Almost Persuaded - I Choose to Believe | TBN

Almost Persuaded - I Choose to Believe

Watch Almost Persuaded - I Choose to Believe
September 1, 2019
27:35

Allen Jackson Ministries

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Almost Persuaded - I Choose to Believe

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  • Allen Jackson: I wanna start just with a comparison
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  • of two words, really two definitions.
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  • It's the idea of belief and unbelief and how they
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  • compare to one another and what they really mean, 'cause I think
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  • our understanding of them, perhaps, is a little incomplete.
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  • Belief for me, it helps me to imagine it as a bridge.
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  • Belief in your life or mine is a bridge from the place where I
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  • stand today to the possibility of what God is inviting me
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  • towards tomorrow, and I can't get there through hard work
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  • or diligence or study or anything else.
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  • The only way between this place and that future with the Lord is
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  • if I choose to believe.
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  • So belief becomes an active thing in my life.
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  • Now, this isn't quite as clear in the English language,
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  • but in the language of the New Testament Greek, it's very clear
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  • when you just look at the words, the verb to believe shares
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  • a common root with the word faithful or unfaithful
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  • or unbelief.
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  • So if you see the word, the verb to believe and then you see
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  • faithful, you understand immediately they're connected.
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  • Well, in English that's not nearly so apparent.
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  • To be a person of faith is to be a faithful person.
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  • To be a person who believes in God is a faithful person.
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  • Jesus said it this way.
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  • It's Luke 16, you have it.
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  • He said, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is also
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  • faithful in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little
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  • thing is unrighteous also in much."
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  • It's not the big issues of life, it's not the great big decisions
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  • and praying and seeking God, faithfulness, a life of faith is
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  • generated, is incubated in our lives by being faithful
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  • in the little things, the unseen things, the things that
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  • the general public won't notice, the private choices of our
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  • lives, simple little things like reading your Bible
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  • routinely, praying on a regular basis, giving with generosity
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  • in the freedom and abandon.
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  • Those things are the incubators for faith to be demonstrated
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  • in the bigger issues of your life.
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  • If you wait for the big issues, and you say, "Well, now I wanna
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  • be a person of faith," it's almost impossible.
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  • We want to learn to be faithful men and women in the place where
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  • we are.
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  • Belief is a good thing in your life.
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  • In the church-- forget in secular culture--
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  • in the church, we're almost proud of our skepticism.
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  • If you listen to the way we interact with one another, "You
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  • know, well, pastor almost got me.
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  • That was a really good sermon, and I got kind of fired
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  • up in there for a minute, but thank God I got to my car."
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  • Or we do it in terms of generational things, "Well,
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  • that's just not how my family believes."
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  • Folks, if your family's lined up in something in opposition
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  • to the word of God, change.
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  • The invitation from God into your life is a gift.
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  • Think of the difference in Agrippa's life, if he had
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  • gotten off that pompous judgment seat he was sitting on, and he'd
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  • gone and stood next to the Apostle Paul, and he
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  • said, "I want what you've got."
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  • Whatever happened to you on that Damascus Road and that Heavenly
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  • vision you had, I want that vision in my life.
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  • Imagine the change in his life.
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  • It might have cost him something.
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  • He might have lost a friend or an assignment
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  • or an opportunity, but his whole destiny would have been
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  • different.
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  • That young man that came to Jesus and decided the price
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  • of the invitation was too high, think how different he would've
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  • been if he'd invested the next three years in following Jesus.
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  • The invitation before you today is not an intrusion, it's not
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  • a heavenly attempt to rob you of something fun or pleasant,
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  • it's an invitation to a better place.
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  • Now, in opposition to belief is unbelief, and it may seem
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  • obvious, but I think it-- unbelief is more corrosive than
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  • we've understood.
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  • Because unbelief is really about a choice you and I make.
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  • It's a refusal to believe.
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  • It says if we-- belief were pushed in front of us, and we
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  • push it away like a food we don't want to eat.
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  • We wall off the invitation to cooperate with God.
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  • Look at Hebrews chapter 3.
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  • Says, "Take care, brethren, that there be not in any one of you
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  • an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
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  • But encourage one another day after day..."
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  • It says be careful, take care that there not be in anyone
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  • of you an evil, unbelieving heart.
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  • It's simple English, the words aren't complex, but it's not
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  • what I would've expected.
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  • If I came to you, and I said be careful, you'd be really, really
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  • careful that there's no evil in you.
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  • Don't you do anything to give evil a place in you.
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  • Don't you do it either.
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  • And you do anything you can to avoid evil.
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  • What do you think I'm talkin' about?
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  • I suspect you'd think some immorality, some big sin,
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  • stealing, right?
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  • Idolatry, some gross expression of evil.
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  • If I said don't you let there be any evil in you, No unbelief.
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  • Well, you go, "It's not such a big deal."
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  • But that's not what the book says.
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  • It says be careful that there not be in you an evil heart
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  • of unbelief.
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  • Is it possible we have soft sold unbelief?
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  • That we've kept it a little too close?
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  • You don't want to keep immorality close, you don't want
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  • to keep murder close, you don't wanna keep rage close.
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  • Why would you tolerate unbelief?
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  • You see, I think we have been way too accommodating
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  • of unbelief.
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  • We have all sorts of phrases and clauses that we use to kind
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  • of excuse it.
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  • You know, people say, "Well, pastor, with my education, it's
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  • just difficult for me to believe."
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  • Well, bless your pointed head.
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  • Now I'm an advocate for education, get all you can,
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  • and when you get all you can stand, get some more.
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  • I'm an advocate for education, but folks, God can stand
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  • the withering glare of my intellect.
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  • He will make it through.
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  • It's not really a knowledge issue.
