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Confidence in Crisis - Part 8: Who Moved the Cheese?

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan



  • May 9, 2020
    11:45 AM
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Lord we're gathering via the Internet most of us in homes but we're still looking Lords for you to speak and most of all we need you to speak now as uncertainty has gripped our world as instability has taken hold we're praying that we would have confidence as we hide in the rock stand on the rock please bless us now help us to make the changes that you're calling us to make so that we could have the joy as we move forward to the finish we ask this all in Jesus' name amen we want to welcome you to village church this morning. I'm preaching a message entitled Who Moved the cheese confidence in crisis want to once again remind you that come beginning June 12th I believe it is we will begin a local camp meeting here in titled forward to the finish we'll have a variety of speakers seminars through the day an early morning message and some wonderful music and encouragement so if your conference is not having a camp meeting and you're available during those times we'll go from June 28th to June 12th with a theme forward to the finish this morning though in the 7th in a series entitled confidence and crisis I want to talk with you about change back in 1908 Dr Spencer Johnson wrote a book entitled Who Moved My Cheese and became a number one best seller as a matter of fact it stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for almost 5 years 26000000 copies sold $37.00 languages the story of 2 men or 2 little people and 2 mice and how do they relate to change coming each day to where they would get their cheese finding it gone what has to be and come now is a new way of adapting and adaptation is indeed the subject matter for the smaller any how are we going to be on the other side of covert 19 are we going to remain the same are we simply hoping for things to go back to normal so that we can go back to what we were and did God allows crises to come and in the midst of the crises he's working for transformation of purpose of Soul of character Who Moved My Cheese all throughout our lives we're going to find ourselves in moments of adaptation the Smorgon I'm going to bring you 10 things that I believe should be different when the shelter in place rules are over I'm not going to address social. Distancing and mask will do our part to keep the spread of disease from going forward some churches have actually opened across this North American division on this Sabbath I know our former associate Joe Reeves has a church in Idaho that was opening back up this morning I don't know when village will open back up here in Michigan we're going at least through May 28th and after that by God's grace will be able to have some kind of interaction and so hopefully when our camp meeting forward to the finish is underway will be at least able to have a small audience if not a large one but we're hoping that our online audience will be edified as we break the bread of life and consider how our corporate in and of what individual lives should be focus to accomplishing God's Work Number one I'm going to start with what I consider probably be the most preeminent 7th Day Adventist spiritual disease it's a disease that stands in the way of healing most of the other challenges we have spiritually I've spoken about it multiple times it's probably not a discourse without it. But I'm going to speak to it again because I believe in this moment where we cannot gather we ought to reassess and re apprise the privilege of gathering which you remember God says should happen all the more so as we see the day approaching taking Bibles open them up to Acts chapter 2 the book of Acts chapter 2 how did god start over after the cross Acts chapter 2 there was a crisis of faith there was a challenge to the established way of thinking in regards to what it meant to be a follower of the all way Judaism was turned upside down as Jesus came to represent the father the cross was not what the Apostles had in mind they didn't even like each other on Thursday night when they left the upper room James and John conniving to be at the left in the right hand position through their mother an elder as it were at least in age one to whom a request would typically be honored and they were working to leverage their way into positions of ambition through their mom yes indeed Peter was a little bit miffed with Jesus's well who had told him some things about himself that he didn't agree with and he flat out denied Unfortunately the bearing of their souls would be the experience of the next 24 hours and here we come on the flip side on the other side of the cross and what is Jesus directing them to do Acts chapter 2 verse one and Acts chapter one where start with Acts Chapter one 1st beginning with Verse 4 Acts Chapter one Verse 4 gathering them together he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the bother had promised. Which he said you have heard from me John baptized with water but you baptized with the Holy Spirit will be not many days from now and then over to chapter 2 verse one when the Denim Day of Pentecost had come and was fully come they were all in one accord in one place and I'm going to put 2 things together the great spiritual bad habit that is settled down upon 7th Day Adventist is the habit of not gathering whether it be a camp meeting gathering whether it be a spiritual convocation whether be an evangelist