WEEK 6 | Emotions | Mystery & Goodness

 
 

A PSALM OF PLEADING

Psalm 69:1-4, 16-18, 29

1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.

2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.

3 I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.

4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal must I now restore?

16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.

17 Hide not your face from your servant, for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.

18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies!

29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

TO A PSALM OF PRAISE

Psalm 69:30-36

30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

31 This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.

32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

33 For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them.

35 For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it;

36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

Psalms go from lament, to praise to thanksgiving.
Have you noticed?
The switch from lament to praise is always abrupt and mysterious?
God never explains the gap or the process?
Why is it abrupt and mysteriously quick?
Could it be that the psalmist has compressed an experience that took a long time to develop into a short statement?
Why does God not explain the gap in the psalms?
There are no steps to healing? No principles to follow? Why?
If we could explain the gap than we could control it and then we would probably start worshipping it instead of drawing near to the one that desires relationship with us.
God longs for faith that struggles and rests in His goodness.
As we cry out to God and lean into him in the gap, what can we expect from God?

God restores us. (Psalm 113:7-9)
God parents us.(Psalm 103:13)
God gives us rest.(Psalm 131:1-2)
God fills us. (Psalm 107:9)
God glorifies us. (Psalm 3:3)
God gives us himself. (Psalm 17:15)

Psalm 51:16-17

16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

ENTER REDEMPTIVE STRUGGLE

Sermon Notes PDF
Group Guide PDF

WEEK 5 | Emotions | Contempt & Shame

 
 

CONTEMPT & SHAME
Rejecting Love/intimacy

Contempt (Google’s definition): 
1) The feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn. 
2) Disregard for something that should be taken into account. 
3) The offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful of a court of law and its officers. 

Contempt (Tim’s/Allender's definition): 
1) A reaction to affection of bitterness in attempt to avoid future hurt. 
2) An attempt to protect yourself through mocking the affection giver. 

Psalm 22:6-8

6 But I am a worm and not a man, 
scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 
7 All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 
8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; 
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” 

WHAT DOES CONTEMPT LOOK LIKE?

2 Corinthians 11:30

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 

Shame (Google’s definition): 
A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. 

Shame (Tim’s/Allender’s definition): 
Feeling exposed as ugly (or useless) beyond words. 
An escape from reality through dissociation 

Romans 2:1-4

1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 

 

WEEK 4 | Emotions | Jealousy & Despair

 
 

UNGODLY JEALOUSY & ENVY

Psalm 73:3-5, 12

3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 
5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 

12 This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 

“Jealousy is a desire to protect our beloved possession from alien suitors. Envy is a desire to acquire or repossess the jewel of our eye…At the core of jealousy and envy is a desperate desire to limit loss and guarantee satisfaction.”  
-Tremper Longman

LONG RANGE VISION OF GOD’S JUSTICE IS THE ANTIDOTE TO JEALOUSY & ENVY

Psalm 73:23-28

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. 
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 
27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. 
28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. 

GODLY JEALOUSLY: THE JEALOUS LOVE OF GOD, JEALOUS LOVE OF OUR SPOUSE

Ezekiel 16:38

38 And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 

Ezekiel 16:59-63

59 “For thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, 60 yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. 61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I give them to you as daughters, but not on account of the covenant with you. 62 I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, 63 that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.” 

DESPAIR, THE LOSS OF HOPE, THE PASSIVE COUSIN OF JEALOUSY

Psalm 88
Psalm 77:1-9, 10-12, 16-20


1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. 
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. 
3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. 
4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 
5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago. 
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” 
Then my spirit made a diligent search: 
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? 
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? 
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” 

“The irony of faith is that it is not a quiet submission to the fates. It asks, and it shouts; it is a cry that is heard in heaven.”  
-Dan Allender

10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 
12 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. 

THE PSALMIST TURNS TO FOCUS ON GOD’S PAST FAITHFULNESS

16 When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. 
17 The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder: your arrows flashed on every side. 
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. 
19 Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. 
20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. 

