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May 17, 2021 3:00 pm
Hi there this is on Solomon and I'd like to welcome you to our program today.
You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truths of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that.
Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of the title of the message and I will share with you this morning from Matt how to make it through this life successfully for Jesus Christ. Now here in Matthew 23. If you know the chapter. Jesus has been berating the religious leaders of Israel mercilessly for their stubbornness, their willfulness, their rebellion, their hypocrisy and then in verse 37 at the end of the chapter he completely changes tones to one of sympathy and of love and here's what he says, verse 37 all Jerusalem Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stones those who are sent to you from God. How often I have long to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings know when you teacher when you speak publicly for a living. What you learn is that if you can make little word pictures and help people connect up with the word pictures that it helps them learn and that's why Jesus of course you so many stories when he taught and here Jesus is using a gorgeous word picture about a chicken and her little checks.
Not a problem is that it doesn't mean much to you and me, we don't get the word picture very well because most of us don't have chicken but these people in Israel. They had chickens and the thing about chickens is when the little tiny chicks get scared or frightened in any way.
They scampered to their mother who spreads her wings out like a big old canopy and draws them in under those wings and provides protection and provision and nurture and comfort for these little tiny chicks and every single Jewish person and that they had seen chickens do that in Jesus said how often I wanted to do that very same thing for you notice he says how often I want to do it. This is not just some passing whim, but this is the consistent desire of the heart of God. And one more thing about this. The word translated how often I longer to do this is a word that doesn't mean I wish I could order.
I hope I could but it involves intense. It involves resolving purpose in Jesus is really saying here, how often I resolve to do this. I intended to do this. It was my purpose to do this for you and what really makes it amazing is that this was the ongoing consistent heart of God even after these people had spurned him and rejected him and treated in the way they treated is pretty impressive. Well, the verse isn't quite over. So far so good but it says how often I long to do this, Jesus said, look at the end of the verse, but you were not willing, you were not willing. In other words, Jesus said I wanted to but you didn't want to. It's a very same word the exact same word translated, willing, and long to I wanted to. You didn't want to. Jesus is playing this ward off against itself. I intended to be this way, but you intended it wasn't meant to be this way.
I purpose to do this for you, but you purpose that I wouldn't do this for you.
Jesus said my hearts clear. The complication is that you guys vetoed the whole deal and the truth of this passage lays out for us.
Of course there's many truths here, but the one I want to draw your attention to this morning is the fact that man's free will. Frustrated and violated what the heart of God to do for those very people. The functional scholars been argued about the free will of man and the sovereignty of God ever since church began. They never solved it. I'm not smart enough to solve it on running little attempt to solve it under simply going to leave it with you by saying that the Bible teaches. God is absolutely sovereign in the Bible teaches that man has a free will and that they're both taught in the same Bible. The Bible never reconciles him and I don't how to reconcile them either, but they're both true and for purposes what really matters here is the free will thing they hear God created man in the image of God and God created man with a free will.
God has committed himself to the fact he will not violate the free will of man, and even though God here had an expressed purpose to gather these people together like a hen gathers her chicks thousands upon thousands of people frustrated. The purpose of God by simply saying no unwanted the free will of man you know I free will is so stubborn and it is so strong that it'll even resist the convincing power of Almighty God himself. I mean I think of like Pharaoh, Pharaoh, Moses and Pharaoh and all those plagues after two of those things I think I would've gone okay okay what do we negotiate will cut a deal can we negotiate here.
Moses I want anymore these things around, but Pharaoh in 678 910 amici imagine unbelievable. Don't ever, ever underestimate the stubbornness of the free will of man and you know what the very fact that hell exists is a testament to the free will of man, because the Bible says that God desires every body to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth and if the only thing operating was what God wanted. There would be no help.
Nobody would ever go there, but the fact that hell exists proves that there's a lot more operating than just what God wants man has a free will and breaks the heart of God.
To see this happen to people but it happens to belong to say that man has a free will and that man can say no to God and he does not compromise the power of God, doesn't that mean that God really is an all-powerful, no friend, it doesn't mean that. Remember were not discussing here what God can do when discussing what God is decided to do Ken God violate the free will of man, sure if he wants to, but God has decided that he won't.
This is what the Bible teaches scripts and we can never reconcile it in our mind that God is absolutely sovereign and man has absolute free will and how they work together.
