Little Times of Trouble

Little Times of Trouble

Scripture: Ephesians 4:26, Matthew 7:5, Ephesians 1:7
Date: 06/08/2019  Lesson: 10
'We all have things that anger us, even to the point of pain. And, in some cases, we probably are justified in that anger. The question is, How can we, through the power of God, not let that anger make us, and others around us, miserable?'

From Stress to Joy - Paper or PDF Download

From Stress to Joy - Paper or PDF Download
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Shawn Brummund: Hello friends, and welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour." I am confident that your hour that you're gonna spend with us will be one that will enrich your lives, will enrich your faith. And also as we look at a very practical, but also spiritual topic on the topic of family, I also trust that this will enrich your marriage, if you're married, as well as your family and your family life. And, so thank you for joining us. We are looking at a very important topic today in our Sabbath School steadily--Sabbath School study. And we're going to be looking at lesson number 10, which is entitled "Little Times of Trouble," "Little Times of Trouble." And we look forward to studying that here together.

But before we look at our study, we always like to spend some time offering you a very special free offer. And the free offer that we have for you today to continue in your study and growth in your faith is entitled "From Stress to Joy." Now, that's another very practical, but spiritual subject as well. "From Stress to Joy." And so, you just simply have to dial the number that you see on your screen, which is number... That's... and ask for offer number 705. Please ask for number, offer number 705. Now, if you have a cell phone, and you'd like to have a digital copy of that particular free offer, we also have that available in a digital copy. And so, you simply need to text the code SH031, and you want to text that to the number 40544. So again, you text that code SH031. You can see it on your screens once again and that is to number 40544. So, please take advantage of that. We'd love to have--send that out to you and allow you to continue to study and to grow.

Father in heaven, we want to thank you so much for this opportunity to be able to come together. We thank you so much for this opportunity to be able to study your Word, and to be able to understand how we can have better marriages, how can we have better family life, Lord, as we look at this practical subject on the struggle of conflicts that some takes--sometimes takes place. We want to pray, God in heaven, that you will help us to better understand that as well. Father in heaven, we want to thank you so much for our choir that's here today, want to pray that you will help us to praise you and that you will speak to our heart, even as they sing for us here today. In Jesus's name we pray these things, amen. We're gonna have a special music by our choir and then I'll have the privilege of introducing our speaker here today.

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪ 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, ♪ ♪ Just to take Him at His Word, ♪ ♪ Just to rest upon His promise, ♪ ♪ Just to know, Thus saith the Lord! ♪ ♪ Jesus, ♪ ♪ how I trust Him! ♪ ♪ How I've proved Him o'er and o'er. ♪ ♪ Jesus, ♪ ♪ precious Jesus! ♪ ♪ Oh, for grace to trust Him more! ♪ ♪ Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus, ♪ ♪ Just from sin and self to cease ♪ ♪ Just from Jesus simply taking ♪ ♪ Life and rest, and joy and peace. ♪ ♪ Jesus, ♪ ♪ how I trust Him! ♪ ♪ How I've proved Him o'er and o'er ♪ ♪ Jesus, ♪ ♪ precious Jesus! ♪ ♪ Oh, for grace to trust Him more! ♪ ♪ I'm so glad I learned to trust Him, ♪ ♪ Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend. ♪ ♪ And I know that He is with me, ♪ ♪ Will be with me to the end. ♪ ♪ Jesus, ♪ ♪ how I trust Him! ♪ ♪ How I've proved Him o'er and o'er ♪ ♪ Jesus, ♪ ♪ precious Jesus! ♪ ♪ Oh, for grace to trust Him even more! ♪ ♪ Trust him more. ♪♪

Shawn: It is my privilege here today to be able to introduce a speaker that many of you, if you've been watching the "Sabbath School Study Hour" acquainted with. His name is David DeRose, and David DeRose, we thank you for teaching us here today. We look forward to it. God bless you.

