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Forgiveness Breaks Barriers

Mark Finley
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There are some things that really matter. Relationships are at the heart of what matters most to Jesus. Our relationship to Him matters. Our relationship with our family matters. Our relationship with our church family matters. Our relationship with those that do not know Christ matters. In today’s message we will explore the three most significant principles in building healthy, Christ-centered relationships for eternity. Think about the relationships that mean the most to you and what you can do to improve them. Pastor Mark Finley

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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

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  • February 16, 2019
    11:30 AM
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As we open the Word of God speak to our hearts each one individually you know our needs you north family backgrounds you know the challenges and struggles we face and you are the ultimate solution to each of those so we come today as a seeker of your heart as an understanding or of your Will desiring to have your you speak to us in this service through your word in Christ's name Amen Well It's quiz time you're ready for your quiz know. Your ready girl you're always ready. If you had to define the 5 most significant documents legal documents in the history of the world that preserved human dignity protected the rights of the family secured the rights of all human beings to fulfill their God given potential What would they be now in various ways these declarations and legal documents over the last $1500.00 here is have made a significant difference in the entire human race so that these documents are not perfect but they really have undergirded human rights human dignity dignity and family values let me give you the 5 that I would choose and some of them might surprise you let your mind go back to 539 b.c. you've heard of the Cyrus Cylinder which has help too. Confirmed the authenticity of the Bible but you may not know what's written on the Cyrus Cylinder the Cyrus Cylinder was about that long a little 18 inches to 24 inches long it was a round barrel cylinder that was written upon and it defines the exploits of Cyrus when he attacked Babyland But here's what the Cyrus Cylinder says and why it's so significant when Cyrus attacked Babel and he did something totally different than most middle eastern rulers would do rather than destroying their homes he preserved their homes he allowed the Babylonians religious freedom he rebuilt any hones that his armies had destroyed whereas most rulers took pride in destroying others he took pride in upbuilding Nations that he conquered he allowed the displaced people that had been captive by the that baloney ins the Jews particular to return to their homeland one Middle Eastern human rights lawyer today said this he said the Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most important documents that should be studied in the history of human rights it's an amazing doc in the 2nd document that I would list is the Magna Carta 1215 a day it's an into what national document it's a document of freedoms it was signed reluctantly by King John in 1215 but it's really the foundation for all constitutional law throughout the world today. 3rd document the United States' independent Declaration of Independence you know the Declaration of Independence says this 776 We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain an alien rights bill rights and among those are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness so it's really a family oriented document it it preserves a life in liberty and it is a document that was obviously inspired by God The 4th one that I would list is the slave free Abolition Act in 833 it really impacted Europe when the exchequer of England signed the slavery abolition act and 833800000 slaves were set free immediately in England and throughout the British Empire now the plantation owners argued so much that the Exchequer actually had to give them 20000000 pounds. And it was about 40 percent of the government's annual expenditure but that really set the way to abolish the Heaney is terrible de human izing crime that divided so many families of slavery and it prepared the way for the United States to fight that battle in the 850 s. 860 s. the last document I think that really preserve the family was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1988. The 2nd World War had ended 3 years previously nations were scarred and traumatized and determined to make a better world in the Declaration of Human Rights really a protects freedom of speech freedom of belief freedom from want freedom from see here and it really protects the human family but after I've mentioned those 5 documents there is one document on the family one document on human rights one document on relationships that stands head and shoulders above all the rest there is one human rights family friendly friendly marriage exulting women affirming child encouraging documents that has no parallel in this world now at a time when traditional marriage is under attack and too many women are being horribly abused and children are being abandoned in the social fabric of society is falling apart the Word of God speaks hope it speaks hope for marriages for individuals and for children now the Bible. It's not merely a book of theology the Bible is a divinely inspired God given heaven oriented treaties on the value of every human being in God's sight it's God's Manolo and what the family is all about and you know in scripture