Gracegiving

By Bobby Blakey on November 22, 2015

1 Peter 5:10

AUDIO

Gracegiving

By Bobby Blakey on November 22, 2015

1 Peter 5:10

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:00] I am actually excited about celebrating Thanksgiving, is anybody else excited about Thanksgiving this Thanksgiving, get any love? Just like a smattering of applause here, right? I mean, it seems to me that Thanksgiving is America's forgotten holiday. I mean, at least when I go to the store, I mean, Halloween seems like a big deal. Lots of candy, lots of scary looking stuff going on. And then that was over. And boom, it was Christmas time. Did you see that happen at the store? Right.

[00:00:28] And everything's red and green and beautiful and snowy and white.

[00:00:31] Now, all of this in and in between. Lost in middle is Thanksgiving, which we now celebrate officially with Black Friday sales.

[00:00:43] Right. I mean, this is the real American celebration now of Thanksgiving. And it started like the stores were opening at midnight.

[00:00:50] I remember that year. And then it was like, no, we're opening in nine o'clock. And now if you look you got stores open and up at five for three o'clock Thanksgiving afternoon with their Friday sales. In fact, the big thing on here in this year is, hey, you can avoid the Wal-Mart stampede.

[00:01:06] We're doing Black Friday sales all week long.

[00:01:10] Like, basically, why celebrate what you already have when you can give more?

[00:01:16] I mean, that's America right there, right?

[00:01:18] I mean, the way I think holidays work in America is that retailers want to sell us stuff and we want to get it. That's how it works. Right. And so Thanksgiving's a little bit of a different counterintuitive kind of thing because it requires you not to receive, but to give.

[00:01:37] We don't even want to say that right now.

[00:01:39] I mean, that doesn't that doesn't feel as good specifically in America. To celebrate Thanksgiving, you have to acknowledge that all the things you're getting are coming from someone that you are the recipient of this thing called Grace, and that you actually need to thank God.

[00:01:58] And we don't want to believe in God anymore. We don't want to act accountable to him. And so Thanksgiving is being pushed to the background. But I think that as long as God is grace giving, we should be Thanksgiving.

[00:02:13] And I want to encourage you with a specific verse of scripture this morning in First Peter, chapter five, verse 10. So everybody, hopefully you brought one of these or you got one of ours when you came in. Grab your Bible and turn if you got one of our Bibles to page 1000 in 17. We're taking a break from the Gospel of John for a special Thanksgiving message. And I'm sorry to tell you this, but all we've got for you today is encouragement. So if you're in a bad mood that is about to change, read with me first, Peter. Chapter five, verse 10. As we focus on the grace that God has given to us and even what he is yet to give to us. Read it with me first, Peter, chapter five, verse 10.

[00:03:00] And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all Grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. Let me read it for you again because it was so good. Let's just take it in here. Verse 10. And after you have suffered, you might be having a hard time here this morning. Well, after you have suffered a little while, the God of how much grace does it say? Yes. There you go. Who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ Will himself? That's God. We're talking about will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. That's the passage we're gonna look at this morning. How much Grace does God have? He's got it all now. I don't know if you live like this, but I sometimes wonder if I have used up my personal allotment of God's grace.

[00:04:02] I don't know if anybody ever thinks things like this, you know, but sometimes I think that God has been so good to me. Is it at some point going to run out? I don't know if guy's been good to anybody else here, but I sometimes wonder, like, will we reach the end of this? But then I come across a verse here that it says he is the God of all grace at all grace, that no matter how much grace God has given you to get you to your seat at church here this morning, his grace is still at one hundred percent full capacity to give you more grace. In fact, the rest of this verse is a promise that the God of all grace will give you more grace. In fact, the best grace that you're ever gonna have been given is yet to come. Now, to me, Grace is a word I would use to define my entire life.

[00:04:56] Like if you had to use one word to picture my to put my whole life in one word, Grace might be the first word that comes to my mind. It's a word we love.

[00:05:04] Here at church and the idea of grace. Well, here's Grace in my life. I was born to a Christian parents who immediately taught me the Bible and gave me the gospel of Jesus Christ.

[00:05:15] What a great grace that was.

[00:05:17] And then they started taking me to churches that even as a kid taught me, the Bible taught me about my own sin and my great need for a savior, Jesus Christ.

[00:05:29] Even at a young age, I was able to understand the gospel message as it was taught to me at several Bible teaching churches I went to.

[00:05:37] Then my parents directed me towards Christian education, both in high school and even in college. I got to go to schools where Bible was a class. I was able to enjoy and that taught me how to fear God and keep his commandments and how to start becoming a man of God. And when I was at college, learning about God, God united me together with this young Christian woman. And after we graduated college, we got married. He joined us together to be married at a young age to another Christian.

[00:06:08] And he gave us a great grace right there as he put us straight into the ministry. So instead of thinking that life was about us. He taught us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. And life is really about other people. And that's what we started learning.

[00:06:23] And as we started interacting with all these young people do in youth ministry at this church. He started to bless our family and we had our son, Tyler was born and he was followed by Emma, our daughter. And then Jack has been born. And then eventually, God, he gave us this passion to love young people. And he brought us to this place that was like minded, Compass Bible Church in early Soviet.

[00:06:45] He directed us there.

[00:06:47] And we started doing what we were doing at the youth ministry before we just started teaching young people the Bible. And all of a sudden God started a mighty work there in that youth group, and he started turning young lives around and saving souls. And the group started growing and a group of leaders came together to disciple these young people. And we started praying for revival. We prayed that God would spark a great light and do a work that would go beyond anything that we could ask or think. And you know what?