David DeRose: Well, it is good to be with each one of you. We're continuing our journey on family seasons, family seasons. We are on lesson ten and that is dealing with, as the lesson calls it, "Little Times of Trouble." I don't know if you've ever had this question run through your mind, but it's run through mine and the question goes like this, is it possible that a single question could lie at the roots of many of our society's problems? Ever thought about it that way? The question is simply this, is it a right or is it a privilege? You ever thought about this? Is it a right or is it a privilege? Now, some of you are looking perplexed. You say, "What is this guy talking about?" Well, I've gotta back up a little bit. Many of you realize I've been a physician for some three decades and as a physician, we've had this debate running throughout our country. And I know some of our listeners from throughout the world might think this is an interesting debate, but the debate is when it comes to quality healthcare, is it a right or is it a privilege? And now, we could ask this question about a dozen topics. And in fact, as we look at the family today, I have to ask the question, is being part of family, is it a right or is it a privilege? Is it a right or is it a privilege? Now again, may sound like a strange question, but we'll probe that as we look at today's lesson.

But as we begin, let's look at the background that the lesson paints for us and that background speaks about challenges that come into the home life. And it speaks about two types of challenges. I'm looking at the first paragraph of the introduction. It's listed as Sabbath Afternoon Study for lesson ten. And it says, "Even the best of homes will face times of struggle." And then it goes on and speaks about two categories of things. One thing are so-called simple things, and then it mentions other issues that might disrupt family life.

Now, if we think about this, a lot of us would say, "Well, a lot of the challenges we have in life are relatively simple." But as a physician and as a pastor over the years, I found a lot of times it's those simple things that wear on us the most. Over the years, I've heard of debates in homes about how to put the toilet paper roll on, you know, does it roll from the top or from the bottom? Or how about the toothpaste, how are you supposed to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom or do you just squeeze it? You say, "Oh, come on. These are silly things." How you handle the electric services in your home, you know, the light switches. So, some of these things, it may seem very small in the grand scheme of things and the lesson is painting these as relatively insignificant, sometimes lay at the root of some of the biggest challenges we face.

I remember some years ago, a couple telling me they had gotten to the verge of divorce, and God graciously brought them back from the brink. And as they looked back at the kind of things that were separating them, they said it was just ridiculous. These things, you know, from the perspective of time, they said this didn't make much difference at all. But if you look at this first paragraph, these other issues that are mentioned that threaten to disrupt family life, these are some things that may sound like really big things. A mother-in-law who's abuse and manipulation threatens to destroy a woman's marriage and her health, a father with mental illness who abuses his children, son who abandons his religious upbringing, a daughter who becomes a substance abuser. You get the picture.

So, some of these things we label as bigger than others, but what I love about the lesson is it points us to some foundational principles. As we begin, the first two Scriptures actually that are cited, I want you to turn there. The first one is in John 13, verse 34. So, turn with me to John's gospel. And as we kind of refresh our memories about how that gospel plays out, we're in the closing scenes of Jesus's life by the time we get to John 13. It is at the Last Supper, and we read these words that are familiar words, but I think they are really truly foundational for all that we're speaking about today. John 13:34 reads, "A new commandment I give to you," this is Jesus speaking, of course. And he says, "That commandment is that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

You say, "Well, we've all heard that before." And you've, no doubt, heard sermons trying to probe why this was discovered lived by Jesus as a new commandment. And if we were to have you weigh in, we might get some different feedback. Why was it a new commandment? Haven't we been told to love from the beginning? Isn't the foundation, even as Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments, founded on love to God and love to our neighbor, right? So, what is so new about it?

You know, one of the things that often helps the Bible come alive is looking at the context in which things are spoken. So, just refresh your minds for a moment at John 13. Look at the context of John 13. John 13 tells the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet. Whose job was it to wash feet? That's right, it was the servants' job. And so, here Jesus is stepping down. He's taking the position as a servant, and who is he serving? As you read through John 13, Jesus is not surprised by what is going to happen. Look at verses 18 and onward, for example. Jesus says, "I'm not speaking of all of you, I know whom I've chosen, but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, he who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me." And then he goes on and speaks about being betrayed. I mean, Jesus's conscious of all that's gonna happen to him, he's stooping down, he's serving other people, and he knows how some, at least one, of those disciples will treat him, and he knows how the others are basically all going to run from him.

A new commandment? I mean, go back to the Sermon on the Mount, right? The Pharisees said, you know, you'll love the people that love you, but to love your enemies, to love those who mistreat you? We're getting this picture of Jesus's love as the foundation for dealing with discord in the family. We're now gonna have a Scripture read for us and that is the second Scripture that's actually mentioned in your lesson. Some of you are saying, "What happened to that memory verse?" I know a lot of you look forward to hearing that. You'll hear it before too long. But we're gonna go to Romans chapter 12, and verse 10. And again, as we listen to this verse, it's a familiar verse but again, we're gonna try to pick up the context to try to really appreciate the role that this has in our families and in dealing with conflict. So Romans 12, verse 10.

female: "Be kindly affectionate to one another in brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."

