God doesn't need us to complete Himself. God is complete in Himself. He's God. He doesn't need us. He desires to have a relationship with us.
We need Him. Paul in the book of Acts said it's in Him. We live and breathe and have our being. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. In life we are going to deal with sufferings, whether it's family issues or maybe a loss of a job or loss of a loved one. Regardless of those things, God gives us the strength to continue on. And we need to be careful not to get caught up in this world. Find out how you can live an exciting life with Christ as Pastor David continues in Romans 8 with Children of God.
Here's David Magee. Well, we're looking at Romans chapter 8, an incredible book it is, an incredible chapter. And I've encouraged you all every week to please read this chapter once a week. This chapter literally changed my Christian walk and actually what I did is I read it every day for about a month. So I would encourage you if you can to read it like every day because you'll begin to absorb the truths contained in it.
Let's pick it up. Romans chapter 8 verse 18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Man, if you're in the King James, I'm reading in the New King James. If you're in the King James, it says for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time. Now, is Paul in that King James version going, I reckon it?
Well, I'm hoping, no, no. Reckon is in the sense of an accounting term, a reckoning. And notice what he says and the way he says it. He doesn't say that the sufferings of this present time are really kind of outweighed by the glory, just a little bit. Just, you know, the sufferings are outweighed just a little bit. There's a scale and the sufferings, well, you know, it's more of the glory that, no, no. It's not a little race where one ekes out over the other.
Paul uses the phrase not worthy to be compared. Wow. The sufferings of this present time. I don't know what you're going through. I, you know, I go through things and part of it, part of his life, part of it's ministry. I discovered and started ministry, wow, a long time ago. And, you know, discovered that there are sufferings that go with the ministry when you step out to serve God and certainly have found a step out to serve God by, you know, starting home Bible study, growing into the church. There are certain sufferings that I encounter as a pastor, but you go through stuff, but it was kind of interesting because when I was in the midst of this, I kind of played out a scenario in my head. Because, you know, I was like, well, I'm being persecuted, suffering for the gospel and, you know, I can be, for all my thick skinned, I can be tenderhearted. And so, you know, I was kind of going through this and then I kind of played this thing out in my mind of, you know, you get to heaven and standing in a group in heaven, you know, and there's like standing with Peter.
Isaiah and Jeremiah, you know, standing around talking. Were you persecuted? Oh, yeah, man, I was persecuted.
How about you? Oh, yeah, I was persecuted. I was persecuted.
Really? How were you persecuted? And Peter goes, well, I was beaten, I was imprisoned and actually they ended up crucifying me upside down. Man, that's tough, you know. Isaiah, Jeremiah, they share about how they were imprisoned, cast into a pit, sawn in half, martyred for the Lord, you know. And they look at me. Were you persecuted?
Absolutely. What happened to you? They sent me nasty emails and it hurt. It hurt right there. How stupid I would sound at that moment. And yet, now y'all can laugh at me getting excited about an email.
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever gotten excited about an email? Oh, yeah.
Or something else. Have you gotten excited about something else? It really, in this big picture, it's not going to matter. Well, if it's not going to matter then, why does it matter now?
If it's not worth your attention then, why is it worth your attention now? See, we get excited about the little things. There's no need to get excited about the little things. They are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 2 Corinthians 4.17 says this, For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long, yet they produce for us an immeasurable great glory that will last forever.
This is written by Paul, 2 Corinthians. And he says, For our present troubles are quite small. So what was, was Paul getting some mean-spirited emails? Or what was going on with Paul's quite small troubles? Oh, his quite small troubles were he was being beaten, whipped, thrown in jail, imprisoned, shipped off to Rome, and ultimately executed. And he calls those small troubles. Well, if he calls those small troubles, you know what? I got tiny troubles. But yet we get excited about the little stuff, don't we? Are you going to be standing around heaven and go, Oh, let me tell you something. One time I was at Walmart, lying to 15 people.
I went to this press lane, this woman, 10 items or less, she had 12. And you're not going to be talking about it then. So if you're not going to be talking about it then, why talk about it now? Well, because part of us likes to complain, don't we? There's only a couple of people honest in here saying, Yeah, well, we do.
