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Proclaiming God's Holiness—Together

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2020 12:01 am

Proclaiming God's Holiness—Together

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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December 21, 2020 12:01 am

The vital mission that drove R.C. Sproul continues to spur us on today: to proclaim God's holiness to as many people as possible. Today, discover how you can make this mission your own as we press on together in gospel ministry.

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Alistair Begg
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Charlie Kirk
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
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Robby Dilmore

Today on Renewing Your Mind.

I'm Lee Webb, and I'm pleased to be joined by our President and CEO, Chris Larson, and Chris Larson. This broadcast is seeking to help you to understand God's Word better, to apply it to your life, really to the ultimate end that you would live a life that is faithful and that is glorifying to our Lord. And we're grateful for the way that the Lord has allowed Renewing Your Mind to grow. Beginning, like you said, Lee, back in 1994, it has really surpassed anything that we could have imagined in terms of its reach. And it really continues to be one of the primary ways that people are discovering the ministry of Dr. Sproul and really the whole teaching fellowship of Ligonier Ministries, this remarkable outreach that exists to publish and broadcast and gather God's people together around God's Word and seeking to help equip another generation of faithful Christian disciples. Right alongside of the broadcast when it began in 1994 was another program because the ministry needed the wherewithal financially to be able to get onto many different radio stations.

It was a Herculean task and an enormous expense to be able to get to that place. And so we launched the ministry partnership program, and that really helped our broadcasting efforts to go to the next level. Such a great response came from our listeners that R.C. began to champion Ministry Partners really as the ministry's backbone. And that has continued on even to this day.

In fact, let's listen to R.C. talking just a few years ago about the importance of ministry partners. Our partners are those people who have joined us by being regular donors. I mean, what I mean by regular donors is that they're monthly donors. And anybody that's in a nonprofit organization in the ministry knows the fluctuations that go during the calendar year, that in April, for example, when people have to pay their income tax, the donations drop down and it's tough to meet your fixed expenses in any ministry.

I mean, we all know that sort of thing. And so what any ministry relies on is that stable, solid base of support of people who give every month. And they're the ones who make it possible for this outreach. And the ministry has been able to take some significant steps forward in terms of expanding this broadcast with Renewing Your Mind. It continues to be our most requested teaching that we have to offer, but we're also able to expand into other broadcasts and podcasts as well, and to take this teaching into multiple languages now with our Spanish broadcast of Renovando Tuminti, the Spanish version of Renewing Your Mind. And the Lord has used the broadcast ministry of Renewing Your Mind to, I hope, help you, our listeners and your family and your church, to become more enriched in your understanding of God's word, but also as a means to share what God is doing in your own life through the teaching of God's word that you would receive through Renewing Your Mind. And again, it is a beautiful family that has come together to support this broadcast among many different things that Ligonier Ministries does around the world. And as we head into 2021, we certainly have plans for an even greater outreach, and that's why we would so humbly ask that you consider becoming a ministry partner. You can call us at 800-435-4343. One of our colleagues will be glad to answer any questions about the program that you may have.

You can also go online to slash partner. I have been amazed over the years to see the response of God's people as Ligonier has brought different ministry opportunities in front of them, and they've really stepped up to help us to take advantage of new opportunities of service to be able to get God's word to more people around the world, whether that's through broadcasting or our published materials. And taking all of this together, we're really united in that family context. And ministry partners are those who share a ministry vision to extend their own reach and being able to share this teaching with others in their own sphere of influence, but also to have that kingdom mindset in obedience to the Great Commission to teach and to train and to disciple the nations. So, consider becoming a ministry partner through a monthly sustaining gift, and we have some other benefits that come alongside of you to encourage you and equip you and your family.

Let's listen to R.C. explain some of the rationale for gathering together this very special dear group of people called ministry partners. Along the way, early on in our ministry, I had a dear friend come alongside of us and joined our board over 30 years ago whose name is Archie Parrish, and many know him when he was the International Director of Evangelism and Explosion, and for many years the Director of Serve International and his kingdom-focused prayer program that goes through the churches in our country. Archie's a great friend, and he's the one who said to me, R.C., he said, you just can't do this alone.

