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May 25, 2020 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. What I meant to get taken see the whole principle of the New Testament church is not in addition, its modification that all this begins because of the divine appointment in the providential relationship joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana when Pastor Bill Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word meets last time I told you that I came to Jesus Christ in my early 20s, and that immediately I began to immerse myself in God's word and I began to grow in my faith and I began teaching and preaching at out virtually every opportunity I had and there were many. However, at that time, I limited my view of my faith to teaching and preaching the word of God in public and generally arguing about the word of God, private and so what I believe happened as the Lord intervened, said I was attending a liberal Protestant church at the time after I converted and even though I love the people of the church. I had great difficulty accepting the theology of the denomination.
My parents they belonged to a Lutheran Church and their pastor was an evangelical and his name was Fred Crozier and Velma and I got to know Fred Crozier and so my wife decided that she wanted to make an appointment for us with Fred Crozier. Now the reason for the appointment was simply this, she, I believe thought that I had fallen off the deep end. The term that she used was I've known Christians my whole life and never one this fanatical was the word and then I went and proved it as we started talking and we continued to talking first time I talked to Pastor Ray love the word like that someone I we just kept talking and pastor Crozier said to me you know you sound like someone from Dallas theological seminary, and I thought wow that is really amazing.
I knew I'd read some books, several books by Charles Riley and Dwight Pentecost, and he said do you know that there is a Dallas theological seminary right here in harmony, Pennsylvania which is virtually right where we lived within a couple miles.
I had no idea that that was the case. I do remember this though. It was an evening Bible study or an evening worship service at the church and Velma and I attended and I can remember being so overwhelmed emotionally.
It was the first time that I've never been in a church context where someone was preaching the word of God. I felt like the men on the road to Emmaus when they said that the heart just burned in that context. We then met Pastor Dave and he had an immediate effect on my life as well as a profound long-term effect. You see, to me, Pastor Dave modeled the marriage of theological precision and unbelievable overwhelming humility.
I still have yet to meet a man that humble in Christian leadership. He was instrumental than in them for me. Did start a completely different kind of career he was instrumental in me eventually going to Dallas theological seminary. He had a profound effect in that way, but until I had that conversation with Fred Crozier. I would have never known the Dave Bridges even existed. As I think back on that I would call that a divine appointment that started a providential relationship. I am started a series a few weeks ago when I said this God wants all of us to have great faith, not just faith but great faith.
He wants our faith to be so profound as individuals that we would stop admiring people of great faith even though we should start becoming people of great faith and I said that what God does in order to give you the opportunity for your faith to really grow. He gives us five different kinds of experiences or circumstances by which your faith can grow the last time we said that whenever you apply the word of God, your faith will grow. Hearing the word of God is not enough understanding the word of God is not enough. You have to apply the word of God, as James is you have to be a doer of the word, and not just to hear this morning I want to talk about this idea that we take advantage of providential relationships that God puts in your life.
Thirdly, we need to commit to a sense of a private spiritual life of private discipline. Fourthly, you need to pursue some sense of personal ministry in your life and the last one I believe that God uses this we need to assess these tremendous pivotal circumstances in our life. The kind of circumstances that could be really high or really low really good or really bad these kind of circumstances have a chance and opportunity for our faith to grow.
God wants that in each and every one of our lives. One thing else I have learned I have never met a Christian that I have admired who I would call was a person deep in their faith and that when they talk to you in a give their testimony, they always start telling you about different people that came into their lives at different times. I think that's because God uses providential relationships to grow your faith just for a moment I would like you to think right now of simply one person, just one like one person that ever came in your life. You see the contributed to your spiritual journey.
Just think of that person right now. Be thankful for that person.
I have never heard anybody.
By the way, who words being baptized or giving a testimony and ever say words like, here's who I like to think I'd just like to thank only the Lord because I was just one day wondering about God. Meg came to the conclusion that I thought God existed, and if he existed that I believe that God one to have a relationship with me, and I believe that that God probably did send his son to die for my sins and I put my faith and trust in him and now I'm a book born-again believer into his family, but there's not a person. I need to think.
I just want to thank the Lord. I've never heard when you hear someone give the testimony start talking about people in our lives and the reason is God uses providential relationships to help grow your faith now, just like in my case with pastor Dave providential relationships often start unexpectedly.
You don't expect that to happen. Open your Bible is the first Kings first Kings chapter 19 first Kings 19 in verse 15. The context is the great prophet Elijah consider perhaps the greatest profit of Israel and God is speaking to Elijah in verse 15 it says the Lord said to him, go and return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you override you shall anoint hazy Allie says King over around him and Jay who the king of an MC and you shall anoint him king over Israel. And Elisha the son of say five.
He said of Abel my whole you shall anoint as a prophet in your place. You can replace yourself with this fella.
Now verse 19 so he departed. That's Elijah and he says from there any found Elisha the son of say while he was applying with 12 pairs of oxen before him, and he was with the 12 Elijah passed over to him and through his mantle on him now. Not really talking about the story, but the context would cut a data you think that was for Elisha blind day it's been reply. In fact, this must be a very large field you have all of these oxen. He has a pair of them himself yet 12 oxen. Everyone's plowing all that Elisha would have to be thinking about is this the day like every other day. You know what it's like to find out tomorrow morning.
It's Monday okay and it's going to feel just like every other Monday. It's just the way life works redundant sillies out there plowing. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere comes a Elijah this great prophet, and he thinks his mantle off this but prophet Morty puts on top of. That's a divine appointment and they start a providential relationship.
