All posts by Larry Evans

Unashamedly, I am a Christian who will not hesitate to defend The Lord and His Word. I believe that the LORD is God, and that He is faithful to His Word. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that THE WORD of GOD [Jesus] is the fulfilled covenant promise and the one and only way to the Father, by grace through faith... not through works I've done or not done. I am thankful for everyday He gives me and for having been given a taste of heaven right here on earth right now. He has proven faithful and true in all things time and time again. I have nothing to prove. I have nothing to hide. I only have The LORD to serve and Jesus to Love. I am a Dad to 4 wonderful children, and a husband to the most amazing mid-westerly charming woman I could ever imagine--it is a pleasure to serve her. All this (and then some) makes up who I am.

Marriage–Proverbs Week 6 10:30 am

Pastor Dan BorgeltPastor Dan WP Cover

Opening  video: Marriage Promise
(5 min.)


Audio: [32:32]

Audio Transcript:
“Here at Kirkmont, we’re walking through an Old Testament book of the Bible known as The Book of Proverbs. The Book of Proverbs addresses a whole array of various topics and subjects that are really pertinent and relevant to our life.

We looked at the concept of friendship. We looked at the concept of forgiveness. We’ve looked at the words we use and all kinds of different things. But today’s topic brings us to the subject of marriage.

It’s hard to deny when you walk through the Book of Proverbs that God has a whole lot to say to us, a lot of his wisdom that he wants to pass on to us about our marriage. And in fact, so much we’re going to look at it for a couple of weeks together. Next week we’re going to look at more of the PG-13 version of marriage, and so we will have our second through fifth-grade children’s church back up and running. But today we will be looking at other aspects of marriage.

Our big idea for you this morning as we look at various Proverbs is,

The wise person understands the many ways a married couple can glorify God.

The many ways… we’re going to look at several aspects of the marriage relationship as they’re presented to us in the Book of Proverbs. And we ultimately want to see from the outset that this is pointing towards glorifying God.

I love what the video said,

“Hey, the purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but it is to make us holy.” And in doing so we honor and glorify God.

It’s a kind of little twist on what many people have taught us about the concept of marriage and it made be the very thing that moves you and pushes you through the spot that you’re in as you gather here this morning.

The purpose is not to make us happy but to make us more holy.

Today in Proverbs we’re going to be looking at:

  1. Marriage as a Covenant;
  2. Marriage as Friendship;
  3. Marriage as Intellectual Partners;
  4. Marriage as Managing Partners;
  5. Marriage as Economic Partners; and finally
  6. Marriage as Ministry Partners. 

Gold Dividing Line

To understand what the Book of Proverbs has to say to us about marriage we have to understand two very key points.

FIRST, we need to understand is that the Book of Proverbs was addressed initially to young men. That’s why it repeatedly says things like, “son” or “young man heed your mother’s wisdom … and your father’s wisdom”.It’s addressing young men.

It warns against the adulterous woman, but it doesn’t warn against the adulterous man. Why? Not because there aren’t adulterous men out there, but because it’s instructed towards young men. And so we’re going to have to realize that as we look at what the Bible has to say to us about the subject of marriage.

Because I think the main takeaway for me on that is that when we see what a young man should be looking for in a wife, which is how Proverbs mostly addresses the subject, for the most part, we could reverse those and say, “Young ladies, here’s what you ought to be looking for in a husband as well.” So we can’t let the language leave us in the dark and not realize the application that Proverbs has for all of us.

SECOND. The other thing we need to understand about the Book of Proverbs is, it was being written at a time when marriage was something drastically different from what we think of it today.
Marriage was so incredibly transactional, as we used that expression a couple of weeks ago under friendship.

Nowhere in marriage at this time were they really pursuing not only emotional intimacy, but they really honestly weren’t even pursuing physical intimacy.

It was widely accepted that that happened outside of the marriage relationship.I mean the marriage back then was so drastically different, when you read Proverbs then, it’s really powerful that God spoke right through that culture and said, “No, this is what I have in store for a husband and wife as they come together.”

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[00:04:26]

1. Marriage as a Covenant;

All right, let’s first look at this idea of marriage as a covenant as we dive Into the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs 2:16-17 tell us these words,

“Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
(more on that next week)
17 who has left the partner of her youth
    and ignored the covenant she made before God.”

Now a covenant is like a contract or an agreement between two parties. Today, we shake hands, we write-up legal documents or something like that to say, “here’s a covenant between us”.

Many people think of marriage as a covenant–they’re not completely a loss when it comes to this… they just think of a covenant between two people. And they’re missing that what the Scripture says is that she has left and ignored the Covenant she made before God“.

That’s one reason why, whenever I’m doing a wedding ceremony I’ll say something like, “Hey Dan, today you are not just saying to Amanda. “I will love you”, but you’re saying,, “God, I will love Amanda”.
“And Amanda you’re not just saying to Dan that you will love Dan, but you’re making a covenant saying, “God. I will love Dan.” You’re making this commitment before God, not just a commitment before one another.

And so the Bible uses this language of a covenant that we’re making with God,

Well, how can we possibly use the word covenant without thinking about The Great Covenant that God has invited us into in relationship with him–this wonderful precious Covenant where God comes before us and says, “Alright, I’ll be your God and you will be my people. You can become my children if all you do is place your faith and trust in my son Jesus Christ.”

It’s a Covenant that Jesus’s body has been broken for our sins that his blood has been shed for our sins. And the Covenant is that those who place their faith and trust in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the Forgiveness of their sins are forgiven of their sins.

That’s the precious Gospel.

So people who come together and understand that they’re making a covenant before God, understand and walk in this New Testament Covenant of Grace, that we’re going to celebrate in a little bit together around the communion table, and therefore they walk and they live in the Gospel with one another.

They walk and they live in relationship with Jesus Christ whom God promises us to be in relationship with.

And so an incredibly powerful thing begins to happen when two married people start to walk in relationship with Jesus Christ…. they realized first and foremost that He’s the best spouse that they could ever have.

If your marriage is struggling, it’s probably a pretty good indicator that one of you doesn’t realize that Jesus is the best spouse that you could possibly have.

Not only do we not realize that he’s the best spouse that we could have, but we fail at times to recognize then all that he has to offer us.

