The Village Church

Life Together - Let Us Consider (AM)

February 11, 2020 Pastor Eric
The Village Church
Life Together - Let Us Consider (AM)
Chapters
The Village Church
Life Together - Let Us Consider (AM)
Feb 11, 2020
Pastor Eric

Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.



Show Notes Transcript

Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.



Speaker 1:

Father in heaven. Thank you for community. Thank you for story. Thank you for bringing us together. Um , thank you for sending your son to die on the cross for our sins and for giving us , um, space to worship you, to engage with one another, to um, to grow into godliness and to, to just figure out life. Um, and Holy spirit. We ask that as we wrestle with things that are, are um, important that you would give us courage to believe, but it's true. And to push aside what's false that we wouldn't hold against one another . How things are said, but that we would be people seeking what is true and what is good. I ask that in your Holy name. Amen. So first John five 11 and 12 says this, it says, and this is the testimony that God has given us a turtle life and this life is in his son. He who has the son has life. He who does not have the son of God does not have life. This is the testimony. Testimony is the , the writer John and first John is making a proclamation. He's saying what I have to stay here based on a bunch of other stuff is really, really important. So he says this is the testimony that God has given you. Eternal life. God's given us eternal life. Eternal life means a life now and into the future, right? It is an eternal thing, but for all of us, we have a beginning. So when we grab hold of eternal life, we are taking God's life. God is giving us life and it says that this life comes through his son. He has a son, has life, he does not have the son of God, does not have life. This idea is that God through his son, Jesus offers us life and when you and I embrace it, he invades our life. Okay? Kind of like when the only child gets a new baby brother or sister because the only child thinks I have 100% of mom and dad and then all of a sudden I have a quarter of mom and dad when I'm lucky, right? All of a sudden he has to make an adjustment because there is an invasion and intrusion on mom. Dad and child, right? Well, this is the idea here that when you and I grab hold of Jesus and we decide that Jesus offers some kind of life that's eternal life. There is an intrusion into our life that we might not expect. It's an intrusion on our value systems, how we understand our marriages, how we understand our parenting, how we understand our political space, how we understand what we do and say at work, how we understand ourselves. This value system of Aternity, of the kingdom of intrudes on us. Just like that fourth friend intrudes in on your perfect triad of friends, right and disrupts everything. Make us make an adjustment only in the intrusion of eternity . It's pretty rough for us. Finite people. God's value system is relatively uncomfortable and very difficult to handle because he asks of us to kind of remove, well , he asked us to remove a whole set of ways of being an idols that we think about from our lives and I would say that's actually hard, uncomfortable and we don't like it even though we think that maybe this is where life is and the reality is that the only way that you and I can do this, well, the only way that you and I can begin to accept and embrace the intrusion of the living God through Jesus is to get together with a bunch of other people who've been intruded on and see if we can work it out, see if we can begin to adjust to things and I'm going to need someone because the I ope . There we go. I wasn't like maybe I talked too long before switching the slide. The computer and I have a conflict over how long to talk and flip slides . We are in the series that this I think is the fourth or fifth week on kind of talking about what it looks like to have life together. And in particular today we're going to talk about relationships. The last three weeks we've talked about leadership in community and now we're going to talk about just community itself in relationship. And Hebrews 10 24 and 25 is the verse that we talk about a lot in our community and it goes something like this. Let us consider how we might spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up the gathering together as some are in the habit of doing, but all of them are encouraging but encourage one another and all the more. As you see the day approaching this verse in a lot of ways gives us a practical structure for how you and I might live out this uncomfortability together, how we might be able to become at least okay with the intrusion of internety on our life when we embrace Jesus. All right , but we need to know what the goal is. The evidence is that you have embraced Jesus and that you are living out eternal life is love and good deeds. These are the evidences that you are with Jesus. You are embracing Jesus, right is love and good deeds and in fact there's not a lot of debate about love and good deeds. Yes, maybe there's some gray areas about what love is or what good deeds are and how they're done, but in general, most of us can say, yeah, that was a good deed. Yeah, that was loving. Like we don't have a lot of debate about that. So what we're invited to do is to help people live out their relationship with Jesus and embrace the values that he presses in on their life in order for love and good deeds to flower . Okay, but we can't like we have to do that together. That doesn't work by yourself. This is why Hebrews says, let us consider. Now there's a lot of intention in this first , right? You don't consider someone without intention. The very idea of considering someone is intention. You have to think about them in order that you might spur them on towards love and good deeds. So I want to tell you , um, that that is hard because all of us come to Sunday into any kind of spiritual gathering with a lot of stuff on our mind and hearts. So what I want to do is I want you guys for a moment to just close your eyes and I'm going to invite you to do some breathing here cause I'm going to say some things out loud and then I'm going to show you some pictures and I don't want you to say anything in response to these pictures or words, but they are, it may elicit emotion in you, but they're also something that is , are a clue. Once you experienced that emotion to what everyone else is carrying themselves. All right, so let's breathe for it . We're going to breathe, we're going to start through our stomach or we're gonna like breathe in. You're going to start there. So we're going to go hold it, hold it, hold it, and I'll just let it out really slowly.

