Luke 15:1-7 ...and Jesus Welcomed Them

Luke 15:1-7 ...and Jesus welcomed them.

(Back-to-back with Luke 14… hmmmm)

Who are the “Tax Collectors and sinners” in our lives? What makes them such?

What made Jesus attractive?

Why would anyone flock to Him?

Tax collectors - a publican, gathering public taxes from the Jews for the Romans

· The tax-collectors were, as a class, detested not only by the Jews but by other nations also, both on account of their employment and of the harshness, greed, and deception, with which they prosecuted it W. Barclay

Sinners - sinful, depraved, detestable, heathen (Matt 5:3; Rom 5; Eph 2)

· specifically, of men stained with certain definite vices or crimes, e. g. the tax-gatherers

Welcome - hospitality, accept, allow

· to receive to oneself, to admit, to give access to - to admit one, receive into contact and companionship

· To admit (accept) hope, not to repudiate but to entertain, embrace its substance

· Not to shun, to bear, an impending evil

Muttered, grumbled, murmured

· Constantly, intensely murmur

· An intensified from of murmur, in this context “heavy complaining”

· Murmur is an uncommonly used Greek term, this intense version is even rarer “more expressive”

“It was an offence to the scribes and the Pharisees that Jesus associated with men and women who, by the orthodox, were labelled as sinners. The Pharisees gave to people who did not keep the law a general classification. They called them “the People of the Land”; and there was a complete barrier between the Pharisees and the People of the Land. To marry a daughter to one of them was like exposing her bound and helpless to a lion. The Pharisaic regulations laid it down, “when a man is one of the people of the Land, entrust no money to him, take no testimony from him, trust him with no secret, do not appoint him guardian of an orphan, do not make him the custodian of charitable funds, do not accompany him on a journey.”

“A Pharisee was forbidden to be a guest of any such man or to have him as his guest. He was even forbidden, as far as it was possible, to have any business dealings with him. It was the deliberate pharisaic aim to avoid every contact with people who did not observe the petty details of the law...

The would have shocked to the core at the way in which Jesus companied with people who were not only rank outsiders, but sinners, contact that would necessarily defile.”

W. Barclay

To the Jew, the parable would have been a shocked… as Jesus states:

  • “There will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents”

  • The teachers of the Law were known to say (as a strict Jew)... “There will be joy in heaven over one sinner who is obliterated before God”

“The Jews looked sadistically forward not to the saving but the destruction of the sinner.”

W. Barclay

Lest We Forget His Mercy - We Are The Poor

Luke 14:15-24 Sometimes, we are so consumed with our own self-importance, so distracted by this world and its baubles, that we confuse the riches of this world with the true riches of the kingdom (Matt 6; Luke 12) … and this causes us to take for granted what we have received, to believe that we somehow deserve “this” - God’s blessing through worldly means with worldly riches. And so, in our haughtiness, or being distracted, we miss opportunities to commune with God and others - and the great privilege of being blessed by our Father, and in turn, being blessed with the privilege to bless - others. Revelation 3:14-22

Lest we forget our own poverty, or, odor...

We are someone else’s… poor, lame, crippled

We are someone else’s… least

We are someone else’s… cross to bear

Humility, is not merely a matter of humbling of oneself, it is actually - the realization of God illuminating the true, poverty-stricken self, producing in us a very real view of self - one who is vulnerable, frail, fragile, and needy - in need of God’s mercy, grace, and love.

And having been blessed by the mere knowledge of God, let alone (now) being the object of His merciful, gracious love - the ability to see in others, their intrinsic value as declared by God - as He has shown to you and is true of/in others

And having been struck by this truth of (our) intrinsic worth, we now desire, more and more, to be a vessel of that expressed declaration - Jesus - growing in the desire to truly bless another, to honor both God and man.

We must learn that to humble oneself for the distinct purpose of “being humble” can be as (pride provoking and) self-promoting as arrogance born out of haughtiness.

Humility is not something that is done in a vacuum, but with and before (God and) others - loving and serving others. Certainly, there are blessings to be had in being humble…

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, and he delivers those whose spirit has been crushed. ... The LORD is near to those whose hearts are humble.” (Psalm 34:18)

Even though the LORD is high above, he sees humble people [close up], and he recognizes arrogant people from a distance (Psalm 138:6)

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and humble of spirit, to restore the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6; 1Peter 5:5; Matt 23:12; Prov 3:34; 29:23)

But the fact remains, that humility for humility sake, is not the end-all, it is being humble in light of (God and) others, in full recognition that if it were not for God’s mercy and grace - we stand naked, as our self is exposed before a holy God and we are again confronted by our own poverty and desperate need for that mercy, and that we are here with others, and having received that undeserved grace, we learn to see others through the lens of God’s loving mercy, and revel in the honor and privilege to honor and love and serve and elevate - all with whom our paths cross, who they are, where they are, with mercy and grace.

As humility is not merely to “be humble”, but humility is in seeing others as valuable and treating them, serving them, loving them, doing life, living, with them - that way – mercifully, graciously, lovingly, humbly seeing them as better than self. (Phi 2:1-11)

Jesus’ humility leads to meekness, a gentle soul that is kind - as there is nothing He sees in Himself that needs (self) protecting, defending, elevating, proving - but instead, humility is the confidence of knowing who and whose one is so that all energy and effort can now be put forward to lift and elevate others, to bless, and serve, and celebrate others.

When we walk into a room and our ambition should be to elevate everyone in the room – in so, cannot help but be kind

Jesus confidence was in His trusting faith in His Father and His relationship with Him - expressed by His Father in the form of faithfulness to His beloved - child.

● His position as His Father’s beloved

● His privilege as His Father’s Son (child)

● His permanence as His Father’s possession

● His being the object of His Father’s affectionate faithfulness

Why do we struggle? Why is the world being tossed?

Our meandering through life, being pitched back and forth by the winds of change has everything to do with our desire to be accepted, to belong, to be grounded, to know and be secure.

God, came to restore us to Himself - what does that mean, to be restored to Him?

● Lostness… to not know the way

● Aimlessness… to not have a direction

● Worthlessness… to not have value

● Purposeless… to not have significance

If we do not have an identity, if we do not know who or what we are, we wander aimlessly in search of meaning and significance. In doing so, frustrated, we will attach ourselves to anything in an attempt to fulfill these inherent needs, or, longings - or - attack others as a perceived threat.

