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Delighting In the Almighty- A Practical Guide to Primitive Godliness

Michael Dant
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The only thing better than living the Christian life is living the Christian life and relishing it. Loving and enjoying God is one of the greatest privileges that God has given to mankind. And yet, for most of my sincere Christian life, I failed to enjoy God. My love for Him was tepid, at best. In this seminar we will look at why the plant of love failed to grow in my life and how, in practical terms, we can Delight in the Almighty. 

Presenter

Michael Dant

Embedded Computer Science Teacher at Southern Adventist University. 

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Conference

Recorded

  • August 4, 2017
    3:30 PM
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Heavenly Father God It is such a privilege to be here with you thank you that you are here thank you that you condescend to be here with us that you love us so much that your district sided to be here with us Father thank You that your Holy Spirit is working powerfully right now in each one of our hearts and minds Heavenly Father please teach us please teach us we cannot learn on our own please father teach our minds and teach our hearts so that we can delight in you and so that we can share this message to the world around us we pray for these things we thank you in Jesus' name amen. On October fourteenth one thousand nine hundred eighty nine declared ran a twenty six point two miles and he swam two point four miles and he bicycle for one hundred and twelve miles to complete the iron man competition in Hawaii now I don't know about you but for me that would be pretty impressive. But what really made this amazing was that Dick White did it with his one hundred twenty five pound quadriplegic son in tow. His son Rick was born with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy for the first eleven years of his life he could not communicate with his parents. And then at the age of eleven they went to Boston University and they invented a computer program for him that would show letters on the screen and whenever the next letter of the sentence that he was building came up he would bang his head against a sensor and it would add that letter to a sentence and he would construct sentences that way and he began for the first time in his life at the age of eleven to communicate with his parents. His first sentence was Go Bruins. Turns out he was a sports fan who knew at the age of fifteen one nine hundred seventy seven. Rick asked his dad if they could run in a charity event together a five mile run for the injured lacrosse player. And his dad said You know I don't know I'm in terms of shape I've never run five miles before one shot I'd love to do this for your son but I'm not sure if I can well they tried and he succeeded and after the run was over. Rick said to his dad he said Dad when we're running I don't feel handicapped anymore. Can you imagine the impact that that statement had on his father's life for the rest of his life his dad began to look for opportunities to give his son that same feeling of freedom. And they have run over a thousand races together since that time including the arm and competition that we just saw pictures of. Why does Dick do that why does he put himself through all of this pain all of this training all of this challenge and suffering why does he do this for all these sore feet why does he do it. He does it because he loves to see the smile on his son Stace. My friends that is love. Love like that is one of the most powerful forces in all the world in fact in all the universe. It was love like that that allowed Jacob do to work seven long hard years for Rachel and then to be able to say they seem to him but a few days because of his love for her. My friends love is the great motivator. It transfer me the Christian life from a life of must do should do obedience into a life of get to service. You get to do it because you love to please God love transforms the Christian life and that is right. God wants us to love him so much. No wonder then that the great and first commandment according to Jesus himself is what value shalt love those whose Lord your God with right. Your heart and mind and soul and strength my friends what's left over. Right God wants us to love Him with all of what we are and who we are No wonder then that the first fruit of the Holy Spirit is what. Love. No wonder then that this might be one of the most important questions that you and I can ask as Christians how can I enjoy God how can I relish God how can I love to be with him and to love to work with him and for Him How can I delight in the Almighty God. If Christ be in us the hope of glory we shall discover such matchless charms in him that the soul will be in Namur but a profession of this love without this deep love is what mere talk dry formality and heavy drudgery. How can we enjoy a God how could we love him to the fullest and obey that commandment you know the devil would have you know I believe that the life of the Christian is a life of self-denying self sacrificing drudgery but is that what it is no it is a life of self-denying self sacrificing joy right yes the self-denial is there yes the self-sacrifice is there. But it is a life of joy that's the life that God has for each one of us if we love Jesus which alone to live for him to present our thank offerings to him to labor for her. The very labor will be light for his sake we shall covet pain and toil and sacrifice we shall sympathize with his longing for the salvation of men we shall feel the same tender craving for souls that he has felt this is the religion of Christ is not a beautiful picture of the religion of Christ no wonder then the self surrender is the substance of the teachings of Christ my friends this love that God is commanding is not a common love this is not one love among many this is a soul providing self-sacrifice an all or nothing large in which Jesus is the center around which our whole life revolves. Now don't get me wrong I'm not talking about a constant life of ecstasy of feeling. In fact my favorite definition for joy is a calm delight. Wouldn't you like to go through life with God no matter what the circumstances and have a calm delight in the Almighty God. You know it's really interesting about this great commandment Thou shalt love the Lord with all your heart mind and soul and strength you know it's really interesting about the commandment. We can't obey it we have no way to obey that command there's no knob in our life of we can turn up and say OK starting right now I'm going to love God with all my heart mind and soul and strength doesn't work that way we can't do it. So where does this love where our God come from. Comes from God right the Bible says for love is from God and everyone who loves him is born of God and knows God OK so now we have a real problem. God commands us to love Him with all our hearts and mind and soul and strength he's the one that can only give us that kind of love he loves to give us that kind of love right could we ever be lukewarm. How is it possible then that our love for. Could be lukewarm. If God is the one who demands it and he's the one that supplies it and he's the one that longs for it more than we ever do then why would our love for God ever be lukewarm. Is because God is holding back in any way. And yet for most of my Christian life my sincere Christian life my love for God was tepid at best. Even though I grew up in a wonderful seventh heaven is home I'm a first generation Seventh Day Adventist I went to good seventh Avenue schools all my life I went to good seventh heaven is church families all