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Logo of ASI 2017: Called. Chosen. Committed.

The Cross-Eyed Christian

Julian Archer
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Julian Archer grew up under the watch care and protection of parents who were serial entrepreneurs. As a result of his parents being successful, wealth was essentially handed down to Julian. In his success, God led Julian to find the answers to two questions: Does wealth have an impact on the spiritual life of individuals, congregations, and entire nations? Is it possible to be financially secure without becoming spiritually bankrupt? Join Julian as he relates his story and reveals the answers he received!

Presenter

Julian Archer retired in his thirties after a fast-paced busines career and founded the ministry Faith vs. Finance. He is also the author of the book HELP! I've Been Blessed: How to Stop God's Blessings from Becoming Curses. Julian loves to share his Chris-centered testimony to encourage and inspire others to turn their eyes upon Jesus. He is married to a "Proverbs 31" wife, Melinda, and has two great sons. They live in southern Queensland, Australia. 

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  • August 4, 2017
    9:00 AM

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We have a problem I always want to say that. But thank God that we also have a solution Amen we also have a solution. Friends we live in a time in history when it's not business as usual. It's not business as usual. And I want to this morning I open up. A conversation some say that it's a long overdue conversation it's not between me and you it's between your hot and God's heart. And Sharon has just shared. It's around the question of Is it possible is it possible to be financially secure without becoming spiritually bankrupt. I want to start with. My testimony. My testimony like any of yours like many of yours begins not just with myself in life but also with my family my extended family. There's a photograph of my family and not in seventy one on the little guy the smallest one. My sister Kathy beside me and my mom and dad Del Fein and. Nineteen seventy one. That's jumping ahead of the story let's go back to when my dad got there on the right. Was fourteen years old. From birth through to fourteen years of age my father had to attend church at least eight times a week in a busy week it was eleven times a week they were in Seventh Day Adventist but he had to go to church between I and eleven times a week one of his jobs as a child once he reached his teenage years was to be the homebrew kid that meant that he was the the member of the extended family who had to make all of the beer for his own parents for the uncles and aunts and everybody else and of. Being the specialist be a maker in the family he drank more than he should. And so he had some challenges. He hated church he hated God. And he wanted to get away from his family. He tried to not attend church he played with his parents he tried to disappear when it was time to go to church every day of the week. But he kept getting dragged into church and so he thought the only solution. There's only one solution to me to not have to come to church next week or or tomorrow is if the church doesn't exist and he became what we would call a church planter. He went to his uncle's farm and he got some jelly tonight it's like dynamite and suffuses and at fourteen years of age having sat there in church and looked at the structure of the building so many times he knew exactly where to place the Gillick night and the fuses so that he could run in one door run around like every fuse and then run out the back door before that church was planted. He went to school that day he took the jelly night home he did at home he went to school and told one of his friends tonight I'm going to blow up my church. Well if anybody else had said that other than the friend would have just gone Oh yeah whatever get a good one but because it was right young guy who had got the cuts on average every day from grades through to grade ten. The friend knew that my dad was serious and so he told the principal and the principal told the police and the police came and took my dad away they said son what's the problem and he explained to them that he had to go to church between item eleven times a week. And they said OK where is the jail ignite and so they were probably not expecting that. Israel But dad took them home and gave them the. And they then went and took his parents away then take them. But they showed them the Gelug night and they said Do you realize that your son Raymond was going to blow up the church tonight. And I had no idea. And the police said look we use you're probably back off on the religion thing a bit which they did but that it already had enough and soon after he left home well he went to live with his older brother and they got into all sorts of mischief in fact it wasn't long before his older brother was in jail for counterfeiting bank notes. He didn't have a license like your government just print them and. So he had a can to feed them on his own sort of printing system and so he got into more trouble drinking too much again getting getting into trouble ended up sort of living on and off the streets met my mother. In the process was able to do a trade in refrigeration mechanics and had my sister and myself as two young babies in the house. The refrigeration mechanics business while he was doing that when he started a small business on his twenty first birthday he said on it on my twenty first birthday I want to be self employed and so he did that right on his twenty first birthday and he had a welder and a friend of his said can you weld for me a bench press machine now that's a piece of gymnasium equipment for pushing the whites off your chest and so he says he will load it up for his friend and he sold it to his friend any made a small profit and he thought I that's