From Luke 14… We see Jesus entering room healing on the Sabbath rebuking the Pharisees, trying to realign their morality, and then speaking of the kingdom. That the righteousness that they would live out by inviting the poor, is the actual righteousness of the kingdom - expressed to them, in them, through them,, and therefore Jesus example of who is invited to the feast in the kingdom and those who will be rejected is an indictment on those who would believe that they have no need for mercy and God’s gracious and generous hospitality

Matthew 25 speaks of “the least of these”; Mark speaks of children being “the least of these”; James declares clearly, plainly, simply, that when we do not take care of the poor, and in fact, recognize our own property “you are rich rejoice in your suffering, or loss, or poverty“ and you discriminate among yourselves is also a reflection of this teaching.

What is it then that Jesus calls us to do? Is it not to live according to the kingdom truth and its righteousness, that righteousness that lives in us - Gods of life and us?

That is what Jesus is saying… it is about God’s righteousness living in and through us that invites us to the banquet, enables us to be seated with the righteous, as righteous - merciful, gracious, loving, and kind - humble and meek - just like Righteousness Himself, not by anything we have done, but by Christ, the Righteous One, who lives in me.

Has not My hand made all these things? And so they came into being, declares the LORD. This is the one I will esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at My word. Isaiah 66:2


Taking the Lowest Seat: Because I Know Whose and Who I am - I Humbly Bow

Humility: the lowest seat in the house – we can’t do this alone… what is it to be truly humble?

Luke 14:1-14; 22; God has established (y)our intrinsic value - Luke 12; Matt 6 - Jesus didn’t patronize us, patting us on the head and nodding and winking at creation in an attempt to show He cares. No, He put our flesh on and joined us here, stooping to see and meet and empathize and understand - He loved us, in spite of our odor. (John 1:9-14; Mark 9:30-37; Phil 2:1-8; Heb 2)

Sometimes we can be so concerned about our own position and place that we cripple our ability to see the needs of others around us making us unable to render aid - or worse yet, unwilling. And even if we do see a need, we can see it as an obstacle, an annoyance, or at best an inconvenient obligation of “service” or help. We need to understand, that Humility, being truly humble, puts us in a natural position to see, to meet, to aid.

This is not about patronizing, but in fact truly ascribing value. This is learned.

We must get over our flesh’s need and desire to be the best, the first, the only, the center of attention, being needy; being jealous, envious, worried and hurried… This is the process of truly being humble. And humility can only happen when we recognize and remain acquaintanced with our desperate need before God and despite that need God’s having esteemed us by ascribing value and dignity through the life and death and resurrection of His Son - and that, on our behalf - the price paid.

“Therefore...

...in view of God’s mercy, offer your body as a living sacrifice… (Rom 12:1) It is essential that we remember that it is God’s mercy toward us that gives us life, His mercy toward us that enables me/us to remain, His mercy toward us that invites us into the kingdom - that He has established our value by his value system - mercy. When we remain grounded in the recognition of God’s mercy, we see ourselves in a right light - humility, humbly.

Blessed are the poor... who mourn, the meek - the humble and gentle, the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5)

This is by no means our natural inclination, but must be learned - taught and caught - practiced in order for the heart and mind to be truly changed, transformed. And this, as we learn to trust the Lord more and more, entrusting to Him more of ourselves as we grow in our confidence and in light of His mercy toward us, humility. (Psalm 25)

Associate with those of lower position - Rom 12:3-13; James 2:4

Applying intrinsic worth/value to others - as to (ascribe) value - respect, esteem, dignify As they have been made in the image of God. The world seeks to diminish one’s intrinsic worth/value by applying worth to position, power, prestige, success, wealth, intellect, etc. Luke 22:25; Matt 20:25; Mark 10:41-42 We have been valued by Christ - this is inestimable and irrevocable It is ours to... live in that truth“...establish” and affirm this grand truth in others by seeing and treating them as such Jesus came to restore intrinsic worth - dignity and esteem. He did this, not by wrestling for or holding on to the place of power (Phil 2:6-7), but by humbly recognizing AND receiving His own intrinsic worth - as spoken of by His Father - and therefore having both the confidence and the strength to (gladly) elevate those around them. (Psalm 2:7; 89:27; Matt 3:17; 11:27; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:33; 9:35; John 3:35; 5:37; 12:28; 8:14; 13:1, 3; Acts 13:33; 16:28; Heb 1:5)

How do we lead from this position - Luke 22; John 13Not lording - asserting dominance Serving - asserting value and care

Things to consider in developing a humble spirit… A sober of self – Matt 5:3-6; Romans 12:3, An elevated view of others - Matt 5:7; Romans 12:9-10, 13-17; James 2 Developing an inclination, a taste, a desire, for the lowest seat - Luke 14:10-11 Developing a desire to serve others - Luke 22:14-16; 24-30; John 13:1-17 Growing in confidence of one’s own identity as God’s child, the Father, through Jesus, held/kept/affirmed by the Spirit - John 1:12; 3:16; Rom 8:14-17; Eph 1:4-6, 13-14; 2; 1John 3:1-3 Not being jealous or envious by the success or position or prestige of others - Matt 6; 20; 25; Mark 10; Luke 22; John 21:18-22 Learning to truly rejoice for the sake or on behalf of others - Luke 7; Rom 12:14-16 Not being debilitated by the disappointment of “not being exalted” by others Or being seen as “the server” - Matt 6:2, 5, 25; John 13:1-17; Phil 2

The Lowest Seat in the House

Luke 14; 22; God has established (y)our intrinsic value - Luke 12; Matt 6

Associate with those of lower position - Rom 12; James 2:4

Applying intrinsic worth/value to others - as to (ascribe) value - respect, esteem, dignify

The world seeks to diminish one’s intrinsic worth/value by applying worth to position, power, prestige. Luke 22:25; Matt 20:25; Mark 10:41-42

We have been I valued by Christ - inestimable and untarnished

○ It is ours to

Live in that truth

“Establish” and affirm that in others by treating them as such

Jesus came to restore intrinsic worth - dignity and esteem. He did this, not by wrestling for the place of power, but by humbly recognizing AND receiving His own intrinsic - as spoken of by His Father - and therefore having both the confidence and the strength to (gladly) elevate those around him.

How do we lead from this position

● Not lording - asserting dominance

● Serving - asserting value and care

We can be so committed to our own position and place we that we cripple our ability to see the needs around us - Making us unwilling or unable to render aid.

And this is not about patronizing, but in fact truly ascribing value. This is learned. We must get over our flesh’s need and desire to be the best, the first, the only, the center of attention, being needy, jealous, envious, worried and hurried…

This is the process of truly being humble. Recognizing our desperate need before God and His esteeming us by ascribing value and dignity through the life and death and resurrection of His Son - and that, on our behalf.

That it is His mercy toward us that gives us life, His mercy toward us that enables me/us to remain, His mercy toward us that invites us into the kingdom - that is His mercy as established on and by his value system.

