Speaker 1:0:00I want to, uh, I want to give you a little primer on what I'm going to do today is if I come all the way over here, I'm not just talking to Roxanne, I'm talking today about faith from a personal perspective. If I'm over here, I'm really about the personal stuff. And if I'm all the way over here, I'm not just talking to Lena,
Speaker 1:0:26I might be talking to Lena but, but, but this over here where that's personal and impersonal is kind of the nexus over there. This is the public private sort of spot of faith. And I want to make sure you know that there's errors that go around on that, that public private faith and the personal impersonal faith. And our text today deals with both of them. And so what I want to say today is that we're called into a faith that is personal but not private, personal but not private. And I'm going to talk about that a little bit because we've been talking about that. Do you remember, um, two weeks ago when I did the husbands love your wives and wives love your husband's stuff. That is part of this today. And so I'm going to use the text just before that, but I'm not going to read it because it's part of how we live our lives, this intimate circle that that becomes bigger and bigger that we grow into. And so that's what I want to talk about. But first I want to tell you about what are the dangers of having a public faith.
Speaker 1:1:37That isn't maybe so personal. So this one story, there's a story in Dickinson, I think it is in bleak house. Most of you will probably not read bleak house, but yeah.
Speaker 1:1:47That's okay. It was one of his early ones. And um, it's about a woman who has a bunch of kids and she's involved in like for missionary societies, which in the 17, 18 hundreds was a really big deal. You'd be in a missionary society and the, and you'd be touching the world for Jesus. But she had a lot of kids and she was so involved in the missionary societies that are own kids were in really not fed very well and they were never dressed, are clean, but she was always called to do work in Africa, but she'd forgot this personal side of it that that God uses us in our Jerusalem, Judea and beyond. But he starts nearby. And so she, whenever she wanted to do something, she, she's home. All my kids or my kids aren't really well kept, but Africa is calling. And that's a danger in to having a, not PR, personal faith and not understanding the difference of personal and public. Another one is this one's characterize, most of you will hear the hear the buy word that is pastor's kids. This is another of this getting it
Speaker 2:3:00wrong sort of thing. This is a, uh, a reading. This is two pastors. One of them, um, had asked an amazing guy, you know, he'd written 20, 25 bucks to a meal and he's going to, and he's good to interview him and he says, I'm amazed by your work. How did you manage to be so prolific in your life? Okay.
Speaker 1:3:19And the heavyweight mumbled under his breath. I sacrificed my son
Speaker 1:3:26and I, he was said, I was stunned by his words. He thought he would misunderstood and he said, what did you say? And the scholar replied again, almost angrily you heard me. I sacrificed my son. And so the first pastor said to the second that he'd been so driven to research and write and make public and make a name for himself in the academic world that he had neglected his family. This is what happens with pastor's kids, isn't it? That the pastor actually spends all their time paying attention to somebody else's life and not their own kid's life.
Speaker 1:4:00Now, his son had essentially grown up a stranger to his family. Now as an adult, his son was a homeless man sleeping on the streets. Now, this is not the only way that homelessness happens. It's not the only thing that goes on, but I want you to understand that, that the first one says to him, it's not your fault. Trying to comfort him. And then the scholar says, don't try to skull to console me. Yes I did that. Even though people seem to be amazed by my productivity as a scholar. The fact is I would give up every one of my books and far, far more just to have my son back.
Speaker 1:4:39Then the prolific writer looked across the table, the straight in the eyes of the other pastor and said, just in case you want to walk in my footsteps, know that I prayed to God that you won't. This is one pastor saying to another one, don't go writing a bunch of books. Don't go doing that. Don't live your life this way. This is the story of the church and doing this. And so let me talk about the personal and the public ministry. But first let's, let's go to Ephesians five 15
Speaker 1:5:12and I'll read this. This was the preamble to husbands and wives two weeks ago. So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise, make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don't be drunk with wine or in the analogy the world. Don't be filled with the world because that would ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourself and making music to the Lord in your hearts and give thanks for everything to God the father in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and further submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Now I'm going to go to children's. This is in Ephesians six children obey your parents because you belong to the Lord in this children. This is not one of those democratized words where the author first said, boys, pay attention to your Lord and he didn't end in, didn't say, pay attention to your dad. This is children. This is not a sexual, there's no gender in this. This is neutral. This is all children and parents.
Speaker 1:6:26Obey your parents children because you belong to the Lord for this is the right thing to do. Honor Your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise. If you want, I can do the exodus stuff and we can reach for that too, but there may not be time. If you honor your father and mother, things will go well for you and you will have a long life on the earth fathers. Now, this is gender specific. Knowing that in the ancient world, fathers often had absolute complete control over the household saying every single thing that would happen and even kicking or or or abandoning kids' fathers do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather bring them up in the discipline or or the other shading of this word, the nourishment and instruction that comes from the Lord.