there are 3 great mountain peaks 3 great foundational stones if you please of inter-personal relationships and 3 great mountain peaks on the family and if you study these 3 great mountain peaks which will do this morning and if you pump in the depths of these great mountain peaks of the great these great foundations it makes a dramatic difference in your own personal life and in your own family relationships here are the 3 creation the cross in the coming of Christ these 3 mountain peaks of scripture undergird the families see in inscription these 3 focal points are the foundation of all all basic human relationships creation speaks of how much got Christ values us creation speaks of the origin of the family the origin of marriage which will study any attack on marriage is an attack on the creator of marriage Jesus Christ himself and so creation speaks of how much Christ values us Calvary speaks of the cross to read cause to redeem us and forgiveness grace and mercy. His 2nd coming speaks of his desire to be with us and to unite the family in heaven and earth forever you see creation shouts that we are more than enemy did mud that we have worth in God's sight Calvary shouts of forgiveness Harden mercy and grace the promise of His coming shouts that one day the family will be reunited and evil will be no more suffering will come to an end abuse will be over the Prince of pallet in the powers of him oh it will be defeated so let's go back to creation and plumb its depths as it relates to family values let your mind drift back over the centuries and we take your Bible please and turn to Genesis chapter one Genesis chapter one we go back to the book of beginnings we dedicated this morning in a baby dedication a little baby cold Genesis so we're going back to Genesis the book of beginnings Genesis one verse 26 and notice what Scripture says Genesis one we begin with verse 26 you see the family must be incredibly important to God because God created it marriage in the family are not some human invention they're not the product of some vague evolutionary process they were created by God they were established in Eden they were. Forged in the crucibles a verse at the beginning of time by the hand of a loving creator and again I repeat any attack on the family is an attack on the author of The Family Jesus Christ Himself Genesis one verse 26 And God said Let Us make man in Our image according to our likeness let him have dominion over the fish of the seed of the birds of the air and over every creeping thing that creeps notice let us make man in our image after our likeness then notice verse 2627 the last part in the image of God He created them male and female he created them then God bless them and God said to them Be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth so God created Adam and fashioned him out of the dust of the ground God formed Eve out of a rib of Adam God brought them together marriage was God's idea 1st God says to them start a family be fruitful and multiply you see creation speaks of human dignity it speaks of the value of every human being we're not some speck of cosmic dust we're not some in large protein molecule We're not some merely skin covering both ends we're not some genetic accident we're not some biological anomaly We're not some random collection of cells that developed over millions of years we're not some single celled amoeba but we came from the very hand of God God created the family God created you and He created me we are the creation of a loving God Therefore every human being has increased incredible Zaro you. Before God and when God created the human race he did not create us to be alone he created us to be in relationship look at Genesis 2 verse 18 Genesis 2 verse 18 you and I were created for relationship relationship with in our biological family relationship within our extended family and relationship within the family of the church Genesis chapter 2 and we're looking at their adverse 18 it says the Lord God said it is not good that man should be a load you know I have people say to me some time pastor I think I could worship at home just as well as I could come to church pastor I think you know I just get such a blessing because somebody in the church offended me one time so I'm just going to stay tobe that's the reason why God put you in the church so you get offended and you grow in your Christian Garecht or so when somebody if in just say praise God it's another opportunity to grow we are not meant to worship God in isolation. And we're not meant to be alone that's why God gave you a husband a wife that's why your wife cannot go or some sharp edges for me. So rejoice in that that's why your husband can knock off some sharp edges and you wife rejoice in that and kids you may have some chiseling to do too that your parents need to do on you and you may do some chiseling on them too you see that's why God brings us together is human beings because it is to grow in Christ in this idea that you going to find some perfect family let this preacher abuse you with that idea right now throw that idea out this idea going to find some perfect church that's some kind of utopia and you're going to walk in it's going to be all hunky dory in love throw that idea out right now because if that was a perfect church they'd never let you in anyway because you would spoil the place now look the whole plan of God is that we are not alone and at the interaction that we have with one another we grow in Christ and we become more like him but notice what the Scripture says it is not good that we below were made to be in relationship with God and with one another relationships matter to got now Satan came to distort the relationship between God