Title: Getting High Part 4
Focus: God is the God who comforts, encourages and helps us so that we can be able to help others. Helping others with God's help also has the side effect of helping ourselves as well.
Function: To motivate the hearers to build stronger, encouraging in-Christ relationships with others
Intro: 1. People's reaction of delight with first snow. We went to Stubby Park a. Something about first snow - covers up ugly brown b. Transforms world into a winter post card 2. We have been looking at how to get our spiritual snowfall - reinvigorate a. Not by blaming others or investing self into this life b. But by slowing down, look, consider, get in touch with God, prayer 3. So what happens when we slow down and get in touch with God? a. (Lk 22:39-43) - Jesus had a habit of praying b. God gave him strength to carry out his purpose c. Prayerless is powerless, prayerful is powerful d. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me 4. Do you want to have the same strength? 5. In order to have spiritual strength, you must recognize 2 things: I. (2 Cor 1:3) - Giving strength is part of who God is A. God is the God of all comfort - What does that mean? 1. Did God make Jesus comfortable in Gethsemane? 2. Did God send angel with arm chair and a remote? B. Closer look at the text 1. Paraklesis - encouragement, exhortation, comfort, consolation a. "en" courage - To build up courage b. Just like Gethsemane c. TEV - "Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father , the God from whom all help comes!" 2. Psalm 121 - "My help comes from the Lord" 3. Our Father is not the only one who helps us a. Holy Spirit is a parakletos - Helper in John 14-16 - Eph 3:16 - Makes us equal to the height, breadth and the depth, or equal to the task - Rom 8:26 - Helps our weaknesses - Gal 5 - Fruit of the Spirit b. Jesus is our parakletos - Advocate in 1 John 2:1 - Helps by interceding on our behalf to the Father - Jesus always lives to make intercession C. ILL: Like a race where there are several sources of help 1. Energy comes from proper intake - Holy Spirit a. Wrong intake = Fatigue, not run well, cramps b. No intake = weak, sick, pass out, even die c. Regular intake of the word of God (sword of the Spirit) 2. The Trainer - Motivates you to train and finish the race a. Knows the race, because he is a vetran of the race b. He is also your advocate that speaks in your defense when you stumble in the race c. He has given up so much to help you win the race d. JESUS is your trainer D. You can be encouraged 1. You are in pretty good shape 2. God is God of all help, Spirit is our helper, Jesus is our helper 3. But there is more to God's help than all of this II. (2 Cor 1:3-7) - (God helps us so we can help others) A. Is there reason God "helps" us other than to help us? 1. God does not comfort us to make us comfortable 2. He comforts us so that we can comfort others B. Challenge: We live in a "consumer" oriented world 1. What think of when hear "consumer" a. POTLUCK full of consumers and good cooks b. Fire consumes house, nothing left, all gone c. Americans consume more good produce more waste d. Typical characteristic of our world we live in 2. But we are not of this world a. We are aliens b. Rom 12:2 - Transformed by the renewing of our mind 3. So we are not to be consumers of his en-couragement but vendors of it as well 4. Cannot be spiritually healthy as just a consumer C. Jerry needed to this - He was a neighborhood kid when I was 6 1. Always had everything he wanted - cool toys, bike, etc. a. Always particular of what he had b. Didn't usually take good care of what he had 2. Dad got him a bunch of squirt guns a. Before super soakers - These were proto-super soakers b. It a hot summer day, we ready for squirt gun fights c. Dove into the packages - Jerry did not want to let any of them out of his sight - In the end, Jerry decided to hang on to them ALL - We had to make do 3. Can you guess what happened? a. We all left Jerry with his squirt guns and his misery alone b. He stayed there stubbonrly cluthing all those squirt guns c. He had them all. Do you think he was happy? 4. Why do you think his Dad got him ALL those squirt guns? a. It was so he could share with others b. He was meant to enjoy them with his friends c. But he didn't, and was miserable in the end D. Do you see how this works? 1. My help comes from the Lord - And we help others 2. Selfishness/self-centeredness will void any fulfillment 3. There is a reason we are called a Body a. Our life comes from the head b. But it flows THROUGH each member of the body 4. God helps us so that we can help each other Concl: 1. So - when all brown lifeless - Pray and God will send refreshing snow 2. We have God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit all as our parakletos - encourager/helper 3. Wont be much help if we don't share that help and courage with others 4. An amazing thing about God's resources a. Our natural resources such as petroleum, trees, etc. being used up - so we talk about management and conservation b. BUT - Our "super" natural resources get used up only when we don't use them to encourage and help others - The more you use them, the more they become - The gift that keeps on giving c. God gives you the help you need to fulfill your purpose and overcome challenges 5. What challenges are you facing? a. A sinful habit can't overcome - sex, porn, drugs, foul language, violent anger, a loose tongue b. Go to God in prayer and share the help he give to you 6. Maybe your challenge is a difficult marriage, difficult parents, co-workers 7. Financial difficulties, poor health? 8. May priorities are messed up in your life 9. I challenge you to be a close knit body - connected - transparent, help others with God's help 10. Let his power flow to you and THROUGH you to others in this body