Abiding in Christ
Have your Bibles or your electronic devices or something else at hand? I would love for you to turn to the 37th Psalm. I'm going to read for seven. I like starting by reading a part of the passage and then praying is just something that settles me and it's something that gets is moving in the right direction and there's something holy about the public reading of God's word. Just going to be one verse to start and here's what it is be still before the Lord. And wait patiently for him. Fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way over the man who carries out evil devices be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him abiding in Christ. The power of forgiveness but I pray to God bless the reading of this word. I pray you bless the words are going to be spoken during the service. I pray that you would teach us what it means to abide and teach us what it means to forgive and how those things come together and I thank you for that in Jesus name. Amen. So we have recently concluded a series in the series is on the glory of God and I thought personally was one of the best series that have ever been preached here and it just was really moving. I like the idea of the things that make us different from the rest of the world is God's presence. No, we have the presence of God. And in the other thing that makes us different from the rest of the world as we reside in the love of God and 1/3 thing that makes us different from the rest of the world is that we are completely covered by the grace of God. God did everything necessary for us. He made the way for us to come to him. We don't have to earn our way to him. He did it all and what are the things Jeremy said it in regards to this as we move forward and he said this over and over that he said when it came to the new year and the reason we started this series is he wanted to be more in love with Jesus. His New Year's resolution was to be more love with Jesus. Mine was a little bit different but in the same vein, I believe and I really felt like the guy was telling me that for this year. I'd really needed to learn how to abide. And learn with abiding in Christ means because here's what I know about people what I am with Christ when I abide with him when I spend time with him. I have a great chance of hearing from him. Is that an amen? And when I hear from him it changes what I do it changes how I behave it changes how I acted transforms me. From the beginning to the end in my heart for you my heart for me my heart for everybody that's connected with a congregation. And where we go is that we would abide with Christ and hear from him our lives that we change in the world would be different because of it. That's my heart. If I had a heart for me in this congregation that that's where it is. So
moving in that direction moving in the direction of biting. I want you to consider the possibility.
Then you can trust God with your life and all that sounds like a silly question. But before we get done, you'll understand why I'm asking but I want you to consider the possibility. You can trust God. With your life when you consider that as we move forward. Okay.
We're going to talk about a biting first before we talk about forgiveness. I want you to look at the John 15 verse 5 and this is Jesus talking to his disciples. This was the last night that he was going to be a nurse. And so this is one of the one at one of the discourses he had with them before he was going to be put to death in in right at the very beginning of that. Here's what he says. He says, I am the Vine. And you are the branches. Whoever abides in me. And I in him he it is that bears much fruit for apart from me. You can do nothing. I want you to think about that for a minute. Who's the Vine? price Are you the Vine? Is the government the line? Is important teachers and people the Vine? I know that sounds like a stupid illustration, but we're not Divine. Jesus is the vine you are the branches. We are. And so if the branches are abiding in the vine connected with the vine what happens? We bear much fruit what happened to branches that are connected to the Y. They don't bear much fruit. I know this is kind of silly to go through but I think it's really important for me to say that because if you're connected with the vine, if you're inviting with Christ, you will produce fruit naturally and normally and it won't be hard doesn't mean the process to getting there won't be hard but fruit will come out of you. Just exactly the way it's supposed to and so I want to talk about bconnect being connected to the Vine. I want to talk about how that applies to what we do. I want to ask the question again. Are you willing to trust your life with God? I'm going to ask that over and over again as we move forward cuz that's important. I'm going to read a passage out of Psalm 37, but I'm going to read the rest of it. This is a Psalm of David and here's how it begins. The statement I register a little bit earlier he begins with verse one fret not yourself because of evildoers be not be envious of wrongdoers. So here's my question. Is there evil doers in the world today? Do you watch the news? Is there people