Worshipping the God of All Comfort, Part 1&2

Sermon preached by Christopher Adams, Sunday December 21st, 2008:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Communion by David Jefferson:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Sermon preached by Christopher Adams, Sunday December 28th, 2008:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Communion by the Lentinis:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“And the Lord added to their number daily!!!”

A couple of weeks ago I polled 10 disciples, through the miracle of cell phone texting, on the following question: How does God comfort you? One sister’s response really inspired me and reminded me that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of seeking and accepting God’s comfort in all the troubles of our lives.

She shared about Psalm 147:4-5:

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”

That even when we feel like other people don’t know exactly what we are going through (including ourselves sometimes), God knows precisely what it is and what we need to be comforted! How encouraging to know that God is not stymied by the things that so easily overwhelm us! The sister said she learned to identify and embrace the little miracles that God was constantly doing to comfort her. Now read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Paul worshiped this Father of compassion, the Son Jesus Christ and the Spirit which in certain translations is in fact “The Comforter!” But he worshiped the God of ALL comfort amidst the pressures and struggles and death sentences he felt in his heart and even in his ministry. This is our challenge–to refuse to pull back, protect or comfort ourselves in worldly ways during our time of true need. Job persevered through his trials (James 5:10-11) and found comfort not just materially but also in repentance and a heart-conviction about his relationship with God. “Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:6) The question is what kind of comfort are you looking for?

The most amazing thing about the comfort that God supplies is that it produces patient endurance in us (2 Corinthians 1:6), which becomes our spiritual ammunition to comfort others with the same comfort that God gave to us! I’m so proud of all the disciples who have persevered to see Jeffrey James (Syracuse University student) and Sophia enter the waters of baptism as sold-out disciples of Jesus Christ! We need to continue to be FIRED UP ambassadors of spiritual comfort in 2009! And to that end, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

“Only God’s Comfort Can Comfort You” preached by Chris Adams on Sunday, December 28, 2008

2 Corinthians 1:3–4
Question: How have you sought out God’s comfort today?
• The battle is to fight so that everyone has a relationship with God to enjoy.
Question: How did you comfort someone with the comfort that you have received?
• God will be your comfort.
Question: What about the Holy Spirit comforts you?
Question: How has Jesus comforted you this week?

Philippians 2:1–2
• It takes incredible effort to be likeminded.
• The things you seek comfort from are self-focused.

John 14:16
• God is bringing you a comforter to bring you all of the way home.

John 14:26
• The Holy Spirit will teach you and remind you of all things.

John 15:26

John 16:7
• Jesus’ plan hinges on the Holy Spirit.
• God’s plan is about the Holy Spirit.

1. The Spirit knows you.
Romans 8:11–17
• There is no in-between here.
• There was a point when He was alive. There was a point when He was dead.
• You cannot be a son of God if you are not led by the Spirit.
• The Spirit knows you in an intimate way.

Romans 8:26–27
Question: Can you groan?
• You know how to pray to God. The Holy Spirit prays for you.
• You have your own view of how you are doing.
• You put your hope fully in God.
• God’s Spirit groans and speaks for you.
• The Spirit helps you keep in step with God.
• You know that you should share your faith.
• The Spirit will help you overcome and guide you through your evangelism.
• God knew Job intimately because Job had a great relationship with God.

Job 16:1–17
• God is Sovereign. God is Righteous.
• There was this bitterness, which was stuck in Job’s heart.
• God holds you accountable for your family.

Hebrews 12:9
• Holiness is God’s comfort.
Question: What happens if you submit to God’s discipline?
• Patient endurance was produced in the Corinthians.

Job 36:1–16
• God is this Helper and this Friend.
“To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary. Like all judgment, approval encourages a constant striving. It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value. Approval cannot be trusted. It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been. It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy. Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.” – Rachel Remen
• The intercessor is the Holy Spirit.
• There are people in your midst that cannot be comforted.
• You have a problem with bitterness.
• Bitterness is rooted in wanting human approval.
Question: Am I seeking human approval?
Question: Do you see this bitterness?
• He will deliver you when you repent.
• Repentance takes wanting approval from God.

Job 42:1–6
• There is God’s grace all over the place.
• God brings Job to despise himself. Despising yourself means hating your sin.
• God wants to take those blinders off.
• You have to decide to either hate your life or hate God’s comfort.

Luke 14:25–33
• You blame other people when you are drowning in your own sin.
Question: How are you at being an Elihu?
• You need to step up.
• You need to let God know you and to let God disciple you through other people.
Question: How are you allowing God to know you?

James 5:7–11
• Job is the guy who persevered.

