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In His Will... Forever

Michael Dant


Michael Dant

Embedded Computer Science Teacher at Southern Adventist University. 



  • July 1, 2016
    4:00 PM
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Careful obedience right. When you start getting really careful about trying to do what God wants you to do sometimes we can get a little bit worried about that and that's OK we need to be a little worried about that but as long as we understand the difference between legalism obedience and as long as we are obeying because we want to enjoy God to the fullest. Because we want to stay close to him. That's not legalism that is true obedience and the only difference between a legal list and a person who truly obeys is not how they obey. It's not how carefully they obey the difference is how much they love gun. So tonight I'm going to talk about two subjects. One of the subjects is about legalism and salvation obedience and salvation and the other topic I'm going to talk about is about the joy of surrender something actually do two shorter ones tonight. The first one is about salvation in obedience What must I do to be saved is the title of this first part most people don't like that question do they what must I do to be saved most people like that question because they feel that it's legal listing but I'd like to propose to you that it's not legal istic that there is something we must do for our salvation and we're going to look at that a little bit more in depth. If you ask the twenty seventh day adventists the relationship between works and salvation. You will be lucky to get just twenty five answers. Have you ever noticed how in the Sabbath school we often talk about obedience and salvation and works and legalism and we kind of assume that we always come back to the same thing again yes obedience is important but we're. We don't earn salvation. We keep on coming back into this rotation that we never seem to get out of can we understand obedience and salvation. I believe that we can. I like to share with you a scenario a quick scenario and kids I think you'll like this this is kind of fun. It's about a guy named Henry who wants to become a Christian. OK so here we go. Henry is at this. And he's deeply moved by what he's hearing and he's really impressed by it and he wants to be a Christian so he talks to the pastor one day says Hey Pastor I've wanted to talk to you Do you have a minute. Sure Henry response a pastor what can I do for you. Well I've been coming to all these wonderful meetings and I tell you this is great stuff. Everything is so Biblical for the first time in my life I understand what happens when we die and what the prophecies tell us about the end of the world and I see how important it is to follow God and to rest on the Sabbath from all my work. I especially like the idea of eternal life and I'm wondering if you can help me get it. Chuckling the pastor says of course and rain. I'll be happy to help you get it but the Bible tells us that salvation is free for the asking. In fact a fusion says For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this not from yourselves. It is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast fusions to it eight nine. Wow response Henry. The only thing better than getting eternal life is getting it free. Where do I sign up. You don't sign up Henry you just accepted Jesus tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. So the question is Henry. Do you believe in Jesus and His love and salvation absolutely pastor I believe with all my heart this is fantastic I'm so excited I could hardly keep still after a short prayer which Henry accept Jesus as a savior. Henry says this is absolutely incredible pastor I am so happy I had no idea salvation was so simple I thought at the very least I would have to give up the adulterous affair that I'm having at work but salvation is free. It's amazing. Oh well. Oh Henry. Yeah you are going to give that up really in response but I thought I just needed to believe and accept what shouldn't matter what I do well because I don't read adultery is breaking one of God's commandments. And your point is Pastor. Well you need to obey the commandments. I'm confused. Just a minute ago you said the salvation was a free gift and that it was a ball about grace and not about my works. Now you're telling me that I can't have eternal life unless I keep the commandments. That sounds like works to me didn't have verse you quoted just say something about not by works. So they should it is a free gift Henry and there is nothing you can do to earn it. The Bible is clear that our righteousness does not does nothing to merit the least of God's gifts. Unless God forgives us gives as you turn life freely we would never be saved. We keep the commandments out of a heart filled with gratitude to God for his wonderful salvation and we sighs and says Oh well I guess I can give up my affair. Things were getting a little stale Anyway I really suppose it's not too much to ask for eternal life. That's right Henriette's right attitudes of the pastor. It's a small price to pay. Well he says I'm pretty still excited about this whole thing I can't wait to tell all my friends about it in fact I'm going to send out a text message right now and avoid invite them to join me at the bar for a celebration. I'll even pay the tab. Bar Henry. Yeah you know beer wine bottle martini shaken not stirred. Oh well you know Henry the Bible tells us that the bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and the strong is not healthy for us. Well yeah but drinking alcohol is not one of the Ten Commandments is it so the pastor. That's a relief says Henry because giving up alcohol would be a serious problem for me but Henry God doesn't want you to do anything that's unhealthy. Lies that but the question is do I have to give a drinking in order to inherit eternal life. Well the Bible does say that those who practice drunkenness will not inherit the kingdom of God glacier's five twenty one. Well opacity or this