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November 4, 2020 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Everyone is is not just on the heavenly level.
What about on the temple.
What about the life you live. What about the spouse you love what about the children you raised about the job got the means in which you live your life. All the blessings you think we are facing a disease we don't think about any of those little even care about any of those ends up happening on the bus going not at peace Amanda filling excess of the nine were not counting our blessings in any sense of the word we have to be careful there joining us today on this additional fellowship of the word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is again he shows us God's word meets notice Hezekiah. Then in verses 10 to 15 key, he replies and about what it was like when he was diagnosed and it's an interesting thing. The best reading I found a mate is by Eugene Peterson and Eugene Peterson wrote the message. The message is a paraphrase of the English Bible in order to make it easier for us to understand and I love the way Peterson describes these verses 10 to 15, and here's what he writes.
He said in the very prime of life. I have to leave. He said whatever time I have left the spent guest waiting room, no more glimpses of God in the land of the living. No more meetings with my neighbors. No more rubbing shoulders of my friends. This body I inhabit is taken down packed away like a camper's tent like a weaver. I am wound up the carpet of my life as God cuts me free from the loom. Any Senate Days Inn sweeps up the scraps and the pieces I cry for help until morning and like a lion, God pummels impounds me relentlessly finishing me off.
I squawked like a doomed hen. I moan like a dove. My eyes ache from looking up for help master I'm in trouble. Get me out of this. What's the use God himself gave me the word is done it to me. I can't sleep on that upset about troubled very interesting response by Hezekiah much like what we're praying my heart on my things getting better and I'm upset I can't sleep when a human response that is we hate fatal prognosis. And remember, God has placed eternity in our heart is a reason which interesting about this to me is that Hezekiah then once he realizes what is happening here he shows a typical human response but I want to see something else. First, what is the process.
How do God do this you think it's gonna be a miracle. It's not first 21 now. Isaiah had said let them take a cake of fees as a paste of things.
Let them take a cake of things and apply it to the boil, that he may recover and that's what it the court physicians took a cake of figs made a paste to put on the boil now you can imagine those conversations. Is this herbal medicine or with the court physician saying likely wait a minute I don't think this is going to work.
You don't look at the every good work.
We could see people's lives by rubbing fig based on what you been doing this for a long time.
The question is why think I just do a miracle.
That's we always, then why doesn't he do a miracle consists of the senses, a miracle, maybe CS Lewis said it best when he said, God seems to do nothing of himself which he can possibly delegate to his creatures. That's the nature of God. See, that's the nature of God.
What you think about that.
What would a lot of people thought, what you think of physician stuck. We did this we did it we put the paste on his heel today would have a different physicians probably lanced the boil and then used antibiotics and we did it will who did it.
See the question would be this when you are healed. Are you healed by God. Are you healed by medical science and here's the answer. Yes, that's the answer you are you CLS all the money always belongs to God. See you and I don't get to really see what's going on spiritually.
So we keep thinking the matter. Why do we always think where I'm going to be so thankful for medical science and we should be God's always behind the scene. That way he breaks into praise. Look at verse 17 he breaks into praise and he says hello. He said for my own welfare.
I had great bitterness is you who is My soul from the pit of nothingness. You have cast all my sins behind her back.
Also, Donna verse 20 he said the Lord will surely save me so he will play, so we will play my songs on stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord just like us. He's now thankful grateful and praising and I say it differently, isn't Jesus. That's what you say and I'm not denying is not good, but it is a little ironic that you always sees good when you get what you want when you get what you want to sees good if you don't get what you want. Very few of you say is good reason or good reason not good.
You see how this works. You see, you have to think about it a different way.
He just goes into this praise and it's an interesting thing when you think about it. Everything seems to be going so well for him, but I want to go with me now to second Chronicles 32 second Chronicles 32 verse 25. The writer of the Chronicles picks up the story in verse 25 second Chronicles 32 it says this. This is the aftermath, but Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received because his heart was proud.
Therefore wrath came on him and when Judah and Jerusalem forgot all about God. Just like we do. His near-death humility and by the way when you're near death. There's a lot of humility there is near-death humility past and always filled with pride when the heat died down. So did his passion for God and his pride took over. Isaiah 39 tells us that what he ended up doing out of his pride became extremely wealthy.