[00:07:13] God, did he use that youth group to start this church right here, started this church a little over a year ago. And since that time, this church has doubled in size in one year. We're in this building. Hello. We're in here every Sunday morning. Now, over 50 people have been baptized in obedience to Jesus Christ here at this church in less than a year's time. And I'm wondering, is that it? Have we run out of grace? And then I come to this and it says, no, we're still operating at 100 percent right now. I have given you all of that grace, and none of that has diminished. How much more I have to give you, in fact, what I've called you to look at this phrase with me.

[00:07:55] I'm not making this stuff up. You're gonna have to believe this. This is true, OK?

[00:08:00] It says that the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ.

[00:08:09] So that's what we were talking about. If you were here last week, how God calls us and he draws us to Jesus. And then the moment of salvation, he places us into Christ. So we die to our old life and we rise again to a new life. We call that salvation. And now we're looking at this verse and it tells us that when you're in Christ, what God called you to is eternal glory.

[00:08:35] That's what God has for every single person who's a Christian. Here this morning, you will experience eternal glory. OK, so you might be suffering a little while right now, you might be having a hard time coming in here this morning. What I'm here to tell you is in your future, that's coming for each and every one of us who are in the name of Jesus here this morning is you have the best yet to come.

[00:09:01] Anybody want to say amen to that right now? And some of you don't want to. I know who you are. You pessimists, and you don't ever call yourself a pessimist. I've talked to you before.

[00:09:12] You're a realist. That's who you are. You know what I'm saying? And you you you know how life works and it's never too good. The glass is in half full. It's half empty. And you're here to tell me about Grace. But we have ISIS and we have problems economically. And I'm having a bad attitude. I don't like this sermon. Well, hey, here's what I have to tell you. It's going to get better.

[00:09:41] Take that ISIS, you know what I mean?

[00:09:44] Like, the problems of the sufferings of this life will not even compare to the eternal glory in Christ Jesus that you will experience. You think that salvation that you've experienced so far is a big deal. You think it's a big deal that you got delivered out of your sin? Let me tell you that there is so much salvation left for you that in a sense and even if you're saved and you're in Christ, you this morning, in a sense, you haven't even experienced salvation yet.

[00:10:15] Like you're telling me, you love Jesus here this morning, you've never even seen him. You've never even been in his presence. You're telling me you're fight sin and you're turning from sending your life here this morning. Imagine being sinless someday.

[00:10:30] Tell me you're feeling healthy. You're feeling strong, you're feeling good here this morning. Imagine having a glorified body in the image of Jesus Christ.

[00:10:37] It's going to get better and you're going to have to deal with.

[00:10:40] All right. Go back to the beginning of first, Peter. And look what it says here. And first, Peter, look at how the book starts. Let's talk about who we're talking to here, the Christians that Peter identifies, where at the end of the book getting the encouragement, but he starts by who he's writing to. And first, Peter, chapter one, verse one, Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. OK, Peter, the bold spokesman of the disciples. We have an idea who he is. If we've read the Bible, he's a very major character in the scripture.

[00:11:09] Well, he's writing to those who are elect exiles of the dispersion elect exiles is very cool phrase of how we use to describe Christians who have been persecuted. So the Christians that at the beginning of the church, they were all there in Jerusalem. And then this great persecution rose up against the church in Jerusalem and it dispersed the Christians. They had to run. They had died. They had to flee for their lives. So they started go into all kinds of different towns and countries and they got dispersed all over the place. So Peter wrote a letter to all these Christians, a traveling letter to people are now all over the place to encourage them. Elect exiles, he calls them chosen strangers, you're chosen by God. He knows you, but you're strangers here in this world, you don't really fit in.

[00:11:58] And that's why you're suffering right now here in this life. And he begins to describe what it is to be a Christian here in verse three. First, Peter one, verse three. Read it with me. Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[00:12:13] According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again that salvation. And when we have salvation, we have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. And our hope is a hope of heaven. It's an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfailing. It's kept in heaven for you. You are going to heaven once you are in Christ. In fact, he's going to make sure you get there. Who, by God's power are being guarded, protected, kept through faith for a salvation. Yes, it's a salvation you already have, but it's also a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. So let's get this concept here in first, Peter, that there's an aspect of salvation we haven't yet experienced. And what we haven't yet experienced is better than what we already have experienced.

[00:13:05] Keep keep reading here in this, you rejoice. I hope that brings you joy. That good thought, though. Now for a little while, if necessary. You have been grieved by various trials and for many of us it's been necessary. We've been grieved. We have hard things going on in our life so that the tested genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor or win at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

[00:13:38] When we see him, when we're with him. Though you have not seen him, you love him. And though you do not now see him, you believe in him and you rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. When Jesus is revealed. At some point in the future, then you will experience the fullness of your salvation. This joy inexpressible. You will even experience what you've been called to.

[00:14:12] Is the eternal glory that is in Christ you will share this is gonna sound heretical. You will be glorified in Christ.

[00:14:24] You will share in his likeness. You will be made like you now, it's going to be all to his praise and honor and glory.

[00:14:31] But you will share in the glory of Jesus. Do you believe that? And do you believe that sounds better than the life you're living right now than what you need to write down is point number one. And you need to believe it in your heart that the best grace is yet to come.

[00:14:47] My friends, it's going to get better. And you have to deal with it. That's what the Bible clearly teaches.

[00:14:55] And go to first, John, chapter three, another place where it makes this promise, actually, before you turn to first. John, I didn't hear your Bible turn yet. So you're still here with me first. Peter one. We almost missed the big thunder of this point. Look at verse 13, go down verse 13. Look what it says here.

[00:15:13] Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober minded. OK? Get ready. How should we then live? Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. What should you be hoping in? What should you be celebrating this Thanksgiving future, Grace?

[00:15:33] Now, if we want to do the thing and I love doing it where we count our blessings, we name them one by one when we're stuffing our faces with food. I think it's a good idea, even with your grumpy uncle or whoever you're having over. I think we should go around and I think we should say things that we are thankful for.