But when we walk in Covenant relationship with him and in relationship with Jesus Christ, we begin to realize he’s the best spouse that we could have; we seek from him all that he has to offer and it changes something dramatically about our marriage relationship. Because don’t marriage most marriages fail ultimately because we enter into them expecting too much from our husband or a wife and not enough from Jesus Christ.

Don’t most marriages ultimately fail because we go into them expecting too much from our husband or our wife and not enough from Jesus Christ.

And so immediately we see God is establishing marriage not just as between two people that we get all we can out of each other, but he’s part of the equation and our relationship with him is key and pivotable as we come into that relationship with him and seek what he has to offer.

Gold Dividing Line

The other thing is that this new covenant, the Gospel teaches us how incredibly flawed we are from the very beginning. And incredibly how incredibly flawed our husband or wife is from the very beginning and it changes our expectations dramatically about what we ought to be looking for in a marriage.

Now some of you say, “Yeah but Pastor you don’t know… I mean you do not know my husband or my wife or my ex-husband or my ex-wife. I_married_the_wrong_person… No, I mean really I married the wrong person.”

Let me be clear pastorally, some of you did just that… I mean some of you did. And the Bible says that there’s such a time where a husband or wife crosses a line or a boundary. where not only does it give you permission to possibly break that Covenant, but there are times where even pastorally I would tell someone it’s probably time you should break that Covenant relationship.

That does exist out there. But let’s be honest… the overwhelming majority of the time that someone says, “I married the wrong person…” we all did all right?

Didn’t we all marry the wrong person? There’s no such thing as 100% compatibility. There’s no such thing as 100% compatibility… to a degree, we all married the wrong person. No one’s a perfect person for us.

As soon as we think that maybe we’re going into the marriage relationship with someone who’s just a great perfect fit for us, they change. That’s the incredible thing about marriage is people change within the context of marriage repeatedly over and over and over again. So if we go into the marriage relationship entering into that Covenant with them alone based on their character and personality alone, we’re ultimately going to feel disappointed and burdened by the fact that they’ve changed.

There’s one guy who’s famous for saying, “My wife and I have been married for 20 years. And in our 20 years of marriage, she has lived with four different guys. And all four of them have been me.” 

As he acknowledges the fact that he’s been a totally different person over the years in his marriage relationship and he’s thankful that his wife had a commitment to God and to his unchanging character, and not towards just him and him alone.

Some of you might want to break the Covenant by saying, “Love shouldn’t be this hard. We have to work so incredibly hard at it, surely love shouldn’t be this hard.” Whoever came up with the idea that something that one has to work hard at must not have any value? That doesn’t make any sense. Right? If someone says, you know, “Hey, you’re an incredible pianist, but you had to work really hard at it”.

So we do we devalue that? No, we honor that and recognize that.  Or,

“We’re so proud of you for running a marathon, but, oh, you had to practice and train?”

No, all great feats are accomplished through hard work, and marriages one of those. Saying love shouldn’t be this hard comes from Hollywood. The Scriptures never speak of the marriage relationship in any way shape or form like that.

Love… true Covenant marriage is indeed going to be at times incredibly hard work.

Marriage as a Covenant.

Gold Dividing Line

[00:12:02]
Proverbs also tells us about…

2. Marriage as Friendship

We can actually look at the same passage of Scripture in Proverbs Chapter 2 verses 16 and 17. We’ve just highlighted a different word for you. Let’s look at this again

“Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
(more on that next week)
17 who has left the partner of her youth
    and ignored the covenant she made before God.”

This word partner a powerful word. In the original language, the word partner means something much more profound than just the concept of partner.  It’s more like what we saw a couple weeks ago in Proverbs 16:28, and this is actually the exact same Hebrew word…

A perverse person stirs up conflict,
    and a gossip separates close friends.

Okay, same exact keyword. Now, let’s go back to Proverbs Chapter 2 verses 16 and 17

who has left the partner of her youth

… this close friend of her youth. The Book of Proverbs is moving us in a marriage relationship beyond just a covenant where we’re just committed to God, we got to put up with each other, to a place where we truly_are_best_friends.

Well, let me tell you something…  a marriage that has a sense of the Covenant, but not a sense of the Friendship can be a difficult place to be in… can’t it?

Gold Dividing Line
[00:13:42]
Pearl Jam, a music group from my teens, wrote a song that I think kind of depicts how difficult and how taxing it can be to be in a marriage relationship where there’s this Covenant thing going, where we’re staying together, but there’s not any real friendship or enjoyment that comes from being in that relationship. This is just a little clip from that song.

Pearl Jam – Can’t Find a Better Man

I think you get a sense from that passage in Proverbs 2 about the difficulty perhaps of being in a marriage relationship where there’s no real friendship that’s going on. In fact, the Book of Proverbs speaks of the opposite of friendship when it comes to marriage with regards to the words quarrelsome.

In Proverbs chapter 21 verse 9, the Scriptures tells us this,

Better to live on a corner of the roof

I don’t know who does that or what that’s like, but I guess it’s like sleeping on a couch only like worse. Maybe.

than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

(Laughter)

Again, this goes both ways men and women.

Proverbs chapter 21 verse 19

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

Proverbs Chapter 19, Verse 13 tells us,

A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.

Quarrelsome“.. this word quarrelsome is like used for all three of these Proverbs that speak into this idea that there are other options besides having good friendship in a marriage, you could be in one of these types of relationships.

Most quarrelsome based marriages are marriages that have lost site— at least one partner has lost sight of the Gospel, of their own failures and their own shortcomings, and therefore they’re quick to point out their partner’s shortcomings and failures. They’re not willing to show the grace to their husband or wife that they have received from Jesus Christ.

No, I mean, marriages that are marked by friendship are marriages that have words like grace, and tolerance, and picking your battles, infused into them.

Some of us need a pause and stop and ask ourselves., “Am I really being wise in the battles that I’m picking? Am I going down the path of a friendship based marriage or a quarrelsome husband or wife?”

Let’s pick our battles in the areas of what restaurants we go to, and things like dishes and laundry, and football, and money, and sex, and Saturday afternoon hobbies, and you name it… on and on and on. And that goes both ways, for both sides.

Romans chapter 15 verses 1 through 3 tells us this,

 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors

If you don’t mind, I’m going to take the liberty to insert husband or wife. Each of us should please our husbands or our wives for their good to build them up, right?