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  • Look in Acts 19, "Paul entered the synagogue and he spoke
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  • boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively
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  • about the kingdom of God.
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  • And some of them became obstinate; and they refused
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  • to believe and publicly maligned the Way.
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  • So Paul left them."
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  • And he took the disciples with him, and he went someplace
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  • else.
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  • This is Paul's pattern.
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  • It says he came in this community, went
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  • to the synagogue, and for three months he spent time persuading
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  • them of the Jesus story from their scriptures.
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  • The synagogue was the gathering of the Jewish people
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  • in the community.
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  • They had a common heritage of faith, a common practice
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  • of belief, a common set of scriptures,
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  • and from the scriptures Paul argued for Jesus of Nazareth as
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  • the Messiah, and many people believed him, but it says there
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  • were a group of people, after three months, that chose
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  • not to, and there's a downward progression described,
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  • and there's three steps in that downward progression.
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  • They became obstinate, they refused to believe,
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  • and ultimately they became critical of the people who chose
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  • to believe, publicly critical.
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  • Now, I think you can identify that progression in your own
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  • life experience.
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  • We're kinda obstinate about it, and then I say, "I'm just not
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  • gonna believe."
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  • At first you kinda debate and argue back and forth
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  • and push it around, and then you say, "No, that's not me."
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  • And once you've made that decision, then you're just gonna
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  • be publicly critical of people that choose that path.
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  • You see, unbelief isn't about information, unbelief
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  • isn't about life experience, unbelief is a choice that you
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  • and I make.
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  • I don't think we often go, "If I studied more, if I had some more
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  • experience, if I could go to some more seminars, if I
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  • could see some more."
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  • But that's typically not the tipping point.
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  • It's a choice that we make.
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  • Angus Buchan: Some of us have what God gave back.
  • 00:08:18.220 --> 00:08:20.160
  • Young men, you don't know, where you're going,
  • 00:08:20.170 --> 00:08:22.290
  • and that's why you're into drugs
  • 00:08:23.000 --> 00:08:24.110
  • and that's why you're into alcohol.
  • 00:08:24.120 --> 00:08:26.100
  • That's not the problem. It's a system of the problem.
  • 00:08:26.110 --> 00:08:29.160
  • announcer: Be there for the God Strong Men men's event
  • 00:08:29.170 --> 00:08:32.010
  • at World Outreach Church, Friday September 13th,
  • 00:08:32.020 --> 00:08:35.050
  • featuring Angus Buchan, Pastor Alan Jackson.
  • 00:08:35.060 --> 00:08:37.280
  • For tickets and information, visit AllenJackson.com.
  • 00:08:37.290 --> 00:08:41.290
  • announcer: Life inevitably brings challenges, but God's
  • 00:08:43.170 --> 00:08:46.170
  • power has given us everything we need to meet those challenges.
  • 00:08:46.180 --> 00:08:49.220
  • In pastor Allen's four-part CD series, "Extravagant Provision,"
  • 00:08:49.230 --> 00:08:52.280
  • he shares how the cross is the anchor of God's authority
  • 00:08:52.290 --> 00:08:55.050
  • over sin and brings us hope and help that is
  • 00:08:55.060 --> 00:08:58.010
  • transformational.
  • 00:08:58.020 --> 00:08:59.070
  • "Extravagant Provision" is our gift to you today when you
  • 00:08:59.080 --> 00:09:01.230
  • donate, so call the number on your screen or visit
  • 00:09:01.240 --> 00:09:05.140
  • AllenJackson.com, and thank you for supporting Allen Jackson
  • 00:09:05.150 --> 00:09:08.050
  • Ministries.
  • 00:09:08.060 --> 00:09:09.050
  • Together, we are making a difference.
  • 00:09:09.060 --> 00:09:14.270
  • Allen: There are two prayers that people consistently bring
  • 00:09:14.280 --> 00:09:18.020
  • to me, and they're really categories of prayers.
  • 00:09:18.030 --> 00:09:21.000
  • The first is people say, you know, pray for me, I need
  • 00:09:21.010 --> 00:09:23.020
  • deliverance.
  • 00:09:23.030 --> 00:09:24.160
  • I need delivered from a circumstance, I need
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  • delivered from a relationship, I need delivered from a diagnosis,
  • 00:09:26.140 --> 00:09:30.100
  • I delivered from a place of a lot of debt.
  • 00:09:30.110 --> 00:09:32.250
  • They're in some life season where they know they need help.
  • 00:09:32.260 --> 00:09:36.280
  • I need out of here.
  • 00:09:36.290 --> 00:09:39.010
  • And pray for me that God will put me in a better place.
  • 00:09:39.020 --> 00:09:42.230
  • I want to be in a better place.
  • 00:09:42.240 --> 00:09:45.140
  • Now, here's the good news: from the book of Genesis
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  • to the book of Revelation, our God presents himself as a god
  • 00:09:48.180 --> 00:09:52.200
  • of deliverance.
  • 00:09:52.210 --> 00:09:54.110
  • Hallelujah.
  • 00:09:54.120 --> 00:09:55.270
  • He willingly, consistently, supernaturally delivers his
  • 00:09:55.280 --> 00:10:00.070
  • people, and he's still doing it in the 21st century.
  • 00:10:00.080 --> 00:10:04.090
  • But that's not a complete understanding.
  • 00:10:04.100 --> 00:10:06.120
  • We need to know more about the nature of that,
  • 00:10:06.130 --> 00:10:09.140
  • and that's the purpose of this little exercise.
  • 00:10:09.150 --> 00:10:11.240
  • The greatest story of deliverance in the Bible,
  • 00:10:11.250 --> 00:10:14.050
  • with the exception of the redemptive work of Jesus,
  • 00:10:14.060 --> 00:10:17.060
  • is the deliverance of the slaves of Egypt.
