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May 12, 2021 1:00 am
Mike is sharing his thoughts on John 6, what it means to stand up in today's anti-Christian culture, and how to endure until the end and win the crown of righteousness which is laid up for us!
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Your host Mike to it all right if not for God with Mike Zwick today. We you just thinking about John chapter 6 and actually wanted to start off home.
It's called the race it was attributed to D Gruber says whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure. Space my downward fall was broken by the memory of her race a children's race young boys young men how I remember well excitement sure, but also fear it wasn't hard to tell. They all wanted up so full of hope, each thought to win that race or tie for first riff. Not that at least takes second place their parents watch from off the side.
Each cheering for their son and each boy hope to show his folks that he would be the one whistle blew it off. They flew like chariots of fire to win, to be the hero. There was each young boys desire one boy in particular his dad was in the crowd was running in the lead and thought my dad would be so proud. But as he speeded up speeded down the field and crossed the shallow dip a little boy who thought he'd win loss to step and slipped trying hard to catch himself. His arms flew everyplace. Admits the laughter of the crowd. He fell flat on his face as he fell, his hope, his hope fell to he couldn't win it now humiliated he just wish to disappear somehow. But as he fell. His dad stood up and showed his anxious face to the boy so clearly said get up and when that race. He quickly rose no damaged. No damage done behind a bit. That's all and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall, so anxious to restore himself to catch up and to win. His mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again. He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace. I'm hopeless as a runner now. I shouldn't try to race but through the laughing crowd. He searched and found his father's face with a steady look that said again get up and when that race. So he jumped up to try again 10 yards behind the last fund again. Those yards, he thought. I've got to run real fast exceeding everything he had.
He regained eight then 10 but trying hard to catch the lead. He slipped and fell again defeat.
He lay there, silently teardrop from his eyes.
There's no sense running anymore or three strikes about why try. I've lost so what's the use he thought I lived with my disgrace.
But then he thought about his dad who soon. He'd have to face get up and echo sounded low, you haven't lost it all for all you have to do to win is rise.
Each time you fall.
The echo urged him on. Get up and take your place. You were not meant for failure here get up and when that race so up, he rose to run once more refusing to forfeit any resolve that wear loose. At least he wouldn't quit so far behind the others. Now, the most he'd ever been. Still, he gave it all he had and ran like he could win three times he'd fallen stumbling three times he rose again too far behind. Hope to win.
He still ran to the end. They cheered another boy who crossed the lawn and won first place head high and proud and happy.
No falling, no disgrace, one that the falling youngster crossed the line in last place the grout the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race. And even though he came in last with head bowed low on proud. You would've thought that he won the race to listen to the crowd into his dad.
He sadly said I didn't do so well to me you one his father said you rose each time you fell and now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face the memory of that little boy helps me in my race for all of life is like is like that race with ups and downs and all and all you have to do to win is rise. Each time you fall in one depression and despair shout loudly in my face. Another voice within me says get up and when that race as I as I look at that poem and as I think about that isn't that how it is many times in the Christian life. We beaten down.
Don't wheat we rise we would get up again. We try again. We were telling people about Jesus and so many times it just seems like nobody wants to hear it and people laugh at us and people mock us, and people think, what are you doing your wasting your time and then every once in a while will get up and will say were not preaching for other people were sharing the good news of the gospel for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And we know that one day working have to face God face-to-face. He's gonna say what have you done with what I've given you in working have to give an answer he's knocking to compare us to Billy Graham. He's gotten a comparison to Alister bagger Robbie Delmore Stu Epperson easy to say what did you do with what I gave you in your life, what you do with the tools that I gave you and all you have to say is that I did the best that I could and I did all that I had with what I could or you could say that I gave up which which which way do you want to be. So you, as were looking at this chapter today it's John chapter 6 I look at this and in Jesus actually feeds 5000 people sometime after this Jesus cross the far shore of the Sea of Galilee. That is the sea of Tiberius and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs that he performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up the mountainside and sat down with his disciples the Jewish Passover Festival was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a crowd coming towards him. He said to Philip, where shall we buy bread for these people to eat. He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, it would take more than half a year's wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite. Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother spoke up. Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many Jesus said, have the people sit down. There was plenty of grass in that place. They sat down about 5000 men were there. Jesus then took up the lives gave gave thanks and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish when they had all enough to eat. He said to his disciples gather the pieces that are left at left over and let nothing be wasted. So they gathered them and filled 12 baskets with the pieces of the barley loaves left over by those who Eddie after the people saw the sign that Jesus before they begin to say, surely this is the prophet who is coming to the world.
