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May 3, 2021 3:04 pm
Your turn in your Bibles to second Corinthians chapter 4 second Corinthians chapter 4 will be Mark. Her primary text this morning.
I want to think again. The worship team, especially students for the great job of the gun leading us today I want to mention as well.
Two weeks from tonight. We have outdoor worship night probably seen that on the website or on the slide. So two weeks from tonight 7 PM bring a lawn chair bring blankets and our worship team and vandal elitists in a night of worship.
Hopefully not just great music that night, but also a great night of community a great night for the family of God to celebrate. I just being together and join one another and pray that that's marked on your calendar for more details to come.
Speaking of the family of God are too thankful for the great family of God. God has called us the church, the bride of Christ, the family of God and how his experience that, especially in times of hardship and this past week is his argument mention thank you so much for the love and support that you shown for the Monroe family and for one another.
This week I spoke with John last night and once again asked me to pass along their thanks for the outpouring of love and for the ongoing ongoing prayers – your cash flow will be preaching next Sunday and Lord willing, tentatively, John casserole be back in the pulpit about two weeks from today on May 16, so please continue to remember them in your prayers obvious as I know you do John and Denise credit most all of you in this room, and many on the lifestream know them personally and so please respect their privacy is gone, but also at the same time.
Please, please pray for them and thank you so much for your continued support as he got this horrible news we could go today of Christopher Monroe's passing. On Monday Jordan Shar Chief of Staff. The church told the staff together in a zoom call me asking cash for myself to want to give a devotion of short devotion. At morning, and aside from trying Sunday night is overwhelmed with the news that we received that day and also trying to think of what to share to our staff.
At that time were the Were the just kept coming to me. That night was the word loss. As you look back over on this past year with the pandemic just unimaginable loss. We know many of you have been devastated by the passing of loved ones. We've all been impacted heartbroken as we see these images around the world. Eric prayed for the situation in India. We have one of our faithful choir members there right now of his mom is coded in ICU just all the other economic impact division that we seen in our country. Some about housing all all of these situations can cause us to lose heart. All of this loss can even move some to give up and I think that's our emphasis today for God were God's word says to us, don't give up. In these times where we look. Of course we look up we lift up our eyes to the maker of heaven and earth to our Redeemer who is our help will look at this passage today from second Corinthians chapter 4, I think it be on the screen.
May have in front of you in your Bible, and he read this set so we do not lose heart.
Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day for this slight 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.
Notice the first line there in this passage it says so.
We do not lose heart. Some translations I have therefore in that and that were there. See brief, referring to the previous versus… For some contacts a setback will be here in the word and second Corinthians chapter 4 beginning in verse one says therefore having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. There's that phrase again, we don't lose heart.
We don't give up verse six God who said let light shine out of darkness, is shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge the glory of God in the face Jesus Christ speaks of the one who said, let there be like God, our Creator has shown in our hearts is also our Redeemer. Verse seven we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us, clay breakable clay pots though we are God has entrusted us with the treasure of this gospel message verse eight he says were afflicted in every way, but not crushed perplexed, but not driven to despair persecuted, but not forsaken struck down, but not destroyed over in verse 14. Knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. The promise of deliverance and of eternal life to the follower of Christ. Verse 15 for it is all for your sake, so that his grace extends to more and more people. It may increase thanksgiving to the glory of God. Second Corinthians 1 begins with a great emphasis on the God of all comfort.
Mention uses the word comfort many times in that chapter talks about how that he comforts us so that we might comfort others in their affliction as we experience God's comfort would become a conduit of his comfort. And here is the same principle as we receive God's grace as we grow in Christ like concentric circles.
It extends to more and more people and increases Thanksgiving to the glory of God.
So with these truths, and many others. In this book we come to verse 16. Paul proclaims so therefore we do not lose heart. We do not give up and like the apostle Paul. Maybe not to the same degree we all have trials and afflictions that come in our life.
Life can be very difficult to state the obvious, as it is been on unimaginably difficult for our church this past week.
Paul talks later in second print is about the pressures from outside, and the pressures from within fightings. The outside fightings from within the speak of the heart here.
