Welcome back, everyone. Today is Tuesday, November 21st. I'm Ryan Hill.
I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com.
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We're going to leave a couple of links in the description so you can do just that. The verse of the day today comes from 1 Timothy 2, verses 1 and 2. Therefore, I exhort, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings, and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. Ain't that the goal of every man? A quiet and peaceable life. And when we're younger, we have dreams of success and fame and money and women and cars and boats and all this stuff that the world throws at us and says, this is what success looks like. But you know, the older I've gotten, the more I've just admired a quiet, peaceable life, still that has impact because we're still creating stuff.
We're still putting stuff out there on the radio show. We want to grow it as big as we possibly can. But at the same time, just to have that peace, that vine and fig tree goal of a quiet life just spent with God and with our families. When Paul gives us the secret here in his letter to Timothy, he said, hey, pray for your leadership. Pray for the people who are in authority over you. Even if those people don't always align with what you believe, even if those people are not godly people, pray for them.
Pray on their behalf. Because all authority, the Bible tells us, all authority has been established by God. So it's not a matter of like, I agree with this person, I don't agree with this person. Now, we're not saying that you should just kind of roll over and just kind of let injustice happen. If you need to stand up for biblical values, certainly do that.
If you need to push back in certain areas, certainly do that. But overall, where authority figures are in place, pray for them, respect them, and that will lead you to that quiet and peaceable life and godliness and reverence. Amen.
Amen. Um, gosh, I feel like I feel like every time we talk about peace and comfort and happiness and tranquility, it's always followed by a gripe vine. We've got that vine and fixture you talked about. It's the gripe vine. It's the gripe vine. A lot of gripes these past couple of weeks. I got a gripe vine. In a month where we're supposed to be focused on being thankful.
I know, right? We've got a sudden uptick in gripe vines. The gripe vine is really taking off in November. I got a gripe about David's mom. I got a gripe about David's mother. Sorry, what? I'm going to gripe! Sorry. Sorry to yell.
RIP headphone listener. Sorry to yell. I'm going to gripe about David's mother.
I have plenty of those. I got permission. Easy, David. I didn't get permission from David's mother, but I did get permission from David, which I feel like is just as good.
I did get permission from David's mom. So she had a vow renewal two weeks ago. Yeah. Sweet. Beautiful service. It was great service.
Everything went smoothly. For those of you who are listening who don't know what a vow renewal is, it's basically just redoing your wedding and just renewing your vows before God. It was great.
Reaffirmation of those truths and standing in front of your friends. Maybe life has happened and lots gone into it, but it's kind of you standing in front of your loved ones and reaffirming those promises to one another. She asked the worship team to lead.
It was a great time. We did a couple of worship songs. It was very important to her that it was a worship service and all the glory and credit went to God and I thought everything went well. So she goes to David. Her son. Her baby boy. Her one and only.
The apple of her eye. She goes to him 15 minutes before, and David, you feel free to jump in here. She says, David, all the people are sitting... nobody's sitting in the middle. Our church sanctuary has three aisles of pews. There's one long in the middle and then two flanking the side. So there's no center aisle. Yeah, we've got two aisles and then like three sections of pews. No center aisle. In the new sanctuary, that will not be the case. We'll have a center aisle again, which is good news for brides.
But as it is right now, the center is a line of pews. She went to David and was it in person or did she call you? I was in person. It was in person.
Okay. So she was, she almost, would you say confronted you? No, it wasn't. It was, I love you, mother. I love you to death.
I know you do. It was a question that wasn't a question. It was a question that was a, please do this. So it was a question that was meant to inspire action. So David, as she said, she said, David, everybody's sitting on the sides of the sanctuary.
Nobody's sitting in the middle. Pause right at that moment. This was my red. This was my downfall because right at that moment you had a red flag.
I knew exactly what she was going to do. Right. She was like, don't you think that's kind of weird? Don't you keep this? Do people just do that? Do people should do go do that? I was like, I don't know.
I'm trying to get over here though. Yes. Now I didn't know. I didn't know that exchange with David happened.
If I did, I would have followed his example and just as soon as I saw the danger, I would have immediately disengaged. I didn't do that. I goofed up. She calls me from backstage and goes, everybody's sitting on the sides. They're not sitting in the middle. And I was like, is that how she starts the conversation? Kinda. She was like, she was like, is everybody? She asked me if that was happening. She was like, John, is everybody's like sitting on the side? They're not in the middle.
Me, I'm clueless. I'm like, uh, yeah. Yeah. It looks like it, Christy. They are.
