here, the church isn't here. The last mentioned the church in the book of revelation. As far as a letter to them, he said in verse revelation, three 22, he has an ear. Let him hear what the spirit says to the churches in revelation forces. And after these things, we are not appointed to wrath where we face tribulations. 3 (1h 3m 9s): Yes. Jesus said we'll face tribulations. We'll fix face afflictions prosecutions. Yes, possibly even more suffering than, than we've known here in the States. And the others are going through. And that will, those things will continue to sanctify us. But God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord, Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or we sleep, we shall live together with him, therefore, comfort one another and Edify one another, just as you're also doing only the father knows that time. And that hour of when he gets to tell his son Jesus, to come for us, to come for his bride an amazing day, that's going to be, let me pray. 3 (1h 3m 55s): And then we'll bring up the worship band. Lord, may we be filled with the hope and excitement of your eminent return as our savior? Is there a groom is a kinsmen Redeemer. We, as a church being bought with a price Lord, you've set us apart. I look forward to that coming day. Lord, when you'll blow your trumpet and you'll gather us as, as your bride, continue to refine us, continue to purify us, continue to make us Holy Jesus name. We pray. 3 (1h 4m 36s): Amen. Thanks. Church 1 (1h 4m 41s): Let's stand as we were <inaudible> Jesus' name of Jesus. 1 (1h 5m 30s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> each moment. 1 (1h 14m 58s): Thank you for this time. 0 (1h 14m 60s): Or it's all that you want to do in our hearts this day. 1 (1h 15m 5s): Give us eyes to see your name. Amen. Amen. 0 (1h 15m 11s): I have a wonderful Christmas. We hope to see you on Christmas Eve, bring your friends. It'll be a lovely time together. So have an amazing week and just know that Jesus is with you. And if there's anyone here this morning that you would dislike a little prayer before you leave today, we always have folks available that would love to come alongside and just slip up any concerns on your hearts. Have a wonderful day, and we'll see you.
0 (0s): Oh, sorry. Wait, welcome. Welcome to Harvest. Church we're glad you're here and let's start out with a word of prayer and then we'll jump right into the goodness. So heavenly father, we thank you for this morning. We thank you for this chance to gather with fellow believers or to feel your spirit moving in our church in our midst, or just be here amongst your saints as, as we, as we have this time of worship and time in your word. Lord, thank you so much for this morning in Jesus name. We pray a man. Hey, thanks. And I'm gonna hand it over to these guys cause they know what to do. 1 (53s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> 2 (9m 41s): You guys did a great job. Thank you. You can follow Ms. Care right off the stage. Oh, Hey, welcome once again. And this is a time to just do meet and greets. So say hi to somebody around you and take a couple of minutes 0 (13m 4s): About that, but it's. Yeah, so just stay tuned for that. With the men's retreat that's in January 8th, eighth, and ninth, and Tuesday was gonna be the last day of sign up, but we'll we'll we'll keep, keep, keep an eye on that one Christmas food donations are due today. You can drop those off from the info center. Thank you so much for your generosity. So far. I think we had like five or six hams get delivered this morning. So that is awesome. As blessing. So many families in our community, we have a Christmas Eve candlelight service and that will be at three, four and five. And once again, we'll have the sanctuary open. We'll have the loft as well as the parsonage for those who prefer to be a mass only. 0 (13m 46s): So that will be Christmas Eve. It's a family style service, pretty short services and kids will be in with us. And then lastly, we have the young, the new year's Eve young professionals, pajama party and game nights. So that is December 31st, six to 9:00 PM in the loft. And there's gonna be some catered street tacos and games. And Curt Curtis said, there'll be guaranteed funds. So if you fall into that young professional, then go check it out. Guaranteed fund cost is $10 and you have to set up on the app by the 27th of this month. So we got that going. And that's my last announcement and pastor Ron's come up and bring us. 2 (14m 29s): Thanks, Jeremy Lord. We're so, so thankful that we can gather and we can commune with you whether we're here in person or whether we're streaming at home, no matter where we are. Thank you that your spirit is everywhere. Your presence is everywhere, but most importantly, your Holy is working within 3 (14m 52s): Us within our, our temple, this temple, which you decided to live inside of by faith in Jesus Christ. And so Lord, we're looking to you to teach us today, help us to grow, help us to identify areas in our life where we need to be challenged and encouraged. And so Lord, we commit this time to you in Jesus name, we pray. Amen. So again, first Thessalonians chapter four, we're going to be covering verses one through 12, hopefully. And if you want a title for this message, the title is Simply Godly Living Simply Godly Living. 3 (15m 33s): So most of you know, that this book is actually a letter. It was a letter written by the apostle Paul. He loved the believers in this city and the city of Thessaloniki. He actually only spent about three and a half weeks there, but during that time that he spent there, a church was established and he set up elders and a Church community there. And then he had to leave. And far as we know, history records, he never actually physically made it back, but he sent Timothy. He sent others to check up on them and they were doing amazingly well. So his goal in writing this letter is of course, to encourage them and remind them of the things that he had talked about when he was with them, you know, face to face. 3 (16m 17s): Paul loved these people so much. So in this chapter, chapter four, he's going to be challenging them in their faith. He's going to remind them once again, God's will for their life. And he's going to tell them the truth. Now, as he's going to remind them God's will for their life, what he's actually doing. He's he's reminding us God's will for our life. So even though we speaking to them 2000 years ago, roughly he's speaking to us today as well. So he wanted them to know the truth. Some of the things you're going to talk about are kind of difficult to hear. There's this interesting sort of obscure verse in the book of Proverbs it's Proverbs 27, six. 3 (17m 2s): It says this faithful are the wounds of a friend might think, well, why would a friend, you know, want to wound me? And the idea is we love, we love this person so much that we're willing to tell them the truth about something that might be really difficult for them to hear Paul's doing that. Fateful are the wounds of a friend. I appreciate that when there's people around me, they're not so worried about offending me. They just want to challenge me about something that I need to hear that I have this blind spot and they're faithful a faithful friend to help me in that area. 3 (17m 41s): So here's a problem. Here's a problem that we all face God's will for our life is often radically different than what the world is telling us. The problem is God's will, for us is often radically different than what the world is telling us. It can be very hard to accept and to live out God's will, as it is revealed to us in the pages of scripture, the Bible, it can be challenging because we're we get so indoctrinated by the world we live in, you know, Jesus prayed that that way for us. 3 (18m 22s): I know there in the world, but I want you to keep them out of the world. W that's the life we live we're we're in this crazy world. Some things are crazy and they're often in direct conflict with God's word and God's will for our lives. That's a problem we all have to deal with. So which leads us to very important question. So I want to ask this question in a personal way to each one of you hear this, are you willing to accept God's will as a final authority on all things. In other words, let me re rephrase it. Are you willing to accept God's word as the final authority on all things or will you instead, except the world's view as the final authority, it's a very subtle thing that happens. 3 (19m 11s): We're reading the Bible and we see things laid out for us. And then we come across this other ideology, this other worldview, and we're like, well, I know the Bible says this, but know that this is where I stand on this. And we see there's this direct conflict. So here's the problem. When we refuse the authority of the Bible and we accept the authority of what the world is telling us, we in effect have said, I am the one who has final authority of the things I life. God does not. And so we really have to answer that question this morning. So now, as, as Paul opens up for us, again, we're in first Thessalonians, chapter four, beginning with verse one, he says this finally then brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord, Jesus, that you should abound more and more just as you received from us, how you ought to walk and to please God for, you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord. 3 (20m 12s): Jesus. So he begins by saying finally, then, in other words, these are his closing words. He's about to close out this letter in a few chapters. He says, I want you to understand this. You should have bound more and more literally he's saying, I want you to continue to grow. I want you to continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ. And as you do this, your aim should be to live in a way that is well pleasing to God. See, we're all answerable to God. I'm not answerable to you. I love you, but I'm not answerable to you. And you're not answerable to me. I'm at y'all answerable to God. 3 (20m 53s): And so Paul's challenges to grow more and more. The Christian life is meant to be this amazing journey. We come to faith in Christ. This transformation begins to happen. And now we're on this adventure that just gets better and better, better until the day we die. It should never get boring. It should never get old. Godly revealing, constantly revealing new things to us, keeping us excited in our Christian faith. What we're going to learn today though, is it's really up to you. Whether you embrace that journey, he says for, you know what commandments we gave you. 3 (21m 34s): So he's saying here, reminding them, these are not suggestions. These are not good ideas. These are not recommendations. I want to give to you. He's saying this is the will of God for you. These are commandments. Whenever the scripture talks about a commandment of God is like, it's non-negotiable, it's the truth. Now Paul is going to emphasize a Bible word here. So the word we're going to bring it out today and look at is the word sanctification. So Bible word, meaning you don't hear it a lot on the street, but it's in the Bible. So here look with me in verse three, he says for this is the will of God, your sanctification. 3 (22m 14s): We'll kind of pause there for just a moment. So there's three words. If we could sort of summarize the Christian life in three words, the Bible commonly uses these, create this sort of timeline, this progression of believers life. The three words are these justified, sanctified and glorified. All right. So what do they mean? Well, justified. It literally means this to make, to be made right before God justified to be made right with God. I want to say here, this is an amazing thing that we can be right with God. And literally we are, Clared justified by God. 3 (22m 58s): The moment that we believe the gospel. I want to say that again. You have been declared justified or right with God, the moment that you believe the gospel, we're going to talk about the gospel in a little bit today. And this is something that God does for us. In other words, it's a free gift. You can't earn it. You can't work for it. You can't achieve it. It's something God just gives to you and declares for you that you are justified. You are made right. You are right in the sight of God. That's an amazing thing. So the second word that I mentioned is sanctified or sanctification is kind of the bigger way. It is literally this to be dedicated or to be set apart to God, to be Holy. 3 (23m 43s): So that's what Paul is going to talk about right now. We get into this it's to be dedicated or set apart to God to be Holy. Now, if I took a poll, a survey, what have you said? How many of you here today believe that you're Holy. Probably nobody would raise their hand and be like, yeah, I know I'm not Holy. How about you? So we know we don't see ourselves as being Holy, but from God's perspective, you are being sanctified. You are being set apart and God looks upon you as Holy. This is a process, a lifelong process. So you've been justified. God did that. 3 (24m 23s): Now there's this process of sanctification and it begins the moment that you're born again, born from above. And it continues until the day that we die. It's this journey. Nobody's got it perfectly, right? You know, we can never say, you know, we've arrived. We're growing more and more in, in our understanding and our obedience and our walk with God through the Lord, Jesus Christ. So this is something that it's our responsibility. Paul's gonna help us to see that whether or not not, you want to grow, you want to be set apart from him God's purposes. We make the choice to lay down our life in order to be set apart for God's purposes. 3 (25m 6s): Now, as I said, this is a lifelong journey, but here's the amazing thing about that. Sorry, the Holy spirit joins us in this work. This is not human effort. This is not, I hope you, you know, been justified now, hope you do good hope you do fine. That the Holy spirit literally lives within us and is helping us to achieve and to walk in the way that God has given to us. So the last word again, justified, sanctified, glorified. What's that all about? So to be glorified literally is to be transformed or to be prepared for heaven. 3 (25m 48s): As a follower of Jesus Christ. When we die, we will be glorified. And then we will, we will be ushered into the kingdom of God God's presence. This is something that God does for us. It's a free gift. It's an amazing supernatural thing that will happen. Paul talks a little bit about this, this idea of being glorified or, or transformed in first Corinthians chapter 15, I'll just read a little bit of a tube. He says this, our physical bodies cannot inherit the kingdom of God, but let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will all be transformed or glorified. 3 (26m 31s): Our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die. When our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die. This scripture will be fulfilled. Here's the scripture. Death is swallowed up in victory. Death is swallowed up in victory. God is preparing you for this justified, sanctified glorified. So Paul's going to place focus right now on that middle word, the word sanctification. And so this is where we all live. Again. I mentioned we're on this journey. It begins at salvation. 3 (27m 11s): We're justified. We're just walking with the Lord, learning, growing, having the Holy spirit, help us teach us. And then one day, of course, one day we're going to meet the Lord face to face. So this is where we live. This is where we make the day-to-day decisions of life. And I promise you every day, there's a new challenge put before us a new situation at work at home in life. What are you going to do? Who are you going to believe? Where do you get your final authority? So it's all about, I'm going to break it down into three parts. Godly Living, Godly loving and Godly leading Godly Living, Godly loving and Godly leading. 3 (27m 58s): So Paul, first of all, opens up this idea of Godly Living in chapter four, beginning with verse three, this is the will of God. As I mentioned your sanctification, what does that mean? That you should abstain from sexual immorality, that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God. So in talking about sanctification, this walk, this journey of growing with God, he says, you should know how to possess your own vessel. 3 (28m 41s): And when he's talking about this, he's talking about it in the context of sexual immorality. So this takes us back to the people of Israel. This idea of possessing your own vessel. So the people of Israel has God was preparing them to enter the promised land. He's teaching them about this, the system of worship. These he's going to allude to the temple and there's going to be this temple. That's going to be built. It's going to be on this place that God's going to choose. Initially, there's going to be a tabernacle. Then that later is going to be a permanent temple for a dwelling place of God. And he says, they were to told us, take certain vessels. We're talking about vessels. So that would be cups and bowls and Lavers and tools and instruments that were used in the temple to worship God. 3 (29m 30s): And they were to be set apart. They were to be sanctified. These vessels were to be sanctified, to be used exclusively in temple worship. So the priests were told to take these vessels again, we're talking about cups and bowls and labors and just all the different things that were used there. And they were told the priests were told to sprinkle them with the blood of the sacrifice and by doing so, it made them God made them set apart for this purpose. Now, if you were to take a vessel that had been sanctified, the blood was spring, hold on, it it's ready to use. And you put it side by side to another sole identical vessel that had not been sanctified. 3 (30m 11s): You wouldn't be able to see any difference to us. They look exactly the same, but to God, one of them it's been accepted and set apart for God's purpose. All right. Now, what does that have to do with us now? Fast forward, you have been sanctified. In other words, you have been set apart by God, by virtue of the fact that you've made the decision and you've asked God to apply of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God upon your life. You are now now dedicated as a vessel of honor, prepared by God to use as he desires in a place of worship. 3 (30m 54s): In fact, in another place, Paul opens up this, this idea a little bit more, and this is in first Corinthians chapter six. This is what he says. He said, your body, your body is the temple of the Holy spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own. Why are you, why are you not your own? Because you've been set apart for God's purposes. And he goes on for you are bought at a price. What price is he talking about? He's talking about the price of the shed, blood of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God who died on the cross for us, for you bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are gods. 3 (31m 38s): So you don't actually own yourself. God owns you, but it's up to you to render yourself as an instrument of worship to him. A vessel of honor. So as you stand side-by-side with another person, so you got, imagine you're standing you're, you're the believer. And you're standing next to an unbeliever. Someone who's never played your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Can you see a difference? I mean, this person is sanctified by God, this person isn't, they look from our perspective identical, but not to God, to God, you have been set apart. You've been called for his purpose. You should have. And so with that in mind, with that in mind, just what he says, he's gonna give us a little more detailed. 3 (32m 24s): He says, because of that, because you're a vessel of honor sanctified for me, you should abstain from sexual immorality and you should know how wow to possess your own facile. And again, he kind of puts it on you on me, on us, okay? This is your responsibility. I'm not going to do this for you. I'm going to give you the Holy spirit that will help you and strengthen you and guide you. But you should abstain from sexual immorality and you should know how to possess your own vessel. So I want to keep this family friendly this morning, but we're called to use that is we're called to use self-control in a world that is out of control in this area. 3 (33m 9s): Once again, the Bible is the final authority on all things on this subject. No matter what the world is telling us, the Bibles have final authority. So a few weeks ago, someone asked me this question. They asked me if it was okay, if, if they slept with their girlfriend, is it okay if I sleep with my girlfriend? And I said, no, it's no, it's not okay. If you sleep with your girlfriend, that's why God has, you know, this whole marriage thing. So what they responded to me, they said, well, that's old fashioned, okay? They said, times have changed. 3 (33m 51s): I said, well, I have to live by my convictions and you have to live by your convictions. But my convictions tell me that the Bible is the final authority on these things, By the way, this isn't my idea. This isn't even Paul's idea. This is God's will for your life. So talk about old. Old-fashioned there's this interesting verse it's found in Genesis chapter two, verse 24, it goes something like this. A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and then they shall become one flesh. 3 (34m 35s): So the idea is, you know, going back to the idea of creation, this is God's design God's will. Sexual intimacy is meant to be reserved. That marriage covenant, this was by the way, mentioned by Jesus, many times in the new Testament, this isn't something just found way back. When in the ancient books of history, God brings it forward. It applies to us today as well. So the city of Dallas Alona, CA the city that, that Paul loved the people that he loved. It was a Gentile city than the words they didn't. 3 (35m 17s): They were given over to idolatry and all kinds of sexual immorality. And so Paul is telling them, Hey, we know you've been, the Gentile has been given over to passion of last, but that's not, you you've been set apart. You've been sanctified. So Paul continues this idea in verse six, he says that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter because the Lord is the Avenger of all such as we also forewarned you and testified again. He's reminding them. He says, not only should you not be involved in sexual immorality, but you need to, he says, be careful not to take advantage of others. 3 (36m 2s): It's it's easy to take advantage of other people. We know that why? Because the Lord is, is the Avenger 2 (36m 13s): Of all such. 3 (36m 17s): So there's consequences for violating the commandments of God. Did you know that there are consequences for violating the commandments of God? In fact, Paul talks about this in Galatians chapter six, verse eight, he says those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will Harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the spirit, and that's what Paul's talking about here. Those who live to please, his spirit will harvest everlasting life from the spirit. By the way, you know where Paul says that God's the Avenger. 3 (36m 60s): God is always for you. He's never against you. It is always God's desire to bless your life because he loves you. But this is a warning. There are consequences associated with violating God's word God's commandments. So again, Paul continues here in verse seven and eight, he says, for God, did not call us to uncleanness God he's talking about sexual immorality. God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness, therefore he rejects. This does not reject man, but God who has also given us his Holy spirit. So what is uncleanness? 