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come in making King by force withdrew again to amount by himself when evening came, his disciples went down the lake where they got into a boat and set up set off across the lake for Capernaum by now. It was dark and Jesus had not yet joined them a strong wood was blowing, the waters grew up rough when they had rowed about three or 4 miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat walking on the water and they were frightened, but he said to them, it is I do not be afraid.
Then they were willing to take him into the boat and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there that Jesus did not enter it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone then some.
Some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there. They got to the boat and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus when they found him on the other side of the right mate lake. They said Rabbi, when did you get here Jesus said very truly I tell you you're looking for me, not because you saw the signs that I perform it because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you for all and him God the father has placed a seal of approval. Then they asked what what what must we do to do the works that God requires. Jesus said the work of God is to do this to believe in the one to be a set then they asked him what sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you. What will you do.
Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness as it is written, he gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Jesus said to them, verily I tell you it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my father who gives you the true bread from heaven for the brunt of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world and in as I read that passage in John chapter 6. I've probably read it 100 times in there something that I saw in there this past week that really spoke to me that I don't know if I've ever seen before you realize Jesus came in.
There were five there were thousands and thousands of people and there were only a few pieces of bread and a few fish and he fed over 5000 people. In addition, he also fed women and children. In addition to the spot so a lot of intent 50,000 people or more, but all these people. They start to follow Jesus and they got all my gosh he fed us with out with just a few loaves and fishes, and he fed over thousands of people and the like. That's great, that's awesome. At the end of this after they see all that they say what sign are you gonna show us so we know that you're the real deal and I'm sitting there and am thinking you're asking him for sign. It seems like sometimes, no matter what you do in life. People just are to be happy you can give them everything you can show them all the side you can pray for somebody to be second yield, and there still gonna look for something else.
Part of it is is yes we we rise each time we fall.
But the other part of that in this is what I want you to hear as well that Jesus doesn't ask you to do any more than he's given you, and it is our job to get the message out there it's our job to be the mouthpiece. It's our job to feed the hungry. It's our job to be the hands of the feet of Jesus today so that people see Jesus through us, but it's not our job to make people respond in a positive way that they're not always good to do that. There's an old book that I used to read.
It's by Augmentin Dino the greatest salesman in the world and in this book is: to says, I will greet this day with love in my heart.
This is the greatest secret of success in all ventures also can split a shield and even destroy life, but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of people into one master this art I will remain no more than a peddler in the marketplace.
I will make love. My greatest weapon and not on whom I call and defend against its force.
My reasoning may they they may encounter my speech. They may distrust my peril. They may disapprove my face, they may reject even more bargains may cause some suspicion, yet my love will melt all hearts like into the sun's rays soften the coldest clay I will greet this day with love in my heart and how will I do henceforth will I look on all things with love and I will be born again. I will love the stone for it warms my bones get I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit I will love the light, for it shows me the way you love the darkness, for it shows me the stars.
I welcome happiness, for it enlarges my heart yet. I will endure sadness, for it opens my soul. I would knowledge rewards for their my dude get I will welcome obstacles, for they are my challenge. I will greet this day with love in my heart and how I speak aloud.
Mine enemies, and they will become my friends.
I will encourage my friends, they will become our brothers and sisters always what I did for reasons to applaud never rule out never will I scratch for excuses to gossip when I'm tempted to criticize. I will abide in my tongue when I am moved to praise, I will shout it from the rooftops.
Is it not so that the birds, the wind, the sea, and all nature speaks with the music of praise for their creator God cannot, I speak with the same music to his children henceforth will I remember the secret and it will change my life. I will greet this day with love in my heart and hello how I act.
I will, of all manners of people for each has qualities to be admired even though they beheaded with love.
I will tear down the wall of suspicion and hate which they had built around their hearts, and in its place. Why build bridges so that that that my love may enter their souls.
I will love the ambitious, for they can inspire me I will love the failures, for they can teach me I will love the Kings were there.