my life. And yet I never learned to love Jesus with all of my heart and mind and soul and strength my love for God was tepid at best even after all those forty years four decades sincerely following the Almighty God and not loving him not enjoying him. I knew for example that prayer was important and I prayed I tried to pray but I had a hard time I found it difficult to pray for any length of time you know Jesus could pray every night and enjoy it and look forward to it and want to do it again I found it difficult to pray for five minutes at a time. And I you know would look for excuses sometimes to shorten my devotional experience or even skip it completely sometimes my friends if we say that we love somebody but we find ourselves looking for excuses to avoid them we probably need to re-evaluate our love relationship don't we and that was certainly what happened in my experience I needed to re-evaluate my love relationship so what happened why did the plant of Love Fail to grow in my life all those many years what was the problem what was I missing you know if you asked most people how can we love God more they were. I tell you you need three things right they will tell you need the Bible you need to study the Bible more you need to pray more you need to witness those three things are these three love unhandsome tools that we hear a lot about and it's true these are critically important loving hands are tools we cannot have a love relationship with Jesus without these three important ingredients they're often compared to the sunshine and the soil and the the rain that makes a plant grow. But will these three things by themselves enhanced our love for Jesus if I have find it hard to pray will forcing myself to pray and hence my love for Jesus by itself. You know if it did then the Pharisees would love God right because they were the ones that were printed they were praying on the street corners. They're the ones are spending hours each day in God's word. They're the ones that were going around the world looking for proselytes for can convert to Judaism and yet Jesus said to them well to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites because you travel around on sea and land to make one prophet light and when he becomes one you make him twice as much a son of Hallet yourselves then have the prying down they had the Bible study down they had to witnessing down and didn't help them. Besides the ideal growing environment what else you need for a plant to grow. A seed. Right the plants not going to go no matter how much water you have no matter how nutritious the soil the plants not going to grow without the seed is it and that's what I was missing I was missing the seed of love in my heart. And where is the seed come from we saw that first love is where from who God God is the only one that can plant that seed in our life it comes from God It only can come from God So Ryan did I fail all those four. Decades of my sincere Christian life why did I fail. To let us see you grow I believe the key to my problem was found in the story of the rich young ruler here was a guy who was sincerely wanted one of God's greatest blessings he longed to be saved and then he realized that there was something missing in his Christian experience and so he took a day off work he went to the found Jesus and he threw himself in Jesus' feet this is Lord what am I missing how can I hurt eternal life and the Bible records that Jesus felt a love for him and said to him ten things you lack. So I want to say I was wrong for. One thing you lack I wish to what you say that to me one thing you luck goal one sell all you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure where in Heaven and come follow me my friends do you believe that God love this young man. Do you believe that Jesus and God did enter in the Holy Spirit did everything in their power to save this young man everything in their wisdom and energy and power of the Almighty you think that they did everything they could for this young man yes they did and what was that one thing that he was missing. Christ read the rulers heart only one thing he lacked but that was a vital principle he needed was. The love of God in his soul this lack of less supply would prove fatal to him his whole nature would become corrupted by indulgence selfishness would strengthen and here's the key right here that he might receive the love of God His supreme love of self must be surrendered. My friends the key to receiving the love of God and plan to deeply into our hearts is to open our hearts to Jesus unreservedly. Unresistingly and unrelentingly to let God plant that seed deep in our hearts only he can do that but only you and I can let him and that's why sure and are so important surrender is the key to letting God be Almighty God in us so he can implant enough aid to light for him. Yes. He. Was. Me. Who could do it who can surrender ourselves to God Can we surrender ourselves to gone we cannot write That's right exactly thank you only God can help us to surrender to him only he can give us the love that helps us to surrender only you can give us the faith surrender is a leap of faith only God can do it but my friends there is something we can do with can we do I'm going little bit ahead of myself but I want to do this right here what can you and I do if we are not yet surrendered and we are fighting God What can we do can we say OK Lord I surrender can we say that no because by nature we don't have that power we're just not strong enough to defeat self but there is something we can say there's something you and I can always say to Jesus we can say learn I don't want to surrender I don't want to give up all my bad choices I like my selfishness but I'm willing to be made willing right because a lot I'm willing for you to make me willing and if you're not willing for God to make you willing step back and say OK Lord I'm willing for you to make me willing to be made willing to be made willing whatever it takes you know step back and said. I am willing to let you and that is a prayer he will always answer no matter how bad your off if you say to him learn I'm going to be made willing he will get you to the place and I'd like to share with you my testimony some time it's actually don't have time today but you know all these presentations all sixteen of them are on my website the lighting the origin the number six is my story my testimony and so I encourage you after we do this presentation today we're going to number one into today and current you to go to delighting the orgy it's on that that workbook you have and. Do number three. Right number three is about the problem of self and then number for a number five the number six of the testimony and seven and eight will round out the basic series and then if you really like what you hear and you want to learn more about the practical how to of surrender move on to the dance series the eight advance presentations I really encourage you to do that so. Supreme love for God and unselfish love for one another this is what. What is this Cornell in life this is the best gift that our Heavenly Father can bestow this love is not an impulse but a divine principle a permanent power the UN consecrated heart cannot originate or produce it only in the heart where Jesus rut. Remains is it found love for God is only found in the heart where Jesus reigns and that means the self has to be removed from the throne. My friends the only way that we can receive that seed of love from God is if we open ourselves to him unreservedly unresistingly unrelentingly in that him plant that seed deep within our hearts Christ read the rulers heart only one thing he lacked but that was a vital principle he needed the love of God in the soul that he might receive