River Church NOLA
2021 Oct 24 Balance
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        River Kids

        September 19, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
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        River Kids

        September 19, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
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        Tweens Class

        September 19, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
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        Tweens Class

        October 24, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
        5th Grade up
  • My Jesus
  • Who You Say I Am
  • Worshiping You
  • Here As In Heaven
  • I don’t think you have to try hard to understand that most people’s lives are out of balance. We used to teach this to kids in Campus Life… Living Balanced Life. Jesus modeled it.
    Luke 2:52 NLT
    52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
    Jesus grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially.
    Most of us might be good at one or two areas, but we are not balanced in all of them.
    Stress Quiz
    I’m at the end of my … rope
    I’m coming … unglued
    My life is falling … apart
    I am at my wit’s … end
    I’m really stressed … out
    I’m ready to throw in the … towel.
    I think ya’ll all failed. It looks like you are in the right place because we have some folks that seem to be really stressed.
    Let’s take one more test
    Workaholic Test
    Are you always in a hurry?
    Is your “to do” list always unrealistically long?
    Do you use days off to catch up on unfinished work?
    Has more than one person told you to slow down?
    Do you feel guilty when you relax?
    Do you have to get sick to take time off?
    Wow. We are some tense over working folks up in here.
    Someone said
    You know you are a workaholic when all your Christmas cards from from business associates.
    You know you are a workaholic when you head out to back to school night and you are not sure which one your kids go to...
    You know you are a workaholic when you can’t turn your phone off in church...
    You know you are a workaholic when your family refers to you as occupant...
    You know you are a workaholic when unwind immediately after work by watching the news.
    You know you are a workaholic when you take work related material to the bathroom with you.
    Someone did a poll that sad that most Americans would like to slow down and to relax, but the fact is that most Americans are spending 8 hours less per week at leisure than say… 20 years ago.
    Me on mission trip - My first trip to South Africa was 10 days. I lugged a big computer with me so I could do payroll and some other stuff. I had to get our bank to do it because I couldn’t do it from where I was. It took me about a week to stop looking at my calendar and to do list.
    How may of you that were sent home during the first COVID shut down… got up like you were going to work and then went??? There was this vacancy where work had been.
    For some, the American Dream has become “Stress, Anxiety and Depression’
    We have others in our culture who have now grown to think that the government (those of us that work) should support them and they are stressed over life as well.
    God never meant for us to live life like either of these two extremes.
    Today, as we continue the series, Values to live by, we are going to take a look at a quality that everyone admires, but we all ignore… Balance
    How many of you would like to live a Balanced Life? Most of us would. We all admire that thought, of being healthy, smart, spiritual and popular… but I have never met anyone who is all that, except Jesus. The only one to live a perfectly balanced life was Jesus.
    What we are talking about today is a big sin we all have to overcome. See, none of you are serial killers…that we know of. You are not going out and committing horrible crimes, but most of us live pretty unbalanced lives.
    The principle of Balance is a universal law that God established when he created the universe. God loves balance. Everything in the universe is balanced. Look at
    The Earth it’s perfectly balanced so that it rotates without vibrating. The earth is tilted perfectly on it’s axis. If we were to tilt just a degree or town in either direction we would either be burned up by the sun or freeze to death.
    Nature is a system of eco-systems. Even the tiniest variation in it creates a ripple effect on the rest of it. IOW, nature has built in checks and balances. God set up a food chain with plants and animals in harmony.
    Architecture Buildings are built on the idea of balancing the load or stress out evenly so that it will stand. If a building is not balanced, it will collapse.
    Human Body is a balance of 9 systems… circulatory, respiratory, central nervous system, digestive system, skeletal system, Endocrine system, Excretory system, Lymphatic System, and Muscular system. If anyone of these systems doesn’t work properly you are imbalanced in your health and suffer for it.
    When you are sick, your systems are out of balance, so healing is the recovery of balance to your body. Balance is a basic principal god has put into place and he is interested in you and I living life in Balance.
    Psalm 127:2 The Living Bible
    2 It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.
    God is concerned about you getting enough rest. He is concerned when you are under stress. He is concerned when your life is out of balance. Here is the deal. when Our lives are out of Balance, we are not in the will of God.
    Today we will learn some principles of Balance using the word...

