Don’t Let It Divide You

By Bobby Blakey on July 26, 2020

1 Peter 3:8-12

AUDIO

Don’t Let It Divide You

By Bobby Blakey on July 26, 2020

1 Peter 3:8-12

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:03] I invite you to open the Bible and turn with me to the book of 1 Peter 3:8-12. And again, you might want to get in your goody bag and get your handout out if you're taking notes. And also, you'll notice that next week we're going to start a series of sermons from first Peter, why you need Jesus. And I really believe God is going to use this series to replant this church on the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

[00:00:34] Anybody here been saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ gave you a new life.

[00:00:39] Well, we are gonna be talking about it and how you need to be ready. Always ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you. And so we'll be having a three week series on the gospel of Jesus that I think is going to lead to some exciting announcements here at our church. So that starts next weekend. So help us spread the word that we're really excited about the gospel wringing out the next three weeks here at Compas H. B.. And I want to take a moment right now to welcome everybody who's online.

[00:01:14] Can we give them a round of applause, people who are online watching? And here's something you need to know.

[00:01:20] Every service that we have done outdoors. I have met someone new to our church at every single service we've done. And there's new people who are watching online as well. And so we have now, if you ever go to Compass H.B, dot com slash connect, we'll have Brad. Brad, can you wave to us? Brad's there in the back. He's ready to greet you after the service. He's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and he's ready to greet you in person. Or if you're watching online or if you want to just give us your information digitally. We'd love to reach out to you, set up a meeting, answer any questions you have about the church. That's compass h.b, dot com, slash connect. But our text today is first Peter chapter three, starting in verse eight, go into verse 12. And if we're gonna get real, this is a very divisive time. This is a time where people are taking sides on all kinds of different issues, corona virus, submitting to governing authorities racism. And do I need to remind anybody that 2020 is an election year here in the United States of America? We are so polarized in our two political parties. There is just hatred being spewed out every day, all day from fellow Americans against other fellow Americans. And so this passage that you and I are going to study together right now has perhaps never been more relevant in our lives than it is this very morning. And I hope you will give this your full and undivided attention, because this is the word of God. And I'm going to ask if everyone will stand for our scripture reading together as we hear these words that Peter wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the scattered Christians of his day. And we apply them to our hearts and lives on this day. So please follow along with me first, Peter, chapter three versus eight to 12.

[00:03:19] Finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling. For reviling.

[00:03:34] But on the contrary, bless to this you have your call that you may obtain a blessing for whoever desires to love life and see good days. Let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good. Let him seek peace and pursue it for the eyes of the Lord or on the righteous. And His ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

[00:04:05] That's the beauty of God's word. Please go ahead and grab your seat. And it says finally or it's the word Telos. There it means at the end of it. Or to sum up. And what he's summing up here, it's clearly not the end of his letter. No, he's got more to to say. We're about halfway through the letter. But what he's summing up is what he began back in chapter two, verse twelve. If you want to look at it, he said, keep your conduct among the gentiles honorable so that when they speak against you as evil doers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. So he's saying there's going to be a confit flicked between the people of God and the people who don't know God and the people who don't know God are gonna want to say evil things about the people who do no God. They're gonna want to mock us for doing what is right. They're gonna want to make fun of us for believing in Jesus Christ. And when they come to speak evil against us, it's important that the way we're living, the pattern or manner of our life is honorable. So they want to talk down to us, but instead they have to admit that we're conducting ourselves in an honorable way. And maybe they'll even end up worshiping God with us and giving him the glory. Now, this is an exciting thought that should inspire every one of us that you could live in such a way where someone who would be a hater against God would become a worshiper of God when they see your honorable conduct.

[00:05:38] And once he said that, he started talking about submission and he gave us three spheres where we would need to submit, the first one, he said, was to submit to the governing authorities. And then he said slaves should submit to their masters. And then he says wives should submit to their husbands. And now he says, to sum up this whole idea, we've been developing all of you. So this applies to every man, woman and child, all of you. And then he gives us five things right here in verse eight. Look at him, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind. Five different Greek words there. And really, when it says unity of mind, you could write down same mind. That's really what it means there, that you would have the same mind. So what does that mean to have the same mind? Well, let's keep going. Sympathy is what he goes to next.

[00:06:37] So I'm going to get on the same mind. Well, how am I going to get on the same month? I'm going to have sympathy for people. Sympathy, which means I'm going to have to listen. I'm going to get on the same mind by hearing what is on someone else's mind. And as they tell me what they're thinking, what they're feeling, as I listen to somebody else. I'm going to start feeling a sense of sympathy.

