VN520467 9-4-16 Blessing And Refreshing
Thank you all for coming out today. We’re going to go over to 2 Corinthians. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. We’re going to talk about blessing and refreshing today. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. Paul is writing, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” You can put this in context, but the whole purpose of this is he’s making a statement about the way life is and sometimes this is a description of our life and Paul is the super Apostle.
Everybody thinks he is great and yet when we read this it says we, we are afflicted. He is including himself. He says we are afflicted. According to the King James, it’s we are hard pressed from every direction. We are hard pressed, and then he says we are not crushed. We are perplexed. That’s what he says. We. We should put the we in front of every one of them so we see that the super Apostle is also included. But he is not despairing just because he is perplexed. We are persecuted, but we’re not forsaken nor are we destroyed. The super Apostle had trouble. The super Apostle had it coming from every side according to his own directions.
Christian leaders have troubles. It seems like it just comes from every direction for the great ones. That’s whether it is Billy Graham, right on down. Everybody has got some kind of trouble pushing at them and the reason I keep pointing it out is, it’s everybody, because I know that you’re like me, we’ve all got troubles, we’ve all got something that’s pushing us from every side, something that sometimes feels like it’s overwhelming. Every person is that way. You’re not alone. Trouble happens to be the norm. He says everybody has got this, but the question is how can he go on to say things but we’re not crushed, we’re not despairing, we’re not forsaken, we’re not destroyed, we’re not completely obliterated?
How can we continue to go on in this way when all these problems just seem to keep piling up on top of us all the time? Well, a quick jump back into John chapter 14, we come up with verse 26 and 27. Jesus is speaking. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” He is just saying you, as disciples, are going to have problems. We, as disciples, do have problems. He got that part right, and after getting that part right He goes on to say here’s how you’re going to make it. This is what separates us from the rest of the world.
While all the Christians are having trouble we have something called the Holy Spirit who is sent from the Father to indwell us. The Holy Spirit comes down and He lives there with us, and this is the Spirit of Christ, and He says that He gives us peace. Jesus gives us peace. The Holy Spirit there is said to recall all things that Jesus has been teaching us. He is going to call for our remembrance everything that God the Father has said to us. He is going to be telling us this thing. Remember in the beginning when God said let there be light, there was light. When He said let there be planets, stars, moons there were planets, stars and moons. When He called in the vegetation or the plants, the animals, whatever part of events you want to talk about, when God spoke it, it happened. Those are Old Testament statements that happened.
Chuck was talking this morning, in Sunday school class, about the prophetic utterances of Isaiah and how so much of the words that were given to Isaiah have been fulfilled, and yes there are still some to be fulfilled. It’s that fact that it was the Word of God that we need to hold onto. It’s the Word of God focused on that, God said this and it did happen. God said certain other things and they will happen. God said there are things that are coming. There are promises that are given to us and those promises are just as much founded in fact as God saying let there be light, as Isaiah saying there is going to be a branch come up out of the root of Jesse.
Just as all those promises and statements were made, anything that was told to us in the New Testament is just as valid and we are to accept it with just as much faith and credence, base that in fact just like when we read the Old Testament and say here is what was prophesized, here is what happened and the fulfillment of it. We read things in the New Testament and say; This is what God told us and it will be fulfilled just exactly the same way. So, the Holy Spirit is indwelling us and he’s calling to our remembrance positive things that have happened in the Old Testament. He also calls to remembrance promises, promises that are going to happen to us in the New Testament just as much as fulfillment, and he said Jesus said I give you My peace, not as the world gives peace, but I give you My peace and He will bring that back to us. The word was given, I give that to you.
He’s already created it, He’s already bestowed it, but when we read those particular scriptures He also said, “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” A lot of our disquiet and discomfort is this, we let it happen to us. Instead of us choosing to dominate over the fear and over the turmoil that keeps us emotionally stirred up, we let it happen and He is saying; How come you don’t doubt that when in the beginning I said let there be light, light came into existence. In exactly the same way, I said let there be peace and I give it to you, why do you not let that happen? Why do you not let that permeate your life? We have to accept the fact that we’ve got a peace that is beyond all understanding. Not like the world gives it, but we’ve got to say; I have got that peace!