free gift things start to get expensive. I can't believe that just a few minutes ago I thought the eternal life was simple and easy. You're looking at this to all the wrong way and resell vacation is simple and easy it's about having a love relationship with Jesus when you love Jesus for all that he's done for you that you gladly give up the things that don't please him. You need to focus on the relationship spending serious time every day in prayer and Bible study is very important so you can learn to love the Lord more then keeping the commandments will be easy and you won't want to drink alcohol. Henry sighs and says prayer and Bible study every day. Wow that another one of the commandments. This is because keep keeps getting more and more complicated. I thought being saved was just believe in except the salvation by grace through faith not by works thing is sure sounds like a lot of work. Don't concentrate on the do's and don'ts here and read instead focus on Jesus. If you heard that before. When you love Jesus enough this will all seen easy. So how long will that take said Henry. Oh how long I don't know you know a while I suppose love doesn't happen at once you know it's a relationship building process. But what I do and tell then Pastor. What do I do until I love Jesus so much to all of this becomes easy. Oh well yes. You do need to obey God I just don't get it. If salvation is a free gift and not by works then why does God require B.D.'s my brain is tired I'm going to go watch a movie and put my brain in neutral for a while before it explodes. Oh about that movie Henry. Have I told you about flipping four eight about where God tells us that we should only think about things that are. True and pure and lovely at this point Henry runs away yelling pastor calls out Henry Henry come back salvation is free. You have to feel for poor Henry don't you and you have to feel for the parent for the poor Pastor don't you because everything the pastor said was true but it seems to get a little more complicated than it should sometimes because we're saved by grace through faith and that's it right except that the Bible goes a little bit farther than that and we're going to study that little bit more tonight. So this is the question we want to look at tonight. Are works required for salvation and the first text that we're going to look at says this forty by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift that sounds like a free thing of God not as a result of work so that no one may boast so that seems to be pretty clear that we are saved by grace through faith not by works OK that's a good version we stop there or should we go and look at the rest of the Bible or let's keep going a little bit. Paul tells in glaciers Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ even we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law since by the works of the law no flesh will be justified. So Paul says by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in the course we know that justification is the beginning of salvation just occasions when Jesus saves us is when he forgives us is when He allows us into His kingdom. So by the works of the law no flesh will be justified. Remember that for a minute because we're going to get to another verse by Paul that seem to say something different. Again in Romans Paul says for we maintain that a man is justified by faith. Apart from works of the law and then Jesus comes along. Says Do not marvel at this for an hour's coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear whose voice will come forth. Those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life. Those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment now that tech seems to have some indication that our works have some part to play in this resurrection. So let's keep going. Paul says in Corinthians for we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ so that each one may be recompense for his deeds in the body according to what he has done whether good or bad interesting. That's Paul. Well here's Paul again. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been manifest to being witnessed by the law and the Prophets even the rightness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe being justified as a kid if by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. So we see several verses seem to say that works play an important part of salvation process and we see several verse of the sea seem to say the opposite. Well I'm sorry it gets worse. James says the man is justified by works and not by faith alone. So we're going to throw James out of the bible like a lot of scholars want to do because obviously that's not true because Paul says the exact opposite right Paul says the exact opposite of that right by the way did you know that Paul says this Ford is not the hearers of the law who are just before God but the doers of the law will be justified that. Really Paul. This is the Paul who says where we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law and then he says it is the doers of the law who will be justified. Thank you Paul you're making this very clear for us. What makes it even worse is that both Paul and James are opposite poles of this question. And they use. The exact same illustration to prove their opposing points. Listen to this Paulson Romans for if Abraham was justified by works that he has something to boast about but not before God for what does the Scripture say Abraham believed God and it was credit to do him as righteousness a Paul a saying Abraham can't boast because it wasn't by works if it was he could boast but Abraham believed God and it was credited to him is right snus Well this is what James says James says was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar. You see that faith was working with his works and the scripture was fulfilled which says and Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness so they both used the exact same Abraham Isaac illustration to prove what appear to be opposing points. So everybody clear now. Like