the love of God His supreme love of self must be surrender you know something very interesting about the story of the rich young ruler. Jesus did not say to him Hey Richard ruler you have a problem follow me work on this together. Notices it go away do the same really impossible thing and when you're done come back and we'll talk. About. I thought Jesus accept us just as we are. Doesn't Jesus accept us just as we are does he make us go away and clean up our act before we come back doesn't she says just accept us just as we are yes he does my friends but Jesus cannot accept us just as we are less who are willing to be changed into something different. We have to give ourselves to Him to let him mold us and shape us and rebuild us and Richard ruler was not willing to do that and. The ritual really went away sad Jesus did not say to the rich young ruler go away and love me more and when you do come back I will talk is not what Jesus said in essence he said Go away and get rid of the things and I'll help you do this get rid of the things that are keeping you from loving me only. Right Jesus was saying to the rich a ruler Hey I'll help you but you need to get rid of those things that are keeping you from loving me now this is Jesus being very practical you know Jesus could have said hey you got to love problem you know let's just talk about it let's just pray about it he said yes but let's also do something about it. Go away and get rid of the things in my by my power my wisdom by my motivation you know God will do it for us but we have to let him get rid of those things that are keeping him keeping us from loving him always what Jesus was talking about was the ultimate bank transfer a bank transfer but by the way that just isn't for the rich young ruler alone is for all of us write this transfer of our treasure when Jesus said to the richer ruler sell your possessions and give to the poor he said you will have treasure where again. And heaven when Jesus was talking about was the ultimate bank transfer of treasure from Earth to haven't. And there is a fantastic passage of Scripture that I'd like to share with you right now that talks about this wonderful bank transfer here it is in the Book of Job If you return to the Almighty you will be restored if you remove in righteousness fasten your tent and place your gold in the dust and your gold of all over among the stones of the brooks then what. What Let's all read this next sentence together then the Almighty will be your gold is not a wonderful thought then the Almighty will be your golden choice over to you for then you will rot. Delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God. This is our key phrase this afternoon let's read it all together out loud the key to love is the surrender of self if I wish to love God with all my heart all my mind all my soul and with all my strength I must give God all my heart all my mind all my soul and all my strength my friends what do you think would have happened if Jesus had said to the rich and ruler OK you've got to love problem follow me and you can spend time. You know talking to me and you can hear my sermons and you can watch me and you can focus on Jesus right when he said what happened if Jesus had said to the rich and we were hey come and follow me right away. Well we'd probably don't have to doubt we would have another Judas on his hands right Jesus would have had another Judas on his hands that's exactly what Judas was doing. We're told the Judas left the great teacher and desired to be with him he felt the desire to be change in character in life and he hoped to experience this through connecting himself with Jesus and the Savior did not repulse Judas. He gave up. Place among the twelve he trusted him to do the work of an evangelist he endowed him with power to heal the sick and to cast out devils. But Judas did not what. He did not come to the point of surrendering himself fully fully to Christ if the rich and ruler had been allowed to follow Jesus right then like he wanted to he would have been the Judas on his hands. And just want to prevent that just as one of the ultimate bank transfer to happen. The rich and ruler wanted the heavenly treasure but he wanted also the temporal advantages his riches would bring him he was sorry that such conditions existed he desired eternal life but he was not willing to make the sacrifice the cost of eternal life seem too great and he went away sorrowful for he had a great possessions my friends for most of my life I was the richer and ruler. I want to turn a life I want of God's blessings but I also had these temporal advantages that I wanted to keep right I had these temporal riches it wasn't money I was never cursed with money thank goodness for that but I have these things that were precious to me that I knew were not God's will I have these choices in my life and in my testimony I share more about what those choices were and how God gave me victory over them but I had these choices that I knew were not God's choices for me. But I said oh well you know it's not that big a deal besides God isn't finished with me yet you have heard that before you've ever said it yourself are friends those are the most insidious words in all Christendom. That's exactly what the devil would have you believe oh it's not that big a deal and besides God isn't finished with me yet my friends anything that separates us from God is a big deal. Anything that keeps us from loving Him with all of our heart and all of our mind and all of our soul and overstaying is a. Big deal and it was these little things that kept me in slave to the devil for forty years after thirty years after my baptism it was the little things it wasn't big things was the little things that kept me from delighting in the Almighty God I was not willing to throw my gold in the dust so that God could be my gold and precious over to me the good news is that unlike the rich and ruler God did get through to me eventually praise the Lord he kept on working at me he kept on. Trying to teach me how surrender work to what it was all about what my need what on my needs were and he finally got through to me. And. Like I said this isn't my presentation number six but I woke up one morning and God had through the weeks and months of this process he had somehow supernaturally gotten me to the point where I was ready and willing to say OK Lord all my choices and everything all the time I'm just giving to you I just don't want to get a choice I want you to have everything even those things that are so precious to me that I can't imagine letting go and letting them go it's a leap of faith and Lord they're yours God eventually got me to that place and it was the most blessed experience of my life but. Guess what happened immediately upon that surrender experience Remember this happened thirty years after my baptism at the age of forty four Guess what happened immediately after I surrendered my life to Jesus I began to the light in prayer I begin to love it to really truly enjoy it for the first time my life I look forward to it I can spend an hour in prayer and look forward to every morning it became a priority it truly became the most precious time of my day. And this was not a result of a prayer seminar new prayer technique although those have their place my friends this was the result of conversion this was the Holy Spirit probably maybe for the first time in my life being allowed to be Almighty God in my life. And I believe that God wants us to. Have that enjoyment of prayer I think first and foremost he wants us to to have that love of spending time with him talking and sharing and communing with him that's the breath of the soul and so he gave me that enjoyment over night of such a to me it's one of the greatest