[00:07:01] If this person is doing really well, if they're rejoicing, if they're really loving life, then I'm gonna rejoice with those who rejoice. Or if this person is having a hard time and they're really low, then I'm gonna weep with those who weep. I'm going to start feeling what other people are going to get on the same mind. What's the same mind? Well, it starts by hearing their mind and having sympathy. Then it says, Brother, they love this idea that as Christian people, we are all a family. Can I get any man from anybody on that? Ah, we have family here of brothers and sisters. Do I. That's the main way we are referred to in the Greek Bible is as brothers in Christ. But that's not really the way the American church sometimes acts, that we are a family, that we are all in this together, that I would love other people at church, like I would love my own brothers or sisters. That's the idea. OK, so we're gonna get on the same mind. Why? Because we're family. We love one another. We care about each other just like there's really nothing one of my brothers could do that would ever keep me from one to help them and love them. That's how we're supposed to be here for one another. I really care about everybody here.

[00:08:13] I have brotherly love for them. Then it says a tender heart. Or you could translate that good compassion.

[00:08:20] Good compassion is really what it's saying there, that I would feel someone else what they're going through, that someone else's experience would actually affect my own experience. That's someone else's pain. I would feel their pain in my own bowels. That's really the meaning behind the word compassion there that what somebody else is going through. I feel it inside my own self.

[00:08:48] So you can clearly see where this is going. We're going to get on the same mind. And how are we going to get on the same mind by moving towards one another, by listening to one another. And the fifth one here is it's almost like he's just mashing up Greek words here. And just like he said, same mind at the beginning. He now says, humble mind at the end. Or you or you could translate it. Low mind.

[00:09:11] What what Peter's saying here is we need a lot less people speak in their own mind and a lot more people listening to one another.

[00:09:18] That's what he's saying.

[00:09:21] He's saying, we got one thing we need to get better at. At church and we need to get better at it. At this church is we need to get better at listening.

[00:09:29] Are you a good listener?

[00:09:31] Do you hear what other people are feeling, thinking, going through, or do you do what I've seen done? A lot of times the church is where when somebody is talking I don't know if you ever experienced this in a fellowship group, a small group, maybe just a few Christian friends hanging out. Maybe you can even see this sometimes one on one that somebody's saying something and somebody else in the group is already looking up the Bible verse that they're going to use to stump what so-and-so is saying right now.

[00:10:01] Maybe you've been the person bringing out the Bible to thump somebody else before they've even finished their thought. You already are. I have a response to the.

[00:10:13] That's not what this passage is talking about.

[00:10:16] This passage he's talking about really here in somebody else out, not coming in like everybody else here, needs to think what I'm thinking. Everybody else here needs to get on my page. I need to speak my own mind, because what I think I'm pretty proud of what I think. See, this is saying the opposite.

[00:10:33] Saying come in with a low view of your own mind, a humble view of your own mind, and come in ready to really hear other people.

[00:10:42] And sympathize with them and have compassion for them and to love them. Let's get this down for point number one. We need less speaking our mind and more empathy, less speaking our mind and more empathy.

[00:10:58] That's what we need.

[00:11:00] We got to come in ready to get on the same mind with other people. We're having a low view of our own thoughts, not thinking too highly of our own personal opinions. And empathy is the idea of really understanding and feeling what someone else is experiencing. There are so many people at churches all across America and there are plenty of them at our very own church, and all they want to do is be heard. And when America is telling everybody that they have a voice, what America is looking for is people who have ears.

[00:11:34] And actually care. And there are way too few people.

[00:11:40] Who really want to have empathy for other souls? And really just want to listen.

[00:11:48] One thing that happens at churches, somebody starts telling a story and they're telling a story about having their first baby or they're telling their story about getting engaged and getting married, or they're they're telling their story about being a single person and what they're going through.

[00:12:01] And they're telling a story about something that goes on in their life. And it's like clockwork. Just watch for it. You'll start to see it.

[00:12:08] Somebody else almost interrupts them, like doesn't even let them finish.

[00:12:13] And they start telling their own story about having their first child or getting married or being single.

[00:12:21] It's like we think that, well, you have a personal experience. Let me just project my personal experience onto you and that I, like, be counsel to you or that I like be wisdom to you. Hey, newsflash, they might not be having the same experience that you had.

[00:12:36] Just projecting your own experience onto someone else is not really empathizing with them, hearing them and considering how you can encourage them as someone fundamentally different than you.

[00:12:51] So we've got to be careful, we're not just Bible answering people or just sharing our own stories with people, but we are really listening to people. And let's start with the people you live with. Two people that you live with have to say things to you, like let me finish or I can't talk or you're interrupting me. Then that means you're not good at listening. That's not coming at people with sympathy, brotherly love and good compassion and a humble mind.

[00:13:22] I want to show you an example of what this looks like in John, Chapter 11, can everybody grab your Bible and turn with me to John Chapter 11 and let's see from one who clearly cared about other people in a way that we should all want to follow. Let's learn from our Lord Jesus Christ.

[00:13:40] What this kind of tender heart of compassion, what this sympathy really could look like. And this is a story here in John Elevon, where Jesus is going to a funeral and his friend Lazarus has died in Lazarus, has two sisters, Mary and Martha. And when Jesus is rolling into this funeral and Lazarus, who's been dead now for some time, he's already in the tomb. What is Jesus gonna do? He's about to do his greatest miracle yet. What is Jesus gonna do at this funeral?