[00:15:51] I think that is a great practice. But what the scriptures say here this morning is that we should be so hoping fully.

[00:16:00] We should be set. We should be looking forward to the grace that is yet to come, the grace that will be revealed to us when we experience Jesus and no longer this long distance relationship thing with Jesus we've been doing.

[00:16:15] But we are actually with him in the marriage supper of the land when the church is united with our Lord and Savior Jesus and we get to fall down in awe and worship in his presence and we get to interact with him in a personal way.

[00:16:31] It says, we got a hope in that and maybe the reason some of us are losing hope and maybe the reason some of us are pessimists and some of us are having such a hard time and why we're always getting a negative attitude because of the negative news that's always going on in this life, is we're not sitting our hopefully on the grace that is in the next slide.

[00:16:50] But Grace, that's going to come at the revelation of Jesus Christ. So. There's a grace that's coming in the future that's better than any grace you've known so far. And that is a reason to give thanks in the New Testament. If you just type in the word Thanksgiving and start searching in the New Testament on Thanksgiving, you check it out. A lot of times when it says the word Thanksgiving, it's talking about giving thanks for something that hasn't even happened yet. Something that you see by faith that you already give things for. Now go to first John three. Now we can turn them. And then you'll see this just a few pages over to the right here in your Bible. First, John, chapter three, page 1022, and then look at how it describes this hope, this future grace.

[00:17:39] It says, see what kind of love I know our young people are going going in. They're going through first, John, in the United right down the hall. If you've got a junior IRA high schooler, they're looking at this passage first, John, three verse one right down the hall right now to see what kind of love the father has given to us that we should be called children of God.

[00:17:58] Look at how God has graciously adopted us into his family. And so we are praise the Lord that we're God's children.

[00:18:06] And this is the reason why the world does not know us. Now we understand why there is a disconnect between us and the rest of the world that we're God's kids. We want to give thanks. The rest of the world does not know him.

[00:18:17] So they don't feel that way.

[00:18:19] Verse two, beloved. We are God's children now. But what we will be has not yet appeared. So now we're already God's children. We're already saved. But what we're really going to be like is God's kids hasn't appeared yet. But we know that when he appears, when Jesus appears, we will be like him because we shall see him as he is.

[00:18:46] When Jesus comes in his glorified resurrected body and his perfection, we will be made like Jesus Christ. So, yes, you've been adopted into the family, but you haven't really taken on yet the full likeness of the family image, which you will when you see Jesus. I mean, let's just break this down a little bit. I don't know if anybody else is getting tired of something's about the physical body that God gave you. I don't know if there's a few things that you'd like to get upgraded, that you'd like to get changed. A few tweaks that you might make about how would you like to have a perfect body? Anybody feel in that right there? And I don't know if anybody else gets tired of sin.

[00:19:30] And even when we're not sinning, there's that temptation to sin that we're saying no to. And this world, it seems like sometimes, is trying to get us to sin along with our own evil desires that want to get us to sin. Man, wouldn't it be nice to have no inclination to ever sin again? When do you like to wake up like that? Would it be nice that nobody around you is ever saying anything that could cause you to stumble or become frustrated or become discontent? Wouldn't it be great to have the news on 24/7 News Network and all it is, is good news all day long, every day.

[00:20:05] That's gonna happen. Is truth not just making this up, but just saying this so everybody will feel good?

[00:20:12] I'm staying. Is this what you're going to experience some day? By the grace that is coming is better. It's worth waiting for. It's look worth looking to. In fact, look what it says here in verse three.

[00:20:25] If you have this, everyone who thus hopes if you have this living, hope, if you hope in him in Jesus will purifies himself as he is pure. Is a sanctifying influence. When I'm looking forward to grace, that is yet to come.

[00:20:41] That is better than even what I've known so far. That makes me want to be less intact with this life and more attached for the life to come. And I long for Jesus Christ to come and to see the grace in the face of Jesus Christ that God has for.

[00:20:56] Here to tell you the best, grace is yet to come, and the pessimist right now among us is rolling his eyes in protest. I know what this sermon is, one of those sermons about how heaven is gonna be awesome and life down here is terrible to so many guys think, OK, you want me to get excited about heaven and who knows when that's going to happen.

[00:21:17] But right now, I've got real problems in these relationships and I've got real problems financially and I've got all kinds of trials and issues. And you're gonna try to get me excited about heaven. I've heard this sermon before. I know how this works. Listen to you not wanting to be encouraged at church. All right. Well, go back to first Peter. Chapter five years ten.

[00:21:38] And let me help you realize that the life of the age to come is not just for the age to come, that there is a promise of future grace that you will experience in the here and now. OK, and we have to redefine here this morning together what we even think, Grace, is. What is your definition when it says that the God of all Grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ? And then it's gonna give us four things that we're going to dove into here. Will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you pay for things that it says God himself is going to do now in you.

[00:22:22] What does Grace mean in your life?

[00:22:25] We hear about Grace all the time, if you're part of the Christian community. If you go to church, people are thrown out the word grace all the time. But sometimes I wonder if they really know what the word grace means.

[00:22:37] The most common time that I hear someone talking about Grace is when they have sinned and they want forgiveness for their sin. And so they refer to the grace of God covering their sin. Now, that is a very good thought that I would encourage everyone to have that the grace of God will generously and willingly forgive you for your sin. That's a right and biblical thought. But here's usually where that thinking goes, is that because the grace of God is there to cover my sin? It's really not that big a deal. If I do sin because God's got this awesome thing called Grace that will cover my sin when I do sin.

