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“Intended for Good” (Genesis 50:15–26)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, February 19, 2017

 

Genesis 50:15–26 (NIV)

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees. 

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

 

  1. Fear of Retribution (15–18).

 

  1. Assurance of Peace (19–21).
  • Peace flows from the heart of a person who understands his role in God’s sovereign plan.
    1. Joseph acknowledged his place of humility.
    2. He acknowledged his brothers’ sin and wrongdoing: you meant to harm me.
    3. He acknowledged the sovereignty of God: God intended it for good.

 

  1. Hope for the Future (22–26).
    1. Enjoying the blessings of God during his life.
    2. Looking to the future blessings of God.

 

Main Idea: Those who trust the Sovereign, Faithful God can live in confidence (not fear), can offer peace and reconciliation to others (not vengeance), and can look with hope and faith for the future.

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“Exchanging Truth for a Lie” (Romans 1:20–23)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, February 19, 2017

 

Romans 1:20-23, NIV

20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

 

  1. God has revealed himself with sufficient knowledge of himself to render all people accountable for their rejection of him (20).

             a. There is such a thing as natural revelation.

             b. What God reveals to people in nature is limited.

             c. The results of natural revelation are negative: enough to convict and leave them without excuse.

 

  1. People suppressed and rejected the knowledge of God revealed in Creation and refused to give God the glory and thanks due him (21).

 

  1. In our refusal to honor God, all people exchanged the truth about God for lies of our own making. We exchanged true worship of the Creator for the worship of that which is created (22–23).

 

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“The Death of Jacob” (Genesis 49:29–50:14)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, February 12, 2017

 

Genesis 49:29–50:14 (NIV)

29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.”

33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.

50 Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him. Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him, taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.

When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s court, “If I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, ‘My father made me swear an oath and said, “I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.’”

Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”

So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials accompanied him—the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt—besides all the members of Joseph’s household and his brothers and those belonging to his father’s household. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company.

10 When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning.” That is why that place near the Jordan is called Abel Mizraim.

12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them: 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 14 After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father.

 

  1. People of faith can end their lives with confidence for the future because of the sure promises of God.

 

  1. People of faith conduct themselves with integrity, which causes others to respect them, including those who do not fear God.

 

  1. People of faith honor the commitments and the promises they have made, even at great personal cost and sacrifice.

 

Main Idea: People of faith can live lives of integrity, garnering the respect of others, and they can keep their commitments at great personal cost and sacrifice, because their hopes are anchored to the future fulfillment of the promises of God.

 

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“The Wrath of God” (Romans 1:18–20)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, February 12, 2017

 

Romans 1:18–23 (NIV)

     18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

     21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

 

  1. The revelation of the righteousness of God in the gospel is necessary for humanity to be saved, because the wrath of God is also being revealed against humanity (v. 18).

 

  1. Sinners are worthy of God’s wrath because of their ungodliness and wickedness (v. 18).

 

  1. Sinners are without excuse when it comes to the judgment of God because God’s truth has been plainly revealed to them, and they chose to purposely ignore and suppress it (vv. 18–20).
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Walking with God through Pain & Suffering

by Tim Keller

 

Chapter 14: Praying

 

The Uniqueness of Job

  • The book of Job faces the question of evil and suffering with emotion and realism as well as intellectual and theological skill.
  • Its main theme is innocent suffering—why do so many good people have a disproportionate number of afflictions, while many dishonest, selfish, and greedy people have comfortable lives?
  • Job treats this issue with balance and nuance. It does not give simple, pat answers.
  • Job critiques all of the common answers to the problem of evil and finds them wanting.
  • Religious answer: you must have done something wrong or bad
  • Secular answer: there is no good reason, and a good God wouldn’t allow this—so there is no God.
  • One of the main messages of the book of Job is that both the religious and the secular answers are wrong.

 

My Servant Job

  • Job is described as a man who was blameless and upright. He was beyond reproach.
  • Satan accuses Job before God and says that Job fears and follows God for the benefits that God gives him.
  • If Job is just serving God for the benefits, then God has failed to make people into truly loving servants.
  • Satan wants to frustrate God and his purpose to turn people into joy-filled, great and good worshipers of him.

 

Becoming “Free Lovers” of God

  • God allowed Satan to test Job, because God knew that Job already loved him for himself. But Job’s love needed refinement. The suffering was allowed to bring Job to a level of greatness.
  • The opening of Job reminds us that there is a difference between external religiosity and internal heart love and devotion to God.
  • How do we develop a true, internal love for God that is not just a response to his good gifts or benefits?
  • Our love for God might begin with a heavy dependence and reliance on his benefits, but as the relationship deepens we will grow to love God for himself alone and grow to depend less on his benefits to love him.
  • The only way to grow to this point in a relationship is for it to be tested through difficulty and suffering.
  • Suffering provides us with an opportunity to notice our mercenary nature of our love for God and move beyond it to a deeper, truer love.
  • Job was not fully the servant he should be, and could be, and God was going to enable him to attain that kind of greatness the only way it can be attained—through adversity and pain.
  • Job would become more fully someone who serves God for nothing and loves God for himself alone.

 

God and Evil

  • The book of Job teaches a very asymmetrical relationship of God to evil.
  • In other words, the world is not dualistic, with two equal and opposing forces of good and evil vying for supremacy.
  • The Bible shows us that God is sovereign and is completely in charge.
  • He has total control over Satan, and Satan can only go as far as God allows.
  • At the same time, God is not viewed as being the one directly bringing the affliction on Job.
  • All things are within his sovereignty, but God does not will the evil in the same way that he wills the good.

