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A Study on the Book of Philemon

Benjamin Ng
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  • June 6, 2020
    11:00 AM
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Father in heaven thank you so much for this time that we have to gather together today thank you Lord for the gift of life thank you for the good night rest are given to each and every one of us thank you for health and strength and Lord I pray that you please be with those that are suffering that are in need that you would meet them at the point of their need and help them to see Lord that you are their provider and that you care so much for each and every one of them but Lord now as we come now to focus on your word speak to our hearts God is with the spirit we pray in Jesus name Amen. Let's turn our Bibles to the book of filament shall we let's go to film and it's only just one chapter and we're starting there in verse one we're going to go through each and every verse and please I know that we have studied this in our churches before but you're going to see a very very deep meaningful thought provoking message application at the end of it as you're going to see it unfold as we as we go through these verses it's a very simple message is a very simple book but one that I think will make us all pause to consider our own lives as always as what the Bible does Firman filament chapter one let's start there in verse one the Bible says Paul is a prisoner of Jesus Christ and Timothy our brother until filament dealy beloved and fellow laborer So Paul is writing to filament is not fillin who has written the book but Paul is the one who is writing to him and of course Timothy is there with him and he calls him what dealy beloved and what fellow laborer so filament is a converted Christian he works in the gospel work in a sense maybe not full time but definitely everybody who is born into the kingdom of God is born a missionary and filament definitely understood that Paul called him a fellow laborer he was not just a church tender but he was active in the gospel work verse to and to our beloved Afia and our chips and our fellow soldier and to the church in the house so he just green other people as well and this fellow he's also mentioned in the book of kolache sins so the church there in colossi this is where also filament is located as well. Ok and Paul he's writing from Rome he's writing from Rome and he's writing all the way there to the church Colossus colossi but now he's focused even on film and there's something personal that he wants to write to him about verse 3 Grace to you and priests from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ I thank my God making mention of the always in my prayers you know friends there is something that we can learn about Paul is that he was always thinking about those that he had labored for and he was always praying for them I mean Paul was a man of prayer friends this importance of pray for the congregation it's important to pray for those in your church it's important to be an intercessor and you don't have to be a pastor or even an elder to do this but friends this is the responsibility of every single Christian can you imagine if every single person that ended your church that we were praying for each other how the church would be so different isn't it Paul was always a man of prayer and you know throughout his apostles Romans Chapter one Verse 9 when I'm going to turn to these tax you just write them down the Romans Chapter one Verse 9 Paul says that he was praying there a feature in this chapter one and verse 16 Philippians chapter one verses 3 and 4. Colossians Chapter one Verse 3 1st verse learning is chapter one verse 2 2nd Timothy Chapter one Verse 3 so when you go throughout Paul's writings there's one theme that always comes up he says and pray for you I'm praying for you and I don't think that that was just lip service I don't think that Paul was saying hey I'm praying for you because that's what I should say as a pastor or that's what I should say as the minister in this gospel work but he actually prayed for those that he was writing to and those that he and ministered to he was a man of prayer through and through but let's continue verse 5 hearing of the I love and faith which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus and toward All Saints So what do we understand about filament from this perspective about what Paul describes about Him It says here that he's a man of faith and not just that but he loves Jesus and He loves his fellow brother and because it says here which there has towards the Lord Jesus and towards all saints so he is a man of love he is a man of the community not only does he love Christ but he also loves those around him sounds like he's a commandment keeper 1st for commandments love to God law 6 comments love to man so filament he is a man that is well known in the community probably a prominent man a man of love and Paul you know he's massaging the filament with these these words that you're a man of love he's preparing filaments hearts in such a way that will be easier for filament to accept the words that Paul is about to write to him. You know since Paul is always praying for him and. Them then filaments should always be praying for those under him and especially if he's a fellow laborer together with Paul right so hearing of your love and your faith towards God and also towards all those around you he is putting filament up and telling him Look I know who you are I understand your ministry but then let's continue verse 6 that the communication of the i faith may become effective you will by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus so because of his love and his faith Paul's praying for him that his communication of his faith would become effectual what's in the Ignalina of every good thing look his faith was not just happy Sabbath Good to see you here and all of that know his faith had works there was obvious action every good thing that's in him it was obvious to people around so the communication the translation of his faith that went beyond just who he was but how he lived his life and so friends you know our faith only goes as far as what people see. It only goes as far as people say you know you might tell me hey I read the Bible twice a day but does your life show that you read the Bible twice a day you might say that you love Jesus buzz but does your actions show that you love Jesus we might say things about our faith and we may say or we may we may stand up and go forward for appeals but throughout the week and throughout our lives is there an acknowledging of the faith in everything that we do that it becomes good. So look the minister's work Hello White tells us that the Ministers work only has just begun when he steps off the pulpit not on the pulpit you know friends it's easy in a sense to preach you know maybe you might think they are not a preacher but I've preached my fair share of bad sermons before I even dared to step on a stage like this and preach on line but you're all we all have to start somewhere isn't it and the ministers work you know sometimes we think the pastor Oh you got to preach you got to preach at least twice a month you go to preach every week you know we think that the Ministers work is to teach and to preach and that's it but no we are told that the Ministers work only just begins when he steps off not on but off the pulpit so our profession only goes as far our faith only goes as far as how we live our life not what we say you know we can spritz the most eloquent words but obviously filament he was not just only a man of faith and love but through his actions and his words it showed that he loved God and that he had the love of God abiding in Him But let's continue verse 7 for we have great joy and consolation in the I love because the bowels of the Saints are afresh by the brother so he calls him brother and he tells him look we know that you are a good man why because the Saints are afresh by what you do his actions spoke just as loud as his words Filmon was a good man and in essence what Paul is doing is he's reminding filament of who he is and what he's known for his love to all saints he's appealing to. The better half of filament if he has a worse half we don't know right but we're all human but he's like filament I hear about the love that you have towards All Saints how you refresh everybody how when people come into your present the last and you know Paul he he's not manipulating filament he's just reminding him he's telling him Look this is the man that you are this is what you're known for this is what I've known you for this is what the community knows you for and so he's reminding of this and you know when it when it comes to Paul he he understands psychology he understands how the brain works where did he get his degree in psychology from from God You know Paul he was not manipulating but he understood how to speak to the people to appeal to their better half to understand what words to speak and at the right time and know how to diagnose different situations you know God is the one that was given wisdom and all of that you know he knew you knew when to step in and to rebuke Peter for his hypocrisy in the book of Galatians and yet on the other end he would know how to defend himself before magistrates and judges when brought before the kings and the princes and then you know how to turn a conflict between him and a fair as he's on the side you seize upon themselves when they are all trying to put a secured him and then he ends up changing the whole flow of this and that he's not fighting each other Paul knew how to write he knew how to talk he knew that he could give tender words to Timothy a young minister coming up to be faithful and to be firm and to be strong as a man of God And so you know friends God He is the giver of wisdom he is the one that teaches us what to say and what to write and when to say it. And now in tender words he's appealing to filament when he says I heard about your love towards all saints Let's continue verse 8 where for though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin the that which is Com Vini And so he's saying look I might be bold in Christ to enjoin what's the word enjoin it means to come mind to order he's saying look I can exercise my past or all authority being an Apostle I could tell you feel them and just do this right so he he might be bold in Christ to do that to say hey for women as a minister of the Gospel this is the right thing to do but verse 9 yet for love's sake I rather besiege the art rather beg you are druther get on my knees and and beseech and cry out so you rather than order being such an one as Paul the age and yet now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ you know friends this is something I know personally and I'm just reflecting for my own life I know that this is something that I need to learn you know sometimes as are all the person you just go to the youth and say hey just do this is right trust me right but Paul even though he's an aged man he's a prisoner of Jesus Christ and instead of exercising his ministerial or pastoral or a Postel of apostle of authority he's begging filament very interesting what is he about to beg filament for verse 10 I beseech thee for my son on Nyssa most whom I have big gotten in my bones so what's