I said before I have found that whenever the Bible seems to contradict itself. It's because I'm missing something important and I believe that in the church today we are missing something important. We are missing a fundamental understanding of obedience and what it does for us and that's what we're going to look at here. There is this pendulum going on in the church today. And on one side is legalism and on the other side is what I call lazy Grace. God does it all don't need to do anything except for except you go to sleep you wake up you're saved. And somewhere in the middle is this narrow road which Jesus is asking us to walk and the devil doesn't care on which side we fall off the legalism side or the Lazy Gray side doesn't care. And so what Paul and James are talking about in the Bible are these two problems. Paul focuses more on the legalism problem people who are thinking I have to deserve salvation I have to merit it by my works. That was a very common belief. It's a very common belief in paganism in a lot of the Christians came from pagan backgrounds. It's a very common belief and even the fair cicle traditions. James was fighting some other people who were saying hey all we need is faith. We don't need work so all we can do anything we want. So as we look at these two sides of the problem. We begin to realize that there are actually two questions that we need to ask the first question is do I need works in order to earn deserve or merit salvation and Paul would say we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law and the second question that we need to ask is Do I need works in order to receive salvation noticed a difference. One is asking Do I need works in order to earn deserve or merit and the other one is asking Do I need to work in order to receive it and Jesus would say or Paul would say it is not the hearers of the law who are just before God but the doers of the law will be justified. This is the thing that we don't understand. We don't understand that there are two sides to this question when I say do I need works for eternal life. You can say yes or no depending on one which of these questions. You are trying to answer let me give you know. If I want to go to a place in my car I've never been before children help me with this tell me this is right. OK if I want to take my car to a place I've never been before the first thing I need to do is know how to get there. So in order to know how to get there I open the gas. That I go grill close to the gas nozzle there and I inhale deeply and yell down how do I get to my destination is that how it works. No no it's probably a good idea that you get really sick if you do that in fact gasoline doesn't help you navigate at all it's not a purpose right. Makes sense. So does that mean I've seen get rid of all the gasoline my cars I don't need it to get to my destination. No just because it doesn't navigate for us doesn't mean we don't need it. It's the same thing with with obedience and salvation. Just because obedience doesn't merit deserve salvation doesn't mean we don't need it for salvation. You see that and we'll see how that works in just a second here. John No George Sorry George wanted to go to the banquet in the castle. And the problem was was he was not a nobleman and only noble people could go to the castle for the banquet. And so he decided that he was going to try to sneak in so he waited by the side of the road as a group of people who were going to the banquet by the side of road and when the group came he could just you know meander with and started talking within as they got to the gate he was just going to go right in with the crowd. Except that the guards at the gate noticed him because of his clothes and he said hate you're not alone out they would let him in so after that he decided he was going to sneak in the back eight because he heard there wasn't well guarded so he snuck around the back side and inertially two guards back there and they had his back they had their backs to him so he snuck very quietly towards the gate and he was just about ready to move into the gate when he had this long pointy thing on his nose called the spear and he backed up and decided it was probably a good idea not to go in the back gate so that he had a brainstorm. I know what I'll do I will go steal some clothes from a nobleman and I'll walk. Like I belong here. So that's what he did. And he walked into that gate. Just like he belonged there and the guard started laughing before he even got to the gate. They said Hey George if you want to participate can you can have to wash your face. Because no woman might have that kind of clothes they don't have that kind of skin. So George little discouraged but he said OK I know what to do now I'm going to go down to the river. I may get the most powerful soap I can find I'm going to wash my face and hands and they will not have any idea that I'm not a nobleman. So I went down and he started scrubbing but he couldn't get it off. It was so deeply ingrained into the skin it was stained into skin and that made him really discouraged and as he was sitting there discouraged and despondent another guy walked up to his name was John and John said to George George what's the matter and George is on just having a bad day you know it's just one of those things and. They got to talking a little bit and you know John and George clicked very very quickly and they found they had a lot in common and they were actually got into a really fun conversation very quickly and George was surprised about how much he was sharing about his life and and how much fun they were having and they were laughing and joking Have a great time together after a few minutes. John says hey you know George I got to go. I'm going to point my butt. If you want to walk with me for a while you know we can carry on a conversation so George says hey yeah sure why not on the also tonight. So as they were walking along they came to the place where George lived his camp the peasant camp and the cook called out Hey George. We're having your favorites