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What Are You Going to Do with Your Life?

If Not For God / Mike Zwick
The Truth Network Radio
March 10, 2021 4:23 pm

What Are You Going to Do with Your Life?

If Not For God / Mike Zwick

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March 10, 2021 4:23 pm

Mike is joined by JD Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC, to talk about his new book, "What Are You Going to Do with Your Life?"



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John Munro
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Your host Mike swing, if not God with Mike's wicked today we have president of the Southern Baptist convention.

JD Greer, JD Greer actually grew up in Winston-Salem what the gospel light was what Campbell University and he was to be an attorney and then Jesus got a hold of them is that right JD noted no shade of this respected attorney got there but God to show me that the bold of the Apple menu was was a little different.

I would say instead of representing criminal before the judge about both represent the judgment will come out and JD got a new book it's out it's called what are you going to do with your life and actually when I read this book. I mean, I told JD and I I told Robbie that there have been very, very few books over the course of my life that have really changed my life in this book really just lit a fire under underneath me and you know so many times I think JD and in in Christianity we get so comfortable where we say that you know. Oh, it's all about his grace and you know it's all about Jesus and actually I saw a and it is by the way, but I actually saw a quote recently and it was by body, moon, and she said something like, just because Jesus paid it all doesn't mean that we don't have to do anything so but well get a good one, but JD, what inspired you to write this book. You know the beginning of it about that phrase changed my life really pretty glibly and have a lot of things that changed my life. Really you need a couple decades likely that this sermon changed my life by John Piper. One day, which is the first earlybird passion conference which John Piper preached about not wasting your life, and told the story that was so gripping about that a couple that had achieved the American dream mean just retired early, bought a yacht around the different islands in the Caribbean to pick up seashells like you know is this a successful life.

And then he continued on the story of a couple of old ladies and church that had gone to Cameroon serve a mission. They died tragically daring like this. This is not a waste of life. The former think the American dream. That's a waste of life because this couple this couple that bought this yacht and went around to pick up seashells over the world.

You imagine them standing before Jesus say here my shells your ears my collecting shells and that's how they're going to going to return at the end use. That is just this metaphor for saying that so many of us spend so much time focusing on things that don't eternally matter and I'm not that old. You I guess it's all relative.

But, I'm in my mid-40s. I hope that I have a lot of life ahead of me, but I think already beginning to think about when the finish line coming and you know the one life to live will soon be passed only what's done for Christ will last and that's a phrase that my dad used to quote for me it was my mission and MCT's died in the early or late 19th century who would professional athlete in and just meant that I understood the implications of the great commission and so I wrote it to challenge generation college to young professionals but not just them just especially them people every age to say what are you doing with your life and when you get to return your unit. Glad you spent it the way that you did not everybody is called to write books and preach sermons. But all of us know God is called into and to leverage our lives for the great commission align that I use it at our church and with all of our students is the question is that if you're called that question was settled when you got saved because the decision to follow Jesus and the decision to leverage your life and the recognition of the same thing, because Jesus said, follow me. I will make you a fisherman. The question is not if you're called questions where and how the book is an exploration of where whether you are using your life in a way that counts for eternity. And if you got questions about that when you're approaching retirement, or whether your brand-new starting out in life. How do you know what that is that your life is awesome and in one of the one of the chapters that really hit me was I was chapter 3 works is the myth of calling it in you quote William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army that says not call did you say not heard the call. I think you should say put your ear down to the Bible and hear him bid you go and pull centers out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the bird and agonized heart of humanity and listen to its pitiful well for help. Then look Christ in the face whose mercy you profess to obey and tell him whether you will join him in the March to publish his mercy to the world and and I think you said when you were younger, and this might've been around the time when you decided that you want to follow Christ full-time into the ministry hour.

