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Kingdom Refugees - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 30, 2024 6:00 am

Kingdom Refugees - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 30, 2024 6:00 am

Skip concludes his message and reminds you that God knows you, loves you, and truly thinks about you.

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Just the fact that God thinks about you at all should make you pretty excited. And I don't know if you've ever thought, gosh, I wonder what God thinks about me. I mean, really thinks about him. I know he loves me. The Bible says he loves me.

But does he really like me? You know how often God thinks about you? Psalm 139, how precious are your thoughts to me, O God?

How great is the sum of them? If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. That's how often God thinks about you. He thinks about you all the time. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Skip concludes his message and reminds you that God knows you, loves you, and truly thinks about you. But before we get started, here's more about this month's resource that helps you get to know God's character on a deeper level. The best biographies contain the kind of intimate details that make you feel like you're getting personal access to the person you're reading about. From timeless icons to contemporary celebrities, it's exciting to learn about influential people. But one biography stands out above the rest, the biography of God.

Here's Skip Heitig. There's this vast, unfed hunger to know God personally. Discover the omnipotence, paradoxes, and mystery central to God's being, and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. There's something uniquely elevating about focusing not on me, but on God. It will do something to you. Skip's perspective shifting book is our thanks when you give a gift of $50 or more to help keep Connect with Skip Heitig on the air.

Call 800-922-1888 or give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer. All right, let's join Skip for the conclusion of his message, Kingdom Refugees will be in Jeremiah 29. Even with all this confusion going on in the Middle East, this war in Israel, and there's so many people I talk to that are sort of at their wits end, and they're very, very confused, but we know God has predicted much of this.

It doesn't really surprise us. He said these things were going to happen. And it says in Proverbs 21, the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord like the rivers of water. He turns it wherever he wishes. So just be comforted by the fact that God is in control, even though so often it does not seem that way.

And you even say things like, man, my life seems so out of control. To you it does. God isn't wringing His hands. God didn't go, oh no, now what am I going to do? This is so out of my control.

Are you kidding? We like to say God rules the universe with His feet up. He's got it all under control. So in our waiting, God is working. So be sustained by truth. Be comforted by God's control.

Third, be responsible where you are. I'm living in Babylon. What do I do? I'm living in a world that doesn't share my value system.

What do I do? Dig in. That's what you do.

Look at verse 5. Build houses and dwell in them. Plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters. Have kids. Take wives for your sons. Give your daughters to husbands so they may bear sons and daughters.

Here's the reason. That you may be increased there and not diminished. And, verse 7, seek the peace of the city where I've caused you to be carried away captive and pray to the Lord for it, for in its peace you will have peace.

Now, I'm guessing they were not expecting to hear this, but Jeremiah is saying, you know what? You're going to be there for like a lifetime. You're not going back anytime soon, so make the best of it. Make most of the situation that you're in.

Back to verse 5. Build homes and dwell in them. Get a house. Get a job. Get a life.

Verse 6. Take wives, beget sons and daughters. Get married. Have kids. Have grandkids.

In other words, integrate into the society and culture that you are a part of. That's being salt and light. Now, I know it's a scary thing to raise children. We had a couple in our second service, and they were saying that, you know, when COVID hit, and they were talking about having kids, and the world was so crazy, and they thought, gosh, do we even want to have children? And they said, so we prayed about it. And God said, yes. He answered us by her getting pregnant.

And I was speaking a few years ago to another couple in our church. They already had a few kids, and then she got pregnant suddenly, unexpectedly, I should say. They weren't expecting that last one. And I said, gosh, are you guys okay?

You ready for this? And the young man stepped up, and he goes, listen, the world needs the kind of kids we can produce. I thought, now, that is the statement of faith. So be responsible and engage and teach your kids to be responsible and engage. I'm going to throw something up. This is written by a youth pastor named Alex Cravens, I found.

He is a youth pastor, I think, in Arkansas. But look at what he said. He's a young father. Don't feel sorry or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be.

It's not like it was when I was a kid. Yeah, every generation says that. God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they are in. Their life wasn't a coincidence or an accident. Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God. Train them up in the authority of His word. Teach them to walk in faith, knowing that God is in control. Empower them to know they can change the world.

Don't teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world, but hopeful that they can do something about it. God knew Daniel could handle the lion's den. He knew David could handle Goliath.

He knew Esther could handle Haman. He knew Peter could handle persecution. He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it. God isn't scratching His head wondering what He's going to do with the mess of a world.

He has an army He's raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth. Don't let your fear steal the greatness God placed in them. They were born for such a time as this. For such a time as this.

That's awesome. That's how to respond to Babylon. Bring your kids up. Teach them to be full of faith and unafraid and face the future with confidence. That's how you respond to the dark world. You know, throughout history, Christians have responded to an evil world a number of different ways.

Number one is to isolate. I'm going to go live in a monastery because the world is so bad and so corrupt and so here I am. That didn't do anybody any good. Sometimes that thought comes out when people say, wouldn't it be wonderful to live like in a Christian village where all your neighbors are born again and everybody at the grocery— everybody's a Christian. Yeah, that's heaven. You just described heaven. You have to wait a little bit for that.

