Monday, April 7, 2014

"Heart Hurdles" 4th message in series Dinner with a Perfect Stranger

Here are the notes from the message at New Life Community Church for Sunday, April 6, 2014.  Fourth in series DINNER WITH A PERFECT STRANGER, entitled "Heart Hurdles".  If you desire to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless!

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, 4                                                                  Sun., Apr. 6, 2014
 “Heart Hurdles”

Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, … and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’  Matthew 22:4 (ESV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Blaise Pascal:  “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.”

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.  Matthew 15:21-28 (ESV)

1.     God KNOWS.

The story of Hagar and her son Ishmael.  She was badgered by Sarah and finally driven out into the desert.

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”  Genesis 16:13 (NIV)

One of the worst parts of any trial is ISOLATION.

Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”  Job 1:8 (NLT)

Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him without cause.”  Job 2:3 (NLT)

2.     God LIMITS the TRIAL.

“All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.  Job 1:12 (NLT)

“All right, do with him as you please,” the Lord said to Satan. “But spare his life.”  Job 2:6 (NLT)

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.  I Corinthians 10:13 (Message)

3.     Seek to GROWTH not VINDICATION.

E.M. Bounds:  “The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.” 

One of the hardest lessons is to be MISUNDERSTOOD.  Job had 3 “miserable counselors” (Job 16:2).

4.     The “WHY” isn’t always clear.

C.S. Lewis:  “That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it" not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” 

5.     We EMERGE when we LEARN what God is teaching.

I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.  Job 42:5 (NLT)

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.  Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)

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