You said you actually had it, there was a vision that came to your mind of a baby that was on a train track. Is that right you yeah yes it was the development vision and you know Holland and a couple cents, but more just got arrested my attention in helping me. It took place one afternoon when she should be one morning when I was in college and I was preparing for my finals in my mind for you all agree and I read the book of Romans. Seven times that semester is not my pastor challenge me to just read the Romans over never get and it finally amenities things theologically, but it finally like settled deep in my soul. This understanding that every single human being is either going to heaven or hell. The only difference between the two is your relationship with Jesus Christ and that that division was of this young child on a railroad track and you also say that there for whatever reason they can't move their critical and their bare strain of the railroad track and the train is coming and you try to figure out BC this thing right in front of you. I knew that nobody in that moment would drop down on their knees and say or what you call me to do with my spirit's give me a piece about this and how you felt when that moment what God called you to do is called your to do what you can to save the child but you know, even though we know that's true. So many of us when it comes to the great commission feel like if some special calling that we have to have in order to give our lives to tell other people about Jesus and you work with you what I say is likely to 39 well, it's about finding God's will. Well, God will not lost. The Lord is not willing computer three. Not that any should perish want all to come to repentance. And so you when you understand that you quit asking the blunt talk but you quit asking dumb questions about whether God wants you to to be used in the ministry or whether the great commission, but simply where and how you Jim Elliott missionary young man in the 1950s to the world in front of them just very talented. Get a got a job anywhere probably been fabulously wealthy but you said you don't sit around waiting on a voice would got authority given us a first in that verse is a great commission. At second Peter 39 and it tells you what what God is doing in the world and if you want to elect For eternity by your dentist, homemaker, or an architect or a pastor. You know what the trajectory of your life needs to be toward making the gospel known to the people around you and the people on the Lord never heard it yet. That's also been one of my favorite parts of the book is is actually page 7 we talk about quarterback Tom Brady because for so long.

You know like I was concerned about hey you know people don't want to hear you tell them about Jesus or people don't want to hear. This is often the you know their unit you dispose to keep your religion to yourself, but you know what I read page 7. It really showed me that everybody really wants to hear the good news here is quarterback Tom Brady may have summed it up best. After winning his third Super Bowl. He was asked by Steve Croft in an interview on 60 Minutes this whole upward trajectory. What have you learned about yourself Brady answered. Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there's something greater out there for me.

I mean, maybe a lot of people would say hey man, this is what it is I reach my goal, my dream, my wife, me. I think God it's gotta be more than this, and what else is there for me.

Croft asked what's the answer.

Brady smiled for a moment and the smile faded. I wish I knew. He said I wish I knew.

Another of our generation's greatest philosophical minds. Comedian Jim Carrey said the same. I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything that they ever dreamed of. So they can see that it's not the answer is matter fact this weekend at your service you you quoted Eminem as I write about your your audience your lizard yet yet the yeah you know you say it is you there. People like Brady and Eminem better searching for purpose and what you find is that the purpose that you spend the majority of your life looking for people that have actually gotten the place you want to be got there and said not is not what I thought it was and I know there's got to be more yeah I think in the book. I quote this CEO who was quoted in Forbes magazine saying I spent my entire life climbing the ladder of success find that it it it was leaning against the bomb building to you and you realize that that people at some point realize they look around and realize that they chased a lot of things that don't matter. Last, the generation that that I'm a unit that is coming out now the college of young professionals that their very cause driven generation and adds a large part that's that's a good thing you have it. They may want to end suffering and they will not you know save the planet and they want arguing and injustice and again I say that at all likely to think those are very worthy goals the Christians to be involved in, but at some point you have to ask yourself like like so if everybody has clean drinking water of the planet may die and go to hell.

Is that really you have we really really dumb. What would got asked us to do you together for John Piper's and yet we Christians ought to be involved in the leaving every kind of suffering, but the greatest and worst of all suffering is eternal suffering and if you believe the gospel at all. And then you have an ounce of compassion your Christlike compassion in your heart, then you're going to give your life to make sure that people everywhere around you know, and that this generation, all all over the world and cancel your response to the goodness that's awesome in the in the chapter. Chapter 9 we actually say were six Robbie and I were we quote this all the time. It says it is not the critic who counts the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly to heirs, who comes short again and again he spends himself for worthy causes who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. And I'll tell you this, Robbie and I were talking about this that when I first started to tell people about Jesus. JD it became a thing was almost like something that I had to do.

Okay I know I have to do this and I know I have to type people. But I don't know if you've you've got to this place because I know you share Jesus review set on airplanes with people in and really everywhere you go. Waitresses and waiters, but it it actually gets to the point now where it's like me and I get to share this with them and it automates what an opportunity we have, to be able to share the good news and it's on. I don't know from what I've learned it's almost kind of a mindset change to words like I got to do what I had to do it and how it like we get to share the good news. Do you see that it all absolutely will start with a quote that you gave Richard Roosevelt quote about just like a euro to do this year to make mistakes. You mess up and logically we had Michael two weeks ago you said you were there this week.

The week before we had 350 people last two weeks ago profess faith in Christ.

For the first time and out like a moment of decision at the end of our service through 50% decisions and price got right. That's like you're awesome. And then thank God.

