Someone is causing a problem. But you don’t know who it is. At first, you actually don’t even know what it is. . God created a perfect world. Much of His original Creation still exists to a great degree, continues uncorrupted, and remains extremely beneficial. One thinks of the great outdoors, fresh fields, an […]OUTING EVIL, RESISTING TEMPTATION, AND DODGING DESTRUCTION: A SPIRITUAL VICTORY PRIMER
Hello folks, I hope you are doing good.
By reading the headlines of this blog you might have understood what I’m about to write next.
It’s a really really important topic and i want you to ponder on it , you may know this verse very clearly but even then i would suggest you to read this paragraph again.
Do you believe whatever you give comes back to you ; whatever you do to others , that happens with you.
The way you use your tongues, the same type of words you are going to listen.
What i mean to say here is that whatever we give others comes back to us.
Just believe this.
Now ask yourself what do you need in your life !
Job ? Peace ? Worried about your marriage ? Want a beautiful house ? Car? Physical and emotional healings?Or let it be anything !
Just use the law that’s described in the Bible.
A man reaps what he sows ( Galatians 6:7) Bible
Now how to let this law work for you !
Do not pray for yourself what you need , rather pray for others that need the same thing that you need in your life.
If you need miracles in your life, pray for the healing of other people, pray for their needs and the healing will come back to you. Whatever you pray for others comes back to you.
Does it seem useless?
Just try this and you will find amazing results.
The words written in Bible is 100 % correct and there are many secrets hidden in it .
Oh God, my God I seek You
I wanna move when You move
You’re more than I could long for
I thirst for You
You’re an ocean to my soul
To my soul
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Running wild and free
You hear my heart when I call, when I call
Deep calls, too deep
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Raining down on me
Oh God, my God I seek You
In this dry and desert land
You lead me to streams of mercy
You’re an ocean to my soul
To my soul
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Running wild and free
You hear my heart when I call, when I call
Deep calls, too deep
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Raining down on me
It’s coming like a flood
I’m dancing in the rain
Everything I’ve done
Is covered in rivers of grace
Oh it’s coming like a flood
I’m dancing in the rain
I lift up my hands
Your love never changes
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Running wild and free
You hear my heart when I call, when I call
Deep calls, too deep
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall (waterfall)
Raining down on me
Raining down on me (raining down)
Raining down on me (raining down)
It’s coming like a flood
I’m dancing in the rain
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
We’ve heard already this evening an emphasison the recovery of the gospel. And so, it’s almost an unscientific postscriptfor me to ask the very simple question, what is the gospel? What is this gospel that was so important,so vital, and so controversial in the 16th century? Let me begin by saying what the gospel isnot. The gospel is not our personal testimonies. Our personal testimonies may be of interestto people and may be used of God to introduce a conversation about the gospel. We may have methods of evangelism that we’velearned, such as the evangelism explosion, diagnostic questions—”have you come to theplace in your thinking where you know for sure that when you die, you’re going to goto Heaven?” And then it’s followed by “if you were todie and stood before God tonight and God said to you, why should I let you enter my Heaven,what would you say?” Those questions aren’t the gospel.
They’re a wonderful introduction to discussionsand conversations about the gospel. Or you may have heard the idea that God lovesyou and has a wonderful plan for your life. That may or may not be true, in the finalanalysis. The reprobate won’t find the plan so great,but in any case, that also is not the gospel. What is the gospel is found on the pages ofsacred Scripture. And there are two distinct aspects about thegospel. And those aspects are what I would distinguishbetween the objective content of the gospel, and then secondly, the subjective appropriationof the gospel. In very simple terms, the controversy of the16th century did not focus on the first part, on the objective gospel. The objective gospel simply is this: it’sJesus. Who He is, and what He has done. His life of perfect obedience, sinless-ness,His substitutionary atonement, His resurrection, His ascension into Heaven, His promise ofHis return. But when we get to the subjective aspect ofthe gospel, that’s where the controversy raged. And that’s this question: “How does the lifeof Christ, how is the work of Christ and its benefits, appropriated to us?” Now the Roman Catholic Church had a very complexanswer to that question. And it tried to answer that question. They went back in history to use the languagethat was first formulated by the philosopher Aristotle. In antiquity, Aristotle was concerned aboutmany questions of science, many questions of physics and metaphysics, and one of thequestions that really puzzled the philosophers of that day was: “what is motion?” Some even questioned whether motion was actuallyreal, there were skeptics who challenged the very notion. But Aristotle applied his keen mind to thequestion of motion, and what he was looking about was he noticed that everything in theworld was subject to change, mutation. And so, he tried to analyze the motion ofchange. He realized that change itself was motion. And so he, in his analysis, distinguishedseveral different causes for motion. And to simplify his analysis, as he did himself,he used the illustration of a statue. How is it that a statue comes into being?
A statue is something that results from tremendouschange from the original matter out of which the statue is made. And so he spoke about the material cause ofstatues. And he defined the material cause as thatout of which a thing is made. But then he discerned several other aspectsof the causality involved in the production of the statue. He said what’s the efficient cause of thestatue? The answer is simple, the efficient causeof the statue is the sculptor, who moves and changes and forms the matter, and turns itinto a beautiful piece of work. And that efficient cause also requires a sufficientcause, that cause that was able to do the actual work and bring it to completion. But in addition to that, Aristotle noticedeven different causes. He spoke of a formal cause. And he described the formal cause as the planor the blueprint. It was either written on paper or it was simplyin the mind of the sculptor. Later on, Michelangelo, perhaps the greatestsculptor of all time, had a series of unfinished statues that he called the Prisoners, becausehe would look at a block of Carrara marble and he would see, before he would even pickup his tools, the finished product. And he thought that his task was to chiselaway at that block of stone and release the form that was already contained within it. And Aristotle also noted what he called thefinal cause—the purpose for which these changes take place. And in the case of sculpture, he said thatthe purpose of the sculpture may be to beautify the gardens of a wealthy merchant, or to adornthe property of a pope.
But then in all that definition of differentkinds of causality, he focused on another kind of causality, which he described as theinstrumental cause. The tools or the instruments that the sculptoruses to form, shape, and change that block of wood into the finished product. Well, you didn’t come here to hear about Aristotle. But the language that was used by Aristotlein this regard was incorporated into the church. And so, the church used all these differentdefinitions of causality. And at the very heart of the dispute in the16th century was this question: What is the instrumental cause of our justification? What is the means by which our salvation andour justification takes place? And Rome was very clear in their definitionof what the instrumental cause of justification was. They found the instrumental cause of justificationin the sacraments—two most importantly. Initially, the sacrament of Baptism. This is why we speak of the Roman Catholicview as being sacramental and sacerdotal, something that is accomplished through theworking of the priests who used the instruments necessary to bring people to a state of grace. And the first instrumental cause of our justification,they said, was the sacrament of Baptism. Which Baptism worked “ex opera operato,” bythe sheer “working of the works” that the person who was baptized in this sacramentreceived the infusion of justifying and saving grace. And that grace put them, at least temporarily,in a state of grace, in a state of justification, until or unless that person committed mortalsin. And mortal sin was defined as sin so egregious,so severe, that it killed or destroyed the grace of justification in the sinner, so thatthe person who was baptized, if he died in mortal sin, would go to Hell. But there was a recipe to recover justificationfor the person who committed mortal sin, and that was called “The second plank of justification,(comma) for those who have made shipwreck of their souls.”
And the second plank of justification, accordingto Rome—and I don’t mean to use a pun—it was a cardinal issue of the doctrine of justificationin the 16th century, because the sacrament of Penance included various parts: confession,absolution, acts of contrition, absolution from the priest, and then finally—the controversialpart—works of satisfaction. And one of the works of satisfaction couldbe the giving of alms for the poor or to the church, which was the foundation for the wholeprocess of indulgences. And so, the paying of indulgences was to makeuse of one of the ways in which one could achieve congruous merit, merit that wouldmake it congruous for God to restore the sinner who has lost the grace of justification toonce again be in a state of justification. And so, Rome stood firm on this principle,that the instrumental cause of justification is found in the sacraments. First the sacrament of Baptism, and then inthe sacrament of Penance.
That was the clash. Because when Luther came to his understandingof justification by faith alone, the affirmation of the Reformers was this: that the instrumentalcause of justification is not found in the sacraments, it’s found in faith. Faith is the instrument, indeed the sole instrument,by which people are justified. And that was the battle. That was the fight. And again, the question justification, themeaning of justification by faith, as it’s already been intimated to you this evening,was only shorthand for justification by Christ. When we say that justification is by faith,we are talking about the instrumental datum—the means by which a person is justified. And justification by faith simply means thatthe instrument of our justification is that with faith and by faith and through faith,we are linked to Jesus, so that all that He is, and all that He has done, is given tous. Justification is by Christ alone. You know, again, in terms of this languageof causality, the Reformers used another term that Aristotle never thought about in hisday, and that was the meritorious cause of our salvation. And when the Reformers spoke of the meritoriouscause of our salvation, they spoke of the merit of Jesus Christ alone. Solus Christus—justification—the meansis the instrument by which we’re linked to Jesus and His righteousness is given to usby faith. That’s what Paul was saying in Romans 1. That’s what Luther was repeating in the Reformation—thejust shall live by faith. The alone instrument by which we are justified. Amen.
I’m going to show yousome of the hindrances to faith so that you can remove all ofthose kinds of things out of your life. God has planned foryou to have great faith. Now, this teaching is going to teachyou exactly how to develop strong faith. Get your Biblesand pencils and papers ready. Let’s go into it. It’s calledDeveloping Strong Faith. BILL: The idea about strongfaith is that the assumption is that you’re going into Canaan.In Canaan there are giants. Let’s just assume theyare not your friends. Yet, they have what belongsto you. You’re going to have to take it by faith.The only faith that can take that that belongsto people from that land of Canaan is going to haveto be strong faith. When you have strong faith it means youcan have it the way you want it. You dictate the terms. You callthe shots. Now, secondly I am not up here for my health. I donot plan to give you all of this and you do nothing with it. I amup here so that you can add to your life and be able to fulfillthe destiny that God has for you. All right, let’s look atRomans chapter four. I’ll start reading in verse 17. “(As it iswritten, I have made thee a father of many nations,) beforehim whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, andcalleth those things which be not as though they were. Whoagainst hope believed in hope, that he might become the fatherof many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shallthy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not hisown body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old,neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered notat the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong infaith,” underline that, “and giving glory to God; And beingfully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able alsoto perform.” Over in Ephesians, chapter six we see in verse ten,”Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power ofhis might.” I want you to be able to connect those twoscriptures together, because you can’t be strong in the Lordwithout being strong in faith. I want you to connect these twotogether.
Now, again faith is vital and it’s vital for thebeliever. Here’s some of the things that I talked about aboutfaith, that it says that over in Acts chapter 26, in verse 18,that we’re sanctified by faith. Over in Hebrews 11:6 you can’tplease God without faith. It says over in Galatians 3:14 thatwe receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. In Romanschapter 1:17 he said the just shall live, how? By faith. In 2Corinthians 5:17 that we walk by faith. In Romans 3:28 and Romans5:1 he said that we are justified by faith. Do you knowwhat justified means? It means made righteous. It means maderighteous. Say “I’m made righteous.” You can say I am therighteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and you can say it byfaith. He said also in Romans chapter 12 in verse three thatwe have the measure of faith. In Romans 10:8 he said wepreach the word of faith. In 2 Corinthians 1:24 he said byfaith we stand. Glory to God. In Romans 14:23 that whateveris not of faith is sin. In Ephesians chapter 6 in verse 16he said taking the shield of faith. He said in Colossians 2:7we are established in the faith. In 1 Peter chapter 1:9 he saidyou receive the end of your faith. In 1 Peter chapter 5:9 hesays that we resist the devil by faith. If you don’t have faithyou can’t resist the devil. That’s what he just told me. Nowhere I just put an extra one down there for myself. It’scalled crazy faith.
