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Jesus for Our Cities [Part 3]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2023 5:00 am

Jesus for Our Cities [Part 3]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Alan Wright Ministries
Alan Wright
Alan Wright Ministries
Alan Wright

Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. He sees the beauty and he sees the destiny. He weeps over what's been broken.

And instead of raging against it, get your act together. He serves. And the Son of Man came to lay down his life as the ultimate service. 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 That's 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. I love this city. And I didn't know that we would end up being in four cities.

And who knows, by God's grace, maybe some more cities in the future. Kernersville, after its incorporation in 1871, it grew from 147 to 1,000 people within a couple of years because the residents laid the railroad themselves. There's still a bunch of people in Kernersville with that kind of generous and hardworking spirit. It now attracts people who are living in a place that is a bedroom community and yet has its own identity.

One of the first buildings, Dobson's Tavern, what is now near Main and Mountain Street, George Washington had breakfast there. And people are still drawn to the business and arts and eateries and history. We love Kernersville. Clemens first settled in 1802 by Peter Clemens, originally called Clemensville, quickly became a hub for agriculture and industry. Stagecoach lines ran through Clemens on a regular basis.

Idol's power station provided electric power generators, and it propelled the village into the industrial age. And those who call Clemens home today, they probably can sum it up of the beauty of living with the and, the lively hub for young and growing families, as well as those of all ages, home to a variety of businesses and civic organizations and access to Winston and a larger, bigger city life. And it's the kind of place you can cross paths with friends and neighbors and people that you know and love, and yet also build new relationships. And I love Clemens and I love Tanglewood. And one of our own was mayor there for a while and prayed over that city forever.

We love Clemens. And now in King. I went up to King a few weeks ago because I hadn't seen yet where we have some office space now in partnership with the Hope Pregnancy Care Center of King. And Pastor Chuck's wife, Julie, has become the executive director of the care center and has taken on a whole new life. And I wanted to see it.

It spread out on about, I think, 10 acres, beautiful land there in King. And while we were there at the pregnancy center, it wasn't open, but Pastor Chuck and I were there. But someone saw cars happen upon. And a young woman came in and she was asking, could she get some diapers?

And of course, Chuck said, well, certainly you can. She said she needed size three. And then it became a spectacle of two men trying to find size three diapers. And of course, we couldn't find them anywhere. They were right in front of our nose, but he's calling his wife.

Where are the size three? Well, honey, you look over onto the right. No, the other, you know. And while we're spending 10 minutes more looking for it, the woman herself found them. And while she was there, she also found an unopened toy for a little boy that she said, could I have this for my little boy? We said, sure. You should see the joy in her face.

She said, I'm just going to wrap it up like a present, just a surprise. And I got in the car with Chuck. I said, drive me around King. I hadn't been up here in a while.

There's a lot of development going on, a lot. It's a beautiful, King's beautiful. Rolling hills, a gateway into the mountains and Pilot Mountain and its landscape. And of course, two hot dogs all the way at Dario.

Two hot dogs all the way at Dario. We love King. How Jesus felt about cities. He's thought of them like entities, like organic living things. And he made everything, and he made these cities. So that's why, if you look again at verse 42 of Luke 19, when he says, would that you, even you, had known on the day the things that make for peace. And he sees the city in that way, and he weeps over the city. It's because he's mourning the senseless loss of the world as it was created to be. He was crying rather than pointing fingers because it was his. And everything that has been made has been made through Jesus. And so when he looks at our cities, he sees them for what they were made to be. That's why he has such love, and that's where his grief is.

It's his. When I was in second grade, I, for Christmas, got a brand new leather peewee football, and I just loved it. I loved it.

I loved the feel of it and the smell of it. And so the day after Christmas, I rounded up a game of three-on-three at Bob's house across the street in his front yard. And we used my new football, and everybody was excited about it. But in the middle of the game, a receiver bobbled a pass, and the ball rebounded out into the usually quiet pine top road. And with horrible unfortunate timing, a car passed by at that exact moment as the ball bounced onto the asphalt. And the car hit it squarely with its right front tire, causing a sound like a firecracker, like a loud pop. And almost immediately with the loud pop, there was another loud noise. It was me yelping. You would have thought I had been run over by the car. And after the car went by, we went to the street and retrieved the flattened ball.

It was odd as we stood there looking at it in silence. The ball was unmarred, except one of its seams had split wide open. It was irreparable. The laces were still intact.

The leather looked good, but it was useless. And so all of my friends stood around quietly for a moment and said, sorry about that, Alan. And someone said, I wish we could fix it.