that do wrong that seem to do better than anybody else maybe have more stuff and more things and seem to live a more comfortable life? And David comes out and says right up front fear. Not a fret not because of them or be envious because of that he's telling us to do that. I think it's amazing. This was written about through 3500 years ago in the same things happened. Then that are happening now. So human beings haven't been much different kind of as we move forward. He goes on to say for they will sue fade away like the Green Grass and weather like the green herb. So all those people that do evil things all those people that get ahead and seem to do better than anybody else even though they're doing the wrong things. What's going to happen to them. They're going to fade away. We're looking to the Future and what that tells us is God is interested in his working on in his planning and understanding what's happening in our world. It's not lost on him. I'm going to move forward trust in the Lord. We just talked about that and do good dwell on the land and befriend faithfulness. Here's what he saying when that stuff is happening around you what I'm going to ask you to do is trust me. And what I want you to do is do good. Don't worry about what's going on around there. Don't fret because of those things. I want you to trust me and do good dwell in the land. I want you to move in. I want you to make families. I want you to be secure as much as you can. I want you. I want you to live where you need to live. I want you to have a life in those circumstances and I want you to what trust me the friends faithfulness be faithful to those things that God has called you to moving on delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you The desires of your heart again another another Vision the bite looking at abide the light yourself in the Lord. He will give you the desires of your heart and the things we've talked about already the things that are wrong that that that they seem to be rewarded when we walk into the room and we see those things and it's an illustration I use all the time when you walk in the room and something's wrong and evil is happening or you read the newspaper. Doesn't that bug you doesn't your heart yearn for that to change the the hunger and thirst for righteousness within you want that to be different. Here's what this says when you delight yourself in the Lord, what's going to happen the desires of your heart will come it's coming.
Commit your way to the Lord trust in him. And he will act again really clear bold statements and phraseology to us as his followers. He will bring forth your righteousness as a light and you're just as soon as the Noonday. I love this cuz here's what he say no matter what's happening in the world no matter what evil is doing evil and getting away with it or no matter how many rich people there. Are they going to be a pleasure and a living the wrong life gets when you trust in me regardless of what's going on. You are going to be a lights you are going to shine in the community around you you were going to shine to those around you little family and friends because of who got isn't because you're putting your faith and trust in him. I get I'm going to challenge you can you and will you trust your life with God in those kind of circumstances?
Then he goes to be still. Before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way over the man who carries out evil devices, you know, I'm going to show you one of those things I do and I'm going to go to a slide that has the same verse in the Amplified version of the things. I do almost every morning as I pray this through I pray it from the Amplified version because I like the way it reason it speaks to me more and it's something that I do that just helps me relax. Did you watch the Lewis? Did you watch the news last night or today or yesterday? When you watch the news doesn't make you happy does it bring you peace?
be still and rest in the Lord when I read that it almost does it.
Inside of me. I can be still and rest in the Lord wait for him. Patiently lean upon him. I lean upon him with those things that I don't understand what those things that seem to be outside of them because I don't need to fret because of those things because of what guy does fret not yourself because of who prospers in his way because the man who brings Wicked device is a Paso an evil seems to be prevailing what God calls us to do is to abide be still and rest literally be still needs to let it go. There's nothing you can do about it. Let it go and trust in God. And know that he is a guy that's big enough and bold enough and strong enough to take care of all the stuff that's happening in this world. I'm going to go to another passage in the Book of Psalms. It's in Psalms 46. This is written by the sons of Korah. Now this was written years and years and years and years and years after the one we just read that takes on a little bit of a different flavor and it's probably the the verse that ends it is the first we've heard the most familiar familiar with when it talks about be still but here's the way it starts and here's what the sons of Korah said. This