3 (37m 40s): Uncleanness is anything that is in conflict with sound Bible teaching concerning proper sexual morality. Once again, this is not man's idea. This is God's design for a life of blessing. God wants to bless you. What we find is we're on this journey is as we walk in obedience to the Lord, life just gets better and better. It's not free of trouble or trials or tribulations, never, but it's just, it's so amazing. It's so awesome. It's so good. He's God's God's blessing is upon our lives. God is with you, not against you. So that's, Godly Living we're talking about now. I want to talk about Godly loving. 3 (38m 20s): He brings this up in verses nine and 10. He says, but concerning brotherly love, you have no need that I should write to you for you. Yourselves are taught by God to love one another. And indeed you do so toward all the brethren who were in all Macedonia, but we urge you brethren that you increase more and more. So they were noted that the Thessaloniki and believers were noted for their love for one another and for the other churches and communities that surrounded them. But Paul's again, reminding them, encouraging them, increase, increase in your brotherly love. What's he talking about? He's like, that is the love that is shared within the community of believers, the Christian community, you know, the Christian community here on the central coast is not just, obviously Harvest, Church, it's every believer that lives, you know, in the five cities, but not only that, the Christian community is every believer that lives on planet earth and, and what we share together, this genuine loving Christian fellowship, that we're a part of it is a unique thing. 3 (39m 31s): It is not found anywhere else and is a powerful testimony to the world of the reality of Jesus Christ. I've had the opportunity to travel to many different countries on mission trips and things. And one of my favorite times was when I was in India and I'm gathered in this worship time and they're speaking Hindi and Malati a few other languages and, and they're just worshiping. And I had no idea what they were saying, but I knew exactly what they were doing. They were worshiping God. And I knew the songs that they were singing in English. And so it was this kind of crazy experience, but they were my brothers and sisters in Christ. 3 (40m 13s): And I had this connection to them, even though we couldn't communicate through language, we communicate through the fact that you are my brother. You are my sister in Christ. It's an amazing privilege that we get to experience. So Jesus talked about this as well in John chapter 15, he said, this, this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one's life 5 (40m 42s): For his friends, 3 (40m 44s): These things I command you, that you love one another. Now, if you look at the new Testament, what you'll find is this is a common three theme through Jesus and all, all the disciples, they love one another level. It's like, okay, I get it. I mean, is it that hard to love one another? Well, yeah, it is. You know why? Because we have an enemy, we have an adversary who wants to bring division and judgmentalism and criticism and put roadblocks 5 (41m 14s): Between us. So we, this is, are 3 (41m 20s): Being challenged to love one another. And it's something we have to pursue and make a priority because again, our adversary, he wants to just divide and conquer. That's what he does that his mission to divide and conquer. So God's will for us is that we should increase more and more in our love for one another. The longer I am in church and the Christian community, I, the more exciting it is to know you can take two people that are so, so different in every way imaginable and bring them together in Christ. And they're like best friends, inseparable. 3 (42m 3s): They just genuinely love each other that wouldn't normally happen in other, you know, another context, but in Christ, it happens. I want to, by the way, I want to challenge us with this one thing. If there's, if there's a person that you can think of, they're really kind of great. You the wrong way. I'm talking about a brother or sister in Christ. You know, you're just, man, this person annoys me and I, I just don't like being around them. And here's my challenge. I want you to spend time with them. I want you to love them. I want you to get to know them. I want you to get to understand them because what we often find is when we learn their story, you know, it opens everything up. 5 (42m 49s): It takes effort. 3 (42m 51s): God wants us to love each other. Genuinely. This is God's will for us. So I'm going to close with this last area it's got, we've looked at God's loving God's Living, God's loving. God's leading. So look at me, verse 11 and 12, he says that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your own hands. As we commanded you, that you may walk properly towards those who are outside, that would be unbelievers and that you may lack nothing. So this is very practical, practical. Living practical, leading in life. Here's what he says. He says, I want you to lead a quiet life. 3 (43m 31s): I want you to mind your own business, everybody. Have you ever had anybody tell you that? Why don't you just mind your own business Work with your own hands? You know, if there's ever a place where there should not be a bunch of drama, it's the church of Jesus Christ. Okay? Lead a quiet life. I took that. Literally. I moved way out of town, about 30 miles out of town. I'm on 40 acres. If you can find me, you can come and visit me. If I want a quiet day, I know how to get it lead a quiet life. You know, be content. Just love people. Be satisfied, mind your own business. 3 (44m 14s): Again. There's no, no place for meddling, backbiting, bickering, drama, and work with your own hands. Be diligent, walk properly to those who are outside. So our lives literally are a living testimony to those who are outside the church community. And you can be sure people are watching us. People are watching you that don't know Jesus, you're a living testimony. So Simply do this. Live your life as a Godly representative of the Lord, Jesus Christ, wherever you go, live your life as a Godly representative of Jesus Christ, wherever you go, sounds easy. 3 (44m 58s): Doesn't it. It's not always easy. And he concludes with this thought that you may lack nothing. Now this again takes, it takes us back to the children of Israel. When they were being prepared to go into the promised land. And God gave him a bunch of commandments and promises and blessings. But one of the things he said to them, he says, you're going to be a lending nation. You're not going to be a detonation. I'm with you, my blessings upon you. You're going to have an abundant life and you're going to be a lending nation. You're not going to be a detonation. And so, you know, God's promises to take care of us as well. If you seek first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he says, I'm going to add everything to you. 3 (45m 41s): You're going to have everything you need. Did you seek after me? So God has intended in that same way that you may lack nothing, that we would be a generous, a generous people in every area. All right, back to the beginning, verse three for this is the will of God, your sanctification. So we looked at three words, justified, sanctified, and glorified. What is it to be justified? Well, you're right in God's sight, in God's presence. He did that for you. It's something that God does for you. 3 (46m 21s): It's a gift. So here's the question. Have you made the decision then to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ? And when I say that, what, you know, often I find it's a little bit confusing. What is the gospel or so I didn't crumb. I didn't come from a Christian home. I knew nothing about Christianity. When I came to the Lord, knew nothing about the Bible had to be explained to me. And so I want to explain just very briefly to us and to those who might be tuning in, okay, I have to believe the gospel will. What, what is it? What, what did God do for me? 3 (47m 1s): Well, the reality is this we've all been born into sin. We've been born under a curse that came from Adam we've, we've inherited this. So we're born in sin and we're spiritually dead in trespasses and sin. So what did God do for us? He sent his only son to die on our behalf to take our punishment, to take our judgment, that that curse would be lifted. And so when went to the cross as the sinless lamb of God, and when he said it is finished, what he was saying is the debt has been paid. 5 (47m 40s): The curse 3 (47m 41s): Has been vanquished. So what are we required to do? That's the gospel, what? This is what Jesus provided for us, so that it simply means how do we respond to that? Well, first of all, we acknowledge that, yes, I have sinned against God 5 (47m 58s): And I repent. 3 (47m 59s): I'm going to turn around and I'm going to invite Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on that cross. I want that to apply to me. I want that blood to atone for my sins. And it's a decision. We all have to make it can't be done, you know, corporately. It has to be done individually. 5 (48m 20s): So have you done that? 3 (48m 21s): Have you prayed and asked God 5 (48m 25s): To 3 (48m 25s): Allow Jesus Christ to be your Lord and savior? And I want to say this, there's no one special prayer. There's no one right way to do this. My encouragement to you all. And to those who are, might be listening as we're ending this service with the closing worship, that that would be a perfect time to call upon the name of the Lord and invite him into your life to be your Lord and savior. And as you do that, the moment you do that, you're going to be justified before God you're going to be made right with him. And so then again, we talked about this idea of being sanctified or set apart. That is your responsibility. In other words, it's really up to you. 3 (49m 6s): It's up to you to constantly say yes to the work of the Holy spirit in your life. It's up to you to open up the pages of the Bible and to constantly say yes to the things that God is, is revealing to you. And as you are confronted with the world's view of things you confirm and declare that God is the final authority in all things that pertain to life and godliness in Christ Jesus. And finally, I want to go ahead and invite the worship team to come on backup, glorified, to be transformed and prepared for heaven. 3 (49m 46s): This is something that God, it's a gift that he is going to do for you. I want to close with this last question. I have some, well, first of all, make a statement. I have some startling news for you today. We're all gonna die one day. Okay? We hear about it all the time. Especially during the soul covet thing, we're gonna die. We are, we might not die of COVID, but we're gonna die of some, but we just don't know when we don't know where we don't know how, but we do know the reality is the truth is we're all gonna die one day. 5 (50m 25s): So here's the question are ready to die. 3 (50m 29s): Are you ready to die? I have been at the bedside of many, many people in the hospital and at home they're on the last breath of life. And I have to ask them that question in a loving, gentle, and appropriate way. Are you ready to die? And most of the time the response is, yes, I know I'm right with God. I've been walking with him. I'm ready to meet the Lord face to face. And that's, that's what God has for us. What's what this is all about. Death has been swallowed up in victory, the victory of the cross. Are you ready to see Jesus face to face? 3 (51m 12s): I hope you are. Let's pray, Lord God. We just, once again, we look to you. This is not something that we can do on our own. We've been given the Holy spirit to live within us. Our body is literally the temple of the living. God. So Lord, we just want to agree with you. We want to partner with you on this journey of sanctification. Lord, we want to be set apart for your purposes. We want to reap all the benefits and joys and blessings that come from a life that is set apart and committed to you. So Lord, we, we, we acknowledge and admit our shortcomings, but Lord, we also acknowledge how great you are. 3 (51m 53s): If God, before us, who can be against us solar, we just leave it at your feet. And we are so blessed. So thankful in Jesus name, we pray and God's people said, amen, let's stand. We're going to go ahead and continue to worship this morning. 6 (52m 14s): No, we're in a season of waiting for the Messiah to sing songs. We begin talks about waiting, worshiping in the midst of our waiting <inaudible> <inaudible>. 6 (58m 7s): Ooh, Ooh. <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> going to take some joy and peace into the world. 6 (1h 4m 38s): <inaudible> good. 6 (1h 7m 59s): Thank you for your presence here with us. Thank you. That you are always with us, that you are Emmanuelle in our midst, this season and all wings. So I pray that you would just cover every heart just with your love this morning with your peace has our understanding that if we're curious through this in Jesus name, amen. Amen. Yes. Amen. If anyone would like prayer this morning, feel free to come on forward. We love to pray with you today, but have a wonderful day Merry Christmas, and we'll see you next Sunday. Have a great day.
0 (2s): Christmas every month. And if you're getting in the holiday spirit, welcome to Harvest Church my name is Cheryl and I'm so glad you're here. Yeah. Feel free to stand if you're able and during Us hello to everyone on campus and those watching at home, we're so glad that you are worshiping with us together this morning. Let's just take some time to go into his presence and prayer and just welcome him. And we do welcome you today. As we make room in our hearts and help us to sit still all of the noise in our hearts. 0 (42s): So we can hear your voice this morning. We want to hear from you. Jesus. We want to learn from you want to come in and do your prisons. There's a boldness in our hearts, Thanksgiving, the, this morning, you know that sometimes we think we have to like have ourselves all like cleaned up and perfect to come into God's presence. But I was reminded that he came as a baby into a stinky manger, surrounded by animals and a noisy chaotic barn. 0 (1m 22s): And that's our savior. He comes into the mess into the chaos and his presence is here. Love is available for you in the midst of whatever's going on in your heart and life right now. And so father, we just say, come and have your way in this place. We've come to adore you. Praise the Lord. 0 (1m 48s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> 1 (11m 56s): <inaudible>. 1 (12m 43s): <inaudible> 2 (16m 52s): Praise you this morning. It gives us great joy to worship you by your Holy spirit. Thank you Lord, for giving us your gift, give to the Holy spirit. We pray that you would fill us, continue to lead us thankful for this place to gather place, to be safe. 2 (17m 34s): And in the shadow of your wings, worship you in jesus' name. Amen. 1 (17m 45s): Thank you 2 (17m 45s): Guys for singing coming this morning. Let's all take a little 3 (17m 50s): Time to love one another fellowship with one another. We'll you're back here with announcements, the pinnacle of the day, just momentarily. 4 (18m 3s): All right. Good morning. Go ahead and find a seat. That'd be great. All right. One a welcome, everyone. Those of you that are gathered in the sanctuary in the loft, in the patio, I want to welcome everyone. That's viewing online as well, and also want to let you know, we do have a new venue that we've just opened up recently, and it's a mask only venue, and it's in the parsonage. So if, if you, or you know, someone that's inclined to you, you still want to be around other people that are wearing masks and things. 4 (18m 43s): You can venture up to the parsonage. And that's what that is dedicated for up there. And so again, if, if it's your first time to Harvest, Church, we're really happy you're here today. Maybe you've been visiting a few times. If you make your way up to the information center, we have a gift for you. So go ahead and head up there, introduce yourself. And then also, if you would like you can fill out a communication card. We want to be really diligent about communicating with everyone, all the things that are going on, changes that are happening. We sent out a weekly email update to make sure that everybody knows exactly what's happening here at Harvest Church and I'm okay. I got a F did you hear what Jim folk had said a moment ago about the announcements being the pinnacle of the, of the service? 4 (19m 26s): Did you guys catch that? That's true. And one of the announcements that I have for you is there's a men's breakfast that's planned. So men would love to have you show up this next Saturday. So Saturday the 12th show up here at Church and eight o'clock. We're going to gather in the loft, which is the building right behind us here. We're going to have breakfast together. We're going to have just a fun time of fellowship there's you don't need to sign up. You don't need to bring any money. How good is that? Just show up and be hungry. And we're going to have a great time of fellowship with the men. So with that, there's a men's retreat. That's also planned. The men's retreat is scheduled for January 8th and ninth, and it's going to be held up at the granite Ridge camp. 4 (20m 9s): It's up in Creston. So just North of us a little bit, you need to get signed up though. So the deadline to sign up for the men's retreat is what is it? December 15th. Okay, there you got it. December 15th is the deadline. So guys would encourage you to get signed up for the men's retreat. You can sign up at the info center, or you can go on our Church app, go online, or you can go directly to granite Ridge camp ground, and you can sign up that way as well. So guys would love to have him be a part of that. So every year in the village, there's a parade and there's this whole big hoopla thing that happens Christmas. It's not happening tonight because of the shutdown and stuff. 4 (20m 52s): So one of the things that happens during, during the parade and, and those events typically is the tree. The tree in front of the sanctuary is the village Christmas tree. And so we're still going to have a little bit of a get together tonight, a ceremony, if you want to call it that, where we're going to, here's what we're going to do. We are going to have some caroling. We're going to have a nativity reading, and we're going to have the lighting of the Christmas tree right up front here. It's going to be at six o'clock tonight. Love to have you bring the whole family. It's going to be outside. So it's probably going to be cold. So dress warmly, guaranteed. Not to snow though. I will let you know about that. So come on out tonight, it would be really great to have the whole family gathered together. 4 (21m 32s): So for Christmas, we are collecting some donations for some food baskets that we're putting together through our pantry ministry. So if you would like to donate some items, you can go up to the info center and they'll let you know what items we're going to be collecting. Or if you get our weekly email, the list is in there as well. And you can bring the items and they're due. When are they do? They are due next Sunday, which is December 13th. So if you'd like be a part of that, you can bring them by the office as well. And we'll go ahead and collect those. We've been announcing that we're doing a coat drive. In addition, the coat drive actually has been canceled because of the event that they were going to do to hand, hand the coats out to the needy in our community. 4 (22m 16s): It's been canceled. So if you have some codes that you've been collecting, you could go ahead and take them to the thrift store. Just give them to somebody on your own. That'd be fine. So the last thing I want to share with you, probably the most important of all there is a new year's Eve young professionals, pajama party and game night. Okay. So I asked this question to one of the planners. What is the age group for a young professional? So they told me 20 to 40. All right. Pretty pretty broad age. This again, this is a 5 (22m 50s): New year's Eve. Yup. 4 (22m 52s): Professionals, pajama party, and game night, you guys need to get signed up and it's going to be from six to nine is can mean the loft it's going to have a taco truck is going to be catered with a taco truck. So there is a price involved it's 10 bucks. And if you want to sign up, you can do it on the app, go online and, and, and all that good stuff. But one last thing, I was cleaning out one of my closets in my house this week, and I found my son's dinosaur one Z say a head to toe one Z pajama suit. So I announced it at first service as well. So if you want the dinosaur one Z, you gotta let me know. It's it's, it's, it's a F it's free to the first person who wants the onesy, but okay. 4 (23m 36s): You're, you're older than 40. I'm sorry, sir. Okay. 5 (23m 42s): I will not 4 (23m 43s): Be wearing the dinosaur suit, but thank you for asking. All right. So with that, I'm going to invite Dave to come up and he's going to be in first Thessalonians chapter two. So if you want to go ahead and turn in your Bible to first Thessalonians chapter two, that'd be great. Let's welcome, Dave. 6 (23m 58s): <inaudible> 7 (24m 9s): There we go. You know, and at times like this, that we're facing now, it's, it's easy to feel afflicted, you know, it's with COVID and shutdowns and, and being told that we shouldn't be gathering together and, and that we shouldn't be connecting with each other and that, and it just, and the fact that it's been going on for nine months now just kind of feels oppressing. And, and, but yet this is nothing like what the Church and Tesla Annika felt that we're Paul is writing to hear. 7 (24m 49s): And, and this time I'm going to cover quite a bit of ground today, because most of what this is, is narrative. I'm starting with the chapter two verse 17, and I'm going to preach all the way through chapters three. And I hope to be done by three o'clock. But the, but the whole thing in here is looking at it being it's mostly narrative, but there's still some, some great stuff in here. Paul Paul is very personal in this letter, if you read it. And there is, there's just a ton of narrative. There's some teaching, but it's mostly, he S he's writing words of comfort. 7 (25m 30s): He's writing words of, of hope. He's writing words, just telling him how he's feeling and how he's hoping they're doing. Whereas Romans is very theological. And first Corinthians and Galatians are very much dealing with problems and the church. This is so personal. And we really see a lot in here about Paul and about the Thessaloniki. And Church Paul is he's got deep affection for the people there. And, and, and, and Paul's affection for them is, is just mirroring. God's love for them. And, but in the midst of this, what he's so concerned about, and this is what persecution is, what Afflictions, they might be enduring. 7 (26m 17s): The things that they're experiencing as a followers of Jesus in a very, very intolerant situation. A very, very matter of fact, antagonistic situation. If you remember, Paul was driven out of Fessel, Anika, they, they had, when they couldn't find him, they pulled somebody else who was in the Church out and they, they beat him up and they took him before the, and made them pay a huge bail to get out and all of this while they investigated. And, and the Church said, DePaul, better scoop need to get out. And so they left, but so we see Paul's affection. 