If you have your Bibles, Matthew 6, we started a nursing home ministry to a nursing home in our town that asked if we would start hosting one there.
And we had our second meeting this last week and there was 29 at that. And so praise God to be able to share God's word inside of a nursing home in that setting. Amen. Matthew 6 in your Bibles, if you would join me as we're going to be looking at verse 5 down to verse number 13. Matthew 6 verse 5 through 13, the Bible says, And when thou prayest, thou shall not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetition as the heathen do, for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Be not ye therefore like unto them, for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him. Verse 9, After this manner therefore pray ye, our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, if you'd read verse 10 with me, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Amen. Father, we are so thankful that this passage before us gives us instruction on how to pray. For we don't know how to pray as we ought, and we pray that you would govern our hearts and minds as we listen to the truth of God's word. May your Holy Spirit have free reign to the mouth of your servant today. And I pray that if anyone today is lost, that they might come to know you, the only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And help us to be people of prayer, conform us to your will, and may your kingdom truly come. In Jesus' name we pray, and God's people said, Man, you may be seated this morning. Well, today we return to Matthew 6, as Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray.
Now, we could have gone through all five verses here in this passage, in verse 9 through 13, this model prayer in one week, but I think to do so would be a dishonor to the text, because it is of such weightiness and depth in the statements of our Lord, it demands our attention. How can we rush through the words of the great Lord Jesus Christ, who is the intercessor himself, teaching us how to pray? I think prayer cannot be rushed through in the learning of it, because God cannot be rushed through, because to make much of prayer is to make much of God, and that's what we desire today. I've never seen a Christian who lived a great spiritual life who had a weak prayer life.
Consider that. And there's never been a Christian that I've ever seen who had a great prayer life who did not make a great impact spiritually. Prayer is of transcendent importance, because it brings us into the presence of God.
We go from the outer veil to the inner veil. We are gazing upon the glory of God in prayer, and as I've said before, it is our weakness leaning upon God's omnipotence. And so today we return to this subject, and it's so important for us to learn how to pray, because Romans 8, 26 tells us we don't know how to pray as we should. God knows we don't know how to pray, and so he brings us his truth on prayer. These are not God's opinions.
These are God's standards of absolute truth. Let me ask you today, are you praying biblically? Are you praying how God says you and I should pray, or what you think you should say? Just this past Wednesday, I preached a message on praying with the Scripture, praying using God's Word, and we gave some examples how to do that.
I actually passed out a two-page study on that, and you can pick that up at the Welcome Center if you didn't get that. But that was such an important message, and I encourage you to go back and listen to that for your gain and understanding of why that's so important. But today I want to look at this study that is before us in verse number 10 as our key passage. In the first week, we looked at how Christ taught us to approach prayer. In verse number 9, he says when we come to God in prayer, we are to see him as our Father. And that's such a rich truth, and we just were so blessed to study through the Scriptures and the aspects of God as our Father. Because in the Old Testament, only about 15 times has God referred to his Father, and it was always Father of the nation. But in the New Testament, 245 times, we see God used in his relationship with us as an individual believer.
Such a beautiful, intimate relationship. But as we think of God as Father, we sometimes can drift into a sentimentality that God's glory should transcend. And so Christ goes immediately from God as our Father to our Father who art in heaven, and his name is to be hallowed. And that brings us to our first request, because there's six requests given here, six specific prayers that Jesus tells us we should pray inside of this six specific requests. And the first request is that we would pray that God would hallow his name, that his name would be exalted, that our God in heaven is our Father who is to have a name that would be worshipped and adored and exalted above all.
The word hallowed means held in reverence, to acknowledge it being separate from all others. God's name truly is above all other names, and last Sunday was such a joy to reflect upon several of the names that the Bible ascribes to God in his glory. Now in these six specific requests, the first three deal with God and the second three deal with us. The first request is that God's name would be hallowed, that it would be exalted, so we are to worship in the first step of prayer.
It is to worship God, to exalt him, to bless his holy name. And the second request is that we would pray that God's kingdom would come, and we're going to talk about that today. And the third request is that God's will would be done, we'll also examine that. Then the second set of requests that Jesus lists here is in verse number 11 through 13, and it has to do with God, seeking God's forgiveness of our sins, seeking God to provide daily bread for us, and also seeking that God would protect us from evil and temptation.
And then he concludes with the great statement in verse 13, reminding us of God's sovereignty of his control, that unto God belongs the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. So that's just a quick synopsis of this prayer. So we see in this the importance of viewing God rightly, we are to approach God correctly, and only when we see God correctly can we see our prayer requests given correctly. We come worshipful, we come worshipping the glorious name of God, we seek his kingdom and his will, then we turn to ourself.
We must gaze upon he who is ultimate reality before we can come to our own understanding of what we really do need and how our needs line up with God's purposes. So the first thing we see today is in verse number 10 that God's kingdom would come. We are coming to God in prayer, seeking God's kingdom.
The word kingdom is basilia in the Greek, and it does not refer to a geographical location, like a ruling of a certain area. Rather, this refers to the rule and dominion of the king. Wherever the king is, his kingdom is. And to pray for God's kingdom to come is to pray that his rule would come. And notice the kind of rule that Christ is telling us to pray for. Verse 10, he says, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done as it is where?
In heaven. Let it be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let me ask you, what kind of rule does God have in heaven? How does his rule take place there?
Well, it's done perfectly. He perfectly rules. There is no sin in heaven, no rebellion, no evil, no slander.
There is no sexual immorality. God's rule is complete. It is sovereign.
It is total. All submit to him with total joy and total obedience. Heaven is defined as a place of harmony, peace, and joy because all come under the perfect rule of God. So who then is ruling on earth now? If God is not ruling on earth, who is ruling on earth? Well, the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4 that Satan is called the god of this world.