[00:14:09] Shout it out. If you know, here in the parking lot, what is he going to do? Resurrection time. He's about the bus. This funeral wide open, everybody. We're going for a funeral morning to a real celebration of life. And he knows he's coming to do it. I mean, I guarantee you saying Lazarus come out and watch in a dead man walk out of the grave is better than anything you've ever said to any other Christian. Can I get a man from anybody on that? So he's got the ultimate answer here.

[00:14:43] He is literally about to change the conversation.

[00:14:47] And yet I want you to see how he approaches the scene.

[00:14:50] I want you to see how he comes in to the setting where everyone is mourning the death of Lazarus when he knows he's about to give life to Lazarus.

[00:15:00] Look at this. And John, 11, verse 32. Here comes Mary Lazarus, sister to Jesus. Now, when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet saying to him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

[00:15:17] She's saying, I believe you're the healer. I believe you're the miracle worker. I've seen you do amazing things. I have faith that you could have saved the life of my brother Lazarus.

[00:15:29] And when Jesus saw her, you got let's look through the eyes of Jesus. This is how Jesus sees people. When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her also weeping. You need to underline this right here. He was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.

[00:15:50] He knows he is about to raise Lazarus from the dead, and yet he has such a strong sense of compassion, of love, like he loved Lazarus, Mary and Martha like family. He has such a sense of sympathy here.

[00:16:07] That he's deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. Before he ever says anything. He starts feeling what everyone there is feeling. And he says in verse 34, he said to them, Where have you laid him? They said to him, Lord, come and see verse 35. Jesus wept.

[00:16:30] You might have the right answer. You might be able to really help them, you might be able to tell them everything they need to hear. But the question is, can you get on the same mind with them? Can you have sympathy towards them? Can you really feel for them? We want to speak the truth to one another here at CompassHB Bible Church. We just want to make sure that we always do it in love. Can I get any men from anybody on that? That's going to require more listening.

[00:16:56] Less talking, less thinking, you already know what to say and more really hearing somebody else out. And if they're weepin, you got to weep with them. If they're rejoicing. You rejoice. It's like, as you're hearing what's going on inside of someone else's soul, your soul rises with them or your soul falls with them.

[00:17:17] And Jesus is about to do this amazing thing. And yet here he is weeping and look what people get.

[00:17:23] They get it. Look at what the crowd says in verse 36. So the Jews said, see how he was. See how he. Oh, that's what love looks like.

[00:17:36] It looks like feeling what other people feel.

[00:17:40] Getting in there with him.

[00:17:42] Jesus was an example to that.

[00:17:45] And there and then some people are like, could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying? Well, here's what's amazing about Jesus. He can keep a dead man from dying. How about that one, everybody? Lazarus come out any rises in from the dead.

[00:18:03] Well, we got to see what he did before he rose from the dead. Was he loved the people and he wept with those who wept.

[00:18:12] And that is so important, if you could just take an application from this and pray that you could be more sympathetic, that you could have more compassionate, if you could see Jesus sitting on the Mount of Olives outside of the city of Jerusalem weeping, saying, oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills all the prophets, all the messengers of God that God's sending and you kill every single one of them that God's sending to you.

[00:18:38] And Jesus knows they're about to kill him. And yet there he is sitting on the Mount of Olives overlooking the city of Jerusalem, weeping.

[00:18:47] Here's Jesus. When he saw a crowd of people, when Jesus saw them harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

[00:18:54] When Jesus saw that in their souls, they were broken, they were lost, and there was nothing they could do to save themselves. It says when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them. And he knew right away the problem was that there weren't enough laborers for the harvest. The problem was there weren't enough listeners, there weren't enough empathizes. There weren't enough people who really cared.

[00:19:19] That's what Jesus knew. The problem was too many people caring about themselves and speak in their own mind so they won't even stop to listen to somebody else and really care for them.

[00:19:35] Jesus knew we weren't going to have enough laborers, people who really got in there with other people's souls and showed them love and spoke to them. True. That was going to be our problem. Do we have enough laborers? Do we have enough people ready to love people and share the gospel of Jesus with them? And Jesus, it broke his heart. He had compassion. We need to do the same. If we're gonna call ourselves Christians in Jesus name.

[00:20:06] Go back to first Peter. Chapter three, because then he gets into this inverse in verse eight.

[00:20:11] And if we're supposed to approach it with a humble mind to low mind, trying to get on the same mind. Well, let me just tell you, that's not the way everybody's going to approach it. No, we already said in chapter two, verse twelve that the world is going to come at it ready to speak evil. The world is going to come at it fully, ready to express their own opinions as the fundamental truths. And so there's going to be a lot of evil going on.