    B.A.L.A.N.C.E.

    1. Build my life around Christ

    Only Jesus lived a Balanced life, so if I put him at the center of my life, I have a chance to live a balanced life.
    Think of your life like a wheel. At the center of the wheel is the hub… the core or the center of the wheel. Out of that hub go spokes representing areas of your life… goals… dreams… finances… your family… everything. You will build your life around something, but if anything or anyone is at the center of your life other than Jesus, you will always be out of balance.
    Let me ask you, what’s at the center of your life? work? family? hobbies? hunting? possesions? a relationship? You know how you know what it’s centered around? Check what you think about the most. Whatever you think about the most is whats at the center of your life.
    The center of your life is very important because it controls everything else. If you have a solid core, your life will be solid. If your core is weak… built on anything other than Jesus, your life will be unstable.
    We have been going through a difficult time the last 2 years, and I hear people saying they are at the end of their rope… that they are coming unglued… stress to the max… like their live is falling apart. If that’s you, it means that something other than the Lord is at the center of your life… unless something chemical is going on. Nothing other than Jesus has the strength to hold everything together.
    When Jesus is at the center, everything else will be good… strong… and work. Look what Jesus himself said…
    Matthew 6:33 NLT
    33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
    He wants to be first in your life. What does that mean? What does it mean to put God first in your life?
    Don’t think of 1st, 2nd place… Think of putting him at the center of everything in your life. If you put Jesus at the center he will direct, influence, empower give stability to every spoke of your life.
    Jesus summarized life’s two most important priorities…
    Matthew 22:37–39 NIV
    37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
    He says love God and love people. That’s what he wants us to do. If we just get these two things done, we did what Jesus wanted us to do.
    We need to build our lives around Jesus.

    2. Accept my humanity

    Basically, we need to stop pretending to be God. We don’t have all the answers and we cannot solve every problem. We have to recognize that we all have limitations. When you play God you are overworking… because we can’t do the job.
    Ecclesiastes 10:15 GNB
    15 Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work.
    God says it’s stupid to wear yourself out with work. Too many times, we come home from work and our kids or spouses want our attention and we are either too tired or in a bad mood to be present with them. Listen your work place will not crumble and fail if you actually go home and enjoy your family or hobbies. when I left the hospital where I worked… it kept right on going. God is the manager of the universe… not us. My dad, when we were kids, would cancel a camping trip or a boat outing if the weather looked like it was going to be bad incase he had to go out the hospital where he worked.
    Listen to me… No one can please everyone… actually God doesn’t even please everyone. Why should we kill ourselves trying to do something that no even God does.
    Psalm 119:73 The Living Bible
    73 You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws.
    You know what laws he is talking about? all of them. Eating right… exercising… etc. Giv eus sens to live a balanced life with Jesus at the center.

    3. Limit my labor

    You and I have to make a conscious decision to make time for other things. If you are self employed, or you are the boss, you have to decide how many hours you are going to work. If you don’t you will never have time for anything else. A bow loses it’s power if it’s never unstrung You have to force your self to set realistic hours and stick to them.
    If you are single parent… no one works harder than a single parent. You have so much on you… working… kids… homework… baths and with no help from the other parent. Yo never get to relax. You have to find a way to do this … to relax or you will pop.
    If you don’t think this ranks up there with the other rules, God put this in the 10 commandments.
    Exodus 20:9–10 NLT
    9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.
    You have to have a day off each week. I need to listen to myself. God wired us to need rest every 7 days. Fields yield better crops when they are rested every 7 years…

    Sabbath means: A day of Rest

    Mark 2:27 NLT
    27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.

    What do I do on my Sabbath?

