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Ernest M. Pollard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ernest M. Pollard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 1st district
In office
July 18, 1905 – March 3, 1909
Preceded byElmer Burkett
Succeeded byJohn A. Maguire
Personal details
Born(1869-04-15)April 15, 1869
Nehawka, Nebraska
DiedSeptember 24, 1939(1939-09-24) (aged 70)
Lincoln, Nebraska
Political partyRepublican
Pollard's former residence (right), located in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Pollard's former residence (right), located in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Ernest Mark Pollard (April 15, 1869 – September 24, 1939) was an American Republican Party politician.

He was born in Nehawka, Nebraska on April 15, 1869, and graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1893. He farmed near Nehawka until he was elected to the Nebraska State house of representatives in 1896. He served until 1899 and then became president of the Nebraska Republican League in 1900.

In 1905 he was elected to the Fifty-ninth United States Congress after the resignation of Elmer J. Burkett who had been elected to the United States Senate. He was reelected to the Sixtieth United States Congress but failed in his 1908 bid for reelection to the Sixty-first United States Congress.

He farmed some and was a delegate to the 1912 Republican National Convention and a member of the Nebraska constitutional convention in 1920 and 1921. He moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and was appointed secretary of the State department of welfare and labor by Nebraska Governor Arthur J. Weaver in January 1929 serving until January 1931. He died there on September 24, 1939, and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Nehawka.

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Transcription

[music] Man: Let me again introduce to you Vice President of Peacemaker Ministry, Tim Pollard, for the afternoon session. Tim, thanks for coming. Let's give him a hand. [applause] Tim Pollard: Thank you so much. I just can't say enough about what a warm welcome you guys have extended to us. You've made us so welcome. And it's funny. As I said, we talk to a lot of pastors' groups and pastors' conferences. Sometimes those guys are so worn down by life, and I hope you pray for your pastors. It's one of the toughest jobs around. But there's just been a wonderful freshness and a warmth coming from you guys, and I really appreciate that. We all do, so thank you so much for that. A couple of housekeeping notes. I've been asked a question about how do we dig in further with this? A couple of folks asked me that. It's not a sales pitch, but look at the book table outside. I would commend the book, "The Peacemaker, " to you. There's also this eight-week DVD study--eight 30-minute lessons--called "Resolving Everyday Conflict." It's a neat study, and it will go into everything you've learned here and even more. It's a great group discussion medium. So if you want to take that back to your church or in your dorms or just to dig in and reinforce some of the principles we've learned, then I would really commend that to you. I think you'd get a lot out of it. We talked this morning or you were told this morning to turn your cell phones off. It is funny how addicted your generation is to technology, texting on your cell phones. I read a report recently that on my cell phone plan, there were 8,000 texts in the last month, and I actually looked at them. I had 212, and [laughs] 7,782 or whatever it was my daughter's. It's a pretty big deal. I want to give you an interesting statistic. That doesn't actually surprise you, [laughs] does it? It sort of freaks me out. [laughter] Tim: There was a study published recently in the British Medical Journal, and it said that people who allow themselves to be distracted by their cell phone during a meeting, something like that, experience a measured loss of intelligence of 11 percent. Did you know that? You are 11 percent stupider if you do that. Now... [laughter] Tim: Only a British journal would do this. They contrasted that with the fact that if you smoke marijuana in a meeting, you only experience a measured loss of intelligence of seven percent. [laughter] Tim: Amazing? Now I'm not necessarily offering this to you as a choice, you know... [laughter] Tim: If you have to, smoke dope but turn your cell phones off. But... [laughter] Tim: Just perhaps a reminder, you may want to stay focused on the speaker rather than texting or tooting on a doobie or something like that. So... [laughter and applause] Tim: Oh! [laughs] Oh, the challenge to be contemporary! I think we should pray, don't you? Let's pray. [laughter] Tim: Ah! Heavenly father, thank you so much for your love for us. Thank you, Lord, that in your presence is fullness of joy, and we can experience joy as Christians and still be a long way from sin. God, thank you that we've sung already about your gospel: "Lord, because the sinless savior died, my sinful soul is counted free. For God, the just, is satisfied to look on him and pardon me." God, if only we could understand what really that meant. Thank you, God, for your gospel and thank you, Lord, that this afternoon we get to camp out on the gospel, its magnificence, and its implication for our lives. I pray, Lord, that the glory of the gospel would fall with a new and fresh weight on everyone here, myself included. God, let us marvel again at the glory of the cross today. I pray in Jesus' name, Amen. Well, let's quickly review. What did we say this morning? We said that conflict is this destructive force in our lives. It's hardly news to you. You've all seen it. It builds up walls between people. It tears down relationships. It strikes hard, and it strikes fast--unpredictably in many cases--and often between the people who love each other the most. I mean the essence of marriage is vulnerability, you know, there is nothing about me truly that my wife doesn't know, nor nothing about her that I don't know. That gives me an extraordinary ability to hurt her when I really need to. And my sinful nature will go there when threatened. I know what buttons I can pull to hurt her in the sense I don't know that about some guy who cuts me off on the interstate or some surly person who served me at the grocery store... I know how to hurt my wife. And so, conflict strikes us in some of our most intimate places. Unless we learn how to apply the abundant wisdom that god gives us in this area, conflict will poison us, it will poison our relationships and ultimately it will poison our lives. I know people who are completely defined by bitterness, it's taken them over, something that happened to them five or 10 years ago, they can't release it, they can't forgive it and it has defined them. They're completely defined by bitterness or unforgiveness or some estranger and that's not where god wants us to live. We talked about the triggers of diversity and basic misunderstandings, those sparks, I think critically this concept that conflict really begins in the heart, the problem is not that we're different from others, the problem is that we are attached too much to our differences. I leaned something very valuable from Todd as we were talking over lunch, the idea that the original sense of the word passion, in I think in its original Greek sense is sense is that it's an over attachment to something. So passion we tend to thing today as good but it isn't necessarily good, because I'm so passionate about something, I'm willing to kill you for it. That is not a very good thing. We