Comfort For Troubled Hearts, Part 4, Oct 28, 2007

Comfort Through Trials (John 15:17-16:4)

We live in a world where we get discomforted

Jesus is telling of trials coming

Encountering hostility
Jesus is leaving the world (Acts 17:24)
God loves the world (3:16)

This world’s system is characterized by:
1. the lusts of the flesh
  – His Spirit comes to live in me, to make my spirit man stronger than my physical man’s desires (Prov. 27:20 “Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.”)
2. The pride of life: all about me, my achievements, talk about me, my stuff is bigger and better than your stuff, etc.

Christ’s attitude to the world:
  – I’m coming into this world
  – gave light to the workd (3:19)

World’s attitude to Christ:
  – rejected Him (1:11)
  – hated Him (15:18)

World’s attitude to christians
  – transferrable from Christ to christians (15:18)
  – inexcusable (15:22)
  – defensivenes and hostility – just being around non-christians can be a light, I don’t have to say anything and they can sense light and be hostile becuase they feel conviction from the light.
  – predictable (16:2)
  – inevitable (16:4)

Understanding hostility
  – disciples are chosen by Christ (15:19)
  – disciples serve like Christ (15:20)
  – disciples teach like Christ (15:20)
  – disciples identify with Christ (15:21-22) as christians, we agreed with it, we’ll live by it, and we’ll die by it.

What are we to do?
  – don’t forget the Holy Spirit (15:26)
  – don’t be intimidated by it (15:27) shine His light where it matters: work, play, wherever I’m at, not just on Sunday mornings.
  – don’t be surprised by it (16:1)

Comfort For Troubled Hearts, Part 3, Oct 21, 2007

Comfort Through Relationships (John 15:1-16)

  – God wants there to be much fruit in my life and when He sees much fruit, He wants there to be more fruit
  – When I don’t live with trust and love, I become dysfunctional
  – The depth of the relationship we enjoy, the deeper the joy we experience
  – God is the journey and the destination

Recognize the relationship:
  – by choice: God chose me – not like when I was picked last for teams
  – He heals me from my insecurity and fear of rejection

1. Jesus is the vine (v.1)
  – “I am”
  – The true vine (Ps. 80:8-16)
  – Father is the vine dresser (v.1)
  – Caring intimately for the vine (v.2)
  – Pruning the vine for more fruitfulness (v.2)
2. Disciples are the branches
  – chose to bear fruit (v.16)
  – external fruit bares the nutrients of the tree

Responding to the relationship

1. Remaining in Christ (v.4-5)
  – maintain and protect the relationship
2. Retaining His words (v.7)
3. Remaining in His love
  – Life of obedience
4. Reflecting the relationship
  – through genuine joy

  – why do I let my joy get stolen so quickly? Because I’m tied to the wrong things.

Through genuine friendships (v.14-15)
  – The Lord
  – with disciples

Comfort For Troubled Hearts, Part 2, Oct 14, 2007

God’s Comfort Through Love (John 14:15-31)
  – Jesus Gives me peace and it’s my choice to choose not to let my heart be troubled or afraid. (v.27)

2 Fundamental needs of humans
  1. To love and express love
  2. To accept and receive love

Comfort through examples of love:
  1. Selfless love (John 13:1)
    – this love is expressed to the end, not temporary
  2. Sacrificial love (John 13:7)
    – God’s love for me is a sacrificial love
  3. Submissive love (in the greek means “to come under”)
    – teachableness
    – submit to the Holy Spirit

We are to submit to God’s love
  – submit to patience, kindness goodness, self-control, and all the other fruits of the spirit

Comfort through the experience of love:
  1. Being loved by the Father (John 3:16)
    – unversal love of the Father.  Receive God’s love and express it (not just following in my earthly father’s footsteps)
    – unique love of the Father
    – receive God’s love and express it (need to trust God’s love like a parachute)
  2. Being loved by the Son (John 14:16)
    – He gives us another counselor like Jesus
    – He will be in me (v.23)
    – He promises not to abandon me, (v. 18-19)
    – You will see Me, You will live, You will realize
    – Offer of peace (v.27) not as the world gives

Comfort through the expression of love (14:21)
  – Follow Jesus’ examples of love (e.g. forgive, keep His commands)
  – Love expressed through joy
  – Obedient discipleship (13:34-35)

Comfort For Troubled Hearts, Part 1, Oct. 7, 2007

Comfort For Troubled Hearts, Part 1 – Comfort Through Trust

John 14:1-14
“Let not your heart be troubled” (v.1)
  – God is the God of all comfort
  – God wants to bring comfort in the midst of turmoil, to guard against fear

1. Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and troubled after seeing Mary and others weeping. (11:33) He can relate to turmoil and a troubled heart

2. Jesus can relate by the agony of facing crucifixion. (12:27) He agonizes over wanting to save the lost, but not looking foward to the payment price.

3. Jesus can relate to being betrayed. (13:31) Embrace Jesus so my heart won’t be bitter

4. Jesus can relate to having His friends abandon Him. (13:30)

5. Jesus can relate to having His closest friends disown Him. (13:38) Peter denies knowing Jesus even though he said he wouldn’t

6. Jesus can relate to dealing with disillusionment. (14:5-8) Thomas and Philip were disillusioned about what was going to happen to Jesus.
  – I can believe in an illusion of a perfect world and then become disillusioned when things don’t work out my way.
  – If God is Lord of my life, He will shatter my illusions so He can be God of my life.

Disaster of distrust

Gen. 3:1 – Man began to distrust God, Satan plants words of distrust in us
  – God says to entrust our soul completely to Him, not other people
  – enjoy friendships and relationships but don’t make them gods
  – God is committed to restoring my relationship with Him
  – If I can’t believe God by His Words, I can at least believe Him by His works. Lord help my unbelief.
  – Comfort through trust (Jesus is coming back so that I’ll be with Him)