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August 3, 2020 6:00 am
Pastor author and Bible teacher Alan Wright knows of what it will raise money and send missionaries over to love the world that would just get mad and happily curse our neighbor because they'll get a church on Sunday morning expecting people that are Christians act like Christians are not going to be missionaries to our own culture that's Pastor Alan Wright welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life for no hold. I'm Daniel Britton excited for you to hear the teaching today. In the series called Daniel is presented in an older church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program.
I will make sure you know how to get our special resource right now you can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Reich ministries as you listen to today's message go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at pastoralan.org or call 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program but now let's get started with today's teaching here is Alan Wright you ready for some good news this world around us.
I'm talking about our culture. Here around us in America is changed a lot and sometimes you might feel like a foreigner in your own culture. But take heart, the hand of the Lord is upon you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
But more than that he protects you he provides for you and has an amazing way in which you will promote you even when you feel like you're in exile in your own land. This is a time for the church of Jesus Christ to not be discouraged by simply looking backwards and remembering what used to be. This is a time for us to be encouraged profoundly that we live in such a time as this and see how powerfully the hand of God is upon us. It's a wonderful time to be a Christian in the world today returned to look at Daniel and him on the phone for do discount a set set the stage for this little bit is a new series and and and just all on my mind as we set this stage.
Is this whole backdrop of exile for the for the Israelites that was a very real and painful thing is they look back and remember their homeland and and how they were then separated from all that they held that dear to them and that we all can be a little sentimental lot like this on.
My wife had a moment an inner life. It was that it was one of those moments you just sort of remember and cling to because it warms your heart and you want life to always be like that.
She remembers well her grandmother. Mama Bennett went at her funeral when when they were ride through the funeral procession in Little York, South Carolina how not only with the with police authorities stop the traffic and stand in respect it procession would go by, but also be the cars would pull over to the side of the road and just pay their respect as the funeral procession and and she is she she really liked that if I very very early on in and we are dating me know. 29 years ago and and she she she saw funeral procession in an nobody was pulling over and she said you know when my grandmother was buried in York South Carolina. Everybody pulled over to the side of the road, out of respect for the funeral procession as it would go back to John like that. I wish people would would do that and and now for 2828 years of marriage every time we see a funeral show site that I ever tell you about mama Bennett. Her funeral how and you see as a pastor, and pastor's wife we go to a lot of funerals and we are actually leading and upfront in many of these and so have many opportunities hundreds of opportunities over the last 28 years for her to say that I ever tell you about mama Bennett and how they would pull over. I wish people would pull over and show their respect and then you know so sometimes they owe people pull over at my funeral and so you know you kinda look back like that.
I think I was a little bit of an old soul level felt a little bit out of place in the culture ever since have been an adult and and and I heart warmed. You know to see things sometimes way that used to be this this morning. The Sunday morning Western Journal this morning on the cover color picture of the mayor of of Mount airy the new inspiration for the fictional Mayberry of Andy Griffith site and in them. The mayor, Deborah Cochran, kneeling in prayer next to the Kindred on furniture, plants sign because she was going to symbolize for her. Her little town of 11,000 people that is lost so many jobs through the industrial changes that prayer and hope matter so much. Maybe the heart of of what she sees that she will see transformation and may not so touched by them. So that's the mayor is the mayor she's kneeling in prayer.
She's kneeling personal photograph to be taken over.
I flipped on the desktop and said wait a minute that's a mayor is the mayor's the mayor yet. Granted, it's Mayberry, but is still a major that is praying next to next to a corporate sign and she's allowed to do that and we could put it on the front page of the owner of the paper in this apartment just because that's that's just I want to live in the country were mayors praying next to the signs of the companies like that like that I like to live in the country. People pull over for funerals and were mayors praying next to the to the signs I'd like like that.
I have to admit that I'm a little bit because a little bit, living with an old soul, but stuck in maybe a previous generation, stuck in Andy Griffith and and I and all the reruns of I Love Lucy, and our latest thing is so edgy in our houses is we found out that they have all 269 episodes on Netflix of murder she wrote and imagine how excited my kids are that that's what we do now as we sit around we cut it off with 10 minutes left. The sale care but guess who did it and I am four in a row on guessing who it is an murder she wrote missed the first 17 but anyway you know that's kinda out there. I feel a little bit culturally irrelevant at time were sitting at and they restaurant the other day and the radio was playing the, the well-known tips a Grammy-winning song rolling in the deep, and my wife. She just piped up and she said that's Adele singing that song in my kids they they were wide.
I listen while Monica said something culturally informative there and and I am in an otherwise I was actually surprised she even knew who Adele was. We we listen to Christian music and wait wait wait wait wait don't we watch Mayberry and and and get on it. What murder she wrote and so I feel a little bit out of it and this is that part of me that wants sometimes just to be away they they were and yet you can you can begin to feel sometimes when you've seen so much change me just the period of my life on this planet. If the changes I've seen is astounding. Absolutely astounding.
