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No Reserves, No Retreat, No Regrets- Part #2

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
July 6, 2022 12:30 am

No Reserves, No Retreat, No Regrets- Part #2

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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July 6, 2022 12:30 am

Today, Pastor Russ continues with his sermon about what we must give up in order to follow Christ. As well as how we must strive to have a willing heart to do anything Jesus commands of us and follow him into any situations. Whether they be peaceful or dangerous.

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Simply go to Geico.com or contact your local agent today. Do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill? Do you feel like Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations?

I can do this, but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God, find God and please God are futile? Do you feel like your faith is dead or alive? Today, Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and Finding Purpose, you can visit us online at findingpurpose.net or connect with us on Facebook.

Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious. If you talk to somebody who's been real wealthy and they lose everything and at one time they had a jet or whatever and a plane and a boat and they lose all that, guess what happens to their friends? They could find somebody else who's got planes and boats. You find out who your friends are when you lose everything. You're the people I'm talking about. It's the same people that you and I, if we're honest, avoid most of the time. We would never allow them to join our fraternity, would we?

You've got to be cool to be in our fraternity and they will never be in our little clique, will they? Think about it. You see, here at this stage the disciples, they associated greatness by the company you keep. And think about the great love to associate with the great and deal with matters that they think are of great significance.

Really? Have you ever noticed that? I can't think of a more accurate picture of this than the Hollywood Elite.

If you watch the Oscars, I hate to pick on them, but they're an easy target. But what about us? Who do we tend to associate with? Are all of your really close friends well-to-do, successful and attractive? Do you have any friends who are poor and unpopular and successful? Are you at all guilty of avoiding the little people of the world? When you go to a room, who do you migrate towards?

Somebody who's very popular or somebody who's not fun to be with? First of all, listen, I'm guilty, okay? At every point here, I'm guilty. 1 Corinthians 1, 26-29 says, Brothers, I'm talking to you guys now. The apostle Paul, speaking through me, is addressing you. Brothers, that's why you're believers.

Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards. Not many were influential.

Not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before Him.

Aren't you glad God loves little people like you and me? The disciples, you see, they were really beginning to think they were somebody special. Look, Jesus chose them out of all the people to be His special emissaries. But Jesus is getting ready to rot their little world.

They don't know what they're in for. And that brings us to verse 51, which, guys, is a major turning point in the Gospel of Luke. You see, everything written thus far has been all about Jesus' ministry in primarily Galilee, where He's out there speaking to the masses. He's feeding them and healing them. He's pulling the disciples aside every now and then and pointing out some hard truths. He's planting some seeds because He knows that when He gets to the real truth, it's going to be very hard to handle. So He, bit by bit, He's teaching them a little bit more, just like you do with a little child. Verse 51 literally reads like this.

Now I want you all to listen to this. This is a literal translation of verse 51. Now, it came about that as the predetermined days... How about that?

That's probably not your translation, is it? The predetermined days. As the predetermined days before His ascension.

That's when it says taken up. It's referring to the cross taken up, but it's really referring to His ascension. As the predetermined days before His ascension were running out... See, the clock's ticking. Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.

Why? Because He's on a divine mission. He has an appointment with the cross and guys, it's going to take place on the exact day, on the exact hour that God the Father intended. And nothing will get in His way. That's why He kept saying, my hour has not yet come.

My hour has not yet come. That's why at the Last Supper, He said the hour is here. So Jesus steadfastly set His face.

You know, when it says a man sets his face on something, that means he is determined. So Jesus turned His attention away from the world and He focused on His one mission in life. The very purpose for His birth, which was what? To die. He had an appointment with the cross, man.

If He had not kept that appointment, we would not be sitting here. That cross was going to be humiliating. He was going to be shamed before the world, stripped naked and beaten. And the only crown that He was going to be wearing was a crown of thorns. And so from this point forward, most of the people following Him, which they were called disciples, but most of them began to turn away.

Do you know why? Because they felt that the kingdom was coming and they were going to be fed every day by the king. And all the diseases would be healed.

You know what we call that today? What kind of... the prosperity gospel. You see, nothing much has changed. The reason people flock to Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen is because they promise something that they cannot deliver.

They promise prosperity, but listen, they never mention any cost. It's all about, you can have your best life now. Really. Hey, hey, disciples, come on. You're going to have your best life now.

That's why I came. To give you your best life now. Did Jesus ever say that?

