Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.
The one who's speaking the words is the one who came to die for us, thus proving our infinite value. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series called Providence as presented at Granola Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout today's 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 in your study as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.
877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. Abby, there's nothing to be scared of and she said, I want to go inside, crying. I took her inside and Ann was in the kitchen scurrying around and she looked, she said, what are you two doing in here?
Such a beautiful afternoon. And I walked over to her and whispered in her ear and said, Abby heard a dog barking in the distance and she's scared and she wanted to come inside. And I heard my wife mutter under her breath while she was moving a dish or something. She said, it's ridiculous.
I said, a little girl's got to be able to enjoy playing in her own backyard. And then she gave me a look. You get married long enough, you know what every look means. And I knew what this look meant. This look meant, okay mighty man of God who preaches faith to thousands of people, fix this. That's what it was.
It was, you get out there and fix this thing. She can't be scared of dogs. And so I was like, okay. So I first started with her by saying, Abby, the dog is far away and is in a fence. She's three. She said, sometimes they get out.
Well, I couldn't lie. In our neighborhood from time to time, dogs would be out roaming around, unfenced, unleashed because they'd gotten out. I couldn't say, no, they never get out. And I also thought, I'm not sure this is the best argument to make because it sounds like what I'm saying, as long as the dog is far away and in a fence, then dogs are okay.
But if they're not, then watch out. Well, that's not what I want to teach either, right? So I said, that didn't work. And I decided to take a different take. I said, Abby. I said, puppies are sweet and soft and furry and fun. Dogs are nice. She said, sometimes they bite.
Well, I'm kind of like, I can't lie. I remember when our dog Brownie, when I was growing up, got attacked by the biggest, meanest dog in the neighborhood and nobody could seem to stop it. And my brother Mark jumped into the dog fight, rescued Brownie and got bitten severely on the shoulder and taken to the hospital.
I remembered that. I couldn't say, though, they never bite. I thought about saying, Abby, they don't usually bite. But is that really what you want to tell a three-year-old? Is, no, dogs for the most part don't bite. It just, every now and then they do.
But you just never can tell when you're gonna find a biter. That wasn't working. And so I decided to resort to Scripture. And so I went to 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7 and I said, Abby, the Bible says God hasn't given us a spirit of fear but of love and power and self-control. I said, say that with me.
God hasn't given me a spirit of fear but of love and power and self-control. And she said it dutifully and I said, why don't we make this even more personal? Just make it your speech, make it, you claim this right now, just say it with your own mouth, you know the power of words. I said, just say this, say, I'm not afraid of dogs. And she said, I don't want to say that.
And I said, why not? She said, because I am too afraid of dogs. So I just prayed for her and we stayed inside. What's ironic is she became a dog lover. And in fact, when we got our Beagle, she was the one who cared for the Beagle. She was the one who loved the Beagle. I felt like time she'd have laid her life down for that Beagle. She loved all dogs to this very day. If there's a dog that's on the loose, she'll stop, pull over the car, jump out, try to get the dog, try to get it returned to the owner, loves all dogs. She just loved it.
What happened? Well, my little speech didn't do it. But what happened was that she grew and she didn't seem so small and the dogs didn't seem so big. But she also just learned a whole bunch of truth and she began to see more through grown-up eyes. She began to see it all differently.
Isn't that what Jesus is talking about here? He's talking about seeing something differently. Look at the birds. Look at the lilies. Look at things, Jesus says, the more I look at them. If you start looking at it more the way He looks at them, then it just changes your thoughts because your perspective changes.
That's what He's saying. You know, it's interesting when Jesus is on the Sea of Galilee and this big storm emerges. And I think it's in Matthew's Gospel, He uses the word seismos to describe it. It's like seismic activity. It's like the whole ocean was shaking. One of the Gospels is called a megas, was the name of the adjective.
It's a mega storm. And the waves are engulfing the boat and the disciples think they're going to drown and die. And they go, where's Jesus? And that's why they find that He was asleep. He was asleep in the start of the boat. They wake Him up and they say, Jesus, save us.
You see, we're perishing. And what's interesting is that Jesus, at least in one of the Gospels, He, before He says, shh, to the storm, He speaks to the disciples and He said, why are you afraid? Well, of all the questions He could ask, isn't that the most surprising one? I mean, you might not be surprised if He said, why didn't you wake me up earlier? Or why didn't you rebuke the storm yourself?
I've given you authority. Or I mean, say, but why are you afraid? What do you mean why am I afraid? Because we're drowning out here. Because we're getting ready to sink. Because it's like a hurricane.
