FaithView–Bible Study/Sermonette (1/19/22)

(This is how I prepare the Bible/Study Sermonette. What is below are my notes. As most know, I am prone to go off on a tangent. So this is not exactly what was in my broadcast from a week ago. But since I have a tendency to talk too fast (who me?)…the thinking was this might help with understanding the message. Note: I will be posting the fourth part of this series–verse 19–a little later today at Burbank Faith Virtual on YouTube , FB, and

(Transcript from: 1/12/22)

Text:1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
16—Be joyful always;
17—pray continually; 
18—give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19—Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;
20—do not treat prophecies with contempt.
21—Test everything. Hold on to the good.
22—Avoid every kind of evil.

A.) One of the best gifts a believer can have is the ability to see opportunity.

B.) It doesn’t get talked about in terms of “gifts” mentioned in scripture. But it is a gift, and if you want to call it a skill—you can. Although, it is a skill that takes work and experience to acquire.

In football terms, this would be the case of the quarterback reading the blitz before the blitz comes.

In military terms, this would be seeing the movement of the enemy and then ascertaining where they’ll go next and where they’ll be exposed.

In political terms, this would be watching your opponent commit a gaffe and then exploiting it.

C.) In the Christian life it’s recognizing movement or vulnerability in the enemy and acting accordingly.

But how do you get there?

D.) 1—First you have to believe there is an enemy. The one the Bible makes clear exists, but our theologians are continually trying to turn into a myth. (Trust no one)

E.) 2—You have to respect the fact that the enemy is intelligent. Probably more intelligent than you. So when you recognize a weakness in your lines (to use a military analogy), I can tell you the enemy already knows about it.

F.) 3—An example of this would be all the heavy prayer we put into our camps up at Granite Ridge. The focus is the camp, the focus is our students, the focus is our staff, the focus is the desired outcome…But we often leave a flank unguarded. The home front, the church…

It’s good to have specific prayer…but it is wise to keep reinforcing all of our defensive lines while we do.

G.) 4—What about when the enemy makes a move against us?

Yeah, what about that?

If our prayer life is not what it should be—we’ll panic.

If our relationship with Jesus is not what it should be—we’ll get a sense of our world crumbling.

If we’re not—verse 16—always joyful and recognizing the source of that joy—we’ll struggle for hope.

If we’re not—verse 17—in continual prayer as discussed in Sunday’s message—we’ll come to feel alone.

H.) 5—But if we’re all those things we can anticipate the enemy’s moves before he launches them… Think quarterback picking up the blitz…Think praying for the home front while at camp…(There are Qbs who beg for the blitz)

I.) Now this is strictly a Joe T. thing, and you can read it any way you want. But I view the enemy as desperate. I think it may be tough for us to see sometimes, but I think we’re gaining ground.

(Don’t look at the news, don’t consider the politics)…Just see the culture you live in. The enemy is sewing as much confusion as possible because when we think soberly and consider all that is going on around us…We stop trusting that confusion. We disregard the sources…and we are more apt to look above.

You may be thinking I’m talking about politicians, media, the “science”…a little bit…But I’m also referencing the establishment hierarchy of our churches, seminaries, and theologians.

I’m not declaring them all evil…but don’t trust them above the authority of scripture or the words of truth—led and validated by the Spirit—that come out of it.

J.) So I see the enemy/the world…as desperate. I see it as flailing…I see it hoping to conjure a UFO landing on the White House lawn to seed more confusion…anything!

K.) And I’m giving thanks.

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18—give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

L.) God’s will is for me to be joyful…God’s will for me is to remain in relationship…and God’s will is for me to have vision…to see opportunities.

M.) As the enemy is invested on attacking the church through the front of— “Be more seeker-friendly. Be less dogmatic. Just do good deeds.”

N.) I see it as an opportunity to double down on preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ…That he is the Savior…and that by the blood he spilled on the cross we have a remedy for our sins.

O.) Seeker friendly doesn’t break chains…the blood does.

P.) I want to be joyful always—so the enemy can never try to represent me as defeated.

Q.) I want a continual relationship with him so I can project his spirit in every dark place I go into.

R.) And I’m going to thank God for all circumstances because  it beckons opportunity to not only stop the enemy…but to break his lines of defense, to bust down his gates, and set the captives free.

S.) Ephesians 6:11 
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

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