[00:23:17] And so down the slippery slope, we go in the church in America today because there's grace for all of my sin. Well, that's never supposed to have been the point of grace. Pretty clear in the scripture. We've talked about this here at our church before, that the grace is not an excuse to sin. Grace is the strength not to sin. And actually, when God forgives you for your sin and God doesn't judge you for your sin, we should really refer to that more as mercy. If we could just write down some definitions here. Mercy is God not giving you what you deserve. OK. Just a couple of basic definitions that we're going to use here at our church to describe these biblical words. Mercy is win.

[00:24:03] OK, I sinned and God could discipline me. He could punish me. He could judge me for this sin. But God doesn't give me the bad thing that I do deserve. He withholds his judgment. He's patient with me. He's forgiving me. We call that mercy when God doesn't give you the bad thing. You do deserve grace is when God gives you something good that you don't deserve. So forgiveness could be included. But it's also this kind of strength that God gives you in your life, not only to forgive you for your sin, but also that you will not sin again. Anybody want to say amen to that? Because that's what Grace really means in the scripture. Yes. God will graciously forgive you. But in that grace, he will give you the ability not to do that sin anymore and to move now in a different direction. So please, can we stop here at our church with this week's source view of grace that everybody is running around with?

[00:25:06] OK.

[00:25:07] Well, if I just keep singing, gotta keep giving me Grace, I'm sorry you have made up a grace of your own understanding at that point.

[00:25:16] Because that's not what this versus talking about when it says the God of all grace will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. We're gonna get into what all four of those words mean in great detail. But I can guarantee you it has nothing to do with sinning over and over again.

[00:25:34] OK, so let's just put this down for point number two. God's grace is stronger than we think. All of us to some degree have underestimated the amazing ness of the grace of God in our lives.

[00:25:50] And sometimes we even think our sin or our weakness is stronger than the grace of God that he has given to us. And that's why we keep sinning. And that is wrong. Thinking that we need to correct. With the Bible here today.

[00:26:05] Because here's what it says, not only has God called you to his eternal glory in Christ, Nunnally is the best yet to come at the revelation of Jesus. But God right now himself is going to restore, confirm, strengthen and establish.

[00:26:20] So let's start getting into all four of those words for specific things that God's going to do in your life by grace right now. And I'm gonna give you a little working definition for each one. The first one here to restore is to put in its appropriate condition if you want to write that down. OK, so you can see four different sub points. We're gonna give you a little sub points under point number two. But above the sub points, you can write the word restore. And the idea here, I think of kind of a classic cars is what I think.

[00:26:51] Right.

[00:26:52] Like, somebody got that sixty seven Mustang that originally is so old and kind of broken down, but they put a new engine in that thing and they suit that thing up and they give that thing a new paint job on the outside and it gets detailed. And now it's Saturday morning and they're driving and they got one hand on the wheel and you pull up to them next at the light and you've just got your boring old modern Honda Civic or something like that. And they're looking at you like, what's up, man?

[00:27:21] What's. I restored my car. Look at that lame thing you're driving, right? And then you realize there's like five of his buddies driving there, restored cars behind him. Right. It's like, look at the car show. That's us driving down the street. Right.

[00:27:37] As we brought it back to this means better than new. Better than ever. Like, whatever was broken down about it. Whatever was old about it, man, we restored it. And now it's mint condition.

[00:27:49] That's what God's grace does with you.

[00:27:51] Takes your old broken down by sin life.

[00:27:55] And he restores it. He puts it back to the condition to where it works. You come fully equipped. We aren't saved with windows. We got a crank down, my friends.

[00:28:08] We got power windows.

[00:28:09] We got everything we need in our restoration term. I mean, the Hebrews 13. It's just a few pages over to the left. It's page ten, ten, ten thousand and ten. That's literally seven pages over to the left. You can find it Hebrews Chapter 13. And here at the end of the book, it's going to give us a promise of God. OK. And it's going to say, here's something God's going to do by his grace in your life. Read it with me. Hebrews 13, verse 20. Follow along here. It says, May the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus. So let's start giving God's resum�. He raised Jesus from the dead. He's the great shepherd of the sheep.

[00:28:50] He's got the blood of the eternal covenant, the blood of Jesus that purchase your soul, that God who's done all of that by his grace. May he, verse 21, equip you with everything good that you may do his will working in us. That which is pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever a man.

[00:29:15] Guess what? That word right there at the beginning of verse 21 is a quip. It's translated a quip there. It's translated restore in our verse first puter five ten. It's the same Greek word. Hey, what's God gonna do? He's gonna equip you. You've been restored to such a condition that you are now fully equipped. What are you equipped for? Look what it says. Equip you with everything. Good. That's what you've got. By God's grace, everything good that you may do his will working in us, that which is pleasing in his sight. So here's some good news that you've got. Come in atcha here this morning. Whenever we are going through this book and you are commanded in this book to do something as a Christian person, we're supposed to teach you everything that Christ commanded you here, a command you realize, OK, Christ is commanding me to obey this inherent in every command in the scripture is the promise that as a Christian, you can do it.

[00:30:18] Think about that for a minute.

[00:30:20] Think about that. Everything that God expects of you, he equips you to do. You come restored, fully equipped.

[00:30:30] Here's something I find from my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ all the time. I find out that life down here in this world is hard. And there are temptations and there are trials.

[00:30:40] And maybe we're even at that time of year where all we're so thankful for Thanksgiving break because it feels like it's been a long fall. And things have been busy and you're feeling worn down and you find yourself in the morning just praying, oh, God, please give me the grace to get through this day.

[00:30:57] A lot of people praying that.

[00:30:59] And here's what the promise of grace is.

[00:31:01] You already have it. You already have it.

[00:31:05] Why are you asking for it when he's already equipped you with it?

[00:31:10] Do you see that when you ask God for Grace? What you're saying is you doubt that he gave it to you?

[00:31:18] That's why you're asking for it, because you don't think it's already there. Read it with me one more time. Hebrews 13, verse 21, equip you with everything good that you may do his will. He's working in us. He's the new engine. He's empowering us. That which is pleasing in his sight.