 

The Speeches of Job and His Friends

  • The speeches of Job’s “friends” wound him deeply, because they are accusatory, and they give pat answers to difficult and mysterious afflictions.
  • They assume in a moralistic way that Job’s sufferings are directly related to his sinful actions.
  • The solution is to repent and confess his sins to God, and God will restore him.
  • The counsel of Job’s friends has elements of truth, but they are too disjointed and too simplistic to be helpful.
  • Job’s friends approach the world through a mechanical/formulaic lens.
  • They have no room for mystery, and they in essence put God on a leash and can’t imagine him acting in a way that is outside their moralistic formula.
  • Job’s sufferings are not punishment for his sin, nor are they a corrective to bring him back from a foolish path.
  • Job’s sufferings are intended to give him an “enlarged life with God.”
  • Job rejects the counsel of his friends. He knows that their domesticated view of God is wrong.
  • He also knows that God is just and he cannot curse God or reject him.
  • Job takes the harder path of mystery, and this leads him to the real lesson that God intended for him.
  • If Job had accepted the rationale of his friends, he would have missed the real purpose and benefit of what he was going through.

 

The Lord Appears and Job Lives

  • The book ends with several surprises.
  • The first is that God shows up, and yet he does not destroy Job. Job lives.
  • God does come in a “storm” with strong, challenging language. But this is actually a form of God’s grace to him.
  • God “answers” him, which suggests a personal conversation between Job and God.
  • God did not come to judge or denounce, but to invite Job into a deeper relationship.

 

The Lord Does Not Answer—and Yet He Does

  • One of the surprises of the book of Job is that God does not answer Job’s demand for explanation.
  • Job expected an explanation from God, and his friends expected God to condemn Job.
  • Neither get what they were expecting.
  • God does answer, but not in the way that any of them were expecting.
  • God offers Job no explanation for the things that have happened to him.
  • If he had, Job would have missed the purpose of the suffering, which was to bring Job into a deeper relationship with God where he would learn to trust and love God without the benefits and without all the answers.
  • To withhold the full story from Job, even after the test was over, keeps him walking by faith, not by sight.
  • He never sees how it all fits together. He sees God instead, which is far greater.

 

The Lord Is God and You Are Not

  • God’s reply to Job reminds us of his absolute power, wisdom, and sovereignty. He is God, and we are not.
  • God’s knowledge and power are infinitely beyond ours.
  • A seven-year-old cannot question the mathematical calculations of a world-class physicist. Yet we think that we can question how God runs the world!
  • The way of wisdom is to acknowledge that God alone is God and knows best.
    • In our complaints over our circumstances, there is the implication that we could propose to God better ways of running the universe than those God currently uses.

 

Job Is in the Right and You are Wrong

  • Surprisingly, in the end, God rebukes Job’s friends, not Job.
  • They assumed Job was in the wrong, because of all his suffering that he supposedly “deserved.” But God rebukes them and tells them to ask Job to pray for them.
  • God’s vindication of Job as an innocent sufferer speaks of God’s grace and forgiveness.
  • It also reminds us that God is always near his people, and we should continually seek him in the midst of our suffering.

 

“My Servant Job”—Again

  • God graciously allows Job the last word!
  • Job humbles himself before God and worships him.
  • He retracts his earlier statements, and acknowledges that God is sovereign and wise.
  • He speaks of now having “seen” God. The suffering has brought him into a deeper experience of the presence of God.

 

The Other Innocent Sufferer

  • Job, the righteous, blameless man, is a type of one greater to come.
  • Jesus was the ultimate righteous sufferer.
  • The one who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
  • Through suffering, Job became a companion of God.
  • When we suffer without relief, when we feel absolutely alone, we can know that, because Christ bore our pain, he will be with us.
  • In suffering, we are walking the same path Jesus walked. So, we are not alone. In fact, we are on a path that leads us closer to him.

 

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“Prophetic Blessings: Jacob’s Sons” (Genesis 49:1–28)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, February 5, 2017

 

Genesis 49:1–28 (NIV)

49 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

    2 “Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;

       listen to your father Israel.

    3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,

       my might, the first sign of my strength,

       excelling in honor, excelling in power.

    4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,

       for you went up onto your father’s bed,

       onto my couch and defiled it.

    5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers—

      their swords are weapons of violence.

    6 Let me not enter their council,

      let me not join their assembly,

     for they have killed men in their anger

     and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.

    7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce,

     and their fury, so cruel!

     I will scatter them in Jacob

     and disperse them in Israel.

    8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you;

      your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;

      your father’s sons will bow down to you.

    9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;

      you return from the prey, my son.

      Like a lion he crouches and lies down,

      like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?

   10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,

       nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

       until he to whom it belongs shall come

       and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

   11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,

      his colt to the choicest branch;

      he will wash his garments in wine,

      his robes in the blood of grapes.

   12 His eyes will be darker than wine,

       his teeth whiter than milk. 

   13 “Zebulun will live by the seashore

      and become a haven for ships;

      his border will extend toward Sidon.

   14 “Issachar is a rawboned donkey

       lying down among the sheep pens. 

   15 When he sees how good is his resting place

       and how pleasant is his land,

       he will bend his shoulder to the burden

       and submit to forced labor.

   16 “Dan will provide justice for his people

       as one of the tribes of Israel.

   17 Dan will be a snake by the roadside,

       a viper along the path,

      that bites the horse’s heels

      so that its rider tumbles backward.

   18 “I look for your deliverance, Lord.

   19 “Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders,

       but he will attack them at their heels.

   20 “Asher’s food will be rich;

       he will provide delicacies fit for a king.

   21 “Naphtali is a doe set free

       that bears beautiful fawns. 

   22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine,

       a fruitful vine near a spring,

       whose branches climb over a wall.

   23 With bitterness archers attacked him;

       they shot at him with hostility.

   24 But his bow remained steady,

       his strong arms stayed limber,

       because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,

       because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

   25 because of your father’s God, who helps you,

       because of the Almighty, who blesses you

       with blessings of the skies above,

       blessings of the deep springs below,

       blessings of the breast and womb.

   26 Your father’s blessings are greater

       than the blessings of the ancient mountains,

       than the bounty of the age-old hills.

       Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,

       on the brow of the prince among his brothers.

   27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;

       in the morning he devours the prey,

       in the evening he divides the plunder.”

   28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he            blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

 

  1. Reuben – the rebellious, immoral son

 

  1. Simeon and Levi – the angry, vengeful, violent sons

 

  1. Judah – the leader among his brothers and the tribe of Israel’s King

 

  1. The Other Sons: God determines the destinies of his covenant people:

 

  1. Zebulun – trading with sea merchants for valuable goods

 

  1. Issachar – working hard in a good and fertile land

 

  1. Dan – seeking justice, but sometimes violence

 

  1. Gad – attacked, yet victorious

 

  1. Asher – prospering through farming and trade

 

  1. Naphtali – flourishing in the fertile region of Galilee

 

  1. Joseph – the one who overcame his enemies by the strength of his God, now blessed and the recipient of the firstborn blessing (1 Chronicles 5:1–2).

 

  1. Benjamin – the skillful, aggressive soldier

 

Lessons/Applications:

 

  1. Be sure your sin will find you out (Reuben, Simeon, Levi). Our sins often have consequences. Sometimes those earthly consequences still follow us, even if we have been forgiven by God’s mercy and pardon.

 

  1. God’s grace can transform anyone’s shame into honor (Judah).

 

  1. Not all avenues of service are notable and spectacular (lesser known tribes).

 

  1. God rewards the faithful for their loyal service. Those who show themselves faithful he blesses more abundantly.

 

  1. God blesses whom he wants to bless. He is the sovereign Lord. We deserve nothing from God. Any gifts that he gives are grace.

 

  1. God is the Lord of redemptive history, who used all these tribes, but especially the tribe of Judah, to bring our redeemer, Jesus Christ into the world.
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“The Righteousness of God” (Romans 1:17)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, February 5, 2017

 

Romans 1:16-17, NIV

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-- a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

 

The gospel is (v. 16):

  • A story that is worthy of unashamed proclamation
  • A story that unleashes the power of God on humanity.
  • A story that saves everyone who believes.
  • A story that is good news for the whole world.

 

Verse 17 further describes the power of the gospel:

 

  1. The gospel reveals the righteousness of God.

 

  1. The righteousness of God is his powerful saving activity among humanity that graciously gives a righteous status to those who cannot earn their own righteousness.

 

  1. This graciously imparted righteous status from God is received by sinners by faith alone.

 

Main Idea: The gospel reveals the righteousness of God, which is his powerful saving activity among humanity that graciously grants the status of righteousness on the basis of faith and faith alone to everyone who believes.

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Walking with God through Pain & Suffering

by Timothy Keller

Chapter 13: Trusting

  • Expressing our sorrow in lament is not in conflict with an abiding trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God.
  • Language of lament and language of trust are found throughout the Bible in the face of life’s suffering.
  • Both sets of texts are in the Bible, and they are both important.
  • We should not interpret one group in such a way that it contradicts or weakens the claims and assertions of the other.

Joseph’s Story

  • The story of Joseph begins with a long string of terrible events that happened to him.
  • Joseph probably asked God to deliver him on many occasions—but there was just silence.
  • Joseph prayed for years and years for help from God—and never received a single answer.
  • It was not until all of the events unfolded that Joseph could look back and understand God’s purposes.

The Hidden God

  • Was God not there in all those years of difficulty and hardship in Joseph’s life?
  • No, he was there, and he was working.
  • He was hidden behind the scenes, but he was also in complete control.
  • The number of “coincidences” that had to come together for the events to unfold as they did is astounding, and a number of those events were difficult and painful.
  • But what would have happened if Joseph had never gone to Egypt?
  • If Joseph had not gone to Egypt:

    • Many people would have died from starvation.
    • His own family would have been wiped out.
    • Spiritually, his family would have been a disaster.
    • Joseph corrupted by pride and his father’s favoritism
    • The brothers corrupted by anger
    • Jacob corrupted by his addictive, idolatrous love of his youngest sons
  • The Joseph story shows us that even when people make choices of their own accord, even evil choices, that God is still sovereign and in complete control.
  • God was working out his purposes throughout all of the events—even in the smallest details of the daily lives and schedules and choices of everyone.
  • God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” “for the good of those who love him” (Eph. 1:11; Rom. 8:28).
  • How did all the events of the Joseph story unfold?
  • They came about through suffering:
    • The terrible years of crushing slavery for Joseph
    • The terrible years of debilitating guilt for the brothers
    • The terrible years of grief and depression for Jacob
  • All of this was God’s plan to save lives.
  • After the pain, comes a “harvest of righteousness and peace” (Heb. 12:11).

Trusting the Hidden God

  • It is perhaps most striking of all to realize that if God had given Joseph the things he was likely asking for in prayer, it would have been terrible for him.
  • God was hearing and responding to Joseph’s prayers for deliverance, rescue, and salvation, but not in the ways or forms or times Joseph asked for it.
  • During all the time in which God seemed hidden, Joseph still trusted.
  • We do not always get to see how everything fit together in God’s plan like Joseph did, but we must trust God regardless.
  • At Dothan, Joseph prayed for deliverance and the answer was 20 years in the making. Also at Dothan, Elisha prayed for deliverance (2 Kings 6), and the answer came immediately.
  • God was just as present and active in the slow answer to Joseph as he was in the swift answer to Elisha.
  • Very often God does not give us exactly what we ask for. Instead he gives us what we would have asked for if we had known everything he knows.
  • We must never assume that we know enough to mistrust God’s ways or be bitter against what he has allowed.
  • We must also never think we have really ruined our lives, or have ruined God’s purposes for us.
  • You cannot destroy God’s good purposes for us, and you can’t break God’s love.

