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People of Honor [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
October 20, 2022 6:00 am

People of Honor [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

What's precious to God is the inward unfading beauty of your spirit. 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, The Elect Exiles, as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina. Now, 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 could be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.

So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program, but right now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. Have agape love for the brotherhood. Fear God really means to have the deepest reverential worship for God alone. You do not worship. You do not reverence the emperor in that way.

That's God. But honor the emperor. If you disagree with every single thing that your elected official says or does, you can find constructive ways, ways that hopefully through doing good, through your voice, through your vote, all those ways, but you are called to honor.

There's no way around that. Honor. Examples from this that I take. Number one, authority is God given. Anarchy is confusion, and God is not the author of confusion. God has the capacity to plant and pluck up kingdoms, Jeremiah learned at his call. And that means that because God honors authority structures, that whether leaders know it or not, government is God given. And we have so many instances of bad government. We have in our own country various ways of bad government and slavery and oppression and sometimes the endorsing of things that are completely unbiblical now. But there's something important and godly about submitting to government structures even when you don't agree, remembering that it is not absolute obedience because if you're ever asked to directly disobey God, then you obey God. That's the principle of scripture. The second thing that I take from this text is that, beloved, the way we live can bring change.

Do not despair. By doing good, you silence the ignorance of people who do foolish things and say foolish things. By doing good, you're making a difference. Don't stop doing good. Do not grow weary, the scripture says, in well doing.

In due season, you'll reap. And if you don't see cultural change by the good that you do, you've still done good. Love people. Help people. Minister to people. Help teach the children. Help mentor those without direction. Help feed the poor. Help mothers that are in distress in crisis pregnancies. Help the addicts develop structures and places so that oppressive and racist and difficult challenges that face people are lifted and people have hope.

Empower people to live a new destiny. Spend your time ministering to kids. Help your neighbor. Be kind to the person behind the desk at the business. Do good.

And don't stop. You can change the world. That's what this text tells us. And do it whether you feel like an exile or not. There is, and I really, it would be a great thing to bring this up again as an entire sermon sometime in the not too distant future. It's relevant to 1 Peter.

I'm only going to bring it back as a point of reference. I have preached on this before in our series on Daniel, but this is one of the most thought provoking and helpful diagrams in terms of helping you to see where you are in your understanding and thoughts personally about your interactions with culture. And all I do is I want to mention this to you. I don't know if you can read all these words, but there are two lines here that form an axis. Tim Keller has written this in his great book, Center Church.

And I think there's just a lot of thought provoking genius in this. If you look at that horizontal line going left to right, this is a line Keller says that first you got to consider where you are and what you believe about how much Christians are supposed to be influencing culture. The further you are to the left, the more passive you are about influencing culture and to the right, the more active. In other words, you can kind of make a case in either direction that you can influence culture on the one hand by not being so directly active in trying to change things as you are by your witness and by being distinct and by being pure and holy.

Or you can be really active, right? That's what that line means. The vertical line that's going up and down is how much do you believe in common grace? If you believe in it a lot, near or up at the top.

If you believe in it a little, you're at the bottom. And what common grace is, is what theologians refer to the grace that God has for everybody, whether they're Christian or not. So the rain falls on the just and the unjust. That's common grace. Two farmers, one's Christian, one's not.

Rain comes, falls down on both their farms. That's common grace. Common grace is also that someone is not a Christian and yet God's given them gifts, right? So I tend to not believe in common grace that much because I just tend to fall a little bit more on that lower.

You may be different, but I tend to fall lower. So I'm kind of like, if you don't know Jesus and you don't have basic truth, then how much could you really know about anything? I'm kind of like that. It's part of the reasons like I'm just not fascinated with Hollywood and them getting together and celebrating and giving each other awards and everything and where they're just, I got all this, most of them don't know the Lord and they're talking nonsense.

I'm like, what? I don't care about that. But on the other side, the honest truth, if I had to have an important surgery, honestly, I'm not looking for a Christian.