Oh, Lord, crazy faith of people whoseminds are no longer governed by what they see. That’s a personwith some crazy faith. Faith is important. It’s important toevery believer. In any church that you may go into, the faithmust be taught, what faith is, how faith comes and how to makeit work. When we look at this, we look at those two verses inRomans chapter four and Ephesians chapter ten that wejust went through, that we don’t start out with strong faith. Itsaid first, I think it was in Romans chapter … Let’s go backto Romans chapter four again. He said in verse, 19, he said,”Being not weak in faith”. He wasn’t weak in faith. It’spossible that somebody could be weak in faith. Abraham didn’tstart out being strong in faith, that’s my point. My point to youis in 2 Thessalonians, chapter one in verse three Paul talksabout the faith. He said, “Thy faith groweth exceedingly.”Whatever measure of faith God gives you, he is counting on youto grow that faith. He is not counting on you to have thatfaith to stay weak. Now, people who have not grown in faith,look at 1 Corinthians chapter three, please, in verse one. Hesaid, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as untospiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.”He said, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: forhitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are yeable. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among youenvying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal,and walk as mere men?” That’s what it says in Amplified. Nowthat’s kind of interesting because division, division isnothing but racism.
you’re a racist you are carnal. If youare carnal you can never develop strong faith. Can I get an Amenin this house? Now, once you develop strong faith, you gofrom your flesh to your spirit. I don’t know whetheryou know it or not, but your spirit looks like Jesus.You were born of him. You were born of the seed of theWord of God. You look just like Jesus. The onlything outside different as your pigmentation,your color so forth and so on but that’s notthe real you. Say amen. But people who think it’s the realthem are carnal. When they’re carnal they’re not going to beable to receive certain things. Galatians 4:1, they’re not goingto be able to receive certain things. Look what it says. “NowI say that the heir,” this is you. “As long as he’s a childdiffers nothing from a servant though he be Lord of all.” Let’stake that same verse and put it up there in the Amplifiedtranslation please. He said, “Now what I mean is this. Thatas long as the the inheritor, the heir is a child, childishand underage, he does not differ from a slave although he’s themaster of the whole estate.” This earth does not belong toSatan. It belongs to God and his family. Got it? It belongs toGod and his family, but I told you something about great faith.I said this. I said this strong faith that we’re talking abouthere, is this faith that it means that you can have it theway you want it. Nothing is supposed to take place in thisearth without your permission. One more time. Nothing issupposed to take place on this planet without your permission.God even told you something. Whatever you bind on earth isbound in heaven. Say amen to this. Nothing, not a thing, nota storm, not al-Qaeda, not ISIS, not a nothing without yourpermission. Now this, I’m going to show you how far the churchhas been down there, but there’s a reason for it. There’s areason for the church has been down there. But how many youknow we coming out? I’m coming out. All right. So what am Isaying? What has happened? Most Christians have never grown.Number one, why? Because they were never fed. They were neverfed. They were never fed man. Thank God for the big choir. Butit won’t grow you. I mean sure enough, that’s why in terms ofpraise and worship, I like to speak the Word. I like to speakthe Word. I like you to sing the Word. You know, and that …Some of them songs, we need to remix those things because that…
I run through the river and down on the wall, great is thearmy that carries out God’s … I mean some, they may sound likethey’re kind of corny or something but they’re faithbuilders. I am an example. That’s all I knew. That’s all Igrew up on. But sometimes today we have some shows. TheChristian meanwhile still broke, still in debate, and fussingat one another and fussing over a seat. When they ought to buythe whole place. No. It’s what they’ve been taught. Been taughtnothing. I’m telling you I can get you going and never have ascripture. Mama went home that night … I can get you goingand somebody will shout. And ain’t mention one scripture. TheBible says in Matthew 4:4, it says “Man shall not live bybread alone but by every word the proceedth out of the mouthof God.” When you preach it you got to preach the whole counselof God. The whole, a balanced word. You’ve got to preach fromGenesis to Revelation. You got to preach the whole thing.Because if you don’t and just preach all the Twinkies andgoodies then what you got over there is a lot of goodies and alot of sin. Ain’t no holiness. Is this the right bunch I’mtalking to? Now this is the biggest reason. Now he said thatthey, you know when they’re babies when they’re not still onmilk and having little faith and so forth like that, they can’tgo in there and take their stuff back.
You can’t go in there. Theidea about it is you have got to take stuff. Look at Matthew11:12, he talking about that up from the days of John theBaptist, even til now the kingdom of heaven suffersviolence. The violence going to have to do what? You’re going tohave to take it man. You’re going to have to take it. Thedevil is not giving up your healing. You have to take thatthing. You’re going to have to say it right there in the midstof that report, in the midst of that x-ray you’re going to haveto say something about your healing and if you are weak infaith, you will not say that because you’ll feel intimidated.Y’all came for the Word didn’t you? Say it’s in the Word. Oh wecan do these things. You just got to get something to eat.Dang. Little Twinkies, you can’t run the marathon on Twinkies?Are you following what I’m saying? You need some beans,butter beans, squash, turnip greens, cornbread. See there,you about to go now ain’t you. Amen. Praise God. Praise Godpastor. Amen. I was jut putting a little humor in there but youfollow what I’m saying, that every time he change theirlocation from Egypt to the wilderness to Canaan he changetheir diet. He change their diet. You can’t be in Canaaneating manna. It won’t work folks. All right. MostChristians never grow because most Christians have never beenfed. All right? Now, 1 Peter 2:2 says for us to desire thesincere milk of the Word that we may grow thereby. God plans onyou to grow. You can’t be a 40 year old Christian coming inhere with a diaper on talking about bah bah. Okay? That’s,we’re not going to do that anymore, okay? Now but there’sanother reason why people don’t grow. Because they’ve neveracted on the Word.
never acted on the Word. Now that’svery important. That we not only hear this but act on it. I thinkthat is a piece that in my life I was determined to do. I wasdetermined that this, I’m going to act on this. You know I maynot be totally convinced of this but I’m going to do something. Ijust cannot fathom being in this kingdom, having a faith that canmove a mountain and I’m never going to try it. It takes, likeI said crazy faith. You got to be able to point at your walleton the table. You feel what I’m saying? You got to take thatcheckbook and point at that check book and tell that bankaccount what to do. Let’s look at Hebrews, and Hebrews chapter5. Look at Hebrews 5:12 please. There? These are some scripturesthere. He said, “For when the time you ought to be teachers.You have need of one teach you again which be of the firstprinciples of the oracles of God and are become such as have needof milk and not of strong meat. For everyone that uses milk is…” What? “Unskillful in the word of righteousness for he isa …” Who? “Baby. But strong meat belongs to them that arefull aged. Even those who by reason of use have their sensesexorcized to deserve both good and evil.” Say amen to that.James 1:22. I’m giving you all of this because I’m giving youthe reason that we need to teach this. We need to go into it.Why? Because the church instead of being the place of influence,a lot of time the church has been the place of ridicule.We’ve been laughed at. They don’t come by hereexcept when the election time comes. So what youhave do is well wait a minute. You’re supposedto come to me all the time. Matter of fact, I’m supposedto be leading this parade. Because I have the wisdom ofGod in me. Say amen to that. Now you’re not trying toput anybody down, but you are trying to lift Jesus up. “But beye doers of the word and not hearing owners, deceiving yourown selves. Watch this. For if any be a hearer of the word andnot a doer he’s like unto a man beholding his natural facein glass. Where he beholdeth himself and goeth hisway and straight way forgets what manner of man he was. Butwho so looketh unto the perfect law of liberty and continueththerein. Being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work,this man shall be,” what? “Blessed indeed.” He promisesyou that. He said “If you act on my word you will not beashamed.” Say amen to that. Belief means unqualifiedcommittal. It’s unqualified. It’s unqualified. Itdoesn’t care what extent I have to believe, butit’s unqualified. I’m going to believe it anyway.Suppose it don’t work? I’m going to believeit anyway. It’s unqualified. When you really believe, you’llact. You will act. You can not sit there. You will dosomething. So what do you do? How do you do this? Let’s justtake an example, so a headache comes. “Honey, excuse me. Do youhave any Tylenol?” Okay, instead of asking for that first, ask doyou have a Bible first. “Do you have …
Do you have Bible?” Areyou following what I’m saying? Then go through a fewscriptures on you know … healing and how God took yourpain and so forth like that. Just start trying to work yourfaith. Because you have it. A lot of times people have it, butthey’re just sitting on it. They won’t act on it. It’s not meantthat you hear this much Word with no action. It’s not meantfolks. That’s … Somebody says, “Well that runs in my family.”Get it out! Change families. Just get it out and the devilwill tell you in a minute he going to kill you, so you justmay as well get over that. This Word is not true because itworked for you. It’s true anyhow. Whether you never workit. This thing is true man. I ain’t putting my faith inwhat Joe-doe did. Am I right about it? I’m doing thisnow because I’m tearing down all these sacred cows. People comein here with all that, “Well my church said …” Your church …if it’s not in this book, tell your church … This is theattitude you have to have to have … watch this … strongfaith. Now if you’re going to have weak faith you can do that,but if you’re going to have strong faith and tell thedevil what to do, it’s in the book. Get thebook. Open the book. Isn’t this good? Now todevelop strong faith. But was strong in faith,giving glory to God. BILL: Well I trust thatyou were blessed by this message now. Here’s acouple of points that I want you to remember. Number one, God hasgiven every believer the measure of faith. What I mean by that isthat there is a faith that once you get born again, that Godinjects into your spirit. That’s it and it’s no different for youthan it is for me. Now the difference is, we have todevelop it. You have to get it stronger and stronger. Somepeople spend more time developing theirs than others,so they can do more for the kingdom than other people cando. But you want to grow your faith. Number two, we don’tstart with strong faith. It has to be developed. Sometimespeople hear me and talk about the things that we believe Godfor. An airplane or a shopping mall. I’m a believe God forme an eighteen bedroom home. Well wait a minute, start witha bow tie. Start with a pocketbook. Just let God workwith you and develop your faith. You’re going to find that whenyou act on the Word of God, and whatever level you’re at rightnow, you hear it and act on it, it’s going to develop strongfaith. Well I trust that you enjoyed this broadcast.We’re going to see you next time, so until thenkeep walking by faith. ANNOUNCER: Your faith is likeyour physical muscles. The more you excercise and train it,the stronger it becomes. The stronger you build and developyour faith, the more victories you will see in your life. Learnhow to stregnthen and develop your faith in Dr. Winston’sdynamic series, Developing Strong Faith.
To order your copyof this powerful message on CD or MP3 on DVD or MP4, contactus online at billwinston.org. You can also call us at1-800-711-9327. Whatever level of faith you are currently at,it’s important to build it to even greatermeasures. We don’t start off with strong faith, wemust develop it with the seed of the Word of God. Order thispowerful message today. ANNOUNCER: Everybody isborn in this earth with a gift. A God givengift, meant to serve humanity and promote you to placesof influence. Doctor’s Bill and Veronica Winstoninvite you to the 2017 Missions and MarketplaceConference, presented by the Joseph BusinessSchool. Hosted by Living Word Christian Center in ForestPark, Illinois. Friday, April twenty-first and Saturday, Apriltwenty-second, mark your calendars for two days ofworkshops and masterclasses uniquely designed to challenge,inspire and empower you for greatness. Speakers include topbusiness and ministry leaders. Discover how to reshape theculture of the marketplace by bridging your gift with yourfaith.
This is the gospel of Mark, MarkFor Beginners, the subtitle is Mark, the Urgent Gospel, and I’ll explain thatin a minute. Lesson number one in this series and we’re going to do a littleintroduction and background. I call this gospel the urgent gospel because, acouple of reasons: one, it’s the shortest of the four gospel records. Probably wasthe first one written and we kind of see that, because if you read Lukeyou’ll see that 350 verses in Luke were taken directly from Mark. And Lukesays he studied different records and he’s put a history together, so part ofthat gathering of information must have come from Mark’s Gospel. Mark spendsabsolutely no time whatsoever explaining Jesus’s family background. It’s amazing, allthe other writers they give the birth and the prophecies.In John, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, andthis whole long philosophical thing Mark jumps right in verse one, Jesus,the Divine Son of God, period. We got that out of the way, let’s keep moving on.He’s a man, he’s driven and I mean, he’s driven. It’sas if he’s kind of in a hurry to begin making a witness for Jesus as soon aspossible.
Before getting into the text, as always when we’re studying a text ofthe Bible, I like to do a little bit of background information. There were twomajor periods in the first century in which the gospel was circulated, and itwas circulated in two different ways. First of all, it was circulated, what wecall the oral period from about 33 to 60 A.D. During this time the gospel waspreached orally and transmitted by the word of mouth by the apostles anddisciples, you see that in Acts chapter eight verse four. Some of Jesus’ sayings werecirculated in short form, like tracks, like little information tracks we give in the racks there, well some of His sayingswere transmitted like that at the beginning, or theywere carved. Some of his sayings were carved into bowls or they were carvedinto church meeting places on the wall or on the doorpost.That was the oral period. And then there’s the written period 60 to about180 A.D., as a demand for more permanent records grew, the Gospelswere provided, of course, by God, to meet this need. The number of eyewitnesses wasdeclining and so their witness needed to be recorded for future generations.Remember I’ve said this before when we were studying Thessalonians, rememberthat the early church believed that Jesus was going to return in theirlifetime, in their generation, and so they didn’t, they didn’t feel the needto record everything. Why record everything, why record anything for thenext generation, He’s coming back in our generation, but as they began to die offand as the Apostles were martyred and so on and so forth, theybegan to see the wisdom of recording this material. So 60 to about 100 A.D.,the majority of the Gospels and epistles were written, copied, and kept.
