But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
(Mars Pic) – I’ve recently found out that we’re sending people to Mars – 2030’s
I’ve always been the kind of person that when I hear about the space and the universe, that it points me to God.
Amazing Space Facts
Slant of the earth – 23 degrees. Produces seasons. – If it was .5 percent off, vapors from the ocean would move both north and south making vast continents of ice, and earth couldn’t support life.
Moon – if it was 50,000 miles away and not 250,000 – ocean tides so big, all the continents would be submerged.
If the crust of the earth was 10 feet thicker, no oxygen, and no animal or human life.
If Oceans were a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would all be absorbed and their would be no plant life.
The earths weight – best six sextillion tons (six w/21 zeros). Yet perfectly balanced and turns easily on it’s axis.
Earth Rotates daily at a speed of over 1,000 miles per hour. – 9 million miles in a year.
Earth orbits around the sun at 68,000 miles per hour.
The sun – every square yard of suns surface is emitting constantly energy level of 130,000 horsepower.
The sun is only 1 of aprox 100 billion in the Milky Way.
Pretend you could zoom out so that the Milky Way is the size of a penny. We can now see galaxies that are like 20 miles that way.
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)
Story – Guy lost his faith. “KNOWLEDGE. I grew up and stopped believing in Santa Clause”
Interesting contrast – What builds up my faith, he says destroyed his.
It’s crazy to think about why people lose their faith. And honestly, I don’t know why.
But I know what keeps me from losing mine. – Experience of Him.
Monotonous is not the same as boring.
Monotony = “Sameness”
We rely on monotony.
With very few exceptions, none of us have gone without breathing for more than 3 minutes. That’s not ‘boring’ is necessary.
“Skipped a beat” – Heart palpitations.
God not only loves you extravagantly, but consistently.
You’re ‘goodness’ is most certainly not monotonous.
Sometimes good – sometimes the worst.
Me Ministry: ‘offensive’ – God’s love.
Professional Christians who warn us about giving ‘license’ to sin.
Absurd. When has not having a license stopped you?
They think the war in the Old Testament is the ultimate picture of God.
What they miss: We didn’t have a full picture of God until Jesus. – Everything before Jesus points to Jesus.
Resisting God’s love: Traced back: church, parents, pastors, life.
Easier to understand – disappointed – pissed
Easier to understand a good who’s disappointed and pissed, than a God who is love. (1 John 4:8)
Starting to believe: A God of love can’t be understood, He has to be experienced.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; (Psalm 34:8)
One thing Bible is about: Experience Him
Apostle John – end of His life – wrote almost exclusively of God’s love.
Paul: monotonously about God’s grace.
The grace of God is the totality by which men and women are made righteous. (Romans 3:24) (Titus 3:7)
By grace Paul was called. (Galatians 1:15)
God bestows his glorious grace on us in his Son. (Ephesians 1:6)
The grace of God appeared for the salvation of all. (Titus 2:11)
The grace of our Lord has overflowed with the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)
Grace is a store to which we have access through Christ. (Romans 5:2)
Grace is a state or condition in which we stand. (Romans 5:2)
Grace is received in abundance. (Romans 5:17)
The grace of God has abounded more than sin. (Romans 5:15, 20-21, 6:1)
Grace is given to us in Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:4)
Paul did not receive Grace in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1)
The surpassing grace of God is within the Christian. (2 Corinthians 9:14)
God’s grace is reaching more and more people (2 Corinthians 4:15)
Grace stands in opposition to the law. Both Jews and Gentiles are saved through the grace of Jesus. (Acts 15:11)
To hold the law is to nullify grace (Galatians 2:11) and when the Galatians accept the law, they have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)
The Christian is not under the law but under grace. (Romans 6:14).
Grace is opposed to what is owed.. (Romans 4:4)
The gospel itself, which is the good news of grace, can be called grace (Acts 20:24) or the word of his grace. (Acts 14:3 20:32)
God loves us.
Grace goes against:
- The God who is patiently sitting there waiting for us to fail.
- The God who is incapable of smiling at our awkward mistakes.
