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Risk and Redemption: How to Hold a Sword

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • October 10, 2020
    9:30 AM
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This morning we are in the 2nd of a series called risk in redemption on the life of Daniel and last week we saw that Babylon made it into Jerusalem before babbling conquered Jerusalem you were unable to watch that message a courage to go back and look at things are happening in a similar way it is the effect of the world on the heart of the Christian that is the greatest concern is not hardship and difficulty that is bad for the Christian it is the absence of the opportunity to live and live openly for Christ and to face challenge in his name let's pray Father as we are in your presence this morning I want to pray that you would bless this moment as we open your word me our hearts be open May our lives be offered up to you again in this moment Lord as a spirit speaks individually to each of us and now Lord we look for the divine impress to be upon us when we understand may we be willing to make a complete and falls and render in Jesus name I pray Amen Recently I made a trip to the Boundary Waters with about 50 some people and we enjoyed canoeing in a 2000000 acre wilderness so way to grow the confidence of our young people that they can go where there's not a 711 or a urgent care around the corner to where they can plan ahead be out in the middle of the wilderness with oftentimes no cell signal a map and a resilient see that comes from working as a team and preparing in advance. I always like to bring something on that trip I did not grow up vegetarian and for those that think my transition away from flesh eating was simple I would like to suggest otherwise some people when they go to the Fair think that some of the smells are repulsive I want to assure you this morning that if you grew up eating meat every one of those smells like a succulent invitation to enjoy what you left behind. I never smoked I know for some people smoking is the same way they found pleasure in it now smoking is different than eating meat I don't want to conflate the 2 together in any way shape or form what I'm just trying to say is when you leave an old appetite behind it sometimes ard and this morning I'm holding in my hands a poor facsimile of beef jerky there's no beef in this jerky so I don't know that it can rightly be called beef jerky it's a piece of vegetarian salami Now if you're not an Adventist and he never heard of fake me we hear a lot about fake news I'm holding in my hands a piece of fake me which I don't need a lot of because I don't really believe it's that good for me but when I was transitioning away from real flesh this was a nice stepping stone and every time we go into the Boundary Waters I go down to the basement and get out when my wife does a roll of that vegetarian salami I bring up the grey dehydration as we slice it then we put it in strips we lay it on the d. hydrate her and all through the night you can just the house is filling with the smell of salami when I take it off I stick it in a Ziploc bag and close it up and I tuck it in my fork bag or my food bag for the Boundary Waters and when we get out across the 1st portage into and when hungry I go up to the other people in my group and I say I brought the good stuff I've got the good stuff and some of them love it and some of them make fun of it nobody's refused it yet I don't have a lot of people lining. Up for seconds but for me I used to love the texture of tough me tough meat I used to love to just chew on the beat jerky was a favorite of mine so when I d. hydrate this if I do hide it too much it's kind of like a rock but I stick it in there and I enjoy its flavor now I came back with this big jerky which is not no beef in it all right and I stuck it in my car and I made a big mistake every once in a while I missed a meal sometimes it's intentionally sometimes it's on accident and they say hunger is the best cook the Bible says to a hungry man every bitter thing is sweet but to a full man he loathes even honey and I was in one of those days where I had missed lunch and I was very very. Famished so I started looking around for things to eat and I've found a few sunflower seeds sometimes I have pumpkin seeds little things just to hold me over until I can have a meal and then I thought to myself to be jerky I've got it now I had made a colossal mistake with my beef jerky I had taken the bag this very bag I had open the console on my little car and I had dropped it in the consul probably in a hurry the bag was opened. Unfortunately I had stuck something else in the consul I had bought a number of these the breeze air fresheners they go in your event of your car and they saw overpower the car that I decided maybe I'd get the right amount of scent if I stuck it in the consul maybe it would just leak out the right way well I want to sure you it leaked out all right and as I open the console I got a big strong. Smell of not salami but a breeze I didn't think about it's like well yeah the the breeze containers down in there but then I started eating and it's like that's pretty strong for a breeze and then I start thinking This tastes like a breeze to me the bag of been open and it's a d. hydrated product. And the most your content in my car and in that little console was higher than the moisture content of the de hydrated soil. Where the soybean textured vegetable protein or whatever and it had actually absorbed the flavor of the breeze I won't be offering it in a view although it does smell like beef jerky again with no beef All right so the Smorgon I want this little bit of textured vegetable protein to represent something in your mind and that is that is Christians try as we may we are swim mean living breathing moving in an environment that is more pungent with the influence of the culture the mindset of the world than ever ever before and the smaller and especially as I talk about our homes in our kids the question we have to have this Is there any merit in sealing the bag and other words is there any merit in creating a culture in a home that's different than the culture everywhere else is there any merit and say no to what goes into these ears and through these eyes into the citadel of the soul I've lived just long enough and pastor just long enough 30 years ago I became a father I have a 21 year old as of last week on Monday the youngest of 4 and I know along the way I had to make some decisions since their little lives are improbable when they were little and since they are like sponges I had to decide what gets in the bag what comes inside my home what influences in my allowing at school how are the decisions I make in shaping their life for the appetite of God and interest in his word there are some things we need to talk about as