Still_pt4: A Place of Refuge

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Still_pt4: A Place of Refuge

Mark 4:39 NKJV
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Psalm 46:1 NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
We’ve studied peace this month. There is no other source for peace, that our Heavenly Father - He is our refuge and strength!

A place of refuge

[PAYOFF] - It has always been on our Father’s heart to give His children refuge!
What are you running from today? He has refuge for you!
One of the greatest displays of this is in the book of Numbers.
God instructed Moses, that once they enter the Promised Land, they were to setup cities of refuge. (Later Joshua carried this out.)
Numbers 35:11 NIV
select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone accidentally may flee.
Numbers 35:13 NIV
These six towns you give will be your cities of refuge.
Numbers 35:15 NIV
These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites and for foreigners residing among them, so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there.
, ,
[EXPLAIN] - Whether murder or manslaughter, they punishment was the same - Death by the hands to the family - the avenger of their family member.
[SETUP] - Manslaughter is a specific offence - but let’s not get wrapped up in the specific offence.
What this example shows, though, is that we to stumble into sin, and now an avenger is after us.
That is fallen creation. People are bound to sin, and avenger is out there to collect. - That’s the enemy!
[BUT] - The Cross has provided refuge!
Read it here!.... [Go to Heb 6:18]

Our Salvation

Hebrews 6:18 ESV
so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Like these cities of refuge in the OT, Christ is our refuge, Our Salvations!
() “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
[TRANSITION] - The book of Joshua also speaks of these cities of refuge:
() “…he shall remain in that city until he has stood before the congregation for judgment, until the death of him who is high priest at the time.”
The one who has fled refuge is given sanctuary for as long as the high priest lives!
[Go to Hebrews 7]

Our Security

Hebrews 7:22–25 NIV
Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Christ is forever Our Security!
Hebrews 7:22-25
[TRANSITION] - Medieval times – Sanctuary was declared (like refuge in Israel)
When sent out, refugees were given a staff with a cross at the top.
This marked sanctuary…. But put it down, or wandered from the path, the avenger would be lying in wait.
Going back to the first murder (Cain & Able):
God asked Cain… Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
[Go to Psalm 23}

Our Shepherd

Psalm 23:1–6 NIV
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Christ is Our Shepherd!

Connect Church

Our mission, here, at Connect Church: the city on a hill!
We are Zion, we are the Body!
[PAYOFF] - Church! We are now the place of refuge for the community around us!
[STORY] - Art, “coming to Connect Church was like stepping into a warm hug.”
Funny - Back then Kerrick was manning the doors - it was probably a literal hug!!
Joshua 20:4 NIV
When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them.
[PAYOFF] - Church, our role in this community is to provide a place among us!
HOW DO W DO THIS?… 1, 2, 3

1. Prepare the roads!

It was actually the job of the priests to maintain the roads that led to the city of refuge.
No obstacles, no uneven paths. There were to be bridges over water.
[CHALLENGE] - Have we cleared the roads?
Or have we placed obstacles?
What has church become???
Are we supposed to look a certain way?
Dress a certain way?
Is there “insider” language?
[PAYOFF] - Have we made it easy for people to find refuge? Have we prepared the roads?
Romans 15:1–2 NIV
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

2. Post the signs!

Signs were also posted along the roads, directing the refugees to the city of refuge.
And for some cities, a booth was placed where a student of the law would sit and wait for the refugees.
In some cases, as the avenger was drawing near, the student would run along side the refugee, stating the law and the guarantees of refuge!
1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV
And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Church, have we prepared the signs?
[TRANSITION] - [Go to Joshua 20]

3. Open the gates!

Joshua 20:4 ESV
He shall flee to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and explain his case to the elders of that city. Then they shall take him into the city and give him a place, and he shall remain with them.
Finally, Church, Open the gates!

Take Away

Psalm 27:4–5 NIV
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
We have found our refuge here!
[PAYOFF] - Now, we part of others’ refuge!
Romans 10:14–15 NIV
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Romans 10:14-15
What is Connect Church?...

Christ has called us to be the house of refuge!

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