and the human race in truth current conflict in human relationships and when Adam and Eve seem to create a conflict in human relationships and when there is a conflict in human relationships whether it's parents and children whether it's husband and wife whether it's in the church Satan is the one that creates those conflicts and human relationships and Christ came to break down the barrier in human relationships and bring us into harmony with the harmony that he desired in the book of Genesis Now let's 1st notice this. Our relationship with God is the basis for every other human relationship a healthy relationship with God is the foundation of all healthy family relationships and all healthy church relationships to see if you have a healthy relationship with God you become very tolerant you become very accepting you become very forgiving you become much less Judge Mental you let things go you don't battle over the small stuff but if you don't have a healthy relationship with God You Oist trying to defend yourself with other people always trying to protect your turf and protect your rights and as the result of that you get conflict but if you have a healthy relationship with God It breaks down the barriers with others now a healthy relationship with God begins with an understanding of how God values us take your Bible and turn to Isaiah Chapter 43 a healthy relationship with God begins with an understanding of the value we have in God's sight and if you don't understand how much God values you you tend not to value other people so one of the things that leads us in conflict with a lot of other people whether it's in the home or in the church is that we fail to understand how God values us and once you understand how God values issue that produces in your life a security it produces in your life a sense of your true value and your worth and so let's look at Isaiah Chapter 43. But Thus says the Lord now who's speaking in Isaiah 43 verse one is Isaiah speaking who's speaking who does it say the says the Lord who created you He forms you o. Israel fear not for I every deemed you I have called you by your name you are mine when you pass through the waters I'm going to be with you and through the rivers they are not overflow you when you walk through fire you'll not be burned nor the flame will scorch you now notice what it says in verse 3 for I am the Lord your God Now God created us Christ redeemed us no notice verse 3 fry him the Lord your God the Holy One of Israel your savior I have gave Egypt for your ransom Ethiopian Serbia Cib of in your place since you are now you are 3 things church what are you in God's sight the 1st thing you are in God's sight what is the check say since you are what precious in my sight precious things are not cheap things I might drop a dime out of my pocket and you may pick it up but if a diver dives for a pearl and finds a pearl worth $100000.00 that's a precious thing my dime is pretty cheap but a pearl is precious and Jesus is saying to you whatever your attitude is towards yourself Jesus says You're precious to me you're more value to pull to me that I can possibly imagine what I understand my value to God it doesn't give me an arrogance or pride it helps me to have a secure basis upon which to place value upon other people. Because if God values me that much evaluate you that much and because God puts you such a value upon you value upon every man in this church every woman in this church every child in this church I want to value you as God values you I will never disrespect you and the reason I will never disrespect you is because you have been created by God and God's put an incredible value upon you whether you are black or white or Hispanic whether you are young or old whether you are spry or whether you walk in here with a cane whether you can speak or you are dumb what you can hear you cannot hear with the a tall or short skinny or wide God loves you with an incredible love he values you and therefore we can put value upon one another because Christ values us and we have security Now notice what it says in the text you are precious Now notice the next thing it says you are what honored you are honored now if I write to my senator I write the honorable Senator so and so the Honorable Governor so and so so when I write a letter to Milly I write this way the honorable Millie Monday right Millie I write the honorable she is honor a book you are honorable when I write to my friends I write No I'm only teach you that I write the honorable but look that is true we are honorable he is the Honorable John Samuel from India I mean the Honorable John you see God created us we are precious isn't it if we only understand how much value we have in God's sight whatever your home is whatever dysfunction your family came whether your parents went through a divorce or they didn't. Sweep all that stuff aside you're part of the eternal heavenly family and because of that you are precious in God's sight because of that you are valuable you are honorable in God's sight notice what it says in verse 43 he says I've loved you so you may say I don't get love from my wife I don't get love my husband I don't get love from my friends or family the fountain of love flows from the heavens sanctuary and the river of love flows into your heart and Jesus Christ can make up from whatever love you don't get from the people around you so according to I say as we enter into a relationship with God as we know him as we seek God's heart he says to us your precious he says to usher honorable he says to us sure loved it in the light of that security we reach out to love in our families and so Aristotle said man is a political animal Thomas weld says Man is a laughing