Everything Hangs Together

  • Everything that happens is part of God’s plan, even the little things and the bad things.
  • Nothing happens by accident.
  • Very seldom do we glimpse even a millionth of the ways that God is working all things together for good for those who love God, but you can be assured he will not abandon you.
  • Everything is needful that he sends; nothing can be needful that he withholds” – John Newton

The Ultimate Joseph

  • Joseph was a forerunner of Jesus.
  • Like Joseph, the Lord Jesus
    • Sold for silver coins
    • Denied and betrayed by his brethren
    • Unjustly put into chains and sentenced to death
    • Prayed for deliverance from God
    • Accepted the suffering as God’s will
    • Forgives his tormentors
    • Knew God intended good from evil
    • Promoted to power and intercedes for us
  • Looking at the cross, not knowing the whole story, we would have said: “I don’t see how God could bring any good out of this.”
  • But what we would have been looking at is the greatest, most brilliant thing God could ever do for the human race.
  • On the cross, both justice and love are being satisfied—evil, sin, and death are being defeated.
  • Don’t turn from God when we can’t fit events into our limited understanding.
  • We must trust God, even in the darkest times, because God is sovereign and good.
  • Even though we cannot know all the particular reasons for our crosses, we can look at the cross and know God is working things out for our good.
  • God accomplishes his salvation through weakness, not strength. Jesus triumphs over death by dying, winning by losing.
  • The grace of God grows more through our difficulties than our triumphs.
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“No Ordinary Story” (Romans 1:16)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, January 29, 2017

 

Romans 1:16, NIV

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 

 

  1. A story that is worthy of unashamed proclamation.

 

  1. A story that unleashes the power of God upon humanity.

 

  1. A story that brings salvation to every person who believes.

 

  1. A story that is good news for the entire world.

 

Main Idea: The gospel is the story of God’s power that saves sinners throughout the whole world through the atoning and resurrecting work of Jesus, his Son. And we need not be ashamed of believing it, of living it, or of boldly telling it to the world.

 

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Walking with God through Pain & Suffering

by Tim Killer

 

Chapter 12: Weeping

 

The Disappearance of Lament

  • Our suffering is not redemptive; Christ’s suffering was redemptive. Our suffering is leading to our sanctification and ultimate glorification.
  • By and large, the church has lost the use of lament as a proper biblical response to troubles and misery.
  • The Psalms, however, are filled with examples of lament, cries of distress and grief.
  • Job and the Prophets are filled with examples of cries of lament.

 

  • Some church traditions have minimized the use of lament, out of fear of portraying a lack of faith or doubts about the love of Christ.
  • This approach to suffering does not do justice to the full range of emotion displayed in the Scriptures.
  • Faith in God is not necessarily a stoic faith, emotionally detached from the realities of life.
  • Job legitimately expressed grief with powerful emotion and honesty.

 

A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break

  • In light of the Bible’s use of lament, it is not right for us to simply say to a person (or ourselves) in grief that they need to pull themselves together. We should be more gentle and patient.

A bruised reed he [the Servant] will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; (Isa 42:3, NIV)

  • The Servant is to be identified as the Messiah, Jesus (see Matt 12:20).

 

  • Jesus cares for the fragile and the broken. He loves people who are beaten and battered and bruised.
  • He binds up the brokenhearted and heals our wounds (Ps 147:3; Isa 61:1).
  • God’s care for the depressed prophet Elijah is an example of his mercy to the “bruised reed.”
  • The angel does not come to Elijah in rebuke or in an attempt to manufacture joy; he comes with care and provides him nourishment.

 

  • Rest, nourishment, and encouragement are not all that Elijah needs, but that is what he needs in the moment.
  • Later, God will challenge him out of his despair by reorienting Elijah’s vision of the situation.
  • God takes a balanced approach with his prophet. He is a person with a body and a soul. He needs physical rest and nourishment. He needs emotional encouragement, and at the right time he needs to be spiritually challenged.

 

  • Isaiah 42:3 means that Jesus is gentle with the bruised and never mistreats
  • Richard Sibbes: Think “…if Christ be so merciful as to not break me, I will not break myself by despair….”
  • Suffering people need to be able to weep and pour out their hearts, and not to immediately be shut down by being told what to do.

 

Weeping in the Dark

  • We need to allow more room and freedom for lament. Lament is not a lack of faith.
  • Reading and praying the Psalms of lament back to God can be good counsel to those in grief.
  • Psalm 88 ends without a note of hope, and is a biblical reminder that darkness may go on for a length of time before the light comes.

 

  • Times of darkness can reveal God’s grace in new depths.
  • Psalm 88 is in the Bible for a reason.
  • It reveals that God remains this man’s God not because the man puts on a happy face and controls all his emotions, but because of grace. God is patient and gracious with us. Salvation is by grace.
  • Heman is not praising God, but lamenting to God, and it is inspired Scripture.

 

  • It is perhaps when we are still in unrelenting darkness that we have the greatest opportunity to defeat the forces of evil.
  • In the darkness we have an opportunity that is not really there in better times.
  • We can choose to serve God just because he is God, not because things are going well.
  • In darkness, we can learn to love God for himself, and not for his blessings, while our love for other things lessens.

 

The Darkness of Jesus

  • Psalm 88 also reminds us that our darkness can be relativized by Jesus’ darkness.
  • God never abandons his children, but will use the darkness to make us into what he wants us to be.
  • Psalm 39 reminds us that Jesus endured the ultimate darkness for us. God turned his face from Jesus, as he died for our salvation.
  • Jesus died so that we would never be abandoned by God, even in darkness.

 

  • Jesus went into suffering for us. He did not abandon us despite all his own suffering. Do you think he will abandon you now in the midst of yours?
  • Because of Jesus—there is always hope, even in the darkest moments of your life.

 

Grieving and Rejoicing

  • What does it mean to “rejoice in suffering”?
  • Don’t think of it in purely subjective, emotional Rejoicing does not mean just to “have happy emotions.”
  • It also does not involve denying the real sorrow that you are experiencing.
  • 1 Peter 1:6-7 does not pit rejoicing and suffering against one another.
  • We can and must rejoice in suffering if we are to grow through our suffering rather than be wrecked by it.

