The Christian Life is not Easy
Let me start off by saying good morning to my media church. That's out there. Hope you all are having a great day and that you enjoy our services watching online as we stream live. So thank you for paying attention to us and being part of the family place worship today. We are going to work out way through this sermon again. Call living with people and I had intended to preach this all in one Sunday. And so far. This is the fourth Sunday. We spent on this one outline. My wife sort of chided me during the week when we were traveling back from Alabama. She said all your sermons could be broke down into three or four sermons. She said ibrance can only absorb so much. I said well one thing's for sure. You can't go tell anybody you didn't get what you paid for cuz I gave you one heck of a meal. I said, you know when I cook I like to cook a lot. I like to cook ribs and chicken and steak chicken and rice dry. I like to have a little bit for everybody. She said well people are just going to have to learn to eat ribs this week and steak next week and chicken the weekend. So y'all got my wife baton for y'all even though I enjoy putting messages together and I like to just feed the sheep and a hopefully you get fed every every time you come. But we're talking about living with people and I we started out in this message about how tough the Christian Life is. We looked at some scripture that Paul the Apostle wrote and he told about the beatings in the imprisonment and everything else life is full of storms. There's trials there's tribulations in life and being a Christian is a tough life anybody that old really knows the Lord that will tell you that life is easy as not being real honest with you because life is tough. It's filled with his challenges, but I greatest challenge comes not so much in the experiences of Life those are tough in themselves, but I greatest challenge comes when it's dealing with people and the reason why is there so many personalities out there. I remember one of the I would think it's one of these young men's mother that they interviewed right after the shooting where I believe her son was shot and you know, she said I don't want prayer. We don't need prayer what I want is no guns. And I don't agree with that. I think we need prayer and I think we need guns. That's my own opinion. But everybody out there's got a difference of opinion. And so you have to deal with all of that when it comes to dealing with people that I country is divided, even when it comes elections, you know, where a divided nation you just going to have to come to understand that people have different personalities. They have different emotions different believes different thinking and it's tough dealing with people with that alone. But then God puts these tough demands on us. He says love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you know, that stuff there's times I would like to hurt my enemy rather than pray for them. We talked about the reason that God wants us to love our enemies to love people in the get along with people. Is that people Created in the image of God. They're supposed to reflect the image of God. You're supposed to reflect God in your life to a lost and dying world. And if you hate people in water hurt people than the rest of the world doesn't get to see the love of God shining through as another thing is we're going to spend an eternity together. And God says look, you need to learn to get along with people because you're going to live with them for eternity. Especially the ones you don't like we made the joke over and over each week that God has a sense of humor and he's going to put your Mansion right next door to the mansion of somebody you hate it on this Earth and you're going to have to spend an eternity with them is your next door neighbor in eternity. Ain't that something so you might as well learn to get along with people today. We looked at the real problem. I want to go to James chapter 4 and I want to read the first three verses because in there we saw the real problem of why we can't get along with people. What's what I real problem is and I hate to tell you but the real problem is not the other person. It's you and we going to read that right here. Causes fights and quarrels among you do they not come from your desires the bad that battle within you. So we see that our desires of the flesh the things we want really really battles and let me know. What is the one thing that people want more than anything in this life. We talked about it. I don't know if you remember what it is, but we want our way.
