Without Which No One Will See The Lord

Intro story- homeless 

Hebrews 12:14-17

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or [a]profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

I didn’t pursue peace with that man

It ended up ruining the rest of my night

I had an unsettling feeling late into the night

I could’ve helped that man and instead I was lead by emotion and not peace

The scripture says pursue peace with all people and holiness without which no one will see the Lord

I had an opportunity to represent Christ to this man and I failed. What if this was the only time or last time someone could represent Christ to him

It was a few days later that Pj gave me this scripture to preach and immediately prayed Lord what do you want me to know about peace

Its funny how the Lord works because he started showing me areas of my life that I don’t pursue peace

I was like that’s not what I mean show me other people not me

So what does it mean to pursue peace

The word pursue is a verb, and to pursue something means to actively chase after it, to follow it , or seek it out

Psalm 34:14

14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

We need to be people that relentlessly chase after peace with people 

Jesus tells us we should be peacemakers

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.

Story-man

Here are some areas that we can strive to chase after peace with people in our lives

Some places we can start are grocery stores, work, school, or any other interactions you have with people

We should actively be peaceful with people at our jobs

Don’t be the person that as bad interactions with people at work and then end up not being at peace

Don’t let the bad experience get to a point where you leave work then complain about your coworkers to anyone that will listen

That’s not pursing peace. Its better to talk with people and resolve the situation

If you allow it to build up overtime you will start to hold a grudge and become bitter

Allow the Holy Spirit to calm you down and make peace with them

It would also do some people well to just stop talking on social media

That is a very easy place to allow frustration to set in and not be peaceful

Stop saying whatever you want whenever you want then have on your Profile “Christian”

Some arguments I see on facebook are just ridiculous. Word of advice, you know people can see stuff you are commenting even if we aren’t friends with the same people.

Don’t let social media keep you from pursing peace if you have to delete it then do it

Remember we are held accountable for every idle word we speak.

Another place to seek peace, and this one should be easy but sometimes its not is within the church

Don’t hold grudges or be bitter with people in the Church

If you have a problem with a brother or sister you need to address it immediately

There should be no discord among believers… ever you need to work it out

If we cant have peace with each other how do you expect to have peace with anyone else..

Also you are going to spend eternity with them so its best to work it out now.

Pursue peace within your home

Children pursue peace with your parents…

The best way to do that is to be obedient and do what they ask of you

Exodus 20:12

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Colossians 3:20

20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

The Lord commands children to honor their parents

Stop grumbling and complaining about it. Your parents are trying to raise you up in the ways of the Lord

Be obedient…

Parents seek peace with your children. Im not saying to not discipline them but seek peace.

Ive had a hard time in the past with this cause sometimes I say things without thinking

If you tease your child when they get hurt or if they are upset stop.

Its discouraging to them and it breaks trust. You want your kids to trust you.

You may think its funny but it embitters them

Colossians 3:21

21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

If you are married you need to chase after peace with your spouse

It legitimately hurts when I see Christians that act peaceful with everyone else then they go home and mistreat their spouse.

Many people seem like they have it together and will be nice to everyone else, but then their homelife is a wreck

Almost as if they used all their peace with everyone else

Seek peace with your spouse. Are they less than everyone else, because they should be the most important

I have been guilty of these things so I speak from experience

Love each other and give your spouse the peace and love they deserve. Remember you married them for a reason so love each other

We need to constantly pursue peace with all people

But then there is more

I like how the writer formulates this scripture

Its almost as if he wrote “pursue peace with all people”

Ya that’s a great statement… but how can I make this more intense

Hmmm, oh I know holiness. That’s it 

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

As if pursing peace with all people wasn’t hard enough, he just had to raise the bar

As Christians we should be pursing holiness

God commands it in scripture

1 Peter 1:15-16

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Pursuing holiness is a lifelong journey for Christians

It’s a process called sanctification

To be sanctified means “set apart as or declare holy: consectrate

And free from sin: purify

Now Jesus did everything he needed to do on the cross

We cant earn our salvation but we should change the areas in our lives where God convicts us

There is nothing wrong with wanting to please God with our actions and behavior

He asks that of us.. to be set apart

If we continue to live our normal lives after confessing Christ it shows no power to the unbeliever