[00:31:35] Everything good that God wants you to do. I guarantee you there is the grace and Christ Jesus to do it. Anybody want to say amen to that? Anybody believe that here?

[00:31:45] He calls you to do it. He equips you to do it. So with every challenge, with every command, with every like, whoa, how am I going to do that? Should come the confidence that God has restored me to be able to do that.

[00:32:00] He always gives the ability with everything that he asks us to do, we are ready to drive for the Lord. Let's put it down like this, our first sub point. You're ready for every good work. You're ready for every good work.

[00:32:15] There is nothing that God wants you to do that you hasn't given you the grace to already do. It would be like at your house, your kids saying, can we have breakfast this morning? I'm sure you're not saying to your kids. No, we don't do breakfast here before you go to school, you ingrate. Why are you asking me for more food? I fed you last night, right?

[00:32:40] No.

[00:32:41] There is always, I would hope, breakfast at your house for your kids.

[00:32:47] Maybe not always the best prepared breakfast. But there's something for them, right? That's what it's like when you wake up, when your eyes open, when you are cognizant once again. And the pile of all you have to do that day starts to feel heavy upon you.

[00:33:04] There is the grace for everything that God has called you to do that day, waiting for you in the morning.

[00:33:11] It's their.

[00:33:13] He's restored you term with me, the First Thessalonians Chapter three, a little further to the left here in our New Testament. Another time we're going to see this word that's translated restore or equipped to get us to the condition where we can do what God wants us to do. That's what his grace does. And I don't know if anybody was was remembers. But in the first year of our church, we went through this book of First Thessalonians. Anybody remember that? Was anybody here for that? That was a great study. We were a brand new church. This was a brand new church.

[00:33:45] And so we began to study First Thessalonians and how the gospel rang out from this church and how we wanted to see the gospel ring out here in Huntington Beach. And one of the main themes that we saw in First Thessalonians was that churches of family, anybody remember those sermons, how Paul, he was praying for these people.

[00:34:04] And he loved him like a brother. He even referred to himself as their father. He even went so far as to refer to himself as their mother. That's how he cared for them. Like like with such affection that he had to use the terms of our closest relationships, our family, to express how he cared for these people.

[00:34:25] And then he was praying for them. Liquidy says you're in First Thessalonians three nine to ten. We actually get a glimpse of his prayer for them here in. Versus nine and 10 for what, Thanksgiving?

[00:34:39] When we return, can we return to God for you? He's so thankful for these people, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God as we pray most earnestly. Night and day that we may see you face to face and supply. What is lacking in your faith? Now, let's just see that we need to supply. That's our word, Ristau. That's our word equip. That's the same Greek word we're going to supply.

[00:35:10] What is lacking in your grace that God has given you? Is that what it says right there? No, it's not lacking in your grace. It's lacking in your faith. See that the issue isn't the grace. We don't need to pray for the grace. What we need to pray for is the faith to believe that we have the grace. That's what we need to pray for. What we need to pray is that this day I will be strong in the grace that is given to me in Christ Jesus. And I will obey those commands as I can in Christ.

[00:35:40] So let's stop asking if this is something that you catch yourself doing. Now, let's stop asking for grace and let's trust that God has given us grace in Christ.

[00:35:51] And let's start praying for the faith to believe that we have that grace and let's encourage one another, that we have that grace so we can obey Jesus with what he commands us with every command.

[00:36:03] There is the promise that you can do it. That's from Jesus Christ. That's Grace.

[00:36:08] Now go back to first Peter, five, 10. That's just our first of these four words. One is you get restored back to prime condition, even better than your old condition. The old is gone. The new has come. You are now able to obey. But you're saying, well, I don't know. I feel weak. Well, it says that God himself will restore. And then he will confirm.

[00:36:33] And the word therefore confirm means to strengthen. And you're like, well, don't all these words mean to strengthen? That's kind of the general idea of the sermon. But this word confirm usually is actually given in the negative sense. In fact, this was the only time I could find in the Greek where this word is used in the positive to to strengthen.

[00:36:54] But usually in the Greek language, there's an A put in front of this word, so to speak. We understand that concept. If someone is an atheist. Well, a theist would be someone who believes in God. And an atheist means they do not believe in God. Right. So if someone is in this word is to be to be strong, confirm. But usually we put an A in front of it mean not strong. Meaning we.

[00:37:22] And that's definitely how we feel.

[00:37:24] And if we were doing a a message about how weak we all are and our own strength, we could all say a man to that sermon. We've all lived that sermon before. But go to Romans Chapter eight. And you're gonna have a hard time feeling weak in Romans Chapter eight, because it's one of the most encouraging chapters in all of the scripture. And it's gonna use this word for weakness, but in a way that shows us our strength that that it says we have, by the grace of God. Start with me here in verse 18. This is Romans chapter eight. Verse 18 says four. I consider that the sufferings we're gonna get more specific about the sufferings that we're going through in this life are our temptations and our tribulations.

[00:38:05] The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. So the future grace that's coming in the face of Jesus, when we get to see him, when he is revealed to us, man. However hard your life feels, however, down you are right now. It's really not even worth comparing your current suffering to how awesome it's going to be when Jesus is revealed and you receive that future grace.

[00:38:31] It's not even worth comparing our sufferings right now because it's gonna be so good. Verse 19 for the creation waits with eager longing. Even the physical creation further revealing of the Sons of God for the creation was subjected to futility.

[00:38:48] Even our planet now is is is a fallen world, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it and hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning. Even the physical universe we live in is groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves. We have the first fruits of the spirit. We have this new life of the spirit inside of us. So we groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons. The redemption of our bodies. For in this hope, we were saved. This is reviewing what we talked about before. Now, hope that is not is seen as not hope for who hopes for what he sees. But if we hope for what we do not see. We wait for it with patience. It says even the physical world is groaning and waiting for this revelation of Jesus Christ, just like we are. If we're in Christ were called to eternal glory, we're longing for it. Verse 26. Back to that current state of feeling weak. Likewise, the spirit helps us. In our weakness, so there's our word.

