Joshua Generation - Part 3

joshua generation

Joshua Generation: Your Hiding Place

  • Your Hiding Place

  • The Scarlet Cord Of Christ

Your Hiding Place

Joshua 2:1-24
And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” 6 But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out. 8 Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the Lord gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.” Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall. And she said to them, “Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way.” The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. 18 Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father's household. Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. They departed and went into the hills and remained there three days until the pursuers returned, and the pursuers searched all along the way and found nothing. Then the two men returned. They came down from the hills and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they told him all that had happened to them. And they said to Joshua, “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.”

View the land, especially Jericho.

HAVE YOUR EYE ON THE HIGH WALLED UP CITY

The people of Jericho heard the reports of all that God had supernaturally done to deliver the Israelites from slavery and win their battles.

The people were scared because of the judgment that would come against those who stood against the God of Heaven and Earth, the God of Israel. The good news, as always, is that this God gave an opportunity for reconciliation with himself through faith and repentance. This is what Rahab would exemplify.

RAHAB CHOSE THE RIGHT SIDE

Rahab put her faith in the one whose power was greater the human forces that she saw in front of her.

Some, however, still resisted.

The enemy will try to stamp out the purposes of God since he knows the work of God that’s been done in people’s lives in times past. He knows that if the people of God rise up, God will deliver again.

In what ways is there resistance to the life of God in us?

We’ve all hidden in the things that we think will give us comfort, security, a sense of belonging and keep us safe. What is that for you?

Rahab had to make a choice of with whom she’d hide.

Have you made your choice?

Some hide in their work. Some hide in their favorite tv programs. Some hide in a relationship. Some hide in their habits or additctions, their forms of escape whether illicit or though cyberspace. Some hide in their objections to faith because of misunderstandings about the faith.

“The older idea of the body being bad and the soul being good - of the emotions (resident in the body) as bad and reason as good - changed under Christianity. And these new views of the importance of the body and the material world laid the foundation for the rise of modern science. The material world was no longer understood as an illusion or simply something to be spiritually transcended. Nor was it just an incomprehensible mystery but, according to the Bible, it was the creation of a personal, rational being. Therefore it could be studied and understood by other personal, rational beings.” - Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God (pg. 45)

The coming conquest by the Israelites became good news to Rahab even as the gospel of the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ is good news to us.

Luc Ferry wrote the informative book A Brief History of Thought that helped to illuminate the following realities, which you can imagine would be mind-blowing for an ancient prostitute. These are the things she could have hope in as she put her trust in the God of the Israelites:

“In general, Christianity brought an unprecedented idea of the importance of the individual. “For the Buddhist, the individual is but an illusion, something destined for dissolution and impermanence; for the [Greek] Stoic the individual self is destined to merge into the totality of the cosmos; Christianity on the contrary promises immortality of the individual person: his soul, his body, his face, his beloved voice - as long as he is saved by the grace of God.” It also undermined the elitism of antiquity. “Salvation” for the Greeks had to do with philosophical contemplation, something only people with training and leisure could do. For Christians, however, salvation came through dependent, trusting faith that Jesus had saved them, doing what they could not do. In this sense it was much more egalitarian than other kinds of ancient and classical thought.” - Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God (pg. 45-46)

The cross of Jesus is the great equalizer for Dealing with Discrimination

Rahab was a prostitute who would have a community stigma attached to her. However, she cane into the same grace which the Israelites were now standing.

(Racism and Champ Bailey’s Hall of Fame speech - listen to those experiencing something different from you.)

There should be a depolarization in the church.

Why I Love the Church of Jesus Christ

Once given the hope of this salvation, Rahab was taking the action necessary to keep faith alive in the midst of hostile territory? Are you?

A Devotion to The Word of God, Regular Christian Fellowship, The Sacraments, Prayer and a Commitment to Church Involvement are Essentials in this Modern Fight (Acts 2:42-47).

Proverbs 28:13
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Who’s Hiding Who?

Are you hiding Jesus amongst your co-workers, family and friends?

OR

Do you, like Rahab, find yourself hidden in the hope of Christ and his salvation?

Though Rahab did not grow up with the law or covenants of God. Upon her change of allegiance to the God of the Hebrews, she, through faith, became one of four women named in the genealogy of Christ as an heir.

Hebrews 11:31
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

The Scarlet Cord Of Christ

The Scarlet Cord:

A Looking Back to the Passover Blood

A Looking Ahead to the Shed Blood of Jesus on the Cross for the Forgiveness of Your Sins.