miracles I've ever experienced that total transformation of my prayer life you know there's another aspect of this the story of the ritual or this very important that is the cost of eternal life. How many of you thought it could turn life as a free gift. You should be Raise your hand right now because the Bible's on your side right the way to the sin is to ask but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord so what's this about the cost of eternal life why didn't Jesus just say to the rich and poor hey it's free. Here is Go on enjoy and sin no more I wasn't going to say that what did Jesus say that why did he set the bar so high that the ritual who was unwilling to pay the cost. You member the Pearl the parable of the Pearl of Great Price number that parable. When the merchant found the pearl which represents Jesus and His blessings when the merchant found the peril what did he do. The Bible says when he found one pro great price he went and he did what sold all that he hadn't brought it my friends what Jesus was asking the rich a ruler to do is no different than what he's asking for every one of us to do if we want the Pearl of Great Price we're going to have to give ourselves lock stock and barrel to God. Unreservedly unresistingly and unrelentingly to Jesus. In the parable the pearl is not represented as a gift the merchant bought it at the price of all that he had many question the meaning of the selling might says since Christ is represented in the Scriptures as they go. If he is a gift but only to those who give themselves soul body and spirit to him without while. My friends Jesus is a free gift but only to those who give themselves soul body and spirit to him without reserve we are to give ourselves to Christ to live a life of willing obedience to all his requirements all that we are all the talents and abilities we possess are the Lord's to be consecrated to his service when we thus give ourselves wholly to him listen this focus is incredible when we left give ourselves wholly to him Christ with all the. Treasures of Heaven gives himself to us we receive the Pearl of Great Price as non-credible my friends itself surrenders the substance of the teachings of Christ was Elm I tell this desire of ages. How is it possible that we're not understanding this fundamental principle of the cost of eternal life. That we in order to receive eternal life must throw our gold in the dust so that God becomes our gold that when we vast give ourselves wholly to him Christ with all the treasures of Heaven gives himself to us my friends and that is why we are in desperately need of revival reformations because we haven't done that God is longing to pour out himself and all the treasures of heaven on each one of us but we are a church in desperate need of revival Reformation because we have not opened ourselves wholly to him We have not given ourselves to him without reserve so that he can give us the treasures of heaven and Christ. But isn't it just a little bit deceptive to say it's a free gift and it cost you everything but a body just a little bit it's a free gift it'll cost you everything I mean it seems like. You know. There's something not quite right about that well maybe a modern illustration can help us out when NASA gave away their space shuttles when necessary down their space program they gave away the space shuttles free of charge billion dollar spaceships the probably to the American space program give it away free of charge so I don't have one in my backyard. What are several reasons forty two million of them that are fact because it turns out that to take this free shuttle and to make it safe for people to be around you have to decommission it which means takes away all the noxious poisonous substances and chemicals of which a spaceship has a lot of and that will cost you about twenty three million dollars. Which is twenty three million good reasons why don't have one and then in order to get the space shuttle to your backyard you're going to have to have a ten thousand foot runway you know they put it on the big airplane at seven forty seven they fly it into your backyard you know ten thousand foot runway. If you don't already have one of those. That will cost another five point six million dollars. And then in order to store this national treasure you need a temperature and humidity controlled environment and that will cost another eight million dollars So this free gift. In order to receive it cost forty two million dollars The gift is free priceless cannot be bought. But in order to receive the gift it will cost forty two million dollars. It will cost a fortune my friends is the same way with Jesus Jesus it is a priceless gift. But in order to receive that priceless gift it will cost us everything. In order to make room for that price this gift in our hearts. The heart has to be empty. God is too big to fit in the life that is full of self. When God comes in he doesn't share the throne with self. Self has to be. Around. Surrender has to be commit fully committed to we say Lord. I want you to be on the throne and you only and self gets relegated to the deepest dungeons of our life doesn't die we talk about that later but doesn't die but it still gets relegated to the deepest dungeons my friends the key to loving God with all of our heart and mind and soul and strength is to give God all of our heart all of our mind all of our soul and all of our strength do we love God do we enjoy him do we delight in Him Do we love to talk about him and to share him do we love to work for him and with him do we love to spend time with him. God wants us to God along for us to God is eager for us to delight in him. If we want to love God with all of our heart and mind and soul and strength then we have to give God all of our heart and mind and soul and strength OK fine that sounds good but how does that work in real practical terms I teach computer science so if you'll forgive me if I get really practical. How does this work how does this loving God with all of the heart and mind and soul and strength work in practical terms in order to answer that question I would like to look at a different question it seems a little bit off topic but don't worry it's coming back I once heard this question posed by a pastor of an advantage church and when I heard the question I said Oh that's easy I thought I had an answer for it but you know the man I thought of this question the more I realized that not only was that not an easy question but I had no answer for it. You want to see the question. There you are you sure OK here it is. If salvation is a free gift of God and does not come by works then why. Why does God require obedience. To the simple question you know in the common answer to this question is all that's easy you know we don't obey God or to deserve Mehr you know salvation that's not what it's about we. Obey God because we out of love for what he's already done for us out of appreciation for what he's done for us right that's the answer you hear we will be a God because of what he's done for us we don't obey God in order to earn salvation we will be a God because of salvation right. That's a great question that's a great answer just doesn't answer this question that answers the question where is our motivation come from that answers the question where does motivation for obedience come from yes it comes from love love is the only true motivation for obedience we love God because of what he's done for us and that love makes us want to obey Him That's true but that's not what this question is asking this question is asking something different it's asking if it's not about salvation then what is it about in other words what is the purpose of obedience I really thought about that the Bible clearly