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  • When those Hebrew slaves were delivered, it's the greatest
  • 00:10:20.050 --> 00:10:22.280
  • story of deliverance in all of the Bible.
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  • So I wanna use it as a template.
  • 00:10:25.140 --> 00:10:26.260
  • You're familiar with it, so we don't have to to explore it
  • 00:10:26.270 --> 00:10:30.040
  • in a lot of detail, but let's start in Exodus 3.
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  • Exodus chapter 3 is a recruitment scenario.
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  • God is recruiting a leader for this great deliverance,
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  • and he selected Moses, and he intercepts Moses in the desert
  • 00:10:41.060 --> 00:10:44.200
  • at a burning bush.
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  • Moses is a little reluctant, he's tried Egypt, it didn't work
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  • real well.
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  • He lost his total investment, so he's not interested in going
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  • back.
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  • But he's listened to God, and then God gives him
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  • the reason why Moses is being recruited.
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  • It's what's in your notes.
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  • It's Exodus 3 in verse 7, "The LORD said, 'I have indeed seen
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  • the misery of my people in Egypt.
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  • I've heard them crying out because of their slave
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  • drivers, and I'm concerned about their suffering.'" Let's
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  • pause there for a moment.
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  • There's something-- we just learned something
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  • about the character of God.
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  • He said, "I'm concerned about their suffering.
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  • That's why we're having this discussion, Moses."
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  • Now they've been suffering for a while.
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  • It's not an immediate response, so it isn't that God is
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  • so concerned that he doesn't want us to ever suffer.
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  • The scripture doesn't say that, but it says when we suffer, God
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  • is concerned.
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  • So we know when we're in a difficult place--
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  • in the Psalms it says God is close to the brokenhearted.
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  • See, I would rather it say God's people are never brokenhearted.
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  • Right?
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  • That'd be my prayer.
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  • If I were right, then I'd say never brokenhearted, God's
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  • folks.
  • 00:11:49.240 --> 00:11:51.210
  • But it says when you're brokenhearted, God's close
  • 00:11:51.220 --> 00:11:53.130
  • to you, and if you're in a place that's brought suffering to your
  • 00:11:53.140 --> 00:11:56.140
  • life, I want you to hear what the scripture says.
  • 00:11:56.150 --> 00:11:58.220
  • God's concerned for you.
  • 00:11:58.230 --> 00:12:01.120
  • And he goes on with Moses.
  • 00:12:01.130 --> 00:12:02.140
  • He said, "I've come down to rescue them
  • 00:12:02.150 --> 00:12:04.110
  • from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that
  • 00:12:04.120 --> 00:12:07.080
  • land into a good and a spacious land, a land flowing with milk
  • 00:12:07.090 --> 00:12:11.090
  • and honey."
  • 00:12:11.100 --> 00:12:12.160
  • Now, we just learned two things.
  • 00:12:12.170 --> 00:12:14.080
  • God said to Moses, "I'm coming to do two things.
  • 00:12:14.090 --> 00:12:17.160
  • I'm going to deliver them from Egypt.
  • 00:12:17.170 --> 00:12:19.250
  • The Egyptians are not going to determine the future of my
  • 00:12:19.260 --> 00:12:22.250
  • people any longer.
  • 00:12:22.260 --> 00:12:23.260
  • I'm here to put a stop to that."
  • 00:12:23.270 --> 00:12:26.160
  • Hallelujah.
  • 00:12:26.170 --> 00:12:28.130
  • But then he said something else.
  • 00:12:28.140 --> 00:12:30.150
  • He said, "I'm not only gonna deliver them from Egypt, I'm
  • 00:12:30.160 --> 00:12:32.270
  • going to take them into a land that flows with milk and honey."
  • 00:12:32.280 --> 00:12:37.140
  • Now, we have learned something about God's deliverance in our
  • 00:12:37.150 --> 00:12:40.050
  • lives.
  • 00:12:40.060 --> 00:12:41.120
  • See, when I want deliverance, I just want out of this mess I'm
  • 00:12:41.130 --> 00:12:44.070
  • in.
  • 00:12:44.080 --> 00:12:45.140
  • I want a better diagnosis, I want a happier circumstance, I
  • 00:12:45.150 --> 00:12:49.070
  • want a better future, whatever it is that's causing me
  • 00:12:49.080 --> 00:12:52.200
  • discomfort, I want out of this, and I want out of this so then I
  • 00:12:52.210 --> 00:12:56.250
  • can go back to doing what I want.
  • 00:12:56.260 --> 00:12:59.260
  • Because there's something right now that I perceive as to be
  • 00:12:59.270 --> 00:13:02.020
  • slowing down my progress.
  • 00:13:02.030 --> 00:13:03.200
  • It's an impediment to my imagination.
  • 00:13:03.210 --> 00:13:05.150
  • I've got a timeline, a plan, an objective, and you're slowing
  • 00:13:05.160 --> 00:13:08.220
  • me down.
  • 00:13:08.230 --> 00:13:09.290
  • God, get me out of this so I can get back to doing what I wanna
  • 00:13:10.000 --> 00:13:11.190
  • do.
  • 00:13:11.200 --> 00:13:13.220
  • But that's not what God said to the Hebrews.
  • 00:13:13.230 --> 00:13:16.270
  • He said, "I'm going to take you out of Egypt, and I'm going
  • 00:13:16.280 --> 00:13:19.260
  • to take you to a new place."
  • 00:13:19.270 --> 00:13:21.290
  • When God brings deliverance to our lives, it's
  • 00:13:22.000 --> 00:13:24.220
  • for the intent of setting our feet in a new place, and it's
  • 00:13:24.230 --> 00:13:30.230
  • gonna require our cooperation for both sides of that
  • 00:13:31.050 --> 00:13:34.220
  • transaction.
