Slowly, surely, you begin to die to the old way, you begin to live for the new, and then as you go along and you get older, then you experience the redemption of the body at some point. And then at that ultimate redemption, all the sin is gone. You won't be struggling with sin in Heaven.
Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. 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 McGee. 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 20 says, For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope. 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 got, 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. Verse 21, because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption and the glorious liberty of the children of God. 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. But do you realize 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 and man, that's intense. You ladies are going, oh, is it? Yeah. Mine was not the hard part.
I recognize that. 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. It's interesting historically, and I won't put too much weight on this, but some say that earthquakes are labor pains. And if you do a study of earthquakes over the last hundred years, guess what?
They're more frequent and they're more intense. Kind of interesting. I'm not saying, you know, well, let's measure it until they all come together and we'll know Jesus comes back. It's kind of interesting. But all of nature, and nature is a funny thing. A whole creation, whole creation, you know, some people refer to creation as mother nature until something goes wrong.
And then they say what? Well, that's an act of God. So when everything goes well, mother nature gets the credit.
When something goes wrong, they talk about God. It's kind of interesting, kind of sad, but understand this earth, when man fell, the earth fell. When we fell in the garden, the earth fell. Makes you wonder what it was like before, doesn't it? I mean, because I look around now at creation, I look at flowers and trees and stuff like that. I go, wow, this is really beautiful.
This is really cool, you know? And then I think, wow, what was it like before? Now, granted, there's things that, you know, that you kind of wonder about. I mean, years ago, I was walking through the dining room and all of a sudden I felt like somebody put a, I was barefooted, felt like somebody put a cigarette out on my foot. I was like, man, I mean, and so I'm like, man, what happened? And I looked back and there was a Japanese Hornet on the floor. I don't know if you've ever been stung by a Japanese Hornet, but you know, when you get stung by a bee and it hurts really bad for a couple minutes and start itches and stuff, I kept waiting for that to happen. Like 10, 12 hours later, I'm still waiting for, because it still felt like I had just gotten stung.
And so, you know, I mean, my reaction was, God, we got to talk. I mean, why would you, why would you create something like that? This is bad.
That's wrong. But maybe, you know, the Japanese Hornet existed before the fall. He just didn't have that venomous stinger on him.
Could be. I mean, why did spiders bite people and all sorts of stuff? Well, because we're in a fallen creation and understand, and this is probably going to disturb some of you, but if you're not already disturbed, let me start out with saying, I am not what you would term a militant environmentalist, okay? There's people out there now that are actually adults that are being sterilized because they don't want to bring any more people to be a burden on the earth. And actually, some of these people are saying it would be good if we actually killed off some people to lighten the load on the earth.
That's a little freaky, okay? Okay. So that's not what I'm talking about. But on the other scale, we're supposed to be stewards of this earth. I don't understand how we cannot care what goes on around us. And I've heard Christians say, well, let's use this. It's all going to burn, all going to be over anyway.
Let me ask you a question. If we say we believe this book and God has appointed us as stewards over the earth, over the animals and all these things, what do you think that looks like to somebody else that is exercising more stewardship than you are? It's sad to say a lot of Christians don't care about the environment and we should. Now, I'm not saying, you know, let's all go save the whales while millions of babies are murdered.
There's priorities, obviously. But I think we should be more concerned about God's creation because there's a serious lack of harmony and stuff going wrong and most of it man-induced. Sadly enough, the creation was perfect before. God said it's good. Then we came along.
We were in the garden. It's been going downhill ever since. So be concerned. And it's a good witness to people as well. 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, this is not heaven.
Occasionally we get a little taste of it, but this is not it. John 16 33, 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. Genesis 3 17 says, Then the Adam, he said, because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it. Cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you and it shall eat the herb of the field. Thorns and thistles. So as we do our thing our way, guess what we get?
Thorns and thistles. In toil. It's as if all creation is waiting for the redemption.
We're waiting for the total redemption. Oftentimes in the Bible, it talks about Jesus being the groom and us being the bridegroom. And we extend this to creation, which fits perfectly. It's talking about feminine, labor pains, all this stuff. Imagine if you will, there's a bridegroom waiting up here, a bride waiting for the groom, except she doesn't know when he's coming.