I thought it was all done. She was like, okay, well why? I was like, I don't know. I don't know why. I don't know. She was like, I mean, why would they do, why would they not sit in the middle? I was like, I don't know.
I don't have a good answer for you. She was like, I mean, but they should, right? They should be in the middle. What she wanted was in the pictures for it to not look empty, which I think is completely fine. But we were doing this like build up in this rigmarole to get there. So she was like, so finally she arrived and she framed it as, John, would it make you super uncomfortable to get up there and tell them to move over to the middle? And I was like, um, to be honest, it would make, it would put me in kind of a weird position a little bit. She was like, okay, but you'll still do it. I was like, huh? She was like, I mean, you'll, would you, would you still do it? Even if you still make yourself uncomfortable. Then I looked at David and I was like, she's asking me, David was like, I already know.
I already know. I was like, what should I do? He was like, do what you want. He was really checked out.
He was disengaged completely. A normal person I felt like would have been like, Hey, it's all good. Don't do it. But she was like, I want this. Like, I know it's, I know you're uncomfortable, but please do it.
So I did it. I went on stage and I was like, Hey guys, just for the sake of getting the pictures, if y'all wouldn't mind standing up, it's like kind of going over and sit in the middle pew. And I can see people like, and they went and sat. I don't know. So after this, I asked my wife, Ellie, I asked Melissa, who's our secretary. Um, I was on the way to Kannapolis.
Our violin player is a girl. I asked her as well. And all of them said, yes, that's clear. They should have sat in the middle.
And the fact that they didn't is borderline disrespectful. And me and David, and I'm guessing you were floored. I was floored that everyone, but it wouldn't be immediately. Oh, Oh yeah. That doesn't make sense.
We were flew over. Like how, who would think of something like that? I would think like, let them sit where they want to sit. But Ellie, Melissa, Christie, apparently Ella, they were like, it's so obvious they should sit in the middle.
I want to know what Dr. Shaw thinks. I guarantee you, guarantee you, he would say, no, they need to be in the middle. Yep.
Because I mean, that's my point is that he operating the journalism realm and having, you know, done so much with church pictures over the years, he thinks in those terms, whereas for some of us that may not be like the natural go-to. Ladies, write in and let us know if, if you were doing your wedding or your vow renewal and the whole middle aisle was empty, everybody was sitting on the sides. Would that be a clear and obvious problem to you?
Write in and let us know. And is it an act of disrespect? Yeah.
Is that disrespect? Write in and let us know two five two five eight two five zero two eight. Or you can visit us online at clearveetodayshow.com. We're going to get Dr. Shaw and we'll be right back. Love you, Christy. Hey Ryan. Hey John. Hey man. I'm having an awesome time doing the Clearview Today Show with you.
Thanks man. I hope people are having an awesome time listening to it. Well, listen, I think our listeners would actually be interested to know that Clearview Today is not the only podcast we produce. Oh, do go on.
Oh, well go ahead and stop what you're doing right now. Mosey on over to your podcast app and subscribe to Sermons by Abaddon Shaw, Ph.D. As many of you know, Dr. Shaw is our lead pastor here at Clearview Church. And every single week he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live godly lives. One of our core values at Clearview Church is that we're a Bible believing church, which means that every single sermon is coming directly from the text. And it's great because whether you're driving, cleaning the house, working out, whatever you're doing, you're listening and receiving timeless biblical truth. And God works through every sermon differently, which means you're always going to get something new. Sometimes it'll be conviction. Sometimes it'll be encouragement.
That's right. You guys can check out Sermons by Abaddon Shaw, Ph.D. on the Apple podcast app. You can find it on our website as well. That's ClearviewBC.org. You can even read the transcripts of every message on Dr. Shaw's website. That's AbaddonShaw.com.
Love it. John, you ready to hop back in? Let's do it. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abaddon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com.
If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028. That's right. We are back again in the Clearview Today studio with Dr. Abaddon Shaw. It's Taco Tuesday. I just ate some tacos. Taco Tuesday. I feel it bubbling up. I was like, you stay down. We are here with Dr. Abaddon Shaw, who is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, host of today's show.
Dr. Shaw, I got a question for you. I want to know. It's not about tacos. We just had some really great, delicious tacos.
I just want to lay out a situation, a hypothetical, and you tell me if this is common sense or not common sense. We're at a wedding, and so in our sanctuary, our current sanctuary, we have two side aisles and one middle aisle. Everybody is sitting in the middle aisle for the wedding. Everybody's sitting on the side.
Not aisles. The middle row. The middle row. The middle row is empty.
Everybody's sitting on the far side, and the bride is upset. Is it common sense that they should have sat in the middle, or is it like that might not have been obvious? Did you really spend time thinking up this question? No, this happened. Really?