I don't know but they're both their and now I want to move from talking at what this passage teaches to talking about the really important question and you know what that question is, don't you, what is very God now so lifelong. What differences make me what does this have to do with me making it through this life successfully mean what you talking listen when I was a young Christian brand-new is a matter fact I was living on Chapel North Carolina.
As believers, South Carolina and I was part of the journey.
There's about 80 guys in this fraternity house and most of the guys in the fraternity house were using drugs, and most of my was the guy would turn them on of the drugs.
In fact I was the supplier for most of these guys and so I made it my goal as a young Christian to Trenton.
I want to share Christ with every single one of these fraternity brothers before I ever left tail and so we are set up in the fraternity house is about six or eight of us little circle smoking though, what was really serious and I really meant and I was really sharing with them and finally one of the guys in the circle started giggling and then started laughing and I was just getting by me. I was just so irritated because I'm trying to talk about some serious so I said to him is wrong with you man, I'm trying to talk you got some serious, some eternally new laughing at me what's wrong with you and just like that he stopped laughing and sat up, pointed his finger at me like this and he said you hypocrite, he said, you are such a hypocrite is in you sit here smoking to get high.
You are the one who provided the dough for us this afternoon and now you tell us about sin and righteousness and a heaven and Jesus and God I am a Christian, you are so they would want to hear that nonsense. Well, what you say is nothing to say he was right.
I mean I just got up, walked out of the room for a long walk and I said you know God, I said I really want my life to count. And I think I just had a great example Wi-Fi keep smoking dope that might not happen as much as I'd like to see it happen. So God I'm willing to stop though and I been saying for years.
God, I can stop whenever I want. Stop whenever I feel like it, but I said you know God, you and I really honest, I gotta take the truth, I'm not sure that's really, but if you I promise you today. I said to God, if you will give me the power to stop using. I will stop as a and I never touched any dope since. But here's my point.
The power of God was there and it became active in my life. What would you notice it took a free will decision on my part to activate it. I had to decide. I wanted to go in the direction of God. I had to decide.
I wanted to obey God. I had to come to God and say God I want to do with the way you want it done and that activated the power of God in my life and I never touched dope since but friends. This is the pattern of the Bible is that we make free will decisions first that we want to go in God's direction and then God if we are Christians by the power of the Spirit of God that lives within us, then the enabling power is made available to us, but you know it doesn't happen the other way around. God didn't appear to me one night while I was sleeping in some visioning go along. Stop go mean it didn't happen that way.
I had to decide. I wanted to obey God and then God gave me the power to do it. That's the pattern of the Bible and friends.
When Paul at the end of his life said I have fought the fight. I finished the race, I kept the faith. The reason he was able to say that is not because his God was anymore faithful to him than your God is to you within Sandy Patty's God was to her. That's not the issue.
The issue was that Paul every day of his life had made free will decisions to go in God's direction and God had backed those up with this power in people and up in the ditch, make free will decisions to go another direction. Hey, you know, God takes the responsibility for what he does in the world. Let's not hold them responsible for stuff that he didn't do we end up in the ditch and then we say God didn't back me up.
God didn't give me what I know ho ho ho.
Oh, wait a minute by God, backs up, and his power is activated every time we make a free will decision to obey God, but we make free will decisions were to go another way is not gospel we end up in a ditch. We have to come to grips with the real enemy is the real enemy is not the devil. The real enemy is not that God is going to let us down. The real enemy is your free will.
In my free will, which by the way, want you become a Christian is just as alive and nasty as it was before you became a Christian.
Nothing happens to it. It doesn't go away is just as rebellious and simple as before you started being a Christian and Fernando were called and we got a deal with many Savior here this morning and you never trusted Christ in a real and personal way as your Savior than your free will is the issue to Jesus, and behold, I stand at the door of your heart knock and if you hear my voice, listen, and if you go to the door and open it up and invite me in Jesus come in. I trained your life. But did you notice he said you've got to be the one by your own free will goes to the door opens it up and invites event Jesus does not practice forcible entry.
Jesus is not bus down peoples doors and say here I am with you like it or not that happened the only reason Jesus Christ is in my life today is a Christian is because I invited them in my own free will. If I had not, he wouldn't be here. And if you're waiting at someone who hasn't done that yet, for God to somehow push you over the edge to the point that you won't have any choice is not going to happen.