When the Babylonian envoy was in Jerusalem he decided to take him to the treasury. I understand Babylon is conquering everything in the world at that time and they end up in Babylonian captivity. He brings them all to the treasury and he says look at my stuff look up all the wealth that I have that's not really a wise thing to do. The Babylonians they command took all the stuff ransacked the city to see. We did a lot of his pride.
That's what he ended up doing in the whole nation ended up paying for it even got worse. You see Hezekiah let the whole nation into apostasy and then his son took over Manasseh working every Judah.
He led them in total apostasy. He desecrated the temple.
He even approved the sacrifice of children to pagan idols the whole nation had been disrupted. Hezekiah led the charge with his own pride after he was healed now. The reason I'm saying that Psalm 10 615 says this he gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul. In other words I'm saying this.
Thank God for unanswered prayer see you going to be really careful if you get everything you pray for you will wreck your life. See you when I don't have those answers.
Sometimes God would just say no and he's just as good.
Saying no is he is saying yes. You see, and you gotta be careful with this, so Hezekiah got what he wanted, but the consequences of it all were terrible not just for him and his son, but for the whole nation of people so the person comes down to how should we respond whenever were facing serious disease.
The first thing I want to say is simply this, keep your thinking clear. This is hard. By the way, keep your thinking clear what ends up happening when you get a terrible diagnosis is, you begin to jump on the merry-go-round of negative thoughts.
You can stop against your skin on his merry-go-round around in mind ago you wake up at 2 o'clock in the morning round and round you go all you think about of the negative thoughts of the prognosis. You see, you do it over and over and over again, and sometimes even expanded you start there. What if things. What if it's even worse than he said. What if I feel something else here what what if you see how this works and what does it do for you. It doesn't do anything for your help.
But I will tell you this.
It robs you of your peace completely know the Scripture says your to take every thought captive the Christ. That's interesting. Why is left to yourself you to be in trouble if your thought life revolves run your circumstances when you're facing a fatal disease. Your thought life is going to be there. Remember in Philippians, Paul said that you needed to be anxious for nothing, don't be anxious, don't be fearful.
He said here's whatever here's what I want to do. Focus your thinking on whatever is good, whatever is true, whatever is right in other words, I got a choice of how I think. Do I think about the circumstances that I might be facing. Or do I think about the promises of God that is made to me. If you're honest with yourself, you know what you end up doing. We end up thinking constantly about the potential of the circumstances in which we face in it robs us of any kind of peace at all that we have missionary Isabel Kuhn was fighting cancer. This is some time ago and she wrote a book called in the arena and she faced a fatal cancer and she said this she said I had to refuse to allow my imagination to play with my future.
That future, I believe, is ordered by God and no man can guess it for me to let myself imagine how or when the end would come was not only unprofitable, it was definitely harmful so I had to bring my thoughts in the captivity that I may not dishonor my Lord, you clearly have to have thinking if the think about this because were all going to face it. Secondly, count your blessings is a great time to count your blessings. Ephesians chapter 1 Paul said that you and I are blessed with heavenly blessings. How many have any blessings that you say in Ephesians 1 that you have all the every one of them. Every one of you said you have is not just on a heavenly level but what about on the temporal level.
What about the life you've lived, what about the spouse you love what about the children you raised. What about the job God provided the means in which you could live your life. All the blessings you had in your life. You see when we are facing a disease we don't think about any of those we don't even care about any of those. So what ends up happening if we don't vote on the blessings only will not have peace but we end up filling ourselves up with anger.
You see, when not counting our blessings in any sense of the word and we have to be careful there. Ed Dobson was the pastor of Calvary church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he got a diagnosis that none of us wish we had. He was diagnosed with ALS extremely difficult.
The debilitating disease and he said in the early stages. This is what I did in the midst of my disease.
I began blessing God for all the gifts of my life. I use this official formula.
I learned to do it in Hebrew and I bless God for each day. I bless God for the ability to shower and close myself. I bless God for the ability to button buttons. I bless God for the ability to lift the food in my mouth even though I can no longer do with my right hand. I bless God for everything he says I can do and for every gift that is ever given me and he's facing what you and I know with ALS to be in a very, very difficult diagnosis. Thomas Watson, the great Puritan preacher said the sickbed is often teaches us much more than a sermon, was a true what's the third thing we can do turn with me to Ephesians chapter 2 Ephesians chapter 2. Three of the great verses in all the Pauline epistles eight, nine and 10, it can be much clearer than he is in these verses, and yet so many in Christendom of Mr. and 280 says this, for by grace you have been saved can be much clearer than I can. The unmerited favor of God the gift of God. For by grace you have been saved through faith, not of yourselves. It's the gift of God. Salvation is the gift of God. He said it's not a result of works, so that no one can boast. No one can boast.