to give it whether it be a prayer meeting the 1st thing that will have to change if we're going to be ready for what's coming next which we don't know at what frequency the birth pangs will continue to roll upon us but one thing that will have to change is we are going to have to get closer to each other. We'd barely know each other now you say I come from a little church I know more than I want to know about the people I go to church with we must come to know each other in Christ there must be this growing love for each other the 1st the 2nd thing is that we're going to have to look for the power and the provision the active administration of the Holy Spirit It's one thing to put our best minds around our best challenges it's another thing to run straight into a coven 1000 crisis and know that the Christ who led you up to it can lead you through it and you can surmount it in his name it's not for us to just add a little bow on our meetings of a short prayer it's time for us to actually start seeking the Lord more earnestly I know in our local church goer creating a revisioning committee it's time for us to assess what it means to be disciple in our kids for the hours we have them in our local schools it's actually time for us to be as a church asking are we really achieving the fullness of our obligation when we simply gather week by week God is wanting to give us the assurance of his presence of the Holy Spirit and he's wanting us to have the confidence to move forward in spite of obstacle but in order to do that we're going to have to be more bonded and more corporately dependent upon the voice of God speaking through the experience of the group board meetings go hard sometimes because we don't like each other sometimes they go hard because we come from different points of perspective we don't know how to show respect to each other in a committee meeting outsell you are when the emotions of a group are all running in the right way they can handle some pretty difficult discussions without coming to a broken and bruised it's important friends why don't you go to the prayer me and ask yourself the question. If the Spirit of Prophecy can write we ought we should be when prayer ought where prayer is want to be made why are we want in there yes this is the preeminent 7th Day Adventist corporate bad habit and we have relegated the meetings for spiritual progress to being for the old and the less busy with less important things to do if you come out of this coven 1000 moment and you're content to keep pressing on without that which will fill you up with strength for what's coming before you you're missing out on the blessing of divine confidence you're missing out on the Brotherhood and the sisterhood of divine support flowing from a brother in Christ or a sister in Christ it is not for us to rush into our meetings without leaning on the Lord and without being able to lean on each other why don't you go to the evangelist it meeting preacher not exciting enough slides not uptodate What is it that you've got going on that's more important than praying for the person who's presenting and asking God to show you something new about the diamond of prophecy which is turning in another presenters hands waiting for you to learn something you haven't learned before be touched in a way you haven't been touched before there are blessings that God is preserving and reserving for those who care enough to come to his house be like me as my dad as I anticipate a wedding for one of my children sending out invitations isn't there a parable like this. And all I'm asking for is the honor of your presence but you've got this excuse and that excuse yes friends when covert 1000 and we ought to be in the house of God making up for our absence and seen what God might do to kindle a fire amongst us to remember as a boy when I was in Pathfinders getting a fire building on or I believe filling out some of my card work to become at some level invested in a new qualification is a Pathfinder and you know one of my challenges was to build a fire in the rain and there was a quiz question and the quiz question about building a fire in the rain is where is the wood always dry. The answer on the inside of the tree there are things inside of us that if they were collected together and the Holy Spirit came down things that would be drawn out in human relationships actual spiritual bonds built intimacy that if they were all collected together the presence of God could light a fire bring warmth and light and courage but when we don't come together and when we don't seek the spirit we are weak God is calling every leader of every classroom every school every institution every church every parent ministry to take more time train and connecting but certainly he's calling his people to his house so I don't number one we're going to have to get close you're going to have to get together to press together I don't number 2 we're going to have to seek the Lord and wait for the gift of promise we're going to have to seek divine assistance to achieve our goals obviously there's going to be a little bit less money it appears although my prayer is this will be our best financial year we've ever had in the 7th Day Adventist Church join me in it would you but we're going to find new obstacles we're going to need a new power the 3rd thing that's going to have to change is a God preachers are going to have to become true preachers of righteousness. And this is not me throwing down a quick or calloused or cavalier critique of my brothers and my sisters this is me Callie