Friend at some point you have to make a free will decision that you need Christ and you want Christ in you asking Christ in, and I hope you'll do that is not happen in the other way. But for those of us who are Christians, we still got a free will to deal with godly living just going to happen automatically. We gotta make up our mind and decide were going to obey God every day and every minute of every day. If you and I make free will decisions to move in the direction of Jesus Christ. I'm telling you we can end up where Paul ended up but that's where the rub is.
And this is where the battles fought the battle was fought on the level of your free will decisions and as many of you know I was sick little girl and she's three years old now. She's been very ill. I did a couple of times when she was want and it's just been a constant constant struggle.
I gotta tell you the honest truth I have never lived three more difficult years in the last three years of my life. They been the hardest three years of my life and I serene the paper about how these guys would go off you know to go down to the store and get a carton of milk and they never see him again and I would read about this and not say what people could do this to their family. What people could act like this. How could you just be so callous that you walk away like that. I gotta tell you some friends.
I understand now how people do understand how you get so beaten down and you get so exhausted and you get so hopeless that you just want to run. I understand that now I have to make a free will decision and you know what after I make that free will decision three years later I'm still standing here, God's got me through God's been faithful yes been hard, but I'm still here, so does my wife.
What I'm trying to tell you guys is God will give you what you need to make, but it starts activated by free will decisions you and I make it. We want to go in the direction God's ask a symbol on how my going to do this to me and help me how my going to give me some advice will only give you three quick suggestions about how to do this and how to do it will number one. Ask God for help with your will listen to what King Solomon prayed, he prayed May the Lord be with us, and may he incline our hearts to him so that we want to walk in his ways, and we want to keep his commandments.
Now that's a great prayer. That's a great prayer because as the song says prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. This is where my will wants to go. You put God in any one spot on the compass and I'll tell you where my will wants to go it wants to go hundred 80° another direction. Are you honest enough that you're willing to admit that about yourself. I am I need help with my will and that's what the prayer said it says Lord incline our hearts to you so that we want to walk in your ways, and we want to keep your commandments help me with this thing called my will. That's why the songwriter goes on to say, here's my heart taken sealant God seal it for your courts above friends.
I think anybody who understands the willfulness of their own will all be on their knees, saying God incline my heart to you. Help me bring this uncontrolled animal under control so that I'll make the kind of decisions to go in the direction I need to go we need supernatural help. That's were we gotta start with this step number two. Consider the consequences of every decision you make me all over the book of Proverbs says it says Proverbs 22 verse three.
A wise person sees danger coming and gets out the way a fool just keeps on going and suffers for we need to be wise people enough to sit back and consider the consequences of decisions before we make a New York City couple years ago at a meeting of a Christian organization.
One of the guys it was on the board of this organization came up to me and said hey we have lunch. Could we God after lunch before we reconvene can we go for little walk. So sure to allow for this walk, and he says to me he's about 50 years old. He says you know he says I need your advice so okay. He said I'm in this little drama true back home where I live in with the school community theater and I've been in and out for a while and there was this lady that was in and we got a couple parts and we were, you know, leading man leading lady type deal and over. The time we become friends and now were kind of a little more than friends and you know what things got a little out of control and I need some help.
When he advised me so I really love this woman.
I really do love my wife anymore really love this woman. What you think I should do. I said hey would you need to do. You need to count the cost of what you're considering Pam to cost you your wife so cost to your children, it's gonna cost you your business where you're an outspoken Christian, the owner of a major industry what you think all these people are going to think it's work for you for years and hurt your Christian testimony when you do this, then it will blow you off and say I got everything the guy said one real you. You got a reputation around the world as a Christian leader you're on the board of this organization you know that they will let you stay on this organization. Do you I'm not gonna let you stay on the board of this organization do this. I said man, have you thought about what this is gonna cost you, you need to tell this woman. She is out of your life and you need to go back and do with your wife and I'll help you if you want to come think with the school cost know what he did. He ran off with the woman in but you know what every single thing that we talked about was going to happen, happen.
He lost his wife, his kids disowned him.
He ruined his testimony, they threw him off the board of this or any everything I thought it was going to happen. Then, and so many times we go rushing headlong into decisions when friends if we only would stop to count the cost it would help us not to do some stupid third and last, we need not only to ask God for some supernatural help with our will and second to really think through the consequences before we do will ever it is with think about the third and finally, we need to get some Joab so in our life. You go one I want you turn back in the Old Testament real quick. Now, to first Chronicles 21 and why Jerry let me tell you the story David for King David was told by God, you are not allowed to carry out a census of the people of Israel. You say why Longwell is a reason, I'm Tom tell you about it right now.
