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The Refuge

6:00- Dinner, Chicken and Rice 6:30- Devotional Who was Emperor when Jesus was born? Caesar Augustus What about after him? Tiberias (37), Caligula (44), Claudius Lets take Augustus. We have historical evidence that Augustus was a very successful emperor, keeping peace in Rome, expanding Rome, and seeming to want to give all the power to the people which made the people love him more. Many considered him the son of god, because when Halles comet passed through the sky the Romans attributed it to being the Spirit of Julius Caesar. Thus, since he was son of Julius Caesar, they proclaimed him as the son of a god. This breaks down though because we know that Julius Caesar was no God, nor was Augustus because their bodies and remains can both still be found in their graves in Rome, Italy. Even then, people will attribute divinity to Augustus because he established a time or peace? Because he unified the Senate? Are these merely the qualifications that it takes to be established as a god? Or can one little myth about a comet grant divinity to a person? The answer is a resounding no. Now lets look at the man that was born around the end of Augustuss life. We have historical reports about Him as well. His name is Jesus and He has been called a Son of God as well, not only by the people of the time period, but also by men and women all over the world, even 2000 years after His death. Who said Jesus was the Son of God? The Prophets, Jesus Himself, The early church. Does this mean that Jesus could have only been a moral teacher and good person? So when we are called to be like Christ, we are called much more than to have a good moral compass on this earth. We are called to look to His kingdom, knowing that it is better than the present. We are to believe that we will be raised from the dead, because He was raised from the dead. By the way, you can still find where they think Jesus tomb is in Jerusalem, the only difference is that you wont be able to find His remains. The tomb is empty. We are to believe that God has something better for us, an eternity spent with Him. Augustus brought peace to acquire the title son of god, what did Jesus do? He healed, fed the 5000 Matthew 14, turned water into wine John 2, rebuked the wind and the waves, walked on water. Let kids participate.

Jesus is real and Jesus is God. When we put our faith and trust in Him, He gives us the same power because He is in us. We live our lives in worship that He has came and lived the perfect life and paid the penalty for our sins so that God can look at our sinful lives and be satisfied, because our punishment has been paid in full. We worship because our God isnt dead, but He is alive and we know that as He was raised we will be raised as well. We worship because there is nothing greater than the riches that are in store for us that come with being in the presence of God. Let me pray and lets worship.

7:00 Call to Worship 7:05- Oceans 7:13- Scandal of Grace 7:17- Love is War 7:23- Opening Prayer 7:25- Sermon 7:50- Closing Prayer 7:51- Read Revelation 21:1-6 7:52- Soon 7:56- Revelation 22 7:58- Closing Benediction

2 Corinthians 4:7-18 HP- Trust Whats Inside Image- A wallet will demonstrate that our value comes from whats inside of us instead of what we are. Need- We have a tendency to want to adorn our exterior, and put our faith in things that will fade away. Subject- Why should I give my all to Jesus? Preview- In this passage we will see why it is necessary for us to give our lives away in this life, because there is something much much greater. Text- In this chapter Paul talks about how God comforts those in affliction, and then Paul has addressed this New Covenant, and then the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 1. Trust whats inside because it will never perish. 2. Trust whats inside because it has the power to save. 3. Trust whats inside because it will redeem a reward that is more than you can imagine.

Sermon Its an awful feeling. To lose your wallet. I remember one time I was playing basketball at the seminary and I went to go and pick up my things and my wallet was missing. It kind of makes you get that pit in your stomach. The thing is though, I couldve cared less about the wallet itself. What I really cared about was my cash (if there was any), my credit cards, and all my personal stuff I had in there. Heres my old wallet and it is of little value to me. In fact, if any one of you want it feel free to take it. Its value is dependent on the content it contains inside of it. You would probably make fun of me if you saw me going around polishing my wallet all of the time. However, this is kind of what we do with our lives. If I change my behavior a little bit and look good and try to do the right things maybe my life will be worth something. If I look like I have it all together, maybe I can positively influence others. Well let me be the first to tell you that that makes as much sense as polishing your wallet. Like a wallet, you will only be as valuable as what is inside of you. So what is inside of you? In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about how God has comforted him in all of his affliction. When he has suffered, God has brought him peace. And then he talks about this new covenant where we can be in relationship to God. No longer do we have to offer animal sacrifices to appease God but because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins we now have access to be in relationship with God because He was the perfect sacrifice. This is what we celebrate and that is what is inside of you. In 2 Cor. 4 1-6, Paul talks about how we have this light in us which is the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ. This is whats inside of you. Jesus Himself who sealed you with His Spirit and dwells inside of you to intercede for you to God Himself.

Then in v. 7-19, we will see how having this inside of us completely transforms everything inside of us. We find our strength and our hope from what dwells in us, not ourselves. We must learn to trust whats inside. Read the Text. First of all we must trust whats inside of us because it rightly ascribes power to where its due. Back in Pauls day, jars of clay would only cost a couple of pieces of copper. They were extremely cheap, but they were typically what people kept their valuable possessions in for a couple of reasons. The earthen pots were typically cracked and ragged looking so people wouldnt be as inclined to take and steal them. Also, gold and silver vessels would sometimes corrode the materials inside of them, where the things made from the ground would preserve whatever was inside of it and simply serve to hold what was inside of it. Paul compares himself to this kind of vessel. So what does that say about us? It means that Gods power is made perfect in our weakness. Many people in Corinth at the time worshiped gods based on what blessings they received in the present. So they would look upon Paul and see this old ragged man, that had scars on his body, probably walked with a limp and looked very weak. Remember he had been beaten, imprisoned, stoned on numerous occasions up to this point. Yet, God had done powerful things through them. Like Paul, we are weak creatures, but through the transforming power of the Gospel we are strong. We are empty, but through Him we are full. We are poor, but through the Gospel inside of us we are rich. We possess nothing and all things at the same time. So its not a matter of if I am valuable or not, but rather where do I ascribe my value. If I ascribe my value to the wallet then it will be rather unimpressive. But if I recognize that my value comes from the Son of God Himself who works in me and through me, then I am unstoppable. And look. Paul writes how the vessel can become chipped and cracked, but because of Jesus inside it cannot be destroyed. It can be afflicted, but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck

down, but not destroyed. He is essentially saying you can knock me down but you can never knock me out because He that is in me is greater than he who is in the world. Therefore I trust whats inside because even in the most difficult times Jesus is holding me together so I can give my life to Him. So like the song said I will go and fight for His name to be glorified because I know I am on a mission that cant fail. And there is a God who is at work in me that deserves all of the praise and glory and He will never abandon me or forsake me. Paul then goes on to say that we carry around the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may be manifest in our bodies. He is showing here that as he suffers He is witnessing to Christ who willingly gave His life for the salvation of His people. Christs death brought life to all who believe in Him. So as Pauls physical body is wasting away because of the Gospel at work spiritual life is being brought to others. Not only this but Pauls decaying flesh that is being used to transform lives demonstrates the work of what Christ is doing and is currently being manifested in his life. So while he is physically dying, you are being given eternal life. Trust whats inside you because it defines you and it will never perish. Also, trust whats inside you because whats inside you has power over death. Paul doesnt have to be afraid that is body is decaying because He that is inside Him has power over death. Paul quotes from Psalm 116:10 is a Psalm of affliction where the Psalmist says that in his affliction when he was facing death he cried out to the Lord and the Lord delivered Him because He believed. In the same way Paul has undergone so much hardship but with the same spirit as the Psalmist he cries out as well and amidst all His affliction He knows God will bring salvation. Like we said before, the tomb is empty. Jesus Christ rose from the dead and as God was able to raise Him, He will raise those of us who are in Christ as well. A broken Bessel has no power to deliver itself, but the treasure inside of it can deliver it, even from death. So trust what is inside of you because it will deliver you from all your troubles, including death. God delights in this because as He saves more and more people through His Son and their believing,

more and more people will praise His name and thanksgiving will increase, thus Gods glory will increase. So call upon His name when you are hurting. In the moments where you feel the most helpless, when youve lost a loved one, experienced a miscarriage, feel depressed, call on the name of the Lord and see that He who delivered Christ Jesus will be able to raise you as well. Know that God delights in rescuing you and desires all men to be saved, so when He delivers you praise His name for it. Trust whats inside of you. Lastly, trust whats inside of you because it will redeem something for you that is greater than you could ever imagine. Paul has experienced great suffering at this point and if anyone is going through hardship that would justify questioning the Lord it would be Him. But instead he says to persevere, to not lose heart, because everything you lose in this life will completely be worth it. His body is withering away, but the God of all comfort is renewing Him each day to give Him strength. Remember when we pray the Lords prayer and we say give us this day our daily bread. God provides for us each day. Then he counts all the troubles hes faced, one of the hardest lives we could imagine, and he calls it light and momentary afflictions. And why do we not lose heart, because these afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. Whats inside of you has sealed you and you now have something of immense value. Yet, you cant fully redeem all that it has until Jesus returns and we live eternally with God. But this gospel that is inside of you will allow you to dwell in the presence of God in heaven, where there is no more pain and suffering. Our lives will be filled with joy and we wont have to worry and we will spend forever in a perfect place that has not seen the corruption of sin. Praise the Lord for that day. So why should you give your life for this Gospel and give everything away? Because sacrificing and suffering now is so worth it in comparison to the inheritance you will receive because of it. If I told you there was a new social media company that is going to overtake twitter and facebook and you believed what I said was true, you wouldnt hesitate to invest your money now into that company because you knew it would pay dividends in the future. In the same way, invest your money, your

resources, your time, and your life into establishing the kingdom of God on this earth because the rewards will be infinitely greater than the things you could experience on this earth. Even though you cant see Him, you know there true because what God promises will come to fruition and nothing can stand in their way. So if the Gospel causes you to endure pain or sacrifice, do not lose heart, because there is a great inheritance awaiting you. If you remain faithful and believe in He who is inside of you, you will receive your inheritance because God has promised it. Jesus demands your entire life. The more you throw your life on Him, the more you will realize how powerful He is. Sometimes I look at myself and think that I cant make a difference, I dont have what it takes. But I started stepping out in faith and doing things that made me uncomfortable and I saw God change lives through them. When I felt weak, God showed how strong He was. So my challenge to you allow yourself to be weak in one area of your life. Whether it is giving past what you think you can afford, or having a conversation about God that you have been afraid of, or talking to your pastor about serving the church in a capacity that makes you nervous, I challenge you to step out in faith when you feel weak, and then see how the Lord shows up. Trust whats inside you, for the Gospel is powerful As we sing this song I want you to think about the things unseen and hear what God has in store for you. And never give up hope because Jesus is coming back to redeem His people. Benediction So go out and be encouraged because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. Go live not as if this evil world is your home, but go live as if you are waiting for an inheritance of an eternal kingdom. Give your life away, because while you may be weak, the gospel at work inside of you is strong.