in a well Ben Franklin said man as a tool making animal Sigmund Freud said man is a sexual animal Charles Darwin said man is an intelligent animal but Christ says you're not an animal at all you were created you are fashioned by God that there is a destiny for your life here in a destiny for you in eternity if God had a refrigerator your picture would be on it if God had a wallet your picture would be in it if God had a cell phone you'd be on his screen saver if angels had i Phones and could take digital picture is your picture would be in God's i Pad of favorites because God thinks about you all the time you see understanding the uniqueness and value that God puts on every human being dramatically impacts the way we see ourselves and the way we view others it dramatically impacts the way a father sees a son. Let's suppose a dad has a son that's a teenager that's somewhat rebellious You can either look at that boy as a rebellious teenager son or you can look at him created in the image of God That's precious that's valuable and your attitude toward him is going to impact as attitude toward you. You can look at a church a daughter who's 21 who's walked away from the church and you can look at all the problems she might have her life you can say look she's created by God God values are She's precious in God's sight and and because of that I want to reach out turn to treat her with the dignity and respect even though she's made some choices that are not in harmony with God's Will you see once you see that every human being is created by God It opens in their precious to God in value to God and when you can practically apply that in your life it makes all the difference in your relationship with other people it influences all of our relationships it impacts our relationship with our spouse our children our extended family our friends every individual we come in contact with seeing others through God God's eyes recognizing that they're created by God loved by God valued by God cherished by God makes all the difference you see it's God's design that each family be a haven of refuge in a broken world where members of the family are loved cherished supported affirmed and valued Now this is true of our immediate family it's certainly true the church family the church most challenging time for the church to be a place of refuge the most challenging time is when people think differently than you do and they challenge you on the way they think differently the most challenging time for a family is when there's conflict in the family some time ago I read an amazing story the story comes from about 100 years ago. It comes from the Midwest and there was a family living on a ranch in the Midwest and they produced corn and the corn was shipped out in large railway cars in fact the railway tracks came right by their home passenger trains came by regularly as well as trains to pick up the produce a father and son work together on the farm the family farm one day they got in a terrible argument and it was bad there was a yelling screaming son yelling at his father he felt that his father was abusing him in work and just making him work and care for him the boy said to the father I'm going to leave home and I'm never coming back he yelled I'm leaving home I'm never coming back and the father you know sometimes you get an argument things are heated you say things you don't mean if you ever said something you don't mean it but you said it in the spur of the moment so the boy is to the father I'm leaving home and I'm never coming back the father says if you want to go go and never come back and the son said Ok I'm never coming back he leaves this down to the little train station that's not far from home and takes off a year goes by Father in Son of no contact 2 years ago by Father in son no contact 3 years ago by no gun and the father's kind of feeling anxious in his heart it very much like to have contact with his son and one day the father got a letter in the letter said this dear Dad I've been thinking about my life and I'd like to come home now the father had heard about his son over that 3 year period from friends the boy was drinking living a party life living contrary to the family values the boy had really embarrassed the family quite a bit. And the boy said this dad I don't know if you'll accept me if I come home or not but he said Dad I'm going to buy a train ticket now be on the train going by our house and if you accept me tell mom to hang a white sheet on the line if you don't accept me don't put the white sheet on the line stay on the train and I'll just keep coming by the House as the train rolled on through the miles the father and mother began to think about their boy they said you know God gave us this child. Is created by God he's valued by God he's precious by God we want him back we want our boy home whatever he's done Home is where it belongs we want him here and so the mother said I got an idea we don't want to miss that white sheet I got about 15 sheets I know what to do they went out to a tree. Draped that tree with white sheets put 10 white sheets on the line classroom the side of their house with white sheets and the boy said as he was coming around the corner in the bin in the train his heart began to beat faster and faster and faster and faster he said Will there be a white sheet there will there be a white sheet there he comes around the corner tree draped with white sheets you know house nailed with white sheets you know and he said I can go home I can go alone create an atmosphere in your home parents that whatever your children do they can come home whatever your children's homes a place of refuge homes a place of security we want to create an