The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. What would you attempt in life if you knew that you were going to succeed?
What things would you attempt for God if you truly believed that your life was put here for a purpose and that you had things God wanted to accomplish through your life? Hi, Alex McFarland here. And on this show, I really want to share from my heart and share some things that I believe the Lord wants you to realize about your purpose, about what God could potentially do through you, and really the blessing and the joy, the fulfillment, the satisfaction that you would realize and know and live in every day if you would just get your arms around the reality that God has a roadmap for your life and there are things that you could and frankly should accomplish for the Great Commission while you're in this life.
Well, I welcome you to the program and I want to encourage you to listen to our other shows that are on all the social media platforms and all the podcast platforms and every weekend on 250 plus radio stations around the country. But I care deeply about this country, as I hope you know, and I care about the state of the church in the country. And as I'm recording this, there's a new story breaking that the Southern Baptist Convention is experiencing attendance levels that have fallen to 1978 numbers. In the last year, it is estimated that 475,000 people have stopped attending various Southern Baptist churches around the country. And the Southern Baptist Convention is one of many Christian denominations in America, the largest Protestant denomination, still the largest Protestant denomination by far. And 13.2 million people will attend Baptist churches this Sunday. But it wasn't that long ago that the figure was well over 20 million. And at present, it's estimated that attendance at Southern Baptist churches is at a 35-year low.
Now, I care about this. I've spoken in 2,200 churches of all denominations, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, non-denominational. It's been my joy to speak in all of these denominations, you know, 31 flavors and more. But I did come to the Lord through a Baptist church when I was in college. It was through a Monday night Bible study. And it's been my privilege to work with the Baptist denomination in many contexts.
And so this matters, folks. When any segment of the body of Christ suffers, we all really ought to care. So I want to, in this program today, give a clarion call to all of us, myself included, to remember that we have a purpose as an individual, as a family member, as a neighbor, as an employee, and yes, as part of the larger body of Christ if you're a Christian, we all have a purpose. And I'm going to share a couple of verses, and then I'm going to give three words that you probably don't hear preached on much. And three words that even if they are brought up by Christians, sometimes it's in a negative sense.
And it's almost even discouraged that you affirm these three words. But I'll give these words and then I'll explain why I really think, given the state of the world, the state of the country, the state of the body of Christ in the Western world, we need to get back to talking about these words and lifting them up. Here is the verse we begin with today. Philippians 1 verse 6 says, being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it unto the day of Jesus Christ. Confident that the work God began in our lives at the moment of salvation, God will achieve.
Okay? Here's another verse that I really love. I discovered it as a young born-again believer in my early 20s, and I've seen God work this out in so many ways. But Psalm 37.4, commit your way to the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Think about that. Commit your way to the Lord and he'll give you the desires of your heart. One more verse, and then I'm going to give you three words, but it's Esther 4.14. When Mordecai said to his niece, if you remain silent at this time, enlargement and deliverance will arise to the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will be destroyed. And who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for just such a time as this? Okay, three verses and three words. Philippians 1.6, God will complete the work he begins in your heart. Psalm 37.4, commit your way to the Lord, he'll give you the desires of your heart.
Esther 4.14, who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for just such a time as this? You see, I believe that everybody has a purpose. Now, I want to, in the context of this program, talk about three words that are key to you embracing your life and your purpose and seeing God working out. And these three words that often Christians frown upon, here they are, achievement, success, prosperity.
Very often, in almost a posture of false piety, people don't like to talk about achievement in the church or success or prosperity. Now, I want to challenge you that it is good, it is proper, it is right, it is biblical, and it is pleasing in the sight of God to aspire to achieve things. Daniel 11.32, that we often talk about, says that the people who know their God will be strong and do exploits.
Isn't that something? So you ought to want to achieve things for God. You ought to want to achieve things in your life. And I think, as long as it's godly and moral and righteous, you ought to have goals. You ought to have a bucket list of things you want to achieve in this life. And yes, church-related, godly-related, gospel-affirming goals, but even personal goals. You know, the book of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, those books have a lot to say about the things God allows you to achieve. And you know, whether it's a personal best type of goal, achievement is a good thing in the life of a Christian. I don't know if you're going to write the great American novel, or you want to take up painting or cooking or finish that college degree or whatever, but achievement for a Christian is a good thing.
It is, as philosophers would say, a good. And then success. Friend, God wants you to succeed.
He does. Believe it. And then prosperity. Oh my goodness. Some people, they think it's spiritual not to prosper.
