Sunday, February 28, 2016

Healing (Part III)

Temps hit 50 yesterday afternoon, with sunny skies and a firm clue that spring really is coming before too long. The snowfall this morning reminded us that it's still winter, but we're gathered together here to be warmed inwardly, no matter the weather.

Pastor Brad welcomed us and noted that today we will continue with another aspect of healing... the problem of anger.

1. Seeking volunteers to help with the sound system. (See Brad or Brooke)
2. It's not too early to think about this summer. If you're interested in helping with VBS this summer please see Brooke.

The worship team then lead us into worship with a song that included this affirmation, "Greater is He that is in me when you praise the hurt away." Brad thanked God for His presence here and offered our worship up to Him.

Chuck read the familiar passage from Corinthians, "If one part suffers, every part suffers." We can't live our lives like islands on the seas. We need are connected and what happens to one happens to all, whether pain or honor. The worship team then sang "I know the Master of the wind." We then together sang from the blue Praise Book.

The offering taken, we spent a period of time in prayer before Pastor presented the message.

Healing (Part III)

Today's message would be drawn from Ephesians 4. The theme centered on anger, in this with regard to our own anger.

Not all anger is bad. It's a matter of what we're angry about. The words anger and fire are in the same verse in one place, and that applies because fire can warm you in the winter and cook food, but can also destroy your house.

Are you giving the devil a foothold? The passage Brad pointed out begins with verses 26 and 27. Anger is a means of opening the door for the evil one to walk in. When Cain killed his brother Abel, God gave a warning because He saw Cain's anger. Be careful.

Then there's the kind of anger which we conceal but it's there. We keep it under the surface but it's there. Angry with people at work, or spouses or the political landscape, and then transfer all that toward anger with God.

There are two kinds of anger. First is the rager, a hot-tempered person who lets everyone know it. Proverbs 29:11 says, "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but the wise man keeps himself under control."

Some people think it's OK to blow up and it's over. They just move on. Problem is, we leave a whole lot of wounded people in our wake when we are this way.

The second group is not ragers, but they are suppressors. Psalm 32: 3 says, "When I kept silent my bones wasted away..." There's a smoldering beneath the surface that will also do damage. This stewing is destructive. It destroy's marriages. It destroys lives.

Luke 15:28 is the story of the Prodigal Son, and when the older brother sees the way the younger brother is welcomed home he begins to stew beneath the surface.

What kind of anger is this? Is it the kind of anger the reflects the character of God? Or is it sinful anger? If the latter, we need holy water to pour over that and put the fire out.

"Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out." In other words, drop it.

James 1:19-20 is another insightful passage. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to become angry. Brad shared that he used to have such a serious temper problem he had a nickname given to him because his anger could flare from zero to 100 in seconds.

Yes, Jesus got angry, but He didn't sin. On one occasion he healed a man with a withered hand, and the Pharisees were so critical of Him for helping this man on the Sabbath. The religious leaders tried to trip Him up and though it made him angry He did not hold back His compassion for the man.

Brad then said we need to be angry about the right things. When it's sinful anger we need to drop it. When it's sanctified anger, something that grieves the heart of God, how do we respond?

If it is anger that is hurting other people we need to put it out. Pour the water of the Spirit of God on it. But if you are angry at things that anger the heart of God, throw gasoline on that fire. Let God ignite you to make a difference for the kingdom because fire can be both good or bad.

In all cases, bring it before God in prayer.

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