Yeah. This is real life. This happened. It wasn't a bride. But it was... and they weren't upset.
It was David's mom. I got permission to talk about it. She wasn't upset, but I wanted to know. She was just upset. This was before I got there.
This was before you got there. Because I'm the one who was officiating. Yes. I want to know, do you think that was just a preference, or no, that's common sense they should have sat in the middle? Well, so I'm going to skip that story.
Very cool. I have a better story. Let's hear it. So here is the pastor of a church, a hypothetical church. Sure, sure, sure.
That is in no way grounded in reality. And all likenesses are coincidental. Yes. 500 people can sit in this church. Sure. And it also has the very same setup. Two big rows over here, aisles, and a massive row in the middle. Right, right, right.
All right. So that's what you have. And so common sense will say, sit in the middle towards the front. Don't have to be in the front row. Don't have to be in the first five front rows. Get somewhere there. Sure.
We're not going to do that. We're going to sit, we're going to sit where we sat as little kids in that church, albeit that you are now 70, 80 years of age. So here I am preaching and there are two people in the front, three rows down in the middle. Then there is over there on the right row, way in the back, very back, back row two over there. On this side, on the left, in the middle, there are four people who sit there. Now, why are they sitting like this? Because that's where they sat as kids. So albeit the church is now pretty much 90% empty. They're still sitting there. And if the two people in the middle don't come, it seems like... There's nobody there.
It seems like... Vast expanse. It seems like Moses is just part of the Red Sea. It's a massive opening in the middle. Now I got to walk through the Red Sea aisle, which is actually a row. So guess what I did?
I went and bought this nice red cord-like rope. Yes, dude. I'm here for it. And I roped off the section. Yeah. Yes.
Yes, absolutely. Guess what people did? What'd they do? They just stepped over it. They stepped over the rope. Oh no.
And went and sat in their seats. Yeah. I figured that's what it would be. I figured that that was the case.
They're going to just step right over it. And I'm thinking, I wonder why this rope is here. Oh well. Are you serious?
Yeah. So they just put one leg on top of the other and they sat right back. And I'm thinking, why would you do this? And I was like, I don't care. Sit anywhere.
Sit on the roof, if you like. I am preaching to you. And these are our folks. They're sweet, wonderful folks.
Our kids and still do some of them who are still alive. But I was so shocked. I'm like, it's so oddest arrangement. Two in the middle, three over there, three in the middle, and then maybe four or five scattered.
Wow. And once in a while we would have a drunk walk in and then- Really? Then it was our quiet front loop.
Then it was our quiet front loop. Like, what in the world? Yeah, because then it's like a toss up. It's like, who knows where he's going? Where's he going to sit? He might come try to sit on the vault. Is he going to take someone's seat? Oh boy. And usually I would tell one of our deacons, it's like, huh.
Yeah. It's like, eh. If you're listening on the radio, he's doing that thing with his head where you're like, eh. Go sit with him.
So he doesn't start singing because he wants to sing right now. And then we had this one guy. Can I continue this? Yeah, please. I'm here for it. I'm loving it.
I'm loving it. So I said, okay, the pulpit is too far away. I'm going to come down and put a nice little podium, a music stand right in front of the front pew in that front middle row aisle.
So I brought it down there. There was this one gentleman who used to come and he would have some friends with him. There's people he was helping. He would have them. And so they would sit right in front of those two ladies. They would sit somewhere in the same vicinity except row number two. So they would sit.
That's where he would sit. Well, one Sunday, this one gentleman did not come, but the people who used to follow him or get help from him came, or one came. And he went and sat in the same spot, expecting that his benefactor will show up at some point in time in the service.
The benefactor didn't come that day. So here's what happens. I'm standing here with my little music stand, with my sermon notes and everything.
Those two ladies are still where they are. The few are scattered in the netherworlds. And then this one guy comes and sits in the middle in front of those two ladies, one pew down, just one pew down. Now this would not be a problem if his benefactor was there and maybe one or two other people. In the middle of my sermon, he stands up. He looks around to see if he's here.
His benefactor is here. It's a massive 500-seat building, so it's hard to see if somebody is here or not. So I am preaching and he is standing in front of me.
And I'm like, really? In this massive auditorium, you find this one spot to stand. The worst spot. You found it and now you're standing out blocking everybody. He's literally like spinning like a top looking for his buddy.
He starts calling him. Hey, are you in the back? Sit down. And I wanted to just say, sit.
But I was like, you know, this will create more commotions. I kept preaching. When you look at the book of Acts, you find that the church is growing.