Think of our hearts, and how our hearts are heavy even brokenhearted, some might say they feel like a piece of their heart is gone forever when they lose a loved one or hearts of all been moved but as in this passage we are not to lose heart. We are not to give up we see here both the contrast and continuations, a continuation of these thoughts and we've already read in this chapter, but there's also these contrasts that are mentioned in these verses for small talks about what is not decaying.
Our flesh is decaying, yet are inner person can be renewed talks about momentary affliction and then eternal glory talks a lot about what is seen and what is unseen, all really. Along the same principle of living our lives in light of eternity. Not getting immersed in what is right in front of us, but being reminded of eternity and living for Christ.
Martin Lewis, Luther. In the 16th century is been recorded as saying there two days on his calendar this day and that day.
This day of course referring to the moment of the God and that God is given to us right now. That day, meaning the glorious day when we see the Lord were forever with the Lord and for the Christian. That's a great principle to live by this day and that day not becoming preoccupied with yesterday.
Certainly not mired in the regrets of yesterday, not worrying about tomorrow or the next day or the next days fully engaged. In this day and always living in light of that day in light of eternity.
So here we have a key to not giving up not losing heart looking to Christ and looking at this glean a couple principles from these verses to come up verse bosses look to Christ for spiritual growth and renewal each day look to Christ for spiritual regrowth and renewal each day, says in verse 16 we don't lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day. This picture is vivid and is obvious for us, but first of all, the outer person is decaying. Other translation it's it's fading away.
We are aging or in a particular way, we might be physically weakened or emotionally weakened at very very best are physical bodies can betray us.
It's just the natural aging process, and that I think for most it's kinda discouraging. I don't know if I've ever heard anybody say you know and I just can't wait to get old and you know my back hurt all the time. I know I've lost a step back. I just can't wait to slow down a little bit of a know we don't think like that right even though her body is decaying on the and on the opposite. On the flipside of that here says not to lose heart. I don't know if ever heard anybody say, you know, man. I really want to lose heart.
I just hope this hope I hear something super discouraging today knowing we don't think like that were born with a heart that wayward we need a redeemed heart but nobody begins with just a heart that wants to give up. This happens over time.
So we look to Christ to strengthen our inner person.
Think of this.
Even his arm, our bodies age physically decaying in early inwardly, we can be renewed thinking.
I've been blessed with the two grandchildren, Henry is 18 months and miles, three months and just interacting with them in the field of a babies skin toddler skin and being around them and just the freshness of life. Keith Green, who is a Christian artist and wrote songs like there is a Redeemer Lord, you're beautiful, I think back in the 70s and was taken in a plane crash in the 80s but I remember hearing him talk about one of the songs he'd written, he said, you know, I just want to have babies skin on my heart. What a vivid picture will have one have babies skin on my heart and even even as our outward software wasting away inwardly. We can be life-giving and growing each day fully alive is what God gives to us a look at these look at a couple of verses. On this principle. Notice in verse 16 it says that were being renewed day by day being renewed. What is renewal what we know that's a reunion we need to get our drivers license renewed Anita renewal of a book from the library before we start paying fines are our cars will run out of gas. What about ourselves we we enjoy a great meal but we need another one. Our energy reserves will be depleted. We need we need strengthen these things are obvious.
We meet we need renewal kind of re-new made new again, and so how do we do this like like the children of Israel who came to the Lord each day for Manna.
Each and every day we need to come to the Lord to be renewed daily. Each day is an important principle in this day by day. It says in the verse coming to the Lord, not couple verses I want to share along these lines offer small Romans 12 to says don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind Alexa a familiar verse. If you been in church or a four. Any length of time that all the world conform us to let the world squeeze us into its mold in any way, but inwardly being renewed in the Lord be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Another verse, Colossians 310.
Colossians 310 says put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
A couple important things there. First of all put on the new self being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. We see this in in several places. The Bible talks about putting on putting on the armor putting on certain attributes of the Lord. It's again there's a there's an implication that this is a daily adornment and inwardly a daily consumption. It's as being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator is a direct correlation between what we put in what we take into our minds and the condition of our heart. Direct correlation between what we take into our minds here talking about knowledge. The knowledge of Christ that this is more than just knowledge about Christ is more than just information or facts for their own sake. First Corinthians 81 says that knowledge puffs up, but love edifies other probably people walking around with giant heads full of knowledge, but hearts like the Grinch. There are many sizes too small build with knowledge not filled with love all the other things that we can fill our minds with endless source of information. Bad news division vulgarity, even as time wasted on amusement and social media constant constant information, filling our mind.