This is a mentality that followers of Christ embrace about their husband or about their wife in that relationship that is the opposite of being a quarrelsome wife or quarrelsome husband. 

It’s like, “Hey, like I’m going to choose not to bring this up and mention it because I’m here to serve you, I want to lift you up. I want to build you up. My goal is to please you in this relationship.” right?

And so the Scripture speaks of not only marriage as a covenant but also marriage as a friendship —a radically different component than the time of the Book of Proverbs. And maybe radically different than what some of us have today.

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[00:18:35]  Next…
3. Marriage as Intellectual Partners

In the Book of Proverbs chapter 1 verse 8 and 9 the Scripture tells us this…

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
 For they are a garland to grace your head
    and a chain to adorn your neck.

Another radical concept in an age where most women were not being educated.

The Book of Proverbs speaks into this idea that these young men ought to pay attention not only to what their fathers but also what their mothers say.

So these husbands and wives, these fathers and mothers have something worth saying. Here’s a wise saying, “Your father and your mother have something important to teach you for they are intellectual partners in their marriage relationship with one another and they’re rearing you and raising you as such.”

In Proverbs chapter 6 verse 20 the Scripture tells us something along the same lines,

My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Again, the father has something to teach the child, mother has something to teach a child… because Proverbs views this marriage relationship, as they come together, as one of intellectual partners.

And if we’re honest with ourselves, some of our marriages don’t really recognize the intellectual value of each other.

Some of you wives view yourself as being a smart person in the marriage. Or some of your husband’s view yourself as being a smart person in the marriage, and we fail to value each other intellectually the way that we should.

Let me just ask you. Are you unintentionally, if you’re rearing your kids right now especially, are you unintentionally giving your kids the wrong impression about either of the parents based on the way in which you are raising them?

I think this applies to discipline as well. I mean if we’re going to expect our moms and our dads to provide equal instruction into the lives of kids, they should also be providing the boundary and the consequences for those things as well.

As a child, in my home, we didn’t operate that way. At my house if you didn’t listen to my mom, then what did my mom say? You know it.

“Wait till your father gets home”

Right? Which only made me think, “Actually it’s really not that big of a deal to not listen to you. Because you’re not someone who has a big enough place in this home that you can really do anything to me. Is that helping me respect you?”

It doesn’t.

So my advice and counsel, and I don’t say that to make people feel bad about the way you’re raising kids, but we should consider the fact that that expression may not have a lot of biblical wisdom behind it.

The Book of Proverbs, the Bible as a whole, views these two coming together and being intellectual partners and I think that flows all the way through… the teaching, the instruction, the boundaries, the discipline, the whole process.

Proverbs chapter 31 verse 10 tells us this,

A wife of noble character, who can find?
    For she is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.

“Her husband has full confidence“… some translations say trust. Some of the commentators say this is one of the only places in the whole Bible where the Bible gives us permission to trust anyone or anything other than God, within this marriage relationship.

He gets to TRUST her. He has full confidence in her because he recognizes the value in which she brings to the marriage.  Again, that goes both ways. I ask you, husbands and wives, are we valuing each other as intellectual Partners?

Gold Dividing Line

Proverbs 31:26 tells us this,

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

The Bible is saying, “Hey, go find an intellectual partner as a husband or as a wife—a wise spouse is a spouse who recognizes the intellectual strength of their husband or wife and lets them lead in that area.

A wise husband says, “Hey, wife… you’re smarter than me about… you know, what.”  A wise wife says, “Hey husband, you’re smarter than me about.. you know what.” and lets them take a lead in guidance and direction in their areas of strength.

This intellectual component was one of the things that attracted me most to my wife Amanda. We were in college and we were doing the college thing together. I can’t remember if we were still just friends or just dating, but at one point in time I was a youth ministry major at and I wanted to be in the ministry.

She was the one who told me,
“Hey, you know, what they’re teaching you in these classes are basically a bunch of stuff you could learn six months on the job.” She said, “You didn’t grow up in the church, so what you really need is a Bible theology degree.” And you know what? She was dead right.

I switched Majors and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

She was the one who came along at another time and said,
“Hey, maybe you should consider this reformed view of viewing the Bible.” …which is another subject, but it’s one that I came to embrace and realize was the correct way of viewing the Scripture.

So it was those are the types of things that I was able to see from her that made me value her as an intellectual partner, and someone who I wanted to be married to.

I hope that if you’re out here today, you have a husband or a wife who values you as an intellectual partner and vice versa.

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[00:24:21] 

The other component we see in Proverbs is a managing partner.

4. Marriage as Managing Partners

In the Book of Proverbs Chapter 14 verse 1

The wise woman builds her house,
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Now this is kind of one of those peculiar Proverbs where one might ask, “To be a wise woman, does that mean I need to be able to hammer nails and cut boards and that kind of stuff? Surely building a house has some bigger meaning than actually constructing a physical house”

And it turns out (surprise, surprise), it does.

Tim Keller who’s a well-known pastor and author writes this about Proverbs 14 verse 1. He says,
“Proverbs assumes, as does the rest of the Bible, that the husband is the head of the home. This headship will take different forms in different marriages. 

If that’s a new expression to you we’ll deal with that another time, but it’s a Biblical expression that needs to be dealt with in the life of the church and is given to us from the wisdom of God.

But he says this,
However one conceives it, it cannot be taken to mean that the husband alone makes all the management decisions. The wise woman builds her house, and here the word house means not to merely construct the physical dwelling, but to lay the foundations for a family’s life: socially, economically, materially, emotionally, and spiritually.”

And so these are instructions to a young man to find a wife who can not only be an intellectual partner but a managing partner.  And young ladies, we want the same for you as well as you’re looking for a husband… to seek someone who will not only be an intellectual partner but a managing partner as well—someone who will do their part in caring for the house both domestically inside the home and outside of the home as well.

The Scripture tells us in Proverbs Chapter 31 verses 21 and 22 these words….

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

It goes on to say in verse 27 these words…

She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Some pastors view this whole managing relationship of husband and wife, and when they teach about this, quite frankly, I think many go past the scope of biblical authority, into saying, “This is the role the husband should play. This is the role of the wife should play.”

We don’t really have a lot of biblical authority to go too far down the road into details. What we do have the biblical authority to say is that these folks should be managing partners of the household, that both the husband and wife should be productive members in caring for and providing for the house.

