Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

God is Growing Us Slowly

February 28, 2022 Mark Roberts Season 2 Episode 9
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
God is Growing Us Slowly
Show Notes Transcript

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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for Monday, February the 28th. I'm mark. I've got a cup of coffee in my hands and I'm sitting in west new amazing studio where the acoustics are great. There's not a lot of echo. I don't sound like I've fallen down a well, I have my Bible. I've got my sermon notes and I'm ready to talk with you about yesterday's sermon and get you ready for this week's Bible reading. It all comes together because daily Bible reading is about growing. And sometimes that is a slow process, which was the subject of yesterday's sermon. Let's get started. Yesterday's sermon was kind of a challenge because we're trying to step back and look at the big picture. We're trying to look at how God operates overall. Most of the time, what God's methodology looks like. And the reality of that is when you examine scripture, is that God chooses to let us grow. And he grows us slowly. Growth is a metaphor that inherently within it says, this isn't gonna happen overnight. This is not gonna be quick. The metaphor is not lightning. It's not like electricity , it's growth and growth takes time. So the points I made yesterday, growth happens slowly. We talked about some passages that well illustrate that like the parable of , so and mark chapter four. Then secondly, we talked about that means I need to quit expecting immediate solutions when God is growing me slowly. So often I pray and I expect God to do something. Mm , I don't know, within the next 30 seconds or the time it takes me to brew another cup of coffee. And then thirdly, the reason, lots of times, God is moving slowly and allowing me to grow is because it's what happens as I grow really matters. The journey counts, not just the destination, so that has some effects on how I pray and that I need to always be seeking to grow. And of course, most of all that I am trusting in God, because sometimes I can't see that growth. Maybe I did my daily Bible reading, and I'm not seeing that I'm becoming an amazing Christian right now, or there's this pressing burden, trial or adversity in my life. And it doesn't seem like it's going away and I need God to do something about that. I , and God is not doing something about that immediately. That will cost some people to give up on God. Don't do that. Don't do that realize, and remember that God grows us and that growth is often a slow process. So then let me just close the, a review of yesterday's sermon with two ideas. First and foremost, sometimes you will hear that God says no, or God makes us wait , or God grows us slowly, cuz he has something better for us. And I wanna be clear about that . That can most certainly happen. I think about Joseph in prison, God certainly had something great for Joseph. He was about to become the second ruler in all of V Egypt . Um , certainly that was a certain, that was a much better housing arrangement when he got that promotion. However, the Bible never promises that you're suffering today. And if you just hold on and grit your teeth, God has something amazing for you tomorrow or in three months or next year. The truth is yes in eternity. Everything will be incredible and much better, but don't hold on to some kind of false notion that God owes us something immediately or even in the near term. That is gonna be incredible. That's just not true. Sometimes the point of waiting sometimes what God is doing is he's just growing us because we need to grow. Not for some thing better. No, no. We just need to grow. We need to trust him more. We need to depend on him more and it's not that God has something up his sleeve. That's gonna be incredible. And oh, now I get it. No, where I am right now is I am not what I ought be in this area or in that area. Maybe I'm kind of a spiritual pig me . And so I just need to grow. That is what God has for us is the desire for us to grow into the image of his son. The other thing that I would say then is patience really becomes just absolutely the premium characteristic that we need in these difficult times. We need patience with God. Yeah . Can you say that? Yeah, we need to be patient with God is growing me slowly. God knows the right time. God knows the right timing. So I need to be patient with God. And then I need to be patient with myself. I think about how many passages call for patients . I therefore the prison of the Lord urge you to walk in a man or worthy of the calling to which you've been called. Paul says in Ephesians four , verse one. And then in verse two, he says with all humility and gentleness and patience, bear with one another in love. I need to be patient with others that God is growing and I need to be patient with myself as God is growing me. This expectation that tomorrow everything is gonna be just amazing and I'm gonna be amazing. And it's all gonna be amazing that comes off of the TV preachers who are making a bunch of false promises cuz they wanna get in your pocket book . Don't fall for that. Instead, continue to develop perseverance and long suffering and patience as bear up with whatever struggles or difficulties you are knowing as you continue to grow. That is not a quick process, but