Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. If your relationship with Christ is not your top priority, you'll always feel something is missing. Let's continue with the series about where our needs are met. Life is filled with struggles. In fact, sometimes it appears that life is just one continuous struggle. We struggle, for example, to make ends meet financially. We struggle in our vocation.
We struggle to stay healthy. We struggle to raise our children wisely and in a godly fashion. We struggle in our relationships with other people.
We struggle to keep our emotions under control. We struggle in times of temptation and testing. We even struggle with God.
And usually those struggles indicate that there is some need in our life. Then I think about what the Apostle Paul said when he said, I've learned to be content. Then he said, I've learned that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Then he said, my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus.
Surely, either this is just sort of pie in the sky kind of stuff, or the Apostle Paul knew something that made it possible for him to walk through life, no matter what he had to face, with this awesome sense of being anchored in his relationship with God, so that nothing blew him off course, no matter what he faced. Well, that's what I want to talk about in this message entitled, Where Our Needs Are Met. Now, our theme for this series has been Philippians 4 19. My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus. What I'd like you to do is to turn to the 17th chapter of Matthew for this message, because in this particular passage, there is an indication of intimacy between the Lord Jesus Christ and with three of his disciples. Because what I want to talk about in this message is this whole idea of where our needs really get met.
All of our emotional needs, all of our spiritual needs, our physical, material needs. Somehow it's wrapped up in our relationship to Jesus Christ. And you recall, this is the passage that deals with a very important moment in Christ's life when he was transfigured, what we call the Mount of Transfiguration. So beginning in verse one of Matthew 17. And six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, his brother, brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Lord, it's good for us to be here.
If you wish, I'll make three tabernacles here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, with whom I'm well pleased. Listen to him.
Now you know where I got that. Now listen. You see, God said that. And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, Arise, do not be afraid.
And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. Why is it that he chose Peter, James and John? He took them into some of the most intimate moments of his ministry.
On the Mount of Transfiguration, when Jesus was meeting with Moses and Elijah, and they were talking about his death, talking about what was to happen. In these most absolutely incomparable moments in his ministry, what does he do? He only takes Peter, James and John. Why did he choose these three? I don't think anybody knows, except we could say, well, it may be that Jesus sensed in them a sense of oneness with him, a deep, deeper yearning desire to know him, a deeper hunger and thirst to know about him, a deeper sense of desire to get on the inside of him and discover who is he, what's he really like. Maybe even a deeper sense of devotion to him. I don't know.
I don't think any of us know why. But one thing for certain, these three men were drawn into an intimate relationship with him, seemingly even more so than all the rest of those. Does it mean that Jesus only has three intimates and no more?
Thank God that is not what it means. Because here's what I want you to remember. Just as he pulled to himself Peter, James and John, you know what he's been doing ever since you trusted him as your personal savior? He's been attempting to draw you and me into the same kind of intimate relationship. Because, you see, that's what life's all about. Life is all about relationships. Life is not all about things.
Life is not all about material things. Life is all about relationships. When I think about the circles of relationships, this is the way I think about them. I think about, first of all, there's the innermost circle of my life.
And that's where only God and I dwell. Then there is the inner circle where those people whom I love and cherish very dearly, that's where they dwell. Then there is the outer circle with people for whom I have great respect and enjoy and certainly honor them and delight in them. And then there is the outermost circle, which is those we just sort of know casually in the rest of the world. The most important circle in your life. You see, you all have them.
Maybe you hadn't thought about it, but you do have them. But let me ask you this, what about that innermost circle? You've probably tried to cram your wife or your husband or children in it.
They don't fit. You see, the innermost circle was created by God for you and Him and no one else. You can't place anybody else in that circle.
You can't get anything in there. You see, the tragedy of today is that most people live their life and never realize that God Almighty desires to have an intimate, loving relationship with them. They will always see God as up yonder and out there somewhere, up in heaven. And they'll always see God as one that they call upon in time of trouble and difficulty and hardship or pain and suffering. They'll never be able to see God as this intimate, genuine friend who lives on the inside, who desires to have an intimacy so deep with them that they could not possibly understand unless they understand who He is.
