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The Alex McFarland Show-84-Bless the Lord, All You People!

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2023 7:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-84-Bless the Lord, All You People!

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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November 16, 2023 7:00 pm

It’s amazing how circumstances can change our perspective when the key to thriving is gratitude and enjoying the little things in life.  On this encouraging episode of the Alex McFarland Show,  Alex shares thoughts from Psalm 103 and makes three points. 1. How there is a personal ministry that God showers into the lives of all people.  2. God’s global redemption ministry.  3. How redemption, mercy and blessings flow from the very nature of God. This is one you don’t want to miss!

Scriptures:  

Psalm 103

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Isaiah 53

Alex McFarland

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. Enjoy the little things in life, for some day you will realize that they were the big things. Hi, Alex McFarland here. Welcome to the program. You know, I saw that sentiment on a plaque that was being sold in a gift shop.

Enjoy the little things in life, for some day you will realize that they were the big things. You know, it's amazing how changes in circumstances change our perspective. There was a very famous minister named Vance Havner, and if you've listened to me much or read many of the books the Lord has allowed me to write, I often do reference Vance Havner. He was actually an amazing person and one of the people most responsible for encouraging a young minister to go into the work of evangelism, Billy Graham. Billy Graham had tried his hand at being a pastor and Billy Graham during a time at Florida Bible College when Vance Havner was the speaker for spiritual emphasis week, Vance Havner didn't drive a car and Billy Graham had a car and had asked apparently the leader of the school, could I carry his bags, drive him around? And so when Vance Havner came, Billy Graham spent several days kind of being his chauffeur and things like that.

But I know how it is. That's kind of how I was, you know, shadowing Josh McDowell and Chuck Colson and James Dobson and wanting to get near my spiritual heroes. Well, Billy Graham wanted to get up close and personal and watch this great preacher of the word, Vance Havner. And Vance Havner encouraged Billy Graham, become an evangelist.

That's how God could use you. And isn't it amazing how God did use Billy Graham. But in the life of Vince Havner, God used him in amazing ways. He died in the mid 1980s and was buried in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he lived for a lot of his years, although during the prime of his ministry, Vance Havner traveled all over North America and was pretty renowned in his day.

He wrote 38 books and he was known as a very deep thinker and really pithy speaker who could turn a phrase. And he would say witty things like, you know, too many church services start at 11 o'clock sharp, but end at 12 o'clock dull and on and on I could go. But near the end of his life, he took an interim pastor at Vance Havner did. And one Sunday morning he got up to preach and, you know, he preached with his usual fervor.

But he said at the end of the service that there would not be a Sunday evening service. And the congregation was astonished when Vance Havner said, my wife Sarah died in the night and I've got to attend to these arrangements. And everybody of course rushed around and said, oh, we're so sorry that you've lost your wife. And Vance Havner said, well, I haven't lost her.

I know right where she is. And sure he grieved. And it was my privilege to know Vance Havner's brother-in-law and some of his close personal friends. But Vance Havner later wrote a book called Yea Though I Walk Through the Valley. And it became his best selling book by far. And to this day, it's a classic in dealing with grief and loss. And Vance Havner talks about how Jesus Christ carried him through the time of grieving his late wife. But here's what he said.

And it relates to the quote with which I opened. Vance Havner said, after a loved one has passed on, you would give anything to relive even the most mundane day. We take for granted, you know, we get up, you have breakfast, share a cup of coffee, go busily into your work day.

And we really don't think anything of it. The little things of life really are things for which we should be grateful because the wise Havner said, after somebody's gone and there's no more opportunity to share the little things, you would move heaven and earth to live again, even the most mundane day. Now I share all these things because we're on the eve of Thanksgiving again. And again, I'm reading sociologists and psychologists who talk about the need to rediscover gratitude, how important it is for our psychological health, how important it is for relationships with other people, even for maintaining employment and doing well at your job and really doing well at life to be grateful. From Psalm 103 in the Old Testament, David, the psalmist, says this, Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Now 1 Thessalonians 5 18 says, In everything give thanks. And when Psalm 103 verse two here says, Do not forget all of his benefits or his blessings. You know, I think about that, that we have forgiveness, healing, preserved life, love, even food, liberties. Okay, let's talk about some of these things because Psalm 103 verses three and following says this. God, listen to this quote, forgives all our iniquities, heals all of our diseases, and he really does.