7 (26m 59s): We see their affliction, which we all face. We face the same kinds of Afflictions today. And, but through that, we see God's Affirmation that we are loved. We are cared for even when things are hard. And We, we might ask the question, where is God, when we're going through this, and he's right there with you, and he loves you and nothing can separate you from his love. So I'm going to break this passage up into three parts. The first part is going to be starting with a, in chapter two. And I'm just reading the starting at verse 17 and reading through the end of the chapter, please stand let's let's pray before we get started with this. 7 (27m 48s): And we'll go from there, Laura, God, I thank you so much that you are God, that you are the Lord of all that you love, the creation that you have made, and you especially love mankind 6 (28m 8s): Because 7 (28m 8s): You made us in your image and likeness. You set us up to be the caretakers of what you have made the stewards of, of your kingdom, of your creation, the stewards of all that you have set apart that we might have dominion, and then we spit in your eye. So God today we come to you as broken. We come to you as those who don't deserve to receive your love, but nonetheless are loved through Jesus Christ. 7 (28m 52s): Come speak to our hearts today, Lord, come speak and, and, and we desire Lord God, to be transformed by your word at living and active word that is sharper than any two-edged sword to divide soul and spirit joints and marrow. And to reveal the intentions of our hearts 6 (29m 18s): Come 7 (29m 19s): Revealed the intentions of our hearts today, Lord, and shape us more into the image of Jesus. God use me as your vessel here to speak your truth. And I pray Jesus, that you would have your way with what is spoken here and with what received here. And I know from all the years, I've preached that there are so many who hear something that I didn't say because you were speaking. So say to our hearts, what it is that you know, We to here, fill us with your spirit and the joy that comes from knowing we are loved in your name. 7 (30m 7s): We pray. Amen. And amen. So today I'm calling this a CA I say, I always used to just give one word titles are very, you know, very brief phrase, but Steve does these long ones. So, so I got to come up with something has lots of words in it, but that really highlights what it is we're talking about here. And, and so today's sermon, I'm calling God's Affection Overcomes Our Afflictions and Gives Us Affirmation That we are His God's affection. Overcomes Our Afflictions and Gives Us Affirmation that we are His. So peer, we see this, this first piece, this Affection of that Paul has for the Thessaloniki sins that is mirroring God's love. 7 (30m 55s): So I'm going to read verses 17 through 20 here of chapter two. This is God's word. Since we were torn away from you brothers for a short time in person, not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you. I Paul, again and again, but Satan hindered us for what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus. It is coming. Is it not you for you are our glory and joy. 7 (31m 35s): It's talking to you folks. Paul is writing this, but the Holy spirit is speaking to you. You remember from acts 17. As I mentioned before, Paul was, was driven out of vessel, Anika by jealous and, and wicked men who were threatened by the message of the gospel and jealous of the following that Paul was getting, they were the, wanted to be the arbiters of the truth. They wanted to be the ones who determined what was right and what was wrong. And then those who were idolaters were just livid and, and trying to drive them away because they were cutting into their profits. 7 (32m 17s): But this is what he was referring to. And he said he was torn away from them. It was like a That in the Greek. It literally means T he was orphaned from them. Just like if a conquering force would come in and they would rip the children out of the parent's arms and cause those children to become orphans, because then the parents would just sense this great loss. And the children would be who was whose, where are my parents what's going on with them? Or they might even see them cut down in front of them. And so the children automatically become orphans than hauled off into slavery. This is what Paul was feeling. I feel as if I've been orphaned from you, I am so cut off. 7 (32m 58s): I'm so taken away from you. And he feels that this, this deep love that he has for them, this deep concern that he has for them is just tearing it as hard, because he's concerned about what they're facing. This is Paul, the Pharisee of farracies, as he says, in his pedigree and one of the other epistles. And, you know, as to the law, I was blameless. I was, I sat at the feet of Gamaliel. I was the one, he was the greatest teacher and to sit at his feet was to be the greatest pupil. This is Paul, he's the Hebrew of Hebrews and lover of everything, Hebrew and hater of everything Gentile until God got ahold of him and God transformed his heart, that he might show his love through Paul, to those that around him. 7 (33m 51s): And he had this special affection for the Fessel onions. There is Are next to His except the message of his gospel and God's demonstration of its power. Through Paul, they caused, they caused him to love them with a deep and abiding love through Paul came. He had come through Apollonia and Hierapolis I think is the town from Philippi had been run out of Philippi, went through two towns to get to festival. And nothing happened in those two towns. And it wasn't like he just was passing through. I'm sure everywhere, every place he went, Paul tried to share the gospel, but there was nothing there, nothing recorded about what, what happened in those cities. 7 (34m 37s): But when he got to Fessel and ICA, he went and he reasoned in the synagogue and he reasoned there and people were being transformed. People were coming to faith in Jesus. People were receiving the gospel with their whole heart, and it was started taking effect until the point that people got jealous, their religious folks got jealous. And so all of this stuff started going on and, and all this persecution and, and Paul so loved them that he said, you are my glory and my joy, because I'm going to present. You say, these are the ones you gave me. God, isn't a great, they stayed strong. 7 (35m 17s): Isn't it great. They loved you. Isn't it great. They just hold fast to Jesus. Isn't this super. And thank you that I got to be part of their coming to faith in you. That's Paul's love for them. And it's the same Affection God has for you as his dearly beloved child. See, when he removed you from the kingdom of darkness and adapted, you adapted you to be his own. He did. So because he loves you. If he does and says he chose you from before the foundation of the war, 6 (35m 59s): Isn't that amazing. 7 (36m 5s): And he does. So because he loves you and wants you to know that he loves you. You see the, the Affection here. We think about God's unconditional love. God's love. God's so loved the world and this overarching love. But sometimes that can feel kind of distant. Sometimes that can feel like we're really, God loves us, but he's kind of out there, but there's a real affection here. Something that that's so close and that love that you have for your children. You get that little baby and hold him in your arms for the first time. 7 (36m 44s): When, when, gosh, I remember that when our girls were born, kind of, cause I'm getting old, but I do remember much more recently when our grandsons were born. And when our first grandson was born, Cyrus is 13. And we met him when he was about 45 minutes old. And, and I held him and I just looked at this little one that I had not seen or ever met before anticipated is coming, but, but just had never seen him. And I had so much love for this little one that I just put my eyes on for the first time. 7 (37m 25s): And what was really great about that is I had none of the responsibility for him, but, but I had this little one that I just so deeply loved. And that's the way Paul felt about the Thessaloniki as they were his children in the Lord. And they, he loved them deeply and was so concerned about all that we're going through. See God took you out of that kingdom of darkness. He wants you to know that you are loved. And Paul writes in Romans, Romans eight, 15, he says for you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you've received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry Abba father, he says, God is, is our loving father who loves to pick us up. 7 (38m 17s): And dandle, Us on his knees and, and hold us clothes. That's the affection that we're seeing here. And he says, you're not slave subject to God's whim. You're not those who are forced to do things outside of your will, but he loves you so that you want to love him back. You want to do what he wants. He wraps you in his arms of loving care and his passion for you is 8 (38m 44s): Deep. You know, even 7 (38m 47s): To Israel, the prophet, Jeremiah spoke and remember Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, Jeremiah didn't have a whole lot of good stuff to say about God's people other than what could be if they would repent. But he preached to them a lot about just how they are falling away, how they're neglecting, God how they are turning their backs on him and following after idols. But it's what does he say to them? God speaks to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31, three and says, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you. 7 (39m 27s): See, he still loves us. Even when we mess up, he still is faithful to us, even when we are desperately in need of discipline. 8 (39m 37s): And he does 7 (39m 37s): Discipline us if he loved, because we are 8 (39m 40s): Loved. See, 7 (39m 42s): Paul reminds them that even though they're physically separated, his heart will never leave them 8 (39m 49s): Because he loves them. So his heart 7 (39m 52s): We'll never leave the Fest Slovenians and neither physical distance nor Satan's hindrances. He's remember, he says, Satan hindered me from coming to you can, they CA, nothing can keep Paul from loving them and desiring their good and their wellbeing. 8 (40m 9s): That's that's 7 (40m 10s): What Paul is so concerned about that they would, 8 (40m 13s): That they would find 7 (40m 16s): Good of life. They would find the best of life or not. And I'm not talking about stuff and, you know, comfort and that sort of thing. Talking about their relationship with Jesus, their relationship with knowing him and standing with him and knowing that we're going to spend eternity with him. 8 (40m 35s): Sorry. 7 (40m 35s): Note here about Satan's hindrances. This is a little excursus we're going to set over to this side. You can put it in your hip pocket. We could probably spend several weeks talking about Satan's hindrances, but just, I want you to know, and I want you to hold onto this. 8 (40m 51s): Satan 7 (40m 52s): Can only hinder us with God's permission. 8 (40m 57s): We tend 7 (40m 57s): To give him far more power than he deserves. It is not two equal forces fighting one another. This isn't yin and yang. This isn't, you know, one pit it against the other and hopes that the scales are gonna fall on God's side. 8 (41m 15s): Okay? No, 7 (41m 18s): God is in control and Satan can do nothing that is not allowed by God. 8 (41m 26s): And if he allows it, it's so 7 (41m 29s): Holy to accomplish his divine purpose and his divine plan in your life and in his kingdom. And it's as true today as it was in the first century and has been from the beginning, remember Jobe, Satan couldn't do anything to job that God didn't allow. And he said, you can go this far and no farther and Satan, didn't not because he's obedient, but because that's all he can do Is Martin Luther. The great reformer once said after all he is God's devil. And so Satan's hindrance of Paul here was allowed by God for the Thessaloniki and Christians ultimate good. 7 (42m 15s): And for Paul's good. And his hindrance is hindrances towards us is for our good, 6 (42m 25s): Remember 7 (42m 26s): All things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to their purposes. That's why in everything you can give. Thanks because God is using everything for your advancement and just the same way he was doing for the Fessel Aloni church here. And Paul was busy being mother hen. I'm so worried about you. I don't want you to fail. I don't want you to fall. See Afflictions can't diminish. God's love for us. His his deep abiding affection. It cannot eliminate it. Can't delete it. Paul says this in again in Romans chapter eight, this, this passage is so familiar to all of us, but think about it in the context that when we face hardships, this is His, God what God does. 7 (43m 19s): What shall we say then to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him graciously give us all things who shall bring any charge against God's elect it's God who justifies, who is to condemn Christ. Jesus is the one who died more than that, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us, who shall separate us from the love of Christ, shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword as it is written for your sake, we are being killed all day long, were regarded as sheep to be slaughtered for God's sake because it's accomplishing his purpose. 7 (44m 9s): Knowing all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us for, I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come nor powers nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord, hallelujah. Those Afflictions come to make us stronger. So the next thing we need to look at is the Afflictions of the Thessaloniki and Church as they pertain to our lives today. So let's look then, and now at chapter three, verse one, we're going to read the first five verses. 7 (44m 49s): Therefore, when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind it, Athens alone. And we sent Timothy our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ to establish and exhort you and your faith that no one be moved by these Afflictions for you yourself. Know that we're destined for this for when we were with you. We kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction just as it has come to pass and justice. You know, for this reason when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith for fear that somehow the tempter attempted you and our labor would be in vain. Paul says, I know what you're going through because it's the same thing. 7 (45m 31s): I was going. 6 (45m 31s): <inaudible> 7 (45m 39s): Bullying violence, persecution of all kinds. And Paul wanted to make sure that none of these new believers were moved is the word he uses here and moved by these affections. And you know, when you can imagine moved to, you know, taken off of, off of base and knocked off a center, moved sideways, move backwards or forwards or up or down, but somehow or another, not standing firm. And this word moved really kind of has three levels to it in the Greek. And first, the first level is kind of be seduced to compromise, seduced, to compromise your beliefs. 7 (46m 19s): <inaudible> seduced to step away and may be not commit so much only commit this much instead of everything, Just to refer to it as having just enough, Jesus got just enough Jesus to be saved. That's all I need. That's all I'm going to worry about. And then I'm going to live, just live in my life. I think one way we really see that happening in the church today in America is we're seduced to think that, 6 (46m 59s): Well, 7 (46m 59s): We can go to church when we can get there. And I always joke about it and say, unless we get a better offer, but it's, it's not that as much as this world has us so busy and so concerned about other things and creature comforts and schedules and all that kind of thing that we kind of think that, well, you know, we can't make it this week, cause this has come up, but Church will always be there. It'll be there next week, this to the point where in our culture today and evangelical Christianity, the pillars of the faith make it the Church twice a month, 15 years ago, it was 60% of the time. 7 (47m 44s): It's down to less than 50% of the time now. And we're seduced into thinking, well, that's okay. The second level of that is where to be per perturbed or agitated into confusion. We start, you know, darts start coming in and saying, well, I was telling selling, did God really say, is this really true? Or can things like the, I CA, I can't remember his first name Dawkins. He's a famous atheist. Is it Richard Dawkins? I was thinking Richard Dawkins was, you know, a family feud, but state, well there's Stephen Hawking, but then there's somebody Richard Dawkins Are yeah. 7 (48m 33s): Well, whatever, whoever he is, this famous atheist who I can't remember, his name tries to yeah. Tries to tell us that faith is foolishness that trusting in God is believing in the fairytales. You know, and that's, that's a, that's a pretty good job. And then, you know, lays out all of what he calls evidence. And it gets to the point where we can kind of say, Oh, you know, and we get agitated. And it says, well, I know the scripture says this, but all the, the evidence here seems to be pointing towards that and what am I going to do with this? 7 (49m 15s): And it shakes us. And then the third level of this is literally, it means to be the way it was described in my lexicon is to be wrought upon, which means to be put in the fire and hammered on an Advil to reshape us into something different. And I think that's kind of what you see. You go to places like China and North Korea, where they send you to reeducation camps. If you become a Christian 8 (49m 40s): And shaped into something else. 7 (49m 44s): So you, because of Paul's affection for them, he was deeply concerned that the persecution they would face would be driving them away from their faith and that they would have walked away due to incessant opposition. You know, at time where you just say, I'm just not going to put up with this anymore. Heck with it and leave it behind. And I'm tired of this hard road Lynn and I will often say to each other, and boy, I just hate that. I have to take the high road all the time. And I just want to take the low road for once. You know? And, but no, you get tired of that. And it would be so easy to walk away, but Paul had warned them that they would be facing this kind of thing. 7 (50m 30s): Verse three of this passage, this is for you yourselves know that we are destined for this. It's going to happen. This is not the kind of verse that you have printed on a magnet and put on your refrigerator. This promise, no, it's, we're destined for this. When we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction just as it has come to pass. And just as you know, See persecution of the church is four told in the new Testament, Jesus himself, and in John chapter 15, you know, they're on their way to the, the garden of gets Semini. They've left the upper room. They're on the way to the gardener gets Semini where Jesus is going to pray and then be betrayed. 7 (51m 14s): And Jesus says to them, if the world hates, you know, that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own, but because you're not of the world, but I chose you out of the world. Therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you? A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute 6 (51m 39s): You 7 (51m 42s): Again. Another verse we don't put on the refrigerator at home, You know, we've been so blessed to live in a country where we're free to follow Jesus and public who publicly worship. That's a great blessing. Unfortunately, that blessing as becomes a means of weakening the resolve for orthodoxy among those who followed Jesus. Grace has become easy. Grace has become cheap. 6 (52m 19s): Okay? 7 (52m 19s): I wish I had taken up the time to look at the quote of the definition of cheap grace that Dietrich Bonhoeffer Bonhoeffer gave in one of his books where he talks about, you know, it's, it's the crown without a cross it's Jesus without repentance. It's, it's all of these things because, and we get at that and then we have no foundation and no strength to stand. I would say in modern day, American culture, we've been moved by That seductive pers persecution and affliction we faced. 7 (52m 59s): And we're starting to get some of those jabs coming in, but it's not, we're not being on the put on the Advil yet. And we might be, 6 (53m 12s): Yeah, 7 (53m 12s): We don't want that to happen. Folks. If we want to see our country turnaround, if we want to see people changed by God, we want to see revival come in. Then we have to go with what God spoke to Solomon. When he was dedicating the temple. If my people who are called by my name, humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. You know, we forget about the turning from our wicked ways part. We like to leave that one out, humble, humble myself. 7 (53m 53s): And while maybe I'll pray. How's that I'll pray and seek God's face. I just love being with Jesus. Don't tell me anything about sin. Don't tell me anything about repentance. Don't say anything about humbling myself, but God I'm praying. So fix it. No, it's it's it's it's that recognition that we don't deserve. God's love. We don't deserve God's ability to save, but acknowledging the love that he has 2 (54m 27s): For us, 7 (54m 29s): You might still face persecution. Even if we do this, even if we follow that admonition from God, but you'll receive an affirmation that you are 2 (54m 43s): Loved, 7 (54m 45s): That God will care for you, that God will sustain you. That God will uphold you. That God will give you the strength to face, whatever it is that comes your way, he will give you the grace that is necessary to face the trials and tribulations. Even to the point of martyrdom, he will give you the grace for that. If you have to face it, he will give you the strength. In the moment. God told Israel when they were coming through the desert desert as your day. So shall your strength be whatever it is you have to face. God will give you the strength for it. 7 (55m 26s): And remember that these Afflictions are actually beneficial to your faith because they help us to appreciate and comprehend the truth of God's word more fully. Ken Martin Luther said the devil and temptations also do give occasion unto us somewhat to learn and understand the scriptures by experience and practice without trials and temptations. We should never understand anything thereof. No, not. Although we diligently read and heard the same, because when you experience those difficulties, when you experience those hardships, when you experience persecution, when you experience sickness, when you experienced trials, when you experience the bad things that can come from the world at you, it opens the door to the scriptures to appreciate God's promises. 7 (56m 22s): It opens doors to the scriptures. So I can S I can look at that and say, Oh God, yes. Now I understand what this is, and I'm going to hold onto you. I'm going to hold fast to you. I'm going to stick with you and God. I know I can't do that in my own strength. Give me the power of your Holy spirit. Let that be enlivened. Inmate. Let it be quickened in my heart that I might stand with you, that I might hold fast to you. That I might remain unchanged and be faithful, no matter what it is that I face. See. So as we live our lives and the promise of God's affection, that he shows toward us and the certainty that we will face affliction in this life. 7 (57m 13s): And if, for no other reason that we live in a fallen and sinful world, It's hold fast to the Affirmation of God. That he's pleased with us when we hold fast to him and, and know that he, 8 (57m 34s): He keeps us as we stick with him. 7 (57m 41s): So let's look at this last section here 8 (57m 45s): Told you 7 (57m 45s): I'd be done by three. 8 (57m 49s): This is brief. Okay. 7 (57m 51s): But now that Timothy has come to us from you and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us. As we long to see you for this reason brothers and all our distress and affliction, we have been comforted about you through your faith for now. We live, if you are standing fast and God Paul felt as if he was dying, because he wasn't sure about 8 (58m 21s): Awesome. 