It tells us he is the god of this world who blinds the mind of them which believe not. Satan is a usurper. He is a deceiver, and he is called the god of this world. Jesus himself assigned the name prince of this world to Satan in John 14 30.
He said, Hereafter I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world has come and has nothing in me. The people of this world have rejected the god of the Bible. They have in place taken Satan as their god. The natural man worships Satan, though they don't know that. Their actions and their lifestyle show it in their submission to satanic rule. John said, The whole world lies in the hands of the wicked one. 1 John 5 19, And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. Is that true today?
When you look across the landscape of our country and our world, do we see a world governed by wickedness, falling into gross iniquity? Today, our president and leaders of our country are doing all they can to advance immorality, transgender ideology, and doing so to even the youngest in our culture. Today, in parts of our country, taxpayer money is being used to have drag queens come into public schools and read to them and teach them.
These are men dressed up as women in flamboyant apparel with painted faces. These are also the kind of things that the Greeks and Romans did to their youth when you study history. Exactly. No wonder Rome fell. And it's not just enough that we would do it to our Children. Now America is funding with taxpayer money. Drag queen performances in places like Ecuador.
We have funded through our taxpayer money theater, 12 drag queen theater performances, three workshops and a documentary for the people of Ecuador. According to the State Department, they said the program will advance key U.S. values, diversity and inclusion of LGBTQI communities, as well as promote the acceptance of communities that are disproportionately affected by violence, end quote. We are advancing the sins of Romans one now we are paying for Romans one sins to be advanced around the world. If you don't think this is a big deal, you need to read Romans one.
It is the last state before it that we are watching the fall of a nation. People say, Why do you speak out about LGBTQ? Why don't you speak out about lying? Because nobody promotes lying as being honorable. Nobody writes laws that says, Let lying be advanced.
Nobody writes laws and says, Let the alcoholic be advanced. But in our culture, it is saying you must take it as these false teachings that absolutely oppose the word of God that are absolutely wicked and sinful. And we are to promote them. And if you say anything against it, you're evil. Nobody says you're evil if you stand against lies.
Right? So don't be in delusion thinking that a pastor should be silent about some of these things. We're living in the last generation, I believe, before Christ coming. I believe we are going to see the Lord's return.
And if we don't, it's only going to get worse and worse and worse. Praise God, the Lord will return. Praise the Lord. He will set his kingdom up. After the rapture, which can happen at any time, you know, when the rapture happens, God's going to snatch his church off of this earth. Then there will be a seven year tribulation. The next event on God's timetable.
You need to know this. There is nothing that needs to happen for Christ to rapture his church. There's nothing. There's everything is lined up for that.
There's nothing like there's nothing that needs to happen. He could come back today. He could rapture his church up and we could be in heaven by the end of this day. Some people say you preach like he could come at any time because he can.
He could come at any time. If you're not saved, you need to be saved today. You need to know Christ. You know what the Bible says when the when the door of the ark was closed, that God closed it, that that there was no opportunity for those who repented to come in.
That was over. The opportunity of salvation was gone. Today is the day of salvation.
If you hear his voice, don't harden your heart. When that seven year tribulation happens, it has a twofold purpose. One is to bring national salvation to the Jewish people as God turns his attention back to the Jewish people and fulfill the 70th week of Daniel.
And the second purpose is to bring judgment to the lost world. God's going to rain down judgment on this earth. If you want to know how God feels about sin, just read Genesis 16 through 19.
Read Genesis six. Read Jesus's words in Matthew 24. God's going to come read Revelation Chapter 19 and 20. Revelation 20 speaks very clearly of what's called a thousand year millennial reign of Christ that will come to this earth. During this time, Jesus will reign as sovereign king over all. Satan will be removed. Satan will be bound in hell.
He will be incarcerated, the Bible says in Revelation 20, verse one through three, for a thousand years. When Jesus was on earth, he told Pilate, my kingdom is not of this world. He said, if my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight for me. But he's bringing his kingdom. The thousand year reign of Christ will fulfill the Lord's promise to Abraham to set up a theocratic kingdom in which Christ will reign. As Psalms 26 says, I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. That's going to happen.
And there's no one that will stop that from coming. During this thousand year reign, the Bible tells us not only will Christ reign as sovereign Lord over all from Jerusalem, but also believers will rule and reign with Christ. Revelation 20, verse four says, And I saw thrones and they that set upon them and judgment was given unto them. And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God.
And guess what? They were beheaded because they believe the word of God and which had not worshiped the beast. It doesn't say they were beheaded because of church tradition. You know, truth is not built on church tradition, it's built on the B-I-B-L-E. Anybody with me this morning? Which have not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands, and they lived and reign with Christ.
How long? There's some people say, Oh, that's not literal. That's not literal. He only says it at least six times from my recollection on Revelation 20, verse one through seven.
He uses the word thousand years six times. If it's not literal, then tell me, what does it mean? If the Bible doesn't mean what it says it means, how do you know what it means? What would you then determine its truth upon?
What you think? There are people who reject the thousand-year reign of Christ, and I say they have not understood the importance of why God gave us the Scriptures. Sometimes people say, Well, you know, the book of Revelation's got a lot of symbolic things in there. Well, how do you know what those symbols mean? The way you understand symbols in the Bible is by reading the Scriptures.
The Bible, listen, defines the Bible. So when the Bible says things like this in Revelation 1, I saw Jesus standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, and he had seven stars in his hand. You're like, What does that mean, all these symbols? Well, just finish the chapter, and it says the seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches of Asia Minor, and the seven stars in his hand are the seven angels to those seven churches. And the word angel comes from the Greek word angelos, where we get messenger or angel. These are the messengers or the pastors of those churches.