cool and so he made another one and he sold it and another and he sold it and he started another business called Body building equipment and this was in the light not in sixty's when the. What would you call that the pumping online trend was beginning bodybuilding was happening in California or in a stroke or in different places and so dad then decided with Mom they said hey we're making this equipment and so we can get. Why don't we open a gymnasium a bodybuilding center and so they did and before you know it they had a thousand members and so they opened another one and got another thousand members and I thought hey we've got all these people coming in for the gym why don't we open a health food store and then we can still them all the protein drinks and everything else that they need to keep healthy. By the age of twenty four Mom and Dad had started and were running themselves five businesses. They were what we would now call serial entrepreneurs they would see an opportunity and they would jump at it they were very successful. But their marriage was absolutely Hill their marriage was completely shot God was not in the system they were working idea now as a die. My sister Kathy and I were being babysat quite a lot because mom and there were out a lot and they had to make a decision in nineteen seventy four between business and marriage and I thank God that they chose marriage. We moved out to the what we call the bush you might call it the forest or the wilds of I don't know some place hidden hidden away out in the state somewhere up in the mountains and we bought a little block of land in one in seventy four was only thirty three acres on one side with a fifteen hundred cattle property with rolling hills and lots of forest and on the other side was to a two thousand cattle property. And we lived there between those two and we tried to be self-sufficient we had sold all of the businesses except the health food store we tried to grow our own food there was no electricity there was no running water we were living in a shed that was foot wide and fourteen feet long out in the middle of nowhere. We became hippies were a little bit light it was the seventy's but that should've been done in the sixty's but we would if we were busy in the sixty's and so we became hippies and with the long hair and the long beard for there and barefoot and we didn't wear a lot. Clothes because we didn't have a washing machine and we don't have neighbors and of course the only reason we are close is because we have neighbors and so we had the freedom and that's how I grew up in a very very carefree sort of lifestyle and my. In fact on that I still remember. One day walking down to the dam where we used to buy. Of course no clothes no tails what you don't need a tail you walk down to the dam to the pond you wash yourself off and you walk back up you little shit and by the time you get back to the shed you draw you don't have to wash tails or anything so it was all good and I still remember walking down there and. Five years old and we met the neighbor on his horse checking his cattle and I still remember my father in my little five year old mind standing there looking up at the neighbor talking to him mum and dad talk doing about the weather all these cattle or something and thinking Julian there's something wrong with this picture. It reminds me of the little girl and her dad who were riding on the bicycle somewhere I don't know sure where it was and dad was out trying to show his little girl a lot of nature in there riding along there on their bikes and the father saw a sign that said naturalist camp and he will go for a ride down there will see some more nights where there's obviously a scenic spot down there and so as they're riding down the road coming the other way three or four adults on their bicycles and they've got absolutely no clothes on it was a nice naturalist camp or it was a nudist camp. And as the the people go past going the other way and they go on the dead stop she's bike and substitute a girl and says Emily Emily did you notice anything wrong with those people and she said yesterday they weren't wearing their helmets. And that's a little bit like I feel there's a five year old standing there looking at this guy going this something wrong here but I don't I don't know what it is. And so life went on and we had a health food store in Ipswich that Mum and Dad used to go to one. Time to work in the health food store and every day in that health food store man would come in His name was Harry Walker now Harry was an engineer in the roadways and Harry would ask mom and dad are the kids has the house building going because by this time dad was building a house in fact he was building a house out of sandstone and logs it took him seven years he cut a lot of the stone out of the ground himself and Harry Wood would build this relationship now looking back on what Harry was doing today we would call it friendship evangelism. We had no idea what Harry was then we just thought he was buying a loaf of bread every day and we couldn't work out what he was doing with the bread because Harry didn't have any kids it was just him and his wife daughter at home but Harry was building a relationship through those loaves of bread. And one day Harry came into the shop an E. He said to my dad he said Right there's a guy coming to town and he's going to tell us about how the Egyptians built the pyramids out of stone would you like to come along because I know you're building a house out of stone. And Dad when that sounds cool Harry are going to come and so we piled into half into a pick up and we drove down to town there every night for this program to try and learn about how the Egyptians built the pyramids out of stone but we never actually worked out how to do that but we learned some wonderful people and then we went went back to the bush mom and dad kept going to the health food store and Harry kept buying his life for