The Body Shop - Part 4 - Growth


hey man hey what's up hey after we take your car to the body shop again question I think we should hang out man why would we do that community okay I think I could try the community thing out yeah would you listen to back there Oh guys this day just keeps getting worse what's wrong my growth light just turned on yeah I don't know what's wrong with this car you know today I woke up this morning I said it's gonna be a good day nice shirt on first the community light you fixed it and then the worship light and she fixed it like hey how are we gonna fix the group light to this question waiting you have any ideas maybe we should read the manual together it's a stupid idea [Music] like this [Music] okay [Music] hey guys she's gonna help us out and try to figure out why the growth light turned on while we're on the way to the mechanic leaving my friends community and worship sure see I suggested we look at the man yeah a commuter you're full of good ideas all right guys really wait a second my growth light turned off right when you open the book look at that that's a coincidence yeah hey you think you can keep coming to those to the body shop you know just to make sure everything's okay sure all right thank you [Applause] [Music] good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the well at STS a we're so happy that you're joining us here if you're just kind of tuning in today we're in part 4 of a series that we started called the body shop where as you see every week we get the chance to see with our friends here on the video we're trying to see what it means to be a healthy and fully functioning member of the body of Christ so we're here in this body shop so to speak and every week we're finding out a different principle of what it means to be healthy as a member of the body of Christ in the first week we saw that God did not create a slim isolated lives God created us to live together kind of lives and to share life and we talked about the importance of opening up and sharing my life with others and giving others a chance and by me investing in others and me sharing in their lives as well and we call that community or fellowship last week we talked about the second characteristic of a healthy member of the body which is worship that we are not just meant to come together and socialize and invest in each other and in earthly sense but in a prayer sense and the strongest forms a prayer are those which are done in community or together when we stand before God together and we saw last week that great promise where our Lord Jesus Christ told us that were two or three gathered in my name I will be their and their midst because he wants us to live together and to pray together and what we're gonna see today is the third characteristic of a healthy member of the body which is that we are meant to grow together I want to show you today how you apart from the body cannot grow to be all that God made you to be and that's why this particular of the of this particular characteristic all right of the five characters characteristics that we're looking at this is the one that we probably value the least and appreciate the least but this is the one that I want you to see today that you cannot be who God wants you to be apart from his body which is the church the verse we've been looking at for the past couple weeks is Romans chapter 12 verse 5 which says so we being many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another I want to make this verse come to life for you so I want you to repeat after me like I want to get this really ingrained inside I want you to say look to the person next to you and say you are a member of me look to the person next you say you are a member of me and say I'm a member of you say you are connected to me and I'm connected to you now if you're single look and say since we're connected let's get connected baby but only if you're single I'm trying to help you out okay we're a full-service around here we're spiritual we're everything around here okay bottom line is God apart from what I just said God did not create us to live isolated lives God created us as a body and that's why in the Old Testament when God spoke to the people he created them in tribes not individuals but in tribes and the New Testament he had the Apostles he likes us to be in community he likes us to be in families he likes us to have group of friends that we can be together with even did you know like if I say we all need community we all need one another some people would say what about the monks there are about the monks what about the monks what did you know even the monks have community because the majority of monks yes there's a small percentage which are called Hermits which live by themselves in the caves but at eight point zero zero zero one percent of them the monks live in community with each other they gather together they eat together they pray together and then they go off and do their own thing and then they gather together as well God created us to be together because we are a body and the left hand cannot be apart from the right hand and if my left hand is over there and my right hand is over there there's a problem in the body y'all agree with that if my if my foot is going north and my my kidney is going south we got a problem in the body the body is not functioning properly unless it is together and like I said we are made to share life together we are made to pray together and today we're gonna see how we are made to grow together and you cannot be who God made you to be apart from the body here's our verse that we're gonna look at here today Romans 8:29 says for whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son that he might be the firstborn among we try to unpack this verse this verse says some people ask do we believe in predestination predestination predestination well in the sense that this verse talks about predate predestination in the sense