GOD’S PAST DELIVERANCE IS A SAFEGUARD AGAINST HIS PRESENT DESPAIR

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 

GOOD FRIENDS REMIND US OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS
 

WEEK 1 | Emotions: Cry of the Soul

 
 

EMOTIONS ARE GIVEN TO US BY GOD, GOD IS A GOD OF EMOTION

THE PSALMS INVITE US TO BRING OUR EMOTIONS & QUESTIONS TO GOD. GOD INVITES US TO BRING BEFORE HIM OUR RAGE, DOUBT AND TERROR -- BUT HE INTENDS US TO DO IT AS PART OF WORSHIP.

THE PSALMS HELPS US UNDERSTAND THAT EVERY EMOTION IS ALSO A THEOLOGICAL BELIEF STATEMENT

THE PSALMS GIVE US PERMISSION TO LISTEN TO OUR EMOTIONS

AS WE LET OUR QUESTIONS EXPOSE THE DEPTHS OF OUR EMOTION, THEY WILL LEAD US TO THE GOD WHO REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE MIDST OF OUR STRUGGLE

Our guide for this PROCESS is the Psalms

Psalm 73:1-17

1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?”
12 This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.

Every emotion, though horizontally provoked, nevertheless reflects something about the vertical dimension: our relationship with god

15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

The reason for looking inside is not to FIX HOW WE FEEL

Instead we are to listen and ponder what we feel in order to be moved to the far deeper issue of what our hearts are doing with god and others

IN WORSHIP
WE LEAN INTO THE EMOTION
WE DIG INTO THE BELIEF SYSTEM

21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

THE HEART IS A GAUGE NOT A DIRECTION TO FOLLOW

Jeremiah 17:9

9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE MIDST OF OUR STRUGGLE & PROCESSING

23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Emotions are the language of the soul. they are the cry that gives the heart a voice.

Listening to our emotions is the pathway to discern what is happening in our hearts.

Discovering what is happening in our hearts leads us to becoming self aware of our relationship with god and others.

BOTTOM LINE:

EMOTIONS ARE MEANT TO GUIDE YOU, NOT DIRECT YOU

WE LISTEN TO OUR EMOTIONS, BUT WE DON’T ALWAYS LET THEM LEAD

 

 

Easter | The Pursuing God

 
 

“The thing that comes into our mind when we first think about god is the most important thing about us”
-AW TOZER

Do we want to be found?

Genesis 1:31
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

GOD PURSUES US

Genesis 3:6-13
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

WE RUN AWAY

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

GOD COMES RUNNING AFTER HIS RUN AWAY KIDS,
LOST MEANS GOD'S COMING TO FIND YOU!

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

WE RUN AWAY,
BUT GOD RESCUES

12 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

 

GOD COMES AND GETS DIRTY, IN ORDER TO MAKE US CLEAN.
MAKING US CLEAN COMES WITH A COST

Genesis 3:22-23
22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

CONSEQUENCES OF RUNNING AWAY:

DEATH: even death is A gift
EXILE: God giving us what we wanted, AWAY FROM GOD, PART OF GOD’S WRATH

GOD IS WRATHFUL BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE.

GOD PURSUES
WE RUN AWAY
GOD RESCUES

WHERE WE HAVE FAILED, JESUS COMES TO THE RESCUE

Colossians 1:15
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

1 Peter 1:18-20 NLT
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 John 4:10
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

"Jesus (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) endured death as a lamb; he devoured it as a lion." 
-Augustine

AT THE CROSS GOD IS EATING THE COST OF RUNNING AWAY (EXILE & DEATH) FOR ALL OF HUMANITY.

"The Cross didn't happen to Jesus, Jesus happened to The Cross"
-Joshua Ryan Butler

1 Corinthians 15:2-4
2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

BOTTOM LINE:

GOD PURSUES,
WE RUN AWAY,
GOD RESCUES

DO WE WANT TO BE FOUND?
HOW YOU RESPOND TO THE RESURRECTION DETERMINES WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO BE FOUND

WEEK 9 | Ephesians: Called by God to Walk

 
 

