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Progressing in your Christian Walk

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
January 11, 2023 9:00 am

Progressing in your Christian Walk

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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January 11, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about how to progress in your walk with Christ if you feel like you stuck.   

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at clearviewtodayshow.com. Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at clearviewbc.org. If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at contact@clearviewtodayshow.com or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

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Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Today is January the 11th. I'm Ryan Hill. And I'm David Williamson. And you're listening to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

Or you can send us an email at contact at ClearViewTodayShow.com. And again, you can always help us by supporting the show. You can support the show by going to iTunes, leaving a rating, leaving a review. You can share it online because we have the Facebook page where all the videos are posted. You can always like and share there. And then you can also support us monetarily at the website at ClearViewTodayShow.com.

That's right. And those ratings and reviews are super helpful. We've talked about this on the show before, but it really does help in getting us shuffled toward the top of the algorithm. It lets people know that you guys are listening to the show, that you're liking the show, and that you're enjoying the content.

You want more content from Clear View Today. So go on, leave a rating, leave a review wherever you're listening to, Spotify, Audible, iTunes, whatever your podcasting platform is, go and leave a rating and review for the show. Sure thing. David, why don't you do the verse of the day today? I was thinking, would you mind if I do it?

No, no, absolutely. I would love it if you would do the verse of the day today. The verse of the day is coming from 2 Corinthians, we just talked about them yesterday, 517.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. There's a lot of hope in that verse. It is.

Yeah. There's a lot of times where we feel like, you know, we've messed up beyond redemption or we've, we've, we've said to the point that, okay, God is now done with us. And this verse reminds us like, just like the Bible says, his mercies are new every morning.

We are a new creation. There's, there's always the opportunity for a fresh start. There's always that opportunity to start over. So if you're listening or you're watching today and maybe you feel like you need a fresh start, it's never too late. It's, you're never beyond redemption. God always offers that fresh hope, that, that new mercy every single morning.

Yep. That's such an encouragement. Speaking of a fresh start, you have some exciting news. I do have some exciting news.

Share with the audience your news. So I have been on the hunt for an apartment, looking around, trying to find somewhere, you know, in our location to live. Cause I live near our location, but it's not in the same city.

Yeah. You got a little bit of drive time. A little bit of drive time. It's not terrible. Honestly, where I'm looking at is the same amount of drive time.

It's just technically in the location. So I found the new apartment and it's a nice little one bedroom kitchen has like a little loft area. It looks, I have some pictures. I think I can pull them up and show them the camera. Very nice. That's exciting.

But yeah, it's exciting. And the biggest thing is like on the way to go to the gym and to go to work. I go past John's house so I can pick him up for the gym now without going out of my way.

He's literally on your way. This is why you chose this apartment. That's the whole reason. That's the whole reason. No, I'm just kidding.

I'm just kidding. There's some people who are listening that are very confused. Go back and listen to previous episode. We hashed this out.

I don't remember either. We hashed this out. Their gym routine between David and John was kind of, was kind of strange, but now it's going to make perfect sense. It's perfect. It's right on the way. The whole reason I did it. Well, I'm excited for you, man. That's awesome.

That was better than the apartments that I started with. So yeah, a fresh start. Speaking of fresh starts in the spirit of like starting over, you know, getting a fresh start, we want to make sure that we continue to be part of your new journeys. We're going to talk about progress today. And that only happens when true disciples are engaged in discipling others in the truth of God's word.

You need to think about your progress as a Christian, where you are kind of tracking your spiritual life, but true growth as a Christian is measured in how we are replicating disciples, how we're discipling others. So we're going to talk about that in just a second. But if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. We're going to get Dr. Shah and we'll be right back. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, Clearview Today listeners.

My name is Jon and I'm David. And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shah's work. And that is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abaddon Shah, Ph.D. As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know, if you don't know, you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just pop off the podcast.

