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March 16, 2022 8:30 am
Join your favorite host Mike Zwick for a special Holiday edition of "If Not For God”. Listen learn about the story behind the Holiday and what God role was in it.
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This is the Truth Network welcome to If Not for God stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Your host Mike Zwick this is if not for God with Mike Zwick for today. We are to be doing a show on St. Patrick. I know a lot of people are talking about this. A lot of people are thinking about this St. Patrick is a big topic. You know it's it's a huge celebration actually used to live in Savannah, Georgia, where we had the second largest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the country.
I believe the first largest one is in Boston. Can we talk about this today little bit you to one of the things a lot of people think about was St. Patrick. First, while they think that he was Irish he was.
Not Irish is actually British and when he grew up his his father was actually a deacon in the church and so when he was a young boy about 16 years old. He was actually kidnapped and taken over to Ireland and when he was taken over there that point in his life. He was not very religious at all in and he might've even been called an atheist time because he just did not take the Christian religion that he grew up with very seriously.
But as we know them in many times when were dealing with difficult circumstances in our life. A lot of times when that that is when God is able to grab our attention, but I believe it. Psalm 3416 where it says he is close to the brokenhearted and that's actually what happened to St. Patrick so he was. He was kidnapped he was taken away.
There were the Druids and there were also the pagans who were over in Ireland at that time and when he went over there. He was miserable in your Leone food hardly got any water. He was a slave but he went over there for six years and he got closer to God and God reached out him as well but when he did his job.
He did it to the best of his ability and people who saw him in the who were the pagans in the Druids and all that stuff they saw how hard he worked and they said this this guy's got something to old ugly before he left he had actually prayed for a young boy. When the Druids they were looking to their own gods and they prayed to the other gods as you would know, of course, it did not work but when Saint Patrick actually prayed to the real God, the true God.
He prayed for this young boy to be healed, and was completely healed, so he really got their attention. And so what happened was, was that Saint Patrick there was a time where he really begin to pray and he began to fast to God and when he fasted the Lord actually heard his prayer in one night.
He had a dream. It was an angel named Victor who said that his fastings had please the Lord, and that soon he would get out of Ireland and in another dream. A few nights later, it was said in that dream that his ship was ready and so what he did was he just got up in the middle of the night, and he left and he started culling at that time. If you were slave and they caught you running away. They would pretty much kill you. It would be horrible, but he went all the way and he went to hundred miles.
This was a time they didn't have cars did have a lot of the technology. There is no real way to get there.
So he was led by the Lord and when he got to the ocean.
He saw the ship and he set out great.
Here's my ship, but when he when he got to see the ship he talked to the owner of the ship and the ship said yeah, and he said how much money can you give me the owner of the ship told Saint Patrick he said not having money were not to let you on. So Saint Patrick prayed to God fervently and then all of a sudden the owner of the ship said okay you can come on the ship but you have to perform a pagan ritual to get on the ship. Saint Patrick said no I'm knocking to do it but he got on the ship anyways on a pause right there for second. You know when I talk to a lot of people nowadays. They said that while fasting was something that was for the Old Testament and it's not really something for today but when I read the Old Testament and the New Testament that that's not really something that I see as a matter fact, Jesus said he said it himself. He says, but when you fast. He's talking he's talking to people when he was around that that he said, but when you fast, he didn't say if you fast.
He said when you fast, and he said you know actually people came up to him and they said how come you and your disciples don't fast and he said basically while you're having a wedding.
He said you know they're in there enjoying me were going out were hanging out together having a time, he says, but we they don't fast while the groom is with them, he said, but when the bridegroom goes away. He said at that point they will fast and so he clearly tells us that we need fast.
Matter fact look at some other verses acts 13 to while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I've called them acts 1423 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for each each for them in each church and with prayer and fasting committed then to the Lord in whom they had put their trust. Even Joel 212 says even now declares the Lord returned to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning 237 and then was a widow until she was 84. She never left the temple but worshiped day and night fasting and praying twice a week and it says Luke 1812 and he gave 1/10 of all that he had as you continue to go on acts 13 334 so after they had fasted and prayed. They placed their hands on them and sent them off the two of them sent on their way by the Holy Spirit went down to Solutia and sailed from there to Cyprus. Luke 42 through four were for 40 days and this was where Jesus actually fasted, he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and at the end of them he was hungry. The kid and the devil said to him, if you are the son of God, tell the stone to become bread. And Jesus answered, it is written, man shall not live on bread alone, and so you know what I think about this.
II think about you know there are there are some people that say that fasting was just for the Old Testament. There are many, many verses in the New Testament where it clearly states that we are supposed to fast as Christians and many people that today that I've known who had fasted, they fasted for 510 days or whatever it was, and then they they got an answer from the Lord. The interesting thing is is that you know people say well if you say a little prayer when you're 15, 18 years old that after that regardless of your behavior. Your saved no matter what you could do whatever you want to do, but there are many, many verses in the New Testament that would point to the opposite matter fact Jesus said if your hand causes you to send cut it off. He said it better for you to go through life with one of your hands and have both of your hands and to be thrown in the fire of hell.
