Everybody here we are at session 10, the end of our series on all and trust. It’s been a wonderful series for you. It certainly has for me, a lot of fun too. Lead, but also to hear stories of conversations that have gone on discussions in groups. I’m going to dive right in for time for your group to be on a chance to really talk about the session tonight, just to a quick review, just reminding you really, this whole series has been talking about the subject of all being the means of.
Enabling us and replace, enabling us to replace the fears in our lives that so easily control us, crush us, tend to be contagious because others have it. And we tend to catch the vibe and that they are con owners, current owners. Most of our fears, um, never manifest themselves. Uh, the things we’re, we’re so fearful of.
We’ve looked at God is stronger. God is sweeter. God is sovereign. God is standing with us. God is surrounding us. God is sufficient for all our sufficiencies. All of these are biblical, uh, focuses of, of what God wants to all us with tonight. We’re going to talk about goddess safer than anyone or anything that you can depend on.
First John chapter four, verse 18 and 19 says this. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who loved it, the one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. The foundational reason that fears are still influencing our lives is that we have not yet been made complete.
In love when I was in seminary, we were living in Indiana and, uh, I got a chance to go and, and. Teach actually it’d be the pastor of a very small congregation. It was located in the County seat of a small County, small town. And it had actually been a break-off from another church that had been formed that had been in existence for many years and eight years before I got involved and my friend got involved, a pastor had been at this place called Baroque church.
Baroque was the mother church right in the town. And the pastor that came, had graduated from our seminary. He had actually been an engineer for a number of years. He was in his late forties, took the church, was there for four years. And as a result of, uh, his perception that people were resisting as leadership and a variety of things, he apparently.
Led the church into a split and 40% of the people followed him, left their church of generations and began meeting in a, a reformed area above the, the hardware store, right on the center square in town. And this particular congregation, uh, he was at for four more years. And at the end of those four years, he had, again, begun to feel threatened by, uh, strong personalities in the church and had caused more conflict.
And eventually he resigned. And so at that point, my friend had already been called to be the pastor of the mother church. And I got called to be the pastor of the split off church meeting above the hardware. There were family members in both churches. I mean, it was just beyond belief, the conflict and notorious in the town.
And my friend and I met with a guy named dr. French, dr. French was a. Pastor and professor at our college at our seminary. And he had known the previous pastor and he also knew both congregations. He knew the area very well and the people and we met with him and in our conversation, he talked about the, uh, former pastor of both congregations.
And he described him with words like, uh, incredibly talented gifted. Very sharp. Um, but then he said something that deeply impacted me and actually it, it was probably, it has probably been the most profound statement anybody has ever made to me through the years about understanding my life, my journey and ministry, and the longer I’ve grown at longer, I’ve lived.
The more, the words have grown in impact and power in my life. He talked about the other pastor and I’ll, I’ll use the name, Mike, that wasn’t his name, but he said this, I don’t think Mike ever understood how much God loved him. The single biggest barrier to overcoming our fears and to loving other people is we don’t know how much we’re loved by God.
The greatest fear in most of our lives is the fear that we will not be accepted either. We will be a failure and unworthy of being respected, or we will be rejected as unworthy of being loved. I’d like talk to you tonight. In light of that verse, that being complete in, in, in as receptors of God’s love empowers us to be.
Overcoming our fears by talking about too things about God’s acceptance, God’s acceptance of you is unconditional God’s acceptance of you is unchanging. God’s acceptance of you is unconditional. Now that does not mean that your behavior and the relationship doesn’t matter. I think a lot of times when people hear the word, uh, God loves us unconditionally.
It sounds like it’s a pass to live any way you want. And so people, sometimes people struggle with it because. You hear it saying, well, just live like a party animal, or live like a merciless greed controlled entrepreneur that this is sort of a, a hall pass. You’re given a go at wherever and do whatever you want.
There is no one on earth that I feel more accepted and loved by than my wife. She has seen the worst of me and she wants the best for me. I know when Maryann said for better, for worse the minute and that it was for keeps because she has seen the worst and she’s still here. She is still my greatest fan and friend, but I also know that she cares deeply when I act like a jerk, it hurts her.
It hurts me and she is passionately determined to help me live less like a jerk. God is for you. He’s on your side and your behavior certainly matters to him. He’s grieved by your behavior. He’s determined to bring out the better you, the real you, the one you are in Christ. So what do we mean when we say that his acceptance is unconditional?
We mean by that, that your behavior is not based. Excuse me that your behavior is not the basis of the relationship. Steven Curtis Chapman has a song. I will be here. Yeah. And in, and he says, tomorrow morning, if you wake up and the sun does not appear, I, I will be here. He goes down to the song. And in the end he says, and just as sure as seasons are made for change, our lifetimes are made for years.
So I will be here. We’ll be together. I will be here when you embrace Jesus Christ as your savior was because God wanted you. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness for you that you could be presently eternally accepted as a member of God’s family. His dearly loved child. The verdict is in. You are accepted forever.
There’s not one thing you can do that will make God love you more. There’s not one thing that you can do that will make God love you less. God’s acceptance of you is unconditional God’s acceptance of you. Secondly, is unchanging. Here’s where I wanna really hope, uh, put some shoes to all this I’ve entitled.
This session. God is safer than anyone or anything you depend on. God sees you for what you are becoming. I have greatly appreciated. It’s called the mud and the masterpiece. It’s a book that talks about how God sees people. It’s actually study of the gospels, how God related in Jesus, related to people.
