Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, He's thinking more about you than you could even imagine about yourself. He's got plans for your life that you've not even thought your life is going to amount to.
You've tuned to the right place for A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon. Carter's message today is titled, Make My Life a Miracle. You'll discover God is thinking more about you than you could ever imagine or understand. God has plans for your life that you can't possibly foresee yet. You're God's Plan A.
God specializes in miracles, taking what is by nature nothing and making something out of us for His names sake and glory. Here's Carter. I want to remind you today that a billion starts with the number one and that's where you and I come in. I have a word today from God and I don't hesitate to say that.
I'm too old to worry about looking good anymore. When I come to speak somewhere, especially here, I just say, God, what do you want to say? These are your people. What do you want to say?
Because we have to get this now. We've got to be a people of truth. We've got to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because the days are short. Number one, you're going to need the knowledge of Christ for stability in these times. If you don't really know who you are in Christ, not only will you not make a difference, but you won't be able to stand. There's a coming storm into this world, folks, that is going to be beyond anything we've ever seen in our lifetime. The promise of God is that if we hear the words of God, as you're going to hear today, and we do them, that when the rains come and the floods come and the wind beats on your house, it won't fall. It will stand.
It can't be taken down because Christ is the cornerstone of your heart and of your life. Thank God. Thank God for that. You and I are destined to be miracles in the hands of God.
And I'm not saying that lightly. Every life, Christ died and rose again from the dead, took captivity captive, and gave gifts, not only salvation, but gifts to us that we might be, as the scripture says, that people wondered at. You and I might be a people that this world looks at, as they did on the day of Pentecost, and say, how do you get a relationship with God like that?
And where did you get the ability to do the things that you're doing? Remember on the day of Pentecost, people were just kind of going about their kind of religious day as it was, and they suddenly encountered 120 people that God was speaking through. And they were given abilities and giftings to do things they didn't have the normal natural ability to do. They were speaking in languages they had never learned. And every one of them were speaking about the wonderful things that God is able to do.
Amazing. They weren't speaking about themselves. They weren't babbling into the wind.
They weren't behaving like fools. They were actually speaking about God and about what God is able to do in hearts that are surrendered to him. People passing by looked at this and said, whatever they've found of God, that's what I want in my life. And this is God's purpose for his church.
Always has been his purpose for his church. You know, folks, we're not left on the earth to be an argument about his existence. We're led to be a demonstration of the reality that he is alive. He has been raised from the dead.
He did take captivity captive. He does indwell a body on the earth called his church. And I'm not called, you're not called just to be an argument. Yes, we have to know doctrine. We have to know truth. But I fear for this generation and perhaps one or two before that we've almost relegated to an argument.
And if you'll notice in this generation, nobody's interested in our argument anymore. Ah, but that's where God comes in. That's where God begins to do something in us and through us that people can't deny. This is what happened with the apostle Paul. I want to talk about that from first Timothy chapter one.
That's where we're going to start. A message called make my life a miracle. Paul the apostle to Timothy. First Timothy chapter one beginning at verse 12. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me.
Hallelujah. I could preach for an hour on that one line. I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me. In other words, Paul saying he didn't call me because I had certain skill sets. He didn't call me because I had a history of faithfulness or certificates on my wall or had achieved things in the religious world. He enabled me to be the person that I became. To do the things that I'm now doing. To have the heart that I now have. Because he counted me faithful putting me into the ministry. In other words, Paul says the one thing I had is a heart for him.
And God knew that when he began to reveal himself in me and through me that I would go with him. And he put me because of it into the ministry. Although I was formerly a blasphemer. In other words, I cursed his name.
I used to do that when I was a cop. We'd play cards at lunchtime and I had a habit of cursing the name of Jesus Christ to my shame. Paul said I was formerly a blasphemer. A persecutor.
An insolent or a violent man. But I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. I believed God and I knew that he loved me. That's why he died for me. And his grace, his ability that he was willing to give me, the favor that he was willing to pour into my life was exceedingly abundant. It was more than I could even ask or think.