[00:20:38] There's going to be a lot of things being said. And so he says in First Peter, chapter three, verse nine, do not repay evil for evil or reviling. For reviling. But on the contrary, opposite of that Bless Verdoux, this you were called that you may obtain a blessing. Now, this idea of responding to evil with evil. This idea of if somebody says something to me, that's like a green light. That's like a permission slip that I should say something back to them. This goes back to all of us. Anybody have siblings growing up right there?

[00:21:15] Right.

[00:21:16] I mean, you were totally justified going off on your sibling because they started it. Anybody want to say amen to that right now? Anybody still upset about some of that? Right. I know growing up most of the time in my House bill was the problem. Bill started it at my house. But of course, I got busted most because I was the oldest. Anybody with me on this right now? Right. This is not revisionist history. All right. I've got witnesses.

[00:21:42] OK, but you feel like, well, you did this to me. Therefore, I am now justified to step into the fray, to draw my line in the sand, to dig my own trench and start shooting at you because you started it. That's the way we're all grown up thinking.

[00:22:01] We got to learn a new way to think in Jesus Christ. When somebody does evil to you, it is not permission for you to do anything but to bless them. That's what this is saying. Do not repay evil for evil. Get out the word here, repay is really a word that is talking about payment.

[00:22:23] This word is used in Romans twelve 17. We'll look at that in a minute where it says the same thing. Do not repay evil for evil, but it's also used enrollment's 13 verse seven about paying your taxes. So it's a word that should really bring up this idea of a kind of payment. And what we're thinking is, well, there's evil going on. I need to respond by making it right. I need to pay back that evil with justice. Somebody said something. They reviled me. They spoke against me. They said something evil to my face behind my back. Well, because they say this. I need to now defend myself, attack them. I need to settle the score. I need to make it right. I need to pay back. What Peter's saying is you got to repent of the payback mentality. You got to stop thinking that way. You've got to change your mind about. You don't need to pay anybody back.

[00:23:20] That's what he says. Don't pay anybody back evil for you. Don't speak anybody back.

[00:23:26] Back when they say something evil against you instead of paying back, what you should do is bless. And then he says this. Look at it there in verse nine. On the contrary. Plus four to this. You were called that you may obtain a blessing.

[00:23:45] Or you could translate it that you may receive a blessing. The word here obtain it's like receiving the inheritance, receiving an allotment. So let's get this down for point number two based here on on verse nine. You don't need to pay back others if you are receiving from God.

[00:24:05] You don't need to pay back others if you are receiving from God. That's what he's saying. You've already been called to an inheritance. You've already been called to God blessing you with all the riches of the grace that are in his son, Jesus Christ, the inheritance that the father in heaven will give to his son, Jesus. He is also going to give to you. You are going to receive an allotment, an inheritance from the Lord. You have everything you need. You have been declared righteous in Jesus Christ.

[00:24:37] You don't need to make things right. You have been made right. So stop paying back because you've already been paid for.

[00:24:45] That's what he's saying. And this idea of inheritance was really the theme that began.

[00:24:51] Peter, remember, really, the book of Peter is about people who are going through a hard time of suffering and submission and how they can have hope in the midst of that circumstance.

[00:25:03] That's what the Book of Peter's about. Let's go back to chapter one, verse three and four and five. And let's just remember how this all began. This began with us saying that pessimists will never admit their pessimists. They always say that they're just being realistic and optimists are not being realistic. And we're not going to be pessimists. We're not going to be optimists. We're gonna be what? What are we gonna be here at CompassHB HP?

[00:25:29] We have hope in Jesus Christ that transcends our circumstance. That's how it all started. Look back at first, Peter.

[00:25:36] Chapter one, verse three. Blessed be the godfather of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[00:25:41] According to his great mercy. He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Our hopes are high as what it's saying. We've been risen from the dead and we have verse for an inheritance, imperishable, undefiled on fading, kept in heaven for you. You are going to receive an inheritance from God. And even now you are, by God's power, being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed.

[00:26:12] The last time.

[00:26:14] If you've lost that, hopes are high mentality. Maybe you need to go back to our scattered, stern sermon that started this whole study because I have hope in receiving an inheritance from God.

[00:26:26] I don't need to spend my life paying people back here on Earth.

[00:26:31] That's the idea.

[00:26:33] In fact, we would look at verse 13, maybe you remember the sermon Future Grace, and how that encouraged so many people in our church, verse 13, therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

[00:26:52] Jesus is coming back. Jesus is gonna be king. And I'm pretty sure that when Jesus kind of comes back, he's gonna make things right in a much better way than I ever could by trying to pay people back. Right now, I'm going to leave. Making things right to Jesus Christ. I'm not here to make things right. I'm here to bless people. That's what it's saying. I've been blessed and I'm now here to be a blessing.

