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Love With a Risk

Marc Swearingen



  • February 17, 2009
    12:00 PM
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you cannot be a beautiful day hasn't I appreciate so much that you all have taken time on your busy schedules to come and enjoy spiritual thought here at noon I hope this week you'll be blessed as a result of coming to these meetings and I like to emphasize with Brother Claudio said about the cards I I wanted just emphasize what you said it please fill these out and turn these and because we do want to be here for anyone who may have questions about spiritual things so if you would take a few moments during this meeting if you have time to fill that out and turn that in the end as was said in the introduction my name is passed to Mark Swearingen and I am a pastor in the Carolina conference of Seventh-day Adventists I've been there for two years and I currently pastor at the Hickory Seventh-day Adventist churches probably got about three hundred and fifty members on the books but you know how that works usually the membership is actually active is is less than that but my wife and I Sarah live in the Conover area which is about fifteen miles east of Hickory and we have three children Abigail Lewis five Jonathan the son is three and then I will girl Samantha whose eighteen months as you can imagine we have our work cut out for us with our children but I hope to be with you this weekend and really try to be a blessing to you I don't presume to present any new mind blowing theology to you but I do want to speak very simply and practically to you this week and hopefully through these meetings we will be encouraged to surrender ourselves more completely to our Lord and Savior so that you can really use us where we are at by the grace of God within a talk today about the message that I've given the title love with the risk love with a risk and you may have heard similar messages to this in your travels I've heard different messages and study different tax send and meditate upon the subject it are all while maybe some of things that I wish unity today might be review but it's always good to have a review on some of these things that we ever thrashed in our experience but I hope to develop a thought today level with the risk I want to pose a question to begin this meeting today as you look at your life and your temperament and you character would you classify yourself as a risk taker have you ever taken risks you know when I look at my marriage and I look at my wife and I I would say out of the two alas my wife is more of a risk taker than I am and I will tell you that my experience in life has made me a very cautious person I'm very methodical and calculated in making decisions very rarely do I do things that are a spur of the moment action and there have been many things that happen in my life that it hasn't made me this way I can remember growing up in southern Maine years ago know when it was winter rallies to get the snowmobile out and I can remember one winter running the snowmobile into a tree trunk as a result I never ever set my body on a snowmobile again there was another occasion I was in high school when a bunch of friends and mine and I we went to this motorcycle during the summer and we drove motorcycles and three wheelers through this pit and of course three wheelers and now I think outlawing that have four wheelers currently but but my friend Lenny Rod 's three wheeler and I had no training on that and so I went crazy and just sat on this thing and just drove all over the place I came around the sharp turn at one point and I couldn't negotiate the turn and I flew off the side of the road into intimate him them and the free will actually flip over with me on it and landed right on its wheels and looking looking back now I know that God will preserve me in that but I never got three wheeler again I can remember when I look for my well that's a later story of a get back to them that there are many risks at times that we take in life into a great degree our experience develops and in and moves us as to whether or not we like taking risks are not but you know as I look at life and as you look at life I think we would both agree that some risks are necessary which you agree with that in men I know your in-laws we can actually a man on I don't come from such a conservative church that you can save man right but I think there's some risks in life are absolutely necessary even if or not comfortable taking those risks some are necessary I can remember when I became a Seventh-day Adventist Christian I was not raised the Seventh-day Adventist no one in my family was a Seventh-day Adventist none of my friends with Seventh-day Adventists and in making that decision I was risking alienating everyone around me which would include my family and friends but I made the decision I can remember also feeling convicted a few years ago to publish a book on Daniel Chapter 11 and I took a great rest in publishing this book and putting out in the public arena for four people in and in and the theological circles to take this book and look at it in an attack from angles and and went out and and you know anytime you put your thoughts and your views in a public arena you open them to criticism that's a risk I can remember finding my biological father and in two thousand three and initiating contact with not seen him in thirty five years I took the rest that he would reject me and thankfully it worked out but friends some risks in life are necessary now when you look to God you think God is a risk taker I would agree brother Raymond I would agree I would submit to you today that an and we can argue that God is taken many risks but I would submit to you today that God has taken to monumental risks in the history of redemption and what I would like to do for the remainder from eating is developed those two aspects and try to bring this home today that we might really consider our standing with God now want to turn for those of you have your Bibles with you let's go to the gospel of John chapter one a look at John chapter one this is the text that that those of us who understand the Bible in