the man or woman of God called to preach the Word of God to preach the full spectrum of what God brings out of his word and puts onto their heart we find ourselves in a unique day in which the corporate Christian world wants to be smothered with assurance that I'm Ok And you're Ok And you know what God brings us something better than that God brings us the assurance that when we're in Christ nothing can shake us his presence is with us His love is upon us but that love is is not the kind of love that overlooks the journey of growth if you read the book of Corinthians you understand Paul love them deeply as a matter of fact his writing to the Corinthians drew out the deepest risk of his pastoral bond of probably any book take your Bibles journey over 2nd quintillions Chapter 7 2nd Corinthians Chapter 7 I wanna look at Paul's musing about his role 2nd Corinthians Chapter 7 reflecting on his 1st letter he says beginning in verse 8 for though I caused you sorrow by my letter I do not regret it and when every pastor listening to me to hear these words you read the New Testament it's a constant call to walk worthy quoting Paul himself to imitate me Paul will say as I imitate Christ. And Paul says some of the things I said wounded you and I don't regret it though I did regret it for I see that the letter caused you sorrow though only for a while and other words as he laid his pastoral heart out on the table for the people as he took the emotional risk that comes with redirecting the hearts in the corporate experience of God's people he felt like maybe he had gone too far but that's not what happened verse 9 I now rejoice that you were made sorrowful not that you were made sorrowful but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us for the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret leading to salvation but the sorrow of the world produces debt to the Bible in turn over the glaciers chapter 4 go just a bit farther again Paul confronting great theological dynamics in this church where they're abandoning a confidence in Christ and replacing it with a confidence in men he writes so I become your enemy glaciers for 16 by telling you the truth it's important that we let the preachers be the preachers the Holy Spirit comes your life he starts talking to you you don't have to have a preacher to have God talk to you what the preacher does is the preacher becomes God's amplification system he's talking to everybody and nobody all at the same time it's the most dignified place for God to deepen a conviction of anywhere you can go it's not one on one where the message is laid directly on you with with no possibility for going somewhere else it's God in the presence of the spoken word deepening a conviction through the audible voice of the preacher. Now I bring to you this word from Hebrews 412 the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any 2 edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul in the spirit and the joints of morrow and it's a discerner of the thoughts in the intense of the heart how would you like to wield a weapon like that God is working through His Word being held in the hand of a preacher being pronounced by the hand of a pastor and how would you like to be the one that's cutting away the spiritual tumours that's going deep down to the motivational level how would you like to be the one that someone blames for upsetting the status quo in the spiritual equilibrium of their lives you see the real price tag on pastoral ministry and the preaching ministry in the prophetic ministry is that the preacher is sometimes accused of being not God but a demigod who got the lens twisted and messed up the message this is why when Eliza Janay had me after 3 and a half years of no rain Elijah will say to her a have will say to Alijah is that you you trouble or of Israel and Elijah will respond back it's not me who troubled Israel but you that battle's not gone and it's not going away but if the preacher runs away from that moment the eternal salvation of those who could have known opportunity change was upon them is gone indeed when Alija kneel down in front of those 850 prophets and he prays his prayer is very simple God show them that I have done this at your command and that you are God and that very same confidence must be in the heart of every pastor who stands in a pulpit to preach who has prayerfully come to the moment who is in God's word whose life is not a contradiction of his preaching or her preaching. Indeed we must have men and women who proclaim the truth and understand that spiritual cancers will require a spiritual operation and that's yes they should apply the anesthesia of God's love but if you've ever seen somebody who has a growth and it can't be hidden is it beautiful maybe there's a reason that the post-modern world is said we're not too interested in organized religion maybe we've gone so far in patting ourselves on the back and giving each other spiritual hugs that spiritual tumours are growing on us and we don't look quite as beautiful to the world as we think we look to each other indeed of God's Word can cut to the joints in the moral and is a desert or of the intense of the heart it might be that it's uncomfortable to sit under the power of the presence of the Living Word brought to live by the Holy Spirit audibly and powerfully communicated by a preacher false prophets in days gone by told the king what he wanted to hear customer is king now and if they don't like what they hear they'll take their money and walk in this is every preacher's fear that if they