Weekly Bible Studies: At various member's home. Please call for details Tuesdays 7.00pm. Saturday Meetings every 2 weeks. See Contacts page. Further studies on Facebook's page of Reice Guy. Do not miss the next topic. London, UK email@example.com 07985 148 018
I got the title for this sermon from a film called Collateral Beauty. It was about a man, acted by Will Smith, grieving for the death of his daughter. I recommend it. He wrote three letters to love, life and death. In a sense he lost his will to live and even blamed death for not accepting a bargain he tried to make with it. An exchange of his life for his daughter’s. The same exchange God made with death. That of His son in exchange for us who deserve the wages of our sins.
I am going to change the order to Life, Love, Death as that is the order of our existence. First we are given life. In the middle we are to love God and our neighbour and at the end comes one death to all; but to others two. The second death to those who did not do the loving part right. There are many things I could say on those three letters; but I have a particular direction I want to go. Not so much the destination of our death; but that of persons we know and more specifically knew; but maybe with whom we lost contact. We have no control on the life given to us as a baby; but If we and them can achieve the middle part, we can control the end destination and accomplish purpose of life to death. Jas_5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. We can then come unto stage two, the promised gift of God. A better life in His new heaven and earth, without the pain of the second death.
Now we know how to show love to God, and even our friends sometimes; but what about our neighbour; former friends. Do they not deserve the knowledge you have gained or vision now seen that you nor them saw in your former days together? 1Pe_4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. What is the best kind of charity we can give? Is it not the knowledge of eternal life, peace in God as we and they draw nearer to death? Everyone is dying whether knowing or not. Many may not really appreciate the consequence of living the middle part of the three right. For one reason or other they may either be ignorant or putting off finding out. We can make difference. Remember a film called Brewster’s Millions? A man, I think called Brewster, was given millions to spend in a certain time and if he accomplished the task properly, he would get multi millions back. We are given the same offer. The spending is not to be on us; but others. The currency is love and if we spend it properly in God’s eyes, we get His promise.
In a sales person job that is remunerated through commission, the first people they tell you to approach are friends and family. Maybe because it is not exactly cold calling. They already know you and you have a way to start conversations before moving onto the topic or sale you have in mind. Well that is the same approach we can employ in sharing God’s charity to others. In spending the million He gave you in order to gain the spiritual multi millions. Well most of us in here must have at least one person to whom we can witness for God. And I mean in addition to all the other people you could try. This one or more than one are probably persons you may never have wanted to see again; but with whom you probably spent a relevant part of your life. Maybe not relevant to you, but you can now make it relevant to God by using your former contact with them as an opening for conversation.
The person or persons to whom I am referring are ex’s, family members with whom you fell out, ex work colleagues etc. All of whom you could “catch up with” and say what you have done since, interests you have adopted and then, including the wonderful news of God. Whether of peace, no peace but deliverance from certain situations or other good news.
Now I know some of you may be thinking, that is an impossible task; but it is only that because you do not want to do it. What does our teacher say apart from all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me?
Luk 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Luk 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Luk 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Luk 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luk 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. Luk 6:33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. Luk 6:34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. Luk 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Luk 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Luk 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Members of the church have become no different to those of the world. A brethren annoys us or does not do things to our liking and we separate from them etc. Yet if is announced a petrol station is watering down your petrol we still shop there. Rats running around their warehouse, we still shop there, cheating us in other ways, we still shop there.
The bible tells us how to go about calling people to God. Joh 1:40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. Joh 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. Joh 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Joh 1:43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Joh 1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Joh 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Joh 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
COME AND SEE. It’s as simple as that. You don’t have to spend hours convincing them on your own. We can do it together here. Just bring them to “come and see”. Andrew took Peter to the Word, Messiah. Peter in Acts 2 and 4 took 3,000 and 5,000 to believe in the Messiah. Prisoners have got converted in prison and became evangelist. Who you see or saw as a lost cause, could be the next preacher converting others if you do your part. You could be responsible for them all when God meets you at your judgement day. Think of it as the financial sales pyramid systems of today. The more people you recruit the higher up the latter you move until you have a team of people selling and you share in their commission.