[00:40:04] The not strong word.

[00:40:07] Well, when it's using it here to describe that we are not strong, which we can all say Amen to, we all get the idea of being not strong. Well, actually, the point here is that you are strong not because of yourself, but because of the capital?

[00:40:19] S spirit. Who makes you strong. Are you. Do we really believe this here at our church this morning, that from the moment you put your faith in Christ, the spirit of the living God now in dwells you and empowers you and causes you to live a new life? Do we believe in the Holy Spirit here at this church? Well, it's saying that the spirit helps us in our weakness. So when I don't feel like grace is real, when I'm having a hard time believing that God is so good that I could obey every command that Christ has given me.

[00:40:55] Well, then the spirit is there to help me.

[00:40:57] For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the spirit himself. Check this out. The spirit himself intercedes for us with grown wings. Too deep for words. Any use searches. Hearts knows what is the mind of the spirit. Because the spirit intercedes for the Christians. For the Saints. According to the will of God.

[00:41:20] Why do you like that? Feeling guilty for not praying this morning. Feeling like you need to pray more.

[00:41:26] Ha! Take this encouragement. The spirit's been praying for you, slacker. Even when you're not praying. He's groaning. He's interceding for you. Even when you think you are praying and you feel like I really nailed that one. He's correcting the error of your prayers.

[00:41:43] I mean, check this out.

[00:41:44] Does it matter how weak you are, the spirit thing is foolproof. Say he does the work for you. He empowers you to do it. He's working in and through you.

[00:41:55] He's even praying the prayers that you neglect or are uninformed to pray. Strength. That's by grace. And if you thought that was enough, Grace. Well, you're going to have to deal with Romans eight twenty eight. Look what it says here. We know that for those who love God, all things work together for good. It doesn't say all things are going to be good, but it says that God will work all things together for good. Everything for good in your life. Deal with it. For those who are called according to his purpose. And check it out. Here's how it works.

[00:42:30] Haven't lost a soul yet. Every soul that's in Christ, those who me for knew. He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son. You will be perfect. You will be sinless. You will have a glorified resurrected body in order that Jesus might be the first born among many brothers and those whom he predestined.

[00:42:49] He also called, and those whom he called. He also justified, and those whom he justified. He also is going to glorify.

[00:42:58] Says it in the past tense, like it's already been done. Because that's how certain the grace of God is in your life. We feel weakness. The spirit makes us strong. And it is all by grace, our second dash here is you can be sure in spirit.

[00:43:17] Grace is stronger than we think. And one of the things that we should see in our life is this assurance of our salvation that comes through the work of the spirit. Here's my friend Minthorn sharing with us today. He would have never seen himself evangelizing people at the gym. He would have never seen himself in his weakness and who he thought himself to be. He wasn't going to be leading some kind of discussion about the Bible here at this church in a fellowship group and trying to encourage other men and women in the faith that is in Jesus Christ. That wasn't who he is. And now, as he sees himself doing things with a power that's clearly not his own, he becomes assured that the spirit must be working in my life. And I know I have the grace of God. I know I'm in the grace of God because the spirit is doing things that I cannot explain by my own weakness. Therefore, there must be a strength that is more than me in my life. And it's the power of the Holy Spirit. And when you see yourself doing things that, you know, you would have never done.

[00:44:17] That is the grace of God working in your life. It's confirming you. And what a blessing.

[00:44:24] What a blessing to get restored to a condition where you can obey and then by the spirit's power, when you do obey. You're like, how am I even doing this? It must be by the grace of God working in my life.

[00:44:35] Now, that's not all. Go back to first, Peter, Chapter five.

[00:44:39] Because it says you're gonna be. He got himself is gonna do this. He's gonna restore. He's going to confirm. And then the third word here is he's going to strengthen.

[00:44:51] It says. Strengthen.

[00:44:54] I thought the last word meant strengthen, whether they're all strong words. OK. That's the picture that God wants you to have.

[00:45:01] Of grace, a robust, powerful image of what Grace can do in your life in this word to strengthen has the idea to stand is really the idea or or like that. Someone is set like this word is used of Jesus that he set his face to go to Jerusalem. No one was going to deviate Jesus off of his course. He had decided he was set.

[00:45:24] He was going there and nothing was going to take him any other way. That's the idea here, that these sufferings that you and I are experiencing right now in this life, that when we say I'm going to stand on the gospel of Jesus Christ, I'm going to set Jesus before me and I'm out going to live a new way following Jesus. There are forces that want to take us down. Let's just be very honest here today. This entire world system is devised by Satan against anyone standing for Jesus Christ. It looks for people, Satan specifically, and his demons. Look for people who have recently even set themselves on the course of Jesus Christ, and they will do anything they can to come and take the feet out of that new believer.

[00:46:13] They, in fact, describes it like this look back at verse eight here and first, Peter. Chapter five. Look at what it says here. Being sober minded. Be watchful. You've got to stay on your guard. Look alert because your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour Satan wants to knock you down.

[00:46:34] He wants to take you out of live in for Jesus Christ. Satan hates the grace of God working in your life.

[00:46:42] And it says you've got to resist him, verse nine. You've got to be firm in your faith. That's the idea of strengthened. You've got to stand firm. You've got to be set against his fiery darts. You have to put that armor of God on.

[00:46:53] And having done everything, you've got to stand knowing that the same kinds of suffering. OK, so now it's going to define suffering for us. The same kinds of suffering. These satanic attacks, the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

[00:47:11] I mean, every Christian comes to know these sufferings, which are Satan, trying to devour your faith, trying to stop the work of grace of God in your life.