7 (58m 25s): What Thanksgiving can we return to God for you for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day, that we may see you face to face and supply. What is lacking in your faith. Now may Are God and father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound and love for one another. And for all, as we do for you so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before Are God and father at the coming of our Lord Jesus, with all his saints, Paul's almost giddy because they're standing firm. 7 (59m 8s): He felt like there was so much left for him to teach them when he, when he had to leave, but they're standing firm and the faith that they've had, and he had sent Timothy back and they had preached more to them and they saw great 8 (59m 24s): Results 7 (59m 25s): On the part of the festival Ionians to, to stand firm in their faith. And so Paul's joy, overflows, and even more love for them. He wants to go back and see them again. He wants that all the more to be with them and knowing that they could have come to hate him because of the message that they gave him and that he gave them, I should say. And the persecution that followed that transforming method message, they could have come to despise Paul, that look what he brought on Us but no, they love it 8 (59m 57s): Of Paul, because look what he gave to us 7 (1h 0m 2s): Brought the message of the gospel. He brought the message of hope in Christ Jesus, and they held fast to the gospel, just like the 12 disciples did in John six, when the rest of the crowds deserted him, remember in John six, Jesus is talking about, if you want to, any part in me, you have to eat my flesh. You have to drink my blood and to the Jews, that was an abomination. And they left. This is a hard saying, and they left and it says, starting in verse 66, after this, many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the 12, do you want to go away as well? 7 (1h 0m 44s): And Simon, Peter answered him Lord to whom 8 (1h 0m 47s): Shall we go? You have the word 7 (1h 0m 50s): Words of eternal life. And we have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy one. 8 (1h 0m 56s): God 7 (1h 0m 59s): I see Paul bringing the message of the gospel, the message of Jesus Christ gave the Thessalonians the very words of eternal life. Every time you share the gospel with someone, you're giving them the very words of eternal life. And this is the joy that we bring to God. When we stand in the face of persecution, when we continually draw our strength for him to withstand Satan's on the slot, 8 (1h 1m 27s): Whether 7 (1h 1m 27s): It's subtle or an obvious jab or a full-out frontal assault, God affirms his deep love for us. 8 (1h 1m 35s): Always, always. Yeah. 7 (1h 1m 39s): Whether the conditions of our lives are smooth sailing or in the middle of a hurricane, 8 (1h 1m 46s): God is 7 (1h 1m 47s): Still with us affirming his love and his promise that he'll never leave us or forsake us stands most strongly when we're clinging to him in the midst of our Afflictions, 8 (1h 1m 60s): He even, 7 (1h 2m 0s): And pronounces a blessing on us in the midst of their trials. Look at the verses 11 through 13 here, once again, now my Are God and father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you one so that Paul can come in and share with them. And they, because he loves them and wants to see them face to face. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before Are God and father at the coming of our Lord Jesus, with all his saints, see God will cause us to be into increase and abound and love for him for Are brothers and sisters in the church for our community. 7 (1h 2m 43s): And even for the world that brings our Afflictions upon us. God will cause us to love him. And he'll establish our hearts blameless in a holiness before him keeping us steadfast to either the end of our lives or until Christ returns. Whichever happens first, You have the assurance that God has genuine affection towards you today. 8 (1h 3m 13s): Are you walking with Jesus? 7 (1h 3m 16s): If you Are, he does have genuine affection for you. He loves you and loves to be with you and loves to fellowship with you. If you don't know Jesus, 8 (1h 3m 31s): He's as close as the mention of his name. He's right here. 7 (1h 3m 37s): Say, Jesus. I want to know you. I don't know. I want to know what this assurance of your love is. I want to know that you have affection for me. And even when I go through difficult times and affliction, you give me an affirmation that I am yours. That's what's available to you in Christ. Jesus. You come to him and say, Lord, I know I'm a sinner. And, and I can't do this on my own. 8 (1h 3m 58s): I need you. That's what's set before you right now. 7 (1h 4m 5s): God does have affection toward you. And if you're facing difficulties and hardships and trials and persecution of any kind, even so he will never stop loving you. If you're saying right now, where is God? He's right there. Because if he wasn't with you right now, you think you're going through difficulty. Now, if God wasn't with you, I can't even begin to 8 (1h 4m 31s): Imagine 7 (1h 4m 36s): What are the Afflictions that you're facing at the moment? Is it That clever seduction? Did God really say, is it kind of an obvious jab? You're getting poked. Your faith is getting poked. Your faith is getting challenged. Are you on the Advil? Somebody trying to reshape you and take you away from being shaped like Jesus, 8 (1h 5m 5s): God still with you. Nonetheless 7 (1h 5m 8s): Affirming his love for you, affirming that you belong to him and that nothing can pluck you out of his hand. 8 (1h 5m 19s): Have you opened your eyes, 7 (1h 5m 20s): Heart to receive the blessing of that? Affirmation because sometimes we get to the point where we feel well, I'm not worthy. God well, you're right. We're not. But he says, I love you anyway. I love you anyway, because of Jesus. When I look at you, I see Jesus. When I look at you, I see the righteousness of God poured out all over you. I see you as if you had never even had a sin nature, let alone committed a sin. I see you as Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall. That's the way Jesus looks at. Are God. The father looks at you because of what Jesus did for you. 8 (1h 5m 60s): He loves you and he's offering it to you. You're the Apple of his eye. 7 (1h 6m 11s): And he has established you as a joint heir of his kingdom 8 (1h 6m 16s): And with our big brother, Jesus, let's pray 7 (1h 6m 25s): Lord our God. I thank you. I thank you for your love. I thank you for your care. That never stops. That even when we don't see you working, even when we can't feel your presence, even when it seems like you're a million miles away, you still love Us and you're still here in those times, help us to stand on there. The faith that you have given us that marvelous gift of saving faith in Jesus and God. I pray that when we face affliction, that we would cry out to you, knowing that you will hold us fast. That even if we face all the way up to martyrdom, you will give us the grace and the strength necessary to face whatever trials come before us and help us never to be so overcome by the world. 7 (1h 7m 17s): And so it feels so afflicted in that we get tired of it and say, forget it. I'm walking away. Keep us close, help us to keep our eyes on you and for any here today, Lord who need to know you just give them the assurance that they are loved as they turn to you and repentance that you indeed will make them your own to the praise of your glory in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. 2 (1h 7m 54s): Stan. <inaudible> 0 (1h 11m 22s): <inaudible> <inaudible> 2 (1h 17m 48s): We can never deserve it. You never forsake us. It gives us peace. During these times to know that you are trustworthy, that your word will come to pass. And then we have no reason to fear. Pray that you'd be with each one of us, give everyone here strength that each one would have with the peace that only comes from knowing you being filled with your spirit. 2 (1h 18m 34s): Praise, the Lord Jesus name. Amen. 3 (1h 18m 43s): Yeah, guys, for coming to church, 2 (1h 18m 47s): It's an amazing thing. 3 (1h 18m 51s): Amen. And if anybody needs a prayer come forward, we'll have people up here that can pray with you. Have a great week.
0 (1s): Well, good morning, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating. Thanks for joining us here today. 1 (11s): Whether you're here on campus or watching at home so glad to be together and worship, would you stand with me if you're able and we'll take a moment just to pray by it. The Lord's presence to me in our midst, as we worship the Lord, we just bring our hearts of banks this morning. Even as the season, we focus on the things that we're grateful for him. God, when our hearts just bubble over just with thanks and praise for who you are in all the things you've done for us and the blessings that you've given us. So God, I just pray for anyone this morning, maybe who's hurting or lonely or does just concerns weighing upon their hearts. 1 (58s): How would you need us in this place? In this moment, you would your spirit come and fill our hearts with all that we have need of this morning. Would you help us to praise you in good times and bad times? God, you're always worthy of our praise. There's always a reason to praise your name. So do you think you 0 (1m 28s): <inaudible>? Yes. Well, sitting in my heart is happy. All my digs. Oh yes. 0 (1m 50s): <inaudible> the same guy. Who's never, <inaudible> the same guy. 0 (3m 29s): <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> 1 (11m 20s): Would you help us? Do you receive your love this morning? All that you have for us? God, even at first service, I had this picture of just like us holding our hands, like little kids receiving a gift this morning. If you want to do that, just as a symbol to the Lord to say, I want to receive the love, the mercy, the grace that you have for me today, Lord, I'm just holding my hands open wide outstretched to receive on the heart. 0 (11m 52s): It's a gift for you today. <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> yeah, the single praise. 0 (14m 55s): Your name forever. 0 (14m 58s): <inaudible> where do you praise your name today? 0 (16m 32s): Gather here to adore our King. The Lord. Thank you. That we know that we do get to praise your name forever around your throne for all eternity, with all the angels singing. Holy Holy Holy is the Lord. God almighty, who was in his, in his to come. We stand on Holy ground this morning. Once again, just as the hearts of gratitude. Thanks every eye and heart just focused on you. 0 (17m 17s): Jesus. You're the reason we're here and we love you with all our hearts in your name. Amen. Amen. Church so good. Well, we're just going to share that love of Jesus with each other, for a few moments. Do you want to say hello to someone around you? You just pass on that. Love this morning, pulled back with some announcements soon. 2 (17m 41s): Good morning. Harvest Church welcome. We're awfully glad to have you here. Good to see everybody morning. 3 (17m 51s): Hopefully you are over your trip to fan coma and are bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning. Ready to ready to worship the Lord. I could hear you when I was outside and it just sounds fantastic to hear you all lifting up your voices. And that's just super, do you have a few announcements this morning? I'm pastor day, one of the, the pastors on staff here and glad to have you with us and whether you're here in the sanctuary or you're with us in the loft on the patio, we're glad you're here. Or if you're watching online, this is a great way, you know, I'm sorry. I'm not holding the mic in. I'm used to wearing Steve's daily, but the that's the technical term when you're my age, it is. 3 (18m 47s): I just going to say that, you know, Curtis just did our a report on how many views we're getting on our online for our, for those of you who are watching online, we have averaged last month, over 700 devices every week tuning in and watching our service, whether it's on Sunday morning or whether it's right now, if you're watching right now, or if you're watching this delayed either way, we had over 2,800 views last month. So that was really, and that's, I don't know how many people per device, they probably all gathered around their phones, you know, eight or 10 kids. And they've right. 3 (19m 28s): But if you are here with us for the first time, sorry, I'm taking Steve's time here, but if you're here, Where this for the first time this morning, we'd love to have you up at the stop up at the info center. What, what I call the Google of Harvest Church, that's where you find all things out and, and Curtis will help you out up there, but stop up there. They've got a special gift for you. They've got, as, as Ron said, last week, can't tell you what it is, but it looks a lot like a coffee mug and a, and there's some goodies and stuff in it too. And, and information about the Church. And so we'd love to have you stop up there and pick that up. 3 (20m 9s): Let's see. I gotta use, there we go. Okay, man, couple of things starting or on separately, timber on December 12th, we're having a men's breakfast. We realized that it had been quite a while since we'd had one with COVID, everything's been shut down and we really wanted to gather the men together. So two weeks from yesterday, the 12th of December at eight o'clock, we're gonna meet in the loft and enjoy men's breakfast together. And it's a good thing. 3 (20m 50s): You've been eating a lot. These past few days, stretch out your stomach because that's the amount of food you will be getting men. So keep stretching. Also, we have a retreat coming up on January 8th and ninth. We're calling it throttling back. It's all about slowing down. Being able to listen for God's voice, to being able to grow and be effective in your walk in Christ to be used of him, to not be tied down with so many of the things of this world that just hold you back. So encourage you to sign up for that. You sign up for that online. You go to either the website, AIG harvest.org or the Harvest app, which is a G Harvest. 3 (21m 32s): You just look that up at, in your app store and you'll be able to connect there, click on the information about the, the men's retreat. And that will take you directly to the camp website because that's where all of the registration is. So please, please do that. We want sign ups by the 15th of the, of next month. We're going to have a Christmas tree lighting ceremony here one week from today at six o'clock out on the front lawn, we're going to have carols out here, setup on the, on the front stoop of the church. And we're going to sing Christmas carols. 3 (22m 13s): We're going to like the Christmas tree. It's just going to be a great night to be together. And I know Steve was going to share more about that here in a little bit, so he can give you more details, but encourage you to come out for that. It's a great, great night. We'll be having Christmas food, basket donations starting anytime. You're ready to bring them in. Now I know we just finished up with Thanksgiving and you did so well bringing stuff in for Thanksgiving. We had so much food, got to bless a lot of people. We want to bless a lot of people for Christmas, where our goal is that we need 50 hams. And as I told them in the first service that doesn't include Steve and I. 3 (22m 57s): And so we just need to have plenty of food for Christmas and sign up up in the, at the info center or we're going to have a wagon out there every week with the food basket that you can fill in. Also one new thing starting this week on Thursday morning at eight o'clock we're resuming our midweek prayer eight o'clock in the loft on Thursday morning, the folks who were involved in that before just came to me and said, we can't not do this anymore. We shut it down for COVID and, but people are wanting to get back to the price. So we're coming in on Thursday mornings at eight o'clock in the loft. 3 (23m 37s): If you are available and would love to pray, come out and pray for an hour. And it's, it's amazing to me, how fast an hour when I'm there and one more and then Steve can come up. You know, he's chomping at the bit over there. He just seemed like in the starting gate, waiting for them to blow that bugle and open the gate. But Mark your calendars too, for Christmas Eve Thursday, December 24th, less than four weeks from now, we will be having three Christmas Eve services this year at three, four, and five, and encourage you to come out. And in the last year was our first year participating on Christmas Eve. 3 (24m 20s): And it's, it's such a sweet service come and sing Christmas carols. We have a Christmas story for the kids and, and Steve will be sharing the word. And it's just a wonderful evening to get centered in and focused on why it is that we celebrate Christmas. And it's not about trees in presence. So encourage you to come out for that. And with that, I will pass this on to Steve. 4 (24m 48s): Yeah. Sounds good. Thank you very much. Thank you, Dave. Good morning. Welcome. How many enjoy Thanksgiving? Was it good? Do you have a lots of food? Lots of good stuff. All right. With that, I've got some Thanksgiving jokes, Thanksgiving jokes. What kind of key will not open any door? A Turkey. Very, very good. Very, very good. A Turkey Turk knock, knock. 4 (25m 28s): I'm not sure if I can do this knock, knock. I can't remember. Let me see you. I'm going to get you there though. Here we go. Knock, knock. Arthur. Are there any leftovers? I know, I know. I know my family keeps telling me no more Thanksgiving jokes. I told them I, I just can't quit cold Turkey, and now we're done. The party is over. We're going to pray and be done. Just getting let's go and stand up and pray those. 4 (26m 10s): So you might hear those again next Thanksgiving holiday season, but you will, maybe you forgotten them by then. So we'll see what happens, Lord. We thank you for the opportunity to be studying your word today. Lord, we're going to be in first Thessalonians again, Lord. And so we just pray that you'd speak to us through your word. God, we invite your Holy spirit to fill this place and to fill us Lord. And whoever's got watching. I pray blessing upon them. Lord God, wherever they are on campus or online Lord, we just pray for your blessing upon each person. God encouragement would go out to them. Lord grace and peace and mercy 5 (26m 44s): Would go out to them in Jesus name, God that you would just do wonderful and profound things in this service. The balance of this service, we pray, Lord, it's in your name. We ask these things. Jesus. Amen. Amen. You can be seated. So first Thessalonians chapter two verses one through 16, where do you find courage in the face of trouble? That's the title of the message today? Where do you Find Courage in the face of Trouble. I think if we're going to find out the answer to this, it's good to go to a person who's experienced. Trouble like if nobody's ever experienced Trouble and they tried to help you to Find Courage in the face of trouble that person's got no credibility, but Paul, the apostle Paul, he's got some, the ability why? Because his life was riddled riddled with Trouble years ago, I talked to my father-in-law he's he's getting older. 5 (27m 32s): And I said, Hey Mark, do you have any regrets in life? Anything that you can pass on? And we had a great conversation out of that and to glean something from someone who'd been around a while, Paul Paul is speaking to us from this profound, the experience that he's had with the Lord, this profound experience that he's had as a minister of the gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ. And so from Paul's experience and wealth of knowledge and understanding of God, we're going to answer that question. Where do you Find Courage in the face of Trouble quick, quick story though. I was just a little guy going back many years and I was living down in Southern California and was with a sitter, a babysitter, and my brother and I, and the babysitter. 5 (28m 16s): We were at the beach and we go out to the water and I go deeper and deeper into the water and get kind of pulled out into the ocean and I can't swim. And so I'm out there and I find my pet kind of get my way over to the piling on the pier and I hold on for dear life. And so as you can imagine the waters going up over my head and then down. And when it, when the water goes down, I do everything within me just to yell out, help, right? I mean, I'm dying out there. Literally I'm drowning under the water. And it was, it was a time in my life where I didn't know, God didn't know who he was. And so I was just calling out to whoever would listen, just calling out. 5 (29m 1s): And then I believe that God sent the lifeguard with the life preserver and he saved my life that day. But it was in a time of desperate trouble. When I was calling out to anybody maybe been there, you just, you're in a desperate place. You just calling out to anybody. I, I, I want to share with you a few things today that will help you to find the courage that you need for the circumstance that you face. Let's take a look at first Thessalonians, chapter two verses one through 16, Paul rate's you yourselves know, do your brothers and sisters that are visits. You was not a failure. He's declaring something to this Church and maybe to himself. 5 (29m 44s): Cause I know at times it feels like the ministry that God calls us to is ineffective. Sometimes we feel like what we're doing is not fruitful, not helpful. And I'm sure Paul and his human has wondered at times whether what he was doing was actually fruitful and helpful and had eternal, eternal fruitfulness attached to it. But we know from first Thessalonians chapter one, verse nine, that the Thessaloniki and Church these people in this church had turned away from their idols to serve the living. And only God, they had turned from idolatry and the culture of two or 300,000 people in their town where idolatry was part of the deal. 5 (30m 27s): It was just part of the culture. And so you can imagine how the culture was surprised when this group of people heard the gospel message, the message about this person, Jesus Christ. And they turned away from their idols to serve the living and true God you yourselves know, do your brothers and sisters that are visits you is not a failure. He's establishing that the gospel message went out and effectively produce fruit for the kingdom of God. Verse two, he says, you know how badly we had been treated in Philippi at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Remember we talked about the Philippian jailer last week in acts chapter 16, Paul and Silas are in prison for their stance on the gospel for preaching the gospel. 5 (31m 15s): And they were beaten with rods and they were imprisoned. And about midnight, the Bible says they were praying and singing to the Lord. And about that time, a big earthquake hit the prison, hit the jail and the doors were opened and the chains fell off of them. And they all stayed the jailer awakens from his stupor and realized that the doors are open. And he's just assumes that the prisoners are gone. So he goes to kill himself. And Paul says, stop. Don't kill yourself. We're all still here. God had a plan for that Philippian jailer. So we know that Paul had experienced difficulty before going to this place. He had been beaten with a rod and in prison, he said, you know how badly we've been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there yet. 5 (32m 0s): God yet our God gave us the Courage in our God gave us the courage to declare his good news to you boldly in spite of great opposition, the temptation would be, Hey, we got into trouble. The last city we were in, let's kind of settle down this time, right? Let's just kind of fly below the radar. Let's not draw attention to ourselves. It's not fun to get beat with rods and thrown in jail. So let's just kind of fly below the radar. But Dodd God had called them. He had equipped them. He had given them purpose. Yes. And therefore God gave them Courage to do what they were called to do to proclaim the yet our God gave us the courage to declare his good news to you boldly in spite of great opposition. 5 (32m 47s): Where do you find courage in the face of Trouble number one in your notes, God will give you Courage. 