No. In His last letter before His death, Paul wrote to Timothy. Paul is literally getting ready to die. He's in a Roman dungeon. Literally, I saw a picture of it recently. J.D.

Greer was over in Rome and he posted a picture. He was in the cell and there was a hole up above him and he's underground in a dungeon and you literally drop a person down into the dungeon. No windows. The only way out is that hole. You can't climb out.

You can't get out. That's where Paul was when he wrote this letter to Timothy. And he's passed the baton to Timothy and he says, Timothy, preach the Word.

Was J.D. Greer not doing that last week? Preach the Word, men. I wish I could do it. I can't do it.

These stilts are long arms. By the way, we're going to have him back. He loved being here. Could you tell? He'll be back here next fall.

We'll get him back at least twice next year because he loved and I love having him here. But preach the Word, for the time will come when men will not put up with profound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

But you, Timothy, you men, I'm telling you this, keep your head in all situations. Endure hardship. Do the work of an evangelist.

Do all the duties of your ministry. So what about you? Do you want to hear myths, fairy tales, or the unadulterated truth? So what is the truth?

Here it is. If you're really willing to make a commitment to follow Christ no matter the cost, if like William Borden, you want to live with his motto, no reserves, no retreat, no regret, here's what you have to do, men. Here's what Russ Andrews has to do.

And here's what we have to expect. First, to follow Christ requires a hundred percent focus all the time and a hundred percent commitment. In other words, you have to say, I'm all in. When Jesus is climbing the boat, you've got to jump in the boat. Second, we've got to be willing to pay the cost, which will involve rejection and all at varying degrees depending on where you are on the globe.

But varying degrees of rejection and discomfort. And so to prove at this point, Jesus sent a delegation to a little Samaritan town to get things ready for his appearance, and he knew ahead of time they were going to be rejected, but he wanted to teach his disciples a lesson. As part of the background, you know the Samaritans were the descendants of the Jews who had been captured when the Assyrians came in and captured the northern kingdom, the ten tribes of Israel known as Israel, and they took them back as slaves to Assyria. In other words, they uprooted them. And they began to live in Assyria and they began to intermarry with the Assyrians who were Gentiles. And so the Samaritans were half-breeds, half-Jewish and half-Gentiles. And the Jews despised them.

Like to get to Galilee, they would walk around the Jordan River and take a much longer route just so they didn't have to walk through Samaria. But not Jesus. And so the disciples said, Hey Jesus, why don't we just call down fire on them? Isn't that what Elijah did? And Jesus rebuked them. Because Jesus wants us to show mercy to people. Sinners are lost. But sadly for that town, Jesus passed them by. Just like He's doing in a lot of places in our country where He's been rejected for 200 years. You ever been rejected for the name of Christ? You've walked in the 19th hole and bowed your head and said your prayers with a bunch of men watching. See, that's where the rubber meets the road. I failed that test when I was in elementary school. I just remember this.

I just hit my plate, which I remember those plates but I didn't have three sections on them. And I knew I should be sending my blessing, but here's what I would do. I would turn my head down and take my fork and act like I was messing with my beans and say a quick prayer without moving my lips. That's called a secret agent Christian. We're not supposed to be secret agent Christians. Some people say, I think you just live by example and people will come up, you know, you just live by example. Anybody ever come up to you and say, Man, you're such a nice person.

Tell me about Jesus. That ain't going to happen. At some point you have to open your mouth. Jesus said, If you're not willing to acknowledge me before, I will not be willing to acknowledge you before my Father in heaven.

This coat might be causing the problem. I'm going to get serious anyway. You see, rejection would become a new way of life for anyone who chose to be associated with Jesus. In John 15 and 18, Jesus says, If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.

They will treat you this way because of my name. Kudos to Hubert Davis. I'm sorry. It's not about Carolina Duke. It's about a Christian man. He's a man of God. Somebody once said, If you're not being persecuted, I wonder what kind of witness you really are.

Well, that hits you, doesn't it? If you mention the name of Jesus like Hubert Davis, you will probably experience rejection at some point. I want you to understand that Jesus has turned south from Galilee. He's going through the area known as Perea. He's traveling along a road, guys. And as He's walking along, people are still following Him.

Why? Because they have heard about all His miracles, feeding people. And so there's still a lot of interest in this man. And so every now and then someone would come up and say, I want to follow you. So one man comes up and says, Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go.

