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WELCOME: Elder Higgins Reflections Group Tuesdays @ 7:30 pm
Icebreaker:
Reflections Church Service
July 24th, 2022
Pastor Straker
“FIRE ESCAPES"
1 Corinthians 10:13
1 Corinthians 10:13 CSB
13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.
Before we look at what was dealt with in chapter 10 verse 13. There is a burning question from chapter 9 pastor alluded to let’s read the verse referred to:
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
1 Corinthians 9:24–25 CSB
24 Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown.
Question: Are you running this Christian race to win? Are you training hard enough? Are you committed to the process?
We like to play with fire, we run to fire
You don’t get to the next level without evaluation
There is a way out, but you will have to sometimes endure through the fire. (3 Hebrew boys)
No matter what we’re going through...”But God is faithful” That is how we get through trials and temptations remembering God is faithful. That is the fire escape.
James 4:1 - 4
James 4:1–4 CSB
1 What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your passions that wage war within you? 2 You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God.
Question: What are some ways our culture inflame the “passions” described here?
The human heart manufactures desires, frequently selfish ones. These can range from the mundane (“I want some peace and quiet”) to the weighty (“I want power and significance”). When someone prevents you from satisfying a desire, you are tempted to view that person as an enemy to be defeated. Jesus reminds us that murder begins in the heart with hatred (Matthew 5:21 - 26).
Many of us don’t receive what they want from God either because they do not ask or they ask with wrong motives (vv 2-3). The kingdom of God and the needs of others don’t factor into the equation. A helpful question ot pose when we pray is: How will God’s program be advanced through the granting of my request?
Questions: What are symptoms of someone who “wants to be the friend of the world”?
When we want the satisfaction of our own desires above all else, we commit idolatry and worship something other than God. Worldliness and godliness cannot coexist.
James 4:7
James 4:7 CSB
7 Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
To submit to God is to recognize our weakness, to stop fighting, and to surrender to Him as our ultimate and final authority (Romans 12:1 - 2)
Satan is stronger than us, smarter than us, and has been practicing his craft for a very long time. There is only one way to resist him: the same way the King of kings resisted him -- by wielding Scripture (see Matthew 4:1 - 11). When the enemy of our souls whispers his lies to our consciences, we need to proclaim the the truth of the Word of God, and he will flee from you, those negative, sinful, and damaging thoughts will disappear (Matthew 4:11).
James 4:8
James 4:8 CSB
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
To draw near to God is to com into His presence with prayer, praise, and obedience. However, if you only reserve Sundays that will not be enough (Q: How many of you have or had a relationship? Did you want to spend time with that person only once a week for 2 hours) Let’s act as if we love God.
To cleanse our hands requires taking personal responsibility for sin and refusing to downplay it. Some people don’t receive the help they need from God because they “don’t sin”. Rather they, “make mistakes”. Jesus didn’t die for mistakes; He died for sins. To call sin anything else is a symptom of pride.
James 4:13 - 15
James 4:13–15 CSB
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. 15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Life has too many variables for us to guarantee our tomorrow. We are like vapor that vanishes. Here for a moment and then gone. God on the other hand, His plans are assured because He is all knowing, all powerful, eternal King.
We should acknowledge our plans fall within a larger, controlling reality: the will of God. We need to make our plans (Proverbs 16:9), but then submit them to the Lord for approval. To do something if the Lord wills is not a pious phrase but a philosophy of life.
Prayer:
Announcements:
July assignment: Apply the How to Read the Bible series to the letters to Timothy
Thank all who joined us in fellowship lunch with Ian and his family after attending service this past Sunday. (We were joined by Pastor)
RG Outing (Tentative date Saturday August 19th, 2022)
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