that we were all predestined to be conformed to his image yes we believe in that 100% that's what the scripture says but no we don't believe that predestination negates our free will because we believe that this image of his son is the goal and is the destiny that everyone god wants everyone to get to but we believe we spend our whole lives trying to get there and many people may not even realize it many people may fall short this is the journey of a lifetime that he would be the firstborn this expression firstborn means literally that he is the prototype of humanity meaning Christ Christ is the prototype of humanity so our goal from the very very start is that I would think as Christ thinks mind of Christ I would speak as Christ spoke words of Christ I would deal with my mom the way Christ dealt with his mom I would deal with my friends awake write down Christ dealt with his friends I would deal with my enemies the way Christ dealt with his enemies I would deal with a random stranger in the street the same way Jesus would deal with a random stranger in the street as the whole what would Jesus do thing that whole concept asked the goal of our life is that we would be conformed to the image of his son that he would be the firstborn or the prototype of humanity you see all of us all of us as members of God's family that is something to be celebrated it is absolutely something we should clap and we should hoot and holler when new members join the family of God that's a great day but if that's all there is what are we really celebrating the goal in life just this morning actually we had a little baby was baptized this morning and we clapped and there's a little James name we were so happy he's a little baby a little guy like that but today we're not clapping because he reached the destination we're clapping cuz he reached the starting line and he's in the race you have a child as a parent and that child 1 year old and his pooping in his pants and he's spitting up all over the place and it's cute somehow it's cute when a kid 1 year old spit up on himself that kids six seven eight years old spitting up on himself all the time snot his cute he says googoo gaagaa everyone smiles he's taking his SATs and he's saying googoo gaagaa is all I could say that's a tragedy well I get disappointed I get disappointed when I see I'm generalizing right now all of us in America today Christianity in America the state of Christianity in America I get very disappointed and very sad when I see that the majority of Christianity in America today I'm talking about this church about Christians all over we seem to make it like the goal is just to be born we seem to think that the goal is to be born into God's family and that's it that's why of these five characteristics see the five characteristics we talk about community worship growth talk about giving next week and we talk about evangelism the witnessing the majority of us we cut the middle ones out and we just focus on the first and the last just be born into God's family and then go tell everyone that you're born into God's family I didn't get on the people born in the family and what do they do after the born the family go tell other people they're born in the family but there's a lot of stuff in the middle and that stuff in the middle is what we're supposed to be born into why just born into a family reported to a family to pray to worship cogs that's where we're meant to do as a family we're born into a family to grow spiritually to be more mature not to be it the same if I'm in first grade today I should be in second grade next year third grade year for that fourth grade and if there's a setback okay but I got to be moving forward and how many of us in our spiritual eyes like this this condemns us all how many of us at the same level spiritually as we are today as you were a year ago as we're two years ago what's your plan to be more another level a year from now I'm not judging anyone and I'm not saying anyone is should feel guilty but what I'm saying we have to have an understanding that the goal isn't to be born the goal is to be mature and grow the same way our body same way in our spirit look at this verse second Peter chapter 3 verse 18 Peter says the final verse of his epistle grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we are meant to grow not just to be but to grow and this is the whole point of why Jesus came to earth he did not just come into Earth so that we would be born in God's family he came as we so commonly say he took what is ours so that we could have what is his he came to us so that we could now grow into him if he hadn't come we wouldn't know we wouldn't have the first born wouldn't have the prototype he came as the prototype and he came and he walked on this earth and he said this is what humanity's supposed to look like this is what Adam and Eve messed up in the garden this is what the picture was supposed to look like and we supposed spend the rest of our lives trying to get to that point a famous church theologian back in the early days of the church said Christians are made not born and he was talking about like the maturity that was like perfection all right the state of perfection of maturity Christians who are perfect okay of those we're trying to get to are made not born no one is born perfect no one is born no one is born Rhodes Scholar or an Ivy Leaguer but they are made to the effort and through the grace of God that helps them on this earth driving force of everything we do this is not the driving force of why you come to church you come to church for the wrong reason if this is not why you read the Bible in the morning read the Bible for the wrong reason if this is not why you get together in life groups after church over you're gonna get there for the wrong reason all those things that we do are for the sole purpose of becoming who I was meant to be and that is Christ but what does that look like if that's the goal to be like