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How Can I Serve God when My Heart is So Selfish?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2020 1:00 am

How Can I Serve God when My Heart is So Selfish?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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July 14, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 487 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. When Jesus called God Father in John 5:18, was this a new concept for the Jews, or did they have something like this in the OT?

2. I thought I was a Christian, but then I got caught up in the lie that I was supposed to be the opposite sex. I went through with a sex change, but now I have realized it was all a lie. Am I an abomination unto God? Can I return to him?

3. I have a question about two parables: Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to find the one sheep who went astray. How does this match with the parable of the prodigal son? Does Jesus seek us out or do we have to come to him of our own accord?

4. When I read about Paul in the NT and how his whole purpose was to spread the gospel, it inspires me to be a better Christian. But I find myself with this almost selfish intention. I want to be seen as a superior Christian, almost like people in the Bible were. I want God to be so pleased with what I’m doing, not just like regular Christians, but someone willing to die for him. And so when I sin, I get mad at myself because I think God will look at me like a regular Christian, and that is such a selfish thought. And I just started crying in my car because of how selfish that is.

Resources

The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World by Michael Horton

What Is the Trinity? by Core Christianity

Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault Book by Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb

Request our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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How can I serve God when my heart is so selfish that's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

You can call us right now with your question.

At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can email us with your questions at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today we have a good news story to share with you.

It's about a little boy in St. Louis who set up a lemonade stand to raise money to help a wounded firefighter a few weeks ago volunteer firefighter or Lydia Buford was shot while dining with her colleagues at a neighborhood Applebee's. The gunman was captured, but our Lydia was severely wounded.

The local community has rallied behind her raising funds to help recover her major medical expenses five-year-old Cooper well Weber set up a lemonade stand to raise money for the firefighter and one day he raised $3000 Cooper with the help from his big sister set up shop in front of an elementary school near his home. Word got out, and he sold tons of lemonade and got some big donations as well is not beautiful. That is so awesome though. What a wonderful story and I just wanted take a minute to pray for our Lydia right now, Lord, we pray for this firefighter and we ask Lord for her continued recovery, God, would you please bring healing in her life and God. If she doesn't know you which you do the circumstances reveal yourself to her.

Bless her Lord so thank you.

In Jesus name, amen and amen.

Later let's get to our first question of the day. Ryan called us at 833. The core from Omaha, Nebraska calling about John 518 calling God his father.

This idea of a father was something that was new and used or is this an idea that they had in the Old Testament so that's my question. Thank you so much of the AF.

Thanks so John chapter 5 verse 18. This is why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Jesus because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own father, making himself equal with God.

There was something distinct and unique about the way in which Jesus referred to God as his father, but it wasn't entirely foreign to the Jews in that day there was a German theologian named Joaquim Jeremias. You would a book on the Lord's prayer and at one of the things he suggested with was that this idea of God. His father really was unique and not something that was typical of the Jews living in Jesus's day to address God in that way are the people leading up to that point. But you do find this idea throughout the Old Testament in the book of Deuteronomy. For example in Deuteronomy 32 verse six. Do you thus repay the Lord, you foolish and senseless people is not he your father who created you, who made you and established you or in the prophets, for example, Isaiah chapter 63 verse 16, for you are our father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us to you oh Lord, our father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. I think also of the Davidic covenant in second Samuel chapter 7 God said that he was to be a father to David into his seed after him.

He was in a protect him and and and care for him, but there was something unique about the way that Jesus addressed the father received it. I think among the Jews. You did have this idea in prayer of corporately talking about God is the father of his people, the father of Israel. But Jesus makes it so personal God is my father. Both father you think about how Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, and Paul says in Romans chapter 8 that the spirit of Christ is in us crying out, Abba, father, I think there was a level of intimacy that Jesus had when he used this kind of language that was really different for the Jews, and I think that one of the things that it bit points out to us is that closeness that God wants to have with his people. Do you have that kind of intimacy with God where you can say God your mind father Abba father. That's what Jesus gives us to adoption by faith in Jesus Christ were adopted into the family of God so that Jesus was the son of God by nature, the eternal son of God makes us the sons and daughters of God by grace so that we can have that personal relationship with the father through Jesus the son that idea was scandalous for for many of the Jews and meet talk about approaching God with this kind of a personal relationship with this openness.