[00:47:21] People here in this room that you don't even know are undergoing some of the same sufferings that you are, people at the church down the street are undergoing some of the same sufferings that you are. Christians on the other side of the world right now are undergoing some of these same kinds of attacks of Satan to knock down your faith in the grace that is in Jesus Christ.

[00:47:43] And it says that God, the God of all grace, he will strengthen you.

[00:47:47] He will keep you standing. He will keep you set.

[00:47:53] Through with me, the second Thessalonians, where it gives us more of this same word here. Second Thessalonians, look at Chapter two years. Here's another great promise here. You got to turn with me in a second. Thessalonians, chapter two, look at verse sixteen with me here. It says it. There's another one of those promises.

[00:48:15] So many commands in the scripture, but there's also great promises, commands of what we're supposed to do. Promises of what God will do in us. And this is what it says. And second, this lenience to verse 16.

[00:48:26] Now, may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God, our father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort. OK. That's the grace that's yet to come at the revelation of Jesus Christ. And he's given us good hope through grace. Even now, may Jesus and God, the father, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. God is going to comfort your hearts. Guess what that word comfort is same word in verse, Peter five, 10. God's gonna make your heart stand. God is going to set your heart on him so even Satan can't derail your heart to a different course.

[00:49:07] That's what it's saying right here. In fact, look over at chapter three, verse three. Just in case you don't believe it. Look what it says here. Second, Thessalonians, just turn over a page. Chapter three. Verse three.

[00:49:17] But the Lord is faithful. We sang about it here this morning. And he's not just going to give you a little grace to get you going. No, he's faithful to give you all the grace all the time. He will establish you and guard you against. Who does it say they're against the evil one.

[00:49:33] Guess what the word for established there is same word.

[00:49:36] He will set you. Here's what God's going to do. God. By His grace, will set you against that evil one. Let's get that down for our third dash right there. OK. He's restored you to a condition where you can obey. He's given you the spirit to empower you to obey. And then here comes the suffering. Here comes the tests. Here comes the attacks of the devil himself trying to d to ter you trying to knock you off course of following Jesus. But God has set your heart on the course of Christ. And even Satan can't knock you down.

[00:50:08] Do you believe that you are this morning. I'm here to tell you that whatever Satan can do to us, he cannot overcome the power of the grace of God working in our lives.

[00:50:20] Though he might be a mighty roaring lion, seeking someone to devour the lion is not actually as powerful as we might have thought him to be.

[00:50:32] Now, my son is Tyler is age nine, I love to talk about my son like any dad loves to talk about their kids. My son has just become an animal encyclopedia. He's like a zookeeper without the animals living at our house. But he's always talking about them. Right. And truthfully, he's teaching me things I never knew about the animal kingdom. And so when it came time for fall for us this year, he was a cheetah at Fall Fest and we're at Fall Fest. This was the event that we did at our church. Many of you were there. And my son comes running up to me at this event and he's in his cheetah costume. And he says to me, Dad, there's a zebra here at Fall Fest. Can I take it out?

[00:51:15] And that's what he said. Nine years old. Can I attack the zebra? And I'm like, what are you talking about? You're not going to attack somebody at our church. I'm just picturing it. Pastor's kid mauls churchgoer. You know me. No. And then I realized that the zebra was my good friend. Evan Winslow. And I was like, you can definitely take out that zebra. In fact, let's get a picture of you attacking that zebra. And there it is. Right. Cheetah attacks. Great moment now. The cheetah was not actually my son's first choice for a costume.

[00:51:54] That's not his favorite animal, even though it is the fastest land animal, not the fastest air or water animal, but the fastest land animal is the cheetah.

[00:52:05] His favorite is actually the gazelle. He told me. They don't make Gizelle costumes. That's why we had to settle for the cheetah for some reason. Right. But the gazelle and my son, he you know, he's running on all fours all over our house, almost taken me out a bunch of times. And he likes to be the one running away from the lion. In fact, my son informed me that the gazelle is actually faster than the lion. And lions have a hard time catching gazelles. That's why they usually go after the wildebeest or the zebra, because to be honest, the gazelles are just too fast for the lion. And I was thinking the gazelle was kind of a wimpy animal. What my son informed me with the horns, with the kick, with the racing stripe, the gazelle can give the predator a run for its money. In fact, I started doing some searching on the Internet, looking for lions, taking down gazelles. And most of the pictures when you see the lion attacking a gazelle. It's a baby gazelle. Barely having horns is who the lions going after. It's hard to find a picture of a lion taken down a full grown adult gazelle because they're just too fast by Santorum. I mean, here's the picture that I found. That was the most fully grown gazelle. I could see.

[00:53:27] But I think the truth is that when there's a whole herd of gazelles, a fully grown, mature, strong gazelles, a herd like that, I don't think the lion wants anything to do with those guys.

[00:53:40] Maybe we've way overestimated the king of the jungle. Maybe we've given him a little too much credit down here because maybe the grace that is in us is greater than the strength of Satan to cause us to stumble.

[00:53:54] Maybe, just maybe, he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.

[00:54:00] Maybe we're faster than we thought. Maybe we can run outrun more temptations than we gave ourselves credit for. Maybe there really is always a way of escape when Satan comes after us. My son has even informed me that although the cheetah is faster than the gazelle, it does not have the endurance of the gazelle. And if the gazelle can just survive the first fifteen seconds, he can then outrun the cheetah. And doesn't that sound like temptation? If you can just say no for a little bit longer. Help is on its way. How many times have you given in and then realized that your friend who could have encouraged you was ready to talk to you? A phone call away. And you didn't reach out to a man, if you are a newborn young gazelle and the lion is coming after you. There is a herd that you can be a part of here at this church. And I'm here to tell you that the grace that is in us, God, has set us on a course that Satan himself can not derail us from.

