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Summary: IN TIMES OF HEARTBREAK, TRAGEDY AND DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES, WE HAVE A LOVING GOD WHO CAN COMFORT OUR HEARTS IF WE WILL TURN TO HIM.

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TITLE: THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT 4/7/02

TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 1:1 - 4

INTRO:

I DO NOT BELIEVE THERE HAS EVER BEEN A MAN TO HAVE SUFFERED AS MUCH AS THE APOSTLE PAUL AND EVER LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT. PAUL AS A CHRISTIAN FACED SOME VERY HARD TIMES. HE FACED –

· SHIPWRECK

· BEATINGS

· TIMES WHEN OTHER CHRISTIANS HAD FORSAKEN HIM

BUT EVEN THOUGH PAUL SUFFERED ALL THOSE THINGS – PAUL STILL FOUND SPACE TO PRAISE THE LORD. NOTICE HE SAYS FIRST OF ALL THAT GOD IS -

A. WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE! V.2 BLESSED BE GOD!

I BELIEVE PRAISING THE LORD IS SOMETHING THAT WE CHRISTIANS DON’T DO ENOUGH OF! AS DOUG PREACHED WEDNESDAY NIGHT, WE MURMUR AND COMPLAIN TO GOD ABOUT EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN – BUT WE FAIL TO PRAISE AND THANK HIM FOR ALL THAT HE HAS DONE.

NOW AS YOU STUDY 2 CORINTHIANS, YOU WILL NOTE THAT PAUL MENTIONS SEVERAL DIFFERENT THINGS ABOUT GOD – AND THESE ARE SOME THINGS THAT OUGHT TO CAUSE US TO REJOICE. FIRST OF ALL HE SAYS –

1. HE IS THE LIVING GOD! 3:3

HEY, THE REASON I AM HERE TODAY IS BECAUSE IS SERVE A RISEN SAVIOR! THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ALL THE OTHER RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD IS THE FACT THAT THEY WORSHIP SOMEONE WHO IS STILL IN THE GRAVE – BUT WE WORHSHIP CHRIST WHO CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE! NOTICE SECONDLY, PAUL MENTIONS THAT -

2. HE IS A GOD OF GRACE AND MERCY V.2 – 3

AND I WANT TO SAY AMEN TO THAT! IF IT WERE NOT FOR HIS GRACE – NONE COULD EVER BE SAVED AND IF IT WERE NOT FOR HIS MERCY – ALL WOULD GO TO HELL.

B. FATHER OF MERCIES V.2

YOU SEE PAUL KNEW THAT HE NEVER HAD ANY ROOM TO EVER COMPLAIN ABOUT LIFE OR IT’S CIRCUMSTANCES - BECAUSE PAUL KNEW THAT HE WAS LUCKY JUST TO BE SAVED AND STILL ALIVE! PAUL HIMSELF WRITES IN ONE PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE -

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

I TIMOTHY 1:13

Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

WE HEAR A LOT OF TALK ABOUT GRACE & MERCY – BUT MOST PEOPLE DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THOSE WORDS ACTUALLY MEAN. THEY ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN.

GRACE = IS GOD GIVING US WHAT WE DON’T DESERVE – (SALVATION).

MERCY = IS GOD WITH HOLDING THAT WHICH WE DO DESERVE. (HELL)

AND PAUL HAD EXPERIENCED BOTH GRACE AND MERCY ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS! AND NOTICE THIRDLY THAT PAUL SAYS THAT HE IS –

3. HE IS FAITHFUL 1:18 GOD IS TRUE = FAITHFUL

IT IS HARD TO GET CHRISTIANS TO BE FAITHFUL TO GOD IN THIS DAY AND AGE – WE ARE NOT FAITHFUL TO –

· THE SERVICE –

I BELIEVE WE OUGHT TO BE HERE EVERY TIME THE CHURCH DOORS ARE OPENED! AND WHEN YOU FORSAKE CHURCH TO GO OUT AND PLAY AND DO YOUR OWN THING – YOU ARE SIMPLY SHOWING THAT YOU DON’T LOVE JESUS CHRIST!

· SWORD -

I WOULD VENTURE TO SAY THAT MOST OF YOU HERE THIS MORNING GO DAY IN AND DAY OUT WITHOUT EVER READING THE WORD OF GOD – HEY, GOD WANTS YOU TO BE FAITHFUL IN EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO!

· SAVIOR

AND EVEN THOUGH YOU AND I MAY TURN OUR BACKS ON HIM – AND BY THE WAY WE ALL HAVE AT DIFFERENT TIMES IN OUR LIFE – YET JESUS IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL! NOTICE FOURTHLY -


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