Speaker 1:7:20Slaves. Obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Tried to please them all the time, not just when they're watching you as slaves of Christ. Do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each of you as you go. Each one of us for the good we do. Whether we were slaves or free masters, treat your slaves the same way, don't threaten. Remember you both have the same master in heaven and he has no favorites.
Speaker 1:8:01Okay. So as we get into this, there were three groupings of, of uh, people of interactions that we work with that, that helped me understand this one little thing that, that the walk of faith that we have starts close by and works its way outwards. And in that, so I want you to think of a dart board and the bull's eye in this one is the husband and wife relationship. And it's not lost on me that not all of you are married. It's not lost on me. But these intimate relationships, your closest relationships are in this circle right here. And, and uh, they're not more important than that father child or the parent child relationships than your work relationships. But I guarantee you that they're more difficult. And so they're, the gods starts there. That's the work. And as you work out. So if you don't, if you have some of those relationships and they're not working quite right when you start getting into it and you start getting into the parent children ones, I know there's some teachers in the room, how many of you have interacted with kids where the husband and wife relationship isn't quite right and the kids just absolutely don't honor one of the parents.
Speaker 1:9:16They learned that from this relationship up front that they learn that everything you do as a parent teaches your kids something. I didn't share this in the first service, but I had intended to, um, the attitudes you live by in this relationship always get taught to the kids. Not necessarily what you say you believe, but what you actually live by as taught. And I would share it this way that um, I was talking to my mom about 20 years ago and I was talking to her about when they started going to church. And I remembered that super clear in my head that my parents, I just remembered that when I was five they started going to church and I talked to mom and I said, so what happened when I was five that you guys started going to church and she goes, that's not the way that happened. We were raising you. You were baptized as an infant in the church. You were in the nurseries, you did all this stuff all the way up to five but when you were five we came to an understanding of personal relationship with our Lord.
Speaker 1:10:25wants you to understand this, that they didn't have this relationship amongst themselves with God at that point in time and their kid raised in the church, didn't I still to this day have no memory whatsoever of church before I was five it was babysitting and tell it was important to my parents.
Speaker 1:10:49Now they never said, okay, now we're going to start going to church. They were already doing it, but their behavior at church changed in the and the way they live their life. This bullseye of relationship that they were working out with themselves. Change their kids' perception about whether church was important.
Speaker 1:11:08And you're being watched. And so you've got to get this one right here. So we're not going to be talking about this personal relationship over here with the lady in bleak house who always works in the missionary societies, but gets everything wrong at home. What is her witness to the people around her that's some are important and some art or what is the relationship of the pastor to their kids who, who think that everybody comes before them. It's important to get this one bulls eye. Right. And as we move out into the next circle of our families and our relationships and our personal lives, this is an easier either do you that everybody that's close to you has seen you do something wrong and not seek forgiveness for it. Everybody around you has seen you not seek forgiveness for something, haven't they? Yes. And yet they still live with you. And as you start to work in that relationship is as parents and children and children and parents, they live this life and they've seen that and and and you work out from there that God doesn't say to us when we say, if you just remove this person from my presence, my spiritual life would be so much better.
Speaker 1:12:32no, that person might be there to help you become a deep Christian and be part of your spiritual growth and more than that you might be part of their spiritual growth because God doesn't do this without the context of people around you. Now it might be really easy that just skip over that that personal intimate relationships and the fat, the familial relationships and just go straight out to your work environment and be a Christian out there but not in your house. This is a false dichotomy. There's no way. The Bible says just go live it out there, but it's your home. You can't, you don't have to worry about it.
Speaker 1:13:16It is certainly easier to live your life of faith out there in a lot of ways than it is at house because everybody in the House has seen you not apologize for stuff. Right? I know my wife loves me because she knows that I've done stuff wrong and I have not apologized and she's still nearby. If she didn't love me, she wouldn't be,
Speaker 1:13:40and that is God's gift in us as we interact in these personal relationships, but we also need to get our public life right. I want you to know that the danger of having, having not a personal life, let's say you have a person, all you have an impersonal private relationship with God. In other words, you think you know a lot about him. You could write the new biography for God, but you don't know him as a person that, that in this case over here that you don't share that with anybody. You don't talk about your faith, you don't do anything with faith, but you know all the precepts and you know it as a philosophy of life, but you don't do it.
Speaker 1:14:23That is a danger in our life, isn't it? That if you don't get that right, that if you don't remember that Jesus isn't a teaching, that God is not all his qualities, that God is a person, that it's time to have a relationship with.