Repent and Bring Your Household into the Household of the Lord, under Christ’s Scarlet Cord so that they might be saved.

Why is it important to stay in church?

*You must remain in the house, underneath the covering of the scarlet cord to avoid the destruction coming on others.

Just as the spies remained three days in the hills to escape their pursuers, so we must remain in the faith, in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for our salvation.

Matthew 21:28-32
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Second City Church - Joshua Generation - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Joshua Generation - Part 2

joshua generation

Joshua Generation: A Purpose Greater than Me

  • A Purpose Greater than Me

  • A God Greater than My Purpose

A Purpose Greater than Me

***You are not independent in the body of Christ. Your calling and destiny is wrapped up in others.

You have not ultimately fulfilled your purpose in Christ until you’ve done all that you can to see those to whom he’s connected you come to know Jesus and fulfill their call in him. ***

Joshua 1:10-18
And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’” And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

It starts with the leaders.

The congregation repeats back to Joshua the charge given him by God.

So many Christians live dissatisfied lives because they focus and rejoice in their own achievements and not the success and progress of their brothers and sisters.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

*Your strength is found in how well you help others take their land and walk in the truth of Christ.

As James Earl Jones voices Mufasa in Disney’s the Lion King, we’re also reminded of wisdom from another role he voice-acted -

Darth Vader

Numbers 32:1-22 (NIV)
The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon — the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan. ” Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone. “And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction. ” Then they came up to him and said, “We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place. Meanwhile our women and children will live in fortified cities, for protection from the inhabitants of the land. We will not return to our homes until each of the Israelites has received their inheritance. We will not receive any inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan, because our inheritance has come to us on the east side of the Jordan.” Then Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle and if all of you who are armed cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him — then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the Lord.

The lesson of Dan, Reuben and the Half-Tribe of Manasseh:

They gravitated to what seemed like calmer pastures, where the battle against the kings of Canaan had already been won. They surely would have asked the question, “What would be the best grazing area for MY flocks?” rather than “What ground has God called me to take with my people?” Moses’ response was clear (Numbers 32).

There is no living out the gospel without some measure of suffering (the battles of Israel; Acts 14:22). We can be too loaded down with the pleasures and comforts of this world to long for the next, which God says will be far sweeter and superior (Colossians 3). It is hard to live for Jesus in this state. (Think about the rich young ruler, Jesus saying it is hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom, the explosion of faith in the non-western world, the reality that if you make above $32,400, you are part of the world’s economic 1%).

“So if you’re an accountant, a registered nurse or even an elementary school teacher, congratulations. The average wage for any of these careers falls well within the top 1 percent worldwide.“

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050615/are-you-top-one-percent-world.asp

“Christianity, then, saw the battle for human virtue as no longer one of head versus heart (becoming more rational), nor mind over matter (getting more technical mastery over the world). The battle was over where to direct the supreme love of your heart. Will it be toward God and your neighbor, no matter who your neighbor is? Or will it be toward power and wealth for yourself and your tribe? Augustine was the first to formulate this, drawing in Biblical teaching. Cambridge historian Henry Chadwick argued that Augustine “marks an epoch in the history of human moral consciousness.” For the first time the supreme goal of life was not self-control and rationality but love. Love was required to redirect the human person away from self-centeredness toward serving God and others. Augustine’s Confessions laid the groundwork for what we would call psychology in a way that non-Christian classical thought could not have done.” - Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God (p. 45)

Remember the cross of Jesus Christ.

"When God becomes a Man and lives as a creature among His own creatures in Palestine, then indeed His life is one of supreme self-sacrifice and leads to Calvary."

C.S. Lewis

Do not think you will fulfill the call of God without it coming with great COST to you.

"Those who give much without sacrifice are reckoned as having given little."

- Erwin Lutzer

(Luke 21:1-4)

The problem is we are myopic by nature and easily fall into traps that say as long as I and my family are accomplishing our goals, we’re well provided for and happy then that’s all that matters. We feel like we don’t have time or motivation to take the gospel to the land that God has called us to take with the people with whom he’s called us to take it.

A God Greater than My Purpose

*The only one who can free us to live in such love, free of a selfishly motivated altruism is Jesus Christ.

As we remember this, the fruit of the flesh that we are resisting is rivalry or selfish ambition (Galatians 5:20). The command we are obeying is fighting as one man for the faith of the gospel.

