Listen to the sermon by Pastor Dr. Paul Little by clicking here!
So this is my sermon recap on the message we heard on Sunday. Here is the video that was showed to us before the sermon 🙂 It’s called BIG BUT and you have to watch it! I’d have to agree with Dr. Paul Little that most Christians would describe their faith and relationship with Jesus as being a ‘personal relationship’. But is it? Accepting Jesus as your Savior and having a relationship with Him are VERY different. Dr. Paul Little described reading the ‘Daily Bread’ or any other devotional as regurgitated bread. It’s true, someone else had an experience and wrote about it for you to enjoy when you could have had the joy of learning it yourself and allowing God to convict you on a deeper more personal level. Even this blog can be used as regurgitated bread. You can’t expect real transformation in your life unless you have a real relationship. I love devotionals but they shouldn’t be the only way we hear from God.
Imagine if you and your best friend never talked but you just read their thoughts and feelings out of a journal. How close would you really be? You would never know what they were really trying to say to you because they’d be just sharing what is going on in their lives and they would never be able to comment on what you are doing or help you with what you are feeling. You might be able to relate but they wouldn’t be able to truly help you. How unfulfilling would that be?
One of the points that our Pastor made that really stuck out in my mind was that in regards to humility. Reading God’s word can be life changing in regards to humility. That’s where verse 1 hits me between the eyes.
4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? ~ James 4
In my Bible I wrote alongside this verse a list of things that fight and quarrel among ME. They were: addictions, selfishness, hang ups, control and during the sermon I added PRIDE! In dealing with some issues in my life I realized that due to pride and wanting to be in control of my feelings and emotions I became addicted to things that would numb the pain. I wanted so badly not to feel the pain of God’s plan for us not to have children of our own. I wanted to be over it. We have a gorgeous little girl and I don’t regret the path God has lead us down to bring us together but I just wish it could have been easier. So the PRIDE of wanting people to think I was ‘all good, totally fine and happy’ kept me spiraling down! Her adoption didn’t make me feel any better, because God’s plan did not change. I may not be childless but His plan is still THE PLAN and the PLAN is not a simple ‘road map’ like it is for some other couples.
Here’s what God says about pride in this chapter:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. ~James 4
We’d all love to be ‘great’ and say we are ‘doing fine’, and really mean it! We’d all love to be in control of how we think/feel but we are only believing Satan’s lies if we think we can control anything.
Here’s the PUNCH line and the reason I need to remove all the big ‘buts’ out of my life. If I am proud God opposes me. But if I am truly honest about how I feel than I will be humble and grieve, mourn and wail. For me this means literally. Than God can come near to me and He will lift me up.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. ~ Psalm 34
While this is all true and God will lift me up I think I have been missing a bigger point,
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. ~ Psalm 34:8
This ladies and gentlemen is why we need to READ THE BIBLE OURSELVES. We need to start tasting good stuff, I can’t imagine what regurgitated bread tastes like but I am guessing not good.
in the clay,