The peace that He gives us is illogical, it goes against the grain, it goes against teaching of this world, but we have a peace even during trouble. It’s something that we’ve got to say; It’s mine, I’ve got it, I’m focusing on the Word of God. I might be experiencing right now difficult and turbulent times in my life but He gave me a peace and I am going to face those times with His help and I know that I have it within me because Jesus does not lie. It is there. It is mine. I choose to focus on that and I’m going to let it be in my heart and not let the trouble and the worry and the discomfort, emotional upheaval happen in my life. I’m going to come back time and time and time again, saying I will have peace. He gave it to me. I will have peace. I will have peace.
The night that I got saved, I’m looking down here because the birthday gifts are little crosses now, the night I got saved about midnight on November the 19th, not to put a fine date on it, 1970, I was given a little cross and the people that were there, the guy that gave it to me, was a youth pastor, Mark Travis was there and Mr. Kox was there, and they said if you will confess your sins and trust in Jesus, you will be saved. The pastor gave me this little cross and I took it home with me and I did not have a peaceful night. All night long I kept waking up, and I was holding it in my hand, and I kept saying no, they said I have salvation, and I’d go back to sleep. Then I’d wake up again. It seemed like every 10, to 15 minutes I’d wake up and I’d go; no, I have salvation. They said I have salvation.
Now, I’m not bragging on myself, but what I’m saying is believe or not, I had the right approach. The Holy Spirit who had moved into me was recalling to my mind what they had shown me in the scripture. If you confess with your mouth and believe, you have salvation. So, I kept going through that over and over again and it was that persistence of saying; No, I have salvation. I don’t know who I was saying no to, but I was definitely giving the affirmative I have salvation. It’s the same way when we have peace. Even though the distraughtness comes back upon us time and time again, if you have to come up here and get one of those little crosses and hold it in your hand so that you can hold onto it and say; I have peace, and the next time you’re tore up you say; I have peace. Jesus gave it to me. Again 10 minutes later; I have peace. Jesus gave it to me.
Sometimes we have to repeat things over and over until they become a reality. Now, this is a reality in the life of a Christian. When we refuse to let fear into our heart and we claim and stand on the scripture that Jesus has given us. I give you peace, not like the world’s got, and the world is going to say you’re crazy. How can you think you can go through this? Because Jesus gave me peace. There is no promise that says you will never have trouble, but there is a promise that says you can have peace. I give it to you, claim it, hold onto it, and exert your authority, exert your faith. Continually say I have peace. That’s the first thing I would like us to remember, is that we’ve been given the promise of peace. Here’s the second thing, and it’s in 1 Corinthians 10.
By the way, if you remember we talked about topical sermons. This is topical, that’s why we’re jumping from scripture to scripture, is so we hit on a particular topic pounding on this particular topic. 1 Corinthians 10:13. Paul was the super guy. The super Apostle is saying, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” Once again, trouble is common. Do not think that you are the only one that is experiencing whatever trouble you’ve got going on in your life. A lot of people say; I am alone and I’m standing out here. I am the only person that is facing this situation.
No you’re not, and I don’t care whether it is bankruptcy, health issues or mental issues, you can just take anything that’s troubling you and know this. There are a lot of people out there who are Christians that are going through the very same thing that you are going through, and there are a lot of Christians out there who have went through the very thing that you are going through, but you’ll also notice the word is going through. What you’ve got is much more common and you are not alone. That’s one of the things that the devil would like to cause you to think; You are alone in this, you’re forsaken, there’s no one that understands you, you’re all alone, God has forgotten you, nobody around here would understand you. Oh, if you confess to people what is your problem they will think less of you because this seems to overwhelm you.