Well man. I got lit up this week on some people not in the church, but just you know critics that were wrong. You know you did this you should do this and listen. We always need to be open to critique because we don't want to ever use the machinations of the flesh but you can listen to that list of all this criticism and I think of the words of DL Moody was like whoa yes ma'am understand that that that there are prove our doing this but I like my way of doing it your way back to hexose and again were sharing Christ with people in and out. They on a personal level, you would take it out of that the church realm induced you know I share Christ a lot of people that it didn't go anywhere and I got a conversations.

I think that was terrible like I did a terrible job at macular questions right you I got defensive rest of the wrong thing and I found one of the times are not guilty of the worst. Sometimes they end up being the one that actually get a response, I'll get a letter recently this from somebody you overheard me talking to somebody else and I remember feeling about that conversation. Look at that person was not given personal that you talking to not giving me anything. I mean, just like you like a brick wall.

Little did I know you are to write back.

Somebody listening the whole time and they they just recognize what was so they told me seven years later is when they told me a lot you know that God use that as a key part of my journey come to faith in Christ because God usesalso tell you the church pastor that they could hear the gory stories they good to hear that story). Every share Christ somebody in them, that faith in Christ.

But what you don't hear from you. One story I tell you, there's nonstory that don't go anywhere better. Just like you talking to you talking a little wind, and it is just how God has ordained obedience is the key compares us to do so were the seed. This is been your responsibilities to go out make the message known and as you draw the seed sometimes responds on the analogy Ella uses is like going up running a magnet over the sand. You just keep running over the sand and then all of a sudden something jumped out of the sand. A piece of metal jumps out because you don't know it today or in order to find it.

You get to do it everywhere.

My job every day to get up and to the power the spirit run that evangelistic magnet over the sand and see where the Holy Spirit is orca pair people to hear the message and respond.

That's awesome you one of the parts of the book that really kinda surprised me was there is there is a chapter you're talking about, you know which which denomination of Christianity is the fastest growing denomination and you say well you know you you would've thought it was can be the Baptist Baptist Church because, you know, like you said Lottie Moon and Amy Carmichael and Billy Graham and all these other folks and then you said no it's actually the Pentecostal denomination. Is that right yeah well one slight adjustment is what was was the denomination that per capita mobilize their people for mission.

The best got so out of all the Christian evangelical denominations in America doing the best job of mobilizing their people to go out on a mission and I naturally thought well it's got a bad just because I think Michael mission bizarre thing you know Lottie Moon you know you like to like William Carey about the judge said allow your famous missionaries work Baptist and even today. If you were to make a list of the 45 most powerful mission speakers. Chances are the majority of them will be bad.

You know I'm a John Piper Louis Giglio David Platt I'm all you guys you are coming out of the background that is is Baptist is not natural to be honest, but it said no I'm surprisingly good that the denomination does best out of the apostles and here's why they said in Baptist world and reformed Christianity world what you have. You have this all we talk about is the overwhelming mess of the need and that's great.

We need to hear about that but it can leave you become what you paralyzed, you know, members 2.3 billion people. Whatever the name of Jesus.

How am I supposed actually change that.

It's it it just paralyzed what Pentecostals do adults talk about that but also talk about spirits empowerment and calling you so that I'm also focused on the spirit of God is leading me to go here or do this or share Christ with that person. In this article I was reading was basically explaining.

You evidently it's more compelling to be gift driven spiritual gift driven. That is to be guilt trip and I realized that I got a house approaching things, whether leading people of the summa church or whether it's summa church in Raleigh-Durham or whether it's just my own ministry I Ella comes up thinking about what I need to go out and do for God as opposed to getting up and saying the spirit of God anointed me and he has specific people for me to go to today is specific plans for me.

I know that your figure our listeners right now. Every one of you that is listening. You might say log is not that I'm not that talented and I just that the needs are so overwhelming look all God wants from you if you want you to obey the spirit of God, the same spirit that was on John the Baptist and spirits on these and scribbled on Billy Graham is on you and it's not about your your ability anymore just about your availability. You get up and say yes and God send. Use that willingness and send you to the people in the places where he wants to work through you to to bring people to understanding. Understanding Jesus that's also one of the things I've heard you talk about a lot. JD was out here for. I guess there are some churches are there some people today who are you know they say will look God told me Or the spirit told me I heard you actually say one time. He said that you know how many disasters have happened in judges because somebody stood up and said God told me. So the side of it, but I guess the other side of it is to say, okay were not to listen to the Holy Spirit at all.