But they went on to a game of kick the can. And I slinked back home, went to my room, and cried. Because the more you feel ownership of a thing, the more you grieve when it's damaged. That's why Jesus was weeping. Long before innate sin, there was the innate goodness of the world. Everything was made beautiful. I know a Sunday school teacher who asked his elementary age Sunday school children to draw a picture of creation.

And one kid drew a picture that had a strip of green grass at the bottom, a strip of blue sky at the top, a tree on the right-hand side, and a rudimentary stick figure representing God in the middle. And the call-out balloon representing what God was saying said simply, nailed it. Indeed he did. If you look at the world through Jesus's eyes, you'll see that he made it. And he made it to be beautiful.

And so everything that has gone wrong is grievous. He wept also, I think, because he knew the complexity of the brokenness of our cities. As he approached the city that would slay him, he was not pointing fingers nearly so much as he was weeping, perhaps because he knew that the tragedy of it all was bigger than could be blamed on any one individual organization or entity. It was bigger than a few jealous Pharisees. It was bigger than a squad of Roman centurions. It was bigger than a betraying disciple. The problem was bigger.

It was the disrepair of a world that had been broken by sin. You know, the day that my football died, I'd like to be mad at somebody, but who? Mad at the receiver who bobbled the pass, or the quarterback who shouldn't have thrown it near the road in the first place, or mad at myself. Why do we have to use my brand-new football?

Why didn't we use Bob's? Part of the problem being mad at the world is hard to know who'd be mad at. And something in our flesh wants to be angry, but it's more complex than that. What I'm saying is I think when you look at the city the way Jesus does, what you see is something that it's not so simple. You know, Jesus never misplaced his anger. He did get angry, but have you ever noticed that his wrath, his anger, was normally directed at religious hypocrites who tied heavy yokes around people? But you never see in the Gospels Jesus getting angry at the sinners. In fact, he was called the friend of sinners. He wept over the sin of Jerusalem. He wept over the sin of a city that would slay him, but he didn't rage against it.

Isn't that interesting? Psychologist Larry Crabbe has asserted that anger arises when we confuse desires and goals. Desires are deep and legitimate and often godly. Husband might desire his wife's affection. Parent might desire that her children flourish. Desires aren't bad.

They just aren't within our control. So Larry Crabbe says, he writes this, a desire is an objective that I may legitimately and fervently want but cannot reach through my efforts alone. A goal, on the other hand, he writes, is an objective that is under my control. Goals are objectives that we can do something about. So I might desire a healthy body. I might desire to live a long life. But that's a goal. I mean, that's a desire.

The goal would be eat the right food, exercise. You can control those things. 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 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 Amazon bestselling book, The Power to Bless. And when you do, for a limited time, we'd like to send you four additional life-changing resources to help you discover the power to bless. We'll send you Pastor Alan's video masterclass and study guide called Speak Life, and we'll also include Pastor Alan's new video course, The Power to Bless, perfect for small groups or individual devotions.

It also comes with a study guide. Contact us today to get Alan Wright's beautiful hardcover book, The Power to Bless, and receive the four additional life-enriching resources. It's time to learn how blessed you are in Christ and to discover the power to bless. Learn more at That's, or call 877-544-4860.

Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. So we pray about our desires, and we take responsibility for our goals. And what Crabb says is that anger, one of the main sources of anger, that arises when we confuse a desire for a goal. When our goals are blocked, we get mad.

So remember, a goal by definition is something within our control. So if a wife, for example, makes it her goal to have an emotionally sensitive husband, she'll be mad at him when he's insensitive. Wanting a sensitive husband is a wonderful desire, but an illegitimate goal. No wife can control whether her husband is sensitive. It might be healing for her to share her desires.

It might be willing, a wonderful thing, to even have counseling together. But if she feels mad, the anger is misplaced. The appropriate response to an unfulfilled desire is grief. What I'm saying is that people who are mad at the world when it doesn't match their dreams have misplaced their anger.

The appropriate response when you have a desire for the world to be better and it's not is not anger. It is tears. And tears will bring you to your knees to pray.

Whereas anger will just make you shake your fist and judge. And Jesus himself didn't ride into Jerusalem with a clenched fist, but a broken heart. And what we see in Jesus is a yearning, a longing for the city, wood that you had known. Verse 34 of Luke 13 again, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones.