Beyond what I thought God would ever do in my life. He goes on in verse 15. He says this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long suffering as a pattern to those who are going to believe on him for everlasting life. And Paul was saying I was the worst of the worst as sinners. I was a blasphemer of God.
I was an angry man. I persecuted the church of Jesus Christ and I did violent things to the people of God and others I'm sure in his life. But he called me and his love was shed abroad in my heart and that in me first he might show other people that he's willing to take us no matter where we come from. It doesn't matter your background. I don't care how many years you've been in jail.
None of it matters or the things that you've done in the past. But he's willing to take you. He's willing to take me and he's willing to use our lives for his glory even though it may take a while for him to get through to us. That that's really his intent and his purpose in each one of our lives. From being a blasphemer and a persecutor Paul's life was made an undeniable testimony of the power of God. And it either had to be accepted or rejected but never ignored.
Never ignored. This is the desire of my heart. God every room I walk into every every environment that you invite me into let the testimony of your life in my life cause people to either bend the knee or pick up rocks to throw them at me or but never let it be ignored. Let there be a trembling in the hearts of even rulers to hear of who you are and what you're able to do. Let there be a healing in the hearts of even rulers to hear of what you're able to do. Many people knelt when they heard Paul's story.
Others raged and even rulers trembled. Because here was a man fully surrendered and gripped by the presence and power of God. I remember the story of D.L. Moody who was just a young man. I think he was about 15 years old and he was worked in a shoemaker shop and a Sunday school teacher had a burden to go talk to him and they were sitting on a park bench and the the world is yet to see what God could do through a vessel that was fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit. And he just got up the Sunday school teacher and he walked away and as I read one of Moody's biographies it says that he sat there and he said these words by the Holy Spirit of God within me I shall be that man.
And the rest is history. That man traveled with very little education traveled all over the world. Revival broke out everywhere he went. People would tremble in the presence of God because he just trusted God to make his life a miracle. He didn't have the skill set.
If you ever read his writings he couldn't spell even though the Bible call is named after him he himself couldn't spell. It was very difficult. Paul said these words in Galatians 2 20 it's no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.
That's the key. The abandonment in a sense of ourselves. The giving over of our rights. The giving over of our plans and ambitions and and even our self-view. Whether it's a grand one or whether it's a really bad one whatever it is we just simply put it all in the hands of God and say here this all belongs to you now and you can do with it what you will but now give me give me your self-view of me.
Give me your view of my life. Give me the giftings that I'm going to need to do what I'm called to do in this world. Let it be no longer I that lives. Let it be Christ that lives in me. At some point in our lives the reality of the fact that we have the third person of the Godhead living in these earthly bodies has to take hold of us. We don't just have a concept about God or arguments about God or knowledge about God or a fuzzy feeling about God.
We actually have God in the third person living in these earthen vessels. The bible does say that the spirit of God within us intercedes for us with groanings and I know what that is. That's the groaning of God to bring us in line with God's will for each one of our lives. He's thinking more about you than you could even imagine about yourself.
He's got plans for your life that you've not even thought your life is going to amount to. The danger that we face as believers in Christ is at some point we set our judgment about ourselves above the judgment of God and above the word of God and we start determining the course of our own life and how tragic it's going to be one day to to get to heaven. Now that's not tragic in itself. Thank God for that. You get to the throne of God and maybe there's a video section. I don't know what it is but you finally see what our lives could have been. Now we're still in heaven and heaven is still our home. I'm not talking about salvation now.
I'm talking about what could have been done. What the will of God really was for each one of our lives. 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17. This is the verse that won me to Christ.
I want you to know this right now. When the police officer that shared the gospel with me. I was a cop as well and who shared the gospel with me. I wasn't really even concerned about my sin. I have to be honest with you.
I wasn't concerned about a lot of things that he was talking to me about. The one thing that really really was a hook in a sense in my heart is this one verse. If anyone is in Christ he's a new creation. Behold the old things have passed away and behold all things have become new.