the reason why Paul is begging filament. For his son on the service not because under some us is actual son but he was big gotten in his bonds meaning whilst there in Rome Paul was not there freely preaching he was there as a prisoner he's now there in the House of Caesar a prisoner but yet somehow through his ministry on Nyssa most has been converted and he calls him his son he is coming to filament and he is begging trying to communicate to fill in about something with unassuming us what is his relation to filament will see this in a minute verse 11 which in time past was to v unprofitable but now profitable to v. and to me so filament did I have a quote unquote relationship with an Islamist before he was unprofitable to him before but now he's profitable not just to him but also to me what was it verse 12 whom I have sent again thou therefore receive Him that is mine own Biles so on Nessa most he is currently with Paul in Rome for the man is in colossi Ok the book of Colossians this is where he lived there along with Arch a person of fear right so Paul he's sending us a bad but remember he's saying before he was not profitable to you but now not only is he profitable to you but he's also profitable to me and he's speaking on 1st hand experience because he's probably ministering to Paul in his bonds right there so he's probably a fellow soldier as well so. And how does Paul want filament to receive an awesome us though you know verse 12 Whew once Him to receive an awesome us as his own bowels meaning as he was receiving Paul himself he's putting a nice of us on the same level as himself and he's saying filament please except on this a mess just like how you accept me why is this so important look verse that team. Whom I would have retained with me that in the eye stead he might have ministered unto me in the barn's of the Gospel he's telling him Look I don't mind keeping an acim us he can be useful to me in the gospel work here in Rome but he's sending an innocent person back not just that he can be useful to filament but for a reason verse 14 but without value mind would I do nothing that I benefit should not be as it were of necessity but willingly so he's in a sense he wants to keep on us of us but he's not going to Paul is not going to do that until he gets the permission of filament filament and onus of us are connected before and what happened let's continue and then I'll show you for perhaps either for departed for a seizing season that that our shouldst receive Him for ever not now as a what a servant but above a servant a brother beloved specially to me but how much more and to be both in the flesh and in the Lord. What had happened an Islamist What was he he was a servant but you know that word servant in the English it can also be rightly interpreted as a slave a nurse a miss was a slave he was not someone that was paid he was own by filament before and. Had run away and so he had run all the way to Rome and guesswork he'd been converted by Paul let's read this together showing acts of the apostles for 56 paragraph one among those who gave their hearts to God through the labors of Paul in Rome was. A pagan slave who had wronged his master filament a Christian believer in colossi and had a scapegoat to roam in the kindness of his heart Paul sought to relieve the poverty and distress of the wretched fugitive and then endeavored to shed the light of truth into his darkened mind and Nyssa must listen to the words of life confessed his sins and was calm Virt to the faith of Christ to see here that he was a pagan slave who had wronged his must the filament he had run away he had fled and of course that left probably some pretty bad taste in the mouth of filament and you can imagine that to see an Islamist again would probably mean certain death for an Islamist. And so Paul is appealing to him in the time past he was unprofitable Yes he ran away but now I'm asking you in the name of Paul he's using his own credentials that you would accept him. As you accept to me that now not as a servant but above a servant a beloved brother filament and Paul that they are brothers in Christ and so Paul is asking him to receive an Islamist not as a servant but as a brother and you know for those that have made or people that work for you know maybe you own a company or you have a maid at home that stays at home with you all the time. You know it's not uncommon here in Malaysia I'm sure it's a very interesting feeling that when you look at that made or your employee and maybe they've become converted the they're of the same faith they go to the same church as you how do you look at them would you be able to look at them as a brother or a sister in Christ maybe you're the c.e.o. you're the founder of the company and you have some people there under you that will come to church and be converted Well obviously they must have seen something in you that must have been good as a c.e.o. you maybe not shouting and screaming cursing at them right as a boss and praise the Lord but are you able to see this person as a brother and sister in Christ you know or sometimes we think maybe just because you're a church member doesn't mean that I'm going to be any more lenient on you and expect less from you and so sometimes we have to come out harshly in some way right how difficult it would have been for 4 filaments to see an Islamist in a different way he left as a slave a fugitive unfaithful in his work and then at Rome he meets Paul and he's converted and now there he is how would you react verse 17 is that count to me there for a partner receive him as myself you know this is a very beautiful picture of what Jesus is to us. He is the elder brother of our race we are brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus and Jesus pleads to the Father except of these people as how you except me we see this in in the church at Laodicea you know that revelation the promise to load to see in churches of your Become I will grant you to sit with me in my throne says Jesus even as I am set down with my father in his throne so the throne that we inherit that we get to sit down at is really the throne of the father receive him as you receive me receive her as you receive me this is the beautiful picture of what Jesus does for every single one of us and so what we really see is Paul representing Jesus Christ on this amiss representing us the sinner we have done wrong we fled we sinned there was nothing good about us and yet in our conversion when we come back to Christ we are treated the same as Jesus who never sinned who never did wrong and this is what Paul is pleading for on behalf of the most to fillin Let's continue verse 18 if he hath wronged the all the ought put that on mine account what an amazing statement of intercession isn't it if an Islamist has wronged you or all you put that on my account. Let's go to 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 21 you know friends this is where x. a Jesus becomes really important where you pull out the context of what you're studying before you go to other Bible texts and then these other texts can can back it up to make it even more sweeter to make it more clear a 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 21 you know Paul is saying if an Islamist is wrong you put it on my account I'll owe you this is the debt that I owe you 2nd Corinthians 521 for he had made him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him friends when you are willing to take the problems of other people and make it your own you are ready for the highest order of ministry when you see someone who has been wronged and hurt and you are able to step in and say look put out of my account and you know many times you think of it from monetary perspective but you know it's important sometimes to to help in the ministry of reconciliation and intercession on behalf of half of other people what did this have to do with Paul maybe filament he might be thinking of the film and I said back to him Paul this is none of your business has got nothing to do with you you know but yet Paul he steps in on behalf of innocent us and he's writing here to film he knows filament verse 19 I call have written it with my own hand I will repay it albeit I do not say to the how or worst unto me even the line own selves beside So Paul he sees it important enough to write this letter with his own hand and he tells him that I'm going to pay it and then he says what. Although I don't say how much you owe me even the mine own self besides So Paul's not going to count how much filament owes him but Paul is willing to pay for or Nyssa most nonetheless So it's like filament Please forgive the debts of on this a mess and if he doesn't owe you anything put it in my account even though I'm not going to tell you how much you owe me now look we don't know how much filament Paul and whether that's a monetary value whether it's a favor or whether it's his conversion that Paul threw Paul's ministry that filament has come in to know God is so we don't know the depth and to the extent that the Bible here does not point it out but yet Paul these like I'm not going to go the debt route Ok but you owe me this much at least do this with this person and that will be out of what compulsion forcing the person to do it because I have no choice you have been good to me so now I'm going to be good back to you isn't it no Paul doesn't say that even though he says I could I'm not going to you see that he's appealing to the better side of filament he's trying to show him you've got to do this because a lot of you've got to do this because of Faith this is who you are this is who God wants you to be. Verse 20 your brother let me have joy of the in the Lord refresh my bowels in the Lord having confidence in the little b.d.s. I wrote into the knowing that that I'll wilt also do more than I say you know friends you know what that is that encourage men is like what we studied last night where where God comes to Cain and he says look if you don't do this sin lies at the door but you can overcome it he's trying to encourage him and same here in the similar manner Paul is trying to encourage fill in filament I know that you're able to do this as difficult as it may be friends look if it was not difficult Paul would not have to write the filament if it would be so easy to forgive somebody we Paul would not have to write such a letter would all do it isn't it. Paul today maybe is writing to somebody out there that's listening who holds maybe anger or there I see it hatred at least bitter feelings towards someone else and that someone else is in church that someone else you see every week in church maybe the sit in front of you and you just get so upset and get angry at them but Paul is saying well forgive them and put everything that he owes on my account that's what Jesus says to us today and then he says what I'm not going to tell you how much you owe me you're a sinner you're me your life and so when I ask you to forgive somebody else that is nothing in comparison to what you owe me which is your whole life without me you won't be living but yet Jesus he doesn't appeal he doesn't hold that up before us do you know I died for you Do you know what I did for you you know you say that. And I know that that's something that I have to learn you know appealing to the better side of humanity that's what Christ is doing through Paul here to fill a man