  • 00:13:34.230 --> 00:13:36.290
  • It's important.
  • 00:13:37.000 --> 00:13:38.260
  • It is important.
  • 00:13:38.270 --> 00:13:40.100
  • Now, you know the story.
  • 00:13:40.110 --> 00:13:42.010
  • Moses goes back to Egypt, and the whole conflict with he
  • 00:13:42.020 --> 00:13:44.250
  • and Pharaoh and the plagues that come, the destruction,
  • 00:13:44.260 --> 00:13:47.250
  • the decimation, the humiliation of Egypt.
  • 00:13:47.260 --> 00:13:51.100
  • Before the slaves are released, Egypt lies in ruins, totally
  • 00:13:51.110 --> 00:13:54.270
  • humiliated, bankrupt, and the slaves are set free.
  • 00:13:54.280 --> 00:14:00.070
  • And they choose a path that leads them to the Red Sea,
  • 00:14:00.080 --> 00:14:02.110
  • and the Egyptians change their mind one more time,
  • 00:14:02.120 --> 00:14:04.180
  • and the Pharaoh-- Pharaoh's chariots show up on the horizon,
  • 00:14:04.190 --> 00:14:08.080
  • and the people panic and Moses takes that shepherd's staff
  • 00:14:08.090 --> 00:14:11.160
  • and the Red Sea parts and the Hebrews escape
  • 00:14:11.170 --> 00:14:15.210
  • through the dry path, and when the Egyptians follow, they're
  • 00:14:15.220 --> 00:14:18.250
  • drowned in the water.
  • 00:14:18.260 --> 00:14:19.170
  • You've learned that.
  • 00:14:19.180 --> 00:14:20.260
  • You learned it with DreamWorks,
  • 00:14:20.270 --> 00:14:22.110
  • you learned it with Cecil B. Demille
  • 00:14:22.120 --> 00:14:23.290
  • and Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner.
  • 00:14:24.000 --> 00:14:27.140
  • They keep replaying it.
  • 00:14:27.150 --> 00:14:30.180
  • We know the story.
  • 00:14:30.190 --> 00:14:32.280
  • And when the Egyptians are drowned, it says that
  • 00:14:32.290 --> 00:14:35.200
  • the Hebrews celebrated on the other side of the Red
  • 00:14:35.210 --> 00:14:38.080
  • Sea.
  • 00:14:38.090 --> 00:14:39.080
  • They had a party, had a dance party.
  • 00:14:39.090 --> 00:14:40.130
  • Quite literally, it says they danced before the Lord,
  • 00:14:40.140 --> 00:14:41.290
  • the women took 10 tambourines, they had a Pentecostal outbreak.
  • 00:14:42.000 --> 00:14:47.050
  • I mean, they were so happy, they were ecstatic, they're dancing
  • 00:14:47.060 --> 00:14:50.010
  • before the Lord, they're free, they've seen all the plagues
  • 00:14:50.020 --> 00:14:54.030
  • in the power of God.
  • 00:14:54.040 --> 00:14:55.110
  • 72 hours later into the Negev, they haven't found any water,
  • 00:14:55.120 --> 00:15:01.170
  • and the first water they come to is poison.
  • 00:15:01.180 --> 00:15:04.140
  • They can't drink it.
  • 00:15:04.150 --> 00:15:06.040
  • And they said, "We were better off in Egypt."
  • 00:15:06.050 --> 00:15:10.030
  • And Moses prays.
  • 00:15:10.040 --> 00:15:13.020
  • And the water's transformed.
  • 00:15:13.030 --> 00:15:15.110
  • And they continue their journey.
  • 00:15:15.120 --> 00:15:18.010
  • They go a few weeks further and they come to Mount Sinai,
  • 00:15:18.020 --> 00:15:20.100
  • and Moses goes up the mountain, and he's gone a little longer
  • 00:15:20.110 --> 00:15:22.170
  • than they're accustomed to being without him.
  • 00:15:22.180 --> 00:15:25.010
  • 'Cause since he's walked out of the wilderness, things
  • 00:15:25.020 --> 00:15:27.140
  • have turned, but now he's been gone for a few days.
  • 00:15:27.150 --> 00:15:29.120
  • Maybe he's left us.
  • 00:15:29.130 --> 00:15:31.280
  • Maybe he had an accident.
  • 00:15:31.290 --> 00:15:33.050
  • So they descend into pagan revelry, immorality.
  • 00:15:33.060 --> 00:15:36.230
  • They build a golden calf and worship the god of Egypt.
  • 00:15:36.240 --> 00:15:40.270
  • And Moses comes back down the mountain.
  • 00:15:40.280 --> 00:15:44.060
  • And they have a little adjustment.
  • 00:15:44.070 --> 00:15:46.230
  • And a few weeks later, there's a group that emerges this time,
  • 00:15:46.240 --> 00:15:49.070
  • and they say, "You know, we're tired of Moses.
  • 00:15:49.080 --> 00:15:50.170
  • Who does Moses think he is?
  • 00:15:50.180 --> 00:15:53.090
  • We're as good a leaders as Moses is."
  • 00:15:53.100 --> 00:15:55.290
  • Then the Earth opens up and swallows a few thousand
  • 00:15:56.000 --> 00:15:58.030
  • folks, and the complaint department closes for a few
  • 00:15:58.040 --> 00:16:04.030
  • minutes, and they get to the Jordan River.
  • 00:16:04.040 --> 00:16:07.060
  • It's the last physical barrier between where they are
  • 00:16:07.070 --> 00:16:09.210
  • and the promised land.
  • 00:16:09.220 --> 00:16:12.050
  • And God gives him some new instructions.
  • 00:16:12.060 --> 00:16:13.210
  • He says, "Go check out the land."