That's an amazing verse. I remember thinking is that possible? Is that possible that God could so God could change my life that I could actually be a new person. I remember thinking how is that possible to change like that?
He would tell me Carter it wasn't me. It's Christ in me. There's a promise that if you open your heart and Jesus Christ comes in and becomes part of your life the old things that govern you lose their authority. They lose their power. They lose their right to dictate your future.
It's gone. The wounds of the past begin to be healed and all things become new. Peter the apostle says in 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 9 and 10. Speaking of us today he says, you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. This is what we're called to do where our whole being speaks about light, speaks about newness, speaks about the wondrous power of God to transform us into the people that he's making us into. Verse 10 says, who once were not a people but now are the people of God who have not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. We're living in a generation that needs to see and hear from people whose lives have been miraculously changed by the power of God.
Have you noticed that our arguments don't matter anymore? There needs to be a demonstration in this generation of the presence and power of God through his church which brings everything back down to you now and to me. We are God's plan A. We're not plan B, C, D, E, F. We're God's plan A.
There is no other plan for this generation except for you and except for me. In the book of Ephesians chapter 3 and verses 20 and 21, listen to these words of the apostle Paul. Now in the context of understanding what he considered his life to be, he says, now to him who's able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Did you realize that today that God is able to do more, exceedingly more, above all that you're able to think?
Now I want you to think about what you'd like to be. Think about the best plan that you think God could ever have for your life and the Bible says he can do more than you can think. He can do more than you can ask according to his power that's at work within us, his ability, his desire, his heart, his heart to lift us in all of our infirmity, in all of our struggles, in all of our trials, in all of our weaknesses. Remember Paul said, I go first to show you how long suffering God is. In spite of all the struggles that we have, it's his plan to bring glory to his name through us in all generations, through you.
Remember a billion starts with one. Verse 7 of chapter 4, it says, in Ephesians says, but to each one of us, grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. In other words, you have everything that you need to do what you're called to do.
It's already there. Therefore, he says, when he ascended on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. When he rose from the grave, he took the power of the cross, he took the power of hell and destroyed it. He took everything that the devil would have to bring us into bondage and broke those chains, opened those doors, gave us life, gave us light, and he gave us the giftings that we need to do what we're called to do.
You have everything in you right now to do what God's called you to do. Now you know why I said we're going to have to have the ears to hear this. I heard this.
I was in my 20s when I heard this. I remember sitting on the edge of my seat in church and thinking, could that be true? Could God use my life for his glory? Could he make me more than I am? Is it true that with God, all things are still possible?
Does he still take the nobodies and nothings? It says that in the book of 1 Corinthians, he takes the weak and he takes the lame and the nobodies, the nothings, the despised, the foolish. This is his plan to glorify his name in the earth. Is that possible, God? Could you take my life and could you use my life for your glory?
Could you actually make my life a miracle as the Scripture bears witness? All the gifts that he's given to us, in order to receive them, number one, they have to be desired. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 31, Paul says, but earnestly desired the best gifts.
They have to be desired. You have to desire what God has for your life. He's not going to impose it on you. He's not going to come in and force you or me to be the people he wants us to be.
There has to be that desire in the heart. Then we have to unwrap it. 2 Timothy 2.15, Paul says, be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. We've got to get into the word of God. We've got to study the word of God. We've got to find out who we are in Christ and what the giftings of God in each of our lives are actually for. And then once we have unwrapped it, then we have to embrace it. There are no gifts receipts with God's gift. You understand? There are no returns. There's no boxing day or whatever you call that day, whatever the day after Christmas.
There's no wrapping it up and taking it back and exchanging it. Gifts and callings of God are without repentance. And we have to embrace it. Paul said, that's why Paul said, it's no longer I who live, it's Christ who lives in me. When you do, your life becomes a miracle. The church of Jesus Christ is a supernatural body.
And don't ever settle for anything else. Don't let yourself become just a natural person. That means you're governed by your own reasoning, by your own sight, by your own strength, by your own feelings. We are a supernatural body. We are governed by the spirit of God. We are led by the word of God. We are gifted by the giftings of God.
