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Satisfied

Fall 2019  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:57
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Begins right after Scripture reading.
Before the recording starts we will pass around the handheld mic. Then I will introduce a video. We will need someone to lower the lights, before the video. Follow along with the notes below.
Slide

What Are you Thankful For?

What are you thankful for? Today, let’s take a few minutes and share things that we are thankful for. I have this handheld microphone and I will pass it around, and if you want you can share a few things you are thankful for.
We will pass around the handheld mic for approximately 5 minutes.
As the mic is passed, press the button marked SELECT over the column labeled HANDHELD. Then use the fader to adjust the volume if people are not speaking loud enough.
When I finish and I am walking back up toward the pulpit, have someone head down to adjust the lights. After the video Intro
Video Intro
We do have many things to be thankful for. As church we are blessed with each other. Christians in the Church are to love one another like no other organization on earth. We have a beautiful sanctuary to worship in, and we have financial resources to spread the gospel. We have many things to be thankful for.
Worldwide, we are doing so much better than most of the world. We can worship in freedom, and safety. A lot of people are being persecuted for their faith. We have a stable government. We have clean water, access to education and health care. There are jobs available, transportation and communication. We ought to be a very thankful people.
However, even with all those opportunities and blessings at any given time we may be faced with a difficulty. It could be something serious that we need. Like a job, or broken relationship or a health problem. Even though we have many things to be thankful for we may have that nagging problem or ,something that we really need, and we may even find it hard to be thankful for what we do have. Today we are going to be looking at what happens when something keeps us from being thankful.
We will begin with a special Thanksgiving video to get us thinking about that.
Play Video
Title slide
For the last few weeks we have been reading through the introductions of some of Paul’s prison letters. God has really been showing me, how Paul in the middle of extreme difficulty, persecution, and trouble is still able to have great joy and thankfulness. The truth is my life is less like Paul, and more like the lady in the video. I do not have the police at my door for preaching the gospel, and we don’t have to meet in secret. Paul had greater difficulties in some of the churches than we could even imagine. Our problems in the grand scheme of things are pretty small.
But even though I still struggle and I am sure some of you do too. For example, being sick is really challenging, you just want the pain to stop, it totally consumes you, how do you be thankful in pain. Loneliness or broken relationships, or loss of loved ones, physically hurts deep in your chest and at times the blackness is overwhelming, how are supposed to be thankful then? There is mental illness, and financial struggles, and all kinds of other burdens we carry, how do you be thankful then? Are quick solution is often ineffective. We look at others people’s problems like Paul for instance and say ok I am not as bad as that guy so I can be thankful I am not him right? That guy really has it bad, Im not that bad. But what if there is a better way? What if instead of comparing to Paul, we learned from Paul and learned how to be thankful rather than the old comparison.
Today, we will look at the book of Colossians Chapter 1 found on page 1165 of the worship Bibles. But before I read the Word let me pray.
Prayer
Colossians 1:3–14 NIV
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Today, I want to start with verse 9.
Colossians 1:9 NIV
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
Verse 9, starts with for this reason that reason is the Gospel. Paul is saying because of your partnership in the Gospel, because we all believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have not stopped praying for you. Do you have someone in your life who you know has faith in the Gospel, and love for all God’s people? Then don’t stop praying for them.
Who are you praying for?
Don’t stop praying for
______________
______________
______________
Don’t stop praying for them, take this sheet right their names down, and don’t stop praying for them. This is a little different than praying for unbelievers, however you can certainly use the same prayer. But here this time Paul is talking about praying for the believers, those who have faith and live for all God’s people.
verse back on screen-not read out loud.
Colossians 1:9 NIV
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
What does Paul pray? Paul prays that God will fill them with the the knowledge of His will.
Paul Prays
That God will fill you with the knowledge of His will.
Whenever we find ourselves in a difficult spot, whenever we are suffering when we find it difficult to give thanks, what is our biggest question? Why God? right?
Why are you doing this--what is happening to me?--What is going to happen.--If I just knew what God’s will was in all of this.....I would be able to get through this. If we knew for sure what God’s plan was it would be so much easier right? I am going through this now, If we knew for sure. It is the not knowing, the questioning the doubting that cause the biggest struggles.
This is not the only place that we see this type of prayer. Prayer to know about God’s will for instance. EP 1.17
Ephesians 1:17 NIV
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Here Paul wants God to give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation-so that you may KNOW Him better or
Romans 12:2 NIV
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
To test and approve God’s will- It is important to Paul that we know the mysterious will that God has, what is doing, how things are unfolding. You may be thinking, yes. I need to know what God is doing, I need to know his will for my life, but I just can’t figure it out, I am slow on the uptake I’m missing the “signals” God is sending me. Or maybe not enough people are praying for me? Or maybe my prayers aren’t being answered.
Let’s look at the verse closer.
Colossians 1:9 NIV
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
Look at this closely. Paul just does not stop at fill you with the knowledge of His will, but he continues- Through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. That is the God the Holy Spirit.
God does not give us knowledge of all of God the Father’s will for our life. That would be too much. We would be crushed, No eye has seen, and no hear has heard. Remember job, job was questioning God, and God came to job and said
Job 38:1–2 NIV
1 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?
God does not tell us everything but he tells us enough-God the Holy Spirit gives us limited knowledge. He gives it as he sees fit. According to His perfect wisdom God reveals to us what we need to know. Our desires to know more is understandable but we have to remember it is a leftover of our rebellious nature. We want to be like God, knowing the answer and the outcome. Children do not always have to know all the parents business, right? The kids just need to know that the parents are taking care of the children according to their love and kindness. That their parents are good. We do not have to know everything we just need to know God is good.And God has let us know he is good, and He loves us, through Christ.