  • 00:16:13.220 --> 00:16:15.070
  • It's in your notes.
  • 00:16:15.080 --> 00:16:16.070
  • It's Numbers 13.
  • 00:16:16.080 --> 00:16:17.140
  • The Lord said to Moses, "Send some men to explore the land
  • 00:16:17.150 --> 00:16:19.210
  • of Canaan, which I'm giving to the Israelites.
  • 00:16:19.220 --> 00:16:22.270
  • From each ancestral tribe, send one of its leaders.
  • 00:16:22.280 --> 00:16:25.060
  • Take the best of the people from the best of the tribes,
  • 00:16:25.070 --> 00:16:27.140
  • the most influential people, tell 'em to go check it
  • 00:16:27.150 --> 00:16:29.280
  • out and come back and give a report."
  • 00:16:29.290 --> 00:16:32.090
  • You know the story.
  • 00:16:32.100 --> 00:16:34.010
  • It's the very next chapter.
  • 00:16:34.020 --> 00:16:36.070
  • The people come back.
  • 00:16:36.080 --> 00:16:37.070
  • They came back to Moses and Aaron with the whole
  • 00:16:37.080 --> 00:16:38.180
  • Israelite community, and they reported to them and the whole
  • 00:16:38.190 --> 00:16:41.170
  • assembly and showed them the fruit of the land, and this
  • 00:16:41.180 --> 00:16:44.210
  • is what they said to Moses: We went into the land which you
  • 00:16:44.220 --> 00:16:46.280
  • sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey.
  • 00:16:46.290 --> 00:16:49.060
  • Here's the fruit.
  • 00:16:49.070 --> 00:16:50.240
  • But the people there are powerful, and the cities are
  • 00:16:50.250 --> 00:16:54.000
  • fortified, and they're very large.
  • 00:16:54.010 --> 00:16:57.230
  • We saw the descendants of Anak there and the Amalekites
  • 00:16:57.240 --> 00:17:00.290
  • and the Hittites and the Jebusites
  • 00:17:01.000 --> 00:17:02.270
  • and the Amorites.
  • 00:17:02.280 --> 00:17:03.270
  • Call Orkin.
  • 00:17:03.280 --> 00:17:08.240
  • Then Caleb silenced the people, and he said, we should go
  • 00:17:08.250 --> 00:17:11.220
  • up and take possession of the land.
  • 00:17:11.230 --> 00:17:13.280
  • But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't
  • 00:17:13.290 --> 00:17:15.270
  • attack these people.
  • 00:17:15.280 --> 00:17:17.110
  • They are stronger than we are."
  • 00:17:17.120 --> 00:17:20.000
  • They're stronger than we are.
  • 00:17:20.010 --> 00:17:22.020
  • Now, you know what?
  • 00:17:22.030 --> 00:17:23.020
  • That's the truth.
  • 00:17:23.030 --> 00:17:24.210
  • The Canaanite city-states were stronger than the Hebrew slaves.
  • 00:17:24.220 --> 00:17:29.050
  • They had fortified cities, they had standing militaries, they
  • 00:17:29.060 --> 00:17:32.200
  • were accustomed to defending themselves, they were stronger
  • 00:17:32.210 --> 00:17:35.090
  • than the Israelites.
  • 00:17:35.100 --> 00:17:36.160
  • They're telling the truth.
  • 00:17:36.170 --> 00:17:38.160
  • You know, following God isn't always about being obvious.
  • 00:17:38.170 --> 00:17:41.130
  • It's not about being bizarre, but it's not always easy
  • 00:17:41.140 --> 00:17:44.180
  • or everybody would do it.
  • 00:17:44.190 --> 00:17:47.210
  • This concerns me.
  • 00:17:47.220 --> 00:17:48.290
  • This generation has seen more of the supernatural experience
  • 00:17:49.000 --> 00:17:51.100
  • of God than any generation in human history.
  • 00:17:51.110 --> 00:17:54.100
  • They've seen the plagues visited upon Egypt repetitively.
  • 00:17:54.110 --> 00:17:57.010
  • They walked through the Red Sea, they've eaten manna every day
  • 00:17:57.020 --> 00:18:00.040
  • that God has provided.
  • 00:18:00.050 --> 00:18:01.140
  • They'd been through the brutal, unforgiving terrain of the Negev
  • 00:18:01.150 --> 00:18:05.100
  • Desert, and God has sustained them.
  • 00:18:05.110 --> 00:18:07.070
  • Every challenge they face so far has been stronger than they
  • 00:18:07.080 --> 00:18:10.070
  • were.
  • 00:18:10.080 --> 00:18:11.070
  • The Egyptians were stronger than they were.
  • 00:18:11.080 --> 00:18:12.070
  • Pharaoh was stronger than they were.
  • 00:18:12.080 --> 00:18:13.260
  • The Red Sea was stronger than they were.
  • 00:18:13.270 --> 00:18:15.180
  • The Negev was stronger than they were, and yet God brought them
  • 00:18:15.190 --> 00:18:18.180
  • through every time.
  • 00:18:18.190 --> 00:18:20.220
  • And they get to this place, and they say, "Uh-huh.
  • 00:18:20.230 --> 00:18:24.280
  • I'm not going to believe.
  • 00:18:24.290 --> 00:18:27.020
  • They're stronger than we are."
  • 00:18:27.030 --> 00:18:29.160
  • They're intentionally ignoring a lot of other things.
  • 00:18:29.170 --> 00:18:33.160
  • Now, folks, let's not point our fingers at them.
  • 00:18:33.170 --> 00:18:35.150
  • You and I do this.