Hey, are you here? You can clearly see that the church is growing. Unlike you can clearly see me now because you can't. And I'm also seeing the two little old ladies sitting there trying to listen and he stands right up. He's blocking them too. They're trying to see you, but he stands right up in front of them. He's standing in this massive open space.
There are like 10 seats on both sides that are open and then many rows and many, many, many places are open. But that's the one spot. The one.
The one worst one. That's hilarious. I will never forget that. Yeah, I bet.
I bet. Sometimes you just look at Christians and you go, what in the world? What are y'all doing? I feel like God does that with us sometimes. Like he loves us and he has a plan for us, but sometimes he's like, why would you do that?
Why are you standing in front of me and spinning to look for something else other than what I'm teaching you? It's those moments where you're so thankful for like the assurance of salvation. Like I'm really glad that I can't lose this because I've done some really silly stuff.
I've done some dumb things. We're talking about that today. We're continuing our series as we're diving into what it means to be thankful and the various things that God has blessed us with that we have to be thankful for. And just like you said, Jon, we have salvation as kind of like top of the list. We can be thankful that God has made a way for us, that God has provided a means of salvation for us because on our own, I mean, we're kind of hopeless. It's one thing that, and I've noticed this when you preach on Thanksgiving seasons, Dr. Shah, is that you always put salvation in there because it's something that we thank God for the blessings in our life, but we almost take salvation as kind of a given, you know?
Like a little extra added on. Yeah. Or it's like that's kind of our found, like, yeah, I'm saved, of course. But I also want to thank you for my blessings and my family and my children. But just the fact that I'm going to be with God forever.
Yeah. And that's exactly what Paul says in 1 Timothy chapter 1 and verse 12. I want to read that for you. He said, and I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has enabled me because he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry. Although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor and an insolent man, but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.
Wow. I feel like life would be so much easier and simpler if we would just admit that to ourselves that we are as wretched of a sinner as God says that we were. I love that these words are coming from Paul, too, because Paul is like, he's Paul. He's the big man. He's the hero of the faith. He's the one in charge of the growth of Christianity in the New Testament. And he's like, hey, I am the chief of sinners.
I am the worst one. I am the one who needed salvation the most, and God came to redeem me. It's like when I was a teenager, the rules of Christianity were kind of laid out for me. Like, this is what Jesus did. Here's what you have to do. If you do this, you're saved. So I was like, okay, I followed the rules. I prayed the prayer.
I did this. But it's the longer that I've grown and the longer I've been a Christian, the more amazed I am that he would do that. He absolutely didn't have to do that. He would still be God. It's all by grace. In fact, in Paul's letter, that word charis is found repeatedly. It is translated grace, of course, and Paul used it in his letter, especially in his opening.
I want to read this opening for you here. It says, grace to you, grace to you. I mean, imagine telling that to people, grace to you.
Sounds awkward, but just think for a moment. Grace to you. God's grace to you. God's compassion and kindness and mercy and goodness to you. See, all that is encapsulated in that idea of grace. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
And then he would even close the letters with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Be with you all. Amen.
Wow. So charis is used many times, but one of its major meanings is thankfulness. Paul often used that word to express thankfulness to God, especially for his salvation in his life. It's one of those things that I feel like we should be more cognizant of, is how grateful we are to be for our salvation. I think that's a mark of maturity in the Christian life. As you grow and as you deepen your understanding of God and what he's done for you, you understand just how much you need a savior. You understand just how much you have to be forgiven for.
I think you said that, Dr. Schell, one time. I can't remember if it was from the pulpit or just in a conversation, but it's really difficult to understand the depth of God's grace without understanding the depth of our sin, without having a clear picture of what sin is and what it's done to us and who I am as a sinner. Because then it's just like, okay, Jesus, he saved me. Thank you, Jesus. Thanks for my ticket to heaven.
Appreciate that and I'll see you when I get up there. But it's like the depth and the depravity of who we were before Christ, enemies of God. And then even our ministry, our life, everything we do is God enabling us. Paul says right here, I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has enabled me. That word means who has strengthened me. And Paul was thanking God for giving him the strength, but also continually strengthening him. Now, God strengthened me when I came into the ministry, gave me the wisdom I needed, gave me the strength I needed. I remember my first few months in seminary, I was struggling and it was not because I didn't have those smarts to study.
It was just that I had walked away from God for so long and lived for self, not so long as in like years and years, but just that period of disillusionment, a period of just existing, that for me to get into the studying of biblical Greek or systematic theology or Christian ethics or whatever class I was taking at the time, it was difficult. And I had to pray and ask God, God, help me to think. If you don't help me, my brain is not going to function. I'm having trouble thinking. I think I know, but then I realize I don't know.