We want what we want we will fight people to get our way people leave churches to get their way. They didn't get their way. They're going to go find a place where they will the problem is you you desire but you do not have so you kill we're willing to do some pretty drastic things to get our way you cut it, but you cannot get what you want. So you calling fight then he says the real issue is instead of fighting with people in corn with people get what we ought to do is go to God and ask God. What do you want me to do here? But that's something that we don't see a lot of in our in our church is our desires create covetousness. James's answer to this is talk to God we keep trying to change others, but what God wants to do really is to change us and we looked at that in the in the in the sermons of the past today. We're going to pick up in the Practical advice for living with people for the sermon. If you have your outline, it's in the bulletins. You can open your outline and follow alone now, let me tell you these. Practical advice is won't fix the other person necessarily, but they will do a world of good for you. If you would choose to practice him last week last week. We looked at the very first practical advice and ideas to overlook the offense. From them Overlook the offense that they do to you. How hard is that to do? That's really really difficult if you remember right last week I mentioned to you that as I was at Kobe's funeral. I was talking to miss do s***. Mr. Sheldon McManus, and he mentioned that all we need to do is look out in the world out there and we can see that things are coming to an end. Just look at the shape of the world. I said even greater than that. Look at the shape of the church and I can tell you that things are not good the Bible speaks that will be lovers of self lovers of money. The Bible says will be irreconcilable. The Bible says wheel coral and will fight it talks about all these things. We would expect the world to do but we're seeing that happened right side of our churches. The Bible says that in the latter days, they will hold to a form of godliness. I believe that's present in our church is today I P. I believe people want what they want. They want God, but they want what they want and they're willing to live both lives there willing to live the way they want and say God bless me. I want your blessing God, but I want to live the way I want. I want the things I want. I'm going to pursue those things and we see that in our churches today. And one of the things that's difficult for people to do is to look Overlook the offense that someone has called churches have hurt greatly because people would rather leave than fix the problem between them and somebody else we talked about the difficulty of this we looked at last week that were taught by God to love one. Another. We went with red 7 or 8 verses where it teaches us that God expects us to love other people. I read something today by the way, brother Al I really appreciate the book you gave me I recommend that book 2. Everybody it's a book on Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn and it set up in a devotional style where every day you read something for that day and it's in the setting of a guy in a in a Wilderness out in the desert with a teacher and every day the teacher comes and opens up a new mystery and other one died and red today as we started the day was about love when it talks about love it says this when we really learn to love we're willing to step into the other person's shoes. We talked about that a little bit last week. I I put it a little differently. I put it this way love looks past their behavior. It looks deeper into their shoes and it says and looks at what causes them to do what they do? It looks Pastor Behavior to the pain in their life when you begin to love someone you begin to step in their shoes. But their experience you begin to look around and say why am I doing what I do? That's what Jesus did he loved us enough. He stepped into our shoes and he lived on this Earth as a human being Experiencing the same things you and I experience on a daily basis. Jesus showed his love for us by stepping into our shoes. That's what we do. When we love people we begin to realize there's something behind what they do. I said it this way last week and I'm going to say it again this week hurting people hurt people.
Hurting people hurt people and when we begin to realize that there's something not right with them. There's something they've experienced or something in their life that's causing him to do this and we begin to realize it may not be such a bad thing because I'm going to tell you there's something in your life that causes you to do the things you do.
I told you the story last week of someone throwing me under the bus and how angry I had become until I begin to put this message together and God begin to speak to my heart and say look past the behavior and ask yourself. What is it that's in their life that's causing him to do this cuz you're not. The only one that this person is done this to it's a repeated thing and I begin to realize that you know, there's some pain somewheres in there that's really eating them up and then I begin to feel sorry for them and I was able to put my arm around their neck the very next time I saw him and just told him how much I loved him and cared for that's not an easy thing besides all of that. We ended last week with this. God will take up your calls. We forget that we feel like we have to take up our cause we have to win that battle. We have to go in and hurt them back and and God says look get out of the way and leave room for me to take Vengeance on them and a Vengeance was that God would repay them in the same kind in other words. The Bible is true a person will reap what they sow and if they giving you trouble if you get out of the way God will eventually deal with those people some kind of way and I got his is very patient and his long-suffering he gives people a lot of room to repent and get right but after a while if you're not going to get it right God's going to take care of business. God will take up your calls last week. We saw that either God is going to fight them on your behalf, or he's going to fight you for being stupid. Which would you rather would you rather the chastening hand of God in your life because you're not acting right or would you rather God deal with the person who hurt you? If they don't get it, right? This ain't rocket science. So that's how we looked at last week and we talked about Hebrews chapter 10. We're not going to go there first. 31 says it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God people. God is wanting us to get this right it would have been better for you to stay home today. I hated that you came to church today. I love it that you're here. But I hate it because if you sit and listen to truth today, you will become responsible for that truth. It would have been woke up this morning and said I think I'm going to sleep in the day because once you hear it, you become responsible. So we're going to move into the next thing today first. We Overlook the offense. We saw that last week this week. We're going to look at fraying for them. And listen when I said pray for them, I'm not saying that you should pray that a thousand fleas from a camel find their armpits.