To me that's one of the things that the book of Hebrews says that we have as believers in Jesus Christ, we can come boldly to the throne of grace.

Whenever I because God is our father and so Ryan, although that the idea you you have a language of God being the father of his people throughout the oldest was a completely foreign there was something I think unique about how Jesus used this language and it really shows us that God wants an intimate relationship with each and every one of us a personal relationship. Do you have that you can have it.

Through Jesus know Israel. There are many Christians who struggle with the idea of God as father because they had very difficult relationships with their own earthly fathers were to be a nonexistent relationship and I I'm just wondering I know you had a strained relationship with your dad growing up. How would you comfort those people. Yeah I did. I mean this is one of the things it was a challenge for me bill them. If I'm being honest. It took me a long time to realize that God is a good father is Atticus. One thing you know many of us have this view of God that he's kind of the angry judge, waiting to pounce on us whenever we fail that he stingy that he withholds good things from his children that he doesn't want to bless us, especially if you're aware of your sin, you may just think, you know, you gotta have that your mentality everything bad that happens I just deserve it, and on and I get out makes sense why my life is so miserable, so on and so forth. But we fail to realize that God is good.

Father, I think again about what Jesus said if you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father give the Holy Spirit in Luke's gospel. He says this the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. God is eager to shower his blessings upon his children and I think for many of us who had that strained relationship who didn't have an example of a good and generous father.

It's hard for us to to grasp that and so I point people to those text of Scripture that make it absolutely clear that God is a good father that he wants to bless his children, namely with his salvation with his presence with his spirit and he's provided everything we need for that he's given us his very son so that we might have again that intimacy that personal relationship with him. You're listening to Cora Christianity were Pastor Adm. Sanchez and Israel. This email came in from John. John says I thought I was a Christian, but then I got caught up in the lie that I was supposed to be the opposite sex. I went through with the sex change but now I realized it was all a lie. Am I an abomination unto God. And I returned to him. While John will the answer can I returned to him is yes absolutely there's there's no sin that would keep us from turning to the Lord God doesn't reject us doesn't reject you when you go to him. Jesus says this in John six he will not cast out anyone who comes to you and we come to the Lord by faith no matter what we've done, we weighed down by her, since I think that's one of the things that that the devil tries to convince us of his.

He tries to convince as though you've gone too far.

God can't love you anymore, he doesn't want you.

He wants nothing to do with you. There is no hope for you and if the devil can convince us of that. Then work were lost forever miserable because if there is no grace if there is no forgiveness, then there's no hope.

But there is hope. The blood of Jesus Christ is strong enough to cleanse us from all sin. I think about what Paul said to the Corinthians in first Corinthians chapter 6 verses nine through 11. He is talking to them. He says do not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards, nor of Eilers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God and that he has this and such were some of you but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God.

Peter in first Peter chapter 1 verses 18 and 19 says you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

Now it sounds to me John like you're already on the right track like you are turning to the Lord you have turned to the Lord and I just want to encourage you and say God doesn't reject you when you turn to him by faith.

Jesus says I will cast anyone out. You've turned to him now. I think you're called to live after him to follow Jesus and I think part of that look like they look, I'm not going to continue to live in this identity that I've tried to create for myself I'm in a be got actually made me to be in and I think there's a lot of confusion about this today in in the world and and John.

It sounds to me like you were lied to in the culture right now is lying to people. It's telling people that we can choose whatever sex we want to be that sex is something that would be to sort of decide is not biologically determined, despite the fact that science teaches something that we feel we can go back and forth we can change our sex will know be who God made you to be and follow him.