What you’ve got is something that is common to a great number of people. It doesn’t mean that everybody’s got that problem or is dealing with that issue, but it does mean there is a lot of people out there that you do not know about who have those issues, but remember this. Along with those issues that you’re dealing with, He promises a way of escape, a way of winning, a way of coming through this, a way of making it, a way of dealing with this so that you can bear it, so that you can hold up underneath this. He is going to provide a way to escape. A lot of times I hear people say; God promises, God says that He will never give us a thing that we can’t endure. He only gives us what we can handle. What He actually gives us is a way to escape so that we can handle certain things in our life, so we can bear up in those problems.
It’s not that there is not going to be overwhelming things come toward us and that He wasn’t there with us. We would be overwhelmed, but He is promising to His children; I am going to provide for you a way of dodging the crushing point, a method, or a person, or an idea so that you can deal with this situation and survive it so that you can come through this situation. Now, a lot of people, especially radio people and television people, will say; oh, God is going to deliver you. He probably won’t give you tickets to a tropical paradise. He might, and if he does, enjoy it and send me a coconut. Go out there and enjoy your tropical paradise, but whatever method He chooses, He is going to give you a way of dodging the really crushing part of it, so that you can bear up through this, so that you can make it.
And there is something else. You’re going to have problems, it’s common, but He gave you a peace and when you get overwhelmed and you’re saying; God, I think I’m at the point of getting overwhelmed, give me, show me, the way of escaping the crushingness of this. Show me how to deal with it, and it could be just as simple as coming back continually saying; I’ve got the peace of Christ. I have got the peace of Christ. The peace of Christ is mine. I’m going to pull through this because He has given me His peace. I will make it. I do not know how He will do this or deliver you, but this is His promise.
I said there are a lot of people that make that statement; God says that He will never give you more than what you can bear. If they’re not a Christian, this promise does not apply to them. That is not something that they can claim and say; God will never give me something. You’re not His. He’s not promising to give you the way of escape, so a lot of these people get overwhelmed and they turn to drugs, to meth, to drinking, and they turn their back on God and say; Well, I got overwhelmed and He wasn’t there. This was a specific promise given to a very specific group of people, His kids, His disciples. I will give you a way of escape. I will give you peace and I will give you a way of dodging the crushing part that will so pound you into the ground that you will completely lose it and turn your back upon Him.
Now, I’d like to throw this third thing out here. We have to make another jump over in Galatians. It’s right after Corinthians if I got that right. Chapter 6:2-5. We’re talking about the burdens and Paul writes again; bear one another’s burdens. Now, verse 1 explains it. The temptations, the tests that come, the spiritual stuff and problems you have. If you stumble you fall. Verse 2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” which is that we love one another, bear one another’s burdens. “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load.”
Now it sounds pretty straightforward, but there’s two words there and both of them are translated with the word burden. They can both be translated that way, but the first word it says bear ye one another’s burdens, the burdens it’s talking about there that word means somebody who is like a ship, ladened down sinking into that water because there is so much weight on them. That laden down, He says there are people out there who are laden down to the point that it’s oppressive and that’s one of the ideas there is that burden is so heavy it’s becoming oppressive and that person could be on the verge of sinking. If you see someone in that position of being oppressed to the point, and when I say oppressed I don’t mean like this person is bullying me, it just means anyway, anything, that you see a Christian and it’s just pulling them down.
If you can somehow lift them up by taking some of the burden, and that can be easily done, just as easily as saying; Listen, I’m going to pray for you and I’m believing, I’m knowing that God hears and answers the prayers. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst,” and if two or three people agree upon anything touching any subject on this earth He will hear an answer to that prayer and then say; I don’t know how He will do it, but I want you to know that when you pray I’m going to be praying also. Even if you can’t do it, you’re standing there in the middle of Walmart and you’re not comfortable about saying let’s just pray right now, that’s alright. Say I will go and pray for you today and I’m going to be in agreement with you and I’m expecting God to lift this burden from you. You’re not in it alone. I am praying for you and your burden is going to be lifted because He gives us a promise.