If we can understand God and our world, we can understand and accept death better. Even of loved ones or babies. It’s part of the world’s operation and nature. Like the book of Job, God gives and He or devil takes away as part of nature or test i.e. to “prove you”, your love in good times and bad. If we can see the operation of nature and the world, life, love, death of plants, animals, clouds, seasons we will see the collateral beauty in God’s creation. What is collateral beauty? I assume it is like collateral damage. Damage or lose that is necessary to achieve an outcome. Like one animal preying on another for it and its babies survival. The surviving is the beauty, the damage is the cost.
Some like the weather hot, some like the snow. Each get their collateral beauty in turn. Some like the green of spring, some the colours of autumn, each get their collateral beauty. Some like to use products of the world as trees to create beautiful furniture, others like to be more lazy and consume. I can go on with various opposites. If we love God and have faith in His wisdom, we can see the collateral beauty in his creation, in the sea on the land and in the heavens. What contribution are you going to make to His collateral beauty. Regardless of what other talents we have or not, we can all beautify His world by participating in His purpose for it. Replenish it with as many Godly people as we can. That starts with sharing His vision. Then beautifying it by beautifying ourselves. Picking off any dead leafs in our character as it were by changing our bad habits, heart, mind, words, actions, facial expressions etc. Then let your beautified Godly character be contagious when meeting those ex’s of all categories.
Many people dislike going back unless it is to the good old days when things appeared better. They were children and had parents taking the strain of life on their behalf. Familiarity of what they now know to the uncertainty of the future. They would not go back for themselves to bad times, so why for another person. Especially a person who they feel did them wrong. A boy or girlfriend, former husband or wife. Moving forward and not looking back is the teachings today on many things. In fact even try and forget the person. Splice them and that episode out of your memory and life. I recently heard on the radio a presenter commenting on not going back. He said, it is the same person, same problems so don’t do it; but what does the bible teach? What if you could go back and change the outcome to a better one today? What if you could take back some of the words you said, objections you raised, attitude you displayed would you not do it? There was a series of films called Back To The Future, where a son went back in time to change the outcome of the present. We may not literally be able to go back in time; but we can use the present, to revisit the past to change the future. Ours and theirs in our earthly and eternal lives.
Think back to some of the 60 second, shorter or longer sentences you spoke, actions you took etc. Now think of what you could have done instead. PAUSE .... Now think of what you could do to reverse the outcome to change the present course to one of God’s choosing rather than yours. Can you give up assets, pride, say sorry?
I remember when I was young seeing kung fu films where a person wronged was humiliated to walk through an aggressor’s or enemies legs as a sign of submission. They did it for the sake of their teacher, family or the bigger picture. Can you do the same for God’s kingdom and your salvation? To show someone the true face and character of God and His son? It is not in your mental assertion; but physical action. It does not have to be turned into a selfish self interest action or one leading to anything more than bringing that person to God.
We should all be able to think of some insignificant events we allowed to change our lives and relationships. Discontentment, or resentment of someone’s actions. As if we did not also do the same to them or another person.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Gal 6:3 For if a man (or woman) think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Last session brother Emanuel shared a lesson for us of how to use the present, to go back in time to a disagreement or difference he had with his wife to change their future. The whole thing took no more than a day I assume. He put into practice Eph_4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Some of us have had differences with others that have lasted years and are still unresolved. Last week I received an email from a past visitor who stopped coming because they did not like the inclusion of some videos I showed when presenting on false healing preachers. That was over six months ago and I would never had known, we may never have spoken again, if it wasn’t for the daily WhatsApp studies they still receive. Another couple stopped because of a presentation stating not every Christian receives the Holy Spirit and hear from God daily as if He is on call.
If only we stuck to the teaching of the bible in our lives we could save ourselves years of grief and possibly even heart attacks and facial aging.
I few weeks ago I saw walking down my local high street, a lady I knew to be pretty. I know she was annoyed with someone from a couple of weeks earlier. On that day, her face looked 6 + years older than usual. Her mouth was curved downwards like the sad smiley faces. All because of pride or other reason not talking the problem out with the other person. It could be more important and there is more reward in solving disagreements with people instantly than using the time for another purpose.