Things to consider in developing a humble spirit…

● A sober of self – Romans 12; Matt 5:3

● An elevated view of others - Romans 12; James 2

● Developing an inclination, a taste, a desire, for the lowest seat - Luke 11

● Developing a desire to serve others - Luke 22

● Growing in confidence of one’s own identity as God, the Father, through Jesus, held/kept/affirmed by the Spirit - Eph 1&2

Not being jealous or envious by the success or position of others - Matt 6; 20; 25; Mark 10; Luke 22

● Learning to truly rejoice for the sake of others - Luke 7; Rom 12

Not being debilitated by the disappointment of “not being exalted” by others Or being seen as “the server”

We Can't Do This Alone

John 17:20-26 “I pray… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…”

Children of God are to look like Jesus… and we can’t do this alone. We all need help… It is not good for man to be alone…

“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”” Genesis 2:18

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Jesus demonstrated togetherness from the very beginning. Jesus was never without a “suitable helper.” Having been part of the Trinity with His Father and the Spirit, He came to show us that we are not meant to be alone.

Jesus came, not alone, nor to be alone to win the world by Himself, but in fact…

● Born into a family

● Practiced fellowship and discipleship: 1, 3, 12, 72, 120…

● Went to the synagogue and the Temple

● Celebrated the feasts

● Continued to fellowship with the Father in/with/through the spirit

Jesus walked among us, with us, walking, talking, teaching, training, equipping his disciples - in and for relationship - to establish the Church. He did this out of love, to show us how to live and love, to do with and for others what He had done with and for His own. He came and lived to show us a better way – that we might do the very same things – the same way, in the same manner, that Jesus and the disciples had done together. And even at His leaving...

● Promised he would not leave us as orphans, so he sent the fellowship of the Spirit

● Established the church – Universal, local body

● Promised He will return for us, and inaugurate eternal fellowship - together

We must realize that everything God does is to bring us “in”. With Him. With one another

Psalm 119:175 “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands”

Isaiah 53:6 “We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Luke 15:4 “Leaves the ninety-nine…”

We have been saved and placed, purposely, in the Body as part of a body and ours is to belong and care and to be cared for - to deviate from this design is to deviate from God’s purposes - it is to place ourselves in peril

Why then, if we need one another so much, do we stray when we need company the most? (Genesis 3)

● Guilt and shame - hide, isolate

● Pride and self-sufficiency - covering self, by self, leaves

● Fear induced blaming, shifting responsibility - “this woman…”

● Anger at God - “...you gave me…!”

● Resignation - “I will never be able to…”, “How could God love me?”, “God must be disappointed with me”

● The Devil’s lies and schemes (Gen 3:8-12; Luke 4:1-13; Eph 6:11; James 4:7; 1Peter 5:6-9)

We tend to separate ourselves from God and one another - especially when we find ourselves, or get ourselves, in trouble - and by separating ourselves, we get ourselves into more trouble…

We all need help… It is not good for man to be alone…. The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Gen 2:18

God is a helper, our helper.

Psalm 33:20 “We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.”

Psalm 115 “...trust in the Lord! He is their help and shield.”

Hebrews 13:6 “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” So we way with confidence: “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

John 14:18,26 (15-27); 15:26; 16:7 “When the helper comes…”

We are to help one another. We are suitable - well fitting - helpers. (1Cor 12; Rom 12; Heb 3; 1Pet; 1John)

Phil 2:2-4 “...make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to interests of the others.”

1Thes 5:14 “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

We are to seek help from...

God, the Holy Spirit

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.”

Psalm 50:15 “...call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

Psalm 57:1 “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy for in you my soul takes refuge. In the shadow of your wings I will take shelter until the danger has passed.”

Psalm 105:4 “Seek out the Lord and his strength; see His face always.”

One another - Accountability, responsibility, care, and healing:

James 5:13-16 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

So, do not forsake the fellowship:

Hebrews 10:23-25 “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another…” Why?

That we might…

Hebrews 3:13 “…encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

What is sin’s deceitfulness? It is anything that opposes God and God’s truth and way. It is the subtle call to leave the way. It is the world and its ways, things that appeal to our flesh but can lead us astray. They are a mix of half and twisted truths or rules that appear wise but have no power, no wisdom. (Col 2)

We need to recognize that we become what we are “discipled” by, that is, what and who we subject ourselves to, what and whose ways have become our primary diet and fellowship.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1John 2:15-17

One of the deceptions is that we can do this on our own…

“...let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, as all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25



Our flesh runs in line with this world and its ways. It is a powerful force. Our “i love you” to God is to say “no” to the world’s invitation to itself. This invitation is no small thing, no weak thing, nothing we can resist on our own. So God, who promised not to leave us alone, or “as orphans”, gives us “helpers” (Gal 5)

His Spirit and Truth (the Spirit of Truth) (that we would not fall to the lies)

One another - the fellowship of believers - that we might have tangible relationships with others, our brothers and sisters, on the same path)

Ephesians 4:14 “Then you will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming…”

4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

4:16 “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Hence, we are to submit to God and one another… to love God and one another

Ours is then to imitate Jesus and develop the same relationships he did call - maintaining our fellowship with God, and love one another - we do the 1, 3, 12, 120…


Becoming a Man… It Takes a Lifetime

Gen 2; Eph 5:25-30; Matt 11; 1Pet 3; a servant to all - Jesus and leadership and responsibility – Matt 20:25-28; 23:11-12; Mark 9:33-37; 10:41-45; Phil 2:1-11 Men are to look like Jesus…

We men are to look like Jesus…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30

Meek:

Not weak, but humble and gentle, tender-hearted and strong, developing the strength and fortitude to restrain the natural tendencies of a man when enticed by the wiles of this world. It takes tremendous strength to be gentle and humble, to be self-controlled as to exhibit tenderness. This happens when one establishes one’s confidence in God and God‘s promises and commits to develop the character of Jesus themselves. Gentlemen grow in and exude strength and self-control, grace and care, consideration and courtesy, tenderness and compassion - and learn to treat others as such.

Redemptive:

“…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”

2Peter 1:5-7

A man, in Christ, is courageously honest with God, self, and others. They regularly inventory their lives and assess their character in reference to Jesus. A man must learn to receive and rejoice in those things that God has done in them that reflect Jesus, while being grateful to God for the grace of being shown those things that are not, yet. He then endeavors to strengthen, cultivate, and protect those things that are like Jesus; while confessing, asking forgiveness, and repenting of - changing - those things that are not like Jesus. Men, committed to grow in Christ, then work to cultivate the characteristics necessary to replace that which is being removed; they strive to understand God‘s original intent for his being made a man, and cooperates with His intentions to transform and conform us into the likeness of Jesus, joining Him in the work of transforming, conforming, redeeming.