Romans 5:8 NIV
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Now we are faced with a choice-We can either take that knowledge that God is good, knowing that God loves us with a self sacrificing dying love and trust that He does have a plan and is working things out-according to His goodness and mercy, or we can let that thing that we need, or those several things we need be our source of dissatisfaction be our focus and cause us to be unaware of goodness of God, around us.
I want to tell you that God is doing something. Maybe you do not understand, maybe the Spirit has not yet given you knowledge of what is God is doing because God has decided that at this time you are not to have knowledge of why this happening. But he is doing something and it is for His purpose.
Colossians 1:10 NIV
10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
So that, you may live a life pleasing to the Lord-
What does that look like? See that colon It is everything after the colon. Paul is going to give us a list of the things Christians do. We will call them the marks of a Christian.
Here in verse 10 it is bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of God… in verse 11
Colossians 1:11 NIV
11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
in verse 12
Colossians 1:12 NIV
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
These are the marks of a Christian. A true Christian will have these things.
Marks of a Christian
bearing fruit in every good work.
growing in the knowledge of God.
strengthened with power (for endurance and patience)
And giving joyful thanks.
They will bear fruit in every good work-The Gospel comes to us with power- It is effective-there should be results. That could be but is not necessarily limited to people coming to faith. It could be loving all of God’s people-with generosity, and love. Hospitality, kindness, gentleness-thinking of others above yourselves.
Christians grow in the knowledge of God. You have to. We are not all called to Biblical scholars, or to understand everything. God did not gift all people the same way- But that does not mean you cannot know the Lord we all are in a relationship with Jesus. We are learning more of who Jesus is. You can know the Lord through Hos word and through prayer, through the life of the Church through the sacraments, through walking with Him in attempt to be Holy.
Christians are strengthened with power for endurance and patience in the hard times in life. This is a mark of a Christian, they can and do endure, through difficulties, persecution, trials and hardships.
Lastly, giving joyful thanks-this is the one we are concerned about today- Being able to give joyful thanks to God-even when there is something-whether it is big or small that is not good. Being able to give joyful thanks when we are sick, or in financial difficulty. Remember this call for thankfulness is coming from a guy in prison. Last week I said what would Paul have to be thankful for in prison? How can he do this.
Ok here it is all that for this-The reason Paul or any of us, can be thankful in any and all situations is that we find satisfaction in the one provides, not in our circumstances.
On more than one occasion my mother, my dear sweet mother would cook for thanksgiving or some such holiday. She would carefully plan everything and with love serve the meal. Then halfway through or sometimes after we had all eaten, she would suddenly jump up and exclaim Oh no! I left the carrots in the microwave!! Everyone was so satisfied with all the other food, that no one noticed that we were missing the carrots
Now please this is a simple illustration, I am not saying God has forgotten your health, or you job in the microwave. But I am saying if there is that thing that you need, that maybe your satisfaction should come from the other things that God has given you.
We are satisfied with what is on our plate. Even if the Lord does not provide that which we lack. Last week, I mentioned the point of Colossians was not only the necessity of Christ but the Sufficiency of Christ. Christ is all sufficient. What God has provided to Christians is Christ.
If I have nothing-but have Christ I have everything. If do not have food or clothes but I have Christ I have all need-
The prize of the Gospel is that we are united with Christ. Our satisfaction, our joy, everything we can possibly need is Christ. The lady in the video mentioned Moses and the Glory fo God passed in front of him and he saw God’s goodness.
Exodus 33:19 NIV
19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
The goodness fo God is most visible in the cross of Christ. The goodness of God is made manifest, the goodness of God took on flesh, the goodness of God was revealed whent he Lord Jesus Christ without blemish without sin, being fully man and fully God, died on the cross for you sins, and was raised three days later so that By faith you could be united with Him, United with that goodness. Together.
And through that through being united with Christ we have
Colossians 1:12 NIV
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
You have.
1. An inheritance
Share in the inheritence in the kingdom of light. God’s promise to the jews in the Old testament was the Holy Land-the promised land-You too have an inheritnece in heaven. That is also in 1 Peter 1.4
1 Peter 1:4 NIV
4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
It is there for you Do you need a house now, perhaps, but in a few years you will inherit one. One from God-God will supply that need someday it is kept there for you.
What else
Colossians 1:13 NIV
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
You have
1. an inheritance
2. been rescued from the dominion of darkness
You have been rescued from the dominion of darkness- Maybe you have not given thought to what benefit that is. When you are united with Christ, you have been rescued from sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. Those things are awful. Remember when hatred envy and fits of rage-RULED your heart. You were not free to be generous, and kind and loving. You did not have joy. Look around there are people in this world who are still ruled by these thing, because they are still in the dominion of darkness. Can you for a second imagine what it would be like to still be in that place. You have been rescued-be thankful
And
Colossians 1:13 NIV
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
ANd brought into the kingdom of the the Son he loves.
You have
1. an inheritance
2, been rescued from the dominion of darkness
3. been brought into the Kingdom of the Son
That is the kingdom of goodness, your life is now filled with peace and joy and patience, and kindness and gentleness, You are in the kingdom of light, the darkness no longer rules over youYou can have the joy and peace and goodness of God you can be filled with Holy Spirit living in a mansion or living in box. You can be in the kingdom of light as a top athlete or on your deathbed. It matters not.
You can find satisfaction in Christ, you can be brought out of the dominion of darkness, and brought into a new kingdom ruled by good loving and merciful Lord Jesus. Start by turning from your sins and toward him, by faith trust that he has paid the price for your sins, believe he has risen from the dead to bring you into the kingdom of the son he loves -Be thankful-for Christ is all you need.
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