The Gospel of Mark is one of these texts, written between 60 and 70 A.D. Somepinpointed somewhere about 64 A.D., which makes it a very early writing. Now, weclaim that the Bible is inspired or authored by God for several reasons,again, this is just prep material, here. For several reasons, we’ve done this inother classes, but I just want to, for the record, kind of review this very quickly.We, as Christians, claim that the Bible is inspired, because the Bible makes thisclaim of itself, right, in John 14:26 Jesus says, “But the Helper, the HolySpirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, andbring to your remembrance, all that I said to you.” Jesus, in advance, issaying that what the Apostles are going to say in the future, they’re receiving from the Spirit, that He, Himself, sent. Then in SecondTimothy 3:16. Of course, “All Scripture is inspired by God andprofitable for teaching, for reproof, correction, for training in righteousness.”And the key word there is all scripture. All of it, not just some of it, all of itis inspired. And then in Second Peter, again, familiar versus Peter says”But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter ofone’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will,but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Again passages, all right, whereI’m trying to demonstrate that the Bible says of itself that it’s inspired.It isn’t someone that came along one day and studied the Bible and said, hmmmafter reading the Bible I’ve come to the conclusion it must be inspired. Well,you’ve come to that conclusion because as you’re reading through it, it saysthat of itself and the choice that you have is to believe that or not tobelieve it. And then, of course, why we believe that it’s inspired, as I say,it makes that claim of itself. Another reason we believe that the scripturesare inspired: fulfilled prophecy. Interesting to note that the Bible isthe only holy book that contains hundreds of prophecies that werefulfilled. There are plenty of holy books that are studied by scholars, the holy books of the Hindus and the Muslims, they all have holy books, but none of them have this featurecalled fulfilled prophecy, none of them. They have laws and rules and poetry anddescriptions of God and the afterlife and how the world was created. Yes, theyhave those features, but they don’t have the feature of prophecy and certainlynot fulfilled prophecy. I mean, just take one example to demonstrate that, the prophet Daniel prophecies600 years ahead of time what the four major world powers would be insuccession. How do you do that? You can’t do that unless God is doing that.You could make a guess for maybe 20 years down the road,you see some Empire beginning to build and you make an educated guess.
Their going to be the next. But 600 years down the road, the fourthworld power, and then of course the kingdom of God coming during that fourthworld power, that’s pretty precise stuff. So only the Bible has that. The onlyway to have so many fulfilled prophecies if the book itself has a supernaturalsource and as Christians we believe that God is the source of the Bible. And thenone other thing, the quality of the book itself. Sixty-six books written by over 40different authors, many of whom, many which didn’t know eachother, over a period of 1,600 years, no contradiction, no mistakes, only one storyis told. Nowadays you get a couple of reporters coveringthe same story and then they write their stories and you get all kinds ofcontradictions, they can’t agree on the story. This idea here of thequality of the book, again, not possible without divine guidance. And I always saywell if it’s man-made, how come man has not created something else like it withall of the technology that we have today and all of the education that we havetoday, why haven’t we been able to reproduce something like it. We haven’t.So there are other reasons as well, why we believe the scriptures are inspired.The witness of the risen Christ, of course, the impact and longevity ofthis one book over 2,000 years, but I just mentioned the few basic ones. Sowhen you take all of the reasons together, they can only be explained inone way, they lead to only one logical conclusion and that is that the Bible isnot just an ordinary book or a holy book, but rather, it is a text inspiredand produced by a superior being. And we, as Christians, believe that thatsuperior being is God. So it’s important to lay that foundation becausewe’re studying the book of Mark as an inspired work. TheBible was inspired by God, but God used men to record His thoughts and words andthe history of His people in their own style and in their own language. And oneof these men was John Mark, who’s book of Mark, is one of these Gospels. Interestingly, the book of Mark says nothing about its author.
Paul, Iam Paul, I’m writing to you, this is my signature, he nameshimself, and Peter. But there’s no reference to the author here. Nothing aboutits author, but early church tradition points to John Mark, who was the son ofMary, not of course Mary the mother of Jesus, another Mary, common Jewish name,who was a wealthy Jewish woman. Lived with her family in the city of Jerusalem.She was a friend of the Apostles and it was to her house that Peter went afterhe was released from jail. Remember when the angel released Peter from jail hewent to Mary’s house, well that Mary was John Mark’s mother, Acts 12:12.John Mark was the cousin of Barnabas, who was very active in the early church andit was through him that Mark met and began to work with Paul the Apostle.Mark’s association with the Apostles covered more than a 30-year span. So verybriefly I’d like to just kind of cover that, again, just give us some background.From 30 to 40 A.D. his association with the Apostles beginswith his mother who was, he and his mother among the first converts FirstPeter, chapter 5, verse 13. Her home was used as a meeting place for the Apostlesand early disciples, we saw that in Acts 12. Some believe that he was the youngman who ran away naked in the garden. In the Garden of Gethsemane, in Markchapter 14 when Peter cuts off the ear of Malchus, the servant, right,and then the guards are taking Jesus away and there’s a young man there, we’llread that when we get to that chapter, there’s a young man there, wrapped in asheet and the soldiers grabbed the sheet and it says he ran, the young man ranaway naked. Such an obscure, weird thing in the, just dropped in themiddle of the description of Jesus’ time in the garden and Judasbetraying him and all that drama, and in the middle of this, you havethis almost comical scene of a young guy running through the nightwith no clothes on. Who was that young guy?
Well, many scholars believethat young guy was Mark. It’s the only self-reference that he makes abouthimself in there. Otherwise, why do it. From 40 to 50 A.D. Saul andBarnabas deliver money for the poor in Jerusalem and they take Mark along withthem and they go back to Antioch, the jumping-off place for the firstmissionary journey. We read about that in Acts chapter 12, verse 25. Saul andBarnabas take him along on their first missionary journey, Acts 13, kind of ahelper an intern. And then we find out that he loses, John Markloses interest, and he returns to Jerusalem, doesn’t complete the trip. Andthis, of course, causes him to lose favor with Paul, not so much with Barnabas,because they’re relatives, but with Paul. And when Paul decides to goback and visit the churches that they had established Barnabas is game to gowith him and wants to bring Mark and Paul says no, no, no, he abandoned usbefore, we’re not taking this guy with us and there’s the dispute between Paul andBarnabas to the point where they kind of broke off association and Barnabas tookhis cousin Mark and they went one way and Paul took Silas and went off on thenext missionary journey. So that’s some of the actionbetween 40 and 50 A.D. Between 50 and 60 A.D., Mark is restored to fellowship withPaul, and Paul calls on him for help and even commends him to the church as afaithful servant, Colossians chapter four, verse 10 and Philemon verses 23 and 24.A wonderful story there. We can talk about Barnabas, whata facilitator he is, what a peacemaker he is, helping to rehabilitate John Mark’sreputation in the church and I like that story that there’s Paul and Barnabas andthey have a fight and have a dispute and they, yeah well, you go your way,let’s agree to disagree. Wonderful lesson for us,Barnabas didn’t quit the church and Mark didn’t quit the church, they just stoppedworking with Paul for a time, but then eventually they were reconciled.
A veryhuman thing happened and a very human Christian thing happened to kind ofreconcile these brothers together. And then 60 to 70 A.D. Paul, near the end ofhis life, while in prison, mentions Mark as a faithful co-worker, Second Timothy 4:11. And then later on we know that Mark is associated with Peter the Apostle, heserves as Peter’s secretary in recording the events and teachings that Peter hasseen and heard during his life as an apostle First Peter chapter 5, verse 13. When you’re reading Mark, you’re reading Peter. So over 30 years ofservice, finishing with a text dedicated to him by Peter, which we now refer to asthe Gospel of Mark. Let’s look at the gospel itself. We know that Markwas an eyewitness of what happened during Jesus’s ministry and theestablishment of the early church. Early church historians and writers tell usthat he was Peter’s secretary, as I said, during the period before Peter’s deathin Rome 68 A.D., and Mark’s work is a record of what Peter said and saw andtaught. Jesus’s family, the Apostles, and the early church all knew Mark andconfirmed his presence and work in the church for over 30 years. Very important,so that his work is accepted as legitimate, as inspired. It means thathe was a real person who lived and worked with Jesus and the Apostles, notjust a mythical figure, a real man. Early church historians, who recorded thepersons and the events surrounding the beginning of the Christian age, they allconfirmed that this text was written by John Mark. Papias in 115 A.D,Clement 180 A.D., Origen 225 A.D., all these early church scholars and fathers intheir writings confirm that John Mark was an associate of Peter and that heworked with Barnabas and that he did write this thing. This is where we getconfirmation for the information that we have about Mark. His text, Gospel of Mark,was circulated while some of the apostles were still alive; 64 A.D., not allthe apostles were gone by then, they were still alive. None of them disputed orcriticized its content or its author. At any time, any one of the Apostles couldhave said, this John Mark, he’s a fake, what he’s writing, it’s not good, butthey didn’t. We had no record of that. The reason I say all of this is to showthat Mark meets all the requirements to be considered an inspired book andincluded in the Bible, because there were lots of books that were circulating atthe time about Jesus. Do you think we only have 27 books that were written in thefirst century about Jesus Christ? No way. There were many books and articles andperiodicals, all kinds of things being circulated about Jesus.
So the task forthe early church was to draw out which of these books are the onesinspired, are the ones that should go into the canon. The word canonmeans a measure, a correct measure. The canon of the Bible are thosebooks that measure up. That’s where that term comes from. A lot ofbooks were written, but the criteria to be included in the Canon – three.Again, not going to spend a whole lot of time on this, because this is, this classis not about this subject matter, but just as far as Mark isconcerned, one who ever wrote the book had to be an apostle or a disciple of anapostle. You have Luke right, he wasn’t an apostle, but he was a disciple and anassociate of Paul, who was an Apostle. Mark, he wasn’t anapostle, but he was an associate of an apostle, Peter. Secondly, the work hadto be sound doctrinally, historically, authentically. Mark was a trueperson, he was the one who wrote. The church knew this, there was no criticismof it from the apostles or the early teachers about its doctrine or itsstatements. And then thirdly, it had to be widely circulated in the early churchesand accepted as inspired by the churches. Remember I’ve told you once before inanother class that they didn’t dig up books that no one ever heard ofand say, well we think this one’s inspired. What they did was they examinedbooks that had been circulating for centuries and had already beenaccepted by the church for centuries, those are the ones that they selected tobe in the canon. And Mark was one of those books. Mark has all of thesefeatures and so we can accept it as an inspired book of the Bible.Let’s look at the text itself. The text of Mark is clear, it’s very free ofabstract statements and concepts like, again, like John for example, the Gospelof John, which would not appeal to the Roman mind.
And Mark’s gospelis really directed towards Gentiles. A Jew can read it, but it’s really directedtowards the Roman mind, it’s very direct, to the point, rather, sothe book was written while Peter was in Rome working with Roman Christians. So it would make sense that this book, material, would appeal to Romans. It seemsthat Mark’s gospel was aimed at people who did not have a Jewish background,that’s why there’s very little reference to Jewish history, unlike Matthew. Whenyou read through Matthew, I mean, what are you reading? This was done according tothe Prophet. He’s very careful, Matthew is, not to show Jesus sayingor doing anything unless he supports what he’s saying and doing from someprophet in the Old Testament. Mark, none of that, didn’t even bother. And, ofcourse, Romans were mechanically minded, they wanted their information in summaryform; short, sweet, to the point. Give me the big picture, justgive me the big picture, that was their mindset. And so Mark is ahistorical narrative, meaning Jesus did this, and then He went there, and He didthat, and then He came over here, and He said this, and then after that, thishappened. Historical narrative that gives a description of Jesus’s life, and Hiswork, and His teachings, His death, His resurrection, with very little backgroundinformation and very little philosophizing. Mark doesn’t spend a lotof time saying, well, when Jesus said this, this is what He meant. No, he -just the facts. It’s like a snapshot. It’s like a postcard. John’s Gospel is like a letter to a friend, sharing deep thoughts.Mark – postcard. And Mark’s gospel is totally christ-centered,telling the story of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, and then it just ends.Period. Mark is not interested in character analysis, he doesn’t dwell ondoctrinal development, his book is about action and reaction, and you’ll see thatas we go through it. A good example of this is that more space is given over tomiracles in this book than the other Gospels. Eighteen out of the 35 possiblemiracles are described in Mark. That’s a lot, more than half of all the miraclesare jammed into this short 16 – of course, when he wrote it, it didn’t havechapters, but very short book. Also, Mark takes time to kind ofdescribe the reactions of the people to Jesus, and these are carefully noted.There are over twenty-three references to people who were eitheramazed, puzzled, astonished, hostile, he describes the reaction that peoplehave. Mark’s Gospel is short, to the point, colorful and powerful. It tells thesimple story of Jesus without too much background information and then it endsboom, with the challenge, believe and be baptized and be saved. Disbelieve andbe condemned. That’s all there is to it.
Sometimes we offer theinvitation and people say, well, why be so direct? You might beoffending my sister-in-law who’s visiting from Boston or something.You went and said that if people don’t respond they’ll belost. Well, that’s how Mark does it, straight ahead. SoMark – from Mark’s perspective the reader is forced to deal with thefacts. It’s almost as if he says, okay, this is Jesus, these are the 18miracles, oh yes, by the way, did I mention the resurrection, okay, so those whobelieve in our baptize, you people are saying – you people who’ve read this withdisbelief, too bad, so sad, you’re lost. Pretty much. The central theme ofMark is very clear, we don’t have to have a debate about it, Jesus Christ isthe divine Son of God, period. This is the point of the gospel. And Mark divides hisbook into three very simple parts and here they are: first part, theintroduction of the divine Jesus, chapter 1, verses 1 to 13; second part, proof ofJesus’s divinity through His teachings and His miracles, chapter 1, verse 14 allthe way to chapter 8, verse 20; part number 3, proof of his divinity throughhis death, burial, and resurrection, chapter 8, excuse me, verse 27 to chapter16, verse 20. This is a book that appeals to the practical mind. Each bookin the Bible, as I’ve mentioned before, has a purpose and has aparticular audience. Matthew, of course, its purpose is the same, always toshow Jesus as the Divine Son of God, but more specifically, Matthew wants to showthat Jesus is actually the Messiah according to Jewish prophecy. And hetakes great care in building that case. Mark, on the other hand, as I said, notinterested in proving anything to the Jews, he’s interested in proving thatJesus is the divine Messiah to a more Gentile audience. So the audience of Mark is the world,everybody needs to know in no uncertain terms that the Bible declares that Jesusis the Divine Son, the savior of the world. You can deny this, you canreject this, but you can never say that Mark doesn’t teach this.