We are called to do what God has determined to do through us. None of us should ever be able to get to the end of the journey and say, boy, I did this all by myself. No, our song ought to be only God could have done this. Only God could have done this. How merciful God has been.
When we get to the end of our journey and all, some of us lift our feet up into our beds, we should be able to say to our friends or family, whoever's there say, follow me as I've followed Christ. This is a wondrous life. This is a supernatural life. This is an amazing life in God. God took me and out of the ashes of my life made a miracle. We're living in a day of rampant and ever increasing immorality.
Confusion is abounding on every side. If ever there was a time for the church to rise, it's now. If ever there was a time for the power of God to be displayed through ordinary people, it's now. If ever there was a time for you and I to embrace the fullness of Christ and the fullness of his calling and take the risk and go off the cliff with God, may I put it that way? I'm not going to live like Lot did in Sodom.
I'm going to let God make my life a miracle because Jesus said, if miracles had been there, it could have been spared. That means this decadent generation can still be reached if the power of God is found in the people of God one more time. Oh, hallelujah.
Oh, hallelujah. Paul says in Philippians chapter three, and I'm going to close with the scripture, verses 13 and 14. He says, brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Paul was saying, I'm not everything yet that I feel that God wants me to be.
And I know I've still got a ways to go, but I'm leaving behind everything that needs to be left behind now. And I'm moving forward to this incredible calling of God that's on my life in Christ Jesus. Because he has shown me mercy, he's shown me grace, I understand his plan for my life. And I believe that he can do more than I could even ask or think if I will surrender to him.
I believe in this. I believe in Paul couldn't have known that his obedience, his moving forward was going to pen the New Testament. Do you understand all the doctrine I've shared with you today, except for the book of Peter has come from the hand of this surrendered man. He could not have known that his life was going to give guidance to hundreds of millions of people for 2000 years to come.
He could not have known, but he did know this one thing that if I press on in God, there's something in my life that's going to bring glory to his name. And if you and I make that choice today, I'm telling you, there's something in each of our lives that will bring the name of Christ to reputation and the glory. And don't get overwhelmed with the thought of what will I do or what do I have to do? Just start with the first thing, just start there.
The Holy Spirit will speak to you. You start there and you begin to leave behind what needs to be left behind. That's where sometimes that's where it starts in people's lives.
You need, there's certain things that need to be put away and left behind. Then suddenly you're reading the word of God and it starts to unfold and you see what the future could have and you start moving towards that future. And you see God specializes in miracles. He specializes in taking nothing and making something out of us for his namesake and for his glory.
So that's what I'd like to invite you into today. Remember, I started by saying a billion starts with one and it starts with one heart that says, here am I. I don't feel worthy. I don't want to use me. I don't, I wouldn't, if I were God, I wouldn't use me, but if you want my life, I give it to you. And he takes us in our nothingness and he becomes everything. Changes us. Fortunately, my house burned down years ago and we lost all of our pictures of what we used to be before we came to Christ.
There's always somebody out there that's willing to take a picture of yourself and somebody did. I looked at that pastor Tim and it scared me of the man I used to be before I came to Christ. That man's eyes were dark. His countenance was dark.
His heart looked empty. And I remember looking at the picture and I remember thinking, thank God that man is dead. Thank God that another man was born because of Christ. I wish I had a thousand lives to thank Jesus for what he has done.
The best way I know to thank him is to convince you that this journey is worth taking. You know, one of the perils of the last days is there's going to be a people, Paul said, that are always learning, but never able to be brought to the knowledge where that truth is taking them. And they deny the power of God. In a sense, they just resist it. They resist what God wants to do. They learn, but deny his power.
I don't want to be among them. I've been asking the Lord to increase the borders of my own tent to help me so that I can help others, so that I can help you today become the people that God wants you to be. The message today has been brought to you by Carter Conlon from Times Square Church. For more information, log on to tsc.nyc. That's tsc.nyc. Plan to be with us next week for A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 08:08:29 / 2023-03-26 08:18:23 / 10