We’re going to see that the Proverbs 31 Woman not only managed domestically, but she also made money and brought in an income as well. Isn’t that a little stressful to think about ladies? Like we often think about women as being either stay at home moms or working moms. And of course, our working moms may more naturally know this, that there’s no such thing as a working mom who doesn’t also have to do work at home. And here we see the Proverbs 31 Woman was someone who had both worlds going on.

And we want that for our husbands as well… who are providing for the family but also are not above doing domestic things around the house. There’s a dynamic where wise people come together in marriage and realize that they’re managing partners together.

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The Bible also presents these married couples as economic partners as well.
[00:28:10]

5. Marriage as Economic Partners

The Scripture tells us this in Proverbs 31 verse 13 through 18:

She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.

It’s sad, of course, when we run into people who are in an economic situation when either a husband or wife is refusing to be a part of the economic partnership.

Here we see that in a Proverbs 31 Woman, a man is seeking not only a woman who has the ability to provide for her family that way, but also we desire, as with all these Proverbs of course, the reverse as well—women looking for men who are willing to go out and work, even if it means that the lamp doesn’t go out at night, to care for and provide for their family.

God has given us this beautiful marriage relationship that we might not suffer some of the economic consequences of not being in that relationship.

It’s so ironic because so many people say, “One of the reasons I’m not getting married is I think marriage is going to suck all my money away.” You’ve heard that one before.

Here’s the thing… there are lots of different factors involved in this, but statistically speaking married people earn far more money than single people over the course of their lifetime, and they retire with far more wealth than single people do as well.

And again, there’s all kinds of different variables and circumstances for why that’s true. But I think one of the reasons why is because God provides within that economic partnership.

Gold Dividing Line

And then finally, church, just one verse on the reality that marriage is also a Ministry partnership as well.
[00:30:34]

6. Marriage as Ministry Partners

Proverbs 31:20 tells us this,

She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.

There’s something beautiful about when you’re seeking a husband or a wife, finding one who is about the business of doing the work of God, and has a heart for the things that God has a heart for.

And that’s one of the wonderful ways that God wants to make us holy, is to bring us into a marriage partnership where it’s also a Ministry partnership, and both people have a heart for the things that God has a heart for and they’re pushing each other and that direction and encouraging and challenging each other and stretching each other’s Faith along those lines.

Let me just ask you, “When is the last time that you had your husband or your wife challenge you, push you, engage you in the direction of having a Ministry heart, or you did that for your spouse?”

This is one of the beautiful things about this Proverbs 31 women and I would say, men as well… they’re people who care for the things that God ultimately cares for.

07052012figure_j

Marriage is all these different dynamics, but by no means is it an exhaustive teaching on the subject of marriage. The Bible has so many other things to say, but Proverbs alone tells us a lot and as we go through and we evaluate the type of husbands and wives we are, or might be someday, or were… we are reminded as we walk through that list of the great shortcomings in our life. I mean, perhaps no relationship better than the relationship we’ve had with our husband or wife is faithful to remind us of how broken we are… and how sinful we are… and how much we need the blood of Jesus Christ for our forgiveness.”

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Love In Action – Proverbs Week 3

Pastor Dan Borgelt
Pastor Dan Pulpit 3

Audio: [17:58]

Audio Transcript:
Proverbs Chapter 24 verses 11-12:

11 Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

“The context of those proverbs a difficult one to figure out. Some people think that this proverb was written in the context of war trying to preserve people from being led to death through an unjust war. Other people recognize the common practice back then of infanticide where many cultures around the Biblical times of the Old Testament practiced various forms of infanticide where they would have these child sacrifices.

And so it’s hard to know for sure exactly what the context of this proverb was, but one thing we know for sure was that God saw this unjust, killing, or leading to death of some human life, and he calls his people to stand up and to do something about it—to rescue them, to hold back those who are being led in this path… let’s do something about that.

This is the subject of life and rescuing life.

Now of course around the whole pro-life / pro-choice argument has often been for decades whether or not we were really dealing with a life when we’re talking about a child inside of a mother’s womb. That argument even from the pro-choice movement is fading quickly.

Embryology, the science of embryology is advancing and growing, and it is starting to really squelch that whole argument.

A few decades ago many of you would probably say, “You know, we were just taught in high school…” and you would share some story that basically made it sound like the idea of having an abortion was not that big of a deal. But with the advancements of embryology, we are starting to realize more and more undeniably we’re talking about life,

In fact, I was rereading a book this past week from a guy who goes around from college campus to college campus and debates, from the pro-life perspective, others who are there to debate from the pro-choice perspective.

And he’s getting to a point now, or like in this book, he doesn’t even have a section on the arguments for the fact that we’re dealing with life because he realizes that in the debating world, that is a declining argument from even the pro-choice perspective–they’re no longer even really holding on to that argument.

And here’s the thing… once we embrace the idea that what we’re dealing with is life, and isn’t that a wise thing to do, if anything, to at least err on the side of life, then we would have to acknowledge that many if not all of the arguments from the pro-choice side begin to fade very quickly:

  • the betterment of a child;
  • the betterment of a mother even in painful circumstances such as sexual assaults;
  • arguments of my body my choice

All those, when really tested up against the reality that does this circumstance justify taking someone else’s life, really begins to fade away.

The advancement of embryology is helping to make that happen.

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Ultimately, Proverbs 24:11-12 is about action. They not only tell us to rescue and to hold back but then in verse 12 you can tell the writer of Proverbs is anticipating the excuse for inactivity. .. “But we don’t know anything about this injustice that you’re talking about.”

And the answer we get back is, “Hold on. Wait a second. Yeah you do.  And, more importantly, God knows that you do.” 

“… does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life really know what you really know?” in other words.  
And will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?”
Proverbs 24:12

This is ultimately a proverb about moving into ACTION, rescuing those who are being Unjustly having their life taken from them.

Gold Dividing Line

Now we could, in order to respond in action, we could take up the cause like this author has done and become a debater and an arguer of people.

That has its role and its value in this subject. But here’s the thing and as far as when we study church history when we study the truth of God’s Word, the Church has rarely transformed culture and society by arguing and debating, but it has almost always transferred culture and society by love_in_action… by their faith being put into action.