I saythat to people that I’ve studied with all the time, you don’thave to believe what I’ve just shown you, don’t have to believe it, but what you can’t dois, you can’t deny that this is what it says. Your argument is not with me,your argument is with the book. I’m just here, hopefully, to clarify it for you andanswer your questions. And then this book of Mark is a great first book to readwith a non-christian. If you have you ever wondered – people askyou, how do you start a Bible study? What do you do, whatdoctrine do you start with? Don’t start with doctrine, start with reading theBible. Most of you know that I have a Catholic background, I grew up Catholic. I went to Catholic school, taught inCatholic schools, taught religion, monastery, seminary, the whole thing. SoI’m really familiar with the Catholic Church and it’s practices. And peoplemany times asked me what’s the best way to convert or to approach someone who’s Catholic, who has questions. do you kind of, theythink, well the Catechism. So you could kind of go to the Catechism andshow them, this is wrong, that’s wrong, Mary was not ascendedinto heaven bodily. The assumption of Mary, where is that in the Bible?Wrong approach. My answer always is just get them to read the Bible. Period. Justhave them read the Bible and from there will come the questions, not yourquestions, their questions. I remember when I first started. I mean, Iwas on a train on my way to Vancouver and I bought a Bible to read on the train. Never had read it. Imagine 28 yearsold, had taught for the Montreal Catholic School Commission, had taught religion, Iwas the form teacher – never – imagine teaching a religion classand Christianity never having read the Bible, it wasn’t required. You had to readthe syllabus, you know had my syllabus. Every teacher had the syllabus, I hadthat and I had the Catechism, which I knew, because that’s what I studied as akid. A memory, the rote memory. The nuns, and later on the Christianbrothers – and I don’t knock my Catholic education, I had a great education. Youreally did learn how to read and write, you learned Latin, and all that kind ofstuff, but you didn’t have to read the Bible. And so when I began reading theBible, then the questions began. Wait a minute, this is the religion that Ipracticed for most of my life and this is the book upon which my religion issupposed to be based and yet there’s such a huge contradiction here. So Ispent a couple of years just trying to find somebody who could answer myquestions about the Bible. Remember, when we say, church of Christ, they’re the Bible people. I found one of those guys Jim Meder, he was a Bible guy, he was a preacher, he knew the Bible. So Ihad my questions lined up for a couple of years that nobody could answer. I’dask him a question, he said, okay, good question, I named make me repeat, is thatyour question?
Yes, okay. Well then, he’d take out this Bible and, okay goahead, read that, and I would read. What does it say? Well it says blah, blah, blah.Are you sure that’s what it says? Yeah, that’s what it says. Okay, nextquestion. And he would just go question to question, he wasn’t out to challenge me,he wasn’t trying to talk me out of, what, nearly 30 years of education,he just wanted to answer my questions and show me where the Bible answered thequestions that I had. And then when I needed a little more elaboration, okay well, we came tobaptism for example, I couldn’t understand, why did they use that word.Okay, well then it took a little bit of background in the Greek. What itmeans, but other than that, his answer was always let meshow you where it says that in the Bible and he let me learn the Bible and heallowed me to go at my own pace. So all this to say that if ever you’re going tosit down and read the Bible, not necessarily with someone who’s aCatholic or anything like that, but just especially with someone who’s notchurched, doesn’t know much, the lingo, church is even a littlethreatening, Mark is a great book to read. Short, to the point, lots ofmiracles demonstrated. Because the bottom line is, if you don’t believe that Jesusis the Divine Son of God, the basis, the cornerstone of our religion, well then itdoesn’t matter what else is there, right?
The fact that Jesus is the Son ofGod is the thing that motivates me to try this, do that, obey this, denythis. Because if He’s not the Son of God, He has no moral thing over me, He’s justa holy man, right. The Dalai Lama, a holy man, a good man, a morally upright man, aneducated man, but he’s got nothing over me. He can’t tell me what to do, right.So we’re going to stop there, because in lesson 2 we start thetext and we’ll just. It’ll be so This class is going to be a textualBible study. I just wanted to take only one lesson to give the background, alittle critical introduction. I think most of you know this already. Next weekMark chapter 1, verse 1, the thing I’m going to ask you to do, if you’re goingto stay in this class is to read ahead. It’s not a long book. Read it a couple oftimes, get it under your belt so that by the time I read it in class or put it upon the screen you’ll have read that passage, you’ll have read thatchapter once or twice and you’ll know about it. You may even have somequestions and in the material that I present you’ll get some answers.
Hey Life Church family. I am incredibly excited to preach to you today for the first time out of quarantine. (audience applauds) If you are kinda wondering like, you know, how are you having church when most places we’re not really supposed to have church. This is actually prerecorded from earlier in the week and what I wanted to do is record a message that could speak directly in to what is going on in the world. Now, I don’t want to pretend to be an expert in any sense of the word. I cannot tell you what’s gonna happen to this virus.
In fact, I don’t think even those would call themselves experts could tell you what’s going to happen. But what I wanna do is try to speak into the life of our church from a perspective of us who should have faith. Before I kind of give you my thoughts, I wanna try to tell you the story behind our quarantine because I haven’t talked a lot about it and you’re my church family and I just want to share it with you. If you haven’t been here and you don’t know the story, Pastor Bobby Gruenewald and I flew to Germany a little over two and a half weeks ago to teach at a leadership conference. If you can imagine, there were about 15,000 people at this conference.
There were 7,300 at our location where we were broadcasting from. At that time there was only maybe 30 or no more than 40 people that had tested positive for the coronavirus. Unfortunately, one of those people happened to be at the conference. So Bobby and I went to a private small dinner with 14 people, the night before the event started, we gathered with the other speakers and in the next morning I did the opening session teaching on leadership, then Bobby and I ended up flying back and had boarded our flight and we were midway back to our connecting flight in Chicago when we turned on WiFi and got the very bad news that one of the speakers, one of the 14 people that we had dinner with actually tested positive for the virus. So we immediately told the flight attendant who notified the pilot and they moved people out of our section and they looked very, very angry with us and now I know what it’s like to be a leper. You don’t wanna be a leper or have the coronavirus on the airplane. We couldn’t explain to everybody. We didn’t know but they gave us looks that were not like go to church, they would go to somewhere else, looks if you know what I’m saying. (audience laughs) And when we deboarded the plane, we met with the health officials and we decided to self-quarantine for 14 days and very thankfully at the end of that time we were not sick, but we are praying for those who have been impacted. Now, those people who are close to me, a lot of them said, how was it? I mean maybe like God slowed things down for you. You got a two week vacation.
How was your staycation? What was your favorite Netflix show? Did you enjoy, and so on and on. And what I wanted to say is, and I don’t want to complain because I know there are people that go through real trials and what we went through was not anywhere close to what a lot of people go through, but it was one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I don’t know how to describe it, but I just, I fought depression the whole time. What I realized is we’re just not created to be alone. And that’s why I want you to know you matter so much to me. My family matters so much to me and so the whole time I had to fight to think on things that are pure, and lovely, and admirable and focus on the goodness of God and not the challenges of my personal situation. I did work nonstop. Putting a workaholic in isolation is kind of like putting a drunk in a bar.
There was no one to stop me and I hurt, and I worked, and yes, through all the pain I did get closer to God. The good news is about the eight people that I know of in Germany that did contract the virus. They’re all doing well. You can thank God for that. They’re recovering,(audience applauds) and are gonna be just fine. So, that’s a little bit of the story behind what Bobby and I went through, and that brings us to today. Today, if you look around, open up any news app, turn on the television, you’re gonna see all sorts of news that may even be changing as I’m speaking right now, but we’ve got professional sporting events and conferences and concerts, counseling as we speak. We’ve got some schools that are shutting down for this semester. We’ve got travel bands appearing right and left and we know that grocery stores and even Amazon is out of toilet paper as we speak. The world is coming to an end, okay? What are we gonna do? Are we going to ignore it and act like it’s okay and just have great faith? Or are we gonna stockpile beans and rice and stay home for the next three months? What I wanna do is talk about our perspective as followers of Christ, and even how I’m thinking as we lead the church to reach a lost in a hurting world.
Personally, I’m not gonna make any longterm decisions today. We’re not gonna say definitively here’s what’s going to happen over the next three months or five months or whatever. I found that in a time of crisis and panic, it’s best not to project and into the future. It’s always best to make wise decisions based on what we know today, in this moment, and that’s how we’re going to lead. We’re gonna lead day to day. We’re gonna watch what’s happening. We’re gonna pray for wisdom and we’re gonna make the best and most wise decisions as possible. Now, as disciples of Jesus, I hope you’ll know that the filter that forms our decisions is very different from this world. Our filter is not the same as this world. In fact, the Bible tells us, speaking of the word not that we should not be conformed to the image of this world, but we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds, (audience applauds) so then we can test and approve what God’s will is. His good, his pleasing, his perfect will. Everybody say not. Not. Everybody say not. Not. We are not of this world. We are not like everyone else. We are not to live in fear and that’s why the title of this message is not afraid. Not afraid. We as followers of Christ are not going to live in fear with an emphasis and on not.
Everybody is saying not. Not. I wanna show you three ways that we are not like this world. The first way we are not like this world. Number one is we live by faith and not by fear. We live by faith and not by fear. In fact, when Jesus was comforting his disciples in John 14 He said, “Do not.” Somebody say not. He said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” He said, “You believe in God, believe also in me.” He went on to say in verse 27 He said, “Peace, I leave with you. “My peace I give you.” He said, “I do not give to you as the world gives.” And because I do not give as the world gives He says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, “and do not be afraid.” I hope that there’s someone here that if you’ve been living in fear, if you’re anxious all the time, if you’re afraid of what’s going to happen, where the economy’s going, where the wall is going, because we know Jesus, we do not live in fear. He gives us a peace that is not of this world. It is from His kingdom. We live by faith and not by fear. In fact, I love the way the new living translation translates the words of Jesus when it says this. Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift.” This is a gift. Some of you, you should receive this gift today. If someone gives you a gift, you should be excited. And when you open up the gift, you cheer, and you say thank you for this gift. Our God has given you a gift. And the gift He gives is peace of mind and heart. When the rest of the world lives in fear, we open up the gift from our God. Peace of mind and peace of heart. A peace that is not anything this world would understand is a piece that only comes from heaven. Jesus says, the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or be afraid. I hope you’ll understand that God is not sitting in heaven doing the one-handed clap. I didn’t see this coming. Oh my gosh, I didn’t see the virus coming. I mean, I was so distracted by the US politics with the election, you know. I had, I didn’t even see this coming.
I mean you tryna blow it in China and I wasn’t looking over there and now it’s all out of control. I don’t know what to do. God is not panicked. He’s not taken aback. He is not surprised. He is not afraid. We have to remember that our God is always faithful. He’s always in control. Our God is good.(audience applauds) Our God has a plan. Our God will never leave us. He will never forsake us. He’s worthy in all things, everything, everywhere, every day. He will not leave you. Whatever you’re going through, our God is working for good. Whatever battle you’re facing our God is with you. If our God is for you, who can be against you? Our God is present and He is always good. We, as followers of Jesus, we live by faith and not by fear. In fact, speaking of nots, the apostle Paul said this in 2 Timothy 1:7. He said, “For God has not.” Somebody say not. Not. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power and of love and of self-discipline. We are not panicking. We have the peace from heaven. We are not fearful. We live by faith. Paul said this, “For we live by faith and not by sight.” We live by faith and not by fear. Can somebody tell God, thank you for His gift of peace. (audience applauds) How do we respond, when the world feels like it’s falling apart? We don’t respond like the world response. We are not like the world. We do not think like the world. Number one, we live by faith and not by fear. Number two, we are sacrificial not selfish. We’re sacrificial not selfish. Now, technically, we are selfish. Without Christ, we’re selfish. How many of you have a two-year-old or younger?
Raise your hand again. You never have to teach a two-year-old how to be selfish. All right? Have any of you ever held selfish lessons? Come in today and we’re gonna teach you to be selfish. What I’m gonna do is try to take the toy that’s really mine that I gave you and when I do, I want you to scream, mine. Okay? You never have do that because by nature, our human fall in nature is very selfish. But our redeemed nature because of who Christ is is not selfish, but reflects His nature. The most sacrificial love in the history of the world. The one who gave His life for us, dwells within us. (audience applauds) So as followers of Christ, we are not selfish, but we’re sacrificial in what we do. In fact, Paul told the believers in Philippi this. He said, “Don’t be selfish. “You’re not to be selfish. “Don’t try to impress others, be humble thinking of others “as better than yourselves.” Now watch what he said. He didn’t say go freak out and hoard supplies, but he said, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, “but take an interest in others too.” In fact, when I look at the first century believers. The early church, as they were facing extraordinary persecution. When they would lose their homes, they would lose their families. Oftentimes they would lose their lives for their very faith. Let me tell you what they weren’t doing. They were not rushing to the Jerusalem megamart to grab emergency supplies. They were not freaking out and hoarding beans and rice and toilet paper, okay?
