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Podcast | Table Talk With Mike and Nancy
57 minutes | Aug 24, 2019
TTWMN 239: Leaving So Soon?
I’ve noticed that no matter what your age, we all like to think we have a lot of years ahead of us, years to plan for retirement, complete that bucket list, or spend with the kids & grandkids. Then something happens that reminds us of our mortality—an accident or health scare, or maybe someone we know who is waaaay younger than us is suddenly gone, or gets that diagnosis we would all dread. As Christians, we all know, at least intellectually, that “this world is not our home”, and that our real life for all eternity is in heaven… but sometimes we can’t help but ask, “Leaving so soon?!” The post TTWMN 239: Leaving So Soon? appeared first on Table Talk With Mike and Nancy.
57 minutes | Aug 17, 2019
TTWMN 238: Aspirations
I think we can all agree that our culture and the world is changing at an ever increasing rate—just think of all the technology we have now that we didn’t have growing up: remember those hand-held calculators from Texas Instruments, VHS players which became DVD and then BluRay, cassette tapes and 8-tracks which became CDs and then you just needed to download music on your iPod, and now you don’t even need cable or satellite dishes to get your favorite programs, as internet streaming services abound. Lastly, we now we have mini computers in the palms of our hands in our smartphones, which are more powerful than the mega computers of a decade ago. With all these changes in technology, is it any wonder the goals we have in life have sometimes changed? If you’re looking for a marker on just how much they’ve changed, all we need to do is look at children, who are the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” for this. So what are your Aspirations? The post TTWMN 238: Aspirations appeared first on Table Talk With Mike and Nancy.
57 minutes | Aug 3, 2019
TTWMN 237: Delayed Gratification
We truly live in a marvelous age. We have all the world’s information available to us on our phones, which are now more powerful than the computers of even a decade ago. Targeted ads flash at us from every corner of facebook or the articles we read, intuitively giving us endless opportunities to buy and have delivered in a few days (or same day for Amazon Prime members), exactly what I was thinking about. Don’t feel like cooking tonight? We don’t even need to run thru a drive-thru or settle for pizza, as GrubHub will deliver whatever we want from dozens of restaurants in the area. The transition from cash to credit & debit cards makes getting what we want in an instant easy, as we lose track of what things cost, versus their value. And we pass this “want – get” mentality down to our kids, who overwhelmingly support socialism, without ever having been taught in school about its dangers. Today, we’re talking about the monumental importance of learning delayed gratification. The post TTWMN 237: Delayed Gratification appeared first on Table Talk With Mike and Nancy.
57 minutes | Jul 20, 2019
TTWMN 236: Peer Pressure
I was having lunch with someone the other day, and she noted how easy it is to slip little by little into the world—maybe from busyness, too tired at the end of the day or in too much of a rush to get to work in the morning—to take the time to read the bible, pray, spend even a little time with the Lord. Indeed. As any happily married person will tell you, the best relationships don’t just happen—they take time, and work…a lot of work. And on top of that, there are a lot of things going on in the World today trying to convince us that time is wrongly spent. The enemy will try any way he can to get us to turn from Christ. Pressure will come from our family, our workplace, even from within our church. They will call us hateful because of our adherence to the Word of God, divisive or unsubmissive because we won’t blindly follow our leadership as they implement the latest awesome new way to be “Christian”. They will lie about us, paint a horrible picture of us that we won’t be allowed to challenge. As the heat is turned up, the love of many will grow cold as they make spouse, child, workplace or church, more important than Christ himself, feeling they’re tired of arguing, it’s too embarrassing, or it “just isn’t worth it.” Table Talk Notes Likely areas we’re feeling pressure… Politics: support for the President or conservative viewpoints are viewed as micro-aggression, inviting attack Social Media: post something thought-provoking and see “friends” respond with vile comments, OR watch friends and loved ones you were sure were true disciples of Christ “like” and support unbiblical, “worldly” things LGBTQ+++: a family member “comes out” expecting your support; a gender-confused co-worker demands you use only their preferred pronoun and name; your favorite store, child’s school or sports authority, local gym, “accommodates” gender fluid individuals in the restrooms, locker rooms, sporting events. Your Business: government non-discrimination ordinances wipe out religious freedom, and you are targeted for lawsuits Your Church: your denomination or local body decides to embrace the latest experiential teachings, or they continue following and supporting leaders or associations that have fallen into disgrace, unveiled as unbiblical. If you don’t go along, you are put under “secret church discipline”, labeled a “Sanballat”, divisive and “unsubmissive”, and asked to leave the church without defending yourself to the body or even giving an explanation Read: If Everyone Else Was Jumping Off a Cliff (I Do Every Day devotional) J.H. Elliott’s commentary on 1 Peter 2, on how the culture tries to tag us as dangerous, trying to impose shame on us for believing the Bible… 1 Pet 2:4-5 | As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. Why we react to the pressure badly People-Pleasing John 12:42-43 | Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. John 15:18-20 | “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you… John 7:2-8 | Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” Matt 10:34-39 | “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Double-mindedness & Ignorance of the Bible Humanism is taught in schools and “Oprah Christianity” is self-uplifting One-third of Christians read the Bible daily James 4:4-10 | You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 1 Cor 1:20, 26-31 | Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?… For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” Col 2:8, 20-23 | See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ… If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. 2 Peter 2:1-3, 14-15, 18-21 | But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep… They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing… …speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 1 John 4:1-6 | Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Jude17-23 | But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodl
56 minutes | Jul 13, 2019
TTWMN 235: Epidemic of Ingratitude
With the recent World Cup success of the US Women’s Soccer team, perhaps many of you, like me, were stunned and shocked at the behavior of more than one team member…the disrespect of our country, our President, and of their fellow Americans who elected him. The word “spoiled” kept coming to mind, but was it really that much worse than what we’ve seen from others these days, especially of that generation? Antifa, which belies its supposed namesake and acts with the most Fascist tactics that ever were… NFL players who kneeled for the National Anthem, claiming this country which made them instant multi-millionaires to play a game, has continuously enslaved them… Social and Mainstream Media mass bullying of kids who dare to go against their “norm” by showing Christian values and common courtesy. It all leads to topic: the epidemic of ingratitude. The post TTWMN 235: Epidemic of Ingratitude appeared first on Table Talk With Mike and Nancy.
57 minutes | Jul 6, 2019
TTWMN 234: The Kids Aren’t Alright
We’ve done lots of shows that talk about the younger generation—Mike and I are both Baby Boomers so just about everybody is in that category to us. Whether it’s their vulnerability, their fragility, their socialist tendencies and feelings of entitlement, their confusion, etc. etc. etc… the one thing we haven’t talked about is their mental condition, which seems to be rapidly deteriorating. Anxiety and depression are skyrocketing, thoughts of suicide are at an all-time high, especially between the ages of 18 to 25. Alarmed at the statistics, most authorities, researchers and parents are grasping at straws, jumping to conclusions like “they need more self-esteem” or “they need greater affirmations in their gender choices” to stem the tide, prompting “everybody wins-Participation Trophies” and laws silencing all efforts to question the “choices” of children as young as 4. How is that working out? The statistics just keep going up, yet everyone just keeps looking at the symptoms, and not the causes… The post TTWMN 234: The Kids Aren’t Alright appeared first on Table Talk With Mike and Nancy.
56 minutes | May 18, 2019
TTWMN 233: Experiencing Peniel
Today, we’re doing a little bit different kind of show—we’re going in depth into the life of Jacob. We all know what he did—the lying, the deceiving, the cheating—and many of us may have wondered just why God would have “allowed” him to be “the one” through whom the Messiah would come. But Jacob wasn’t just ‘allowed’, he was specifically chosen by God to become Israel, who would sire God’s special, chosen people. I was asked years ago to do a presentation at a women’s retreat on Peniel, the place where Jacob wrestled with God. What I found in the preparation was the why behind all of Jacob’s behavior, and I found a man who wanted the right things, but being sinful, just like us, he ended up going about it the wrong way. This was the first presentation at that retreat, designed to get the women there to face their own sins—and many, like me, started seeing myself in Jacob’s actions…so let’s dig in to that presentation, called “Peniel”. The post TTWMN 233: Experiencing Peniel appeared first on Table Talk With Mike and Nancy.