Philippians 1:27-2:4
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

How do we live this way?

Decluttering Our Lives

We need to daily and intentionally make room for God and his Kingdom Purposes (reconciling the world to himself through the cross/gospel of Jesus Christ) with the people he’s given you (Acts 2:42-47).

Out of his mercy toward us, God will allow anything that we trust in before and besides him to be taken away that our hearts might be freed and our lives ultimately saved.

clutter

(Genesis 22)

What needs to be cleaned out of your life?

Mark 8:34-38
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

It is impossible for us to live faithfully this way without being inwardly redeemed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Joshua means “the Lord saves”, again foreshadowing his transliterated name Jesus.

Jesus alone is both our establisher and propeller to greater works. His salvific work on the cross brought the means for our forgiveness of sins and establishes us in true righteousness - reconciliation with God through faith in the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He then calls us to understand that we are “blessed to be a blessing” seeing those around us come into the saving knowledge of the gospel and all of the good news that it brings.

Second City Church - Joshua Generation - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Joshua Generation - Part 1

joshua generation

Joshua Generation: Advancing in the Promises and Purposes of God

Part 1: Be Strong and Courageous

  • A Land

  • His Word

  • A Command

Joshua 1:1-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Human Right

A Land

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory.

In life, God will give you the land of your own soul as well as the places that you set your feet to grow the influence of the gospel, spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God. (Prayer Walk Plug!)

Personally:

“If you are ready to partake of grace you have not to atone for your sins–you have merely to accept of the atonement. All that you want to do is to cry, “God have mercy upon me,” and you will receive the blessing.” - Dwight L. Moody

Every effort that you make for forward advance in the promises and purposes of God (whether with your marriage, with your child rearing, ministry, finances or career) will be met with demonic resistance that you can not face on your own. Thus you need the cross, Christ paying for your sins and his ever present help in times of need.

5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.

Be strong (Hebrew Word - chazaq): has primitive roots in words including: to fasten upon, hence to seize, repair, fortify, obstinate, conquer, confirm, contend, establish, hold firm, harden, grasp, maintenance, make one stay, become (grow) mighty, overcome, persevere, prevail, recover, resolutely, retain, severe, seize, stand firm, support, be sure, take, urge, be urgent, withstand.

Publicly:

Everywhere you go, because of Christ in you (and the fruit of the Holy Spirit through you), you become the thermostat, rather than the thermometer, in the room.

thermometer

“God doesn’t just give us grace; He gives us Jesus, the Lord of grace.” -Joni Eareckson Tada

His Word:

7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

“If Jesus is the Son of God, his teachings are more than just good ideas from a wise teacher; they are divine insights on which I can confidently build my life.” -Lee Strobel

You are what you eat, even when working out regularly.

Dieters can feel like they’re never getting anywhere - they are in the gym every day but still feeding on Dunkin Donuts.

Picture a barbell in one hand and sweets in the other.

What are you consuming that is short-circuiting your progress?

We need to not just acknowledge God, but give Jesus the reigns of our lives (Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel).

“God does not guide those who want to run their own life. He only guides those who admit their need of His direction and rely on His wisdom.” -Winkie Pratney

We all want the blessings. We don’t always want what it takes to get them - allowing Jesus to be Lord of the DECISION-MAKING in our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-12
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

“Individuals could profess to not be secular people, to have religious faith. Yet, at the practical level, the existence of God may have no noticeable impact on their life decisions and conduct. This is because in a secular age even religious people tend to choose lovers and spouses, careers and friendships, and financial options with no higher goal than their own present-time personal happiness. Sacrificing personal peace and affluence for transcendent causes becomes rare, even for people who say they believe in absolute values and eternity. Even if you are not a secular person, the secular age can “thin out” (secularize) faith until it is seen as simply one more choice in life - along with job, recreation, hobbies, politics - rather than as the comprehensive framework that determines all life choices.” -Timothy Keller

Making Sense of God - Timothy Keller

A Command

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We will all try and fail at some point. So often, our confidence is based on a sense of being able to achieve perfection. However, Jesus alone lived the perfect life and now offers grace and forgiveness to those who would abandon their self sufficiency and fall on the strength of God.