Speaker 2:

Okay. All right .

Speaker 1:

One more time. Everybody's breathing .

Speaker 2:

Hold it. Hold it. Let out.

Speaker 1:

Keep your eyes closed. One of the things that I hear a lot in this church people say is, I have nothing good to offer. I have nothing good to offer. No one really wants to be with me. No one really wants to know me. I have nothing good to offer and nobody wants to know me. These are things that probably a lot of you hold on to . Now. I want you to open your eyes. I'm going to show you some pictures, but I don't want you to say anything to the pictures. Money is something that produces anxiety. We learned yesterday from Bob's talk that having money produces anxiety and not having money produces anxiety. Let me give you an example. For Christmas, my parents handed their three sons a book that they felt was very valuable. Now you have to understand, my parents don't give a Labrot gifts, but inside this book through each chapter were ten one hundred dollar bills. I've never gotten a gift like that from my parents. I didn't have a $1,000 beforehand, which I was thinking I could use and now I did and do you know what I've done with this thousand dollars I still have it in cash and I wedged it in to the CS Lewis books that I have on my shelf because I don't know what to do with this thousand dollars and I, it seems more special than a thousand dollars I might have somewhere else, right? It creates anxiety, right? Money creates anxiety. We just experienced babies, children, parents come to church with this at some point on their mind, some version of this from zero to 18 right? And it's, it produces an anxiety because it's a complicated relationship with this. This viruses plagues blues . There's a lot of anxiety in our, in our world about this right now. It produces anxiety in all of us. If our immune systems are compromised, it produces anxiety. Presidents create anxiety for us, right? Presidents cause anxiety. We bring this into the church by the opposing parties. Bring in anxiety.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

if we're going to be people who take Hebrews 10 24 seriously, let us consider one another. We have to know that people come in with emotion, right? E motion, right? The thing you feel before you do something like we have that turning over in us. So what I want to do is just give you a way maybe to consider people. First thing is to consider people. You have to do it before you get here, all right ? If you're going to come into a community of people, you have to pick somebody. You can't consider everyone in this room, even in this small room of 30 or so people, 40 people like you can't consider all of us. So you have to either randomly pick somebody or think that God has told you to pick somebody, but you have to pick a person. And the first thing that I would offer you to do, and this is only takes about 15 minutes to consider someone, is to visualize them, to imagine them, not just imagine them in your head, like visualize them in front of you, right ? This is a good practice. Visualize that person last time you saw them, what they were wearing. All right? The next thing you should do is you should go over the facts. You should either write these down or rehearse them or say them out loud. What are the facts about the person? Not the facts about why you don't like the person or how they irritate you. Not those facts, but facts. Like they're married to so-and-so. They have two kids there . Things are going really good in their marriage. Like cause I know that. Can I talk to them or I their kids go to this school or they're having car problems, whatever facts, you know, both kind of actual like you know, solid, tangible facts or relational facts, things that you know, write them down, make some mental notes of them. And then this third one is really important. Why don't you get the facts? You need to ask the question, how does Jesus see the person? This is kind of revolutionary. How does Jesus see the person? Because when you come here, it's very possible that the person that God's asked you to consider to spur onto Lord love and good deeds is irritating to you or hard or just scary. Or there could be a long list of reasons or you just haven't talked to them before. And so you need to know how Jesus sees them. And it's a really interesting practice to begin to ask yourself, what, how does Jesus see Lee salmons ? How does Jesus see Matt Kaler ? What does , what does he think about them? Because Jesus sees us much differently wanting to get to this. Then we see each other and then you need a plan of action, right? How are you going to get to that person to talk to them? What are you going to ask them? What you know? Sometimes the way I'll do it is I'm like, okay, I know this little fact. They, they, you know, went um , to Phoenix last week. So I'm going to ask them how they, how was Phoenix so that we can begin that process, right ? You need a plan of action,