a study the Bible we looked at this many times and even though this text doesn't directly bring out these two risks that I want talk to you about I think if we read between the lines we can glean these two thoughts that I want to share with you as far as God being a risk taker now in John chapter one verse one E the first three verses when I jump down to verse ten and verse fourteen and then I want to share a few things with you John chapter one verse one it says in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God the same was in the beginning with God all things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made and emanated on diverse tenet says he was in the world and the world was made by ham and the world knew him not and finally verse fourteen and the Word was made and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory glory as of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth now here we find in exposition it basically says that Christ is God Christ is our create for an Christ became incarnate right would you agree with that conclusion very simple right well I want to focus on two of those aspects and relate this to God being a risk taker the first panel emphasizes that Jesus in this fact two different times is call our Creator the Bible teaches ever so clearly that Jesus created the universe he hung the world and spray space he spake and it was Donny commended in its steadfast etc. but did you know that when you look at creation creation itself is a risk but let me explain I'm sure when when Christ was considering creating the universe he desired to populate the heavens and the earth with angelic beings and with human beings are right now in doing so he desired that what I would call this intelligent creation would give him worship as the creator but he did not want worship that was robotically and mechanically given key desires worship that is freely and intelligently give right and so when Jesus created he was faced with a redemptive dilemma and you will worship of his creation but he did not want that mechanically which means that he must have free moral agency right your hungry are you with me I just checked and so Jesus in this dilemma said look I love my creation I want their worship and adoration but I don't want it to be given mechanically they need to be able to choose to get it back to me freely and so in doing so God took a risk because at some point someone somewhere could choose to rebel and we know through the history of redemption that Satan was created Lucifer by the way chose to rebel he led one third of the angels and of course our first parents out of many chose to rebound we find ourselves in this sin cursed planet but God took a tremendous risk brothers and sisters and giving free will free moral agency to intelligent creation and so as this text describes crisis to create for you can see and glean from that God took a risk in doing so now it's interesting and in the business healthy tangent when you look at the Sabbath reason why we venerate the Sabbath is Seventh-day Adventist as part of God 's law is because when you really look at the redemptive element of the Sabbath you should consider this when Jesus went forward to create the new ahead of time what would happen even though he did not manipulate events to turn out that way and yet Christ still chose to go forward with creation no wing that he would go to a cross there is the redemptive element of the Sabbath and that's be emphasized more in our evangelistic effort because when you see the Christ centered aspect of the Sabbath and you look at it that way and you look at it as a weekly reminder of how Jesus made the decision to create knowing ahead of time that he was signing his own death warrant then we would look at the Sabbath Antichrist in a whole different light now this first great risk of giving free wealth creation and the fact that said entity the human experience this is specifically here on this planet that necessitated another risk to meet the first challenge of sin and that was Jesus becoming incarnate I don't know if we consider this before but did you know that that when God gave Jesus to take human nature he was also taking a great risk because Jesus had free will is a human being and the entire plan of redemption hinge upon whether or not I would exercise choice to be faithful as a human being and remember he used no evidence he to assist himself and his faith walk so you can imagine the rest that that was involved in Jesus taking human nature because if he had said even once and thought the entire plan of redemption would've collapsed and soon would've been internalized in the universe of God so God took a risk and you imagine Jesus is a helpless babe czar pages forty nine brings that out God allowed Jesus to become incarnate at the risk of failure and eternal loss that is a tremendous concept to consider Isaiah nine verse six says that a son is given unto us you know undo us a son is given unto us a child is born etc. and the government shall be upon his shoulder that access Jesus carried the weight of the security of the universe upon the shoulders and that is a tremendous risk that God took because the future security of of the universe was at stake this was an incredible risk brothers and sisters but thankfully Jesus was victorious in this great enterprise the risk trade-off he fought off Satan in the wilderness temptation despite fasting for nearly six weeks right before all the forces of darkness through the heart of Gethsemane choosing the cup of the cross and not deliverance from angelic legions at his disposal right when he was on the cross and he enjoyed the dark chasm worked as a lobbyist and am not a medical student might many of you but he enjoyed the blackness of the second death is the spiritual equipment a second that this broadcast in the Senate created after you drive my God my God why stop mistaking me these still died a conqueror of faith Jesus endured that men of course he endure the darkness of the two by resurrecting from another unread irreparable death because member the second death is a death from which there is no resurrection but Jesus resurrected from Matt and not only that he stopped