Hopefully by now you’ve heard enough of these shows to know there is more to being a Christian than just saying or doing what you need to do to become “saved”. True, salvation is a benefit to being a Christian, as we are saved by grace thru faith in Christ, but that gift is just the beginning of our journey, and it comes with responsibility—if I gave you a car for Christmas, but you never put gas in it or changed the oil, that gift would soon become pretty worthless. Likewise, after we’ve repented of our sins, received His gracious forgiveness and are covered with His righteousness, we have a responsibility to GROW in our faith, in our knowledge of Him, in wisdom, and in holiness. But that doesn’t just instantly happen, and it isn’t always easy—there’s all sorts of opposition along the way. Here today to tell us what to watch for to make this journey successfully is teacher and author of the book, Broken Yet Blessed, Kathi McCarty.
Table Talk Notes
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The road we travel
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…In Him was life (zoe)…And the Word became flesh ….and of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace…”
Jn 1:1-5,14, 16 | In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
There’s a bandit on the road (This is highway robbery!)
Mk 4:14-20 | “The sower (HS) sows the word…and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them… And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
- vs.17a: affliction (sickness)
- vs 17b: persecution (offense)
- vs 19a: cares of the world (challenges of life)
- vs 19b: deceitfulness of riches (more is better)
- vs 19c: lust of other things (want, need, must have!)
Are you “armed & dangerous?”
Deut 30:11-14 | “For this commandment which I command you is not too difficult…the word is very near you, in your mouth & heart…”
“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Prov 4:23 | “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Matt 4:4 | “Man does not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceeds from the mouth of God”
The response is health/healing
–> Learning to live with the tension between authority of believer and the sovereignty of God.
–> We partner with God’s truth spiritually.
Is 53:5 (4-6) | By His stripes we are (have been) healed:
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
–> We partner with God’s truth emotionally/mentally
3 John 2 | “prosper & be in health even as your soul prospers”
–> We partner with God’s truth physically
We exercise, eat & sleep well, take meds in Jesus’ name.
The response is forgiveness
Matt 6:12, 15 | “And forgive us our debts (sin & offenses) as we have forgiven our debtors… But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive you…”
“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
attributed by some to Buddha, spoken in various forms by multiple people including Nelson Mandela and Joyce Meyer
Addressing Cares of World
The response is expressing faith (i.e. Maintaining thru prayer/worship an attitude of gratitude for all that God is and has done)
“…and my God will supply all my needs (take care of all my concerns) according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (from Phil 4:19)
Addressing deceit of riches
The response is stewardship
James 5:1-3 | “Your riches have rotted & your garments have become moth-eaten” Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
Lk 16:10-13 | “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Luke 12:42-46, 48 | “…to whom much is given, much is required…” | And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful … Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Mt 25:23 | “…Well done, good & faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many. Enter into the joy of your master.”
Addressing lust of things
The response is contentedness (in Kingdom living)
Matt 6:25, 33 | “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or … drink, or for your body as to what you shall put on…How much more will the Father do for you, o men of little faith. Seek first the kingdom… and all things shall be added to you.”
Paul said in Phil 4, “I have learned…to be content….” 10-13 | I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
What areas of my life are lacking in Godly/moral character?
What choices can I make today to begin to grow in the character of Jesus?
Am I willing to “press through” the difficult times so the Lord can reveal the content of my heart, and change me?
Eph 3:16-19 | I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.