David, I'm just pop off the podcast to play and keep listening. Dr. Shah is actually the lead pastor of Clearview Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God-honoring lives. Well, one of the four core values of Clearview Church is that we're a Bible-believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the Word of God spoken into your life. And God's Word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.

Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's Word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the Sermons by Abaddon Shah Ph.D. podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clearview app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes. But you can also find the podcast on the Apple Podcast app or on our website at ClearviewBC.org. And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons.

Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, AbaddonShah.com. And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in.

All right. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com.

Or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, welcome to the studio this Wednesday. It's good to have you guys here today and good to be here today, I should say.

That's right. It's a hump day. Hump day. It's a good day to record. That's right. It's a good day for a radio show. It's always a good day for a radio show, especially if it's Clearview Today.

That's right. You know why it's always a good day for a radio show? I wish you would tell me instead of this intense buildup. Because the host of this show is Dr. Abaddon Shah. He's a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, a professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and as I said in the beginning, I have to restate it, the host of today's show. Right.

And you can follow his work, any of that stuff, at AbaddonShah.com. You've made a lot of progress on your delivery of that line. You know, it just took. I don't know what it took. Hard work and determination and lots of mistakes.

Lots of mistakes. I've failed a lot in the past few episodes. No, I'm playing.

You did great. You guys are funny. Wonderful to have you at the table, David. It's fun to be at the table. It's fun to be included at the table. It's fun to be included. That's my life's motto.

That's right. Well, speaking of progress, that's what we're talking about today. How do you measure progress as a Christian?

Sometimes that can be sort of a foggy, mysterious goal. We know that we should strive to grow in our faith, but what does that really look like and how do we track that progress? Well, when you talk about discipleship, true progress happens when true disciples are engaged in discipling others in the truth of God's word. So, discipleship is not just, oh, I am following Jesus. It's are you helping others follow Jesus with you. So, if you're spinning your wheels in the sludges of life, it's a good indicator of either bad discipleship or false knowledge or sometimes both. And truth is more than just a proverb and a principle.

It is the person of God's son, Jesus Christ. So, when you grow in him, when you're learning more about him and following him and trusting him, you are naturally going to help others follow him as well. This is part of true discipleship.

True progress. I feel like that is something that, you know, maybe I'm wrong in saying this, but a lot of times people default to this sort of me and Jesus mentality. Like it's just me and Jesus alone in the Christian life. And if I can just pray more and read my Bible more and just kind of mean it harder, I'll be a better Christian.

I'll be more spiritual. And there's no progress in their life. Now, when we share some of these truths as first, it seems like maybe just in a simple statement or just nothing really substantial in what you just said, but everything we talk about on Clearview today, there's a scripture to back it up with. So, the scripture we're getting this from is 2 Timothy 3.7, where it says, always learning and never, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

That's scary. Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. And Paul even turns to a sort of apocryphal work when he talks about now Janus and Jambress. Okay.

These were the names given to those magicians of Pharaoh. Now, as Janus and Jambress resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth men of corrupt minds disapprove concerning the faith, but they will, what's the word? Progress. No further. Hence, there is no progression.

Wow. So true progress, let's go back to the statement we began with. True progress in the spiritual life happens when true disciples are engaged in discipling others in the truth of God's word. So spinning your wheels, you might be going down the way of Janus and Jambress. Oh no. Don't follow in their footsteps, in their Egyptian sandals.

Don't follow after them. I mean, David, you hit the nail on the head though. That's a scary thing. We strive toward knowing more. I mean, we sort of glorify that pursuit of knowledge. We want to grow. We want to become better. We want to understand more, but are you spinning your wheels in that pursuit of knowledge?

And if so, what is it that you're actually pursuing? I mean, I always think back to Paul, who I think is probably one of the best Bible scholars. He wrote so many of the books in there. He had so much knowledge, but it came with the cost of having that thorn in his flesh. Whereas when we seek that knowledge, are we seeking it because we truly, you know, want to do God's will or we just want to feel good about ourselves knowing so much? And that's something that I struggle with. It's like, I want to learn more, but why do I want to learn more? Is it because I want to lead other people and I want to make disciples or do I just want to know more so that I can feel good about, you know, I know all of this.