and he says what I know that I have confidence that you will obey what I say because you're a man of faith and you're a man of laugh and before for them and he thinks about the anger that he has stalled toward in this midst he's thinking yes you're right if I'm a man of faith a man alive I will do what Paul is recommending because that's what Christ would do verse 22 but with all prepare me also a lodging for a trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you There salute the path for us my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus Marcus Aristarchus Demas Lucas my fellow laborous the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit Amen you know when you read through the book of filament is not a very difficult book to study it's a very very simple letter but there's deep meaning behind it and if you just come in and you miss the 1st bite I've been asking you please hang on to the end because there are very important lessons for us to learn here you know these 3 characters Paul and this of us and find them filament they represent Paul Jesus a new Some us the sinner and filament the Father and Father in heaven so not to say that Jesus has to appear but he does plead on our behalf to the Father to forgive us he does and is the Father always willing yes yes we don't know how filament reacted but let's look at these 3 characters and the lessons that we can learn from them. Let's start with filament we really don't know much about him we don't know where he ended up forgiving unless unless and that's besides the point of this whole apostle you see sometimes when when we do I suggest as we might be sitting there are I'm sure filament forgave we don't know I'm sure he's a good man he's a man of faith and love but we don't know and doing and I said Jesus and thinking about what film and would do to react that is then beginning to read into the text our own thoughts Ok but what we what we do know is the hope of the response that Paul is requesting from him friends we must learn to forgive and not only that we must learn to reconcile meaning treat the person like they were our brother and sister I was about to say like how you had them before but an Islamist was a slave to Philip and before but now he's coming back and not only does for women have to forgive him but he's got to treat under some us like what a brother like how you would treat Paul if Paul would to come and visit How would you react if innocent us was right there you know Paul wrote the letter but he couldn't go he was a prisoner he gave the letter to innocent us to deliver the letter himself to fill in and so here's an Islamist coming down the road and back to the place where he used to work as a slave in the 1st feelings that filament would probably have when he sees a slave returning as anger but before he jumps to any conclusions he had to hand him a letter and then while he's so angry at on this of us he's written this letter. The letter about the very person that is standing before him look at what a white has to say unless unless endeared himself to Paul by his piety and sincerity. No lesse then by his tender care for the apostles comfort and his zeal in promoting the work of the Gospel Paul saw in him traits of character that would render him a useful helper in missionary labor and he counseled him to return without delay to filament beg his forgiveness and plan for the future the Apostle promised to hold himself responsible for the sum of which filament had been robbed being about to dispatch take us with letters to various churches and Asia Minor He sent a nurse amiss with him it was a severe test for the servant thus to deliver himself up to the master he had wronged but he had been truly converted and he did not turn aside from his duty friends if you were filament and you had standing there before you the one that made you so angry what would you do the lesson that we got from filament 1st we got to learn to forgive at all costs put aside your feelings put aside your right to be angry even though you owned this person you bought him he's a slave but yet now you've got to look at him as a brother and sister you see that this is the 1st lesson in the 1st anger that we take from filament How about Paul Well the gospel puts us on the same level friends and no separation with color class or rank we've seen a lot this past week about colorism that what happened there with George Floyd but we're all the same sinners in need of a Savior. Jesus he is the elder brother of our race John 1515 tells us henceforth I call you not servants for the servant north what his lord do with but I have called you friends for all things that I have heard of my father have made known to you Paul he learns to be an intercessor you know friends we got to get involved in the ministry of reconciliation and interceding. And sometimes you like to leave it to the pastor like to leave it to the elder or the head deacon or that the leaders of the church and say look this person and this person has a problem can you step in why can't we all step and why can't we learn to pray for these 2 people that have a problem with each other and why not come together and invite them over to your house and have a meal with them and get them to reconcile and plead to the person who is angry and plead to them on their knees to be converted into change and sometimes we leave all that work for the work of a pastor isn't it friends we all ought to be involved in the work of reconciliation for in Matthew Chapter 5 The beatitudes blessid are the peacemakers not blessid other peacemakers that a pastors know for they should be called the Children of God So we all got to learn to be peacemakers reconcile is making