You need what he called champions or partners who will join you. He says, and you can't just look at partners for what they can do for us, but when you invite people to become part of the mission, those people who in many cases don't have an outlet for full-time ministry, they're in the work world every day or they're homemakers or whatever, and this gives them an opportunity to count, to participate in the building of the kingdom of God. And you know, I also, when we started radio, somebody told me, and I don't even know if this is true, but they said, for every 100 people that listen to your radio program on a regular basis, only one will become a supporter. I don't know if that's true for our program or not.

You know, that's very discouraging to hear that, but I guess a lot of folks who say, you know, that they benefit from these opportunities never think about what it takes to put it on. On the other hand, just yesterday, just yesterday, I got one of the sweetest letters. You know, we get letters all the time.

Sometimes they're nasty letters, but we get sweet letters. I got a letter from an 81-year-old lady in England, not in London, but in the countryside of England, and they have this video station over in England that I guess is kind of wild, and they call it the God Channel. But somehow they got a hold of our Dust of Glory series, and they broadcast that into England, and this woman wrote in her letter, she said, I'm 81 years old, and the world I live in today is a world I'm not familiar with. The values, the lifestyles, the things that I experience in reading the newspaper and in my community are just foreign to me, she said, and then I turned on the television, and I watched this Dust of Glory series, and I felt like I was home. I was home where the things that I cherish, the things that I love were being articulated, and then she got on to say, she said, and I have a friend who's 79 years old, a man who lives in some remote place in England that still has the opportunity to listen to this channel, and she said, and he never misses these programs, and Vesta and I were talking about that, and Vesta says, think of this.

I said, I can't believe it. When I first became a Christian, I came home, and I wanted to talk to my friends, and I wanted to tell them everything I could about Jesus, and nobody wanted to listen, and now we have people listening in Africa, in Ukraine, in England, and because of these partners who make it possible, and I just wish every partner that we had would get another person and list another person, you know, double that impact that we could have in the world. It's just fantastic. You know, Chris, the amazing thing about that is that R.C. recorded that several years ago, and you think about how the technology now has allowed Ligonier Ministries to expand our outreach 10 times more.

That's exactly right. In fact, just in this past year, Ligonier has been able to reach more than 25 million people around the world, but let's put that in the great context of the fact that the planet is approaching 8 billion souls, and so while we certainly celebrate the progress of this ministry in reaching so many people, that's a high watermark for us. We recognize there is so much more work to be done, and another thing that R.C. would say, I just loved how he united this mission-mindedness with the financial stewardship as we sought to enlist more people to do this work in more effective and efficient ways.

He had this saying, if someone gives to the ministry $100, we can do $100 of ministry, but what we can never do is $101 of ministry, meaning that we will be faithful and steward by God's grace what has been entrusted to us, and we will make that dollar stretch as far as we possibly can. But what we can never do is more than what has been entrusted to us, and so it's this beautiful reciprocity of this ministry-mindedness of what Ligonier Ministries is seeking to do in proclaiming, teaching, and defending God's holiness in all its fullness, but seeking to do that to as many people as possible. Reaching 25 million people a year is remarkable for us. That's significant growth even over last year, but we know that there is so much more work to be done. So we're investing in new ways that we can reach more people through technology. We're publishing more literature. We're translating into more languages. We've had Bible study groups in the tens of thousands growing up around the planet.

People are downloading our resources off our website in the hundreds of thousands. Just listen to some of these dear ministry partners explain why they chose to support Ligonier. Well, being a ministry partner, I felt like I was getting so much from Dr. R.C.

Sproul. I meant so much each and every day. There's some kind of way that I can give back to this ministry, and I found out about being a ministry partner. Something small, $25 a month, if that impacts Ligonier Ministry to where they can help minister the word of God to others, that's a small thing to do for Ligonier, because I really wanted to pull back into a ministry that gave me so much. If this ministry has been a blessing to you like it's been to me, it deserves your support. The amount of resources that Ligonier puts out to encourage my faith, it's a no-brainer.