  • 00:18:35.160 --> 00:18:36.240
  • God has done so much for us, he delivered us from the kingdom
  • 00:18:36.250 --> 00:18:40.090
  • of darkness, he's forgiven our sins, he set our feet on a path
  • 00:18:40.100 --> 00:18:44.020
  • that has brought hope and purpose and meaning to our
  • 00:18:44.030 --> 00:18:46.080
  • lives, and yet we face challenges today.
  • 00:18:46.090 --> 00:18:49.230
  • Challenges of ungodliness, temptations, habits, a desire
  • 00:18:49.240 --> 00:18:53.250
  • to be accepted by the ungodly, to be embraced by those who
  • 00:18:53.260 --> 00:18:57.000
  • don't choose to honor God, all sorts of challenges, traditional
  • 00:18:57.010 --> 00:19:01.080
  • challenges, generational challenges, and it's very easy
  • 00:19:01.090 --> 00:19:05.150
  • to say, "Well, it's obvious they're stronger than we are.
  • 00:19:05.160 --> 00:19:07.190
  • You don't expect me to cooperate with God here."
  • 00:19:07.200 --> 00:19:12.110
  • And I want you to hear God's response, it's Numbers 14.
  • 00:19:12.120 --> 00:19:16.140
  • God said, "Not one of the men who saw my glory
  • 00:19:16.150 --> 00:19:19.140
  • and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt
  • 00:19:19.150 --> 00:19:22.060
  • and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten
  • 00:19:22.070 --> 00:19:25.240
  • times...
  • 00:19:25.250 --> 00:19:27.000
  • not one of them, we'll ever see the land I promised on oath
  • 00:19:27.010 --> 00:19:28.250
  • to their forefathers.
  • 00:19:28.260 --> 00:19:30.220
  • No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it."
  • 00:19:30.230 --> 00:19:35.190
  • Wow.
  • 00:19:35.200 --> 00:19:38.000
  • God said, "Not one of those people that treated me
  • 00:19:38.010 --> 00:19:40.180
  • with contempt."
  • 00:19:40.190 --> 00:19:41.180
  • What did they do?
  • 00:19:41.190 --> 00:19:42.180
  • They said, "We're not gonna believe.
  • 00:19:42.190 --> 00:19:43.180
  • You're not gonna get me to believe.
  • 00:19:43.190 --> 00:19:45.280
  • Too much risk involved.
  • 00:19:45.290 --> 00:19:47.260
  • Too much challenge involved."
  • 00:19:47.270 --> 00:19:51.160
  • You know, I think about it in terms of my own life.
  • 00:19:51.170 --> 00:19:54.110
  • I pray for the world we're in.
  • 00:19:54.120 --> 00:19:56.050
  • I pray that our children will grow up in a place where
  • 00:19:56.060 --> 00:19:58.190
  • a biblical worldview will be part of the fabric
  • 00:19:58.200 --> 00:20:00.250
  • of the culture.
  • 00:20:00.260 --> 00:20:02.180
  • Where they'll be encouraged to choose families that honor
  • 00:20:02.190 --> 00:20:05.220
  • God in the way they're put together, that they'll have
  • 00:20:05.230 --> 00:20:08.140
  • morals, moral perspective for their life that reflect
  • 00:20:08.150 --> 00:20:11.270
  • a biblical worldview, that there'll be young men and women
  • 00:20:11.280 --> 00:20:14.220
  • of integrity and character, don't you?
  • 00:20:14.230 --> 00:20:17.220
  • I pray that will flourish in the generation ahead of us.
  • 00:20:17.230 --> 00:20:21.190
  • And then I take those values into our world.
  • 00:20:21.200 --> 00:20:23.070
  • The people say, "Don't say that.
  • 00:20:23.080 --> 00:20:24.110
  • I don't like that, be quiet."
  • 00:20:24.120 --> 00:20:27.070
  • And I'm tempted to shrink back and say, "Oh, God, they're
  • 00:20:27.080 --> 00:20:30.070
  • stronger than we are."
  • 00:20:30.080 --> 00:20:32.230
  • Or I have to say, "No, I'm gonna believe this for myself."
  • 00:20:32.240 --> 00:20:37.040
  • The invitation from God for you and me to believe him is
  • 00:20:37.050 --> 00:20:40.140
  • a bridge to a different place.
  • 00:20:40.150 --> 00:20:42.280
  • God started the process in Egypt with the objective of taking
  • 00:20:42.290 --> 00:20:46.160
  • them into the promised land, and he took a generation
  • 00:20:46.170 --> 00:20:49.020
  • of Israelites into the promised land, but there was a group that
  • 00:20:49.030 --> 00:20:52.260
  • chose not to go in the stubbornness of their own
  • 00:20:52.270 --> 00:20:57.040
  • rebellion.
  • 00:20:57.050 --> 00:20:58.280
  • Let's not you and me be that generation of people.
  • 00:20:58.290 --> 00:21:02.070
  • I don't want to do that.
  • 00:21:02.080 --> 00:21:05.000
  • God's deliverance in your life and my life is for his purpose,
  • 00:21:05.010 --> 00:21:09.220
  • not just my selfish consumption.
  • 00:21:09.230 --> 00:21:15.230
  • Now, there's one other prayer people frequently bring to me,
  • 00:21:17.010 --> 00:21:20.050
  • and it's when they need a miracle, they need a God
  • 00:21:20.060 --> 00:21:21.230
  • event.
  • 00:21:21.240 --> 00:21:23.150
  • And they say, "Pastor, I really need a miracle here."
  • 00:21:23.160 --> 00:21:26.220
  • And most of the time, it's true, they do.
  • 00:21:26.230 --> 00:21:30.020
  • And I think God is a god who works miracles, but miracles
  • 00:21:30.030 --> 00:21:34.260
  • will not cause you to grow belief.
  • 00:21:34.270 --> 00:21:39.120
  • One more miracle won't make you a person of greater faith.