6 (32m 54s): Yeah, that's great news. I think that's incredible news that if we just call out to the Lord, I mean, I think about myself bobbing up and down, clinging onto that piling with no buddy to call out to except for the open air. Like Al I'm dying here. I'm struggling here. But the reality is, now that I know God, I've got someone to cry out to. Maybe you're here today and you don't know God, you can call out to the same God, you can call out to the true and living God. And he will respond to you. He will listen to you. He will, he will come to your aid. God will give you Courage. He and Paul and Silas were beaten and 5 (33m 31s): In prison at some point, no matter how brave 6 (33m 33s): You are, Courage begins to evaporate, right? I mean, you go up against difficulty at every turn in your Courage begins to 4 (33m 42s): Great, but God, but 6 (33m 46s): God, God is faithful. And we will simply even in a faint whisper call out to him, Lord. 4 (33m 53s): Well, he responds, you were saying 5 (33m 56s): Child after all you've been created in his image, 6 (33m 59s): She's adopted you into his family. He's died for you. He loves you. He cares about you. You read resurrect from the dead. So they might know you and have a relationship with you. So by God's grace, he in his goodness. And because he loves you, he responds. If you will just simply by faith, 4 (34m 17s): Whisper, cry 6 (34m 18s): It out, yell it out, whatever it is, Lord help me. I need your grace in this moment. 5 (34m 25s): God will give you the Courage. What do you do when you're up against a difficult troubling situation, I would just challenge you to go to God and ask for what you need 4 (34m 38s): And he will give it to you. Right? 5 (34m 41s): I was reading this this morning. It's a book called on this day in Christian history. It's a great book by Robert J. Morgan. And it just takes you through the year and tells you what happened in Christian history on that particular day, in a particular year. So I read for this last week, I'm going to read from it again this week because it's a great, there's a great story. Dated November 29th. So we're going to today's November 29th. So we're going to read this story. It says when James Gilmore sailed for China in 1870, he was young, strong and in need of a wife, for sure. Right? He 6 (35m 17s): Plunged into reopening the London missionary 5 (35m 19s): Societies work in Mongolia, but with no one to lean on quote companions, I can scarcely hope to meet. He wrote and the feeling of being alone comes over me as laborers increased. So did loneliness. He continues today. I felt a good deal like Elijah in the wilderness. He told his journal. He, he prayed that he might die. I felt drawn towards suicide. Two missionaries should always go together. Oh, the intense loneliness, the pain deep in when his proposal to a Scottish girl was rejected. 5 (36m 1s): I then put myself and the direction of this affair. I mean the finding of it, the wife into God's hands asking him to look me out. Good one too. He said in 1873, Gilmore visited friends in peaking and mr. And mrs. Meech seeing a picture of mrs. Mitch's sister, Emily pranks heard James asked about her as his hostess described. Emily James found himself falling in love. He gazed at her picture, saw some of her letters and asked more and more or questions early. The next year, James wrote to Emily proposing marriage in his first letter buy the same mail. 5 (36m 47s): He informed his parents in Scotland. I have written in a proposed to a girl in England. It is true. I've never seen her. And I know very little about her, but I have put the whole matter into the hands of him. God asking him if it'd be best to bring her, if it be not best to keep her away and he can manage the whole thing. Well, what a great perspective receiving Gilmore's letter. Emily took it at once to the throne of grace later, Gilmore re recall the first letter I wrote her was to propose. And the first letter she wrote to me was to accept by autumn. Emily was in China, arriving on this day, November 29th, 1874 a week later, they were married. 5 (37m 33s): Gilmore acquired both wife and colleague and they labored faithfully side-by-side for years reaching Northern China for Christ. This guy was in a dark place. You ever been there? You know, through this whole COVID experience, I read a medical journal yesterday. A statistic says that one in four young people are suicidal as a result of the lockdown, the shutdown, the, the, the reality that we can't be together. Like we watch you work together. It's a, it's a devastating impact of COVID on our culture around the world. What, what do you do? Where do you go? You find the Courage in the face of Trouble. 5 (38m 14s): I would just encourage you to Courage out to the Lord and watch what he will do. What do you need to Courage to overcome? Is it loneliness? Is it anxiety? Is it fear and uncertain future ask God for Courage and watch what he will do when we walk, when we with God and honor him, he gives us what we need every time. Every time first three says, so you can see, we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives 7 (38m 47s): Trickery. There 5 (38m 52s): <inaudible> from a pure motivation. Those outside of the church may have been questioning their motivation because they were drawing people away from idolatry into to serve this new living and true God as many turned from idols to serve the one and living true God, there may have been some jealousy, some confusion, or even anger from the townspeople. I remember I grew up in this town, so people know me. They know, they know what I was like before I knew Christ, and now they know what I'm like now. And so I, in junior high school, I gave my life to the Lord, but I didn't know what to do with my faith until I was about 17 years old, a junior in high school. And so about 17 years old as a junior in high school, I decided to give my whole life to the Lord, meaning that my life would reflect my decision to serve Jesus. 5 (39m 43s): I had made the decision to serve Jesus as a junior higher, but my life didn't reflect that decision. It took a few years. And so when I changed, people were perplexed about it because they would say is isn't that Steve, the guy that we used to smoke pot with, isn't that Steve, the guy that we used to ditch school with and go surfing with isn't that the same guy that we used to get into trouble with. Right? And now what happened to him? There's been, there's been a change. There's been, he's not the same guy that he used to be. Thank God for that. But there needs to be a change right? In our lives, in our beef before Christ days in our, after Christ days, there needs to be a transformation. And when that transformation happens, people question it they'll question the sincerity of it. 5 (40m 26s): They will question whether it's real and then they will stick around and wait to see if it lasts. So Paul, with the preaching of the gospel was upsetting the norm. He was causing people to be transformed by the message of the gospel. 7 (40m 43s): Okay. 5 (40m 44s): You know, people were probably perplexed when Paul was converted, CA was converted as well. And he, because one day he's persecuting the church and the next day he's a follower of the Lord, Jesus Christ. One day, he's killing people for following Jesus. The next day he's following Jesus in. And the church were, they were perplexed by the people in his circle. They were perplexed by it. So Paul's not unfamiliar with the reality that the gospel is going to upset the Apple card. It's going to change people and change and change people for the good. So he's, he's waiting for this to happen. And he's seeing this happen in cultures, as he's preaching the gospel, wherever he goes, people are questioning his motivation, questioning the method. 5 (41m 27s): The message are questioning everything, but Paul's motivation was pure. Verse four says for, we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the good news. Our purpose is to please God, 6 (41m 43s): Not people. He 5 (41m 44s): Alone examines the motives of our hearts. Where do you go? What do you find? Courage on the face of Trouble number one, 6 (41m 53s): God will give you Courage. But also number two, clear purpose produces Courage clear purpose produces. Courage do you have a clear purpose for your life? The purpose of our church is that we're going to impact our community and our world. What the life changing message of Jesus Christ. This is what we're here to do. Our, our visions. We want to impact our community and our world with the life changing message of Jesus Christ. That's what we're measuring everything against. And so when we hear the analytics that we've got, not only people from our church coming to church, but people outside of the community and around the world tuning in hundreds of week, hundreds of people a week tuning in where we were grateful that we're fulfilling what we feel called to fulfill. 6 (42m 41s): Where impacting our community and our world 5 (42m 43s): With the life changing message of 6 (42m 45s): Jesus Christ. What is your purpose statement? My personal purpose, 5 (42m 50s): Basically the same as our purpose statement for the Church 6 (42m 53s): Church I want to, I want to have an impact. I, I want to get to the end of my life and think about my life and one and, and realize I want to, I want to with great humility 5 (43m 5s): Say thank you, Lord, that 6 (43m 6s): There's been impact, right? I wanna, I wanna know that my life, I want to know, like Paul, I want to know 5 (43m 12s): That I finished. Well, then I ran the race and I finished the race, 6 (43m 16s): You know? And you can know that you can, you can do that. And what I want for you is I want you to know that, but you will never know that if you don't know what your purpose is, you'll never get to the end of your life and be able to hold on to that purpose and say, it is finished. I've done it by God's grace, right? Only by God's grace, because he is good. Not because we're good, but, but he works through us wonderfully in zebra. Now, supernaturally, he works through us. I want us to know when it's all said and done that God did something through us. Like there was something tangible and, and, and, and wonderful and supernatural. That happened as a result of the way that we lived our lives. And that's very possible. That's why we have purpose statements as a church. And that's why corporates, corporate businesses and others have mission statements because they want to know that what they're doing is, is actually accomplishing something. 6 (44m 3s): And there's a way to measure it. Are we impacting our community and our world of the life changing message of Jesus Christ. This is why church is open. Part of, part of my purpose statement is I want to create, I wrote it down. I'll just see if I can find it here. Part of my purpose is to create space for people to gather and worship corporately. So when Trouble comes and they want to shut us down, my courage comes from clarity about my purpose and our purpose. Our purpose, my purpose is to create a space 5 (44m 32s): Where people can gather, I believe were necessary, that were essential, that the church is essential. And so I want to create a place, a space for us to worship. And so that's why we're open. And that's what we're going to stay open by. God's grace, right? We're going to stay open by God's grace, clear purpose produces Courage where do you need courage in your life? If you attach purpose to that area of your life, all of a sudden you'll find Courage. If it's, if it's God's centered purpose, if God's planted something in your soul and is given you something to live for, then all of a sudden you're going to have Courage to accomplish those things. It will impact the way that, you know, 4 (45m 13s): You spend your time, your talent and your treasure will impact your whole life. It will in the best possible meaning of the word. It will wreck your life. You will make your life completely different than it's ever, ever been clear. Purpose produces. Courage what's your purpose. 5 (45m 33s): You could, because again, I want you to get to the end of your life, whether that's in a year from now or 20 years from now or 40 years from now, I want you to get to the end of it. And I want us as a church to be able to say this was this been my, my life, 4 (45m 45s): The purpose. And I realized it to the best, 5 (45m 49s): The best of my ability by God's grace, because he's good at that because I'm good. There was something wonderful and supernatural. 4 (45m 55s): It was accomplished in, in me and with me and through me. And then I just want to close my eyes and go be with Jesus. Amen. That's the best possible way to go, goodness. And all along the way. Cause you never know what's going to happen. Get step off the curb. And then you were with Jesus, right? And then what are you going to have to give an account for your life? Right? So you can't wait until you're, you know, out of high school to do this. You can't wait until you finish with college to do this. You can't wait until you're, you know, raise your kids to do this. 4 (46m 36s): Or until you have kids, you can't wait until you're, you know, retired to do this. You can't, you can't wait. You can't wait. What's your purpose. Now, 5 (46m 46s): Maybe as you grow and you get older, that purpose might change a little bit. Might get a little more defined 4 (46m 53s): Like you have kids. And then you're saying, man, my purpose is to make sure my kids serve the Lord 5 (46m 59s): That I live in such a way in relationship with them, that they fall in love with Jesus, like 4 (47m 3s): With Jesus, right? That becomes your purpose. You get married. 5 (47m 9s): You're like, man, I want my marriage to reflect the goodness of God. I want people to see in my marriage, the goodness of God, the love of God, the grace of God. I want people to 4 (47m 19s): See that in my life and marriage, 5 (47m 22s): Whatever season of life that you're in, God will give you purpose. 4 (47m 25s): This. That'll get you up in the morning. That will give you Courage tackle the things that God has called you to tackle. Paul was serious about his purpose and he understood it and he didn't play games with it. Never once. First five, 6 (47m 42s): Never once. Did we try to win you with flattery as you well know? And God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends, just to get your money. As for human praise, we've never sought it from you or anyone else. Paul was living and serving for an audience of one. He was focused on God and he wanted to make sure that what he did properly reflected the person of God, the love of God, the grace of God, that the work of God, he wanted to make sure that it was like a mirror. Like you could look at his life and see the goodness of God through and through as apostles of Christ, verse seven says we certainly had a right to make some demands of you. 6 (48m 25s): But instead we were like children, that, that word means gentle like children. We were like children with you. We were gentle like children among you, or we like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much that we shared with you. Not only God's good news, but our own lives too. It wasn't, it wasn't this preaching thing. Wasn't a vocation for Paul. It wasn't like, this is what I do in my nine to five. And then I turned it off. I turned it on and turn it off. It wasn't, it just wasn't that, that it was his whole life. And he said, I'm giving you the gospel and I'm giving you my whole life, giving you the gospel. And I'm giving you my life. There's something powerful about Paul's connection to his purpose. 6 (49m 8s): He understood what he was here in the earth to do. He was connected to his purpose. What is your purpose? Are you connected to it? Do you know who you are? And do you know whose you are? Do you know where you belong and to whom you belong when you figure that kind of stuff out, 4 (49m 26s): It makes just, it makes life so much better. And it's just so much more fun. 6 (49m 32s): You wake up and you know, Hey, I know what I'm doing this week. I'm gonna impact my community, my world with a life changing the gospel message of Jesus Christ. I'm going to do something for Jesus this, this day, this week, I don't know what it is, but I know God's going to use me. And then you get to define things a little bit more clearly. And you, as you walk with the Lord, you say, I know that I'm called to this, this arena, this area of ministry, this arena, this area of service too, to the world with the gospel. I know that I'm called. And then you get, there you go. You get really good at it. You get it. You get the opportunity to practice and, and continue to drill down in that gift set and use your gifts for kingdom, 4 (50m 15s): The buses. So you're not going to start out very strong. Probably you just not remember. I was 18 years old and I was asked to preach a sermon going back before then I was about 17 years old and I was asked to do my grandfather's Memorial service to officiate my grandfather's Memorial service. That was a terrible idea. By the way, it was a terrible idea. I was grieving and trying to proclaim the gospel to my family as I'm trying to do as a Memorial, sir, it was, it was not a good idea, not a good idea, 6 (50m 58s): But it was the beginning. It was, it was what God, you know, 4 (51m 2s): You used to begin to shape me into, to teach me how to communicate. And then I got a chance to, like I said, when I was 18 to do a little sermon in front of the singles group of our church. And, and then over the years you got to do different things and, and, and there's just, God, God just kind of opened the doors. And I feel like, I feel like I'm still a rookie of that. As you know, I still feel like I'm just trying to figure things out. But I, I do have a confidence that God is doing something. God is doing something. And it's a confidence that God has had to teach me because we want to, there's a point to my sharing there. 4 (51m 45s): There's 6 (51m 45s): We, we, we want to diminish 4 (51m 48s): Our impact out of a false humility. And it's not God's design. If God's using us, we want to say, thank you God for using, thank you for using me. I, I don't want to say or do anything apart from your word or your will. So Lord just stick right with me as I'm doing what I'm doing, you know, you never want to be in your own steam. As I talked about last week, talking out of it in your own steam ministering in your own steam, a minister, doing the things that God has called you to do in your own steam. You always want to be prayerful and asking God for help. So now I can say that I've got confidence that when I get up to speak, God's going to do something. 4 (52m 32s): And I'm always surprised. I'm always surprised. I'm always surprised. Number one, when I can write a message and I tell this to Jolene almost weekly, I say, well, finished another one. I don't know how, but I wrote another sermon. And then I preach it. And after church, I say, well, there's another one of the can. And, and God did something good because people come up to me and say, how did you know, that's what I was going through? And I said, I don't know. I've no idea what you're going through other than what you maybe you've shared with me, but God knew. And so when people say great message, I say, isn't God good. 4 (53m 13s): Right? Isn't God good. Right? Or if it's a bad message, I say, yeah, I didn't get much sleep 6 (53m 18s): The last night, whatever it is. My point in sharing this up is don't your 5 (53m 26s): Impact on the world that you live, you are called to have an impact with your friends and your family. So don't say it. What was me? I can't do that. 7 (53m 36s): Yes, you can. By God's grace. 5 (53m 40s): Yes, you can. So that should be the answer. Yeah. I can do that Lord, because I know you're going to be with me and it's not an arrogant thing at all. It's but yeah, Laura, I can do that. Yeah. Yeah. You'll be with me. Yeah. And so God's getting all the credit, all the glory, and all we're doing is just kind of going along with his plan. Right. So it's not an arrogant thing to say, yeah, I can do this. I can, I can, I can go minister. I can, God's giving you an assignment. Say, yeah, I can go do that. Right? Teaching, teaching Bible college or Bible school classes, whatever it is, teach teaching in a small group, Bible study, praying with a neighbor, your neighbor comes to you and says, man, I I'm, I'm fearful. Well, can I pray for you? And just, and just pray. 5 (54m 21s): And then you say, Lord, help me to pray. And then you pray and you say, thank you, Lord, that you want me to pray. Right? You take it all back to the Lord. Right? And then he does something great. And you say, thank you, Lord, for what you're doing. Right? Cause that person comes back later and says, man, you won't believe how much that prayer impact in my life. And you say, well, God's faithful. Thank you, Lord. Right. That's just what it's all about. That's what Paul was doing. He was all about the kingdom. He's the smartest guy in town, but it's all about just giving God all the glory and all the credit, because that's what, in his own strength, he was not going to do anything for the Lord. Don't you remember? 5 (55m 1s): Verse nine, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among United in the day, we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preach. God's good news to you. You yourselves are our witnesses. And so is God that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you toward all of you believers. Where do you find courage in the face of Trouble will God will give it to you, but also clear purpose produces Courage and then number three, a clean conscience yields. Courage a clean conscience yields. Courage Paul clarify, clarified a few things in verse three. We won't go back and read the verse, but I'll just tell you what he clarified in. 5 (55m 43s): Verse three Said in verse three, his message was not deceptive, but true. Paul wasn't playing games, trying to deceive anybody. He was bringing the real gospel. Number two, his motivation was not in pure, but clean. His motivation was pure. He was all about Jesus. He wasn't trying to build anything. He wasn't trying to establish his reputation. He wasn't trying to do anything apart from what God had called him to do, his, his motivation was pure. His method was not to trick or to see, but to be straightforward, it wasn't trying to be impressive. Eloquent, smart. 4 (56m 26s): Wasn't trying to trick or look good or deceive. He was straightforward with the message and his conscience was clear. His conscience was clear, a solely conscience hinders Courage 7 (56m 41s): So deal with it. Deal with your solely conscience, deal with him. How do you deal with it? 4 (56m 48s): If you confess your sin, he is faithful. And just to forgive you and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness, that's how you deal with it. Just confess it. Maybe, maybe there's areas of your life, where your conscience isn't so clean, A guilty conscience, clouds, our clarity in and robs us of any Courage to do the things that God has called us to do. So maybe you're here and you've been wrestling with something. That's something that the Lord is asking you to do and you haven't done it. So I say, Lord, I'm sorry for that. I haven't done that yet. I'm going to do it now. That's how you clear your conscience. Sorry that I haven't done it yet. Lord, I'm going to do it. Now. Part of repentance is changing your mind about something, right? You're you're saying I don't believe that anymore, or I don't want to be disobedient anymore. 4 (57m 33s): So, so sorry Lord, that I didn't do it. I'm going to do it now in your conscience. It will be clear when you do that, right? How's your conscience. Do you need to do something to clear your conscience? 