follow their convictions every preacher has enough self doubt at least I hope most do the honest ones do but their word that their method they know where the paths of affirmation come from and in the fragility of person they sometimes mistake failure for success in the masses in the multitude as the certainty that they've done what's right when in reality they forget that Jesus Himself had the masses abandon him and he turned to his disciples and said Are you going to leave me to. Preacher if you can't keep your job and your convictions at the same time know which one you have to let go of but don't let go of it until someone asks you to because it may be that success is just around the corner and that nobody has stood up to that person in your church who is disfiguring the culture and the presentation you can't live with fear and do your job the right way when Paul in Acts Chapter 20 comes the end of his time with the at the agency said I'm free of the blood of all men I've declared to you the whole truth now we know that Jesus told His disciples that there were some there weren't ready to hear everything and of course this is not me suggesting that you're supposed to dump something on somebody but when you refuse to exercise God's divine Parag you have to let the word do its work your standing in the way of progress and change for God's people the cutting truce should be anesthetized with the comforting ones the cross should be the picture frame in which all presentations are made but when you allow a whole group of people or a individual especially a leader to go forward without addressing what is an obvious spiritual disfigurement you become partially responsible for the dysfunction of the individual or the group you should pray for your pastors they have extremely difficult jobs because they are constantly trying to process how much should they lean on a prob how hard should they seek to help something change or grow when should they speak up and when should they be quiet the 4th thing that will have to change if we want to see our church come back to life as that parents are going to have to join the pastors and start pastor in their own homes. It's going to be important that their children are their 1st little flock and then out afraid to do what they need to do to raise their children it doesn't matter what the people down the road are doing it doesn't matter what the people down the pew are doing the truth of the matter is your children are walking through a spiritual death and zone there are temptations all around them they didn't exist when you were being discipled into Christ and it's not your job to be the one everybody praises even your own children do a step better than that love your kids and make sure they know that so when they are struggling to form their own identity in Christ they know there is a rock and the rocks not moving they can come under the shade of your tree you're married love your single parent keep your courage but nonetheless Jesus confronted his own disciples He is the ultimate parent in scripture I read something that troubled me this week I was searching through one of the yellow light databases looking for some information and I came across a letter she wrote to Battle Creek if you're living in Berrien Springs today if you're living in an admin a smack a somewhere else I want you to listen carefully to what I'm about to say she knew the perils and the pitfalls of gathering God's people together with too much focus on themselves and too little emphasis on reaching the last and she used a phrase that I wasn't aware that she used a 100 plus years ago she talked about gospel hardened youth they're around so much religion sometimes a pack Recy there around the church without being around the last in an effort to reach them and soon there's a callous that grows on their heart they can see what's wrong with the church on the inside but it's hard for them to see the love of Christ because they're not far enough away from this conglomeration of the saints. Gospel hard in children it makes me think I'm kinda creases book almost Christian I can see the picture in my mind as I'm standing here right now of a teenager in a green hoodie pulled up around his face where it's hard to see it and he's looking down at his device all most Christian is not going to work if you want to be a complete family in heaven yes there should be a family altar in your home you should say I I have time for the most important things and the most important thing at the beginning of my day for the entire family will be gathering my family together for a brief and beautiful and vitalized encounter with God It may be as simple as a song in a story it may be as simple as a pre-prepared devotional reading but it is a tradition that will allow the presence of God to slowly infiltrate the mind the habit and the heart of your young person is parents are going to have to be the ones that do the 1st forming so that the teachers can come alongside of them and so that our children can actually encounter the living Christ and be prepared to share a message to a world that is dying but for them to encounter a form of godliness that denies the power is to gospel hardened this generation every bit as much as that of Battle Creek a 100 years ago yes indeed parents will have to be as God ordained and to be the very 1st pastors The 5th thing that ought to be different when we come out of this moment is the dynamic of leadership. My wife told me a story the other day this leadership is to be pastoral and principle and Biblical