Monday, August 8, 2022

The Challenge for 8-7-22

"The Challenge” has become a common part of my sermons over the past couple of years.  “The Challenge” is intended to help us think about the message of the week and then deciding to act.  Connecting “The Challenge” with journaling has become my attempt at fostering this internal dialogue (hearing then thinking then deciding then acting).  The purpose of “The Challenge” is that we all might act upon what we have heard by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Our challenges will fall heavily into the category of journaling.  When we write, we have to think then formulate words, then put it to paper.  This process helps us integrate our whole self.  We will also focus upon action.

Here is The Challenge for 8-7-22.

               1.  Are you adding to your faith?

               2.  Are you in control of your life?

               3.  Do you have self-control?

               4.  How is your spiritual eyesight?

               5.  What do you need to see more clearly?

Journals and pens are available at Kenwood for anyone who wants them.  If you are unable to pick them up at the church, I can mail them to you.  Just contact me via email (toddlackie@kenwoodchurch.org) or phone call (248 417-9218).

Saturday, August 6, 2022

GROWING IN CHRIST: MOVING ON FROM THE BEGINNING (2 Peter 1:1-15) Self-control 8-7-22

GROWING IN CHRIST: MOVING ON FROM THE BEGINNING (2 Peter 1:1-15) Self-control   8-7-22

 

Faith is just the beginning.  

 

Goodness is a good next step.

 

Knowledge is basic to the spiritual life.

 

Self-control - an oxymoron

 

When I’m at the pizza buffet and I’ve already had more than enough to eat, and I know there’s a good chance another slice will make me miserable for the next 3-4 hours and I eat it anyway .... I lack self control.

 

When I decide to stay up late and watch a movie with Paula, knowing full well that I have to be up early the next morning and I’ll be so tired I’ll feel sick all day .... I lack self control.

 

When I procrastinate doing my taxes, leaving myself in a last minute panic to get it done .... I lack self control.

 

When I spend, spend, spend and never save ... I lack self control.

 

When I work 10 hours a day, but spend only a few minutes in Bible study and prayer .... I lack self control.

 

When I choose the pleasures of sin, enjoying them for a short time ... forfeiting the long term and eternal blessings of living in obedience to Christ, I lack self control.

 

Self control is the ability to choose wise actions. If we are going to put our hope in heaven, we will need to make wise choices about what we allow into our minds. We can choose the kind of thoughts we think. We can choose the factors that influence our minds. Putting your hope in heaven is a matter of feeding on God’s word, considering God’s truth, allowing thoughts of the eternal to fill your mind. And removing those influences that dull your sensitivity to spiritual things.

 

 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”

                              2 Peter 1:3-15 NIV

 

I.  FAITH AND GOODNESS AND KNOWLEDGE

 

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;”

                             2 Peter 1:5 NIV

 

               A.  Faith

                              1.  Belief

                              2.  Trust

        B.  Goodness

                              1.  Virtue

                              2.  Action

      C.  Knowledge

                              1.  What we know

                              2.  What we need to remember

 

II.  SELF-CONTROL

 

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control;”

                             2 Peter 1:5-6a NIV

 

"Life in modern Western cultures is like living at a giant all-you-can-eat buffet offering more calories, credit, sex, intoxicants, and just about anything else one could take to excess than our forebears might ever have imagined. With more possibilities for pleasure and fewer rules and constraints than ever before, the happy few will be those able to exercise self-control."

                              Daniel Akst in a secular article called, "Whose in Charge Here?"

 

               A.  Self-control

 

6. Greek, "And in your knowledge self-control." In the exercise of Christian knowledge or discernment of God's will, let there be the practical fruit of self-control as to one's lusts and passions. Incontinence weakens the mind; continence, or self-control, moves weakness and imparts strength And in your self-control patient endurance" amidst sufferings, so much dwelt on in the First Epistle, second, third, and fourth chapters. "And in your patient endurance godliness"; it is not to be mere stoical endurance, but united to [and flowing from] God-trusting [Alford].

                             Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

   B.  Temperance

 

n the book, The Three Edwards, Thomas Costain described the life of Raynald III, a 14th century duke in what is now Belgium. Grossly overweight, Raynald was commonly called by his Latin nickname, Crassus, which means "fat."