I'm looking for the best surgeon. So that proves I do believe in common grace. You see what I'm saying? That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. With so much worry about yesterday's failures and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks, sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most right now in a hurried, worried season. God invites you into the present.

Modern day life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness living in the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment, in the moment, every day of your life. 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. There are people that are really gifted and they don't know the Lord. Well, that's common grace. How much do you believe in common grace and how much do you believe you should be active versus passive in influencing culture? Well, when you determine that, you'll determine which quadrant you're in. And it's really important point of conversation because well-meaning Christians wind up in different spots, in different quadrants.

If you believe that there's not much common grace and you're not supposed to be that active, then you'd be down the bottom left of the counter-culturist. If you carry out far enough, you'd be Amish. But you're not Amish.

You're sitting in a well-lit room with air conditioning. And then you're going to check your cell phone as soon as you get out of here. But you might be over there where you're like, you know, the main thing we need to do is we need to take a stand against culture. We're different from the world and we got to let people know we're different from the world.

Don't get tainted by it. Well, if you're up in the other opposite of the upper right, it's because you believe a lot in common grace and we're supposed to be really active. And those people usually get really involved in a lot of social programs and try to blend together all kinds of things that are happening biblically with other ways that we can help transform culture, partner with people in the culture and so forth. If you're in the bottom right, it means you really believe we need to change the culture. And a lot of these people are ones that are like, you know, go to the best schools, get your best education, get the important jobs, get into the places where you can transform. Go to Hollywood, be one of them, transform the place, you see.

Because they really need it. And then if you're in the upper left, this is called two kingdoms. And so these people are like, there's a lot of common graces. There's a lot of actual good in the world. But we're not citizens of the world, citizens of a different kingdom.

And so I can be a citizen of the kingdom and then I can be in the earthly realm and I can do my job. And I don't see a conflict between the two. I put this up just because a lot of times, beloved, I watch Christians, Christians disagreeing with each other about how we should be responding to the events of society and culture. And a lot of it is explained by these quadrants. And what Keller says makes a lot of sense. You know where we really wind up the blessed?

It's in the middle where they're blended insights. If you're counterculture, somebody in the upper quadrant needs to hear from you and so forth, then that's really what we wind up with in the church. I just put that up there to provoke some thought instead of just reacting to everything. Think about these things.

And here's a final principle to take from this text. And it might be the most important thing for us. We are not in control of everything.

We are not in control of nearly as much as we think we're in control of. And I know I've experienced some of it myself and I know some of you have. It can be so frustrating and you're just finally like, I'm just turning off the news. I can't even stand it anymore. My soul can't stand it anymore.

Whatever. I think the pathway to peace is represented in Niebuhr's famous prayer that A.A. adopted. Grant me, God, the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking as he, Jesus, did this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that he'll make all things right if I surrender to his will, that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him forever and the next. May you have serenity to accept what you can't change. When you try to change what is not within your power to change, you will simply be mad.

As if somebody's blocking a goal, but it never should have been your goal. Might be a noble desire, but you can't control it. What can you control? You seek the Lord about that.

And you're going to find yourself in a different quadrant on Keller's diagram, and that's okay. But don't try to be controlling things that you really don't have control over. What do you do about those things? You pray. So God is a God of honor. And when we sow honor, we reap honor. If we sow dishonor, we reap dishonor.

There's no way around that. Orange seeds produce orange trees, not apple trees. If we sow dishonor, we will reap dishonor. Think about that before you dishonor someone in speech or action. Studies show it over and over and over.

75% of adults who abuse or molest others were themselves abused or molested. People who dishonor others in the most worst and vile ways were themselves dishonored in the most vile ways. Because dishonor reaps dishonor. But honor reaps honor. Sow honor. And think beyond the ordinary. It is possible to honor when you have not been honored, and it's possible to find that which to honor when there's so much that seems dishonorable in them.