And that's a struggle that I know that I have. Yeah. And the mark of a great leader, because Paul was a great leader, is to help those coming after him to grow spiritually. So the mark of a great leader is to train and empower more leaders to multiply growth, to multiply themselves.

And so if it's just knowledge, more wisdom, clever principles, oh, that's a book I never heard of, but man, that book is awesome. Now what? Right? And you gotta do something with it.

Yeah. What are some good markers for people? And we know we talked about like disciples who are engaged in the process of discipleship. What are some good markers for people if they're sitting and looking that they might be spinning their wheels? Like maybe they're not even aware, like I'm working really hard, but I'm not actually progressing.

How could they determine that? Well, I mean, again, I would say, you know, what is the impact you're making on people around you? Right. Definitely check and see, because if there's an impact being made on their lives, if they're not growing spiritually, if they're not wrestling with some tough places in their own life, right, then I'm not growing.

I'm not helping people. But if you go back to that scripture in 2 Timothy, Paul sort of gives us a, I don't know, should I say a blueprint on how to begin that growth, you know, how to do that. And there's a lesson that needs to be learned. There's a truth that needs to be affirmed. There's a pitfall that has to be avoided. And then there's an urgency that has to be maintained. And when these four things don't happen, then you end up spinning your wheels.

Okay. Then it happens what Paul says here in verse seven of chapter three of 2 Timothy, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. So what's the first thing? What is the lesson to be learned? The lesson is this. Hardships are part of the process. We don't like hardships.

We want things to be just perfect, wonderful, great day upwards and onwards. But what does Paul say in 2 Timothy 2-3? You therefore, talking to Timothy, must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

So he's talking not just to Timothy, but to all of us. You want to have this growth, this progression, then hardships are not God is against me or God has forgotten me or why again. This is part of the process of growth. I don't like it. You don't like it. None of us like hardships. We want the easy life, but in the easy life, you cannot grow. So, so to our listeners, to our viewers, if you're facing some hardships right now, I don't know what your hardships are. Maybe they're physical hardships. Maybe they are relational hardships. Maybe they're financial hardships. Maybe they're moral hardships.

You're just struggling with what's going on in our nation. But I believe, I truly believe that if we endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, God is working something together in our life for his glory, for our good. And then he says in verse four, this is 2 Timothy 2-4, no one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. Also, if anyone competes in athletic, he's not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be the first to partake of the crops.

Consider what I say and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. So, most people are undisciplined, unruly and unsteadfast when it comes to growth. But just like a soldier, a good soldier, you must be disciplined, turn away from all distractions.

You must be athletic, in the sense of a good athlete follows the rules and does not cheat. You have to be like the farmer who is working hard and does not quit, just because he doesn't see something. He sowed the seeds yesterday. Where are the growth crops?

Okay, you have to wait for a few months. So, in this progressive life, this life of progression is a better way to say that, a life where you are not just always learning and never coming to the knowledge of truth, you have to understand the value of hardships. Again, I want to emphasize, we don't like them, but we need them. Let me see you think of the term growing pains. You grow and you have these aches as your body is stretching and becoming bigger and your muscles are getting bigger. As you grow, your skeleton grows and you get these aches and pains in your joints and stuff. But we don't like it, but it's necessary for growth. Could it be that these are spiritual growing pains?

Yeah. God is allowing you in your home, in your life, in your relationships, stretching you so that you may grow, so that you may have a deeper understanding of who he is and what he's doing in your life in this world. That's such a hard thing to swallow because a lot of times it's almost like, okay, if this stuff is happening and this hardship is coming, it does mean this, but it seems like it doesn't mean that God's growing me and God's helping me. It's more like, okay, what did I do? Why is God angry at me?

