Last week we talked about where we turn in times of stress. Often the important factor in how we deal with stress was that we feel better – even momentarily. Today we continue with refuge. More important than feeling safe we want our refuge to BE safe.
The Scriptures tell us that God is our strength & refuge. Is this significant to you? Why?
What is the main component of the gospel? I’d suggest that it is love. We all know John 3:16, “God so loved the world…” But how does that translate into practical everyday expressions?
As messengers of the gospel we can’t just sit back and say, “I’m saved it’s all good.” That would be selfish. So if it’s about helping others see and find the way to God’s love, let’s figure out how, what and why.
Let’s build the case for being the refuge.
- KNOW YOUR DNA
The basics: we were made in the image of God. We should show that with a God loving attitude.
We are made in the image of God
Genesis 1:27 – So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
We should reflect that by having the attitude of Jesus
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
2. KNOW YOUR POWER AND POTENTIAL
We know that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Phil 4:13
We are strong in Christ. We have been given the spirit of power
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
We are free, clean and not condemned – Romans 8:1
Romans 8:1 – So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Also verse 11 – The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.)
3. KNOW YOUR PLACE
It’s sort of like those nesting dolls with one inside another and so forth. This is the ultimate in security. We are wrapped up in the intimacy of the relationship of God the Father and God the Son.
We are in Christ, in the Father
John 14:20 – When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
4. KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
Share the burdens and recovery of others
Galatians 6:1-3 – Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
Help build up those around you
Romans 15:1-7 – We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. 2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. 3 For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” 4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. 5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Sunday Stuff for
http://view.vzaar.com/14089821/player?showplaybutton=rollover&brandText=Consider%20the%20thistles.&border=none&hideFullScreen=false&socialSharing=0,0,0&autoplay=true&apiOn=true” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Roll Away The Stone – Becca Stevens of Thistle Farms