They've partnered with me long before I partnered with them. One of my daily routines is to get up and stream, Renewing Your Mind on my phone, you know, the clarity of his teaching and not pulling any punches and giving me the Reformed faith. This is of such great value that I want it to continue, and I am excited that it is having now such an international influence. My contribution is modest, and I've only been giving for five or six years, but to hear of people who have been supporting this ministry for more than 20 years is just amazing testimony to God's faithfulness to me. It was like going to seminary but on your phone for free, like to get such a breadth and depth of knowledge of the beauty and glory of the Gospel and the entire world of theology at your fingertips is revolutionary and to have solid doctrinal, biblical, orthodox, historic Reformed teaching.

Through that means, it's without a doubt God has blessed it in my life. Those are just a few of our ministry partners, and I think you can hear just in their tone just how grateful they are for the faithful teaching that they hear here on Renewing Your Mind as well as through our other resources. So again, we want you, our ministry partners who are listening to us today, to know just how grateful we are for your partnership with us, and if you're listening and would like to become a ministry partner, would you contact us today? Our phone number again is 800-435-4343. You can also reach us online at slash partner, and every month you'll receive Table Talk magazine.

You'll also receive other free resources, discounts to our events, and invitations to other special events. So our partners really are our best students, but more than that, they make this ministry possible. It's hard to overstate just how critical you, our ministry partners, are to our outreach here at Ligonier Ministries. Chris, I was just thinking, too, how grateful we are for our ministry partners who have stayed alongside us over the last 12 months because they have been challenging months, haven't they? It really has been a tumultuous time for God's people around the world, and yet it's in this time that God has sent His word abroad.

It has brought comfort to those who have been afflicted and dealing with many kinds of tragedies and setbacks, but it's also been God's word that has gone forth with power, confronting the unbelief that is rampant in this world. And we really see a conflict with the encroaching storms of secularism and how it is coming against the church with many churches who have been unable to meet. We know that they have been using Ligonier resources to help disciple their people, even in this time of broken and disjointed fellowship, and we want to continue to be there and press forward into a new year of ministry. It's significant that we're at this threshold of turning 50 as a ministry. Many people may think of that as middle age or so, but to me, it seems that we're almost like teenagers with such room to grow, and we have had so much support and encouragement, and we know so many people out there are praying for this ministry to move forward.

Now, we don't want to hold back. This is a ministry partnership. I think of Paul writing to the Philippians, where he just rejoices in the partnership that he had with that church in the fellowship of the gospel, and it's really advancing the gospel around the world. And it's the amazing generosity of people like you, our listeners, that God has used to propel Ligonier forward into every new year of ministry, including our upcoming 50th year of ministry. Chris, we are so grateful for five decades of ministry, but what does the next 50 years look like?

Well, I know that R.C. desired for Ligonier Ministries to be in the middle of a worldwide resurgence of interest in biblical Christianity, and that is happening today. And he wanted Ligonier to grow and to expand if we are faithful, and so faithfulness is job number one for a Christian ministry, because we must be faithful to the Lord and to His word, and to be faithful in remembering that we are not the church, but we are here to serve the church and build up the church and equip the church. And that is exactly what our ministry partners have enabled us to do, to really take the next step forward in equipping growing Christians around the world, helping them to stand firm for the gospel and the truth of God's word.

Millions of people in 42 languages now look to Ligonier as their theological lifeline. And here in this Christmas season, it is our most important giving season of the year because it sets us up to be able to take some significant ministry steps forward in the next year. Every year that goes by, we are growing, and we need generous support to respond to the great theological need that exists. So many people think that we can solve the world's problems through this political solution or through this social reform program.

No. The world needs the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The world needs to know who God is, and that is exactly what Ligonier Ministries exists to do. So I would ask you, our listeners, if this program has been of any help to you, we would love to hear from you with a gift of support here at your end. Or if you would consider becoming a sustaining ministry partner, helping us to respond to new fields of outreach and great commission opportunities. We are grateful for the support of thousands, and we could always use one more dear ministry partner to propel us forward. To join us as a ministry partner, just call us at toll-free number 800-435-4343.