Responsible:

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Gen 3:12

In the life of a man, strength is exemplified in his being responsible and taking responsibility - even, or especially, when it is painful. To see what it is that he is responsible and wisely steward it, courageously protect it, be steadfast in it, and humbly own up to it, not abdicating it to someone else or blame another for it not being so - but fulfilling his duty to God and man.

It is not good for man to be alone…

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Gen 2:18

This does not happen in a vacuum, but in and by a community, together - Certainly a man must be committed to such, but it is in the context of the body, the family, friendships, that this transformation, this building, this honing and shaping, actually occurs - the great help is the help that makes a man everything a man was intended to be, like Jesus

Malleable:

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13; 15:36-41

A man keeps his eyes open for those men (and women) around him who demonstrate a life worth emulating, seeking out relationships with others who can speak into their lives. This man then listens closely, examines thoroughly, and prays intently, to be a man who grows and matures into the character of Christ, striving to be a man worth emulating - in so - they are intentional and strategic, obedient and submissive to their heavenly Father while honoring and serving those God has placed in their lives - learning to cheerfully endure their circumstances having full confidence that God is working this great work now 

Why Honor? Could it be Love? Luke 2:41-52

Being works in progress, God has given us His Spirit and Word to develop in us, Jesus – this is the goal of God - to reveal, instruct, lead and guide, correct, remind, warn, convict, affirm, and transform so that we might be conformed into Jesus – God’s word, His commands, express to us and establish in us the knowledge of God and His character and heart; His commands give boundaries for the young and inexperienced (and we are all that, all the time, in some area of our life); a working knowledge of the way of God is establishing that way in His children by the commands (Psalm 119; Prov 1-8).  God’s word forms Jesus’ character and way in the minds and hearts of His children; His Truth and Spirit produces liberty/freedom/love in lives of God’s children - especially as character is formed; much fruit-bearing in the lives of His children (Jn 15)

…about His commands, His word, His expression of affection and care… They are for our good; we can obey them, every one of them – as His Spirit enables and empowers us to do so.  So, when we obey His commands, we honor God, and when we honor God and obey God’s commands, in turn, God honors us… God honors those He loves and who love Him (and others…)



When we obey God’s commands, God honors us…

  • 1Sam 2:30 “Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.”

  • Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call on me, and I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

  • John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”



…then when we honor others, then, we are honoring God – and this is love - Luke 2:41-52; John 15:12, 17; 1 John 2:7; 3:11; 4:7, 11

  • 2John 1:5 “And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.”

  • John 13:34-35; A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."

Love, true (agape) love of another has in it consideration… Rom 14:1-21; Thes 5:14; 1Pet 3

  • 1 Corinthians 9:22 19Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible… I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Galatians 6:2 “Carry one another's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the Law of Christ.”

  • Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”



...and if we don’t think we need to grow in this area…

Luke 2:41-52  Jesus love was immature, ill-formed, not yet mature or complete - His love lacked consideration and  honor

41Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” f 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.




Love, consideration, humility, and honor are inseparable


  • Romans 12:10  “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” NIV  “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”  NLT

  • Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

  • Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

  • 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, be like-minded and sympathetic, love as brothers, be tender-hearted and humble.”


What does honor mean?

  • Assign value; to esteem, to see as precious; to fix a value, a price; to revere or venerate

  • As He did us by sending His Son

 

What does it then to honor?

  • To esteem, to count as precious, to revere - to respect or admire someone

  • According to the intrinsic merit of the one honored

  • To love denoting personal attachment – God has made us His children – attached to us

What does honoring demand?  

  • A right perspective of God, self, and others

  • A right attitude toward God, self, and others

  • A humble spirit before God, self, and others

  • A growing confidence in one’s position and identity in Christ confident of who we are to God

 

...that bears itself out in…

  • Love - an agape love (Matt 22; 1Cor 13; Rom 12:9-10) – as we have been loved by God…

    • A preferential love

    • A decided love

    • A committed love

    • A staying love

    • A love that chooses the good of, what is good for, the benefit of, the object of that choice or choosing to, love (the beneficiary)

    • A love that chooses the good of the one loved even if it does not (seem to) benefit the one loving

    • A love that forgives and keeps no record of wrongs - rejoicing in the truth, it considers the fragility of one loved when assessing that person’s being worthy of our, my, love.

  • Honor – as we have been honored by God – seen as precious and valuable worthy the price


When we honor...  we do what God has done for us, even when we were His enemy… (Luke 2; Romans 5)

  • We esteem and dignify

  • We encourage goodwill

  • We choose to love… even the unlovable

  • We bring life

  • We walk in peace - of soul, mind, and spirit

  • We are free - no longer controlled by fear or contempt or disappointment

  • We walk out our identity as God’s children

  • We are free to love and honor… as we have been loved and honored (Rom 13:8)


So why the command to honor?  That we might esteem those we might not otherwise respect and esteem


So why the command to honor?  That we might listen, respect, and value those, who, have our best interest in mind attempt to instruct, guide, protect, lead, form, shape, and facilitate into sound character, when we would prefer to go our own way, do our own thing, be our own person (at the expense of others, future selves, …

  • Character

  • Integrity

  • Humility

  • Wisdom of

    • Cooperation (respect, consideration, value of others, compromise, team/body - together)

    • Preparation (learning, forecasting, strategizing, character development, friend making, mapping of the way or ways…)

    • Delayed gratification (prudence, value, sound judgment, opportunity cost)

  • Those closest to us are

    • God and His Spirit

    • Our closest loved ones who hold places of honor

    • The fellowship of believers


So why the command to honor?  God knew, in all of this, we might be lured, by the enemy, into perceiving or believing that those who love us most (and therefore stand opposed to our fleshes’ desires) are actually our enemies.  (Adam and Eve’s rebellion, the Serpent's deception). So, the enemy taps into our fleshes’ desires, uses the glitter of the world around us and attempts to convince us that the “now” is better and more real than the “then or later” enticing us to defend “ourselves” from true love’s intrusion into our rights, wants, perceived needs, desires.

What or who are those “true loves”?  Those we might perceive as the enemy and therefore dishonor?

  • God the Father - who the enemy and our flesh distorts our view of as angry and unfairly vindictive

  • God the Son - who the enemy and our flesh distorts as being a gracious pushover who wants us to be happy or a nice guy, a historical figure who is not relevant for the day - who may or may not be God

  • God the Holy Spirit - who the enemy and our flesh distorts as distant, too mysterious, un-understandable, not really there…

  • Close family - who the enemy distorts

  • Close friends

  • The body of Christ

  • The word of God


So why the command to honor?  That it might go well with us… as we listen and honor those who are committed to our best, fighting off the false belief that my flesh is “me” and I am my flesh and the misperception that those who oppose my flesh are my enemy, when I honor those who love me, truly, I will then experience peace and contentment with God, self and others, joy in life and love.