In fact, he tells a wonderful story about how the body of Christ did exactly that for a particular woman. He tells this story of this woman who we will recognize here in just a bit. He says,
“Consider this. how it happened to win over the most famous pro-abortion advocate in the world. Anybody remember her name?
Norma McCorvey aka Jane Roe. The plaintiffs in the infamous Supreme Court case Roe versus Wade that declared that state laws against abortion were unconstitutional.

She writes previously, “Abortion was the sun around which my entire life orbited. I once told a reporter the issue was the only thing I live for. I live, eat, breathe, and think everything about abortion from a pro-choice movement.”

Well turns out by the sovereignty of God that her organization ends up renting space right next to a Miami Valley Women’s Center-like organization—they shared a common wall with one another. And so people from both sides of the subject crossed each other’s paths. Some from the Christian side who were there on the pro-life side maybe didn’t handle themselves the way they should’ve, but ultimately the majority of the people who operated out of that place next door to Jane Roe,  eventually won her over. And here’s what she goes on to say,

“Love shakes people to the core. You begin to question your long-held beliefs, then the lie soaked with love like a hillside slowly softens and then it gives way. In a moment your whole world view is mud.”

In Norma’s case, her defense of abortion gave way soon after she put her faith in Christ. She says, “When my conversion became public knowledge I spoke openly to reporters about still supporting legalized abortion in the 1st trimester. The media was quick to use this to downplay the seriousness of my conversion saying I tipified the general ambivalence of our culture over abortion.

But a few weeks after my conversion I was sitting in the OR’s offices when I noticed a fetal development poster. The expression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet. It hurt my heart just looking at them. I ran outside and finally, it dawned on me, “Norma,” I said to myself, “they’re right!”

I had worked with pregnant women for years. I had been through 3 pregnancies and deliveries myself. I should have known. Yet something in that poster made me lose my breath. I kept seeing a picture of that tiny 10-week old embryo.” (and we have a 12 week old on display in the back of the sanctuary).

“I said to myself, “That’s a baby… as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth… that’s a baby.”

You see Church, we’re talking about Proverbs 24 calling us to action and we’re acknowledging the fact that the Church has won people over and been the most winsome when it put its’ love in action.

So it has to be more than a political vote right?

To satisfy the demands of Proverbs 24 it must be more than just trying to sleep at night saying, ‘I have voted for the party which I think is most pro-life.’ It has to be more than the denominational change doesn’t it?—to satisfy the demands of Proverbs 24 upon our life, it must be more than Kirkmont left a pro-choice denomination a few years ago and became a part of a pro-life the nomination. Right?

It has to be more than just that. It has to go beyond to active, real genuine as Michael saying, real genuine support of organizations like the Miami Valley Women’s Center.

Some of you have more money than time and some of you have more time than money. And I think they need both. The only thing I would ask you is that you don’t decide whether God wants your money or your time, but rather you open that question up to him and let him decide for you.

My mom was forced into retirement a few years ago because of her battle with cancer, and about 9 months ago she was given no viable mainline course of treatment that was going to deal with her cancer.

And so since then, she has been spending a lot of her money in dealing with holistic forms of treating her cancer.  She was a pro-life person her whole life but had never done anything besides vote in that direction.

And so now she has more time than money and so she recently decided to start volunteering at her local version of the Miami Valley Women’s Center. They could use either one, I’m sure.

Another option is foster care.

That’s why we said at the beginning if we’re going to be truly a pro-life Church it has to be more than things like just voting in this direction, there has to be actual love and care and things put in place so that women have choices and options.

You know the majority of the women who are having an abortion right now are having an abortion, believing,
1)  that it’s wrong
and,
2) they justify doing what they’re doing because their circumstances demand it, they believe.

We get so hung up on the media and how far and extreme it is. We see examples of women bragging about abortion and forget that the majority of women enter into a situation that they believe is so dire, so hopeless, that they do something life-changing and altering even though they don’t think that they should.

And so the church has to rise up and provide other options. Foster care is a great one. What if moms knew that there were an abundance of loving homes waiting for children.

You know right now in Ohio, there are more churches that exist than children waiting in the foster care systems. Which means that it just in one family or person from each church in the state of Ohio decided to respond to this pro-life movement by putting their faith in action here, we could take all the children out of the foster care system and put him in loving homes.

Of course, adoption is another means.

Michael shared his having adopted both a son and a daughter. Or support in adoption and adopting a child and knowing that women are providing women an actual alternative option.

Some of you are here you’re on the stage in life where you think, “That’s not really relevant to me, I’m too old to adopt.”

Let me just say this, that just because you’re past your natural years of childbirth doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily too old to adopt.

Michael shared that he was 48 years old when he adopted.

Now some of you, you may be too old to adopt. (LAUGHTER) But that doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in supporting someone else who adopts.

You guys help support us in our most recent adoption, and our last church helped us with our previous one. But there was one woman who wasn’t a big fan of the whole idea. In fact, we were having an adoption fundraiser for another family, and I remember her coming up to me and saying, “Why are we doing this? We don’t help people pay for their medical bills when they have a child. Why are we supporting these families who are trying to do this?”

And God gave me this example, an illustration:
I want you to imagine that one day we gathered here Sunday, morning for worship and when we walked in we saw a child had been dropped off before our gathering. And, as a church family knew 2 things about this child
1) We knew that this child needed a loving family to bring them in,
2) it was going to take a large sum of money to bring them into a loving family.

Once that had been announced we’d all start looking at each other looking around the room, waiting for someone to rise up, waiting for the family over there to rise up; waiting for the family over there to rise up. We’d probably be looking at each other… we’d probably be crickets after we made that announcement.

But then I want you to imagine if one of our families or one of our individuals in our church raised their hand and said, “Hey… we will bring this child into our house, and we will parent them, and we will feed them, and we will clothe them, and we will pay for the water and electricity that they consume, and maybe by God’s grace will even be able to put a little aside for their college some day.  We will be their family and treat them as our son or daughter, but we don’t have the sum of money that it takes to put that child into our family 

All the rest of you like, (handing them money), “Here you go, here you go…” You’d be so relieved that someone else was willing to take on that incredible burden, you’d gladly as a church family come around that person and help make it happen. and together we will have rescued that child.