over attach to our needs and desires and we may not burn down a radio station but we may burn down other relationships in our lives. Any of you here Pink Floyd fans? [Cheers from the audience] Tim: Yes! Good! I'm sadly the original Pink Floyd generation, you're not. I could talk all day, I've actually pseudo developed a seminar on this, Pink Floyd wrote for 20 years about one fundamental problem, what was it? Alienation. What was the wall all about... I hope you caught the wall tour when it was still in town or still can. This is the nature of where conflict comes from, its sin, the essence of sin as it creates alienation. It first alienates us from God, but our sin natures also alienate us from everyone else. Because as I become totally self focused and focused on my own needs, my own wants and my own desires, I'm willing to take what I want no matter what the implication is for you... then obviously I'm going to live in a terrible place relationally. It's funny, Roger Waters understood alienation but he never understood the basic nature of it which was sin. That's what conflict is doing in our lives, we're alienating ourselves from other people. But then here comes Jesus with these outrageous statements that it doesn't have to be this way, that we can live in unity in a way that's unbelievable to the world around us, even pointing to God as being the author of what's going on in our lives. We can live in a completely different way. Not that conflict doesn't arise in our lives but it can be dealt with in a different way, that's the vision we're trying to impart to you today. Now some of you might say, you know this sounds great, this guy's got an amusing accent and all that stuff... [Laughter from audience] Tim: ...but that's fine, but that's a long way from where I live. you know. You know, I guess it sounds like you have to be some kind of spiritual giant here that you know, that there's a conflict in your home, and you whip a bible out of your pocket... come on kids, lets gather lets pray. Let's deal with this, Rossie will you confess to Fergus, Fergus will you forgive Rossie?... those are two of my four kids, Rossie and Ferguson and... I should have explained that but... but somehow you always feel this spiritual giant you can do this. That's not what we're talking about, you do not have to be some spiritual superman who knows tons of scripture and always kind of goes to prayer at exactly the right moment to do this. And I just want to illustrate it to you. Do you remember the video we saw this morning? Very powerful what happened. Well, look at this video and contrast it with this, and try as you watch it just to look carefully at what's going on here. [Video starts] Video Man: Hey there. Video Woman: Hey. Video Man: So I'm trying to decide what to do for vacation this year. Video Woman: Oh yea? Video Man: What do you think we should do? Video Woman: Good question. I was actually thinking that this year, we could go see my folks. We haven't seen them in a while. Well? What do you think? Video Man: I think we should go to the beach again this year. I want to relax. We had a good time last year. It's fun. If we go see your folks, your mom...Works been hard this year. This has just been a tough year and if we go to your parents', I won't be able to relax. I want to go to the beach. Video Woman: I know, OK? I know it's been a rough year, especially because of work, and I know you need to relax and if my mom's around, you can't always do that, but you know how sick my dad is. I mean, I really thought this would be the perfect opportunity for our whole family to go and spend some quality time with him while we can. Video Man: I know how important it is to see your dad, and I know we don't have much more time with him. OK, yeah. Yeah, let's do that. Video Woman: Well, I don't want you to not get the break that you need. I mean, the beach was great for our whole family last year. I just wish you got longer than two weeks. Video Man: What if you take the kids and you go see your folks? Take them for the whole week? Video Woman: But the whole point-- Video Man: No, now hold on. And then the last couple of days, I come up, and then after that, we can take the kids to the beach for a week. I mean, it's kind of choppy, but I think it works. Video Woman: Yeah, I think it sounds great. Video Man: OK. You get to spend quality time with your dad, we get to take the kids to the beach and relax, and I only have to see your mom for a couple of days. [laughs] As long as you're good for being away a few weeks, then it's good for everybody. Video Woman: Yes, I think this sounds like the perfect solution. This is really important to me. I appreciate it. Hey, I'm going to head up to bed. You coming? Video Man: Yeah. I guess so. [applause and cheering] Tim: What? [laughter] Tim: How cynical is that? Come on. [laughter] Tim: Now, [laughs] , you are such a bunch of cynics. I don't believe it. [laughter] Tim: Now, let's think about what we just saw. You obviously enjoyed it. I'm not quite sure what level you were enjoying it at. [laughter] Tim: Are there any psychology majors here? This, I think, says a lot about my relationship with my mother-in-law as well, so I don't want to discuss that. [laughter] Tim: But I want you to think about what happened in that video. What happened was, were they pulling out a Bible? Were they dropping on their knees and praying? No. Was there still tension there? Absolutely there was. You appeared to break the tension with your laughter, but it was still there at the beginning. What you see here is two people who, when the crunch moment came, chose a different path. Now let me ask a question. Is that scenario that unrealistic? Is that too difficult? Do you have to be a giant to be able to live that way? I don't think so. I don't think so. If you actually diagnosed what happened there, back to our point about conflict following patterns, did you notice there was a moment, wasn't there, there was a moment in that conflict, she's made her play, she really wants to go see her dad, and right there he, the guy, is in a crucible. What is he going to do at that moment. Is he going to fight for what he wants? James 4.1, or is he going to look after the interests of the wife he loves, Philippians 2.4? And what does he do? He simply decides, "OK, I'm going to lay down my preference for what my wife needs." That is not unrealistic. That is so real. Remember we said about conflict following patterns. Is that your concepts I want to plant in your minds of a moment. In a conflict there is a moment. How many of you have been there? You know exactly what I mean. Don't you? There is a moment when it is getting really wound up. People are getting really torqued and it is either going to explode or somebody is going to let the air out of the balloon. You have a choice always in a conflict. Am I going to throw gasoline, or am I going to throw water. Am I going to escalate this? Or am I going to extinguish it. Now, truthfully and Gary will talk about this later. There are lots of moments in a conflict. It is never too late to do the right thing. After that video this morning, could he have got on to his wife later, gone upstairs and say 'hey, you know what? I am sorry. I really messed up. I was thinking only of myself. Let's go see your dad. Would you forgive me?". Could he do that? Yes he could. But there is often a moment in a conflict whereas am I going to throw gasoline, or am I going to throw water? Now, did you also notice what happened, which is an instinct biblical principle which reflects Jesus teaching on the golden rule. What happened when he extended