How To Be Stress Free

1.  The Lord Offers Security – He makes me

"Now a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” "So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 2 Samuel 15:13–14

Let’s look at the Nature of the sheep and the shepherd:

  • The Nature of the Sheep

    Sheep are by nature dumb animals
    "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

  • The Nature of the Shepherd

    Shepherd always thinking about his sheep
    Shepherd is responsible for sheep – Isa.53:6

2.  The Lord Offers Serenity – lie down

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ” John 14:27

3.  The Lord Offers Satisfaction – green pastures & still waters

How to be Satisfied

1. The Lord is Sovereign - The Lord Is
2. The Lord is Shepherd – My Shepherd

  • He is the Good Shepherd – John 10:11
    “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
  • He is the Great Shepherd – Hebrews 13:20–21
    “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
  • He is the Chief Shepherd – 1 Peter 5:4
    “and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does   not fade away”.

3. The Lord is Sufficient – I Shall Not Want
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”  Philippians 4:19

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

What Will Tomorrow Bring

"A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

1. An Attitude We Should Never Take (13-14)

  • God alone holds the future
  • “In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” 2  Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3  and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4  Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying, 5  “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.”  Isaiah 38:1-5
  • God always knows what is best

"Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. "And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel."For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them” 2 Kings 21:1–3

  • Manassah’s son Amon “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father” 2 Kings 21:20;
  • Israel suffered 57 years because of their disobedience

2. An Assumption We Should Never Make (15)

  • Our plan is God’s will

3.  An Activity We Should Never Forsake (16-17)

  • Never forsake doing good
  • Sin of Omission – Knowing God’s will and ignoring it
  • Jonah-Go to Ninevah and tell them judgment is coming
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” Prov.3:5-6

The Best News Ever

The best news ever is that a Savior was born for you, who is Christ the Lord.

  • Widely know Story / People do not realize their condition
  • Moody Magazine Survey -49% professing Christians – if your good you go to heaven

1.    This Good News about Our Savior is Historically Accurate

  • Just another legend-what difference does it make
  • All historical accounts point to the life of Jesus
  • All Prophetic Events fulfilled by Jesus

2.    This Good News about Our Savior is based on His Personage

  • He is fully man – to bear sins of human race
  • He is fully God – Soverign Lord of heaven & earth
  • He is the Christ – Messiah (Anointed One)-Our Savior

3.    This Good News about Our Savior is for all People

  • The good news is for all people
    "God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful."God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important” 1 Cor. 1:27-28
  • The good news involved the sacrifice of the Lamb of God - Shepherds
  • The good news provided us with a Good Shepherd

4.    This Good News about Our Savior brings Various Reactions

  • Darkness
  • Great Light – The people in darkness have seen a great light (Isa.9:2)
  • Great Fright

5.    This Good News about Our Savior Requires a Personal Response

  • The response of Faith – they immediately sought the manger
  • The response of Proclamation – they made widely known
  • The response of Praise – they returned glorifying & praising God
  • The response of Practicing – They went back

Who Does God Like Best

1.  Don’t Be a Snob

  • The Rich Visitor - Power, Prestige, Position
  • The Ragged Visitor - Powerless, Pitiable, Poor

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” "Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ "This is the first and great commandment "And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:36–40

“Consider your own calling, brothers.  Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many of you were powerful, not many of you were of noble birth.  Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong” 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

2.  Don’t Be a Judge

  • Judgments lead to evil intentions
  • Judgments should not be made on appearance
  • Judgment of world reserved for God – Psalm 9:8
  • Judgment of believers can fall on the church – 1 Corinthians 5:1, 11-13

3.  Don’t Be Fooled

  • God is no respecter of persons
    "For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:11
  • God has a plan for the poor
  • The one you honor today may oppress you tomorrow
  • Showing favoritism is a sin

God's Word - Just Do It

1.  Be a Doer of God’s Word

Consider the Word

  • Learn to Abide
    "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”   John 8:31–32
  • Belief is one thing & conduct is another

