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Let Nothing You Dismay [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
December 23, 2021 5:00 am

Let Nothing You Dismay [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

We're instructed in God's Word to get up every day and put on the whole armor of God and fight the fight and stand against the devil and resist him and lay claim to our place, keep our heads up, even though it's already been decided. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. Merry Christmas. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the Christmas teaching today as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.

So as you listen to today's message, go deeper and we'll be happy to send you today's special offer. You can contact us and find out more about it at our website, pastoralan.org. That's pastoralan.org or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now let's get started with today's Christmas teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. My brothers and my sisters, are you ready for some good news? The devil is a defeated foe whose time is short. And you are, the Bible says, an uber conqueror, more than a conqueror in Christ who is destined to reign with God forevermore. I want to take us today in our series, God rest you, Mary, which means may God keep you, Mary. May God keep your heart glad and joyful. I want to take you first to Matthew and then to an unlikely text during Christmas season.

But I think you'll see why it's warranted and you'll be, your socks will be blessed off to look at the victory that's yours. But we're going to go in Matthew and then we're going to go to the book of Revelation in chapter 12. So Matthew chapter 2 in verse 13 speaks of after the Magi have departed. At verse 13, when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, rise, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt and remain there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to destroy him. And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. And this was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet out of Egypt, I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he'd been tricked by the wise men, became furious and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old and under, according to the time that he'd ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, a voice was heard in Rama weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children.

She refused to be comforted because they are no more. And then in Revelation chapter 12, which will be our text that we'll be walking through today, but we start with these two verses, verse four, and the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that when she bore her child, he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne. My Carolina Tar Heel football team is on a little run here of playing some good ball. I had a big game yesterday. It was fun, but what was really fun was last weekend. I had the opportunity to go down and join our daughter, Abby, who's finished up her school work or senior year there at Carolina and go to an in-person football game. When we were going into this her last year, I thought I'm going to go down. We're going to go to several of the football games.

It's so fun to go. And then the pandemic hit. Now only 3,500 tickets in the 52,000 seats stadium. And somehow some of them came available and we went down and we had a good time.

It was bright and sunshine. It was weird to be in an empty stadium. And they were playing Western Carolina, who of course is in a smaller division. And really Carolina had them out manned, of course, from the beginning.

But the catamounts of Western Carolina, they're fighting noble team. I remember a few years ago watching them play Carolina and giving them a run for their money, at least for a while. But in this game, the heels were clicking on all cylinders. And at the end of the first half, it was 42 to three.

It was one of those things that you enjoy because you never have to worry about the game. But I turned to my two girls and I said, the only bad thing about us being up 42 to three, is that that's the last we will see of our star quarterback, Sam Howell. He will not play in the second half. Sure enough, in the second half, first string never played any more ball. In fact of the matter, I looked it up after the first half, Carolina played three more different quarterbacks. So they played four different quarterbacks during the game. 12 different Tar Heel players called a pass in that game. 10 different players carried the ball. 10 different players carried the ball. And most amazing, 26 Tar Heel defensive players had either a tackle or an assist on a tackle. They'd played everybody, the whole bench. It was senior day, everybody got to play.

It was a lot of fun. But let me tell you what was interesting about it is that though Carolina won the first half 42 to three, in the second half, whereas they'd scored six touchdowns in the first half, pretty much every time they touched the ball, in the second half, they scored one touchdown and Western Carolina scored one touchdown. They missed the extra point. So Carolina in the second half beat Western Carolina only seven to six. When our quarterback, the second string quarterback came out opening play that he, the first, first ball that he threw, he threw an interception and Western Carolina ran it back for a touchdown. Thankfully it was called back because of a penalty, but that was the first play of scrimmage was him throwing a pick six. And our teams made some real mistakes during that second half and so forth.

After all, it wasn't the first squad. And we're sitting up there in the stadium on a pretty day. And you know what we were doing? We're just chit chatting with one another, cheering on the team and not worrying one bit about the fact that our players were dropping the ball, that we were, we were going tit for tat and what looked like a very close game, because we knew the score and we'd seen the first half. But if all you had done was slip in for the second half and nobody let you see the scoreboard and you didn't know what had happened in the first half and all you were doing was watching the second half of that game, what would you have thought?

You'd have thought this is anybody's ball game. And you probably be a nervous wreck if you were pulling for the Tar Heels, cause you're like, they are barely going to pull this out. Everything would be anxious and, and, and difficult to watch if you didn't know what happened in the first half. And that's the way it is in the spiritual battles that we face. I think what happens is that in this world, when we go through the more difficult times, certainly like a year of pandemic, where it seems like there's no end in sight, or you go through personal struggles, or you're just facing those seasons where you have one discouragement after the other, one battle after the other.