a church and I know that my parents' generation many of them feel as though they went through a period of time in which a clear understanding of what salvation is really about wasn't quite so clear. But I want you to know this morning friends that when you give your hearts to Jesus when you give your lives to Jesus you have received the gift of eternal life this is a gift you cannot earn it and the choices you make after you surrender your heart are not to earn it the choices you make after you say Jesus your Lord of moi not most everything everything the choices you make after that are a progression of letting God make you ready to live amongst the angels are we all clear on this I fear there are people listening to me who do not understand lordship they do not understand salvation and they don't understand the work of justification and sanctification in the life there are many advocates I believe who would like a cheap version of modern Protestantism Grace movement Well I'm here to tell you today Grace is wonderful grace is complete Grace is covering grace is for giving but Grace is also empowering and enabling and freedom giving and strength and parting and what we embrace a 7 Day Adventists is a living hope in our living Savior who died for you and me lived the perfect life and put his arms around us and love to say let me take you to heaven would you walk with me but on that journey Jesus is saying to me and my lord of rest would you let me be lord of that and while there are a variety of things we talk about in the preparation for baptism the idea of Chrysler just being able to be enunciated by a preacher or a parrot is ludicrous Christ lordship will continue to enlarge itself in your understanding of your walk with him as he says to you which you let me be lord of this and if the answer is No then you reserve a place for rebellion. Which will lead to resistance which will lead unfitness Now I want you to open your bombs it's morning in the beginning the sermon just a little bit different to go to the book of Luke Luke Chapter 10 and I want to ask you a question before the cross where the disciples converted or unconverted Go ahead of you say converted say I always say unconverted say I more of you think they were unconverted than converted when I'm with the young converted Ok they had made a decision to give to follow Jesus but at this point in time there was so much in their lives it was still about them they were bigots they were ambitious I don't know all the other problems they had but I do know this they had said to Jesus I will follow you and what I want you to see in this story is the largeness of God to take you on a journey Luke Chapter 10 starting with verse 17 the 70 returned with joy saying Lord even the demons are subject to us in your name they like the power they envision sitting on the left in the right hand of Jesus and they wanted the power and they like being able to direct the spiritual forces of darkness to leave but Jesus is a little uncomfortable where where this is going and he said to them I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning in other words I was there when the battle began Behold I have given you a 40 to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing will injure you verse 20 nevertheless do not rejoice in this. The see that the spirits are subject to you but rejoice that your names are recorded where in heaven now I just want you to think about this for a minute when you held that 1st little baby in your arms were they on again off again Kelly's new. Where they did live in doubt about their father's love no when they came to the age of accountability they were self-aware and they could make decisions did they need to know how loved and secure they were and their mom and their dad's love Yes Did any of them go their own way do their own thing from their nose at their father's desires and wishes at the laws of God brought principal into the home yes they did not cease and do not cease to be my children and when those chapters of their life were over they were no less are no more my children than they were before these men are going to go and create a journey from being used by God but being used by God and being available to receive his power does not save you go to Matthew chapter 7 we're not going to look now but we come to the end of the Sermon on the Mount and there's a whole group saying Lord didn't we probs sign your name did we cast out demons in your name and Jesus says you'll have to depart from me because we don't have a relationship the relationship they had was to get from Jesus to get what they wanted but when Christ called these 12 men who for a while were relishing in the idea that maybe this is good that maybe this gig going to turn out like I thought Jesus says listen they're going to be moments when you see things about yourself you don't want to see you have done things you didn't want to do and I want you to remember something your name is written down in my book of life so this morning as I begin this message I cannot deny 2 different facts that if you come here today and you've given your heart to Jesus no matter what chapters are in front of you you are a child of God Can you say men. But the Lordship of Christ didn't end when you went down a door watery grave that lordship was a pronouncement that nobody and nothing would come before Jesus and if he takes you on a journey which is what he says he'll do and he says the journey gets narrower the heights get I don't know you could say more dizzying maybe you could just say more gloriously beautiful but as you walk that narrow way you should expect that he's going to call you to the high places with him as you go together but the Lordship of Christ is ongoing Why would you not want to go on a journey with someone who says I'll pay the price for you before you monoblock it is or even want it but I'm going to bring you in now bring coming in is a choice but we cannot deny 2 things this morning number one Christ loved us when we were enemies this is an amazing thing against God naturally by way of sinful nature against all things that regard governance and submission Christ won us while we were sinners rebels but when he wins us he cause a sin to a life a living life of surrender take up your cross and follow me Paul said I take my cross daily I'm dying daily I'm living a life of continued surrendered to the presence of my dear Jesus this is an amazing thing now the problem with today sermon is it's going to get in the way of some of your decision making and for some it's going to look like legalism and sound like legalism I wish I could deliver it from that the problem is the word legalism has become a veil behind which an absence of full surrender hides for many in the modern 21st century you know when I was a young boys. I was coming out of a home with many blessings but a number of challenges