We have to understand is that we are the body of Christ and because of that we put others ahead of ourselves and we have a fantastic opportunity to not be selfish, but instead be sacrificial. In fact, I love what happened in the early church in Acts 2 we see this about all the believers in verse 44 says, “All the believers were together “and they had everything in common.” Now watch what they did. They didn’t know hoard. They weren’t selfish. They weren’t rushing to guard their own supplies, but instead they sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had a need. What I hope you’ll understand is in the next few weeks or months, you may have more opportunities for generosity in the name of Jesus than you could at any other time. (audience applauds) You may have something, someone else needs and you recognize God has blessed me to be a blessing to someone else. Not just materially, but spiritually, and by faith. You’ll know people that are hurting and that are afraid and you can not only just give them something material, but you can give them hope. And you can give them companionship, and you can speak faith into the lives of others who are so often paralyzed by fear. Scripture goes on to talk about this New Testament church and it says that, “Every day they continued to meet together.” Now let me ask you this, how often do they meet together?
Scripture says they met together every day. They continue meet together in the temple courts that was publicly, and they broke bread in their homes and they ate together and we’re glad and sincere in hearts. They met together publicly and they met together privately and they met together every single day, at a time when a lot of people will be afraid to attend church. What I want you to do is not have a once a week faith. I want you to have a daily faith. (audience applauds) where every single day you wake up and say, wherever I am, whatever it is, we’re having church right here. It may be just me and my friend. It may be a life group. It may be that we meet publicly. Wherever it is, it ain’t once a week faith, it’s a daily faith. Where we gather, we pray, we study God’s word, we seek His face, we lift up His name. We share what He gives to us. We have an every day faith. You may just join with those around you. If we’re unable to meet for a short period of time, you may get your life troop and meet in your home and have church together. What we’re not gonna do is abandon our faith. We don’t just have a once a week gathered together church kind of faith. We have a daily faith where we daily seek the goodness of God. (audience applauds) Now, as we move forward, there’ll be a lot of questions in the short term or maybe even the longer term of what will be our strategy about public gatherings. Let me just be very, very clear on my personal bias, our team’s personal bias, it hasn’t changed since we started and it will never ever change. As for meeting together, we’ve always seen ourselves as a spiritual refuge for people that are hurting. This has always been our bias and we will always be biased to meeting together as long as it’s safe or reasonable. As often as we can open up the doors, we will open up the doors. We’ll always have and I promise you, we always will. Let me say this to you though.
You’re smart people, most of you. (audience laughs) Most of you, some of you, a few of you. Most of you are smart people. And what I want you to do is be smart. If you don’t feel well, or if you feel like you could be vulnerable, then have church at home, at Church Online. Don’t feel like if the doors are open that you have to be there. I promise you, you won’t go to hell if you miss a week at church. But I don’t want you to miss fellowship with God and fellowship with people as often as you can. So if the doors are open, you be wise, you’re smart people, but don’t stop worshiping God. Now, if it becomes incredibly obvious that is unsafe or unwise to meet publicly for a week or for an extended period of time, what I want you to know is we will decide campus by campus, state by state. There may be some states where it is safe to meet and others where it is not.
If we end up not meeting, what I want you to know is we will create the most evangelistic Church Online experience in the history of the world.(audience applauds) You may shut the doors, but you can’t shut down our faith. We’ll preach the gospel. We’ll take it online. We’ll do anything for the sin to reach people who don’t know Christ, and to reach people no one’s reaching. We’re gonna do things no one’s doing. We will not stop preaching the gospel and making the name of Jesus known. If we have to gather online, we’ll gather online. Wherever two or three gather and God is bigger than a confined space, we will gather. Speaking of Church Online. May I brag on those of you who gives generously? Those of you who do, I’m not bragging on all of you, but those who do. Hey, because of your generosity, our church is able to give away the platform we created. We created the Church Online platform and every week there are over 11,000 services that other churches hold on the free(audience applauds) Life Church Online platform because of your heart, your faith, your generosity, and think about the tool that is created for such a time as this. In fact, this week alone, this week, there’s approximately 700 new churches signing up to be on the Church Online platform. This week, (audience applauds) 700 churches this week. So, pastors tell me all the time to tell you, those of you who give, thank you for your generosity to make this gift free, to keep the message of Jesus alive online even in such a time as this. Scripture says again, let’s look at Acts 2. “Every day they continued to meet together “in the temple courts. “They broke bread in their homes and ate together “with glad and sincere hearts praising God “and enjoying the favor of all the people “that would happened. “The Lord added daily those who were being saved.” With all my heart, I believe that God will use this time in the world, when people are afraid, they will look to Him and we will see daily people being born into the kingdom of God (audience applauds) because we’re not like this world you see. We’re not like this world. We live by faith and not by fear. We are sacrificial and not selfish and number three, we shine the light, not hide it. We shine the light, we do not hide it. Jesus said this.
He said, “You are the light of the world. “A town on a hill cannot be hidden. “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. “Instead they put it on a stand, “and it gives light to everyone in the house.” In the same way church, here’s your assignment. Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven. You are a light. We let it shine. We do not hide it. Unfortunately during this time, there’ll be so many people who feel incredibly unsettled, unsure and anxious and they are looking somewhere for hope. The good news is what are you. You’re a bunch of radical, faith-filled hope dealers. (audience applauds) You are light shiners. You are love givers. Listen to me, church. The virus may be contagious, but I’m praying for some Jesus followers that are even more contagious (audience applauds)with His love, with His grace, spreading hope, spreading life. I’m believing that the hope that Jesus brings spreads faster than any virus all over this world. Because listen, church. Whenever, the world grows darker, the light of Jesus just shines brighter. What are we? We are light shiners, hope dealers, faith givers, that’s what we are. We are the body of Christ. We don’t hide our light, we let it shine. We are not. Somebody say not. Not. We are not of this world. We do not grieve as those who have no hope. So I did a little research today and I looked up some verses in the new Testament that had the word not in them. And what I wanna do is I wanna share with you a few nots because we are not of this world. We do not think like everyone else thinks. I’ll share with you some verses from the Scripture with the word not whenever an angel appeared to announce the birth of Jesus, the angel said, “Do not.” Somebody say not. Not. “Do not be afraid.
“I bring you good news of great joy.” Whenever Jesus came, He said, “I did not come for the healthy, but I came for the sick. “I did not come for the righteous, but came for the sinners, “and the hurting, and the broken.” The good news is that because we are not of this world, we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Jesus does not lead us into temptation, but He delivers us from evil. And therefore we do not store up treasures on earth, but instead we store up our treasures in heaven. Jesus teaches us this. He says, “Do not.” Somebody say, do not. Do not. Do not worry about tomorrow because each day has enough to worry about itself. We as followers of Christ, we walk by faith, not by sight because God did not give us a spirit of fear and just like Jesus is. We’re not praying for our own will, but not our will, but your will be done. There’s good news that we are saved by grace and not by works. We’re justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law. God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation. Therefore, we do not set our minds (audience applauds) on earthly things like what you read on social media and what the latest news report is. But instead we set minds on things above. Let perseverance finish it’s work in you. So we will not lack anything.
And we as followers of Christ, we’ll not grow weary in doing good. Because we know that at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Are we in a battle? Are times difficult? Is there a lot of opposition? The answer is yes. But our battle is not against people. It’s not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, and authorities, and powers of this dark world. Therefore we will not be overcome by evil. We are the church of Jesus Christ and we will overcome evil, (audience applauds)with God. We know, the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise. And we do not grieve like the rest of mankind who has no hope. We will also not give up meeting together as Scripture says,Yeah. because the Lord is our helper, and we will not be afraid. We also know that not everyone who thinks they’re saved, or actually born into the family of God. There are a lot of people who go to church and try to do good things but don’t really know the grace of God. And therefore we are not ashamed of the gospel because it’s the power of the gospel that brings salvation to everyone who believes. And just like the first century believers, even amidst persecution and hardship, they said, we can not stop talking about what we have seen and heard. We can’t stop. We can’t stop. We can’t stop praising. We can’t stop worshiping. We can’t stop giving. We can’t stop sharing. We can’t stop shining, because of what we see. (audience applauds) Because of what, we’ve heard. And we will not be anxious about anything, but in everything. With prayer and petition, we will, the people of God, make our request known to God. And His gifts to you. The peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts, and your minds, and your souls in Christ Jesus. We are not of this world. Therefore we are not afraid. What do we do? We live by faith, not by fear. We are sacrificial, not selfish. And we shine the light, we do not hide it. Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 4 seven, eight, nine, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay.” What does that mean? The treasure is Christ. It’s His goodness. Bad news is you’re the jar of clay. We’re the body of mud. We have this treasure, the gift of salvation. We have this power dwelling within us to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. Hey, we may be hard pressed on every side, but church, we are not crushed.(audience ululates) We may be perplexed, but we are not in despair. We may be persecuted, but we are not abandoned.
We may be struck down, but we are not destroyed. Because of who He is,(audience applauds) because of what He’s done, because of His power, because of His grace, because of His majesty, because of His truth, because it is presence that will never leave us, and will never forsake us. We are not afraid. Who are we? We are the body of Christ and the light will shine whatever you’re going through today. Can you feel His love for you? He’s not abandoned you. He has not forsaken you. He is with you. 14 days I didn’t have human contact. Not a soul, not a hug, not a like share this meal. No, it was put it down outside the door and then walk away like a prisoner or a dog. But I was never alone. I was never alone. Because our God never leaves us. And He never forsakes us. And He is always good. And that’s why church, no matter what it comes, because of Christ, we re not afraid. So Father today, I pray that you would build the faith of your church. That a light would shine in this world. God, for those who are hurting, for those who are sick, we pray for healing. We pray for protection. We pray for a wisdom. God, we pray for a vaccine. We pray for global economic and environments. We pray for our leaders who are making decisions. And God we pray for your church, that when the world grows darker, the light would shine brighter. And all of our churches today, those of you that are followers of Christ, can you say I want my light to shine? Would you lift up your hands right now? Just lift up your hands. Father, I pray that every day, every day, as people of faith every day, that we would see opportunities to show your love, generously, sacrificially, words of encouragement, gifts, God inviting people to know you. Use us God, to let your light shine. As we keep praying today at all of our different churches at Church Online, those of you all over the world, there are some of you who you might be very afraid right now. I’m absolutely and completely convinced that there may be times when the world does grow very dark and people start looking around for answers.
If you’re looking for answers, if you’re looking for hope, let me tell you the best news you could ever hear. There’s a longing inside of you for something more, something different, something you cannot find in this world. You tried lots of things. I don’t know your story, but chances are you might have hoped more money would make you happy and it didn’t. More fun would make you happy, it didn’t. More travel would make you happy, it didn’t. More of this relationship or that or this experience and you still find yourself empty is because you’re longing for something that this world can’t give. The good news is, that there is a God that is bigger than this world. And yet He loves this world so much that He sent His one and only son. He didn’t shout His love from heaven. He showed His love on earth when He became one of us in the person of Jesus. Who is Jesus? He is the sinless son of God. Perfect in every way. Who gave His life on a cross, and God raised him from the dead so that anyone and everyone in this includes you who calls on His name could be saved. That’s why I said earlier that I’m not ashamed of the gospel because the gospel has power to save anyone who believes. Today as you watch from wherever you watch and those of you who recognize, I don’t have this peace, I don’t have this assurance. I don’t even know where I stand with God. Listen, when you call on the name of Jesus, He hears your prayer. He’ll forgive all of your sins. He doesn’t just save you from eternal damnation, which He does, but He also saves you from a life of meaninglessness on earth. Today as you’re watching, wherever you are, those who say, yes, I want, that I want this peace. I want His forgiveness. I want His grace. When you just turn away from your sins and turn toward Him, call on the name of Jesus, He’ll hear your prayer. He’ll forgive your sins. It’ll make you new. Those today who say, yes, I want His grace, I want His mercy. I want to be different. I don’t wanna be like this world. I want a peace. I want an assurance. I stand with him. That’s you today. You’re turning from your sins. You’re calling on Jesus, you say, yes, Jesus save me, forgive me, make me new.
That’s your prayer. Just lift up your hands high now all over the place and say yes. As we have hands going up in all of our different locations, those of you on Church Online, you just click right below me and as we see people from all over the world coming to faith in Jesus, would you just pray aloud wherever you are just pray this prayer. Pray heavenly father, forgive my sins. Jesus save me. Jesus save me. And make me new. And make me new. Fill me with your spirit, Fill me with your spirit. So I could serve you,So I could serve you. And follow you. And follow you.For the rest of my life. For the rest of my life.My life is not my own. My life is not my own.I give it to you. I give it to you. Thank you for new life. Thank you for new life.Now you have mine. Now you have mine.In Jesus’ name I pray. In Jesus’ name I pray. Could somebody celebrate this. (audience applauds) Celebrate loud, welcome those who are in the dark family today. (whooshing) Hey, thanks again for joining us here at Life Church. You know, as a church, it’s always our hope to help you continue to grow in your relationship with Christ and deepen your faith. And we have a number of resources and videos on our YouTube channel to help you do just that. You can find additional videos that go along with this message content as well as past messages. All on our YouTube channel, and a great way to know when those become available, is simply subscribe. Again, thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next time. (upbeat music)
How to build a healthy relationship? Ican give you a little heads up, it’s not luck, it’s not magic but you’re going to seea little magic in this episode. So do you ever get up in the morning and wonder,hmm wonder if gravity is on today hmm.. No. You know that it’s on, gravity is alwayson and it always works have a little demonstration for you. This is a steelring. In just a moment, I’m going to let go of this steel ring. What direction doyou think it’s going to go? Oh yeah, you’re pretty sure, right? Really? Will you betotally surprised if it does something else?Okay, now watch, watch. Not surprised, are you?Why? Because you understand gravity.