Christ alright we kind of have an idea of what it looks like but practically make it tangible for me what am i aiming towards cuz we like practical things one of our core values here at sts a we have 10 core values see them out there on the poster core value number five right smack dab in the middle deals with this issue of spiritual maturity or spiritual growth and we define here what we believe is the true measure of spiritual growth we say christ-like integrity we believe that our personal integrity is the greatest reflection of our relationship with Christ we know that true spiritual maturity is measured by obedience not knowledge y'all agree with that that we've met many many people who up here are very very mature but in their dealings with one another in their obedience not what not who Christ is it's not what we know that makes us mature that's how we obey and how we respond to what we know so that's why I say what makes me mature what am i aiming for am i aiming to know the most Bible verses no that's a good tool it's good to know Bible verses but that's not the goal am i aiming to pray longer than anybody else no it's not the goal am i aiming that I would serve more than anybody else and then I would give more than anybody else I'm not aiming for any of those things I am aiming that we as a church family so what the defining characteristic of us is is that we are obedient more than anybody else because it's our obedience to God's commandments that define our maturity and that obedience is not a one-day thing see if I said the goal is give a lot of money then you know what you can make it big give a lot of money and that's it you're done you reach perfection if I say the goal is to memorize verses in the Bible but you say I know more verses anybody else that's it I'm done I'd be a jerk at work I don't have to do anything else the goal is obedience to God's commands and that's a life long process where we have a part in it but really it's the grace of God working in us through the efforts that we put in and that's why I want to say this christ-like integrity that level of maturity how we get there we need two components to get there just like anything else in life if you want to be a doctor or lawyer you need two components you need theory and you need practice you need theory and you need practice you're gonna be a doctor you need to read a book you need to go fall around another doctor and do what he does you won't be a lawyer you got to read in the book now you got to go fall around lawyers and sit on those mock trials and sit on the jury and all that stuff and watch a few good men whatever it may be that's how you become a lawyer you want to be mature in Christ you want to be Christ you need to read the book but then you need to practice and that's why I say this here's our key thought for today God uses community to lead us to maturity God uses community to lead us to maturity in other words the knowledge is good but the practice is critical and the practice happens in the context of relationships day to day relationships that you and I go through God uses my priests to make me more mature God uses my brother and sister to make me more mature God uses my boss did you know that God will use your boss to make you more mature God will use a random stranger in the street who just honked at you when he cut you off and gave you a pleasant wave with one of his fingers he will use that person to make you more mature if you let him and if you understand what he's trying to do God uses community to lead us to maturity and what we're gonna see here today is how to open up my life through the rest of the members of the body of Christ and to use them yes to use them to make me a better person now we're gonna see how we do that today first why I say we need community to reach maturity I'll give you a couple verses and I honestly I struggled I could have brought twenty verses right here but I stuck with only two hopefully you'll get the point first John 3:16 we all know John 3:16 is most famous verse in Christianity John 3:16 John 3:16 now he loved us and gave his life for us well 1st John 3:16 is the flip side of that's the other side of the coin which says not only he loved us but by this we know his love because he lay down his life for us and we also ought to lay down our lives for the Brethren and I'm telling you you cannot be spiritually mature unless there is laying down your life for the Brethren so the one who lives an isolated life cannot fulfill this commandment because he's not laying down his life for his brethren and then he is not christ-like because the number-one christ-like thing the signature of Christ that he laid down his life for the Brethren another verse John 13:35 Jesus said this he said by this all know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another he didn't say people will know your disciple because you memorize the scriptures he didn't say people know your disciple because you give money in the money box he said you know people know your disciples by the way you deal with each other when I walk into this Life Group I say hey these guys are Christians I walked over here in the corner people drinking coffee these people over here I said these people are disciples of Jesus I walked in the break room and I saw people talk and talk and talk and talking they saw another group walking I saw these guys walk in the breakroom and I said hey this group these are followers of Jesus because of the way they interact with each other because of the way they obey each other or not obey God and their interaction with one another by this you will know people know you're my disciples if you don't have this you can't be all that God wants you to be and there's many more verses verse in the scripture st. John said if you say you love God who you cannot see how can you love God who you cannot see if you do not love man who you do see but I got you on just verses to stop with those two now