David: Wow, "In honor giving preference to one another." I'm turning to Romans 12, if you haven't already turned there. And Romans 12 is set in an interesting context. Paul was a Jew, and Paul had a huge burden for his people and he'd been talking about that in the previous chapters, chapters 9 through 11, how he was burdened for his own people. And he goes on to speak really about the privilege, the privilege of being part of God's family. He speaks in Romans 11. If you're there with me, let's just pick a few verses up here. He's speaking about how the unfaithful members of the promised people in the Old Testament. In that dispensation, God called a people to represent him, a literal, physical, geologic bloodline of people, the Hebrew nation, the Jewish people, and they had largely rejected Jesus. And he speaks about this in verses 17 and onward. He says, "If some of the branches were broken off," he's speaking about how he is the parent stock, if you will. And some of those chosen branches were broken off because of their unfaithfulness. And now he's speaking about the Gentiles being grafted in. And as he's writing about that in verse 19, he says, "You will say then, 'Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.' Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness."

So, you say, "Well, what's the picture here?" The picture is a picture of privilege and those who thought they were so privileged and didn't have to continue to receive God's ongoing blessings become cut off. They're cut off from that trusting relationship, if you will, with their loving heavenly Father. And so, as we come back to look at Romans 12, verse 10 that was just read to us, "Be kindly affectionate to one another with," what? "Brotherly love in honor giving preference to one another." You say, "I'm here not because of choice. My parents didn't ask me whether I should be brought into the world or not," right? Isn't that how it works? We just end up here, and we end up as part of a family.

And in our culture in America, we focus a lot on what? On our rights. You know, children have rights, and we have rights as citizens, and we have rights as human beings. I'm not saying this emphasis is misplaced, but I'm saying if our focus is solely on our rights, look at verse 10 again of Romans 12. Is the focus here on rights or is the focus on privilege? Are you following? Look at the context. Is the focus on rights, or is the focus on privilege? We have this privilege, as Paul generally begins each of his letters, many of his letters start out with, "You are privileged, you're blessed. Christ has died for you, you're his chosen children." And then he goes on and he speaks about how we then are to live. And we're gonna get into this as we continue this lesson. You say, "Dr. DeRose, I already think it's a privilege to be married."

Some of you know, my daughter is going to be married tomorrow, and I'm very glad for a number of reasons. You know, thinking about that upcoming marriage, we're very glad for the two people the Lord has united, Thomas Clark and my daughter, Angela. And one of the things that I appreciate about their relationship is it seems at this point, they're both looking at it as a privilege to be married to the other one. You following along? Some of you are looking just absolutely befuddled. But really, isn't that how we go into marriage, most of us? You know, we--in fact, think about it. If you always think that you're getting the better deal, wouldn't that be a good thing in a marriage? And I see some of you nodding your heads.

Okay, so we need some medical science here to help us out. You know, there--today, the definition of family has been blurred in our society. And for some of you wanting to read between the lines, we'll leave it as I said it, it's been blurred. That doesn't mean it's good or bad. Some people think it's good, other people think it's bad. I know you might want me to take a stronger stand, but that's not the topic of today's lesson, okay? But I will tell you that traditional families have been well studied for decades, okay, traditional families, a man and a woman. And let me just tell you how it works. In my experience, most men seem like they feel they did their wife a favor when they married her. Okay, I'm just telling you, it's just an experience. Some of say, "Dr. DeRose, you hang out with too many men." But let me tell you what the research shows. The research shows that if you want to look at health benefits from marriage, there is one gender that seems too far and above benefit from this relationship. Would any of you like to hazard a guess as to which gender it is? That's right, it's the men. So really, you ladies, don't elbow your husband too hard if he's sitting next to you, but the data suggests that we're getting the better deal in marriage. But my whole point, it's not medical research data. It's basically this idea of the gospel, that we are blessed in Christ.