You can also go online to slash partner. And as I mentioned earlier, when you do become a ministry partner, you receive a copy of Table Talk Magazine each month. You'll also receive exclusive messages just for our ministry partners, discounts to Ligonier events, and invitations to special events. So again, thank you for your continued support to this ministry. And again, if you would like to become a ministry partner, we would love to have you come alongside us.

Again, that phone number is 800-435-4343, or visit slash partner. Well, as we close today, I'd like for you to hear from someone who has benefited greatly from Ligonier's outreach. His name is Jerry, and he's learned that you can trust God even in the most difficult of circumstances. I remember laying there, and I said, I think I'm dying.

And my son, he told me later, he said, no, you said you are dying. I was born in Providence, Rhode Island. My father was a World War II veteran, and my mother raised four children while he was at war, and then I came.

My early life, I worked as a shoeshine boy, paper boy, anything to make a few cents. I met my wife in high school, and when the kids were young, we weren't going to church. And we said, well, we should give them some sense of what they can choose later. So we went to a small church, and then we went to a Unitarian church, and it had no talk of God.

Then we started attending a Presbyterian church, and we came to know Christ through that. And then in June of, actually June 13th of 2013, we had a tornado and some straight-line winds here. And we had gone out to the street to see an oak tree that was blocking the road, and when we came back into the yard, we had about 20 trees down our cell. My daughter and my wife called the tree service, and they couldn't come out for three weeks. It was just too much work. So I decided I have to clean this up, because with branches hung up under pressure and the grandkids wanting to climb through all these fallen trees, I said, I have to take care of it. So I started cleaning it up, and it was going well. And then this particular time, Marge said, do you want to have lunch? I said, I have one more tree to take care of, and then I'll come in.

And so she was next door at my daughter's, and they had gone to the basement. I guess they were doing something down there. So I cut this tree, and it was leaning and under some pressure.

And usually the pressure will bind one way or the other. Well, this particular pressure came, it shot the tree back at me, and I've never seen that. And I didn't see it when it happened. I heard my leg snap.

And then it was a staccato fashion, I guess, the tempo. I just would say, help, help, and my son-in-law heard it. He got my daughter, and they put tourniquets on, and the leg apparently was very bad. And I told them, I said, put my leg up on the tree to get it above my heart. And then I woke up ten days later. On the third day, they decided to take my hand when I was in a coma. And then the Fourth of July, they took my leg off. And through this, we began to realize that God was working in our lives. Initially, after I got hurt, someone told me I had PTSD because I would, for the first month and a half or so, see that tree coming at me as soon as I closed my eyes.

And I never saw the tree when it came. And so then I had periods where I was really concerned about going to bed because the nights were tough. But then I would get up, I would read the Bible, and I would make notes. I'm loved by God, and He has chosen to have me at this state in my life. I felt more assured in my salvation than I had before. I used to question, and my assurance was there, and sometimes it would waver. But after it, I felt more assured.

It was really amazing. I see things as opportunities as opposed to problems. I believe that in the sense that that tree that got me, God knew when that seed was dropped in the ground and was covered with dirt that that tree would get big and that someday it would fall.

Well, He also knew that that tree would take Mom and Lake with it. So because of Christ, because of the Holy Spirit, I can function. Me being here now is God's work. How can you thank God enough? You can't.

You can't. As I said before, we saw God's hand in getting us to salvation. The doctors that we would talk, and I would tell them this is because of Christ and that I'm okay, and then I'd start crying. At times after this, I felt that I'm not able to do much or contribute much. But He hopefully will use this. I know He will use it in a fashion that we never imagined. What are you going to do without God?

Nothing. That was Jerry's story of God's grace. And by God's grace, our ministry partners are helping more of these stories take place every day around the world. Well, I hope you'll join us again tomorrow. Dr. Sproul is going to turn to the Gospel of Luke to tell us the Christmas story from Mary's perspective. And that will be our focus the rest of this week. So we hope you'll join us beginning Tuesday for Renewing Your Mind. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-13 11:19:41 / 2024-01-13 11:28:54 / 9

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