God is at work in your life slowly. And part of that work comes from reading the Bible. Let's talk about that In our Bible reading for this week, we will read second IANS , just three chapters. There are short chapters. It won't take as long. In fact on Friday, we'll be done with second IANS . So we'll be reading in acts chapter 18. Now let me give you some notes then for Monday's reading second IANS chapter one versus one to 12 is Monday, February the 28th reading. This comes of course, if you're thinking, wow, there's a second letter. What's that all about? Because well , because not everything got cleared up. The mess stage of first IANS is keep it up, keep going and keep growing. And there's some areas where they need to keep going. And some things that they need to grow in particularly do to enhanced or stepped up persecution really seems to be that there's a lot of that going on. First , second, IANS chapter one, verse four in all your persecutions and the infliction inflictions that you are enduring. So there is a lot of persecution here and in that Paul continues to encourage them. And then he points to some areas where they need to grow, particularly in their understanding of some key matters relating to the second coming of Christ. And so we'll get an opportunity to think about some of that as well here in second IANS. So let's just turn our attention, do a couple things, a couple of notes then in the reading second Thesalonians one, the first 12, versus it just rolls along like a standard epi. We get that ordinary greeting pulses , Timothy to the church of the IANS, grace to you in peace we give thanks to you. Verse three and four year faith is growing abundantly in verse IANS, three verse 10 Paul prayed that they'd have the opportunity to supply more. So their faith would be growing and would be completed. And here their faith is growing in that way. The answer to those prayers has come and then suddenly Paul kind of takes a sharp turn. There's a digression. This is classic. Paul Paul probably is Dick here and he's worked up. He's excited. And he starts talking about these persecutions and affliction. And this is in fact evidence of the righteous judgment of God who will take care of this matter. God is gonna take care of these people who are attacking you. He will render them the afflictions that they afflict. You he'll grant you relief verse seven. And then I mean it is on. And what we get here in verse seven to 10 is a little apocalyptic section. Apocalypse is that judgment language. It's full of figures of speech and images of angels pouring forth. God coming in , judgment, mountains, splitting all that kind of stuff. This sounds like the book of revelation. This sounds like the book of Ezekiel . There's just a little mini apocalypse here. As Paul says, God's gonna do something about this. His wrath vengeance will be poured out on those who don't know God, verse eight, those who don't obey the gospel, they're gonna suffer punishment, eternal destruction. This is a vibrant piece. The words just vibrate off of the page. You don't really read an apocalypse. You see it. It is very much the kind of thing that calls forth our emotions and calls for us to think of the, these big images. We'd see this picture glorified. He comes on that day , verse 10 to be glorified in his saints. What will that look like to see Jesus come? That is what Paul is going for here. But then in verse 11 and 12, we see how doctrine in practical application go together because since God is going to come , I mean judgment and there is gonna be this great judgment. Then that needs to be a way that needs to be something that encourages us to right living. And that's based on the theology of judgment that Paul has just run out because this is going to happen. You need to be doing this right now. That is second Teston in chapter one. And that takes us to tomorrow's reading in chapter two. I'll see you on Tuesday for Tuesday's reading. We will read first IANS chapter two versus one to 12. And if you maybe hear a little fear in my voice, it certainly is there because this is easily. One of the most difficult section of any of Paul's pistols . And when you think about some of the stuff that he writes in Corinthians, that's , uh , that's tall cotton to be standing in, but without any question, this is a hard text and there's a lot about this that we don't know. Let's see if we can get some of this sorted. Then I think the key here is for us to understand the big picture I do don't understand for certain, I don't wanna be dogmatic about all the details that are going on here, but I know what Paul is doing. I understand the main message. If I can hold onto that, I think I'm gonna be in good shape. I'm gonna come out the other side of our reading today with something to hold onto . It is like I said, an obscure and in some ways a D passage, but Paul clearly frames that he is concerned in verse two, that they have worries that they have been shaken by some false letter or some false report that the day of the Lord has come. That bothers the IANS they're holding on for the day of the Lord. They're looking for the day of the Lord. We're being persecuted. We want Jesus to come. All the great things that Paul said will happen when Jesus comes, we can't wait for that. And now, oh my, we missed it. The Jesus , the day of the Lord came, Jesus came and, and we were asleep or we weren't paying attention. What