Gold Dividing Line

So the point is simply to say that, no matter what stage you are in life the concept of paralleling our spiritual adoption in Christ is always available to us… to support, as we bring children into loving families and provide options for our moms so they can see the love of Christ indeed in action.

Gold Dividing Line

 I’ll close by reading the Scripture that speaks of our spiritual adoption. It tells us this:

Galatians 4:1-7

What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.  For he is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.  So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.  But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law (faith and love in action), to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full right of sons. Now because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s son, his child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

This is a passage about a call to action regarding helping those who are in justly being led to their death to be saved and rescued And we would probably be remiss  to close our time without .pausing and saying, “Thank you.”,

I hope you leave here today with a challenge but I hope you leave here today also with a sense of. “thank you”. Because when you support Kirkmont, as he said, you also are supporting the Miami Valley Women’s Center

Some of you already volunteer there; some of you have already done things in your life to advocate for this cause and we thank you for just that.

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Treasure: SEE – Lost and Found

Pastor Dan Borgelt
Pastor Dan Pulpit 3

AUDIO

There are so many different ways to see the same person, aren’t there?  So many different ways to see the same person, but what we’re most interested in around here at Kirkmont is making sure that we are seeing people the way that God sees them.

So let me just ask you, “What type of person or what group of people are the most difficult for you to see, to look at, and to see them the way that you at least imagine God sees them?”

  • I suspect for some of you it’s when you’re out in public and there’s that kid that’s throwing some kind of a tantrum of some kind and you’re looking at that child when they’re complaining and whining and screaming, and you are having a really hard time seeing that child the way that God probably sees that child.
  • Or maybe for some of you it’s not the child that you have a problem seeing the way that God sees them, but it’s the parents of that child; and you think to yourself, “If only that parent was more responsible, if they were a better parent if only they would listen to some of the advice I have their child wouldn’t act that way.”
  • Or maybe it’s when you’re driving around and you see someone’s bumper sticker and it reveals to you who they voted for, or what they stand for, and you just have a hard time, based on that alone, seeing that person as God probably sees them.
  • Maybe it’s when you see someone’s car or their clothing or the condition of the home they live in and you perceive them to be someone who’s economically poor and from there your mind just goes to a place where you say, “Well they would have just made better life choices and decisions then they wouldn’t be in this circumstance.”
  • Or maybe you’re the opposite here and it’s when you see someone who drives a car of a certain kind, or clothing of a certain brand, or lives in a certain neighborhood, you have a hard time after that point seeing that person perhaps the way that God sees them.
  • Maybe it’s when a woman who’s dressed provocatively walks into the room and you don’t have the maturity to see past perhaps the attention she was seeking or not seeking. You don’t have the maturity to see them the way that God sees them.
  • Some of you ladies might have the same problem when a woman walks in wearing attractive clothing. Your mind goes to other places but you still have a hard time seeing that person the way God sees them.
  • Or maybe it’s the way some guys dress, the color of his clothing or the holes in his clothing or the style of his clothing or whatever it might be and just whatever it is, it’s the trigger for you, it’s like a block that keeps you from really seeing them the way that God sees them.
  • Maybe for some of you, it’s like a whole age… like you just you just find yourself saying “Young people these days!” Or some of you just need to be reminded or hear perhaps for the very first time that old people are people. You have a whole problem with an entire generation of people.
  • Or maybe for some of us, it’s race or ethnicity.  You watch the news and someone of a certain race or ethnicity does something, commits a certain crime, and in your heart of hearts you find yourself saying, “That figures”.

What is it about a certain person that keeps you from seeing them the way that God sees them?

Gold Dividing Line

I think if we’re honest here this morning that all of us would have to say that we can identify with probably one of those groups if not multiple ones, or maybe one that I haven’t mentioned, all of us can identify in some way. We have these trigger people who are just really hard for us to get past something externally, and see them the way that God sees them.

There are so many different ways to see the same person, but what we are most interested in here at Kirkmont is seeing people the way that God sees them. In fact our Big Idea for you this morning is that,

BIG IDEA

We are supposed to see all people the way that God sees them.

And there is perhaps no better Scripture in all the Bible to remind us of the fact that sometimes religious people don’t see other people the way that God sees them better than a Luke chapter fifteen.

Luke 15, starting in the first verse we’re going to turn this passage of Scripture in your  Bible, or put it up on the screen if you don’t have a Bible with you, and we’re going to look at this and see how often and how easy it is for religious people to not see people the way that God sees them.

In Luke chapter fifteen starting in the first verse, the Scripture tells us this.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

 

15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.

So Jesus is speaking to a group of people who are there and they’re referenced as tax collectors and sinners, neither of whom had a good reputation. What’s the Bible mean when it says sinners? Because elsewhere in the Bible it’s very clear that all of us are sinners.

So when the Bible says ‘sinners’ what it’s speaking about is a particular group of people whose sin is so pervasive and so public, it’s so external in its nature, so commonly known, that people are unable to see past that sin and they merely classify them by that sin that is known. and they call them sinners“.

These types of people — they’re what some today might call the worst of society, who are listening to Jesus teach.

Now they’re not eavesdropping, it’s not like He’s teaching other people and they just kind of snuck in and they’re eavesdropping… you gather from the context that Jesus is there to teach them. He’s intentionally spending time with these people…  (shown in verse 2)…

 

But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Gold Dividing Line

LARRY – MEDITATE ON THIS then uncolor before publishing

So apparently the religious people of the time have a problem with the fact that Jesus is in this setting, that he’s in this context. They see the people that Jesus is eating with differently than Jesus sees them… I think it’s fair to say.

This passage of Scripture that Jesus walks them through, is simply going to invite us to be challenged by whether or not we see the people around us the way that the Pharisees in the passage of Scripture sees Him, or whether we see them the way Jesus them.

Jesus tells them this story meant to teach a lesson…

3-7 Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

So Jesus speaks this parable to them about a sheep, and this guy who’s got one hundred sheep and he loses one of them.

Now what really ought to jump out at us in this opening parable that Jesus teaches, is the nature of how the man who lost the sheep feels towards the lost sheep; and I think the passage is meant to teach us that the man who has lost the sheep has a genuine concern, and care, and compassion for the lost sheep. The sheep is a value to him; he likes the sheep; he wants the sheep to come back into his fold.