He's holding them in his hand, and he's speaking to the seven churches. So when you read the Bible, you've got to, listen, God gave us language for the purpose of communication. It's for the purpose of communicating things, and if God believed that language, the means, would be sufficient to accomplish the purpose, which would be communication. He gave us a means by which to accomplish the purpose, and we have to take it in its normal use. We would have to conclude naturally and logically that if God wrote us a book, then he wrote down what he wanted us to know.
Does that make sense? So when you read the Bible, you say, Well, how do I know what this means? It means what it says, and it says what it means, right?
So if you have questions and confusion, then just go to somebody who maybe read more than you or study commentaries. But the Bible defines the Bible, so when you read this, this is what the Bible tells us. Paul taught also that believers will rule and reign with Christ during this thousand year. 1 Corinthians 6, 2, he says, Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? Revelation 1, 6 says, He hath made us kings and priests unto God and the Father. Revelation 5, 10, And hath made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.
Listen, if you don't like your physical situation on the earth right now, this isn't your kingdom. But Christ will set a kingdom up on earth, and you will rule and reign with him. The Bible speaks of this as being a time when the world returns to the state of paradise, where the lion lays down with the lamb, the child will play with a snake and not be hurt. Listen to how Isaiah 11 defines this. Isaiah 11 verse 4 says, But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth, and shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
When does that happen? Well, if you read Revelation 19, guess what? Jesus comes back riding on a horse, and all the saints of heaven are with him. That's us as we come back after the seven year tribulation at the very end of it, at the Battle of Armageddon. And the Bible says a sharp two-edged sword comes out of his mouth and slays all the enemies of him, the ones that are under the rule of antichrist and the false prophet. And it says in verse 5, And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reign, and the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and the little child shall lead them.
Isn't that crazy? And the cow and the bear shall feed their young ones, they shall lie down together, the lion shall, look what it says, eat straw like the ox. I remember studying how dinosaurs, the T. rex, they found foliage, evidence that T. rex at one point ate foliage, some of these discoveries that they've had. And something caused it to turn from being a grass eater and plant eater to being a meat eater, and I know that was the Genesis 3 fall. And it says in verse number 9, And they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord or of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea. The world will be filled with the knowledge of God. There will be no one who rebels against this at that time. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 33, there will be no more sickness nor deformities.
Hospitals would close their doors. The deaf and the blind will be cured. No more cancer, no more back aches or shoulder aches, and God's people said amen. And the curse on the earth will be lifted. There will be no more wars. People won't go to war with one another. In that day, peace and righteousness will reign.
Isaiah tells us the fullness of joy will be the distinguishing and defining mark of that age, according to Isaiah 9, 12, 14, and 25. Best of all, the kingdom will be under the rule of Jesus Christ. Sin and disobedience will be vanquished.
Satan is again incarcerated during this time for a thousand years. There will be no immoral laws, no abortion, no LGBTQ advancements, no foolish teachings. Christ will rule. Peace will reign. And we will be there. If you're saved, you'll be there.
Anybody looking forward to that day? And we look across this world. Listen, friends, this is under the hand of the usurper Satan. And what's so tragic is so many Christians and even churches have bought the lie. They are seeking to advance the word of God through silencing the truth of Scripture and the true gospel and appeasing people that would oppose them if they spoke about things such as I have this morning.
You can't take a stance on certain political positions. You can't take a stance on cultural issues because if you speak out about a political leader doing something like advancing abortion or LGBTQ or if you even speak about abortion or LGBTQ, people will get offended and churches can't do that, really. So are we going to now silence the Scriptures and try to pacify unbelievers? You know, when people come to church, if they're not saved, I don't want them to come in and feel comfortable. I want them to come in and feel like this is something they've never seen in their life. I don't want them to come to Lighthouse and say, boy, this sounds and looks and smells and behaves and talks just like everything I'm used to down at the bar or in the world or at work tomorrow. I want people to come in and feel people loving them, being kind to them, but I want them to hear a message, hear singing that is so different than anything they ever hear in the world.
Why? Because this is where Christ's word is exalted. It's not exalted out there, right? We lift up the word of God. We're not seeking to attract lost people. We're seeking to honor Christ. And you can't attract lost people while you're honoring Christ. Anybody understand that reality?
That's impossible. If he was attractive to the lost world, they would have put a crown on his head instead of a cross on his back. According to Revelation 20 verse 7 through 10, at the end of the millennium, Satan will be released for a little time on earth to deceive the four corners of the earth and people from all over. And the Bible tells us there will be one final battle, the battle of Gog and Magog, at the end of which all those who rebel will be cast into the lake of fire. Satan as well and God's messianic kingdom will roll into God's eternal kingdom and we will be there forever, not only bound to this earth, but the entire glories of a new heavens and a new earth that he will create. One day the king's coming, friends, and I believe he is on the edge of his throne right now. But before he comes and sets his kingdom up, which should be a part of our prayer, Lord, let your kingdom come.
I so look forward to when your rule comes and I don't have to worry about all the immorality that's being dumped down upon nations. But before then, I believe there are two chief ways in which we can pray for God's kingdom to come. Two chief ways we can pray for his kingdom to come. First of all, we pray for his kingdom to come through the salvation of lost souls. Every time somebody gets saved, the kingdom of God came into that heart. Every time a life bows to the lordship of Jesus Christ and confesses he is Lord, they are saying, not my kingdom, but your will be done. They are submitting their life to King Jesus.
