Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resolution #2 -- Right Relationship

Brad intended to bring a prop with him this morning, but it's one we are all familiar with. He'd planned to bring that children's toy for toddlers that has different holes of different shapes. The loose pieces each fit neatly into one of the holes, and the square peg does not fit into the round hole. The application would be plain in today's message about relationships.

1) There were new Secret Sister forms in the back of the sanctuary today. Secret Sisters of 2010 will be revealed as a luncheon this coming Saturday and new selections for 2011 will be made.
2) Adventure Club begins again this Wednesday.
3) The Third Annual Valentine's Banquet will be Saturday, February 12. More details to come, but mark it on your calendars now.
4) Sunday School is starting again. The adult classes will be as follows. Leonard will teach on the Book of Acts. Brad will lead a six week class on finances.

After a time of worship, a reading from Acts 10:34-43 and prayers Brad took the pulpit to deliver the message.

Resolution #2 -- Right Relationship

The message began with the story of Solomon, a man who had everything, had the opportunity to try everything and still ended up empty. No matter what or how he tried, and he did it all, he was unable to fill the hole in his heart.

As with Solomon, deep within each of us is a God-shaped hole that nothing can fill but God. God alone is the right shape.

Citing Proverbs 19:22 Brad noted that what each of us desires above all else is unfailing love. Romance books, Hollywood films and love songs all promise this. But until God fills the hole with Himself, everything else will come short and disappoint us.

Each of us has a deep longing for acceptance. We have a need to be needed, and all too desperately seek meaning through others. But people eventually hurt us, break promises, betray us or let us down in painful ways.

The result, when disappointment comes, is often bitterness. "This bitterness will eat you up," he said. When we allow bitterness into our hearts, we are the ones whom are hurt, and the many consequences are spelled out in Scripture. Bitterness results in spiritual blindness, damage to our prayer life, toxic relationships, and even destroys our health. It becomes a prison and even changes who we are.

For this reason, we must learn to forgive. Forgiveness is not necessarily forgetting. It is a letting go of resentment and giving up the right for vengeance.

The goal of forgiveness is freedom in Christ. Forgiveness is a choice.

In Colossians Paul lays it out for us. The Lord forgave you, you must forgive others.

Ultimately, you will not, cannot, have right relationships with others till the hole is filled in your own heart. This hole is filled by God's unfailing love alone. There are as many as forty passages in the Bible about God's unfailing love, Brad stated, citing the following:
Psalm 32:10
Psalm 33:5
Psalm 36:7
Psalm 130:7
Psalm 17:7-8
and Isaiah 50:4
God is referred to as a Father to the fatherless. His love for us is not only beyond measure but beyond comprehension. For this reason Paul makes it his prayer that we apprehend fully how deep and wide and high and vast it is.

The word Paul uses here, "apprehend" has as its root the word "rust" which eats right through metal. The idea being that the knowledge of God's love for us would so penetrate into our understanding that it eats right through to our deepest parts of our soul.

There is nothing more secure and significant that knowing who we are in Christ, that we are children of God.

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