tells us that obedience plays no role in earning or deserving or meriting salvation we're all clear with that right no problem. So if that's true. If the billions is not about earning deserving American salvation fusions two eight nine then what is it about what's its purpose well I does God want us to obey him why can't we just say OK you know the problem we don't have to be a god. You know we is some to have and have a love hate relationship with it with obedience don't we. On the one hand you know we fight legalism and when we should legalism is an insidious evil it is trying to earn something that has already been freely given and in the process of learning it we lose out on it entirely. So we hate the legalism but that sense having us Christians we also realise that obedience is important don't we in fact we we still keep all ten of the Ten Commandments. Not every Christian can say that so we understand the importance of there being God. The problem comes when somebody starts obeying God too carefully if you ever notice that. That guy's a legal if he won't even eat you know fill in the blank. That gal's got to get a life he won't even listen to watch fill in the blank you know when somebody starts obeying God to carefully we start getting a little bit uncomfortable. Is this legalism. Is that person a legal list. My friends is it legalism to obey God as carefully as we possibly can. It can be it absolutely can be but it doesn't have to be. It doesn't have to be in fact in God's pure way it's not. If we go God's way according to God's will then obeying him as carefully as human powers us to obey him is the most wonderful thing in the world you know it doesn't take a few Logan to realize that God values R.B.T. and Stas it you can hardly read a page of scripture without being impressed by all the commands that the Bible hasn't packed full of commands Here's some examples. Love your enemies be content with your wages endure hardship be patient. Toward all people flee hurtful lusts be glad and persecution to all to the glory of God give cheerfully keep yourself pure deny yourself all of these things in my ear or you will find in every page of scripture page after page after page. And you know we often think of the Old Testament being the demanding part of Scripture don't we but all these commands these are all taken from the New Testament in fact I can show you a website where it lists one thousand and fifty commands that are found in the New Testament. So back to your question if it's not about salvation if works and obedience is not about earning deserving American salvation then what is it for what is its purpose perhaps the best place to go to answer that question is to go back to the children of Israel this is perhaps the most commanded people in all of history have ever noticed that God just rescued them from Egypt from slavery to Egypt and he brings them to Mount Carmel and he gives them the Ten Commandments fine good OK no problem but doesn't stop there he lays on the whole sanctuary rituals and services and then he doesn't stop there he piles on the Levitical do's and don'ts that fill up the books of numbers and dinner and the verdict is today and make it difficult for us to read why did God do that to his people if obedience is not about earning deserving American salvation then what is it for the answer of course is that God did not do it to them he did it for them right the Bible says all these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God this is Deuteronomy Chapter twenty eight first to this is a fascinating chapter the first half of this chapter Deuteronomy twenty eight is about all the blessings that God wanted to lavish on the children of visual and the second half of this chapter is about the curses that will come from not obeying God. Let me give you just a quick overview of the first half of this chapter twenty eight you will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country the fruit of your womb Luke blessed in the promise of your land in the young of your livestock your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed you'll be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out the Lord will grant an enemy to rise up against you will be defeated before you they will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven I love that the Lord will send a blessing on your bonds and everything you put your hand to the Lord your God will bless you in the land he has given you the Lord will establish you as his holy people as he promised you on both. If what. If you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways then all the people on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord and they will fear you it goes on alert will grant you Abend and prosperity the Lord will open the heavens with or houses of his bounty to send rain on your land and season and to bless all the work of your hands you will lead to many nations but power from none the less will make you the head not the tail if you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them you will always be at the top never at the bottom do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today to the right or to the left my friends don't you just get the feeling as you read that chapter that God just wants to bless his people don't you get the feeling that God is eagerly looking for any excuse to lavish his goodness upon his people. God just wants to bless his people oh God says that they had such a heart in them that they would fear me and keep all my commandments always because I am the great almighty God and I deserve to be obeyed Is that what it says. That it may be well with them. And with their sons for ever. God just wants to bless God just want to lavish his goodness upon it and don't get me wrong I'm not preaching a prosperity gospel here because many of God's blessings they're not easy or comfortable or even pleasant sometimes right God's blessings include self-denial self-sacrifice suffering affliction trials these are some of God's blessings. God just wants to lavish his goodness upon us. And included in those our love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control and all the fruits of the Spirit all the gifts of the Spirit so many wonderful things that God wants for us. Jesus says or God says oh they have the heart and they would have fear mean it's always that may be well with them their sons forever that's God himself talking God Almighty tell the righteous will be well with them for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds he who finds me finds wisdom in life finds life and obtains favor from the Lord talking about wisdom but he who sins against me injures who. Who himself he who sins against wisdom injures himself if you know these things Jesus says you are blessed if what if you do them for some reason this thing is honest going on its own I'm sorry about that the human family is suffering because of transgression of the laws of God The Lord desires that men should be led to understand the cause of their suffering and the only way to find relief he desires them to see that their well being physical mental and moral depends upon what. Their obedience to His law. Every one of God's commands is a gift and invitation to be blessed my friends if we would just understand this one statement this one reality about God's kingdom. Every one of God's commands is a gift an invitation to be blessed. Every time that God commands us to do something he's saying please accept my blessing. That house shall not be unhealthy Thou shalt not fall into that pit that I shall to have peace now shalt have Joy These are all of God's commands. That house shall be blessed that I shall not be cursed every single one of God's commands whether in the