Some of it.
Perhaps not as harmless as we may think for distraction or amusement know we have to fill our minds with the knowledge of God's word and this is a daily occurrence. Day by day, each day filling our minds because we need renewed. It's not like we can take a drink from kind of the fountain of scriptural growth or spiritual growth manages elf were just instantly forever know we we we get depleted many daily to taken from God's worth into knowledge of of of Christ knowledge of God, of course, is refers to a relationship. This is more than just information.
This is knowing Christ the student saying from Philippians chapter 3 whatever. Again, I had this I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord in Singapore important principle for Matt as well with the apostle Paul. Because in Philippians chapter 3 talks about his his religious his pedigree in his religious zeal, but he said all of that religion encounters nothing accounts does rubbish so he may gain Christ pressing on looking up to Christ. Think we need to be remind be careful about time for heavy hearted not to refer back to former things, but to keep looking up to Christ as we move up and toward him.
So how do we do this. How do we renew our inner man, we have to come to God's word daily pray assess spirit to make alive.
His word to rely on him to obey his word grow in his grace and knowledge. Again, to daily occurrence. Another challenge, what are you going to do on Monday. What are you going to do this Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday to be renewed in the knowledge of our great Creator and Redeemer, and God is faithful to replenish us. We know from the verses mercies are new every morning every morning great is his faithfulness, though, even though I really might be wasting away.
We look to Christ and are renewed each day a part of the transformation part of the renewal even involves suffering is student saying there's an element of the fellowship of Christ's suffering look in verse 17 is discontinued as a slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. So not only is there a contrast, there.
There's also a continuity know from later in in second Corinthians in chapter 5 it talks about when the believer will stand before the Lord and will receive rewards for our ministry will be wood hay and stubble or will be old silver and precious stones. So the weight of our suffering is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory, but also in this we have the perspective of the backdrop of eternity.
Trials overwhelm us. Reminded that affliction is light and momentary against glorious is gives another principle of first of all, look to Christ for spiritual renewal every day. Second, I look to Christ for perspective on eternity look to Christ for perspective on eternity look over in a second Corinthians chapter 11 is starting in verse 24 very talking and second claim is for Paul and some of this we are hardware hard pressed on every side were struck down, but not destroyed.
He sees talking about the hardships he's indoor here's another list of his hardships.
Verse 24 five times I received at the hands of the Jews 40 lashes less 13 times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked on night and a day I was adrift at sea on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger for my own people danger from Gentiles danger in the city danger in the wilderness danger at sea danger from false brothers and toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night and hunger and thirst, often without food and cold and exposure, and apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety. For all of the churches. Chapter 12 talks about the thorn in the flesh that Paul had that he asked the Lord to take from him in the Lord did not but he said my grace is sufficient for you, so all of these things that Paul dealt with chapter 1.
It is use recounting another experience set in our hearts we felt the sentence of death, something so traumatic that it made him despair even of life.
So all of this list, but all of this, he said all of this is light and momentary weighed against the immensity and the glory of eternity light momentary affliction of producing for us an eternal weight of glory. I know many of you are here. Think again on on Friday for the funeral for Christopher Monroe.
Many be joined on Lifestream and I went in past Monroe came up and shared incredibly powerful testimony verse about the heartbreak of the passing of Christopher, but also recounting all of the good some of the good experiences in and giving thanks to God for 37 years with Christopher. I thought a great example of being thankful. Even in the midst of devastating circumstances and picking Ira together with John Goody and a couple others. Later that day in John shared that some of the middle schoolers had given him some some cards and he read a couple and one of one of them. Use this verse. Romans 818 it says for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory. It's to be revealed in us. Romans 818 two principles there. First of all, another reminder that the next generation is alive and well at Calvary church. Think of the students writing such thoughtful spiritual comments and then also the this principle again of temporary trial doesn't remove the pain doesn't remove the overwhelming wave that may wash over us, but reminds us that it's eclipsed in eternity with the weight of glory less eternal first perspective continues in the last part of these verses here says in verse 18 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 things that are unseen are eternal. On this principle again of seeing the eternal look around all the things that consume so much of our time and our energy are houses or cars or clothes even even things like this beautiful campus that we enjoy here Calvary. All these things will fade away. All of these things will be gone all these things are transient God his word. Our souls are eternal. So we have to resist this temptation to get mired in the things that are temporary focus on what is eternal. We walk by faith not by sight.