it right between 2 groups and if we want to go to a deeper level or Nyssa Merce is what the sinner Let's go out there and pray for one Bible student that does not have peace with our Father in heaven we all got to learn from Paul that we can stand in that gap to bridge between heaven and earth. Friends this is the important lesson that we get from Paul we are all our missionaries we all are called laborers together with Christ in the gospel work we got to start leaving this just for the work of the Bible workers and the ministers and those that seem to have a passion or more time you know maybe the biggest cry that all of us have is we have no time but make time make time for Jesus make time to get involved in the ministry of Paul the Apostle this is one lesson that we've got to learn Paul better nothing to do with him he could have stayed out of it he didn't have to write the letter he could have just kept the news honest was there and on his of us that was a past life but he doesn't he sends on Nissim us back and it's an Islamist that I really want to focus on the most this morning because you know he's the one that is most relatable to all of us why a nice of us represents the sinner but the sinner that has been converted and you know friends when it comes to true conversion there's a path or duty that we've got to follow you know that making wrong right even from your past life no matter how difficult it could be you know the path of duty and righteousness is a very tough path sometimes and we could say all but that was so long ago I found myself saying that you know that was me before I was converted but no even though for the man was a Christian that believed in God and dismissed still had to go back and make a right even at the peril of his own life you know that he was a slave and and it was we are told that in ancient times that this disk for for the slave to run away. Filament could have the right to kill and by law this was at the peril of his own wife you know friends you might be converted and you find out that you're the way that you're living is not correct or the way that you used to live is not correct maybe you've come to Malaysia and the only way to sustain your living is to do something illegal or that goes against what the Bible says what do you do how would you react would you go back to your home country because you know that to sustain your life here would not be possible maybe you hear on a legal visa you've got it under the table you don't even go through the government you know what I mean that may be making it right would mean having to leave this place of comfort and security that you've known for a few years do you see that maybe to do the right things to go home and sometimes the home country that I come from it is worse than here you know maybe you're not living the best life here but to go home would be even worse the economy is bad there the government is more corrupt or there's a lot of fighting there's war I don't know but friends maybe being converted that's what God is telling you to do difficult and it's difficult for for you to hear from some of us living here in Malaysia even right maybe you've become verdant and you realize that the way that you've been living does not enable you to pay your tie for your offering you know God's as at least 10 percent and then offering maybe more than 10 percent but you look at your finances like God I'm just cutting it fine every month I can and maybe if you want to be faithful to God you got to downgrade your lifestyle and how you're living. Do you understand that or you would or would you expect to. People like Paul and filament to support you. You know always say look. The church please help me help me when it is within the power of your own hands to help yourself do you understand that sometimes when the light shines into your heart and you know that you've got to live a certain way it's difficult it's across the understand that maybe if you're not at the you're not facing a road across the road where you could possibly lose your life if your faithful to God but an Islamist was and in spite of all the crosses that he was carrying and all the the thoughts of what could happen to his life if you went back to film we don't know what happened but he ended up going back at least that's what the pen of inspiration on the white tells us and sometimes it just seems ridiculous because when we follow Christ I want to better life the church has to take care of me and that's what we expect sometimes but no friends you've got to be faithful and sometimes it requires adjusting your life you're living the country you live the job that you work in the studies that you are studying sometimes if you want to be on the list of us it's a really heavy cross to carry maybe you've got to sell your house or your car you know what I mean maybe you've been converted and you realize that you can't be in business partnership with somebody that is not of the same faith look there's a difference between being an employee of a company that doesn't believe in God and you owning the company and you have what people that you are in partnership with the Bible says not to sell why the Bible says it don't be an equally yoked together this is not just relationships but even in business partnerships why because that person might end up breaking the Psalmist when you don't believe it and then you say Ok you work with I don't but that's an equally yoked partnership friends. And of to be like an Islamist maybe you got to sell your steak to your friend and maybe is making a lot of good money you see that and then you got to start from scratch again you scrounging and you know you're trying to figure it out but friends