What is Biblical prosperity?  What does it mean that “it will go well”?

  • Do we undervalue peace?

  • Do we undervalue humility and service?


There is wisdom in many counselors… many eyes and ears - humility postures us to see and hear what others bring - honoring them and keeping us safe


Who in our lives do we struggle to honor?  Why?  Who do I need to…

  • ...give grace?

  • … give the benefit of the doubt?

Of whom do I need to

  • …change my perspective, and with it, my attitude toward them and their role in my life?

  • ... remember that God has placed them in my life for a reason?

  • … ask forgiveness for treating them as though they were the enemy?

  • … forgive in order to honor?



Let us hold onto this truth


1John 5

3In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.



1 John 5:1-5 If you love me, obey my commands, and my commands are not burdensome...

1John 5:1-5

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

So, Commands, what are commands?

We tend to see the word “command” and cringe, or bristle, or even bow our necks and become rebellious - as if the God’s commands are somehow opposed to us (which of course means that if the commands are opposed to us, God must be opposed to us) and that is not so…

God is for us! This is His promise and encouragement for His children! And, if God is for us, who can be against us…? (Rom 8:31; 1John 4:4)

God’s purpose is to conform us to Jesus… (Rom 8)

Commands are not to forever live by, but to learn from, be protected by, to be molded by, to be expressed through, to be reminded - God’s commands have been fulfilled by Jesus in us.

Jesus’ love language is obedience and therefore our “I love you” to Him is to obey His commands, but often we relegate our christian lives to compliance (John 14-17)

1. I read the command

2. I try to do the command

3. I have obeyed, or, at least tried to, so I’m ok

I do not believe that that is Jesus’ intent. Jesus is the truth and His life - His person and His manner and way - is what He desires in us. We become like Jesus by hearing/reading, ingesting, digesting, exercising… (Jesus = wisdom Prov chapt’s 1-4)

We are a work in progress… We are being conformed into His likeness as we grow in Him through obedience, the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, and because of the very real righteousness we have received from Jesus (1Cor 1:30; 2Cor 5:21). We join in this conforming by our loving obedience, and in so, begin to more and more express God’s commands naturally.

So, it is important for us to remember:

● Commands are God’s expressions of love and affection to us. (Psalm 19; 119; Prov 6:22-23)

● Commands are those things that glorify Him and help us prosper. (2Pet 1; Prov 3:18; 4; 10:17)

● Commands are given to us at our points of most resistance or to that thing we are least inclined to do. “love your enemy”, “do good to those who mistreat you”, “pray for those who hate you”


The goal of God’s commands are to reveal, instruct, lead and guide, correct, remind, warn, convict, affirm, transform that we might be conformed into Jesus - the commands…

● Establish (and express) to us the knowledge of God’s own character and heart

● Establish boundaries for the young and inexperienced (and we are all that, all the time, in some area of our life)

● Establish (a working knowledge of) the way of God and desires to establish that way in His children by the commands

● Establish Jesus’ character and way in the minds and hearts of His children

● Establish wisdom in the minds and hearts

● Establish liberty/freedom/love in lives of God’s children - especially as character is formed

● Establish (much) fruit bearing in and through the lives of His children

Commands are the boundaries in which we live until character and value is established…

● We follow the command until it is so deeply ingrained in us and the value it represents is developed in such a way that we now naturally live out or express the character and value the command expresses and teaches - we now live in love - hence: “Love the Lord your God… love your neighbor as yourself… all the law and the prophets hang from these two commands” (Matt 22)

The goal is to no longer live by the commands, but…

● ...by having followed and lived by the commandments, they establish in us the very character of Jesus and the values He espouses that are represented by the commands, so that our lives now naturally express and demonstrate what the commands point to and have led us to - Jesus, His person, His character, and His attributes. As they, by the commands, are established in us, we are then established in Him.

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth empowers and enables us… (2Cor 2; Eph 1; Gal 5; 1John 4)

● To live a life transformed, not just conforming to commands. You see, conforming to the commands is just the beginning, but the true goal is being transformedby the commands (Rom 12) - and this comes by practice, obedience (Heb 6) - tasting to see that the Lord is good, that His commands, precepts, instructions are a delight, sweet to the taste. (Psalm 19; 34; 119:103; Prov 16:20; Jer 17:7; 1Pet 2:3)

This process of progress takes a lifetime!

Growing into Jesus means remaining humble and being perpetual learners, and this necessitates hearing/reading, re-reading, practicing, and being molded by God’s truth and His character as expressed in His commands - to love - in particular, as we are always being tested and tempted.

The heart is deeper than we imagine so, as we walk with God and our faith grows, He exposes, little by little, areas in our hearts that are not yet redeemed or made holy through repentance and sanctification - so, even among the mature, the boundaries of His commands will appear, disappear, and reappear as each new area is revealed. This process is ongoing and is necessary for growth by God’s Spirit’s revealing to us a new area of work and our obedience for repentance and further establishing Jesus - character: love, wisdom, manner and way - in and through us (further)

● Sanctifying

● Conforming

It is not God‘s intentions for us to live a life of compliance, that is, compliance for compliance’ sake, but a natural loving obedience born out of reverent obedience that is fruit of the seeds of compliance

Galatians 5 speaks to our freedom, first our freedom from the law (5:1-12), second our freedom from the rule of the flesh. (5:12-26)

So why the command to honor? That we might esteem those we might not otherwise respect and esteem

So why the command to honor? That we might obey those, who, having our best interest in mind attempt to instruct, guide, protect, lead, form, shape, and facilitate into sound character, when we would prefer to go our own way, do our own thing, be our own person (at the expense of others, future selves, …

● Character

● Integrity

● Humility

● Wisdom of

○ Cooperation (respect, consideration, value of others, compromise, team/body - together)

○ Preparation (learning, forecasting, strategizing, character development, friend making, mapping of the way or ways…)

○ Delayed gratification (prudence, value, sound judgment, opportunity cost)

● Those closest to us are

○ God and His Spirit

○ Our closest loved ones who hold places of honor

○ The fellowship of believers

Ex 20:12; Eph 6:1-2. So, to honor comes with a promise – that it will go well. And that, we must trust – God wants it to go will for us!

1Cor 6:20 “you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Ex 12:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Eph 6 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Outdo yourselves in honoring one another.”

Romans 13:7 “Pay everyone what you owe him: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.”