to better get it now because it's going to be gone by the time we get back and George says to John Hey John you want to you with us Johnson sorry I'd like to buy I can't right now I've got an appointment I'm I got to get there in time and so George to the well you know I'm not the hungry either so they just continued walking along and after a little while George met his ex-girlfriend on the side of the road. And she says she was standing there looking very sultry and she says Hey George you want to come and have some tea and. George says maybe some of the time I'm I'm with John right now and so they continued walking along and they were joking and George was laughing and in the middle of one of George's laughter sessions he all of a sudden stop he looked around and he said where are we and then he realized we're inside the castle and George says to John how in the world to give inside the castle and John says easy if you're walking with the king's son. My friends do you know how to get to heaven. Walk with the king's son. It's the only way it's the only way it. So. Looking at this parable. When George refused to be tempted by that stew or by his ex-girlfriend. He was staying close to his friend. What does obedience do for us in the Christian life. It keeps us close to Jesus. What does disobedience do it separates us. And that's exactly the way it is the Christian life is all about staying close to the Savior. Staying close to Jesus keeps us on the narrow way you are my friends Jesus says if you do what I command you why because when we obey God we stay close to him. So let's go back to our two questions. Do I need works in order to earn deserve or merit salvation. The answer is no why because no matter what we do we cannot get into the castle without the. Son. We cannot even begin to earn or deserve merits of ation cannot happen. All right so Question number two do I need words in order to receive salvation and the answer is yes. Why because obedience plays an important role in our relationship with Jesus obedience plays an important role in our relationship with Jesus Jesus says not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does what. The will of My Father who is in heaven will enter in other words Jesus understood something that we as Christians don't often understand these days and that is part of focusing on Jesus part of abiding with him is a by do with him in the center of his will that is love prayer and faith and Hansing as we saw yesterday. So what must I do to be saved. That's the question What must I do to be saved and I'm not ashamed of that question. That's a good question What must I do to be saved in the answer is if they close to the Savior. If they close to the Savior and if you're like George and you by God's grace overcome the temptations to get sidetracked by bad choices you can stay with the Savior. Stay close to the Savior and then. You just find yourself in Heaven. You know what salvation is so people don't understand salvation. So they should it is a love relationship with Jesus starts right now and just happens to last for eternity. Right and you walk right in without even harder knowing if you're just with a friend that you'd like to be with that's what surrender is all about. Ellen White says to know God is to be one with him in heart and mind having an experimental knowledge of him holding reverential communion with him as. Deemer only through sincere obedience can this communion be obtained my friends we do need to worry about legalism it is a problem but remember what is legalism legalism is believing that obedience is why God blesses me. Where is true beauty is recognizes that it is how God does it. God blesses us through his good choices every one of God's commands is a gift and invitation to be blessed. So yes let's fight legalism vigorously. But let's not miss out on the power and beauty of true obedience and let's not be afraid of obeying God as well as we know how to and let's not be afraid of Jesus teaching us new ways that we can obey him better because that's what sanctification is all right so now for part two. I want to end the seminar. Talking about some of the blessings of obedience and that's what we've been talking about all throughout it but I want to talk about some more of the blessings of obedience the joy of dying. This is a poem called what Christ said I said let me walk in the field. He said no walk in the town. I said there are no flowers there he said no flowers but a crown. I said but the skies are black there is nothing but noise and din and he wept as he sent me back there is more he said there is sin. I said but the air is thick and the fog surveilling the sun he answered yet souls are sick and souls in the darkness undone. I said I shall miss the light and my friends will miss me they say he answered choose to night if I am to miss you or they I pleaded for time to be given. Said Is it hard to decide it will not seem hard in heaven to have followed the steps of the guide. I cast one look at the fields then I set my face to the town. He said My child. Do you yield will you leave the flowers for the crown then into his hand went mine and into my heart came he and I walk in the light divine the path. I had feared to see my friends God calls us to a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice and discomfort and. Active labor. That's what surrender is all about it's a life where we give up our choices where we give up our desires our aspirations our wants our needs. We give up everything all of our choices and we say Lord you get to choose in every area my life all the time and that my friends is contrary to our natures our nature wants to go our way not God's way the surrendered life looks ugly from the outside as you're looking into the life that God calls us to it looks ugly and there's this line called Surrender and on one side of the line the printer life looks ugly and on the other side of that line the Standard Life looks beautiful and our old life looks ugly. So sometimes it takes a leap of faith to go across that line to