Today's Agenda

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UP (to God) 

Grab some coffee and something to eat

Welcome

My Daily Muse Trailer

Call to Worship

Songs (see lyrics below)

IN (with each other)

Kids Lesson & Dismiss to Kids Program

Prayer for Illumination

Discussion/Message (Brick & Rock)

OUT (to our world)

Gratefulness and Generosity (Mobile Donation)

Coming Next

Benediction

Curious why we include UP, IN, and OUT sections in each meeting?


TODAY'S HELPFUL BUTTONS


Today's Survey

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Discussion

Life is Hard. We Need Help.

Macy in the sand story. We work hard to protect what is important to us.
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
— Psalm 10

American Dream: Happiness, Avoid Trouble

We Find Trouble/Trouble Finds Us:

  1. External
  2. Internal
  3. Relational (all problems are relationship problems)

... when we find trouble, we go looking for help

 

Self help from the lazy blogosphere

Who do we follow (look to for help)? Where does their authority come from? Where are the limitations? Compare to God, His authority, His wisdom.

  • Read again vs. 5-6. "The absence of God's judgement causes [the wicked] to believe they can continue to oppress the poor and needy without fear of consequence" – FaithLife Study Bible (False wisdom. Is often based on perceived punishment and reward. God's patience in delivering punishment is seen as approval. Good feelings (from sin) is seen as reward.)
  • At best, we are observers. He is the author/design.
  • We follow more than ever, yet we are more lonely and have less direction. 

The disciples knew loneliness | Life without Jesus is extra hard.

Imagine what the disciples felt: He was arrested, beaten, crucified – buried – and although He arose from the grave – His time on earth after the resurrection – was all too short – and now He was gone. No longer could they see Him face to face and talk to Him as a friend and teacher.

Loneliness is hard: I hate loneliness

Loneliness – we try to distract ourselves out of our loneliness.

Mobiles do not reflect liberation, but loneliness. Once people belonged to things and believed in things; now if they are lonely they just have their phones. Giving them the impression of belonging to a network provides security
— from a British observer

The disciples sought God in their loneliness

Jesus physically left the disciples – in order to be closer and never leave. They were not left alone.

Life is easier with an advocate

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
— JOHN 16:7 NIV

Have you ever had an advocate? What does an advocate do?

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
— John 14:16-18 NIV
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
— JOHN 14:26

Let your advocate encourage you

Read the following passage at your table as a story (true story) – don't get hung up on any one part, see how it all works together. Talking about God's plan from creation until now and the suffering that came into the world through our selfish apart-ness from God. God designed us to become our best "us," in the image of Jesus (not an easy life, but our best life). Following Jesus as Lord via the Holy Spirit in us makes this possible.

After reading, each person please answer this question: what verse encourages you the most from this passage? Why?

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— ROMANS 8 NIV

How does this helper and advocate become our helper and advocate?

Full circle: the sand and the chip. We need to see ourselves honestly. Clinging to the chip, being swallowed up in the sand. Ask for help.

Response

Think about your life. See it clearly, honestly.

"Help me."

"You are my Lord"

"I will follow You"


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