  • 00:21:39.130 --> 00:21:43.130
  • And I think I can substantiate that from scripture.
  • 00:21:43.140 --> 00:21:45.150
  • Look in Matthew 12.
  • 00:21:45.160 --> 00:21:47.290
  • Some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law came
  • 00:21:48.000 --> 00:21:50.050
  • to Jesus and said, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign
  • 00:21:50.060 --> 00:21:53.080
  • from you."
  • 00:21:53.090 --> 00:21:54.140
  • Jesus has a reputation by now.
  • 00:21:54.150 --> 00:21:56.000
  • His public ministry has been going a while, and they come
  • 00:21:56.010 --> 00:21:58.110
  • to Jesus, and they say, "We want to see one of your really good
  • 00:21:58.120 --> 00:22:00.220
  • tricks."
  • 00:22:00.230 --> 00:22:02.230
  • And Jesus answers them.
  • 00:22:02.240 --> 00:22:04.250
  • He said, "A wicked and adulterous generation ask
  • 00:22:04.260 --> 00:22:06.290
  • for a miraculous sign!
  • 00:22:07.000 --> 00:22:08.050
  • But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet
  • 00:22:08.060 --> 00:22:10.230
  • Jonah."
  • 00:22:10.240 --> 00:22:11.230
  • Remember Jonah?
  • 00:22:11.240 --> 00:22:12.230
  • It's the big fish story in the Bible.
  • 00:22:12.240 --> 00:22:15.130
  • God says to Jonah, a prophet, "I want you to go to Nineveh,"
  • 00:22:15.140 --> 00:22:17.190
  • and Jonah goes the opposite way, and he and God have a little
  • 00:22:17.200 --> 00:22:20.160
  • debate.
  • 00:22:20.170 --> 00:22:22.190
  • And eventually Jonah said, "I'm thinkin' Nineveh is nice this
  • 00:22:22.200 --> 00:22:25.010
  • time of year."
  • 00:22:25.020 --> 00:22:27.040
  • So he goes to Nineveh with the message that God gave
  • 00:22:27.050 --> 00:22:29.180
  • him.
  • 00:22:29.190 --> 00:22:30.180
  • God's gonna destroy your city in 40 days.
  • 00:22:30.190 --> 00:22:32.100
  • No compassion, he's not trying to persuade them.
  • 00:22:32.110 --> 00:22:35.100
  • I don't think-- there's no suggestion that Jonah cares
  • 00:22:35.110 --> 00:22:37.270
  • in any way except against them.
  • 00:22:37.280 --> 00:22:40.070
  • In 40 days God's gonna destroy your city.
  • 00:22:40.080 --> 00:22:44.030
  • And something remarkable happens.
  • 00:22:44.040 --> 00:22:45.200
  • It says that in the city of Nineveh, from the most
  • 00:22:45.210 --> 00:22:47.290
  • powerful to the least, the people humble themselves
  • 00:22:48.000 --> 00:22:52.180
  • and repent and turn their hearts to the Lord.
  • 00:22:52.190 --> 00:22:55.240
  • And God, when he sees their choice, he relents.
  • 00:22:55.250 --> 00:22:59.210
  • Now, that's what Jesus is talking about, the sign
  • 00:22:59.220 --> 00:23:02.060
  • of Jonah.
  • 00:23:02.070 --> 00:23:03.140
  • He goes on to say, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights
  • 00:23:03.150 --> 00:23:06.280
  • in the belly of a huge fish, so the son of man will be three
  • 00:23:06.290 --> 00:23:10.150
  • days and three nights in the heart of the Earth.
  • 00:23:10.160 --> 00:23:13.280
  • The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this
  • 00:23:13.290 --> 00:23:17.250
  • generation and condemn it."
  • 00:23:17.260 --> 00:23:19.110
  • Those are harsh words.
  • 00:23:19.120 --> 00:23:22.050
  • The men of Nineveh will condemn this generation, for they
  • 00:23:22.060 --> 00:23:24.170
  • repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater
  • 00:23:24.180 --> 00:23:27.220
  • than Jonah is here.
  • 00:23:27.230 --> 00:23:29.180
  • The people of Nineveh didn't say, "You're a Hebrew prophet.
  • 00:23:29.190 --> 00:23:32.200
  • You better show us something."
  • 00:23:32.210 --> 00:23:35.080
  • They listened to Jonas's rather uncaring message, and they
  • 00:23:35.090 --> 00:23:38.250
  • humbled themselves.
  • 00:23:38.260 --> 00:23:40.100
  • And Jesus said there's somebody greater than Jonah standing
  • 00:23:40.110 --> 00:23:42.290
  • in front of you with a whole history of God experiences,
  • 00:23:43.000 --> 00:23:46.040
  • and you won't listen.
  • 00:23:46.050 --> 00:23:48.250
  • It's a sober warning to the people of God.
  • 00:23:48.260 --> 00:23:51.220
  • Look at Hebrews 23.
  • 00:23:51.230 --> 00:23:52.280
  • I'm sorry, Luke 23.
  • 00:23:52.290 --> 00:23:54.160
  • When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because
  • 00:23:54.170 --> 00:23:57.090
  • for a long time he'd been wanting to see him for what he'd
  • 00:23:57.100 --> 00:24:00.080
  • heard about him.
  • 00:24:00.090 --> 00:24:01.080
  • He hoped to see him perform some miracle.
  • 00:24:01.090 --> 00:24:04.220
  • He didn't intend to follow him.
  • 00:24:04.230 --> 00:24:06.240
  • He didn't wanna honor him as the Messiah.
  • 00:24:06.250 --> 00:24:09.160
  • He just wanted to see a parlor trick.