2. The Spirit blows you.
John 3:5–8
Question: Was Nicodemus’ real problem human approval?
• Nicodemus wanted control of his life.
• You will have to give up all control of your life.
• Religion is always easier than relationship
Question: Are you being blown all over the place by the Spirit?
• You got to pray for God to blow you away.
• You want a relationship with God.
• As of January 1, 2009, the church becomes the SICC Church (Syracuse International Christian Church).
Question: Where do you need to be moved?
Question: Where do you need to be blown away?
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” – Andre Gide

3. The Spirit grows you.
John 16:5–11
Question: What is God’s heart?
• Your job is to be blown by the Spirit.
• You think that discipleship is hard when sharing your faith with people but you need to realize that God’s comfort will help those who become disciples of Jesus Christ to overcome the challenges of being like Jesus.
• The Spirit will multiply God’s church.
• You will show people the Spirit of God.

Acts 19:20
Question: What was this way?
“Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.” – Winston Churchill
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller

“Worshiping the God of All Comfort” preached by Chris Adams on Sunday, December 21, 2008

2 Corinthians 1:3–7
• God has many ways to comfort you.
• Think about all the things you do.
Question: Why do you buy things you cannot afford?
Question: What would you say you would need to be comforted right now?
• God wants to comfort you in all your troubles.
Question: What is your mindset today?
• God can only comfort you if you have a spiritual mindset.
• You will have comfort in all of your troubles.
• You have to understand who God is.
• You got to refresh your knowledge of God.
Question: Do you think that might’ve grabbed the Corinthians’ attention?
Question: How does God comfort you?

Psalm 147:1–5
• God has no problem getting right to the heart of the matter.
Question: How is God trying to comfort me?
• God comforts you in your trials.
• God does this for a reason.
• You comfort others with the comfort that you have received from God.
• Paul knew that by encouraging the Corinthians that it would produce something in them.

2 Corinthians 8:7–11
• Godly sorrow: God knows how to help you grow emotionally.
• He produces something in you spiritually.
• Godly comfort is like godly sorrow; it produces something spiritual in you.
• There is a way to allow God to comfort you.
• Be a comforter: God has a purpose for your sorrows and your troubles.
• You are going through this for a purpose.
• You can be comforted and totally distressed.
Question: Are you worldly or are you spiritual?
• God wants you to get your comfort from Him in your distress.
• Study out comfort in Isaiah.

2 Corinthians 1:8–11
Question: Why was Paul distressed?
• Disciples struggled with sin, condoned sin and had a sinful attitude toward Paul when he didn’t visit them in the timeline that he set.
Question: Why do you have distress in your family?
Question: Why would you need to take note and be on your guard?
Question: What are your motives?
• You need to see an example in Paul of a sold-out disciple of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:23–24

2 Corinthians 2:1–11
• You do not need to be near someone to have a heart for that person.
• Paul gave them time to repent.
• Paul was referring to someone who was living a double life spiritually when he said that he was grieving. (1 Corinthians 5:9–11)
• Paul expected radical repentance.
• He expected the sin to change.
• Sin will cause you distress. Sin will cause you grief.
Question: Do you see the heart of Paul?
• Before the comfort comes repentances.
• Dispose of your worldly mindset.
• Note to self: Repentance comes first, forgiveness and comfort follow.

Philippians 2:2
• Paul wanted to be unified in purpose and spirit.

2 Corinthians 6:11–13

2 Corinthians 10:12–18
Question: What does he want to do?
• There are people going to hell. There are people dying apart from God.
• All he cared about was preaching the gospel to those who have not heard it yet.
• It is a patient endurance: Never stop preaching the gospel.
• Do not lose that distress.
• There are people who need God’s comfort.
• You must pour out your heart to make a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
Question: What do you need comfort for today?

Matthew 5:4

Luke 6:20–23
• You get to be treated like one of God’s own prophets.
• If you are rich, then you get comforted in the world.
• If you are poor, then you get comforted in the Kingdom of God.
• Spiritual poverty is the theme of this Scripture.
• The comfort is the Kingdom of God.

1. Comfort of the Father.
Romans 8:12–17
• If you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, then that comforts you.
• You would have God as your very own father.
• The Spirit connects you to God.
• It is a relationship.
• God’s heart is to comfort everyone.

2 Timothy 2:3–4

Acts 14:16–17
• Even the Pagans were showered down comfort and gave them kindness and blessing.
• There is so much joy.

1 Thessalonians 2:10–12
• He was comforting and encouraging the Thessalonians.
• If you want to be like Jesus, then you got to be a comforter.

2. Comfort of the Son.
John 14:1–4
• Jesus comforted them and God comforts Him.

1 John 2:1
• You have an advocate in the Son.
• God deflects most temptations. (2 Corinthians 10:7–11)
• God is your judge; Jesus is the advocate.
• In Jesus, you have a friend.

John 19:25–27
• Jesus was getting skewered to the death yet He established a relationship between John and Mary.
• Comfort people in a godly way.

2 Corinthians 3:14