Speaker 2:

huh ?

Speaker 1:

All right . So let us consider how we might spur one another on toward love and good deeds. I've talked a lot about this spur word and I've told you it's like irritating a person towards love and good deeds. But the reality is is this word has two meanings in the Greek and Plato and others only use the irritation towards bad things, right ? So this word is used to irritate people towards bad things or to tenderly poke or to poke a tender area in order to encourage good things. Okay, so part of what your spring on some of the doing glove and good deeds is actually poking a tender part. Now for those of you who were at the living room talks, we all got to see in Cappies talk a lot of wounds and she actually talked at one point about poking and prodding wounds, right? Right. Tender areas and people to understand the wound. Now I think a lot of times this verses read in a way of like, Oh I need like you know rod right here. He's got some issues so I need to go poke him, like jab him . So he'll love and do good things, right? That's how this works. Cause spurs like, I mean, I grew up in the church, I'm a highly pastors. We'll talk about how this is the horse. You know, you're just jabbing the side of the horse with your spurs. I'm like, that's ridiculous. It's not going to get you anywhere, right? This is what I think is a more nuanced way that we're invited to do this. Part of the reasons that we've considered people, we have a plan and we have questions we can ask and so the first thing we need to do is listen. Like is , I don't know if you've ever been to a really good doctor, they don't talk a lot. They ask good questions and they listen, right? They begin to understand what's happening to you. Okay? So listening and listening is a lost art because we all like our advice. But I read recently a quote that kind of went like this. A soul does not want advice. A soul just wants to be known, right? It doesn't want to be fixed. It doesn't want to be taken care of and made sure it's all okay by you. It just wants to be known and thought of. The soul is made to be alive. We are made to be alive when people give us time to listen. Here's a very fascinating fact. If you were to tell me something traumatic that happened in your life and I listened to you and empathize with you and you thought, wow, Eric, really, he's feeling this, he's experiencing this with me, you actually will remember that traumatic event, a little less traumatic. Your brain will change. The narrative. Listening is a powerful, powerful thing. Now, a good doctor, and we're talking about us kind of being like doctors because we're poking a tender area in somebody is someone who reflects on things. So you know, maybe so the reflecting kind of looks like this as you listen to someone and they may be saying, wow, you know, like I just was yelling at my child this morning and I could not get them to do what I wanted them to do. And we could say, well, maybe you should change your parenting mode. Here's some good parenting tips. Or we could say, wow, that sounds really hard. It's hard dealing with a child like that. You must be really tired. Because what it does is it affirms an underlying thing that might be going on that they're not saying. And they might say, Oh, you're right, I am tired. All right ? So when you begin to reflect, you help someone understand the impact of the Tinder area in their life and last the way that you and I can spur one another is to wonder what it might be like if things were different, if Jesus invaded things

Speaker 3:

[inaudible] .

Speaker 1:

So you could ask things like, well , if your child was obedient, what would that look like in your home? How would things be different? And get that person to talk about being hopeful. Because when we are hopeful, we then want to love and do good deeds. When we don't have any hope, we have no interest in loving or doing good deans , right? So listen, reflect, wonder. These are some things to begin to ponder, how to do that. So the verse does not to , and I'm going to , I have memorized this person . So many different versions. You'll see you should pick up a black Bible and check my, you know, rehearsing of it. But it says not to give up the assembling or the gathering. One translation says, to not forsake the Greek word here is literally to runaway from give up on. So you're saying, so he's saying not to give up on getting together with people, not to say to turn your back on it and walk away, not to forsake it. You cannot begin to embrace and find an end comfortability with the invasion in the intrusion of Aternity , through Jesus on you, unless you are willing to not forsake, but actually grab hold of the assembling together that this is where, where the spirit of God works to transform things. So don't run away from getting together. Move towards getting together.