“Christ not only supplies the necessities of his people, but he gives them abundant and superabundant joy in the luxuries of his grace. You do not really preach the gospel if you leave Christ out; if he be omitted, it is not the gospel. You may invite men to listen to your message, but you are only inviting them to gaze upon an empty table unless Christ is the very center and substance of all that you set before them.” -Charles Spurgeon

There is no being strong and courageous for the promises and purposes of God without reconciliation with God. Repent of your self sufficiency, come to the cross of Jesus in faith for the forgiveness of your sins and move forward knowing that Immanuel is with you.

Acts 3:17-21
“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

Second City Church - Joshua Generation - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Worship In Songland - Part 3

worship in songland

Worship in Songland: Worship in Spirit and Truth

Main Scripture

John 4:1-42

“Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock." Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true." The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you seek?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" They went out of the town and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."”

‭‭John‬ ‭4:1-42‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Point

Those who profess to worship God MUST do so in Spirit and in truth, coming into the light of Christ to do so. These are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.

1) God is spirit, so we must worship in spirit

a) What is not worshipping in spirit?

i) Lip service and ministry won't cut it

(1) “"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”- ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

ii) Going to the right place at the right time won’t cut it

(1) “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.”- ‭‭John‬ ‭4:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

iii) Circumcision, a Jesus tattoo, or a bumper sticker won’t cut it

(1) “Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.”- ‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:27-29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

iv) Good deeds won’t cut it

(1) “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”- ‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

v) Money won’t cut it

(1) “"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”- ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭23:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

vi) Any ole Sacrifice/gift

(1) “"What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. "When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.”- ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭1:11-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

b) What is worshipping in Spirit?

i) The interior life, the “secret life” away from man’s approval

(1) Clean hands and Pure heart

(a) “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah”- ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭24:3-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

(2) Our bodies as a living sacrifice

(a) “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”- ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

2) God is truth, so we must worship in truth as revealed through creation, the prophets of the Old Testament, and perfectly in the incarnation of His one and only Son Jesus the Christ.

a) The Samaritan woman was wrong in her understanding of the OT scriptures, wrong about God’s choosing of the Jewish nation to bring forth His Word, His prophets, and all this would lead her to ultimately missing the Messiah (the savior).

i) Because God Loves this woman Jesus had to correct her saying that Salvation comes from the Jews or she would not have recognized him as the savior.

3) God is light, so we must worship in the light

a) 1 John 1:5-10 ESV

i) “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” - 1 John‬ ‭1:5-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

b) Darkness is not a thing, it’s the absence of a thing. It’s the absence of light. Death is not a thing, it’s the absence of life.

c) Jesus brought the Samaritan woman into the light so she could live and worship in Spirit and in truth

i) How did he do this?

(1) His presence just being with her. “The ministry of presence”.

(a) Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

(b) This in itself (Jesus being present) drove out shame because he was willing to associate with her until she was ready to surrender to the light of the truth of who He is and what that means for her as a sinner, as a Samaritan, and becoming a saint.

(2) His prophetic word of knowledge revealing her past and her present so that she can come into Jesus’ future of worship for her

(a) Jesus reveals the secrets of her heart disclosing her past and present so she will know that Father God sees her. She can ‘truthfully’ worship Him as the Son of God declaring that God is among them. This is Jesus ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit as described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 14:24-25 ESV

(i) “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:24-25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Quotes

“Missions exists because worship doesn’t” - John Piper

“Don’t forget in the dark what God has shown you in the light”- Dan Staldorf

Application

Are you worshipping the Father in Spirit and truth? Do you have His Spirit in you guiding you into all truth? If not, or you’re not sure, prayer this prayer that King David prayed:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Now, tell your Heavenly Father you’re tired of being in spiritual darkness stumbling through life and that you want to be with Him in the light. Lay your old sinful and deceitful heart open before Him confessing you’ve been in the dark and that you now believe He sent His one and only son Jesus into the world to be the light of the world. Tell him you accept Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross in exchange for your sinful life and that God the Father raised Him from the dead. Tell Him you accept Jesus as Lord of your life moving forward. If you do, He promises to give you a new clean heart and the gift of the Holy Spirit TODAY to live inside of you and help you lead a new life worshipping Him in Spirit and truth.