And her eyes fill with tears, waiting and hurting, not knowing when the groom will come. That's what you really see in nature, you see in the world, you see in stuff, stuff goes on. But the day is coming, friend, where all the wrongs will be made right. There's going to be a day when everything that is wrong will be made right.
Everything. Until then, all that's wrong will not be made right. And it's amazing, you get these glimpses sometimes of, and I think everybody gets them, of just something, a glimpse of heaven. And sometimes it can happen at the weirdest time. You just get this, sometimes in worship, that makes sense because you're in the presence of the Lord and you know heaven's going to be heaven, not because their street's a gold mansion, but because God's going to be there.
These little cartoons of drifting around on clouds getting bored is so ridiculous. God is going to, you're going to be able to see Jesus. Sometimes I don't, holding a little baby, there's just this something so pure, so right about that. When you see somebody coming to the Lord, something so pure, so right about that.
It's just a little taste. There's an interesting prayer in the New Testament. It's talking about whatever's loosed in heaven will be loosed on earth. When you think about it, and we're supposed to bring the light of the Lord to a cold, dark world, we're supposed to be involved in introducing pieces of heaven, if you will, on this earth, telling people they can have hope, they can have joy, they can be forgiven. If those things don't allude to heaven, I don't know what does. And so as followers of Jesus, we should be bringing bits of heaven in the people's life. And yet, you know what, there's people just as busy as they can be bringing bits of hell on earth. What are you bringing? Bits of heaven to somebody's life?
I hope so, because the whole world's growing. Thank you for joining us for Cross the Bridge. We'll continue with our study in Romans in just a moment. Do you know how Satan can get a grip on you?
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Contact us today with your gift to Cross the Bridge, and we'll send you battle strategies as a way of saying thank you for your support. Let's return now to David Magee as he continues our walk through the book of Romans. Look at verse 23. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting the adoption, the redemption of the body. I said we were adopted before.
That was the start of the process. There will be a complete adoption, the redemption of the body. Jesus said, don't pray that I will take you out of this world. And what he means by that is he's never going to just through the Holy Spirit, the vacuum cleaner, suck the sin out of your life.
That would be a pretty handy thing to do. It's not going to happen like that. But slowly, surely, you begin to die to the old way. You begin to live for the new. And then as you go along and you get older, then you experience the redemption of the body at some point, which again means more and more the older you get. And then at that ultimate redemption, all the sin is gone. You won't be struggling with sin in heaven.
You'll be healed. And everything will be different. We ourselves groan. When Ash was a little girl, she did something I thought was really bizarre. She would grunt, kind of groan when she would do something.
I mean just a little thing. You know, she did that like all the time. I was like, man, that is really weird, you know. So I went up to my wife, Nora, and I said, Nora, why does she do that? I said, well, first I said, have you noticed that she does it? She groans whenever she does something.
She kind of grunts, you know. She said, yeah, I noticed that. I said, why does she do that?
She gave me the weirdest look. She said, you don't know? I said, no, I don't know. She said, are you aware you do that? And I said, I do not. She said, well, yeah, yeah, you do.
I said, I do not. And so, but guess what? She was right.
I don't know where I picked up the habit along the way, but I started noticing and I could just set a cup of tea down. I go, you know, now I've been healed. Hallelujah. Because some of you are going, that's the first time I've heard that there's a reason I've been healed of those things, but we've grown. We've grown sometimes when we mess up, when we knew what to do, what was right. And we didn't. And we grown.
God, I blew it again. And we grown the troubles and the pain that we see people go through. We grown. And as you get older, you grown more, you know, sometimes a long night, rough night, tearful night, you know, you walk up to the mirror, what do you do? Oh, you grow. You're waiting for the redemption of your body.
Because gang, it's not about this, but we can bring that into this. But understand where we go, that is coming. The things in heaven, the redemption are coming. That day, when you stand before the Lord, it is coming.
What will happen on that day? I've met so many people that say, well, I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that and I'm going to change this and I'm going to change that. And day by day goes on and nothing changes. Why? Because they didn't make the step.
They didn't take the steps to see the changes. So I can mention all this and you go, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree with that, yeah, yeah, I agree. And you can walk out just as thirsty as you came in.
Or you can say, you know what? Jesus is speaking to me today and I am really thirsty and I'm really tired. And Jesus says to you, come and drink, all you who are thirsty. The day is coming, friend.