He doesn’t say to himself, “That sheep. I told that sheep like five times not to leave the sheep pen. That sheep is going to get what it deserves tonight. I’m telling you it’s going to be cold out there; he’s not going to have food; some predator might attack ithe doesn’t treat those people outside of the folds that way. Instead, he responds to the sheep with genuine compassion and care.

One sheep out of a hundred.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

Jesus ups the ante and he goes on and He says,

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins…

Some of you’ve heard me say this before, that the passage is intensifying — it goes from a sheep to currency now, genuine real hard money; He goes from one out of one hundred to one out of ten.

8-10 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

We get a very similar parable here. But again, we said it intensifies. Again we walk away with the understanding that this person has lost a coin and their attitude towards it is such that they want to find it.

They see it of value… it’s something they want to bring back into their midst.

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 

‘~Okay Pharisees, just in case you hadn’t made the connection yet, we’re not actually teaching you about how to value sheep and coins, we’re talking about people.”

It wasn’t sheep that Jesus was accused of eating with… although that would have been… maybe, I don’t know, more likely to be accused of that in my eyes.  It wasn’t his currency — relationship with money that he was being accused of, its what people he was eating with.

So Jesus now intensifies it from a sheep, to coin, to a son. From one out of a hundred to one out of ten to one out of two.

“There was a man who had two sons.

We’re talking about people, we’re talking about seeing people the way that God sees them. And you guessed it one of them is going to become lost.

 12-22 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’So he divided his property between them.

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

And  so Jesus finally teaches the Pharisees that he’s not talking to them about how God sees sheep, or how God sees coins. but he is talking to them about how God sees people.

And not just people, but people whom the Bible calls “lost people” — people who are currently outside of a relationship with God, and some of you identify with that. You should know you’re welcome here, you should hear what God is saying to you this morning.

Some of you identify more with the lost sheep that is found, than the ninety-nine; more with the lost coin found than the other nine, and more with the lost son than the one that we’re going to read about who is found.

Gold Dividing Line

He speaking to us about people outside of the community of God — people who don’t have a relationship with God — the very people who often — those of us who consider ourselves to be followers of Jesus Christ — have a hard time seeing the way that God sees them.

And we discover the heart of God as if someone found something of incredible value and has brought it back into their presence… with rejoicing, God sees someone who doesn’t have a relationship with him, the prospect of them coming into relationship with Him.

Gold Dividing Line

You see this is important because if we’re ever going to see people the way that God sees people we’re going to have to have the heart for people that God has for people, and here we see the heart of God… rejoicing, genuine care, concern.

But we discover that he’s teaching us not only about the heart of God, but he’s addressing the heart of the Pharisees — a heart that maybe some of us are willing to identify and confess this morning.

25-29 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field (the Pharisees). When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.

Isn’t this kind of thing we as Christians can do as we start to live our Christian life long enough?  Eventually, we start to get some of the law that God has for us down pat by God’s grace and mercy. We forget that it’s by His grace and mercy and soon we’re bragging about the righteousness of our own life, we’re looking down on the unrighteousness of other people’s lives and it was all because of the character of God to begin with.

[00:14:18]

Here’s the older son the Pharisee saying, “But I’ve never done this!” He’s comparing his moral right,his resume to those around him. He says,

30-32 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

We discover in this passage not only the heart of God But we also discover the heart that God’s people should have as well.

selah-3

And we’re meant to pause and let the Scripture sort of marinate and speak to the condition of our hearts and say… as we read this passage, as we look at people in the world, do we see them more like Jesus would have seen them, or do we see them more like the Pharisees would have seen them?

The Pharisees saw them very differently.

And if you’re like me it’s like one of those things that some days you do better than others at. Some groups of people, you do better at others than.

07052012figure_j

The Scripture elsewhere goes on to tell us that not only then is this something that we’re supposed to long for a desire to see people come into a right relationship with God, but that we are actually active agents in this whole process — that because we see people with the heart of God, we then participate in the reconciling Ministry of the heart of God.

In Second Corinthians, chapter five the Scripture tells us this.

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord,

In other words, we know what it is to see the world through the lens and the eyes and the perspective of God; to see people through the lens and the eyes and the perspective of God, and to desire to align our lives with the character of God.

we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to [then] persuade others.

… what an interesting word… we participate in the process of persuading others towards Jesus Christ.

[00:16:29] 

This is not a popular thing in our culture and our society it’s considered to be unkind or judgmental to try to persuade someone into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

But the Scripture’s not inviting us to do this in some sort of harsh way, it’s not inviting us to do this from someplace that is unethical, or ungenuine, or unreal, but what it is inviting us to do is to come alongside relationally those people who are broken so that when they wake up and realize that they’re actually feeding pigs or eating off of pigs’ food and living in the pit of miry pigs, that we then encourage them and point them to The Heavenly Father.

We remind them or tell them for the very first time of a Father who will rejoice over their presence over them coming into his presence. We point them in the right direction and if need be we walk them all the way to the father’s doorstep.

That’s what it means to persuade men to see ourselves, in the story of Luke fifteen, coming alongside people who have turned their back on God, have walked away from him, and when the hit rock bottom were there with them, because we care about them and we’re pointing them then back to The Heavenly Father.

Paul the Apostle Paul who wrote this made his life about persuading people to go back into a relationship with a loving heavenly Father.

He says,

11b-14a What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us,

For Christ’s love compels us… this is the what drives us and motivates us to be in relationship with those as Jesus was in relationship — that the world calls sinners — what drives us and compels us to be in relationship with them, and to point them to God, is not that we might receive God’s love–that somehow he’ll love you more if you are the friend of sinners and pointing sinners in his direction, you’re not going to get applauded by the church, we’re not going to honor you or recognize you in that way.

What drives us and motivates us is not in order to earn God’s love, but it’s his love that compels us and pushes us in the first place.

It’s out of genuine, honest sincerity; and I think the world has had too many people who call themselves religious, try to persuade them from some other place than Christ’s love.  And we’re clear we’re talking about being compelled by Christ’s love because…

[00:19:18]

…because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Now hear this because this verse sixteen is really why I brought this passage in–it’s perfect for our whole message this morning, this idea of seeing people the way that God sees them. Paul says,

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.

What better passage to remind us of the idea of seeing people the way that God sees them. From now on we’re not going to regard anyone from a worldly point of view. 