7 (57m 50s): Okay. 4 (57m 50s): Do you need to pay back a debt? Do you need to repent of sin? 7 (57m 58s): And again, 4 (57m 58s): Sin. Repenting is not just saying, sorry about that. And then continuing in it, repenting is saying, sorry about that. I don't ever want to do it again. You actually change your mind about it and you turn and go the opposite direction. Do you need to have a tough conversation in order to clear your conscience? Do you need to say, sorry, 7 (58m 21s): Do you need 4 (58m 22s): To humble yourself? Do you need to admit around 7 (58m 24s): Long? 4 (58m 27s): God wants you to live with a clear conscience because you are empowered. And you're courageous. When you've had a clear conscience, you are empowered and courageous to do the things that God has called you to do. When your conscience is clear. When you know, by God's grace, you've done everything that he's asked you to do. And when you fall in short, you've quickly, you felt short accounts where the Lord and say, God, forgive me. I'm going to do it next time. And then when he asks you to do it again, you do it because you've repented of not doing it the first time. And by God's grace, you want to do it the next time. Because in our humanness, sometimes we get fearful and we are disobedient and we don't do what God has asked us to do. 4 (59m 7s): So he gives us a second chance. And then another chance we clear our conscience. When, when we say yes, you're right, Lord, I, I, I heard you and I disobeyed not making excuses. I heard you and I disobeyed, but I'm not to disobey anymore. I'm not going to do it. Paul lived in ministered with a clear conscience because this is true. We had the courage, he needed to face the Trouble that he faced, including false accusations and slander and beatings and imprisonment, verse 11. You know, and you know that we treated each of you as a father, treats his own children. 4 (59m 47s): Look at the depth of commitment and the relationship with the connection that he has with his people that he's serving. We pleaded with you, encouraged you and urge you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy, free, called you to share in his kingdom and glory at your part of your purpose, right there, he's called you to share in his kingdom and his glory. Therefore, we never stopped thanking God that when we received, when you received this his message from us, you didn't think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God, which of course it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe 7 (1h 0m 29s): <inaudible>. 4 (1h 0m 33s): So all we have to do is humbly obediently, open our mouth and do what God has asked us to do. And God will work through us, but we have to humbly and obediently open our mouth so that God can work through us. Like that's our parts. Yes, Lord. I'm going to be humble and obedient and I'm going to be available to speak whatever it is so that you can speak through me or simply conduit conduit. That's what I am. That's what you are. We're conduit for God. And then do your brothers and sisters. You suffered persecution from our own, from your own countrymen. And in this way, you imitated the believers in God's church, in Judea, who, because of their belief in Christ, Jesus suffered for, from their own people that you use. 4 (1h 1m 16s): So persecution will be part of the deal, but are we living for God? Are we living for the approval of man? That's what we got to decide. What is our purpose? Are we living for God? Are we living for the approval of man? Are we living before an audience of one says, God, your will be done. Not my will be done, or are we living to please the people around us? Because we're living to please the people around us, we will not please God sell them. Do they agree? 7 (1h 1m 45s): <inaudible> 4 (1h 1m 51s): For some of the Jews killed the prophets and some even killed the Lord. Jesus. Now they've persecuted us too. They failed to please God and work against all humanity. As they try to keep us from preaching. The good news of salvation to the Gentiles, by doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last 7 (1h 2m 14s): Kind 4 (1h 2m 14s): Of uncertain what Paul is referring to there. It could be referring to a lot of things, but John three 30, the writer there talks about the angry judgment against the unbeliever and the disobedient. So maybe there's just, this is just a general judgment that Paul is referring 8 (1h 2m 28s): To, 4 (1h 2m 31s): But the anger of God has caught up with them. At last, the people that were persecuting them, 6 (1h 2m 39s): They didn't believe, and they didn't want others to believe they weren't content. Just not to believe themselves. They didn't want others to believe like Paul self-righteous Pharisee, who didn't want to believe and didn't want others to believe. 4 (1h 2m 53s): And then the Lord got ahold of him and changed his life, changed his life forever and ever. Where do you find Courage on the face of Trouble Where Where did Paul Find Courage in the face of his Trouble. Well, God gave him Courage 6 (1h 3m 9s): His clear purpose produced Courage and then his clean conscience yielded Courage they all kind of worked together and it's a beautiful thing. And it's a powerful thing. And it's something that God wants to usher 4 (1h 3m 25s): You into and bring you into and make you 6 (1h 3m 27s): A part of. I'm grateful that when I'm in trouble, I've got a person, the living God, to cry out to you. I think about holding onto that piling and having that water go help water up, like what? I'm in trouble. Now I can call out to the living and true God and get an answer every time, every time, because he's, he's never gonna 4 (1h 3m 45s): Do you mean, or for sake, we just won't do it. The Bible says it's true and it's not been my experience. My experience is that he's only been faithful and that's what God says to him. He is not in his nature to be unfaithful. He's going to be faithful. So what, what is your purpose? You know, as we wrap up another year, we're coming up on December 1st, pretty quick. What is your purpose? I do talk about this every year. It's core to, to who I believe God has called me to understand purpose and to help people understand purpose. I, so I, what do you wake up in the morning on your mind to do what is his kingdom purpose attached to your daily routine? 4 (1h 4m 29s): And you're in the way that you spend your time, talent and treasure. Are you, are you intimately acquainted with the living God in such a way that he's got, he's got say over the way that you live your life, is he in charge? Is he, Lord, is he, is he the boss simple terms. You see the boss. If he's the boss, then he gets to tell you how to live your life. If you're the boss, then you get to, till you get to determine how you live your life. I've been the boss of my own life. I didn't do a very good job. Maybe you'll do a better job than me, 6 (1h 5m 5s): But I'm grateful 4 (1h 5m 6s): That I'm and what I'm in trouble. I've got the living God, the boss, who I can call out to you and he's faithful to meet me and to give me Courage with that, I'm gonna invite the worship team forward. So last couple of weeks, I asked you to come up with 12 things that you're thankful for this week. I'm asking you to write a statement, a purpose statement for your own life. What is, what is your purpose? Write that down in the margin of your Bible or on a sheet of paper or on your device and reference that from time to time on a regular basis, to see what God will say and how he might use you and how your life might change as a result. 4 (1h 5m 49s): So with that, let's go ahead and stand up. Lord, we thank you for this day. We thank you for the opportunity to hear your message, hear your truth. I believe that you speak through it by, by your grace, the Lord, because you are good. And so thank you for what you've done. Continue that good work. We pray in Jesus name. Amen. Let's worship. 0 (1h 6m 17s): Bring it all of the storms around me. 0 (1h 6m 27s): <inaudible> your name is <inaudible> 1 (1h 11m 34s): Amazing. Grace. 0 (1h 11m 36s): <inaudible> 1 (1h 14m 50s): The first verse together. One 0 (1h 14m 52s): More time. <inaudible> 1 (1h 15m 28s): Thank you that we see you a little more clearly this morning, having spent time in your presence and in your word, I had a spray that you would speak to each of us this week about the purpose and plan for our, each of our lives. God, thank you for this time to be together. I look forward to what you want to do in and through us this week ahead. So he laid out our lives. Give you our hearts today in Jesus name. Amen. Amen shirts. Well, we just want to say that we're always wanting time to pray with you. If there is something that we can pray with you this morning about come on forward. Love to do that. 1 (1h 16m 8s): Otherwise have a wonderful week, say hello to somebody on your way out and enjoy the beautiful sunshine day. We'll see you next Sunday. Take care.
0 (0s): Well, glad to have you here at Harvest this morning. I'm a pastor Dave. And if this is your first time with us, we're glad you're here. You'll hear more about that in a little bit. But this morning we're entering into God's presence. We've come here to worship often think of that, that som come and let us go into the mountain, into the house of our God. And this morning, as we start out, we're saying a lot about Jesus today. And I found something here a couple of months ago that I liked the quote so much that I, I printed it off and stuck it on the wall in my office. But I want to share it with you this morning. It says the name of Jesus is not only light, but also food. 0 (45s): It is also oil without which all food of the soul is dry. It is salt without whose seasoning, whatever is set before us is insipid. Finally, it is honey and the mouth melody in the ear, rejoicing in the heart. And at the same time medicine, every discourse in which his name is not spoken is without savor the name of Jesus. It transforms us, it shapes us. It is power. So let's get our hearts ready. We're going to pray now. 0 (1m 25s): And then we're going to get started worshiping the Lord, our Lord Jesus. Let's pray, Lord our God. I thank you. And I praise you this day that you are Lord of all that you are Holy, that you are a completely other, and yet at the same time, you love us. You know what it is to be a man. You know what it is, Lord Jesus, because you came and were tempted in every way, such as we are yet without sin, that you might pay the price that we owe and that we might bring glory and honor to you and power our hearts by your spirit this morning, Lord empower your hearts that we might worship you in spirit. 0 (2m 18s): And in truth that we might lift up that name of Jesus, that at your name, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. Our father. Thank you, Lord Jesus. In your name, we pray. Amen. Amen. Let's worship. 1 (2m 39s): We're going to sing a song about God's peace this morning. I teach you the chorus. Some of you might know this might be new to some of you. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Jeez, silence. Jesus. Geez. Geez, geez storms. 1 (3m 23s): <inaudible> cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese. 1 (4m 13s): <inaudible> Jesus. 1 (6m 14s): <inaudible>. 1 (8m 10s): We do call upon your names, the name above every other name that every knee will bow. Every tongue confess to you. You're the only one worthy of our praise. There's a whole lot of stuff in the world. Vies for our attention or affection or worthy. <inaudible> thoughts on you this morning, your faith in generations. 1 (9m 7s): <inaudible> where they have all the praise <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> we do. 1 (15m 27s): You want to be more like you got your love BR from foundation that we build our life upon. We pray that people would see you in us, that we would reflect your love, your heart. To those that we can contact with thinking of that Christmas, Carol, that says let every heart prepare him room and how I just keep thinking how there's just so much in the world that tries to crowd out. 1 (16m 9s): Jesus. There's so much in our lives is constantly just crowding out space for him. Plus, let's be intentional this morning to make room for God in our lives to make room for Jesus in our hearts to make room for the spirit at work. In our midst, you prepare remarried hearts. As we head into this holiday season, even Lord that we wouldn't get so caught in all the busy-ness and all the plans that we forget why we're celebrating. So we surrender our will to yours and we say, come your <inaudible>. 1 (17m 4s): This is my Subaru. This is my <inaudible> <inaudible> <inaudible> it's your kingdom come and your will be done. 1 (22m 39s): We make room for you. We open our hearts to receive all that. You give us ears to hear, give us eyes to see Jesus name. Awesome. Church let's share some of that love of Jesus with each other this morning, by saying hello to someone around you. We'll be back and just a few moments this morning. 2 (23m 13s): All right. Good morning. Harvest Church good morning. Glad to see you all. Hey, my name is Jeremy. I'm the youth CA youth and family pastor here at Harvest and Hey, welcome. Glad to see you all. If you're joining us online, want to say welcome as well. Thanks for, thanks for tuning in Hey, today is family Sunday, and that means that we have donuts. The maple bars I'm told are all taken. I'm sorry. I'll have to change the order for that one, but a what family center is, is kids. First grade and up are here in, in the service with us. So if you are standing or sitting next to a student, tell them welcome because they're not just an instructor 3 (23m 55s): Part of the Church. They are a part of the Church. All right. Okay. 2 (23m 59s): So we're glad to have him in service with us. Hey, if you're you're new here with us, feel free to stop by the info center to get the find out ways to get plugged in, find out more about us. We also have a free gift for you, and you can also do that on the Harvest website, as well as on our app as well, man, exciting news. We are, the registration is open for our men's retreat in January, January 8th and ninth. And we're calling it throttling back, which is a interesting you normally I think men's retreats are like full bore or something, but throttling back this year is, is the theme. And I was thinking about this week and a few years ago, as some friends and I went from Apple Valley to Las Vegas on dirt bikes. 2 (24m 44s): And we took all dirt trails. We weave in our way through the desert. We came to this dry Lake bed, huge Lake bed. And I gave my friend my camera. I said, Hey, Jay, wait here and take a picture of me as I go by. So I went out about a mile or so, and CA came back and just ran to the gears, throw a full open throttle, flew by him at 93 miles an hour. And what am I, my vision do my vision went tunnel vision. I was just concentrating on right where I needed to go to buzz him, but not hit him. And as I pulled off the throttle, all of a sudden everything kind of comes into focus and every, you know, every everything comes alive and it's, and it's like that. I think with this retreat, I'm really excited about is our, our focus sometimes in life becomes so narrow that as we kind of throttle back, we get to see the big picture and the, and the big vision vision comes into paint. 2 (25m 33s): It gives us more Perspective so men you to sign up for that January 8th and ninth, and the signups are due by December 15th. Great job this year with Thanksgiving meal donations. Really? We did an, 3 (25m 48s): Oh, I'm sorry. Yes. Breakfast in a while. So we are scheduling. 2 (25m 59s): We haven't had a men's breakfast in a while, so we're scheduling that for December 12th. Okay. So that keep, keep a look on your Bolton's for that email. So a Thanksgiving meal donations were awesome this year. We re we, we, the generosity this this year was above and beyond we've ever had. So thank you so much for, for showing up and giving to those families in need. Not surprisingly, it's been a different year. I think we all know that. So because of that, our Christmas ceremonies are going to look a little different. Our Christmas tree lighting ceremony is going to be Sunday, December 6th. Okay. Sunday, December six. 2 (26m 39s): And if you didn't know that the pine tree in front of our church is actually a donut or a designated the village Christmas tree. So we'll be lightened that, that guy up, seeing it some Christmas carols, Ron, we pulled the trigger and pulling the lights and doing the lights on. So join us for that. There'll be more information as a, as, as the time gets closer. And then one of the thing I forgot to mention before I show this a video clip is obviously we have the sanctuary open. We have a loft open, we have the patio, but we've made a new venue and that's in the parsonage and that's a mass only as designated zone. So if you only feel comfortable wearing a mask, the parsonage is for that in the lastly talks about the men's throttle back retreat. 2 (27m 24s): The sisterhood night of worship was incredible. My wife came back and my two older daughters came back was super-stoked. It was an amazing night. So we have a video to show that, and then pastor CA will come up. 1 (27m 37s): <inaudible> 2 (28m 60s): I never remember that. Here we go. Good joke. Here we go. You guys ready for a good solid joke? Yes. All right. Sweet. All right. So God told John come forth and receive eternal life. John came fifth, got a toaster. I tried, I knew it wasn't a good joke. I knew it was a bad joke in fact, but I tried to preface it with positiveness and it still fell flat. So whoever gave that joke to me, no five bucks for you. I did pay off a $5 debt that I have this morning. So I made this deal that if you give me a joke and I should actually qualify 4 (29m 43s): If I, if you give me a joke that I use and that people laugh at, not like a pathetic laugh, but like a real laugh, then you'll make five bucks. So there you go. Welcome. We're in first Thessalonians today. So we're starting a brand new series. And so as has been our kind of our has been typical for us with the last couple of studies that we've done. We've started out with the Bible project video, the Bible project videos kind of illustrate for us what the whole study is going to be about, kind of from start to finish. It kind of gives us the, the, the mile high view of the book that we are studying. So with that, let's take a few minutes and watch the Bible project video on first Thessalonians 5 (30m 28s): Paul's first letter to the festival. Ionians this is most likely the earliest letter that we have from Paul and the backstory for it is found in the book of acts. It's where Paul and his coworker, Silas went to the ancient Greek city of Thessaloniki. And after just one month of telling people the good news about Jesus, a large number of Jewish and Greek people gave their allegiance to Jesus. And they formed the first Church community there, but trouble was brewing Paul's announcement of the risen Jesus as the true Lord of the world, it led to a suspicion. So the Christians in Thessaloniki were eventually accused of defying Caesar, the Roman emperor, when they said that there is a, another King Jesus, and this led to a persecution that got so intense. 5 (31m 11s): Paul and Silas actually had to flee from the city, and this was painful for them because they love the people there so much. And so this letter is Paul's attempt to reconnect with the Christians in Thessaloniki. After he got a report from Timothy, that they were doing more than, okay, they were flourishing despite this intense persecution, he designed the letter to have two main movements. First is a celebration of their faithfulness to Jesus. And then he challenges them to keep growing as followers of Jesus. And then these two movements are surrounded by three prayers. The letter opens with the Thanksgiving prayer. The two movements are linked together by a transitional prayer. And then the whole thing is concluded with a final prayer. 5 (31m 51s): It's a beautiful design Paul opens by giving thanks and celebrating the Thessalonians, faith, their love for others and their hope in Jesus. Despite persecution, he goes on to retell the story of their conversion, how they used to be idolatrous polytheists. And they were living in a culture where all of life was permeated by institutions and practices that honored the Greek and Roman gods. And Paul talks about how they turned away from those idols to serve the living and true God. And that they're now waiting for the coming of God's son from heaven. So in a city like Thessalonica, transferring your allegiance to the creator, God of Israel, and to King Jesus. This came at a cost isolation from your neighbors, hostility from your family, but for the Thessaloniki ones, the overwhelming love of Jesus who died for, and the hope of his return, it made it all worth it. 5 (32m 43s): Paul then retells the story of his mission in Thessaloniki and of the dear friendships. He formed with the people he uses really intimate metaphors here. They treated him like their child, and he became like their mother and like their father. He says, we were happy to share with you not only the good news from God, but our very selves, because we came to dearly. Love you. Paul reminds us here that the essence of Christian leadership is not about power and having influence it's about healthy relationships and humble, loving service. He reminds them that he never asked for money. He simply came to love and serve them in the name of Jesus. And so Paul moves on to reflect on their common persecution, just like Jesus was rejected and killed by his own people. 5 (33m 29s): So now Paul is persecuted by his fellow Jews and the Thessalonians are facing hostility from their Greek neighbors. And Paul draws a strange comfort from knowing that together, their sufferings are a way of participating in the story of Jesus's own life and death. Paul then shares about the anguish he experienced when he heard of the hardships the Thessalonians had after he and Silas fled. So he sent Timothy to support them and see how they were doing. And to his joy, Timothy discovered that they were going strong. They were faithful to Jesus. They were full of love for God and their neighbors. And they long to see Paul as much as he longed to see them. And so Paul concludes with a prayer for endurance. 5 (34m 9s): And what's cool is that he introduces here the topics he's going to address in the letter. Second half, he prays that God will grow their capacity to love that he'll strengthen their commitment to holiness as they fix their hope on the return of King Jesus. So he opens the letter second movement by challenging them to a life that's consistent with the teachings of Jesus. So this means, first of all, a serious commitment to holiness and sexual purity in contrast to the promiscuous sexually destructive culture around with them, they are to follow. Jesus is teaching about experiencing the beauty and the power of sex within the Haven of a committed marriage, covenant relationship, God takes sexual misbehavior. 5 (34m 49s): Seriously. Paul says it dishonors and destroys people and their dignity following Jesus also means a commitment to loving and serving others. So Paul instructs them that Christian should be known in the city as a reliable people who work really hard, not just to make a money, but so that they can have resources to provide for themselves and to generously share with people who are in need after this Paul addresses a number of questions that Thessalonians had raised about the future hope of Jesus's return. So some Christians in the church had recently died, most likely killed as martyrs and their friends and family are wondering about their fate when Jesus returns. And so Paul makes it clear that despite their grief and loss, not even death can separate Christians from the love of Jesus. 5 (35m 36s): When he returns as King, he will call both the living and the dead to himself. And Paul uses a really cool image here. He uses language that would normally describe how a city subject to the Roman Caesar would send out a delegation to welcome or meet his arrival. Paul then applies this imagery to the arrival of King Jesus. He too will be greeted by a delegation of his people who will go to meet the Lord in the air as they welcome and escort him back to this world where he'll establish his kingdom of justice and peace. Paul then wants a testimonial to see how this hope should motivate faithfulness to Jesus. So he pokes fun at the famous Roman propaganda that it Cesar, who brings peace and security. 