We must. My dad would have turned 88 last week. And on his birthday, I was missing him. And I honored him in my heart. My dad that left home when I was in fourth grade, my dad that struggled with alcohol, and I've been open about that. That led me to have some issues of shame-based thinking in my life that I had to get healing from, and then was given the privilege of helping others around the nation with that same thing. And I've had to break away some generational sin, and I've had to own up to the pain that I've experienced from growing up in that home that had addiction in it and had a dad that left. But on July 1st, I paused and I honored my father in my heart. Because I love him. On one hand, you could say nothing's caused me more pain in my life than my dad's departure from the home.

And I don't know everything that happened, but nothing hurt worse than that. And what's God called me to do? Honor him. I couldn't find his obituary, so I Googled it. And because my dad was a TV newsman, all kind of articles started coming up. And I just got distracted and supposed to be preparing a sermon, and I just went over and spent an hour reading articles about dad. I found an article that I was so proud of.

Sorry. One of the first African American news reporters worked at WFM wine greens were with my dad. They'd sent him to a town hall meeting in the early 60s. And they met him at the door, and they just gave him a piece of paper and sent him away.

And thank you. And my dad, who was more senior, was the one who called and rebuked the town council. I love the fact that he was, my dad is, he was before his time and honoring people regardless of race. And I stopped and I honored him in my heart. I read an article that when he was at Grimsley High School, they had a young person's thing that was happening where people would use art and song and come together for some kind of experience of a fellowship and this was a big thing. And he was the host and the emcee of the thing. And I was remembering what a good artist my dad was.

Gosh, he could draw anything. And my grandmother said he'd sit at the piano and he played and he would tell stories and play music that matched the story with the rhyme. And I didn't know, I read an article that he was sent from Greensboro to Cape Canaveral to cover the launch of Apollo 11.

He was there with his favorite cameraman, Bill Gordon, covering the launch of the mission to go walk on the moon. He was part of history. But he's got something that you should be honoring.

And even if they've hurt you and even if you disagree with them. And God has saved you by honoring you when you were dishonorable. That's how he did it. Isn't that what Jesus did?

Got on his feet and washed, got on his knees and washed Peter's feet. They would deny him and Judas' feet. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God.

Honor the emperor. And in so doing, you can change the world. And that's the gospel. Alan Wright, our good news message today, people of honor.

It's from the series, The Elect Exiles, and I encourage you to stick with us. Pastor Alan is back here 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 pastorallen.org. With so much worry about yesterday's failures and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks, sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most right now. In a hurried worried season, God invites you into the present.

Modern day life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program, and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness, living in the present is God's idea, and the Bible unveils the way. Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment in the moment every day of your life. 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 with Pastor Alan and our parting good news thought for the day. The phrase speak the truth and love comes to mind. I think that it is important that we have strong convictions that come from God and the Holy Spirit. At the same time, we've got to live peaceably with our brother and our neighbor. We can get duped as Christians into thinking that on the one hand, to love means to just tolerate everything and be silent. Or on the other side, we can think that to be bold means to be dishonoring. Neither of those is true. And so just as in today, really, it's more by way of illustration of such a hot button item that I just actually personally care a lot about, the sanctity of human life.

But it could be a number of issues. Regardless of what it is, when you find yourself being so frustrated at how unbiblical the culture has become, it's okay to grieve that. And it's important that we grieve it, because that puts us in touch with the sufferings of Christ himself and leads us into wanting to pray and intercede and trust God and yearn for God to move in the world. But it is not an invitation to dishonor. We're not going to win anybody by dishonoring them. To honor means to prize and treasure as valuable. And every single human being is infinitely valuable to God. And he came and gave his life for every single person, even the ones we disagree most with. Dig deep into 1 Peter here, and you'll find answers for how to live in this crazy mixed up world. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-19 19:16:08 / 2023-01-19 19:24:32 / 8

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