Hello, this is Dave Spiker, reminding you that tonight at midnight, Insight for Living closes the books on another ministry year.
To give your special year-end donation right now, call 1-800-772-8888 or go to insight.org slash donate. And now, today's program. When we stand on the shoreline of a new year, there's an ocean of opportunity spread out before us. 365 days on the calendar, yet to be experienced. And we can't possibly know what surprises await us, both terrifying and rewarding. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll concludes a brand new message intended to help us prepare for uncharted territory.
A new year is a mystery that awaits us. So let's get ready with the message Chuck has titled, A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss. We begin with prayer. Of the many things we are most grateful, our Father, we would name your grace. It's so remarkable that there's no better word than amazing.
Just amazing. That you could reach down, stoop to those of us who don't deserve your attention, to say nothing of even a moment of your time, and yet you have found us, you have loved us, you have redeemed us, you have secured us, and you have a plan for us that includes our lives through this Earth's journey and throughout eternity. How amazing, how amazing is your grace? It has a sweet sound, and we could each day pause to sing that song back to you.
You saved a wretch like me, like us, and we will forever thank you. It is one thing to sing, take my life and let it be. Take my will, it's no longer my own.
It will be your throne on which you reign. And it's another thing to live that out when we want our way, when we don't get what we expected. It is also hard to trust you when the tunnel is so long we can't see a light at the end. There are many who linger today alongside those who are sick, and they're not getting well. And they're pouring out their hearts to you for their health and the lives of those they love, and nothing is changing. That's tough.
It's hard to go through that. On the other hand, there are those who rejoice as you have brought evidence of healing, and you have graciously given more years of life, and we thank you for that. What you take or what you give us shows the Father's love so precious. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Now we place before you the thoughts that we will be sharing. They are difficult to explain, and I pray for help in doing that. I pray that I'll not get in the way of what you want to say. Give me the ability to articulate what your word is teaching, and then leave it at that. Restrain me from over-explaining or going too far that we get distracted. Guide us into, as much as we can travel there, an understanding of what you have for us to learn today. For those who are home or in places away from here, speak to them as well. Perhaps I could say especially speak to them.
Touch their lives in a deep and profound way. You know every need. In the name of Christ, we commit this time to you right now. We pray it in His name.
Everyone said, Amen. As Daniel writes the book, he writes of Nebuchadnezzar, who in this fourth chapter, there's a record of a dream he had. It was a troubling dream. Someone told him that Belteshazzar could interpret dreams.
That's the Babylonian name given to Daniel, and he called in Daniel. Listen closely. This is what the dream means your majesty. You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals. You will eat grass like a cow.
You will be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven periods of time will pass over you while you live this way. That's the biblical way of saying seven years.
Did you hear that? Seven years you will be a beast in the field, living like an animal. And then the verse ends until you learn that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to whomever he wishes. But the stump and roots of the tree were left in the ground. This means that you will receive your kingdom back again when you learn that heaven rules. Look at verse 27.
Talk about courage. You can't appreciate it because we've not been in Babylon and we've never been in a situation like Daniel, but listen to how he talks to this king. King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning.
Do what is right. Break from your wicked past. Be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper. In other words, turn to the God of heaven.
Learn from the warning. Lest you go through this, you have an opportunity to acknowledge that it is God who is sovereign, not you. Look at verse 28. All these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar 12 months later. For 12 months, the king had time to think about Daniel's warning, Daniel's interpretation of the dream. Twelve months later, he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon. Now listen to the arrogance, the pride of a man still enthroned on his own life. He looked out across the city and said, look at this great city of Babylon. By my own might, my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor. There's no humility there.
There's no acknowledgement of God in it all, that it all, it's all about the king. I remember sitting in my study, riveted to these verses, reviewing my own life. The details are different. The geography was different. But I wasn't that much different from that man. I just didn't have the guts to say it as boldly as he did, though I thought it. While these words were still in his mouth.
Well, how vivid is that? While those words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven. Oh, King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you. You are no longer ruler of this kingdom. You're no longer sovereign. You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals.