So why the command to honor?

God knew, in all of this, we might be lured, by the enemy, into perceiving or believing that those who love us most (and therefore stand opposed to our fleshes’ desires) are actually our enemies. (Adam and Eve’s rebellion, the Serpent's deception). So, the enemy taps into our fleshes’ desires, uses the glitter of the world around us and attempts to convince us that the “now” is better and more real than the “then or later” enticing us to defend “ourselves” of true love’s intrusion into our rights, wants, perceived needs, desires.

What or who are those “true loves”? Those we might perceive as the enemy and therefore dishonor?

● God the Father - who the enemy and our flesh distorts our view of as angry and unfairly vindictive

● God the Son - who the enemy and our flesh distorts as being a gracious pushover who wants us to be happy or a nice guy, a historical figure who is not relevant for the day - who may or may not be God

● God the Holy Spirit - who the enemy and our flesh distorts as distant, too mysterious, un-understandable, not really there….

● Close family

● Close friends

● The body of Christ

● The word of God

So why the command to honor? That it might go well with us… as we listen and honor those who are committed to our best, fighting off the false belief in the flesh “being me” and the misconception that they my enemy, I will experience peace, joy, and


Who in our lives do we struggle to honor? Why?

● Do I need to give grace?

● Do I need to give the benefit of the doubt?

● Do I need to change my perspective, and with it, my attitude toward them and their role in my life?

● Do I need to remember that God has placed them in my life for a reason?

● Do I need to forgive?

Let us hold onto this truth

1John 5

3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Psalm 34

So, this command to honor… God wants it to go well for us “plans to prosper” (Jer 29:11)

● Why are we commanded to honor? Because, we are not inclined to. The origin of sin. (Gen 3)

● The serpent did not honor God or man; Eve did not honor Adam; neither did Adam honor Eve

● They both, each and together, dishonored God

● It did not go well for them… or, us.

What does honor mean?

● Assign value; to esteem, to see as precious; to fix a value, a price; to revere or venerate

● As He did us by sending His Son

What does it then to honor?

● To esteem, to count as precious, to revere - to respect or admire someone

● According to the intrinsic merit of the one honored

● To love denoting personal attachment – God has made us His children – attached to us

What does honoring demand?

● A right perspective of God, self, and others

● A right attitude toward God, self, and others

● A humble spirit before God, self, and others

● A growing confidence in one’s position and identity in Christ confident of who we are to God


...that bears itself out in…

● Love - an agape love (Matt 22; 1Cor 13; Rom 12:9-10) – as we have been loved by God…

○ A preferential love

○ A decided love

○ A committed love

○ A staying love

○ A love that chooses the good of, what is good for, the benefit of, the object of that choice or choosing to, love (the beneficiary)

○ A love that chooses the good of the one loved even if it does not (seem to) benefit the one loving

○ A love that forgives and keeps no record of wrongs - rejoicing in the truth, it considers the fragility of one loved when assessing that person’s being worthy of our, my, love.

● Honor – as we have been honored by God – seen as precious and valuable worthy the price

When we honor... we do what God has done for us, even when we were His enemy… (Luke 2; Romans 5)

● We esteem and dignify

● We encourage goodwill

● We choose to love… even the unlovable

● We bring life

● We walk in peace - of soul, mind, and spirit

● We are free - no longer controlled by fear or contempt or disappointment

● We walk out our identity as God’s children

● We are free to love and honor… as we have been loved and honored (Rom 13:8)

Mother's Day-Honor and Forgiveness

Honor your… Exodus 19:3-6; 20:1-17; Eph 6:1-4; Rom 12:10; Titus 3; Col 3 Exodus 20:1-5 God is jealous (He is zealous for us… “His zeal has done this…” Isa 9:6)

Exodus 19:3-6 NIV

3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Exodus 20:1-8 NIV

1 And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

Jealousy is an expression of love and devotion, it is the passion and zeal of love and fidelity. God is jealous for us and our affections and His love will not allow us to have any god beside or before Him…

Yet, strangely enough… God is not jealous of our love and honor for others.

In fact, God’s love, true love of God, demands, that we love others. That when we truly love and honor God, we love others - we love who and what He loves and we love the same

So, a person loved rightly, rightly placed in our heart’s affections, in our acts of kind affection, is the fulfillment of God’s love for and in us, and our loving Him and others His love is made complete. (1John 4:12-21)

It is when we get that person out of place - whether that be beside and before God, or, we love them, not. So, God’s love demands we love Him first, but then in turn, love others and self

Why such a list of explicit commands? Israel was infantile in the ways of God…

It is God’s desire that we grow beyond to live lives marked by Him, His Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, having transformed our hearts and minds, to more and more naturally reflect His person, His grace, His love. The commands help guide us there, it is ours to read/hear, know, work out, practice, to obey, and become the very expression of His loving affections - reflected in His commands.

And who are we to love? Our enemies…? (Matt What is an enemy? One who seeks to harm, to destroy, to kill. Why then do we treat those closest to us as though they were the enemy? Why does God have to command us in regard to relationships that are supposed to be loving just as much as loving our enemies?

Because we perceive those closest to us as enemies. To what? What would cause us to do such a thing? Our flesh. Those who truly love us most are perceived as enemies because they war against our flesh - what we, our flesh, wants.

Therefore, God must command and admonish us to honor those closest to us as much as He must command us to love our enemies. He’s speaking to our fleshes’ desire to have what it wants and to do anything it needs to get it… hence commands 6-10

Exodus 20:12-17; James 4:1-7

Exodus 20:12-17 NIV

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal.16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

James 4:1-7 NIV

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Commands, what are commands?

● Commands are God’s expressions of love and affection to us. (Psalm 19; 119; Prov 6:22-23)

● Commands are those things that glorify Him and help us prosper. (2Pet 1; Prov 3:18; 4; 10:17)

● Commands are given to us at our points of most resistance or to that thing we are least inclined to do. “love your enemy”, “do good to those who mistreat you”, “pray for those who hate you”

Commands are the boundaries in which we live until character and value is established…

● We follow the command until it is so deeply ingrained in us and the value it represents is developed in such a way that we now naturally live out or express the character and value the command expresses and teaches - we now live in love - hence: “Love the Lord your God… love your neighbor as yourself… all the law and the prophets hang from these two commands” (Matt 22)

The goal is to no longer live by the commands, but…

● By having followed and lived by them, to have them establish in us the very character of Jesus and the values that he espouses that are represented by the commands, so that our lives now naturally express and demonstrate what the commands point to and have led us to - Jesus, His person, His character, and His attributes. As they, by the commands, are established in us, we are then established in Him.