I'm not praying saying that you should pray God would you please break their leg? God would you get them? Would you hurt them? Would you do something to them to let them know how bad they hurt me would you go after them? Would you would you get them? I was thinking about this praying for people. I know in my flesh how I would like to pray for people sometimes.
Look something up. In the Old Testament, there was something called and imprecatory prayer. Does anybody ever heard of that imprecatory prayer? Some of the songs have imprecatory prayers of David in them Prairie is it's a prayer that involves judgment Calamity or curses upon one's enemies or those proceed does the enemies of God and David pray that way for for some people you prayed judgment on them and he prayed Calamity on them and he prayed curses upon them and you can you can go in the in the Book of Psalms and find some of those imprecatory prayers that David prayed. So I said this way if it's good for David is good for me.
What you think if David could do it I can.
Or or is God saying no, no, no. No, no. first of all, we're not David We're different than David. We're different people. But I want you to know something today. God Love's people
I'm going to say that again. God loves people There's no doubt in my mind about that God loves. people just because you have a problem with a person. Doesn't mean that God does. I'm going to say that again to just because you have a problem with a person doesn't mean that God necessarily has a problem with him. Like you would want him to not everybody who does you something is an enemy of God are even your enemy. Most of the time the people that hurt us the most or brothers and sisters in the Lord and yet we would want to pray for them. Like they were enemies of God when really and truly their God's children to
And so we really don't need to be praying these imprecatory prayers 1st. Timothy Chapter 2 beginning in verse 1 says something I think we are too raw to pay attention to you first. Timothy says this I heard you first of all to pray for all. people Okay. What is the word all mean?
The way we were to find out is the word all means everybody except those who hurt us. That would be a definition. That's the way we act and treat it as if God is saying I understand what they did to you. I saw it I was there and so you have my permission to be this way. No, he said God says I heard you first of all to pray for all people even those that give you trouble even those that hurt you pray for them. Ask God to help him half and give You said? Thanks for them. Thank you God for that man that threw me under the bus. That's hard to do. But let me tell you something where it not for that man. Throwing me under the bus and me having those feelings. This message would have met nothing to me. But because of what I experienced through that difficulty in my life, I begin to realize what God is trying to teach me hear. God says you're going to go through this experience so that when you come from the other side you going to be better for it and you going to learn how to forgive people and you go to learn how to overlook the event when you going to learn how to pray for them when you get all this done who's the better for it? And so you can say thank you God for the man who threw me under the bus.
But we don't look at it that way to hurt them so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives by godliness and dignity next verse. This is good and pleases God our savior. God is pleased when we when we get a handle on this who wants everyone to be saved God is in the people everyone to be saving understand the truth. My God knows not everybody is going to be saving his desire. Is that men be safe? Which person would God say, I don't want them. Name me one person that you know that God would say I don't want them. I can tell you if you're not careful. You want to name the person that hurt you.