When you got saved, you bow to the rule of Christ. Matthew 13, 44, Jesus talks about how precious this is. He said, again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field in which when a man hath found, he hieth and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath and he buys the field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man seeking goodly pearls, who when he found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had to buy it. Here, Christ is saying that the kingdom of God is so precious, salvation is so precious, that if you understood its eternal value, you would be willing to give up everything in your life so that you could have that gift. And the good news, that gift is available for you today if you would come in humble repentance and confession of Christ as Lord.
When you get saved, his lordship, his rule comes into your life. Let me ask you, who are you currently praying for to be saved? Who in your life are you saying, you know, I'm really praying for them, they're really burdened on my heart to be saved. All of us today should right now think about somebody who you could pray for while you're sitting in service, at the end of the service at an altar, throughout this week that you would pray for them to be saved. 2 Peter 3, 9, these are some good verses you can pray when you pray the scriptures, as I talked about Wednesday. You can say, Lord, I know that you're not slack concerning your promises, some men count slackness.
The reason you haven't come back is not because you're negligent, but you are longsuffering to us. You're not willing that any would perish, but all would come to repentance. And it is your desire, 1 Timothy 2, 4, that all would be saved.
All would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. And if that's the case, God, if you're willing that they would be saved, then use me to bring the gospel to them. Give me the Acts 1a, give me power after the Holy Spirit would come upon me, and let me be a witness for your glory that they might be saved.
Draw them to you. And you said if we lift you up that you'll draw all men unto you, and so draw them by the power of your Holy Spirit. Let John 16 verse 8 through 11 come to pass it.
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. Save the lost. Let us have eyes with tears like Romans 9 verse 1 through 3, and as Christ in Matthew 23 wept over Jerusalem. Let our hearts be broken for lost souls. Who's the last person that you and I have prayed for that needed to be saved? There shouldn't be a week that goes by that we're not crying out to God for souls to be saved. And I can tell you if you've not evangelized recently, it's because you're not praying for souls.
Praying for souls precedes evangelism, and it precedes effective evangelism. Do your kids know Christ? Do your parents? Do your grandparents?
Sometimes it just shatters my heart. I say this with as much grace as I can, but how can we let our grandparents die without knowing if they're saved? How can we let our parents die without knowing? Do they know Christ? But Pastor, they grew up under some other teaching. You don't want to offend them.
You're offending me. They must know. Do you think they'll worry after they died if they're separated from God forever, if they were worried about you offending them?
They would have pleaded for the opportunity to come back. Don't ever let someone in your life die that you didn't know if they were saved or not. Well, how do I talk to them? Just go ask them. Hey, has anybody ever talked to you about what would happen after your life, whether you'd be in heaven or hell?
What if they say they don't know? Then tell them how to be saved. Well, I'm not quite sure how to communicate that. Well, then are you saved? Are you saved? If you can't communicate the gospel, you need to question your own salvation.
You hear that? If you cannot tell someone, because you can't give what you don't have. I can't give somebody what I don't have. If I had stage four cancer and I went to a doctor and he said, sir, you cannot get rid of your cancer through eating right exercise or being a good person. I'm like, so I'm hopeless. And he says, no, we've discovered a pill that if you take this pill, it will attack all the cancer cells in your body and you will be cured.
So what must I do? He says, you must receive this pill and it will cure you. So I take the pill and I get cured and I meet somebody else who has the same cancers I do.
And he says, hey, I got cancer. I'm like, hey, now at that point I could say nothing and be totally salvation evil. Or we would do what all of us would do. We'd say, hey, let me tell you about this pill.
And I could accurately tell him what would cure him because I received it. It's shocking to me how many Christians even at lighthouse could sit content without knowing how to effectively share their faith. There's nothing that's more important for your neighbors to know than Christ. We have classes all through the year saying, hey, if you want to learn how to share the gospel, go to this class and they'll talk to with you how to do that. Every week we go out on visits. If you have loved ones that don't know how to if that they're lost, come and I'll go with you to their house. You will. Yes. This week you have time for that.
I'll make time for that. You have loved ones that don't know Christ will have one of the staff, somebody in church that can come and help talk to that person. This is how desperate that is. Christ said it's so valuable you would sell everything in your life to have it. And as Christians, we know this truth. I just don't think we believe it. We must not believe it. Our prayers don't involve lost people.
If our life doesn't involve evangelism, we must have lost sight of truth. We have gotten so culturally minded worrying about the football game or whatever else is going on. Really, are the Steelers that exciting? Are the are the Browns that exciting?
I mean, the Bengals are more exciting both of them, but still, they're not that exciting. OK, not wrong with enjoying those things. Nothing wrong with that. OK, but what I'm trying to say is, friends, we need to be busy about what God cares about.
And so today just say, you know what? Let me God give me one name. Give me somebody at work. Give me somebody at the gym. Give me somebody.
At Wal-Mart, give me somebody. You have some people that are five point Calvinists that have dried up in evangelism so much so I would never want to be your neighbor. Some Calvinists who says, well, you know, if God wants to save him, he'll save him. I praise God I'm not your neighbor. If my kids were lost and I died, what I could I trust you to be next door to them to bring them the gospel?
Or would you be someone who could come to them and say, I don't know if Jesus actually died for you, so I can't even tell you this. I can tell you what Paul wept over those, he said, I my harsh desire and prayer for Israel that they might be saved if I bear them record. They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. And in the in the chapter, that's the most powerful chapter on the sovereign electing work of God.
Paul weeps for the lost and he ends it in Romans nine by saying that whosoever believes in him, then he rolls into Romans Chapter 10. I'm not ignorant of what election teaches, but I am saying we cannot be cold in our evangelism. You must have a burden for the lost.
Don't be so cold to think that. So pray for lost souls to be saved. That's the kingdom of God coming. Secondly, a second way that that prayer could be answered is through the sanctification of the believer. God's kingdom comes to the lost by bringing the set bringing salvation.