It's it it can make you begin to feel like I'm not sure where I live anymore. You begin to feel like a is a is an evangelical Christian begin to feel like a foreigner in your own own culture and you can you get a sense that yes this is partly because so many less people go to church now can we just be honest about that church. I mean, I love church is what I do. I live in church I go to church and an end. By some estimates. Now 85% of people in America don't go to church regularly. Some studies show it.
Not quite a severe number that but every study showed the majority of people in America don't go to church where unchurched were were were unchurched nation where we have four more people go to church than do and and so that's significant but I'm not even really talking about that as I begin to lay this framework for this whole series on Daniel. I'm actually talking about something is much deeper than that.
When I when I use the analogy of of being like a foreigner or like Peter says, sojourner or pilgrim in this world and I'm actually talking about something that's even deeper then that the cultures change, not me. People go to church and that the the priority seem so different I'm talking about something deeper than that. It has to do with being as a Christian is being profoundly misunderstood by our culture that's very painful is very painful.
Some years ago our church as we were. We were having to pay facility expansion and advisement part of the family were noted for some time knows this is part of our story. That is, we were getting ready to build and proposing what our site plan could look like that. There was a group relatively small group of people in the surrounding community that became very upset very frightened by what we're going to do for our gospel. The neighborhood customer traffic calls problems or congestion. Whatever variety of fears ruin history.
All of this and so we were sued and it was a long and arduous and very expensive process and frame anybody that was against us, in that it would happen to hear the sound of my voice.
I hold no bitterness and then understand in this world that we we wind up with some crazy conflicts but it it wasn't just that it wasn't where this began to dawn on me and I begin to feel like a foreigner to my own culture was the I think a lot of it began and in that time. That lawsuit, not just because I realized that that there were people to just work for the church growing or expanding, but something more than that Allen right will have more teaching moment from today's important series. It's shocking how quickly American values have changed.
Suddenly, most people don't go to church or have a biblical worldview. Everything has changed so much that maybe you feel like a foreigner in your own culture was a Christian supposed to live in a post-Christian world we fight against it. We decide our light in the midst of it. We pull away from it. These are the same questions that faced a young exile named Daniel in Babylon 600 years before Christ. Though he was an alien God showed the young man favor when you make your gift to Allen right ministry today will send you Pastor Alan's eight messages on Daniel of favorite foreigner in an attractive CD album on a USB thumb drive or through digital download is our way of saying thanks for your partnership. You may feel like a stranger in this world is God showed favor to gain his farmland God's grace is upon you today. Your gift today will only help you walk in the grace of God during these troubling times will also help someone else. This ministry is only possible and prayerful support listeners like you when you give today will send you today's special offer call 877-544-4860 877-544-4860 or come visit Pastor Alan.org today's teaching now continues here once again is Alan writing we the church here know that during that had a capital campaign is were going to have this coming year and we we ask people to do a very very countercultural radical thing we asked him to give their money to a cause that would just be a blessing to others is because we were the bill classrooms in corridors and and elevators and things that that we for those was already in the church and Ari had a seat and already had a group we didn't need. We want to be a blessing is to ask people as were going to again this year to give above and beyond just give away resources that could be spent on cars or family vacations or home improvements but to give give those resources for the four caused it to build it in an elevator that disabled people could get around our building or classrooms that little children could hear the God loves them, or for connection points where we can reach out to a young generation. All of this is is part of of that. In other words, many, many people and if you you gave generously and sacrificially to that as and as a demonstration of the chief character of of and nobility of the character of a Christian and that is that we live to give because we believe is more blessed to give than it is to receive is one of the most radical things in here.
We were giving many of us thousands of dollars for a completely selfless act and the people a number of them around us were suing us because they thought we were just selfish that sink in the wheat we could be at one moment during one of the most selfless thing of us have ever imagined doing giving away money is very countercultural to do that and people misinterpret and think that we were just this group of selfish people. They didn't care about antivirus and that everything we're doing is just because we do care help. What I'm saying is that there is now at hand and not I'm not speaking about the global South South America, Africa. Honestly I'm speaking about here in our culture in America in 2013. We not only live in a culture where most people don't go to church anymore, but I'm cingulate culture.
People don't understand not only the gospel but they don't understand Christians and yet maybe they've seen some bad examples and maybe seen some judgmental Christians and they don't have any to do with that but I'm guessing that a lot of people they just don't understand what this whole thing is about and what it what it does.
It can begin to make you feel a little bit like you're just a foreigner your own country can begin. This is the word of the phrase Lord's been been assuring my heart of is that you Allen except affect your missionary to your own culture and and you know what that's okay that's okay because the taxes author and and and and commute character types are here some years ago and he made his grade point is communicate. He said here's the irony we raise money to send missionaries like dark churches that just helps in Georgia fills crispy to Africa to help drill wells just corresponding with George yesterday and you know one of the things that they're doing there going at their need to write some of my they got to hire a tutor to help them learn the language.
There they don't spend a lot of time a lot of years learning the culture. Why so that they can share the gospel. Their building wells were down there. They're going to people that don't know the Lord, the other culture that that that they are in a foreign place and in the lot in there because they're the call to be there and airmen taxes and you know it's affordable raise money and send missionaries over the love the world, yet would just get mad and happily curse our neighbor because they'll get him go to church on Sunday morning but quit expecting people that are Christians act like Christians. They're not going to an end is meet missionaries to own culture.