was actually a song that they sang God is our refuge and our strength a very present help in trouble again. Remember, can you trust God? Can you trust the fact that that's who God is he is a refuge he is a strength. He is our help when trouble hits can we do that he moved on by saying therefore we will not fear though. The Earth gives way though the mountains be moved. Into the Heart of the sea, so he's talking about cataclysmic events on the earth. Do we ever hear about hurricanes and floods and famines and earthquakes and tsunamis and what he saying is we don't have to fear though the earth does that could be literally it could be figurative is well, maybe your life is completely Fallen apart with falling apart around you appears to be that way. But what he saying is when that happens we don't have to fear is that comes and goes on to State though? Its Waters Roar and foam through the mountains tremble at its swelling everything seems to be falling apart. Now this next verse I think is amazing. Because he looks to a future. He looks to a future that he doesn't even really understand what it is yet the sons of Korah do and it points to the Future that we know because we've talked about it recently and it's the future of the new heavens and the new Earth and New Jerusalem coming together because here's what it says in verse for there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God a holy habitation of the most high. It's not storming. The water is not bringing destruction where God is in his habitation. What's it bringing? The streams of water is bringing life. It's a place where God's well he goes on to say God is in the midst of her she shall not be moved. God will help her. When the morning Dawns when the morning Dawns and this all comes together just going to be a different look of what you're seeing right now. All those destructive patterns in things that happened in this world are going to go away in the streams of God in the waters of God are going to bring life go to Revelation 21 and 22 and read it you can see it. It's really clear about what God is going to do in prophetically the sons of Korah real to see the future and look to the Future what's going to happen. Can we trust God with the stuff that's happening in the world around us right now, then he's just two Nations the nation's rage. The Kingdom's totter he utters his voice. The Earth Mouse do the nation's rage.
Do kings totter? Rise and fall do we have all this chaos in the world is kind of funny that the chaos in the world the same time then when that happens, but what he's beginning to saying when that happens God has the ability to act he can just speak. In the earth mouth moving on the Lord of hosts is with us. The god of Jacob is our for Priscilla in Christ. We are the new Israel if you want to call that in Christ, but in Christ the god of Jacob the guy who made this world that God was in control of all of these things is with who with us. He and dwells you with the power of the holy spirit because of what is given to us and he is with us and he is our Fortress. Can we trust God with the circumstances in our life? Come Behold The Works of the Lord how he has brought desolations on the earth. Keep listening. He makes Wars cease to the end of the Earth. He breaks the ball inside of the sphere. He burns the Chariots with fire again. He's looking to the future. We see this revealed in the prophets and revelation of the Earth is going to become a piece and lions are going to lay down with lambs and children are going to play with wild animals that there's going to be peace all over he's looking there's not going to be any War all the Implements of War going to be melted down at the implements to create produce and there's going to be peace on the earth. That's what he's talking about and he saying even though the nation's rage God is going to bring it to the culmination of a place. It's so different than it is right now. Can we trust God with our life? And then the famous verse we all here be still and know that I am God Be Still.
Let It Go is one definition of that Let It Go understand that God is God But he's not lost. It's not out of his control. He's the one that ultimately manages this whole thing that he's going to bring it to pass.
The Lord of hosts is with us.
The god of Jacob is our Fortress. Fila is the Lord of hosts with us.
Is the god of Jacob our Fortress? Can you trust God? With your life this last verse in the same way. I use Amplified version. I pray through and I want you to hear that again because this brings me peace as well. In what I have my quiet has very often. I will read in my head and sometimes out loud. Let be and be still let it be.
And be still no recognize and understand that I am God. I will be exalted among the Nations the Nations that raised the Nations that fight the Nations that appear to be out of control including the United States of America. I'm going to be exalted.
Among the Nations the Earth that trembles the Earth that floods the Earth that shakes the Earth that does damage. I will be exalted over the Earth. Why because I am the king.
So how do we get to the place where we can trust God with her life?