in this world, how, how what's gonna , what's gonna happen to us. Now you can imagine the panic in the fian church, but Paul says that can't happen. We told you some things, verse five, when we were there such as there's gonna verse three, need to be a rebellion or an a past , see there's gonna be some kind of falling away. And it does have the definite article with it. It is the rebellion. It is the usual word for aposty. So this terrible aposty is going to come before Jesus returns. And also the man of lawlessness will have to be revealed. Now, who is this man? Allness , we're not certain of that. He is the son of destruction. He opposes God. He exalts himself. He demands worship. He sits in the temple. Does he , does he actually literally do that is , is Paul, meaning this to be taken in a literal sort of way. It's hard to read these kinds of descriptions and not think of the sea Caesar . We have coins from this timeframe that depict the Caesar , wearing divine clothes and demanding the honors of divinity. And we know that was a problem in the new Testament era that Christians would not worship the Caesar . So I'm thinking maybe that would probably fit best here. Maybe this is Nero who will out at the church and who will persecute the church. So terribly, no Jesus can't have returned yet. We haven't had the aposty and we haven't had this man of lawlessness, this terrible figure who opposes and exalts himself against everyone and tries to act as if he is God. I told you that verse five, in fact, he's being strained verse six, that seems to be the action of God. Maybe God is restraining him from doing this restraining. Really the devil from doing these things because as the church is in its infancy, if the devil was allowed to attack it with its full, with his full force and fur, he just wiped the church off the face of the earth. I think about the things the devil did to Joe . I mean, how much of that could the early church have stood? So here's, there's a restraining influence, but already this mystery of lawlessness is working already. We , we don't know what that is. A mystery is something that we can't know without the revelation of God, but there's something at work here. And this is the activity of Satan and it's gonna cause people to be deceived and to perish . And again, the big idea here, whether I can write out in the margin of my Bible, certain names, this is this, and this is that. And this man of lawlessness verse three is absolutely this figure in history. Whether I can identify with great specificity, all of the details in this text, I am sure I know what Paul is driving at. Don't be shaken that the day of the law word has come and you missed it. Verse two, no, all these other events have to happen first before that can happen. You haven't missed it. Don't be worried what you need to be concerned about. And here's where you podcast listener needs to need to really lock in is in tough times when there's deception of every kind and the mystery of lawlessness is working. And there's this man of prediction , whoever that is what you need to do is make sure that you love the truth. Verse 10, because people who don't love the truth will be willing to, they're willing to be deceived and they will deceive deception. God will allow the devil to deceive and they wanna be deceived. And as a result of that, they're gonna be lost because they didn't love the truth. There's the message. The day of the Lord, hasn't come, hold onto the truth. If you wanna be deceived, you will be deceived. I think about those emails that come that promise. There's a gazillion dollars in an unused account in Nigeria . And if I'll just send some money, they're gonna let me have all this money. Why do people foolishly answer those emails? Because they wanna believe it. They want to believe that there's gazillions of dollars waiting for them on the other end. And so they are suckered into something that is clearly false because they want to believe E what is not true. You and I need to ask ourselves, do we want to believe the truth? That is what stands in between us and error and deception. Paul says, so he wants these SEL and Akins to believe the truth about the coming of the Lord. And he'll continue to work with some of that as we journey further into our Bible reading a on Wednesday. So now Wednesday's reading is second test chapter two versus 13 through the end of the chapter. And then on of chapter three, the first five, versus don't like to split chapters in our readings like this, but sometimes you have to do that to make it all come out nice and even, and work for us. This is a marvelous little section here that really encourages the IANS to hang on and to persevere. And once again you get that out . Boy that Paul loves to give to them. We ought always to give thanks to you, God, because God chose you because you are standing firm verse 15. This just really glows with Paul's in cur arrangement . Keep going and keep growing verse 15 stand firm and hold , uh , hold to the traditions that you were taught by us either by our spoken word or by our letter. I'm amazed at people who say we cannot profit from apostolic example, we cannot profit from apostolic writings, had a fellow tell me one time that all we needed is the gospels. And you wish Paul had never written any of these EPIs . We need these writings. These writings help us know what to do and how to act and how to hold on and