see the beautiful life and I know it took me many many years to have that much faith and to be able to say OK Lord I want the ugly life even if it is ugly. The word surrender is a dirty word to some surrender is what happens to the bad guys right. Surrenders what happens to the losers but for a Christian shredder doesn't have to be a bad word surrender. Or is leaping with utter abandon into the arms of the one who loves us most. That's what Sure under is that's a good thing that's how we can see surrender in a positive light because that's exactly what it is the irony. Of our life here on earth is that the truly beautiful life looks ugly to us naturally and the truly ugly life looks beautiful to us naturally and so we by God's grace need to be able to see the beautiful life. So I want to talk about three things about Trenda very quickly here. One is the privilege of surrender. At one point Jesus' ministry he said to His disciples that they needed to eat His flesh and drink his blood remember that story and afterwards a lot of his disciples left him because it was very hard saying and Jesus said to his his close disciples the twelve disciples says Will you leave me also remember what Peter said Peter says something that is so profound We need to think about it sometimes and that is To whom else shall we go there thought about that if I wasn't a follower of Christ. Where else could I go. If you're on this path and then you decide not to follow the path anymore. What are your other options right. It's not a pretty picture and it's the same way with us whether we realize it or not so this question to whom else should I go. It's a very interesting question and some of you might have doubts about of the don't fear because it has been studied extensively in fact there was once this very wealthy benefactor who hired a scientist fully stocked his lab to study this one question to whom else can I go. And here was the conclusion of his research meaningless. Meaningless says the teacher utterly meaningless. Everything is meaningless right that Solomon the wisest man will ever live. He said I devoted myself to study in to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men. I have seen all the things that he that are done under the sun all of them are what meaningless a chasing after the wind in essence he was saying there is no other way it's God's way or is this it's meaningless if you want to have meaning if you want to have joy. If you want to have pleasure. If you want to have the good things you go God's way that's the only choice you have everything else is meaningless a chasing after the wind. So when God asked Solomon to be his scientists to study this question. He gave Solomon everything he needed to explore the question completely listen what the Bible says God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind like the same and that is on the sea shore. How much sand is there on the sea shore. That's how much wisdom Solomon had I have about one grain of that. So he had the whole sea shore. So that's great God said Behold I have given you a wise and discerning heart. So there has been no one like you before you nor shall one like you a rise after you in other words you know smartest man has ever lived on the surface and never will live. OK what's a pretty good credentials for studying this important question isn't it. Well doesn't stop there God also stopped his laboratory he says I tried cheering myself with wine and embracing folly my mind is still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs of water groves of flourishing trees. He goes on about male and female slaves and other slaves. Were Born in my house I also owned more herds and flocks and anyone who drew some before me I amassed silver and gold for myself and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers and a harem as well the delights of the heart of man I became greater by far than any one in Jerusalem before me in all this my wisdom stayed with me I denied myself nothing my eyes desired. I refuse my heart no pleasure. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve everything was meaningless a chasing after the wind. Nothing was gained under the sun Solomon's conclusion was we really only have one choice if we want to enjoy life and get true pleasure and true meaning we only have one choice. In other words what we learn from scripture in the wonderful book of Ecclesiastes these is that there will never be anyone on this earth that has more wisdom more fame or popularity more wealth more power or more pleasure than Solomon had God gave Solomon all those things in over abundance in order to prove to you and to me that even Everything is not enough even Everything is not enough. The only way we're ever going to find true meaning in pleasure is in Jesus. Well I didn't believe Solomon I decided to do my own research on the subject. And there was a time in my life when I decided I was in the in my own way do my own thing seek my own pleasure. There's the not self and I'll stop man's got to go right. You know I want to dulled self I don't want to die self. Well I tried it and I have come to a conclusion the song was right for my own personal experience I've come to the gluten that Solomon was right even though I didn't have a thing he had in my own little way I recognize that when I went my own way I became physically. Really emotionally and spiritually sick and it's only by God's way that I was able to enjoy true motivation true satisfaction true peace. True Joy Solomon says the conclusion when all has been heard is this fear God and keep His commandments. Because this applies to every person Solomon's conclusion was fear of God which means to love him and to premature and or to him if you study it. And keep His commandments. You see how important B.D.S. is in this process. Watchman E. once wrote this the day that you heard that you did not need to die you felt this was a great gospel. Now in another day you are hearing that you do not need to live. This is also a great gospel not so true when God saved us we were we were