If you have given your life to the Lord there should be a noticeable change to you and the people around you

Often when a pastor talks about sanctification theres always that one person that’s like, “oh hes legalistic”

Its always the people that never want to change anything

No Im not I just want to glorify God in all areas of my life

Legalistic: concerning adherence to moral law rather than to personal religious faith

It is not legalistic to change the areas of your life that need to be changed

God gets the glory

Its only legalistic if you think your works are what saves you

Like I said our works don’t save us, nothing but the blood of Jesus has saved us

We have grace but that grace also empowers us to change

Story- Woman: Old Church “Your fire will go out”

Her words had more effect on me than I realized at the time

I was on fire and then I was at a slight simmer

Don’t let people steal your joy when it comes to you changing your life for the Lord

I will also say this, do not hold your convictions on other people

Remember sanctification is a process, not everyone is at the same place

Like pastor matt says give people the amount of time that you give God to work on you

Just because you might not swear anymore doesn’t mean that everyone should be where you’re at

Everyone works on the convictions that God has put in their heart

As believers we should always be pursing holiness

So what does pursuing holiness look like in the life of a believer

  • Full consecration of ourselves to God
  • Being filled with the Holy Spirit
  • Absolute surrender
  • Loving God with our whole heart, soul, and mind
  • Placing everything on the altar
  • God correcting our attitude toward sin in our nature
  • Being set apart for the purposes of God
  • Being made perfect in love
  • Victory over sin in our lives
  • Being part of a community of believers who walk out Gods principles
  • A second definite work of grace
  • Wholeness in Christ
  • Dying to yourself
  • Being restored in the image of God
  • Purity of heart and life
  • Sanctified wholly
  • Christlike

We are to be set apart and it will show in the life you live and the works that you do

Galatians 2:20 

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

If Christ really lives in you, then you must change

This scripture should be a constant reminder that Christ dwells in us

We should be living a life that reflects Christ in us

God commands us to be holy

If we aren’t pursing peace with people and seeking holiness we can very easily fall into a life of bitterness.

Hebrews 12:15

15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled

You do not want to become a bitter person

This scripture is a warning to Christians

Bitterness will leave you angry, sad, depressed and far from the Lord

Typically it happens because someone may have offended you

It may be intentional or unintentional

Sometimes the the person actually hasn’t done anything to you but you make a what if scenario in your head

If this happens and you don’t deal with it immediately it will take root and affect your whole life

Do you know how roots work

Tree roots tend to grow in the top 3 to 4 feet of the soil

The smallest roots grow within 6 inches

It’s the small roots that take in water, nutrients, and oxygen

Even though we don’t see those roots they feed the whole tree

Just like in our own life if you allow bitterness to take root it will eventually control your life

Because bitterness in a poison 

Deuteronomy 29:18 NIV

18 Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.

Story- Woman: Warehouse 

We had done whatever we could to help them

But in the end bitterness controlled their emotion 

In their eyes nothing was their fault, it was mine

Don’t become someone who once seemed as if you are trying to honor God, but in reality you’re are harboring bitterness

There are many signs to look for in your own life to see if you are starting to become bitter

Bitter individuals tend to have conflictual social interactions with many people, not just you

They are often very angry and negative

And because of that negative personality it will dictate a majority of their interactions with people

Bitter individuals break what is expected socially and developmentally compared to “normal” adults

They tend to have outburst that most people wouldn’t. most of the time over little things

To them its perfectly acceptable because of the pattern in their life to deal with people

Their behavior has nothing to do with you and has more to do with their own anger, sadness, and disappointment

Bitter people are often very passive aggressive

Bitter people often operate from a blaming and non-empathic perspective

In their personal and professional relationships they will constantly blame everyone else

When something goes wrong its always someones fault, but not theirs

These are are some serious notes to look at when evaluating your life

If you see any of these in your life allow God to deal with it quickly before the root takes 

We must not give bitterness a hold on our lives

So how do we remove bitterness from our lives?

Hebrews 12:14

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Be people that constantly pursue peace with people

Make sure you are seeking holiness with the Lord

This will ensure no root of bitterness takes hold of your life

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