Thanks for watching this week’s sermon. Today, Pastor Mike Acock is teaching on “Participating in the Creation of Joy in Others,” the tenth sermon in the series “Journey Into Joy” from Philippians. We’re so glad you can join us.
We live stream our sermons every Sunday at approximately 9:50 and 11:50 am (CST) both here on YouTube and on Facebook. To give you an overview of our church, we’re a non-denominational church located in Columbia, Missouri, and our mission is to help all people discover and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ in community. We see church as more than just an organization that meets regularly. We see it as a big family, and we’d love for you to become a part of our church family.
If you’d like to get to know us a little better, you can check out our website at ChristianFellowship.com to learn about CF’s leadership, staff, beliefs, and more; plus, that’s a great way to contact us if you’d like to get a hold of us privately. Otherwise, we’ll do our best to respond here in the comments.
As we start 2019, Pastor Michael Acock teaches on Fear, Hope & Courage in this Epiphany sermon.
What are you afraid of this year? Do you have New Year resolutions? Are your resolutions grounded in fear?
“Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything.”
What are you afraid of?
Fear tells us God is not with us. Fear tells us God is not with us.
Deuteronomy 31: 6-8
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you…Be strong and courageous…It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff they comfort me.”
Psalm 46: 1-11
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. There we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Oppression is a state of the heart. The more you fear, the more you are worried about what might happen or not, the more you come under oppression.
2 Timothy 1:7
“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (sound mind).”
Beth Moore says that the fear causes us to trade for an overwhelming, pervasive feeling of powerlessness.
Fear has strategies:
Strategy #1 To get you to agree that fear is reasonable, logical, natural, normal and even healthy.
Strategy #2 To get you to allow fear to paint a picture on the canvas of your imagination of impending trouble, difficulty, loss, hardship, failure, disappointment or tragedy.
Strategy #3 To get you to agree that what the spirit of fear is saying to you is truer than God’s Word. Fear will speak lies to your mind and they will sound very plausible for the purpose of gaining your agreement.
Strategy #4 To get you to say with your mouth what fear is saying to your mind.
Strategy #5 To get you to take counsel of the spirit of fear.
There are four fearful assumptions:
1. Uncertainty is unsafe.
2. I can’t handle losing what I cherish.
3. It’s a dangerous world.
4. I am all alone.
Here are four courage-cultivating truths:
1. Uncertainty is the gateway to possibility.
2. Loss is natural and can lead to growth.
3. It’s a purposeful universe.
4. We are all ONE.
Biblical hope is a confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in HIS Faithfulness.
Isaiah 40: 31
“Yet those who wait for [hope in] the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
“…and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Joshua 1: 6-18
“Be strong and courageous…Only be strong and very courageous…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go…Only be strong and courageous.”
“Courage is not about being fearless; it’s about letting fear transform you so you come into right relationship with uncertainty, make peace with impermanence, and wake up to who you really are.” – Lissa Rankin, MD
When we listen to fear, we become hopeless, courage falls and love is restricted.
When we challenge fear, we embrace hope, courage rises and love is released.
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“Jesus, after giving thanks…”
In today’s sermon, Pastor Mike Acock teaches on gratitude. Jesus’ lifestyle was thanksgiving. He gave thanks for what was. Jesus gave thanks before feeding the 5,000, and he gave thanks for hiding things from the wise. Jesus even thanked the Father BEFORE he raised raising Lazarus from the dead. There was a relationship between him and Father so that Jesus knew he was being heard. Jesus also thanked the Father at the Last Supper knowing he would soon suffer a horrendous death; he was thankful to do the Father’s will. Giving thanks precedes the miracle.
The anatomy of gratitude is about living wholeheartedly, and surprise or wonder teaches us that everything is a gift. Our intellect recognizes the gift. Our will acknowledges the gift. Our emotions appreciate the gift.
Pastor Mike lists 7 barriers to gratitude:
– Your focus is on the lack of provision.
– Your focus is on the problem as a wall verse a hill.
– Your focus is on you as the source of the solution.
– Your focus is on the fear of making a mistake.
– Your focus is on the past being better than you can imagine the future.
– Your focus is on your pain and you are choosing to remain the victim.
– Your focus is on your comfort over compassion for others.
These are things that can keep us from being grateful, but Mike also gives us examples of what thankfulness looks like. With prayers, scriptures, and statements focused on thanksgiving, we get a taste of what it looks like to practice gratitude. Pastor Mike encourages us to ask God for eyes to see a gift in every situation, and he also encourages us to journal unexpected gifts we find in everyday life.
When you begin to see the provision no matter how small or large, you become the miracle. You begin to see relationship in lieu of problem-solving, and you begin to see God’s Lordship over your obstacle and the gift you will receive in going through it. You begin to see open gates to the presence of the Lord (Psalm 100: 4-5).
When you’re living a life of gratitude, you being to see the future as possibility and destiny. You begin to see God can be trusted to order your steps, and you begin to see how your internal state of being in Christ is to be brought to bear on your circumstances.
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