That is one way of lifting another person’s burden, but it’s that idea of a heavy burden that’s just about to swamp their boat. The second time it’s mentioned it says, “For each one will bear his own load.” That idea is actually a smaller physical load. Everybody has got something that they’re going to have to deal with in their life and it’s their responsibility to deal with it. When you’re swamped you need somebody to come along and lift you up, but everybody’s got something they’re going to have to bear in their own life, something that they’ve got to lift up and walk with and carry through this life so that they can win and say; Look, God, you got me through and here it is, I made it through with this, actually it’s a physical weight but this is used metaphorically so the idea is we’ve got some stuff we have to carry and it is within a person’s ability to carry that last word burden for load. It’s a smaller load that you have the ability to cope with.
One person says it’s like this. Some people can put on a backpack that weighs 150 pounds and go take off marching and march for the next 25 miles and lay it down and they’re still good to go. Other people can’t do that. First of all, they’re lucky if they can stand up with 120 pounds of backpack let alone start marching and make it 20 miles. A half a mile in my case. I don’t know how far I could stagger under that, but he’s saying everybody’s got a load that could overwhelm them and so it’s different for everybody. Jesus says; If you’ve got a load that heavy roll it off on Me. I’ll be there. I’ll help carry your burdens. I’ll help get you along. If you’re one of those people and you’re saying; Well, I’m only carrying 15 pounds and I could lift another 30 pounds, here, let me take 30 pounds of your backpack gear and I’ll take it for you and carry it for you.
That is the idea of praying and saying; I know that this problem is so overwhelming you emotionally that you don’t feel like you’re winning here, but I am teaming up with you and in prayer I’m going to lift 30 pounds of this off of you because God has told me that I can lift this much up. In prayer I’m saying; In prayer I can lift this before God and I will pray and God will intervene on your behalf and I’m interceding and He will hear and answer the prayer. That’s the idea, that everybody has got their own responsibilities so you can’t deny your responsibility. You’ve got responsibilities that you’re going to have to carry. Honestly, if you want to get stronger you have to have some stress. Body builders, they stress out by lifting weights all the time. So many pounds and then they try to bump it up another 5 pounds the next week and they keep lifting.
By that stress of lifting weights, they become stronger and stronger, and it’s the same way with prayer. If you have a problem and you say okay, I’m going to start praying and I’m going to become a strong prayer person, you don’t have to bite off a major disaster and say; That’s going to be the thing that I will intervene on in prayer. Start off with something pretty easy and say God, here’s something that I know that you can deal with and I’m going to pray for that and every time you get a victory like Psalms says, each victory will give you the strength to overcome some other to win so that you will always be triumphing, and as you learn to pray and God answers prayers and they get more and more heavy, bigger, burdensome, as you realize He is able to carry more and answer more, your prayer life will become stronger and that’s the idea. Every person has their own responsibilities to do this.
We grow by lifting, by stress. Trees are weak if you did not know that. Even Oak trees are weak if they periodically don’t get shaken. The wind comes through and shakes our Oak trees the whole time they’re growing up and it actually causes them to be strengthened, but if you were to put one in a location where nothing would ever stress that tree or blow against it, the wood fiber actually is weakened. We are made strong by bearing up that which we have. Once again, the review of this is everybody’s got trouble, that’s what we learned in the first one. You are not alone, that’s what we learned in the second one. He is there. The third is you can make it because He is going to be there with you through all your troubles. He will be with you even unto the end of the age. He will neither leave you nor forsake you.
And if you’re a quick thinker, you’ll say; what in the world did Genesis chapter 14 that you read at the opening, have to do with anything that we just went through? Let me explain a little bit. Genesis 14. You see, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” How this ties in is like this; Jesus Christ Himself was prophesied in the Old Testament that when this chosen one came that He would not only be the King of Israel out of the root of Jesse, but He would also be a High Priest to God.
Not like Aaron, not like Moses’ brother, but like Melchizedek. Moses and his brother brought law and condemnation and you had to bring the sacrifice and pay for it. It cost you to bring that lamb so you had all this responsibility that was on you to take it up. It would cost you to bring that lamb before God. Melchizedek is a different kind of a priesthood. You’ll notice that Melchizedek goes out and meets Abram and his first words were, “Blessed be Abram.” The first thing he pronounced is a blessing on Abram which we know is know Abraham. The second thing he did; ”brought forth bread and wine,” which is refreshing. The Melchizedek order was something that gives first. It’s something that blesses first. It’s something that didn’t cost you a dime.