resurrected and that's a whole another subject but the point is is that this great risk paid off God accomplished through Christ the plan of redemption taking the risk of creation and the rest of the incarnation which led to our salvation and through Jesus victory God has provided an eternal safeguard around his created universe now what does all this mean to us right now what is this mean to us right now Wolf first through his act of creation Jesus has provided us with free moral agency we are free moral agents to choose friends in an essence we can determine our own eternal destiny of our choices and I'm not talking about big choices on talk about every day we are developing character through the choices that we make throughout the day and we must remember the characters not built in a day it's built brick by brick choice by choice hour by hour day by day etc. I mean you once you go to school many of you you can cram for a final exam and I before I you guys you got a man well some of you may write but let me know you get a good grade when you keep up with the workingman I is the same thing in spiritual matters we got we got to continue to make choices consistently because character is not developed in a crisis necessarily it's revealed but it's developed brick by brick choice by choice and seek through creation God has given us the gift of free moral agency and he was willing to provide us this privilege at a great risk because you risk that we might choose to rebel against him that is a human parallel to this when we have kids and and we worry about how our children and the anyway take arrests right we risk not only their health when they are when they're born in May and they grow up but we also worry about what kind of people do get to turn into when they grow up that's a risk but yet willing to take that risk because we we wanted to have at least you we love our children we put them but you understand where I'm coming from I understand Brothers and sisters not the great risk in giving us free will I always tell my kids like you don't have to be the best hate children in church but you don't have to be the worst year now now this leads us to a second thought through the incarnation God purpose to handle the sin problem this was a revelation of a incomprehensible love that culminated at Calvary Christ made himself vulnerable incredibly vulnerable on the cross he basically revealed his true feelings think of it you know years ago I lived over in Glendale California live there from ninety one to ninety five and elected a health club in Glendale Valley 's health and tennis it is this particular woman that that would come there to work out and I began to develop feelings for this woman over time these feelings strengthened to the point where I knew I had to say something to act I just couldn't keep a bottle than any more but I wonder if you know how will she respond but I I said myself that this this is worth the risk I have to share how I feel so I will never wonder what if years late so eventually one day a must at the strength to go turn to share my feelings and so I did it and she got upset she railed at me and and and and until you ruined our friendship she wouldn't talk to me anymore I felt rejected my heart was trampled on but I knew the risk was worth it because I had to share how I fell in case there was a chance I was so funny him are you having a laugh at my expense I is you know what you think about what God does and how often he's traveled like that and think about him revealing Jesus making himself vulnerable right and how often do we trample over that great great sacrifice thankfully years later I met a girl and after became a Seventh-day Adventist and incoming or long with SI I've met my future wife and edge and the feelings came back was a little gun shy because mom had been broken but you know God is never gunshot because God has been trampled infinitely it seems but yet he's always pursuing always never gives up easily never discouraged even though he's heartbroken at her I'm sure at times when we people obviously when people reject him but he still is persistently pursuing while this feelings for this young lady were grown in my heart I want a friend of mine has a brother that I have feelings for this girl I don't know what to do any simple hot teller and I said why not been rejected before what was you know you never know unless you you you try and let the chips and put your trust in God let him work it out casinos especially in so through a series of events that begin to review my feelings turn and praise the Lord she responded and I how would I marry that girl I befriend you can understand the spiritual parallel by on how God has laid his heart of Milan he's laid out his true feelings in every one of us has true religious liberty praise the Lord we live in this country have the freedom to worship because there are some countries of course we know from property that the over turn in the very near future model is happening need to be aware when you stand up for religious liberty if we have a chance but nevertheless God has given us religious liberty it's a God-given right and every one of us has the freedom to choose whether or not to respond to what God is Artie done for us with me with this is mind blowing theology I'm not here to tickle your intellect you could teach me but I am here to talk to your heart and you have to ask yourself this morning in this moment of time where your heart really is you think it's a risk to follow God maybe in some human way this but you know what I think of lease some a friend of mine from Southern who came from a Muslim country he spoke Arabic as well as English and I member meeting we summon hearing his testimony about how he became a Seventh-day Adventist and him and how he took a great risk in making that decision because his family turned against him in fact he was stoned three different times and survived and had plastic surgery because he took a rest in following Jesus and we think it's a great risk because God requires us to surrender self shame on us under forget my former supervisor Carolina in the evangelistic series in Cuba was sharing this story with a devotional group last