More scriptures to meditate on

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:11-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night," even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

https://www.bible.com/59/psa.139.11-12.esv

‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."”

https://www.bible.com/59/jhn.8.12.esv

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:3-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

https://www.bible.com/59/2co.4.3-6.esv

Second City Church - Worship In Songland - Pastor Cole Parleir 2019

Worship In Songland - Part 2

worship in songland

Worship in Songland: Know the the One for Whom You Write

  • Praise that Pleases the Lord

  • Worship that Pleases the Lord

  • Turning to the Lord

“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.” - A.W. Tozer

We Worship With:

  • The Head

  • The Heart

  • The Hands

In the Studio - Why it's important what we do in praise and worship

Of David

Psalm 22:3-5
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

"It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men." - C.S. Lewis

The Hands (You’re Body in Worship)

"Our entire being is fashioned as an instrument of praise. Just as a master violin

maker designs an instrument to produce maximum aesthetic results, so God

tailor-made our bodies, souls and spirits to work together in consonance to produce

pleasing expressions of praise and worship. When we use body language to express

praise, that which is internal becomes visible."

"A Heart For Worship" by Lamar Boschman

Praise that pleases the Lord

  • Clapping

  • Shouting for Joy

  • Singing

  • Playing Instruments

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” —Victor Hugo

  • Dancing

CELEBRATION!!!

This is praise.

Of the Sons of Korah

Psalm 47:1-9
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

Of David

Psalm 30:1-12
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed. To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord , be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Worship that Pleases the Lord

  • Bowing

"The first element in worship is adoration. The Hebrews expressed this by their posture

and not alone by their word. For they prostrated themselves before God. “O come, let

us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” They did not come

with an easy familiarity into the presence of God, but were aware of his greatness and

majesty, and came with a sense of privilege to His house."

"Worship in Ancient Israel" p. 257

H.H. Rowley

  • Kneeling

  • Prostrating

“At the very least, they can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget, what you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds; in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” - Screwtape speaking to Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters

  • Humbling Ourselves

  • Lifting Hands in Surrender

Holy of Holies before the awesomess and Majesty of God

I’m more focused on the glory (kabod) of God than who or what’s going on around me.

Intimacy (people act like if they don’t post something on Instagram, the life event isn’t validated or didn’t happen. This destroys the secret life and intimacy with Jesus and people that you love. Turn these moments instead to worship of God to testify to his life of blessing and deliverance Matthew 6; Revelation 12)

Getting off the phone - destroys intimacy with spouse, children, world around you. We are more irritable

  • Exchange

  • Crying out to God

“If this fails, you must fall back on a subtler misdirection of his intention. Whenever they are attending to the Enemy Himself we are defeated, but there are ways of preventing them from doing so. The simplest is to turn their gaze away from Him towards themselves. Keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce feelings there by the action of their own wills. When they meant to ask Him for charity, let them, instead, start trying to manufacture charitable feelings for themselves and not notice that this is what they are doing. When they meant to pray for courage, let them really be trying to feel brave. When they say they are praying for forgiveness, let them be trying to feel forgiven. Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment.” - Screwtape speaking to Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters

Of David

Psalm 145:14-21
The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Turning to the Lord

“The purpose of this Christian society called “the church” is first to glorify God by our worship. We do not go to church just to hear a sermon. We go to church to worship God.” —Billy Graham

It’s not a matter of culture, it’s a matter of freedom

2 Corinthians 3:15-18
Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

The cross of Jesus and his Resurrection Give us access to this freedom. Repent and believe the good news for the forgiveness of your sins today!

Second City Church - Worship In Songland - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Worship In Songland - Part 1

worship in songland

Worship in Songland: The Story Behind the Song

  • Christ Our Song

  • Before the Song

Before the Song

We all have a story. We don’t have a song until we realize who Jesus is and from that which he has actually rescued us.

Isaiah 42:10-17
Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands. The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant. I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, “You are our gods.”

Today, people’s convictions are more emotional than intellectual, more populist than spiritual or submitted to God.

“To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.” - A.W. Tozer

The attempt to normalize sin can deaden our convictions in regards to God’s character and the inner holiness that should be evoked in a life of worship to God (think about the commercials you watch).

Isaiah 5:20-23
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!

The images being presented by our culture try to strip the understanding of our salvation, and thus the source of our joy.

“About a century ago, the Soviet formalist filmmaker Lev Kuleshov conducted a series of experiments with filmic montage. In the most famous one, he edited a short film consisting of short clips of various subjects: an actor’s expressionless face, a bowl of soup, a woman on a couch, a girl in a coffin. The same clips edited into different sequences produced different interpretive results in the viewer. The deadpan face of the actor appeared to take on different emotions depending on which image preceded or followed it—he appeared dolorous, for example, when seeming to “look at” the dead girl in the coffin. This effect of filmic editing has been called the Kuleshov effect, and it’s had an enormous influence on filmmakers including Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Francis Ford Coppola. It also forms the backbone of reality television, in which meaning is almost entirely produced in the editing room.