    Rest my body
    If you don’t take time off, your body will make time off one way or another. You will get a headache, flu or worse and have to rest.
    During the French revolution they outlawed the Sabbath in France. They said there will be no day off; we'll work seven days a week. Within the matter of a couple of years, they had to reinstate it because the health of the nation had collapsed. We aren't wired to work constantly without any rest. God says, I want you to rest your body on the Sabbath. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.
    Recharge my emotions
    This take different things for different people. You may recharge yourself through quietness, through rejuvenating recreation or hanging out with friends… relationships. Take time for healthy relationships because they will help you recharge.
    Refocus my spirit
    The Biblical word for this is worship. When we worship, everything else falls into place. The bigger God becomes in your worship, the smaller your problems become. Hopefully, of you have ever come to church all stressed out, you leave with a peaceful assurance that we love and serve a big God who loves us and will take care of us.
    We need to do all three of these on a Sabbath.

    4. Adjust my values

    To balance your life you will have to change your thinking. Instead of allowing your thoughts to get you out of balance, focus your thoughts the way God wants and let him change your thoughts. Too often, we major on the minor things such as acquiring more wealth… God says that one of the major sources of stress is materialism. That’s a wrong value.
    Ecclesiastes 4:4 GNB
    4 I have also learnt why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy their neighbours. But it is useless. It is like chasing the wind.
    You can either spend all your time trying to out do your neighbors, or you can forget them, be happy for then and reduce your stress tremendously. But you cannot do both at the same time. If you have the mindset that you have to have morre, more, more… you will be stressed.
    Someone once said,
    We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t even like.
    We just keep going and going. At some point, you have to say enough is enough… I’m getting out of the rat race. Even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat.
    Mark 8:36 NIV
    36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
    I think he would also say, what good is it to get that promotion at work and lose your family in the process. What happens is that we become possessed by our possessions. The things we think we manage begin to manage and control us.
    One of the reasons Americans have such a hard time relaxing is that we confuse our work and our worth. They are two very separate things. We think what we do is who we are. John & Binder… Too many people let their identity get wrapped up in their work and that their net worth or their job significance determines their worth as a person. That’s a big lie. Your identity has nothing to do with your career. Your worth and value has to do with who God made you to be.
    Maybe you grew up with this false concept in your mind that says you will never be… you will never measure up… you’re worthless… you don’t matter… You are not worth diddly squat. You may have picked that up from the playground, a teacher, a parent or sibling. so you figure, I’m going to show them! I’ll prove them wrong. So you work harder and harder trying to “show them” that you do matter… that you are worth something. You keep running and running, peddling and peddling. Sec that was a small and paid by the word… made sure to beat everyone. You can’t let anyone catch you… so you kill yourself trying to prove “them” wrong. What you find out is that you are never satisfied. You need to get rid of that idea. Base your worth on what God says about you and not some phony idea that someone told you a long time ago.
    Ecclesiastes 4:6 GNB
    6 Perhaps so, but it is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than to be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind.
    Listen, the greatest things in life are not things. It’s better to have your family, your peace of mind and your sanity than a lot of possessions. It doesn’t matter how much you have, when you are at the end of your life, what you really want is for those you love to be with you. Don’t get to the end of your life and be the one that says, I wish I had gotten to know God better… I wish I had more spent time with my family. Adjust your values.