it is not to be political and representative it is made judicious and prudent and thoughtful it is to find its wisdom through more than one individual in the word collecting the precepts and the principles of holiness and acting on the ability to shape the larger culture of the larger church yes leaders are going to have to do what so many today are unwilling to do heard a story just yesterday young educator with an administrative gift story takes place several years ago was being courted for a prominent position in a ministration in one of our larger elementary schools woman came an interview and the course of the interview she learned several things about that institution she learned that they did not gather the children for corporate worship she learned that the sef did not gather for staff worship she learned along the way that there was an organized sports program that everyone gathered for at least many and at the end of the interview they'd she told the interviewing body you have the wrong person this is not what I gave my heart for this is not what I've dedicated my talents to and she left Not long later there was an interaction between her and that body and they explained to her she was exactly what they wanted but her coming meant that the culture of that elementary school large though it be was going to be changing you see friends when leaders do not follow their convictions. Pastor teacher administrator when they do not have convictions they are actually standing in the way of spiritual progress and hoping everything will simply go back to where it once was Jesus said it is the truth that sets us free and if we think of 7 they haven't isn't can't wonder of course we better think again the 6th thing that's going to need to change is that our commitments are going to have to change Jesus said Seek ye 1st the Kingdom of God That's not just the kingdom of God in your heart and it's not just the kingdom of God in your home all those those things are starting points but progressing on from there there is an actual physical representation of his kingdom and it's called the church our schedules are going to have to change God has stepped on the break they've changed already having thing some of you are actually more busy because everything you do has multiple layers of communication in it including a zoo meeting that you know you didn't have before it's amazing how efficient ideas can flow and learning can take place my wife is an elementary school teacher I can tell you she's busier now without having the kids in her classroom than she was when she had them all there our time commitments have changed our freedom to move about has changed how we attire ourself including the mask has changed how close we can get to each other has changed our commitments are going to have to change which means our schedule some people don't have a schedule that's why in their home there is no family worship that's why everybody goes goes and does what they want and there's no gathering at a meal table that's why there's nobody at the prayer meeting when with I can remember when 1st coming to this village church it was a church of just under a 1000 members. One percent of the membership attended premie one percent and the 1st premie I went to which was in a little bitty room in this church one of the faithful prayer meeting attenders was rejoicing that we had made it to one percent he didn't say it that way I think we had 12 people there do you actually think that if we're so careless about gathering together and making a priority in our schedule of being in God's house do you really think God's going to step in and do anything terribly fantastic if we don't care anymore than that and you say Oh Pastor I'm so busy Yes I know that faithful 7 am and subjects are ations ago were busy too when they had to do their washed by hands and they didn't hand an automated machine I know they were busy when they worked in the coal mines in the morning and on the farm till dark Yes they were busy before there were microwaves and cell phones and all the things that create freedom comfort and ease they were busy now we're busy too we're busy with what we call enriching things we don't want our children to fall behind so it doesn't matter whether it's music or sports or some other extracurricular activity our lives have filled up so much that we're going to look out for our family 1st and that means we're not going to clutter the schedule with the things that will get in the way that we don't deem give us as a family what we need most I want you to know when God re covenant with Israel he called everybody together including the mothers and the children. And God is calling us as in generations gone by to begin acculturating our kids' mental Abba types to being able to sit in a meeting and hear the Word of God and not be bored out of their gourd Now there's 2 things that need to happen the people running the meeting need to make sure that it's alive with the spirit and it's not boring in and of its own self and the parents are going to have to make sure that the mental food of their children's minds is not the tantalizing stimulation the superficial junk food that gets them out of the parents way and sows the seeds of self destruction by weaving the appetites of the mind around the things of the world indeed people are the most interesting thing in the world and if our people were coming together and our schedules were private or had ties and togetherness we discover that the stories he has to share or see she has to share across the generations