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Message

Are You Ready? - Part 4, Are You Prepared Against Human Disaster?
Darren Carrington - August 30, 2015

Message Recap

Today we continue our Are You Ready? series with Pastor Darren by learning about preparing for human disasters, such as the destroyed marriages and broken families that ravage our society today.

God has given us a clear message – a love kit – that prepares us and guides in the prevention of human disasters.

God has given us a clear message – a love kit – that prepares us and guides in the prevention of human disasters.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:3-8

This is an incredible love letter from the Creator of all things.

Below is a summary – a post-it-note-sized reminder that you can read this again and again. God believes in you! When you know how much He loves you, if He tells you to do something, you'll be able to do it whether you feel like it or not.

Dear (insert your name here),
Just wanted to remind you of how much I love you and remember, I believe in you!
-Jesus Christ

1. Our Heavenly Father has spoken well of us and chose us to be holy and blameless.

Parents love to brag about their kids. This passage tells us that’s how God loves us, too. Your picture is on God’s refrigerator! When He has instructions for you, He loves you no matter what. Loving you gives Him great pleasure.

2. Our godly adoption has blessed us with life-changing traits and benefits.

God has chosen to adopt us despite whether or not we have anything to offer Him. Maybe you haven’t accepted His adoption of yourself into His family, but He’s already signed the papers!

3. God forgave us of much worse than what we will ever have to forgive others of. Romans 5:8

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9

We might think we’re “not that bad,” but this verse speaks to the real condition of our hearts. Imagine if there were a port on your neck connected to a screen that scrolled your thoughts all day long; any time you spoke to someone, looked at something, or felt something in response to what you heard, your thoughts would be exposed in full on the screen.

That’s what God sees – that screen! He sees your thoughts all day long and yet, His message to you is, “I love you and I choose you.” That is an amazing love!

If you feel any of these things, these are from the enemy, not from Christ:
Guilt
Shame
Unworthiness
Lack of Value
Alienation

Say in your mind, “That’s not from my God, the God who loves me” and simply dismiss it.

In our Disaster Kit of Love, God is speaking a most important message to which we need to listen:

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

The Word says that love is even better than knowing everything about everything! God desires to train us up in love to prepare us for and prevent human disasters. It is the best weapon there is.

4. Love prepares us and is the key to healthy relationships and godly living. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Loving well in action takes preparation. Every time you watch a 2-hour football game, you are watching athletes who have prepared for twenty-five to thirty hours to play that game.

So how do you prepare to love?

Role-play a kind, patient answer. Usually we role-play arguments in our minds: “If he says this, I'll say THIS!”…but what if we imagined ourselves responding in love instead?

If children practice and learn these things, love will be their first response, and it can be the same with us adults as well.

Beware of love-destroying bacteria! Holding grudges and unforgiveness is a burdensome weight that grow bitterness, anger, frustration, stress, resentment, inner turmoil, and ungodly behavior. No matter how painful your experiences are or how much a person has hurt you, God wants you to forgive for yourself, for your own healing and freedom, so that this person no longer has control over you.

5. Whether you are feelin’ it or not, love out of obedience.

Being married for twenty-two years, Pastor Darren says that sometimes his wife asks him to do things that he doesn’t really want to, but he does them because he loves her.

Fake it till you feel it!  Obedience has nothing to do with feelings. When you marry someone, you promise to love in good times and bad.

"Do not waste time bothering whether you ʿloveʾ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him."
~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Sometimes it is easy to love people, but it becomes more difficult when they act out, disrespect us, or even hurt us. But Jesus calls us to love anyway; no one said it would be easy!

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

6. Loving God’s way may not change your situation, but it will grow you and sustain you.

If you love God’s way, you grow in the fruits of the Spirit. Put on love – the human disaster kit, which gives you everything you need to endure.

God’s Word says that love never fails. The world needs models for what love really looks like. This shouldn’t come from TV, magazines, books, or movies. It is the people of God that show the next generations what authentic love really looks like.

7. Being a follower of Christ was never supposed to be easy, but it’s well worth it!

Change your expectations. Don’t assume that when you are being a light and sharing the Gospel that the recipient will be excited to hear you.

Don’t be so sensitive. It’s not up to you what happens with the Word in others’ hearts. Our responsibility is to be a light and share the Gospel—the results are up to God. Even if you are persecuted, you will be blessed (Matthew 5:11).

Trust in the with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6

God has already signed your adoption papers to bring you into His family. Maybe you have heard about Christ but you’ve never really accepted Him or you believe that He doesn’t really know what you’ve done or what’s in your heart. But God’s Word says that He knows you deeper than anyone else does and He has chosen you!  Today is the day to accept His love.

Are You Ready?

This 4-part message series prepares us for times of disaster, empowering us to face adversity with the capacity to help others. In Part 4, Pastor Darren explains the causes of human disaster and equips us to face them with forgiveness and love.

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