That High Priest came out with blessing and refreshing for Abram when Abram came out of a very stressful situation because he had to go take on a bunch of king’s armies with just his staff that he could really depend upon, 300+ people, and get Lot his own nephew back along with the women and children and all the stuff that was stolen from them. He had just come from this stressful situation and Melchizedek was standing there greeting him and he said blessings on you. You are blessed of the Most High. Here, have bread and have wine. Have food and have drink. He was there blessing Abram and he was there refreshing Abram with bread and wine. Jesus is of that same order. Jesus does not belong to the arrogant priesthood where you have to provide the sacrifice to begin with. Instead it’s provided by the High Priest of the Melchizedek order.
Jesus Christ is there to first bless us, to refresh us with wine and bread which we know is His sacrifice. The bread is a symbol of His body, the wine is a symbol of His blood. He is the one that bought and paid for everything so that He could be a blessing to other people, and as we come in our life in stressful situations it is our High Priest, Jesus Christ, who belongs to the same type of priesthood as Melchizedek belonged to. He is there when we come through these stressful situations saying you are blessed, you are favored, have come through and are a blessed person. He even said that we who have not seen are more blessed than the Apostles themselves. Even than the Apostle Paul because the Apostles including Paul got to see Jesus Christ. He said more blessed are those people who have not seen and still trusted me than you who have seen and trusted.
So, He is blessing us and favoring us beyond degree even over the Apostles because we haven’t seen it and yet we believe it and accept it. He is there to bless us and to refresh us and give us strength to live each and every day of our lives. That is what we’re going to do now, is partake of the Lord’s Supper. It’s like Jesus is prophetically saying to us; you are blessed because you are Christians. You are a child of the Most High God. God will deliver you. God will keep you from your enemies. God will cause Him to be a place where you will rest your feet upon Him. God has prepared, I have prepared a place for you in heaven. Come here, be refreshed, be blessed, be fed, be strengthened because you’ve got a life to continue to live and I’m going to be right there interceding for you.
This church practices open communion. If you have accepted Jesus Christ you’re more than welcome to partake of this supper, this meal that Jesus has bought, paid for and provided. It is a time of refreshing and when you do it you’re saying; I am blessed. Jesus has blessed me and He is through the bread and through the wine refreshing me also and I will have the strength to go on in my life and I will overcome because He has provided a way of escape, and it might be a friend stepping up to the bat to help to carry these loads for me. I’m rolling this all off on Jesus Christ and saying; You take care of the problem, get me through this however. I am willing to let You define the way the blessing will come, but I will be blessed, and I will have peace, and I refuse to get discouraged. I refuse to live in fear, I refuse to have worry in my life constantly. That is what this is. We’re reflecting upon and saying this is just the order of Melchizedek being offered to us just like Melchizedek offered it to our father Abraham.
Would the elders please come forward? “And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.'”
Shall we pray? Father in the name of Jesus as we take this bread we know that Christ’s body was broken for us and we know that it’s a place of strengthening. Bread is good for us so we ask You to bless this bread, strengthen us, Father, both physically and spiritually through the partaking of this. We know that this is a time of strengthening so we’re committing all of our problems and worries to you. You deal with them however You choose to and we trust You to get us through it, and when it’s over with we’ll come back and say thank you. Bless this bread in Jesus’ name. Amen.
“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.'”
Shall we pray? Father, we know that this cup represents the blood that you shed for us and it says for the remission of sin and all of our failures have been removed. They’ve been dealt with and it’s just like it never happened. Thank you for that. We also know that this is something that refreshes and enlightens people so we thank you for the drink that has been offered to us by our High Priest. Father, once again we say thank you and praise You for all that You accomplished through Your Son. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Thank you all for coming out and investing some time. God will bless you and your family.