grace to her? You know, I understand, you need to see your dad, let's go do that. Well, suddenly she responds in like fashion. People will tend to treat each other. You will tend to treat me the way I treat you. So, she then reaches out to him, and is saying 'you know what? But I get it, you have had a hard year. And you do need a vacation. Now what are they doing? They are looking after each other's interests and they begin to move towards a more reasonable solution. I have in my notes here to say, you are probably a bunch of cynical students, you already proved that to me. But, you are a bunch of cynical students. You might say, well, duh of course it worked out, you wrote it that way. And I would answer yup we did. We did it right at that way. We wrote it with a happy ending. But that doesn't mean it's not real. That conflict, or potential conflict also followed a pattern, but it followed a different pattern. It followed a God honoring pattern, as one person chose to lay down their rights and extend grace to the other person, and the other person responded in the like fashion. It's how you break the escalation pattern. That's how you break the escalation problem. Often it's that reaching out, the first person to reach out, he says you know what, whatever else happen to you, I am sorry. I contributed to this conflict. I did this wrong. I am sorry would you forgive me? That it is the most unbelievable thing you can do in a conflict. This is what Gary is going to camp out on, about making a good confession. Now, again, you might be cynical about this. I would freely say that my marriage used to look a like the first video. But by God's grace, it looks an awful lot more like one now. We still mess up. We still let things escalate a few notches higher than we should sometimes. But generally speaking, the conflicts in my home look a lot more like this now. This is within reach of all of us. And I am no spiritual giant. Trust me. This is within reach of all of you. So this kind of sets us up I think with a great discussion about how are we going to respond when we are presented with a conflict. And what I'd like you to do is taking a little time out from my handout. I want to point you to one thing in this principal's pamphlet. You'll have one of these. Can you pull it out. And if you don't have your own, can you at least look over the shoulder of somebody else and share with them. I want you to look at this graphic in the middle which is called the slippery slope. This is a very, very helpful graphic. I want you to think of this sort of as a diagnostic tool. It is a way for you to think about how do you respond in conflict, what is your natural and often sinful tendency? If you look at it, let me just orient you to it quickly. Basically what it says is when presented with a conflict, you will tend to fall off in one of two ways. You might fall off to the left with escape responses and the focus of the escapee is running away. I just need to get away from this. I can't. I won't deal with it. Or you can fall off to the right which are the attack responses which is very much my natural sinful tendency. I never met a conflict I didn't like. I'm going to come out swinging. And, what there are here also are the godly responses -- these godly, biblical responses that we can begin to learn. Now, this is actually what Gary and a lot of the other speakers are going to be talking about. But let me quickly talk about the sides, the two ways we fall off the slippery slope when a conflict presents itself. To start on the escape side, a lot of people when presented with a conflict, they go into denial mode. That's the 'la la la la la la la' approach to conflict. I'm simply going to pretend it isn't there. And sort of hope it goes away, which of course it doesn't. It's always storing up for the future. You see a lot of guys do this in marriage. Something's wrong, their wife's trying to talk to them, and they're like, 'oh, no, we're fine.' And they're just denying it. I'm going to talk about this a few times today. Any of you who end up in corporate life, this is de facto what happens in corporate life. There'll be this huge flare up, and nobody ever talks about it, because this is work, and we don't talk about relationships at work, although incredibly unhealthy that is. The second response you see on the escape side, is flight, or running away. This has become incredibly common. People are just in a conflict. They don't know how to deal with it. So they run away. They leave a friendship. You know, they will often leave a job, we know so many people who have left jobs. They'll leave churches -- that's really sad. The number of people who leave their church because of an unresolved relational issue, and they didn't know how to fix it. They didn't want to stick around, so they just ran away, is terribly sad. And obviously, saddest of all is marriage. The divorce rate among those who profess to be evangelical Christians today is exactly the same as the divorce rate among non-Christians. And that is so sad. Does God not making any difference? Can God not make any difference? Well, he can, but we have to understand the difference he can make. And finally, we see there's suicide, the most extreme escape response. It's rare, fortunately, but it's a growing problem all around the world. People feel so trapped, so caught up in a conflict, they just can't figure any way out, and they see this as their only option. And obviously it's tragic. What's the fundamental problem with escape responses? Some of you, as you look at this, think about where you tend to fall off. Think about your natural tendencies. Think about what you learned in your home. How do your parents deal with conflict? What was the family style, which you likely, at least in part, inherited? What's the problem with escape responses? You haven't solved anything. How many of you know people who have hopped from a job, and then to another job, and then to another job, and another one? Or hopped from a church to another church? Or they have hopped from one group of friends to another, to another. What's the problem? The fundamental thing that's causing those breakdowns is still coming with them. It's sort of in their backpack. And as they move between friendships, it's never dealt with, so the problem never actually goes away. It's like a ticking bomb that's waiting to go off. That's the problem with being an escaper, or what you might call a conflict avoider. What about attack responses on the other side? If the focus of the escaper is running, the focus of the attacker is winning. OK. I've got to win. I've got to win. Now, again, I look at my own natural tendency. This is absolutely me. I'm a very verbal person. There is nothing I like more than a good argument, or trying to win a good argument. I have a comment for you; just a show of hands. How many of you think you're going to end up in the corporate world? You know, maybe you're in marketing, or law, or something like that? A whole bunch of you, and most of you will at least do a tour of duty through some corporate job. One thing you want to be aware of, the corporate world will train you and reward you to be this way. That's exactly what -- if you go to work for GE or someone like that, that's exactly what they want. They want you to fight for budgets, fight for your project, fight to get done, fight for customers, fight against the competition. They want you to be an attack dog. They will train you to do that and reward you to do that. While that's fine, but don't do what I did, because you can bring that home, and bring that attitude home to your wife