And so that's the way most people are going to live their life. And I think about people, and this really grieves me when I think of it. Sometimes it makes me, I just want to cry when I think about people who have been saved ever since they were children or maybe in their teenage years. And they grow up and they go to church week after week, month after month, year after year, and listen to sermons and hear the gospel and never grasp the fact that this God who gave us the Bible, this God who gave us His Son, this infinite, overwhelming, indescribable, unsearchable, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all-knowing God in all of His sovereign power desires to have an intimate, loving, genuine, personal, confidential, close relationship with every single one of us.
And most people will die and God will be a stranger in their life. God has a desire to have an intimate relationship with you. So what is an intimate relationship in a way? Intimacy is a close relationship that is confidential and deeply personal and motivated by genuine love for each other. That's what intimacy is all about.
Intimacy is a relationship deeply personal, very confidential, and motivated by genuine love alone. That is what God desires for every single one of us. And when you and I are able to walk into that relationship, we don't have to worry about our needs any longer because we know that we have such a close relationship with someone who delights in meeting our needs, who not only has promise to do it and has will to do it and has the power to do it, but delights in meeting every single need we have. Now, for example, if you'll think about the creation for a moment, why did God create us to begin with? He certainly did not need us. God is not needing of anything. He had myriads and myriads and myriads of angels whom He calls His servants.
And they could do and would do anything that He sent them forth to do. So He didn't need us. Then why did He create us? He created us because He desired to have someone and some people whom He could love and express Himself and reveal Himself. That's why the Bible says in Genesis chapter 126, the Bible says, God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness.
Who was that? God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit in conversation said, we're going to make man in our likeness after our image. That means those who could think, those who could reason, those who could laugh, those who could feel sorrow. He has made us like unto Himself. The whole moral fiber of man is made like unto God. He has given to us what He has given no other part of His creation.
Why did He do it? Because God wants to express His love. God wants us to know who He is.
Listen, God is worth knowing. Turn, if you will, to John chapter fifteen. And look at this fifteenth chapter in the upper room when Jesus is revealing some things about Himself and probably these chapters of thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen especially.
Precious chapters. Listen to what Jesus said in thinking about this whole idea of intimacy. A close relationship, listen, a close relationship, deeply personal and confidential, motivated by genuine love. Listen to what He said in verse thirteen. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
That's real intimate love. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what the master is doing, but I've called you friends for, listen to this, for all things I've heard from My Father I've made known to you.
I'm telling you about Myself. Look in verse sixteen. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain. That whatever you ask of My Father and My Name, He may give it to you. This I command you that you love one another.
He said, you didn't choose Me, I chose you. The only reason, listen, when you and I stand in the presence of God at the judgment, at the judgment of rewards, there's one thing for certain. We are all going to be on the same level. Every single one of us is going to be on the same level. It doesn't make any difference how much they've done for God or how much they've served the Lord all visions, has nothing to do with it. When you and I stand in the judgment of rewards, we will all stand on the same level.
You know why? Because we will all have arrived there on the same basis. God in His infinite loving, kindness and forgiveness reached down and by His grace and through His Son atoned for our sins and made us one of His children. Listen, plus nothing.
Nothing we did, nothing we promised and nothing we would ever do. It is only by the grace of God. We're going to all stand on the same, the pure grace of God plus nothing.
That's why there's not a single person that has any reason to boast. That's why Paul said there's only one thing I boast in, that's the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only way we're going to get there is by His grace. The Bible says in Romans chapter three, there is none good, no, not one. The Bible says there is that none that seeketh after God. We're not His because we sought Him. We're His because He sought us. He said to His disciples, I've chosen you.
You didn't choose me, I've chosen you. Why did He do it? Why did He do it? Why did He choose you?
I'll tell you why. Because God has a twofold purpose in mind. He didn't have to.
Listen, all the initiative has been His. He chose you. Now why did He do it?
Here's one of the reasons. He wants us to know who He is. He wants us to know what He's like.