Old Testament of the New Testament is God inviting you personally to a blessing. And that is why my friend that obedience is so important to God. Because God just wants to bless us. On Christmas morning around the country parents get out of bed extra early and they go into their kids' bedrooms and they yank them out of bed and they say you go down and open your presents right now or else right that's how it works right well no not in your home in your home does it work the other way around with the kids redefined mean morning and they come bouncing up when you're busy we have to get your computer gives yet. And you know why do we as children of the Almighty God say oh Lord do I really have to accept another one of your gifts don't really have to open up another one of your wonderful gifts. Why do we let the devil give obedience a bad name. Obedience is not why God Bless me it is how he blesses me. I'd like to encourage you to memorize that statement obedience is not why God bless me that's what illegal is things legal things that they can get God to bless and by obeying. But that's not true at all well being is not why he blesses us that's how he does it. That's why it's so important it's important not because we're trying to earn something it's a problem because we're trying to receive something some like we're saying we're holding up a basket full of cash and say OK Lord other day therefore now through my basket with blessings no obedience is simply holding up an empty basket say Lord I'd like to receive your blessings let you receive your goodness everything a God wants us to do is good God is what's best for us right is nothing bad about going God's way. Every one of God's commands is a gift and invitation to be blessed God does not bless us because of our being and he blesses us by our obedience that's the key thought if salvation is a free gift of God and does not come by works then why does God require because back to our original question my friends now we can answer this question and it's really easy to. Answer Why does God require billions because he just wants the bluff right God just longs to lavish his goodness upon us every one of God's commands is an insight into His perfect will it's a it's an invitation to receive the blessing of that perfect will and God just wants to bless us OK one question down we have one more to go only two questions for this presentation then we're done the second question is this one can I say things but no thanks to God. Oh my goodness we just got rid of a hard question now we're working into a little bit of a harder one another word. Is it OK as a true follower of Jesus to say OK Lord I appreciate that all your commands are gifts and I really do appreciate those gifts by the way God But you know I'd rather go my own way on this one is that OK as a Christian to do then as a follower of Christ can we say Lord I'd rather not receive this blessing can we skip a blessing is it OK if all of God's commands are blessings can be skipped one from time to time and said You know I know the consequences I understand I think the consequences of not obeying you I'm willing to accept those consequences I'll just skip this blessing Well let's get really practical about this right now. Let's say that I am at my favorite ice cream. Joint and it's a hot day and I am thirsty and I am hot and I'm looking up at the delectable menu and I see this chocolate chocolate fudge sundae with extra chocolate. And I'm sitting there drooling and say that would be so good right now. And so I say to God. Lord I understand what you have commanded that whatever we do with it we eat or drink and whatever we do do all to the glory of God and I recognize father that ice cream sundaes are not known for their god glorifying qualities. But I am willing to accept the consequences of going my own way on this one. It's not going to kill me probably. I'm not committing adultery or robbing a bank c'mon you guys are making a mountain out of a molehill here. Is this legalism. Is it OK for me to say to God Lord I know what you want but I'm going to go my own way just this once just on this one thing I mean obviously I follow you on the ninety nine point nine percent of the other things but just one little thing is it OK for us to skip a blessing from time to time OK that's the question we want to answer my friends God has given us the power of choice. As any. And it is a wonderful power. It is probably the Great is the only power that was given us that's the greatest power for all of eternity it will be our power God has given us the power of choice and yet sometimes as followers of Christ we have this tendency to take our power of choice for granted Have you ever noticed that. We take this power of choice is great power that God has given us we take it for granted I went to the group of twelve students of serially own. To do evangelists that series we did twelve evangelistic series including myself there was twelve us including myself and we each one didn't evangelistic series we all preached one thousand times in seventeen days we went through the share Him thing we did all of presentations here with a dedicated group of young people they took off their summer vacations a great group of people I love them. And as we were preparing one of our presentations it was on Sunday and on the Sabbath we were asked to talk to the congregation a little bit and say hey congregation Why do you worship on Sunday is it because you have studied the Bible and you know what the Bible says about the Sabbath and Sunday or is it because you have always done it that way. Is it because your parents do it that way is it because your pastor does it that way in other words why do you make this important. Choice about what day you're going to worship on. Why do you make that choice how do you make a choice do you take that choice for granted or do you take it seriously is a good question we were asked to ask that to the congregation and as I was preparing that presentation. I remember thinking wow I wonder if I ever do that do I ever make choices I'm not about the Sabbath but do I ever make choices just because I've always done it that way I mean my parents every is doing it or do or do I take my power of choice for granted so the next day for morning worship I because I'm really mean I said to the students I said you guys eat cake and candy and cookies and all these things and they said yeah and he laughed you know of course and I said Why do you do that is because you know it's healthy for you know we know it's unhealthy for us oh OK well then you must need the calories in the fat and things that you get from that right no no we don't need the calories in the fat to get from that. It's unhealthy you don't need it isn't it comes from it and so why would you do that and they laughed and said because it tastes good silly right it tastes good. My friends why do we make the choices that we make do we take the power of choice that God has given us for granted or do we take it seriously do we choose because everybody is doing it that way our peers our parents our pastors. Or do we choose because we know what God's will is and we want to please him how do we make our choices how do we handle that power of choice that God has given us so this is the question I have can we say thanks but no thanks to God Is it OK to say Lord thank you for the power of choice I'm going to use it to go my own way I'm going to skip this blessing. Is that OK as a Christian I would I would propose that the answer is no and you might not be surprised by that but you might be surprised by why it's because when we obey God There are several wonderful things that happen for one thing we receive temporal health we receive the. Physical mental social the most