Speaker 3:

Yeah .

Speaker 1:

And then it says as some are in the habit of doing so, the writer of Hebrews is like, this is something that we all feel inclined to do, right? We feel inclined to walk away because it's actually uncomfortable to be in a healthy community where people are considering you and trying to poke your tender spots. That's not where we all right, but it is part of the intrusion of eternity. It is . But then it goes on to say encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day coming, and this is the keyword encouraging to encourage someone is to give them courage. And this is part of the spring thing is you encouragement means to come alongside someone and give them courage. So when you are spurring someone on towards love and good deeds poking their tender wound, you don't like the encouraging them is not to just jab that wound. Encouraging them is saying, okay, we can do this together. We can do this together. You can step into this. I know you can do it. I'm here with you. So Zephaniah three 17 says this, the Lord your God. It's in your midst. A mighty one who will say he rejoices over you with gladness. He will quiet you by his love. He will exalt over you with loud singing. Now. I introduced this whole idea this morning of eternity being an intrusion on your life. Value systems have to change, right? That it's uncomfortable. But here's the reality of why it's uncomfortable. Not because you have to change your value systems, not because there's some behavior thing that you need to do. This is why it's uncomfortable because God has come into your midst. When you invite Jesus in, God has come into your midst and saved you.

Speaker 3:

Okay ?

Speaker 1:

And some , some translations say delighted, but it's here. It says he rejoices over you with gladness. The God of the universe through his son. Jesus rejoices over you with gladness. He's really, really happy about you all the time. So when you intruded on the Trinity, they were happy that you're a part of the dance. They're happy that you're present in just the way you are and in all your chaos and worked upness . They're going to try to love you into quietness. And here's the crazy thing. It's not that Jesus, the Trinity, God himself sings over you. He loudly sings over you. Now I, you know, some people might say with, he might sing in this amazing harmony and it's just beautiful to hear God saying, I actually think God sings off key really loud and super happy right over you that it doesn't, the God doesn't have to have the perfectness. There is some kind of, Ron is when it says loud, he's the guy who you can hear above everybody who's slightly off-key but so happy to sing for you. Okay? So when we talk about spurring people on towards loving good deeds, which means we're really asking, trying to spur people on into a comfortability with being with God, this is what we're spurring them into. And so I want to do something. I want you all to close your eyes for a moment and just relax for a second cause I want you to get in touch with this. And here's the thing. What I , this is maybe a more of a new thought for me, or at least something that I've been thinking about lately, is that innocent , so helpful to me. God created brains and he has to work with brains. It's not like he bypasses brains. He loves brains. He loves your brain. So use it. Okay? So relax for a moment. I want you to imagine, okay? I want you to imagine Jesus. You can imagine him from the picture that we've all seen. You can imagine him as a short, stubby Jewish guy. You can imagine it as this dark, beautiful guy with a , you know, a hood on. You can imagine Jesus the way Jesus is to you in an image, okay? Now I want you to imagine that image jumping up and down because he's just seen you and he's embracing you,

Speaker 2:

okay? Now

Speaker 1:

I want you to just imagine some of the anxieties that you are feeling right now, worries that you have in your heart and your soul. Okay? I want you to get ahold of those, and I want you to take your hand and I want you to put it on your chest, okay? And I want you to press against your chest and imagine that that is Jesus, his hand pressing on you and quieting your heart and your soul, right? Feel the pressure on your chest,

Speaker 2:

okay ? No . [inaudible]

Speaker 1:

well , your hands on your chest. I don't know how to imagine this, but I want you to imagine, however you might think God is singing to see singing over you and now while you're experiencing this, I want you to know that when you come in and when the writer of Hebrews says, let us consider how we might spur one another on toward love and good deeds that he's inviting us to invite others through, poking their tender wounds into this space. This is the space that God is inviting us into because if we can sit in that space, then love and good deeds will just flow out of us, right ? Take a deep breath. You can open your eyes. That right there to me, that verse is eternal life. That's what eternal life is. That's what the kingdom of God is. That's what the future and the present is. When you're with Jesus, I have time for conversation. In fact, I have a lot of time for conversation, so if you have a question or a thought or would like me to expand,

Speaker 2:

we can [inaudible]

Speaker 1:

or you have a fire . Why didn't say you could have awesome go for it.