57 minutes | Apr 27, 2019
TTWMN 232: Rebuilding Babel
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get along? If there were no more fights between factions over who was more right… no more class struggles between the haves and the have nots… no more discrimination or judgmentalism on how and where we chose to live or what we chose to believe… no more poverty or hunger as everyone shared what they had with everyone else… and everyone had free education… a living wage and health care? Sounds heavenly, right? Our children are taught from pre-K thru college and graduate school that these things are all rights that every human is entitled to. While some or maybe all of them sound great, every society on this earth that has tried to implement all these things has failed, or is in the process of failing. And we’re not talking just “oh well, that didn’t work”, we’re talking total bankruptcy, massive inflation so people could no longer afford a loaf of bread, entire cultures and ways of life taken away, and millions imprisoned or killed for not keeping in lockstep with the mandated “group think” necessary to maintain such a society. We crave Unity with every fiber of our being, desiring it so much that we fail to ask, “unity with whom, over what?” The whole world is offering all such unity, all the goodies, where all can live in “utopia”—only problem is, they are explicit in this: The God of the Bible can have no place in it. So, today’s program is about globalism, and why Christians should fight it. Table Talk Notes Genesis 11:1-9 | Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth. First off, what’s your worldview? Does Man have the solution to the world’s problems, or is he the cause? Is Man basically good, or evil? Globalism: (dictionary.com) “The attitude or policy of placing the interests of the entire world above those of individual nations.” (from Wikipedia) Manfred Steger distinguishes between different globalisms such as justice globalism, jihad globalism, and market globalism (free markets).” “The word itself came into widespread usage, first and foremost in the United States, from the early 1940s… “The term “globalist” has been used a pejorative for political enemies who are perceived as too “cosmopolitan” or favoring international projects over national ones. “Jihadist Globalism” While no country in the world today can completely “go it alone” and become isolationists, what organizations like the United Nations, the European Union, the World Trade Organization and others seek is something far beyond mere “cooperation” between nations. So what is behind the pursuit of Globalism? Humanism: Man is basically good, so we don’t need God Pursuit of Utopia: we want the Garden of Eden without God’s rules George Soros & the UN: desire for a “One-World Government” and religion Soros’ “Open Border Foundations, Prophecy fulfilled: Pope & top imam sign agreement What is being used to achieve Globalism? Hyper-sexuality and Gender Expression Environmentalism & Climate Change Mass Immigration (illegal and legal), destroying national cultures and identities, spreading Islam and destroying Christianity. Education (public pre-k-12 and colleges/universities) “Indoctrination” by Colin Gunn Hollywood, media, unions non-profits, churches & government “Agenda” by Curtis Bowers Socialism And lastly, eliminate the one super-power in the world that promotes liberty with a culture based on Judeo-Christian values. What is it all designed to do? Separate Man from God. True Unity is only possible WITH God.Click To Tweet John 17:20-21 | I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. We will be tempted to give up Freedom of Religion for “security” and “peace.” Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 |Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. Ezekiel 13:8-16 | Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord God. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God. Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, 11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord. Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord God. In the last days, Believers will be killed by the Antichrist if they don’t leave God and worship him instead. Rev 13:5-17 | And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain… Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. The post TTWMN 232: Rebuilding Babel appeared first on Table Talk With Mike and Nancy.
56 minutes | Apr 13, 2019
TTWMN 231: Blessed Are The Persecuted
For two and a half months, we’ve been blessed in this show to explore the Beatitudes, finding out how we are blessed by being poor in spirit, by mourning, by being meek, by hungering and thirsting for righteousness, by being merciful, pure in spirit, and by being a peacemaker. Now, we need to prepare ourselves to hear the last and hardest beatitude, the one that is most difficult to accept, but one that promises us the greatest blessing of all. Joining us today in the 9th and final episode in our series on the Beatitudes, is teacher and author of the book “Broken Yet Blessed”, Kathi McCarty, with the 8th Beatitude in our series. Table Talk Notes Continuation in v 11 &12 Blessed are you when men revile you & persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me; Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. This is the blessing that NO ONE wants! A final overview The eighth and final beatitude may strike us as negative. Up to this point, the beatitudes have focused on humility, meekness, right relationships, mercy, purity of heart, and peacemaking—all positive qualities. But Jesus includes the possibility of “persecution for righteousness’ sake.” This arises from the previous seven, because the forces that oppose God’s ways still hold great power in the world. Basically, Jesus concludes by acknowledging that living righteously is going to cost us, perhaps cost us dearly. A Personal Testimony: scathing Facebook pm for openly taking a stand against ordaining homosexuals… may not have been written by Satan, but it was definitely dictated by him. We need to keep an eternal perspective in all things, but especially where true persecution for our faith is concerned. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed to realize that what we know to be good, massive numbers of others considered evil: to learn what we know is righteous others view as bigoted, intolerant, homophobic, and as grounds for unfriending and outright dismissal. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 | But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. South Bend Mayor and Dem Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to VP Mike Pence (at Victory Fund event 4/7/19): “Being married to Chasten has made me a better human being because it has made me more compassionate, more understanding, more self-aware and more decent. My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man. And yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God… If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.” We can go to the Lord and file a complaint, “Lord, they are on my back: Lord they are persecuting me.” But don’t expect the Lord to say “My, how I pity you. I want you to know how terrible I feel about all of this.” Instead be fully prepared to hear him say, “Congratulations!” 5 facts we can’t ignore 1). It is the last and longest beatitude (three verses) 2). The only beatitude with a command: “rejoice” 3). It is the only beatitude with an explanation. 4). It is the only beatitude that is repeated by Jesus, and 5). It’s the only beatitude addressed directly to the reader. This is so important that Jesus even changes from the third person “they” or “those” in which all the other Beatitudes are written, to the second person “you” in verse eleven in order to focus our attention on the personal application. Persecution will come Persecution has been a fact of faith since Christianity’s inception and continues, even to death for some, today. In the Western world, we may not be put to death; persecution may require not the courage to die for our faith but the courage to live for it. 2 Tim 3:12 | We preach a prosperity gospel but Jesus preached a persecution gospel. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted John 15:18-20 | We are no greater than the Master // “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 1 Pet 4:12-13 | We are partakers of His suffering // Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. What persecution is NOT There is no promise of happiness for those who are persecuted for being a nuisance, for Christians who have shown themselves to be offensive, difficult, and insulting to their co-workers and neighbors. The sad reality is that many times Christians are not persecuted for their Christianity but for their lack of it! 1 Pet 2:12 | Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. “When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.” ~Plato You can not claim persecution because you were involved in wrongdoing and now suffer the consequences; poor choices and consequences to don’t equate to true persecution. Poor choices and consequences to don’t equate to true persecution.Click To Tweet True persecution v 10: The word translated “persecute” (dediomenoi) in Greek literally means “to pursue, to drive or chase away.” v11: verbal insults – revealed in the use of the word – “revile”- which literally means to cast in one’s teeth and carries the idea of criticizing severely with the aim of discrediting and then there are also false accusations -“say all manner of evil against you” – which means harsh, abusive words usually said behind our backs. One crucial word to make sure we do not miss is the word, “falsely.” “If I get in trouble because I talk too much or because I meddle or because I try to force my faith on other people, that is not persecution. If I am promoting my own cause and men reject me, that is not persecution. If I am arrogant and abusive in my attempt to witness for Christ, and people want nothing to do with me, that is not persecution. But if I seek to do His will and honor His name and I suffer, then that is persecution.” [Warren Weirsbe. “Live Like a King: Developing a Royal Lifestyle from the Beatitudes.”] The promise is the Kingdom of heaven 1 Pet 4:14 | “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (present tense – now!) “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” The verb for “rejoice” is an imperative, in other words it is not a suggestion, it is a command (same word as Phil 4:4 – rejoice in the Lord always) The reward for the faithful is “great” (polus) which means not just great but “immeasurably great.” Our response to persecution We are not to retaliate like an unbeliever, we are not to sulk like a child nor are we to lick our wounds in self-pity, we are not called to just grin and bear it like a Stoic, nor are we to just pretend to enjoy it like a Masochist. We are called to “rejoice and be exceedingly glad”… to literally skip and hop with excitement. How can we do that? Because we understand we are experiencing, in the here and now, the Kingdom of God. Rejoice? Really? 1. We can rejoice in persecution because we know that it Is a demonstration of our identity…our faith is genuine, like that of the prophets. Acts 5:41 | when they were released, “… they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer – “When Christ calls a man, He bids him, come, die.” 2. We know that God uses persecution to refine us. 1 Pet 1: 6-9 | It is only in the trials by fire that we can be refined; God wants the honor and glory from us IN the persecution. // In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 3. We know that it gives us the opportunity to show the difference that Christ makes in a person’s life. If everything is going well with you and you rejoice, what makes you different from all the non-believers around you? But when you rejoice in the midst of suffering, you stand out from the “norm”