 

  • In the Bible, the “heart” is not identical to emotions. The heart is the place of your deepest commitments, trusts, and hopes.
  • Our emotions, thoughts, and actions flow from these commitments.
  • To “rejoice” in God means to dwell on and remind ourselves of who God is, who we are, and what he has done for us.
  • Our emotions may or may not follow us in this remembrance.

 

  • Rejoicing in suffering happens within
  • Grief and sorrow drive us more into God and show us the resources we never knew we had.
  • Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Did he not have joy in God?
  • The joy of the Lord happens inside the sorrow. The weeping drives you into the joy, it enhances the joy, and then the joy enables you to feel your grief without it sinking you.

 

  • Rather than expecting God to remove the sorrow and replace it with happiness, we should look for a “glory”—a taste and conviction and increasing sense of God’s presence—that helps us rise above the darkness.

 

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“Prophetic Blessings: Joseph’s Sons” (Genesis 48:1–22)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, January 22, 2017

 

Genesis 48:1–22 (NIV)

48 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty  appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’

“Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. As I was returning from Paddan,  to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”

10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers

Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,

the God who has been my shepherd

all my life to this day,

16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm

—may he bless these boys.

May they be called by my name

and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,

and may they increase greatly

on the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day and said,

“In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:

‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you  and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

 

Applications:

  1. Let us hold tightly to the promises of God, which cannot fail.
  2. Let us remind ourselves of God’s works in the past to give us confidence for the future.
  3. Let us remember that God’s grace does not operate according to our natural expectations.
  4. Let us look forward in faith to the eternal promised land that God is preparing for us.
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“Incarnational Ministry” (Romans 1:8–15)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, January 22, 2017

 

Romans 1:8–15 (NIV)

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

 

  1. We should give thanks to God when the gospel is effective and is growing in influence (8).

 

  1. We should make prayer for one another a purposeful and constant practice in our lives (9–10a).

 

  1. We should place a high value on face to face discipleship and gospel ministry (over mediated forms) (10b–13).
    1. It strengthens one another’s faith (11).
    2. It brings mutual encouragement (12).
    3. It produces gospel fruit in the lives of others (13).
    4. It is hard, takes purpose, and is met with many obstacles (13).

 

  1. As beneficiaries of the grace of God, we have an obligation to share the gospel with others, regardless of their race, economic status, or educational attainment (14–15).

 

 

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Walking with God through Pain & Suffering

by Tim Keller

 

Chapter 11: Walking

 

“When through fiery trials

Thy pathways shall lie,

My grace all sufficient,

shall be thy supply;

The flame shall not hurt thee;

I only design

Thy dross to consume,

And thy gold to refine.”

-How Firm a Foundation-

 

Walking with God in Suffering

  • One of the main metaphors in the Bible for facing affliction is walking.
    • Walking through darkness
    • Walking through deep waters
    • Walking through slippery and dangerous mountain paths
  • Walking indicates progress.
  • We are to walk through suffering without shock and surprise, without denial of our sorrow and weakness, without resentment or paralyzing fear, yet also without acquiescence or capitulation, without surrender or despair.

 

  • The metaphor of walking through fire is one of the most helpful metaphors.
  • When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… Do not be afraid, for I am with you (Isaiah 43:2-3, 5)
  • Believers are not promised exemption from trouble.
  • The promise is that God will be with us, walking beside us in it.

 

  • Suffering is like a refiner’s fire, like a forge or furnace (1 Peter).
  • A furnace can obliterate or improve, depending on the object placed into the fire and the manner in which it is treated.
  • Adversity is like a fire that, rather than destroying you, can refine, strengthen, and beautify you, as a forge does with metal ore.

 

  • When gold is put through fire it may soften or melt, but it will not kindle and go to ashes.
  • The impurities that are mixed with the gold are burned up or separated from the gold, making the gold more pure and beautiful.
  • We have many blemishes in our character that we are often blind to in ourselves.
  • Suffering comes and reveals our impurities and draws them out, in order to refine us.

 

  • But, it depends on our response.
  • Adversity does not automatically cleanse the impurities from our character.
  • We must recognize, depend on, speak with, and believe in God while in the fire.
  • Knowing him personally while in our affliction is the key to becoming stronger rather than weaker in it.

 

Three in the Furnace

  • The promise of Isaiah 43:2-3 became literally true in the story of the three young Israelite men in Babylon (Daniel 3).
  • They would literally have to go through fire, into the furnace, for their faith in God.
  • They exhibited complete trust in God and so were able to be confident yet humble in the face of their affliction.
  • They confidently believed God could and would rescue them, but they also humbly acknowledged that they did not know the mind of God.

 

  • Faith is not believing that God will do something, no matter what, without any exceptions.
  • Faith is believing that God will do something, if it is God’s will to do it.
  • We can be confident in the power and might of God, but at the same time not be arrogant in our expectation that God will do exactly what we think he should.
  • A prayer not answered exactly as requested is not an indication of the weakness of our faith or of the weakness of God’s ability to answer.

 

  • Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were ready for deliverance or death. They were already “spiritually fireproofed.”
  • God would deliver them from death or he would deliver them through
  • God would be glorified either way.
  • Their greatest joy was to honor God, not to use God to get what they wanted in life.
  • As a result, they were fearless. Nothing could overthrow them.

 

Four in the Furnace

  • The three Hebrew young men did not go through the fire alone.
  • As Isaiah 43 said, God walked with them through the flames.
  • The fourth “man” who appeared was likely the Angel of the LORD, or a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ.
  • When Jesus came to earth, he entered into our weakness and walked beside us through the difficulties of life.
  • He experienced them with us, and then endured the ultimate suffering for us.