So, we come into family relationship, what is the real foundational family relationship in the Bible? Yeah, turn here to Matthew 19 with me, Matthew 19. It's one of those passages in the Scripture where if you're just reading through the Bible for the first time, you would be shocked. I mean, I say you would be shocked, I would be shocked because I cannot imagine Jesus giving this response to Peter. So I'm, let's see a good place to pick it up. Matthew 19, it's always hard. You're always jumping in the middle of something. But Matthew 19, verse 27, so Peter makes one of these bold statements that he's known for making. He says, "Jesus, we've have left everything and followed You. Therefore what are we gonna get?'" I'm paraphrasing a little bit, but I would have expected Jesus to say, "Peter, how long have you been with me? Have you not figured out what the Christian life is all about? It's not about what you're gonna get." I mean, that's what I would expect Jesus to say, but he didn't say that. Let's read what he said. Verse 28, "So Jesus said to them," all the disciples, "Assuredly I say to you," and all of us by extension, "that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

And you say, well, that's an interesting verse about family life because we're speaking here about some people who've done, what? They've actually left family. And you say, "So, how does this come about? How can you leave family and end up with a larger family?" What is the figure given here? You catch it? What's the magnitude of increase you experience? It's a hundredfold. So, how do we get a hundredfold larger family if we leave some family here? I mean, I think the most straightforward interpretation is Jesus speaking about the church, okay?

So, this pivotal family relationship, yes, in the beginning, it's man and wife, it's Adam and Eve. But by extension, the foundational family unit, in a sense, is the church, because some of us don't enter into marital relationships, and we are still part of God's family in the church. So, with that background, as we look at these different Scriptures, we're really talking about things that relate, of course, to the nuclear family, to what happens in the home, but we're talking about things that happened in the church as well. And I know we've made that connection as we've been going through the quarterly.

But we're going to hear now from Proverbs 19 in just a moment. Someone's gonna be reading that for us. We're into Sunday's lesson. And before we go there, there's two verses that are mentioned for Sunday about, again, important principles to help us with conflict. The first one is in Matthew 7, so I invite you to turn there. So, that is back in the Sermon on the Mount. We've been reading a lot from Matthew, seems like Matthew has a lot to say about things that relate to family life from the words of Jesus. So, Matthew 7, you can pick it up with me in verse 1. Jesus is speaking about the danger of judging and condemning. "Judge not, that you not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with what measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank that's in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Now, you say, "Well, why is the lesson speaking about this as being a important principle in dealing with conflict? What do you see growing out of that passage?" Well, I mean, one thing that jumps out at you, of course, is this idea that often our problems are bigger than the problems we see in other people. How is that the case? Have you ever noticed this? We tend to excuse our own faults, but blame other people for theirs? Have you noticed it? Have you ever caught yourself criticizing something for someone, maybe even in your own mind, and then realize that, "Boy, that's the same thing that I tend to do"? Well, that's what's being pointed out here. Let's look at this other principle now as we hear from Proverbs 19, verse 11.

male: "The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression."

David: His glory is to overlook a transgression. Boy, I mean, we're getting into some interesting ground here, aren't way? I think of this story, and maybe you've heard this story, maybe my mind is thinking too much about newlyweds, I don't know why. I guess I probably do know why but anyway, this story is told of a couple that had been married a few years. And they're invited out for breakfast. I know, that's not typical in our society, but as they are served breakfast, the husband is given a piece of toast by the hostess, and he's just raving about how wonderful this piece of toast is. Now his wife, to her credit, holds her tongue until they're alone together. And when they're alone, she says, "Why were you raving about that toast? I mean, it wasn't even black?" And he says, "Well, I mean, it was just toasted so nicely," he said. She said, "But you always told me you, you like your toast burned." And then he realized that several years before, early in their marriage, his wife had burned the toast and when she apologized to him, he said, "No, don't apologize," he said, "this is the way I like my toast."

Now, no doubt that is just a fabricated story, but there's an interesting point. There's a difference between overlooking something and just, you know, tolerating it, and actually forgiving something, and overlooking it in that way and actually addressing the underlying issue. Have you ever thought about this? Let's probe this a little bit because it is relevant to what we have that comes up in this lesson. Let's look at another Scripture that's mentioned. It's Romans chapter 14. So, Romans 14, verse 19. So from Matthew, we go back to Paul, and his letter to the church in Rome. Romans chapter 14, and we're gonna look here at another principle. So, we're filtering all this through both the eyes of the church and through the eyes of the family. So, Romans 14, verse 19. Paul writes to us there and he says, "Let us therefore pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." And again, it's interesting, if you look at the context here, Paul has been speaking in Romans 14 about things that may seem like relatively little things in the grand scheme of things. He's been speaking about the kind of foods that we eat in our individual worship practices. He's not setting aside the importance of healthy eating. He's not setting aside the importance of things that God has asked us to do, as far as worship. But he's making a principal here, and let's go back a little bit further to Romans 14, verse 14. He says, "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean."

