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May 3, 2021 4:00 am
One of the things stressed by the author of the book is how important it is for us to show hospitality to strangers or to care for the needs of prisoners, but many of us look at our lives and think how do we fit that into everything else we've got going on today on Truth for Life. Alastair Begg teaches us how to put the principles from Hebrews 13 in the practice to be thankful and worship God acceptably well. Interestingly, JB Phillips paraphrases it in this way. Let us serve God with thankfulness in the ways which pleased him. What does it mean to live in the kind of thankfulness which pleases God. Answer number one keep on loving each other as brothers see unless there is an energizing force from outside of a man or a woman that diminishes our external preoccupations with social economic class with race, color, and all of those things unless that power comes from outside of an individual to engender in his unifying principle, a reality that is unknown elsewhere, then it's a chronicle of despair because men and women are essentially sinful. Who can change that only Jesus what is that mean does it mean the social economic factors are irrelevant know this is what it means not closing for Ferguson whenever we find ourselves attaching importance to possessions, background schooling or accent as the basis of fellowship, then we are out of step with the example of Christ, and such wrongful attitudes need to be dealt with at the foot of the cross. And here's the deal, loved ones.
Churches are riddled with all other stock were full of now, this is not to condemn us.
This is to say, okay, step, what is he going to me when you and I make up our minds to love each other as brothers and sisters and all of these other things fall into the place where they're supposed to follow.
But until we make up our minds to do so you can have some extent I'm here to the blue in the face only one good because it is volitional, but as soon as we begin to do this. Believe me, they will be beating down the doors to get in your how in the world can you bring all those disparate people together. How is it that they all come together and when they come in. Is it only Jesus. Jesus changes are not. You see, community, and the basis of the lowest common denominator. It is a community that is based on the fact that will come from the same womb because will come from the same world doesn't mean we all equally like each other because we find out don't and it doesn't mean they were removed from personal preferences and it doesn't mean that we want to go to breakfast with everybody that we ever see, but it does mean this that we are committed to loving each other from the heart. Secondly, in the community of faith. There needs to be the entertaining of strangers. Now the key word here is strangers. If somebody went on over to the house.
We don't know.
Maybe no one else knows no one else knows him warily. No names, no faces, no place so is going to take the no name, no face, no place if you don't, or if I assume that you will you assume that I will, and neither of us dies just test yourself against and how many strangers we had over your house lately not done by workmen you see the way in which this was manifested was an account of the fight of the people who move from place to place did not have the opportunities that we have of accommodation. The Indians that were available were extortionate Lee priced and they had low moral standards not dissimilar to the present day. You can talk to any traveling business.
Many hoteliers paid too much NDA had the potential of having moral filth pollute his bedroom 24 hours of the time that he was there so he starts in the price. The low moral standard. What you think he would've enjoyed. Probably would've enjoyed the companionship of another Christian I would ever meet another Christian why go to church or church when people come together and sit in rows to the talk to one another and who I don't know.
Maybe, maybe not like they did talk to one another, they find that he was a stranger getting any would happen from there will probably not why is our lights are too complicated to include strangers in we can hardly stand our own lives as it is without having some poor soul that came from Toledo get involved in this nonsense with us were looking in the afternoon wondering if we can make it. Why would you ever include a stranger in this I would discourage and somebody said to be redrawn three hours from Finley to see. I said hey, nice to see.
I said I bet no one inviting you for lunch. She said no they didn't. I say well tough sera. When I got to say I freeze my heart out for strangers only turn in the first visit. Hey, are you sure you do.
I know you and Lisa going to Bob Evans for crying out loud. It would be nice, but he couldn't lights too complicated, so is mine. I've been thinking about this week. Why was my mother and father able to so many people in our home when I was a kid growing the come for lunch without planning to come for dinner without planning to come come come in all the times my Grand Central station had to do that because the lights were simple. They had one car.
My mother and drive. Stay home, make the meal. I see myself well wise and I just not a nice person why my mother so that's true.
I got that one right. But as soon as equally nice as my mother so can be that one is we have set up our stalls. Most of us so chaotically that week if we can we can get involved. Strangers we can even make time to get with the people we want to get with so I'm the one we got strangers in here somewhere. Strangers go in Baden lonely Metropolitan places bars exercise clubs gyms, coffee shops, bookstores anywhere you can hang around in the possibility of getting a conversation.
The last time you read third John Gay find appreciate your honesty turn to for a moment, would you three John started Revelation and come back the way you do better than starting in Genesis if he started Genesis and you don't know where you're going to be next Sunday before you get there. Three.
John if love doesn't issue and a hospitable home.
Love has not begun to work. We surely must understand the Christian homes are vital factors in our generation for reaching non-Christians for encouraging one another dear guy, as he says my dear friend Gaia's.