 

  • Jesus endured the fire alone in our place so that we might be forgiven by God.
  • Now we can have the assurance of God with us in the fire, because Jesus suffered for us alone in the fire.

 

Lessons of the Furnace

  • If you believe in Jesus and you rest in him, then suffering will relate to your character like fire relates to gold.
  • Suffering is the only way to:
    • know who you truly are, including your strengths and weaknesses
    • become a compassionate person who helps others who are hurting
    • develop a profound trust in God that will fortify you against the disappointments of life
    • become wise about how life goes

 

  • God is with us in the fire. He has lived it, so he understands. He is near and available to be known and depended upon.
  • He walks with us, but will we walk with him?
  • If we have created a false “God-of-my-program,” then when life falls apart we will simply assume he has abandoned us and we won’t seek him.

 

  • How do we come through suffering strengthened and not broken?
  • We must walk with God.
    • Treat God as God.
    • Know God is there with you.
    • Remember the gospel.
  • Going into the fire without the gospel is the most dangerous thing you can do.
  • A heart forgetting the gospel will be torn between anger and guilt.
  • We must remember that Jesus went through the ultimate fire to save us. Now he will be with us in the smaller fires of our lives to purify us.

 

Ways to Walk with God

  • Walking is nondramatic, rhythmic.
  • It consists of steady, repeated actions you can keep up with over a long time.
  • A walk is a day in and day out praying, Bible and Psalms reading, obeying, talking to Christian friends, going to corporate worship, committing to and fully participating in the life of the church.
  • A walk with God is a metaphor that symbolizes slow and steady progress.

         

  • Walking with God means that, in general, you will not experience some kind of instant deliverance from your questions, sorrow, or fears.
  • There will be progress, but it will typically be slow and steady progress that comes only if you stick to the regular, daily activities of the walking.
    • Walk
    • Grieve and weep
    • Trust and pray
    • Think, thank, and love
    • Hope

 

  • These are complementary actions, not stages or steps.
  • Some may be more important at different times depending on the person, the circumstances, and the type of adversity.
  • No two paths through suffering are identical.
  • All of these, however, are helps that the Bible gives us for walking with God through suffering.

 

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“Egypt Is Blessed by Joseph’s Leadership” (Genesis 47:13–31)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, January 15, 2017

 

Genesis 47:13–31 (NIV)

13 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”

16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”

“I will do as you say,” he said.

31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 

 

  1. God wisely and graciously moved Jacob and his family to Egypt, because the condition in Canaan was incredibly desperate.

 

  1. God used Joseph’s wise administration of the famine to save Israel’s hosts (Egypt) through their time of adversity.

 

  1. God used Joseph’s wise administration of the famine to bless his people in the land of Goshen.

 

  1. God blessed Jacob and allowed him to see Joseph again and to see some of the realization of his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob coming to pass.

 

  1. Jacob finished his years in humble worship and confident faith that God would fulfill his promise to bring his people out of this land and return them to Canaan.
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“The Gospel of the Triune God” (Romans 1:1–7)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, January 15, 2017

Romans 1:1–7 (NIV)
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

     1. The Gospel’s Messenger (1).
          a. Paul
          b. A Servant of Christ Jesus
          c. Called as an Apostle
          d. Set-apart/Appointed for the Gospel of God

     2. The Gospel’s Promise (2).
          a. The Gospel promised beforehand by God
          b. The Gospel prophesied in the Holy Scriptures

     3. The Gospel’s Central Person: Jesus Christ (3–4).
          a. The Son of God
          b. Descendant of David
          c. “Appointed as” the Son of God
               i. In power
              ii. By the Holy Spirit
             iii. Through his resurrection from the dead
          d. Our Lord

     4. The Gospel’s Mission (5).
          a. Call the Gentiles/Nations to the Obedience of Faith
               i. Through the grace and apostleship received from God
              ii. For the sake of God’s name

     5. The Gospel’s Beneficiaries (6–7a).
          a. You: Roman Christians (Predominantly Gentile)
               i. Among the Gentiles
              ii. Called (effectually)
             iii. To belong to Jesus Christ
              iv. Loved by God
               v. Called (effectually) to be his saints/holy people
          b. Us: Predominantly Gentiles

     6. The Gospel’s Blessings (7b).
          a. Grace
          b. Peace
               i. From God our Father and
              ii. From the Lord Jesus Christ

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Walking with God through Pain & Suffering

by Tim Keller

 

Chapter 10: The Varieties of Suffering

 

  • Suffering has a tremendous capacity to help us grow.
  • Suffering does not deepen and enrich us automatically.
  • The same traumatic experience can ruin one person and make another person stronger and even happier.
  • How can we be prepared to handle suffering in a such a way that it leads to growth?

 

Diversities of Suffering

  • One way to be better prepared to handle suffering is to be aware of the fact that suffering comes in all varieties and shapes. Not all suffering is the same.
  • The Bible contains a remarkable degree of diversity on teaching regarding pain and adversity.
  • Suffering has a great number of causes as well as a wide variety of responses.
  • We cannot adopt a “one-size-fits-all” approach to suffering—either its causes or proper responses to it.

 

The Suffering We Bring on Ourselves

  • Some suffering we bring on ourselves through immoral or unwise choices.
  • Biblical examples: David and Jonah
  • Suffering brought on by our own choices can be used by God to discipline us and to wake us up to our own weaknesses and failures.
  • God may use this type of suffering to humble us and lead us to turn to him.
  • The lesson of this kind of suffering is often humility and repentance.

 

The Suffering of Betrayal

  • Some suffering is not brought about by our own failures, but by the betrayal or cruelty of others.
  • Biblical examples: Paul, Jeremiah
  • Suffering caused by good and brave behavior—a response of the wicked to the righteous.
  • Standing up for what is right or a just cause may bring suffering.
  • Personal relationships may encounter betrayal; others may turn on you in their own self-interest.
  • The temptation will be to become bitter and harbor anger.
  • Certainly, justice should be pursued when necessary, but a vengeful spirit should be avoided or this type of suffering will lead to bitterness.
  • The lesson of this type of suffering is to learn the grace of forgiveness and trust in God’s justice.