We'll talk about that again in a moment. He redeems our life from destruction, very often self induced destruction. He crowns us with loving kindness and tender mercies. He satisfies our mouth with good things. Psalm 103 verse five literally gives us good food.

Isn't that something? The hunger that we desire food and he gives us food so that our youth is renewed like the eagles. In other words, he refreshes us. He gives us another day. Now we realize God is the giver of salvation. He does.

If we'll ask him, if we'll put our trust in Christ, he'll forgive our sins, our iniquities. He does heal all of our diseases. And you say, well, he didn't heal my friend or somebody I knew. No, he does.

He does. Isaiah 53 says by his stripes, we are healed. Now, sometimes that complete healing doesn't take place in this life. Sometimes the banishment of disease and the healing and the glorified body that we long for isn't really experienced until we leave this world. Very often, though, and I absolutely believe in the miracle of healing.

I've seen it many times. And I would encourage you to believe God for the miracle that you need. But God does indeed heal all of our diseases. Now, verse four of Psalm 103. And I think these things are important to think about as Thanksgiving draws near. He redeems our life from destruction.

Isn't that something? We often blame things on the devil, but I think half of life's problems, maybe many more, maybe a much higher percentage than that. We don't need to blame the world of the devil.

It's just our own flesh. We very often do ourselves in, like the old saying goes, give a man enough rope and he'll hang himself. And so one of the keys, one of the keys to thriving and staying on that higher ground and being happy and joyful is gratitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson said this. If the stars came out only one night a year, the whole world would go out to marvel at the nighttime sky.

But the stars come out every night and no doubt thousands of times we've all gone out, walked and didn't take any note whatsoever of the beauty of God's nighttime sky. We just take it for granted. And maybe as we think about Thanksgiving, maybe there are things you're taking for granted. Life, health, your ambulatory, your mobile, you've got a job, you can walk around, you can buy some groceries.

You've got a family that loves you, I hope, maybe even God himself. Prayer, the daily mercies and forgiveness and restoration of Jesus. We're going to come back. We'll continue in Psalm 103 and we'll talk about being thankful, what a privilege it is, even a duty to show gratitude to the God who loves us. So this Thanksgiving week, stay tuned. We're back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland, a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Are you tired of liberal agendas ruining our country, but you don't know what to do about it? That's why Truth and Liberty Coalition was founded. We want to equip you to take back our country and impact the world. Here's how we do it. We educate through broadcasts, conferences, and our website with resources that inform, equip, and motivate. We unify by collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance, and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

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He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to the Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. We are in Psalm 103, and we're talking about gratitude. We're going to continue talking about personal ministry that God showers into the life of all people, God's global redemption ministry, and then how redemption and mercy and blessing flows from the very nature of God, all from Psalm 103. But as we look into this, this Thanksgiving week, I pray for you.

I and Angie and our staff and board, we want to be as emphatic as we can possibly be. For those that listen, we give God the glory, and we hope this ministers to you for all of the events, publishing, broadcasting, conferences in about 20 states this past year. I give God the glory. Our 20th book came out this year, 100 Bible questions and answers for families.

And then we had seven youth camps with more than a thousand teenagers and 300 prayed to accept Christ. And folks, your prayers and involvement in this ministry help make this possible. And I give God the glory. I'm hesitant to share what I'm about to share, but I completely give God the glory.

