Branson Bible Church
Sunday Service 5.12.2019
      • Psalm 118:19–24ESV

      • Psalm 118:28–29ESV

  • Glorious And Mighty
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus (Trust In Jesus)
  • God Omniscient
  • Mother’s Day Mindset - Colossians 3:1-4

    PRAY: Lord, grant us as believers the grace to walk according the newness of life you have given us through your Son, Jesus Christ. Just was we received Him by your grace, so by your grace strengthen our hearts to walk in Him. Amen.
    INTRO: My goal is to be affectionate, gentle, and sympathetic like a mother today.
    1 Thessalonians 2:7–8 ESV
    But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
    So I may not go the direction you might anticipate with a Mother’s Day message.

    Holidays Can Be Harder Days

    Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day, and various other holidays alike) are hard for me. I don’t at all dislike having a day to honor our parents. But what happens to me on these kind of days (and the days leading up to them) is that my heart goes out to the hurting.
    to the widowed spouse
    to the single and lonely
    to the barren woman, the childless couple
    to the parents who’ve lost a child
    to the parents with children leading lives in rebellion against God
    to the married woman with an unbelieving husband
    to those being treated poorly by family members, perhaps even because of their faith
    to those struggling with sin and feeling defeated
    It sort of snowballs for me so that my prayers end up focusing on those in our fellowship (and family/friends) who find holidays not a reminder of grateful celebration but a reminder of their pain. [I REALLY appreciated recently that a family in our fellowship used a holiday to reach out to those who might be lonely or on the fringe.]
    But in my prayer, which I believe is of sound biblical discernment, I find myself praying for me and for you that we indeed see today as a day of grateful celebration. It may be a sober gratitude, it may be a sedate celebration… but if you are in Christ, if through faith in Him you belong to God as one upon whom He set his gracious favor, then you have reason for grateful celebration. (Not because it is a holiday, but because it is a day to reflect on the Lord’s favor)
    I also can’t help but think of all the unglamorous, messy, difficult days that moms just try to get through. - In fact, the hard days have the greatest potential for God-glorifying dependence on His grace that brings him greatest glory as we trust in and delight in him despite our circumstances!

    Confident Hope in God (NOT Circumstances)

    The confident hope of a mother is that she belongs to God. (NOT in being the most impressive homeschool mom on social media, or the most prestigious public school soccer mom…)
    The confident hope of a mom for her children is in the sovereign goodness of God that he can and he will redeem his own to himself.
    The confident hope… etc. is that God is enough! That God’s plan for you does NOT rise and fall on being married or bearing children. That we can trust God with those who’ve gone before us in death. That God is powerful to change people’s hearts… and to strengthen us for faithful endurance.
    I too frequently find myself placing far too much focus on my circumstances and far too little focus on a good God who is redeeming all things for the praise of his glory.