and I want to tell you everything I left behind I left behind gladly and I'm going to talk about some of the things I left behind in this message today but you know what your name's written down in Heaven but the journey to heaven is one where daily you say Lord the lowered thank you for saving me and you know it's a glorious thing to be loved like that I really like how our teacher Brittany Birmingham said it last week in the Sabbath school lesson when God has to come to a sometimes and he as the say in effect way hey are you doing some you should be doing well that's maybe part of the day's message so I want to make the journey with you today take your Bibles if you would and turn to the Book of Daniel Daniel Chapter one find the middle of your bible go from songs to proverbs to ecclesiastics and keep pressing on through the past the book of his equal and I want is to find Daniel Chapter 12 Daniel Chapter 12. It tells us what the value of the book is Daniel is not just a book full of symbols and prophetic timetables Daniel Chapter 12 tells us that the book is for you and for me Daniel Chapter 12 verse 4 but as for you Daniel conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time many will go back and forth and knowledge shall increase this book was to be sealed up until the time of the end Well obviously some of the stories have significance but I'm here to assure you today some of the significance of the story is yet to be discovered by God's modern day Christians God has made this book both in its apocalyptic and prophetic pronouncements and in its illustrations of those living in the time of the end how to go through with victory and while we're there let's look at verse one again it says Now at that time Michael the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people will arise Michael is guarding us he's leading us he's calling us there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time and at that time your people every one who is found written in the what in the book. We'll be rescued friends this whole series of sermons is designed so that you won't be flabby spiritually so that you won't be a spiritual weakly so that your knees won't quake when the spiritual curtain comes down and works of evil and demonic presentation is everywhere I'm here to tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt the empirical method with the emphasis on seeing being believing the scientific method with measurable viewable tangible dynamics is an absolute perfect launching pad for when spiritual manifestations are no longer secret in dark places but they come out in the open and there's going to be a whole generation of people who don't know what to do and they're going to turn to the spiritual experts who twist this word and the last spiritual showdown is going to be on and this morning I'm on a journey to show you that with Jesus in the vessel you can smile at the storm that the righteous are as bold as a lion but the wicked say there's a lion in the streets there's no way we're supposed to go forward in fear we're supposed to go to the battle prepared to serve now I'm going to do a little more than I did in the 1st service in the book of Genesis Eve is told in effect there's a battle going on in this little or developing universe and you need to understand at the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is where the voice of evil can be heard she shows up there and she is invited to do what what she invited to kids she's invited to eat the fruit she has a surrender of trust and obedience and God by eating something God said don't eat it. Now we may like to suggest that the habits that have distinguished 7th Day Adventists for the last 160 years are legalism I can't keep them from being legalism to you if you think you've got a doomed to go to heaven then I guess they're legalism for you but if you could love a Jesus who loved you when you didn't love him then you could say Jesus Today Show me where to go Architech circumstances show me in the we're I cannot make something that supposed to be a law of liberty I can't deliver you from a legalism if you're dead set on turn it into something you've got to do because it says it in the Bible you know what what's in the Bible matters but it doesn't matter a whole lot if you don't understand the God who said to you and if you don't want to love him and don't want to surrender to Him So let's put it all in the right place but Eve said I'm going to eat it was a sin it was a rebellious choice she was deceived and it evolved and devolved around the dynamic of appetite now it's so significant that our carnal human natures have lots of appetites food is just one power lost all kinds of different things envy greed but this one thing turns out to be at the beginning of the story the trip in point now would we be surprised when we come to the Gospel of Matthew the Jesus starts bridging the gap to heaven by overcoming where our forefathers fell so Jesus goes over 6 weeks well right at 6 weeks without eating anything 40 days. Jesus goes day number one which is usually the hardest day for as long as either past and I've never been going to come close to the amount of days Jesus fasted So my guess is farther out down the road beyond anything I've ever gone it's a whole lot harder by day 3 or 4 sometimes you're not even the hungry anymore and you've started enjoying the mindset of doing something that goes against life but it gives a different kind of clarity and and Sensibility your spiritual nature but I want you to know I've listen to people describe going to a week or longer without eating and by the time you get to the end of that 1st week things can be pretty difficult but imagine going to a 2nd and a 3rd and a 4th and a 5th and almost the 6th imagine what it's like when the devil shows up and he says Deo Hey gods abandon you all the sparrows are eating in the flowers they do have clothes but you know what if you don't have any God left you alone and you're not really God Prove it do you know how tempting it is for Jesus to actually reach out and grab something that is composed of granite and it is very hand changes composition to the sweetest loaf of bread you've ever had but Jesus says it is written mansion not live by bread alone he claims the victory over appetite and through the indwelling Spirit you can too. He claims the victory over advertise on behalf of me on behalf of you on behalf of the entire human race don't tell me that what you eat is not a part of shaping who you are spiritually because when we come to Daniel Chapter one The way the whole story starts 12 brief chapters about the time of the year and the very 1st thing is once again about the role of appetite at the end of time and the world is trying to tell you follow your appetites wherever you want to go and I'm not talking just about food right now but I'm going to tell you food at