This relationship is amazing by the way for the next six, seven, eight years.
You don't hear one word about Elisha not what you doing just hanging around with Elijah. That's all he does is being trained then kneel at the end of that time.
Eli just taken up in a whirlwind right in front of them.
And Elisha starts a ministry by the way his ministry lasted 60 years. That's a ministry for different kings all the medieval Elisha, becomes this incredible man of God, and you know why because of a single providential relationship that God brought into his life.
A divine appointment with Elijah. Now let's look at it from the New Testament want to be.
Let's go to Matthew for the very familiar passage verse 18 Matthew chapter 4 now as Jesus was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen and he said to them, follow me. I will make you fishers of men and immediately left their nets in a fallen him and going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Debbie D and John his brother in the boat was uppity. Their father, mending their nets and he called them and immediately they left the boat and her father in a fallen again. What kind of day was this for these four men just like every other fishing day they were thinking about anything, they were certainly not in a religious context. There just fishing and a rabbi at this time a whole walks up to them. They don't know exactly who is and he says follow me.
How profound is that the next that's a divine appointment the next 3 1/2 years.
The providential relationship and these are for the most strategic men who change the world for Jesus Christ.
You see, that can happen in those kind of settings one more go with me to the book of acts chapter 15 the book of acts chapter 15 the book back. Chapter 15 the second missionary journey, Paul was about to embark on his second missionary journey in verse 36 and it says after some days Paul said to Barnabas, that's the one with them in the first let us return and visit the brethren in every city which we proclaim the word of the Lord and see how they are.
Barnabas wanted to take John called Mark along with them. Also but Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work and there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and left being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. That's the context now, and he was traveling through Syria and so Alecia and he said, strengthening the churches and Paul came also the Derby into Lister.
Now here's the point and the disciple was there, that is me.
One of the 12. A disciple that would just mean student is sort of like it may mean a follower, but not necessarily is usually someone interested. Sometimes it means follower. Sometimes it doesn't. In this case it does. He says there was a disciple of Erin's name was Timothy and he was the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek and he was well spoken of by the brethren, who were Lister and I Tony him so this is a young man who knows Christ, who other people admire. They think while this guy is pretty good is a good servant of the Lord. That's always just doing his job and it says Paul wanted this man to go with him and he took him and he circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. That's a divine appointment. Timothy is just the guys serving the Lord just like so often, so many of us to serve the Lord in a nondescript place. He's just thinking I'm happy to do this. I live my life. I hear people. Roger will think well of me and then when I die.
A few people show up at my funeral and then the world will forget me, but that's not what happened with Paul shows up divine appointment and he begins a providential relationship mild by the way, that's a day that Timothy will never forget he's a young man and he was circumcised by Paul. By the way, before he went into the ministry that's astounding when you think of that they'll never forget that day. The question evident is this. Though when Helen turns out happening with Timothy two pistols written you strategically by Paul, the last words Paul ever writes to Timothy, profound thing. He had no idea how divine appointment and then a providential relationship that so important. Paul determined me to second Timothy chapter 2 second Timothy chapter 2. No, these are the last words Paul writes he and Timothy had a relationship for years.
Notice how he writes the Timothy verse one you, therefore, my son, that's his relationship.
Timothy is not a disciple now, not just the disciple is the son you. Therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus which he saying have a strong faith you needed have a strong faith that he says this, the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust these the faithful men who will be able to teach others also, there's the principal Timothy you know what I meant. Do you now would you take that and mean that to some of the men who would take it and mean it to some other men see the whole principle of the New Testament church is not addition its multiplication but all this begins because of a divine appointment in a providential relationship. That's how God operates providential relationships often come unexpectedly. Something also we have to say relationships are not necessarily the key relationships can be positive good or terrible with the consequences term of me now to Proverbs 13 a Proverbs of Solomon. The latest proverb. If you have a college kid. It's going to be living in a dorm get this made in a refrigerator magnet so they can see it every day. Solomon says he who walks with wise man will be wise for the companion of fools will suffer harm. He walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion and noticed the word companion means it doesn't just simply mean a moment it means companion, spending time with, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. How many times have you ever tried to get that across to your kids. Everybody I think every parents tried that and the only trouble is when they're teenagers almost like someone immunize them against this and you know that because you were teenager you think about it from a completely different perspective. At that time but it's solid advice using the idea of it is is that and it's as easy principle you become who you hang out with. That's kind of the way life is.
That's relationships I would say this the parents and they never probably believe me about this, but if you want to know what your children like just look at the front just see who their friends are in is almost always known I know my child is nothing like the friends my child wonderful. The friends of my to show know your child just like the friends that's a principal because you could become who you hang out with and I have to be careful this think that principle the New Testament.
First Corinthians 15 in verse 33. A single verse by the apostle Paul ever your parents that have that view of your children. This verse will apply more to you. Verse 33 first Corinthians 15 do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals.
Okay, now what's so great about that verse by the way, is that it's it's not Hebrew.
It has no orientation in Proverbs. The point is pretty much Jewish wisdom, but it's Greek it's a quote from way, a Greek playwright meander businesses quote he says bad company corrupts good morals and notice how he sets it up.
Don't be deceived. Why does he have to tell us that because we are easily deceived. See, we are easily deceived in this area, it won't really cropped me, that sort of the argument is not a corrupt me. I think that's the principle of pastoral never on the radio ministry or fellowship nor if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you disciple to smooth the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio programs is that Fellowship in the Word we are thinking for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help with radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly report to the 100 support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC 10 oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastoral sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors are looking you can search by title.
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