But I want to illustrate the growth of what we're doing and how you who pray for me and our staff and the people we're mentoring and training and what we're trying to do to further the gospel, you're helping to make it happen. I was on my way. I had been in the western part of the state for a board meeting of a board that I'm on that is a part of the Billy Graham ministry. And I was driving from Asheville, North Carolina, back to Greensboro along a very, very busy, congested interstate 40. And I stopped to get a drink to get a soda pop and a long day talking, you know, being on the radio. So I just pulled in this random convenience store and I go in and on this flat screen TV in the back of the store, there I was on Truth and Liberty, which is a broadcast that we do in conjunction with Caris Bible College and Andrew Wommack Ministries. What an honor it is to be on there. And I took my beverage to the counter to pay. And the lady looked at the flat screen TV and she looked at me and she pointed to the screen and she said, that's you. And I said, yes, ma'am, I guess it is.

Here's my point, folks. God is allowing us to preach the gospel. We give God the glory.

And I sincerely feel like, you know, I don't care that anybody knows my name, but I do care that everybody hears the name of Jesus. So as we go towards Thanksgiving, folks, please know that I am so grateful for every single one of you all that pray for me as an evangelist, apologetics speaker, young people, grown ups, the revival of the church, all of the literature that we get to ship out and all that the Lord is doing. I truly thank God for each and every one of you. But, you know, we're talking about Thanksgiving and Psalm 103 says, bless the Lord.

Oh, my soul, all that is within me. Bless his holy name. When you give thanks to God and this really will keep your perspective right. Begin by thanking God for who he is. Bless his holy name.

He is the eternal God, the creator of all things, the author of salvation, Jesus willing to give his life for sinners even before the creation of the world. And so before we rush in and give our requests and even petitions and almost demands, Psalm 103, bless the Lord. Oh, my soul. And then it is good to remember the things he personally does in your life. He forgives you.

He provides for you. So there is personal redemption, but there is global redemption. Let me read on and it says in verse six and following the Lord executes righteousness and judgment on behalf of all those that are oppressed.

And he really does. And despite appearances, we live in a world of sin and violence and terrorism and political corruption. And we live in a world of cancer and all of the ripple effects of the fall of man. But understand this, folks, the day is coming, as Habakkuk says, when the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. And the day is coming when all of the crooked will be made straight.

And he really does undertake on behalf of those that are oppressed. Now thank God as you're giving thanks. Thank God for the Bible. Verse seven of Psalm 103. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts under the children of Israel. You see, the Bible says under the Jews were committed the oracles of God. We've got the first five books of the Bible. That's called the Pentateuch. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. God gave his written revelation to Moses. And we've got the entire Old Testament. And of course, from raising up Abraham and the nation of Israel, guiding them through the deliverance of Pharaoh and the Egyptians to the promised land. And then they had to repeatedly fight off the Philistines and the Jewish people are fighting the Philistines to this day.

Now they're just called Palestinians. But God has revealed himself to the children of Israel. This is global redemption. Verse eight of Psalm 103 says that the Lord is merciful, gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.

I love the way the King James renders that it means of great mercy, plentiful. God's mercy is all you need. And you say, well, yes, but I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of. I've got a lot of things in my life I would just as soon forget.

Maybe you say that. But God's mercy is enough for you. There's an old gospel sign that says there's room at the cross for you. The millions have come. There is still room for one. There's room for you at the cross.

But it goes on. And it says, though, in verse nine, that he will not always chide or scold, neither will he keep his anger forever. Maybe you've been in a season of life and you have felt the loving but firm reprimand of God. You know, just like a parent disciplines their children, if they're a good parent, permissive, indulgent parents have created the entitled, narcissistic, unthankful masses we see around us. Just like a wise parent disciplines their children, God, and it's going to say this in Psalm 103, God, like a wise parent disciplines us. And he doesn't hold back. He does reprimand us and he doesn't restrain himself forever. If you are running from God, if you're resisting God, if you're in willful disobedience, yes, God will let go and discipline you.

He will not restrain or keep his anger forever. But praise God for verse 10. He has not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. If we're honest with ourselves, and maybe this is the basis of all that you're thankful for this Thanksgiving, all in all, in spite of ourselves, God's been good to us. God's been merciful to us.