How often I would have gathered your children as a hen gathers her brood. It's the cry of desire, a cry of deep longing. It reminds me of the heart of King David when his son Absalom had died and David said, oh Absalom, Absalom my son, my son Absalom, would that I had died in your place. It's that sort of kingly longing in the heart of Jesus who does in the end die in the place of those who are going to crucify him. Jesus weeps and he yearns not as one who is angry so much as one who is longing like a parent of a daughter whose eating disorder is threatening her because of a false self-image or like the father I know whose son died of fentanyl-laced opioids and you yearn and you grieve because you know that it's senseless and yet and yet you do not rage against that because it is the lostness that grieves you and sometimes beloved the the pain of those who are lost is more than enough discipline in itself is it not. I remember when Bennett was a toddler and we lived in a house that had a three to four foot brick retaining wall next to the asphalt driveway and he liked to walk along that brick wall and it wasn't safe and I told him over and over do not walk on that brick wall you can't you're not allowed to and he he was seldom disobedient but he liked walking on that wall and one day I was out in the yard and I suddenly heard the screaming and I went running and there he was half dangling down thankfully had not fallen all the way down to the asphalt to wind up with some head injury or worse but his leg had slipped all the way down and had had had lacerated it all the way down his leg and it was bleeding profusely and he was screaming and when when I was just surveying to see how extensive the damage he finally gathered himself enough to get out some words and all he said was I didn't listen I didn't listen I didn't listen is that a time to discipline the toddler no he's already discovered it himself I think Jesus feels more that way towards our cities and towards the people who we see are so spiritually blind that they can't see what they can't see would that you had known but they are hidden from your eyes the reason for all this pain Jesus is saying is your disobedience but your disobedience flows from your blindness so it doesn't make sense to get mad at a blind person for stumbling in an unfamiliar room they need help what did you known so people are a hundred percent culpable for their own sin let's be clear about that but I think Jesus looks upon sinners in our cities that are so confused and off track maybe the way a third grade math teacher looks upon her third graders and would never be angry that they can't yet work calculus problems they need to work their multiplication tables and when Jesus saw the cities Matthew 9 36 he saw those crowds and he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd what this means is that if you see people as sheep without a shepherd then you know that no one expects a sheep to find its own way left to themselves sheep will foul their own water supply over graze their pastures into ruin will follow other misguided sheep until they form ruts and in the face of wolf attack will prevent no fighting present no fighting skill whatsoever sheep must have a shepherd and there's only one cure for a sheep's waywardness and that's a good good Shepherd so what did Jesus come to do Matthew 20 verse 28 the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many that's how Jesus saw our cities like Winston-Salem has a destiny Kurzweil has a destiny and King has a personality and a destiny and he sees it he sees the beauty and he sees the destiny and he weeps over what's been broken and instead of raging against it get your act together he serves and the Son of Man came to lay down his life as the ultimate service I think that's what Jesus sees when he sees our cities so if you want to be less frustrated and have more of Jesus's love just ask him Jesus how do you see this place I think he'll show you and it will awaken love and hope and melt away worry and frustration Jesus is for our cities and that's the gospel Allen right our good news message from the series Providence Jesus for our cities and Pastor Alan is back here in a moment with a parting good news thought for all of us I encourage you to stick with us 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 pastor Alan org 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 will 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 Amazon best-selling book the power to bless and when you do for a limited time we'd like to send you four additional life-changing resources to help you discover the power to bless we'll send you pastor Alan's video master class and study guide called speak life and we'll also include pastor Alan's new video course the power to bless perfect for small groups or individual devotions it also comes with a study guide contact us today to get Alan Wright's beautiful hardcover book the power to bless and receive the four additional life-enriching resources it's time to learn how blessed you are in Christ and to discover the power to bless learn more at pastor Alan org that's pastor Alan dot o-r-g or call eight seven seven five four four forty eight sixty back here now in the studio sharing pastor Alan's parting good news thought for the day yeah you could be frustrated you could want to push in maybe in an unhealthy way or I think some people may decide you know it's time to retreat it's time to just go home and stay inside and never leave because it's bad and scary out there I've had both temptations myself who amongst us if we're honest wouldn't say we've had both you know I want to shake my fist at it all or I'm just gonna back out of it all and just hunker down and I think Jesus has a much better way I guess I would say to our listeners we've been learning so much about the Providence of God how he provides how might God be wanting to provide his grace in the very city where you are with that what could that look like ask him for his eyes ask him to have his compassion ask him to see with his kind of faith that that's I think the level of understanding Providence that's the level of being having a spirit-led spirit-filled response to a broken world I think Jesus is delighted to share his view and his vision and his heart with you and that makes all the difference thanks for listening today visit us online at pastor Alan org or call 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860 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 pastor Alan org that's pastor Alan dot org today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-02 10:40:21 / 2023-02-02 10:49:11 / 9

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