bread every day one day Harry came in and even my mother was in the store and he said There's somebody coming to town and they're going to be talking about vegetarian cooking would you like to come along to learn how to do it well. I suppose we're not certainly not vegetarians but I'll talk to rice so she went home and explained it to Dad and Dad said fidgety Ariens Well I mean I'm a bodybuilder Why what do we got no interest in that and Mom said but right. A lot of our customers are vegetarians and maybe we could sell more stuff if we knew how to cook for it to tarry in food so on me up just want to know you know where to. Here we go so we we all piled in the pick up again and we drove down there to the town of Ipswich and we learned how to cook vegetarian food and we went back to the bush and Harry kept coming in and buying a loaf of bread every day praise God for people like Harry. One day Harry came in and he said today he said Ray would you like to go to church. Well Harry didn't know all of dad's background and that he'd already been to church enough most of us will go into a lifetime. And Dad would normally say Not a chance you know I'm where are but Harry was his friend. And he thought I'm going to get a better excuse and so he said. That's it that's it Harry What day do you go to church because I knew Harry would go to church on Sunday and Sunday was the only day that we never drove from out in the country all the way into the city. And so he thought he safe there and Harry said Saturday mornings and dad went. Because that I mornings were the only morning that we all went to town because Saturday morning was when we went to boy our groceries and so sure enough the next Saturday morning there we are all down in town buying all of our groceries and driving up to the if switch Seventh Day Adventist Church we parked outside and we had a problem you see we pick up was really old and the doors didn't lock and we had a week's worth of groceries in the back of a pick up and we thought what are we gonna do with the groceries and we thought that it will take me to church so we picked up all their groceries and the only cartons that we had to pack groceries into would be accountants for X. being a stray we still be where I come from it's built X X X X because we can't spilled beer and so we had these four X. be accountants and we walked into church mom dad Kathy and myself carrying these cans we put them under the back seats and then we went around and we sat on those seats to look after them because we weren't sure about some of the people. But you know the interesting thing was that the same people and this was a curious thing the same people who had an interest in Egypt also had an interesting vegetarian cooking because we saw them at the same two programs and when we turned up at two. Which those same people were they. In a city the size of which this is a curious thing so we sat there Dad's long my long hair mom and Kath wearing hippie clothes bare feet smelling different dad was still smoking a bit drinking too much and I give you all those details because it's Which Seventh Day Adventist Church never said anything to us about any of it they just love this they love to see into Christ and of course when we had questions about some of those things we had Harry our friend Harry Harry why don't people do this why don't they eat this what are they drink this way what what what what and Harry would lovingly hear us those answers. Well we went back into business and I won't go into a lot of the details about business because I know you guys are business people and you experience that all the stresses and challenges of what you see experience the miracles of God leading. We sat in a small fruit and nut tree nursery God led us through mum and dad Feith say they learned about it they learned about Jesus through Egypt and said Dad I want to tell everybody about Egypt and so we jumped on a plane and flew over Egypt and took photos of the pyramids and came back and ran to the local hole and put an ad in the paper and said Come along and learn about Egypt and people came and people were baptized and they moved to the next town and we ran the programs there and people were baptized in the next town on the next day and we finally ran out of towns and it was all self-supporting through a little fruit and nut tree nursery at the time. And God led us to keep one of those we had two hundred fourteen varieties of fruit and nut trees in this little business and God led us to keep one of those trees it was the all of tree and we went out on the road doing evangelism we kept the olive trees and the olive trees then funded of Angel ism from that point on which in fact God led us led Mum and Dad when they're on their knees going through that catalogue trying to work out which one of the two hundred fourteen plants to keep and lead them to the olive trees. And the olive tree business within four years of a starting it became the largest olive tree nearest tree in the world dad then led it sorry God then led dad and mom primarily dad into another business called all of leaf extract which is a herbal medicine. Business and we had five hundred thousand all of trees there might be some pictures here of an all of tree. And. They'll come up when they're ready. And in two thousand and seven at the beginning of the global financial crisis. I sort and here at two thousand and seven in the global financial crisis we sold that business the last of twelve businesses from mom and dad and. Again went into full time ministries Mom and Dad We have a family foundation and they got involved in that I got involved with breeding butterflies as a way of finding people for it for bible studies and I am involved in a ministry called faith versus finance we saw God's blessing in those ministries ministries and the end business is so much but as those businesses were blessed and those hockey stick graph went up rapidly the profits went up fast. I