    A Mindset Based Only on Our Identity in Christ

    Because our circumstances are so tangible, we need a different mindset that revolves around our identity in Christ and not by ANY other measurement!
    Colossians 3:1–4 ESV
    If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
    [Context] Paul (in his letter to the Colossians) expresses the right thinking in the Christian life that results in progress in the Christian life, as well as in Christian unity and helpfulness to one another. After these verse we’re looking at and before making specific application to Christian households (Col. 3:18-22), Paul will talk about the specific attitudes and practices to put off… and put on. (vv. 5-17)) But for today I just want to remind you of the right mindset… *
    How many here have issues with eyesight (nearsighted, farsighted)? - We know what it’s like to have trouble with seeing things accurately. As Christians, unless we view the world through the lens of our identity in Christ, we are not seeing accurately. … not safe drivers to be around! :-)
    1. Transferred from Darkness to Light (Col. 1:12-14)
    Earlier in Colossians the Apostle Paul reminded us that in fact by God’s grace in Christ Jesus we were enabled to see when were completely blind. Or he actually says in this letter that we belonged to the kingdom of darkness but have been transferred to the kingdom of light, the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. We were slaves to sin and lived in fear of our master Satan but have been redeemed and forgiven and set free from those chains and now belong to Christ.
    Colossians 1:12–14 ESV
    giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    2. Blurry Vision? The Battle for Your Heart and Mind (Col. 2:4, 8-10)
    So, Paul says in chapter 2, if the world’s values (on the one hand) or false teachers (on the other) are capturing you again, break free. If they are blurring your vision, clear your eyes and set them again upon Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. Don’t focus on earthly things, focus on heavenly things, where your Mediator sits at the right hand of God working on your behalf.
    See Colossians 2:4, 8-10
    Colossians 2:4 ESV
    I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.
    Colossians 2:8–10 ESV
    See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
    …even you own ‘values’ may be wrong. - Your identity is not in children, spouse, job, where you live… It’s in Christ.
    The reason it is so critical for us to stay focused on our identity in Christ is precisely because it is so easy for us to become earthly focused. Smooth talking false teachers have an advantage against us here because we are so easily inclined (in our old nature) to be self-focused and circumstance-focused. That recognition and admission is in fact a portion of the battle. - Not only that, but we are not in a battle simply against ourselves (although that is a great battle), or even simply against false human teachers. No, we are in a battle against the father of lies and his spiritual forces of evil (Eph. 6:12). Therefore, we must remain focused on God’s grace to us in Jesus and allow Him to be our strength to withstand the devil and be pleasing to Him for His glory!
    3. Who You Are in Christ (Col. 3:1-4)
    Get it straight in your head what he has done for you by his grace. You have been raised with Christ – And see Col.3:3 again: You have died [died to self, died to sin, died to your old way of thinking]... and your new life is hidden with Christ in God. He has made you one of his treasures that he has bought literally with his life (for He died for us and rose from the dead to be our life) and is guarding by His Holy Spirit. - Jesus has become our very life (v.4). We have become his chosen ones, holy and beloved (3:12a). (I don’t know how to add to this, I really don’t. We have become his treasured little ones, set apart specially for him, and dearly loved. And who can love better than God can love?)
    Stay focused on that. Those are the things that are “above,” as opposed to earthly things (the self-centeredness which amounts to idolatry). It is His glory that we should SEEK and his grace upon which we should SET our minds.
    Imagine us as sailors at sea. We seek only the treasure that is eternal (a desire for people’s souls, including our own, that they may know God and enjoy him forever) and so we set our entire posture and position in the direction of our “bright morning star” Rev. 22:16.) That is the biblical Christian focus to which Paul is calling us.
    4. Praying for the Eyes of Our Hearts to See Clearly (Eph. 1:17-19a)
    Finally, even your confidence for a right view of your identity should not be in your own ability but in prayerful and trusting submission to God. Paul prays for the believers in Ephesus...
    Ephesians 1:17–19a ESV
    that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
    Enlightening the eyes of your hearts to know (three ways): [heart – spiritual center of man; enlightened eyes – improved vision in the following areas]
    A. Hope (of his calling)
    1. The hope of salvation. He initiated it, he has secured it, he will complete it. (Php 1:6)
    Philippians 1:6 ESV
    And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
    2. The hope of Christian growth and spiritual blessing.
    3. The hope is also in understanding his calling. – a call “to Christ [is a call to] holiness, to freedom and peace, to suffering and glory.” (Stott) In other words, it’s a call to give up your life entirely and live his life in you. Paul’s prayer is that you understand the hope of that calling. (beauty of this hope, the joy of this hope, the security of this hope)
    B. Riches (of his glorious inheritance) – either “our inheritance” or “his possession” – changes the meaning, but the application of it is the same – having received a glimpse of the end
    1. True glory and abundant riches are found in gaining God himself. (the treasure)
    2. The riches of joy in God. In ever-increasing measure.
    C. Immeasurable greatness (of his power) – Paul piles on superlatives and various power words for God’s mighty, energetic, active strength beyond human comprehending. The same power that defeated sin and death and rose Christ from the dead. The same power of God that enabled him to endure the suffering that leads to glory.
    Pray for the enlightening of your heart to see and live according to the hope of the truth that he has called you, to perceive clearly riches of his glory and the joy of being possessed by God, and to focus on knowing Christ and his power at work within you.
    And let’s pray for and encourage one another like that as long as it is today (Heb 3:13-14).
    Hebrews 3:13–14 ESV
    But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
    [Conclusion] How do we hold our confidence firmly on the hard days?

    Handling Hard Days

    What is the answer to the hard days? - Gratitude to God
    Colossians 2:6–7 ESV
    Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
    Hard days can in fact strengthen us, and we can abound in thanksgiving through them, if our focus is on Jesus.
    Your faith is not in God changing your circumstances; your faith is in God.
    Isaiah 26:3–4 ESV
    You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
    We can’t really expect tomorrow to be any easier in terms of our surroundings (…unless by tomorrow you mean the tomorrow from which you await your coming King!), but we can expect God to give us peace and strength to live pleasing to him in any circumstances:
    Philippians 4:6–8 ESV
    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
    It’s not about pretending that nothing is wrong or difficult, it’s about the one in whom you trust. It’s about the hope that you have beyond these fleeting moments.
    1 Peter 1:13 ESV
    Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    Right now is the time to take your eyes off your surroundings and focus your eyes on Jesus. (1 Pet. 1:13, 2 Cor. 4:16-18)
    Right now is the time to see your inability and reach out for his rescuing. Right now is the time to admit your weakness and abide in his strength. Right now is the time to rehearse the gospel of God’s grace to you over and over again. - Your emotions need to be led by the truth you pour into your mind, not that you let your emotions dictate how you live each day…
    You can have peace and assurance, confidence and courage, for transformation and growth (See 2 Cor. 3:4-6, 8, 16-18) to run this endurance race in a way that glorifies God and gives you hope… IF you will fix your eyes on Jesus instead of on yourself and your surroundings.
    2 Corinthians 4:16–18 ESV
    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
  • As Long As You Are Glorified
  • In Christ Alone

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