the end is the easiest and best way to begin preparing for victory because you have to eat every day so why not allow the Lord who makes the bounties of the earth and designed some things to be of prime and optimal benefit do you enjoy him pleasure by the way why not allow this God to take you on a journey to give you vitality of mind body and saw and yes it has something to do with what you eat now that's a lot to start a message. But I have to do it because every time I preach on Christian lifestyle it stirs up inside of people what I believe is a call to change it is a call to grow it has nothing to do with receiving the gift of salvation but it has something to do with Jesus remaining Lord. And if he calls you to change what you've done for years I guess he's God and he has the right to do that and it just so happens today I'm going to touch on one of those things nobody should ever touch on why should anybody talk to you about what you eat now that's not really what the sermons about. But it's what it's built around and it's Centrale ity in the story of apocalyptic victory of the victory at the time of the end it's got something to do so when I was a boy and I was done with my greasy fingers from my chicken leg or just finished wiping the hamburger grease off my lips or enjoying that wonderful steak or eating down my fish sandwich or whatever it was I want to tell you everywhere I go when I walk through the Bering county fair at all smells wonderful to me and my salami my beef less beef jerky is just some slight little reminiscence of how tough that beef jerky was between my jaws and how salty and I enjoy just a little fake indulgence if there is such a thing. So risk in redemption I'm going to tell you the start of the sermon here's the big risk you're only going to go as far as you want to go then trails only going to get so skinny and then you're going to say. And you know why you'll do that if you do it is because Jesus will be everything to you. The things I've left behind the worldly music the flesh diet dressing however I want spending my money however I want listening to w l s back when it was not talk radio but back when it was rock n roll on every single thing I've given up I don't regret one bit I am thrilled that my Savior has been leading me to a much better life. And here's the other thing the last thing I want to be in any situation. The last thing I want to be in any situation it could be resolving a problem with one of you my children my wife the government whatever it is the last thing I ever want to be in any one of those situations is get you word for you mind is afraid when I'm going to talk to somebody I don't want to be afraid when my day comes to stare somebody in the eyes who wants to take away my ability to buy or sell to live or breathe I don't want to be afraid I'm going to heaven I get special privilege in heaven I'll be an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ I will live in his house I will be closer to him than human beings were ever destined to be if along the way I pay some of the price he paid I shouldn't be surprised he warned me do I love him sometimes I realize I don't not like I want you and if you're all honest a day you'd have to say the same thing so I'm on a journey where I want to be let free let go I don't want the devil that hooks in my flesh I don't want altars in my heart is there anybody here with me that wants to make same journey so he's lord of my salvation and then he's lord of my life now go to the 1st chapter Daniel Chapter One Lord of myself nation and then by my own free will and glad decision Lord of my life what does that mean well you'll have to work that out with him it's not mine to say especially in any specific detail but as the Word of God describes it I'm going to talk about the and white rights and review and herald many who should be setting their tents near the land of Canaan or pitching their temps near to Egypt they're not living in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. These people all have their names written in the book by the way many a template is of amusement to gratify the taste but no spiritual strength is gained by so doing and you'll find yourself on the losing side that's the side I don't want to be on to encourage the love of music is to discourage the love of religious exercises Oh you don't say to offer your kids ice cream and and chocolate bars regularly is to minimize the pleasure of collards kale or spin age there's not that there's not a place to enjoy different types of food pardon my taking advantage of the metaphors here for the heart become so crowded with trifling with what is pleasing to the natural heart that there is no room for Jesus and now we have the elemental problem my name was written in a book but I can actually get to the place where I don't want it written in the book anymore that's what the devil's doing he's an excellent educator he knows that if you surround and bring the sensory dynamics up to a certain that notch he knows that if you put circumstances and social circles in place the pretty soon you can get a person who wants love Jesus to not really allowed Jesus anymore and along the way the power of their witness is gone a form of godliness she right now 884 says she writes will not save any almost develop or have I should say a deep in living experience this alone will save them in a time of trouble that's all that you can take with you into the time of trouble you can't take your food or your gas or your bank account none of that's going it can be taken away from you like this. I got a new cell phone plan yesterday they can cut me off in a moment so all the data is gone all the social networking all the information a series Hey Google it's just gone but a deep in living experience that goes with you into the time of trouble then their work will be tried of what sort it is and if it's good if it's gold silver and precious stones they'll be that or will be hit is in secret they'll be hit as if in the secret of the Lord's to villian but if their work is what hand stubble nothing can shield them from the fierceness of Jehovah's wrath your circumstances shape you this morning what I want to do as I want to challenge you to find out if the habits of your life are making you stronger weak if the habits of your life are developing a deeper desire for Christ or feeding and fertilizing the weeds of the world as they're growing I want to talk about muscles for a minute some of you really value tone of muscle some of you really value shape of muscle some of you understand that without well tone muscles and well challenged musculoskeletal systems you're eventually not going to look like you want to have the vitality you want but I want to ask you something do you get muscle overnight. You get muscle overnight Do you really think that the kind of sin you and fiber of spiritual strength