I disagree. Now when we come back, I'm going to talk about some things, and I'll give you this quote. Billy Graham, one of our heroes, but Billy Graham said, what you are is God's gift to you. What you become is your gift back to God. When we return, we'll talk about the person that you could become.
I believe the person that before Christ you are destined to become for His glory, for your good, and for your contribution to His great commission. Stay tuned. We're going to come back after this and talk about achievement, success, and prosperity.
Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. What are you doing next summer?
Hey, how about this? I want to invite you to join me in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, August 6th through 11th, 2023 for the faith and family retreat. It's going to be awesome. We'll talk about foundational things. What does it mean to be a disciple?
How can you defend your faith? Family time, concerts, renewal of wedding vows. It's going to be great. Then fun, a trip to Dollywood.
Who wouldn't like that? And then faith in action. There'll be a mission outreach, talking to people about Christ. So again, August 6th through 11th, 2023 Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Go to faithandfamilyretreat.com. I hope to see you there. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.
Alex McFarland here. Many years ago, I had the privilege of hearing Zig Ziglar speak. You may recall Zig Ziglar was a motivational speaker and a sales trainer. And he was a devout Christian. He loved the Lord. But I'll never forget he came out and at the time I heard him, he was getting on up there in years. I know he must have been in his late 70s.
But he came out and he had all the energy of three 21-year-olds, I would say. But he said this. He said, most people start out as a unique original, but they end up a cheap copy. Now, sometimes we settle in life.
I want to challenge you in the context of this message not to settle. And maybe you're a late bloomer. I love to meet people as I travel that, you know, after age 50, begin to really blossom.
I've met people. In fact, I participated in the ordination of a man who was 74 years old, 74, and entered the ministry. And he ended up earning a doctoral degree, and we participated in his ordination at 74. You know, Satchel Paige, the very famous Major League Baseball pitcher, who was one of the great pitchers, Satchel Paige, as far as anybody knew, did not have a birth certificate. And in reality was pitching competitively in the majors into his late 40s. And they asked him, you know, how he could pitch so good and be so athletic at his age. And they would ask, how old are you? And he said, how old would you be if you didn't know how old you was? In other words, you know, age very often is this number that we repeatedly tell ourselves, and we might use our age to tell ourselves that we can't do things, or as an excuse, well, at my age. Folks, forget your age.
Forget that number. Now, sometimes we use our age, I'm too young. I couldn't preach or lead somebody to Christ, or I couldn't be a leader in my church because I'm too young. And then you get to the point you say, well, I couldn't attempt that because I'm too old. Look, your age is a number of how many times you've taken a ride around the sun. Folks, I really believe this.
I'm not just talking here. Look, we're on this merry-go-round planet Earth that orbits the sun. And I realized because of the fall of Genesis 3, the world is under the scientific law of entropy.
Things are winding down. And the Bible says that the creation is subject to futility, because right now, under the curse, thistles and thorns, the land brings forth and sin has caused death not only to pass on to the human race, but really death has touched creation itself. Now Christ is going to restore all things. And so I realize that the law of entropy is causing us to age.
And I've said this so many times, all you need to do to see empirical proof of the law of entropy, go get your high school yearbook if you've got one, and look at what you were, and look in the mirror and now see what you are. And I want to say on a physical sense, as Paul wrote, yes, our outward man is perishing, but inwardly we can be renewed day by day. Romans 12, 1, and 2 really speaks of renewing our mind by feeding on the word of God. But for a moment, if you would, let's trust God, take God at his word, and believe that we can achieve things in the power of God, irrespective of the age we are, irrespective of the journey that we've been on, irrespective of the circumstances past or present.
See, sometimes we make excuses and we say, well, I'm too old, or that's impossible because X has happened, or I'm unable because of a present circumstance. Now, look, I love people and I love this adventure of the Christian life, but body of Christ as our nation is unraveling, as church attendance is down, as the numbers of what psychologists call the nones, N-O-N-E-S, and the nones. Okay. Nones are millennials and younger, 150 million people that don't believe in any God. So what religion are you? And the answer, none, N-O-N-E-S. Then where do you go to church?
Well, there are non. Maybe people that say they're a Christian identify as a believer, but they're not even in church, not really living as a disciple. Folks, for your own welfare and well-being, for the state of the country, and for the health of the church, we have all got to live, one of my heroes, Mortimer Adler, said this, we must live at the height of our times. God has called you to become everything He's destined you to be. And yes, God has destined things for you. Like He told Jeremiah, before you were in your mother's womb, I knew you.