When we talk about principles, gravity, gravityis a natural law, okay. It’s going to happen whether you believe in it or not,it’s going to pull things down just like it did that steel ring. Now what if thatsteel ring is placed first on a chain like this one? Now I’ll show you exactlyhow I’m going to do this. The ring gets placed on the chain like this. Now when Ilet go what’s going to happen? Same thing, right? It’s still going to fall. Wait, whatjust happened? Did you catch that? Now how did I do that? Some of you might know howI do this, to some of you it might look like magic, some of you might think thatit’s luck, well what is it? Is it magic? Is it luck?No, it’s principles. There are principles behind this trick that allow me to do itevery time, it’s not luck and it’s not magic. I’m a psychologist not a magician.So what would happen if you knew what I know about this trick? Well you couldreplicate it and a lot of times when I’m doing a keynote or a seminar or atraining, I’ll invite people right up onto the stage and teach them in frontof everybody else how to do this trick the first time they try it.Amazing, right?
Well, no, it’s just simple principles and as we apply thoseprinciples, it changes the outcome so there’s probably things in life that aremore important than a trick with a chain. What if we could apply the same conceptto relationships? How do we build a healthy relationship? Well folks, I’m hereto tell you, it’s not magic, it’s not luck. There are principles that determine thesuccess of a relationship. What would happen if you knew what those principlesare? See, that’s what we’re talking about. Now to introduce the relationshipprinciples, I first want to refer back to research that was done, this was probably20 years ago Dr. John Gottman who is one of the nation’s leadingresearchers in relationships and specifically marital relationships but Ithink this applies in other relationships as well. He found in hisresearch that roughly 70% of all of the problems in a relationship areunresolvable. Unresolvable. I tell some people that, a couple I’m working with,for example, that 70% of the problems around resolvable, some of them justthrow their hands in the air, it’s like well, what’s the use then? And others arejust relieved because they don’t feel so weird nowthat they’re experiencing some of these things.What Gottman found is that this number is absolutely consistent in the researchthat’s been done, it’s been replicated, we already know this.
Now really quickly,when Gottman talked about problems, I think he meant primarilyconflicts. Anytime you bring two different people together, you’re goingto have conflict. Why? Because we got different preferences, we got differentbackgrounds, we’ve got different beliefs, we’ve got different languages, we’ve gotdifferent genders and so we’re going to have someconflicts because of the differences. Now a little word about differences,differences give us a reason to have that relationship in the first place. Iftwo people are exactly the same, there is no need for a relationship.One of you is unnecessary so the differences actually make us relevantand interesting to each other, okay. In a marital relationship, even at the levelof gender, it’s the differences that are interesting. Think about it. So to cometogether in a relationship, we have to be different, that makes us relevant andinteresting to each other but those differences are going to cost conflicts andI think that’s what Gottman was picking up on in his research. Now unresolvable,what does that mean? You know what? I’ve done a lot of work inchild custody cases and in divorce cases. I used to do child custody evaluationsfor the court and in the state of Utah, when someone files for divorce, they haveto list a legal cause for the divorce and the most common one is,irreconcilable differences.
Irreconcilable differences, unresolvableconflicts, huh, well those sound like the same thing to me but here’s what’sinteresting from Gottman’s research, she found that this was true for themiserable, highly conflicted headed for separation and divorce couples about 70%of their problems are resolved. He also found that this was true of thehappy, well-adjusted, stable, satisfied couples. There was no difference betweenthese two groups in the number of unresolvable problems that they had.In fact, you could not distinguish between these two groups based on that metric.Isn’t that interesting? What that suggests to me is that these two groupsare doing something very different with their unresolvable problems. So goingback to Gottman’s research, let’s go over here to the miserable couples firstbecause here’s the short version, folks, we want to do more of what works andless of what doesn’t in order to establish and maintain a successfulrelationship. So let’s go to Gottman because his research showed a four-partprocess, he called this the Four Horsemen of theApocalypse, if you like that kind of imagery. The four things that werepredictably found to to put people on this side of the equation on themiserable side of the equation and he identified first criticism, okay. Nowcriticism doesn’t have to be real or intended as long as it’s perceived, we’reoff to the races. Criticism leads to the next one whichGottman called defensiveness. This totally makes sensebecause if you’re being attacked, what do you want to do next? Get your shield up,protect yourself, you’re going to be defensive, that’s a natural response.Defensiveness leads to the third thing and that is contempt.Now the way Gottman described this contempt is kind of like defensivenessturned hostile.
So you got your shield up, now you draw your sword, you want to getsome counter-attacks in there somehow okay. So it’s a retaliationreally and then that third one contempt leads to the last one, Gottman called thatstonewalling. Stonewalling is turning away from each other instead of turningtoward each other, it’s like building up a stone wall or a more permanent form ofdefensiveness against all of that chaos that’s happening from the contempt andthe defensiveness that’s going on, okay, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Now Ididn’t share those with you to alarm you because probably you do these things,right? And Gottman acknowledged, yeah, most couples do but the thing that puts themon the miserable side of the equation is if that becomes the habitual way thatthey deal with their unresolvable problems and if they’re not willing tochange it. So glad he said that part because that gives us some hope, right? Sowhat’s on this side over here? Principles. Principle. Like what I shared with youalready about the chain and gravity, right. It’s not magic, it’s not luck, thepeople who are on this side of the equation have understood and appliedcertain principles that allow them to do that, it’s not luck, it’s not magic, thereare nine of those principles that I’m particularly fond of and I’ll share atleast a few of those with you here on this video.
In fact, I think I just giveyou a summary of all night and then we can delve into the details in some othercontent. The first one is what I first shared when we started doing dailyvideos here. In fact, you can link to that video right up here, it’s about howto be positive no matter what. The first principle is positivity and I pick thatone because it has to do with two processes in our mind that areconstantly going on, evaluation and creation, go review the video and you’llsee exactly what I’m talking about. That principle works and it savesrelationships. One of the interesting paradox is there is that you have to doa positive evaluation of what it is in order to set yourself up to actually gocreate something even better. Think about it, yourmarriage for example, your relationship, whatever you’re in right now could beworse, right? Or it could be better and it’s easier to focus on that sometimesbecause you want it to be better but to make it better, sometimes you have toaccept first that it’s already good, that changes the energy, it changes thedynamics and it sets us up for the creation mode where we’re going to goactually improve it. So positivity is that first one that I want to sharewith you. The next one is values, having some common set of values and sometimesthis ties into religion or prayer or meditation or mindfulness, wherewe can come together to decide on a higher purpose for this relationship,that tends to be a solidifying factor in relationships and has shown to be aneffective way to create a healthy functional relationship to have thatcommon shared value. The next one and this is not going to surprise anybody,you got to be humble enough to be willing to change personally and this ishard for people in general because we know that we’re right. Now check in withthis because it’s not that we think we’re right, we know we’re right and whenwe dig in in that place and insist on being right, we treat each other terriblyand most of the conflicts that come up in a relationship or what my friendBrett Williams refers to as the right fight. Brett wrote a book called You Can Be Right Or You Can Be Married.
I love that title but Brett’s convinced thatevery conflict that comes up in a marriage for example gets back to who’sright instead of what’s right. We got to be humble enough to let go of that sothat we’re willing to change. The next one is tied right to it, that we arehumble and willing to change we’re willing to allow others to changeokay and this gets back to that same pride because when we know that we’reright about our judgement of somebody else, we kind of set up a secretresistance to allowing them to change, meaning that we’re willing to see themin a different light and let them move forward and learn from their ownmistakes. Quit bringing up the past, let someone change and be that better personthat they’re already striving to be. The next one, respect. Treating people withrespect, you can see how that could be really important. Love. I believe that ourjob in a relationship is to love people, no matter what and even if. Let’s get ridof the judgement, let’s get rid of the I’m better than you kind of an attitudebut humbly, just accepting our ability and probably responsibility to love inthat relationship.
Followed right on its heels, I’m going to list compassion.Compassion I think combines love with kindness andgentleness and treating people in a compassionate way. The last two that I’mgoig to list today in this list of nine are work, good old-fashioned hard workbecause it’s going to require some to maintain this relationship and finally,fun. Wholesome recreational activities where you give together for the solepurpose of enjoyment and when we’re enjoying our life, what else is there?That’s like the main purpose so we can’t leave that off the list. If we’re nothaving fun, we’re doing it wrong. I just shared with you nine principles. I couldprobably think of two dozen or more that might improve marriage. These areabsolutely powerful and these power tools will help you to actually createand maintain a successful healthy relationship. It’s not magic,it’s not luck. Right, not luck, not magic. These principles make a difference. Iknow that you’ve had some experience with some of these, I would love to dothat and our other subscribers would as well. Comment below.
You know, it’s hard for us to grasp that God is a real person, that he has likes and dislikes. In fact, did you know that God is the most sensitive person in the universe? God has a heart and there are certain things that please him and certain things that displease him. So if we really want to walk with him in fellowship, if he wants, if we want him to, to trust us enough to share his heart with us, we need to learn about his character and what captures his heart. You know, even Jesus said to us in our relationships with people, he said, don’t give what’s holy to dogs.
He said, and don’t cast your pearls before swine. In other words, as Jesus gives us this wisdom, it seems reasonable to me that God is the same way; that God doesn’t give what’s holy to dogs, and that he doesn’t cast his pearls before swine, but that he reveals himself to those that are ready to receive his kindness, and his love, and his revelation. Now I know that God is like the sun and his goodness shines on the good and the bad alike. I realize that. But I’m talking about when it gets to the deep things of God. God shares his heart with those people, beloved, that are in a position to receive it. This is what Jesus was referring to in the Gospel of John, chapter 14. Jesus said, if you love me you are gonna keep my Word. And he said, when you love me and it’s demonstrated by the fact that you keep my Word, in other words, that your love is real, and because it’s real real, and because it’s real it’s demonstrated in action. it’s demonstrated in action. He said, when you have that in your life, what’s gonna happen, he said, is that my Father and I are gonna come and make our home with you. So do you see here that Jesus says when someone’s heart is properly positioned before us, we come, he and the Father, and make our home with that person.
God has a heart. God is a real person. He has likes and dislikes. The Book of Proverbs tells us the seven things that God hates. And so I’m giving all this introductory information to prepare you for the series that we’re in right now which is called Capturing God’s Heart. Since God is a person, and since he has likes and dislikes, if we really want to know him, we want to better understand his heart. We want to know who he is as a person. And the way that we can better understand who God is and understand the nature of his heart, is by looking at the relationships with figures in the Bible that walked deeply with God, and then seeing what type of relationship God had with these people. For example, the Lord said about David, that David was a man that was after his own heart. So when we look at David’s relationship with God, we can learn something because God said this is a man that’s after my heart. In today’s message I want to look, beloved, at the prayer that Jesus prayed, actually the prayer that he taught us to pray. Because as we look at the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, it helps us to understand God’s heart, and it helps us to understand how people that lived with him in fellowship were relating to him.
And so we’re gonna be looking now in the Book of Matthew, chapter number 6, verses number 9 through 13. Hear the Word of God, as I read now one of the most familiar passages in the entire Word of God. Hear the Word of God, Jesus said: Pray, then, in this way: Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. And so by looking at the lives of those that walked closely with God, and by examining Jesus’s words, especially in this context when Jesus gives us instruction as to how to relate to God, which gives us insight into God’s heart and God’s character, by taking these things seriously and then applying ourselves to them, and by humbling ourselves and changing to adjust ourselves to what God’s written revelation tells us about his nature and our character, by being pro-active like this and initiative like this, by aligning ourself with his Word, what’s gonna happen, beloved, is transformation is gonna result in our lives, and God is gonna come and make his home with us in an ever deeper way. So let’s examine in more detail Jesus’s instruction as to how to pray, so that when we pray, beloved, we can capture God’s heart. Let’s begin. Jesus said: Pray, then, in this way, and he tells us to begin our prayers by saying Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed is Your name, hallowed be your name.
Think about this. Here is God in the flesh, the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, Yeshua HaMashiach, telling us, God’s children, how to play, pray. And what does he tell us? That when we pray we should begin, get it now, by exalting the Father. When you pray, pray in this way: My Father who is in heaven, our Father who is in heaven, get it now, hallowed, holy, set apart, magnificent is your name. We’re gonna see that Jesus moves on from there by instructing us, not only to first exalt God, but the second thing Jesus tells us to do in our walk with the Lord in prayer is to align our will to his will. Now think about that and relate it to what typically happens in most people’s lives today that call themselves Christians, and what much of the common teaching that we hear today is about. Today if we look at many people’s prayers that call themselves believers, the prayers, and perhaps this resonates with you, and as examining, as you’re examining your heart, you would say, you know what Rabbi, I think I’ve been in error myself because in our culture today, in which the American dream and self-promotion has replaced dying to ourself to follow Jesus, many prayers of believers today begin not with my Father who is in heaven, holy is your name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done. But instead many prayers today of believers begin this way, God, will you give me this. God, will you give me this house. God, will you make me rich. God, will you give me this car. God, will you give me that woman.
