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Description: Life in The Body of Christ
Life in the Body of Christ
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
I saw this, “The Savior never hesitated, set his face steadfastly towards Jerusalem.” Jerusalem,
that’s the next one. That’s what God wants me to do. We’re addicted to smooth happiness.
Everything, that’s the ideal life, when things are going smoothly. That’s the ideal life, when
things are going smoothly, not when trials come. Trials are a nuisance, they hold us back and
they’re to be avoided at all costs. They not only irritate us but they cause us immense worry and
anxiety, and a lot of work, and trials are not a good thing. Greet it as pure joy when you enter
into it. Don’t be stupid, that’s stupid. You can’t greet it as pure joy when you enter into
So I think that’s it. We’re addicted – we’ve become addicted to happiness and smooth life as the
norm. That’s why we get caught badly off balance because we’re part of a Savior that has walked
exactly the opposite way. He has regarded the hardships that come upon us in this world as part of
what makes his Father dear to him, and draw him up to his Father and into his Father’s arms.
But we think of this as a nuisance, these hardships and they’re proof that the world is not going
right and that our life is not going right. They’re a proof to Jesus that the world is out of his
Father’s arms, and that he is in his Father’s arms. The more he is out of the world the more he is
in his Father’s arms, and the less at home he is in the world the more at home he is with his
Father, and we are in him. So the wise thing is to regard trials as the normal thing.
It would be – really I’m not as saintly as I sound, Monday would be easy. Monday, oh yes Monday for
me, but Monday for all of us would be easy if – if we would look forward to it now with joy. Myron
used to joke to me, because I would say to him, “Expect trouble,” and of course he saw that as
contradicting whatsoever things are true and lovely, and of good report. Of course I meant that no,
that’s what – if you’re expecting trouble, if you’re ready to face trouble then it doesn’t throw you
off. You regard, “This is the norm, and in the midst of this trouble Christ is going to keep me up
and give me his strength.” It seems that that’s the way Jesus goes, the way Jesus himself walks.
So I do feel – I mean I feel for you, I think sales – because I’ve lived myself the kind of life
that I didn’t plan to live, and that life can be rocketing, and the life of business is a
shattering, rocketing life to my mind. You wouldn’t dream of choosing it. I’d sit in the library
and study Hebrew, so I agree with anybody here who thinks it, “Isn’t business life quite exciting?”
“Yeah I think so.” But if you look at it, and you look for it, and you say, “The Savior is made to
do this in me. He is made for this, and I in him am made for this, and this is going to be the kind
of Monday I delight in. It’s going to be a Monday with lots of things that kind of surprise me, and
a lot of which are beyond my own strength and ability, but this is going to be good.” That’s –
that’s what’s normal in him. I have only one more. I didn’t know I had this number.
I think it’s easy if you forget that your part of him, and that he is all around us. It’s easy with
even the good emphasis that we have on being together as a family, it is easy to become slaves to
human opinion, and human guidance, and advice, rather than slaves to him. And of course, our
society has lived on that, and our society has encouraged us, “Listen to your peers. Listen to you
elders, of course, and seek all the guidance you can from as many human beings as possible.” What
often we have done is become slaves to that as if that is our only guidance rather than going to him
first. Just think about it because we always say, “Pray before you do a thing.” “Find out what
God wants you to do,” and all of us therefore, do a bit of prayer, but just think about it.
I agree with anybody who says, “ Well wait a minute I could get really contorted about whether I buy
a blue dress or a red dress.” Well yeah, there are things that probably aren’t critical, but there
are other things that I think we end up rushing about, and doing rather casually, and we do click
off the phrase, “Oh yeah well, I have to pray about it first.” But we actually don’t seek his
advice, and wait upon him, and try to hear what he’s saying within, and what he’s saying through
others. Often we say, “Oh yes, we believe God guides through others. Yeah, yeah.” But the
emphasis is too often maybe on the others.
So I thought those were some things that are good to think about as we go on now together. It’s an
unequal privilege that we have. I mean, we were talking at the table, how sometimes people don’t
know who their parent is or where their parent has gone, and people marry and divorce, and
everything changes around them.
Of course we know that generally the society is in real trouble just because the society is a lonely
society now. The bars are filled with the singles who are on their own. So we know that that is
now the agony of this society that we live in, and is becoming as far as we can see the Chinese with
the little phones and everything, we can see that they’re beginning to move in the same direction.
So part of what Jesus has us here for is to be what he meant us to be and what he meant all of us to
be. To be together as part of him, sharing his own love and enjoying it in each other, and yet
walking preoccupied with him above everything else. So I thought that’s a great providence.
Let us pray.
Oh Lord Jesus, we thank you for the garden, and the home, and these three acres where we can spend
our time with you and realize increasingly your presence, and you surrounding us with your love and
your life. We thank you, for all the details of our dear family. We thank you, Lord, that it’s so
appropriate and favorable for our living in you and respecting you above everything else. So we
thank you, Lord, for these things that are beyond price.
Lord Jesus, we want you to see us living in you and you living in us the way your Father planned.
Dear Father, we want to be pleasing to you and we thank you for all that you’ve done for us.
Now we would pray that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship
of the Holy Spirit would be with each one of us now and ever more. Amen.