Bad Blood - Part 1

THE EMPATHY LENS

Bad blood can affect any relationship.

The quality of our lives is only as good as the quality of our relationships.

Happiness comes from peace with God, myself and others.

You can have peace about the relationship even without peace in the relationship.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:18 NIV

The pursuit of peace, even without the promise of peace, is not a pointless pursuit.

The step that all of us can take...empathy

4 Qualities of Empathy:
*take on their perspective as truth
*suspend my judgement
*recognize their emotion
*communicate that emotion
    Theresa Wiseman

Sympathy is acknowledging what the other person feels.

Empathy is feeling what the other person feels.

In a difficult relationship, empathy can be the key to opening a dialogue that leads to a healthy relationship.

Empathy is the first step of first-aid for bad blood.

Have you done everything you can do to feel it from their side?

Is it possible that their behavior has a logical explanation?   To them? 

"Human beings are the only creatures who are able to behave irrationally in the name of reason."  Ashley Montague

Walk around.     Write it down.

Jesus is God's exclamation point of empathy.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.    Hebrews 4:15 NIV

When you make the long walk of empathy, you are mirroring what Jesus did for you.

 

Who Needs God - Part 6

I DO

You can belong before you believe.

Self-deception always take us in a bad direction.

I don't believe it.  I don't want to believe it.

If God...
    I'm guilty.    
    I'm accountable.
    I'm wrong.

The real issue is my resistance, not God's existence.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  Romans 5:8 NLT

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.  Romans 5:11 NLT

You cannot have a relationship with someone you do not sacrifice for.

If God... 
    There's forgiveness.
    There's relationship.
    There's truth.

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:6  NLT

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  James 4:7  NLT

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.  James 4:8  NLT

Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.   James 4:9  NLT

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:10  NLT

Who Needs God - Part 5

In - Justice For All

If He's good, He would. If He could, He would.

Extraordinary suffering often leads to extraordinary confidence in God.  

There is no rational argument against the existence or involvement of the God of Jesus based on injustice in the world.

Injustice in the world calls into question the justice of God, not the existence of God.

Why do we assume if there is God, God must be good and just?

The justice-and-dignity-for-all version of God was introduced to the world by Jesus.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  1 John 4:7-8  NLT

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.   1 John 4:9-11  NLT

The best way to rid the world of injustice is to rid the world of God.

Once there is no objective standard for justice, injustice ceases to exist.

Jesus brought us God's love.  But that's not all he brought.

There is no justice without judgement.

For I have come to save the world and not to judge it.  John 12:47  NLT

Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  Luke 18:7  NLT

But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”  Luke 18:8  NLT

If anyone had a reason to stop believing in God because of injustice, it was Jesus.

If you genuinely care about justice you should want Christianity to be true.

Who Needs God - Part 4

THE GOD OF JESUS

Old Covenant / New Covenant

People followed Jesus after the resurrection because of the resurrection.

What Jesus said about God can be trusted.

If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!  John 14:7  NLT

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” John 14:8  NLT

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?   John 14:9  NLT

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.   John 14:10  NLT

Jesus - If you want to know what God says, listen to me.

    If you want to know what God is up to, watch me.

Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.   John 14:11  NLT

For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.  John 4:24  NLT

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:“Father...  Luke 11:2  NLT

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.   1 John 4:16  NLT

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  1 John 4:18  NLT

Shade requires the sun.   

Love must necessarily pre-exist unlove.

Why is there evil in the world?  

Why do you know there is evil in the world?

"Nobody's perfect"

Perfect love preceded us.

God = Father / Spirit  / Love

Homework:  
- Isaiah 53
- The book of John (What did I learn about the Father from the Son?)

Who Needs God - Part 3

The Bible Told Me So

Jesus loves me, this I know...for the Bible tells me so.

If the Bible is the foundation of our faith, as the Bible goes, so goes our faith.

If the Bible is the foundation of our faith, it is all or nothing.

If the entire Bible isn't true, the Bible isn't true.

Christianity does not exist because of the Bible.

It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene.  Luke 3:1-2 NLT

Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness.  Luke 3:1-2 NLT

'Stealing from God'  by Frank Turek

hey did not make copies because they thought they were inspired.  

They made copies of the gospels because they believed they were true.

Christianity made its greatest strides during the 282 years before the Bible even existed.

Before the OT and NT were combined and titled the Bible, Christianity had already replaced the Pantheon, Roman, barbarian, and most Egyptian gods, and was the state religion of the Roman Empire.

For the first 300 years the debate centered on an event, not a book.

We believe that Jesus rose from the dead, not because the Bible says so.  It is way better than that.

    It is not about a book. It is about a 'who.'
    They did not document what they believed, they documented what they saw.

The issue has always been - who is Jesus?

Who Needs God - Part 2

Gods of the No Testament

A Some-Body-Told-Me-So God

Our Growing Up Gods:

*Bodyguard God

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

*On-Demand God

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.  Mark 11:24 NLT

*Boyfriend God

 For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”  Hebrews 13:5 NLT

*Guilt God

Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.  Psalm 51:2-5 NLT

*Anti-Science God

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1 NLT

od or science is a false alternative.

*Gap God

God conveniently shows up as an explanation for everything we can't currently explain.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 NLT

If everything were explained and explainable, it would not explain away God.

A predictable, stable, explainable universe.

Question:  Where did your view of the God you struggled to believe in originate?