is going to just show up that one morning we're going to wake up and find out the final movements were more rapid than we thought and the truth of the matter is is that while it might not it won't be impossible for God to save you but it's surely going to be a whole lot harder because no chapters of faith have been written no exploits of good have been done and now it's all going to look like you're climbing Mount Everest and you haven't even tried to walk to the top of beaver polite. The truth of the matter is eating drinking and dressing I'm going to get more precise eating drinking and dressing youthen structures May 31904 all have a direct bearing on our spiritual advancement now you have to have the greatest prognosticator and preacher of legalism in the pulpit here this morning or you have one who's projecting the Laws of Life and Liberty you'll have to decide either what's written down here can protect this love relationship with Christ or I'm anchoring you down in a system of manmade liability creating obstacle developing barriers between you and God Now I've spent a lot of this sermon reminding you how your name gets written down in the book and I'm talking to you about how you can underwrite it get the eraser out with your habits and start back in your name out of the book of life Jesus doesn't want it to be left out Jesus has paid with his blood to write it in but the truth of the matter is she doesn't say eating drinking and dressing have a bearing on your spiritual advancement she says eating drinking and dressing have a direct bearing on your advancement spiritually if I said to you when your car wasn't working well if you pulled into this car into this parking lot you said Pash you know anything about cars and I said well I know a little lift up the hood and he lifted the hood up and the engine was sitting there moving like this I'd know something was really wrong and I had to say to myself well you know they have a fuel problem or a spark problem it's either electrical or it's Or it's gasoline. Because engines are balanced and once they're rocking back and forth in their mouth something is really wrong and if I said to you where did you get your gas and he said well they had a real bargain going on it was have price and I said well how much gas do they sell there well not much and I said Well it's very possible their gas has some kind of pollutant in it you know if a gas tank sits too long condensation is set or water gets in it since you might have water in the gas if your car and I were to say to you the quality of gas in your engine has a direct bearing on how this engine runs I'd say you know what we can pop the tank down empty it out and put good gas in it and it'll run different you'd probably say Pastor do you know how to do that would you help me and when that engine purred back to life without that laboring to stay going you'd be saying to yourself direct bearing this morning friends I need to say to you that eating drinking and dressing are not how you become a saved Christian but if I told you that the way the 4 cylinders or the 8 cylinders or the 6 cylinders or if you had a really fancy car the 16 cylinders in your very expensive sports car ran was had a direct Berry based on what you were doing every day in it you would get to make a decision my life is here in Christ when I change my dietary habits I did it for Jesus when I left off the music I did it for Jesus when I changed the kind of things that I were reading and the way I was spending my money I did it for Jesus and I want to tell you something all along the way my joy has just kept going up and my spiritual freedom gets to be more and more with the passing years but if I were to perpetually hook myself to the idols and the habits of the past my name could still be on the book and I could be fighting in a way I don't want to fight and constantly hobbled in a way when I want to run this morning I need to remind all of you that you're to study to show yourself approved and the Jesus be your Lord and take the new. Step but if you're thinking dressy living eating spending and entertaining like the world even though your name's written in the book eventually the devil as a slick educator and a fine mentor is going to get it to the place where you really would kind of like to see it erased sober so sober but House over will it be on the day in which all of a sudden the world changes and it's not just 911 and we change for a little while and then we gravitate back and it's not just 2008 when it appears that the financial sector is imploding and change for a little while and then we go back in it's not 2020 where we all get used to not touching each other and wearing masks and opening windows and bumping elbows and we all gravitate back what's going to happen when the final chapter comes and all of a sudden the opportunity to develop some spiritual sinew and muscle is over that's what I'm stuck with it sounds kind of bad but that's what I'm stuck with as a pastor of an apocalyptic movement and I look around and I see so little spiritual vibrancy and while this church is on a growing journey and I'm encouraged by what's happening friends I eat every day the Bible says whatever you do let's just get this real simple Lest you think I'm a legal us this is what Paul the pronouncer of Roman says whatever you do whether you eat or drink do what all for the glory of God I didn't make this up please don't send me quotes from the Book of Romans or somewhere else that makes it look like what he says in other places doesn't get it together Jesus is Lord. When he asked me to let go of McDonald's at least the McDonald's I used the I let go it wasn't easy at 1st veggie like I had was something like rubber and salt and the truth of the matter is they've improved a lot today to where you can hardly sense you're moving from one lane to another but the fact of the matter is is that whether I eat or drink or whatever I do I'm trying to do it all for the glory of God I wanted a Toyota the other day get my car worked on I'm in there sitting down in comes a woman who's not properly dressed I'm sitting right here I want to be a pure man I want to love my wife and I want to love or in the way she wants me to love her you know the devil He's a slick dude so in comes this woman I don't know if she makes a profession of Jesus or not if she does her church doesn't he's like us and if I'm sitting here she sits right there and so I sit there for a little bit and I have to make my mind up and I'm going to sit here on and on and over and over or am I going to do what the Bible says so after a minute or 2 I decide this isn't good so I gather my stuff I pick it up and I go to another room now in my own legal list as my wife see what she thinks that she won't be sin around watching women that haven't covered themselves up properly but she like for me to have no impure idols