    5. Nourish my inner life

    A very important part of living a balanced life is taking the time to nourish your inner or spirit person. Stephen Covey called this sharpening the saw. It’s taking care of yourself. We have to take care fo the fire God puts in us. He gives each one of us a purpose, a fire in our belly that helps us to get up and go every day. If we don’t nourish it, it will go out and you will live your life trying to meet other people’s needs from cold embers and emptiness instead of a blazing fire. The passion and zeal that once was in your life will go out if you do not nourish your inner life.
    Song of Solomon 1:6 GNB
    6 Don’t look down on me because of my colour, because the sun has tanned me. My brothers were angry with me and made me work in the vineyard. I had no time to care for myself.
    IOW, I was too busy to take care of myself. Probably most of us can relate to that at some point in our lives. When you feel that way, it’s a warning light that your inner fire is being attacked… that the fire is going out and if your not careful there will be nothing left. Let me tell you, the more you tend your inner self, the more joy and strength you will have in facing life.
    Part of loving God and your neighbor is loving yourself. If some of you loved your neighbor like you love yourself, your neighbor would move. When you neglect your inner self, you are not loving yourself.
    It’s like your car. Waiting for it to die one the side of the road and having it towed to the shop is not maintenance. don’t be like the guy who never rotated his tires until one day someone told him, you have a balloon coming out of your tire. He had let his tires get so bald that it bubbled out into a balloon…
    Out lives can be like that if we don’t take care of our inner self. We get bald spots and it someone touches them, we may blow up on the people around us. If you are so irritable all the time that the least little thing bothers you… if you can’t handle anybody disagreeing with you… if you can’t handle a delay or an interruption or even a red light, that’s a sign that you are not nourishing your inner life. God is saying we need to change that.
    Our culture encourages this. It’s all about how you look. No one puts bad picks of themselves on Social media. If we look good enough, no one will know what’s on the inside… how bad we are or how we don’t measure up… What good is it if your house is immaculate… your car is incredible, work is great if you are filled with bitterness, rage, unforgiviness and death in your life.
    What are you neglecting in your life right now because you are too busy? What have you stopped paying attention to? Exercise? eating right? rest? relaxation? Worship? Prayer? What have you stopped doing because you are too busy?
    What do you do for fun? someone asked me that a while back and I thought… well I used to play golf… used to work out… before seminary I read for fun… played tennis… used to boat… What do you do for fun?
    Chuck Swindoll once wrote in one of his many books about when he went into a beautiful home and he saw the mantle over the fire place had something written on it. It said,
    If your heart is cold, my fires cannot warm you.
    A bigger house will not warm your heart… a newer car wont’s not even a new iPhone. What will warm your heart is to reconnect with the Lord.
    Psalm 119:16 NLT
    16 I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.
    After David wrote these words, God called David a man after his own heart. Jesus referred to David as a man after God’s own heart. If you are finding your fires going out, get back in contact with the Lord and let him blow the embers and warm your heart once more.
    Revelation 2:5 NLT
    5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.
    To be balanced, you have to sharpen the saw… to nourish your inner self. Look what Jesus did to stay balanced.
    Luke 5:15–16 GW
    15 The news about Jesus spread even more. Large crowds gathered to hear him and have their diseases cured. 16 But he would go away to places where he could be alone for prayer.
    Jesus had great successes and it would be easy for him to get excited about that, but to stay balanced, he would get away from everyone and nurture his inner self.

    6. Commit my schedule to God

    Every day we need to commit our schedule to God knowing that often life doesn’t cooperate with our plan. some of you are list makers… some of need to be. But often god will mess with your list. Now I know that drives some of us crazy. Life will always have interruptions… inconveniences… irritations… it’s stressful. when this happens, we need to give it to the Lord.
    Psalm 31:15 NIV
    15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.
    Our time is in his hands. If God interrupts your list, just go with it. Make your list… plan your day, but realize God may have something you left off your list for you to do. ILL - Tuesday prep day for Wed… was in hosp… not thinking about sermon… thinking about heart…
    In Matthew 9 is the story of Jesus on His way to heal a dying child. On His way to heal this dying little girl, a woman who has a chronic illness of over 20 years stops Him and He stops and heals her. Maybe you are like me… keep going we don’t want the little girl to die. Why can’t she wait? the Bible didn’t answer that question, but it tells me this… god knows where we are supposed to be at any given minute. Jesus was right where he was supposed to be when the woman interrupted him. But he know he was where he was supposed to be and he didn’t get upset, he was flexible and let God show him where He was supposed to spend his time.
    If you want your stress level to go down, be flexible and bendable. Allow God’s to direct your schedule.
    This has been one of the hardest things for me over the years. It was ingrained in me that between 7 or 8 to 5 or so that you were supposed to be working. So, if I met Kathy for lunch, she would want to go to the dollar store and look for something it drove me crazy… because I was suppose to be working. I would have something to do on the EB, so I am thinking I’ll run over and run back… she thinks… it’s an opportunity to eat somewhere nice and take our time… me… I have to get back to work… Now working to 9 or 10 most nights was just extra…
    It’s taken a long time for me to get past that idea and to let God have control of the schedule… We have had some significant meetings with people we bumped into on those interruptions of my work time… Let God have it… be flexible.
    God has a plan that we often don’t see.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT
    1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
    Here is one last thing most of us don’t do.