and children or to your friends or to your church. If I spent eight to ten hours a day trying to win, I'm going to go home and try to do the same thing. There's nothing wrong with working in corporate life. Be careful that some of the tendencies and behaviors they are looking for are not godly behaviors. You do not want to bring them home into the rest of your life. And then the other one there you see -- what do you see here? You see assault. Now physical assault is not so common, but what do we assault most people with? We assault with our tongue. James calls the tongue a 'restless evil.' It was said of Adolph Hitler that he murdered 50 million people with his tongue. We do this all the time. We use our tongues to hurt people all the time. This is the same way as that guy did originally, you know, 'You go to bed; I'm going to watch a movie.' And that was an exquisitely painful thing for his wife. I'm going to give a little tip here. If there's one thing you should never say in a conflict -- what's the single worst thing you can say in a conflict? It's the fake apology that says, 'I'm sorry you're so sensitive.' That's a brutal attack. When somebody says, 'I'm sorry you're so sensitive, ' not only am I not taking responsibility for my contribution, I am actually saying the thing was your fault. In fact, on one of the cards I read, there's a woman whose husband tends to say to her, 'Hey, just don't be so sensitive.' I just want to gently say to that wife and husband, that he needs to stop saying that. You cannot hurt people, and then blame the hurt on them, unless they are being excessively sensitive, but that is rarer. We attack people with our tongues. And then what's the other kind of assault in American life? It's obviously the lawsuit -- just taking people to court. You know, it's specifically prohibited in one Corinthians 6, but remember this: most of us, even if we never go to court, how often, through gossip and backbiting, are actually trying our case in the court of public opinion. You know, there's a jury out there of our friends, and I can criticize this girl here to my friends, and win the jury over to my position, so I'm vindicated and she's condemned, then I'm pretty happy. We try our case in the jury and court room of public opinion. So we need to be very careful about that. And then, finally, murder. one John 3:15, of course, says, 'If you hate your brother in your heart, you're a murderer.' I'm sure that none of us -- I hope none of us have actually physically killed someone, but Jesus sets the standard somewhere different: that if you hate your brother in your heart, you're a murderer. So, what's the key thing going on in the right? The problem with the attack responses is escalation. Every time I lob a grenade, I'm ratcheting up a conflict. And that's how conflicts go from simple to becoming very complex so becoming very dangerous. We saw in the video this morning, when that guy said, you know, 'Care about this family as much as you care about your dad, ' it suddenly was nothing to do with vacation planning. Or if my wife says, 'You know, Tim, if you cared about being a good husband you wouldn't leave your socks on the floor.' I'm like, 'Whoa! What?' I thought this was about socks, but apparently it's about my overall, you know, failings as a husband. So as we escalate, we just make things far worse. We start grabbing grenades from the nearest pile. Somebody once told me, 'When I get into a fight with my wife, she gets really historical.' I said, 'You mean hysterical.' 'No, historical. She brings up everything I've ever done. You know, she will lob a grenade from everywhere.' And that's the problem with aggressive attacking responses. Now, the way you can use the slippery slope here, is just to think how it presents in your life. You know, some people toggle. They escape, escape, escape, they try to run away, and then they come out swinging. It's a really good thing for you to think about. It's in your prayer project after this session. What are you going to guard against here? What are you going to pray for? Because it tells you a little about how you are wired, and how you can resist that sin. Now, the good news is that there is a top to the slippery slope. There is a godly way that we can approach conflict when it rears its head. And we can really seek reconciliation in relationships. I want to say something very quickly about that. You often hear the phrase, 'conflict resolution, ' and in a conflict, you might think that the big thing you want to do is resolve the issue. So grandma's died, and you know, we need to figure out where her piano goes. You know, that's the issue. I want to make a very important distinction for you. In a conflict, there are two different things going on. You have a relationship issue, and you have sort of the material issue. I just want to say that God is not that interested in the resolution of the issue; he's interested in the reconciliation of the relationship. Do you understand the distinction? So who gets the piano ultimately may or may not be important, but what God's heart is all about is the reconciliation of the relationship. So let's think about that. How do we grow as people who can live well relationally with others and it raises this big question which is great. I'd love to be this person. I'd love to be the person who just lays down their rights, who just decides to do the best thing in these situations. But where does the power come from? How can I actually be a different person? How can I be not the person who swings a punch, but the person who overlooks and shows mercy and kindness and forgiveness. As I said at the end of the first session, the answer here is not try hard, try to be a good person. Learn what God says about how we treat each other, that's just legalism. It's never going to work. How many of you have got up every morning and tried to be a good Christian and it doesn't work. Does it? Where does the power come from in our lives? And the answer is the Gospel. I think I may have said this in the morning. It's the only thing you take away from this two or three days is this point, that the Gospel is the key to relationships and then that would be enough. This is huge. This is real life Christianity right here. How do you connect your faith to the rest of your life, the mess of the rest of your life, all the other relationships and things that are going on? Well let's think about that. Now let's go back into this handout and let's start thinking about the Gospel. So you have here, Session 2: The hope and impact of the Gospel. It's a bit warmer here, I noticed. The first thing I want to say is this. When I use the word Gospel we are probably not all thinking the same thing. It's a term and it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. So let's read here. It's a kind of a definition we put together. What is the Gospel? Now, this is amazing. Isn't it, it really doesn't get any better that this. The Gospel is the incredible news. Follow along with me in the handout. The incredible news that even though we were enemies of God, alienated by our sin, deserving eternal punishment, he reached out to rescue us, sending His Son to take our punishment by dying on the cross. I mean, it just doesn't get any better than this. That's the incredible news. We are enemies of God, alienated by our sins. This is not God's problem, it's our problem, deserving of eternal punishment and He reaches out to rescue us, sending His son to take our punishment by dying on the cross. Now, what does that mean? Now through faith in Jesus, we have been reconciled to God, adopted into His family