I keep tripping in the same spot. Help me, help me, help me. And so when I did that, God not only gave me the wisdom, but he also kept on giving me the wisdom. So I want to encourage people to remember this, this enabling is not a one time strength. It's a strength that grows or goes from day to day. And a better translation would be, I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has enabled strength in me, that he counted me faithful, trustworthy, putting me into the ministry. So he is giving God all the credit for everything. That's right. I think of like, like when we were, cause Holden is getting to that age, our youngest son, he's getting to that age of where we're kind of holding him up and letting him walk a little bit.
And we did that same thing with Gavin. I know you guys did that with your kids as well, but like, imagine never having done that, just expecting them to get up and just figure out, I need to get on two legs and walk on my own. And being able to do like being able to do that on their own, just pop up like that. No, you got to teach them. You got to hold them up.
You got to prop them up. Right. And God does that for us.
He not only brings life into us, but then he continued to pour his life into it. That does not mean that you're not not going to have problems. You're not going to reach or face situations that will humble you or, or break you or show your weakness. But it simply means that you will get through those situations and you will learn from them and you will continue climbing. That's what I think Paul had in mind here. And then he even talks about his past life. He said, though, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor and an insolent man, but I obtained mercy. So Paul saw how much he needed God's mercy, how fallen he was and how much God poured into his life. I think even with Paul, like someone as educated and I would say as, as worldly wise as he was, he could have resisted that.
You know, he could have leaned on all that education and all that pedigree. But he says, but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. So there are two kinds of beliefs. There's the ignorant unbelief and then there is the deliberate unbelief. And Jesus encountered a lot of deliberate unbelief. Ignorant is, I just didn't know any better. Deliberate is you know what's right and yet you keep doing what's wrong. And that's where many of us fall.
Many of us fall in that category. I'm thinking of like all the religious leaders that he talked to and all of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And then he says in verse 14, and the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus. So he uses that Greek word, Hooper Plionaso. Hooper means, of course, kind of, we get the word hyper from, and the idea behind it is that the cross is hyper grace, faith and love. It's grace like to them beyond.
It's just like bubbling over. And that's what you and I need. It's that kind of grace in our lives. And then even to bring that into our worship of God, like to bring that into the church where it's in our worship, it's in your sermons, it's in the response that people come to the altar and give like we did the every month at the top of every month, we do a congregational prayer when people come to the altar. I remember this last one we did was so compelling because it was just a prayer of gratefulness. Thank you for everything you've given us. Thank you for this new building. Thank you for the sermon.
Thank you just for our lives and for our salvation. And I think that really resonated with a lot. It definitely resonated with me.
Worship definitely is deeper, and it comes from a deeper well, a deeper place in you when it's marked by gratitude, when it's marked by a sense of what God has done for you, what God has brought you through, what God is continuing to bring you through, and knowing just how much you have been saved from. One of the best things for me was when we, because every year we try to set, at Clearview, we try to set a theme for our year. So we do resolutions as well, but we also set a theme for us as a team. I remember in 2019, our theme was just gratefulness. We were going to practice being grateful because I think for us it really doesn't come naturally. It's something you have to work on and really be cognizant of as you're growing as a Christian. You have to say it's the grace of God. And when you say it that way and you give God the glory, even if you may not totally understand that, even if you may feel like, well, I did work hard, don't say that. Keep being a billboard for Jesus Christ, right? Keep shining for Him.
And what happens is God says, you know, He could have said that, but He didn't. He gave me the glory. I'm going to give Him more grace. So I think that's a great lesson we can learn. Absolutely. I love that in God's economy too. When you give Him the credit, He gives you more grace.
That's so beautiful. And I hope that was helpful for you guys today. Write in and let us know what your takeaway from today's episode was. We'd love hearing from you guys, our Clearview Today Show family. Make sure you visit our website. You can learn more about the show and click that donate link at the bottom where you can partner with us financially. Be a part of what makes this show special, reaching the nation with the gospel of Christ.
We can do that with your help. John, what's coming up for tomorrow? Tomorrow we are continuing on our thankfulness train all the way to Thanksgiving.
We're talking about our church family, how we can connect with our church family over Thanksgiving. You should be pulling the train whistle. I didn't see what you were doing. Thank you. Thank you. I was pulling the train whistle. I thought that was like when you pass a transfer truck and little kids will do that and they go, ha ha.
Pulling the whistle. I got you. I got you. On the train of gratitude. Well, we're going to keep on riding it and we'll see you guys tomorrow. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear View Today.
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