This is not a presentation on relationships as I know many of you do not want to hear that teaching. Otherwise I would use verses as Mat_19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 1Co_7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 1Co_7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
Though the world and us may have messed up what God intended for the world, us and relationships, we can still make amends or something better out of a former bad situation. Like it says in Rom_8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We can choose to make bad things work for better. For God not us, because we are of them that love God.
As Christians we get 2nd chances, born again. Let’s take that gift to others. The gift of God is eternal life. We can also wrap that gift up as a present to others. The ex’s of our lives, former friends or estranged family members, anyone from our lives before being called to follow God. Even if they have not lived right you can lead them to die right in Yahshua and God. You do not need their or anyone’s permission to be nice to them. God gives permission.
A lot of bible and non bible, non commandment keepers are giving advice on living in God’s world without knowing Him and His ways. Those who do try to keep the commandments as us, are quiet on the matter or even ashamed to let people know of that part of their lives for one reason or other. Ashamed, we should be most proud and put it at the top of our c.v’s of life achievements in this adulterous and sinful world.
Mar 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
You can multiply your friends and quality of life as you get older by watering a relationship you had with someone years ago. If and when you reach 60, 70, 90 would it not be nice still know people you have known for half of your life or long periods of it? Our journey in this life is so short. Many of us are beginning to realise. We know the wasted opportunities, time etc. Arguments and disagreements we had, that could have turned out better if we knew and practiced some things we now know. Not walking away or give up as quickly as we did. Not having to start again because of wrong choices. Some of us may not have learnt and may never learn because of the condition of our hearts, that even God or His son’s words can’t change. We may call ourselves Christian, a reader of the bible, keeper of the Sabbath; but our thoughts, hearts, words and actions are still on self and self interest not others nor God’s kingdom benefit. What would you like God to attribute to your life when you come before Him? Your job, assets etc. Would He be interested in that or would He be looking to see if He could say to you Mat_25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant:... you are part of Mar_4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Did someone break your heart. Life remains short forgive and heal. Did someone betray your trust? Life is short, forgive and heal. Whatever the issue remember, life is short, forgive and heal. Whatever debt you think they owe you remember Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
At times when a friend or intermediary is trying to make peace between two foes they end by each person showing a sign all is now good. Shake hands and make up. The outreaching of the hand of friendship, reconciliation is preceded by the mental thought of forgiveness. It takes some sacrifice of pride to make that reconciliation. In the bible the sacrifices of the priests was to make reconciliation for the trespasses of the people. To reconcile the back to God. Heb_2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
The New Testament continues the same reconciliation theme. 2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 2Co 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,...]
I want to use these verses to support a point that as believers of God’s teachings, sharing His vision for the reconciliation of the world back to good creations we should participate in bringing that vision to fulfilment. We should not totally live for ourselves; but at least also for God’s purpose. Henceforth we should not see our ex’s in the same light as before. Neglecting them due to their flesh actions that separated us, but as lost souls needing Christ. If we are in Messiah we should be a new creature. Thinking in a new way to serve God not old ways of pleasing self and distancing ourselves from people God wants reconciled back to Him. The old things that separated us, have passed away. Let us use the ministry of reconciliation granted to us by first not imputing their former trespasses. Let us truly be ambassadors for Messiah.
With reconciliation comes peace within self and with the other person. They are now a friend and possible helper in times of need rather than an adversary. Life is now made better on earth and your route to heaven.
Remember how David in 1 Sam 27 had to flee to his country’s enemy for safety and protection. We should be wise like the man Luke 16:8 who made friends so that in times of need he had help. Paul made a similar case in his letter to Philemon regarding his run away servant.
Are we still quick tempered, slow to amend? Speaking in harsh tones or words rather than comforting ones even when making an unwelcomed or unappreciated point? Is it to make you feel better and get your point across or have you learnt to patiently listen? It does not mean you have to waste or incur time to hear rambling; but apply the right attitude.
We really all know the above; but some are stiffnecked and refuse to be Christ like. Let me close with.
Jas_4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Mat_5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 30 mins
3 Videos to follow. 3 mins, 3.30 mins, 2.30 mins dogs praying
If dogs can be taught to do something unnatural can we not learn to reconcile with every former other?
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