Or they'll go, I want to work at Calvary because I want to work around Christians. Well, you'll love it for like a week until you realize we're just like you are. It's not all that you think it is. So to isolate is not the best plan. Here's another reaction. Insulate.

To insulate. And that is the philosophy that says the world is evil, the world is bad, so I'm going to stand over here and point my finger at how bad it is. Boy, that's horrible. Boy, that's horrible. But that's a lot of people.

Everybody does that every day on social media. That's bad. That's bad. That's bad. I don't like this. I don't like that. There was a group in the Bible that were really good at that.

They're called Pharisees. So insulate, isolate, not good. A third response has been to vegetate. And this is the apathetic individual. Yeah, the world is bad. The world is bad. The world's going to hell. So I'm okay.

I'm safe. A fourth response is to try to imitate the world. I'll be just like the worldling. I'll show that worldly person that I'm just like they are.

There's really no difference. No, they'll only be attracted to you if they see a difference. They don't want the old life. They want something new and vibrant. And if you have it, they'll be attracted to it.

So the best response is not to isolate. It's not to insulate, not to vegetate, not to imitate. It's to permeate the world. Walk into Babylon, the city of Babylon, the kingdom of Babylon, as kingdom kids, representing the kingdom of God. Establish a kingdom mentality, a kingdom city. God is in charge of my life.

He's in charge of my family's life. I march boldly and unafraid, but I march with you and into that city. You know, I've been reading a lot of articles lately about America, and even in Forbes magazine, many pundits saying America's best days are behind it. We're on the downslope morally, economically, spiritually, and we've lost hope.

So get used to second-tier status as a nation. That's what they're telling us. And it could be.

Some of them, they may be right. We could be experiencing right now the judgment of God upon our nation. But I'm asking God for another chance. That's my prayer. I'm asking God to send revival to this country. That's really our only hope is a spiritual, national revival.

So I'm asking God for another chance. I want God to bless America. But to do that, America has to learn to bless God. We've turned from Him. We need to be a nation under God.

That's where you and I come in. And so what does He say in verse 7? Seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive. Again, God says, I did it.

I caused it. Seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive and pray to the Lord for it, for in its peace you will have peace. Well, I hope you don't forget to pray for the president, the vice president, the Congress.

Can I give you a little word of encouragement? They need it really bad. Right?

Is that so obvious? Boy, do they need it. So pray for them. Pray for our country. If my people, right, 2 Chronicles 7.14, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I the Lord will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, heal their land. That should be our first reaction.

There's bad stuff. Pray. Pray. So be sustained by the truth. Be comforted by God's control.

Be responsible where you are. Fourth, be careful who you hear. Be careful who you hear, who you listen to. Verse 8, for thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you. There were other prophets besides Jeremiah.

Nor listen to your dreams which you caused to be dreams. There were false prophets among those captives, giving them false hopes. You know what they were saying?

You know what they're saying? They're saying, we're going to be back in Jerusalem like in two years. We're going to be back. God loves us. God has a wonderful plan for us. So we're going to be back. He wouldn't ever allow us to go through this hard time for a long time, so we'll be back. Jeremiah says, nope, you won't be back.

You're here for a while. So Jeremiah is preaching doom and gloom. They're preaching peace and safety and all is good and wee, your best life now. Who do you think they listen to?

That group. False prophets are always more popular than true ones. And so God, through the letter, says, thus says the Lord, you better be very careful what messages you are allowing to come into your heart, into your mind. Because not everyone with a message from God has a message from God. I can't tell you how many times I've had over the years people say to me, God told me to tell you. And I've always wondered, you know, that's weird because I pray like every day and He has my address. I wonder why God hasn't told me. Well, because you're not listening, but I am.

Maybe. Okay, what is it? And I listen to it.

Not so much. So what Paul says is this, test all things. Hold fast to that which is good. If you and I know the letter and read the letter, you have an edge. You know truth and you test it by that. So be careful who you listen to. Fifth and finally, be reassured by God's care.

Be reassured by God's care. Yes, they were going to be there a long time. Yes, they were experiencing hardship because of their sin. Yes, they were under God's temporary judgment.

But, but, here's the rest of the story. Verse 10, for thus says the Lord, after 70 years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you and cause you to return to this place, that being Jerusalem. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you a future and a hope, then you will call upon me and go and pray to me and I will listen to you and you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

So here's the balance of the letter. Yes, live your life, buy your home, raise your kids, get involved, but have a light touch. Have a light touch because this world still is not your home. Babylon still is not your home. I'm taking you back to your home in Jerusalem. So we're called here for a lifetime, but not for all time.

And it's that not for all time part, that eternal part that gets our attention. You know, Paul spoke about our body in 2 Corinthians 5 as being a tent, right? A tent is temporary, it's not like a permanent home, and yet some people drive the stakes of their tent so deeply into this world because that's all they're living for. No, you're living in a tent.