I'm going to go to Romans chapter 10 when I read a couple versus there, but you need to understand right before this verse comes about the Apostle Paul makes the Declaration that the word of God, it's near you. It's in your mouth and it's in your heart what he saying is wherever you go, who's there? God is the word of God is who Jesus? That's what the New Testament says. The word is Jesus. The word of God is near you he's in your heart. He's in your mouth everywhere you go. He is I know everywhere you go you are but everywhere you go Jesus isn't he's right there in you in amongst you and then he says if so if you confess with your mouth where Jesus resides that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. Now. This is different from the insurance policy. We very often teach people in the church. We teach people of you will ask God to forgive you your sins and invite him into your heart that he will save you and you will be able to go to heaven when you die. We've talked about that a lot and that's not the gospel. That's part of the Gospel. That's not with the gospel is is we confess that Jesus is Lord It's the kingdom is Jeremy talked about a couple weeks ago. God brings his kingdom to the Earth and he's the king and it's our job to declare to confess meaning I understand. This is true. I believe it's true as impact on my life. And so I confess what is true among me that Jesus is my King. Jesus is Lord of all things that I submit myself and that's what that means. And here's what I do. I do this almost every morning as well. I have this thing that I pray so I remind myself of that almost every day in the first one is I asked a question. Can I trust God with my life today? I've been asking you that over and over again. And so I declare God. I'm going to trust you with my life today. I know that sounds silly but I need to do this for me and it helps me Lord. I understand that you are God and you're the king. I understand you're the king of kings and Lord of lords. I understand that you made everything. I understand you far Supreme it above everything else Lord. I give my life to you today. Lord I submit my life to you. today and when we come to that point Transformation occurs the first time you do that as when you first come to know the kingdom of God, but when you do that over and over again, it's just a reminder of what God already did in your life a reminder of where you stand. And how God wants to work?
He goes on to say because it's with the heart. One Believes In His Justified now when you talk about the resurrection of Christ, that's the crowning Glory of what Christ came to do for us, he came to live a sinless life to pay the penalty for all the destruction in Fall that happened in the universe. He died on the cross. He bled he was buried in three days later. He was resurrected. This is a crown and Glory. He's the first thing of all creation. It's ever risen from the dead. He's the first fruits with means we are going to follow him without that happening the world would not change it become brand new again. So when we come to the point where we believe that guess what that leads to it leads to Salvation at least two being safe what Christ did in submitting ourselves to him as Lord you kind of see what that means.
Can you trust your life with God today? So what does that mean? I think in Christian circles. Very often we have a challenge when it comes to our submission to Christ. We don't do very well at repentance. And we don't do very well at forgiveness and I think this hurts us as a Christian Community. I think this hurts as a church is a whole so if you read You don't read the paper anymore. Do you I know some of you do but you read what you read online for news when you watch the news when you check into what's going on in the world. Do you really believe there's a problem in this world of people not.
Claiming when they've done the wrong thing. That's a problem in this role. Do you suppose that creates a lot of division when people hurt somebody else they don't take responsibility for it repent and apologized you suppose that the problem What would the world be like if people would just step up and when they did the wrong things are when they hurt somebody or when they have you something or when they did something wrong they get step up and own it and claim it repent of it. What would it do for the victims when they told him? I'm sorry for what I did or that do for them? I don't think we even in the church. I don't think we do that well. Romans 3:23 says for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It's a very common passage in I've Define this to you before but I want to say it again, but sin is an archery term. It literally means you've missed the mark and back then they didn't have guns. So they had to use it as an archery term. They would fire an arrow at a Target and it would miss it would miss the Mark. I want you to notice the language in this Rallis send and what happens they fall short. You can just see an arrow falling short and thin is not a list of behaviors. You just have to know that saying is when you have not submitted your life to Christ to his lordship you if you never submitted your life to Christ in his lordship you are living in sin, which means you are missing the mark That's all I mean, you're not living according to the way guy would have you to live and you don't have his power and strength to do anything else. It's not just a list of the Hayward. Yes, behaviors are simple, but outside of Christ were already condemned. It tells us and John chapter 3 if you've never Embrace Embrace Christ, you're already condemned. When you Embrace him as Lord, you're you're free your set free because Christ what he did on the cross he gave for us he gave his only begotten son that if we believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life. If you don't believe in him, you're already condemned. It says in the same path and that's kind of what this is talking about. We've all fall short we all miss the glory of God. We all need the opportunity to repent and once we come to know him, do we do things that are wrong? Sometimes that are hurtful? Yes, and what do we do with those? We repent.
revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from where you falling repent and do the work. You did it first. I want you to notice the language remember from where you have fallen. They're missing what he's referring to his you're missing the mark. Repents and do the work you did it for so used to do the work. He's talking to the church at Ephesus In this passage. The church in Ephesus is a church that that did some amazing things they stood against evil. But what they didn't do is that date they lost their loved they lost her love for Christ. They weren't doing it based on love and according 1st Corinthians 13, if it's not based on love then it means nothing. He's telling Mom you need to have an understanding you need to repent you need to have a change of mind is what it what that means and understand it when you do those things and it needs to be based on the love that Christ has for you and the love you have for them. It has to be done in love until you ask them to repent how would the world be different if when we missed the mark like we talked about it we would just take the time to repent. I mean move on.
forgiveness This comes right after Jesus taught his disciples to pray. And then he makes his comment after that end in the instruction on prayer after he gives the model prayer and he says if you forgive others their trespasses your heavenly father will also forgive you. If you do not forgive others their trespasses. Neither, will your father forgive your trespasses? This is a very significant statement what it means is if you've truly been forgiven You will be forgiving to others one of the I don't want to call a litmus test at one of the ways, you know, if if someone is in crisis whether or not they can forgive others because that seems to be the deal in the same way. We've been forgiven. We will forgive us of what if how different will the world look it when people was wrong. They had the ability in the opportunity to forgive other people for mistreating them. What would the news look like the whole new cycle nowadays is based on things that happened in the past there trying to hold people accountable for and people don't want them if they don't want to Grant forgiveness. They want Vengeance and Justice. Is that true. Is that what you're saying all over the news right. Now the most unchristian thing you can do is that's what's happening because God calls us to forgive and if forgiveness isn't there guess what happens? You're not forgiven. That means there's something price hasn't done something to change your heart. In the meantime. That doesn't mean when bad things happen. You don't struggle with that. But you know that God is going to move in your heart to do that. Do you attract and what I'm talking about here, he goes on to say a little bit later, but I say to you now, this is important when were forgiven. When we are forgiven, it changes us and it changes us to look at things differently. And if you don't believe this really means the hard stuff as well when it comes after II given us were missing the point because here's what it says what I say to you. Love your enemies.
We're to love our enemies. Pray for those who? Persecute you I don't care how they persecuted you were supposed to pray for them and persecutions. You know what that means. They're hunting you down there trying to kill you. They're not stopping their persecuting if they want to get rid of you. I mean, this is the worst kind of I don't know what you want to call persecution that use the word that Define the term the worst kind of persecution. You can possibly imagine and what Jesus tell them is, you need to love your enemies and you need to pray for those who persecute you. How many of those people are throwing accusations against people are taking the opportunity to pray for them?
How many your loving them that's what we're called to do. Now what I'm talking about now only Christians have the ability to do through the power of the Holy Spirit the world can't do it. It comes uniquely installed and in the Holy Spirit the guys install with you and we are the message to the rest of the world. Can you say Amen? We need to demonstrate what it's like but I challenge you to look up all your Christian friends on Facebook. Maybe I shouldn't do that and find out who's being forgiven or not because that's a sign of where we are as a church. I think we don't witness to the world like we should win this because the Beast very things we have a hard time repenting when we need to repent and we don't forgive when we need to forgive but he moves on and he said but I say to you who hear love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you man? This is just ripping my guts out because I'm a Justice guy. I don't want to do that stuff. But this is what God says happened because of Christ. Let me go on bless those who curse you. Someone curses you and I'm supposed to pray blessings on them. I'm supposed to bless them. Yes, that's what God calling us to do is for The Prado pray for those who?