and given a fresh start, a new life and the supreme gift of enjoying Him forever. There are three passages down there. You will certainly be familiar with John; you would probably be familiar with the other two as well. I just encourage you when you do your sessions later to go back and reflect on those passages. Now, it's a warm afternoon, its 2.30 and we are all kind of ready to dose off now. It's a tough time of the day. Just think about this. It doesn't get any better that this. It doesn't get any better that this. This is the most incredible news, any of us will ever hear. How many of you like me, watched the rescue of the miners in Chile? Wasn't it amazing? I mean, they were saying that probably, possibly the largest TV audience ever. Certainly, sort of philosophically it was as close to Apollo 13 kind of drama and rescue. The only thing that they could even compare it to, it was incredibly moving. Wasn't it? How many of you saw the first guy come out? You mean, just waiting for this guy, can they possibly get out of this. I mean, this is a desperate situation, like a mile underground in this horrifying cave and they have been trapped there for two months and then this capsule comes up and it's incredible dramatic isn't it? Think about it for a second. God's rescue of us was infinitely more dramatic than that. We were trapped in a worst cave, the cave of our sin was far deeper, and it was far darker. We are locked in there, there's no way out and it's a guaranteed death sentence. That's what our sin is. If we are not reconciled to God, we stand condemned. Our sin condemns us to death. There's no hope or ... There is no capsule coming to get us out of that cave. We are completely beyond hope of rescue and what's worse or different from the mine is that they didn't essentially deserve to be there. We absolutely deserved to be there. Our sin placed us in there. We willingly went into that cave essentially and locked ourselves in. But God has this extraordinary rescue plan and unlike the Chilean miners where nobody suffered to get them out, Jesus dies. Jesus dies to get us out of that cave. President of Chile said something interesting after the rescue. He said, today life has defeated death and I get the sentiment, but may be temporarily that's true. You know, our death sentence was eternal. The Chilean rescue only postponed the death of those miners. Christ defeated death truly. The light we come into is eternal. That's the Gospel, that's what we celebrate. That's what we base everything on. That's the amazing grace that we sing about. Here's the question now? What on earth has that got to do with conflict? You might say, isn't that how I am saved? That's how I am saved isn't it? You know, I go from death to life, I have eternal life now. That's how I am saved. I get that; I get the gospel as how I am saved. What has that got to do with relationships? And the answer is everything. It has everything to do with relationships. Look on the page again there. You will see that the problem we tend to have as Christians is that we do see the Gospel as how we are saved and how it's the key to eternal life, which it obviously is. But we don't necessarily see how much bigger than that it is. It's not just this Willy Wonka ticket that gets us into heaven. The Gospel changes everything in our lives, and if you read the New Testament carefully, what you see is the Gospel constantly being applied to life. Paul does not say hey, here's the Gospel. Good news, huh. Let's just talk about how you should live and disconnect them. You never see that. There's a perfect example here in Colossians 3. Look at it on your page, let me read this to you. So Paul is writing, "Therefore, as God's chosen people holy and dearly loved." Now watch that, that's the Gospel. You have been chosen, you've been called out of darkness. We are not in the place we were, we are made holy by God, we are dearly loved by God and then Paul goes on to say, "Therefore, as a result of that, real basic everyday life stuff, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." He says, "bear with each other or bear with one another. Which means what, put up with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against each other. " "Forgive as the Lord forgave you." So Paul as he constantly does gives us instruction for life but he never does it as moralism. He never just says, be good, be nice, be good people. That would just be a New Testament version of legalism. What he always does is connect it back, to the Gospel. In other words, scripture constantly starts with some phrase like, since therefore, since therefore this, then you can do that. In other words the Gospel underpins everything else in our lives. It's absolutely critical that we understand this. Now excuse me. Look on the page here. Let me just give you some examples. These are just four examples. We could have produced 100 things here of just everyday life situations, and what I want you to see is how the Gospel transforms that particular situation. I won't go through all of them. Look at the second one down. How many of us struggle with fear or anxiety in some way. You know, what about the future. What does the future hold? Am I going to get married? Am I going to be happy? Am I going to be healthy? This thing I have been diagnosed with, where is that going to take me. You know, this is me eight weeks ago when my wife, who is a 43-year-old woman, suddenly discovers that she has breast cancer. What are we going to do with that? Well in myself, outside of the Gospel, I am terrified. I am fearful. I don't know what's going to happen. I just consume myself with worry, and I give up hope. But how does the gospel affect that? Well, that's why the word "because" is always involved here. What does Paul say? "If he who did not spare his son but freely gave him up for us all, will he not also along with him freely give us all things?" I look at the gospel and say, "You know what? Because God didn't spare his son, is he not going to take care of everything else?" Of course he is. So the gospel directly informs fear. If God sent Jesus for you, isn't he going to take care of everything else? Of course he is. So the gospel informs fear. What about when we fall into sin? We all do it. You flare up in anger or self-righteousness. You find yourself on your computer, and you're on the wrong website for a few minutes or longer. What do I do in myself? Cover up. I've got to cover this. I've got to hide it. Delete my history trail. Make sure nobody knows where I've been. Best of all, of course, is if I can blame someone else for it. That's what I do in myself. But how does the gospel affect that situation when we failed? Well, I don't need to run from God anymore. I can run to God. What the gospel says is "You know what? You find forgiveness at the cross." So why not run to the cross and find the mercy that God freely gives us at the cross, and then just pick up and move on? I messed up, but I'm not going to let that destroy me. I'm not going to let that define me. So we all mess up, and the gospel totally changes how we think about that. Or even when things are going well. Say you have a really good season in your life, but what do we do naturally? Well, we just love to pat ourselves on the back, don't we? Look at all these gifts I've got. I'm so talented. I have this amusing British accent. Hey, I'm so cool. [laughter] Tim: I love on myself, and I stare at the confidence monitor. "Ooo! It's a very good-looking man there." [laughter] Tim: I just love on myself, and of course I look down on everybody else. But how does the gospel affect that? Well, what