I can surely say that in my case. And here is the immeasurable nature of God's mercy for which we are grateful. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. Now on the flip side, let me say this, as high as the heaven is above the earth and as expansive as the universe itself, so great is God's wrath against those that reject him and resist him and refuse to obey him. Verse 12, and this is an idiom. In other words, it's saying, as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

In other words, infinity. If you're a born again believer, and what comfort we take in this, if you've put your faith in Jesus, your sins and the guilt your sin deserves has been removed as far from the east to the west. And so there is personal redemption. There is the global redemption.

When we come back, we'll look at 13 through 17 and how redemption flows from God's righteous nature. I hope you've got a lot to be thankful for. I hope you're thinking about these things. And I hope within your heart and in the core of your soul, you're able to say, God, I give you glory. Lord, I'm grateful. I praise your holy name.

Stay tuned. We're going to come back and talk more about Thanksgiving gratitude from Psalm 103 after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Over the last several decades, it's been my joy to travel the world talking with children, teens, adults, people of all ages about the questions they have related to God, the Bible, Christianity, and how to know Jesus personally.

Hi, Alex McFarland. I want to make you aware of my book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity. You know, we interviewed hundreds of children and parents and families to find out the questions that children and people of all ages are longing to find answers for. In the book, we've got practical, biblical, real life answers that they have about how to be a Christian in this modern world.

My book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask, you can find it wherever you buy books or at resources.afa.net. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. We're in Psalm 103. We're looking at thanksgiving to God, personal redemption, global redemption, and how redemption flows from the nature of God. I want to just say a brief word, though, about all that the Lord is doing in our ministry as 2023 begins to wrap up. If you would, please go to our website, alexmcfarland.com.

You can see my travel schedule there. I will be at the Cove July 12th through 14th next year. And let me encourage you to register maybe the most significant or the most potentially significant study I've done at the Cove. And we've done Daniel and Revelation and Genesis and Romans, Colossians, Amos, 1st and 2nd Peter, the Psalms, Proverbs. It's been my joy over the last 18 years to do so many biblical book studies at the Cove. And I thank God for this opportunity and my dear friend Will Graham inviting me. But we're doing 1st John, July 12th through 14th, and I'll be talking about the believer's identity in Christ and our authority in Christ, because I believe in the core of my soul.

It is time that the church understand all of the authority, the power, the stability, the standing we have as born again believers. And so join us July 12th through 14th, 2024 at the Cove. It will change your life forever.

So inspiring. And you can go to thecove.org, T-H-E-C-O-V-E, thecove.org, and put my name in the space bar July 12th through 14th, and you can register. And also if you would go to my website, alexmcfarlane.com, we're putting up new content all the time, putting things on social media.

And then finally, the website for young people, equipretreat.org. We've got at present six, and there may be a seventh youth camp, Montana, South Carolina, Georgia will be all over the country. And look, I challenge parents, invest a week that will count for a lifetime, folks, and we'll be in Colorado.

So many things going on. We give God the glory. I will say this for the camps, we need to raise $50,000. Our camps are just a few hundred dollars per camper. And we have to raise at least that other Christian camps, and I'm not faulting them, but other Christian camps are $2,000 to $5,000. There are some Christian camps that are $5,000 for a week of camp, not for us. We raise money and every gift you give, if you would give $400, you just bought a week of camp for a child.

We had over 300 except Christ last year. We're teaching them about God and country. We're fighting wokeness. We're trying to woke proof America's youth. So you can go to equipretreat.org about registering, or if you feel led to help us make it affordable.

And we have never in 25 years, never, never turned a teenager away. Everybody that wants to comes to our camp, and we equip these young people to love the Lord Jesus and the United States of America. You can give securely online at my website, which is alexmcfarland.com, or you could mail a contribution if you would to TNG, Truth for a New Generation, P.O.

Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27408. And of course, all contributions are tax deductible. And I'm thankful for your involvement in our ministry.

