Sunday, November 15, 2015

Confusion Illusion

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

Last week, Pastor Kyle continued in our Sunday Sermon Series through the book of Acts. Confusion is reality for every human being on planet Earth … sometimes on a daily basis. We need do learn to turn confusion into an opportunity for the gospel because confusion is rapidly intensified by our personal fears and presuppositions towards unhealthy tendencies. We need to (1) identify how our fears are affecting us emotionally. (2) We need to sort out fact from fiction. Fear can force you to two extremes, neither which are true. (3) Fear causes an emotional reaction within us to magnify the negatives in our lives and ignore the positives. (4) Fear causes us to over-generalizing single pieces of evidence towards the false thinking of catastrophic imaginations. (5) Fear causes us to perceive ourselves as the victim. (6) Fear causes us to believe that we are being unfairly treated. (7) Fear blames other people for our problems (8) Fear always wants to be right, falsely saying that every good action we take with one day “pay off with dividends” in the end. (9) Fear wrongly mislabel other people and (10) Fear causes us to automatically believe that all of our feelings are true despite evidence to the contrary and make unwise choices.

Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”

When confusion isn’t cleaned up, it can quickly lead to chaos and all kinds of nonconstructive and destructive behaviors. At the core of confusion is gossip, which is fuel on the fire to manipulate. Gossip stems from our desires to protect ourself or make ourselves feel better at someone else’s expense rooted in our fears. And when we project our fears upon others, we fan the flames of confusion. Everyone gets confused, but confusion that does not get heated is godliness. Keeping your cool within confusion is maturity and godly. God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. Confusion is the devil’s roar to keep us from the things of God.   

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Five things to turn confusion around into a gospel opportunity are (1) Deal with the source of the feeling and/or fear first. In order to deal with the source of the fear, you have to find it first to claim it down. Most of the time, the source is not real. We need to get to the place were fear will not make a decision for me. (2) We need to go to the gospel (not just the presenting problem). A “presenting problem is what someone comes in to talk to you about, but is only the tip of the iceberg for the problem. There is an underlying issue, but what truly matters? Go to the gospel. When we believe that going to the gospel is only for those who do not know or have not heard of the Lord and not for the people of God also, then we miss the entire point of Christianity in our daily need. We have to preach the gospel to ourselves every single day.  It is the power that transforms our lives. (3) Embrace a posture of compassion and serving. The path to peace is called “Servanthood Road” paved by Jesus. Many today do not see the need for Christianity because they do not know the gospel and believe that they can make it on their own, living contrary to the “good news” of Jesus Christ dying for our sins. Serve hurting people and do not miss out on potentially great relationships. (4) Reap the blessings. Not because we shake off snakes, but because we clear up confusion and transform lives as peacemakers. And (5) Stay on Mission; do not get off track! We don’t have time.

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle see his banners go! At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee; on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise; brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise. Like a mighty army moves the church of God; brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided, all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane, 
but the church of Jesus constant will remain. Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail; we have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng, blend with ours your voices in the triumph song. Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King, this through countless ages men and angels sing. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.  Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865

In Christ, Brian

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