And don’t completely agree with all the sovereignty perspectives. I think he, his God. Feels a little small to me in that way, but his understanding and perception and presentation of Jesus, um, loving people and, and relating to people is just magnificent in it. He talks about the Pharisees being primarily focused on the mud in people’s lives.
The mud of sin that covered the lives of others. They prided themselves in mud avoidance. They fixated on mud. They tried to clean the mud off of others, actually using their own dirt to do it. And then he said this, Jesus saw God’s masterpiece waiting to be revealed by his grace. Jesus saw people’s beauty.
I’ll guarantee that the people in your life that you feel the safest, that are the safest to you are those that tend out to bring out the best in you. One of the reasons is because they see the best in you. People inherently felt Jesus was for them. He wasn’t trying to knock them down or keep him in their place or make them look bad.
He genuinely delighted in them. He doesn’t have needs that control his responses to you. This is a really important thing. God is completely self-sufficient. He’s completed himself. He’s not lonely. He’s not ever discouraged. He’s not ever confused. He’s not ever needy or frustrated or worried or feeling inadequate.
He is complete utterly without needs. This isn’t true of us. Of course, we have inadequacies our needs, our struggles. And those are the things that contribute to making us not safe is an expression. Perhaps you have heard hurting people, hurt others. Guy pops his cork. When his wife embarrasses him at a, at a work-related party, you made me look stupid in front of my boss.
You made me look stupid in front of my coworkers by telling that story. She’s tired of this shit, afraid to go out to a public setting that she’ll somehow say something the wrong thing and he’ll lose it. The counselor says, well it’s because his parents always feed on him and didn’t speak love into his life.
The Bible would say it also comes from just having a fallen nature. She just knows he’s not safe to be with. See people feeling condemned, condemn others. When you feel condemned, when you feel beat up, you tend to share the gift. The kick, the dog syndrome is real. The person at work. Beat up by their bosses review of them.
It stinks. They’re upset inside the person goes home. And one part of them is furious at the boss, but the bigger part of them is hating themselves for not being more capable, because a lot of what was said was true. So lost in the thought and the self-flagellation, the person goes home and here comes little ginger they’re Cocker spaniel, happy to see him as she does every day.
And the individual’s just lost in this, this self-condemnation just sorta kicks ginger to the side and says nothing to do in a way with ginger. Right. I mean, it just, can’t, it just lost in this and everything’s out of sorts, but what has happened? Does he he’s just put a real hole in the belief system of that little dog that the owner is as safe as she always thought he was people feeling condemned, condemn people feeling judged, criticized, beat up, unacceptable, readily pass on the verdict to others.
God does not do that. God never feels needy. God never feels condemned. God never feels unworthy. God never feels unloved and he doesn’t change. He doesn’t have any emotional buttons based on his own emotional needs. He is utterly safe all the time. He doesn’t have a, had a bad hair day that changes his whole emotional outlook.
He doesn’t have bad reviews or feel heartbroken that, that people don’t love him enough, or wonder if he’ll ever really be successful at, at, at running this cosmos thing. He doesn’t change. And because he doesn’t change, he’s utterly safe that when he says he accepts you. When he says, he’s for you, you don’t have a wonder, you know what?
I’m going to hit a button today. Did I just push it too far? Then now it’s all going to come down and now God, just gonna say, I’ve had, I had it with you. The other thing we find is we are free to love because his acceptance of you is safe. We’re engineered in the world to feel condemned. It’s the way of life has fallen people in a fallen world.
We deal with the threat of being wrong of not measuring up of not succeeding of not meriting being loved Dallas Willard calls it condemnation engineering. It’s the way of the world. The more we live in the love of Jesus for us, the more we are freed from that condemnation engineering. From fear and able to love.
We have less buttons. We struggle less with feeling condemned. We become safer. We then can reflect more fully what is true of Jesus. We see the beauty in other people, their masterpiece, not their mud, because we don’t feel condemned in our own muddiness. We feel God’s crazy about us for us finds joy in us.
He really likes us the degree to which you feel a condemning gaze from God is the more you will not be safe, even as a believer to other people. Let God love you. You will let God loved then through you. Loved people feel safe to others. People who feel condemned feel condemning. I was just reading an article recently about a believer who is trying to witness to a woman at work.
And he’s a guy who was, uh, all worked up about the moral issues of our society and, and harsh on social media, in political conversations. Determined to in his own expression, be right. And to declare truth. And as he shared the gospel with a coworker, he was humbled to hear her respond to him. Yeah. I understand what you’re saying.
I just don’t want to be like, you
had people who rejected the religious establishment. Flocked to Jesus because God is safer than anyone or anything you can depend on. And he makes safe people. I want to close this session and this whole series with a brief poem that I recently came across. It’s written by Paul Tripp. And I thought it expressed in these few words, what I’ve been trying to say in this series, it is a daily battle.
One that is free of physical weapons, political parties, and national boundaries. It is a battle that has been raging since the garden and will not stop until the war is finally won. The battle is not fought between people. It is fought within people. It is a much greater danger to each of us than war between nations will ever be.
It is a battle of all. We were created to live in a real heart, gripping eight agenda setting behavior, forming all of God, but other Oz kidnap our hearts of creation of other people and all of ourselves shove the, all of God out of our hearts. So we need grace to see again, to tremble again, to bow down again at the fee.
Oh, the one who deserves .