You will eat grass like a cow. Seven years will pass while you live this way until you acknowledge that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of this world and gives them to anyone he will, anyone whom he chooses. That same hour, quite a difference from 12 months later and that very hour. God's tether had reached its limit. It was curtains. Everything changed for Nebuchadnezzar. The judgment was fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles feathers and his nails were like birds claws.
Look at that. Seven years takes place in the space between the end of verse 33 and the beginning of verse 34. The king is no longer on his throne.
If they did see him, they saw him roaming in the fields like an animal, totally insane. Seven years. And then he finally acknowledged what he had been resisting all this time in his life. After this time had passed, look at 34, note the pronoun change. After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, you know what happens at that moment? Says to Daniel, give me the stylus. I'm going to write this part. Daniel is writing the book. At this point, Nebuchadnezzar takes the stylus and now he writes in first person the balance of this chapter. I remember reading this in 1961 as if it happened yesterday morning.
It was a warm day in Northern California. The room was silent. I was all alone. And I began to shake. This really troubled me, especially when I began to read of a change in the man's life. After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever. His kingdom is everlasting. His sovereignty is eternal. See the word sovereignty in your Bible? Maybe it reads that.
Look at the word closely. Right in the middle of the word is a smaller word, reign, or e-i-g-n. Hidden right in the word sovereignty is the reign our God brings. And Nebuchadnezzar is acknowledging that. And then verse 35, all the people of the earth or is nothing. He does according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth.
And no one can stay his hand or say unto him, what are you doing? So it reads in the New American Standard Bible that had become my favorite Old Testament verse. Along with Genesis 50, 20, you meant it unto me for evil, but God meant it unto me for good. But that's another subject.
Right here is this one. When I'm asked to sign a Bible or I'm asked to sign a book, a person will often say, if you have a favorite verse, just write it in there. I think I'm the only person alive that writes Daniel 4, 35. People go, Daniel 4, 35? They expect John 3, 16 or Ephesians 2, 8 and 9 or John 1, 12.
One of them familiar. Whoever heard of Daniel 4, 35? Changed my life. But now I'm on my knees in my study. Not an exaggeration.
Not trying to be dramatic. Tears are pouring out of my eyes. I realize that Nebuchadnezzar's testimony is speaking volumes to me about a man I had become.
Self-made. You would not have known me back then. You wouldn't have recognized the person that you think is me.
Or you now know is me. I poured out my heart to the Lord. I said to him, please forgive me. I've been at this school that I love for these two years and it's all been all about me. I've aced these courses and it's been all about me. I shouldn't have even been admitted into the school. But by your grace, you allowed me to come. I shouldn't have the privilege of taking courses from these great men of God that you have allowed me to take courses from. I haven't appreciated and honored my wife as I should have. And I'm scared because I'm getting ready to be a dad and I've never been a dad.
And I just can't imagine what kind of dad I would have become if I had not come to this. Lord, I acknowledge your sovereign touch in my life. You are in charge. I give up the throne.
I release it. This isn't my life. It's yours. Cynthia is yours. She's not mine. Our child is your child.
He's not mine. You own it all. You have the right to everything that will ever be a part of my life.
I give it to you. And I remember I couldn't wait to spend some time with Ray. He gave me a little extra time that afternoon and I said, we were alone. I said to him, Ray, let me tell you what's happened. And he sat like this, chin on his hand.
For the longest time, didn't say a word, I saw tears begin to form as I'm not crying when I'm telling him this. And I said to him, Ray, I've settled it. I can't explain it, but I've settled it. I realize now that God is in command. God is in charge of my life. He said, that's right. That's right. And he said, nothing could please me more than to know that you began to realize that while you were an intern here at our church, here with me, here with Gib and with Luis.
You need to tell them. And I planned to do that. And I did. Gib was thrilled. He had already come to terms with it himself. And Luis was also well on his way.
They were both farther ahead than I was. And after 26, almost 27 years, I'd gotten through the Marine Corps and done well. I'd gotten through some of the details of my early adulthood and done well. And it was all about me until now. Now, none of it is about me.