You're going to take that tent down and move to a permanent home. This is why Moses said in Psalm 90, teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom. So, be mindful of the fact that even if you're going through a very difficult personal trial or the nation is going through a national trial, God has a plan for you, God cares for you, God is moving you in His direction. Many of us are torn between two kingdoms.

The kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God. Some of us have enough faith to be saved, but not enough faith to be satisfied. I want to explain that. If you want to get saved, you just have to have faith, you just believe, I trust in God, I'm given in my life. It's a simple step of faith.

That's it. And some people have enough faith to be saved, but not enough faith to be saved, but that's where they stop. They don't have enough faith to be satisfied. A little faith will bring your soul to heaven. A lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul. That's the satisfaction. That's the living in the promises of God on a daily basis way of living.

A lot of faith that brings satisfaction, a deep sense of it. So let's end on verse 11, our famous verse, for I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord. Have you ever had somebody come up to you and say, man, you've been on my mind a lot lately. I've been thinking about you. And it makes you feel good when they say that. God says that to you. I've been thinking about you a lot lately.

I hope that perks you up a bit. Just the fact that God thinks about you at all should make you pretty excited. And I don't know if you've ever thought, gosh, I wonder what God thinks about me. I mean, really thinks about me. I know he loves me. The Bible says he loves me.

But does he really like me? You know how often God thinks about you? Psalm 139, how precious are your thoughts to me, O God?

How great is the sum of them. If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. That's how often God thinks about you. He thinks about you all the time. Why am I saying this? Because they were in captivity and I'm guessing they were probably thinking thoughts like God doesn't care about me. If God really cared about me and God really loved me, I wouldn't be in captivity. If God really loved me, this would be over soon. You think thoughts like that. I think thoughts like that.

We go through a bad time and Satan gets us distracted saying, see, this proves God doesn't care for you. So God is saying, you know what? I think about you all the time. I love you so much. I have a plan. It's a good plan.

It's thoughts of peace, not of evil. I've got a future that you've been hoping for. I'm going to take you there. So good.

I want to close with a picture we're going to put up on the screen. What do you see here? What do you see? What are they? Somebody said penguins. They're not penguins. Okay, what are they generally? They're birds.

Okay, good. But they're not penguins. They're guillemots. Guillemots. That was your next guess. Oh yeah, that was my next guess. Yeah, right, right. Why is it I don't believe you? So let me tell you about the guillemot.

And I want this picture up on the screen because I want you to get this picture as you leave today. So guillemots are Arctic birds. They usually congregate on the cliffs way up in the northern coastal areas.

They gather together by thousands on these narrow little cliffs, these small areas. And because they're in crowded conditions, the females, the mama guillemots, lay their eggs side by side with other eggs laid by other female guillemots. So you could see hundreds of eggs in a row by several different guillemot mama that are there. You can tell the difference between one egg and another egg. But studies have shown that each mother knows its own eggs so well that even if one is moved to a distance away, she'll find it and bring it back to its original location. Why am I sharing this with you?

This is what I want you to see. If a bird brain creature can do that, then the God who created hard-wired that ability and that bird brain creature, He can do it for you. So the guillemot has nothing on the God who made it.

God put that instinctively into the guillemot's DNA. And God says, I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. That's a loving God's promise to you. And look at verse 13, and look at verse 13, and you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I don't know if you're seeking God. I don't know if you're searching for God. A lot of people say, I'm searching for God. I always say, He's not lost.

And here's the truth. God is searching for you. God is seeking for you. God knows you, and God loves you, and God has a plan for you. And some of you are just being awakened to that fact that there's a God in heaven who knows your name and loves you intimately and has massive amount of thoughts toward you.

And they're good thoughts, and they're saving thoughts. And He wants you to seek Him because He has sought you all this time. But He says, seek me with all your heart.

It's always a matter of the heart, isn't it? So here they were in captivity. And while they're in captivity, God is speaking these words of comfort to them. Some of you are still in your captivity. You're bound by addiction. You're bound by a disease. You're bound by a family circumstance.

You feel like you're a captive. Grab a hold of God's plan and face your future hand in hand with Him. God thinks about you, and He has good plans for you. Isn't that encouraging? That's Skip Heitzig with a message from his series, Kingdom City. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. We're glad you've joined us today. Connect with Skip Heitzig exists to bring more people into God's family and connect listeners like you to His unchanging truth.

That's why we make teachings like this one today available to you and others on air and online. If you've been encouraged by today's program, please consider giving a gift to help others around the world connect with God and be strengthened too. Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate.

That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Be sure to join us tomorrow for a message about how God is building your character. It's not about you. Well, I don't like this. I'm not happy. Surely God wants to make me happy.

Not necessarily. He wants to make you valuable to others, and He's more interested in making you valuable to others than making you joyful or comfortable for yourself. God's all about that character building. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-30 04:45:28 / 2024-05-30 04:55:05 / 10

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