and blessings that come from following God you know God knows what's best for us when we go God's way we are temporarily physically mentally socially blessed God knows that. But that's not the only blessing that comes from obeying God in fact did you know that obedience is faith in him saying yeah the Bible says was not Abraham our father justified by works we offered up Isaac his son on the altar you see the face was working with his works and as a result of the Rot rocks the rot face was perfected. How many of you want more faith. Yes we all do right we desperately faith the Bible says the righteous will live by faith Jesus says that secure scary words it shall be done to you according to your faith which if you think about is really scary sometimes right do no more faith yes how is one of the ways that God works in us to increase our faith as a result of the works faith was perfected so that's one of the blessings of obeying God But besides that did you know that obeying God is prayer in him saying. That's right prayer is about the soul beloved if our heart does not condemn us we have confidence before God and whatever we ask we receive from him because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight. God knows that when we go his way. He knows that our heart will not condemn us and that will make it easier for us to enjoy him to come close to him because of that and so that is one of the blessings of obedience but my friends that's not all there is another blessing and overarching blessing that comes from obeying God and this my friends by itself would be the answer to why we would never want to skip any one of God's blessings not one of his commands here it is obeying God is lower than handsome Did you know that did you know that part. Of the the purpose of obedience is to grow in our love for Jesus every time we open one of his good gifts and we said and we experience the blessing that comes from those gifts are low for him grows that's our love for God flourishes. If you keep My commandments Jesus says you will abide in my love just as I have kept my Father's Commandments and abide in his love part of what it means to abide in Jesus is to abide with him in the center of his will the most blessed a place that you and I can be as Christians is delighting in the Almighty God in the center of his will with him and my friends if. If obeying God is love in him saying the opposite side of the coin is also true disobeying God is love and hitting the Bible says Behold the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save nor says that you are so dull that it cannot hear but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God and your sins have hidden a space from you so that he does not hear. Our disobedience separates us from our God It is love inhibiting obeying God going his way is love in him saying and disobey God is love inhibiting my friends is this First tell us that God turns his back on us when we when we sin is that what that says no how is God's face hidden from us when we sin. Because we're turning our back on him right when Adam and Eve sinned who came running and who hid from who right when we say Lord I know your will but I'm turning my back on your will that turned our back on God and that's not a good place to be we are told that 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 a redeemer only through sincere beauty of can is the communion be obtained. Wow No wonder God just wants us to a baby. No wonder God wants us all badly to go his way No wonder God has given us all these wonderful commands all these wonderful invitations to be blessed God knows that the only way that we can enjoy him that we have that communion with him is through sincere obedience God has given us the power of choice it is our power throughout eternity it will be our power can we use that power of choice and say Lord I know your will thanks but no thanks I'm going to skip that blessing the answer of course is no because when we do that we turn our back on God. And that's never a good thing that is not loving Hansing that is not delight in Hansing. My friends I hope that you understand that I'm not talking to you today about ice cream hope you got that. I'm not feeling like it's my responsibility to stand up here and tell you what you should eat or what you shouldn't do what you should drink what you should drink my friends what I'm talking about this afternoon is our choices are power of choice I'd like to encourage you to think about the power of choice as a great privilege that it is and to take it seriously to take it prayerfully the Christian life is like orange juice honey if you like orange juice anybody like oranges oh yeah OK we love orange juice it is a delightful nectar. I am went on a business trip when I was an engineer before I was teaching I went on a business trip to Singapore and I came down from the hotel to the breakfast buffet and there was this big bowl of half cut oranges and right beside the bowl there was this juice or juicing machine you know and I made myself a fresh squeezed glass of juice and it was so good but you know just a couple tables down from that juice machine was the pastry table what would happen do you think if I had made myself this delectable glass of juice and if I had drank a sip and all that so good set it down walked over and. A bite just one bite of a donut and come back what you think would have happened. The juice for the income sour would become unpalatable. What happened to the Jews change no our taste buds changed. My friends by our choices we get to choose how sweet Jesus is to us. Did you know that by our choices we get to choose how sweet Jesus is to us by our choices every day we get to choose how sweet Jesus is to us and by our choices we can sour our relationship with him. It all comes down and this is not surprising but it all comes down to our power of choice. God has given us that power for a very special reason you remember what the reason for the Power Choices. So that we may love God right the reason why God has given us the power of choice is the we can love him and that's why our choices are so important because by our choices we get to choose how sweet Jesus is to us and by our choices we can sour our relationship with him. Obedience is not why God blesses me it is how he blesses me by my choices I get to choose how sweet Jesus is to me that's a key phrase for this part of the presentation Let's read this all out loud together obedience is not why God blesses me it is how he blesses me by my choices I get to choose how sweet Jesus is to me. If you keep My commandments Jesus says you will abide in my love these things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be made for all why does God want us to obey him so that our joy may be made for my friends God just wants us to enjoy him. God wants us to enjoy. Joyeux him to the fullest God wants us to receive the lavish blessings like he pours out on us like water overnight and I go falls and sometimes we hold up in our brother to protect ourselves but God says No Take away the umbrella let yourself be drenched in my blessings. God just wants to bless us in every one of God's commands is a blessing an invitation to a blessing that is how we enjoy God to the fullest So back to our original point that we started out with the key to love is the surrender of self if I want to love God with all my heart my mind my soul and my strength then I must give God all my heart all of my mind all of my soul and all of my strength my friends what does that mean in practical terms what does it mean to give God all of my heart all of my mind all of my soul and all of my strength. It means to throw our gold in the dust our most precious choices. Our most precious choices the goal