Now, some of you are saying, "Boy, I'm glad that as a physician, you're wading into this passage." You know, there's a distinction in the Bible between the way things are intrinsically and the way God has infused them in history with ceremonial significance, okay? And to try to make this discussion very simple, from the beginning, there's been a distinction between foods and animals that were clean and that were unclean. Going all the way back to the flood, you see this, remember? If you read the actual account in Genesis, and don't just read the storybook account, the animals did not just go in two of each species. Many of you realize, two animals of what kind? Of the unclean, but seven of the clean animals.

So, long before there ever was a Jew, there was some intrinsic distinction in the animals. What we know is that ultimately when God permitted humans to eat animals after the flood, those animals that were unclean were intrinsically unhealthful to eat, and it is to this day. So, whether you want to look at the leading cause of epilepsy in the world--by the way, do you know what it is? The leading cause of epilepsy in the world? That's right, it's something called neurocysticercosis. Some of you actually said that, others of you were struggling to get it out. Neurocysticercosis, it's from pork. It's a parasite transmitted by pork, okay? Leading cause of epilepsy in the world, seizures. Trichinosis, you can go down the list. So God, certain things intrinsically unclean.

But now, now we're talking in the New Testament, these things are still unhealthy to eat. But there is no ceremonial defilement from touching the pig that there was in the ceremonial system, do you understand? So, I can walk out of the church door and some kids can be throwing a pigskin and throw it to me. If I touch it, I can still shake your hand afterward. I'm not ceremonially defile. Are you following along? It's a big topic and just a few soundbites. I know I might leave you more disappointed than encouraged that we've even touched on that, but we're just trying to pick up the context here.

So, let's go back to verse 15 now of Romans 14. It says, "Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Don't destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men." And then we have this verse, "Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." And to me, it's rolling back some things. You say, "Well, Dr. DeRose, you know, you're speaking about, you know, real important topics here, and we're just glossing over them. And that's why we have problems in our church, and that's why we have problems in my home because there's important things that my spouse doesn't realize that I understand, or that my parents don't realize. They don't they don't live, they don't understand the current generation." Parents might be saying the same thing about their children or their grandchildren.

Here's the point, what is Paul pointing us to? He's pointing us to this vision of the privilege we have of family relationship. That's the context when he writes to the church of Rome. We are blessed. We're blessed in Christ, and our privilege is to share that blessing with one another. Don't try to divide your family over things that you understand that maybe they don't understand yet. Is there room for that even in the family? Now, I don't know how it is for you, but Sonya and I are approaching our 30th anniversary. So, we've been married for a while. And there's still things we can do that can, you know, kind of bother the other one. And most of the time, we can still smile about it. But the point is sometimes, in that close family relationship, we're not as careful about what we say as when we're in the public arena. Is this just an issue that I've noticed? I mean, think about it. If you really become one flesh with someone, are you more ruthless in talking to yourself or in talking with other people? I mean, hopefully your strongest criticism is reserved for yourself. But if your partner is an extension of yourself, do you sometimes--some of you are looking very bewildered. Let me explain something to you. This, I recognized this early in our relationship.

Sonya had this terrible habit when I first met her. We'd go out together, and I'd walk away from the car and she'd say, "David, do you have your keys?" And I'm thinking, Well, what kind of woman--what kind of man does she think I am that I'm gonna forget my keys? And this really bothered me for a while, until I realized that internally, every time I walk away from the car, I ask myself, do I have my keys? And the reason I ask myself that question is probably like many of you in those old tech cars, you know, you could lock yourself out of your car and it had happened to me more than once. So, every time I'm walking away from the car I'm checking, do I have my keys? You know, if you've got, you know, the clicker, you don't have to worry about it. If you, you know, got a higher tech--but in the old days, do I have my keys? So, when I realized that, I was just an extension of Sonya. So, when she's walking away from her car, normally she's doing what? Just like me, you know, she's checking for keys. But I'm the one driving, so what does she ask? "David, do you have your keys?" You see, so if we kind of cut through this and realize that sometimes maybe we need to be a little bit more cautious in what we express, and I'm sure Sonya will remind me about this. She's very gracious. And but we do, we have to remind ourselves that sometimes we understand these principles intellectually, as we read through them in the Bible, how we should be encouraging and building one another up. And sometimes we allow our own human nature to creep in too much into the family relationships.