Connect with the Word

  • Look at your reflection from God’s standpoint
  • Not our standards but God’s standards
  • Conform to God’s image
    “…be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” Romans 8:29

Continue in the Word

  • See it through to completion – keep on doing

2.  Be a Keeper of Your Tongue

  • A true Christian controls his/her words
    "Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3
  • A true Christian does not boast
    "… yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities ”   2 Corinthians 12:5
  • A true Christian is always learning
    When your green your grow - when your ripe you rot

3.  Be a Worker for the Lord

  • Practice personal piety
    “… whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. ” 1 John 3:16–18
  • Practice personal purity
    "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. ” 1 John 2:15

The Devil Made Me Do It

Temptation: An enticement to do evil

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10.13

1.  Temptations Can Lead to Triumph

  • Remain true to your calling
  • Retain the word in your heart – Psalm 119:11 (Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You)
  • Realize God in not in your temptation
  • Resist the enemy – James 4:7 (Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you)
  • Count the cost

2.  Temptations Can Lead to Transgression

  • We fall into a trial but we walk into temptation
  • Keep you eye on Satan’s bait 
  • "For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world ” 1 John 2:16

We are tempted when:

  • Lonely
  • Angry
  • Tired
  • Hungry

We enter temptation through:

  • Our Mind – Thoughts
  • Our Motion – Fantasize - Desire
  • Our Motive – Choose - Consent - Plan

3.  Temptations Can Lead to Termination

  • Terminate the desire before it develops
  • Terminate the sin before it matures
  •  King David & Bathsheba

Always Picking On Me

1.    The Root of Trials

The Fall

  • "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”   John 16:33
  • situations we are in; decisions we make; values we hold
  • Trials are not a mark of God’s disfavor  but of His interest in our development

The Test

  • What happens to your faith during a trial
  • Daniel 3 - Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego
  • "Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship."He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD! "In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.  Job 1:20–22

2.    The Result of Trials

Attitude of Joy

  • We are to consider it a joy to be involved in a trial
  • "So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” Acts 5:41
  • Joy comes when we realize that God is in control & is sovereign

Attitude of Patience

  • We need to know that patience comes from testing
  • When we are patient we are waiting on God
  • Let patience do its job- make you mature & complete

3.    The Reward of Trials

Guided by the Father

  • Trials alert us the fact that we need the Lord
  • A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps Proverbs. 16:9

Gaining Wisdom

  • Wisdom helps us understand God’s plan in the trial

Growing in Faith

  • As we work through the trial we understand the sovereignty of God in all areas of our life
  • "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT

Do You Have The Time

1.    The Time to Pray

Prayer is a battleground-pray earnestly

  • 168 hours/week: 56-sleep, 48-working, 12-meals, 52 remaining
  • Prayer takes mental, emotional, physical effort
  • Jesus earnestly prays in the garden
  • When was the last time you really prayed for something?

Prayer is a ministry-pray with an alert mind

  • Satan will irritate & distract
  • Spiritually alert and focused on your need before God
  • James tells us that the effective, fervent prayer the righteous avails much

Prayer brings victory-pray with a thankful heart

  • Our faith tells us God’s will is best
  • The Father desires the best for His children
  • Keep prayer until you get your victory

Prayer concerns others

  • Open doors, gospel proclaimed, God’s will, wisdom
  • Pray for others needs more than your own

2.  The Time to Watch How You Walk

Walk with a good stride-walk in wisdom

  • Someone may be watching
  • Simon Peter walked on the water until he took eyes off Jesus

Walk with a good schedule-use your time wisely

  • Look for opportunities of be used

Walk with good speech-wholesome & appealing

  • Why because you are God’s representative
  • Story of new preacher

God's Formula For Relationships

1.    God’s Formula for a Happy Home

  • The wife places herself under the authority and protection of her husband-support & respect
  • The husband loves his wife just as he loves his own body -security & honor
  • The husband & wife form a bond of one flesh – Gen. 2:24
  • Sons & daughters do what your parents tell you
  • Parents encourage your children –love, praise & time