in my heart. Christ is so practical I want to be free love now every other man sitting in this room since there was a book written called every man's battle don't be surprised the devil when there was those moa by women just before they crossed over the Jordan they released them oh by the Mo bites have been released in our society friends that's just a fact. And so now your husband has to walk through life or your wife I don't want to make it just a man issue but your husband has to walk through life saying to himself like Job said I'll make a covenant with my eyes not to look upon a virgin of course the look was the wrong kind of luck is it practical is it real if it's not practical and it's real the message is not for you you leave you're frustrated and angry but when Daniel gets out of Jerusalem forcibly I should say is taken to some forcibly he is on a journey where he will be put in the most pagan powerful nation of the day and somehow he becomes the most listened to person in all the realm and he last not only from the days of never can answer he last all the way to the days of Cyrus That's Chapter one Verse 21 and can you believe this Daniel comes in he decides ahead of time he's not going to defile himself and he goes about it in such an interesting way look at chapter one verse saying Daniel made up his mind that you would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank and so what does he do this he March into the presence of the commander the steward of the captives and say I'm not doing this no he's humble he's beautiful He's thoughtful even to the people who have probably mistreated him so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile him so friends there is a nobility about true Christianity that will get the attention of the world there is a nobility about men and women and children who know how to show honor were honor is due and yet be in their heart of mine honoring God above all others Daniel's on a journey and I need to tell you something you don't go from being a non-conformist you don't go from being a conformist in Jerusalem to all of a sudden saying Well boys I think we ought to not go along with the crowd today. The truth of the matter is the pressure to conform and Babyland was multiple times higher than the pressure to conform in Jerusalem if you can be a Christian in Berrien Springs inside the bubble What makes you think you're going to be a Christian when the pressure's on and you have no rights the truth of the matter is the day to be who God called you to be is today who's he calling you to be beautifully humbly sweetly uniquely different I'm not looking for somebody who throws around their spiritual convictions like a badge of superiority and neither is God But where are the men and women who can humbly say Lord you're in charge it's feeling pretty uncomfortable right now what do I need to do do it this is Daniel and he wins the favor in such a powerful way that he becomes the most listened to man in the 6th century before Christ the other day I was out on a walk last 7 afternoon and it was raining at least threatening and on and off at different times my wife and I had our own brothers there were a lot of people out walking upright about 67 o'clock in the evening and were walking about where the road goes from pavement to dirt and all of a sudden this car just slinks up behind us real silence. I turn around and I'm looking at this big white stretch Lincoln Continental limousine Wow I don't see those cars out here very hostile the man pushes the button and the window comes silently down and then everything changed we had a little man moment he decided to get the awkwardness out the way said Obviously I'm lost he broke the ice obviously I'm lost he wanted to know where he could go get gas so that when he pick the wedding party up after the wedding at the wedding barn there wouldn't be a crisis you know a fuel to the engine I don't know why I didn't have a g.p.s. out it was a god or Dana Point and I'm certain and you know I thought. To myself really I didn't think about it it was just natural but we stood there and we had a a nice visit it was about more than how to get back he didn't want to go straight because the road turned into dirt and he had a nice white limousine and he didn't really want to back up because the car was like twice as long as anything you've ever driven but I explained to him the only way out was backing up and you know what friends for some of us the only way out is going to be to back up we're going to have to go back and say you know what I made a decision back here that's not serving me very well when his window silently went up I said to my wife I hope his day is a little better for visiting with me is that how people feel about you yesterday I went to get a new cell plan gotta add a person or 2 on my plan I knew it's going to take a while but took me 4 hours now 4 hours is a long time my wife was there in the beginning Eventually she left went shopping went home finally I said well this is about 20 minutes from over I need to let me know I want to call my wife you know what I had such a pleasant 4 hours with those people that I did not plan to have they were sweet and polite and courteous they had computer troubles I was working on 6 lines which isn't going to be short 40 numbers over and everything else my wife comes back at about 6 o'clock and as we're walking out the door this is what she says to me she says I think you have new friends I'm planning to go back and see them it was supposed to be God ordained it if they weren't an interruption they weren't a speed bump on my busy life they were God's appointment for those 4 hours is that how you look at life. Do you believe there's a God That's architect in every day and is there a sweet environment that goes with you I want to ask you when the Bible says that Daniel was given favor in the eyes of Mel So was it a work of a moment or was it a work of making was it something that was a part of who he was becoming to where he was an impatient and rude and the people were in his way and servants but they were actually people that he was supposed to meet and people that he was supposed to impact there is a sweetness about God's people there's a beauty about Jesus that only comes when your life is simple and surrendered and I'm here to tell you the sophistication of modern 7th Day Adventists is dry as the hills of Gill boa you were called to be a child by Jesus who said unless you become as a child there is no walking through the gate and you understand when you lose that simplicity you no longer listen and obey the same way Christ called Daniel and his 3 friends they decided ahead of time who they were going to be they were noble and respectful about it they had been trained in Jerusalem yes in Berrien Springs you can be trained to be your own person mom and dad be your own person. Train up your