want to ask you what. Impact do you think that head on my relationship with Jesus Christ as we saw God leading in those businesses what impact did that have on my relationship with Jesus Christ. Did it go up. Or did it go down. You would think that surely with God leading in some many different ways and are seeing the miracles in those businesses and using the profits of those businesses to support God's work around the world that my personal relationship with Jesus Christ would have got stronger but it didn't it actually got weaker. Just having some trouble with the click here guys we got. Movement in that slide. So. Let me tell you what happened in my life. In those years of business. OK we're back on track. In those years of business. I became prey on. Number one I became proud I became proud because God had given me a business to operate to run that was bigger than any of my friends had. Regardless of the fact that the profits were going into God's work primarily I became prayer and I became a Pharisee I became a Pharisee because in God's Word it tells me Julian if you are by me I will bless you and always being blessed more than any of my friends and therefore I must have been being more obedient than any of my friends can you see the Pharisee coming through. And I became so free Liant. Subconsciously I was thinking you know God's blessed me so much that I don't need him any more of course I would never say that I was an elder at church I was talking sermons were supporting projects around the world on the outside everything looked great. But on the inside I knew I had a problem I had let God's blessings become occurs in my life I started to focus on the gifts more than on the giver. A few years ago I was tricking in the Himalayas with my sons and I came across this quote by Mahatma Gandhi. Which says that the fact is the moment financial stability is assured spiritual bankruptcy is also assured. Ouch. For fifteen years prior to reading to that court reading that quote I had worked very hard to become financially stable and had succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. But in my heart when nobody else saw. Not the person sitting beside me at I.S.I. not the person sitting beside me on the plane going off on a mission trip not the person listening to my service who will listen when nobody else saw I knew that I was losing my first love with Jesus Christ I knew that money had its claws on me. And I was in trouble. I began to realize that when I was abundantly bliss I was actually in the most spiritually dangerous stage of my life. And I desperately needed to find out how to stop God's blessings from becoming curses which brings us to the question Is it possible. To be financially stable financially secure. Without becoming spiritually bankrupt. And I thank God that the answer is yes we can. But these conditions attached Let's turn our Bibles to Matthew six Matthew six nineteen to twenty four is Jesus speaking at the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew six nineteen twenty four. And in Matthew six nineteen we read this Jesus speaking do not lie up for yourselves treasures on earth is that a suggestion or a command. It's a command isn't it. Do not Julian Julian do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where muffin rust destroying with the break in and steal but lay out for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither more nor rust destroys and with thieves do not break in and steal for way your treasure is there you know what. There your hot will be all so let's get down a couple of verses to verse twenty four again it's speaking to me it speaking to you Julian put your name in there. No one how many people no one can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other Julian you can't serve God and money yes I can Lord yes I can what I'm doing is I'm working really hard. Business and I know that's taking like sixty seventy hours a week in a second a lot of my family Tom and I know I don't have enough time to spend with you in the morning sometimes but I'm working really hard in business and it's your business and you know I'm doing it for you because we're giving lots of money into your work in the Gospels going to all the world because we're supporting it and and that's how I'm serving you and money. Julian you can't do it. Your heart can't do it. You either love me and serve me or you love money and money. Look at your calendar Julian who do you love. For your bank account Julian. You can't both of us. Right in the middle between those verses I skipped a couple of verses twenty two and twenty three where he talks about the lamp of the body is the I and I couldn't work out why he would talk about our eyes in the middle of a section on treasures on heaven on earth and money. And I thought well maybe it's because with their eyes we cover it. And I thought yeah that's it we haven't things that's why it was in there but then I thought of something else as I looked at my own life and the challenge that there is that these passages these passages brought to me I realized that I had one of. My heavenly treasures and the other I on my earthly traces and I was a cross-eyed Christian and always wondering why when I tried to follow Jesus that I always stumbling because I couldn't see clearly I was a cross Christian when I on heaven and one eye on earth. The problem that I faced. Was this. The teeter totter problem see saw a problem I don't know what you call it in your country where you're from. As my finances went up. My faith went down. When my finances went down my face went up please Lord help me I need money we got bills to pay here it's your business you know. But when he blessed. Me. I didn't have enough time for him again. The teacher taught her principal faith versus finance. Ellen White in the book of Angela's I'm page five sixty one says this in the history of man we learn how dangerous is prosperity. Prayers are often