what about the one those who grew up in the church you know there's a very very very high level of spirituality that we all saw and witnessed among us and this very pious level of spirituality says I just go to church and pray and then go home we all know that right we've heard that before we've all heard that before we've made probably even said that before we exalt people like that people who say I don't come to deal with people I come to worship God and leave the mess and before I condemn anyone who said this all right III realize little reason a lot of people say this is because of the church that they were going to and I hope and pray that no one ever has a reason to say that about our church but I'm talking in theory right now so don't take a person or get offended we view this is a very high level of spirituality where I don't believe that's high level spirituality I believe that's a cop-out you know why what am I saying when I say I go to church pray out on deal with people you know what I'm saying saying I don't want to change I want to deal with people I don't want to have to change anything for the sake of accommodating somebody else I just want to do my own thing I'm content to be as is this person and I rub each other along wrong way I don't want to change I don't want to not be said I want to be selfish I want to be arrogant I just want to care about myself I don't wanna have to deal with anybody else it's an excuse oftentimes be honest with you I'll be honest with you oftentimes it's an excuse to not face the truth about myself that ain't Christianity is what I want to say Christianity is not theory Christianity is practice and Christianity is the practice the rolls up the sleeves as Jesus did and he gets him dirty and sometimes you know what we got to get dirty and the problems of other people and in the mess of other people and the weaknesses of other people because this is how God is going to make us mature specifically today here's what we're gonna do I'm a look at three common problems that every one of us faces and if I took all the sins that we do and commit in this room I bet you two-thirds of those sins will be covered by these three areas that we're gonna talk about right now and I'm gonna show you about how the solution to every one of these three common sins is found in community and cannot be found in isolation the first marker of an immature life is selfishness and I want to say 100 percent of your sins are caused by selfishness 100 percent of the sins that we do are caused by selfishness because the overwhelming characteristic that came from Adam and Eve and their fall in the garden was that man and woman became selfish creatures when Adam and Eve were in the garden God told them don't touch this they said we want this sin began with selfishness and ever since then every fight you've ever had with any human being on this planet the root is selfishness every disagreement between a husband and a wife between a brother and his sister every rubbing the wrong way the root of it is selfishness James tells us this in James chapter 4 verse 1 and 2 he says we're diff Wars and fights come from among you do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war and your members you lust and do not have you murder and covet and cannot obtain you fight and war you say I'm not a selfish person look I never met one person who says I'm selfish everyone thinks they're not selfish that's what makes them selfish but I'm telling you that we got stuff inside of us that naturally tends towards me me me give you a funny example no matter how in love a couple is when they get married no matter how cloud9 a couple is on their wedding day and their honeymoon selfishness always creeps into any marriage always even for the best of them the five stages read this online the five stages of a marriage cold a cold one person has a cold year one we're gonna go were to make it demand to the woman that will flip and do something funny for the women the five stages of a marriage called year one when she has a cold the man says baby I'm worried about those sniffles you don't sound right I think that we should take the day off and I'm taking the day off and let's take the week off and we're gonna rest and get you vitamin C and if those sniffles don't clear up by the end of the week I'm gonna call 911 one myself baby and drive you over there that's near one year too sweetheart I don't like the sound of that call maybe I should call the doctor to come over for a house visit to check you out year three you look like you got a fever won't you pick up some Tylenol after work on your way home year four be sensible sweetie after you've fed and bathed the kids and cook dinner and clean up the kitchen you really should get to sleep early tonight and year five do you have to cough so loud I can't hear the TV selfishness creeps hittin all relationships not giving you one just so the men don't think I'm jumping on the men one for the ladies one guy wrote this he said in the first year of marriage it was my wife who brought me slippers and my dog who barks at me that was in the first year he said things have changed since it happens in all relationships all relationships even the best to them selfishness creep because this is some disease that's inside of us that will never go away as long as we're here on this earth so my question is what do we do about it who's selfish here every one of us selfish here who has selfish tendencies every one of us so what are we gonna do about it we're gonna sit at home and pray about it and we sit read our Bible selfishness cannot be overcome in isolation let the whole point of selfish is it it only cares about myself and there's no switch so I can turn it off there's no verse that I can memorize to get it to go away so what is the only way that I'm going to get rid of this selfishness is I need to practice selflessness like with every one of these three we're not just gonna focus on the