What about Gaia's look at verse five dear friend, your faithful in what you're doing for the brothers even though they are strangers to live till the church about your love love in action practice to strangers, you do well you will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the name namely the name of Christ that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men, so that we may work together for the truth guy's an unfamiliar name doing the job.
Now the deal is that when we operate in this way, we will discover that the benefits we derive are greater than the exercise of hospitality that we give.
He says there were people in the past two entertaining angels, and they didn't even know about. That's in Genesis 18 Abram and Sarah on Judges 13 in relationship to man, Noah is not a motivating factor. We can imagine our children safe. Can we have Mr. so-and-so over Verizon want to see if he's an angel forced to conclude that a lot of people we had in our homework, certainly not from the angelic department they might've been from another department. When I was a kid growing up so is not that were motivated by the desire. Maybe we cannot find an angel in the guest room. He says if you do this you will derive a benefit that far exceeds the extension of your own resources and after all, he said there were people in the past and they entertained angels need and even old okay loving his brothers entertaining strangers. Thirdly, sympathizing with prisoners. Remember those in prison as if you are there fellow prisoners Christians you see in the first century were landing in prison were landing in prison on account of their faith. These folks could not attend the gatherings. Therefore they could not be welcome to strangers.
Therefore they could not experience hospitality they were removed from all the routine benefits of everyday life and what are we to do with such he says, well, since they cannot enjoy hospitality they can experience our sympathy so I want you recess to empathize with people in prison and I was think about the prisoner and say now what would I like if I was in prison survives in prison. I am like summer. Send me a car okay Seneca I was in prison. I like to visit. I want to find out if I can visit but otherwise this is get yourself under the burden of who these people are trying think yourself into their circumstances, write notes of encouragement to them. Do what you can for the prison ministry was began in my previous church began I told you before, by a lady would read a good book and I she read the book. She thought it would be good to give the book to someone. She was riding past the prison, which was a few miles from our home out in the country and the thought struck her back again the book to a prisoner.
She was far removed from prisoners. She was a well-heeled lady nice Wiseman and family inhabiting chief to the north prisoner. She would not prisoner they ran in and stole something out of the refrigerator. She went home with it. The idea of her mind came back to it again couldn't really get rid of it went to the prison asked to speak to the governor said you know I have just the start. I don't of its crazy but I read this book and I thought maybe I could give it to one of the prisoners they could read it. The governor said is a fabulous idea give any more books like this where she said she will you goal bring more books like this will start a library in here for these prison to the start of the life and after a few months of past she went back again and she said you not been telling people about the library here in the prison and others.
A few men and are willing to come up here on Friday evenings and wanted to a Bible study. We just read the Bible and read a few verses and talk about what it means.
The governor said, bring them the game up on Friday evening the start Friday evening. I know they were and unable prison. Why because they got underneath the burden of what was happening to those for us EC. If the church of Jesus Christ doesn't believe in human rights. If the church of Jesus Christ does not make a commitment to the challenging die mentions of our humanity. Someone else will know we are not to be motivated by the fire that we want to get there before someone else gets there, were supposed to be motivated by the fact that the Lord Jesus said in his much as you've done it under the lease for one of these my brethren, you've done it on to me when we ever see you in prison.
Jesus, when we ever see in the hospital so we never saw me and prisoner in the hospital. We've seen others imprisoned in the hospital use looked in their eyes and looked in my eyes. Now go get it done what other people are prisoners and geriatric warts. What are the prisoners in their own bodies, unable to call in their hair, unable to scratch the nose go to go so I don't how to start, which, like the lady started. Go make a telephone call God lays on your scene I can do much but I can put a few little booklets together to make a commitment toward three World War III us that nursing home is I saw it as I was driving my car and drove down there needed when with a gigantic big Thompson chain reference my book and start laying on the people all the stuff is going is a nicely I have to go now for the rest of my life starting today I can just go on Fridays and is God opens doors of opportunity as I speak into the lives of prisoners. I can tell them about the love of Jesus. See that's what on us interested and he stood out from the crowd in two Timothy one and the Lord shall nursing to the household of on the surface because he often refresh me wasn't ashamed of my chains and on the contrary, when he was in Raleigh search hard for me until he found me as opposed to everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including fight jealous and Hermogenes let all boil boy how thankful I am for on us if we may not experience the immediacy of this is in the first century or is in the cultural Revolution in mainland China or is it under the dreadful revolutions of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, but believe me when we gather around the throne of heaven there will be countless numbers there who will testify to the dramatic impact of Jesus Christ.
As a result of the silent committed testimony of people are prepared to do ministry just like this one more purity in marriage purity and marriage. The political prisoner may seem a long way from me, but this one touches right where I live my life. Marriage should be honored by all. He says, in other words, don't call plywood on that don't embrace asceticism here, shirts, beds of nails and Monastery's but on the other hand, don't allow permissiveness to invade your marriage is not an open-ended contract. It's a covenant as you understand that God is set up in a certain way and you must live in that way. This is a counterculture folks the statistics are horrible for the church on the subject. See if I wasn't a Christian and I had some of the people coming out here laying the trip on me.