God, will you give me that man. God will you give me a promotion at work. God, will you do this for me. God, will you do that for me. God, do this for me. God, do that for me. God, do this for me. God, do that for me. Where’s the my Father who is in heaven, holy is your name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, beginning in my life, even as it is in heaven. Where is that heart today? We’re talking about capturing God’s heart. And I think that if we’ll take a step back for a second and compare the way Jesus taught us to pray versus the way most if not, I would say most people today that call themselves Christians are praying, will find there’s a big difference. It’s a world apart, because many people’s walk with God today, it’s about them, not about God. But when we look at Jesus’s walk with God, and when we look at Jesus as our model, and when we consider how Yeshua taught us to pray, the message that he brought to us and the revelation that he brought to us about capturing God’s heart is don’t make it first about you. Make it first about the Father. And make is first not about your will, but make it first, Jesus said, about his will. RABBI SCHNEIDER>>I want to ask you a question. Is your prayer life capturing the heart of God? If we want to capture God’s heart, beloved, we’ve got to do it his way. Jesus said, unless we pick up our cross, deny ourselves and follow him, we can’t be his disciple. What does it mean to pick up the cross? Beloved ones, children of God, to pick up the cross means to die to ourself. You see, the Bible says we no longer belong to ourself. We belong now to the one that gave himself on our behalf. And so we exist in this world, not to please ourselves, but to please the one, beloved, that purchased us by his own blood. And yet the truth is, if we’ll be honest with ourself, many of us, that’s not what our walk with God looks like.
That’s not the nature of it. That’s not the character of it. We’re basically in our own quest to achieve our own dreams, and we’re wanting to use God to do that. But that’s a radically different type of spiritual life than the spiritual model that Jesus gave us, when we’re to be laying down our life to do the Father’s will, denying ourselves to please him. We’re talking today, beloved ones, about capturing the heart of God. If we’re gonna capture the heart of God, we’ve got to take very seriously what the Word of God teaches, what Jesus said about capturing his heart. Jesus said, when you pray, pray in this way: Our Father that art in heaven. It begins with the Father. It begins with his glory, not about me, not about my needs, not about my ambitions. It begins with him. How do I align myself with God’s heart? How do I align myself with God’s purpose? How do I align myself with God’s character? How do I come into harmony with his will? By making it not first about me, but making it first about him. This is the way Jesus told us to do it. When you pray, pray in this way: Our Father that art in heaven, Hallowed or holy is your name. May thy kingdom come, and thy will be done. And where does God’s kingdom start? Where is his will first done? It begins, beloved, in our prayer life with us. Lord, have your will with me.
I belong to you. What do you want to use my life for? What do you want to accomplish in my life today? What are you wanting me to work on today? What is your will for my life? And we know that when we’re truly following Jesus, beloved, it’s a life of dying to the flesh, and living for the one that lived and died in our behalf. So I want to ask you today, do you need to repent? See the Bible says that the Word of God is living and active, and that it’s sharper than a two-edged sword; even cutting between the division of soul and spirit. I want to ask you today, have you been one of those ones that’s been seduced by the false religion of the world that we live in during this end times last age? Remember, Jesus said in the last days difficult times would come and that people would be deceived with the false gospel. He said many false christs will come in my name, and many false teachers would arise, he said, and mislead many. I want to ask you, have you been deceived by a false gospel, a gospel that is man-centered rather than God-centered, a gospel that is more focused on meeting your needs than it is with the glory of God? Have you been one of those that has been seduced and deceived? You see, the Bible tells us that when Satan comes to deceive the elect, he’s gonna come as an angel of light. He’s not gonna come looking like the devil. He’s gonna come, beloved, clothed in a false spirit of Christianity. False christs would come, Jesus said, and many false prophets, and false teachers would come and mislead many. I want to ask you, is the gospel that you’ve been following a gospel that involves picking up your cross, denying yourself, and following Jesus, a gospel that involves dying to self to obey him? Or is the gospel that you’ve been following, have you been seduced, beloved, by the gospel that says you know what, you just believe God for anything you want, and he’s just gonna give you everything you want.
There’s no limit. Just keep believing, believing, believe for that Mercedes Benz, believe for that house of gold, believe for this, believe for that. And beloved, I believe that God’s an awesome God, that God’s a God of great blessing, and we shouldn’t limit how good he is or what he’ll do for those that believe. But if it’s always all about you, you’re not hearing, beloved, the message that Jesus brought. He told us to pray, Our Father that art in heaven, holy is your name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let’s continue on. Jesus continues in the 11th verse, and he says, when you pray, pay in this way: Give us this day our daily bread. I love that. Jesus is saying, depend on God for every breath you take. In other words, when we wake up in the morning, we’re not relying on a big store house, but every day that we wake up we’re relying on God, afresh and anew. Now this doesn’t just mean financial provision, and this just doesn’t mean food on the table, this is an attitude, beloved, of dependency on God. Jesus said, every day pray this, Give us this day. Every day we need God afresh and anew. Every day we need him to sustain us by his grace. Every day we need his protection. Every day we need him to fill us with a fresh impartation of his presence, of his power. Every day we need his angels all around us protecting us. Every day we need God. Just like we’re dependent on the air that we breathe in with our nose and our lungs every minute of our life in order to be sustained physically, beloved, it’s even more true that it’s the Spirit of God, that it’s God himself that we need every minute of every day, every second of every day to truly be sustained. Because the second that God would take his mercy and his hand off of your life, you would be snuffed out, beloved, just like that. Jesus wants us to understand, beloved ones.
Jesus wants us to understand that we should become completely dependent on the Father, not thinking that we can live on yesterday’s bread. Give us this day our daily bread. How many times when we wake up in the morning we just don’t really sometimes feel inclined towards the things of God. We just feel tired maybe. We don’t feel inspired. But you know what, when we take time every morning to spend time with the Lord, to tell him we love him, to thank him, to worship him for who he is and all he’s doing, and we place our posture before him, beloved ones, every morning, and saying Father God, minister to me today. Father God, keep me excited for you today. Father God, inspire me today. Father God, give me fresh bread today. When we have that posture, beloved, and put it into action every day, you know what? Every day becomes an adventure. Every day brings something new. Every day is a day of growth. Every day is a day of transformation. Every day is a day of discovering Jesus in a deeper way. Jesus is pleased and we capture God’s heart. Let’s do what Jesus told us to do. Let’s not do it man’s way. Let’s do it his way. We’re talking, beloved ones, today about aligning ourselves with the heart of God. And I want to continue now what Jesus said next in this prayer that will help us stay connected, keeping our hearts, beloved, open to him and capturing his heart. Jesus continues and he says this in verse number 12; and he says, Lord, he said, forgive us our debts. Jesus said, when you pray, ask the Lord every day, listen now, forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Forgive us even as we have forgiven those, some translations read, that have trespassed against us. It’s this whole concept, beloved, of number one, being transparent before him, and allowing the Holy Spirit to show us those things in our life that we need to be cleansed of; for me, selfishness, pride, self-ambition, treating others in a way that they should be treated. Every day I have to keep my postured before God because the Holy Spirit keeps on showing me more, and more, and more, and more of these types of things in my life that need to change. And here’s what happens. The more we grow in grace, the closer we get to God, the more the Holy Spirit shows us that we didn’t see before. In other words, you remember when you were in elementary school, and maybe you remember being in the laboratory in the science class. And you had a microscope there, and they put something on a little slide, and you looked at that slide through the microscope. And when you first looked at the slide you couldn’t see much. But as you began to turn the handle on the microscope, or now these days they’re electric, as you began to turn the power up on that microscope, it began to show more and more on that slide; so that as the power went up on the microscope, you saw more and more things on the slide that you couldn’t see before.
That’s the way the Holy Spirit is, beloved, in your life and in my life. As we get closer to God, the amplification of his power through the Holy Spirit is placed upon our life. In other words, his light shines into our life more and more powerfully. And as he does, we see deeper and deeper levels of sin. We see things in our heart that we didn’t see before. Early on when we were believers, we just thought about, well I’ve gotta clean these things up in my life. We thought about all the superficial things; maybe it was the smoking, or the drinking, or the way you dressed, or maybe your sexual behavior. And we cleaned up all the outer things. And we thought we were okay. But as we get deeper in the grace of God, the Holy Spirit shines deeper into our life, and the Lord shows us, you know, what, you’re selfish. You know what, you’re not putting others higher than yourself. You know what, you’re running too much on your own self-sufficiency rather than depending on me. The Lord shows us pride. And as he does this, we need to agree with him and say Lord, forgive me. Jesus said, when you pray, ask the Lord to forgive you your sin, to forgive you your debt. And so we continually allow the Holy Spirit to show us our sin, agreeing with him about it, asking him to forgive us. And then, beloved, he takes us a step forward and he says, and now I want you to forgive everybody that’s sinned against you. Beloved, we’re talking about capturing the heart of God.
These things, these principles, they’re life changing and they work. Jesus said, if any man wants to know whether the doctrine that I’m teaching is true, do it. Beloved, if you’ll stay with me, if you’ll keep your heart connected to the truth that I’m bringing, and put it into practice in your life, I promise you this, Jesus is gonna transform you and you’re gonna grow from grace to grace. You’re gonna go from strength to strength, and from glory to glory. I love you. This is Rabbi Schneider saying to you, Shalom, from Discovering the Jewish Jesus.
Today on answers with bayless conley: and if you don’t cast down that argument,it grows into a stronghold. A stronghold is a position from which theenemy can operate. And i think we need to ask ourselves, “whotold me that? Where did that thought come from? Is that from god? Is that consistent with his word? Is that consistent with his truth? There are many questions you are faced withevery day. We are all searching for answers that willmake a real difference in our lives. It’s hard to imagine that these answersmight be right in front of us. Get ready to discover answers in the biblewith bayless conley. Hi, bayless conley here.
I want to welcome you to today’s message. And we’ve got some really important thingsto be sharing with you. You know one of the greatest discoveries i’veever made is that there’s answers in the bible; there’s answers to our hearts questions. And we’re going to be looking at some qualitiesthat are absolutely essential in carrying out god’s purposes for our lives. And there’s going to be something in thisthat applies to each and every one of you. Stay tuned at the end of the program todayfor a special inspirational thought from bayless. We are taking a look at the life of david. In fact, if you have a bible, maybe find actschapter 13. We’re going to read a verse there in justa moment. Honestly, we could quite literally spend ayear of wednesday night’s just studying the life of david. We’re sort of just skimming the surface, andit is a … Well, a very rewarding study to get in, and take a look at his life, and everythinghe went through from being with his father’s sheep, until he finally turned the reignsof leadership over to his son solomon. Just about everything you could imagine happeningin a man’s life happened to david. There was a lot of ups. A lot of downs. A lot of successes. Some huge failures. Friendships. Mortal enemies. Everything you could imagine, and it’s justso full of life lessons. I want to talk to you tonight about threethings in david’s life that really stand out to me. Let’s pray. Father, teach us by the holy spirit we pray. May jesus be glorified through the meditationsof our heart, through the words of our mouths, and through our actions. Lord, our hearts are open, and we love youtonight. Amen. Acts chapter 13, look with me if you wouldat verse 22. Acts 13, and 22. It says, and when he had removed him, (speaking ofking saul), he raised up for them david as king, to whom also he gave testimony and said,‘i have found david the son of jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all mywill.’ i think the amplified bible says, “he willcarry out my program.” basically david carried out the purposes ofgod. He was a man after god’s heart, and i wantto carry out the purposes of god in my life. And i hope that you do as well.
I want to do my part, and fulfill the partof god’s plan that i’ve been called to function in. But you know what? It’s not automatic. You have a part to play, and i have a partto play. First corinthians three and nine says, we are co-laborers together with god. Anddavid being a man after god’s heart, and fulfilling the plan of god, it wasn’t justa matter of some sovereign act of god or something that god chose. David cooperated with god, he made a lot ofright choices, and he repented when he made wrong choices. And again, i want to talk to you about threequalities of david’s life that i believe were huge assets when it came to being a man aftergod’s heart, and carrying out the purposes of god. Three qualities that we should learn from,and that we should emulate. Number one, david was a man of war. Number two, david was a man of worship. Number three, david was a man of the word. He was a man of war, he was a man of worship,and he was a man of the word. Look with me at first samuel chapter 17.
We’re going to read a few verses from a reallyfamiliar story. David has shown up at the battlefield wheregoliath has been challenging the armies of israel, and everyone’s afraid to go out andfight the philistine giant. We pick it up in verse 32. It says, 34 but david said to saul, “your servantused to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb outof the flock, 35 i went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth;and when it arose against me, i caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised philistine will belike one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living god.” Now david defended what was his. He wouldn’t even give up one scrawny sheepto a lion, or to a bear. And he was ready to fight the philistine giantso that israel wouldn’t lose her honor, and so that she wouldn’t lose any of her territory. You know the bible says in first peter 5:8that our adversary, the devil walks about as a roaring lion — seeking whom he maydevour. The very next verse, verse nine says, “resisthim. Steadfast in the faith.” jesus said in john 10:10, “the thief’s,” speakingof the devil, he only comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy.