[00:27:19] That's been the foundation here, you've got this hope Jesus is common. You're receiving an inheritance. He's alluding to that again in verse nine. Hey, you have been called to hope you are going to receive an inheritance. So don't go repaying evil for evil, but be a blessing instead when somebody is saying something bad about you. You should think, how could my gentle answer disarm them from their wrath? When someone's do an evil, you should think, how can I overcome this evil with good? This person's trying to be a curse. How could I be to them a blessing? Go with me to Romans Chapter twelve and let's see how Paul writes about this same idea. Every single one of us as believers in Jesus, we need to learn this new way of how to think about insults and enemies, people who are doing evil or an even speaking or doing evil against us. How do we respond to them? All of us have to learn this as Christians. And it's interesting that both Paul and Peter write about this kind of a response towards evil and towards reviling. And they write about it in the context of submitting because it's almost like they know this whole idea of submitting is going to raise a lot of ruckus. And so let's be ready with how we're going to respond to people during that time. And it says here, enrollment's twelve. Start with me in verse 14 and see how this is so similar to the two verses we've looked at before. Bless those who persecute you. Somebody being evil to you. How can you be good to them? Bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be hardy, but associate with the lowly. Here's a good line for us right now in America. Never be wise in your own side. How about that one? And here it is again. Repay no one. It says there is now one time.

[00:29:44] This is working the hear now. Kimberly.

[00:29:48] I'll never repay. No one evil for evil. So there is now one time. Where you guys feel like you have to strike back.

[00:29:58] Yeah. Mrs..

[00:30:03] Can I conduct myself in a way that is honorable in this side of all, this side of all? Has to include everybody, are we can we all agree on that basic language interpretation right there?

[00:30:14] So not just the people I agree with, but I got to do what is honorable in the side of everybody. And then this is what some of us needed to hear right now. Verse 18, if possible.

[00:30:25] So far as it depends on you live peaceably with all. They might be an enemy to me. But I'm trying to live peaceably with them.

[00:30:35] Beloved. Never. Avenge yourselves. Never. But leave it to the wrath of God for it is written. Vengeance is mine. Here's where we maybe need to underline. I will repay, says the Lord. We don't have to pay people back. God is going to pay people back. Everyone, every single evil, every single careless or reviling word. It will all be paid for. Everyone's sin is going to be paid for in the end. And they will either be judged according to what they have done. They will be judged according to everything they have thought, said and done, or they will receive full payment based on what Jesus has done when he died for their sins on the cross. Payback is common for everybody. God promises. I will repay and my son either paid for it or are going to pay for it, says Almighty God.

[00:31:32] He's got the payback.

[00:31:35] We don't need to do it. If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink for by so doing, you will heat burning coals on his head. Here's the line right here. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Jesus said that in this world you will have tribulation. Not maybe not. Sometimes not the end times. You are going to have trouble in this life, but be of good cheer. Take heart. I have over calm the world and we are in the name of Jesus call to overcome evil with good.

[00:32:12] Can I get a man from anybody on this? Don't get into the fray. Don't let all of the divisive issues of the day put you on a side where you start treating other people like they're your enemy. They may be your enemy, but you are here to bless them, not to be an enemy against them.

[00:32:32] That is not what God has called you to. And you might feel justified in being on a side and going at it with the other side. There are only two sides that matter. There is God's side and there's the world side. The only side you want to be representing is God's side. And all you have to do on that side is be a blessing.

[00:32:52] Because he will make it right. He will pay it back. Judgment belongs to God, not to us.

[00:33:01] And so repay. No one evil for evil. Are they doing evil, how can we overcome with good? Now, at this point, you go back to first, Peter. Chapter three. At this point, we get into.

[00:33:15] Psalm 34. That's what he starts quoting here. So clearly, Psalm 34 was on the mind of Peter when he wrote this letter. Clearly, there was some connection as he was writing to the scattered believers. He was thinking about Psalm 34. And he gives us these three versus 10, 11 and twelve are a direct quote, pulling lines from Psalm 34. And he already reference Psalm 34 once before in the sermon. Look, everybody back at chapter two, verse three.

[00:33:48] Maybe you remember this. If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Anybody remember when we talked about that?

[00:33:59] Oh, do you love how that goes a little bit out here in the parking lot? Say it with me, everybody.

[00:34:05] Oh, we just woke some people up right there, I think. Taste and see. Taste and see that the Lord is good. So that was already a quote from Psalm 34. But now look what he says in verse 10. Whoever desires to love life and see good days, it will should keep his tongue from evil.

[00:34:24] If you want to have a good life, if you want to experience the pursuit of happiness. Stop getting into the fray of speaking evil with other people. Stop getting caught up in the controversy and thinking you got to get in there now.

[00:34:42] That's an amazing phrase that Peter quotes that David wrote and Psalm 34.

[00:34:48] I mean, think about that. Whoever desires to love life and see good days. That sounds like who wants your best life now? I mean, that's what it sounds like. Who wants to be happy? Do you want to be miserable and go through hard times? Or do you want to experience blessings and good times when it comes to sadness or happiness? Who here would rather pursue happiness? Who's with me on love and life and seeing good days? Well, it's like, well, here's the secret to loving life and seeing good days. Stop getting caught up in the evil conversations. Nobody is going on Facebook and throwing out fiery spitball comments and posts and arguments and then walking away saying, I love life right now.