And if that's all you're looking at, you see, you can begin to feel really anxious about it all. And the only way that you come into great assurance and deep comfort and have your faith really rise up, is something has to happen to open up your eyes to what occurred in the first half. That something needs to happen to let you see what the score really is. It's an interesting thing in these football games like that, is that even though for all intents and purposes, that game was decided in the first half, right?

I don't know if you've ever come back, I don't know if anybody's ever come back from 42 to three. It was basically over, and yet it wasn't technically over. Our players still had to go out there and play. If our players had gone to the locker room and taken off their pads, and just gone out there and sat down on the field, they could have still lost the game.

No, they put their pads, and you know what the interesting thing is, it's so fun actually to watch these guys, second, third, fourth squad that are out there playing, because they're playing their hearts out. In fact, I wish I knew who it was on the Carolina defensive side, the linemen, who on the last play of the game penetrated the line, chased down their tailback, and sacked him for a loss. And he, with 10 seconds left in the game, he jumped up all the other players. I'm hoping maybe he was a senior and doesn't get to play much, but that was his moment. Other players are high-fiving him, they're doing chest bumps. You'd have thought they just won the Super Bowl, and that actually was our fourth string playing the last play of a game in which the score was 49 to 6.

Because you're still called to put on the pads and play the game hard, but just don't forget what happened in the first half. That's a good picture of our life in this world in the spiritual battle that we face. It has been decided, and yet we're instructed in God's word to get up every day and put on the whole armor of God, and fight the fight, and stand against the devil, and resist him, and lay claim to our place, keep our heads up, even though it's already been decided. That really is what Revelation chapter 12 is all about.

It's about a people who are persecuted in atrocious ways, fed to lions, burned alive, hiding under the catacombs of Rome, and John is exiled on an island called Patmos of the Greek Isles in the Mediterranean, and there he gets to the and there he gets a vision, and this vision is just vivid in its imagery and unusual in its symbols, and he shares it, and it becomes the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.

It's free and just a click away at pastoralan.org. If you'd like to replace every curse with blessing in your life, and if you'd like to learn how to speak life and empower the people you love, contact us today to get Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless. We have a very special offer this month. When you make your gift of $40 or more to Alan Wright Ministries, we'll send you two copies of the beautiful hard cover book, one for you and one for you to share as a gift. As an added expression of our gratitude for your generous gift, we'll also include a DVD with two important video teachings with additional content on blessing from Pastor Alan. Your gifts and only your gifts make this ministry possible, so please partner with us to help us reach thousands of people every day with the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ. If you've yet to partner with us in 2021, it's the final month before year-end, and your gifts make so much difference. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. Call us at 877-544-4860 or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues.

Here once again is Alan Wright. You know, I wish I had, I wish I had, and maybe I need to pray about it, just do a whole series on revelation sometime because it's just a book of victory. And it's one of the most misunderstood portions of the scripture. And part of the reason that it's misunderstood so much is that I think we often fail to understand there are different styles of writing in the Bible. There are different genres within.

So the Bible, all of it is inspired of God written at different moments in history, orchestrated in its compilation by the Holy Spirit, we believe, until we have this canon of scripture we call the Bible. But if you don't understand that the Bible has different sorts of writing in it, then you'll be prone to misinterpret sections. So like, for example, I once heard Dudley Hall put it this way, if you're reading the newspaper, you understand instinctively there are different styles of writing or genre, so to speak, within the newspaper itself. On the front page, there is a headline on the front page and whatever the biggest, boldest headline is on the front page, you immediately know this is about something that has happened recently. And this is supposed to be the most important news that there is. You understand what the front page is all about. You don't put on the front page, you don't put editorials there. You don't put comic strips there.

You got important news there. If you read maybe to the end of section A, you might come to the editorial pages and on the editorial pages, you understand that this is writing of opinion. It's not supposed to be factual. It is supposed to be different opinions. And there are letters written to the editor with people's opinion. You don't treat that the way you do the headline on the front page and maybe there are some editorial cartoons. And if you understand editorial cartoons, you understand they are full of symbolism. And so if you see a cartoon and it's got a picture of a donkey and an elephant that are in a tug of war, you don't think that it's a picture about a real donkey and a real elephant. You know it's a tug of war between two political parties because you understand it's symbolic in its intent. You get to the sports page and you understand you're reading sports so that when you see a headline that says, Lions maul the Patriots, you know it's not actually reporting about some kind of animal that has attacked some patriotic Americans. You understand it's about the nicknames of two football teams, you see.

And so it is. So you understand that, well, the Bible, you must understand, has different genres of literature within it if you're going to understand revelation at all. So for example, genres of writing in the Bible include historical narrative. Like you read the book of Joshua and you're just reading the episodes of the conquest of the promised land is telling the history of it all.

