The Great Exchange
Walking in Love as a planting of the Lord
Sunday 6th October 2019
George Methodist Church
8am and 10am
- Comfort those who mourn.
There is a load upon the world right now as we move forward with regard to poverty, financial crisis, hurt, gender violence, crime, environmental challenges. We are in a state of mourning because of the state of our world and God has called us to be comforters.
Psalm 84 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As we walk through the valley of tears, we make it a place of springs.
The great comforter is the Holy Spirit who enables us to come alongside of others not to join them in their moaning but rather in their mourning.
Our world has enough moaners but we have those that are mourning that we need to be alongside. Pastor shot in his house last week from CRC. Student killed in Cape Town etc… Young student raped and killed in Rosebank.
- Provide for those who grieve.
I think that we are going to get to a place where we are not only giving comfort but also provision. One of the deep challenges in our country is that their are not safe places and specifically for woman. We need to ask ourselves how we can provide more opportunities for people to be safe and provide for those who have needs. Ministry and missions in our circuit.
I am speaking a lot about women, but I am very aware that this is a critical issue in our country.
We also need to be aware of the need for provisions for those who are struggling right next to us. Many pensions in SA are not having an increase due to financial challenges.
- Crown of beauty instead of ashes.
You may understand if you’ve ever felt these ashes:
You’ve ever lost a loved one or had to say good-bye too soon, left to journey through dark days of grief, wondering if you’d ever be able to carry on without them at your side…
You’ve ever received a hard diagnosis, faced the fear of the unknown, and felt the effects of disease and pain…
You’ve ever set at the bedside of a dying friend, and held a hand that once was strong, whose life had been cut short from the ravages of cancer…
You’ve ever been to a funeral for a sweet baby, or a precious child, and watched endless tears flow from hurting souls of a Mama and Daddy….
You’ve ever been deeply wounded, betrayed, abused, or mistreated…
You’ve ever walked through the fire of hard situations and wondered if you’d come out the other side…
Yes, it’s true, life is not always happy. It’s not always easy. It deals harshly sometimes, it seems unfair, and we may wonder where God is, or why He didn’t stop that difficult event or illness from happening.
There’s beauty and greatness behind every mark of darkness. The ashes will fall away, they don’t stay forever, but His greatness and glory shine forever through every broken place and flaw we’ve struggled through.
He conquered death. He lives forever. He reigns in glory. And we have victory in Him.
Take courage dear friends who are facing deep battles. He is greater than any enemy we face in this life. We overcome because He has overcome and our lives are hidden in Christ. May God cover you with peace, may He bring healing in the face of hard news, may He bring deep, abiding joy that makes no sense to the world, may He bring comfort and care as He wraps you in His arms. The God of miracles fights for you today, and He is Mighty.
There’s still beauty ahead…straight out of ashes. Christ redeems.
4, Oil of Joy instead of sadness.
“The fruit of the Spirit is joy.” In Acts 13:52 we read, “The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost.” Wherever he comes as an anointing, whether upon the Lord or upon his people, upon the Christ or the Christians, upon the Anointed or upon those whom he anoints, in every case the ultimate result is joy and peace. On the head of our great High Priest he is joy, and this oil of gladness flows down to the skirts of his garments. To the Comforter, therefore, we ascribe “the oil of gladness.”
James 1:2-3 ” Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
Psalm 30:5 “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
1 Thessalonians 1:6 “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
1 Peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
- Garments of praise instead of a Spirit of despair.
Colossians 3: 12 – 17 Clothe yourselves. Wear love it is your basic all purpose garment.(The Message)
Our obligation is to wear our praise.
I know that we are not always joy bunnies or people who are upbeat al the time. But it is a choice to wear it every day. Jason and Michelle yesterday.
In Luke 4, Jesus quoted this passage from the book of Isaiah claiming that it was fulfilled in Him. This isn’t the first time in Scripture when we are given the image of “garments” or “robes.” The Bible describes God giving us robes of righteousness and garments of salvation in exchange for our filthy clothes. (Isaiah 61:10, Zechariah 3:4, Revelation 19:8) But what I do find interesting in the passage above is the connection between praise and weakness. Is it possible that praise is the solution to overcoming tiredness and feelings of overwhelm?
Let’s find ways to turn thing around because then we are seen as a PLANTING OF THE LORD.
What do we display as a community, as a person? He is calling us to be a display of HIMSELF.