    7. Enjoy each moment

    I said this before, that we only have enough time to do God’s will. If you have more to do than you can get done, it means the either you are doing something God didn’t want you to do, or that you are doing something wrong. God will not give you a list of things to do that are His will for you to do, and then not give you the time to do it. So some of the things on your list may be your doing and not God’s doing. God doesn’t expect you to do everything when he doesn’t give you the time to do it. You may be wasting time or doing it the wrong way.
    Regardless, we need to learn to enjoy the moment. It’s possible to get so focused on your goal that you don’t enjoy the journey. when I am driving like to Rome to visit, or any destination, I am focused on getting there. By myself, I’ll drive through Krystal or just get crackers at the gas station and keep going. Ever wonder what might be in some of those small towns you go past? We may need to stop and smell the roses… or shop at Cracker Barrel. The bible says it like this…
    Ecclesiastes 3:13 GNB
    13 All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for. It is God’s gift.
    I have said this before. We have to be ware of When and then thinking. You may thnk that when you accomplish this goal… have these kids… get this job… then you will be happy. In seminary, professors would constant remind students if you wait until you graduate to do ministry you will be waiting for four years to begin ministry… start now. You won’t because 2 minutes after you get what you were shooting for, you are thinking what next?
    The goal of our lives is not acquisition. The goal in life is not jus tto have as much fun as you can either. You were placed on this earth to do these things…
    Know God
    Find Freedom
    Discover your purpose
    Make a difference
    Look at this
    Proverbs 14:30 The Living Bible
    30 A relaxed attitude lengthens a man’s life; jealousy rots it away.
    There are three types of fatigue. There's physical fatigue -- that's when your muscles get tired. There's emotional fatigue -- that's when your emotions get tired. There's spiritual fatigue ‑- that's when your heart dries up and you just don't feel close to God and you feel like when you pray nobody's listening.
    Physical fatigue can be cured by rest. But it takes more than rest to rejuvenate emotional and spiritual fatigue. If your spirit is dried up, a vacation will not fix it. It may rest your body and emotions, but you will still have the same problems when you get back. You need more than rest. You need to plug back into the power… in to the Lord… into the Holy Spirit. You have to put Jesus back as the center of your life.
    As a Believer, you can take Jesus out of the center of your life. You can put a relationship there, money there, job there, hobbies there, family there, even ministry there. But if it’s not Jesus, you are missing it and you will be powerless because you unplugged yourself. You have to get plugged back into the power and you do that by putting Jesus back a the center of your life.
    There are tow main reasons our lives get out of whack… out of balance and we are stressed. We try to do too much and we try to do it on our own power. Both will kill you. They will wear you out, sap your energy and then your joy leaves because you are out of balance. I used to say, My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night, but o my friends and o my foes, it gives a pretty light. That’s just plain stupid.
    You need to get plugged into the power. Jesus offers an exchange program.
    Matthew 11:28–29 NCV
    28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives.
    Matthew 11:30 NCV
    30 The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.”
    He didn’t say he would give you more to do… rest. A lot of you think that if you commit to the Lord he is going to give you more to do… he doesn’t. He may add things to your schedule, but he will relieve more than he adds. He wants you to be balanced. he will remove trivial things and replace them with things that matter.
    If you are carrying a heavy load today, it’s not from Jesus. He doesn’t place heavy loads on you. He says his load is light. If you are carrying a heavy load today that deep down you know you need to give to the Lord, raise your hand… now everyone is gong to stand and worship but if you raised your hand, I want you to step out and come to the front for prayer.
      • Luke 2:52TLB

      • Psalm 127:2TLB

      • Matthew 6:33TLB

      • Matthew 22:37–39TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 10:15TLB

      • Psalm 119:73TLB

      • Exodus 20:9–10TLB

      • Mark 2:27TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 4:4TLB

      • Mark 8:36TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 4:6TLB

      • Song of Solomon 1:6TLB

      • Psalm 119:16TLB

      • Revelation 2:5TLB

      • Luke 5:15–16TLB

      • Psalm 31:15TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 3:1TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 3:13TLB

      • Proverbs 14:30TLB

      • Matthew 11:28–29TLB

      • Matthew 11:30TLB

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