But let me share a story. The Nobel Laureate, the Romanian born Jewish writer, scholar, Elie Wiesel, wrote about during the Holocaust. He was a Holocaust survivor himself, one of the great lives of the 20th century. But Elie Wiesel wrote about how in the concentration camps, they put God on trial. And there were a number of Jews that were held in the concentration camps, and some became very angry. Many prayed. In fact, the late Barry Leventhal that we worked together when I was president of a concentration camp, Barry Leventhal interviewed in the late 60s, early 70s, many Holocaust survivors, many, many, many believed on Yeshua, Jesus as Messiah. And there were stories. And I would encourage you to read Dr. Leventhal's dissertation, stories of Jesus appearing to the Jews in the concentration camps. And many were born again.

And I realize this is a very sensitive subject. But there were some that became very angry. And they believed that God had broken his covenant. And all the promises made to the Jewish people were somehow nullified. So within the prison cells, they decided to put God on trial.

And this is a well documented story. And they appointed a defense attorney to defend God. They had a prosecuting attorney, and they went through arguments for a long time, and they decided that God was guilty. And they, even though it was just going through the motions of a mock trial, they decided that God had broken his covenant. God did not keep his promises to the Jews, they said, and God was guilty. And Paul, of course, addresses this in Romans that God keeps his covenant and even the unbelief of Israel did not nullify his covenant.

Be thankful at this Thanksgiving that God keeps his promises. The Bible says here in Psalm 103, 13, as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear him. He knows our frame. In other words, he understands what we're made of.

He remembers that we are but dust. But the mercy of the Lord, verse 17 of Psalm 103, the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him and his righteousness unto the children's children. Now, let me say this, and oh my goodness, how we love the Jewish people, how we unequivocally stand with Israel. And at this time, as Hamas is wreaking terror, I'm glad Israel is defending itself. I'm glad that nearly 200,000 people gathered in Washington to stand with Israel.

And even Hollywood actors like Debra Messing of Will and Grace and Patricia Heaton and others, Chuck Schumer was there. And while obviously politically we are a universe apart, but yet we need to stand with Israel, nations have the right to self-defense. But, you know, I'm sad for what went on in the Holocaust, but they were wrong. God did not break his promise. And my dear friend, God has not broken any of his promises to you.

Look, in counseling people and being a pastor and a Christian figure, I've counseled hundreds and hundreds of people. And let me say, I have witnessed the absolutely destructive power of unconfessed men, whether it be the nation of Israel obeying God and acknowledging their Messiah, which we pray they do, or whether it be you in your own personal heart. Don't believe the lie of Satan. Don't believe that God has forgotten you. Don't believe that God isn't faithful. Don't believe that God is not able. Don't believe that you're in this life just on your own by yourself.

You're not. The friend who sits closer than a brother is just a prayer away. And so you might have heard this. Somebody once said, Dear God, I want to take a minute not to ask you for anything, not to ask anything from you, but simply to thank you for all that I have. And as we are listing the things for which we're grateful, let's be thankful for who God is. Psalm 103, 15 and 16 says, The days of man are like grass, like the flower of a field. And for a moment he flourishes, but the wind passes over and it is gone.

And the place where it was is known no more. Be grateful to God. The mercy of God is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him and his righteousness. God is righteous. Folks, Almighty God will do right because he can't do wrong. He's God. He's perfect. He's holy. He's righteous. He won't hurt you.

He loves you. He has a plan for you. I could give so many scriptures. We're almost out of time, but let me challenge you. We've got a Thanksgiving challenge going on and we've got a $50,000 matching gift. If we can see the Lord provide $50,000 by the end of this year, we've got a generous donor that's going to match that and we give God the glory. But take five minutes a day to be very intentional. Maybe write it down on paper and tell God the things you're thankful for. Thank God that the old car might not be brand new, but at least it starts and gets you around.

And maybe it might not be filet mignon and gourmet fare, but there's something on the table to eat. Listen, God knows what we need. God is good. And like Psalm 103 says, along with King David and so many of the people that have made their mark throughout history, we bless the Lord. All that is within us. We bless his name and we remember his benefits and blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks. 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 Alex McFarland dot com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404 or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD and the number one. That's 1-877-YES-GOD-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show. and look for the section that says, Ask Alex Online.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-21 03:58:01 / 2023-11-21 04:09:42 / 12

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