Yet, as God’s servants, we prove ourselves authentic in every way... 2 Corinthians 6:4TPT
'We have proved ourselves by... showing kindness, by the Spirit of holiness (by the Holy Spirit within us), and by our uncritical love for you.' 2 Corinthians 6:6 TPT
So last week we decided we're going to park here for a little bit and really talk about what the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. Remember Paul said we got to prove ourselves authentic and Jesus says that people are defined by their actions like a tree is defined by its fruit. You are what you do oh, you are what you say, you are what you put online. Now, the great thing about Jesus in his grace is that we don't have to stay that way but we do need to identify like the writer of Hebrews says the weight that is slowing us down from being who we are called to created us to be in the sin that's tripping us up.
So we are looking at Galatians at a deeper level which of the attributes of the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. but this is what you got to understand about God he will never force you to be you are called to be. The holy spirit will convict you and the Holy Spirit Will directs you but you've got to choose to walk in the person that God wants you to be. Secondly, you need to understand that these attributes are not ala carte That you can't say you want peace and joy and not want patience or self-control. these attributes build off of each other like we discussed last week and I encourage you the watch last week sermon and it is why I titled these sermons Driven by love because Love is the foundation. Lastly, you need to understand these attributes have an outward impact.Â Many times we read them with this inward focus on self… OOOO I want joy, I want peace, and I want to be loved, but actually these are what the HS produces in you to give to the world around you!
So last week we set this up the talking about love this is outward expression towards others because we walk in this deep gratitude of the love we have experienced from God.
'But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. This is real love-not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:8;10
Did you see this? That God didn't love us because we did something nice for him and he felt compelled to act. no, God loved us despite our sin and the mistakes we have made and his love drove him to act despite what he never received from us because he saw the potential he created us with and he was compelled to help us reach it. this is the love he calling disciples to live in. You don't just treat somebody good because they treated you good you treat someone good despite the way they treat you because you see potential in them to be who God created them to be and you are not going to be defined by the fruits of this world you're going to be defined by the fruit of heaven and we don't function the same way.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.' 1 John 4:11-12
Now I want to reiterate something we received this love even though we didn't deserve it. even when we were living a lifestyle contrary to the love we’ve received God still gave us that love…
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8
This verse is love with an action attached to them!!! They all have movement… They are not just saying I love you they are acting with Love…
It uses the same Greek word for love which is
Agapao which means
Deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being toward entirely unworthy objects.
This is the highest form of LOVE… it is found 142 times in scriptures and they respond with action…
Though we don’t deserve it a God much greater and grander than us responded with Love that had movement to it and restored us through Jesus…
Now, remember this is the love of God calls us to give to others because this is the love we received. We see their needs and we react to their needs whether we think they deserve it by their actions.
Now, remember again from last week when we remain in that love we will experience the joy that overflows when we follow the commands of God, and what did Jesus say that command was in that passage to love others and lay your life down for someone else. so when we walk in an Agapao love towards people that may not deserve it and we lay our lives down for them that's where we discover joy!
This week we are diving into Kindness & Goodness
Popular English Bibles translate the single Greek word chrestotes into two English words: kindness and goodness.
Goodness is being good Moral excellence; virtue; the best part of anything;
Kindness is goodness in action, the sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others.
Both of these fruits or words at the root of the biblical term means Active Character…
Kindness and Goodness is not feelings or personalities here… What it is acting on those qualities… It is allowing our actions to speak louder than our words…
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. Matthew 7:12
This doesn't say to be nice… That when you are wronged to respond with kindness and goodness.. This actually says Take initiative in being kind and good… Look for opportunities to allow your character to have action to it and do good…
This concept is different than other religions or philosophers…
Confucius "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others
Buddhism:"Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”
Zoroaster "Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others.”
So other concepts of this is not do harm to people just be nice… But Jesus is saying seek opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people around you!
BE KIND AND DO GOOD
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
It's like God has a divine to do list and it has our name on it.
That life is meant to be filled with purpose and we are to walk in that purpose… We are called to leave this world a better place than when we entered because he planned it as he created us his masterpieces to do good in this world…
“A life isn’t significant except for its impact on other lives.” -Jackie Robinson
1. WE MUST POINT PEOPLE TO JESUS
When it all comes down to it it's not about our opinions, our politics, or our preferences it's about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's about the fact that we are Brothers and Sisters in Christ and are a spiritual family. It's about people walking and restoration that only Jesus can give.
It is also not about how awesome we may think we are as a person. We will never have enough in the tank to heal, restore, and change people… We are kind and we are good because we want people to experience the only one who is truly kind, good, and life-changing which is Jesus Christ…
Taste and see that the lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the lord will lack no good thing. Psalms 34:8-10
That ONLY God can give all you need a life that is long and prosperous… David understood he must push people towards God…
Matthew 5 Jesus talks about it… He says we are the light of the world and don’t hide the fact that you are radically changed by God but share it with the world…
Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16
Don’t get it twisted I do what I do to elevate the name of Jesus, but that doesn’t mean I don’t battle the Monster of Me that wants to elevate the name of Mike Carlton, elevate my opinions, lean into my preferences regardless of whether it is beneficial to the majority. I have to constantly remind myself The why behind my what. I have to always remind myself the reason behind my actions in the good times when people see my good works I have to remind myself it's all about Jesus I'm not the savior, but I also have to remind myself in the hard times when people expect me to be perfect and place impossible standards on me and the weight is heavy I must remind myself Jesus said he will carry my burden.Â Have to remind myself I am Laying the seeds of the message of Jesus into people's lives and I may not be the person that sees those seeds grow and produce fruit, but down the road, someone else may be watering it and speaking life into them and I have to remind myself I'm playing the Eternal game.