[00:35:27] I'm so blessed right now. They're just they're they're getting all worked up.

[00:35:31] He's saying, don't speak evil.

[00:35:34] Don't let any lies come out of your mouth. Turn away from that evil do good strike to try to seek peace. If they're not going to meet you in the middle, build the bridge all the way over to their side. Go out there and try to be a peacemaker rather than a divider.

[00:35:49] That's how you're going to experience the pursuit of happiness.

[00:35:53] Go to Psalm 34 with me. Let's go really get into the context, because clearly this meant so much to Peter. Let's see what David wrote here that he is referring to. What can we learn from it? Everybody go to Psalm 34 with me. And this is a song that Charles Spurgeon says, Psalm 34. It's 22 verses. It's written by David. Charles Spurgeon says the first 10 verses are a hymn of worship to God.

[00:36:21] And then four versus eleven to twenty two. It's a sermon. So it's like a whole service right here. And one psalm, a hymn and then a sermon. And we looked at the hymn about blessing the Lord at all times, tasting that the Lord is good, seeing the goodness of God and responding in worship and praise. Well, then, look what David says here in verse eleven.

[00:36:43] He says, Come. Oh, children, listen to me. I will teach you the fear of the Lord. So it begins with the praise from David. But now he wants to teach us something.

[00:36:53] Now he wants to instruct us. He said, hey, let's gather the kids around Sunday school is about to be in session and I need everybody paying attention. Now, it says, if you look at Psalm 34, it's one of the Psalms of David where it gives us the context.

[00:37:09] And it says Psalm 34 of David when he changed his behavior before a poem, Alek, so that he drove him out and he went away. Now, you could write down if you're taking notes first, Samuel, 21, 10 to 15. So we know what was going on in David's life when he wrote this song.

[00:37:27] Is anybody out there still reading Samuel on Scripture of the Day? Anybody still with me now?

[00:37:33] So we read about this when when Saul got jealous of David Saul.

[00:37:38] He made David his enemy. And he started doing evil to David.

[00:37:42] When David did nothing wrong, Saul started throwing spears at his head. So wanted to kill him as a threat for the throne.

[00:37:51] And so, David, he's fleeing. He's looking to his friend Jonathan for help. His wife, Macall, is like getting him out of the house when they're coming to kill him while he's in bed. He's running to the Prophet Samuel, looking for help. He goes to the priest at Nob to try to find some help.

[00:38:07] David gets so desperate. When he's fleeing for his life. Then he goes and hides among the Philistines. That's what's happening in First Samuel, 21 versus 10 to 15. That's the context. David is so desperate, fleeing from his life because his enemy is out to get him, because evil is being done to him, that he's trying to save his own skin so that he goes in. Think about this, how desperate he must have been. He goes to the Philistines to hide in the city of Gaza. You want to know whose hometown the city of Gath was?

[00:38:45] Guy named Goliath. You ever heard about him? You ever heard about him in the David? Having a little brouhaha one time. You know how that story ended up with David beheading Goliath?

[00:38:57] You know what the priest just gave David because he was fleeing for his life. And he had no food. He had no weapon. He wasn't prepared. The priest had just given him the sword of Goliath, the very sort that David used to behead the giant so that everyone on Earth would know that there is a god in Israel and the battle belongs to the Lord. Now you're carrying Goliath sword into his hometown. I don't know if David thought this all the way through, everybody.

[00:39:26] They recognize him. They're like, hey, isn't that David?

[00:39:30] Isn't that the guy that Israelites sing songs about, that Surles killed his thousands. And David's killed his tens of thousands. Hey, aren't you David? David realize he's busted. He's found out. You know what he does? He acts like a crazy man.

[00:39:46] He starts spitting into his beard. He starts writing like crazy things on the gates of the city.

[00:39:55] So that they will drive him away as a mad man. That is what David has just been through. And then he writes this. He's being chased by an enemy into the presence of his enemies. He has done nothing wrong to deserve any of this.

[00:40:15] And he wants to teach us something in Psalm 34, verse 11, he says, you got to listen to this. I need to teach you something. And then he says in in verse twelve. What man is there? Who desires life and loves. Many days that he may see good. I would imagine that every man, every woman, every child here. We'd like to love life and see good days.

[00:40:38] Well, he says, if that's really what you want, then here's here's the thing. Keep your tongue from evil.

[00:40:45] And your lips from speaking to seat, turn away from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it. Here's what we have to understand. For point number three, the pursuit of happiness is being right. Let's get this down. The pursuit of happiness is being right. And a lot of people are acting like they're gonna be happy when they're proven right, when they get to say what's right, when they make the other person agree with what's right. Here's the key, though. The pursuit of happiness is being right with God.

[00:41:11] That's the key. It's not trying to make things right in this world. It's not trying to prove that you're right. It's in being right with God. You've got to seek peace and you've got to try to be right.