before be faithful to God learn to follow him every step of the way even when it requires a cross because many times friends to follow Jesus Christ he says you got to pick up your cross and follow me there's tough decisions that you can have to make decisions on faith and love and the world how much do you love Christ are you truly converted Are you willing to follow Jesus all the way even when requires a cross even at the expense Mais maybe of your own life this was the implications that are Nissen us had to compute in his mind before he took the 1st step back to what for but you know the reason why he did it because of his love for Christ not for Paul Yes Paul maybe had it in during. Position in his life as his spiritual father but for the love of Jesus Christ for a lot of the father a nurse of us was willing to carry the cross I think we gloss over the fact that when we read about the book filament. There's this important aspect friends it's not easy doing right it doesn't just come like that you got to pray you really got to think about it you got a fast you got a really maybe it stresses you out and it's like this is not the reason why I joined the church I joined a church because I was stressed in the 1st place now God you've given me more stress. But trust me he's trying to give you peace if you follow him not easy isn't it Friends Are you ready and willing to follow Jesus all the way even when in encroachers on your way of living certain sacrifices are to be made changes in your habits and life maybe have to be made friends but my prayer for us today is that God would give us a true conversion to true conversion go back to the drawing board 1st see of whether the the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy is telling you to walk this path but then if it is at the expense of your finances and your temporary pleasures let's learn to follow Jesus Christ every step of the way is difficult sometimes you know people look at my life and go all Ben you don't understand I don't I don't need to understand friends God does and what you've got to understand is that whatever God tells us to do it's for our best good yes even when our our life seems downgraded even when it seems worse even when it seems that I've got to stress more and I've got to work harder and I got to stay up later and lose more sleep God knows what he's doing you know us because he knows that in the 6 hours only that you sleep you'll get peaceful rest of the 10 hours that you sleep that is tossing and turning because you know you're living a dishonest life or friends what is it that needs to change your heart like today and maybe you've been holding back a position that's been really tough that you know in your heart of hearts you got to make but I pray that God would strengthen you with that in a man with his spirit today that he would set your feet upon the solid rock and he would give you the courage to make this right decision to follow him every step of the way you know it's not just simply about reconciliation we have to consider all these parties but especially on this of us today. Because very often all of us are just like you there have been tough decisions that I've had to make throughout life and. One of the toughest was Solution leave my job and go pursue ministry and really it wasn't pursuing ministry was pursuing just studying the Bible I didn't go to study theology because I wanted to be a pastor I never wanted to be one of the toughest positions was to walk away from my comforts grew up in Australia 10 years knew it inside out that was my place I never ever ever ever thought in my wildest dreams I'll be going back to Malaysia I was not in my mind I was not Asian thinking I did not have engine mentality I'm a Westerner you know what you call a banana yellow on the outside white on the inside right and take the 1st step towards Jesus Christ and give up your job and step away from your comforts and your familiar surroundings it's not easy friends and sometimes I look back on my life was 20 years ago how much more money assets and everything I could be owning that's the worldly mind thinking isn't it and it's difficult to process these things sometimes when the flesh is still alive and so what has to happen 1st friends crucify the old medicine may God give us his word his spirit to kill that all men today that we would see clearly and it would give us the courage to take the 1st step in making things right not just towards him I'm sure you've been taking steps towards him ready but now you've got to take steps to make things right in your life friends whatever that is let's not even the lay for a day to day we've got to do it may God help all of us let me pray for you Father in Heaven Lord I don't know who out there. Might be suffering the keenness anguish of hearts and mind because they know that what they're doing is not right but long your lord you are the Prince of Peace and you long to give them peace in their hearts Lord I just pray that you would please strengthen each and every one of them help them Lord not to delay for a moment in following you in doing that which is right being reconciled again to our brothers and sisters but Lord give us faith give us trust that we know you know best Help us Lord to have that attitude so that we can follow you every step of the way no matter how heavy a cross you give us Lord you told us that there is nothing that we can do without your help and all these things I call upon us Lord you can strengthen us to help us to be more than overcome this is a lot we will each and every one of us today. Help us. To follow you. And live by everyone. We pray in Jesus. Name. 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