When we elevate people we elevate them to Jesus! We reflect Jesus with our good works… We brag about Jesus. My prayer is that our acts of kindness reflect the greatest kindness this world ever has seen!
2. WE MUST WARN PEOPLE.
Kindness is not just the absence of negativity… And it is not just being nice… Its fighting for peoples well being because you care for them
JUST BEING NICE STAYS ON THE SURFACE, BUT BEING KIND AND GOOD DIVES DEEPER.
We must care for people beyond the surface and deal with matters of the heart…
I heard it said like this â€œKindness is not the same thing as being nice.Â You can be nice and thats kind, but you can be kind and its not always nice.”
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17
Thats not always easy and doesn't always feel nice… This doesn't mean that we are rude, hateful, demeaning, or angry… So if you are approaching these sharpening moments with those emotions thats not the biblical way to handle it…
This means you are willing to have tough conversations with someone. You love someone so deeply that you are willing to discuss unhealthy areas in their lives because you want to see the greatness they are created with start making its way to the surface…
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. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Galatians 6:1-3
This thought to help people back on the right path is common in most translations as Restore in greek “Which means set a bone that has been broken back in place” Painful… Then you would take a broken bone and put a splint on it or today put a cast to protect t so it can heal properly…The same way we as believers surround and protect in a time of healing…
Now let me explain something very clearly this isn't a public warning it's a private conversation in love. and you don't earn the right to have a private conversation with someone if you have it shown publicly you have their best interest at heart. Your Facebook post isn’t going to change anybody’s life, but your private conversations will. Notice the ministry of Jesus the greatest life change with people that work in unhealthy place has happened in the most intimate settings not from his public sermons he went to Zacchaeus house and had a meal with him in his own intimacy of a friendship, keep it down and spoke in the life of the adulterous woman one-on-one after he defended her publicly, it had an intimate one-on-one conversation with the Samaritan woman, he was insulted by the Pharisees for eating meals with quote-unquote notorious Sinners which was a deeply personal thing in the Jewish culture. and it's in those places he called them to repent and called them to be more but it was because they were friends not just acquaintances or a mass audience without a face.
3. WE MUST GO THE EXTRA MILE
If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Matthew 5:41
When Jesus tells the disciples to go an extra mile. Referencing the Roman soldiers carrying the bags. In those days 1 mile was 1000 steps. It was the law that if a Roman soldier saw a Jew walking he could make that Jew carry his bags for a mile Nothing more but a mile… Jesus is saying we respond beyond the norm…
Everybody and anybody can go 1000 steps but let’s be people doing 2000 steps. Let’s be a church that goes above and beyond because we serve a God that went above and beyond for us… He didn't just do a 1000 steps he walked 10,000 steps… He didn't just keep pardoning and covering our sins as we offered man-made sacrifices but sent his son to die so that our sins would be washed completely clean, our past sins gone, obliterated, and sent a heavenly sacrifice for us…
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Didn't talk about forgiving us… Didn't just speak forgiveness and a pardon… Literally & physically sent his son to die for us!
We go beyond because we serve a God who went beyond…
'Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.' James 1:27
4. WE GLORIFY GOD THROUGH THE CHURCH
If I can be honest with you this has been my biggest takeaway throughout the last several months COVID. as a personal conviction as a pastor, I felt as a whole we got a little too big for our britches. we lost the intimacy of discipleship we lost the intimacy of Pastoring people. We are great at pulling off events, but we lost the beauty of intimacy. I knew to go into this year. He’s calling us to be hashtags for the Ozarks and I knew he was calling us to look outward oh, but I think that was the start of something much deeper. he was calling us to get back to the heart of discipleship. for us as a church don't have a personal investment in others and see them grow in bloom and everything they are called and created to be.
If you can't tell especially coming out of the time home isolation what people need more than any is friendships, life-giving relationships, and a community that stirs them to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The majority of adults prior to COVID when surveyed said they were deeply alone and desperately wanted authentic relationships. The #1 way we can be For the Ozarks is by first being a healthy church, that provides a healthy community, that builds healthy relationships, where we can disciple people and encourage each other.
That is why lead people into a community… We are called and we spiritually need to live the gospel together in a community fulfilling the great commission as church body… We tether it all back to church…Because you need a life-giving community to support each other and help in your growth and in living the gospel purpose for every believer.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25
Other translations say don't forsake the assembly which means the gathering or I love the MSG it says don’t miss worshiping together… We do life Together… We glorify God through that life…
All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. Acts 4:32
We are better together… We need to love and serve each other… We may not be able to change the ENTIRE world but we can change OUR world
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