And then so how do you find that happy medium? When that odyssey but a big part of the book because you know just to reiterate what you said more havoc has been weak in the world.

Following the word God just told me than probably any other, and younger people. Sometimes I will. God said this to me on my God will be double. God so it could definitely be something that's abused. However however when you study the book of acts specifically. You people always call the acts of the apostles was really a misleading name only the name was inspired by the Holy Spirit of something that you purchase during the edit later but did actually apostles as a misleading name because the main actor in the book of acts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit you appears 36 different times in the book of acts, and in every single one of those he is speaking he is is is is talking he is guiding and so I get it I get it that that the apostles were a unique group I get it that they experienced something some signs that that are not as prevalent in our day. Some of them maybe not print.

Not not even really know in operation functionally at all anymore, but that you can't convince me that the only book that God gave us the book of acts that tells us in narrative form what it what it what it's like for the Holy Spirit to be at work in the church, you can't.

You can't convince me that that whole book is filled with stories of people whose experiences have nothing in common with us and you, John Newton here because he's not appearing on arranging Pentecostal he's a good job as a Puritan road were amazing Grace and John Newton said. Can that which is so essential for the ministry.

The early church be completely nonessential. The ministry of our churches today and answers, of course not have to to learn how to be guided by the spirit we use a phrase our church are called led by the spirit of the work were taught of the world. Whenever we say God said we want to make sure we had a chat reimbursement is that Scripture is God's, God's revelation is his voice that you can say that's what God is saying, but but what the Spirit does. He takes that word and then he applies it in the various situations and he leads you so that you know where your first going what your first be saying what ministries you beat. You should be involved in another one of my favorite little phrases in it to the book is is not everything that comes from heaven as your name on everything that heaven wants to do on earth is something that's for Michael J dear for for you. It's something that you going to start from the spirit what is called you to ministry that that part of the body of Christ not part of his mission to the wall that you're supposed to play that. That's also when you've actually I've heard you say many many times that when you first started out your ministry. You said that you were praying for revival, you're praying for revival and then you said you felt like the Holy Spirit told you something you remember.

Yeah all you have been very well look out of the fight moment my life and what room what it what it illustrates is that a lot of times the obstacle to God answering our prayers for waking revival our own idolatrous simple motivation somewhat. What happened is that taken a day that prayer and fasting and one other thing you gotta do is just like you said summa revivals and awake you say God I wanted to be the kind of awakening that hundred years about when I tell the history of of Raleigh-Durham mentor to mention this revival how it changed the change that the city and got a I don't have this happen to me all the time. It was one of those moments when I sense the spirit of God moving in my heart. Very strongly very clearly what he said was you said okay what if I say yes what I answer that prayer. One of us in an awakening that turns the triangle upside down but what if I don't use you or your church to lead in that. What if nobody ever even notices you are the summa church what it is another church down the road to get really big and they get they get all the attention and nobody knows your name at all. You still want me to do it now.

Michael I know the right answer that question right answer. That is, oh yes, Lord, you must increase, decrease made in the right answer, but that wouldn't have been the real answer.

The real answer is no, I'm not okay with that. II really wanted God to to cause there to be awakening but also wanted him to exalt my own name and revealed to me that in that moment. What I was doing is is not my lips were saying by kingdom come. But what my heart was saying was my kingdom come, and God use that as a moment. This expose me and say I can answer prayer for awakening revival when when when so much of your own idolatrous self-interest is tied up in it and so was time to get Ludwig time of you know, and I love to tell you you in 12 years later that all units this, but I will struggle with anymore. Not still doing it is a constant battle for me that who I want to get the attention mere God. But I do know that that started the trajectory where I began to say, God, it's really and I want to lay down my reputation will lay down my interest on the way down all the things in this that are good for me and asked what your kingdom come. Whether that benefits me all not malicious people. Souls are so important LLC awakening revival character gets credit. Who cares who gets the credit and and yeah I mean I I am so excited about this book. I want everybody to get the book. I want everybody to read it.

It's what are you going to do with your life by Katie Greer Dever. How do they get the book.

Well, you can go to my website by the way JD Greer GRP and on the link all resources that have their is also what you do with your life on the Surgeon General. What you do with your It'll take you there. Modular books are sold on Amazon and Walmart have not yet my knowledge based on what they're doing now but I know JD Greer.

So much for your time, JD Greer, you are sent. This is the Truth Network

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