Weekly Word from Bro. David
March 3, 2016
From The Pastor's Heart:
We have been looking at what to do when you are mistreated from James 5. As we continue under our heading: CHRISTIANITY IN SHOELEATHER James gives us three timeless truths that will help us do right when wronged.
7 “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord--that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. 12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No” “No” lest you fall into judgment.” James 5.7-12
Notice that verse 7 begins with the word “therefore.” Whenever you come across the word “therefore” in the Bible you need to stop and see what it's there for! It's like the writer is saying to us, “Now in light of what I just said ... do this or remember this or be this” and then he gives us some practical wisdom and advice.
In the last section of James he had just finished talking about unused wealth! How those who had wealth were not paying the workers in the field for their labor. Those laboring saints were being mistreated.
They had worked fulfilling their agreement, yet were not being paid for it. Their wages were being withheld. In fact, we saw in last section that the employers never intended to pay them for their work.
So what were they to do? Retaliate? Return evil for evil? Get even? Hold a grudge? Lose their temper? Go on strike? And more importantly for us, what are we to do when wronged? How do we do right when we are wronged? First of all, we saw how they were to LOOK UPWARD AND BE CALM.
Today we see how James tells us to LOOK INWARD AND BE CLEAN.
Listen to 1 John 3.3, “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” You'll keep yourself clean when you live in light of the second coming of Jesus. Knowing that He could come at any moment will keep you confessed, up to date, and clean!
Verse 8, “You also be patient (like a farmer who patiently waits for the harvest). Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” So what's involved in “establishing our heart?” Well, this word “establish” means to strengthen, to prop something up. Here's what is involved in doing right when wronged: propping yourself up! Prop up your heart! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and decide to prop yourself up! Possess a holy hardness!
Your heart is the seat of your emotions, your attitudes. And here's why we need to prop up our hearts when we've been wronged: because it's easy to get discouraged and down and depressed and disheartened when you get mistreated and wronged.
Establish your heart! Prop yourself up! Don't live in defeat because of moments of mistreatment. LOOK UP and BE CALM, and LOOK WITHIN and be CLEAN knowing that God can use those moments of mistreatment to strengthen your heart.
Those disappointments may well be God's appointments for doing a work in you! Keep standing on the promise of God in Romans 8.28, “For all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Take those crosses that you're bearing and turn them into bridges that will bring you closer to God! Brace up and face your mistreatment without fear because the “coming of the Lord is at hand.”
Do you see the word “coming” (parousia) in verse 8? It literally means a physical appearance. Knowing that Jesus could come at any moment and living in light of the second coming makes propping up our hearts rather easy.
Look up! The physical presence of Jesus is at hand! Cheer up! Stop the pity party! We are closer today than any other generation of believers to the physical, literal second coming of Jesus!
We may not know when He's coming, but we can know that He is coming! By the way did you know that you can enhance the second coming of Jesus? You can do your part in our Lord's return? You say, “Pastor, what can I do to help bring about the second coming?” You can help by bringing a soul to Christ, by winning a soul to Christ, by leading a soul to Christ.
When the last soul is saved, when the last soul is reached for Christ, when the last person on earth bows their knee and repents of their sin and receives Jesus Christ into their life as their savior and Lord, then the doors of His church will be closed, ushering in His glorious return.
Therefore LOOK UPWARD AND BE CLAM. Just chill; when He comes He's going to right every wrong. And then LOOK INWARD AND BE CLEAN. And look what is involved in being clean in verse 9. Read it with me:
“Do not grumble against one another, brethren. Lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!”
Here's how to strengthen your heart. Here's how to prop yourself up and to be clean: “do not grumble against one another ...” When you're mistreated and wronged it's easy to complain and grumble and murmur and become cynical, isn't it?
By the way, this word “grumble” means to groan. It's the picture of circumstances narrowing down on us. It's the picture of somebody that is loaded down with hurts who has been wronged and is sighing inwardly. They are holding something against somebody on the inside without expressing it. They are grudge bearing!
If you're carrying a grudge against somebody: You lose! While you're trying to go to sleep, tossing and turning with your stomach churning and blood pressure rising over that person who has wronged you, do you know what they are doing? Sleeping! It's not bothering them in the least! When you carry a grudge, you are the one who loses! Not only will it eat you alive and rob you God's best, but it will be revealed in how you treat others, in how you respond to circumstances. You don't want to still be holding a grudge when Jesus comes!
Matthew 12.36, “Every idle word (words without profit) men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of Judgment.”
James 4.11, “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren ...” Are you listening? The next time you're wronged and mistreated and you feel like getting even, make sure you stay clean before God. Don't allow Satan to use that mistreatment to drive a wedge between you and God!
So, here's what involved in doing right when wronged: first LOOK UPWARD AND BE CALM, then LOOK INWARD AND BE CLEAN. Next time we will see how to LOOK BACKWARDS AND BE CHALLENGED.
VBS is Coming:
You are an important part of teaching the Love of God to young children but we need to know who you are so be sure and let Nicole know soon that you would like to be a part of this great Mission effort right here at Aspen Park.
Candy for Easter Eggs:
The Children’s Department and The Indian Springs Apartment Ministry are in need of your donations of Easter Candy so that they can fill the eggs that the Children will hunt during our annual Easter Egg Hunt. Next time you are at the store pick up several extra bags and bring them to the church by March the 20th.
Bring a Friend Sunday:
On March 20th we have an excellent opportunity to get out and visit our Sunday School members who have not been coming! We have 4 weeks of visitation starting this Sunday night at 4 pm in the Multipurpose room. Please join us each week as we desire to reach folks for God's glory!
We also want everyone making phone calls and sending cards, text messages and such to folks who have not been here lately. If you have some lost friends that we can visit, please come and let us know. I am excited about what the Lord is doing here at APBC this spring and look forward to YOU getting involved! Our goal is 150 people in bible study on March 20th! Have a blessed week as you serve the Lord!
Bible Study Important at Aspen Park:
I want to encourage all of our church family to attend Bible Study each week. God has provided us with outstanding teachers. There are a variety of classes available each Sunday morning at 9:00 as well as Wednesday and Sunday nights. There’s a class for everyone!
Arms Around Broken Arrow Weekly Needs:
Mac ‘n Cheese
Small Cooking Oil
These are some immediate needs at ARMS, thanks for your support!!
Upcoming Events at Aspen Park:
March 6 – Start of Annie Armstrong season of prayer for home missions
March 6 – Sunday School visitation at 4:00 pm
March 13 – Sunday School visitation at 4:00 pm
March 20 – Bring a Friend Day at Aspen Park and Palm Sunday Celebration
March 26 – Easter Egg hunt at Indian Springs Apartment complex
March 27 – Easter celebration at Aspen Park with Easter Egg Hunt to follow the morning Worship service.
April 8 – 10 – Youth DNOW Weekend
April 17 – Aspen Park Community Festival
April 23 – Women’s Ministry conference at the church
Word for the Week:
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”. -Psalm 46:10
I want to encourage all of you to be sure and be at Aspen Park this coming Sunday morning as we celebrate the starting of our Annual Annie Armstrong Easter offering season of prayer. See you Sunday for worship and Bible Study.
Glad to be your pastor,