They submit to his rule, and every time a believer submits their life in obedience to Christ, they're submitting to Christ as king in their life. Some of the ways that we could submit to the lordship of Christ is in repentance. Every time a sin comes in our life and we all struggle with sin, we say, Christ, I'm sorry. Forgive me my sin. I'm grieved over my sin, not because of what it hurts me, but how it offends you, God.
I am grieved over my sin because I know it's offensive to you, and we would turn away from that because of our love for Christ. If you're saved today, you need to be baptized. Baptism is not an option for the believer. If you won't get baptized, there's no evidence that you're truly saved because baptism is the first thing you do after you're saved. In the Bible, there is no such thing as a saved person who was unwilling to be baptized.
Impossible. It's not possible because you can't come to Jesus and say, I confess you as my Lord as Lord, whatever you would have me to do. I surrender my life to the lordship of Christ. And then he says, Well, get baptized.
No. Well, then I would conclude he's not your Lord. You've not confessed him as Lord. Then you're not being honest because our fruit of our life evidence is the root of our life.
Does that make sense? And if he is savior, then salvation will flow out through the evidence of that through obedience. Forgiving people. Will you forgive people?
Do you love people? Will you give? Will you serve?
All these things. One way we can pray is, Lord, let your rule come in my life. All of us could pray that today. Secondly, we need to seek God's will to be done.
Verse 10 concludes with that second party says thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Let me ask, when you pray, do you pray seeking what what you desire or do you come praying, Lord, let your will be done in my life? I desire what you want. Who here has children?
You got some kids running out and you ever ask your kids to do something and they come back and they ask you like, Well, why? And then you think, you know. I know I should be patient with you right now. And so you. You know, you give them a give them a gracious response.
Well, you know, it's important to do that because it did it. But then they can continue on with a defiant request. Sometimes it's an innocent. Why? But sometimes they're just like, Well, why?
I don't understand why. And you're like, Well, I've already done all the thinking. I figured this out 50 years ago, young child.
So just go ahead and fulfill the thing I've requested you to do. And and God gave children parents because parents know better. And parents, let me say this. You're the parent and you should know better.
And remember this. You're their parent before you're their friend. That's that's a wonderful thing. Now, I'm my kids. I'm a friend of my kids, but I'm so friendly. I'll be their parent.
I'm that friendly. I will be their parent all the way. Amen.
Kaylee, right down from everybody. Amen. So we you know, it's important to understand that role. Now, there are two compelling reasons why we should seek God's will, because there is a parent child relationship here. And just like we don't want our kids to be rebellious towards us. So why would we be rebellious towards God?
So let me give you two compelling reasons why we should only seek God's will. First of all, he is a loving father. The Bible tells us in First John three one. Behold, what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. In Luke 15, let me ask you, was the prodigal son's will better than the loving father's will? Whose will was a better idea?
Obviously, the father. Now, if you're saved, God is your father and he loves you. And what that first point tells us is this. One of the greatest struggles people have is trusting people. If you're going to do what somebody asks you to do, you're like, I got to fully trust you. And when we come to God, we can we can obey him. We can surrender our will to his will because we can trust him that he has our best interest in mind. God never asked us to do something that would hurt us.
It would only be beneficial. Secondly, we can come to God seeking his will because he is not only loving and we can trust him, but he is all knowing. Like sometimes people will ask me, Pastor Josh, what's your opinion on this or what do you think about this?
And I have to give him just that my opinion, because it may be something that is not found in the Bible. Like which job should I have? Well, I can give you some biblical principles to help govern that decision.
But I don't know. Let's let's look through the options and maybe this job or maybe that job. And sometimes it's up in the air.
What college should I go to? And sometimes that's up in the air. But if Jesus were here on Earth, he would just say that job. That over here.
Why? Because he has perfect knowledge. He knows exactly what's right. So it is our trust of God in his love and his omniscience that allows us to believe in his knowledge to know what's right. So he has all the knowledge.
He doesn't guess. And he has perfect love toward us. So we know he has our best interest in mind so we can we can surrender our will to his.
Why would we not? How foolish it would be to go against his will. And so the great focus of prayer is this. When we come to God, we seek our will to be conformed to his. Like prayer is not getting God on board with me and you. Prayer is us getting on board with God. We should leave prayer lined up with his will, not seeking him to line up with ours.
I mean, which will do we really want to see accomplished? One devotional in our daily bread shares how Ivan Denisovich survived the horrors of the prison of the Soviets. And one day he was praying with his eyes closed when some of the men begin to ridicule him. And they said, Ivan, your prayers are not going to get you out of this prison. To which Ivan responded, I'm not praying to get out of prison.
I'm praying to do God's will. And what he understood there is what sometimes mean you can miss. Ivan recognized it's not God's will is not found just in the peaceful places of life. God's will can be found even in the valleys. God can be glorified in living in his will while I'm in prison. And sometimes God's will can bring us to such places that happened to Joseph, that happened to Paul, Peter, many of the people in the Bible. And so I think sometimes we pray for easier paths in our life when we need to pray for stronger shoes. Maybe today you're saying, God, once I get through this, then I'm going to serve God.
Once I get... No, no, no, no. You're not learning the lesson that God's trying to teach you in the furnace. Sometimes all of us here understand this, I think, as we look back on life. I mean, a lot of us wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the trials and the hardships and the pains of life, right? And so we see the value of those things, and so if you're going through that, say, God, thank you for these trials.
Thank you for the challenges. Give me the endurance because, blessed are those who follow the different trials and struggles because it's your perfect working through your Holy Spirit. You build endurance and patience in the believer, according to James 1, 1 through 5.