Speaker 1:14:40That that is the ruin of many people.
Speaker 1:14:45But let's say, and it's impersonal so you never share it. But here's the, the prospect of what Bible says. And you just finished 31 days with Jesus. And so you know that Jesus was very public.
Speaker 1:15:00And he had a deep personal relationship with his Lord. And Paul would say, follow me as I follow Jesus, but we do this thing out here. And, and then he was public, but he, but he started with his disciples, with his inner circle and the worked outward in his Jerusalem. And if you're wondering what your Jerusalem is, I would say your, your deep, most intimate relationships and your Judea, your familial, your relationships and your friends and your church family, and then your business relationship. And beyond that, God always starts up close because you got to get those things right. The foundation is in the relationship with him and the circle widens, but it's a,
Speaker 1:15:40personal faith. If anything, if I'm going to quote a movie or something like that, I'm thinking about, uh, you've got mail when she says, what's so matter? What's the matter with being personal? Everything ought to be personal first. Yes, it's a personal faith, but don't conflict that or complicate that into private because as you read the scriptures, you should see that the Bible is completely foreign to the idea that you would have a personal private faith and never share it, but that you would begin to share it. Now we've been also talking in Ephesians about four maxims of, of godliness. I've,
Speaker 1:16:31Did you put that in there? Get a Valentine in the middle of the night stuff.
Speaker 2:16:39Thank you. Now I got to think. No,
Speaker 1:16:44no. So we're at the four maxims of godliness and we'd been talking about this. How do we get it for a personal life is that we would take hold of the knowledge of God, the first maximum of godliness, that we would have our head work done, that we would understand who god is in our life and what he's done for us. That we would take that into us and that, and the second maximum of Godliness has god brings his life of godliness to bear on us. And we begin to grow in him and become more and more like what we were meant to be.
Speaker 1:17:16Our lives are filled with adoration for God, where he teaches us how to love by loving us. And then we understand what loves like, and then that starts to move out. So that is all very personal, isn't it?
Speaker 1:17:28But the set, the third maxim of Godliness, which we've not really dealt with so much as we've dealt with all the fancy theology of Ephesians, which is just beautiful. Those first four chapters is just gorgeous theology, but now it's time to put it to work in your life. And the third maxim of godliness is literally that you would be changed. God. Well, change isn't real unless it's been worked out in your personal life, but also into your relationships with others that you will be changed and then then the fourth one, which we've not talked too much about, but you'll have to take a stand for God's somewhere in your life. Did you ever think that perhaps the stand for God that you're going to have to do is to say you're sorry to your spouse as you were changed or the perhaps you've been raising your kids and the stand? We'll have to be, no, we're not going to do every single activity in the whole earth this week, but we're going to take some time and learn how to breathe and take the pressure off each other and that sometimes the stand is going to have to be, I'm sorry to your kid. Can you forgive me?
Speaker 1:18:44You might not have understood that as taking a stand for Christ in your life, but I want to tell you that it is that that literally I understood the stand that my parents took for Christ when they started believing and understanding and going to church because it mattered to them. I as a kid understood that stand. Now, did I know why it happened? Did I? Now the beauty of perception is, is that I noticed a change.
Speaker 1:19:13they took a stand. Now I've talked about taking a stand where you'd be friendly with people and things like that, but this is interpersonal relationship stands that you've got a lord that has forgiven you and every so often you're going to have to ask forgiveness from somebody and say, can you, will you please at? Sometimes it's going to be hard because they're not going to forgive you. It's the story of why profits are never, never honored in their own country, and I can tell you this from a personal experience that the profits aren't honored in their own country. That's a scripture about that because when they were young, immature profits, they went around. True thing. Everybody and we all know how much fun that is to have somebody come up and tell you the truth but not love you.
Speaker 1:20:05Right. All you need is the truth. The truth will set you free. Well, yes, but the biblical standard for truth is the truth in love and then when the profit grows up and understands that you have to learn how to love the people and they'd been paired with mercy people for their whole life and then they've gone around and had to ask forgiveness for just true thing without loving and not being loving. Then pretty soon they learn how to say, you know, I don't want to say I'm sorry for that anymore. Have you ever experienced that? This is the public expression of a faith life changed for you? Is that you don't want to say, I'm sorry for not living it for Christ anymore. I'm sorry I didn't do it his way. Can you forgive me for that? Well, the problem is, is a, a profit then isn't accepted in their own country because after true thing, people for so long and then starting to save forgiveness, when that became important that nobody, nobody restored them in their mind. See, you might ask for forgiveness, but nobody really did it. And you might have to take a stand in your life for Christ in your interpersonal relationships with people when they seek forgiveness from you. You might have to allow them to be forgiven and restored in your life and that is an incredible stand for Christ in your life. Did you know that?