negative were gonna focus on the positive of not what we should stop but what we should start we need to practice selflessness especially in our society today which is more selfish than that's ever been because everything out there in those doors everything that you see everything you hear tells you care only about yourself do what makes you happy obey your thirst have it your way whatever it may be that's all about me and to be honest that's immaturity right parents isn't that an immature child is the one who doesn't care about his sister a doesn't care about his parents just cares about himself that's immaturity well spiritually it's the same way and the only way we're gonna get rid of it the only way we're gonna realize that we're not the center of the universe and it's not all about me is we got to get out there amongst others and we have to deal with others and practice selflessness which cannot be practiced in your basement st. Paul says this watch this I'm gonna give you this verse right now and I'm telling you you want advice for any relationship in life take this advice any relationship let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself but each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others I promise you with all my heart if you are struggling in any relationship in life at home at work at church wherever you take Philippians two three and four and you practice this and you recite this and you practice this I guarantee you it'll change the relationship I guarantee you I see the coldest coldest hearts transform by selfless relation or selfish selfless relation because you know what happens in the context of most relationships you got selfish plus selfish and you got two people and selfishness what happens when I come selfless that a person doesn't know how to respond you melt their selfishness by your selflessness how do we do this practically a lot of why I like this this verse in particular because a lot of times our view of selfless is I'm the lowest and I'm the worst and I am you know at the bottom of the barrel look if you convince yourself you're at the bottom of the barrel you're a better man than me I have a tough time convincing myself of that for obvious reasons but you know what I can convince myself of not that I'm the bottom of the barrel but that if me and you were in this room together you're higher than me and maybe the both of us are above everyone that's fine but right now in this context you're higher than me I didn't mean you and go out for lunch today your needs are more important than my knee and then I'm in work tomorrow with you my coworker I care about your success more than my success and I'm at home with my wife and I want her needs not my needs esteem others better than yourself don't try to be the worst don't try to be the worst just try to put the person above you one step up and let it be about what makes them comfortable not what makes me comfortable let it be about what they need not what I need let it be about what their weakness is and how I can help not my weakness and how they need to help me that's what Jesus taught us didn't Jesus teach us that the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many this is our calling as Christians you can't do this in isolation if our calling is to be selfless people everyone agree were to be selfless you cannot do this in isolation you cannot do this if I just go to church and come home and I just pray it out and deal with people that's an excuse to be as selfish as you want to be and just say you know what I'm not gonna change I'm not gonna change we're how I want to do my life the idea of I have no dealings with others is a far cry from the biblical command to fellowship that we see so clearly in the scriptures were one problem selfish solution is selfless number two problem that I think you'll agree with me that we all struggle with is pride their person here who doesn't deal with pride Halon here dundee like it's a catch-22 because if you say yes then you proud I said selfishness was the characteristic that came out of the fall if selfishness was the result of the fall pride was the cause of the fault and especially if you go back even further when you talk about Lucifer who was up in heaven as an angel and he felled why there was pride of wanting to be more than he was here's the problem with pride here's the problem with pride pride everyone else can see it except you that's the problem with pride like if I'm selfish I probably know I'm selfish but I excuse it I just make III put the wool over my eyes but pride I can't see it pride is the blind spot it's that if the mustard stain right here that everyone else can see here with my zippers down and I know everyone sees it except me if everyone can see it's my blind spot except the person who's struggling with that's why King Solomon in Proverbs 16 said pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before fall since it's hard for us to see our pride let me give you some of the symptoms which may indicate this pride inside you're proud if you never say sorry was the last time you said sorry was it last time if you're married the last time you said sorry to your spouse was last time you said sorry to your children if you're a parent was the last time you said sorry to your friends you tell me you never made a mistake you tell me as always their fault was last time he said sorry what was the last time that you asked for advice and didn't give advice we're very good at giving advice because we got it all figured out I was last time you asked for advice when was the last time that instead of criticizing you sympathised was last time you made an excuse I'll give you the one that you don't really realize is pride you know what one of the number-one characteristics of pride or symptoms are pride is when we're overly sensitive overly sensitive at its root is pride easily offended at its root is pride because what it says is no one can touch me how