Did Jesus always have a way of jabbing you? He said, Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head. What did He mean? You know what He meant?

No reserves. To follow Jesus, man, you've got to be willing to turn away from your old way of life. Listen, here's what you've got to do. You've got to be willing to say, whatever I've got, whatever money you've got, whatever possessions you have, what about you? You say, here it is, Lord. It's all yours. You've got to be willing to say, you know, Lord, I don't really care about popularity with the world.

I want to be popular with you and you alone. You've got to be willing to say, Lord, I'm okay to walk away from success. Now, He may not ask you to walk away from success. He just wants to know if you're willing to do it.

I believe if the rich man had started going, okay, servants, sell all those cattle over there, sell those sheep. Jesus said, that's okay. I just want to see if you're willing.

Just like with Abraham, when he had that knife back going down on Isaac, he stopped him. He just wants to see if you're willing. And listen, if a man is willing, he might make you the most successful man in North Carolina. If you're willing, okay, that's a big if. And if you're willing to hold out your bank account like this and say, whatever is mine is yours, Lord, you give and you take. May the name of the Lord be praised that He's allowed to put so much in there. If you're giving it away and faithful, why? Because He wants to use you to expand His kingdom. And there's nothing wrong with money, guys.

It's neutral. It's the love of money that is evil. Most people cannot handle money.

You know why? Because it gets attractive and you want more of it. The best way to make sure you're not in love with it is give it away. Here's a prayer you can say, Lord, everything I have belongs to you. You give and you take. Help me to be willing to let go of all the comfort and pleasure this world offers. Lord, I want to follow you no matter how uncomfortable life becomes.

And, guys, this is where I'm challenged. I've had a very comfortable life. It's like more comfortable right now than it's ever been. This weekend I thought, gosh, you know, Lord, right now I feel so blessed. And, guys, when I say blessed, I'm talking about my health, the ministry, my boys are doing well, their families. And you know, I prayed. I said, Lord, I just got a little fear. I said, Lord, please, because usually what happens is if Satan can't get you, he's coming after your family. And I said, Lord, please don't let anything happen to my family. I said, no broken bones. I was a doctor's greatest joy.

I broke so many bones it was ridiculous. I said, no car wrecks, no cancer, no disease, please, Lord. Do you know I got a call? Everything's okay, but I got a call from Rushman today. He said, Dad, a cross, I drank some turpentine.

My wife left it out because it cleans up her pain. He drank turpentine, which can be fatal, and he was in the ER. And I called Jim Briggs, and I called her, and I called my wife, and I said, I've got to pray. He's fine, thank goodness. But you see, in that moment, and I got knees for it, I got flesh and blood.

I could get afraid just like everybody else. But I said, Lord, I feel so guilty sometimes because I sit here and have such a comfortable life, and I've got this young girl over there in the Ukraine. I've told you all about her era, and her husband Sergei and their son Artin, and I can't remember, and then their daughter Anna, 13 and 6. And we've been messaging, but I can't reach her now. So either she's died, she's in Horkiv. She's either dead, or the electricity's probably all gone, or they're trying to get out of there.

Would you all pray for Ira and Sergei and her two precious children? I've seen the refugees coming across our southern border. I've watched the people of Ukraine. I've been to the Kabira slum in Nairobi.

I've been to the slums in Haiti. And I'm looking in the mirror going, Lord, I don't understand why I get to live in comfort. Do you all ever have these thoughts?

Am I the only one? I don't get it. In God's economy, I don't get it. I will tell you this, I think our day's coming. We have lived, you know, with so much comfort in this country that it's ridiculous.

I don't want it taken away. But maybe that's what we need if we won't have a revival because we're so comfortable with our money. Kent Hughes explains what Jesus meant by this. Jesus was saying that if you walk with Him, you will sense that the world is not your home. There will be dissonance, discomfort, unease, and rejection. He was saying that to follow Him, one must embrace a life of discomfort. If your Christianity has not brought discomfort to your life, something's wrong.

A committed heart knows the discomfort of loving a difficult person, the discomfort of giving until it hurts, the discomfort of putting oneself out for the ministry of Christ in His church, the discomfort of a life out of step with modern culture, the discomfort of being disliked, the occasional sense of having nowhere to lay your head. But then He ends, but Christ's rewards far outvalue anything lost by following Him. Darlene Rose said, The costs of following Jesus are great, but the compensations are far greater. Our reward is coming one day.