what the church should be. We need to stand firm in , in the traditions that Paul and others of course taught us. Notice there's again, another prayer chapter three, verse one, pray for us. And then we are praying for you. Verse five, may the Lord direct your heart to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. So much of this is an expression of confidence. I know God is gonna do that. Chapter three versus three through four, he will establish you and guard you. I know you're in a hard time, but God is with you. Trust in God. God is at work. Hang in there, don't quit. And we are praying for you that God will sustain. You really like today's section. If you're feeling beat down and persecuted, this is the part of the Bible you need to mark. And this is the part of the Bible that you want to pray in. Thursday's reading. We will complete second IANS. See tomorrow Thursday's reading then is about the difficult subject of church. Discipline. Let me grab a little coffee here. As we think about this, there are some folks in lanica , that's easy for you to say there are some folks in lanica who are not working. They are idol . Second Fe three, six begins our reading and Paul wants the church to take strong action against them. It's important first and foremost, because this is displeasing to God , but it's also going to be displeasing in the eyes of the community. There was a strong work ethic in FCA and people who are just lazing around are going to bring all kinds of disrepute upon the church. Are you , are you part of that new Christian bunch? Wow, they're a bunch of lazy people. They don't even work. That's gonna hurt the church in the community. Can't have, we didn't act that way. Paul says in verse seven and eight, and we expect that the church will follow our example. If anyone's not willing to work, verse 10, let him not eat. And if someone is walking in INESS , that person needs to be withdrawn from verse 14. Take note of that person have nothing to do with him that he may be ashamed. And don't regard our name as an enemy, but warn him as a brother, a couple of key ideas here that really help us first and foremost, just think about how closeknit the IANS were particularly in the adversity of persecution. And now somebody is saying, listen, brother, if you can't work and follow the apostolic admonitions we've received, we aren't gonna have anything to do with you. I think he's talking here about social ostracization, which is hard to say. And I think Paul is saying here that we need to use that as an important tool to get somebody's attention so that they will realize how far off track they are. So they will return to Christ and to God's people. Don't regard him as an enemy, verse 15, warn him as a brother. We're not gonna treat this person as if they're just the end of the world. They're just horrible. And we have , we're never gonna accept them again. And we will not allow them pen . No, no, no, no , no. We want him to do what's right. We want him to come back and serve the Lord with us. Now could talk a long time about church discipline. This is certainly not the only passages that mentions that Jesus talks about it in Matthew chapter 18. Paul mentions it in Roman 16 and tied is three for Corinthians . Chapter five is be the longest discussion of all of that. But the idea here is by refusing to associate socially with a brother, we are making clear to them that we do not endorse what they are doing. And we are trying a difficult shock kind of treatment to snap them to their senses. So they will return and serve God again. That's what Paul once done in Fe are in Felan . NAICA I should say by the FES so that this church will not suffer dis in the community and so that they can encourage one another and do what's right. He closes the letter. Then notice for 17. I write greeting with my own hand, Paul probably had a scribe cuz writing material is expensive and you would want it to be written well, I'm thinking about my own handwriting. Sometimes not very legible. So SVA Silas may have actually been that scribe and Paul has dictated the bulk of this letter, but now he takes the pin , takes the Quill and , and signs it himself so that they would know that this is not a false letter. Remember what he said in chapter two, verse two, about counterfeit letters that we're circulating. That's the fian correspondence . We've now read first and second Fons . And we've got a great view of Paul's mindset, how serious he takes things, how overjoyed he is that they are doing what's right. Let's go back to acts in tomorrow's reading and see what Paul's doing next. I'll see you on Friday. We'll be in acts chapter 18 it's Friday. And we are back in the book of acts. We're reading acts chapter 18 versus 12 to 28. Now is a misprint in your daily Bible reading schedule. It says 12 to 23. We need to read all the way through the end of the chapter. So make sure that you read acts chapter 18, 12 to 28, and this is a very cool place to be reading. There's some neat archeological notes here that are just , uh , just really add a little flavor in life. And I'm glad to have the ask where I can talk a little with you about some of that. Don't really have another place to insert some of this material. The material today, the reading today begins in acts chapter 18, verse 12, but when Gallo was ProCon of ake , the Jews made a United attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal. Now, once