And the rest are going, Not me. Yes, we do. We tend to complain. That's what, the Bible says not to complain. We tend to complain. Why?
We just do. We want, you know, a little pity part, a little, feel sorry for me. Let me tell you a story. You feel sorry for me.
Let me tell you a little pity part. I'll complain a little bit. I've done this before, but let's do this again. I challenge you to 24 hours without complaining and be held accountable. See, if you got family or friends in here, now you're accountable. See, because you, Oh yeah, I can do that. Well, now, now, now you're accountable and now your spouse or your friend or they're going to hold you accountable.
And every time you go, Oh, you just complained. You know, one time I talked about this, we got through a service. I called somebody and they said, I said, how are you doing? She said, well, I'm really, really tired and it was too cold in that sanctuary.
I thought, you made it about seven minutes, which is a whole lot better than last week, but not what we're shooting for. Well, well, why do we complain? Because we get caught up in the here and now, don't we? Instead of being caught up about heaven instead of thinking about heaven and heaven, if you know Jesus, that's your ultimate destination. That's where you're going. How often do we talk about heaven? Not enough. I'm one of these guys that when I, when I travel, you know, I, I, I don't know, I'm just in the details and I, you know, difference to how you do this, you know, and I got to know where this is and where that is and how, how actually far is the Starbucks from the hotel?
Is it 0.35 miles and how do you get there in a hurry? And so all these different things, right? And, and my wife's not like that. We took a trip not too long ago. I got somewhere. I had everything planned out and, you know, and she was like, oh, where do we go now? And I said, you don't know where we go.
No, I'm just following you. Well, I mean, praise God, she's following my leadership. But I asked her, I said, so what would happen if, if I wasn't on one of these trips?
She said, I don't know. I'd just show up for a little while and then go home, I guess. I don't, you know, some of you can relate to that. Some of you related to me and I, and I recognize, I recognize because of my planning, it's not always an asset because, you know, we go, if we, if we, when we've been to Disney World in the past, I've got like, there's a list. We do this, we do that and we got to run the Space Mountain before the line forms and we got to go back over here.
They refer to me as a type A theme park commando. But when I get there, I want to be ready to get there. When we get to heaven, I want to be ready to get there. I want to have looked forward to it. I want to have talked about it. I want to have focused on where I'm going. Friend, you would never make a trip anywhere without some form of planning and looking forward in anticipation. Shouldn't it be like that with heaven?
Not worthy to be compared. Thank you again for joining us for Cross the Bridge. We'll continue with our teaching in just a moment. You know what, friend? Marriage can be difficult and yet it can be such a blessing.
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That's Cross the Bridge dot com. Now, friend, whether you've just gotten married or been married for 50 years, or you're recuperating from a failed marriage, this teaching can really help you. We know that God's word will not return void. It will help you.
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Or you can visit us online at Cross the Bridge dot com. You'll be glad you got it. Now let's return to our study. Verse 19 says, For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
I'll give you a slight warning. Some people have really twisted this interpretation to to say that, well, there's actually some super, super spiritual people out there. And if they come forward, then we'll actually usher in heaven on earth is kind of a dominion theology, which is not consistent with scripture. But the earnest expectation. For revealing. Who we've longed to be. Who we want to be.
Who we've been called to be. See, in this life, as you follow Jesus, you do struggle with the old life and putting off the old life and putting on the new. But, you know, friend, you're going to come to a day when you don't struggle with sin anymore. When you're in his presence. When you see the light of Jesus face, no more struggles.
No more pain, no more suffering. Whenever somebody has a sickness. And I pray for him, I'm often led to pray. Lord, I know you're going to heal them.
I just don't know when. See, everybody that goes to heaven will be healed of everything. Now, friend, it might be when you get there that you're healed. But let me assure you, if you're walking around this earth with spiritual or physical or emotional scars, you may take them up to the gates of heaven.