Now, like it or not child of god, you arein the middle of a conflict, and you better learn how to fight. James 4:7 says, “submit yourselves thereforeto god. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ephesians 4:7 says, “give the devil no place. Give him no foothold in your life.” the thing is, is if we give something up tothe devil, if we compromise and give something up he will always be back for more.” and he’ll usually be back for something bigger. So, if the enemy brings trouble to your doorstep,don’t roll over and play dead, fight. Tell him, “devil you can’t have my marriage. You can’t have my kids. You can’t have my finances. You can’t have my neighborhood. You can’t have my health.” somebody says, “well how do you fight?” we just quoted it a moment ago. First peter 5:9, “resist him steadfast inthe faith.” romans 10:17, “so then faith comes by hearing,and hearing by the word of god.” you resist the devil with the word. You know david filled his shepherd’s bagwith five smooth stones, and then he took one out and launched it out of his sling intogoliath’s forehead. We need to fill our heart with the promisesof god, and then launch some out of our mouth at the enemy when we are attacked. We need to go on the offensive. And i think what many christians fail to realizeis that the main battlefield is in the mind. The mind of man is the battleground of theages. You can look at these verses; they’ll be upon the screen. Second corinthians chapter ten verses three,to five. And these verses have an application for preachingthe gospel to a lost world, but they also have a personal application for each of usas believers. And it says, for though we walk in the flesh, we do notwar according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnalbut mighty in god for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thingthat exalts itself against the knowledge of god, bringing every thought into captivityto the obedience of christ. Think about that. Pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments,taking thoughts captive.
Everything that exalts itself against theknowledge of god, and the place we find the knowledge of god is in his word. Anything that exalts itself, or contradictsthe word of god. And i believe what he does here, and actually he gives us a sequenceof things that happened beginning from the end, back to the beginning. It starts with a thought. He said we need to take every thought captiveand bring it to the obedience of christ. Bring it under submission to god’s word. But you know what? If a thought is not captured, and if it’sallowed to germinate, it grows into an argument. Suddenly, something that at one time you neverwould’ve accepted begins to make sense in your mind. “well, you know god maybe doesn’t hear yourprayers? You know maybe god doesn’t love everyone? Maybe it’s not god’s will that everybody besaved? Maybe you know, god doesn’t want you blessed? Maybe tragedy is god’s plan for your life?” and things that are contrary to the word suddenlybegin to make an argument in your mind that makes sense, and if you don’t cast down thatargument, it grows into a stronghold. A stronghold is a position from which theenemy can operate. And all of these things deal with the mind. And, it all starts with an uncaptured thought. If we do not take wrong thoughts captive,they will take us captive. If we do not cast down arguments, they willcast us down. If we don’t pull down strongholds, they willpull us down. You know what? One wrong thought kept the nation of israelout of the promise land. One wrong thought. One thought that wasn’t captured kept theentire nation out of the promise land for 40 years. They were the generation that god had ordained,he prophesied to abraham and said, “look, 400 years from now your posterities goingto come, they’re going to inherit this land that you are a sojourner in.” and, that verygeneration is the one that god brought out of egypt by the hand of moses.
They come to the borders of the promise land,they’ve already defeated sihon and og the amorite kings, miracles have happened, theysend the 12 spies in, and i know you know the story. The spies come back and said, “man, it’s everythinggod said, flows with milk and honey. Here’s the fruit of the land. Nevertheless, we can’t do it. There’s giants there; there’s walled cities,they’re stronger than we are.” and, this is what they said, “when we saw the people,”they’re all men of great stature, “when we saw them in our own sight, we were like grasshoppers. So were we in their sight.” that’s what they 12 spies … 10 of the 12spies came back and reported. “we went in there when we saw them in ourown sight we’re like grasshoppers. When they saw us, they thought the same thing. Grasshoppers. These israelites just a bug to be squashed. They’re nothing.” and, they said, “we can’t do it. They’re too confident. They’re too big. We can’t do it.” and, the whole nation sidedwith the ten spies, despite what joshua and caleb said. Joshua and caleb said, “look, god said wecan do it, let’s do it, now.” and they spend the next 40 years doing laps around mountsinai dying in the wilderness. Alright, we fast forward 40 years. Now joshua is at the helm leading the nationin. They come back to the border of canaan again,40 years later. They send spies in. They cross over; they come into the town ofjericho, the first city they’re going to have to take. They end up in rahab’s house. She’s a prostitute. I don’t know why they were there, but that’swhere they were. And, when rahab works out who they are, shetells the truth of the matter. She said, “40 years ago everyone here heardhow your god dried up the waters of the red sea for you.
Everyone heard how you slaughtered og andsihon the king of the amorites, and when we heard these things every man’s heart meltedwithin him. Neither did there any more courage remainin any man. We were terrified of you. Everyone.” but the israelites, they thought, “no, theylook at us, and they’re thinking, “grasshoppers.” when in reality the canaanites were shakingin their boots down to the last man. That thought was contrary to what god hadtold them. If you would, it exalted itself against theknowledge of god, and they didn’t capture it. And, it kept them out of the promise land— one wrong thought. Somebody says, “well how do you take a thoughtcaptive?” i don’t think it’s always that easy. I mean thoughts will fly through your mindlike arrows sometimes. But you’ve got to do just that. Catch it, grab it and turn it over and say,”wait a minute, where did this come from? Is this in line with what god has said aboutme? About my situation? Where did this thought come from?” you know one of the first questions in genesisthree that god ever asked man, he said, “who told you?” and i think we need to ask ourselves, “whotold me that? Where did that thought come from? Is that from god? Is that consistent with his word? Is that consistent with his truth? Wait a minute if it didn’t, maybe it camefrom the enemy, and jesus said he’s a liar, and there’s no truth in him. So, if the devil told me, it has to be a lieso why am i worrying about it at all?” replace those thoughts with god’s thoughts. And you know, the devil always does that. You remember jesus at the jordan river. He gets baptized, the heavens open, and godspeaks. What does god say? “this is my beloved son in whom i’m well pleased.” jesus immediately out in the wilderness meetsthe devil. What’s the first thing the devil says to him? “if you’re the son of god” the devil immediatelychallenged the thing that god said about jesus, “this is my son. Well if you’re the son of god.” and, the devilwill always do that. “well if god really loved you, why would thesethings be happening in your life? If god really heard your prayers, then whyhaven’t things changed? You’ll never be whole. You’re a loser. You have no value.
God doesn’t listen to you. You’ll never be free from that addiction. You’ll never be free from that oppression.” wait a minute, capture that thought. Who told you that? Because, if you don’t capture it, it’ll growinto an argument. Harder to deal with when it’s in the argumentstage, but you can still cast it down when it’s an argument. If you don’t deal with it there, it growsinto a stronghold. A stronghold is even more difficult to dealwith. Better to deal with things in the thoughtstage. And, before we move on i just want to saythis, you know israel’s first king, saul, who reigned before david; he was also a manof war. He fought a lot of battles, but if you studythe scriptures, saul’s battles were almost all defensive. David was a man of war, but if you study thescriptures almost all of david’s battles were offensive. Saul is just trying to protect what he has. David’s going after new territory. David’s going after a bigger influence. And you know what? If the devil can’t take you out, he is satisfiedto contain you. To always have you, or always have me fightinga defensive battle. We’re always on the defensive. That happens, we’re never growing; we’re nevertaking more territory. I think god wants us to go after our neighborhoods. I think god wants us to move to a new levelin our business, so we’ve got more to support the kingdom with.
I think god wants us to move onto greaterthings, and to go on the offensive, and not live contained lives where we’re always tryingto fight the devil off, but we’re actually taking new territory. David was a man of war. He understood that he was in a fight, andwe need to understand that we’re in a fight. Alright number two, david was a man of worship. Would you look with me at psalm 34 if youwould? Psalm 34. Beginning in verse one. Psalm 34 and one. David says, i will bless the lord at all times;his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the lord;the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the lord with me,and let us exalt his name together. I think we need to join david in magnifying,and exalting god at all times. His praise will continually be in my mouth. He said, “i will bless the lord at all times.” worship was a lifestyle for david, whetherhe was in a season of victory, or whether it was a time of sorrow or a time of tribulationwe always find david worshiping god. I’ll just show you one example among many,many that we could look at, it’s right nearby. Psalm 57. It sort of gives the idea. Psalm 57 verse one david says, be merciful to me, o god, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in you;and in the shadow of your wings i will make my refuge,until these calamities have passed by. Everybody say calamities. Notice not calamity singular, calamities plural. “til these calamities have passed by.” drop down to verse four. My soul is among lions;i lie among the sons of men who are set on fire,whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. How many think that sounds pretty bad? Think about that. I love david’s descriptive nature. “my soul is among lions.
The sons of men who are on fire. Their teeth are swords and spears.” i mean he is in a rough patch, and actuallythis psalm corresponds with one of the times when king saul was hot on his trail tryingto assassinate him. But we come down to verse seven of the samepsalm he said, my heart is steadfast, o god, my heart issteadfast; i will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, o lord, among the peoples;i will sing to you among the nations. What’s david doing? When his soul is among lions? And when he’s surrounded by the sons of menthat are on fire? He’s worshiping his god. He’s praising. You know in the new testament, hebrews 13in verse 15 says, therefore by him (by jesus) let us continuallyoffer the sacrifice of praise to god, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks tohis name. The new testament says we should continuallyoffer the sacrifice of praise. And you know king david in second samuel 24:24he said, “i will not offer a sacrifice to god that costs me nothing.” i think the message bible says, “i’m not goingto offer a sacrifice to god that is no sacrifice.” once a blessing has come, once the answerto a prayer has materialized, it’s not a sacrifice to praise god then. Yes, thanks and praise are in order, and weshould, but it’s a joy to do it then. It’s valuable, and we should follow throughwith thanksgiving, but when we see no change in our circumstances and life seems to betelling us that god is neither faithful, nor good that’s when praise is a sacrifice, andit cost us something to give it. You know, some of you know the story, someof you don’t. We had a titanic struggle over this property that we’d purchased, where weare now.
The city’s redevelopment agency locked usout of our property, and seized it from us and said, “we’re taking it.” we ended up in a court battle that lastedyears, eventually ended up in federal court. And there were five major components in allthe different lawsuits that were going on, and we actually won all five of those issues. Hands down. We won all five. Now you know what? When that happened, it wasn’t a sacrificeto praise god at that moment. It was easy. Once we got the building permits issued, itwas a breeze to worship god then. No sacrifice at all, but you know i remembersitting down with the attorneys when we were in the midst of things and saying, “look,bayless, you just need to know, that in the history of our nation no one has ever wona case that has been in your position before.” it was a bit more of a sacrifice to worshipthen. Or when you open up the local paper, and there’syour face on a satirical cartoon. A little bit more of a sacrifice to worshipgod then, but we’re to fill our mouth with praise, at all times. Offer the sacrifice of praise to god continually. God wants us to learn to shout while jericho’swalls are still standing. Thank you for watching answers with baylessconley. Bayless will continue with part two of hismessage next week. I’m so glad that you joined us today. And please tune in again next week for thesecond half of this message. In the meantime, why don’t you put intopractice something that stood out to you in the message today. And if you’d like to go deeper in some ofthese things, join us on our youtube channel. We’ve got it translated into many languages. And it always means a lot to us if you sharethat with your friends on social media. So, hey, we will see you again soon. And now here’s bayless with an inspirationalthought you can apply today. You know many people that i know and myselfincluded at different times in my life feel like we waste time. It’s like we look back at our day and wethink, “what did i do with all that time, did i really do anything productive?” And i learned something a long time ago, infact, it was something i feel like the holy spirit whispered to my heart, and it’s this:worship is never wasted time. It’s never wasted time. When you worship you connect with god. When you worship it literally it attractsgod. The scripture says that god inhabits the praisesof israel, that’s psalm 22. Literally god enthrones himself upon the singingpraises of his people. In the book of isaiah god says, i will meethim that rejoices. It can bring a tangible sense of god’s presence. And the scripture says to put on the garmentof praise for the spirit of heaviness. And if you’ve been going through it; maybeexperiencing some really rough things in your life, i just want to encourage you, my friend,spend time worshiping god. You may feel like you have hundred-pound weightstied to each wrist and you can’t lift your hands lift them anyway.
You may feel like somebody’s got a sockstuck in your mouth and you just can’t get the words out, force the words out. Begin to worship god for his beauty, for hisgoodness, for his kindness, for his unchangeable nature, the fact that his mercies are newevery morning. And if you will worship god, my friend, thingswill change. That heaviness will leave. The presence of god will come. Spend some time today worshiping god. You will never ever regret it. It is not wasted time. Worship is always time well spent. Next week on answers with bayless conley: i’m telling you there’s answers in the word. You need to have a love affair with your bible. God will speak to you through his word. He will strengthen you through his word. His word is a light to your feet; it’s a lampto your pathway. It’s alive; it’s active. It’ll build you up, and it will give you aninheritance among those that are sanctified. For more information and inspiration visitanswersbc.org