The only one who has been abused if you ever been abused. This is not easy. But what this does the Quicken something with Innocent tells us there's something that we need to do to deal with the fact. Do we can pray for those he goes on repay? No one evil for evil. Which is the theme the eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is what's rampant in the world right now. But give thought to do what is Honorable in the sight of all give thought to do what is Honorable and side of it all. I want you to hang that verse from your computer before you answer something. I want you to put that that verse in your car before you yell at somebody who cut you off in traffic. I want you to know what I mean. I want you to put that out when you're beginning to think about trying to get even with someone that's harm that you take the time to give thought to what is Honorable inside of all the stead of just react. Let me move on if it possible so far as it depends on you live peaceably with all and yes It's not all up to you, but God calls us in the body of Christ to do these things.
Can you trust God with what he's doing with your life and in the world beloved never avenge yourselves? Leave it to the wrath of God for his written vengeance is mine. I will repay. does award to the contrary if your enemy is hungry feed him if he is thirsty give him something to drink by doing so you will Heap burning coals on his head might be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. Can you trust God to take care of those who have abused you those who have hurt you those who have stolen from you also been racist against you those who have who have been persecuting you can you trust God with his Vengeance against those instead of your Vengeance instead of the Vengeance of the governed. I'm not saying government shouldn't do those things. I should have said they're supposed to do and that's a whole nother Sherman but I'm talking about you and your heart. Does that make sense? Can you trust God to do that on your behalf? Or does it have to be you where you hang on the bitterness you hang onto anger and you carry it with you the rest of your life. He said you we don't undercover overcome evil. If you don't do those things or evil is going to overcome you don't be overcome by evil. It means when you hang on to it and you don't forgive and you don't do those things and you don't trust God to be the one that's going to make all that right but overcome evil with. Good.
Going to go to the Lord's Prayer. I'm going to do two things. I'm going to read through it because I'm getting him I'm kind of demonstrated you some of the things I do. I Almost Do The Lord's Prayer every day. And when I do it I let my imagination run. Wild. Do what God is dealing with my heart at the moment. I apply it to the section where it appropriately goes. This is a prayer. We were given it we need to pray like this not necessarily exact words, but I think I think the matically this becomes is it called the model prayer and I want you to think about what we just talked about this morning in the context of this prayer. So go with me, but here's what Jesus taught his disciples pray like this Our Father in heaven. That's a recognition that all of it starts with God. It doesn't start with you. He's the one than the heavens and the heavens isn't far away. It's right here with us the heavens exist with us just like this. The heavens are here when the doors open up. The heavenlies would be right here. It's not a long ways away. But our father he's in heaven. He's as with us. We need to recognize that he is God. He's our father and he loves it Hallowed be your name. His name is Holy in all the world in the heavenlies because he has the power then he says you have a kingdom. He is the king and we want his kingdom to come we pray for a daily. We want his the kingdom to come on Earth. This is Kingdom Come on Earth yet. Now. We wanted to we wanted to come on Earth as it is in heaven as we know it is in heaven and that's what we can to pray for all the stuff we've been talking about. Is that his kingdom on Earth know. We just like the psalmist. Look forward to the future of what was going to come. We need to look forward to the future and trust God with our side. Give us this day our daily bread O Lord, the things that I need to do that I need to do the things I knew today. Would you give me that's literally what that means? Give me the things I need to do what I need to do today.
and forgive us our debts be in the practice of repentance and confession being the practice of presenting your wrongs where you missed the mark the God and as God leads you to those you meant harm. as we also forgive our debtors be in the practice of forgetting those who harm you and abuse you and see I would pray and lead us not into temptation, but Deliver Us from Evil God protect us. Protect me from the trials and tribulations protect me from the evil loose on the world. Give me a place. I'm going to end. AR reading 3 vs in the Book of John and then I'm going to pray then we're going to be done. And I want you to think about what this means with everything we said this morning. John chapter 15 verses 7 through 9 Here's what the Bible says.
If you abide in me. In my words abide in you ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you notice the key about abiding. Sticking with Christ spending time with him and you have being still before the Lord and waiting patiently for being still before the Lord and trusting him. If you do that and his words abide in you remember it's in your mouth and in your heart ask whatever you wish and it be done for you. By this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit. So prove to be my disciples as the father has loved me. So I loved you abide. In my love, let's pray. Heavenly father, I think.