Harmony Christian Church
Harmony Christian Church
Week 4 - Extending Grace

“We have just grown apart…”  There are so many relationships that are in this place, what if there was a different way of framing what’s going on and for you to find some victory?  If your relationships seems like it’s at a dead-end, then today’s sermon is for you!When you give at Harmony, you are investing in life change and are Advancing the Kingdom!  GIVE TODAY, text any amount to (859) 459-0316  to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give .
Sermon Notes Slide Key:

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OPENING ILLUSTRATION: I want to play a new game with y’all called, “woo or boo”  How it works is I’ll tell say something and you have to either woo or boo it.  If you’re watching on Facebook, The thumbs-up is your “woo” and the wow face is your “boo”.
For instance, let’s try this

Duke Basketball            🙂  [all boos]

UK Basketball          🙂 [all woo’s]
Ok, so, now I want you to know, you can woo or boo on any of these next ones, I’ll give you one example here:
Mayonaise is better than miracle whip
Now, let’s get a little more serious, are you ready for this?  I need to gauge where we are at in our relationships here with some woo or boo…The louder the better

  • Toothpaste should always be squeezed from the middle
  • Untucking your sheets at night and sticking a leg out is how a person regulates temperature when they sleep
  • It doesn’t matter how a towel is folded as long as it gets folded
  • Toilet paper should always go over not under
  • Replacing the toilet paper roll is the next person’s responsibility – not the person who used the last piece
  • Socks belong in a hamper, not on the floor
  • Put the toilet seat down, you live; leave it up… time will tell.

Ha, I can see there is tons of consensus in this room and in your relationships.
ME: For Jenni and I, one of us will be like, “where do you want to go out to eat?”  the other one will be like, “I don’t care” and then as we proceed to suggest restaurants, it will become apparent just how much they actually DO care about where we go to eat… Ha, you’ve felt this before, right?
Listen, no one’s relationship fails over how someone squeezes the toothpaste-what happens is the wonder of the relationship dies out and the toothpaste or the toilet paper becomes one more place where the two realize they don’t fit.
So, what do you do? Our culture says, you just give up and try to find someone who you are more compatible with.
Now, I need to be cautious and careful here, and so do you, because if you are in an abusive relationship, or your spouse is cheating on you or has abandoned you, what I’m going to talk about here is not for you, you need to make a different decision, but what I’m talking about is someone who is in a fairly normal relationship where two Christians just feel like
“It’s just not working, we’re too different”
Trust me, you may not be here right now, but you add a few years to your relationship, you add a few kids into the mix, you experience some deaths of loved ones or any tragedy and you will not be far off from this.
The natural curve of most relationships is to go from connected to disconnected if there is not intentional intervention.
ILLUSTRATION: Everyone presents a fake version, or maybe the best version of ourselves to win people – so they like us.  It’s only over time that you learn the things that cause little cuts to your relationship – the things that make you feel too different.
I felt this early on in our marriage. Jenni and I got married and very quickly I learned that Jenni didn’t know how to load a dishwasher, she didn’t know how to iron a shirt or a million other things.  So, I started sharing with Jenni, “Kent’s patented technique” for things.  I’d tell her Kent’s patented technique for ironing, dishwashing, and just about everything.
As you can imagine, this went over REALLy well! Ha.  

All of a sudden what had been really fun and good started to show its cracks and how little we understood about each other.
Our culture says, “find someone who won’t tick you off so much.”What if there was a different way?
Can I introduce you to a concept?

Paul has been sharing about salvation in Jesus, he is making the argument that out of Adam’s sin, all mankind was affected.  We all live in sin due to the consequences of one man and his abandonment of a relationship with God.  Paul’s argument is if death came on the back of one man, couldn’t life come on the back of one man as well…  Listen

Romans 5:15-21 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Paul says that God’s grace overflows to us by the grace of Jesus…
I actually did a word study on the word grace – I looked at every use of it in the NT and OT.
What struck me about grace was that it’s not just something that we are given, but it’s more akin to something we live in.
Paul’s argument, although at first blush might not make this clear, does so pretty eloquently.  

You and I live in the results of the selfish actions of Adam – it is literally the atmosphere we were born into
Those same selfish urges live inside of you and I

this is why we have SO many fights in our relationship and want someone who is compatible with US
-It’s all about me…
Paul is saying that God’s grace overflowed to us – created a new atmosphere for those of us in Christ. We now “reign in life” through Christ 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Literally, Grace becomes the air we breathe, it becomes the thing that gets us through the day.  It is what rescues us and it is the power by which we enter into relationships.
What is this grace? This grace is a God who had NO reason to come for us.  He didn’t need to die.  He hadn’t done anything wrong, He was not the one who had failed.  He was not the one who had gone the wrong way.  We were the ones who were incompatible.  But what does Grace do?  Grace came.  Grace comes!
Jesus came for us.  He came, lived a perfect sinless life, died for us.  Rose from the dead to prove he could overcome our sinfulness and bring us into a right relationship with Him and give us a new air to breathe.
What if you changed the air you breathe? You stopped breathing the air of this world that says “fight to get your way” and instead you breathed the air of grace that says, “I will fight for YOU!”
Here’s a phrase you can start using in your mind to remind yourself of this…  When you are feeling infringed on and not getting your way and you want to just fight to get your way, ask yourself:
What would grace look like here…
Men, I believe it’s your job to go first on this.  that’s why Paul says that a husband’s method of submitting himself to his wife is to love her like Christ loved the church.  You are the initiator – you are to be the leader of your family.  And what I mean by that, is it’s your job to make sure your family falls in love with Jesus and gets to heaven.  So, start asking yourself, “what would grace look like here”  God has called you to reign through his grace.  To live in authority and change the atmosphere of your family.  For me, one of the things God really spoke to me on this was I used to get so pissed at Jenni for things, my argument would be, “it’s not a big deal, why doesn’t she just change…”  I remember thinking that one day and God smacked me across the back of the head and He said, “Kent if it’s not that big of a deal, then why can’t you give on it?”  Ugh…  Grace would look like me laying down my desires to reach the one whom I love…  
What about you?  Turn to grace today!