requested for men and women in affliction and this is as it should be but the most earnest prayers should be solicited for those who are placed in a prosperous position these men these women are in the greatest danger of losing the soul. Friends when a person prospers even God gains a partner. Or the person loses this soul it's that simple. We're going to talk more about this in the in the seminar following but I'm going to I'm going to give you the the crux of the message right now and that is that as our blessings go up. Knees must go down. As our blessings go up whether they are material blessings whether they are talents whether it's education whether it's position or status whatever is as those blessings go up and knees must go down and if they don't we're not going to heaven. It's serious strains it's serious the more our blessings go up the more on these must go down otherwise we're fooling ourselves in our relationship with Christ. Man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. The Gallup poll the International a secular research agency. On one of the surveys done I think it was done in about one hundred seventy five countries they asked this question Is religion an important part of your daily life it was a yes no scenario and you can see that in NY sions where the annual per capita per person. An income was between zero and two thousand U.S. dollars ninety five percent of the population said yes religion is important in my everyday life. But when the income got to twenty five thousand dollars a year or more on average per person in that nation less than half of the people were still interested in religion on a daily basis. Teeter totter friends up and down faith versus finance this isn't something that just affects individuals this is something that affects congregations this is something that affects entire nations. Some of you will know of the group Credit Suisse of a Swiss financial services company they do a lot of research around the world as well and in fact every year they put out what's called the Global Wealth dot of book. And I track this book every year and I look at a copy of it you can see it for free online. They serve I around two hundred nice sions not serving the people by Fine looking at all of the God and government data on wealth and finance and investments and everything in those nations and one of the things that they identify is the average wealth level of adults in that night for more than two hundred one around the world. And anybody guess for me which nation has the richest adults. Not not the biggest G.D.P. or some of these are the majors but just the richest private wealth adults as on average any guesses. I haven't heard yet. So it's and I headed down here somewhere yeah Switzerland correct. Switzerland the Swiss that also the richest in the world let's have a look at some of the data. There we go Switzerland number one Iceland Number two a strategy and number three United States number four but Muta Greenland Luxembourg no why New Zealand U.K. the list changes. Each year slightly but the top fifteen nations sort of take their ranks in the for in the top overall but look at the column on the right hand side for those top ten nations the percentage who answered No religion is not important in my everyday life and compare with the percentage that answered No in the poorer countries at the bottom. There it is again Credit Suisse. It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man for a rich nation to get into heaven. When God blesses us we tend to walk away from him. And some of you will have noticed something interesting about those top ten nations. And that is that those top ten nations were all founded on which religion. Yeah most of them were founded on Christian principles and laws were built on God's Word and God blessed us because of it. And like the children of Israel when they walked over the Jordan River to the other side. And lived in homes that they didn't build in cities they didn't build in an olive grove that they didn't plant and drank from wells that they didn't dig what was Moses' warning to them before they crossed over he said that's what's going to happen to you when you get on the other side you're going to be bless the alien is. But do not forget the Lord your God. And what did they do. In the midst of the luxury. They walked away from God. It's not a modern problem well it is a modern problem that has been around for a long time. John always Lee founder of the Methodist church a man of God said this in seventeen eighty nine he said that wherever true Christianity spreads it must cause diligence hard work and frugality careful spending which in the natural course of things must create riches and riches naturally create pride love of the world and every. Tampa that is destructive of Christianity. Friends I've seen that in my life I've seen it in the life of one nation. It's true. Wherever true Christianity spreads it must cause diligence and frugality. Which in the natural course of things creates riches. And riches naturally create pride love the world. And every Tampa that is destructive of true Christianity. It's a dangerous cycle. I asked a friend of mine to illustrate for me to do a drawing that illustrated what the inside of my heart looked like in those years when I was living as a cross-eyed Christian. In Revelation three Jesus says Behold I stand at the door knock the door of my hobby door of your heart but what I had done is I had taken the blessings that God had given me and by the way we didn't own all of these blessings with all the awful tale many years ago but the the things in the picture represent things that might be in your life that were in my life it could be sport it could be travel it could be education it could be preaching ability it could be music it could be a screen time it could be a collection of something that you just love to collect but it's getting between you and the door of your hot it's