- The God who says “You will pay for that!”
- The God who expects his children to always be good little boys and girls.
- The God who is shocked when we get dirty and ruin our church clothes.
The God who, out of love for us, sent the only son he ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed on a cross, and died whispering forgiveness for us all.
The God of the legalistic Christian:
Unpredictable – Erratic – Capable of all kinds of prejudice.
When we see God like this, we’re inclined to try our best to appease him.
Go to church, read bible, tithe – – appease God.
Expect judgement if we don’t.
God loves you faithfully and consistently.
Mad when God shows kindness to wicked people.
…Then Pul king of Assyria invaded the land… Tiglath-Pilesar, king of Assyria, came…and deported the people… Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it (2 Kings)
Invading is what happens when you raise an army and then march into another country and take it over using force and power and violence.
Deporting is what happens when you capture the inhabitants of said country you’ve invaded and forcibly remove them from their homes and jobs and towns and land and then take them far away.
Laying siege is what happens when you surround a city with your army and in doing this sever the city from its food and water sources so that so many people are starving and suffering and dying that eventually they give up and surrender.
Assyrians – mean. Nasty, brutish, violent, oppressive – made life miserable for Israelites. Year after year.
During this time – story emerged – a man named Jonah. Israelite – God: “take a message to the great city Nineveh.”
Ninevah – in assyria
Get’s on a boat – opposite direction.
STORY in 20 seconds: He gets on the boat, a storm comes, there’s a discussion among the crew about the cause of the storm, they determine he’s the problem, they throw him overboard, he’s swallowed by a fish, he prays in the belly of the fish, the fish spits him out, he then goes to Nineveh, the Ninevites are fantastically receptive to his message, and then the story ends with him so depressed he wants to kill himself because of a gourd.
Can jonah forgive assyrians = can israel forgive isryians?
God forgives, Jonah is mad. Stinks: Good things happen to people you hate.
God asks Jonah – question
“Should I not be concerned about that great city?”
- I forgive better than you.
- You hold grudges, I don’t.
- You’re petty, I’m not.
God loves you faithfully and consistently. Be ok w/that.
God loves your enemies faithfully and consistently. Be ok w/that.
God’s grace extends to places you think it shouldn’t.
Flannery O’Connor – Revelation – based on last book of the bible.
Main character – Mrs Turpin – Proper lady, proud of her good deeds.
No respect for white trash and Negro’s.
Freaks / Mentally Ill.
At night, in bed, she wonders if God made her choose, if she’d rather be white trash, a retard, or a Negro
“Fine, I guess if you had to, you could make me a Negro, just not a trashy one!”
One day – waiting at doctors office, a young woman hits her with her purse and tries to strangle her. As she’s being carried off, the young woman yells “Go back to hell where you came from you old wart hog.” – Devastated.
“Go back to hell where you came from you old wart hog.” – Devastated.
Pigpen – Vision
Goes home, stands in backyard, staring at the pigpen. Gets a vision.
From the ground, fiery brilliant bridge, extending from earth to heaven.
On the bridge “a vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven. There were whole companies of white trash, clean for the first time in their lives, and bands of blank negros in white robes, and battalions of freaks and lunatics shouldering and clapping and leaping like frogs, and finally a whole tribe of people just like herself marching behind the others with great dignity, accountable as they had always been for good order and common sense and respectable behavior. They alone were on key. Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away.”
Story ends w/Mrs Turpin going back into her house, hearing only “the voices of the souls climbing upward into the starry field and shouting hallelujah.”
“But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first” (Matthew 19:30).
Sounds crazy, but I think for church going people, a touch of mrs turpin hides in all of us.
Message started with God’s power through creation.
See His power & consistency.
The God who flung from His fingertips this universe filled with galaxies and stars, penguins, Pomeranians and poodles, elephants and evergreens, parrots, peaches and pears, and a world full of children made in His own image, is the God who loves with magnificent monotony.
Not boring, consistent. Even at your worst. Even when you couldn’t deserve it less. He’s steady. He’s Reliable. He’s Dependable. He’s Trustworthy.