 

The Suffering of Loss

  • There is also the common or “universal” suffering of loss due to our own mortality, weakness, decay, and death.
  • The curse of sin has affected us all, and no one can escape this kind of suffering.
  • We will all endure the futility of life in a sin-cursed world, whether disease, natural disaster, loss of a loved one to death, or our own death.
  • The lesson with this type of suffering is to direct our eyes on God and to the various forms of comfort and hope that our faith offers us.

 

The Suffering of Mystery

  • Some suffering is incredibly horrendous, extraordinary, and “senseless” and can be classified as mysterious suffering.
  • Biblical example: Job
  • There is no simple answer to this type of suffering as Job and his friends discovered.
  • The point of Job’s suffering was not to fix any one particular thing in his life but to lead him to trust and obey God simply for who God is, not in order to receive something or to get something done.
  • Job’s suffering was not a chastisement or a lesson aimed at changing a particular flaw in Job’s life. But it was still used as a powerful vehicle both for Job’s personal growth and for God’s glory.
  • The lesson was about the whole tenor of Job’s life, and his need to base it fully, with all his heart, on God.
  • Job-type suffering requires a process of honest prayer and crying, the hard work of deliberate trust in God, and a re-ordering of our loves.

 

Diversities of Temperament

  • Not only are there various types and causes of suffering, but the way people respond to suffering is also quite varied depending on a person’s temperament, personality, and individual circumstances.
  • Aspects of internal affliction in response to suffering:
    • Isolation
    • Implosion
    • Condemnation
    • Anger
    • Temptation
  • Every instance of suffering likely contains a mixture of these internal responses—different for each person.
  • These responses highlight the infinitely complex and diverse condition affliction can be.

 

Diversities of Pathways

  • Every affliction is virtually unique.
  • Every sufferer will need to find a somewhat different path through it.
  • Some counsel is helpful to some, but the same counsel could be hurtful or irritating to others – even if the counsel is true.
  • The timing, tone, and motivation behind true counsel is crucial in order for it to be helpful and comforting.
  • Truths need to be grasped in the right order for that person in that situation.
  • “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me” (Ps 23:4).
  • It turns out there is more than one path through the valley.
  • The Lord, the perfect Guide, will help you find the best way through it.

 

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“Jacob and His Family Move to Egypt” (Genesis 46:1–47:12)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, January 8, 2017

 

Genesis 46:1–47:12 (NIV)

46 So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

     2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”

    “Here I am,” he replied.

     3 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

     5 Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.

     8 These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt:

    Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.

     9 The sons of Reuben:

    Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi.

    10 The sons of Simeon:

   Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.

    11 The sons of Levi:

    Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

    12 The sons of Judah:

    Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan).

    The sons of Perez:

    Hezron and Hamul.

    13 The sons of Issachar:

    Tola, Puah,  Jashub  and Shimron.

    14 The sons of Zebulun:

    Sered, Elon and Jahleel.

    15 These were the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram,  besides his daughter Dinah.            These sons and daughters of his were thirty-three in all.

    16 The sons of Gad:

    Zephon,  Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.

    17 The sons of Asher:

    Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah.

    Their sister was Serah.

    The sons of Beriah:

    Heber and Malkiel.

    18 These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter        Leah—sixteen in all.

    19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel:

    Joseph and Benjamin. 20 In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 

    21 The sons of Benjamin:

    Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.

    22 These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob—fourteen in all.

    23 The son of Dan:

    Hushim.

    24 The sons of Naphtali:

   Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem.

    25 These were the sons born to Jacob by Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter              Rachel—seven in all.

    26 All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives—numbered sixty-six persons. 27 With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

    28 Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.

    30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”

    31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”

47 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.

    3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”

    “Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”

    5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

    7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?”

    9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.”        10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.

    11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.

       1.  God is faithful to bless, guide, and provide for his people (46:1–7).

 

       2. God is faithful to build his people into a great nation, as he promised (46:8–27).

 

       3.God is faithful to provide a land for his people to dwell (46:28–47:6).

 

       4. God is faithful to use his people as a channel of blessing to the world (47:7–12).

 

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“The One True God” (Psalm 115)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, January 8, 2017

 

Psalm 115 (NIV)

     1 Not to us, Lord, not to us

          but to your name be the glory,

          because of your love and faithfulness.

     2 Why do the nations say,

          “Where is their God?”

     3 Our God is in heaven;

           he does whatever pleases him.

     4 But their idols are silver and gold,

           made by human hands.

     5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,

           eyes, but cannot see.

     6 They have ears, but cannot hear,

           noses, but cannot smell.

     7 They have hands, but cannot feel,

           feet, but cannot walk,

           nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

     8 Those who make them will be like them,

           and so will all who trust in them.

     9 All you Israelites, trust in the Lord—

           he is their help and shield.

    10 House of Aaron, trust in the Lord—

           he is their help and shield.

    11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord—

           he is their help and shield.

    12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us:

           He will bless his people Israel,

           he will bless the house of Aaron,

    13 he will bless those who fear the Lord—

           small and great alike.

    14 May the Lord cause you to flourish,

           both you and your children.

    15 May you be blessed by the Lord,

           the Maker of heaven and earth.

    16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord,

           but the earth he has given to mankind.

    17 It is not the dead who praise the Lord,

           those who go down to the place of silence;

    18 it is we who extol the Lord,

           both now and forevermore.

    Praise the Lord. 

 

       1. The One True God Is Worthy of All Glory (1–2).

 

      2. The One True God Is Worthy of Our Exclusive Worship (3–8).

 

       3. The One True God Is Worthy of Our Complete Trust (9–11).

 

       4. The One True God Blesses His People (12–15).

 

       5. The One True God Is Worthy of our Lives (16–18).

 

 

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Walking with God through Pain & Suffering

by Tim Keller

 

Chapter 9: Learning to Walk

 

What about Our Glory?