of over among the stones of the brook it means to give God all. It means to surrender ourselves unreservedly unresistingly unrelentingly to him and to commit to him every single one of our choices our Sunday choices our Monday choices our Tuesday choices our Wednesday choices all the choices are out today God is asking us to give ourselves to him to be consecrated fully to him so that he can use us to the foremost and so that he can bless us to the fullest. That is how we can delight in the almighty that is how we can transfer our treasure from earth to heaven let's pray. Heavenly Father thank you so much for the privilege that we have of enjoying you thank you so much father for the privilege that we as human beings have delighting in you. Are. The thank you for your miraculous supernatural power that you work in our lives to give us that joy and that love for you. Father me each one of us. Be willing and able to consecrate ourselves wholly to you. Nothing between. Our souls and our Savior. Father grant that each one of us may be willing and able to say all my choices are yours in every aspect of my life all the time. Grandfather that we may be able to experience your goodness to the fullest and Heavenly Father gone please grant that we may teach the. Good news. Of surrender of letting you be Almighty God of letting you forgive us of letting you lavish all your goodness upon us and the letting you take us with you to heaven by the Help us to teach this wonderful message to everyone we have a chance to thank you for these blessings in Jesus' name amen. OK Well we have a couple minutes and I'd like to answer any questions that we might be able to talk about a couple minutes as you were. Listening to the presentations did you have any questions about what I said or how I said it or about the topic of surrender at all. If you do what I love to hear. Just raise your hand and then I'm going to come back and get closer I can hear you. Yes. God So are you saying that this. Thank you for that question the question was. That we are going to be filled with the Holy Spirit before Jesus comes and that there. There's going to be a special message a revival Reformation among his people the question was Is this the message of revival Reformation my friends I believe in order to to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to proclaim the three messages we're going to have to be surrendered in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit we're going to be have to be emptied of self Yes my friends I do believe that this is the message that God is teaching his people right now and that this is the message that will bring about the end time Revival Reformation and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit I really do believe that thank you for that question oh yeah. I do find primitive Godliness is absolute surrender. I mean you give yourself wholly to God and what doesn't God do. Think about it. You give yourself holy God is the Lord by your grace and power you got me to play from will enable let you have all my choices to be to be Almighty God in me and what is God not do. He forgives us. He covers us with his righteousness he empowers us to make those choices that we have committed to him he keeps us surrendered he gives us love and joy and peace and patience and goodness and kindness and faithfulness and gentleness the strength he gives us the Holy Spirit He gives us guidance what doesn't God do when we give ourselves wholly to him my friends what can we do besides give ourselves to him. Only God can do it no matter what the good thing is in our life only God can do it but only you and I can love him and that's why surrender so important that's while my Says the self surrender is the substance of the teachings of Christ. Thank you for that question yes. Just. Oh. Yes. Right. That's right that's right. Yes OK OK So the point is the point is we need to know him before we can surrender and you know that's true to a certain extent except that we've just saw that in order for us to commune with God We need to be ANS and obedience comes from surrender in other words in order to know and love God with more than just a fair sample knowledge we have to surrender to him. We cannot know and love God without that surrender. So he says a spiral yes God reveals Himself to us and he reveals that what he's done for us at the cross and we give our hearts to him and we say OK Lord I need you I want to know you I surrender my life to you and then he helps us to do that but only through his power can we know him only through his power can we love him and that can only happen if we left him. Right so yes there's a very important upward spiral there. Yes. Yeah. Yes this is this is the statement right here I'd like to read it to reiterate to know God is to be one with him in heart and mind having an experimental knowledge of him holding reverential communion with Him is Redeemer only through sincere B.D.'s can this communion be obtained and where does that obedience come from it can only come from surrendered. Only God can work in us but only we can let him. Surrender is letting God be almighty God it's letting him give us that power to abate and serve and love and joy him yes. OK. Let's. Say. Right. That's a good point isn't surrender progressive Yes my friends that is although it's not progressive in one way. Surrender has to be whole hearted all at once in other words we can't go to God say Lord I give you ninety nine percent of my choices but I'm going to hold back one and the words Shriners all or nothing all the ones we say Lord I give you all my choices I commit everything to you and then for the rest of our lives it's like a marriage relationship we're going to be growing in our understanding of God's Will we're going to growing in our understanding of God's. His way we're going to be growing in understanding of what he wants us to surrender we may not even realize that we're not surrendering things need to be surrendered so there is a process of growth in that sense and by the way that's number five in the series. How we can grow in that surrender what's renter's and how it grows yes that's a good point. But we have to make certain that we're not falling into this trap of the devil that we say oh I'm surrendered I gave my heart to Jesus and I you know I gave most of my choices so I'm surrendered no surrender is all or nothing all at once you have to give got all of your choices or none if God is the lord of all he's not Lord at all. After you commit yourself unreservedly unresistingly unrelentingly to God. Then he can start the process of showing you what how high he can take you yes good point and by the way I want to just add one more thing about your experience you know it's natural for us too. It's natural for us to lose our conversion. Conversion is hard to get in as it's hard to keep. By nature we want self to come back on the throne we are addicted to selfishness and self-indulgence and so if we don't constantly fight it and if we don't know what with God in that process to say Lord keep surrender keep self down it will come back up on the throne me and without hardly even knowing what's happened we'll lose that conversion so that is definitely a thing and it's not just possible it's probable So we have to and that's number ten in the series but we have to work with God prudent practical ways to keep self. Down and to to keep it started to death right OK Good thank you for that comment and a question that's very good this media was produced by audio for us on avenues Lehmann's services and industries. If you would like to learn more. Please visit. The site. Or if you'd like to this free line sermons Please Visit W W W verse.

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