Which human I will love the meek, for they are divine. I will love the rich for their get lonely.
I will love the poor for they are so many I will of the young for the faith that they hold. I love the old for the wisdom that they share. I will love the beautiful for the audit. Rise of sadness. I love the ugly for their souls of peace will greet this day with love in my heart. How will I react to the actions of others with love for just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of people. Bob is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate in the spirit of anger, adversity and discouragement will beat against my new shield to become is the Sophist of rains my shield to protect me in the marketplace and sustain me when I am alone. It will lift me and in moments of despair unit will call me in times of exultation. It will become stronger and more protective with use until one day I will cast aside and walk unencumbered among all manners of people. When I do my name will be raised high in the pyramid of life. I will greet this day with love in my heart. Now I can for each of my beat and only one way in silence and to myself I will address him or her and say I love you, as Christians, we can say I love you in the name of Jesus spoken in silence.
These words will shine in my eyes on wrinkle my brow bring a smile to my lips and echo in my voice and his or her heart will be open.
I will greet this day with love in my heart and most of all I love myself for what I do I will zealously inspect all things which enter my body wash my mind my soul and my heart never will I overindulged the request of the flesh. Rather, I will cherish my body and with cleanliness and moderation never will I allow my mind to be attracted to evil and despair. Rather, I will uplift it with the knowledge and wisdom of the ages, never will I allow my soul become complacent and satisfied. Rather, I will feed it with meditation and prayer. Prayer to the Lord never will I allow my heart to become small and bitter.
Rather, I will share it and it will grow in warm the earth. I will greet this day with love in my heart henceforth will I love all humankind. From this moment, all hate is let for my veins were.
I have no time to hate only time the law from this moment I take the first step required to become a man among men, five, nor the qualities I can succeed with love alone without it.
I will fail although I possess all the knowledge and the skills of the world. I will greet this day with love in my heart and I will succeed. You know it, and that's one of the things that I think of when Jesus on the sermon of the Mount, and in Matthew chapter 511 of the things that he said was here it is. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of God and so one night when I see that Blessed are the peacemakers. We absolutely need to be peacemakers 100%. We treat we need to try to bring peace to this world, we need a product try to bring together left and right black-and-white, old and young, whatever. I mean, there's so much division in this world and the devil is behind it. I heard recently that if you take 100 black ants in 100 radiance and you put them in a jar.
The live note though be fine with each other in the kind of coexist, but if you put them in the drawer you shake up the jar and the start to kill each other and so when we get mad out.
They end up getting mad at each other. The radiance of the black ants they be mad at each other, or the person who shaking up the jar we need to realize we don't need to be mad at each other. We need to be mad at the person who shaking up the journeys that we have that's the media and in a and I agree with that but you gotta realize that the devil is behind all of all of the bad that is in the world says he that he prowls around seeking around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. So we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities gets wars of a high place were not mad at people who may disagree with us. We don't hate them we love them were supposed to love our enemies, but what were supposed to hate is the enemy the devil and we pray against the devil that is behind people who were causing all of this disruption in causing all of this evil in the world that we need to love each other we need to show each other.
Compassion. That doesn't mean we change what we believe, that doesn't mean we just go along to get along and say you know what yeah I mean I understand. I just want peace in this world. I want to be a peacemaker, stop believing in all the things that I say I want to believe. If it becomes unpopular say that Jesus is the only way to get to heaven will in all just agree with everybody else and say yeah there's plenty of ways to get to heaven, and that no no no that's were read across the lawn.
What we say is that Jesus is the only way to get that.
He said I am the way the truth and the life.
Nobody gets to the father but by me. We don't say will yeah you know we have to understand where everybody's coming from and that you're saying that yet. It's a woman's right to choose, and that's fine were just an adjuster would at no we stand for the unborn.
We stand for life. We believe that God created man and woman the beginning he created Adam and Eve and that the biblical form of marriage is the marriage between a man and a woman.
We love people we love other people who were who were not in the same position as we are, you know we've all lived and sent me to at some point in our lives. It says in Romans 323 that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But the word of God does not change. He says I am the same yesterday today and forever. I am the Lord, I change not in so one of the things that we think about today is that we have to stand firm on the word of God and we do it with love and in it and it is sometimes tough to try to find that line right at me because we want to be loving and we want we all we want other people to like us. We have to realize that Jesus said you will be persecuted. You will be persecuted. There will be persecution but see what some people say is, why don't have to be persecuted. I can just not stand up for righteousness.