I think that's what it looks like right now is you turn to the Lord you trust in him know that you're forgiven, not because your sins were grievous. All of our sins are grievous because the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient to wash you of all your sins. And now in that freedom walk is who God calls you to be, and receive God's grace and rest in your listing to Cora Christianity, where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day and we have an amazing team of people behind us producing the show. Writing articles for our website and producing our core Bible studies. Our prayer is that these resources are helping you and other believers more fully understand the gospel and have the confidence to share your faith, but we can't do this without your support and that's why were asking you to prayerfully consider coming alongside us and becoming a regular supporter with a monthly donation of $25 or more, you can join our inner core can be part of the team that makes this show possible as we reach out through the radio airwaves and help people understand the truth of God's word.

To learn more, just head over to Cora Christianity.com/inner core that's Cora Christianity.com/inner core, or you can give us a call anytime at 833 the court. That's 833-843-2673 a. Bill and I really think we should take a minute right now just to pray for John, gracious father in heaven we lift our brother John up to you with with the weight that he feels Lord and the sense of wondering God will you accept me after everything I've done. I pray God that he would experience today. You will love your mercy, your acceptance through the blood of Jesus Christ that he would turn away from himself from his sins from the things that he's done and that he would turn to you and cling to your son, Jesus, and in clinging to Jesus experience your love, your free forgiveness. Would you be with him. Would you give him wisdom which you given the grace of your Holy Spirit to walk by the Spirit so that he wouldn't gratify the desires of the flesh, and to live. Lord, in a manner that is pleasing to you.

Be with him, Lord, strengthen him and bless him in Jesus name, amen and amen accurate drill.

Let's get to another question that came in from Carson by email, Carson says I have a question about two parables Jesus describes himself as the good Shepherd who leaves the 99 to find the one sheep who went astray. How does this match with the parable of the prodigal son does Jesus seek us out more, do we have to come to him of our own accord. Hey, that's a great question.

Carson is a some of my favorite parables in the Gospels right Jesus hunting down the lost sheep on the beautiful picture of the prodigal son, you know, going back, coming to his senses and going back home and the father running towards him and embracing him and throwing a party when he comes home and just really shows us the heart of God for sinners, for us when we fail when we fall and how God welcomes us back into his presence we turn to him him him to just talking to John in the previous question it, and having that picture there of the father running to us when we come to our senses and what at what a beautiful thing. The Scriptures reveal to us there and I think related to your question, Carson. It really is both a parables give us these wonderful stories that teach us lessons are several different lessons and I think that here were just getting this picture of the heart of God for sinners from a couple of different perspectives. I remember when I first came to the Lord is in high school thinking to myself wow I'm so happy that I discovered this I have and I felt like I had stumbled upon Jesus, you know, kinda like if you're walking down the street and you found $100 bill you think why I'm so lucky that I discovered this will that's kinda how I felt and I thought to myself what boy how horrible would it have been if I didn't find this out. If I didn't come to my senses and realize I need Jesus and a member talking to an older wiser woman in the faith in the church that I was attending and she was just smiling. If you listen to me talk about how I had found Jesus and she said you don't age or what if it wasn't so much that you stumbled upon Jesus. What if he was searching for you when he found you. What if he was the one who is drawing you to himself and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. Wow God is the one who was really behind the scenes, orchestrating all of these things and and really cause me to praise the Lord even more because I realized this is all your work from our perspective. Often times we do all the work} I came to my senses I I went back to the father but the reality is Carson God by his spirit is drawing us to himself, working, moving, doing things, bringing us to himself opening our hearts, opening our eyes, and I think you have both you have the sort of human perspective right our perspective where we are turning to the Lord.

We are repenting and God calls us to.

But then you also have the perspective of heaven where God is chasing us down and he recovers.

He picks up his sheep that are wandering away and he brings them back to the fold and that's what God is done for each one of us. He's pursued us even though we were sitting against them is such a beautiful thing. It's not that they thought that we were righteous that we had discovered this because we were better than others know Paul says in Romans chapter 5 but God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The words when we were running from God you didn't want anything to do with the Lord Jesus still pursued you he still sought you out and we were wandering like lost sheep he came and picked us up and brought us home and he gets all the glory.