There is one God one mediator who can reconcile God and Humanity the man Christ Jesus next verse he gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time next verse and I have been chosen as a preacher in a possible to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I'm not exaggerated exaggerating just telling the truth makes first in every place of worship at 1 men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God free from anger and controversy. The point is it's hard for you to lift your hands in praise and worship and prayer for anybody when you still harboring feelings towards them. The Bible says if you have a problem with the brother and you come to the altar to bring your arms and you realize you have a problem leave your arms there stop worshipping go fix it with your brother then come back and worship. That's what God teaches. That's what God teaches. So God is in the people. The only way that people become enemies with God is to reject his son Jesus Christ. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All of us have broken God's commandment all of us are guilty before God and if we choose when God offers us his son to pay for our sins to be saved and have eternal life when God offers that to us no matter how he offers it whether it's through a preacher or through some radio evangelist or you reading the word or whatever it is whenever God offers you salvation through his son Jesus Christ, if you choose to rejected you become an enemy of God and will spend an eternity separated from him. Other than that God loves everybody. He even loves those who reject his son and wishes. They wouldn't but come to repentance instead. pray for them I want to say something about that. Praying for them is not especially for them like it is for you. Something happens to us when we begin to pray for those who hurt us. There's some miracle that begins to take place in us. We don't realize it at first but when we start to pray for them, the more we pray for those who hurt us. We begin to change inside and we go from this hard-hearted person who would want to play a thousand fleas from a camel find her armpit to a person who begins to realize their people with problems and they're hurting and that's why they're doing what they're doing in the beginning to realize those people need help and we begin a sword please intercede on their behalf Lord and thank you that you brought them into my life. And so we go from from a hard-hearted hatred will love for these people and it's in our prayer life that that happens.
You begin to change and you see change happening Matthew Chapter 5 says it this way beginning in verse 43.
You have heard this is what Jesus I called him. He reinterprets the law for them for them. You see different parts of the scripture in chapter 5 and he said you have heard it was said then he says it what they had heard and then he says but I say and you know, it kind of interprets the law for them. They had a little review of it, you know it and didn't want to spread it out too much. Jesus says he goes way deeper than that this one he says, but I go back one. You have heard that it was said You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. That's what that's what the religious leaders were teaching love love love but hate Rihanna me love your neighbor, but hate you in the enemy Jesus says, but I say to you. Love your enemies and pray for those who give you dropped off.
And you know what truck are means even in French everybody understands that that's trouble. Pray for those that persecute you even Jesus encourages us to pray for them. I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you keep reading. So that you may be the I like this when you begin to pray for people look at what what it involved so that you may act like the sons of the father that you are. That's what I'm really saying when you start to pray for those who persecute you you begin to act like like Jesus. Did you begin to you begin to look like like God we were created in His image remember but since I hated that we don't look like God when were born where Sinners and and we got that sin nature. But the more we begin to put that behind us and we reflect God's the movie look like so that you may pray for those who persecute you so that you may be the sons of your father who is in heaven that you may act like the person you really are for he calls his his sun to rise on the evil in the good and he sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous keep reading. For if you love those who love you what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Did you greet only your brother? What more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? therefore you are to be perfect. As your heavenly father is perfect my list and that wordperfect doesn't mean that you going to never send again what that word means is you will be mature. You will be grown up in the Lord. You will be the person that God wants you to be how is that reflected? It says prayer Pray for them pray for them pray for them. I want to show you something then we're going to look at this one in the next one too, but I want to look at Luke chapter 23 verse 34 watches. And nail Jesus to the cross two thieves one on each side of him. They just beat him beyond recognition. He had to carry his cross. They whipped him they did everything possible and look at what Jesus says. What does Jesus do? For those that just finished doing all of that to him. He prayed for him. It says right there. He says to his father and he goes on to say some things forgive them. They do not know what they're doing. He prays for the ones who just nailed him to a cross. Tell me you can't pray for someone who cut you off in traffic.
Or someone who threw you under the bus?
pray for them pray for them Which brings up the next one? forgive them Almost I'm going to tell you this way. I was thinking about this studying even again this morning.