  • Suffering glorifies If God is treated as God during suffering, then suffering can reveal and present him in all his greatness.
  • Suffering also prepares a glory for us.
  • The glory that suffering prepares for us is not the same as the modern concept of self-improvement or happiness.
  • Ironically, happiness does not come by seeking happiness, but by seeking God and his kingdom. Loving God and loving others honors God and produces happiness in us as a byproduct.

 

  • We should trust God, not because it will get us something, but because God is worthy of our trust and worship.
  • If we don’t seek to find ourselves but to find God, we will eventually find both God and ourselves.
  • If we seek not our own benefit but God’s glory, it will lead paradoxically to a development of our own glory, that is, of our character, humility, hope, love, joy, and peace.
  • So, we must not waste our sorrows, but grow through them into grace and glory.

 

Productive Suffering

  • Contrary to Western secular culture that sees no purpose in suffering, the Bible presents a productive and valuable purpose in suffering.
  • Suffering can reveal flaws in our character that we might not otherwise see, such as lack of courage, selfishness, or self-love.
  • Going through sorrow, even depression, can cause us to appraise our own limitations and flaws more accurately, and help us to realize how little control we may have over our circumstances.

 

  • Suffering does not automatically improve your life.
  • Suffering will change you one way or another. It will leave you a much better person or a much worse one than you were before.
  • Avoidance coping and denial” leads to avoidance strategies like drinking, drugs, etc. and ultimately to self-destruction.
  • Active coping and reappraisal” leads to doing the hard inner work of evaluation, learning, changing, and growing.

 

How God Uses Suffering

  • God uses suffering to remove our weaknesses and build us up in primarily four ways:
    • Suffering transforms our attitude toward ourselves.
      • Humbles us
      • Removes unrealistic self-regard and pride
      • Reminds us of how fragile we are
      • Leads us to examine ourselves and see weaknesses, because it often brings out the worst in us.

 

  • Suffering will profoundly change our relationship to the good things in our lives.
    • Realize that some things have become too important to us (idols).
    • Often, the magnitude of our suffering is in direct proportion to the excessive weight we put on the things we have lost or are in jeopardy.
    • Suffering provides an opportunity to invest more of our hope and meaning in God and others.

 

  • Suffering can strengthen our relationship to God as nothing else can.
    • Lewis: “In prosperity God whispers to us, but in adversity he shouts to us.”
    • When times are good how do you know that you really love God and are trusting God?
    • Only suffering can reveal the impurities or falseness of our faith in God.
    • Suffering drives us to prayer.

 

  • Suffering is almost a prerequisite if we are going to be of much use to other people.
    • Adversity makes us much more compassionate than we would have been otherwise.
    • Having received comfort from God in our suffering, we are in a better place to minister God’s comfort to others who are suffering.  (2 Cor 1:3-7)

 

God’s Gymnasium

  • The Bible speaks of suffering using the metaphor of a gymnasium.
  • Heb 12: suffering is painful, but later on it produces righteousness and peace for those who are being trained (exercised) by it.
  • In the gym, our weaknesses are exposed for what they are, and then they are purposefully exercised to strengthen them.
  • In the gym, you feel you are getting weaker, but later on this results in strength and endurance.

 

  • In suffering, like in the gym, we need the right application of pressure and discomfort in order to be strengthened.
  • So, the suffering that God brings into our lives has a limit and has a purpose.
  • So, our response to suffering should not be to despise it or to faint under it; we should move forward through the exercises.
  • Our motivation and hope is to look to Jesus who also endured suffering on the way to glory.

 

Preparing the Mind for Suffering

  • Suffering will come, and we have a responsibility to walk through suffering in the right way for it to achieve its intended effects.
  • So, we need to prepare our minds for suffering before the suffering arrives.
  • The more deeply you know and grasp the Bible’s teachings before the adversity comes, the more comfort they will be.
  • A growing understanding of the Bible and a vital prayer life are the greatest preparation for affliction.

 

 

 

 

Preparing the Heart for Suffering

  • Suffering is not just an intellectual issue, but a personal problem. So, we must prepare the heart as well as the mind to properly walk through suffering.
  • Developing a consistent, vibrant, theologically deep, and relationally real prayer life is the best way to prepare the heart for suffering.
  • If our understanding and experience of God’s love are strong before the affliction comes, they can serve as anchors that keep us from being overwhelmed by the adversity.

 

  • When suffering first hits you, the gap between what you know with the mind and what you can use out of your store of knowledge in the heart can be surprisingly large.
  • When troubles come, you will need God’s help to find the particular insights, consoling thoughts, and wisdom you will need to get through.
  • Biblical truths previously known in the mind will have to be revisited in the heart and applied to the current real life experience.

 

  • It is one thing to have biblical truths stored in the warehouse of the mind. It is quite another to know how to apply them to your own heart, life, and experience in such a way that they produce wisdom, endurance, joy, self-knowledge, courage, and humility.
  • It is one thing to believe in God but it is quite another thing to trust
  • Walking through suffering requires not just knowing about God, but knowing God.

 

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“A Prayer for the New Year” (Colossians 1:9–14)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, January 1, 2017

 

Colossians 1:9-14, NIV

9  For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,  10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,  11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,  12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.  13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

      1.  The prayer’s pattern: purposeful and perpetual.

      2.  The prayer’s petition: knowledge of God’s moral will.

      3.  The prayer’s purpose: to live a life worthy of the Lord.

      4.  The prayer’s product:

                a.  Bearing fruit in every good work.

                b.  Growing in the knowledge of God.

                c.   Being strengthened with God’s power for endurance and perseverance.

                d.   Giving thanks to God for his gracious gift of salvation.

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