Give me wisdom then to understand how I'm supposed to understand this. Give me Philippians chapter 4, contentment, in whatever case I am, to be abased or to abound because I can do all things through you, Christ, and so let me, Philippians 4, 4, rejoice always in the Lord, for again I say rejoice. Find yourself thanking God, as 1 Thessalonians 5 tells us, it's the will of God to be thankful for all things. You begin to live that way, praying the Scriptures, praying for God's will to be done even in the midst of trials. Now, our greatest example of this is the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 26, 39, he fell on his face and said, praying, Oh, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.
Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou will. Here is a powerful graphic illustration of the suffering Christ and how he willingly subjected his life to the will of the Father. The weight of sin, the bitter cup was the price of salvation, and here we see Jesus setting for us that perfect example of surrendering his life and will to that of the Father.
It was the weight of drinking the bitter cup was so great. And this doesn't show that the Father and the Son were at odds, but rather that the Son was in perfect harmony and submission to the will of the Father. And it was all through Christ's life that that he sought to do the will of the Father. Again, it didn't mean that Jesus did not want to do the will of the Father. Rather, it simply meant that Jesus wasn't pursuing his own plans apart from the will of the Father. In John 4-34, Jesus said, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me. In John 5-30, he said, I seek not my own will, but the will of my Father, the Father which has sent me. In John 6-38, he said, For I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
His whole life was lived inside of the perfect will of God. That's why Jesus said, If you've seen me, you have seen the Father. You have seen the Father. He finds people have the idea that, you know, the Father is kind of this kind of the tough, tough one in the Trinity. And Jesus is the loving one.
No, no, no, no. The Father sent Jesus to fulfill everything in the Father's heart. He is an expression and an enfleshment of the will of the Father. As you examine your life, are you living to fulfill the will of God?
Who's the author of your life? Jesus taught it was his obedience to the Father that evidenced his love to the Father. In John 14-31, and this is in the upper room, right before he leaves to go to the Garden of Gethsemane, he'll be crucified the next day. Look what he says, But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Then he gets up from the table, he says, Arise, let us go hence. And he goes through the streets of Jerusalem, descends the eastern slope, and he goes down to the Garden of Gethsemane, crossing the book Kedron.
And that night is taken by the deceitfulness of Judas Iscariot, leads the men out there, and Jesus is crucified the next day. Knowing all of that, he says, I go to do the will of my Father, and the world will know I love him because I'm willing to do this. Just as Jesus' obedience to the Father evidenced his love to the Father, what do you think will evidence our love to the Father? Well, John 14, 15 says, If you love me, Jesus says, you'll keep my what?
Let's read John 14, 21 together. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. So according to Christ, if you love him, you'll keep his commandments. John 15, 10, he says, If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. So if obedience to the Father evidences our love for him, what does disobedience evidence? It's not love. It's showing we don't love him, perhaps even a hate. What's the opposite of love?
If you're saved, should you get baptized? It's an evidence of love. Who do you love? Well, I don't think I should forgive that person.
Well, who do you love? Repentance of sin. You know, every time you and I repent of some sin, that says, God, I love you more. You know, when people get baptized, they're saying, God, I love you enough to follow you in obedience. When we love others as ourself, that's evidence that I love Christ. Not only did his obedience evidence his love, but his obedience is what glorified the Father. John 17, listen to what Jesus said. I have glorified thee on the earth. Listen to how Jesus said he glorified him. I have finished the work thou gavest me to do.
Let me ask you, when you get to the end of the end of your life, will it be able to be said that you finished the work God gave you to do? Will you? Well, I made it to church every other Sunday. I'm glad for those that are watching online don't want to beat you up. But if you can and are able, you need to be here. Praise God for this avenue because I know there's people that are sick that are sitting at home and we're not talking to you.
OK, we're glad we're glad you're watching us online. But if you are able and you're like, well, I didn't feel like getting out of bed. Church is not sitting at home. If you can't make it, it's the next best thing. But church is the body of believers assembled together. So if you sit at home and watch TV, you're missing church. Church is the ecclesia. It's a compound word which means out of the call. It's the called out ones assembled together.
You can't assemble online in that tangible way. So we need to we need to love Christ. We need to do the things that would honor him. Will it be written of us that we did and finished the work of God? Be serious about what God's serious about. Paul said at the end of his life in second Timothy four through eight, six through eight. He he said, I finished the course that God gave me.
I've accomplished all that the father gave me to do. May our prayers and lives reflect the heart of the psalmist. I was reflecting on Psalms 40.
I think that's going to be the next chapter. I'm really going to spend time on praying through Psalms 40 is is so rich. But this is a this is a prayer. This is a statement made and it's a messianic psalm because it's fulfilled in Hebrews. It talks about it in Hebrews chapter number 10. But it says it in Psalms 40 verse seven that said, I lo, I come in the volume of the book. It is written of me. I delight to do thy will.
Oh, my God. Philippians 40 Philippians. I said Philippians. Did I say Philippians?
I've been saying Philippians all time. Psalms 40. I was like, why is Psalms 40 verse seven then said I lo, I come in the volume of the book. It is written of me. I delight to do thy will.
Oh, my God. Yea, thy laws within my heart. But it's such a rich passage. In the volume of the book, it's written of Christ that he came and did the will of the Father.
Why? Because his law was in his heart. You know, our prayers should be, God, let it be that in the volume of the book. Of Chapter 20, 22 of Chapter 20, 23 in the chronology of my life and the years of my life, that it would be said that I I didn't just do your will, but I delighted to do your will. And that your law was in my heart. I want to get to the end of my life and say, God, let it be that the volume of the book, it's written of me that I delighted to do your will.
