Here’s a song that some of you might want to start with before the livestream:
It is normal in the life of the Christian to struggle with the struggle and strains of living in a world that is broken.
The question is: What does Christian do with the life in a fallen world with things like the coronavirus?
No Comparison: The grandness of coming glory towers over the greatness of our present suffering. Groan Expectantly!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
The more that we are able to eagerly anticipate the joy of eternity, the less agitated we will be with momentary misery.
Families: Learn more about our future destiny as Christians.
Make a groaning sound?
Why do we groan? (Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-9)
What is heaven going to be like?
Read:2 Corinthians 5:9 “In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
Philippians 1:21-23 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”
“When Christians understand that heaven is an exciting, physical place on a redeemed world with redeemed people in redeemed relationships without sin and death, where there is music, art, science, sports, literature, and culture, it’s a great source of encouragement and motivation… “We should unapologetically tell them that the happiness they long for, the reconciliation to the God from whom happiness flows, is found in Jesus alone,” says Alcorn – “This is what makes the Gospel ‘Good News of great joy!'”
Creation Cranes its Neck: The agony and futility that continually surrounds us is swallowed up by the grandness of gospel destiny. Groan Missionally.
Creation is cursed missionally (8:19). The misery of the fallen world is designed to reveal the identity of the children of God. This is not meaningless.
Creation shares a common destiny (8:20-21). The liberation of creation from futility is tied to liberation of God’s children from sin, death, and the curse. This is not permanent.
Creation is poised hopefully (8:22). These are birth pangs and not death pangs. The beginnings of Spring make us long all the more for its fruition. This is not inconsistent.
The more that we understand that all of this suffering serves the purpose of bringing people into the glorious hope of the gospel, we can groan with gospel purpose.
CS Lewis:“The Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most about the next … It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven and you will see earth thrown in: aim at earth and you will get neither.”
Family Worship: Talk About Creation Longing For Our Salvation.
Talk about the environment and how it is groaning for freedom right now.
What will creation be like when the curse is removed?
How can we learn to use creation as a way to talk about salvation?
Read Ecclesiastes 12:1
The Christian’s Groaning: Hope Groans Not out of Doubt but Faith. Groan Patiently!
“For we know the whole creation has been groaning together with the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:22-23
The nature of our groaning is part of our groaning. We long for the suffering to end but we also long for people to be saved. Christian groaning feels both of those things deeply
Family Discussion: Are you waiting expectantly for God for “the adoption of our bodies?”
Discuss something you had to wait for in the mail that you were really excited about?
What do you think will be so excited about the coming of our new bodies?
What do you think will be the most exciting thing about the new heaven and the new earth?
Pray that God would give you an excitement about the new heaven and the new earth?