children like you think they should be trained to 5 reasons I don't think he ate the meat straight from our Bible Commentary number one it was probably unclean everything's not fit to eat some things are the cockroaches and the sewers of the animal world don't put them in your body they won't do any good number to the animals were probably not properly slaughtered he was a Jew and there was a way to eat meat if you were going to eat it it wasn't supposed to have blood in it number 3 and maybe most preeminently it was a pagan community and most things that were eaten were offered to the wrong God 1st number 4 it was luxurious food it was unhealthy and he understood temperance and lastly something I learned in preparing for this sermon Daniel was a vegetarian before he went to Babylon and that's not because I read it in the Bible although I think there's room in the Bible to see it or infer it spitter prophecy in the youth and structure in the $880.00 s. says it to be so and so Daniel is choosing in the midst of a spiritual crisis where his life might be on the line and by the way Mel's are which is say a Hebrew word is really not a name title it is really just a title Mels are the commander of the eunuch says my head may roll if we do this something about Daniel was so impressive that he said I'll take a risk little though it be and you know how it turned out Daniel ends up becoming the Sapir ear of superiors and I don't know anybody here who has kids or grandkids I don't know any young person here today who wouldn't want to be on the side of excellence with Christ no fear this is the trajectory of greatness that only God can give you how do you get that spiritual muscle I'm not going to take the time to go over too many quotes but I am going to read just a few obstacles make men strong it is not helps but difficulties conflicts rebuffs that make men of moral sinew or women too much ease in avoiding responsibility have made weaklings and dwarfs of those who ought to be responsible men or women of moral power and strong spiritual muscles so how are good at you are dishing responsibility to somebody else let somebody else do it. You want to make yourself into a dwarf go ahead that's not my plan as a matter of fact if there's a song we ought to sing before the series is over is standing by a purpose true heeding God's command honor them the faithful few All hail to Daniel's band How about this one many giants great and tall stalking through the land headlong to the earth would fall if met by Daniels Band This is who God is calling us to be when we give away responsibilities parents when your children are not bearing responsibilities like they should age appropriate you are actually bringing them not only to unfitness for the spiritual showdown but even a spear of fitness for regular job keeping and marriage making and relationship sustaining parents make every effort in your in your power to place your children in the most favorable situation for forming the character that God wants them to form using every spiritual sinew and muscle Now here's the problem in some homes and some homes mom and dad are leading the way in spiritual laziness some homes God since children to raise up the standard She writes in the 3rd testimony too much ease in avoiding responsibility made weaklings and wars she goes on to write in the 5th testimony spiritual sinew and muscle they will grow when we and we will be strong to work for God when we have sclera spiritual perceptions and a steady increase in faith and when we pray prayer will give you spiritual strength but for some praying for more than a minute or 2 is like torture why you need to ask yourself why Lord what am I supposed to release Why is it that talking to you is the most wooden and satisfactory experience I can get God wants to set us free but he's going to talk to us he's going to say I'll tell you why prayer is the breath of the soul Bible study. By simple earnest contra prayer heavenly Meindl mindedness is greatly increased no other means of grace can be substituted and healthiness of soul preserved prayer brings the soul into immediate contact with the wellspring of life and she goes on to say it is the privilege of all who partake of the bread of Heaven by studying the word thus to gain spiritual sinew and muscle probably the most powerful verse in all of Chapter one is verse 14 look at it there with me it says speaking of Mels are or the commander of the Unix so he listened to him or to them in this matter if you had an important message to bear would your life represent the credibility equal to the importance of the message could people sense the kindness the beauty in your life and I want to ask you when it comes to a life of educating you need to understand the difference between teaching and training my youngest son's girlfriend is in medical school at Loma Linda she studies anatomy and physiology with an earnestness that would make you glad for her to be your doctor someday but let me ask you a question if she never walked into a cadaver lab and identified an organ in real life how much would you want her as your doctor you don't want to go to a barber who's never held a pair of scissors before you don't want to fly on an airplane where they've never held a yoke in their hands you don't even want to go for a drive with a kid that's never put their hands on a wheel before you don't want to brick mason who's never held a trial or Carter who's never held a hammer. You don't want to be in the position of people that have only been educated but never trained when my son became a physical therapist there were great rigors of academic effort in the 1st year year and a half and I'm not saying the riggers went away but after they were done with the books they went out and started practicing under a practitioner what physical therapy is how it works when it comes to the actual experience of Christ it's not enough for you to sit here and listen to a sermon or even read the Bible there's an application of the principles there is an experience of crisis to come in and take over God makes it clear that he wants to take us and make us into the most credible people in a skeptical age it is with the nobility the humility the kindness the self-control it is with the thoughtfulness the patience all of these things. Satan is tracking us be careful for your enemy goes about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour So friends how do we reverse this how do we reverse this Pastor Dennis what he put in your kids' hands a lot of them know how to hold this right lot of not a kick a soccer ball or throw a little white hard ball with red stitching a lot of them can hold a pigskin I'm afraid that too many of us know how to hold this volume up volume down channeling Jean and then we know for a fact that much of modern society doesn't want to be in a situation where they're not holding this