5 (36m 20s): Of course, Rome's peace came through violence through enslaving their enemies and military occupation. And Paul warns that Jesus will return as King one day and confront this kind of injustice followers of King Jesus should live in the present as if that future day is already here. Despite the nighttime of human evil around them, they should stay sober and awake as the light of God's kingdom dawns here on earth, as it is in heaven. Paul closes all of these exhortations. Like he began with a hopeful prayer that God would permeate their lives with his holiness, that he would set them apart to be completely devoted and blameless until the return of King. 5 (37m 1s): Jesus. First Thessalonians reminds us that from the very beginning, following Jesus, as King has produced a truly counter-cultural or Holy way of life, and this will sometimes generate suspicion and conflict among our neighbors. But the response of jesus' followers to such hostility should always be love meeting opposition with grace and generosity and this way of life. It's motivated by hope and the coming kingdom of Jesus that has already begun in his resurrection from the dead. And so holiness love and future hope. That's what first Thessalonians is all about 4 (37m 42s): Review for us. And if you're studying any book of the Bible, I'm pretty sure the Bible project people have videos for every book of the Bible. Most of them, if they don't have all of them by now, so you can always type in Bible project and then they a book of acts or Matthew or Galatians or whatever it is that you're studying, and you will get that type of an overview. And it just helpful for context, when you start reading the Bible, you kind of know what it's doing and what it's saying and where it's going. So, so this is one of Paul's earlier epistles. He wrote it pretty early on, but he had already experienced quite a bit of persecution in acts chapter 17. 4 (38m 25s): We read, we read about Paul's preaching to this church and planting a R P preaching to these people in the, in the town of festival. And I, I call it a festival and Annika, you can call it. I'm not sure the correct pronunciation. I've heard it both ways, but a Paul was there in a vessel Anika. And he was preaching there. And many people came to faith. And so they planted a church. But if you go back a chapter in acts chapter 16, we see that Paul and Silas were both imprisoned for their faith, for what were they doing? They were preaching the gospel. And so it tells us in acts chapter 16, that they were beaten with rods and that they were in prison. So it wasn't like a light duty persecution. It was heavy duty persecution. 4 (39m 6s): So we're not supposed to be having Church right now. I don't know if you knew that or purple. And so we humbly decided as an elder team to go ahead and have Church met with the team this week and went around each of the elders and asked, what do you guys want to do in light of this new closure for the church? And we all agreed one at a time that we would go ahead and have Church and continue to do what we've been doing since this whole thing started. Well, we, we kind of closed Church a little bit for a few, a couple of months during the beginning, then we realized we don't want to do that. So we're continuing on. So we might, you know, we're, we're kind of experiencing maybe a little bit a persecution when they say that retail stores can stay open, but churches have to close. 4 (39m 51s): There's something spiritual going on. So there might be some kind of persecution going on, but this is just a light persecution with more to come. It's a slippery slope when they start closing churches down and more persecution is likely to be coming down the road. So we we've yet to be beaten with rods, at least in this country and in prison. But in other countries that's commonplace for Christians. There's persecution, there's martyrdom, all kinds of stuff going on. So back to acts chapter 16, Paul had experienced some significant persecution while he's in prison. God does amazing things. We'll get to that. But, but I wondered as I was reading this and I've been, as I've been teaching through the epistles, I, I wondered how did Paul, Maintain a Godly Attitude and Perspective with all of the junk that he was going through. 4 (40m 42s): Th w that's the title of our message to you and the form of a question. How did Paul Maintain Godly Attitude and Perspective. And we see from this chapter, that's the first Thessalonians that he did about five different things really well, that kept him focused. That kept him maintaining his Godly Attitude and Perspective. And so we'll just get into first Thessalonians chapter one, and just kind of unpack it a little bit at a time. But before we do that, it's good. And stand up and pray. We're going to stand and ask the Lord's blessing as we open up the word. So Lord, we stand in honor of you, you and honor of your you Lord in a and an honor of your word, and we say, God, your will be done. I pray God that you would speak today to each of us. We need you to speak to us, Lord, and God, we're grateful that we can be here to have Church all over this campus and online, as well as people tune in and listen, I pray that wherever people are tuned in God, that you would speak God, that you'd move 6 (41m 34s): God that you would do what only you can do. God, thank you for this time. Thank you for your grace in Jesus name. Amen. You can be seated all over the place. You can be seated. 4 (41m 46s): First Thessalonians chapter one, greetings from Paul. This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. If you, if you read acts in the epistles, you see that guys like Paul and Timothy traveled with and ministered with Paul. These guys were active partners in his ministry. And so this letter is from Paul, Silas and Timothy. He said, we are writing to the church and festival and Nika to you who belong to God, the father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So he's identifying who his audience is. He speaking to those who belong to God, the father and the Lord, Jesus Christ. If you're here today and you belong to God and the Lord Jesus Christ, then God is speaking to you through Paul's letter as well. 4 (42m 26s): He said, may God give you grace and peace. Interesting. Paul says this in most of his letters, he says that this is kind of his typical greeting. May God give you grace and peace? This is Paul's Godly Perspective and Attitude. He wanted to extend grace and peace. This unmerited favor of God, which is grace and the Shalom of God, which is his peace. I find that those two carry the grace and the peace of God are actually able to extend that grace and peace to others. There's something that they carry, especially a guy like Paul, he'd been persecuted, he'd been in prison. He had been in all kinds of trouble as a diss, as an apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ, as a preacher of the gospel, he had been in all kinds of trouble. 4 (43m 14s): And yet he's able to experience grace and peace in his own life. The unmerited, 6 (43m 20s): The favor of God and the Shalom, the peace of God, just saying that word Shalom. It has a calming effect. As I say it, it's like, Oh, praise the Lord. 4 (43m 31s): There's the peace of God that just kind of settles into your soul. So he's he had it. He experienced it supernaturally. So, and we're going to find out How but he had it, but he was also able to extend it. I thought this is a, this is a great heart check for me. Number one, do I have it? Do I have grace and peace? And if I do have it, am I able to extend it to others? It's easy to extend it to people who love me. It's more difficult to extend it to people who have, who are at odds with me. So I have this difficult conversation this week and I just been studying first Thessalonians. And so this whole idea of grace and peace was fresh in my heart and in my mind. 4 (44m 11s): And so, as I was having this difficult conversation, I remembered grace and peace. And so I, I actually communicated that to this person on the phone. I said, Hey, grace and peace to you. And then I prayed with them. And it was just, it was like a, it was like a bomb, a healing on my heart as I had this difficult conversation. And I didn't carry that difficult conversation with me after that conversation, I, we hung up the phone. I just felt that peace. I had what I extended. I had the grace and the peace of God, but it took some intentionality on my part. I had to say, I'm not sure I want to say this because I'm not sure that I want this for this person, but that's my flesh. 4 (44m 55s): I know that much, my spirit wants this for this person, my spirit, this thing that has been born again in Christ, this thing that has been filled with the Holy spirit, I, my spirit wants this for this person that I was talking to you and my spirit. I think like Paul wants this for every person that he comes in contact with. So it was a great, great challenge for me, a kind of a heart check. I love it. When I'm reading the scripture, maybe you do this too, but do you come across something? And you're like, Oh, that kinda like sticks in my, in my soul a little bit. It kind of grabs my heart. I'm like, Lord, what are you? What are you saying when that happens? What are you trying to communicate to me when that happens? And usually the Lord is trying to do a work, a heart work in me or some sort of work. 4 (45m 40s): And so I was able to say grace and peace and hang up the phone smile and had grace and peace. So I challenge you to be able to think about that too, to do that. I think sometimes we, we kind of gloss over statements in the scripture, especially opening statements. Paul says grace and peace, grace, mercy, and peace. He says these things a lot in his epistles. And so we can tend to gloss over them and miss what God wants to say. But I believe that every word of God is inspired and it's powerful and it's meant to communicate life and truth and grace to us. So it will slow down. I said, this last week, sometimes we just need to stop and just read one verse and just really allow the spirit of God to use that verse, to speak to us, to minister to us. 4 (46m 26s): So maybe this week, it's a, the grace and peace verse is yours, where you're just holding onto that and thinking about that and seeing what God will do. I think this communicates clearly where Paul's heart was as a minister of the gospel, as one who had been through very difficult, very difficult circumstances in his life in ministry. He was able throughout all of his epistles. Mostly I actually haven't checked all of them, but every one that I checked and said in some format in Timothy, he said, may grace, mercy and peace to Timothy my true child in the faith, grace, mercy, and peace from God, the father and Christ Jesus, our Lord first Timothy one, two, two Timothy, my true child in the faith, grace, mercy, and peace from who? 7 (47m 17s): Where does it come from? God, 4 (47m 20s): It comes from God, the father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So if you're struggling this morning with grace, mercy and peace, go to the source of that, go the Lord, go to God and say, God, I, I need it for myself. And I need to extend it to others. And watch what will happen is you supernaturally receive that gift because this is the kind of thing that you, if you asked for the Lord, the Lord's gonna give it to you. And if, if you're struggling to receive it, he'll show you why you're struggling to receive it. Maybe there's a hardness of heart. Maybe there's unforgiveness. Maybe there's anger in your soul. And God wants to address that. But if we ask the giver of this good gift, we know in the Bible that it says every good gift comes down from the father of lights from God. 4 (48m 3s): And so this is a good gift that he wants to give 6 (48m 6s): Grace mercy and peace again. What a great filter is. I read that Lord, how's my soul or how's my heart. Is there anybody in my life that I don't want to extend that to? Is there anybody in my life that I don't want to say that too? And just do 4 (48m 27s): There's some personal inventory. And, and then if there is somebody that comes to mind and sometimes it'll just come, right? It's just come. And then other times it'll take some time and maybe you'll come across somebody. And you're like, Oh, that's the person, no way do I want grace and mercy a piece on that person? And then you get a chance to do some heart investigation and allow the Lord to do some heart 6 (48m 47s): Surgery. Can you say that to everyone? May God give you a grace and peace. How did Paul Maintain 4 (48m 54s): Godly Attitude and Perspective when people are picking at him, persecuting him, complaining about him, having a hard time with his ministry, misjudging him. 6 (49m 5s): Paul did five things. Number one, he remained thankful. 4 (49m 12s): First to first Thessalonians chapter one says, we all 6 (49m 15s): Thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly Paul remained thankful. He was 4 (49m 24s): Thankful. Not because his circumstances were awesome 6 (49m 27s): Because his hope was solid. He had a solid hope 4 (49m 33s): In the person of the Lord, Jesus Christ. And he believes solidly that the work that he was doing was kingdom work that had eternal value. And so he was willing to suffer as it were for a season. So that the message, the eternal message of the gospel might have an opportunity to go out. His hope was Christ and the eternal kingdom of God. There's a few things that hinder gratitude. There's a few things that hinder thankfulness, a critical spirit will hinder thankfulness. You ever experienced that like a critical spirit, like just critical spirit, is this you just kind of, you're critical of everybody and the critical of everything that will hinder a gratitude that will hinder thankfulness. 4 (50m 16s): But on the other hand, thankfulness and gratitude will cure a critical spirit. If we just determined, I'm going to have a good day, I'm going to be thankful for what I have in my life and for what is doing in my life. It over shadows, that critical spirit and all of a sudden we're able to enjoy life. We're able to have grace and peace and mercy in our own lives. And then all of a sudden, because we, we have it in us, we're able to extend grace and mercy and peace. So there's just something powerful that happens when we decide in jesus' name. I'm not saying we decided in our own strength, I'm saying in jesus' name, in the power of the Holy spirit, where determining to be thankful to have gratitude last week, I said, I, I said, we, we need to make a list of things that we can be grateful for a gratitude list. 4 (51m 5s): How many made their list? You don't have to write it down, but I just encourage you to think about it, right? What am I thankful for? And then just kinda make a mental note, or maybe you write it down. This is what I encourage you to do. Think about 12 things, because that really forces us to think about all the things that we're grateful for. Right? So we can come up with a few off the top of our heads, but when we really have to stop and think about 12 and come up with a list of 12, that really causes us to do some personal inventory and come up with some things that are really important to us, but maybe we have 6 (51m 37s): Taken for granted. We can take things for granted pretty easily, right? 4 (51m 41s): Like things that have always been kind of good. 6 (51m 43s): We kind of take it for granted, but if we can just stop, just say, thank you, Lord, for whatever it is. Like, I've never missed a meal in my life, right? But every meal we say, thanks, right? Thankfully I've never had to miss a meal, but every meal we say, thank you because we are genuinely thankful, Lord, thanks a few that we've not missed a meal that we don't have to miss a meal that we have provision. Thank you, Lord. We were praying on the way into church this morning. Thank you that we have a church to go to you and that we have a roof over our head that we've got cars to drive. You know, you could think about all kinds of things. W when you, when you're forced to come up with 12, you get past all of those kinds of easy things that come to mind and you really get down to the nitty gritty. 6 (52m 24s): And then, and then something beautiful begins to happen. And your soul, you become grateful in that critical spirit just begins to make its exits. So a critical spirits hinders gratitude, unforgiveness, jealousy, disappointments 4 (52m 42s): It's Thanksgiving week. Let's determine this week to be, 6 (52m 45s): Be grateful to have a thankful heart. We talked about gratitude last week. We're talking about it this week, make a list, make a list and see what the Lord will do in your hearts. Paul did five things to maintain a Godly Attitude and Perspective number one a year. 4 (53m 3s): Thankful. Number two, he prayed 6 (53m 6s): Constantly. We see that in verse two. Also, we all 4 (53m 9s): Thank God for all of you and pray for you. How often constantly, right? Prayer is the lifeblood. It's like I said, last week. And a lack of breath will cause us to die. Physically. A lack of prayer will cause us to die spiritually. We absolutely to pray. It's the lifeblood in everything that we do. And when we are praying, we have the capacity to go through any season of life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And we maintain a level of trust. Sometimes we go through hard stuff and it shipwrecks our faith hard stuff is not meant to shipwreck our faith. Hard stuff has meant to solidify our faith. We're saying, Lord, I see your faithfulness in the midst of hard stuff. 4 (53m 52s): I believe you even more. I determined to trust you even more. So hard stuff is not meant to shipwreck us hard stuff is meant to solidify, to help us to find a way 6 (54m 3s): Feet on solid ground. Spiritually life is full of heart stuff. If we will pray constantly 4 (54m 12s): Without ceasing, like never stop praying. If we will pray, God will meet us. So we just pray. And I 6 (54m 22s): Said, I said this all the time, when I'm up here 4 (54m 24s): Preaching, I'm sometimes praying as I'm preaching. As I was praying a few minutes ago for the service, I was praying out loud and then praying to myself, kind of Lord, help me get this message out the way it needs to get out. Like I'm praying what you can hear. And I'm praying things that God can hear that, and God hears it all. So there's just something about that humble desperation where you're saying, God, I need you. I need you to show up in this relationship and this decision at work, I need you to show up in my personal life. I just need you to show up. When we do that, 6 (54m 59s): God will do wonderful and supernatural things. Giving us the ability to cope in the most devastating of circumstances. I have this book it's titled what happened this day in Christian history. So today's November 20 seconds. And in November, 1873, something happened. And I'd like to read that story. Just take a moment. 4 (55m 21s): In November, 1873, Chicago, lawyer Horatio. 6 (55m 25s): She Spafford took his wife and four daughters, Maggie to Netta Annie and Bessie to New York and boarded them on the luxurious French liner. SS Vila do a whore brain. I think that's how you say that 4 (55m 42s): The great Chicago fire had destroyed everything 6 (55m 45s): They owned and Spafford was sending his girls to an English Academy until the Chicago schools and his own life could be rebuilt. As he saw his family settled into their cabin and unease filled his mind and he moved them to a room closer to the bow of the ship. Then he said goodbye, promising to join them later in France, during the small hours of November 22nd, 1873, as the ship Godly glided over smooth seize, the passengers were suddenly thrown from their bunks in a jolt. The ship had collided with an iron sailing vessel. The low Shern water poured in like Niagara and the ship tilted, dangerously, screams, and prayers and Oh, submerged into a nightmare of unmeasured terror passengers losing their footing, clung to posts, rumbled through darkness and were drenched by powerful currents of IC in rushing. 6 (56m 44s): See loved ones fell from each other's grasps and vanished into foaming blackness. Within two hours, the mighty ship disappeared beneath the nocturnal waters. The 226 fatalities included Maggie to Netta, Annie and Bessie. Ms. Spafford was found nearly unconscious cleaning to a piece of the wreckage. Nine days later, when the survivors landed in Cardiff Wales, she cabled, her husband saved alone. He immediately booked passage to join his wife on the way over on the way over on a cold December night, the captain called him aside and said, I, I believe we are now passing over the place where the ship went down. 6 (57m 34s): Spafford went to his cabin, but found it hard to sleep. He said to himself, it is well, the will of God be done in later. He wrote this famous him based on his words when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot that was taught me to say it as well. It as well with my soul, Her ratio survived that experience because he knew God. We don't know for sure, but I would imagine that he was a man of prayer who developed trust in the face of the most difficult of life, circumstances and situations. 6 (58m 26s): He prayed constantly. We assume. And we know that he was faithful. When the worst of circumstances hit his life. I don't know how you can survive the worst of his circumstances that hit your life apart from a constant prayer life. Have you learned to pray and trust and with confidence in God, through all the seasons, it's easy to pray with trust and confidence in God and when the seasons are good. But what about the rest of the seasons? Paul prayed constantly in good times and in bad. And I wonder if we decided to do the same, have we decided to trust God in the same way? 6 (59m 12s): Praying constantly, no matter what we're up against. How did Paul? Maintain a Godly Attitude and Perspective number three. He focused on the good, 4 (59m 23s): We live in a culture that mostly focuses on the bad shit on the news. It's mostly bad news, mostly bad news. The news agencies would be out of business. If it weren't for a mad news, they report it constantly. Paul focused on the good. He loved the church. She loved the people of God. He called the Church, this this'll Thessalonians Church he called it his pride and joy chapter two verse 20. In fact, he wanted to visit again after he got rushed out of there and acts chapter 17, but it says in acts chapter two, or excuse me, in Thessaloniki and chapter, chapter two, verse 18, he wanted to return, but Satan prevented him. 4 (1h 0m 4s): Isn't that interesting. We have an adversary. The devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. You would think that with Paul's credentials, his work with the Lord, that nothing could keep him from doing that, what that, what he wanted to do and felt called to do. But certainly Satan was able to keep him. And so Paul did the next best thing and he wrote a letter. And thankfully he did, because we study that letter that epistle to this day Paul did what he could do. He wrote a letter focusing on their good works Paul needed to, we had to hold onto his optimism, his hopefulness for his own good. And for the good of those, he served, it wouldn't have done anybody, any good of Paul lost his, his optimism and his hopefulness, but he held onto it so that he might continue to minister most effectively. 