Well, we need to hasten on. Monday is speaking specifically about marriage, and it's pointing us now to some of these crucial principles that really bring us back to that relationship. You'll see the principles are very similar. We're gonna be looking at Colossians in just a moment. So, we're looking a lot at some of the things that Paul wrote, okay, some of these principles are extremely powerful when it comes to families. And first though, we're gonna go to Ephesians 1, verse 7. So, Ephesians 1, verse 7. And what we'll get a sense of here is a point that I made earlier, and this is how Paul often begins his letters. So, Ephesians chapter 1. Just catch this and we'll get a little the context here, verse 7. In verse 3 he says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." And he goes on and he gets down to verse 7 and he says, "In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."

What is the language here? Is this the language of right, or is it the language of privilege? It's a language of privilege, right? You're blessed. It's a gift. This is privilege. This is what it's speaking about. And so, that's the context as Ephesians begins. It's the context as Colossians begins. It's the context as Galatians begins. Paul is-- The context of Romans, he's speaking about how blessed we are. And so, now with that background, let's head over to Colossians 3, someone's gonna read from the heart of Colossians 3 in just a minute, but I want you to pick up the introduction to Colossians 3. Speaking about all these blessings, it's speaking about being risen to new life in Jesus. So, look with me at Colossians 3, beginning with verse 1. It says, "If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not things on the earth, for you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." And then verse 5, "Put to death," and there's a list of things that you're supposed to put to death. And then as you continue on through Colossians 3, you're gonna hear about some things you're to revive, things that you're to put on, and at the heart of that is Colossians 3:13 that we're gonna hear right now.

male: Colossians 3:13, "Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do."

David: It's amazing to me that most of the Christian world seems stuck in the beginning chapters of Paul's letters because there's almost this aversion to speaking about moral imperatives today. Have you noticed this? But you don't have to go very far. Here we are halfway through the Book of Colossians, Colossians 1 and 2, speaking about privilege and blessing, especially. But then Paul starts giving these moral imperatives and basically these are calls for us to be more like Jesus, right? You pick it up there in verse 13. What are we supposed to do? Forgive others as Christ forgave us. Isn't this really the grounds for forgiveness?

Now, it's interesting, we go back in our minds to maybe formative things in our experience. I think, as a young Christian, I had a roommate, and this guy wanted to borrow my laundry detergent. Safe, simple thing, right? So, I lend him my laundry detergent. And later in that day, I'm looking for my laundry detergent. What do you think happened to it? He left it in the laundromat. I mean, how could he do that with my laundry detergent? How many of you think I was wronged? I was wronged, whether you think it's a small thing or not. And that upset me that my roommate would take my laundry detergent and leave it in the laundromat and it's gone now. I have no laundry detergent. Do you realize how important this is? But then the Lord brought to my mind, the sacrifice of Jesus. And I mean, how important does the laundry detergent seem in that context? It's like nothing, right? I mean, Jesus died for me and he--and I can't--and I'm upset with someone. I mean, how--when you put it in that perspective, how difficult is forgiveness? You say, "Well, that's a little thing.' But there's really big things that happen in life that God asks us to forgive, right? They're a little bit of more--well, that's putting it mildly, right, of a little bit more consequence than laundry detergent.