Kuleshov’s disciple Sergei Eisenstein would eventually call editing, and montage in particular, the key formal property of cinema (the famous Odessa-steps sequence in his 1925 film Battleship Potemkin is the canonical example). These traits allow film to link together seemingly unrelated images, relying on the viewer’s brain to make connections that aren’t present in the source material, let alone the cinematic composition.”

From: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/01/viral-clash-students-and-native-americans-explained/580906/?fbclid=IwAR0Y567YTbxPFLfY_0x8UOtca2okOPt8Xncq5FJ0Nh81P89PCpyCW7UEzLs

We are living in a culture where backsliding is affirmed by the majority, and lukewarm living will not evoke a second glance. What people need is to be born again.

166c4f5a21ffe5f62597cb401d3dbd72.jpeg


“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” - Rick Warren

Christ, Our Song

You sing about the things that make you come alive.

When we realize who Jesus is and the destruction that he saved us from on the cross, He becomes our joyous, daily song of eternal salvation.

*Encourage our songwriters to write

Psalm 92:1-15
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep! The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O Lord, are on high forever. For behold, your enemies, O Lord, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants. The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Christ is our righteousness.

“You stand before God as if you were Christ, because Christ stood before God as if he were you.” - Charles Spurgeon

Second City Church - Worship In Songland - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Turn to Immanuel

turn to Immanuel

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Brennan Manning

Deism

Bob Johnson said, “God gave us reason, not religion”, this has become a popular quote among proponents of Deism 

Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (2005) by sociologists Christians Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton introduced the term Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. 

Moralistic

God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions

Good people go to heaven when they die.


Therapeutic

The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about ones self.

Deism

A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.

God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.

2 Chronicles 20 (I’m going to read the whole thing at the beginning and highlight certain verse later.)

Where do you turn when you alarmed, afraid, anxious, angry, ashamed?

“Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” 2 Chronicle 20:3 

An Active Community

“And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court,” 2 Chronicles 2:4-5

“Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.” 2 Chronicles 20:13 

Jehoshaphat follow Davids example

  • David’s Active community:

  • Levites 1 Chronicles 23

  • Priests 1 Chronicles 24

  • Musicians 1 Chronicles 25

  • Gatekeepers 1 Chronicles 26a

  • Treasurers and Administrators 1 Chronicles 26b

  • Military Commanders 1 Chronicles 27a

  • Tribal Leader 1 Chronicles 27b

  • Gift Givers 1 Chronicles 29

  • 1 Chronicles 28 passes it on to Solomon

(These can just be bullet pointed like this as a reference, the scripture doesn’t need be written out)

An Immanent and Active God

Jehoshaphat’s prayer 2 Chronicles 20:6-12

Trusting the Lord’s Power

2 Chronicles 20:15-19

Ephesians 6:10-20

Trusting the Lords Power

An Immanent and Active God

Ephesians 2:11-18

An Active Community

Where are you going to turn when you are alarmed?

Second City Church - Turn To Immanuel - Guest Speaker Daniel Henry 2019

A Good and Gracious Father

good and gracious father

He wants you home

The Situation

Tax collectors and sinners are gathering around to hear Jesus.  The Pharisees and scribes of the law are grumbling that Jesus welcomes and eats with sinners.  Jesus tells them three parables back to back (showing God’s patience through the ministry of repetition and reminders) dealing with lost things being found: a sheep, then a coin, and lastly a son.  The third parable of the father and two sons is only found in Luke. This last parable depending on different translations is titled “The parable of the lost son” or “The prodigal son”.

The Word of God

Luke 15:11-31
“And he said, "There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants."' And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate. "Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:11-32‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Point

Our Heavenly Father ALWAYS has desired restored relationship with sinners since the first sin in the Garden of Eden where He then also sought and found the lost Adam and Eve hiding, naked and ashamed. Once He finds us and we submit to Him he then clothes us, feeds us, and empowers us.  He goes to great lengths to restore that relationship, even being misunderstood, humiliated, hated, despised, and blasphemed.