and the joy of forming a new family would be better than the superficiality is of devices and dark corners are appointments are going to have to be prioritized Yes you should have family worship I've said that yes you should make time as a couple I've said that too and I'm saying it now but yes you should bring your family and you should be in the spiritual complications of your local church and if your kids are the only kids it's Ok gotta make up for it it's important we simplify our lives there's some good things on your schedule they're going to need to go they're not as important and some of them after enough time goes by you're going to see we're actually in the way I make no apologies to my children about the simplicity of our home. Without a television without the video games but I made provision for them to experience life in the out of doors I gave them something better to do I did it with them I taught them how to work I gave them the satisfaction of improving their world some of us are going to have to make new adjustments in our commitments with our money he said don't have much that has nothing to do with what God is sane he won't ask for more from you than is proper for you to give and some of you are waiting to get more before you give more God actually does it in reverse he cause us to give more before you get more from him as it stands right now there are dozens of church schools that are waiting to be shuttered as a function of coven 19 around this division what are we going to do to stave that off as it stands right now there are all kinds of people being furloughed because of covert 19 is it really true the God's work will have to be pruned down smaller than it already is or is it possible that there are things that are to be called and cut out of our ledgers so that God's work can go forward when we think about the giving habits of 7th Day Adventists by percent more was given during the Great Depression that is given now and on the other side of covert 19 that should be different. You may not take his night of vacation you may not shop for your clothes there you may make your car last longer I don't know what it will be because I'm not God I don't understand your circumstances but I know this our commitments must change if we really believe that this is a birth pangs of deliverance and more are on their way if this is a wake up call to come back to our purpose and identity in Christ that it is important for us to move on our time on our schedule on our appointments in the simplification of our life in our habits and in our money this is easy to say and hard to do but the freedom that comes in doing it is phenomenal change your giving to God and let your habits adapt around that's how you move change your giving to God and let the rest form itself around that priority when I had nothing as a boy I was taught the principles of stewardship when I met my wife and we got married with 2 years of undergraduate college still to go we were making $400.00 a month that was 30 some years ago whatever multiplication you want to put on it now put on it but it was a fraction of what people needed to live back then I decided that I would be faithful in returning God's tie because it wasn't mine to be messed with and we decided as a couple that 5 percent of our income which was $400.00 income a month would be returned to God as an offering I am so glad that I had next to nothing I chose to do something with it that would train me for doing something with more God provided for us a little home at $75.00 a month which was about a 3rd or a 4th of what others were paid when a little wood stove and I scrounge for wood I worked on the grounds apartment at Andrews University. House was so small it had been a cow barn before it was converted into a home and it had big wooden beams going across it I had to duck my head to walk through the living room and I couldn't stand up straight in the one room that was up above it would be like living in somebodies mini barn that place was God's provision for me and what I was learning all along the way is that when I put God 1st God will make sure to take care of my needs. When I had very little I made those decisions the problem is there people listen in me they have much and they have never made those decisions because what they have they don't just like they have a greater affection for than that which leads me to point number 7 some divorce papers are going to have to be written and no I'm not talking about between husband and wife I'm talking about between the church in the world said currently in $617.00 come out from among them a b. separate saith the Lord touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you writing in patriarchs and prophets in the chapter entitled pass to see it to Jordan the author states it was by association with idolators and joining in their festivities that the Hebrews were led to transgress the law of God and being judged judgments upon themselves so now it is by leading the followers of Christ associate with the end godly unite in their amusements that Satan is the most successful in a luring them into sin God requires of his people now as great a distinction from the world in customs habits and principles as he required of Israel anciently if they faithfully follow the teachings of His Word this distinction will exist it cannot be otherwise the warnings given to the Hebrews against the simulating with the heathen were not more Director and place it explicit than are those forbidding Christians to conform to the spirit and customs of