Psalm 139, before we were formed, God knew us and saw us. And so achievement, look, like so many have said, we are to experience and achieve things. So point number one, embrace the call to achieve things for God. Now I know in the church, very often people say, oh, you know, let's just be humble. You know, I'm just a safe center and let's just quietly stay in our place.
Baloney. Look, if you're a born again Christian, you are called to greatness. You're called to achievement. And look, I love my heroes, like Billy Graham or Bill Bright of Campus Crusade. Look, past and present, there are the icons that we talk about.
But do you know what? They were really no different than you, the human beings made in God's image. But here is the difference between the ordinary and the excellent, the nominal and the anointed, the life of achievement versus the life of inactivity.
For one, there is the ordinary people who took God at His word and believed that the God who rose Jesus from the dead could do miracles in their life as well. But there is also keeping the mindset that it is for God's glory, Psalm 115 verse 1. Not unto us, O Lord, give glory, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory for the sake of the truth. We do all these things that we do for the glory of God, and because it's true, the Bible is the word of God. People do need salvation.
Christ is coming back. So I honestly believe, folks, and this is in the spirit of John 15 and 16, three times, Christ says that if we're doing something according to His word, according to His will, and for His glory, we can ask in His name and He will do it. So, achievement for God's glory, praying in Jesus' name, understanding that my life really has two purposes. I mean, honestly, you've got a two-fold purpose in life, to be born again and to know your Savior, and then to, in some way, be used to contribute to Christ's great commission. So, achievement. Now, in the beginning of the program, I mentioned the Philippians 1.6, being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you.
Do you know the word work is the word employment? God has conscripted you to His employ. God began a good work in you. He saved you. And there are then innumerable other things God wants to do in you and through you, and He will complete it if you let Him till the day you step into His presence. So God has an employment, a task, a roadmap, a punch list of things that He will and can do through your life. And if you understand that, oh my goodness, what a joyful adventure your life will become. Well, stay tuned. We're going to come back in just a moment and talk more about achievement, success, and prosperity, all three of which God has for you. Stay tuned. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.
Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly, and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late.
You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed, and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.
It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. Alex McFarland here.
We're talking about achievement, success, and prosperity. I do want to remind everybody that I will be at The Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center in western North Carolina, July 7 through 9. I'll be finishing up my series on 1 and 2 Peter. The theme is Thriving Till He Comes, and I would love for you to be there.
It is unforgettable. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, July 7 through 9. It's coming up quickly. There's a little bit of room left, and I would encourage you to go to the website, thecove.org, and sign up and join us there. Also, our youth camps. Six youth camps will be in front of more than a thousand teens. Folks, would you pray about supporting what we're doing financially? We have five employees. We're doing events, publishing, broadcasting. Thousands of youth are praying to accept Christ.
And look, I'll just say this. We are trying to woke-proof America's kids. If you're fed up with the transgender ideology and Marxism and socialism and just cancel culture, we are in the lives of tens of thousands of young people every year, and they are hungry for truth. They want to know about the biblical worldview.
They want to know about America. It is our joy to challenge and equip young people to stand strong for God and country. But we need your help. And so would you please go online. You can give securely at my website, which is alexmcfarland.com, alexmcfarland.com, or you can mail in a contribution, and you can just put on the check TNG, as in Truth for a New Generation, TNG, and you can mail your tax-deductible contribution to P.O.
Box 485, Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, 27313. You know, we're starting these viral truth clubs that website is viraltruth.com, and I'm telling you, middle schoolers, high schoolers, college students, they are eagerly responding to the call to live for Jesus and to influence their friends for America and patriotism and moral truth. So help us. Let's stand together and do this, and God will bless you.
But let me wrap up here by challenging you. Look, we don't talk about achievement in the church too much, but we ought to. My goodness, we ought to talk about success, and we ought to talk about prosperity, because, listen, these are matters of stewardship.
Now, Billy Graham did not have any more hours in the week than you or I, 168 hours in the week. You know, we hear about the people in the world that are really making the future as they go along. How about God's people? How about you, my friend? Believe that you are here for great things. Believe that God loves you and God wants to use you.
Believe that your talents and abilities and your commitment and your work can be used to influence others and to bring glory to God. And let me just say this, folks, as you apply yourself and stop telling yourself lies. I'm too old. I'm inadequate. No, you're not. In Christ, you can do all things.