If you can pray for them, you will not forgive them. I'm going to say that again because you need to hear that if you can't pray for them. You're not going to forgive them. It's just one follows. The other one goes with the other they go hand-in-hand the word forgive when we talk in about practical advice on for giving them the word forgive me things to send a way Letting Go are releasing someone from the obligation or the debt a pardon. The word forgiveness simply means to act as though it didn't happen and I hear people say this all the time when I can f****** forgive him, but I'll never forget it. Never says to forget it. No worries in the scriptures are we thought you have to forgive and forget chances are with time you will forget about it. But but I can tell you even if you can forgive someone and treat them like it didn't happen. When when when that comes back to your mind. You're going to remember those things. They did that's just how I mind mind is I mind is like a this just is branded into your brain what they did. But the thing is God says you may never forget what they did, but you can forgive them you can treat them as though it never happened. You can send you the way you can let it go you can release it and send release him from the obligation or the debt that they owe their I was thinking about this and in this came to my mind. I guess the Holy Spirit was doing his job and helping me to remember some things but in Leviticus chapter 16, I'm going to read about two or three verses and then I got two other verses that I want to read or three and I want to show you something that happens in the vatican's chapter 16. This is talking about the priest The Book of Leviticus is written for the priests in the ceremonies and stuff. And and this is what they were to do that would take two male goats and they would present them to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. They have the Tabernacle which where God dwells and they would do their sacrifice again. It says he is 2 cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering and which boat will carry the sins of the people of the Wilderness to the Wilderness of Ezio. Two Goats they cast lots and they chose them according to the lot one of them. They the priest would lay his hand on the head of the goat and he would pray the sins of Israel for that year into that goat and they were Tire Scarlet ribbon around his neck and it would lead him out into the Wilderness and let him go that this girl was called the scapegoat the other goat that would sacrifice to the Lord and bring the blood and sprinkle it on the altar to the Lord and I thought about this this this scapegoated says Aaron is going to present as a sin offering to go chosen by the Lord and I think we have one more than the other goat the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away will be kept alive standing before the Lord when it is sent away to a Zeal in the wilderness of people would be purified in May right with God then it goes on and inverse. I think it's let me see your verse 20 is the next one when Aaron had finish. Purifying the most holy place in the Tabernacle in the altar. He must present the live goat. And you will lay both hands on the go Ted confess over at all the wickedness rebellion and sins of the people of Israel in this way, he will transfer the people send to the head of the goat and the man specially chosen for the Pasco Drive to go into the Wilderness and as it goes into the Wilderness it will carry all the people Send The Pain itself into a desolate land. Any idea where is that? This girl took the Sands of the people and carry them away and they will Sims would be gone forever. Never to be remembered Again by God. The scapegoat. Jesus was a scapegoat when he carried I sent away. He took our sin away every pass in every presents in every scene you're ever going to commit in the future it is done away with and God will remember them no more the Bible says
And so God can have a scapegoat that brings all sins out of there and and he doesn't remember them anymore. But yet we we hold on to people sins. You see where this is going. The scapegoat is a picture of the pardon that we received and we love it when God says I will remember your sin no more, but we like to turn it around and say but what you did to me, I'm going to remember that.
What's not making sense here?
We have to learn to forgive. I want to say something about forgiveness. It's not reconciliation. Sometimes you can forgive someone and and you not be friends anymore like you were before it doesn't mean you have to reconcile that would be a bonus. That would be a treat if you could do that because it would show your maturity in the Lord if you willing to lay it all behind you and pick up where you left off and maybe even make it there. I've heard people say that that in the end the relationship was actually better. That's a great thing. It could be better but it doesn't mean you have to reconcile. It doesn't mean that you'll forget and it doesn't mean that you minimize what they did cuz what they think they did was pretty horrible. But what it does say is you choose it is a choice you make you choose to act as though it never happened.
Blessed is the man and the woman that can do that.
Blessed is the man in the woman that can do that. See if you don't forgive because they deserve it but you forgive because it helps you. I've said this in the past when I preach messages about forgiveness, this is how we treated they did something to us. So we take poison and we drink it and say it's going to kill you. We drink poison thinking it's going to hurt them. That's how it is with unforgiveness is like drinking poison and saying I hope you die.