when we start looking at life where is our time and priority being spent but you know how to hold this there's only 2 things you hold in the armor of God the shield of faith and the sort of the word. And do you understand that if you're like my beef jerky and he leave the bag open for your children the devil will come in and he will take action and punctuate and shake away the fragrance they were designed to have and make him taste like his version of the breeze. Our children need to be in the soup kitchens they need to be in the homeless shelters they need to be preaching the word in other countries and laying block in brick and spreading mortar and mixing concrete they need to be in the different places our society the the the birthrights the places where people are battling for young women to keep their babies they need to be making the quilts they need to be over neighbor to neighbor sorting the clothes they need to see the brokenness and be a part of the healing of a society and they need to be prepared to Bible study with their parents not just with the pastors or the teachers so where when the devil comes at the end and the form of go Liath and he says what's going on here I come before you and you send out the dogs and like David they say I you come to me with all this paraphernalia but I'm coming to you in the name of the Lord in effect they draw all the sort of the spirit of which they are familiar and they've been empowered they've got spiritual muscle and sinew and they say in the name of Jesus Christ to share. I'm here to tell you friends if we're not careful there'll be no army of you it doesn't say rightly educated it says rightly what train we're educating still because education still matters to us we want if our kids get into Harvard or Princeton or jail we think that some great accomplishment friends if your kids get into the ministry of teaching or pasturing or something else like that that's greater and there's more and more they're called and some are trading off the call for money and prestigious knees in the American dream it's going away but Christ is still coming and I'm here to tell you this morning if they don't know how to hold the sort of the word. They're going to be run over chewed up and spit out with Eternal Lost being the result so is a music lesson more important in a prayer meeting by the way there's a lot of meetings that are going to go away but to permit it all go right on up until we see Jesus they'll be a prayer meeting going on when the little cloud appears in the eastern sky your kids are not too little to come here and listen to the stories and share testimonies It's 40 minutes long and this is not me trying to somehow boost my corporate meeting ego it's me saying to you prayer brings strength when my life is surrendered to Christ and I put it all out to my son called me up the other day he said Dad I want to run something by I want to make a decision and then he began to talk to me and he said and I prayed about it all my heart thrilled and I said well you know why you keep praying about it and look as God did say it exactly like this but ask God for the eyeglasses to see his providence you know what strong these children are going to be giving the message when the adults can't they'll be laws against you and me but if they don't know if it's not the focus our educational centers need to be more focused on making sure our kids know sacred history a prophetic future in the word this is where we're going and I want to tell you something it won't be long I drove into this church this week and while I'm driving and I'm listening to a program a secular program and the program which is opposed to be nooses is advertising a program on t.v. called supernatural while I want to tell you it was dark and it was evil and it was on National Public Radio which I'm not sure why they have to do this but they make themselves promoters of that which fits the evil of this age so what's going to happen one of these days not too far from now. Spiritual manifestation is going to overwhelm everybody demons working miracles and when that moment comes people who have not anchored themselves in the word are going to be blown away swept off their feet believing that a new revival is upon us it will be a false revival and in that false revival eternities will be lost I want to end with this Peter came up to a moment of crisis Jesus knew it was on him he knew he wasn't converted his name was written in the book and the devil wanted to take it out Jesus says to him before the great temptation he says Peter I prayed for you to every Christian to every Christian to you and to me comes the word that was addressed to Peter Satan has desired to have you he wants to sift you as we but to every Christian these words come I have prayed for you but your faith fail none thank God we're not left alone this is our safety Satan can never touch with eternal disaster one whom Christ has prepared for temptation by his previous intercession for Grace is provided in Christ for every saw in a way of scape is when made so that no one need fall under the power of the enemy friends you may have done things been things you may be something right now you don't want to be take hurt to every Christian the words that were addressed to Peter have been said I'm praying for you and your faith doesn't need to fail you're not left alone and by your side friends Today's the day to decide who you're going to be if you've got a back up like the white limousine and go the other direction go ahead. It's not that you gain your salvation in doing it it's that you protect your experience through surrender is that your love for Jesus recognizes a competitor and says No I don't want anybody to go out of this place today with a convicting weak conscience but if somebody leaves this place today knowing they're loved by God and they cannot deny the major message crisis trying to get through to him praise God and remember friends when the day breaks out and you are called to be the Daniel of the day there's a God standing by your side who with him in the vest or you can smile at the storm friends when trouble comes the Bible says the righteous are not afraid of it you're not to be afraid give your heart back to Jesus again in this moment right now I'm inviting you and whatever he says to you from the word if this seems off check it out to somebody else please call a pastor call a friend but if you simply slipped away from Fidelity to Christ and he's calling you back. I mean the world listen to you the skeptical unspiritual world that says there's something beautifully different about that. Make no doubt. When the tide comes. Christ is calling you stand people rave. 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 or if you would like to listen to more service later visit w.w.w. audio dot org.

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