getting between you and your relationship with Jesus Christ it's taking your time your money your energy your focus your attention. And drawing you away from the time the urgency of the time in which we live and that's what my friend drew for me. Billy Sunday the American of Angela said that many a man is going to slip into hail with his hand on the door knob of heaven. Maybe there's something in the that you see in your life that you really need to talk to God about you know heart to heart conversation. Interview and herald November two ID ninety six says The True Witness Behold I stand at the door knock the heavenly guest is standing at your door while you are piling up obstructions to by his entrance friends I had never read this when my friend drew this picture this is just my experience and somebody said this to me a couple of years ago and I was in tears when I read it Jesus is knocking through the prosperity he gives you he loads you with blessings to test your fidelity that they may flow out from you to others will you commit yourself to triumph will you squander God's talents and lose your soul through idolatrous love of the blessings that he has given. In Luke sixteen vs thirteen fourteen and fifteen we read Jesus again saying. You can't serve God and money. And verse fifteen it says but the Pharisees. Who loved money. Were sneering at him. And what did Jesus say to them. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the Hot. And he said what is wonderful in your eyes is an abomination in the eyes of God. God looks at the heart and has a cure for in verse three. We have a similar problem in fact if you got your Bibles turned there very quickly is a cure for in verse three. I remember as a cure was this reluctant prophet. Who was sent out and before he went God already told him that the people are going to listen to what you have to say and that a law is calling where God says go out into your life calling you by sickly be of no effect but you need to go. Man is a cure went out and in chapter four ain verse one let's start there now some of the Elders of Israel came to me came to his and said. For me and the word of the Lord came to me saying Son of Man these men have set up their idols in the hots and put before them that which causes them to stumble. Out. In my heart put before me things that are causing me to stumble. So what was the solution what was the solution to my faith vs finance battle. Friends I had to have a heart attack. I had to have a heart attack you see the heart that I was born with is a selfish shot the only way that I could clear all this stuff out of my heart wasn't through trying to dial he stopped looking at the advertising for it and focusing not focusing on it and selling it and all that sort of stuff no what I needed was fandom is a kewl thirty six and that's where I had an opinion one morning as always battling this fire fight vs finance battle I was doing my morning worship I came across thirty six verses twenty five to twenty seven and going to share what happened today and what happened to me in that time. One morning my son came home from school he was fourteen years of age and he stood in front of me and he said it that afternoon he said dad if I stand here like this can I turn over my hand from there to there without twisting my wrist and I said no it's impossible and he said Now I can do it and I said you can't he said I can. I said show me and he went like this. One. Two. Three. Four five six. When God puts. Blessings in our hands. It's the exact same message that he gave to Abraham I'm going to blessed you so that you can be a blessing so that you can poured out I'm going to keep putting them in your hand but you keep poor. Let me out don't put them in your hot poor man pour out those blessings Let's have a look at as a heel thirty six twenty five to twenty seven do this movement with me if you like where you put your hand out in front we're going to go across out. Down and out and when to do it as we read this text every time I say I will or you will we're going to move our hands once I'm going to see God do a miracle he's going to turn also from a selfish they want to hold on to everything to pouring it out and let me tell you let me know you tell me how much of it do you do and how much does God do let's go it's God speaking then I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols I will give you a new hot and put a new spirit within you I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes which way is your hand fighting. How much of it DID YOU DO NOT God did it all he gave you a new hot and then you will keep my judgments and do them I cannot of that in the margin that's that's a good want to share. Is the thirty six Ellen what steps to Christ by JANE SAYS It is impossible for us of ourselves to escape from the pit of scene in which we are sunken our hearts evil and we cannot change them education culture the exercise of the Will human effort attending I.S.I. going to church every week taking lessons being in all the Richards going on mission trips they all have their proper fear but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward directness of behavior but they cannot change the hot there must be a power working from within a new life from above before man can be changed from scene to holiness the power is Christ. You. John Chapter three a man called Naked Amos nickname is was rich he was powerful he was respected and he had lots of other problems too. He was a member of the Sanhedrin the seventy leaders of Israel. Religio political leaders he was looked up to he was respected on the outside everything looked good but in his hot you could Demas knew that he wasn't saved and so he went to Jesus that not time in the garden remember that Jesus said a number of things to him and one of them was naked AMOS You need to be born again. Nicodemus was a bit confused about what that meant and we understand it much better now and it's a it's a pillar of our faith it's a foundation of our faith and he said Make a Damus I'll be lifted up I must be lifted up and later on and join He says that when I am lifted up I will draw all men on to me another beautiful illustration that Christ gave of the message of salvation of Calvary but both of those fade into insignificance when you realize that it was to Nicodemus a one man audience out there in the dark of the garden that Jesus said he condemns. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Nakedness was convicted. But he wasn't converted they could Amos was convicted he went back into the Sanhedrin on two occasions we have record of him. Acting to save the life of Christ when the Sanhedrin wanted to kill Jesus he was convicted but not converted friends when I was naked Amos converted. At the cross. When he enjoyed to verify you came. To take the body of Christ and the same time the disciples were converted when I am lifted up I will draw all men on to me. Were told in the desire of ages that nicotine was daughter poor man if you want to know what he did with his money read the book of Acts. Nicodemus funded it. He funded the Gospel going to all the world friends it's not business as usual today because Nick a Damus set us an example. That if God is blessing you it's so that you can take the Gospel to the entire world. In Florence. Just up from what is my wife and children tell me is the world's best chocolate shop. Is a museum with a statue in it and it's called the Florentine. Carved by Michelangelo. Michelangelo incredible artist it was carved from the top of his own tomb the pope came to Michelangelo and said Michelangelo you've done so much for us we want you to have this for your own tomb and so we carried it naked Amos and the two Marys taking down Jesus off the cross but the historians The reason I wanted to see this is because there's a plaque beside it and the historians say that the face of naked Amos is the face of Michelangelo it was a self-portrait. Michelangelo was converted light in life after a life of much success finally he gave his heart to Christ in the midst of success and he wanted everybody to know. That if he had been there when his Christ had died he would have done what he could name esteem and never made it to his tomb there were some faults in the marble and he pushed it aside but to me it's a reminder that no matter where we are in life God is a God of second chances and third chances and seventy seventh chances my dad used to say to me as I was growing up and he was on fire for Christ I was a teenager he'd said Julian if you died tonight could you be sure that you had eternal life and I didn't know. I want to tell you for many years I knew that I didn't have eternal life. But through that process in his equal thirty six getting a new heart from God. I want to tell you is the most painful but most beautiful thing that's ever happened to me. A new hot and now I love that verse John. Five thirteen. Where John says Beloved I write to you I speak to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life not so you might hope that maybe one day you could if you good enough or if you give enough. Now he said I write to you so that you may know that you have now eternal life. Ministry of healing the life of the Apostle Paul was a constant conflict with so friends that tells me that when you get the new heart the battle isn't over. The battle is a daily battle he said I die daily His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God But here's the interesting thing instead of following inclination he did God's will however crucifying to his night. In flipping one verse six we have that beautiful assurance that he has begun a good work in you will can complete it. And then in steps across Page sixty four Don't be discouraged there are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God yet they realize that they character is imperfect their life faulty and they are ready to doubt whether they hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit to such I would say tell them what writing here do not draw back in despair we shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes but we are not to be discouraged friends we do need to be cross-eyed Christians not because we've got one eye on heaven and the other eye on earth but because we've got both sides on the cross of Jesus Christ Paul knew what he said I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. In second Timothy Chapter four the very last letter that we have. Pulls life in chapter four verse seven is a verse that to me is really important in this fight first as finance battle. He says I've fought the good fight I've finished the rice. And I have kept the fight. Friends I encourage you to keep the fight. It's a battle it should be fight and finance it should be fight three goddess of finance. But in my life it's been fight for us it's funny and I thank God that whilst we have a problem God has the solution. I encourage you. As your blessings go up. My your knees go down. Now to. Turn to the person beside you we're going to have a couple of minutes of prayer. And just to pray to come to the foot of the cross. And siloed and. I want this gift I want this gift of a new let's pray together and I'll finish with prayer in. The Heavenly Father. Lord we thank you that you are a merciful gracious patient. We thank you that you white for us a fresh every morning to you. And Lord again this. We ask that you. Still give us that beautiful heart of clay fill us with your spirit give us the mind of Jesus Christ. And Lord my we take this fresh new heart that you say my we focus on you. Will be reminded that it's not business as you. Please write. To the foot of the cross. I mean. This was produced by Audio very. Advantageous layman's services and industries. If you would like to learn more about. Please visit. Or if you'd like to. Visit.

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