 

After a violent quarrel, Raynald's younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured Raynald but did not kill him. Instead, he built a room around Raynald in the Nieuwkerk castle and promised him he could regain his title and property as soon as he was able to leave the room.

 

This would not have been difficult for most people since the room had several windows and a door of near-normal size, and none was locked or barred. The problem was Raynald's size. To regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight. But Edward knew his older brother, and each day he sent a variety of delicious foods. Instead of dieting his way out of prison, Raynald grew fatter.

 

When Duke Edward was accused of cruelty, he had a ready answer: "My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills." Raynald stayed in that room for ten years and wasn't released until after Edward died in battle. By then his health was so ruined he died within a year… a prisoner of his own appetite.

 

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

                              1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV

 

     C.  Abstinence 

 

“It is foolish to replace self-control with abstinence: the latter is good; the former is best.”

                         Anonymous

 

“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

                             1 Peter 2:11-12 NIV

 

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.”

                             1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV

III.  NEARSIGHTED AND BLIND

 

“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

                             2 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

 

   A.  Nearsighted 

 

Cannot see afar off.—The Greek word means literally closing the eyes; and the point seems to be, not wilful shutting of the eyes (those who won’t see), but involuntary and partial closing, as in the case of short-sighted people; in a spiritual sense, those who have only a very hazy apprehension of the objects of belief and of the bearing which their beliefs should have on their conduct.

                              Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

 

And cannot see afar off - The word used here, which does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, (μυωπάζων muōpazōn,) means to shut the eyes; i. e., to contract the eyelids, to blink, to twinkle, as one who cannot see clearly, and hence to be "near-sighted." The meaning here is, that he is like one who has an indistinct vision; one who can see only the objects that are near him, but who has no correct apprehension of objects that are more remote.                  

                              Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

 

               B.  Blind

 

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance

 

blind.

From, tuphoo; opaque (as if smoky), i.e. (by analogy) blind (physically or mentally) -- blind.

 

        C.  Corrected vision

                              1.  See clearly

                              2.  Live like one who sees clearly

 

CONCLUSION

 

Faith, goodness, and knowledge; self-control; nearsighted and blind

 

CHALLENGE

 

What will you do with what you have just heard?  How will you respond to the Holy Spirit working within you?  The Challenge is intended to give us an opportunity to contemplate what God is calling us to do in our lives.  Consider these questions and write down your answers.  

 

               1.  Are you adding to your faith?

               2.  Are you in control of your life?

               3.  Do you have self-control?

               4.  How is your spiritual eyesight?

               5.  What do you need to see more clearly?

 

INVITATION

 

It is our custom to offer an "invitation" following the preaching of the Word.  You may want to follow Jesus.  You may want to proclaim your faith.  You may want to repent (stop doing ungodly things and start doing Godly things).  Perhaps you want to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Possibly, if you have already responded to God’s call in these ways, you would like to become a member of Kenwood Church.  If you have been moved by the Holy Spirit to make a decision in your life, you can come forward now.  If you would like, I would be honored to speak with you following the service about what God is doing in your life.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The Challenge for 7-31-22

"The Challenge” has become a common part of my sermons over the past couple of years.  “The Challenge” is intended to help us think about the message of the week and then deciding to act.  Connecting “The Challenge” with journaling has become my attempt at fostering this internal dialogue (hearing then thinking then deciding then acting).  The purpose of “The Challenge” is that we all might act upon what we have heard by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Our challenges will fall heavily into the category of journaling.  When we write, we have to think then formulate words, then put it to paper.  This process helps us integrate our whole self.  We will also focus upon action.

Here is The Challenge for 7-31-22.

               1.  Are you adding to your faith?

               2.  Are you in control of your life?

               3.  Do you have self-control?

               4.  How is your spiritual eyesight?

               5.  What do you need to see more clearly?

Journals and pens are available at Kenwood for anyone who wants them.  If you are unable to pick them up at the church, I can mail them to you.  Just contact me via email (toddlackie@kenwoodchurch.org) or phone call (248 417-9218).