And so Carson. I think that these two parables is there is no contradiction. And of course you were reading parables and other their stories. We need to understand them. As such, is that teaching doctrine in the same way that Paul, for example, in the epistles. This teaching doctrine so you have to be careful that we don't assume that you know that these two parables are contradicting because of the way they present the story. I think the revealing to us the fact that God loves sinners and he brings sinners he pursue sinners and we turn to him. He runs to us and embraces us this is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez and if you have a question for us.

The number to call is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673.

By the way, you can also record your question for us by going to core Christianity.com/radio look for the little microphone icon there, click on that and you can record your question right there.

Hello my name is great and I'm 17 protected so that I was reading an act today about Paul about how his only purpose is to spread the gospel and like he's not even afraid of death and inspires data spread strategy is everywhere I go, but I find myself almost like the selfish intention like I want to be seen as this. Christian almost like how people in the Bible where it like I want God to be so pleased with what I'm doing. I want him to see me is not just a regular Christian, but I am on his bike willing to die for him.

And so when I then I almost get mad at myself because I'm not.

I'm like as a boy and I might now God is can look at me as just a regular Christian like everybody else and started like crying in my car because I realize how selfish that is. As you keep thinking about this. I hope you know how helpful you are to Christians all around the world who listen your show's sounds to me grace like you reading acts chapter 20 and I read that section in Scripture where Paul is speaking to the Ephesian elders just grips me as well. He says you yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the class of the Jews. How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable in teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and now behold, I am going to Jerusalem constrained by the spirit, not knowing what will happen to be there except the Holy Spirit testifies to me that in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me, but I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course in the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Grace and I read those words and they bring tears to my eyes to think about the passion that the apostle Paul had and it makes sense to me. Here was a guy who was running from the Lord. We just were talking about this in the previous question wanted nothing to do with Jesus and Jesus knocked him off of his horse and revealed to him that he was lost he needed grace that he needed to repent he transformed his life and Paul was so transformed that no everything he did was geared toward getting that gospel out and it sounds like you want that for yourself.

I want that for myself to but you're conflicted by the fact that we still struggle we still sin will you know what the same Paul who spoke there to the Ephesian elders in acts chapter 20 could also talk about the battle with the flesh that he experienced in places like Romans chapter 7 or in Galatians chapter 5 in Romans chapter 7. Listen to what he says. Romans chapter 7 verse 18 for I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out for I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do want is what I keep on doing now. If I do what I do not want. It is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me and then and I think a parallel passage in Galatians chapter 5 text I just recently preached on.

He says to the Galatians in Galatians chapter 5 verse 16. I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh with the desires of the flesh are against the spirit and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do the same struggle that you feel is the struggle that Paul had and don't beat yourself up rather than the Lord sees your desire to serve him and the fact of the matter is everything that we do rub this side of heaven right it's it's not going to be perfect even when we do good in service to the Lord there still that temptation to think, I wonder was anybody saying that that's just a part of the sinful struggle that we still experience and are going to experience this side of heaven.

But you know what you can still offer yourself to the Lord as a living sacrifice every day, even though the good works that we bring before God or are tainted with sin. Still, you can still offer yourself to the Lord, because you can come to the Lord through Jesus Christ, there's this quote by Charles Spurgeon's sermon that he he preach that is always stuck with me these words that he said he says that the Christian sometimes has to pray to God to forgive his prayers because he feels that there is sin, even in his best offerings that he has to sprinkle the atoning blood on everything that he does. And that's true. I think when we look at our lives and we want to follow the Lord, but we wrestle because we know God. We fall short of loving you like, we should this that we know were not saved by the law company could be justified by their own obedience were justified by faith in Jesus, you are justified by faith in Jesus and God receives your brother and he loves you and he will use you for his service.

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