It's like asking a person in the rain, why are you wet? And He was like, why are you afraid? And I've thought a lot about that because Jesus was fully God and fully human, but I don't know, is there a chance that He was born with a startle reflex and a fear of heights because that's what babies need, but He never learned the other 6,998 because He never sinned. And when He says, do not be anxious and do not worry, He's saying, when you worry you're running contrary to God's plan for your life, it's sin.
And Jesus never sinned. He never worried. He never had that sort of fear. I think in a genuine way, He's like, kind of the way I was with Abby, like why would you be afraid of a dog in a fenced yard two blocks away from here? Almost like He didn't really understand. Yeah, He's a great high priest. He understands us and He understands because He's been tempted as we are, but He didn't walk in that.
And what He was inviting is into a new way of thinking, a new kind of thought life. Look at those birds. Look at the little sparrows, the smallest of them.
Just look at them. God is involved in every sparrow, every little bird and every worm it finds. God's been involved in that.
Every wildflower that's blooming on the side of the road, God was involved in it. He didn't just create the world, wind it up and let it run, He is involved. And the more that you think about that, you're thinking about Providence, the more you think about God being involved in the details of this world, the more then you can do what Jesus says is then compare your life to that and see how much a greater value you are. He's inviting us into a different way of thinking and in many ways, beloved, the whole of Christian growth is summed up in a change of mind. So the Bible says when you become a Christian, the old is gone and the new has come, or you're a new creature in Christ. So in one sense, when you become a Christian, you're brand new. It's why it's like being born again.
But what's new? Is your body new? A lot of us are like, I wish it had happened like that, but I mean, sometimes God will do a miracle and if you had a sore big toe and then you became a Christian, it went away. But generally, if you got a freckle on your right hand and you become a Christian, you still got a freckle on your right hand. Our bodies, when you take care of them and God can do miracles, but we don't get instant new bodies, do we?
We get that in heaven. One day your body will be made new and your spirit is the thing inside of you. You've been completely born anew. There was something inside of you that was shut off from God as if it were just dead to God and through faith you're made alive. And so spiritually you're a hundred percent new, your body one day is gonna be new, so what is it that is changing and being made new?
Your mind. That's why Paul said in Romans 12 to do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. The word for mind there, nous in Greek, it means really a way of thinking. That's why when Jesus said repent for the kingdom of God's at hand, the word he used, metanueo, is rooted in that word for mind, and it means a change of mind. To repent is to change your way of thinking. And so as you grow as a Christian and you have revelation of the truth, you who are spiritually new, born again, like a newborn babe, you are then beginning a process of changing the whole way you look at life. And that's why the battleground in this spiritual battle that we live in is for our thoughts.
And what Jesus is saying here is that it's much better to redirect your thoughts than it is to try towards positive thoughts than it is to corral your thoughts that are negative. 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 pastorallen.org. God's love. You've heard about it with your ears.
You've believed it in your mind. Now experience it in your heart with Alan Wright's beloved book, Lover of My Soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ, the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you, to win you, and to walk with you hand in hand. For any man who has fallen in love with a woman, you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like. For any woman who has searched for true love, what you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman, renowned author of the five love languages, says, the incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life in Lover of My Soul. Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart. Accept Christ's proposal, enjoy His embrace, revel in His love.
After all, it's a match made in heaven. It's Lover of My Soul by Alan Wright. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.
When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org.
Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. To just say quit worrying doesn't help, but to involve someone into a revelation of God's care for a wildflower or a sparrow is to invite you into a growing, ongoing consideration of the majesty and beauty and love of God and caring for you. Because if He provides a worm for a bird, how much more so are you on His mind?
How much more so is He already in your future arranging for you to have what you need? How much more so while you are living your life and working as hard as you can work and doing all the things that seem best by your leading? Whatever it is, you're active, but God is gone before you.
That's what He's saying. Think about those things. Think about the evidences of His grace in your life. Think about God's goodness in this world. Put your mind on those things and then what you do is you say, if God cares about those little details that seem not to matter much, how much might He care for me?
And that begins to change you. And the reason this is more than just cultural advice to have positive, the power of positive thinking, which I'm for, but why this is better than that is because the one who's telling the story, the one who's seeing and saying, see the world the way I do. He is the one who says, your Father, so He's speaking here to the children of God and He's saying, your Father cares for you. I want you to see this and what's beautiful and powerful is that the one who's speaking the words is the one who came to die for us, thus proving our infinite value. The proof of the infinite worth of you to the Father is that the Father gave His only begotten Son for you, and if God gave up His only begotten Son out of love for you, that how much more can you be assured that He's going to care for you every step of the way. That's what it's like to think about the providence of God.