I realize in the gospel, all good gifts come from God. What do I have that God didn't give me? Nothing. So instead of just getting all puffed up in my own pride saying, "Hey, I'm just this wonderful person." I'm like, "No, you know what? God, thank you. Thank you that you gave me whatever gifts you gave me, and I begin to thank God and share them with others. I wish I had time. We could have created this table to be 100 categories long. There is no aspect of your life that the gospel doesn't inform. It changes the way we think. The gospel is the power in our lives, the power and the motivation to change who we are as people. Now, that raises a great final question. How does the gospel affect difficult relationships? You're going to turn back then to the page, which is page four but was the first page in your handout. How does the gospel affect difficult relationships, and how does the gospel affect conflict? Now, scripture fortunately for us, is incredibly clear on this because Jesus was specifically asked the question about difficult relationships and he provides an answer. That answer is incredibly informative. You find it in Matthew 18, and it's the parable of the unmerciful servant. This is the most amazing passage of scripture. There are certain passages of scripture, I believe, that it's really helpful for us to stay close to, and this is one of them. It reminds me of a story. Ernest Hemingway, the American Nobel prize-winning author, was set a bet once. I think it was Randolph Hearst actually who did it. He was bet that he could not write a meaningful short story in six words. He thought about it, and he eventually submitted a six-word story. It was deemed that he won the bet. Here is what Hemingway wrote: "For sale, baby shoes, never worn." That's a really masterful writing. It's incredible. Think about it. The point is not the six words. The point is the extraordinary depth that sits behind those six words. Absolutely incredible! In fact a great challenge for you is to write your Biola experience in six words and submit it when you graduate. That would be a fun assignment. I did that once with some high school kids, and it was very interesting. What's my point? There are some passages that are just so unbelievably dense they are incredible, and that's what's going on in these 12 verses. These 12 verses, you could in a sense live your entire life based out of this parable. In fact one writer--I can't remember who it was--said the entire book of Romans is the unpacking of this parable. It is the absolute key to understanding relationships and how to have healthy relationships in your life. If you have a Bible, turn to it. But I'm just going to walk you through the passage, the parable of the unmerciful servant. Now, important, where does it start? Why does Jesus tell the story? Absolutely critical. He tells the story because Peter asked him this question in verse 21. Peter comes up and says to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" So Peter in his normal stupidity is like, "Hey! I'm this really good guy. I'm willing to forgive this guy seven times. Presumably I can just punch him in the face, right? on the eighth time." Now, I don't think Peter finds Jesus' answer particularly helpful because Jesus says, "No, Peter, not seven times. Seventy times seven." 490 times, which by Jewish tradition by the way is in one day. So 500 times in a day. Jesus is saying you never stop forgiving. Jesus is saying that a lifestyle of constant confession and forgiveness is what we need to be living. I suspect Peter didn't find that too helpful, do you? Because he thinks seven's pretty impressive, and Jesus knows this. So Jesus unpacks this interesting answer with this incredible story. Now I can't read you the whole passage, but what's the basic story? The story unfolds in three parts. There's this guy, and he owes this king 10,000 talents. Now obviously we're removed from Bible times, and we don't often really understand what's going on in this story. Do you know how much 10,000 talents is? It's about a bazillion dollars. It's ridiculous how much it is. Just to give you a clue, the entire annual tax levy of Judea at this time is 900 talents. 900! So this guy owes 10,000. This guy owes this other guy the bailout. That's how much he owes him. He owes him the budget deficit. 10 years! OK, that's a lot of money. This is a conservative school. You guys understand how big the deficit is. [laughter] Tim: That's a lot of cash. Quite how this guy ran up this much debt is intriguing to us, isn't it? Well, I have trouble with my credit cards, but this is really going some, 10,000 talents! So when we read on in the story, and the guy throws himself on his knees imploring him, "Have patience with me and I will pay you everything, " this is a joke. This is like Monty Python in scripture. It's a joke! [laughter] Tim: He can't pay this. I'm going to just run out back where I have a Chevy Blazer parked with $4 trillion in it. I'll go get it now. Of course he can't pay it. That's the point of the story. This is a debt he can't pay. This is the debt of our sin to God. He can't pay this debt, so what happens to him? And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. This is unbelievable. The king has mercy and forgives him this extraordinary debt. This is an insane amount of money to be forgiven. That's Jesus' point. Jesus is saying when you're in a conflict, don't start with the other guy. Start with God. Start with the immensity of our unpayable debt to God and the immensity of the forgiveness of that debt. That's how we calibrate. That's what we need to calibrate to. This is actually one of if not the earliest place Jesus explicitly foreshadows the gospel, that sin is going to be forgiven. He doesn't say at this point he is going to be nailed to a cross to make this story come true. But what he's saying is "Hey, forgiveness is coming. This debt is going to be cleaned." So that's scene one. The guy has gone to the throne room and had this incredible debt forgiven. Now scene two. Well, this servant leaves the throne room, and he comes across this other guy who owes him 100 denarii's. Do you know what 100 denarii's is? About $17. $17! Now there's a lesson there for us as well. Our debts, our offenses against each other, are trivial compared to our debt to God. We've got to keep our conflicts in context. Our debts are trivial to each other compared to our debt to God, and that's what Jesus is saying, $17. And the second man uses the exact same words, "His fellow servant fell down to those..." Verse 29... "and pleaded with him, Have patience with me and I will pay you." He uses the exact same words. But what happens? The other guy says, "No way. I want my seventeen bucks, " and he begins to choke him. Now, you read this story, and what's your initial reaction to this first servant? You hate him, don't you? Yeah. "How could you do this? You've just been forgiven an unimaginable amount, and you can't forgive this guy $17? You scumbag!" And we look at him and we hate him. Now, look again. Who am I in this story? I'm the first servant. Think about it. I've received all this mercy from God: all of my lusts, and pride, and anger, and self-righteousness, and self-pity. There's filth that permeates my heart. I've been forgiven all of this. And then my wife snaps at me, and I punish her by giving her the cold shoulder for three days. I want my $17. This must have cut Peter to the heart, because who are we in this story? We're not God, and we're not the second servant. We are the first servant. This is who we are. We forget the mercy God showed us, and we try