again, Luke correctly distinguishes from senatorial and Imperial provinces, having the right kind of governor in the right place at the right time. At this time, ake was a senatorial province governed by a proconsul, but that situation often changed, but an inscription was found to Gallo at Delhi, and that has in fact authenticated exactly what Luke records here and that helps us know that this would be the summer of ad 51, because that is when Gallo took office. And in Quran , the judgment seat here has been unearth. You actually go and stand there and know that you are standing within what, 10 feet of where Paul stood and was tried. Uh , talk about a bucket list item. I want to go to Corinth and stand there in Gallo's judgment seat. It's called the Bema and know this is where Paul was tried. And what you get is something that kind of sets some precedent where Gallo says, look, I think this is just some kind of silliness relating to Jewish religion. Get outta my courtroom. There's no violation of Roman law here. That's very important. Luke really pushes in the book of acts and nearly said the gospel of acts in the book of acts that Christianity is no threat to the Roman empire, no threat to the Roman empire may be a threat to Jewish religion as Gentile God fears come flocking out of the synagogue and become part of the kingdom of God. But it is no threat to Caesar and you get that in acts 18 versus 17. After that, then Paul had home, he had taken a vow verse 18. Remember Paul is no longer a Jew religiously, but Paul will always be a Jew. Culturally. It is his background. It is his upbringing. And just because he did not rely upon Judaism for his salvation does not mean that he did not do Jewish things. It would be like baptizing, somebody who was French and you went over to their house and they were still engaged in French cooking, or they were celebrating Bastille day. Those things are part of their heritage. That's not what they're relying on for salvation, but it's who they are. And so Paul is doing some Jewish kinds of things, but in emphasis , they want him to come and stay and he ends up declining, but he will most certainly want to come back. And so right here, we're in the seams 22 and 23, he goes to Caesarea greets. The church goes to Antioch and then verse 23, the third journey begins. The third missionary journey begins. You can almost miss it doesn't seem like there's any Silas here. But Paul is in a hurry to get back to Ephesus . Those folks were interested in the gospel. They wanted to hear more about the gospel. And if you're interested in the gospel, you want to hear more about the gospel. Paul is on his way. This seems to probably be the summer of 80 52, maybe winter 52 spring of 53, nailing down dates here is very difficult. I would just jot in the margin of my Bible there 52 53, something like that start of the third missionary journey, which last all the way through 57 ad. And here Paul makes this big journey and is going to emphasis. And the emphasis then is there's two things about John, the Baptist. We get two episodes here about John, the Baptist and the end of our chapter is about Apollo . Once again, Luke is showing us that really smart people become Christians and Apollo is a really smart art guy. He doesn't know everything. He needs to know. Aquila and Priscilla. Please notice a woman is involved in this. They take him aside privately. A woman can teach a man. I hear all the time. So he says, well, we know a woman can teach a man. Well, Aquia and Priscilla didn't know that. Now there are certainly places that a woman cannot teach in . I understand that you need to underst that, but here a woman is helping poll to come to the knowledge of the truth, to know the way of God more accurately. And he becomes a force for righteousness. And Paul will talk about him in his EPIs , particularly to the Corinthian folks. And then in chapter 19, we're gonna get another John the Baptist episode, but we need to save that for Monday. Need save that for Monday's reading. That's the end of our rivalry reading for this week. Wow. Talk about ending with a bang. We ended with a trial, a place where you can go and stand the archeologist have dug it up. And then we end the second missionary journey and start the third missionary journey. Paul is on the move. He's doing so very much, but that is our daily by Bible reading for this week. Thanks for reading the Bible with me this week. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. I hope that if you like what you're listening to, that you'll recommend the show to others who are trying to read their Bible and prophet from the lessons that are preached at west side . And I hope that you would subscribe or follow rate and give a review on iTunes or whatever podcast app you are listening on. So until Monday I hope your Friday is a good day. I hope your coffee is delightful. I hope that your Friday is blessed and the beginning of a wonderful weekend. And I will look forward to being with you on Monday. See you Monday morning with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the west side church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark. For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat dot I that's upbeat with two P'S , U P B E a T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with us. And we look to seeing you again with a cup of coffee , of course , on next Monday ,