The little details and the big things in your life. I was reminded this week of a story from Doyle Dykes. He is arguably one of the best guitarists in the world. Gotten to be with Doyle several times and it's amazing what he can do on a guitar.
There's some finger-picking techniques that almost nobody can do. He has a beautiful story. When his daughter, who's now grown, but when she was three or four, her name was Heidi and they were having their bedtime prayers and he says, is there anything you want to ask God for? And little Heidi said, do you think God would bring me a rose? And he said, we can ask God for that. And so they prayed that God would bring her a rose and she said, I've always wanted one, they're so pretty.
Of course, Doyle in the back of his mind was thinking, I'll go get her a rose tomorrow. Well, he forgot about it and got busy and they had bedtime prayers the next night and as they started to pray, little Heidi just cried. He said, sweetheart, he said, why are you crying? And she said, why do you think God didn't bring me a rose?
And he remembered and then he thought it up quick. He said, well, we didn't ask God and tell him what color you would like the rose to be. He said, what color do you want it to be? We should tell God that too. She said, I want it to be white. Well, Doyle's mind was kind of going like, they're not as easy to find, you know, but he said, well, let's ask God.
So they did. Well, the next day he had to travel to Florida and he was doing a concert in a church. He intended to get this white rose, but he hadn't gotten to it again, you know, and he just said he played his heart out in this little church and did the whole show and he said at the end of the program, of course, he hadn't told anybody about the white rose, but at the end of the program a woman came down the aisle just immediately to come speak to him and he could tell right off the bat that she had, she was a grown woman, but she had some special needs. She was different and she just came up to him and gave him this bag or something and she said, I've got something for you from my garden.
God wanted me to give you this from my garden. He's like, well, thank you very much, you know, thinking it was some tomatoes or something. He said, I'll enjoy eating that later and she said, don't eat it. She said, look at it, open it up, look. And he opened up and it was a single white rose and he brought it home and Heidi saw his face smiling and she said, God got me that rose, didn't He?
He said, yeah, He did. And he's traveled all over the world. He's told that story in China and New Zealand and everywhere he goes of Heidi's white rose.
He cares about every flower and every little bird and if He does, how much more does He care about you? The one who came to save you and give His all has proven to you that you are of infinite worth to your Father. When you think about that, you're thinking about providence and it can help melt away your anxiety. That's providence and that's the gospel. Alan Wright, our Good News message.
No worries. It's from the series Providence. Stick with us Pastor Alan is back in just a moment with a parting Good News thought for the day. 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. God's love. You've heard about it with your ears.
You've believed it in your mind. Now experience it in your heart with Alan Wright's beloved book, Lover of My Soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ, the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you, to win you, and to walk with you hand in hand. For any man who has fallen in love with a woman, you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like. For any woman who has searched for true love, which you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman, renowned author of the five love languages, says, the incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life in Lover of My Soul. Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart. Accept Christ's proposal, enjoy his embrace, revel in his love.
After all, it's a match made in heaven. It's Lover of My Soul by Alan Wright. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org.
Back here now with Pastor Alan and our parting good news thought for the day. I suppose in a series on providence, you're thinking a lot of the sovereignty of God. And by definition, there's not much you can do about the sovereignty of God.
And so therefore, when it comes to worry, there is a degree where I think, you know, it's like, well, it's in his hands. Well, when we talk about letting go of control of our lives, we really is to say letting go of the illusion of the control of our lives, because we, we never were in charge of our lives. We, we didn't give birth to ourselves.
We didn't bring ourselves into this world. We control so much less than we think we can control. So really the life of a child of God and the life of trust is recognizing that, doing all we can, but doing so joyfully and yet recognizing that really God is in control of every little sparrow that falls and every flower that blooms wildly in the field.
How much more so does he care for us? We need some way that instead of living a life of ongoing worry and concern, that we find the freedom and the peace that's ours. And that is, I think, really, Daniel, only available through the contemplation and the revelation of the providence of God. Providence of God sets us free from worries. It always is fascinating to me that the most simple answer is just don't, just stop, stop worrying, just don't worry. And yet you tell that to somebody who's worrying, and that is the most least helpful thing you could probably say. So this is a practical teaching.
What's our closing thoughts on it? It's a practical teaching, and there's not a superficial answer to this, but then I would just say, as Jesus did, pointing to the providential care of God for even the littlest things around us, birds of the air and lilies of the field, to think about that, to think much of the care of God, because it's easier to set your mind on the providence of God than it is to rebuke all your own worries. You get to choose to put your mind on the providence of God.
And as you do, I think you'll find your worries begin to lift. 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 resources at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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