and extract our seventeen dollars from our friends and roommates, because we can't remember that we've just been in the Throne Room. Now, how does Jesus close the story? Jesus closes the story; the king discovers this. The servants are distressed. The report to the king discovers it, and he exercises justice. And he says these words. These are Jesus' words to us, "You wicked servant. I forgave you all that debt, because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy to your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you? Should you not have extended mercy to your fellow servant, as I extended mercy to you?" It's Jesus saying. He's saying, yes, the gospel saves you, yes. But how can it not affect you? How can it not be connected to the rest of your life? This guy, it's like he got it in his head, but it wasn't in his heart. He knew he'd been forgiven. He was in the Throne Room. But he could not, or just would not, connect it to the rest of his life. Have any of you read much of the book of Jonah? I love Jonah! He's the scumbag of the Old Testament. He hated everybody. He loves God. He quotes 14 different Psalms, in his prayer in Jonah, three. He's an orthodox guy. He hates everybody. He hates the Ninevites. He hates the sailors. He hates God. He hates the plant. He hates the worm that he's got. He hates everybody, but he just claims to love God. This guy's like Jonah. He's received mercy from God, but, boy, it's not going to flow over to anyone else. We love to receive grace. We just don't like to pass it on. We love to receive mercy, but we have real difficulty passing it on. And that's what Jesus is getting at, here. Jesus' instruction to us is; the gospel must, continuously, overflow. We are the most forgiven people in the world. We can be the most forgiving. We're not better than anyone else. Yeah, absolutely, we are the most forgiven people in the world. [applause] People always have this misconception of Christians, that we think that we're better than anyone else. Are you kidding? We're the only people who truly know how bad we are. I know my own heart. I know the filth that's in my own heart. I know what I'll watch on TV if no one's home. I know that if I don't have accountability partners, which I do, on my laptop, where I'll go. I know what I am inside. I'm not better. I'm forgiven. We're the most forgiven people in the world, because when we apply that, we can become the most forgiving. We can show mercy; because of the mercy we've been shown. I look at how my life works now. And I said earlier that my life used to look a lot like the first video. It really did. It really did. But now, by God's grace there's more of just a constant culture in my life like, " Hey kids, I'm sorry. I yelled at you guys. You did not deserve that. That was just me craving peace and quiet. I'm sorry. Would you forgive me?" And they forgive me. It's just a constant culture of confession, forgiveness, confession, forgiveness, between me and my wife both ways, between me and my kids both ways, guys I work with. That's just the place we live, and it's all ultimately underpinned by the gospel. Now, I want to make one thing very clear. This is not some sort of legalistic math. It's not like somebody comes up to me and says, " Oh I messed up. I'm sorry Tim. Will you forgive me?" And I'm like, " Well I guess so. I've been forgiven three trillion dollars, I can let you off your seventeen." It's not like math. It's not like, " Well OK. I was forgiven this. I could forgive that." And how do we know that? The way we know that is because something, you don't need to turn there, but something is going on in. Luke: 7. Luke: Seven is a very interesting story that's a parallel to Matthew:18. Do you remember the story? Jesus has gone to the house of Simon the Pharisee, who is a complete snot. He's disrespectful and rude to Jesus from the very first verse. And what happens is, this woman comes in. And by tradition, she's a prostitute, though the scripture doesn't say that. And she experiences Jesus, she experiences forgiveness. And what does she do? She comes undone. She's just unglued by it. She's so overcome by her experience of forgiveness, she starts to sob. And she's sobbing enough that she can wash his feet with her tears. Do you know how much you have to cry to do that? She is just unglued. She's washing his feet with her tears, and drying them with her hair. Then Simon the snot comes out and says, " Eww Jesus. If you knew who she was you wouldn't let her do this." And it's funny because the scripture actually says: he thinks to himself and then Jesus answers him. That must have freaked him out a little bit. [laughter] Because he thinks this and then Jesus says, " Hey Simon, let me talk about what you're thinking there." Now only two places does Jesus use this image of the two debts, Matthew:18 and here in. Luke: 7. He says, " Simon, I've got a question for you. There were two guys who owed money to a money lender. One owed him 500 denarii's and one owed him 50, both were forgiven. Which one will love the money lender more? " And Simon in his snotty way, says, " Well the one who was forgiven the bigger debt, I suppose." It's great the way it's written. He's a total snot, I suppose. And Jesus said, " You have answered correctly." And then Jesus says this incredible thing to Simon that both nails Simon down and explains Matthew:18. He says, " Do you get the point Simon? Whoever's forgiven much, loves much." Bingo. That's what it's all about. That's what we don't see in Matthew:18. He's the negative example. The positive example is the woman in. Luke: 7. She's completely overcome. Her forgiveness, she can't stop it flowing out. Just like Zacchaeus. He's like, " Everything changed." And it changed in his life. He isn't just going to go to heaven. He's going to go and give all the money back. Do you see what we're saying here? This may be the most important thing I'm going to say today. The degree to which you love and forgive others is directly connected to your understanding of how much God loves and has forgiven you. I'm going to say that again. The degree to which you love and forgive others is directly connected to your understanding of how much God loves and forgives you. If any of you wake up in the morning and say, " I want to be different. I love God. I believe in the gospel. And then I'm still this horrible person. I hate myself a lot of the time." Trust me guys, I've been there. I know. I still feel that some days. I just wish I was better. I can't just try and be better. Where does power come from in the Christian life? The degree to which you love and forgive others is directly connected to your understanding of how much God loves and forgives you. That's not me talking. It's Jesus talking. Whoever is forgiven much, loves much. As I was preparing for this and praying. I have a specific application here. I have a sense, I hope it's a sense from God, there's several women here who are struggling with bitterness, really struggling with bitterness. Unforgiveness of someone else, either in general or based on a certain situation, and it's tearing you apart. You ever heard the phrase, " Unforgiveness is the poison we drink, hoping someone else will die." That's some of you. And I just want to encourage you, and I would love to pray for you at the end, maybe come up and pray with me or pray with me and Annette. There is freedom for you in this, and the freedom comes from understanding the Gospel. The freedom comes from understanding the magnitude of God's forgiveness, and that's the only way you will get free from that. That is the antidote to bitterness, is