dare that person if you're the kind of person who gets offended all the time and you're very sensitive to the point that no one can get close to you it's always they messed up somehow but maybe it's not always them maybe there's a pride issue going on inside if pride is your problem the solution is only one thing solution is I need to learn humility I need to learn humility and again humility is one of these misunderstood characteristics or concepts in Christianity which is this I'm this worse is self-deprecating I'm the scum of the earth that's nonsense that's non sense because Christ was the most humble and Christ was not funny like that humility requires relationships and it's all about how you deal with others it's not necessarily about how you say these things about yourself look what first Peter chapter 5 verse 5 says likewise you younger people submit yourselves to the elders see how he connects it he's talking about relationships and he says yes all of you beasts to miss it to one another and be clothed with humility two things I learned from this verse first thing I learned that humility is like a coat I put on humility is not a feeling it's not an emotion it's everyday I go into my closet and I say the humble coke I put on and I walk into my office and here's my jerk boss and I say you know what I'm putting on the humble coat with my jerk boss and I'm driving down 495 and I'm rushing and I'm late then the jerk guy cuts me off I'm putting on the humble Kok it's an action that I do it's something that I mentally acknowledge and say I will put on humility and the manifestation of it as you see right here is in relationship to one another he says the way you know you put it on is when you younger people you submit to your elders and in fact nuts is young to the Eldar but all of you submit to one another in true humility but I ain't the king of the world not the most important person in the world but I lift others higher than myself again this cannot happen in isolation you know what I'll be honest with you I bet you at one point in time every single person in this room prayed for humility met whether you meant it or didn't mean it you prayed for it you heard a sermon you thought you were supposed to see you prayed for it I guarantee you that when you pray for humility God will send you opportunities to be and practice humbled but those opportunities are not in a yes now I'm humbled you know what the opportunities are gonna be it's gonna be your coworkers coming at you it's gonna be your wife coming at you it's gonna be your boss it's gonna be your friend you know what it is for me it's Costco its Costco because I pray God make me humble then I get there and it is easy and then the lines are 10,000 miles and I don't know where anything is and I can't squeeze my little cart through the thing and why don't you take credit cards I don't know you prayed for humility God will send you forgive the expression annoying people so that you can practice it how you gonna be humble if everyone is yes father anything you're the greatest practice humility in that let me show you a practical way to do this humility thing and I'll tell you something if if I'm gonna say this and I'm telling you me number one as soon as I say this I'm judging myself and I'm judging myself as I having pride in here because I do not want to do what I'm about to say that you should do and I'm telling you in advance but this is a characteristic to know if you struggle with pride go to a friend go to a life group remember if you're in a life group go to one in your circle of friends and say will you help me guide meet mentor me hold me accountable whatever use whatever expression that you want can I count on you to help me that's a far cry from what we usually do because what do we usually do we go to our life group meeting and then we go around and the goal is to get all the right answers on the questions here come the questions I'm gonna give all the right answers everyone's gonna see that I have my life most intact and my life is the most perfect and nothing is weakened here and I'm coming to tell you how you can be better in your spiritual life you want humility go to somebody and say help me mentor me let me ask your advice maybe that's too big commit maybe you don't ready to make that commitment say hey can we grab a coffee one time I want to ask your advice about something can you do that if you can't do that there might be a pride issue because that's where humilities first problem humanity faces selfishness we combat that with selflessness second is pride we fight it with humility third and probably the most dangerous if left untreated as resentment resentment it's my nice way of saying unforgiveness there is no such thing I always tell this to married couples before they get married there's no such thing as a relationship with no mistakes the number one characteristics that's going to define if you're married whether you make it or if your friendship and you make it it's not your love for each other it's your ability to forgive one another because I'm gonna mess up and my wife's gonna mess up and no matter how much I love her she may love me she gonna mess up and I'm gonna mess up and the characteristic that's going to be determining whether we make it is our ability to forgive one another cuz I mess up and you mess up kids mess up brothers your brothers gonna mess up you she's gonna mess up your parents gonna mess up the Pope is gonna mess up Michael Jordan's gonna mess up like you name it take it to the highest level everyone messes up because we're all sinners and we all need forgiveness at some point in time job chapter 5 verse 2 says if you are not willing to forgive forgive resentment kills a fool and envy slays the simple now I'm gonna cut to the I'm gonna jump to the end of this conversation here because I know what is going on in people's head when I say forgiveness inside people's heads when I say you need to forgive