The one that hurts is you the one that that pays the price is you not them. Why don't you set a prisoner free today? and that prisoner is you why don't you set you free today and say, you know, Lord I choose. To forgive then. Matthew chapter 6 verse 14 and 15
Jesus is teaching us to pray. This is where we get with many people call. The Lord's prayer Our Father Who Art in Heaven that prayer at the end of it. It says this if you forgive other people when they sin against you your heavenly father will also forgive you and it says this but if you do not forgive others their sin, your father will not forgive your sins. And I hear people say well if you don't forgive them, then you know, you going to go to hell because God is not going to forgive your sins and make no mistake about this. This has nothing to do with the judicial side of sin. As a judge judging you for your sand that was taken care of when you trust in Christ as your savior the judge pronounced you not guilty. There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus judgment. You are free from your sin. When you trust in Christ this has everything to do with a relationship with God your relationship with God is not as sweet as it could be until you deal with that sin in your life, which is unforgiveness. God says if you choose not to forgive the person in the problem is between you and God not for eternal life, but for That Sweet communion in that sweet fellowship and relationship and I'm telling you our churches are filled with people not in fellowship with God and it is because of unforgiveness.
simple as that The problem is you. Not them. Something is not right between you and God when there is no forgiveness in Matthew chapter 18, the whole chapter deals with us getting along with people that starts out with we're going to share eternity in those Mansion. Then it goes and tells us if a brother has a problem with you go to that brother and fix it. He gives us to plan on how to do that and toward the end. He gives a parable about a guy who owns this guy money big big money and he when he begged the guy that God forgave him to death and always good and somebody owed him a little tiny bit of money and he was willing to forgive and we pick up went when did they pick him up here in in in verse 32 of chapter 18 the master called to serve and he said you Wicked servant I cancel all the debt of yours because you begged me to Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you not listen, this is a picture of your relationship with God the Father God. The father is saying I forgave you a lot to become one of my children shouldn't you forgive your fellow man for the little petty thing they did to you. This is what the stories about. They shouldn't you have had mercy and his anger. The master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until you should pay back all that you owed people that you go back to that verse. You don't know how bad that verse is on us.
I believe this. When we choose not to forgive someone. When God is working every way he can to teach us to forgive everything. He's can he's working hard to lay the scriptures out. He's got a Crazy Cajun guy trying to explain things to you forgive people when you choose not to believe the anger of the Lord Burns to the point that God is going to say I'm going to turn you over to what you're asking for. And and I'm going to I'm going to your going to be a miserable person you're going to if you're going to be tortured and end until you're willing to pay back the same way. God paid you with forgiveness until you're willing to pay that back. You will be a miserable person on this Earth and I believe I've churches are full of miserable people. I believe that with everything in me because we have gotten to the point in our churches that we would not reconcile for nothing. We would rather hold our anger and I unforgiveness and man. Let me tell you go to the next verse. This is how my heavenly father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or your sister from your heart. pretty tough But I believe it to be true.
This is how I see it. You can choose to be miserable. And hate people and not forgive them or you can say Lord. What is it you want from me today? What are you trying to tell me? What are you wanting me to do? Show me and I will be obedient and do what you ask because remember this blessings always lie on the other side of obedience.
Choose to do wake up. Listen.
I'm not up here for me to hear me. God put this message together for this church and for 4 weeks now we have been in the middle of this why. Because God is trying to do a work here. God is trying to soften hearts. And God is trying to tell us that if we want our church to abound into growing into being a church that God wants it to be we got to get this right.
It started with me and the man that threw me under the bus and now I can honestly before the Lord say thank you for bringing that man into my life. When at first I wanted to take him out. Now. I say thank you because Lord I have learned some valuable stuff here.
started with me
Now, it's your turn. What are you going to do?
What are you going to do? Are you willing to overlook the offense? And look deeper into the pain of their lives. And are you willing to pray for them? So that it'll change you and are you willing to forgive them?
The ball's in your court now. fathers we come before you
You speak? two hearts You challenge people?
The ball is in their Court. They have to make a decision for themselves. What they're going to do?
They can hold on to grudges. They can hold onto ill feelings. They can hang on to all that or they can let it go.
They can learn Overlook the offense. They can.