You can. And Philippians 4.19, my God will supply all of your needs according to his riches and glory. So believe that your life, your ways, your accomplishments can be pleasing to God. And believe, Esther 4.14, that you have come to the kingdom for just such a time as this. Now, success, you don't hear a lot about success in the church, but you know what success really means?
We often, maybe you've heard of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs 16 verse 3 talks about our ways being established. Commit yourself to the Lord. Proverbs 16.3, commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed. Now that word for succeed really means to be firmed up or established. So if your way is committed to the Lord, your plans can be firmed up and your plans can succeed.
Isn't that beautiful? Now I want to read another verse where success is in the Bible. And it's Joshua 1.8. Joshua 1.8 says that if you observe the Lord's word and do what's right, then you will experience good success and he will make your way prosperous. Now the word there, good success, and then your way prosperous, it means increase. We honestly do serve a God of increase.
Not to go backwards, but it also really has the implication of increase that you will see. Now I want to give you another word here in Deuteronomy 8.18. Very famously, Deuteronomy 8.18 talks about God gives you power to get wealth. Now I realize a lot of people in the church, maybe they've been conditioned to believe that it's wrong to talk about wealth. Maybe because we have a propensity to trust in wealth rather than trust in the Lord.
But let me talk about this for just a moment. Wealth is not in itself a bad thing. Now I'm not talking about being rich, quote unquote, but I'm talking about resources. God gives everybody resources. And I want to challenge you to believe that God has more resources that he wants to entrust to you.
He does. Listen, you probably know the story of how at the time I got saved, my family was three quarters of a million dollars in debt. We had a chicken farm that was losing money every month. And my mother and dad were frankly about to divorce. They had had it hard and many, many reversals. And into all this, my dad got cancer.
But you know what? God blessed them. My mother and dad recommitted their life to the Lord watching Charles Stanley. Shortly thereafter, I accepted Christ and was saved.
And look, things didn't turn around just overnight. But I could have never believed at that point that one day, and folks I give God the glory for what I'm about to tell you, I never would have dreamed that I would travel to five of the seven continents, all 50 states, write 19 books. And folks, if you know my testimony, I went to summer school so I could graduate high school. It was all I could do to make a C. But I went to summer school rather than give a speech in a class. And little did I know that I would spend 30 years of my adult life speaking in front of audiences three to five nights a week, 2200 churches, 200 university campuses.
I would do open Q&A in front of countless audiences and do two radio shows and two TV shows. I mean, who would have dreamed that a kid who had to go to summer school because I could not give a speech would spend my whole life giving talks about Jesus and debates with atheists. Folks, here's the point. I completely give God the glory. I couldn't do any of this without the Lord, a C student writing 19 books. It's a miracle.
But here's the point. I will say this. I give God the glory. I just wanted to see some of my friends get saved. I wanted to be a witness for Christ.
And I remember saying, Lord Jesus, if you'll use me, I'm yours. And yes, God has blessed me, but this final thought, folks, in Matthew 6-33, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things will be added to you. I promise you, folks, if you will put Jesus first in your life, then He'll give you every one of your dreams. What are your dreams?
Have you written those down like Habakkuk says to do? Well, if you will keep Jesus first and keep it all about the Lord, then He'll give you every dream you've ever dreamed, and you'll have joy and peace. Now, listen to this quote, and we'll have to pick this up again soon. But God wants to see you achieve things. God wants to give you success. And yes, God does want to prosper you.
Believe that. In mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said this about Christ versus self, right? Lewis wrote this, the terrible thing, the almost impossible thing is to hand over your whole self, all of your wishes, all of your precautions to hand your whole self over to Christ. It is far easier to tell ourselves that we had better remain ourselves and keep our personal happiness as the great aim in life, but at the same time try to be good.
We're trying to let our mind and heart go their own way, centered on money or pleasure or ambition and hoping, in spite of this, to believe honestly and humbly that we can just be good. Listen, C.S. Lewis says this is exactly what Christ warned us that we could not do. He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short, but I shall still produce grass and not wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface.
I must be plowed up and re-sown. See, Lewis said, we try to have God and be good, but not let God really have control. And that's not good. Here's what C.S. Lewis says as I close, hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked, the whole outfit, hand it over to Christ and He will give you a new self instead. In fact, He will give you Himself. And that is the purpose of life. Folks, may God bless you and understand, as Billy Graham said, what you are is God's gift to you.
What you become is your gift back to God. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at AlexMcFarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.
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