Your law was in my heart. Psalms 119 47. I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. Job 23 12. Job says, Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips.
I've esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. We must remember, praying is not changing God's mind or will to our purposes, rather conforming our will to his. If you come to God in prayer and desire something that contradicts God's will, what do you want?
So if you prayed something and it wasn't the will of God, which one would you take? I've had people say, God, know that God wants me in this relationship. Should I be in this relationship? I, Pastor, should I should I be with this person? I said, Well, are they a believer? Well, no. So they're not a Christian? No. Well, what's the Bible say about?
That's what I always ask. Should it matter what the Bible says? Should we bring God into the discussion or do you just want a pastor to affirm you? Is that my job to just affirm people to make people feel good? You say, well, if that's your job, you don't do a very good job at it. But is it just my job to affirm people where they're at?
Or is my job to say, what does the Bible say and to bring people to the book? So I say, what's the scripture say? And it tells us in the book of Corinthians that we're not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
So what's that mean? Well, the Bible teaches that a believer should not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. You shouldn't be in that relationship with them. You shouldn't marry them. Well, if you're already married, what should I do? Well, that tells us in first Corinthians seven that you continue in that marriage and seek their seek them to be saved, but not to divorce them for that cause.
But we talked about that a few weeks ago. But then people say, well, you know, but I think they'll get saved if I stay in this relationship. So you think violating the word of God is a way to fulfill salvation in their life? So you think God needs you to violate his word so that you could bring about his purpose?
You know what you're doing? You're not living in the will of God. You're living in the will of you. That's not the desire of God.
And don't you think his will is best? Do you want me to take you to the 10, 15, 20 people that I've counseled through the years? More than that, that have struggled in such heartache and pain because they were in a relationship with somebody that they thought would come to know Christ. But after they got married, it only got worse. Doesn't mean that lost people can't be very sweet and nice and kind and wonderful in so many different ways.
But they don't love the Lord Jesus Christ. And who should be number one in your life is not even in their life. Right? It's a big deal. You think that's important? A couple of us do.
It's a big deal, friends. We need to line our life up with the word of God. And the only way we know the will of God is found in the word of God.
This is the this is the foundation. And let me give you several things that we know that the Bible tells us is the will of God. It is God's will that you would come to know him as your Lord and Savior. The Bible tells us.
How do you know that? Well, first Timothy two forces who will have all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth. If you're not saved, you're living outside of the will of God.
He desires your salvation. Second Peter three nine is not willing any would perish, but all will come to repentance. He's not willing any would perish. Again, we have some folks who say, well, it's God's will that some people stay lost. Well, why is the Bible say he's not willing that any would perish, that all would come to repentance?
These superlatives are found all through the scriptures. That is why Jesus wept over Jerusalem's lack of repentance. If it was his will that they would not repent.
Why weep? Why would Paul weep for the Jews? If you're saved, God's will is that you live a sanctified holy life.
First Thessalonians four three. For it is the will of God, even your sanctification. We should live a life honoring to the Lord. It is God's will that we love him with all of our heart. He said that's the top command in Matthew twenty two.
He taught us that we are to love others as ourselves. Matthew twenty two thirty nine. The Bible tells us another thing that's in his will is in First Thessalonians five eighteen. Let's read this verse together. This is this is a good verse. And everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. So what's God's will, according to First Thessalonians five eighteen?
To give thanks. You know how we could pray this. Lord, may your will be done in my life in the area of discontentment. Anybody ever feel you get discontent or complain too much? All of us.
If you didn't raise your hand, you're probably worse than us. No. No, but we do that, don't we? We all struggle with this at times and we don't even realize we struggle with it. But but we can get discontent. We complain.
We can we can murmur. But we can say, God, help me to be thankful for what I was complaining about. Help me to take those trials and do what Philippians four tells me to take my anxieties, to take all those worries. And make my request with thankfulness unto God so that the peace of God, which passes all understanding, would keep my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
Be thankful for these things. God also wants us to walk in the spirit, not in the flesh, according to First Peter four and Galatians five sixteen through twenty two. God desires us to serve him with sincerity, according to Ephesians six six, it says, doing the will of God from the heart and on and on. And so you find the will of God in the word of God. The more you know the word of God, the more you will live inside the will of God. Show me a Christian who doesn't spend time in the Bible and I'll show you a Christian who lives outside of the will of God.
It's just the case. But let me say the key to living the victorious Christian life is to fully surrender your life to Christ. I remember doing this at the end of my high school years. I remember just going all in, just saying, God, I don't care if you take me to a third world country. I don't care what you do with my life.
I only want to please you. I mean, I got so raw and so real with Christ. I did not care what God did with my life.
I had no idea I was going to be in the ministry. I had no idea what God had for my life. But I just say, God, I just I don't want to make a bunch of money, have a have a big house and a boat just to have those things. I just want to live for you.
Those things, nothing wrong with them. But that's not my burning desire. I want to live for God. I want to I want to I want to make an impact in this world for the kingdom's sake. And I was so burdened for that.
He just draw me to himself. But but I think the reason that people don't go all in with Christ is twofold. First of all, they don't want to give up sin. I mean, people will reject the will of God in their life for some silly sin. They want their flesh more than the spirit, the old man over the new. Let me ask, is sin worth rejecting God's will for? What in your life that you know today that God would not be pleased with? I would encourage you come and lay that down. Secondly, people don't want to do it because of fear.
They think, man, if I I know if I go up and say, God, I'll fully surrender my life to you. I might as well buy a plane ticket to Haiti. I'll be going to the deep Congos of Africa. You know, I'll be in Russia, Mother Russia. I'll be out there, you know, some I'll be in China. I know he's going to send me there. Welcome, Pakistan. Make room for me. I'm coming. You know, I mean, this is the idea of Christmas.