night but he held a one-week evangelistic series in Cuba and NSE as he was preparing for the first meeting the pastor came up and said make an altar call to ninety civil pass on obese people don't trust me I can't make the call and he said will listen to make a call so that night he made a call and several people came forward and the pastor came back is able to baptize those people this next Sabbath coming up with them and they still do learn some things before the baptized pastor or Johnny share with you what happened the reality of the situation when they go home tonight you don't get the authorities are you know what they've done lose their home possibly lose their meal in other ration cards their vehicles they might get thrown into prison they may even be tortured in some may be killed but they took a risk in coming forward because they wanted to follow Jesus on what you see friends it is worth the risk and really it's really not a risk the risk is in not doing it because we are risking eternal death and so I want you to really think about your life right now where is your heart seriously look at the risks God has taken for you and I but again he enlightens us he convicts us of any leaves us free to choose the question is whether or not you will choose even right now to surrender your life entirely to God God wants all of your heart he wants a complete surrender of your heart and life to him he will not accept divided service so as you consider the risks that God is taking for you this morning this afternoon will you make a commitment to surround yourself entirely that's the monumental question that every soul needs to work through so the question is will you make that commitment will you choose to respond to your creative who gave you free moral agency and your incarnate Redeemer who took human nature to accomplish your salvation and in that act is trying to win back your choice will you make a commitment noisy look at this car hopefully you fill that out if you look at this car if you take that out for just a moment like these make an appeal to you this morning this afternoon hopefully you filled out your name in all the information on the bottom of but as you look at this car as you consider the decisions that God is calling you to make I like to just take a moment and closing to review these points here just for a minute and give you an opportunity to check how you want to respond to God that taught box this is I would like more information on today's subject if that is the desire of your heart lease on another I can give you much more information but we can certainly send out an dialogue about the themes presented today if you so desire so if that's the desire of your heart please check that also the second one there says I am interested in joining a Bible study group I know that this restoration ministry on this campus is very interested in following up on those who have an interest in studying the Bible so if that's your desire please check that also there's a line that it that is available to you if you have any specific subject that you like to study like the focus on these feel free to write those in on that law also that third one says I want to surrender my life to Christ publicly by being baptized a rebaptized there may be some in this room right now God is calling to make that commitment and because of that I'm an evangelist ad hoc I'm not passed on I'm not gifted as a pastime and pastoring because it's best for my family but I'm an evangelist that hardened man who loves going for the souls of people in front of me concerning baptism as you can imagine but if there's someone in here maybe there several of you need to make this man I pray by the grace of God you will make this commitment don't put it off because were not guaranteed tomorrow so please make that commitment finally I have a prayer request if you haven't a particular prayer burden on you hot please feel free to write on the back and we will do our best to it to pray for this request and if you need to we can meet with you and pray with you together in person and help you to lift up this prayer request for the I also want to say in closing on here this week and I'm not some really intelligent man but I am here at your service this week if you need to talk about anything or meet with me are I'm here to serve so if you'd like to chat or come to me and talk about anything I want to know them here and be willing to chat with anyone of you if you have decided I pray above all things friend given friends given what we've discussed this morning I pray that we will respond to the great risks that God has taken so that we can live forever with him in the Cinema Society that awaits us but it starts with our choice and by the grace of God may we all choose right now to surrender ourselves completely to our Creator and to our redeem heavenly father thank you so much for blessing us abundantly above all that we can ask or think father I thank you for each person in here today and Lord I do want to pray for forgiveness above introduce any trifling thoughts that is caused us to not contemplate the great themes that we presented today as you would have us to but Lord I do know that I want to be personable because I know that Jesus was himself so Lord may these illustrations that reviews today connect our hearts together and father again as I've prayed and mentioned I just pray that all of us in this room have made a decision today to be close to you to be surrendered to you to be used by you on this campus in our workplace in our homes and our families just pray Lord that the Holy Spirit would rest upon us and that the Angels of God with markdown our commitments and hold us to those commitments by your grace Lord may many a soul in this room check the baptism appeal we want to see souls one and you can so by your grace Lord multiply and give the increase keypress as we go out these doors now and go to the rest of our day may these thoughts continue to resonate in our minds made a great themes of redemption be the subject the meditation of our hearts and minds keep us safe and bless us until we meet again in Jesus name on


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