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Living as Compassionate Peacemaking Children of God

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Living as Compassionate Peacemaking Children of God
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
3 June 2012
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Psalm 29:1-11
Isaiah 6:1-13
Romans 8:12-17
1 John 4:18

Last week we discussed the fact that when the Holy Spirit fills us with His power and wisdom, our hearts and souls are to be softened and we are to become loving and compassionate peacemaking children of God, for the benefit of the whole of God’s creation.
 
Today, we are going to continue this thought by looking at a few other Bible passages, and see how they apply to the way we are supposed to be living.
 
The first passage is a praise psalm by David, which shows that he really knew the truth, even though he killed both humans and other animals, and did other evil things.
 
We strongly believe that many of the Christians who proclaim Christ as their Lord and Savior also really know the truth, but because of worldly pressures, they continue to promote and participate in many of the evil and worldly things around us, just as David did.
 
Think about these things as we look at Psalm 29:1-11...

1. Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
 
2. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in holy array.

We have observed many of the Christians we mentioned above do the same thing, even though they show little or no evidence outside the church of being compassionate peacemaking children of God.
 
Let’s continue…

3. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The LORD is over many waters.
 
4. The voice of the LORD is powerful,
The voice of the LORD is majestic.

As we mentioned last week, even the demons believe these things and tremble.
 
It takes more than believing to make us true children of God.

5. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

This is just a poetic way of expressing the power of God’s voice that also spoke the whole of creation into existence; God does not have to destroy these cedar trees just to show his power.

6. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox.

David is expressing the fact that even the animals respond to God’s voice and rejoice.

7. The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.
 
8. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
 
9. The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”
 
10. The LORD sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the LORD sits as King forever.

If people know these things about God, then why don’t they fear the Lord enough to live by His creation and heavenly will?
 
Why do they continue contributing to the corruption of Creation?
 
We believe that it’s because they don’t want to move beyond their fundamental beliefs, the worldly and peer pressures that surround them, and step out in the faith that is necessary to live the way God wants us to live.

11. The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.

And here we see the confirmation.
 
We don’t have this everlasting strength and peace because we have not been living as loving and compassionate peacemaking children of God.
 
Let’s look at another Bible passage.
 
Unlike David, the prophet Isaiah never let his pride get in the way of doing the will of God.
 
Note how Isaiah responds to God’s calling in 6:1-13…

1. In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.
 
2. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
 
3. And one called out to another and said,
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
 
4. And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.

These are some of the same kinds of things that we saw David express in Psalm 29, but note the difference in the way Isaiah responded, which is the same way we should be responding to God.

5. Then I said,
“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

Isaiah repentantly acknowledges his own sins and those of the people around him, and expresses the fact that he is not worthy to have envisioned such things.
 
I hope we all recognize our own sins and the evil ways of the world, just as Isaiah did.
 
And what happens when we truly come to the point in our lives when we do this?

6. Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.
 
7. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

Note very carefully that there is no sacrificing of any animals, nor is there any shedding of blood for the remission of Isaiah’s sins; the Lord simply forgave him because of his faith and desire to serve God with all his heart and soul.
 
This is what God has always desired.
 
And the Lord continues…

8. Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

This is the point in our lives when we mature from the hopefully repentant believer by faith into the servants of the Lord.
 
This is also what we believe should happen to all of us as proof that we have been anointed by the Holy Spirit.

9. He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
 
10. “Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”

This seems to be the way the world is right now; so it hasn’t really changed in the thousands of years since Isaiah wrote this passage.

11. Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered,
“Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant,
Houses are without people
And the land is utterly desolate,
 
12. “The LORD has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.

This is what happened to the nation of Israel and Judah 2,500 years ago, because they failed to listen to the true servants of the Lord.
 
We are ripe for things like this to happen to us, for our collective refusal to become the loving, compassionate and peacemaking children of God who have been called to free creation from its present corruption.
 
But there is still hope.

13. “Yet there will be a tenth portion in it,
And it will again be subject to burning,
Like a terebinth or an oak
Whose stump remains when it is felled.
The holy seed is its stump.”

We believe that we who are working to end our warring madness against our fellow human beings, the animals, and the world around us are part of the remnant.
 
Note what we are told in Romans 8:12-17, which is the passage just before the one we looked at last week about freeing creation from its present corruption.

12. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—

As we mentioned above, this fleshly way of living is exactly the way most professing Christians and Jews are living, and Paul is telling us that we are under obligation not to continue doing this, for in those worldly and fleshly desires we contribute to the corruption of creation.

13. for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
 
14. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
 
15. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

Unfortunately, we have seen most Christians living in fear and being fed by corrupt teachers who try to support their own agenda through fear.
 
In essence, they are all working against their own best interests.
 
And we should all know better, because when someone preaches or tries to persuade others through fear, or when people becomes fearful, they are not being empowered by the Holy Spirit, for as John teaches us in 1 John 4:18, perfect love casts out fear.
 
Listen to how Paul concludes this passage:

16. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
 
17. and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

If we are true believers in God, then we should also have enough faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, to separate ourselves from the corrupt ways of this world, and become the peacemaking children of God that Jesus called us to be.
 
Amen.