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

IMPLICATIONS OF PAUL’S SUMMONS TO WARFARE:
1. SHOULD A PERSON & THE COLLECTIVE CHURCH WHO WALKS THE PATH OF CHRIST BE SURPRISED WHEN THEY FACE DIFFICULTY?
2. SHOULD A PERSON OF CHRIST BE SURPRISED BY FRIENDLY FIRE?
3. IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED ZERO DIFFICULTY IN YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST, ONE PROBABLY NEEDS TO REEXAMINE IF THEY HAVE ACCEPTED THE SUMMONS OF CHRIST. ACCEPT YOUR SUMMONS

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

IMPLICATIONS OF PAUL’S DIVINE ARMOR:
1
. WHEN IT COMES TO STANDING AND WALKING, BE SURE NOT TO FIGHT LIKE THE DEVIL FOR THE THINGS OF GOD!
2. WHAT IS THE BAROMETER FOR KNOWING IF YOU ARE OR AREN’T? THE DIVINE ARMOR SHOULD LEAD TO THE MANIFESTATION OF MORE OF FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES WE ARE CALLED TO BE KNOWN FOR OUR LOVE…WHICH MEANS SAYING THE RIGHT THINGS, IN THE RIGHT WAY, AT THE RIGHT TIME. PUT ON THE ARMOR

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

IMPLICATIONS OF PAUL’S PRAYER & SOLIDARITY:
1.
WHEN DIFFICULTY COMES, PRAYER IS NOT AN AFTER THOUGHT, BUT RATHER SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE MANIFESTED CONTINUALLY AS WE WALK
2. PRAYER SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT IS DONE WITH SOLIDARITY IN MIND
3. THE BI-PRODUCT OF A HEALTHY COMMUNITY OF FAITH IS PRAYER FOR ONE ANOTHER & PRAYER FOR THE WORLD TO KNOW WHO JESUS IS FIND SOLIDARITY

BOTTOM LINE:

ACCEPT YOUR SUMMONS, PUT ON THE ARMOR, FIND SOLIDARITY

WEEK 8 | Ephesians: Called by God to Walk

 

Ephesians 5:21-32

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT LEADS TO SUBMISSION

Galatians 5:13

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

SERVING HUMBLY IS AN ACTIVE EXPRESSION OF SUBMISSION SUBMISSION COMES FROM A FEAR OF CHRIST

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

WIVES ARE ADDRESSED AS PEOPLE OF MORAL AGENTS OF CHOICE A WIFE’S SUBMISSION IS BUILT AROUND THE PREMISE THAT HE AND SHE IS ONE

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

1 Corinthians 7:4  The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

HOW DOES PAUL CALL FOR MUTUAL SUBMISSION YET ALSO MAKE THE HUSBAND THE HEAD? THE NATURAL RESULT OF BEING THE HEAD MEANS MEN ARE CALLED TO LOVE LOVE MEANS BEING SELF GIVING, SELF SACRIFICING, SELF DENYING, JUST LIKE CHRIST

26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

THE RESULT OF LOVE AND LEADERSHIP IS HOLINESS AND CLEANSING

28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

HUSBAND AND WIFE, YOU ARE ONE TEAM, SO WALK AS A TEAM

32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

CHRIST AND THE CHURCH ALONG WITH MARRIAGE IS A GREAT MYSTERY

BOTTOM LINE:

HUSBAND AND WIFE, YOU ARE ONE TEAM, SO WALK AS A TEAM

WEEK 7 | Ephesians: Called by God to Walk

 
 

Ephesians 5:1-20

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

WALKING WITH GOD IS A WALK OF LOVE, NOT A LIST OF RULES TO FOLLOW THE WALK OF LOVE IS A WALK OF SACRIFICE AND ULTIMATELY DEATH

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality (porneia), or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

PARTNERING WITH GOD MEAN’S BEING A HOLY PEOPLE (SAINTS/DIFFERENT)

5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath (righteous indignation - comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.

PARTNERING WITH GOD MEANS NOT PARTNERING IN THINGS THAT HURT PEOPLE PARTNERING WITH GOD MEANS NOT PARTNERING WITH DARKNESS

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

PARTNERING WITH GOD MEANS BEING A LIGHT PARTNERING WITH GOD MEANS TAKING OFF THE OLD/PUTTING ON THE NEW

14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

WALK IN WORSHIP

BOTTOM LINE:

ENGAGE IN THE WALK OF HOLY LOVE