[00:41:23] Look at how it says your verse. Fifteen. The eyes of the Lord are toward the who. The eyes of the Lord or toward the.

[00:41:31] The righteous.

[00:41:33] And his ears toward their cry at the face of the Lord is against those who do evil to cut off the memory of them from the Earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted. And he saves those who are crushed in spirit. And then look at this verse 19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous.

[00:41:55] So God is on the side of the righteous. And he's looking at them. He's ready to listen to them, see instead of speaking evil and trying to payback other people.

[00:42:04] When we think that things are not right, what we should be doing is going to praying to God, the one who can make things right and be focusing on being right with him. If I start getting at it with other people, I'm going to find myself not right with God, just like it said to the husbands husbands, if you don't live with your wives and an understanding way, your prayers are going to be hindered. You can't be wrong with your wife and think you're right with God. You can't be out here paying back other people for evil and treating other people like your enemies and speaking evil things and then think you're going to come and pray to God and everything's going to be right between you and him.

[00:42:42] No, no, no. Stop speaking the evil against other people and just go straight to the prayer between you and God. And if you are right with him. His eyes are on you. His ears are open to you.

[00:42:55] And he's ready to be for you.

[00:42:58] This is a verse. Look at verse 19. This is a verse. We really need to think about everybody. Many are the afflictions of the righteousness of the righteous, it says. Many are the afflictions. Afflictions mean suffering's means, trials means hard things that are happening. You are going to have many hard things if you're going to do what is right in God's sight here on this planet. There is going to be a lot of suffering that goes along with that. So if you have every time you have an affliction in your life. This is a trial. This is hard.

[00:43:35] This is suffering. If your response is I need to change my circumstances. Well, you're going to have to change many circumstances because you're going to have many afflictions. Instead, maybe what you need to do is change your heart. Change your attitude, change your mind, your perspective, and if you go to God, instead of getting caught up in the affliction.

[00:43:59] If you look to the Lord to give you perseverance, strength, hope to to go through the trial, to endure with your faith, to actually grow stronger and to mature in your relationship with him, to pray to him more, to grow closer and nearer to him through that trial. If you look to the Lord. Look what it says. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

[00:44:27] How many afflictions will the Lord deliver you? Out of all of them?

[00:44:33] Every single one. He will save you. He will rescue you.

[00:44:39] And we got so many people trying to change their afflictions. Let me ask you. Do you pray more now if we're all going through a trial?

[00:44:48] If we're going through what I hear so many people say, an unprecedented time, are you praying more now than you ever have before?

[00:44:55] If you're not. How does that even make sense? If you're saying this is like one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. How would that not mean more prayer in our lives?

[00:45:05] Maybe we're too focused on afflictions and we need to see the God who delivers us out of every one of them. We need to spend time in the secret place where we know his ears are open to us.

[00:45:17] You want to know somebody who's got empathy, somebody who's listening to everybody who's who's crushed in their spirit, to everybody who's broken hearted, to everybody who's having a hard time, and they try to cry out to God in a time of trouble or he's ready to hear.

[00:45:31] He's still there, ready to weep with those who weep. Rejoice with those, rejoice. Jesus intercedes for every one of our prayers.

[00:45:39] The court says in verse 22, the last verse of Psalm 34, the punch line here. The Lord redeems the life of his servants. None of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. The Lord your way redeems. He purchases. He pays for.

[00:45:56] He buys back the life of his service. And what is the main way that God redeems? That God saves. It's through the blood. The precious blood of his son, Jesus Christ.

[00:46:08] That paid in full for all of your sin. You have been paid for by Jesus Christ the son. You are precious in the sight of God. It costs the blood of his son to purchase your soul. He cares about you.

[00:46:28] He's paid for you.

[00:46:31] God is going to get your back better than you could ever get it.

[00:46:35] God is going to deal with your enemy better than you could ever make it right.

[00:46:40] So seek him.

[00:46:41] So David, say a B, one of the righteous ones, be set apart from speaking evil, turn away from the evil, seek peace, and then go over here and spend time with the one who can actually do something about it, with the one who can make things right, with the one who has power not just to share opinions or make arguments, but the one who has the power to actually change hearts and minds and open people's eyes and make people new and give them eternal life. If we spent more time praying to God and less time arguing with other people, we might see more happen in America.

[00:47:19] And so it's time for the righteous people. They set themselves apart from speaking evil and repaying evil and to go to the secret place in the presence of God.

[00:47:35] I mean, God, it's clear here, look at look at his fifteen again, let's really think about this. The eyes of the Lord or toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry when we read a phrase like that hate a fancy word for it is anthropomorphism. What it means is you're giving human attributes to God. God is Spirit. God is on a throne right now in his glory.

[00:47:58] There's rainbows. There's brightness. There's Cherubim saying, holy, holy, holy. There's people bowing down and worship. If we went to look at God in his unapproachable light, we would not see the eyes of God looking at us.