I can come to sit down and kind of agree with the world. I heard heard a pastor recently. He said that you know what are your what are your views on homosexuality. He says well but my views have evolved in the revolving and I'm sitting there and I'm thinking says I am the Lord, I change.I am the same yesterday today and forever Lord does not change or remember earlier this year when we had the it was Nate Willow. He was living the homosexual lifestyle and and God had delivered him from that and now he actually does mission to other people who are living in that lifestyle to help them receive freedom and and were getting to the point where their single bets can be hate speech, thought, hate speech, that's the word of God. Read Romans chapter 1, I mean we we have to stand for righteousness.
We have to stand firm on the word of God. We don't change just because the world changes. And guess what, they may not like us for a long time. You know, I think you know and especially in the United States that the church and the government kind of coexisted in and we did our thing in the government did their thing.
But I think you don't have to be a genius to realize that what's going on in this world is that the government is starting to infringe on our rights and and we can get mad and we can shake our fists and stuff like that. We just read the Bible, we realize that that's exactly what it says in the Bible that the world will hate you because of me for a long time. I think it was easy to be a Christian in the United States because you know people just kinda got along with us and it was fine, and especially when everybody was going to church and it wasn't a big deal or whatever, but those days are gone. The days where you know people just, pat us on the backend and everything is fine and this and that those those days are going and they're going fast and one of the other things is is that you know you also look at this. The days of us just being able to do whatever we want to do without receiving any blowback is gone as well and so we have to realize you know what we can do arena stand firm. We get back down because of pressure the world what I find my Jacob and Burlington Jacob sharpie. He actually told me he said Mike he said he sent me this video on how the church in a ran right now is just expanding their growing wood leaps and bounds. PC always hear these bad things about her. Ran ESA, but what they show is that it's there is exponential growth in the church in ran in and you see this in the church of China where there's just exploitation of women and and and coming week.
You know women here for you. Note women and in different people different groups in the United States think that they have it rough will go to a ran go to try to go to these different places where they don't have the freedoms that we have yet through the oppression through the persecution of Christianity in China and a ran in many other countries as well. Indonesia let different places as well. You all Afghanistan whatever it is we had Todd Nettleton talk about this. There is the growth of Christianity because what it does is when people's backs are against the wall, then sometimes they're forced to stand up then sometimes they're forced to fight.
Not physically fight not a fistfight not not not talking about that, but what I'm saying is, is when their backs are against the walls were standard were forced to stand up for Jesus or we can't go to the wayside and and I think in the United States, especially right now you're to see a separation of the sheep and the goats and when you're you're listening to this right now you know who are you to be or are you gonna just fall in line and do what everybody else is doing and say what everybody else is saying.
Are you to stand up for Jesus. I mean, you know, when you look at Matthew Matthew chapter 424. He says he who Jesus said this, he who stands firm until the end shall be saved. You do it talks about the persecution that the times that are tough for me.
When you look at, you know, the apostle Paul.
His last words in second Timothy chapter 4, he was going through some tough times, and right before he died. Instead of complaining about, instead of saying all my life is tough.
The socks whatever he realized that being persecuted and having tough times is a part of living the Christian life and so just because we haven't really dealt with it before we tell you that persecution is coming in the United States and it's good to show your true colors to show who you are and I want to give you encouragement that you can make it through this and that you have millions of Christian brothers and sisters across United States across the world who are praying for us.
As a matter fact, I've heard that the Chinese church, the Christians in China are praying that it won't be so easy for us and that will have persecution so that will be forced to look at look at Jesus for so long in the United States.
It's been about this prosperity gospel about how God wants to bless you and you want your life to be happy and to be successful, but that is not the gospel that I read in the Bible what it says is that you have tough times it can be taught, but if you would door until the end that you will be saved for so long. We looked at, you know what to say a little prayer. That's it.
But Jesus didn't say to say a little prayer he said follow me turn away from what you're doing and follow Jesus all the days of your life. If you would door until the end you will be saying we have to be ready. We have to endure. We have to go on and if we do we will get the crown of righteousness, which is laid up for us in Jesus name.
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