so thankful we praise the Lord that he saved us from dying and then he asked us to die and we also learned this is a great thing to do. Because you can only receive resurrection power when you die. And that's what God wants to give us he want to give us resurrection power surrender is a great privilege and Peter recognize that and Ellen Weiss says true happiness will be the result of every self-denial every crucifixion of self true happiness. You want true happiness true pleasure. True peace. There is only one way we can go. Let's look a little bit now at the peace of surrender surrender is throwing ourself with utter abandon into the arms of the Almighty God which is a great privilege but it's also incredibly peaceful. There was a submarine commander who was putting his new submarine through sea trials and he spent. Several days deep deep underwater. And when he came back to base they will ask him how did you guys have by the storm. And the cap is that storm what storm right. Would be so wonderful if you and I were so submerged in the will of God that the storms passed right over us. That's where God wants us to be drowning in the will of the Almighty to the point where the storms pass right over us and God gives us the power to get through the peace that passes understanding. I had some friends who owned a house and after a while they recognize that their house was sinking the foundation was sinking and there were cracks developing in the walls and they did some Avesta geisha in the realize that they were going to have to dig underneath the foundation jack it up it was going to cost thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars and you know because they were my friends I felt bad for them but I have to admit when they were telling me their troubles. I remember thinking Boy I'm sure glad that's not my house you know it's easy to be peaceful when you don't own anything right because it's not your problem we have a vested interest in the things that we own and so that's the way it is with Jesus is so nice to be able to say Hey I give it all to Jesus. James Calvert was going to be a missionary in among the Fiji cannibals. And he and his group are on this boat and the captain said to them you guys do not want to go there they are savages they will eat you you will die. You know what James said to the Captain he said we died before we came there right. Nothing to lose they died before they got there. And that's exactly what God wants us to do. Andrew Murray says god. It is ready to assume full responsibility for the life that is wholly yielded to him and had a wonderful thought. And that means that when our house is floating down the river. We can say look Lord your house is floating down the river. When our car is destroyed in a crash we can say Lord I don't know how to get around because your crap your car just crashed when you're diagnosed with stage four cancer. You say Lord. This is your body. Whatever you want to happen. It's yours not mine I don't and. The Lord is willing to take full responsibility for the life that is wholly surrendered to him. Some people think that being yoked to Christ is a bad thing being yoked to Christ is being held close to the Almighty God Where else do you want to be right. You want to walk with God You want to go in the same direction he's going you want to go at the same speed he's going be yoked a crisis a great place to be in this world you don't want to be anybody anyplace but held close to him. So being surrender is incredibly peaceful. How about pleasure pleasures a one of those things that we like and sometimes we think that when we surrender ourselves and we start living the self-denying life and start on the surrender diet that we are giving up all our pleasure is that true. Who invented pleasure. God did right. God invented to pleasure a man said to said Well Jack old fellow said one man who met a man who had converted. Lately he says I hear you have given up all your pleasures. No no said the friend. The fact lies all the other way I have just found all my pleasure and have given up only my follies writing. And that's how God wants us to enjoy this. So the Sama says you will make known to me the path of life in your presence is what the fullness of joy in your right hand there are pleasures forever. Sometimes it's hard to remember that God is the one who invented pleasure. God is the one who gave me my tastebuds you know before I surrendered my diet to the Lord I used to eat quite a bit of spicy food and after. I took the spices out of my diet when I surrendered my diet to to the Lord I begin to notice something I never really noticed before did you know that the food underneath has flavor. Underneath the spices there is flavor subtle flavor but delicious. It's a way of the Christian life. When we surrender the titillating worldly distractions. We begin to realize that there is a satisfying and pleasurable life underneath. It's not as intense it's not as titillating it's more subtle but it's more meaningful more satisfying and more tasty. If you will. So God invented our tastebuds he gave us pleasure in eating God invented our senses. So we can enjoy things like fresh air and sunshine. God gave us sexual pleasure. So that we could have physical and emotional bonding in our relationship with our spouse. God gave us brains so that we could enjoy a good story. All these things God gave us all this true pleasure God gave us. But the devil has a counterfeit for everything that God has given us. You know that right. The devil has a counterfeit for everything good that God has given us and the devil's counterfeit is really easy to recognize simply take God's good thing process it artificial eyes it condense it refine it until it becomes intense and unbalanced and you have the devil's. Counterfeit the counterfeits are more stimulating but they're less healthy and less than leaving our God is the God of balance some of you ever notice that in everything he does you see balance there is balance between justice and mercy. There is balance between the distance of