need to forgive you need to let go you need to let go you cannot just isolate yourself and say you know what I don't have any dealing I don't deal anyone I wanna do with these people I can't forgive them i'ma jump to the end of it what you're saying in your head is what they did is wrong what they did is wrong they did something bad and I have a right to be angry and I say you know what you 100% have a right to be angry but you do not have a right to be unforgiving angered no problem sometimes like sometimes anger is bad okay but sometimes anger is justified if you come into my house you hurt my wife and my kids I'll be very angry with you anger even Jesus got angry anger can be justified but unforgiveness can never be justified bitterness resentment grudges are all expressions mean the same thing means that I refuse to forgive someone for what they did and why is it always wrong because Jesus connected our forgiveness with our willingness to forgive others actually in fact Jesus didn't connect it you connected I'm about to finish up here when say a short prayer we're gonna conclude that prayer by saying the Lord's Prayer and you not me not me you are only stand up and say Lord forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us forgive me Lord for my lie the same way I forgave my sister when she lied to me oh wait a minute I didn't forgive her I hate her guts I have her picture my wall and I throw darts at it every day and you are saying forgive me the same way I forgive forgive my gossip the way I forgave someone's who Gosford about me forgive my little white lie - same way I forgave that little white light and all you're doing is heaping condemnation on yourself that's why we actually just yesterday in the membership group we talked about Lord's Prayer those have been to the membership we talking about the Lord's Prayer every time we do it and I get to this part and I tell people the same thing I'll tell you right now look I talk about fasting listen to me in one ear not the other that's fine prayer anyone here not the other okay that's not good but okay let us slide put money in the money box very important to give we'll talk about the like okay that's fine let me talk about unforgiveness there's no negotiation because even after the Lord gave the Lord's Prayer he expounded on only one phrase in that prayer as soon as he gave that pray in Matthew chapter six from verse 9 to 13 verse 14 immediately after he gave it he said if you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you but if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses look when it comes to forgiving my sins everything is on pause everything else is on hold nothing else matters don't tell me he should be he did she don't tell me that when I talk about everything we do in this life I said I can stand in front of God and he can say your sins are forgiven and if there's something that doesn't allow me to hear those words you drop everything and you solve it I need to learn forgiveness I need to learn forgiveness I will not learn forgiveness sitting in my basement throwing pictures at my sister with the dart or the soaring darts at the picture of my sister I won't learn forgiveness I won't learn forgiveness talking about my brother or my sister behind their back and telling the whole world how bad they are I will learn forgiveness when I get out of myself I humble myself I go selfless and I'm willing to go to that person and offer forgiveness when it's appropriate now let me just caveat this and say I gave a whole talk about forgiveness a couple months ago one whole session we talked about when do I need to go to the other person when do I not go to the other person when do I need to restore the relationship and not those are all peripheral issues which yes sometimes you should not restore the relationship but you still forgive sometimes you should go to the person and say I forgive you sometimes that's the worst thing you can do all those things we talk about that later but I'm talking about forgiveness between here and here I gotta let it go because the defining characteristic of who Jesus was what made jesus different than every other human being on this planet every other religion every other religious leader everyone everyone everyone no one did what Jesus did and Luke third twenty three twenty thirty four when he was up on that cross did nothing wrong there nothing wrong 100% innocent and then people this Bible says it wag the tail like wagging their mouths at him and wag the tail him and and and and made fun of him and and and he said Lord Father forgive them they know not what they do I was look at that verse they say you can tell what's inside a person when he squeezed look how do I know what's inside a lemon when I squeezed what does that orange when I squeeze it when Jesus was squeezed squeeze squeeze squeeze to the uttermost what came out like they squeezed him and he couldn't take it any more into pain and the really cool father forgive them because Jesus is forgiveness and if we're Jesus followers you squeeze us it has to come out forgiveness I tell people when they struggle with this when Jesus connected my salvation when Jesus connected my forgiveness with her forgiveness of others he changed the rules because he said simply put this your sins and the sins of your Tressler those who sinned against you they are tied together and if you want I will take those two that will throw them as the Bible says as far as the East is from the West I'll take him to the bottom of the ocean your sins I remember no more I'll take those bad boys and throw those things away but they're connected but if you choose to hold on you're only holding on to your own sins your enemy hurts you he hurts your body he hurts you emotionally but by you not forgiving you kill your soul yesterday actually we had this discussion someone shared and I was so touched I wanted to cry but I didn't think was appropriate talked about how when they