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth empowers and enables us… (2Cor 2; Eph 1; Gal 5; 1John 4)

● This is a life transformed, not just conforming to commands. You see, conforming to the commands is just the beginning, but the true goal is being transformed by the commands (Rom 12) - and this comes by practice, obedience (Heb 6) - tasting to see that the Lord is good, that His commands, precepts, instructions are a delight, sweet to the taste. (Psalm 19; 34; 119:103; Prov 16:20; Jer 17:7; 1Pet 2:3)

So, this command to honor… God wants it to go well for us “plans to prosper” (Jer 29:11)

● Why are we commanded to honor? Because, we are not inclined to. The origin of sin. (Gen 3)

● The serpent did not honor God or man; Eve did not honor Adam; neither did Adam honor Eve

● They both, each and together, dishonored God

● It did not go well for them… or, us.

Ex 20:12; Eph 6:2. So, to honor comes with a promise – that it will go well. And that, we must trust – God wants it to go will for us!

What does honor mean?

● Assign value; to esteem, to see as precious; to fix a value, a price; to revere or venerate

● As He did us by sending His Son

What does it then to honor?

● To esteem, to count as precious, to revere - to respect or admire someone

● According to the intrinsic merit of the one honored

● To love denoting personal attachment – God has made us His children – attached to us

What does honoring demand?

● A right perspective of God, self, and others

● A right attitude toward God, self, and others

● A humble spirit before God, self, and others

● A growing confidence in one’s position and identity in Christ confident of who we are to God

...that bears itself out in…

● Love - an agape love (Matt 22; 1Cor 13; Rom 12:9-10) – as we have been loved by God…

○ A preferential love

○ A decided love

○ A committed love

○ A staying love

○ A love that chooses the good of, what is good for, the benefit of, the object of that choice or choosing to, love (the beneficiary)

○ A love that chooses the good of the one loved even if it does not (seem to) benefit the one loving

○ A love that forgives and keeps no record of wrongs - rejoicing in the truth, it considers the fragility of one loved when assessing that person’s being worthy of our, my, love.

● Honor – as we have been honored by God – seen as precious and valuable worthy the price

Rom 12:9-10 “Love (agape) must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in (brotherly) love. Honor one another above yourselves”

When we honor... we do what God has done for us, even when we were His enemy… (Luke 2; Romans 5)

● We esteem and dignify

● We encourage goodwill

● We choose to love… even the unlovable

● We bring life

● We walk in peace - of soul, mind, and spirit

● We are free - no longer controlled by fear or contempt or disappointment

● We walk out our identity as God’s children

● We are free to love and honor… as we have been loved and honored (Rom 13:8)

Jesus honored His...

● Luke 2:39-48-52 Jesus taught to honor, learned to honor (“obedient to them” Eph 6)

● John 2; John 19:25-27 - Jesus honoring His mother

That did not mean that He would allow their misconceptions of Him keep from obeying His Father and His call

● Matt 12:46-48

● Mark 3:21-31

That it might go well with you… to a large degree, everything we are has been accomplished by God through those who brought us into this world…

Jesus came to redeemed it, us, all of it and us.

And for this, we can be grateful

“...all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose…”

Jesus, formed in us, that we would be conformed to Jesus - Joy!

Jesus came to bring peace, that we might live in peace, peacefully.

Peace: Tied Back Into the Whole

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

My average day...

Anxious thoughts - idols, unfortunate points of meditation (another pastor stated) (Psalm 37; 94; 139:23-24; Phil 4:6)

Anxious or fearful heart - overwhelming concern, fear, dread, isolation


Jesus: John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

“...my peace I give you…”

I offer you peace…


“...I do not give as the world gives…”

I do not offer what the world offers, neither do offer how the world offers

Neither do I give as the world gives, Nor provide peace as the world does


...world...

The ungodly multitude, those alienated from God, who are hostile to the cause of Christ


What is the peace of Christ?

First Himself as peace, the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6-7)

Second, what He, as the Prince of Peace, can do and why - He has the right and power, ability and authority to (Rom 5:1; Col 1:20)

Make peace, Give peace, Keep peace


How does Jesus give and establish peace? (Heb 2 “made atonement for” or pardoned our “sins” by satisfying the wrath of God toward sin - He, showed us mercy and forgives us our sin when we believed)

Paul: Romans 5:1; Col 1:20 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we a have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...”

“...since we have been justified by God…”

Declared righteous “I make righteous, acceptable”

Approved - legal - conformed to a PROPER standard - right judicial (authoritative approval)

Cleared of all charges; pardoned

To make, declare, and treat as - worthy


“...and this by faith…”

God’s divine persuasion… (of truth that) God continually births faith in the believer so they can know what He prefers - a strong and welcome conviction (of Jesus) aroused by God

Faith is God’s warranty, guarantee that what He has initiated will come to pass - for the redeemed

Faith is Always received from God, never generated by us (Rom 12:3; Eph 2:8-9; 1Peter 1:2)


“...we have peace with God…”

Reconciled, brought back to God

Tied back into the whole of God

Tranquility of spirit - mind and soul - assurance, confidence

Peace in Christ is in having been declared by God “righteous”, having been made right, innocent of all offense to (God), to be received by, brought (back) into (relationship with) God, accepted, by God, as He has chosen

A position

A state of being

God’s nature, desire, provision (to His children - all who would receive life in Christ)

Kept and sustained by God


So when Jesus says “peace I give you, my peace I leave with you… I do not give as the world gives” He is saying “I have come, I am here, not to condemn you, but to save you (John 3:16-18) - to forgive you of any offenses, to make peace - to make friends with you, me and you and God (the Father) (John 17).


I have come to make things right - I know you can’t, but I can, and I choose to - I choose to - love you, to forgive you, to make peace with you, make allegiance with you, and bring you my way… the way of love and forgiveness, the way of mercy, and grace, the way of peace…


perfect, peace - back into my Father, to me, to our Spirit. Back into the whole. (Gen 1-3)


Why does Jesus have to promise this?