the gift of forgiveness, our ability to release offenses and hurts to God. If that's you, please come and see us later for this specific application. I want to make an outrageously provocative statement to you: When the Gospel gets big in your heart, relationships get easy in your life. Now, you're going to go away in, like good student fashion, like, "No way. Come on, you're crazy". OK, that's not the whole truth, but it's not far from it. When you see the hurts you receive through the lens of God's forgiveness of you, it totally changes how you respond to it. I don't need to hold on to my $17 when I remember the $3 trillion God forgave and continues to forgive me of. You always want to deal with your difficult relationships through the lens of the Gospel. It will vaccinate you against bitterness, taking offense, holding grudges, all these kinds of things. So, Jesus is saying something interesting to us. He's saying, "You want to live every day like you just left the throne room." And that's really hard. Martin Luther once said he felt as if Jesus had only died yesterday. I wish that was true for me. It's so important that we do that. How many of you here were saved relatively recently? I guess it's all relative. I'm 49 years old. To me, all of you were saved relatively recently... [laughter] Because you've only been alive relatively recently. [laughter] But you know, to those of you who were saved relatively recently, then the experience of the throne room is very fresh. Carry it with you. Carry it with you. It's hard for me. I was saved on the 17th of April, 1979. Pretty dramatic. It was 10 years before you guys were born, which is pretty depressing. But if I can live today like I just left the throne room, all of those conflicts, all those tensions, all those offenses, they just get so much easier because everything done to me remains in the context of what God's done for me. Do you see that? So you want to live each day just remembering that you just left the throne room. Now, how do you do that? Simple. Last point. How do you do this? You've got to stay close to the Gospel. Meditate on it. Read the great passages of scripture. Some of them are in your hand-out. A really good way is singing about it, you know, before the throne of God above, and in fact, there's a song I've asked us to sing afterwards called "Grace Unmeasured". It's unbelievable. If the only legacy of this talk is you sing that song on a regular basis, I'll be happy. The words are so extraordinarily powerful about what God has done for us. Let me close with this: You might be sitting there, saying, "OK, I get this, but it's sort of worrying me a little bit, because I do understand the Gospel, I do believe the Gospel, I do believe I'm saved, but it really hasn't changed me that much and that worries me a little bit. I don't live my life like I just left the throne room. How do I get the Gospel to change my heart?" Well, we're all there. Any given day, I can forget the Gospel and lash out at someone I love. Here's the answer. How can you get the Gospel to change your heart? You can't, because only one person changes hearts, and that's God. I want to finish with this scripture. It's in your hand-out. "How does our heart change? God does it." I want to just read you this passage from Ezekiel, two verses from Ezekiel. Listen to who's doing the "I" and who's the "you" in this passage. This is God speaking to us. "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." It's God who changes us. It's God who gives us a new heart. If you're struggling with conflict and you want God to break in and change your perspective, that's fantastic. The answer for you is not trying hard, the answer is asking God to change your perspective, to change you from the inside out. Let's close with this video, which is just a sense of how the Gospel changes our perspective. And then [cuts out] back and pray. Voice on video: [over background music] The conflicts that rage all around us can't be solved by the cross, and I do not believe I will find peace in my own life. My problems are too big for Jesus. I refuse to believe that churches can be reconciled and come to live in peace, but it's because of God we fight and quarrel. It's happening all around the world. It's what happened in northern Ireland. Yeah. It's what happened in my church. Can people who hate each other ever come to be reconciled? The Gospel doesn't change things. Only a fool believes the reckless promise of God, that there's real hope in this broken world. This is what I believe. This is what I believe. That there's real hope in this broken world, the reckless promise of God. Only a fool believes the Gospel doesn't change things. Can people who hate each other ever come to be reconciled? Yes. That's what happened in my church. It's what happened in northern Ireland. It's happening all around the world. We fight and quarrel, but it's because of God churches can be reconciled and come to live in peace. I refuse to believe that my problems are too big for Jesus. I will find peace in my own life, and I do not believe the conflicts that rage all around us can't be solved by the cross. [applause] Tim: That's true. I would love to go on, but I can't and I won't and I shouldn't. Let's pray. [laughter] Tim: God, what an honor it is to camp out, even for a few moments, on the Gospel. The amazing truth, God, every one of us who's saved here has entered your throne room and has had an unimaginably large debt released. God, the debt of my sin was unpayable. There was no other solution, there was no rescue, there was no capsule to get me out of that cave, God, but you reached into humanity and rescued us at the price of the blood of your son. God, I pray not only that we would not only rejoice in our salvation, but, Lord, we would learn how to apply that in every aspect of our lives, especially, Lord, in relationships and conflict. That, God, we would see offenses against us as so small and trivial, that we would begin to extend the love, mercy, kindness to others that reflects, Lord, the love, mercy and kindness that you've shown us. Pray, God, specifically for anyone here struggling with bitterness, that you would help them to view offenses against them in the light of the Gospel and free them from that pain and hurt of that bitterness, however serious of an offense, that we don't minimize those offenses in any way. I pray, God, for anyone who's just aware of a conflict they have with someone, maybe even someone in this room, and you're convicting them, Lord. You are calling them to go and be reconciled and let the cross be bigger than that conflict. Lord, as we close now, we just want to draw our attention back to you, to the Gospel through song. God, thank you for this time. I just pray that we continue to be rich for the next two days, that you would touch lives in a profound and permanent way. In Jesus' name, Amen. [applause] We hope you enjoyed this message. Biola University offers a variety of Biblically-centered degree programs, ranging from business to ministry to the arts and sciences. Learn more at biola.edu.

References

  1. "Pollard, Ernest Mark". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved February 21, 2006.
  2. "Pollard, Ernest Mark". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 21, 2006.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Elmer J. Burkett (R)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 1st congressional district

July 18, 1905 – March 3, 1909
Succeeded by
John A. Maguire (D)



This page was last edited on 11 July 2019, at 08:55
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