atmosphere in this church that whoever you are whatever you're done you can come home this is home for you. Creation speaks of our value independent of our actions creation speaks of our preciousness independent of our actions creation speaks of God's love independent of our actions our actions toward God do not change God's love toward us our actions can bring sorrow to God our actions can bring disappointment to God our actions can break God's heart our actions can lead us down a road to perdition and destruction but our actions cannot change God's love for us creation says you're valuable now the cross speaks of reconciliation forgiveness mercy and grace take your Bible please turn to a fusion Chapter 2 we've looked at creation now I want to look at the cross You're looking there at a thief it's the 2nd chapter of fusion chapter 2 and we're looking there at verse 14 of fusions 2 verse 14 how does the cross bring reconciliation in fractured relationships what role does forgiveness have in all of that of fusions to verse 14 for he himself that is Jesus Christ himself is our peace who has made both one and broken down the middle wall of division between us there was a barrier between the Jew in the Gentiles Jesus Christ became their piece and broke it down when there is a barrier between a husband and wife a barrier between parents and their kids a barrier in the church Jesus Christ is the one that can break down the middle wall petition now notice verse 19. Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the Saints and members of the household of God Notice Jesus says that in Christ we are no longer strangers and foreigners in Christ we are no longer separated we are part of one family Chapter 4 verse 32 chapter 4 and verse 32 notice what Scripture says because one to another tender hearted one to another forgiving one another just as God in Christ also forgave you now notice what the Scripture says Be kind to one another 10 darted to one another for giving one another just as God in Christ forgave you I have seen forgiveness transform families transform families now forgiveness is not justifying the abuse that somebody gave you in childhood that's not forgiveness neither is forgiveness primarily in Acts forgiveness is primarily an attitude that springs forth in action forgiveness is not primarily an act forgiveness is primarily an attitude that springs forth in action Forgiveness says I release you from my condemnation because Jesus Christ released me from his condemnation Forgiveness says that I do not hold the harm you did against me against you Forgiveness says that if you hurt me once I'm not going to allow bitterness and resentment to dwell in my heart because in the light of Christ I have offended him and if he can forgive me I can have an attitude of mercy an attitude of grace an attitude of forgiveness toward you whether you ever ask me for that or not. I had just preached in a large European country in one of the conventions there wanted to listen to the choir singing when I finished preaching I slipped out in the front row a young woman in her early twenties slipped up next to me she certainly wasn't dressed appropriately for church but I was glad she was there she had all torn jeans on nice sticking through very low halter on she. Tobacco and she and I as I sat down she grasped my hand she said Pastor you see the man on the platform Yes I see him I knew it was one of the most prominent families in that country in Europe she said He's one of the he's an elder here is my uncle and she said Pastor my parents are sitting over there in the audience I don't want to come today I just came but there was something about what you said that was authentic something swept away all the façade something spoke deeply to my heart about this Christ the values of this Christ that cares for you Pastor let me tell you my story I wanted nothing to do with religion walked away from it went into the capital city of this country live the party life I live with my boyfriend and he said it she said Look after a while that was sour in my mouth. After a while I was nauseated with that kind of lifestyle I thought to be funny at 1st but she said My health was shot I was sick and all I wanted to do was go on all I wanted to do was go and I wrote a little note to my mom I said Mom can I come home and she said mom said to me. Whatever you've done you still my daughter you come home and Pastor Ana look like an Adventist pastor I don't smell like it but Pastor I'm here today because this is my 1st step in my journey of coming home what if that mom would have said you know you haven't Barrister the family you know we don't have forgiveness in our heart for you you put us through so much reaching out in compassion in kindness to others often is the very thing that they need breaks their heart you see forgiveness is an attribute of Christ that flows from Calvary and it's basic in all human relationships it's fundamental in relationships between husbands and wives marriage is a laboratory in forgiveness marriage is a laboratory in forgiveness because however perfect your wife is or your husband they're going to make mistakes. And if they have to ask you for forgiveness you miss the point forgiveness is the attitude of God's heart whether a person ask you or not when they ask you to forgive them it enables them to receive the forgiveness that was in your heart before they ever asked they're asking you for forgiveness breaks down the barrier and the resentment in their heart but it should not create forgiveness in your heart because when I ask God for forgiveness it doesn't create forgiveness in his heart forgiveness is there all the time it simply enables me to receive the forgiveness