heard that talk a few months ago this person who had been holding on to a grudge for a long time went and said I need to forgive and this person forgave a very very difficult situation and they forgave and this person said I never felt better than after I forgave they said I used to talk about this person all the time and I used to tell people about this person and I made a decision to forgive and they did what I asked him that person to do and they did the model and they forgave and they said I've never felt better in my life because when you choose to not forgive when you choose to be resentful when you choose to be bitter what you are doing imagine I have a shotgun right here and I want to blast your head off because of what you did to me but I say you know what I turn the shotgun around I fire it this way in my face hoping that the kickback may bruise you in the face when I don't forgive I'm killing myself in the hopes that I might bruise you all you're doing is hurting your own self and killing yourself if you choose not to forgive practically how like I said anyone who's struggling with this issue I encourage you to go back we did a series a few months ago called it's ethics one of the sessions in there was specifically about this and I talked for about 45 minutes probably a little bit longer about how to do it practically I don't have time to get in all that right now I encourage you to go check that message out but let me just show you one verse what you should remember if you struggle with forgiveness Colossians 3 12 and 13 therefore as the elect of God the family of God holy and beloved put on again like the clothing idea be clothed with tender mercies kindness humility meekness long-suffering bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another even as Christ forgave you so you must also do do you see that the picture of what it means to be the elect of God holy and beloved the picture is manifest in the context of community how do I know if I'm elective God I'm putting on kindness I cannot be kind in the mirror I'm putting on mercy I gotta be merciful to myself why can be but that's not the right way to be merciful I'm not humble to myself I'm humble with others bearing with one another and forgiving one another remembering always that I need forgiveness the day you say god I don't need anymore forgiveness I'm good that's the day I say okay don't forgive anybody else the day you're willing to say you know what okay um you know I'm 38 years old now I figure I'll live this many number of years I think I don't need anymore forgiveness I'll take my chances okay that date don't forgive anymore the day you're willing to say I'm willing to risk the rest of my life I'm not gonna need any more forgiveness go ahead man but me I'm gonna play it safe I'm gonna play the odds and say you know what I'm probably gonna mess up between now and and the end of my life and even as Christ forgave you so you also must do this true spiritual maturity this is a picture maturity right here maturity with our children is the ability to delay gratification maturity spiritually from God's perspective is the ability not to live for today I'm angry I want to stick it to this person or this person is unselfish I want this right now or I think I'm the best it's the ability to live for tomorrow and not live for today one last verse it shows you what the goal is st. Paul says in Ephesians 4:15 that we how do I know when I'm done the spiritual maturity thing that we may grow up not grow old grow up and all things into him who is the head who is Christ we continue to grow until the day we look in the mirror and we see Jesus Christ himself I look at my words I put my words in the mirror and I see the words of Christ I put my thoughts and I see the thoughts of Christ I put my dealings with my neighbor my enemy my whoever and I see the dealings of Christ that's the goal and that's what we will not stop you may be older today in years but just again with children just because they're older in years certainly does not mean they're more mature right parents I know people who sell in the 30s 40s but they're acting in a maturity level of the teenagers live in the college years the good the good days same thing is true spiritually our goal is not to grow older spiritual goal is to grow up spiritually and we can only do that in the context of relationships say this I'll leave you with this thought our goal is Christ the method that we will use to get there is in community the goal is Christ the head but the method to get there and he has designed is the body because God uses community to teach us to get us to maturity let's stand together for a prayer please in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit one God amen Lord we thank you for this message that you gave to us this gentle reminder before before the harsh one comes at one point in time we thank you Lord that that you have a plan for our lives you as the firstborn of all creation have ordained it that we should be in your image and we should grow into your likeness we pray Lord that you would help to kind of overcome our pride and our selfishness and the bitterness that's inside of our hearts these things that stop us Lord from from reaching your your plan for us pray Lord that you would help us to put on humility to put on selflessness and to put on the forgiveness the same one that you had on the cross and the same one that you give to all of us anytime we come asking for mercy I pray Lord that you would help us to mature and not just get older as the years go by but to really grow up and be more mature in our relationship with you and are dealing with one another we pray these things in the name of your son our Lord Jesus Christ and with the prayers of all your saints here as Lord as we pray thankfully our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil one in Christ Jesus our Lord for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory forever amen