  • 00:24:09.170 --> 00:24:12.030
  • Do one of those fancy things you do.
  • 00:24:12.040 --> 00:24:15.210
  • You know, a cabernet or a little dance on the waves or something.
  • 00:24:15.220 --> 00:24:21.220
  • See, I think we've imagined if I could just see a miracle, then I
  • 00:24:23.230 --> 00:24:28.050
  • would become a different kind of person of faith.
  • 00:24:28.060 --> 00:24:31.160
  • Folks, God does miracles, and he doesn't always do it when I want
  • 00:24:31.170 --> 00:24:35.210
  • and the way I want and where I want, but there's no question he
  • 00:24:35.220 --> 00:24:38.160
  • does them, but the reality is another miracle won't soften my
  • 00:24:38.170 --> 00:24:42.200
  • heart.
  • 00:24:42.210 --> 00:24:44.110
  • It's my decision to be faithful that will incubate a response
  • 00:24:44.120 --> 00:24:48.190
  • of faith in my life.
  • 00:24:48.200 --> 00:24:51.070
  • Now, I want to invite you towards believing God
  • 00:24:51.080 --> 00:24:53.100
  • for a miracle, but I don't want to invite you to make a miracle
  • 00:24:53.110 --> 00:24:56.240
  • a prerequisite before you'll believe, or you will stay
  • 00:24:56.250 --> 00:24:59.170
  • in the seat of the skeptic until you have a callous.
  • 00:24:59.180 --> 00:25:04.070
  • Let's choose to be a people of faith.
  • 00:25:04.080 --> 00:25:08.000
  • God will help you.
  • 00:25:08.010 --> 00:25:09.000
  • We need one another's encouragement on this.
  • 00:25:09.010 --> 00:25:13.070
  • We need, we need the supernatural help of God,
  • 00:25:13.080 --> 00:25:17.120
  • amen?
  • 00:25:17.130 --> 00:25:19.130
  • Angus Buchan: Some of us have what God gave back.
  • 00:25:31.010 --> 00:25:32.250
  • Young men, you don't know, where you're going,
  • 00:25:32.260 --> 00:25:35.080
  • and that's why you're into drugs
  • 00:25:35.090 --> 00:25:36.200
  • and that's why you're into alcohol.
  • 00:25:36.210 --> 00:25:38.190
  • That's not the problem. It's a system of the problem.
  • 00:25:38.200 --> 00:25:41.250
  • announcer: Be there for the God Strong Men men's event
  • 00:25:41.260 --> 00:25:44.100
  • at World Outreach Church, Friday September 13th,
  • 00:25:44.110 --> 00:25:47.140
  • featuring Angus Buchan, Pastor Alan Jackson.
  • 00:25:47.150 --> 00:25:50.070
  • For tickets and information, visit AllenJackson.com.
  • 00:25:50.080 --> 00:25:54.080
  • announcer: Life inevitably brings challenges, but God's
  • 00:25:55.260 --> 00:25:58.260
  • power has given us everything we need to meet those challenges.
  • 00:25:58.270 --> 00:26:02.030
  • In pastor Allen's four-part CD series, "Extravagant Provision,"
  • 00:26:02.040 --> 00:26:05.090
  • he shares how the cross is the anchor of God's authority
  • 00:26:05.100 --> 00:26:07.160
  • over sin and brings us hope and help that is
  • 00:26:07.170 --> 00:26:10.120
  • transformational.
  • 00:26:10.130 --> 00:26:11.180
  • "Extravagant Provision" is our gift to you today when you
  • 00:26:11.190 --> 00:26:14.020
  • donate, so call the number on your screen or visit
  • 00:26:14.030 --> 00:26:17.230
  • AllenJackson.com, and thank you for supporting Allen Jackson
  • 00:26:17.240 --> 00:26:20.140
  • Ministries.
  • 00:26:20.150 --> 00:26:21.140
  • Together, we are making a difference.
  • 00:26:21.150 --> 00:26:25.270
  • announcer: Join us every week for another exciting message
  • 00:26:25.280 --> 00:26:28.110
  • from Pastor Allen Jackson, and until then, visit us online
  • 00:26:28.120 --> 00:26:32.090
  • and discover remarkable information and resources
  • 00:26:32.100 --> 00:26:35.090
  • to help take your Christian life to the next level.
  • 00:26:35.100 --> 00:26:38.210
  • And when you visit online, consider joining our effort
  • 00:26:38.220 --> 00:26:41.090
  • to continue sending this powerful and challenging message
  • 00:26:41.100 --> 00:26:44.110
  • around the globe.
  • 00:26:44.120 --> 00:26:45.190
  • We want to share this program worldwide, but we can only do it
  • 00:26:45.200 --> 00:26:49.080
  • with your help, so consider partnering with us today.
  • 00:26:49.090 --> 00:26:53.000
  • And if you're visiting the Nashville area, we'd love
  • 00:26:53.010 --> 00:26:55.130
  • to see you at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro.
  • 00:26:55.140 --> 00:26:58.170
  • We're easy to find, so look us up
  • 00:26:58.180 --> 00:27:00.050
  • when you're traveling through.
  • 00:27:00.060 --> 00:27:01.250
  • And don't forget to connect with Pastor Jackson every day
  • 00:27:01.260 --> 00:27:04.050
  • through social media.
  • 00:27:04.060 --> 00:27:06.060
  • Thanks so much for joining us
  • 00:27:06.070 --> 00:27:07.170
  • and being a part of this Ministry.
  • 00:27:07.180 --> 00:27:09.170
  • We'll see you again next time for another encounter
  • 00:27:09.180 --> 00:27:11.200
  • with Pastor Allen Jackson.
  • 00:27:11.210 --> 00:27:13.200
  • 00:27:13.210 --> 00:27:22.250
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