This is Central America in our Christian faith vision of this element of seeing the invisible living for eternity were reminded of a battle that we don't see Ephesians 610 says be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might.
We don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and authorities, and cosmic powers over this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Even the battle is invisible and were reminded of the great role that we have in sharing the gospel and glorifying God as he is our Redeemer.
We walk by faith, not by sight.
We see the eternal many of you know Jim Valvano great coach of NC State basketball coach when the national championship coach passed away from cancer in 1993 and about six weeks before he passed away, except in an SP award awards for I think for athletic team and individual achievement and he gave one of us is incredibly inspiring speech. He said during that speech cancer can take away all my physical abilities but cannot touch my mind cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. List the three things are going to carry on forever and he talked about his cancer foundation that he was founding with the motto.
Don't give up. Don't ever give up. And as we look to Christ for renewal.
Our hearts are strengthened I can read one verse I want that one more passage I think it talks about this principle from Hebrews 12 is therefore since were surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus looking to Christ, the founder, the perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God were we know still prays for and intercedes for each of us consider him who endured from who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted power of our Savior, considering our Savior we might not grow weary or faint hearted, turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light, glory and grace look to Christ. Don't lose heart. Don't give up. Don't ever give up and a look at one more principle now as we transition into communion.
Here a couple minutes of this great ordinance that the Lord gives us that we get to share in together looking over in John chapter 3 is for a moment.
John 316 course a great verse on the buy on the gospel for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have everlasting life.
Looking here in John three at verse 14 and verse 15 says, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness.
This refers back to an account in numbers chapter 21 or the children of Israel rumbling again against God, wanting to go back to Egypt and there were stricken with serpents and so Moses intercedes the Lord provides for them a way of salvation.
Moses lifts up the serpent. They look to the serpent and their field opposite picture of what's to come and it's used here in John chapter 3. Speaking of the Lord himself will be lifted up the Son of Man, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. When the Lord of course, golf courses, lifted on the Christ on the cross. This is a first importance, Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, and that he was again so in addition to looking to Christ for daily renewal for internal perspective.
We look to Christ for salvation. The gospel, each of us have sinned, no matter whether we would view it as small sin or giant criminal sin.
Each of SSN that sin creates a separation from God. The wages of our sin is death there is no filling that gap other than Christ. One mediator between God and man.
He is paid the penalty the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord who paid the penalty for our sins so we look up to Christ. We look up to the cross for salvation. And like Paul says in second Corinthians, in another spot. We implore you to respond to the gospel. If you've not trusted in Christ for salvation. We implore you to do that to receive Christ to confess your sins under some believe that God exists.
James tells us that even the demons believe he exists look to him to for for salvation is nothing I can do myself, to save myself a Build up enough good works to somehow finally get up to God. It's not okay that I'm just a pretty good person are all sinners were all separated. Only Christ can calm down bridge that gap and we just believe and receive that gift of salvation booked Christ for salvation. One more Scriptures we move into the community or look over in first Corinthians chapter 11 read a couple verses and then will begin the communion portion of our service fearful first Corinthians chapter 11 and verse 23. These verses on the Lord's table on communion for I received from the Lord what I also delivered year that the Lord Jesus, on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said this is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way.
Also he took the cup after supper, saying this cop is the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me as often as you eat this bread and drink the cop, you proclaim the Lord's death until he come.
Whoever therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and the blood of the Lord that a person examine himself then and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup and so today for your not yet a follower of Christ, we ask that you abstain from participating in this great ordinance graphs sin that is separating us from God, we ask that you abstain for each one of us to examine ourselves hears biblical as you receive these elements of the bread and the wind to assess the spirit to search our hearts and point out any of 4 Offensive Way within us this time of confession positive have nauseous come forward will begin distributing communion.
While I have some music during this thanks to those of you on the lifestream for joining.
I think after the music. I will say goodbye to you for this week until next week, but let's reflect on the great gift of the Lord is sacrifice for us and ask us spirit to search our hearts