It's coming to each and every one of us. There's a passage, 1 Corinthians 15, 51. It says, behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed.
And you know what it says? It says in an instant. See, we live lives of going through these changes, moving towards Jesus. But then in an instant, the journey's done. When is the journey done? When is it finished? Friend, I don't know for you. I don't know for me. I just know that one day it will be. And I noticed that days slip by. Man, they seem to slip by quicker and quicker, don't they? And what could have happened today, what could have been done, those opportunities will be gone forever.
Because it doesn't matter how smart you are, how rich you are, how pretty or handsome you are, you know what? You cannot buy yesterday. It's gone. And some of us keep going, well, you know, I'm going to do something tomorrow. Interesting thing about tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. So why you say that one day I'll get right with God, one day I'll be refocused, one day I'll get centered on what Jesus is calling me to be. That one day is now. Jesus said, today is the day of salvation. That little hourglass that the sands are in, they always run down.
They never run up. The time that you once have, you don't have anymore. It's gone. You know, I mentioned the bride and the groom. I'm going to mention it again, and here's why. Because some of you mentally believe and accept what Jesus said, that if we cling to our life, we'll lose it. And yet you're still clinging to your life.
And you keep saying, well, one day I'm really going to give my life away. Let that day be today. Too many days have already slipped by, friend. Too many days are lost forever already. Today is a gift from God.
Maybe that's why we call it the present, because it is a gift from God. Some of you feel like you're beating your head against the wall and you're thirsty and you're tired and you're wondering if there's more to life. Absolutely. Is there something in your life that God can fix? Yes, there is. Is there something more significant, more meaningful to your life than what you're experiencing right now?
Yes, there is. Will you come to him? That's your decision. And he's the groom. He's the groom. In doing weddings, it's always interesting to me. When the groom looks down the aisle at the bride, there's just something magical, if I can use that word, about that moment. His eyes are just, you know, he's not looking at her going, oh, why'd you pick that dress and what'd you do with the hair? No, no, it's just pure bliss, man. It's just pure rapture and just, oh, you're so beautiful, come to me.
That's what Jesus wants to do. He's not going, why'd you pick that shirt? He's not looking at you going, well, didn't you make a mess of things? He's looking at you. He's looking for you with that look that a groom gives the bride. And he waits.
How long? See, this is a gift from God that God is wooing you. You can't just come, people say, well, you can come to God anytime you want.
No, you can't. You cannot come to God unless his Spirit has drawn you. And if his Spirit has drawn you today, you need to respond to that. Don't take that for granted and think, well, maybe he'll draw me tomorrow.
No, you have a precious gift from God. God is saying to you, come to me, you're so thirsty, I want to give you the drink. If you're here and you're not sure, if you know Jesus as your Savior, I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer. Just telling God you're sorry and that you believe in him. And he'll forgive you of your sins.
Asking him to give you the power to live for him. But maybe you've been caught up in the things of the world. Maybe you've been focusing too much on what's going wrong in your life and forgetting that the sufferings of the present day are not worthy to be compared to the glory which will be revealed. I would encourage you to take some time today, spend some time with the Lord as you just kind of soak in that and remember that the redemption is coming. That this moment when we can all be changed is coming.
But the fact is not all will be changed. Only those who know him and in the twinkling of an eye. The groom, Jesus, creator, God, Savior is waiting and calling some of you with tears in his eyes wondering how long you'll wait. But you don't have to wait another day. You can come to him today. Yesterday's gone, friend. He's here.
What will you do with it? Is there more to life? Yes. Does God want to give you more in life? Yes. Have you messed up in your life and do you need forgiveness?
Yes. Will you come to him now? He waits. He waits for you. 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. So congratulations, friend.
You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would love to hear from you. You can call toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Jesus. Also, if you've been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David McGee, would you consider supporting us with a financial gift? With your donation this month, we'll send you battle strategies, as our way of saying thank you. This powerful teaching will equip you for the spiritual battles we face every day. To give to Cross the Bridge and receive your copy of battle strategies, simply call 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. While there, take a moment to sign up for David's free email devotional or browse our large library of teachings. Again, our website is crossthebridge.com. Thank you for listening, and we hope you'll join us again next time as we continue to Cross the Bridge.
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