Speaker 4:

I actually thought as the images were going, the thing that strikes me is that when we all see those images, we see them differently and carry them differently. And if you had done this, like for example, it's, it's Trump in and out like the president and the opposing party. And if you had done it 10 years ago, it would have been a different president, different posing party that we all come in carrying those images differently, but we're still invited into the same thing that you're talking about. Yeah, yeah. Yes. To see the other person.

Speaker 2:

Yeah .

Speaker 5:

[inaudible]

Speaker 4:

I have a question about receiving others. Empathy.

Speaker 2:

No,

Speaker 4:

a lot of the time when, when people, when I recognize them trying to empathize with me, I feel like they don't really understand and I kind of feel like I'm being patronized. Um , and I wonder if I need to just let them let that be real or cause what I want to do is respond and say, no, you don't like when if they say that sounds hard, I say, well no, you don't really understand. You're , maybe you're , I see , you're trying to understand, but I don't really feel understood.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, here's the thing. I would say when I go to the doctor and I went to the doctor a couple of years ago through a whole , it's like a whole year of process and I went to the doctor, I kept explaining this problem that I was having and he kept listening and sending me off for tests that were uncomfortable and negative. And I was getting a little frustrated because I'm like, you're not listening. But eventually he figured it out. Um, part of having someone care for you is that it's really uncomfortable and that you feel misunderstood. I think the biggest thing is to realize that God is working in that process and down the road you're gonna find that you have been moved to a deeper space that Jesus, but the moment may not be that mystical. That would be right .

Speaker 4:

We got married, wrote a poem

Speaker 5:

for us and, and, and framed it for us so that we could hang it up in our house. And one of the things that it said was, may you believe what is best about each other? And I think like the invitation to receiving someone's empathy is believing that they really do experience that. Hmm .

Speaker 4:

Even if maybe they don't understand. Totally.

Speaker 6:

I think that's why the, the part about not forsaking the meeting together is so important for the person, particularly well for both people, but particularly for the person who is trying to understand another person is to be, is to continue to wonder , um, with that person and to continue to consider maybe what I offered isn't an a , uh , an understanding. But I'm, I'm willing to stay and continue in relationship and keep trying to understand and know you

Speaker 5:

Mmm .

Speaker 6:

And to be willing for that I think is the, the other side of that

Speaker 5:

takes to do that .

Speaker 7:

Um, I was just thinking that sometimes, maybe it's not only about you too , you know, the person that's offering is in process and like God doesn't waste an opportunity. Like he's working on, I don't know, I guess in the last year I've been trying to remember or been,

Speaker 5:

Mmm .

Speaker 7:

Trying to think more about like if when I'm feeling these feelings, like what's God actually doing with the other person that I feel like they're doing something against me, but actually wait a second, but God's using, he's using our stories to impact each other. It's not just that they're messing up against me. I don't know. Does that make sense?

Speaker 5:

Hmm . Yeah. Breaths and then li I guess ,

Speaker 4:

I guess everybody's going to respond to that , David today. It's awesome. I really appreciate what you said because I heard a response inside my own head and then I thought, Oh wow, Russ , you really need to hear that same response. I've got some apologies to make in my own personal relationships, but what I heard was it's someone who comes and tries to offer empathy and fails has still offered you a gift because they've put, they've put their own life and their own sense of what's good and whether they're happier. They're sad. They've put that in submission to your life and said, here, I want to make my life about you. And even if they misunderstand what they've done, they've offered you something precious in saying that you're that important to do.

Speaker 8:

I wonder if a helpful suggestion for the listener, which is not easy for me,

Speaker 7:

Mmm .