But you are not taking them in. There's only going to be one person in heaven with scars. That's Jesus. All the things in heaven, all the glories that the Bible tells us about that God has arranged and set up. The only man-made thing in heaven will be the scars on Jesus. That will be our contribution. One day we're going to be the people that we're called to be. And an earnest expectation is heaven. Is your redemption, ultimate redemption? Is that an earnest expectation? Are you looking forward to it?
I am. I'm looking forward to it. Yeah, I had health issues a few years back and there were some concerns and stuff. But, you know, it's like, oh, I'm ready to go be with the Lord.
And some days more than others. That's something to look forward to. I'm not being doom and gloom here.
I mean, there is a day when there'll be no more struggles. When the sword of the Lord that has been yielded so many times and so many battles finally falls to my side. As I enter the joy of the Lord.
I'm looking forward to it. And understand that at one point in the future, somebody may, well, you know, Pastor David has died. Don't believe it. Because I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life here.
See, because my last breath here is followed by my first breath there. Amen. That's that. The life lesson here is if you are following Jesus and you have much to look forward to. If you are following Jesus, then you have much to look forward to. Heaven awaits you. The redemption of your body, which means more and more as you get older, doesn't it? The redemption of your body in the sense of being glorified, not struggling with sin anymore.
Man, that's a lot to look forward to. Don't get your eyes on today. Keep them on Jesus. Verse 20 says, for the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope. Now, again, we'll look at the New Living Translation.
It says, against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God's curse. This is very interesting, futility. Are there anything, is there anything in your life, friend, that's futile?
In other words, it's going to end up not to be worth anything. And yet how often those things are the major categories in our life and the things that are going to last forever. We give so little attention, time, and energy to.
Why is that? Well, because of things of this world, we can see the things of heaven we can't see yet except through the eyes of faith. Futility, subjected to futility. You realize we're incomplete without God?
Let's understand our relationship. God doesn't need us to complete Himself. God is complete in Himself. That's His name I am.
It kind of points to that. He's God. He doesn't need us. He desires to have relationship with us.
We need Him. Our lives are not complete without God. Paul in the book of Acts said it's in Him we live and breathe and have our being. And it's interesting that some people curse God and are running from God and trying to push God away.
The very God that's keeping their heart beating, the very God that is keeping them breathing. The sad thing is some people will decide day after day to do that. Push away God. I don't want you, Lord. I don't want you to be part of my life. I don't want to be born again.
I don't want to follow you. And they say that day after day after day and pretty soon they ran out of days. And with their final breath they say, God, would you leave me alone? And in their final breath God honors that plea. And they go through life incomplete. You cannot be complete without God.
And maybe you're sitting there going, no, no, no. Actually, pastor, I have some friends. I know some people who don't know the Lord. They're not Christians. And yet life is going great for them. Really?
You think so? Are you with them like 24-7? Do you know everything there is to know about them? How often in the past I've thought something like that. Well, God, that person doesn't know you. And they seem to have it all together only to find out later that they were crumbling from the inside and later on everybody saw it.
And people go, wow, I thought that guy, I thought that lady, I thought they had it all together. We're incomplete without God. There is part of our soul that cries out for God, that is thirsty for God. And it won't be satisfied with anything else. You cannot be spiritually satisfied with anything except God.
Oh, you can have moments where you think you're spiritually satisfied outside of God, but you can't walk in a life of being fulfilled outside of a relationship with the Lord. Now, in that void, you'll try to get all kinds of things to fit in there and none of it will. Why? Well, because you're trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
No matter how hard you hit it, it's never going to fit. There's a word in the English that's peace. In the Hebrew, it's shalom. Shalom is much more than peace. Shalom is much more than the absence of war, which is usually how we define peace. Shalom is blessing, prosperity, wholeness, healthy. Shalom is all that and more. You cannot have shalom without God.
You cannot have true peace without the Prince of Peace. The life lesson, you cannot be spiritually whole without a relationship with God. We cannot be spiritually whole without a relationship with God and a relationship where we're really following Him. Not just I said a prayer and then went on with my life.