I don't know if you think about it, but I remember one. I was hesitant, like if I go all in with God, I'm out of here. I'll die. You have my arms and legs chopped off somewhere and suffering for Jesus. And and I just thought this this this horrifying idea of going all in with God because I thought, you know, God's really going to make my life rough. Let me ask you a question.
Who do you think a better driver is? You are God. So why do we pray to be the drivers of our own life? Why don't we just surrender to him?
Would you rather? Would we would we rather pray, Lord, not your will done, but my will done? Lord, not thy kingdom come, not thy will be done, but let my will be done. You say I would never pray that. Well, we live like it.
And our lack of praying for his will and full surrender evidences our fear of trusting him. There are two ways to live. You can either die getting your best or God's best. Choose this day who you serve.
I would propose this morning. The greatest fear is not. Going all in with God. The greatest fear that we have is not going all in. If I don't go on with God, I will not see his perfect will accomplished in my life.
I will miss it. I will get my best and not what God could have done. My greatest fear is, I think Charles Stanley said years ago, is to get to heaven and find out all the things I missed because I didn't give my life fully to him.
Our greatest fear today is not going all in with God. And if you do go on with God, this is what Romans Chapter number 12, verse one and two says. This is this is application after 11 chapters of doctrine. This is what Paul says. I beseech you, therefore, brethren.
That's that's a that's a unique statement in the Greek. It literally means I am begging you, brethren. God is so gracious that he humbles. Even his message through the great apostle Paul begging us for this. I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God. And what that means is because of all the merciful kindness that God has shown us in the sacrifice of his own son, I beseech you. I am begging you based upon what Christ did on that cross that you would present your bodies.
Here it is. A living sacrifice. Well, that's hard to understand because how could you have a sacrifice that's living?
They're all dead. Well, well, when you're in Christ, you're a new creature. All things passed away, all things become new. You are alive in Christ. And so you fully died to yourself so that you could live for Christ. Death to me is life to God. And so it says living sacrifice. And guess how we come? Holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Total sorority singers, total surrender. Full, all in surrender in a holy life is acceptable, is what's acceptable to God, and it's what's reasonable. You and I going all in for Jesus is only reasonable.
Why would he say that? Well, because Jesus went, what? All in for us. And guess what you get. And be not conformed to this world. You're not going to be conformed to this world. You'll be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that inner man, so that you may prove what is that good and acceptable. And what kind of will? Perfect will of who? Anybody want to live in the perfect will of God?
Well, I do. I want to live in the perfect will of God. I'll raise my hand to heaven and say, Lord, I want to surrender everything to you today. And if there is anything I'm holding back from you, Lord, let that not keep me from your will. Let me surrender that today.
So whether you want that in my life or you want to take that from my life, it's all yours. I want to sit in the passenger seat and rejoice in the glory of what God could do with a life surrendered to him. Today, what could God do with Lighthouse if we all went all in? Could you imagine, friends, what if like 50 people today said, I'm going all in for Jesus.
What in the world would happen to Xenia? What in the world would happen to Dayton, Ohio and Greene County? This world would be shaken in this part of the country if we just went all in. You say, but I feel like I'm all in. If you prayed for anybody this week to be saved is the last person you share Christ with. How could I be all in and not evangelizing? How could I be all in and not discipling? How could be all in and not reading and praying and seeking his faith?
It doesn't mean that that's all you do 24 seven, but it means that he is leading your life. And you'll begin to navigate through life by God's gracious sovereign will and design in ways that you and I can't even imagine. I mean, there are things that God has done in my life that I have just stepped back and just in awe of. I can't I remember I remember going out to visit this young atheist kid and and I was like, God, I don't want to go visit this guy. And I found my car.
I just kept driving over there over and over and over. And I remember the first time I visited him, I called my wife up and said, I don't know why I'm even saying this. But I think if this guy gets saved, he's going to go in the ministry.
And I don't know why I just told you that. And and that young atheist ended up getting saved. And he came here and helped me start this church 13 years ago.
And now he's on the mission field. But it took a year and a half for him to get saved. And I've seen unbelievable miracles through the years, just impossible things happening. I can tell you, friends, if you just say, God, I take you at your word. I don't want my kingdom.
I want yours. Let me if I'm not saved, that I would be saved. If I'm saved, that I would live sanctified.
That your rule would be in my life and that I would fully surrender my will to yours. When we come to God in prayer, he's our father. He's our father in heaven who loves us. We can trust him.
He knows all things. But also, we need to approach him and say, Lord, let your kingdom come. Let your will be done today. May that be the prayer of our hearts. Amen.
Let's all stand this morning. The altar is open. If you need to make a spiritual decision, you're welcome to come today. If you need to pray, maybe somebody you want to pray for.
Maybe something laid on your heart, whatever that is. Just opportunity for you to do business with the Lord, whether at home or whether here. But if you're here today and you say, Pastor, if I stood before God, I don't know if heaven's my home. If I stood before God and he said, Why should I let you into heaven?
I don't know what that answer would be. I don't I don't know that I'm ready. I'm going to be down front. We have men and women down front who love to talk with you.
You can come today. Trust in Christ as your savior. Father, we thank you so much for your word. I pray that it would accomplish all your desire.
Let it not return void. May it accomplish its purpose in the hearts and lives of your people. Lord, let your kingdom come and your will be done in this place today. Start in my heart. Forgive me where I fall short. I love to grab the steering wheel at times in my life.
Awaken me to any areas of my life that I do or have done. And I ask for your forgiveness. Pray for anyone today that doesn't know Christ. They might be saved in Jesus name. Amen.
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