[00:55:07] Do you believe that?

[00:55:09] Do you believe that you can run this week and you can help run Satan? You can resist him by the grace of God. You can stand firm any set on the course of Jesus Christ. That's what the scripture is teaching us. Go back to first, Peter.

[00:55:25] Chapter five, because there's even one more, as if that weren't enough that God has restored us to a condition where we can obey. He has empowered us by his spirit. And even when we suffer the attacks of opposition of this world, even Satan himself, God's grace, we'll keep our hearts set on the course that is Jesus Christ. Well, what could be left after this? Well, the last word here is that God is going to establish you.

[00:55:54] And this gets back to the foundation.

[00:55:56] The fundamentals is the idea here that God has set you on a rock, the solid rock of Jesus Christ. That's your foundation that once you are in the grace of God, you are founded. Nothing can shake you off of that fact. Turn with me to First Timothy, Chapter six. It's a great passage for us here at the end of 1st, Timothy. A great passage for us about Thanksgiving. And I hope you're feeling thankful.

[00:56:24] I hope the grace that God is giving to you will inspire you to be giving thanks to him. And yeah, let's count our physical blessings. Let's name a one by one around the table. But the truth is, if all we focus is on the physical blessings, we're really missing the point of Thanksgiving of our foundation in Christ. Look at what it says here in First Timothy six 17 is a great pre Thanksgiving passage.

[00:56:49] As for the rich in this present age, and I know you and I maybe don't associate ourself as rich people because we don't have what so-and-so has, but we live in one of the richest counties of the world.

[00:57:02] Everybody understands that right here in Orange County that we all have clothes. We're all probably gonna go have lunch that we all got here, maybe buy some kind of vehicular transportation. This is a certain kind of richness.

[00:57:16] As for the rich in this present age. Charge them not to be Hoddy. Charge them not to think highly of themselves because they have a lot of stuff or money in the bank, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches. Hey, thank God they have. You had a good year. Thank God this Thanksgiving. But don't put your hope in it because next year might not be so good.

[00:57:36] No. Set your hope on God.

[00:57:39] Who richly provides us with everything to enjoy? They are to do good. Here's the kind of richness we should value to be rich in good works.

[00:57:50] To be generous, to give away our stuff, to be ready to share with those who do not have. And as we do this, we thus are storing up treasure for themselves as a good. Here's our word foundation for the future.

[00:58:06] So the day may take hold of that which is truly life. No, not this life, but what is truly life. See? God gives you grace and he restores you to a condition where you can obey. He empowers you to obey. He hopes you overcome the opposition to obey. And every single act of obedience that you do out of a heart for God is laying up a foundation for you of reward in the future. That's what it says right here.

[00:58:33] Like gods, by his grace, is causing you to obey. And then that obedience, by his grace, is storing up some kind of life that you're going to experience in the future. That's better than the life you've got right now. So much better. It says it's the true life, as if this one was fake.

[00:58:53] So what are we thankful for? The physical riches that God has given us or the riches that are waiting for us to enjoy forever in heaven? A foundation that can not be taken away from us. You can lose everything in this life, but you cannot lose the next life. And what is waiting for you there? And it says that you are given, by grace, a foundation for the future. That's our fourth little sore point there. You are given a foundation for the future as God empowers you, by his grace, to live in this life. You stored up for yourself. A life in the life to come. That's what we should be looking to. That's what we should be hoping. And I hope that I will could be thankful that I am not rich.

[00:59:36] Maybe in the present age, but I am rich in good works that God has done through me. By His grace and his grace alone, because all I brought to it was weakness. But he brought the power that overcame the opposition.

[00:59:50] And now there is a foundation of a future life. To come, I hope. Is anybody here encouraged even a little bit here this morning? I hope so, because there is more grace than you have known so far. There is grace for you right now all the way until the moment that you meet the revelation of Jesus Christ. In all of this, Grace was bought and paid for. One day when Jesus died on the cross for your sins. That's how you have access to unlimited grace is through the death of Jesus Christ, that he sacrificed his body and he purchased you with his blood. He gave his life so that you could know his grace for ever on ending.

[01:00:32] How amazing is that?

[01:00:35] So we wanted to celebrate the grace of Jesus Christ by taking communion here at the end of our service to give thanks. A lot of times. Communion sometimes is even referred to as the Eucharist. And that's coming from a Greek word that means to give thanks.

[01:00:49] And so we remember the reason that we could talk about all of this, Grace, the God of all Grace, who has called you to eternal glory and in Christ, who wants to do four things for you that we learned here, restore, confirm, strengthen and establish.

[01:01:04] You will it's all done by the sacrifice of Jesus. And so we take these elements as the ushers come forward. We take these elements of the bread and the cup to remind us and this is symbolic. If you have not put your faith in Jesus, then I would encourage you to just let this pass on by. This is for those of us who are in the grace of God, who have trusted in Christ. And because of what Jesus has done, we want to say thank you and remember him. So take the bread, take the cup, and then we'll come back and partake of these elements together. Let me pray. God, we thank you so much for this Grace that we can learn about. And God, if you have given us so much grace already in your son and you're giving us so much grace now to live for you and the even the best grace is yet to come in the future. God, how could we not respond by giving you thanks for all of the grace that you are giving in our life.

[01:01:56] God, I just pray that if there is anyone here today. Who has started to think that Grace was somehow ordinary, somehow normal, that there was anything not amazing about Grace, that you will remind us. Even now.

[01:02:10] And it's amazing that we get to experience your goodness, we don't deserve this. Now, but you've given to us anyways.

[01:02:19] And even though you've given it to us so much, it hasn't run out. It hasn't diminished. You still have all Grace ready to shower down on us.

[01:02:27] Even now. So God, let us say thank you. In Jesus state.

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