No, I said a prayer and I began to follow the one that died for me. See, we fill our lives with this one day this and one day that. And one day we run out of days, don't we? Everybody in here is going to run out of days. That's not doom and gloom. That's reality. I mean, it's been aptly said that the moment you are born, you begin to die day by day.
I don't know when your appointment is or whatever. I just know that every day brings you one day closer to that. And I think sometimes we get stuck in this rut of going, well, one day I'm going to do this and one day I'm going to do that. And friend, when you were a child or teenager, what were your one days and how many of them are still unfulfilled?
Why? Because you never stepped out to fulfill them. As you're made spiritually whole and you walk with the Lord, there's that sense of fulfillment. Psalm 84 2 says, I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord with my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. The psalmist here, David, is talking about going to the temple where he worshiped God. And look what he says, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord.
That's convicting, isn't it? Because, you know, sometimes you look at it and you go, well, I don't know if I want to go to church. It's raining. I was actually out in a church in California.
And it doesn't rain as much out there, you know, four, five, six days a year in some places. And I was at this one large church and the pastor said, now, we're not as full as we usually are, but, you know, after all, it is raining. And I laughed because I thought he was kidding. You know, and then he looked at me like, what are you laughing about?
It's like, oh, well, you know, and then I had to explain. Well, where I'm from, you know, we have 55 inches of rain a year. And if you don't go to church when it rains, you pretty much ain't going to church. You might get to go, what, Christmas, Easter, maybe, but I faint to enter the courts of the Lord. Verse 21, because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption and the glorious liberty of the children of God. Man, the bondage of corruption, being completely set free from this body of sin and death. And every now and again, you know what's really cool is you really, you have to wait for the completion, the fulfillment of that. Because you can get a taste of this sometimes here on earth, maybe during worship sometimes, or maybe if you're doing something and being a blessing to somebody or sharing something with somebody, there's this, you're being delivered from this bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty. And you get just a taste of that.
And I think that's to whet our appetite to look forward to what's next. Verse 22, for we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. I don't know if you're young, maybe you've not done this, but I don't know if you've ever been in a delivery room during birth. I came shortly after Ashley was born, was there for the birth of my two sons, man, that's intense. You ladies are going, oh, is it? Yeah. Mine was not the hard part.
I recognize it. As a matter of fact, as I watched, I wanted to call mom and repent for everything I'd ever said. I'm so sorry, mom, I did this to you. Labor pains, birth pains, the whole creation is in labor pangs. Now, if the whole creation is laboring and in birth pangs, guess what we know? This is not heaven. This is not heaven. If it's not heaven, why do you expect it to be? Why do you think everything is going to go perfect? When Jesus in here says you're going to have trials in this world, that things are going to go wrong in this world, that you're going to have sufferings. In 1633, Jesus said, I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I've overcome the world. So this creation is groaning for redemption. The day is coming, friend, where all the wrongs will be made right. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Now, God wants you to pray this prayer so much that He died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask Him to forgive you.
Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.
And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again.
Jesus said He would not turn anybody away who comes to Him, and He came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you've prayed this prayer with Pastor David, receiving Jesus Christ for the first time, or rededicating your life to the Lord, please call and let us know. We want to send you our exclusive First Steps package for free.
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Once there, you can choose to give a one-time gift or become a Bridge Builder monthly supporter. You know, it seems like a favorite American pastime, to sit around and complain about the way things are with the government and with the country. Let me encourage you to do something. Pray. Pray and help us at Cross the Bridge reach more people. We're reaching thousands of people through our radio, TV, and internet ministry. Let me encourage you to go to LordGiveUsAmerica.com. You see, as a pastor and a Bible teacher, I believe that the way that we're going to change this country is through prayer and sharing the message of God's good news and helping people to understand the Bible. I believe we can change this nation, heart to heart, home to home. And so please, join with me in praying for this ministry, perhaps financially supporting this ministry, getting some of the awesome materials that we provide as a ministry to you.
And again, stand with us, and I believe that the Lord will do an incredible work as we move from complaining to proclaiming. Sign up today at CrossTheBridge.com. One of the most important parts of growing in Christ is being in fellowship at a local church.
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