Why is he not helping me through this? Instead of looking at it with that perspective of like, no, this is all being used to grow, to make me a better Christian, to make me look more like Christ. It's almost like, okay, why is God forsaking me right now? And that is a natural response. But once you're done dealing with a natural response, let's go deeper and say, God, okay, I know better. My response is my natural way of dealing with these hardships, but I know better. I know that you haven't abandoned me. I know that you are not being unfair to me. I know that you're not just enjoying finding pleasure in hurting me or making me suffer.

So there's a purpose. Okay, Lord, what is it? Has there ever been a time in your life where there was someone who directed you away from your natural response? Oh yeah, a lot of people, a lot of good people. I shared with you guys about learning to forgive. I was struggling with some bitterness, some resentment in my life, and I was just trying to block it out. And then this gentleman came into my life that God used tremendously to help me grow. And he taught me how to pray for the person who had wronged me.

He said, pray for the next two weeks. And at first, when you do that, it's going to really bother you. It's going to hurt you.

It's going to be painful and almost revolting, but stay with it. And then you'll find after the day, 5th or 6th or 7th, something like that, you'll find yourself being set free. So yeah, I've had people like my own father-in-law, Pastor Jerry Shedd, help me years ago, deal with my own struggles. So yeah, God has definitely brought people into my life to help me with that.

I love that idea of progression too. Like God has brought people into your life to help you kind of overcome the natural response. And then you then in turn do that for people. I mean, I know I can speak for David and myself when I say you've helped me with that, helped me kind of overcome that natural response. This morning in the gym, we were sitting there talking. Yeah. And we're all in this together.

We're all growing together. But you know, if you go back to 2 Timothy chapter two, there's also a truth that has to be affirmed because we cannot just say hardships. Okay, let's deal with them. They're part of the process, but also truth. What is the truth? Salvation is through Christ alone, because Paul says in 2 Timothy 2.8, remember that Jesus Christ or the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel. What exactly is Paul talking about? I mean, how do we go from hardships to this? What Paul is telling Timothy and through Timothy to those whom Timothy will entrust with the teaching, he's telling them the importance of the true gospel. Don't just endure hardship.

Don't become a stoic. Christianity is not stoicism. Christianity is rooted and grounded in the person of Jesus Christ.

So Paul says in verse nine, this is 2 Timothy 2, for which I suffered trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains, but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. So this is not just hardships to make us stronger. There is a purpose behind it. And the purpose is not just a vision or a legacy. The purpose is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That's the real purpose. So when you're going through hardships, difficulties, whatever those problems are, disappointments are, discouragements are, keep in mind the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yeah. Cause I mean, what's the purpose of going through hardships and, you know, learning to be a better Christian, learning to be more steadfast, learning to be more humble, more loving.

If you're not going to use it for the gospel, then you're just a good person, but you're not really doing anything with it. Right. Right.

Everything else will fall short. Yeah. Is there anything in this process of, you know, affirming this truth and learning these lessons? Is there anything that we need to be on guard for?

I guess anything we need to watch out for? Yeah, definitely. Again, the text is our guide. It's a beautiful text. Of course, Paul talks about, this is a faithful saying. If we died with him, we should also live with him. If we endure, we should also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful.

He cannot deny himself. So people get all concerned and worried about if we deny him, he will also deny us. But in the context, keep in mind, it's about false teachers who ran at the first sign of persecution and denied Christ. He's not talking about just regular everyday people who have moments, you know, of distractions or lapses in their faith. I mean, if that were the case, then Peter wouldn't be where he was doing what he was doing. Cause he was, he was like the trademark for denying Jesus.

Oh yeah. But what you avoid is godless, empty talk. So listen to 2 Timothy 2 14, remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord, not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

A worker that shouldn't be ashamed. Aren't we? Hold on. Wait. We're doing a wanna tonight, right?