You know all you Jesus Christ.
You change your life man yeah all you that's it simple like in what way while like you don't go to hell. So unless that's good, but you talk about change your life and what way did it change your life linger any minute's and only white people or go to your church or is it only white people go to your church community broken through his marriage and other Asian people to go to your church meet on his everybody go to your church have to make $27,000 a year before they can come as you change is even changing the statistics on divorce signal were pretty well the same as the pagan world.
So where's the change can squirm out of this we can save a lot of we can say that Jesus makes a change.
If there is no change so we we do what the Bible says. The Bible says is what your to do than is wired to do when running a committee meeting. I went hunting today here and have to discuss.
We just have to do we gotta do it so that our children will see is do it and we want to live in front of our children so that they will do it in front of their children's children so that we are able to offer to our culture. A radical alternative I have time to get into all this just now, but even for the strangest places were hearing this, albeit for pragmatic reasons, but here's a here's men's health, monogamy may not sound like much fun. Certainly not in comparison to its alternative monogamy sounds an awful lot like monotony doesn't or monopoly. Do I hear mahogany yet. We dare not relate monogamy to tedium an endless boardgame or a great aunt's dining table. True happiness. The deep sustaining contentment.
We see lies somewhere down monogamy. Ron is the pagans writing so you know what a great quote that magazine dendrite what is says in here, let me tell you how is achievable.
The lyrics of pop songs. The movies that we embrace. I'm ashamed I'm ashamed of the fact that I can be so excited about what William Wallace did in Braveheart that I'm prepared to tolerate the adultery that is part of his life. Everywhere you go visit Braveheart and Benedict the there is stuff there was a guy was not all Christians once let me say this to you as well. The word of encouragement somewhere in here. Adultery is not the unforgivable sin is a terrible offense that afflicts emotional pain scores, but no one should feel that his actions her actions or place them outside the love of God, we should be seeing far less divorce and far more reconciliation than we do within our Christian family, society continues to be ravished by divorce and lives in the shadows of dejection, desolation and heartache of broken relationships. The Christian community should be alive and available to provide the love and acceptance that so many wounded people have been denied. We are called by Jesus to be conduits of his love and grace and care for those who have been up from today's message from Alastair big on Truth for Life.
Please stay with us. Alastair will be right back to close with prayer as we study together the book of Hebrews. It's important for us to remember that this is a letter that was written to Jewish believers during the period of intense persecution. But when exactly was that most of us would struggle to pinpoint the dates of many of the events recorded in the Bible.
That's why we want to recommend to you a book called God's Bible timeline. The big book of biblical history. This is a captivating book filled with photographs and illustrations of key biblical events. It presents all of these events in a sequential timeline beginning in Genesis, ending with the formation of the early church. The layout of the book features 18 unique timelines. The trace biblical history from one era to the next so you can learn what happened during a specific period of time you'll find the book God's Bible timeline to be a great help in your ongoing study of the Bible, you can request your copy today when you donate to support Truth for Life. Give online at truthforlife.org/donate now, let's join Alastair in prayer as is take a moment to allow the word of God to settle in our minds. It's challenge's expectation, encouragement, remember that God never exhorts us to activities that he does not provide the resources for us to be able to fulfill.
This is not a chronicle of despair when he wants us to love one another. In this way because he provides the grace enabling us to do to start and genuinely can be concern for strangers because he the Lord Jesus lived on people and saw them as sheep without a shepherd, and he lives in our lives and we learn to see through his eye. We think about entering in empathetically to the lives of those who are buffeted and bruised imprisoned. We hear the voice of Christ. Inasmuch as you've done it unto the least of one of these, you did it unto me when we think about marriage with all of its challenges with dark shadows. Shafts of sunlight torn strewn pathways broken down walls torn hedges immense choice great anticipation we ask loving God, that you will make us different by your grace that you will help us not to fail that in failing you will help us not to quit that and stepping up and heading on that you will give to us all the grace that we require and as we think about our nation torn and scarred in these most practical areas of life, love, Saxon what to do with the penal system, how to handle prisoners what to do about this and that only God.
We pray that you show us something of what this means is that sure in the development of ministry in the giving of ourselves in the discovery of whole new avenues that have never even crossed on my so that the world might know that Jesus is a lie and may come to trust commit ourselves a fraction. Pray that we might hear your voice granting your grace and your mercy and your father son and Holy Spirit. I rest upon and remain with each one of us today and forever, Bob Lapine, thanks for listing. Join us tomorrow as we find out why believers can actually consider it a privilege to be called a disgrace the Bible teaching of Alastair big is furnished by Truth for Life learning is fully