  1. There is one Father, one home, and one way home

  2. We are ALL prodigals: dead, lost, blind, and naked (God hands all over to disobedience...so that He may have mercy on them all)

    1. The question is whether we are aware of being dead and lost?

      1. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

        1. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

      2. How loud do you have to scream to wake up a dead man? It’s a miracle!

      3. Has your current lifestyle become sickening to you yet?  Have you come to such a place of need that your eyes have been opened that you need to go back to your heavenly Father’s house?  Until you are desperate, repentance won’t be yours.

        1. 1 John 2:15-17 ESV

          1. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

          2. The world is passing away, in a famine, so come home now.  Today is the day of salvation.

    2. Father God desires us all to come home

      1. The parable is left open ended with no response from the bitter older son on purpose to display the Father’s desire for the self righteous son to repent and come back home to the celebration from the village.

    3. You are not too far away from home (he went to a far country)

      1. It doesn’t matter how far you think you’ve gone.  Home with your Heavenly Father is only as far away as repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

    4. Your sin, your reckless living, your abandonment of God and His ways  and His people is not unforgivable

      1. Unless you say it is.  The only unforgivable sin is to reject the savior!

  3. The Father and all of heaven CELEBRATES when one sinner repents, trusts in Jesus, and comes home.

    1. Heaven is now among us and is still coming.

      1. Matthew 6:10 ESV

        1. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

      2. Matthew 4:17 ESV

        1. “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

      3. Luke 17:20-21 ESV

        1. “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."”


The Father draws us by His Spirit to Jesus so we may find our way home.

Jesus is the Father in the flesh sent to us to reveal the Father’s will, the Father’s heart, and provide the way back to the Father.  Jesus is the Father’s ‘Good Shepherd’ sent to find and bring home is lost.

  • John 6:44-45 ESV

    • “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—”

Our Response

Come home by repenting of our sin, and believing the good news of the Father’s provision for us to come through the life, death, burial and resurrection of his one perfect son Jesus Christ.

More scriptures to meditate on

Matthew 6:1-8 (The Father sees us in secret and rewards us openly)

1 John 3:1
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God.

John 14:1-11 (Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father)

John 16:2-27 ESV (The Father loves me and listens to me because of Jesus)
"I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”

John 3:16 ESV
For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Luke 19:1-10 ESV
“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today." So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."”

Preparation

What does it say?

Jesus is telling the third parable in a row dealing with lost things being found and the ensuing celebration that follows. All three parables were being told to the Pharisees who were grumbling because Jesus was ‘receiving sinners and eating with them’.  The tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were also listening in.

The parable says one man, a wealthy landowner, had two sons.  The younger son told his father to give him his share third of his inheritance now instead of waiting until his father died.  The son was most likely a teenager as he was not married. The father did not insist on his own way but gave his son a free will and allowed him to go his own way.  The father divided the inheritance and gave it to his son. The inheritance most likely consisted of land, cattle, sheep, and other items that the son had to convert to cash to be able to travel.  The son hung around for not many days before he left on a journey to a far country. In this far country he squandered his inheritance on reckless living which included prostitutes. The son spent everything he had.  At the same time he went broke a severe famine struck the country and he was in dire need. He started looking for a job and found one feeding pigs for a Gentile citizen of that country. While working this job he was starving so much he wanted to eat the pigs food.  No one showed him any charity. The despair of the situation brought clarity and he realized that even the servants in his fathers house had plenty of food to eat. He decided to leave the far country and return back to his fathers house where it would be better to be a servant that’s well fed than a free man starving in that far country.  He rehearsed his speech to his Father how he realized he had sinned against heaven and his father and realized also that he was no longer worthy to be called a son, but would still like to be in the house as a servant. When he went back to his father’s house his father must have been waiting and looking for him because when the son was a long way off the father saw him.  Moved with compassion the father ran to him, embraced and kissed him. The son tried to recite his speech confessing sin and not being worthy to be called a son but the father cut him off and immediately had the servants bring the best robe, a ring, and shoes for him. He also had them bring the fattened calf to kill and start a celebration of the sons return. The father didn’t label the son as rebellious, but as dead and lost...now alive and found.

The older brother was working in the field when he heard the party raging.  He asked the servants what was happening who told him that his brother had returned and the father had killed the fattened calf and started a celeration.  The older son was angry and refused to go to the party. The father came out to the older son to entreat him to come in but the older son angrily in self righteousness rebuked his father for injustice, not every rewarding him for his hard work and dedication. The older son spoke poorly of his brother reminding his father of the younger son sins, all the while not even acknowledging him as a ‘brother’ but only as his father’s son. The father kindly reminded his older son that he has him (the father) and that all he owns is his, and that celebrating and being glad is the proper thing to do because his son was dead and lost, and now is alive and found.