the young godless So let's break this down just a little bit could we do there. If it's by associated with idolators and joining in their festivities that we are led to transgress the maybe we ought to ask ourselves if we ought to be virtually attending all the same places no we're not going to show up there but should we be virtually attending and virtually amusing over the same subject matter that the rest of the world with those sitcoms are funny to go on those video games are addicting especially to boys some of them are violent vile spending hours on Facebook living vicariously through other people's lives is probably a waste of time it can be used for good for sure but it still could be a waste of time the truth of the matter is is that while some still will not attend a theater and some make it a badge of their Christian liberty liberty that they can attend a theater wasting God's money wasting their time God is calling us to redraw the lines coming apart and be separate say at the Lord now we don't want to be a Ferris. As a matter of fact there's one of those youth songs that says I don't want to be a fair Isee cause they're not fair you see and of course it was the fair sea's who after mingling out amongst the publicans would ritually cleanse themselves that's what those water parts were that Jesus turned to wine somehow they had taken the admonition to be separate from the world and they forgot that they were actually so still love the world even though they were to be separate from the world and Jesus had to bring it back together but we've gone so far the other way that it appears we have no impact on the world and what's worse than that our appetites are binding us to the world and without the power of God being able to separate us from. We find ourselves coming into a greater conformity to the world and while the world doesn't complain about us our love for the world is doing nothing to set us free and prepare us for our heavenly citizenship so how should we relate to the world this is what she says the followers of Christ are to separate themselves from sinners choosing their society only when there is opportunity to do them good and I want you to think about this we choose the society of sinners only when there is an intent and an opportunity to bring them to Christ does that mean we don't practice the appeal of Jesus to the writer in ministry of yearly that says we should mingle and minister And when confidence and then bid them follow Christ practice this but when we find ourselves laughing at the same things mesmerized by the same things it's absolutely imperative upon us to be honest about the condition of our own heart we don't mingle with those who don't love God except for the hope to bring them to go on so we shouldn't be doing virtually either our television viewing our video experience our online engagement with the world should be such as to protect us from a love for the world and we should not be at the same place as everybody else is that because we'll end up being just like everybody else coming apart and be separate number 8 idols are going to have to be torn down Paul writes in 1st Corinthians 1013 there's no temptation given to man except as common to men and that God will with the temptation provide a way of escape the next verse says that we should flee idolatry. God is calling us to actually look into our hearts. In his eagle chapter 14 verse 3 It tells us that the real challenge is the idols that are in the heart that are unseen there's no Buddha in your stairwell at least not for most of you that are listening and you haven't had to the number of your God on your 4 am like some in sub Asia do know those are not the visible manifestations the visible manifestations aren't quite so visible but they are there what I love to think about what I love to talk about where is my real interest God knows and you could know I was talking with Pastor Page this week at one point time he had an addiction to alcohol he was praying for deliverance and when you know some of the former ways of his life caught up with the many found himself incarcerated he was in a jail during that time of detoxification God began deepening the beauty of his encounter with him and the convictions of his own heart to where a vengeful a Pastor Page would pray more don't let me out till you've healed me tell I'm ready there actually came a moment in his experience when it looked like he was going to get out but he started praying in earnest Lord don't let me out till I am ready and a moment which would seem like a great opportunity to press for liberty was actually a petition for continued imprisonment because inside the jail God was giving him a new calibration of appetite of body and palate how many young men are bound by digital addictions whether it's to violence or to gaming or to pornography women too and how about sports in our world it can be no doubt that for most men in America especially in the last 50 years. Leisure and money without the demands of work and a strong church have emptied the synagogues and the sanctuaries and filled the stadiums and if not the stadiums the Virtual Box Seats on our devices knowing statistics and history about those that clash on the terror or on the wooden floor or on the ice and very little about practical godliness and the love of Christ described in efficient 5 yes idols will have to be torn down perhaps fashion for a woman or a man pleasure seeking love of these these are all things that God is hoping to change in this moment and if we don't give him permission he