57 minutes | Apr 6, 2019
TTWMN 230: Blessed Are The Peacemakers
One glance at Facebook or the headlines will tell you, there is NOT much peace out there these days. Yet most of us crave peace, and the world cries out for it… but is it really “peace” that we’re crying for? True peace only comes from God—most people will say they want “peace”, but they don’t want God. What they really want is to have their own way, without any impediments. Those who have surrendered their lives to Christ, however, carry within us both the ability AND the requirement that we “make peace”, especially with those who don’t want it. But how? Joining us today in the 8th episode in our series on the Beatitudes to tell us how and why we need to work for peace, and exactly what is this peace we are to make with others, is teacher and author of the book “Broken, Yet Blessed”, Kathi McCarty, with the 7th Beatitude in our series. Table Talk Notes A quick overview One after the other, the Beatitudes tell us that the blessings of eternity will be given only to those who have become new creatures. To attempt to fulfill the beatitudes without being born again is an exercise in futility and religiosity. From beginning to end, the Sermon on the Mount cries out, “Get yourself a new heart! Become a new person!” Matt 5:20 | “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” Matt 7:21-27 | “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.’’ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Obedience to the beatitudes, as a believer, is not optional. John 14:15 | “IF you love me, you WILL keep my commandments.” WILL – the expectation to fulfill without hesitation or compromise. What is a peacemaker? The Greek word translated “peacemaker” (eirēnopoios, pronounced “i-ray-nop-oy-os”) is used in only one other place in the New Testament, in a slightly different form. James 3:13-18 | Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. Col 1:19-20 | “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of the cross” Jesus laid down His life to make peace between God and sinners, and when we can carry that message of peace to others, we are peacemakers. 2 Cor 5:18-20 | we have a ministry of reconciliation 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. Those who bring reconciliation to broken relationships are carrying on the work of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Those who give of themselves as Jesus did in order that others may know God are called “blessed.” Romans 5:1-2 | There is no real peace apart from a relationship with God. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. John 14:26-27 | What may masquerade as worldly peace is merely a temporary lull in chaos. True peace is found only in a restored relationship with God. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Isaiah 48:22 | “‘There is no peace,’ says the LORD, ‘for the wicked’” Psalm 55:12-14 | “It is not an enemy who taunts me – Then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me –then I could hide from him. It is you… my companion, my familiar friend, we used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house when we walked in the throne.” Thomas Watson has a vivid picture: “Satan kindles the fire of contention in men’s hearts and then stands and warms himself at the fire.” Peace in your heart flows from purity in your life. Notice the order: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God” (5:9). There’s a direct connection… James 3:17 | “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable.” We do not seek peace for its sake, but for the sake of the Kingdom of God to thrive. Being a peacemaker is much more about the peace from within first, and then establishing peace without, even when there is discord! We can be at peace. God has peace in himself. In the Bible, he is called: “The God of peace.” Hebrews 13:20-21 | Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 1Thess. 5:23 | Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:33 | May the God of peace be with you all. Our Lord Jesus Christ is described as “the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6-7 | For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. God’s way of making peace 1. Don’t stand on your rights Phil 2:5-8 | Christ was in the form of God. But he did not grasp what was his by right. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 2. Move toward the trouble But don’t move toward all trouble. Some people are drawn to trouble. They look for fights because they want to get involved. People like that are obviously not Christians. Our calling is to act as peacemakers, and where you can be a peacemaker, you will move toward the trouble. That is what God did in the incarnation. Sons follow their Father’s lead. Making peace does not mean avoiding conflict. Peacemakers often cause trouble in pursuing peace. Matt 10:33-39 | “I have not come to bring peace but a sword.” Peacemaking is not for the faint-hearted—it takes immense courage. It’s the most dangerous job in the world! For Jesus it meant laying down his life. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 3. Love before you are loved in return Romans 5:8 | God demonstrates his own love for us in this: that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Peacemaking requires a generosity of heart that is foreign to the world’s understanding of peace. A peacemaker’s prayer Make me an instrument of your peaceWhere there is hatred let me sow loveWhere there is injury, your pardon, LordAnd where there’s doubt true faith in you. O master grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to consoleTo be understood as to understandTo be loved as to love with all my soul Make me an instrument of your peace. ~Attributed to Francis of Assisi~ We do not compromise truth W
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