that's there and if you cannot forgive you can have constant problems in human relationships because some day some is going to offend you if you hold a grudge if you're resentful if you harbor bitterness your relationship it with others is going to sour. Now if somebody has hurt you deeply and you fail to forgive them you are allowing them to injure you the 2nd time in an unforgiving spirit destroys our health and imprisons us in bitterness it robs us of the joy that the Lord longs for us to have just as Jesus forgave those that didn't deserve it we can have an attitude of forgiveness to the people that don't deserve it nuff now look forgiveness will always triumph over fear love will always triumph over hate reconciliation triumphs over resentment Grace defeats guilt now there are those that say oh I've forgiven so and so for this and that but you know what they do they keep discussing the hurt that the other person caused them they keep nursing the pain they still keep feeding the grief now there's times it's helpful to discuss hurt and pain with another but there are times you need to let it go if you have forgiven somebody and you can't move on God can only do a new thing in our lives as long as we don't nurture the old thing God can do only a new thing in our lives if we only don't nurture the old thing can you say that with me God can only do a new thing in our lives if we only don't nurture the old thing if you keep nurturing you keep feeding that hurt you had as a teenager that hurt you had in your twenties that abusive marriage you went through and now years if you keep nursing that thing you keep bringing it up you keep bashing you know I've forgiven him but but but don't give me any buts only goats but you know look if you care one shoe can forgive somebody when Christ for gives you a funny cause when Christ forgives you he does not bring up all your grief and seems to the angels. Doesn't he's not saying the angels Oh yeah I forgive him but this what he did 6 months ago I forgive him but we have to have a council meeting in heaven now to discuss this thing we have that we have to go over this in Heaven is that what happens when Christ forgives he does not keep discussing with the angels that what you've done wrong Christ can only do a new thing in your life if you do not nurse the old thing now there are 5 eternal biblical Christ and principles of positive relationships and I want to bring them to you in the next few minutes if you're taking notes these are worth writing down if you want positive relationships there are 5 things 5 characteristics of products of relationships number one be willing to accept the difference is that you have with other people we find this in Matthew Chapter 15 you'll find these in the life of Christ if you think everybody is going to think like you everybody is going to. View the thing the same way you do if you want to sit on a committee and you get upset with people that don't think the way you do because they challenge your thinking you're always going to have conflict with other people if you think your wife is going to always think like you you only been married one day way to the 2nd day. Look embrace differences in praise the way people act differently and think differently look Jesus did that the disciples had a real problem with it of course Matthew the 15th chapter will looking at the story the Canaanite women the disciples wanted to turn her away from Jesus but Jesus nurtured her faith in spite of their differences look. Beth you 15 verse 2122 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tire and Sidon any beheld a woman of Canuck who came from the region and cried out to him saying Have mercy on me my daughter is demon possessed but he answered not a word is disciples came and urged him saying send her away for she cries after us in other words this woman is disturbing us this woman is different than we are She's a Canaanite she doesn't believe like the Jews she doesn't think like the Jews and Jesus wanted to teach the disciples a lesson that you can only impact people even if they think differently than you think if you're willing to treat them with dignity and respect so Jesus ministered to the Roman centurion minister to demoniacs you see in the family if we listen to one another when our views are different that's the strength and bond of marriage the strength of human relationships is not the bond that unites you with people who think like you do but it's the bond that unites you with people who don't think like you do when Billy Graham's wife was asked Ruth do you and your husband always think alike she said if we did one of us would be unnecessary it's exciting when you're discussing something on a committee and somebody thinks differently than you do embrace that it's wonderful in a family when you have a family meeting and the kids are saying this or that and everybody is not. Harmonious and you negotiate you talk back and forth and you come out stronger as a family see it's the same way in the church off we want people to think like us people affirm our thoughts but that's not always helpful so we need people who think differently than we do so here's a 1st principle good human relationships be willing to accept differences be willing to listen to other points of view 2nd principle is this Be firm on principle and flexible on preferences. Be firm on principle and flexible on preferences you know a number of years ago one of my mentors an old preacher taught me this very much be firm on principle you don't budge on principle but you're flexible on preferences so you always have to distinguish what's the difference between eternal principle and in a preference so we were on a little campus little