4 (1h 0m 55s): God's God wants you to hold onto your hopefulness as well, because it's out of that place of hopefulness optimism, trusting God that you're able to minister most effectively. If you've lost all hope and lost all faith as a follower of the Lord, Jesus Christ, you're not able to be salt and light in the earth. Paul decided to focus on the good, he focused on the good and he focused on the good things that they were doing. And this is what it says in verse three, as we pray to our God and father about you, we think about your faithful work. I wonder what faithful work he's talking about. Well, Paul, Paul's faithful work in acts. Chapter 17 is he went to the city in Thessalonica festival and ICA and he preached and people got saved and they planted a church. 4 (1h 1m 39s): So I would imagine that the faithful work that Paul is talking about is that this is a continuation of the good work that Paul started, that we read about knack or that we read about in acts chapter 17. They continued the very good work and that's really what God has called us to do. He said, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit. We've got a responsibility to do what this Church did. As a church. We get to do faithful work that God has called us to do. So Paul focused on the faithful work and their loving deeds. Now this is a church that suffered persecution, and yet they were known for their loving deeds. This is not a supernatural, I think a supernatural. I don't think we can do that. 4 (1h 2m 20s): Apart from the supernatural power of God at work within us. Like, I can't love people that are mean to me unless the Holy spirit gives me grace to do so. Like I want to be mean to people who are mean to me, that's my natural human inclination, right? But that's not what God wants me to do. You asked me to have loving deeds, loving action, loving heart toward people who don't like me. We can't do that apart from God, right? We need to be empowered. We're going to talk about that next. We need to be empowered by the Holy spirit. As we're empowered by the Holy spirit, we can do those supernatural things that God asks us to do. And listen to everything that God asks us to do is supernatural. 4 (1h 3m 1s): It requires his power. We don't want to do it in our own strength. We do not want to do it in our own strength. Verse four says, we know dear your brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. So now through the difficulties that they're having, let me go back to a verse three. As we pray to our God and father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds and your enduring hope in the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. We know dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. That is true about you. God absolutely loves you. And he's called you and has chosen you to be his own people. 3 (1h 3m 46s): Commercial break. There's no need to ignore the obvious. Got 4 (1h 3m 56s): It. Sweet. All right, let's continue. 3 (1h 4m 3s): Oh, thank God for technology. 4 (1h 4m 7s): Train of thought. Here we go. Trying to find it. Here we go. Yes. Yes. Yes. So Paul focused on the good things that this church was doing and he encouraged them with truth. Listen, when we have a Godly Perspective and Attitude, we can do the same thing. We can focus on the good that others are doing. And then we can speak life and encouragement to them. Jesus loves you. Jesus. He loves you. Jesus loves you. And you are his chosen people. He loves you and he's chosen you to be his own people. It's rather easy to focus on the good with people in circumstances that we like. 4 (1h 4m 48s): It's really difficult to focus on the good in circumstances that we don't like. And with people that we don't like, but maybe, maybe this is what God wants us to do. Paul had difficult circumstances, difficult people around him, but he was filled with the Holy spirits were in chains, but we can pray and sing. Like they can't take that away from us, 3 (1h 5m 16s): Right? We're up against 6 (1h 5m 18s): Difficulty. Paul 4 (1h 5m 20s): Silas in a prison, but we can pray and sing songs and hymns, 6 (1h 5m 28s): The jailer is maybe unfair as they're in prison. 4 (1h 5m 33s): But the truth is God loves that guy. 6 (1h 5m 37s): And 4 (1h 5m 37s): Paul had a vision possibly for this guy because the jailer ends up getting saved. So the story is Paul and Silas are in jail. It's a late night, there's singing and praying. And this major earthquake hits the jail and it rattles that the chains on them. So they come off and the doors swing open and the jailer, the Philippian jailer, he thinks that surely it's, everybody's gone, the doors are open. And so he's going to kill himself because all of his prisoners have escaped. But Paul cried out to him. Stop. Don't take your own life. We're all still here. And that opened the door for Paul to be able to preach the gospel. 4 (1h 6m 20s): He and his whole family got saved and baptized that night powerful stuff, right? Because Paul's, Perspective kind of Godly Perspective and Attitude. And so we had a expectation. He believed that God was going to do something. When we're filled with the Holy spirit, we have a God-sized expectation like this isn't a possible scenario, but I'm believing for impossible answers from God. God comes through in the impossible, because he's the God of the impossible. And we see this over and over again in the scripture, this situation seems unjust, but God is on the throne. I mean, Paul, he could have gone all kinds of different places. Lord, you know, we're doing all this good stuff for you. Why, why are we in jail? 4 (1h 7m 1s): Why are we being persecuted? Why, why, why? But he didn't knew that he said, you know what? I'm going to pray and I'm going to sing and just leave the rest to the Lord and watch. And God did that. God opened up the doors and there was a great Harvest of, of, of souls added to the kingdom that night. How did Paul Maintain Godly Attitude Attitude and Perspective number four. He was empowered by God. Hallelujah. Right? I mean like, this is the best part of being a Christian besides salvation. We've got the Holy spirit in us. We're empowered by the living. God who gives us wisdom and compassion and grace and clarity when we need it. 4 (1h 7m 43s): He is forever with us for when we brought you the good news. Paul wrote in verse five, he was not only with words, but also with power Paul didn't minister out of his own steam. Often we're trying to do stuff out of our own steam. We're trying to minister out of our own steam. We're trying to do life out of our own steam. Paul didn't preach at him, his own steam. He didn't write letters in his own steam. He didn't live his life out of his own steam. He lives as a man who was filled with the Holy spirit. The Bible says, if you're saved, if you're in Christ, you've got the gift of Holy spirit. The paraklete the helper, the one who is forever with you in your life, Paul was filled up. 4 (1h 8m 25s): Some of us need to get refilled up, right? Apparently we leak. I say that all the time, but it's true. We somehow leak and we need to be continually filled with the Holy spirit. Paul understood that he did it and get filled up with God and get the grace that you need for your life and for your circumstance, get the love that you need. It's it's a holiday season. So you're going to be seeing family that maybe you haven't seen since last holiday season, and it could be good or it can be very difficult, right? So get the grace that you need for the people that you will be seeing so that you are salt and light to them so that your grace and mercy and peace to them, you're experiencing it. 4 (1h 9m 10s): And you're able to give it by God's grace. If we brought you the good news, it was not only with words, but also with power for the Holy spirit gave you a full assurance. Listen, when the Holy spirit is in you, he's going to empower what he's doing and then he's going to give a shore. And so if you're sharing the gospel with somebody through the power of the Holy spirit, then God will cause the person that you're speaking to to be, to be ministered to, they will resonate. And they will begin to understand that truth. That may take a lot of conversations and a lot of prayer, but God will do the work with you. He is leading in the process for the Holy spirit gave you full assurance. That's what he did in this Church that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. 4 (1h 9m 52s): So their lives reflected the gospel. There was consistency in the way that they lived among the believers are the believers and the non-believers there. And they did an amazing work. Again, Paul didn't speak in his own steam. He didn't live that way. He didn't write that way. The spirit of God filled him and affirmed his work. We can't do anything God asks us to do unless he's filled us with his spirit 9 (1h 10m 17s): And listen, we don't even want to try. Even when we 4 (1h 10m 20s): Figure something out, like sometimes we we've been doing something for a long time. We've like, figured it out. Look, okay. I know how to do this Lord. Aye. And we kind of lose sight of our desperate need for him. Like our desperate need for his power to speak through us because we need him. We need him, whether we're teaching Sunday school or whatever it is that we're teaching or whether we're praying with somebody, we don't even want to pray without the power of the Holy spirit, because we don't know how to pray without the power of the Holy spirit. We just pray out of our hand. We can, we don't pray out of our spirit when we're not filled with the Holy spirit. We're just praying Lord help this person. We're not, we're not getting a hold necessarily of what God wants to say. Maybe the Lord wants to speak something powerfully through you in your prayer time with a person. 4 (1h 11m 3s): And so you're saying, Lord, would you pray through me? Would you show me how to pray? Would you teach me? Would you show me something that I can, that will touch this person's life? So that it's just not words Paul, didn't come with empty words. He came with empowered words and that's why they've stood the test of time. It's it's the, it's the Bible. It's God's word for us. We, we can speak with a four T and Jesus, when we're filled with the Holy spirit, there's just something about it. So don't do anything. Even if you did think, you know how to do it, just say, Lord, I think I know how to do this, but I don't want to do it without you, whatever it is that you're doing. Like I've been married for 40 years, Lori, and I think I know how to do this, but I don't want to do it without you, Lord. 4 (1h 11m 44s): I I've been whatever I've been doing this job for 50 years. I, I think I don't want to do it without you Lord, whatever it may be. Just continue to get humbled before the Lord and get desperate before him and watch what he will do. It'll be wonderful and supernatural stuff that only he can do ask God for it. Ask God for it. Ask again and again and again, how to Paul Maintain a Godly Attitude and Perspective number five. As we get ready to wrap up, he celebrated the success of others. Paul wasn't all about himself. He was celebrating the success of others. There's something wonderful about that. There's something powerful about that. When we can celebrate the success of others, this is what he wrote in verse six. 4 (1h 12m 29s): So you received the message with joy from the Holy spirit, in spite of severe suffering, it brought you wow. They received it with joy. In spite of the severe suffering, they received it with joy in spite of the severe suffering. I'm not sure that we have in the Western church. We have the capacity for that yet, but we may have to develop the capacity for that to receive the message, to do what God has called us to do with great joy. In spite of the severe suffering in this way, you would limit you imitated both us and the Lord, listen to suffering and sacrifice as a part of the call, suffering and sacrifice as part of the call, suffering and sacrifice is part of the gall. 4 (1h 13m 15s): It's it's it's not so much in this nation yet, but it's common. It's common. And if we're not ready, we're not going to be ready, but we can get it ready and say, Lord, We need to declare before it even happens, Lord, I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know what's coming down the pike, but I'm going to stand for you no matter what, no matter what the persecution, whatever that looks like I was, I was a bit nervous coming into this weekend. And I'll be honest with you. I was nervous. I, I dunno why I was more nervous this time than the last time we made the decision. I just, I just was feeling anxious about it. I was like, Lord, even though we had full support of the elder team, everybody was in unanimous agreement to go ahead and open up. 4 (1h 13m 56s): I just felt nervous. I talked to my brother last night and he said, Hey, I talked to a, we've got a mutual friend who is a local politician. And he said, I talked to, I talked to so-and-so, I'm going to leave this person anonymous. But he said, I, I talked to so-and-so and I asked, are you going to shut our Church 6 (1h 14m 12s): Down? And this person said, Nope, we're not going to follow the, the guidelines the governor set out. And when I heard that, I thought that's, I needed to hear that know, we were talking about this, this Shalom of God earlier, man. That was like the peace, the Shalom that I needed. I was like, ah, 4 (1h 14m 29s): I mean, I like, I'm not afraid of people, but I'm afraid of people, you know, that sort of thing. It's like, I am a humanist. I want to stand strong. But there's times when I'm afraid. Right? And I don't know how to stand strong sometimes. But when the Lord 6 (1h 14m 43s): Gave me that, I was like, okay, I can let this go. We're going to have Church and we're not alone there. Other churches in the community who are doing the same thing that we're doing, I've heard of a couple of others. 4 (1h 14m 53s): Church is. And there's probably more just people doing the same thing 6 (1h 14m 57s): That we're doing. Having Church a triangle 4 (1h 14m 60s): Trusted the Lord in the midst of it. Not in any way, are we trying to be arrogant about it? Got it. 6 (1h 15m 6s): But God's not impressed with that. We're just trying to be humbly doing what God has called us to do. We're not boasting about it to anybody. We're not being critical of others who aren't doing it. We're just saying, you know what, for us, for Harvest Church, we're going to have Church inside, outside, online, everywhere we can. We're going to have Church. They received the message. In spite of the severe suffering, they received it with joy. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece, throughout both Macedonia and a K. Yeah. This 4 (1h 15m 40s): Church exemplified true discipleship. 6 (1h 15m 43s): And the result was 4 (1h 15m 44s): First eight. And now the whole, the word of the Lord is, is ringing out from you to people everywhere. Even beyond 6 (1h 15m 52s): Macedonia in a yeah, for wherever 4 (1h 15m 55s): We go, we find people telling us about your faith in God. Like the faith of this church was, was resounding all over the region. We don't need to tell them about it for, they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. So that's a lot. I go, this is a big city, probably a couple, a hundred thousand people bigger than our area, a couple, a hundred thousand people. And so there was, there was a diversity, there all kinds of different idolatrous things, things that were were temptations to this church and they were sick of it. They were like over it. They knew that all of the things that the world had to offer was leaving that empty. 4 (1h 16m 37s): And so when Paul came and preached the gospel and told them about the Messiah, they were like, this is real. This is genuine. The person who preaches it is real and genuine. And this message is real and genuine. They keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. But they understood something about turning away from their idols to the living. God, they turned away from something so that they might turn to the living. We have to do the same thing. We have to decide to turn away from our idols in this culture. We've got all kinds of idols as well, all kinds of things that get our attention and keep our attention. 4 (1h 17m 20s): And I wonder if we're willing to turn away from things that are getting our attention, maybe it's money. Maybe it's just stuff that you've accumulated and liked to collect. Maybe it's a relationship or a hobby or a sport. 6 (1h 17m 35s): What is it? 4 (1h 17m 36s): If anything that the Lord is saying, Hey, you you're, you're spending way too much time and attention that you can't, you can't serve God. And anything else you can't serve God in any thing else, verse 10 says, and they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God's son from heaven. Jesus whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. Jesus is coming again and there's a coming judgment. Are you, are you ready for that? Are you ready for that? There's going to be a judgment that leads to a, a, a, you know, a, a Jew for those who aren't saved, there's going to be the great white throne judgment where those who are judged there will go into eternal fire hell. 4 (1h 18m 22s): And then there's a judgment upon believers as well. That will determine the rewards that we receive in heaven. We're going to be, our lives will be judged. Did we live our lives according to God's plans and purposes? Or did we live them for ourselves? We might. Some of us might have fire insurance. Well, I'm not totally sure that that's a biblical thing because the requirements for salvation is that we trust Jesus as Lord, Lord, and savior. So he wants not 30% of our life, like, okay, what's what's one seventh of the week. He doesn't like what one seventh, right? He's not like wanting your Sunday. 4 (1h 19m 3s): He wants your Sunday, your Monday, your Tuesday or Wednesday, your Thursday or Friday. And yes, your Saturday, he wants your Saturday. He wants 24, seven Sunday through Saturday. Pretty sure he wants it all. He wants it all. He wants a 24 seven. He wants it all because that's what Lordship is. When some, when you're owned by somebody, they own you all, they own all of you. Right? Right. We are bond servants, servants by choice to God. So he owns us. We've been bought with a price Calvary. We're going to be taking communion here shortly. We, we need to live in such a way that we are owned by God, that we've been bought with a price that we've been adopted into his family, that he loves us. 4 (1h 19m 48s): And that he's wants to lead our every area and arena of our 6 (1h 19m 52s): Lives. Does that make sense? It's hard stuff though, right? Like not really though. Let's just be honest. It's not really that hard. 4 (1h 20m 3s): If you do these five things, it's not really a hard remain. Thankful, pray, constantly 6 (1h 20m 10s): Focus on the good, be empowered by God. Celebrate the success of others. It's just when, when we just get up and decide by God's grace and then repent quickly when we fall short, it's not that difficult. I don't mean to oversimplify it, but it's just not that what's makes it difficult is when we don't want to give up the things of the world, when I don't want to give up that thing, then it's difficult. Then it becomes this big wrestling match. But when I say, God, I give it to you and I want to continue to give it to you. And I know we've got addictions in our lives. We've got things. People have addiction and people have difficult things that are, that are nagging at them and lifelong stuff. 6 (1h 20m 50s): All of that stuff is navigate. Navigate. We can navigate it when we've got the power of the Holy spirit at work in our lives. I don't mean to make light of it. I know people go through hard stuff. I've been through hard stuff, but, but when we decide that we're all in, God gives us the grace to do what he's called us to do anyway, enough of that heaviness there and a half of that let's invite the worship team forward. And we're going to take communion. Can I get an element? Can I who's passing out elements today? Can I get one of those? Thanks very much. Thank you, pastor Ron. Okay. One, one. It is. So we get a chance to take communion on the fourth, Sunday of every month on family Sunday. 6 (1h 21m 34s): And it's just an opportunity to reflect on 0 (1h 21m 37s): What Jesus has done for us. And 6 (1h 21m 39s): So through COVID we've got these fancy little individual servings. So go ahead and get started by peeling off the very top layer of clear plastic. And that will give you 0 (1h 21m 50s): The wafer first Corinthians 1123 says for, I pass on to you. What I received from the Lord himself 6 (1h 22m 5s): On the night, when he was betrayed the Lord, Jesus took some bread 0 (1h 22m 8s): Ed and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke 6 (1h 22m 12s): Pieces and said, this is my body, which has given me 0 (1h 22m 15s): For you. Do this to remember me. It's take the for, thank you for the wafer that represents your body, your body, that was crucified, nailed to a cross and Pierce. Thank you that you did that for me. I did that for us. The wages of sin is death. Thank you that you died in my place in our place. The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. 0 (1h 22m 56s): Our Lord. Thank you for that learning in the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper saying this cup is the new covenant between God and his people and agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me. As often as you drink it for every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again. Squinting the juice. Thank you so much, Lord, thank you for the juice that represents the blood that was spilled so that our sins might be forgiven. 0 (1h 23m 48s): I don't know how to understand it. Other than theologically that's God's design that his blood was spilled and it's got cleansing properties, cleansing power. The blood of Christ makes us as white, as snow clean, cleansing us from every sin. Every failure, every mistake. If you're here today and you've never received the grace and the mercy of the Lord, Jesus Christ. You can, you, whether you're watching online or on campus somewhere, you simply acknowledge your need for Jesus. And when you do, you say something like this Lord, I need you. 0 (1h 24m 31s): I, I need you. I need you to forgive me. I need you to cleanse me. There's some here that just feel dirty. And God wants to cleanse you from that experience. And you need to believe that when God covers your sin, he cleanses your sin. He forgives your sin. He races your sin. He eliminates your sin and he no longer holds it against you. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you Lord. 0 (1h 25m 12s): For those who are receiving your grace gift for the first time, bless them, Lord, God bless them with new life. Fill them with your Holy spirits. God, for those who need to renew their faith commitment to you, Lord, I pray that that would be happening now as well. And some people who are renewing, they feel dirty Lord. And I pray God that that would be eliminated in Jesus name. The enemy is a liar. He's always trying to deceive us, making us feel bad about ourselves, lying to us all the time. If we confess our sin, he is faithful. And just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, that's what the Bible says. 0 (1h 25m 54s): That's the truth. Thank you for that truth. So confess your sin and watch what God will do. Lord. We love you. We thank you for your mercy, your grace. We thank you that you've saved us. That you've sanctified us. Lord. You're in the process of sanctifying us and making us more and more like you. We love you and we need it. Lord, thank you for this time. Bless us as we continue to worship, we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Let's go ahead and stand and worship. 1 (1h 26m 39s): I see <inaudible> <inaudible>, <inaudible> your presence here with a brand that you would go with this all to where we just fill our hearts and we can reflect your love. 1 (1h 30m 50s): Everyone. It's a safe and healthy until we meet together again. And Jesus, thanks so much for joining us today. If anyone has needed a prayer this morning, please don't leave without getting some come on forward and we'll have some folks love to pray with you today. Otherwise I have a wonderful day to worship together. Again, next time. Take care.