Let's look at this because the lesson picks it up in more detail in Thursday's lesson. It's speaking about forgiveness and peace, forgiveness and peace. And we're gonna look at this in a little bit of detail because there's a lot being said today in the Christian world about forgiveness, but let's couch it in Colossians 3, since some of you are still there. If you look at Colossians 3, some years ago, let me give you some context. Some years ago, many of you know the name of Charles Stanley, popular preacher. Dr. Stanley was speaking about this topic of forgiveness, actually wrote a book on the topic. And as he was speaking about the problem with unforgiveness, he really pointed to these moral imperative sections of Paul's writings like we have here in Colossians. Look at this Colossians 8, excuse me, Colossians 3, verse 8, Colossians 3, verse 8. Look at some of the things that in Christ, we're called to put aside. Colossians 3, verse 8, "But now you yourselves are to put off these, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth--"

Now, as you're reading through that list, how many of those things surface when you're holding on to unforgiveness? You ever thought about this? I mean, you could look in Galatians 5 at the list of the fruits of the Spirit, fruit of the Spirit, and the things that go along with the flesh. Maybe we should do that. Go to Galatians with me and you'll see there some similar things that are mentioned. You'll see where this is going as far as forgiveness and why this is so important. Galatians chapter 5 is speaking about the works of the flesh in verse 19 of Galatians 5. So, here's a list of some of the works of the flesh, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath. What I want as we're reading through this list, think about it in the context of unforgiveness because these were the dots that Dr. Stanley connected in my mind, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresy, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. And what is he saying? He's saying, these are things that you used to be like before you put on Christ, before you accepted Jesus as your Savior. And now he says in verse 22, here's the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, you know the list, right, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Think about it now. If you are unforgiving, what typical arena do you put yourself into, at least as you deal with the person you haven't forgiven? You ever thought about this? We tend to put on the things of the flesh to punish the other person, to get back at them. You say, "Oh, come on. Listen, I'm a Christian, I just ignore the other person." Well, I mean, what if it's your, you know, person living in the home with you, what if someone in the church with you? Is there still hatred there, even though there may not be the outright, verbal dissensions? Are you following along? So, here's the deal, when I don't forgive someone, I'm choosing to walk in the flesh in that relationship. And we were not made to be able to just jump from the flesh to the Spirit. You're following along with me? So, when I start to cultivate that, what happens? That same spirit can creep into other relationships. And many times, if you look at the root of some problem in the home, it may not even have begun in that home that you established. It may go back to the parent that you haven't forgiven, or to the uncle that did something terrible that you have not forgiven, and that spills over into your other relationships.

So, it's so important, this topic of forgiveness. And as the lesson brings out, there are challenges with forgiveness, right? As we're thinking about that, we want to tie this back in with Ephesians chapter 4. We have someone who'll be reading that in a moment because Ephesians 4 just putting together these same principles, Ephesians 4 actually in verses 26 and 27, also connects us with something that relates to this whole aspect of forgiveness and wrongdoing. So, who has that Scripture for us, Ephesians 4, verses 26 and 27?

male: "Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath."

David: "Be angry and do not sin. Let not the sun go down on your wrath." Jesus walks into the temple, you know the story, and his heart is distressed. In Isaiah 56, it was prophesied that his house was to be a house of prayer for all nations. And, you know, he quotes that Scripture, "What has it become?" As he put it, a den of thieves, right? It has become a courtyard, a marketplace. And we see this manifestation of divine anger. It's interesting to me that God's anger in this phrase of anger or jealousy, it's often directed at situations that are obscuring God's character from being revealed. So, it's not that God is hating the moneychangers. He hates what's being done to mar this picture of the character of God that was to be painted in the sanctuary. Are you're following along? And we often make this distinction of God hating the sin but loving the sinner. And I think in many respects, it's an appropriate distinction because God here is acting with love as he cleanses the temple.

So, what is this deal about being angry and sin that let not the sun go down on your wrath? How about as it enters into your own home life, what do you think about that? Can you be angry at some of the people that are closest to you? When's the best time to address those undesirable feelings? You say, "Well, I'm gonna deal with it as soon as the other person apologizes because it was their fault." You know, that's actually brought up in Thursday's lesson as well. Whose obligation is it to make reconciliation when there is discord? Whose responsibility is it? Does someone have Matthew 5:23 and 24 for us? Let's read what Matthew--what Jesus says there in Matthew 5:23 and 24.

male: Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

David: Okay, so in Matthew 5, who is the person who's supposed to seek reconciliation? The one who did the wrong, right, isn't that Matthew 5? If you realize your brother has something ought you. Now, if we were to take the time to go to Matthew 18, passage that you will know, it speaks about someone who's offended you and you going to them. Now, you're the one being offended. You're the one being wronged. So biblically, who is the person who's supposed to seek reconciliation? Yes, the person who realizes that reconciliation's needed, as whether you're the one that perpetrated the wrong or whether you're the one that experienced the wrongdoing.