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. (because) In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Because, “in this world, there will be trouble” (John 16:33)

“If the world hates you, understand that it hated me first” (John 15:18)


Trouble:

Pressure that constricts and rubs together; squeeze into someplace narrow; internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined - restricted, without options

Anxiety, burden of heart

The afflictions Jesus had to undergo (and which, therefore, His followers must not shrink from)

Tribulation: Distress: Suffering:

2Corinthians 4:7-9, 13-14, 16-18

“...we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…


14 ...we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself…


16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18No we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”



John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. (because) In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


“...but, take heart…” or Be courageous: of good courage, cheer

Radiate a warm confidence - peace - Emboldened to show courage - God bolstering the believer, empowering them with a bold inner-attitude

The Lord has infused His strength by His in working of faith (in-birthed persuasion)

Inner confidence - be confident, undaunted, filled with joy

Why? Jesus has overcome the world… and so will we

He has rendered the world and its power to harm impotent and subverted its influence


“...I have overcome…” (Rev 3:21; 12:11)

Conquered, prevailed, subdued

Deprive (the world) of power to harm, to subvert its influence

Used of one who through christian constancy and courage keeps himself unharmed and spotless from his adversary’s devices, solicitations, assaults

Rom 8:37


“...the world” The order and adornment (cosmetic) of this world - that which covers, conceal the reality

John 1; 3 to make appearance among men, to dwell among

John 12 life on this sphere

John 17 universe, or creation (Eph 2)

Throughout John the inhabitants of the world, the ungodly multitude

But this, is speaking of that which Jesus has victory - over the ways of the world or worldly affairs, its goods, riches, advantages, pleasures, which, although hollow, frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ and all that it offers to entice, to tempt to sin - to go its way, not God’s - all that leads to death


you need no longer must place your hope in the ever changing - as you now have peace…

Peace with God

Peace eternal

Peace now

Peace to come


Peace: then, what is it? In this context, Peace is, peace with God

God has made sure that there is nothing between me and Him, there is nothing that He is holding against me, eternally - having been far away, we have been brought near (Isa 57:18-19; Acts 2:29; Eph 2:12-14, 17)

That I have been brought back and tied (together) with God - and this brings...

“...a tranquil state of my soul. It is assured of salvation through Christ, this peace fears nothing from God and is content with its earthly lot, of whatever that lot might be" (Rom 8:6, 28-39)

This peace describes those who, assured of salvation, tranquilly, peacefully await the return of Christ and the transformation of all things which will accompany that event (2Pet 3:14)


This peace, is a real peace, a true peace, a peace that is not subject to the ebbs and flows of the day, but rises above any circumstance, as it comes from God, the Rock, a God who does not change, the God of peace, and is anchored in His saving love. Our peace is rooted in the truth that my eternal welfare is assured - God has me, He has me.


AND, as Jesus said, this peace overcomes, rises above, has power over...

Phil 4:7 “...the peace of God which transcends all understanding… and the God peace will be with you“


This is peace that transcends, surpasses, understanding or any other thoughts

Beyond, above superior, excel, surpass - as to exercise prominence (superiority over); rise above - so much so that it stands out (overtop)

Take authority, have power over

It is better than - as excellent and of surpassing worth


This peace goes beyond our understanding, as the circumstances we often find ourselves in, merit, it seems, to some degree, anxiety or concern, and yet in light of God and our position in God, it now pales, it gets back in line, it subordinates itself to its proper place as small and of insignificant in the grand scheme - now, whatever it is that might make me anxious, is merely a tool in the hands of a loving Father who promises His children, His beloved, that He work ALL things out for the good of those who are in this love relationship with Him.



Now, how do we experience this peace? Why do we have to ask this? Well, because, most of us don’t experience this peace much, if at all. ‘Cause I don’t always feel at peace… So, if I have peace with God, and that is a permanent position and state of being, why don’t we always feel it?


How do we realize this great peace? What enables us to not just know that that peace is there, but to experience it in the everyday?


First, We have to be sure that it is rooted in something, someone, that lasts, that does not change, that we cannot lose… ...and, so, at the same time, realize, that peace is not in what we think… ...we must come to know that peace cannot be rightly experienced as transcendent if it is derived from anything that we can lose, that can shift or change, or is dependent on my keeping it…


Here’s an example, a warning from the Prince of Peace, Jesus

Rev 3:14-20

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

17You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, white garments so that you may be clothed and your shameful nakedness not exposed, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be earnest and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. 21To the one who is victorious, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.


Laodicea - had everything, all they could want, and yet Jesus in essence says “you have everything you think you want and need, you are blessed beyond measure, yet, you do not have, neither are you at, peace”

He is saying “This is not peace - as true peace has nothing to do with “things being or going ‘well’” (Ps 37)

True peace is anchored in God’s delight in us, in His zealous and jealous love for us, that is, in fact, jealous of the things of earth that would cause us to think we are at peace only when things are well - duped into thinking that what I have, the way my life is going, determines, peace (Isa



Phil 4:7 “...and guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus…”


So, we can seek peace, we can pursue it - it is ours, we have it as God’s children, but, its realization is fleeting with our heart’s fitful devotion

It is a fruit of the Spirit of God in us - allowing the Spirit to rule, cooperating with the Spirit of truth, in truth - as we walk with Jesus, the Truth (Gal 5:22)

Peace pursued: position, posture, pace, protection, practice - peace (Psalm 34; 1Peter 3)

Position: a child of God. Leaning into, meditating on, receiving daily the truth of our position with God, in Christ, by faith, as a gift of grace - not anything we have done to get or keep, but a gift, an irrevocable position of adoption into His family (Isa 65:17-19; Eph 1&2; 1Pet 2:4-10)

Posture: astonished that God would love “me” this way, we are both humbled by the truth of God’s gracious doing, while standing firm and confident in celebration of salvation with the ears of our mind, heart, and spirit attentive to the Spirit’s whisper of love and assurance. (Matt 5:3; Mark 5:15, 18-19; Luke 8:35; 10:38-42; 1Pet 5:5-7)

Pace: trusting the truth of God’s love, we, with stillness of heart, calmly, slowly, go about striding with Jesus, by the Spirit, in and by His Truth - allowing His peace to reign in our hearts. (Ps 27:13-14; 37:1-7; 40:1; 130:5; Isa 25:8-10; Gal 5:1,5,13,16-18, 22-25)

Protect: our hearts from affections that would distract and debilitate, muting the voice of God’s Spirit within us, inhibiting our hearing; (instead of surrendering to our anxious thoughts), quickly captured, we surrender our anxious thoughts, and present them to God for His healing calm, peace, to descend upon us and defeat those things that stand opposed to God in our minds. (Prov 4; Matt 19:19-34; 2Cor 10:3-4; Phil 4:4-7; Ja 4:3-5; 1Jo 2:15-17)

Practice: a repentant life - a life that continually recognizes the gift of grace received, and, with honor, comes to God for regular cleansing and reconciliation and healing… (Psalm 32; 51; Isa 12; 2Cor 10:3-4; Gal 6:1-10; Phil 4:8; Heb 12:12-14; James 5:16; 2Pet 2:1-15)

Persevere: fix your eyes on Jesus… and run the race with perseverance (Ps 119:165; Isa 26:3; Rom 5; James 1; 1Pet 1; Heb 11&12; Joseph in Gen 37-50; Job; Dan 1&2)