It's Wednesday night. It's a one on you wearing your shirt on a worker approved, not ashamed a word to everybody out there. It's not a one us. Yeah. Yeah. There's it's one. There's one Awana. Yeah.

That's a worker approved, not ashamed. Stop. Seriously.

Seriously. So, so definitely you have to keep that in mind also, but shun profane and idle babblings for they will increase to more ungodliness. And they're, you know, Paul talks about in their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of the sword who are straight concerning the truth.

I'm talking about the resurrection, not having come. And, you know, on and on, Paul goes on and talks about how important it is for, for people to avoid such, you know, degrading talk. Also verse 21, if anyone cleanses himself from the ladder, he will be a vessel of honor sanctified and useful for the master prepared for every good work. Plea also youthful lusts. This is very convicting, you know, because recently Christian leaders everywhere have fallen because of youthful lusts.

You know, just because something is attractive, something is intriguing. Don't go down that road. Don't go along with it. Have maturity, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife and a servant of the Lord must not quarrel. Be gentle to all able to teach patient in humility, correcting those who are in opposition. If God perhaps will grant them repentance so that they may know the truth, that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. There's so much here.

We don't have time to get into, but the whole point of this is avoid godless, empty discussions. You know, flee youthful lust, pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, and walk in humility. You know, be aware of the enemy.

Yeah. I love that language to a flee that, that just immediacy, that urgency. Don't sit there and linger. Don't entertain it.

Just, just literally get out of there. And if there's one more thing to add in this entire, you know, thing about being in another world, not always, you know, always learning, but not coming to the knowledge of truth or not making progress is there has to be an urgency that has to be maintained. And the urgency is that the last days will bring false teachers. You know, I encourage all of you to read second Timothy three, one all the way to verse 17. It's a powerful statement on the end times. Let me just read a couple of verses if that's okay. But know this second Timothy three one, but know this, that in the last days, perilous times will come for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers without self-control, brutal despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying its power. But from such and from such people turn away.

I mean, there's so much I can read. And Paul talks about himself and what all he had to endure. And then he tells Timothy, but you must continue the things which you have learned being assured of knowing from whom you have learned them.

And what have you learned? From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. And then of course, that powerful statement, all scriptures given by inspiration of God and it's profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God or the woman of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I mean, there's so much here, but here's the point. Again, don't forget true progress in the Christian life happens when we are engaged in discipling others in the truth of God's word. If you're spinning your wheels, you're always learning, never coming to the knowledge of the truth is because of bad discipleship, but because of what's known as false knowledge and it's in Christ is in the gospel that we are to stay grounded. There's a sense of urgency there. There's a sense of understanding there. The hardships are not just hardships.

They're part of the process and you know, recognize the pitfalls and keep running forward. I love that sense of this is your mission and our encouragement to you guys would be look for people to disciple you. If you don't have those people in your life, be observant to the people that God brings into your life and then look for those opportunities for you to engage in discipleship with other people. If you guys have any questions about today's topic or you have suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at clearytodayshow.com and you can support us financially at that same website. We are thankful for you. We're thankful for those gifts and we want to encourage you. You're going to be blessed as a result of contributing to this show because God is using the show in tremendous ways and you have the opportunity to be a part of that.

So be faithful in that process, that progression and partner with us as we seek to impact people. Dr. Shah, our closing question today comes from Noah T. Noah wants to know, what was your favorite Bible story as a kid? I always enjoyed Noah's Ark. I loved it.

I loved it. As sweet and cuddly as that story, it's about God's judgment to kill everyone. We always see this, and you've said this before, we always see this in nurseries. These sweet little cartoon animals all floating together and smiling. It's a total annihilation. The world population was literally wiped out, save for Noah and his family. It's not accurately drawn because if it was, they'd be like hands coming out of the water like grasping for air. That's not as sweet on coloring pages. No, no. Nice. We'll see you guys and we'll see you next time on Clear Read Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-11 10:16:19 / 2023-01-11 10:28:32 / 12

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