the earth to the sun and right it's not so far away that you'd freeze a not so close that you would melt. There is balance in the night and day cycle where we there's a time to sleep in a time to work in the human body. You see balance everywhere from the chemical processes that make our cells work to the bilateral symmetry of our arms and legs. You see that God is a God of balance and his that's true then you know that the world is going to be unbalanced because the devils counterfeits are unbalanced right. And in fact unbalance has become so prevalent that people think it's normal. Abnormality has become normal even in our church. And sometimes when God gets a hold of a person and says hey I want your choices in the person's OK Lord I give you all my choices and God balances that person he begins to look fanatical even to his fellow church members. He begins to look on balance we become that we have become so on balance that a truly balanced person seems on balance right. So now there is fanaticism there is bad balance there is there is that but But what I'm saying here is that just because everybody's doing it doesn't mean it's balanced and if you give got all your choices and you find yourself looking different from the rest of your evidence friends. That's not bad necessarily And let's look at balance a little bit take sugarcane for example sugar cane. Has a very light amount of sugar in it and it has it's packed with fiber. And it's almost impossible to overdose on sugar from a sort of cane ever tried that your job will give out long before you get overdosed on sugar. But. Take that sugar condense refine and process it to the point where becomes table sugar and it is intrinsically unbalanced one bite overbalance you. It's a lot more stimulating lot more to the lady. That's what the devil wants. But it's unbalanced intrinsically the same thing with cheese. Milk is something that got invented to be eaten by babies. But take that milk and condense it and refine it and process it till it becomes cheese and it is intrinsically unbalanced it's almost whole for all fat but it tastes good at least for some of us it does. I love cheese used to love cheese. Anyway the same thing happens with other things besides food. Take for example movies. Have you ever watched a two hour movie and come out of away from it saying wow there's enough drama and romance and action in that movie to last a lifetime. Right. A movie is condensed refined processed human life. It's titillating it's exciting it's dramatic it's romantic whatever but it's unbalanced by definition it's on balance. We are told that there is no influence in our land more powerful to poison the imagination to destroy religious and precedence and to blunt the relish for tranquil pleasures and sober realities notice these words tranquil pleasures those are the godly pleasures and sober realities of life then theatrical newsman's the love of these scenes increases with every indulgence and as a desire for talks of getting drink strengthens with its use God is a God of balance the world is unbalanced the world tries to condense refine artificial eyes and process. The good things of God. By the way that's an acronym condense refine artificial eyes and process in order to make it difficult for us to enjoy the good things of God The devil wants to overstimulate us to to deny us God's true pleasure and give us these these titillating worldly. Alternatives that aren't true pleasure they're not satisfying. They're not meeting meaningful and they're not healthy Providence has been leading the people of God out from the extravagant habits of the world. Away from the indulgence of appetite and passion to take their stand upon the platform of what self-denial and temperance in all things. The people whom God is leading will be peculiar they will not be like the world and she goes on with a lavish hand God has provided us with rich and varied bounties for our sustenance and enjoyment but in order for us to enjoy the natural appetite which will preserve health and prolong life he restricts the appetite he says beware restrain deny a natural appetite. The problem is that our world is predicated on a natural appetite our economy depends on people buying the worldly appetite buying into the worldly habits of pleasure. It's all around us those who in everything make God first and last and best are the happiest people in the world. That's our key phrase tonight let's say that together shall we those who in everything make God first and last and best are the happiest people in the world then into his hand went mine and into my heart came he and I walk in a light divine. The path. I had feared to see. My friends it is true that the surrendered life looks ugly from the outside but it is really. The beautiful life. It is the life of true pleasure. It is the life of true privilege it is the life of true peace. It is the life that God longs for us to enjoy fully in him is my prayer that not only will you each one of you each one of us in this room experience this life to the fullest this truly abundant life but it is my prayer that we will go out as missionaries to our people other Seventh Day Adventists as well as our family and our neighbors and everybody else and teach them how they too can enjoy this abundant life by giving God all of their choices and dying in the arms of Jesus. Let's pray. Heavenly Father God what a privilege it is to die in your arms. What a privilege it is to let you be almighty God living in and through us what a privilege it is to enjoy your peace and your pleasure. Father please make this happen in our lives each one of our lives here today. Help us to be willing to let you do whatever it takes to get us to a place where we're truly enjoying the abundant life to the fullest and father use us to spread this message to those around us to be teachers of this most important topic we pray and we thank you Jesus that this media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons visit W.W.W. audio verse or.


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