A lot of deep meaning in it, but it's history. There's law, all of the Torah, all of the instructions, all of the guidance that God gives for the wellbeing of his people. There is wisdom literature like the Proverbs.

It's about having skill for living. There's poetry like the Psalms that is meant to be beautiful and worshipful. There's prophecy and Isaiah and Jeremiah and Habakkuk and Micah and Amos and Joel. And this is about the fourth telling of God's word. There are epistles or letters that constitute much of the New Testament where Paul is writing letters to the congregation. So you must understand that he's writing a letter.

That's what you're reading there. And there are gospels that are the accounts of the ministry and teaching of Jesus Christ. And then there is what we call apocalyptic literature. And the apocalyptic genre comes from the word in Greek, apocalypsis, and that means a revelation. So the word apocalypse is the name of the last book of the Bible. The last book of the Bible is a revelation, and we're told plainly it is a revelation not of end times, but a revelation of Jesus Christ. That's what the book of revelation is. And in apocalyptic literature, there are characteristics and recognizable features. It's sort of like when you talk about apocalyptic literature and you see it in Revelation, you see it in the book of Daniel, you see it in some places in Ezekiel.

There are a few passages in Matthew. There's places where it's like, oh, now we're talking about apocalyptic literature. And it almost comes across dreamlike. Dreams are weird, aren't they? I had a dream this past week, one that I love having, and I almost wish I just had it more. It was a dream that I was aware of, and I was aware of it like, oh, I'm dreaming.

I was aware when I woke up. And I'm like, oh, I want to get back in that dream because in the dream I was flying. I wasn't flying over my arms out and I'm just soaring over stuff. It was more like I could just come up and I could just float out over things.

And here's what was so funny about it. The way I would fly was I had a little device in my hand that looked eerily similar to my Roku remote. And if I held the up button, then I would go up.

And what was cool was the two or three people that were really close to me would go up with me. But, you know, remote controls for your TV are notoriously famous for their batteries going out on you. And so you had to be careful because if the batteries depleted, then I would lose altitude swiftly. I don't know if there's any meaning to that dream or not, but you see, when I'm having the dream, it didn't even seem weird to me that I was flying by means of a Roku remote.

You know what it is? You're dreaming it. It seems perfectly normal while you're dreaming it. It's later when you go back and you go, well, that's just weird. But, you know, maybe there was meaning and maybe part of it is, Alan, you can soar and you can take people with you, but don't let your batteries get depleted or else you're going to fall down. I don't know. But I'm just saying it's like a dream is full of these weird symbols and esoteric things that may have meanings.

And that's that's the way that's the way it is. A lot of people therefore totally missed the book of Revelation because they think that it's about predicting when Jesus is going to come back. And I think this is the silliest thing in the world because the one thing we know for sure about the book of Revelation is that it's not a prediction of when Jesus is going to come back. Because in Matthew 24 verse 36, we read concerning that day and hour, no one knows. Jesus himself says nobody knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the son, but the father only.

That's about the only thing we can say with absolute certainty that the eschatological apocalyptic literature doesn't mean it doesn't mean that we are somehow able to predict the exact coming of the Lord. Alan Wright, our good news Christmas message, let nothing you dismay. Please stay with us. Pastor Alan is back with a parting good news thought for the day in just a moment. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything?

Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing might be the timeless power of blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. Without it, we'll never rise to our God-given potential.

With it, we can let go of the past and move forward confidently under the favor of God. If you'd like to replace every curse with blessing in your life, and if you'd like to learn how to speak life and empower the people you love, contact us today to get Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless. We have a very special offer this month. When you make your gift of $40 or more to Alan Wright Ministries, we'll send you two copies of the beautiful hardcover book, one for you and one for you to share as a gift. As an added expression of our gratitude for your generous gift, we'll also include a DVD with two important video teachings with additional content on blessing from Pastor Alan. Your gifts and only your gifts make this ministry possible, so please partner with us to help us reach thousands of people every day with the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ. And when you do, you'll become empowered to change the world God's way by the power of blessing.

As the year draws to a close, your gifts matter more than ever. In this final month of the year, your partnership is pivotal for this ministry. Call us at 877-544-4860 or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing. It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Back here in the studio now with Pastor Alan, Merry Christmas.

Yes. And what is your closing thought as we put a bookmark here and wait for the conclusion? Has there ever been a time where we more needed peace than this Christmas? And I love the idea that a child has been born and a son is given, that the government's on his shoulders. And I think that this Christmas invitation is to let your heart meditate on this and to settle in to the assurance that the government's on his shoulders, not ours. And just to say this Christmas, Jesus, you are the prince of peace. You reign and I will trust you.

Let the government be on his shoulders and peace will come in your heart. 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 resources at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-18 15:48:15 / 2023-06-18 15:57:27 / 9

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