Beyond, Rev. Jimmie Bratcher, Jan 29, 2012

Genesis 50:22
– the back-story of Joseph’s experience
– there’s a huge difference between trying to be a believer and just being a believer
– beyond: the past, the offense, the pain, the judgement or justification of revenge or defense, the emotions. As a family, they had to make the decision that things would be different. That they would move beyond.
– we live in a world of whiners – Get Over It
Tools For Getting “Beyond”
1. Forgive – it’s not optiona, it’s a command (Matt. 6:16, John 20:23)
  – unforgiveness causes us to retain the pain of the past
  – it accomplishes nothing
  – forgiveness is to cut loose the pain of the past and give your whole life to the love of Jesus
2. Forget (Phil. 3:13) – there are things ahead of us, that if we don’t forget the past, we’ll never be able to enjoy the life or the family God has planned for us.
3. Press On (Phil. 3:13-14, John 20:23, Ps. 45:1)
  – it’s possible for your life to be so full of regret, guilt, unforgiveness, and shame, that there’s no capacity for us to really grab a hold of and experience not only the present but have vision for the future. We’ve got to get beyond those hurts because there’s something greater at stake.
  – I refuse to let my failures of my past control my future.
4. Looking Back (Gen. 50:20)
  – because the past is real, then how do we view it? The same way Joseph did. We see the good and not the bad. We see the promise and not the pain, we see the family together, whole and enjoying life.
  – Joseph and his brothers, and their families, got beyond their past.
  – discontentment gets us stuck being held back. Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim. 6:6)
  – our families and home is a big deal. Don’t take it for granted.
  – learn how to release things like God forgives and forgets our sins

Giving Account, Part 4, Jan 22, 2012

Giving Account: Our Words and the Golden Rule
Matt. 12:22-37, 7:12 – golden rule
– every person will give an account of their words to God, whether they want to or not.
Lev. 19:16-18 – God wants us to live out this life as Jesus did
Rom. 14:11-12
– your words reveal your heart, God is God of the heart
Rom. 7:12 – God is a God of action “Do to others…”
– Jesus requires that you show kindness to others
– speak evil of no man
10 principles to help us live out the golden rule:
1. If I have a problem with another person, I will go to him/her privately.
2. If someone has a problem with me, I want him/her to come to me privately, and I will be open to hear what he/she has to say.
3. If someone has a problem with me and they come to you, send them to me and I’ll do the same for you.
4. If someone hesitates to come to me, say, “I’ll go with you. I’m sure they’ll discuss this situation with you.” I’ll do the same for you.
5. Be careful how you interpret me. I’d rather do that. (instead of jumpint to conclusions, ask what they meant)
6. I will be careful how I interpret you.
7. If it’s confidential, I won’t tell, unless someone is harming himself/herself or someone else.
8. I won’t send or pay attention to unsigned letters or notes. Information should always travel with a person’s name so it can be cleared up, if necessary.
9. I will not manipulate; I will not be manipulated.
10. When in doubt, I will bring up my concern or question.

Giving Account, Part 3, Jan 15, 2012

Romans 14: 1-12
– everything I have is on load from God and I will give an account of how I’ve managed it.
– secret of contentment – Eccl. 6:9, Phil.4:12 – by nature, we tend to be discontent
4 Steps to Contentment:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others (2 Cor. 10:12) – we all have designer genes and we’re all unique
– America’s favorite sport is comparison
– Principles of contentment: I must learn to admire without having to acquire. I don’t have to own it in order to enjoy it (Ex. 20:17)
– coveting is the uncontrolled desire to acquire
– if you own something you can’t let go of, it actually owns you
– bring our desires under control of the Holy Spirit
2. Enjoy what you have (Eccl. 5:19) – God enjoys watching us enjoy what He’s given us
– what do I have now that I’m not enjoying?
– get rid of “when and then” thinking (when this happens, then I’ll be happy)
– it doesn’t cost anything to be happy
– two ways to have enough: work more and want less (1 Tim. 6:17-19)
– ways to be wealthy and not materialistic:
– don’t become proud of your wealth
– don’t put your hope in money
– use it to do good
– share it with others – giving is an antidote to materialism
– tithing is the starting point of honoring God in our giving and begins to break the grip of materialism on my life
3. Remember life is not about things – the greatest things in life are not things
4. Focus on what whill last forever – (2 Cor. 4:18)
– truth: I can’t have it all and I don’t need it all to be happy
– my satisfaction is not in what I have, but Whose I am and Who I belong to (Ps. 17:15)

Giving Account, Part 2, Jan 8, 2012

– at the end of the day, we will all have to give an account of what we did with our time on earth to God
Luke 16:1-14 – leverage your stuff for eternal purposes
Luke 12:13-34 – where you treasure is, there your heart is also. Where ever you want your heart to be, start putting your treasure there.
– Law of Contentment – Prov. 14:30 – when it comes to health, it’s not what you eat, but what eats you, Eccl. 6:9 – better to be satisfied with what you have

5 Damaging Effects of Wanting More:
1. More fatigue (Prov. 23:4) – the drive to get more, leaves us tired – even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.
2. More expenses (Eccl. 5:11) it always costs more to have more – my greeds are now my needs
3. More anxiety (Eccl. 5:12) – the more you have, the more you have to worry about – insomnia increases with income
4. More conflict (Prov. 15:27, 1 Tim. 6:9) – fatigue to expenses to anxiety = more conflict
5. More dissatisfaction (Eccl. 5:10) – we tend to think having more = more satisfaction, more love, more importance – why were we once thrilled with what we are now dissatisfied with?

“Through contentment, you and I can live a life of less fatigue, less anxiety, less conflict and less dissatisfaction” Solomon

Giving Account, Jan 1, 2012

Matt. 25:1-46
– would you live your life differently if you knew you had to give an account?
– Stewardship is about not being an owner but the manager of another’s property (Ps. 24:1-2, Gen. 2:15)
– “How can a loving God pass judgement?” He holds us accoutable for our actions. God is a God of perfect love and perfect judgement (2 Tim. 4:1, 1 Peter 4:5, Rom. 14:10, Heb. 13:4, Rev. 11:18, Heb. 9:27, Matt. 12:36)
– do believers really have to give account if 1 John 1:9 is true? Not for our sins but we will give account for what we did with our life. (Rom. 14:12, Heb. 13:17, 1 Peter 4:5)
2 Separate Judgements:
1. Believers Are Judged At: The Judgment Seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10-12, Eph. 2:8-9, 1 Cor. 3:11-15)
2. Unbelievers Are Judged At: The Great White Throne Judgment
– if you were born twice, you only die once; if you’ve only been born once, you die twice (Rev. 20:11-15, Gal. 2:16)
– true fellowship out of love for one another demands accountability.
– “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” James S. Hewett
– “My greatest thought is my accountability to God.”  Daniel Webster
– “What difference does it make to you what someone else becomes, or says, or does? You do not need to answer for others, only for yourself.” Thomas A Kempis (1380-1471)
– “The essence of sin is the refusal to recognize that we are accountable to God at all.” Oswald Chambers