Sermon Notes: “The Weed of Comfort”

Sermon Notes: “The Weed of Comfort”

What do you want to do with the time that’s left in your life?

I think, what most of us want – or at least achieve, is best described by the children’s story, “Goldilocks and the three little bears”: the middle.

We want comfort. A pleasured life.

This summer, we are in a series called, “Weeds” that’s based on one of the teachings of Jesus. It’s about the things that choke out the effectiveness of Jesus’ work in our lives and in the world around us.

Luke 8:11-14  

Where most of us are trying to eliminate things that mess with our comfort, Jesus is trying to eliminate things that ground our lives in more comfort.

Why though? Is it that bad? Is it bad to want comfort – to enjoy life?

He’s saying to all those listening – including us – that, a life in pursuit of pleasure/comfort as the main goal, will, for a time, seem ideal. In the end though, it can lead us to miss out on the life he intends for you and for me.

Revelations 3:15-16
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked ” 

This water metaphor John used in this letter to this church has been drawn from the water supply of Laodicea, which was lukewarm, in contrast to the hot springs at nearby Hierapolis and the cold, pure waters of Colossae. The archaeology shows Laodicea had an aqueduct that probably carried water from hot mineral springs some five miles south, which would have become tepid before entering the city. The imagery of the Laodicean aqueduct suggests not that “hot” is good and “cold” is bad, but that both hot and cold water are useful, whereas lukewarm water is emetic.

A life in pursuit of comfort is one that is useless to the work of Jesus in your life and in the world around you.  It’s neither healing nor refreshing; it’s dead.

And it’s not hard to see why and how living this way would crowd out the work of God in your life and render your witness useless:

  • Avoiding discomfort at any cost is avoiding growth at all costs.
    • If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Matt 16:25
  • It affects your witness:
    • Building community, talking and telling about Jesus, discipleship, and serving all come at a personal cost; they call for discomfort. We wouldn’t choose that. But, you and I are called to all those things as followers of Jesus
      • It’ll sound a lot like:
        • “I would like to but I am so busy”
        • “I won’t know anyone”
        • “What if they ask a question I don’t have an answer to?”
        • “I don’t really need anyone else.”

Well, how can we move into being people who are healing or refreshing kinds of water? The kind of soil that God can work in and through?

1. Read: Pray, read, and think over this passage.

2. Reflect: Remember how you came to know Jesus (it cost Jesus something and someone else something). Is there something God has been challenging you on that would cause you discomfort? Walking with Jesus is about embracing that.

3. Respond: What can I do this week that will invite God’s work into my life (setting aside time to read, pray, worship)?  What can I do this week to allow God to work through my life (serve, disciple, community, talk and tell)?

Sermon Notes: “The Weed of Comfort”

Sermon Notes: “The Weed of Worry”

  • Worry seems impossible to escape.
  • Worry often goes unrecognized because it’s so normalized.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:4-5)
  • You are not alone. God is close.
  • You have every reason and right to be worried, except for the reality that God is is near.
Do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6)
  • That sounds like impossible advice. How can you not be anxious about anything when it feels like there’s reason to be anxious about everything!
  • Paul is writing these words from a prison cell from which – as far as he knew – he was awaiting his trial and death.
…but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • The reasons to worry they are plenty, they are real, and they are powerful. But, there is a deeper reality than the worries of life, and that’s God’s presence.
  • God’s nearness can produce in your life a peace that overrides and pushes back anxiousness.
  • There is a big difference between worry and concern. They might have some overlapping qualities and emotions, but there is a big difference.
  • Worry is the continuous speculation of what might go wrong. It’s an anticipation of chaos or loss. It can be described as ‘what if’ thinking.
  • To worry is to be concerned and forget to include God in the picture. Worry = concern without God.
  • The difference between worry and concern is how you position God in relationship to your trouble.
  • The promise is peace when we include God in our problem.
  • Worry is the fruit of the belief that God is going to let you down.
  • Both worry and peace have a lot to do with where you look.
  • Jesus says:
    • “Look at the birds of the air…(v26)
    • “See how the flowers of the field grow. (v28)
    • “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (v33)
    • Jesus makes this connection that our level of worry and our degree of peace seems to have everything to do with where we are looking.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. (Matthew 6:22-23)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Preached on Aug 9, 2020

View the message on YouTube here.