I earn this I did something I showed up in church I genuflect, I help the poor. No one can boast. And then he says this for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in. We were saved for good works, and I want to say this as long as you're here, you can do good works continue the work. Get your stinking clear, count your blessings, but continue your work. If you can think you can pray you see you can pray you still have ministry and the reason I know you start ministries are still here whenever it's time for you have no more ministry got take you home. But as long as you're here, you can have ministry and he says you gotta continuing the work we have this tendency to get victimized by this everything I can do anything anymore but I can that's what his point is again Isabel Kuhn was dying and she said this she said sound health and a normal life. I cannot have ball on this platform therefore accept the fact that I don't fret about it anymore. She passed away March 20, 1957 and wrote this facing the end of one's earthly pilgrimage in is not a melancholy thing for me as a Christian should. It is like a preparation for the most exciting journey of all. And so the platform of this dreaded disease is become a springboard for me and what a difference.
See, it wasn't like she got alleviated from the disease but notice her perspective. She just continued to minister to people think of how horrible would be to be a teenage girl be a quadriplegic. Your whole life ahead of and then think of what some of my John Erickson taught is done without life. Just imagine what she's done with nothing changed from your point of view. So many people would just quit. I'm done. I have nothing to offer anybody unfinished and she wasn't into our own embarrassment she can sing. She can paint you know I mean really well you know it's amazing how many people she is inspired she continued to work.
We all need to do that and then lastly Romans chapter 8 verse 18.
Romans 818. The apostle Paul.
He knows suffering. He knows disease.
No memory had a horrible disease Naomi and he entreated the Lord three times and remove it with all the other problems that he had and God told him no nonblocking remote deliver this so I can imagine how terrible would been for Paul to entreat the Lord.
Three different times but that's only part of the suffering. Here's what he says in verse 18 for I consider that the sufferings of this present age are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is revealed to us.
Consider your future. Just consider your future. The worst thing that can happen to you can happen you see do you know what it means to be a child of God you have about shorting is prepared a place for you is a place of no more sorrow no more tears, no more pain.
It's a place where you get a resurrected body. You see it's all bless you have to consider that he's at this present sufferings.
I can't compare with what's coming my way.
He considers his future and we have a tendency not to do that we don't think about it at all. No wonder the apostle Paul said to live is Christ and the dyers gain. Why would pray that you can live that way I would pray that that was your perspective to live is Christ to die is gain because it's true.
Keep your thinking clear, count your blessings. Continue your work and consider your future Puritan preacher once wrote this sickness when sanctified, teaches us for things the vanity of the world.
The foulness of sin, the helplessness of man and the preciousness of Christ that for thing eliminates the other 30 death where is your sting to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. You see, these are all God's assurances to you and me. The final thing I'll say this morning are the words of David, Jeremiah, nobody wrote he said this, we have a great physician who raised his own son from the dead, leaving behind an empty tomb.
We have a heavenly home with welcoming doors open wide. We have a sympathetic Savior who never imparts a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind to understand that is to to understand that is to enjoy a spiritual health that overcomes the darkest days that any disease could ever inflict when any of us that would be my prayer. You see, were all that eventually face is not a matter of if you face it, it's a matter what your perspective when you face you see will that work your way when you think clearly when you count your blessings. You continue your work and will you consider your future if you do, I don't know if you'll be over the disease, but I know this your piece and your joy spring.
Father probably no sermon from the word of God is more practical than this because virtually all of us will faces and in its magnitude father of the effect that it can have on us. I pray that we would all be prepared. We are following people living on a cursed planet and disease as part of the curse and nothing's going to change after there's a new heaven and a new earth father will come to you in prayer. We realize that you can do anything and that any miracle is possible with you if you so decide. Even if you don't, it should not affect our peace and our joy as we live out these days on this earth father, may we glorify you in the disease. Life as we glorify you with the rest of the previous because of your incredible pastor broke apart on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you dislike of the sum of the method one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program at Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly or just a one-time gift support for ministry can be centered Fellowship in the Word.
4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC oh LA not to Argie at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find some surgery looking you can search by title. Once you find the messenger looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt, unseasoned heart. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order