Just trust me okay so David decides even do it anyway and here's what happens first Chronicles chapter 21 verse three it says and Joab is a lawn whose Joab, Joab was his chief general, the chairman of the joint Chiefs. Okay, that's a Joab, Joab came to David and said, Lord, he said. May the Lord multiply your troops 100 times over my lord the king, are they not all yours anywhere you want to count these people. For David, they're all yours. Anyway, went to resume committee on you.look what he says, verse three, he says, why does my Lord want to do this, why should he bring guilt on Israel you will. Joab was trying to say to David he was trying to say respectfully. Hey David, this is a terrible idea. Why are you doing this David all yours anyway. Again, about your project again about your ego and obey God, don't do this day. Well, if you redress a story you realize David went ahead and did it and the consequences were awful.
Thousands upon thousands of Israelites died at the plague that God sent on the land punish David, but the point is, Joab was there loving David enough caring about David enough that he was willing to go to him and say to David David this is a terrible decision. You will end up in the ditch. If you do not bring what I want to know is, have you given anybody in your life.
The freedom to be able to come up to you and say hey you making a bad decision you're headed right for the mate while we all need those people because Jeremiah 17 says that the heart is deceitful above all things. Your heart is.
My heart is and you know what I learned over the years, friends, if I want to do some and enough I can somehow rationalize and explain my way into believing that it's right it's right. I made some of the worst decisions in my life being absolutely sure I was right. That's how deceitful my heart is I can trick myself into doing stupid stuff and you can do and we all need people around us who are able to stand back a little bit and survey the situation and say hey long to wait a minute, buddy timeout.
This is a dumb move and I love you so much and I care about you so much moms gotta tell you, this is a disaster. You do this manually would be the ditch that you got people like that. You're like no wives are great at this back, I'm convinced this is their spiritual gift. They all come with this.
The problem is God's will never listen to and maybe that's because with the intimacy of a marriage relationship. It's very difficult for a wife to be a Joab for her husband dies, we need some guys around us who have been given permission to talk to us like that. And ladies units and ladies around you have given permission and invited in your life to talk to you like Howard Hendricks who did a study down Dallas seminary of all these preachers who'd fallen into sin, said the one thing he found it was constant and every one of these guys lives is that before they did. Whatever put them in the ditch. They first became very isolated and nobody could talk to you need Joab I've invited some guys in my life. Wife said you have the freedom I want you to tell me if you see I'm about to make stupid decisions. You need somebody like that in your life the Christian life friends is not an easy deal. It takes an incredible level of commitment and dedication. If you and I can end up with the apostle Paul did the end of our life, but is it possible yes. And does God save for the people who are willing to show that kind of dedication will that I'm going to see to it they make it. That's exactly what God says God your ally and only needs from you and me is the dedication and the commitment of our will to say God were going where you go telling its I would love to see everyone of you here be able to say at the end of your life laying on her deathbed headed down in an airplane wherever you go, go blind.
That's more than what is wrong Wesley how one goes in an airplane. But anyway, I want you to be able to say whenever it is God. I kept the faith. I wasn't perfect and I had a few blips but I did end up in the ditch and I didn't dishonor your name and you can if you're willing to let your free will follow the three steps I gave you asked for God's supernatural help in directing it. Number two. Think before you act and number three get some friends around some Joab's will help you not trick yourself into making dumb decisions with sprayed Lord Jesus, thank you for reminding us today of what it means to finish our life successfully to be able to say we ran the race. We finished it. We kept the faith. We didn't put the car in the ditch, and more. We know you forgive people who put the car in the did. But it's never the same Lord, I want to pray that you would help us to be the kind of people who make good decisions and who take our free will and make our free will responsible for making the decisions that will enable us to end up were Paul and help us be responsible God work in our hearts, such that we will make the kind of decisions that will activate the power of God in our life so they will end up were Paul and more. This is what we want, we pray you would do it in each one of our hearts in Jesus day and listening to that 11 Dr. Lon Solomon deadline is an outrage and online, found in ministering today's message, or for more information. I Lon Solomon ministries.org. Thank you for your support. If you would like that, please visit our website: 788777 next time in line.
Answer one of life stand