Speaker 1:21:31Have you experienced somebody taking a stand for Christ in your life by forgiving you?
Speaker 1:21:42This is the life of this, the of this Christ that he's building in us, this personal life that this incredible personal life that he has, not a generic God that's just a s five if you just remember these five simple precepts, you don't have to even interact with God. It's personal. He's not one size fits all. He's personal to you and you are to him. And then that circle starts growing out of there. And you will, you might, you might do things in Africa or or Israel. You might go over there and witness and serve and do all those things, but first the gospel is this, that you would change your life at home and work outward.
Speaker 1:22:29Not that you would ever forget the, the, the outward circles, but this is the thing that's foreign to the gospel. It's foreign to the gospel that you would have a, we have a person that lived their life of the church, but it had a horrible family life and hated everybody around town that is foreign to the Gospel. Does that make sense? Have you ever, you've seen it, I know you've seen the person that just thought that the church was their own private thing and that they could make it work and, and go, but they didn't have interact with their family. Well, I know you've seen it. You've seen it in the business world too, haven't you? The businessmen that says I'm for Christ but doesn't do it at home or the businesswoman. Even the commentaries on this text go slightly astray and they'd go s they go in to talking about how our slavery is different or our father children relationships are slightly different and we ought to be paying attention to this, but this whole text is about relationships and how we worked from one circle to the other and other and other, and if you had any doubt, I want to just go back and I want to finish with this text. This is from, this is the last line before we read about this
Speaker 1:23:55and further submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Speaker 1:24:02There isn't any way that you can get to husbands and wives without the submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. There isn't any way that you can get to children and parents without submitting to each other out of reverence for Christ or slaves and masters, which is bosses and employees in our world.
Speaker 1:24:30I had a story that I told him the first service that was completely on point and I can't remember what it is off the top of my head. So I'm sorry you're, you're not going to get it today, but this is my closing thought. Submit to one another. Ah,
Speaker 2:24:46I've got it.
Speaker 1:24:50So about two months ago, I was, uh, out with, uh, uh, another partner in ministry in our community and his wife and he had taken me out to coffee and they were wanting to talk to me about some stuff and I was talking to him and we were having this discussion of theology and faith and we come from different backgrounds and, and all this and, and uh, and then she piped in and she asks this question and it was okay that she piped in. She had talked a little bit, but the question she asked was this, what do you think of other churches when they do Halloween parties? And, and I want to, I want you to understand that this is the submit to other one another. It's the recognize who's in charge of the world sort of comment. But my, my response to her right at the time when I'm so glad that God intervened in my mouth and all this stuff, but literally I turned to her and I said, I have no opinion on that. And, and she goes, oh. And, and then her and her husband and I just went back to talk about five minutes later she came in just because, well, what do you really think? I mean, you've really got to have an opinion on this and all this. And I, I just turned to her and I said, it's really not on my radar.
Speaker 1:26:05And I went back to talking with her asthma and cause we were in the middle of a discussion and she came back a third time, about five minutes later and really wanted to know what I thought about churches that would debase themselves with a Halloween party and blah blah. And I turned to her and I said, it's not on my radar because they as a church are seeking to interact with their community in a way that they feel led and Jesus as their Lord and the [inaudible]. They were not assigned to me to judge. But you, you now are on my radar because why do you think that they were assigned to you to judge? This is the part, this is the thing. If you're in here husband or slaves and masters that that you both have the same lord and he doesn't play favorites. He doesn't go well that one was those the masters. So I'm going to judge him. No, it's about who your master is and you go up this line and you suddenly remember that wall. This is the church that I was assigned to. I also remember that your Lord is the same. Lord is I have,
Speaker 1:27:19and I remember in the back of my head this little injunction about judging the servant of another that even though you might be in the church that I go to, I go here too and we have the same lord and he doesn't play favorites, but we need to interact with each other without that judgment about what is their way to serve the Lord and our way. We must have this personal faith,
Speaker 1:27:52That allows us, and like I said, I'm really glad that the Lord intervened in my mouth at that moment because when you're having a conversation, sometimes somebody comes in and out of your mouth comes the most wicked stuff you've ever seen and God's sorta cleaned me up for her at that moment because he then is my master and hers.
Speaker 1:28:16The as we move forward in life, remember that we have both a personal faith and a public faith. Will you pray with me? Lord Jesus, I thank you for today. I thank you for this church the way that your hand is with us, that your spirit is in us and that your love is upon us. May We then live that way with that in mind, in your precious name, Amen.