Speaker 8:

Is to say, wow, that's hard. I don't have an answer for you. Can you tell me more about that? I'm not saying I don't have an answer, but it's, I'm realizing I don't have an answer and I want to give you a solution, which is I'm pointing to my wife cause I short circuit her. Let me fix you instead of listening to you and just saying, Lee , be patient. God has an answer for you. You may, it may not come through you right now, but if you will listen more and ask more questions, maybe we'll get to that part of David's soul or whoever we're listening to that feels listened to and not,

Speaker 5:

Mmm .

Speaker 8:

Fix store or project or something like,

Speaker 5:

yeah. That's the thought.

Speaker 8:

Maybe at the end the answer is not, I understand what you're feeling.

Speaker 5:

[inaudible]

Speaker 7:

I've been thinking about what you said at the very end that this is eternal life and I just how, no , I guess I just kind of wants to think about that a little more and I'm wondering if you want to elaborate on that anymore because I just feel like when I'm picturing like what David's talking about, if the Lord our God is in our midst, like if like it changes. It's not just two broken people that are broken in the way they care, listen, offer and so I don't know . I'm just like I appreciate that exercise you led us through and I, Mike , what would it look like if we had a community practice that this week or sit in that like to try to receive more that he's in our midst because I can feel the difference in myself when I'm receiving this. Like re I think that's how you started. You said about if we're letting the evidence of being embraced by Jesus and embracing him as loving good deeds and it's like that's what's convicting to me a lot is like, okay, I want to slow down and sit in this more cause otherwise, I don't know. I know a lot, but what I know doesn't come out. So I don't know if there's any more you want to , but I just, I just kinda want to soak in that more cause I think our whole community could be pretty transformed if we receive that embrace more. That makes me excited. I want to do that with you guys. Yeah.

Speaker 8:

Well I think what's fascinating about this, the

Speaker 1:

definitely I was talking about is just that it is how God is considered as the way he considered us is failing us and having so much joy about that . That's what I do think part of when you go to spur someone on towards love and good deeds, it's habit. It's imitating our father by rejoicing over them, like having great joy in this conversation of trying to draw them out, trying to quiet them, trying to sing loudly, these metaphors that we , I think it's a beautiful thing. And then rod and I think, yeah, we are

Speaker 9:

will Rogers said we'd worry far less about what people thought of us if we realized how seldom they did. And um, and and so it is amazing that in a world where that's true, people don't pay attention, that someone would pay attention at all. It's a gift. And then as you said, to consider, which was to study to really, really consider is even most amazing gifts so that someone approaches me at all is a gift and to listen to what they have to say. The other thing is don't discount. I think we just heard the Spirit's work in all of this because yes, my, my older sister called me one day when I was on the darkest foot places and she just said, she just said, Hey, I feel like God called , asked me to call you. And she reds up by three 17. And she said, do you know, God sings over you? And it changed the course of my life in a very real way. Um , God is singing over me. That's an amazing gift. So

Speaker 10:

cool.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Well the character , cause he's , he's the minimum then we'll be done .

Speaker 10:

Mmm .

Speaker 1:

Well I think a lot of times in those situations,

Speaker 11:

understanding isn't something we can always do, but , um, the will to want to understand is, you know, what's important.

Speaker 10:

Mmm .

Speaker 11:

I was telling Rose there was actually a South park episode

Speaker 1:

and we're going to end on South park , but , um,

Speaker 11:

essentially this couple had been telling, or one, one person in the couple have been telling the other over and over like, you need to relax cause he had really bad anxiety, chill out, everything's fine. You know, you're, you're freaking out over nothing kind of thing. And it wasn't until the end that he took a different approach and said , uh , you know, how does that mean? Do you feel in that must be awful. And , uh, you know, pretty much just trying to understand instead of saying, you know, relax , chill out, or , uh , even that, I do understand , um, you , you kind of teach that in counseling closures that we have do , um , is, you know, try to put yourself in their shoes and ,

Speaker 1:

Oh , thank no you, Kerrick . Let's pray. Father, I thank you for the wisdom of this community and for your love for us. And I just ask that as we spend time singing, giving, taking of the bread and the juice and your body broken blood poured out for us and eating, that you might intertwine our stories and give us courage to listen and to reflect and wonder of what you're doing in our lives. And I ask that in your Holy name. Amen.