won't for some self now last 2 things what we should expect if you live like I'm talking you can expect a whole lot less likes and thumbs up and a whole lot more thumbs down we've become so fragile our personal sense of being so vacant a the somebodies got a palace on the back all the time and we're more interested in how many people like this who don't even know us or barely know us than we are as to whether or not the words of Jesus would be well done good and faithful sermon especially for you pastors and parents your leaders it's absolutely imperative that you understand the emotional challenge of leadership this is why it would Freidman would write in his book failure of nerve the real leader is the one who can be able to separate himself from his feelings enough to endure the displeasure of the crowds when you stand in this pulpit when you sit in your little family powwow when you're teaching in your classroom or administrating from your office in the boardroom. If you follow God down the road of convictions you need to understand you will create problems but the problems are the beginning of a deeper better solution following God's will if you follow Jesus will bring you just what Jesus got I don't think that I came to bring peace he said I came to bring a sword the experience of Christ Ministry was one of great affirmation in the masses it disappeared to nothing even his own disciples ran away from him but on the other side of the cross on the other side of the crucifixion on the other side of the resurrection was a new beginning it was a crisis that led to all kinds of opportunity and change a new experience look at life through a different view find. We need to start asking God to put peace in our heart because affirmation may not be about us God can put the anchor in the soul and that anchor in the soul is worth far more than the favor of men the last thing we're called to do is come back to the Bible my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge this is what Hosea wrote We are the most biblically illiterate generation of advantage to walk the face of the globe I take no pleasure insane but we're so busy dealing with other things including the computers in our pockets we've missed prioritize so much that one of our a.v. team could say to me at the end of one of these messages you need to think about preaching a series on our foundational beliefs is exactly right but even if I did it would not do for you what I'm talking about. God is calling each of us back to a realization of what a privilege it is to have our freedom to read the Bible to access all kinds of information we barely go to church where we could learn so much about the Word of God Jesus said they can see with their eyes but they can't see with their hearts and he's calling us to humble ourselves yes the world has changed the question will be as has our spiritual experience if the answer is no the next lesson will be twice as hard shut the world down for 2 months and see if we can't stop God's Church shutter his schools limit the institutions that were designed to prepare men and women to proclaim this glorious 3 angels message brothers and sisters I'm appealing to you the cheese has been moved change is upon us if we stay the same what a waste these last 2 months will have been whatever God is calling you to do I'm appealing to you on behalf of your own souls sake on behalf of those who look to you for leadership on behalf of the Living Christ who shed his blood to save you and give you the kingdom I'm appealing to you don't just wait for things to go back to normal they're not but may we go to a new spot with Christ higher on the mountain farther along than Iran we were praying 2 days ago as a staff Pastor Michael prayed a prayer that lodged in my mind it's really at the essence of whether we go forward to go backwards and he said Lord if we don't have faith how can there be any miracles I tell you friends bright days ahead of this church Jesus is a faithful and true Redeemer. But he himself has moved the cheese and he seeking to awaken his church and revive us may we follow him wherever he leads may we choose to make him the role model of our life May the principles in the precepts of how we live be evidently seen in us me the beauty of holiness shine through and if we follow Jesus and we're just like Him The world will take notice and our lives will have power and our institutions will have power this is what we're missing May God help us to be just like Jesus. Father. Indeed that's what you're calling us back to I'm praying for every parent every teacher every pastor every leader and praying for every administrator that their lives would be ordered centered in Jesus that the convictions you've been settling upon their heart would be amplified that a prayer life and a listening ear I'm asking the Lord that you would bring your church into a position where you could light a fire get the attention of the world and bring others into a knowledge of the beautiful saving relationship they can have with you. I pray Lord forgive us when we've not live that way and keep us above all lowered from allowing this 2 months to just become another chapter in the journey of life in a turbulent age on a turbulent earth. He resends what it is May we hear the call and they will follow you now thank you Lord effect the change you wish we surrender all the Christ say. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermon leave it at w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.


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