[00:48:13] We would not see ears of God listening to us. God is spirit. So it's using things that we can understand. Like when we look at somebody or when we listen to somebody, when we really give somebody our attention because we care about them. That's what it's saying. God sees you. God hears you. God cares about you. God knows you in a way that nobody else here knows you. He knows you past your scant past your bones. He knows you in your soul. And God sees right now. Are you righteous? Are you covered by the blood of Jesus Christ? Have you put your faith in Jesus so that God has declared you justified? Made. Right. Because Jesus paid it all back for you. You won't be judged, but you will be justified, declared righteous. And as you have a right standing in God, you should now walk in a new life of righteousness and holiness. And God sees whether you're doing that or not.

[00:49:17] He sees if there's evil in your heart. Or worship. And he's looking at you right now.

[00:49:25] You do not need to be concerned about what other people are saying or thinking about you, but you definitely need to fear what God is thinking about you right now.

[00:49:35] What is he seeing in your soul? What is he hearing your heart say, are you right with him? That's what David gets to. Hey, I'm being chased by my enemy. I'm in the presence of many enemies. I'm having to act like a crazy man just to survive. And let me teach you something.

[00:49:57] What really matters is, are you right before God in your heart?

[00:50:04] That's what matters.

[00:50:05] And he's looking at he knows it. If you're right with him, there is no affliction that he will not rescue you out of. Trust him. Look to him. That secret place. I hope this inspires every single one of us to go in and pray to the Lord God, search my heart.

[00:50:24] Show me if there's any wicked way in me. Am I saying anything evil? Is there some way I'm not seeking peace with somebody, am I? Am I not really listening to other people? Am I thinking too highly of my own hot thoughts? God, will you please show me what's going on in my heart? You've given me righteousness in Jesus Christ. I want to be right with you right now. Today. Father, this is the thing I care about more than anything else. To be one of your righteous ones, it says, if we seek first his kingdom, his righteousness, all the things that we need will be added to us. The righteous will not be forsaken. Those who are on God's side will always win. Can I get a man from anybody on this?

[00:51:09] We gotta make sure that we want to spend time in the secret place. Pouring out all of our cares. All of our concerns. Bringing them to the Lord. And bringing our heart to a place where I got the main thing I want is to be right with you. I want you looking at me. Other people may not be pleased with me, but I want you to be pleased with me through your son, through what he's done and through now the way I'm conducting myself in an honorable way. I want to do what you're telling me to do. God, please show me the way. Teach me how to fear you. And so what we're gonna do is we're gonna give you a chance to go to the secret place right now and I'm going to pray for us and we're gonna sing a song called The Secret Place, and you can sing along. Or maybe you just need to take the time right now to pray. That you could be one of the righteous once they're in the presence of God to please everybody. Let's pray and then you have a chance to pray. Between you and the father, let's pray. Right now, father in heaven. Oh, Father, there's such a temptation right now to take a side. To jump into the fray, so much evil speech going on. That we could just want to just like the political parties, like the news outlets, like the people posted on social media, like so many people are saying things, we just want to get into the conversation. God, I thank you so much for this text of scripture, and I pray your spirit will speak to our hearts.

[00:52:41] Will you cut straight to our thoughts and intense in our souls? God, if we're in sin, will you convict us? If we're doing what is right, will you encourage us to be a blessing, to seek peace?

[00:52:53] Father, we really need you to use your word to cause us to walk in your way, so please, Father, let your spirit be working here today and let this church be a blessing to those around us. Let this be a church where people know that compas is short for compassion.

[00:53:11] And when people are going through hard times, we're going to weep with them. And when people are rejoicing in the name of Jesus, we will rejoice because we're going to care about other people here.

[00:53:21] And we're going to come with a low mind. Looking for the same mind, God, make a sympathetic make us full of brotherly love, give us good compassion like your son, Jesus Christ, who got the only reason we could be righteous is because of your son, Jesus Christ, because he lived a perfectly righteous life, because Jesus Christ died on the cross as a sacrifice to pay the debts of my sin.

[00:53:47] And he rose again to give me new life, to give me hope. And I will receive his inheritance forever. I will receive blessings instead of judgment. I will receive a relationship with you where I can go to you in this secret place. Brady, who is my father in heaven because of your son.

[00:54:07] God, we just ask. He would forgive us that we're down here getting angry with other people when we could be. And you could actually do something about it. We really need you.

[00:54:20] So we need to go to the secret place more than we ever have before, because men, women who pray make us people of prayer, make us the righteous once the salt of the earth, the saints.

[00:54:37] Let us run to the secret place, Jesus.

[00:54:58] Were you? No winds. Are you gonna keep.

[00:55:21] It is No.

[00:56:22] See this?

[00:57:02] That's Spanaway.

[00:57:50] Roll it. So.

[00:58:09] He lost stop.

[00:58:39] Always so.

[00:58:46] Matter is Spanaway.

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