2.    God’s Formula for a Content Work Place

  • Employees are to be reliable and trustworthy in all circumstance whether anyone is watching or not
  • Work to please the Lord not your boss
  • Half-hearted work is a poor testimony

3.    God’s Formula for a Joyful Life

  • Live your life for the Lord not yourself
  • Enjoy what the Lord has given you

4.    God’s Formula for a Blissful Inheritance

  • Believers receive full justice in eternity
  • Believers are treated fairly without partiality

Living The Resurrection Life

In the first two chapters Paul is dealing with many problems in the Colossian Church including  Legalism, Mysticism and Asceticism.  Paul instructs the Colossians that Christ is Preeminent in all things and because of our identification with Christ’s Death, Burial and Resurrection we are to live Resurrection lives.

1.  The Resurrection Life Desires Heaven

  • Our Lord is in Heaven
  • We are to seek “pursue” the things of God
  • We are to set our minds “focus” on eternal things

2.  The Resurrection Life Is Dead to the Flesh

  • We are to keep the flesh buried
  • We are to be obedient or be judged
  • "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
  • Fornication = sexual immorality
  • Uncleanness = vile desires
  • Passion = uncontrollable desire
  • Evil Desires = lustful craving
  • Covetouness = desire to obtain more
  • Anger = attitude from jealousy/resentment
  • Wrath = explosion of anger
  • Malice = desire to harm
  • Blasphemy = speak evil against God or man
  • Filthy language = harse words from the heart
  • Lying = intentionally misleading

3.  The Resurrection Life Is a New Life

  • We are new creatures in Christ 2 Cor. 5:17
  • We have renewed knowledge-spiritual understanding
  • All are equal in Christ (racial, religious, social)

4.  The Resurrection Life Can Only Be Lived in the Spirit

  • “If you live according to the flesh you will die; But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13
  • “Walk by the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

A Sack Full of Sparrows

Paul Harvey once told of a little boy, whom doting parents had spoiled into a brat. The boy carried with him a sack, and in the sack there was a most pitiful kind of stirring. He had captured some tiny birds. The sound of imprisoned wing-beats slapped hopelessly at the heavy manila walls. A pitiful chirping now and then issued from the little paper prison that he swung at his side. He met an old man as he walked along.

“Whatcha got in that sack?” asked the old man.
“I got a sack full of sparrows!” said the little boy.

“What are you going to do with them?” asked the old man.
“I’m going to take them out of the sack, one by one, and tease them—pull a feather out now and then, and then I’ll release them to the cat for his dinner.”
“How much would you sell the whole sack for?” asked the old man.
The little boy thought a moment and decided that he should put a lot of capital on the venture and dicker down if he had to, so he threw out the figure: “I’ll take two dollars for the sack!”

“Done,” said the old man; and he reached in his pocket, pulled out the two dollars, and gave them to the lad. The lad then handed him the sack. The old man held it far more kindly than the reckless youngster had.

In a moment he untwisted the coiled paper neck of the bag and pulled it open. In but a little bit, the sky connected brilliantly with the open inside of the bag and the birds were gone.

And so it happened one day that God met Lucifer with a huge bag. Inside the bag were the most hopeless sounds of life struggling to be free—the sounds of young and old alike wailing in pain.

“What have you got in the bag?” asked the Father.
“People,” smirked Lucifer.
“And what will you do with them?”
“I will torment them one by one, and when they are all worn out with trials, I will throw them into hell.”

“And what will you take for all of them?”
“Your only Beloved.”

“Done!” said the Father. And He reached down to earth and gave us the gift of His Son.
And in such a happy trade-off we come to hold the key to the resurrection and the life.