Our best life is coming one day, guys, but it's in heaven. So, Jesus looked at a man and said, Follow me. He replied, Lord, first let me go and bury my Father.

And Jesus here again hits him in the eyes. He said, Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God. You would have thought He would have said, you know, the fifth commandment says, Honor your Father.

And in the Jewish culture, the burial is the last chance to really honor your parents. You would think He would have said, Go do that and then rush back to me. But that's not what He said. His reply was radical. Following Jesus is radical. Dave Platt wrote a book called Radical. Listen, when you walk away from the world and start to follow Christ, the world's going to think you're an idiot.

It looks so radical. When Billy Graham decided to follow Jesus into full-time ministry, you know what that meant? Isn't that spending sometimes months away from his family in Black Mountain? Month after month, week after week, Ruth Graham had to take care of five kids with no father at home. And that was not, you know, they paid the price for that. But you know why she was willing to do it? Because she too had said, No reserves, no retreat, no regrets.

They were both all in. Many turned away from Jesus because the going was getting too tough. Another man said, I will follow you, but let me go back and say goodbye to my family. And Jesus gave another radical response. No one who puts a hand to the plow looks back as fit for service in the kingdom of God.

No reserves, no retreat. So let me just, I'm nearing the end. If you're going to follow Jesus, we're going to see later in Luke that He says, Count the cost. Nobody builds a house, me and Dave, without first figuring out how much it's going to cost. You shouldn't follow Jesus until you count the cost. Have you counted the cost? Do you want to say no?

If you do, I understand. When Jim Elliot, Nate St., Roger Udarian, Pete Fleming, and Ed McCollum, I like to say all their names because everybody hears about Jim Elliot, but there were five men that went down to Ecuador in the 1950's. Jim Elliot, Nate St., Roger Udarian, Pete Fleming, and Ed McCollum. And they took their young wives with them to the jungles of Ecuador to share the gospel with the Alca Indians. And they knew there was no turning back. If you're going to look at all their lives, they were athletes, they were stars on campus academically, they could have done anything they wanted to.

Anything. They were going to be successful at whatever they did, but they chose to turn, just like William Borden, they turned away from the pledges of the world and the success of the world to go to Ecuador, where it's hot and humid, to share the gospel. On Sunday morning, January 8, 1956, the five men stood on the side of a riverbank.

Nate St. was a pilot. They had flown their plane into the jungle and landed on this dry riverbed. And they stood there with the jungle right there in front of them, and you know what they were doing? They wanted the Alcas to come out, because they had been trying to befriend them for months. They thought they had befriended them. They had been dropping food to them and gifts. They had a rifle in the plane with them.

And they knew that the Alcas, they knew they were notorious. Nobody went into the jungle and came out alive, pretty much. Catholic priests had been in there. You know, explorers had been in there. Spirit of death.

Nobody went in. There they stood without that rifle. And what happened next made news around the world.

Over the following days, the headlines read, Five Missionary Spiritual Deaths by the Alca Indians. It was later revealed to the press that Jim Millet recorded this now famous saying in his journal. You all know it. There's no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. See, the world says you're a fool. The Bible says he is no fool who gives. You can't keep your life. But if you give it to Christ, He gives you eternal life, and you can never lose it. See, Jim Millet lived by the same motto as William Borden. No reserves, no retreat, no regrets.

So let me ask you in closing, do you want to travel along the road with Jesus? What traits must you possess? Here they are. A humble spirit, a focused heart, a committed mind, and a will to go wherever He leads, no matter the cost. No regrets, guys. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank You so much for Your Word. And Lord, thank You for the men being here tonight, and I pray, Lord, that You would bless them. And Lord, I do pray that You protect our families. We pray to God for the loved ones of ours who don't know You, that they would come to know You.

Wives and children and grandchildren and Navy mothers and grandparents who are still alive, friends to God that we care about. Lord, the world has come apart at the seams, but we know that You are the King, as Joe not said. You are the King, and You are on the throne, and everything is moving according to Your divine schedule, and we don't have to worry about anything, because the whole world is literally in Your hands, and You have it all under control. Help us, Lord, to be faithful. In Your name I pray.

Amen. Being a Christian is not about being religious, but about having a dynamic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at findingpurpose.net, or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local men to study God's Word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at findingpurpose.net.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-27 11:55:02 / 2023-03-27 12:05:59 / 11

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