Lord has been Santa bound the sooner you accept what it really is been the happier you will be in the midst of that culture because the call upon the people of God which we have stated explicitly in our mission is not just love God and love each other but the third part of this mission and this is the heart of God is love the world love the set of the world but love the world, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.
Why did God come to us while we were still is because the people of the ADA know that in all of our sin. All of our frailty. We didn't understand Jesus came in the profound part of the that this experience of being like an exile from Jesus was was it was not just that that people didn't receive them, but they persecuted him as if he had come for a selfish purpose of net income to lay down his life for them that they might live.
So I want to turn to one of those marvelous stories of a foreigner in exile who was favored in that foreign land for the purpose of glorifying God's name is Daniel. You can find them towards the middle your Bible after the book of Ezekiel, and it is an amazing story. Daniel in order to capture the beginning of this I need to read. This is significant length of text and the end of the opening chapter that lays the background of Daniel.
Let me just say first that this is simply a story of a remarkable handsome gifted young man and his friends that are placed into the royal court of their captors that in about 600 BC there really were three waves.
The Babylonian invasion, but, but it was taken away.
The first part of that about 600 years before Christ overrun by this massive empire and deported to Babylon. And here's the beginning of this story where I want to live with you in coming weeks. In the third year of the reign of Jehoiada. Kim King of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it in the Lord gave Jehoiada Kim King of Judah into his hands with some of the vessels of the house of God, and he brought them to the land of Shinar to the house of his God and place the vet the treasury of his God, let's pause there to say what Nebuchadnezzar is doing is not only having ransacked. Solomon's temple at the heart of Jewish life.
We gonna take in holy vessels, that the utensils and appointments of worship that were in the temple and took them out and brought them and put them is if they could be suddenly transform to a pagan deities allegiance and puts them in the treasure of his God.
Verse three the king commanded Aspen as his chief unit to bring some of the people of Israel.
Both of the royal family know Philip nobility youths without blemish of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom endowed with knowledge, understanding, learning and competent to stand in the king's palace and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans, the king assigned them a daily portion of food that the king ate and of the wind that he drank, and they were to be educated for three years that the end of that time they were to stand before the king, so blind to this is that for three years. There was a planned system of indoctrination to induct them into the system of Babylon and in other words, it was what we might say locally to brainwash them into Babylonian ways, with the goal in mind of then they would have some of the finest young men of Israel, who now were educated and made like Babylonians and could serve the King.
Among these verse six were Daniel had Anaya Misael and Azariah, of the tribe of Judah and the chief of the eunuchs gave them names Daniel. He called about this as our had Anaya. He called Shadrach Misael called me shack and Azariah, he called Abednego. But Daniel verse eight resolve, he would not defile himself of the king's food or with the wind that he drank. This is partly because maybe the food ceremonially unclean, but it was also partly I think is symbolic that I'm not gonna take in to my being. I may be here in this court, but I'm not gonna take into my being all of the Kings food and wine. Therefore, he asked the chief of the eunuchs allow not to defile himself and God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, I fear, my lord the king who assigned your food in your drink for why should he see that you worse condition than the youths who are of your own age so you would endanger my head with the king they Daniel said to the steward, whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel had Anaya Michelle Azariah tester service for 10 days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink, then let our appearance and the appearance of the use who eat the Kings food be observed by you and deal with your service according to what you see. So Dale's set up a test in any said he's essentially saying that he believes that by the grace of God that even though they will not be getting all this rich food that they're going to be healthier than about Elton Helen Wright in today's teaching Christ exile.
It's shocking how quickly American values of changed suddenly most people don't go to church or have a biblical worldview.
Everything has changed so much that maybe you feel like a foreigner in your own culture.
I was a Christian supposed to live in a post-Christian world we fight against it. We decide our light in the midst of it. We pull away from it. These are the same questions that faced a young exile named Daniel in Babylon 600 years before Christ.
Though he was an alien God showed the young man favor when you make your gift to Alan Wright ministry today will send you Pastor Alan's eight messages on Daniel of favorite foreigner in an attractive CD album on a USB thumb drive or through digital download is our way of saying thanks for your partnership. You may feel like a stranger in this world, but as God should favor to gain his foreign land.
God's grace is upon you today. Your gift today will only help you walk in the grace of God during these troubling times will also help someone else. This ministry is only possible and prayerful support listeners like you when you give today will send you today's special offer call 877-544-4860 877-544-4860 or come visit Pastor Alan.org we really do try to force Christian expectations and principles on both unbelievers know we we really do we get so frustrated with people for not acting like Christian winter.
They're not Christian people that don't know the Lord our God act like they know the Lord. It's a very unchristian thing to do right and effect but we have such a wide sense of mercy towards people on the other side of the world that will send a missionary to you can be a missionary in your own if you only caught part of today's teaching. Not only can you listen again online but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other email@example.com that's Pastor Alan.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production Allen White ministries