It's all about him. And I'm not trying to be overly humble when I tell you that. But when you grasp the sovereignty of God, you realize you don't call the shots. You're not in command.
You haven't taken charge. I sat down with Cynthia that evening and we together wept as I apologized for the kind of husband I had been and the way I treated her. It wasn't a kind of physical abuse.
It was just regular verbal abuse and proud words and ugly snipey comments. And I don't know how she stood it. And I promised her that I would begin a new journey and I needed her to help me. And we both needed help in rearing our child. Or if God gave us more, our children. That was a life changing experience that drew me ultimately to this doxology in Romans chapter 11.
I haven't forgotten that we were going there. So please turn. Romans 11, 33 to 36. Paul has been dealing with the great doctrines of salvation, the salvation of the Jews and the salvation of the Gentiles, the election of those who are to be born again, the predestination of God's hand in the lives of others. I know some of you hear those words and you cringe because you don't understand. You don't cringe when you understand that God's election is something to embrace, that his sovereignty is something that holds you close and gives you rest and peace and takes away your worries. You don't lie awake at night, restless and turning and struggling and twisting over the details of life that you can't put together. He's putting life together and your need is to fit into what he is doing and how he is putting it together.
Look at this doxology. He comes to the end of that great doctoral section and he writes this, Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable his ways. When God makes decisions, they're called judgments.
When God has a plan, they're called his ways. His judgments are unsearchable and his ways are unfathomable. Let me suggest that you place a mental bookmark right here because Chuck Swindoll has much more to show us from this passage. He titled today's message, A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss. You're on Insight for Living. And to learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at insightworld.org. Now before we hear an important closing comment from Chuck, let me remind you our audience extends far beyond your neighborhood. While you're listening to this program from your home or car today, there's a global audience joining you as well. Insight for Living is heard in multiple languages and on more than 2,000 radio stations around the world. And with the advent of the mobile app and the internet, anyone with a cell phone can hear the practical Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. It's all made possible because loyal listeners step forward and give. So as we conclude our time together, we appeal to your generosity today. Thanks for doing your part in helping others find new life in Jesus Christ through Insight for Living.
Chuck? What could possibly be more breathtaking than witnessing the birth of your children? Oh, I'll never forget looking into the innocent faces of our four little ones. Such joy mixed with fear. And I'll never forget the first time I prayed with a new believer. It's an experience that to this day thrills me when men and women choose to walk in newness of life. At Insight for Living Ministries, we feel fortunate to witness new life on a regular basis, whether it's someone responding to the gospel in North America or someone hearing the good news far beyond our borders in their own language. By God's grace, many people say yes to new life in Christ. Now we're calling on you to join us in what we're calling Vision 195. It's an invitation to make disciples in all 195 countries in the world. Your donation is applied directly to providing Insight for Living on your station right here.
But a portion allows us to share what you've enjoyed at home to people far beyond our borders, places like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and on the other side of the world in mainland China and beyond. Paul wrote this, Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone. A new life has begun. But before there's new life, before someone chooses to become a disciple, he must first hear the good news.
And the only thing that stands in the way of making disciples is the financial capacity to do so. Can I call on you today to give generously to Vision 195? Your gift is critically important as we conclude another year of ministry. God is revealing himself around the world.
Together, let's tell the world about Jesus, one new life at a time. And you can respond right now by using one of three methods. First, you can call us if you're listening in the U.S. Dial 1-800-772-8888.
That's 1-800-772-8888. Or you can give a donation online at insight.org slash donate. And then finally, as a compliment to your worship experience in your local church on Sunday morning, remember you can also celebrate with Chuck Swindoll by viewing the worship service of Stonebriar Community Church online. This not only includes Chuck's sermon, but the majestic music and congregational singing as well.
You'll find all the instructions for video streaming at insight.org slash Sundays. Join us when Chuck Swindoll concludes his message about A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss, Monday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss, and the sound recording were copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
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