He's God. He wants us to know who He is. Remember what He said to His disciples? He said, on one occasion He says, I just show you whatever I see the Father doing. If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father. Everything the Father tells Me, I'm telling you.
Why? Because He wanted them to understand who God is. And He says, if you understand Me, you'll understand the Father. God wants us to know Him. There are a lot of people who sit in church every Sunday. And the real honest truth is, if you could look inside their heart and you say, well, are you worshiping God?
Why, sure, I'm singing and praying. Well, who is this God? You know, they'd say, well, you know, He's the God of the Bible. Well, what's He like?
Well, you know what? If somebody walked up to you who is an absolute total atheist today and said, I've heard about your God. I want you to describe your God to me. What would you say? And then they were to say to you, well, tell me about your experiences with this God. Now, I heard what you said about Him. Tell me about your experiences with this God.
What would you say? You see, God is not satisfied just saving us. He wants us to know Him. Because intimacy is a close relationship, deeply personal, confidential, and motivated by genuine love for each other. Intimacy goes beyond the human body. You and I can have an intimacy with Almighty God that no human relationship on the face of this earth can equal. And the very idea that we think intimacy is only related to sexual involvement or some kind of physical touch, that should be the result of genuine intimacy. Intimacy is a close relationship that is deeply personal, deeply confidential, motivated by genuine love each for the other. Any physical relationship that is involved in that intimacy should be the overflow, the absolute beautiful overflow of what intimacy is all about.
Think about this. God is absolutely perfect. He is absolutely infinite in all of His knowledge, which means He knows us from one end to the other, inside, out, past, present, future. There's not a single thing about us He doesn't know.
You know what? He is absolutely fully equipped to have an intimate relationship with us. His only big hindrance is we ourselves.
We're the hang-up. God wants to have an intimate relationship with you. Now, think about this. How did He start this whole idea in the creation? And then, of course, He saved us, those of us who are saved.
He saved us. Now, here's what He does. He says, now, you know, you just got into the kingdom. Now, what I want to do is I want to draw you to Myself.
And so what do we do? We're over here saying, well, you know, I got saved and so, you know, we're looking around and we're doing our own thing and here's God over here saying, now, I want to draw you to Myself. And sometimes I think God must be saying, what's He going to take to get you into the kind of relationship I want? Because we're so enmeshed in things and other relationships that somehow over here we're just happy doing our thing when God, David said, for example, my soul clings to Thee. God wants us into an intimate relationship and that's why, listen, this is why He uses pain, heartache, suffering, trials, tribulations, difficulties, things we don't understand. What is He doing? Getting our attention to help us see how much we need Him. He wants to draw us into an intimate relationship where we find that this is a loving God who wants to be able to meet every single need of our life and we stubbornly want to do it our way. And sometimes people say, well, I just don't understand why God's allowing all these things to happen. It just may be. You say, you know what, how much more pressure am I going to put on you?
Well, am I going to put the blowtorch? What am I going to do to get you to understand that I want you, I love you, I desire you, I want to have a relationship with you? Now, the truth is some of you can see yourself on the other side being stubborn. This is a God who loves you and me enough that He wants us to know Him. You know why? Because He knows that when you and I begin to discover what He's like, we're going to stand in absolute total awe of who this God is. When you taste of the emotional love of God, you will understand no matter how much somebody else in this world loves you, no one can love you like God loves you. You see, the innermost circle is reserved for you and God. And the inner circle is reserved for you and those people you love dearly, for whom you give your life. That's why your husband, your wife, or your girlfriend or boyfriend, that's where your children are. In other words, that inner circle, but the innermost circle is reserved for you and God. And when I think about people living their whole life and the innermost circle is empty all of their life, this is why you, a person, will grow older, feel aloneness, feel estranged from God, feel distance, feel avoidance, feel a lot of things that are very, very painful, when all the time a person can walk in absolute total intimacy with Him. There is an intimacy available to every child of God, no human relationship can match no matter what. Thank you for listening to Where Our Needs Are Met. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-22 11:16:40 / 2023-02-22 11:24:37 / 8