Thursday, September 14, 2006

Why are you Speaking?

Wednesday Night Recap
Step by Step Through 2 Corinthians Part IX
2 Corinthians 4:13-15

Finish this sentence:

I Believe...

You can finish it with anything you are a few from Wednesday night:
Courtney: I believe that chocolate milk is gross.
Christie: I believe that David Crowder and Derek Webb are the greatest songwriters ever.
Brian D.: I believe that Courtney is wrong.
Evan: I believe that UVA is the greatest sports team ever (or something like that)

When you believe something, are you going to stay quiet about it? Of course not! If someone tried to give Courtney chocolate milk, you know she is going to say something about it being nasty!

The question is...Why do/should we speak about the extraordinary presence of Christ in our clay pot lives?

Why? We Speak Because We Believe
What do you and your friends spend most of your time talking about? You can map it out on a pie chart if you want to so you can get a visual image of how much time you spend talking about tv shows, movies, bands, celebrities, clothes, school, work, family, friends, gossip, church, sports, etc.

Why do we talk about these things? They are important to us! They are what we believe in!

Read 2 Corinthians 4:13

What is the natural outflow of belief? Words and actions

We have the same "spirit" or "vital principles" of faith that have been passed down for generations.
Truth 1: The Vital Princiles of faith do not change. (v13)

"We believe, consequently, we speak"
Truth 2: Storng belief leads to regular speech. (v13)

Why?? We Speak Because we Have Hope

There are so many activist groups in our world that are spending their time talking about things that have absolutely NO eternal significance. Here are a few examples:

*The Global Pastry Uprising (Pie-throwing activism)
*Austin Adopt-a-Minefield Campaign
*The GeekCorps
*Americans United for Separation
*National Association for Socially Responsible Organizations
*The Beard Liberation Front

Yet, here we are holding the key to eternal hope, peace, and life and are keeping it very quiet. It's not that we never say anything, it's that we don't say it very much.

What hope do we have? Read Psalm 116:5-9 and 2 Corinthians 4:14

Jesus substantiantes our claim for eternity. He is going to stand with the believers as proof that we are to spend eternity in the presense of God.

Truth 3: Being presented with Jesus substantiates our claim to eternity. (v14)

Who will be standing there with me, with you?

Why??? We speak becuase we are jealous for God's praise.

This doesn't mean that we want to steal God's praise away from him, but that we know there is a lot of praise that is misdirected, not going to God, who deserves all of it. First we must look at our lives and make sure that we are praising him in all things, not stealing any of that praise, and then we speak of the hope that we have, the grace that has been shown to us, so that more and more people will give thanks, to the glory of God.

Read verse 15.

Truth 4: As grace spreads, thanksgiving grows. (v15)
Truth 5: As thanksgiving grows, God is glorified more and more. (v15)

So, Why are you speaking...or better yet, why aren't you speaking?

Dispelling the Myth

Sunday Night Recap
The O.T. Part XVI
Genesis 37-45

Have you ever heard that:

*The nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" is a coded reference to the black plague?
*Rat urine is toxic to humans?
*Penguins fall over on their backs trying to see airplanes flying overhead?
*Mr. Ed was a horse?
*Bubble Yum chewing gum contains spider eggs?
*Eating trukey makes people especially sleepy?
*Your stomach will explode if you mix pop-rocks & soda?
*Gum takes 7 years to pass through your digestive system?
*Toilets flush clockwise in the northern hemisphere & counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere?

These are all common myths or urban legends (and there are a ton can check them out at

And no matter how strongly you may believe they are true, they are actually all false!

There is also one myth that is associated with Chrsitianity that needs to be dispelled. Have you ever heard someone say, "just accept Christ and all your troubles will go away. Your life will be perfect." Is that true or false? How do you know its false? If you are a believer in Christ, you know that you still have bad days and suffer through tough situations. Our lives aren't perfect. People still die around us, people still hate us for who we are and what we stand for, we still get sick, we still get bad grades sometimes, we still lose basketball games, so life is not perfect.

But do you know what is perfect? God! Despite what we go through, we can have the confidence that God is still in control, even in the tough times. But what is our responsibility in those tough times?


How do you respond during the tough situations of life? Do you respond with trust and confidence that God knows what he's doing? Do you respond with joy, peace, and hope or anxiety, worry, and despair?

As you read Genesis 37-45 you will see the story of a man named Joseph who faced hatred by his brothers, enslavement, false imprisonment, being forgotten about and the threat of famine. But, how did he respond? Through all of this, he still realized that God was with him, and at the end of it all, his words were these:

"And now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; FOR GOD sent me bofere you to preserve life...AND GOD sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance." Genesis 45:5, 7

What is your attitude, your response in the wake of the struggles that come into everybody's lives? Are you responding with trust that God isn't surprised by what's going on and that He still has everything under control?

Think about this: What if Joseph's response had been different?