Are you following along? So, that's the picture. So, whether it's in the relationships in the church--okay, I gotta tell you this story. I got--I was disappointed by this. This has gone way back, okay? I'm in--and I know I'm glad I wore some decent-looking shoes today. And the reason I'm saying this is because when I was a medical student, I got an evaluation from one of my attending, you know, one of the head doctors, and they wrote on there, "Dresses, unprofessionally, wears tennis shoes to work," okay? Now, what disturbed me is this person had never said anything to me for the whole month about my attire. But when it came to evaluating me, they said that I dressed unprofessionally. You say, "Well, Dr. DeRose, I'm glad they did 'cause your shoes look better today."

Well, here's my point. There was obviously something that was bothering that doctor, bothering them enough to write that on my evaluation, but they never told me. And I tell you that simple story because many of the times we have problems in relationships because something's been bothering us and we never said anything. I know it's difficult to confront people, but do what Jesus did, right? Jesus forgave decisionally first. He made the decision to forgive on the cross, right? He said, "Father," what? "Forgive them. They don't know what they're doing." Every sin really, we don't know what we're doing. We're hurting ourselves more than we're hurting the victim. You may not be at that point yet, but I'm convinced of it. So, here's the thing, choose to forgive other people, then make attempts to be reunited. In the home, it's critical, in the church it is.

Our time has slipped away. I know I may have caused a little bit more stress in touching on some of these issues than others. But you know what? The good news is the free offer today is "From Stress to Joy." So, if you're longing for a little bit more to nurture you on this topic, you can get the free offer, offer number 705 by calling... That's... You can also get it as a free digital download by simply texting the code SH031 to the number 40544. So, thank you for joining us here for those of you who've been tuning in with us, for our journey on family seasons by God's grace, we will continue our study next week right here.

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Male: I had a lot of pressure as a pastor's kid to perform. They're not allowed to make the same mistakes as everyone else. Not only are people looking at you, but they're judging your father according to what they see in you. After a while, you get tired of carrying that load as a child. By the time it got time for me to leave home, I was pretty much finished with all that. I just, I wasn't good enough and I didn't belong in there. So, when I left home, I went to the world at a dead run. You know, I partied and went to work and, you know, was living my life as the way I wanted to, and I just wanted to be left alone. One day, I was driving my motorcycle with some buddies of mine. All of a sudden, I had oil running everywhere all up and down my arm and across my legs, and rippling down the tank in the wind. And we loaded it up on a trailer and sent it to the shop to have it fixed. So, I went to pick it up and a mechanic came out he said, "You know," he said, "we got your front end rebuilt." He said, "That wasn't the bad part." He said, "The bad part was the only thing holding the front tire on was the weight of the motorcycle."

So, all I would have had to have done was accelerate quickly and front tire would have came off. And it got my attention, it got me to thinking, you know, you hear a lot of people talking about, you know, the relationship that they have with Jesus and all that. And I didn't even know what that was supposed to look like. It began to work on my mind. I think God was beginning to speak to me. I believe that you can say I may be a poster child for the the shepherd lost sheep story because I wasn't looking for God. I didn't really care, but he cared about me. And he came and got me.

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Male: If you wish you could get a new start. I'd like to live my life over knowing what I know now. I don't want to start over just to make all the same mistakes. I want to have my memories so I don't make the same mistakes, but you do get a new beginning. You become a new creature, that feeling of all your sins being washed away because God promises it. Isn't that a wonderful concept?

Announcer: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. In as much as you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me.

Doug Batchelor: Friends, we're out here in the Pacific Ocean, not too far from the island of Fiji and we're getting ready to look at some wonders in the deep. The Bible says God made the heaven, the earth, and the sea. And there are things under the sea that are beautiful that many people have never seen. Some folks might just skim along, snorkel on the surface. But if you want to see the real majesty of the ocean, you've gotta go deeper.

Because people don't have gills like fish, we have to do something extraordinary to be able to breathe below the surface. And because you have to breathe all the time, we need this special equipment. In the same way, the Bible says a Christian needs to pray without ceasing. We need to always be breathing the atmosphere of heaven if we're gonna live a Christian life in this world below. Wow, what a wonderful world.

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