What does it say about God?

God is wealthy.

God is a father who has more than one child.

God is kind and patient. (Did not ‘flip out’ at the sons ultimately disrespectful request)

God gives us free will and allows us to make our own choices and suffer our own consequences.  He did not chase after the son.

God is not easily angered or offended.

God has a pleasant and prosperous household andHe takes very good care of his servants as they had more than enough bread.

God is ALWAYS  watching over us, looking for us to return home.

God FEELS COMPASSION for his dead and lost children. (The embrace is closeness and the kiss signifies forgiveness)

God QUICKLY restores a child returning home with high quality gifts to meet their needs for body and soul (the best robe which was probably the father’s robe and shoes) and that display their restoration to sonship (the family signet ring which would allow the son to approve family transactions)

God SHOWS his compassion with displays of affection and love. (Embraces and kisses)

God has been PREPARING for my return (the intentionally fattened calf)

God raises the dead and finds the lost.

God and his heavenly hosts party when sinners repent. (The calf could feed a whole village, so this is a public affair)

God now goes after the rebellious and the religious.  Both sons

What does it say about me?

I am spoiled

I am rude.

I am disrespectful.

I am self absorbed.

I am reckless.

I am a victim of my bad decisions.

I am stupid.

I am prideful.

I am forgetful.

I have needs that drive me.

I am a refugee on earth, I am not home yet.

I have the capacity for repentance and returning.

I don’t have to stay in my situation.

I am loved by my father.

I am pitied by my father.

I am served by my father.

I am provided for by my father.

I am celebrated by my father.

I am defended by my father.


What does it say about the world around me?

The world is not my home.

The world is not trying to help me.

The world is using me.

The world is full of ways to be reckless.

The world can not control me.

The world doesn't take care of it’s servants (contrast the father’s servants)

The world is ruled by Satan who came to only kill, steal, and destroy.

What do I do?

Believe the good news that God WANTS to be my Father and desires me.

Change my mind about my life’s direction, stop serving myself and the world, accept Jesus sacrifice for my sin, and go home to my Father.

Receive the Father’s blessing of restored relationship, status as a son, and heavenly authority to serve him as an empowered servant son.

CELEBRATE praising our good, gracious, Heavenly Father!

Second City Church - A Good and Gracious Father - Pastor Cole Parleir 2019

Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church Bringing Life to the Dead

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church Bringing Life to the Dead

  1. The Challenge of Modern Stoicism

  2. Christ’s Power to Resurrect the Dead

The Challenge of Modern Stoicism

We repeat instruction because it is repeated in Scripture.

It is a safeguard (Philippaians 3:1; II Peter 1:12-15; I John 2:21)

Those who start strong but fizzle in the end do so because they do not employ the ways of the Lord

Acts 20:1-6
After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.

"By flooding the consciousness with gnawing unpleasantness, pain provides a temporary relief from the burdens of self-awareness," researchers who investigated the phenomenon are quoted as saying. "Pain helps consumers create the story of a fulfilled life." -Inc. Magazine article Jack Dorsey Just Said He Sometimes Doesn't Eat for Days. Why Do So Many Founders Like to Torture Themselves?

There's one more possible explanation for the extreme behavior of a strikingly high percentage of successful founders, which comes from the New York Times' Nellie Bowles. Many of these fans of extreme self-deprivation, she points out, are equally enthusiastic followers of the ancient philosophical school of stoicism (though not Dorsey, at least not publicly), which "argued that the only real treasures in life were inner virtues, like self-mastery and courage."

If you're rich and bored and have it all, the only thing left to strive for may be the discipline to not eat or walk barefoot in the snow.

But from Roman times on up to today stoicism has also always been a favorite philosophy of the elite. At least in part that may be because of its relentlessly inward focus. It calls on the individual to shape him or herself to be better, not to shape the world to be better.

"Stoics believed that everything in the universe is already perfect and that things that seem bad or unjust are secretly good underneath. The philosophy is handy if you already believe that the rich are meant to be rich and the poor meant to be poor," Bowles writes.

Christ’s Power to Resurrect the Dead

Acts 20:7-16
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted. But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019