Living Positively In A Negative World – Ps Ray Andrews [26/08/2018 AM]
What do you do with your negatives? What berry do you have in your mouth?
- Ray was in Borneo ministering.
- He was told about a Psychiatrist from Singapore and he went to see her. She had a question for Ray –‘How do you put up with all the crap from negative people?’
- He told her the best thing is to ‘Point another to another’, meaning show them Jesus.
- We have to remember it’s not about me. It’s about Jesus – He is the burden bearer.
Ray told the story of an old lady who was always praising God . She had an atheist living next door to her who thought she was mad because he could hear her praising God all the time.
The atheist asked her why she was praising God and she told him that she was praying for groceries as she had nothing in the house.
The atheist decided to test her out and bought the groceries and deposited them at her front door, rang the bell and hid in the garden.
After seeing the bag of groceries, the old lady ran down the street praising God and the atheist told her that he was the one to deliver the groceries, All she said was that she knew it was him, but that she never expected God to send the devil to buy the groceries.
While Ray was in Borneo he had difficulty with eating the food and was told that the locals picked berries from this particular bush and put them in their mouths while they ate their food which was unpalatable. The Berry made the unpalatable food taste sweet.
- God taught Ray about the value of the ‘BERRY IN YOUR MOUTH’. Use God’s word as a weapon against an unpalatable world.
- What berry do you use to live positively in this unpalatable world?
- One of Ray’s berries is:
26 and in this way all Israel will be saved.
Through us and back to Him. God is in the all …
- Lots of things in life happen that is unpalatable.
- Ray’s grandson was a powerful witness for Jesus. He wore a t-shirt with the words ‘ Not Without Christ’ on his t-shirt while he was in hospital undergoing treatment for a fatal disease.
- God took him home when he was 12yrs old, but he was a powerful witness during his treatment and affected a huge amount of people. There were over 900 people at his funeral.
- We have trouble and difficulties in the world, but grief needs to be walked out.
- Jesus’ last words recorded in John 16:33 were: “In this world you will have trouble” .
- We live in an unpalatable world.
2 Chron 20:1
It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat.
(It never rains but it pours)
- 3 armies came against Jehosophat – (Murphy’s law – happens in threes)
- Jehosophat was fearful of what was going to happen. He didn’t know what to do.
2 Chron 20:12
12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
- When you are in control – God will enlarge your problems, but when your eyes are upon Jesus, He is the author and finisher of faith
- Ray was given a photo taken of himself when he was young. He wanted to get copies. The young lady in the shop told him that ’without a negative you will never have a positive in your life’.
- God used that statement to show Ray not to whinge or cry about your negatives.
- God will use your negatives to change you.
- Life is never how you make it – it’s how you take it.
- Build your roots in God and you will flourish.
- A famous proverb says: The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay.
2And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We need to remember that ‘good’ is as God interprets it – not us.
- Ray used a handful of pencils to illustrate ‘all things’ – things muck ups, bills, cheques in the mail, etc.
- God blesses you and all of the things – they work together for good
- Don’t try to cover the bad things, praise God in it all things.
Ray and his wife were waiting for a ride to San Diego. It was very cold and they were in a restaurant. They were supposed to be picked up at 6pm, but by 11.30 the ride still had not arrived. Ray lost his berry – he got very upset and nearly used Christian swearing.
There was a lady who had served them in the restaurant and she asked him what he did for a living. When he yelled at her that he was a preacher, she said she thought he wasn’t acting like a preacher, but she asked him to pray for her. She was a Jew and the day before had demanded that God show her that He was real. When Ray prayed for her he used the same words that she had used. She burst into tears and told Ray that she had intended to kill herself that night if God hadn’t showed up by the end of her shift at midnight. It was 11.55pm when the God of Israel turned up.
There is a quote that says:
He didn’t bring me this far to leave me
He didn’t teach me to swim to let me drown
He didn’t build His home in me to move away
He didn’t lift me up to let me down
- Ray said -God is never late – but He has missed a lot of opportunities to come early!
- Your carnality cannot disqualify you from God’s presence.
- Keep your Berry in your mouth.
- True freedom only comes through depending on God
Suggestions for Discussion Questions
- What ‘berries’ do you use to overcome trouble?
- What affect does using your ‘berries’ have on your life and family?
- Discuss ‘without a negative you will never have a positive in your life’.
- What are your experiences of an unpalatable world?