“To look at someone from a worldly point of view” means:
– to see their socioeconomic status and not be able to look past that;
– to see their attractiveness or their lack of attractiveness in your eyes and not be able to look past that;
– to see their racial ethnicity and not be able to look past that;
– to see their obvious sin in their lifestyle and to not be able to look past that.

All these types of things that are sort of roadblocks, stumbling blocks from us seeing people the way that God sees them, is what it means to regard someone from a worldly point of view.

And Paul, in this, confesses that he used to do that…

from now on…

From now on, right? From now on… it’s like we don’t do it anymore!

And in fact, he even confesses specifically that they once regarded Christ in this way… and he’s not going to do it any longer. He regarded Christ from a worldly point of view; he didn’t even see God the way that God was supposed to be seen, let alone other people the way that God saw them.

And so it is in our hearts, it was in Paul’s heart, it is in our nature to only see people and look at them naturally and not to see the incredible thing that they can become by God’s power Spiritually, for it’s the Scripture that says,

17 if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone,

‘Man’, when we’ve refused to see people the way God sees people and deny that in Christ they can become a new creation we alternately show our lack of faith in the power of God.

We show our lack of faith in the power of God and what He can do in someone’s life. And we could fill this room with testimony after testimony of those of you who have had your life radically changed because of the power of God to remind us that no matter who we’re seeing in the world no matter what we’re perceiving, in Christ that person can become a new creation; God can do an amazing work in their life.

And once we become convinced of this, and we start realizing the heart of God towards those who are outside of a relationship with God, and we start trying to persuade them, no longer viewing them from a worldly perspective but starting to try to persuade them to be in right relationship with God, it’s going to change how we spend our time, and more specifically perhaps, who we spend our time with.

Gold Dividing Line

In Matthew chapter five as we wrap up our time together this morning, we are reminded not only about how we spend our time but also who we spend our time with.

There’s this constant tension in the life of the follower of Jesus Christ, that we often wrestle with and that is, on one hand we’re hearing that:

  • we should go to church,
  • we should go to Sunday School,
  • we should be in a Bible study,
  • we’ve got all these other church functions that we should go to,
  • there’s value in being around each other and building each other up and stuff,

But how do we balance that with our real-world relationships around us with people who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ? How do we wrestle with that tension?

Matthew chapter five is just a great reminder as we wrap up together this morning that this whole subject of seeing people how God sees them is going to have to change who we spend our time with and how we spend it. Jesus says to disciples,

14-16 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let_your_light_shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

[00:23:40]

If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, our Light that is shining has only been brought into the presence of other people who have the same Light shining for a long time now.

And the Scripture’s inviting us to go ahead, to be the light of the world, and what good does it do to be the light of the world and not to be willing to enter into the darkness of the world? …to not enter into relationship with people, and in settings with people who are already not walking in right relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

Gold Dividing Line

I know people wrestle with the tension of like, “Yeah, but I mean if I do that, what about my own personal holiness and my own character?”

Those of you who are in a small group doing the Treasure series, you are going to watch a video where one of the guys deals with that tension. He’s a young, single man who’s a Christian, and a coworker invites him to have drinks after work. This other guy says all the waitresses there are really good-looking or something like that, and that’s why he’s going to that bar.

And the Christian man is torn… and first essentially he says, “No,” he doesn’t think he should go because of a desire to guard his own righteousness. But he also has this whole Jesus is a friend of sinners kind of thing going on, and eventually he shows up — spoiler alert, sorry. [LAUGHTER]

[00:25:06]

And here’s the thing you know when they talk about rescuing people the first thing they always say is something like, “You’ve got to anchor yourself in… put on your own oxygen mask first…” those types of things.

If you can imagine someone who’s fallen over the edge of a cliff and who needs to be rescued before they fall all the way down… and you’re only going to be willing to go as far into that danger zone as you are confident that you’ve been secured and anchored.

There are so many churches that teach such a wimpy, weak version of salvation that their people are unwilling to go into the darkness at all because their own salvation is constantly under threat.

But here we believe that Jesus has secured our salvation through this very incarnational ministry that we’re talking about, leaving the heights of heaven and all of the angels around him, coming, being dependent upon the conditions of humanity, obedience to the law, mocked by those whom will someday kneel and worship Him, crucified, dead, and buried in a tomb three days.

He went to that great length to rescue that which was lost.

Our salvation is secure in him; and he is not only giving us permission, he’s urging us out of a place of that security of salvation to go step into the darkness, to step over the edge, take hold of a brother or sister who does not have a relationship with Christ… and be used by God to point them back to a loving_heavenly_Father.

LET'S PRAY (2)

Lord we thank you for these passages of Scripture. We thank you for this main topic of today, this challenging topic… at least for me, probably for others in the room as well. We confess to you that we’re really far away from being in a place where we really see everyone at least the way that you see them.

So I don’t know maybe our parents taught it, maybe the culture taught it, maybe just in our own sinfulness… whatever it is, we ask Your Spirit which lives inside of us to drive that away; that it would soften our hearts in that area.

We pray that we are the type of people who are not concerned about what other religious people might think — how they might criticize us, or who we hang out with, but we are the type of people who we spend time with and how we spend our time with them is shaped by the heart of God.

Some of us have people in our life right now who You are bringing to mind.

We talk about being used by you to help rescue them, help point them back to a loving Father, and maybe some people in this room are just immediately thinking of a friend, a classmate, a coworker, a spouse or some other family member. Maybe they just want to pray for that person right now….

Thank you Lord for rescuing us, and then we ask these things in Christ’s name. Amen.

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Link to Kirkmont Presbyterian Church Website
http://www.kirkmont.org/

Listen to recent sermons
http://www.kirkmont.org/listen-to-sermons/

 

 

Shipwrecked VBS Music Videos

1. Never Let Go Of Me (Theme Song)

2. My Lighthouse

3. I AM
Click this link for video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eERRwztTA6w

4. Million Reasons

5. Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

6. Won’t Worry ‘Bout A Thing

7. Eye of the Storm
Click this link for video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLCSDDvs30U

8. Rescue Me

9. Soon and Very Soon
Click this link for Vimeo Video 🙂
https://vimeo.com/270214336

10. No Not One
Click this link for Vimeo Video 🙂
https://vimeo.com/279467220