small self-supporting ministry campus and we're going to build a laundry and so the laundry was built beautiful little block laundry sat in a committee of how we're going to you know deal with one aspect of it and the committee said look it's going to be more efficient in this laundry if we put the washing and drying machines over here and then we build another block wall in the center and divide it with a door and people can sort their clothes over here and my mentor said look we'd have to spend a lot more money it divides the thing into 2 rooms and he really spoke strongly he was the chairman the committee incidentally really spoke strongly against committee kept discussing it discussing it discussing it and they all voted him they voted to put that wall there now what did he do did he go out and go around campus try to convince people of his view did he go out and bad mouth the committee did he go out and say did you want trenchant he just came to me said Mark you know what I like 6 press my viewpoint and we went to a different direction in the family you want to go one place on vacation your husband wants to go another place on the occasion and you argue and the vacation is spoiled Have you ever been going out to eat in a restaurant and one group wanted to go this way and the other work want to go this when you end up arguing and even go to the restaurant at the end. Don't you don't have to raise your hand please. So my friend said Look Mark we brought it to the group this was not a principle it was a preference that's really critical. What's more important your preference in your marriage and family or the relationship with your wife and children what's more important now incidentally you know what happened on that campus we never use that building for a laundry because we had an influx of students and we needed 2 extra classrooms and that building with the wall in the center was perfect for 2 extra classrooms and that's what happened you know it's amazing how the Lord can solve problems isn't it is incredibly amazing Be firm on principle and flexible on preferences Now here's the 3rd thing open enough to discuss all sides of a question you want good relationships have you ever noticed that God gave us 2 ears and one mouth why you think that's true God gave us 2 ears and one mouth he wants us to listen twice as much as we talk in a heated situation so be willing to listen and to discuss both sides of a question Have you ever noticed how Jesus asked questions in a listen take the woman at the well it was a very tense situation Jesus ask questions ask questions ask questions and as he did he drew her out Jesus did the same thing for the man by the pulpit that is to ask questions would you like to be made well Jesus was a master listener he did the same thing with the Roman centurion one of the key things of some of you have teenagers and a number of you don't I'm going to give you a principle that's going to be really helpful you may not need this right now it's called the banana principle it's one of the most it's one of the strongest biblical principles it comes from the Garden of Eden with a group bananas all right here is the banana principle. When something is taking place between you and your wife no kid you listen to this one because it's going to help your kids you listen as well this going to help you know it could help you with your parents what I'm telling you right now this is the banana principle that's going to help husbands and wives when there is a tense situation in the family you get a banana and you're Do you seen your daughter's going through a little challenge you center off the college she's dating a guy that is not really helpful to her or are you see that your son is taking a wrong direction at night before he goes to bed or your daughter goes to bed you go up and sit on the bed and you say honey I really care for you a lot and I noticed recently there were some things going on in your life now when you start talking of begin to peel a banana then you say I just wanted to ask you you want to share with mommy I'm sure with what's going on then you take a bite of the banana Now the reason you do that it's hard for you to Talk Back when you eat the banana. So you take that banana and then they talk and then you chew after you swallow that amount you ask the next question and you draw them out with the banana principle now women this is a good one for you when you want to talk to your husband but you're afraid that he's going to do most of the talking just simply say to him Go get your banana please. Children you've got this one when you want to talk to your parents where those special talks you go to your mom and say hey mom would you please go get your banana and you see Christianity is practical it's practical Jesus did more listening than he did talking at times here's your 4th principle be committed to avoiding conflict over things that won't matter a 1000000 years from now. Be committed to avoiding conflict over things that will not matter a 1000000 years from now in the family is unity more important than the thing you're arguing over there are some things in the light of eternity that are not going to make much difference at all let me give you a scriptural principle of Christ doing this turn to John chapter 4 this is quite a remarkable story it's the introduction to the story of the Good Samaritan and look at John chapter 4. This is the introduction to the story of the Good Samaritan and we're looking at John not the good Samaritan woman at the well of Samarium it's the introduction to the story of the woman at the well of Samarium. It says Therefore when the Lord John for verse one knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptised more disciples than John then Jesus although G.'s him self didn't baptize he left Judea and departed from Galilee there is so much that is profound in that passage because Jesus knew there was a potential for interpersonal relationship conflict between he and the Pharisees He and the followers of John and he and John the Baptist himself and when Jesus sensed that there was that there was this was not some eternal principle that he should stay in that area of Judea Jesus said to himself Look I'm going to leave and so rather than enter into a major conflict Jesus was willing to make a decision in the light of something that was lesser important that was staying there so Jesus consciously avoided conflict. There are times that a husband wife enter into a hot discussion and to follow the principle of Christ as we ask the question is this going to make a difference a 1000000 years from now how much of a difference is this really going to Maine is it better for me just to back off this one now the 5th principle and I know what you're thinking here the 5th principle is this Be sure you're fighting God's battle if you fight not your own go the extra mile to please others in areas that don't violate God's will now here's what the world says and let me repeat this 50 Be sure you're fighting God's battle and not your own go the extra mile to please others in areas that don't violate God's will so here's what the world says the world says you can't let other people walk all over you don't let people take advantage of you or they'll keep doing it here's what she says if they ask you to go one mile go to if they ask for your coat give them your to Nick see Christianity is revolutionary different than what the world has to say now here's one of the most amazing passages in all the Bible in dealing with conflict turn to Matthew chapter 6 you recognize it immediately as the Sermon on the Mount Matthew the 6th chapter again a misunderstood text in the Bible. Matthew chapter 6 we're going to read with verse 43 to 48 Matthew 6 verse 43 to 48 you have heard that it was said you love your neighbor and hate your enemy but I say to you love your enemies that's revolutionary that's revolutionary if you only love your children when they do good if you only love people in the church and only exhibit love when they're kind to you if you if you get offended because somebody in say hi to you at church I mean here if you only exhibit love to your wife when you get when you agree what does Jesus say he says bless those who curse you. Do good to those who spitefully you shoot that you may be the sons of the Father in heaven for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good since he is rain on the just and the unjust for if you love those that love you and reward you what reward have you do you not even the tax collectors do the same another word love those who naturally are more difficult to love it's easy it's Matthew the 6th though I said 6 chapters the 5th chapter Thank you. Matthew chapter 5 All right the preacher got to Adam's Matthew chapter 5 verse 43 to 47 thank you but notice what it says I knew you knew where it was anyway because you could Bible Students All right verse $46.00 for if you love those who love you what reward if you see don't the tax collectors do the same Now notice what it says in verse $48.00 therefore you'll be you shall be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect that passage comes in the context of loving your enemies so what this passage is saying Incidentally the word for Pat for perfect there is tell us spiritually mature so what this passage is saying is. That biblical perfection is the ability to love unselfishly others around you even if they offend you and don't agree with you so biblical perfection is not some super holiness but Biblical perfection is the ability to love those that don't love you because if you have that love you reflect the character of God and Ellen White puts it this way Love is the basis of godliness whatever profession a man whatever profession no man has pure love to God and less as unselfish love for his brother when self is merged in Christ love springs forth spontaneously it's from a little devotional book Maranatha page one a $11.00 day in eternity we will be bound together by cords of love one day harmonious relationships will unite us there one day will live in a world that the very atmosphere is filled with love I love the way Paul puts it when he says the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel in the trumpet of God the dead in Christ will be rise 1st then we which are alive and remain shall be what could up what's the next word together with them to meet the Lord in the air Jesus longs to have you in Heaven with Him and He wants every husband and wife to be there together he wants families to be there together to miss that great appointment is to get miss the great day when Jesus says Welcome Home Children Welcome Home at last the sorrow pain and suffering of the earth are over for everyone sitting here today that says I don't have a family I don't have a home. One day Christ is going to take you to eternity we have to live with him for millions and millions and trillions of years in an atmosphere of love and for everything you do not have here for all of the broken mishear and all the sorrow here and all the disappointment here love for him his throne will fill your heart and he will say to you welcome home my child Welcome home my child Jesus logs to have you with him for ever and ever and ever and ever. This media was brought to you by audio for years a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w. Or.

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