Many, many verses in the New Testament is not just to hear some Bible verses about turning away from sin. It says that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 623. First John 19 it says that here's the good news if we can confess our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sons and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
James 413 James 417 therefore to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it to him. It is soon. First Corinthians 1533 do not be sick deceived that bad company corrupts good morals. Romans 616, 17 now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.
Mark 328 through 29.
There truly I tell you. All sin shall be forgiven the Son of Man and whatever blasphemies they utter.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin. And so if you look at with the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is it's it's where the Jews are looking at Jesus and he's performing miracles in there saying that what you're doing.
Jesus you performing these miracles is by the power of Satan and Jesus said that any other sin that you commit can be forgiven if you ask for forgiveness.
And that's the great news, but that that if we have Jesus, is that if we at any point, even no matter how far we go. But if we turn to Jesus and we ask him to forgive us of our sins as far as the east is from the West. So far to be our arsons will be removed from us, but we need to be careful not to commit the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and that's it. What were we say if something is something is done by the Holy Spirit that we say if we say that it's of the devil is dangerously close to committing the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I've said this before. If you believe you know if if you don't speak in tongues or if you don't believe that healing is for today or whatever but if you call something like that if you call it demonic that is dangerously close to the blasphemy Holy Spirit. So I would I would I would avoid that to the nth degree. First Corinthians 1013 no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man and God is faithful, who will not allow you be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also said that you are able to endure it. First John three for everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness and sin is lawlessness. Galatians 519 through 21 now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outburst of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions and beings, drunkenness, carousing and and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such not such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. So if you know the words you say hey I'm a Christian you openly and outwardly continue to just sin, then it says you're not inherit the kingdom of God. Matter fact John Bunyan who wrote the Pilgrim's progress when he was young man he lived in open sin and and one day he actually heard a voice from heaven when he heard this voice from heaven with a voice from heaven said to him, he says, will you continue in your sins and go to hell are you turn away from your sins and go to heaven. And so it is very very important to us as Christians that we turn away from our sons know as I continue on with Saint Patrick you know one of the things that I've seen with him is that you know people say oh you know it's a drinking holiday or this or that, whatever, but there were many miracles that he witnessed in one of the things that he witnessed is that he actually had left Ireland. He had gotten out of the situation that he was in and he said I want to decide how to become a student and him to become a teacher in the church and so he was studying it what we call seminary today. He did his studying and then all of a sudden he was out in his hometown which was in Great Britain in a dream semi-came to him in the dream he heard the voice of the Irish voice that said holy boy come back to Ireland. We need you. He convinced his church that he was supposed to go back to Ireland. So in other words, he Artie had a job yet everything set up. He was can be comfortable when he came back to Britain.
He was told in a dream that he needed to come back to our little me ask you this if you're listening today has God told you that you need to do something. Have you felt the calling of God saying hey I maybe I need to go overseas so you realize, when he went back there. These are the same people that enslaved him. They worship multiple gods, but he obeyed the voice of God and went and did a fire was lit. It's been said that he was bringing the light of Christ. And so when he went back past Saint Patrick actually raise the dead. He was in a small town and there was a widow who couldn't walk to get water. So what he did.
He struck his staff on the ground. The fresh spring came up out of the ground and there was a king who had a daughter and son who died on the same day and he heard about Saint Patrick who would perform this miracle and route it was through God. God had performed the miracle. But it was true Saint Patrick. He was the vessel.
This king actually sought out Saint Patrick when Saint Patrick found out that his son and his daughter died on the same day and the king hears that a man name Saint Patrick raise the dead to Saint Patrick made a deal with the king and he says that if I raise your children from the dead will you give your life to Christ the King says yes of course I would is like you know where my stupid. Of course he would.
So Saint Patrick raises the dead raises the kids raises the kids from the dead and St. in this this king actually gives his life to Christ and also he gave it his whole pride give their life to Christ as well. Matter fact today if if you know the city of Dublin, the king's daughter who was raised from the dead, was named double enough. That's how we get Dublin that found that Saint Patrick asked God to raise raise up for the widow every year after this that people would the Irish would come around that fountain and they would drink the water from the fountain and when they drink the water from the fountain.
They were commemorating Saint Patrick and the miracles that here performed in and they were they were remembering Christ as well. And so what happened is, is that that the British would come around and when the British came in and they were they had occupied the Irish territory, the Irish didn't go to the didn't go to the to the fountain anymore because they were afraid that that the British would think that they were writing or something like that so every year for St. Patrick's Day.
They would go to the pub and they still do this to honor Saint Patrick and so it's interesting even when people are drinking nowadays on St. Patrick's Day when they go to the pub unwittingly, they may be, they may be honoring Saint Patrick in and instead of being some holiday that is just you know out there to some holiday that is out there to you know to drink or whatever. It's really a whole lot more than that and and and really one of the miracles that we think about is that Saint Patrick, by his obedience to God and sharing the gospel with with with different chiefs. Now Ireland is a Christian country you if you're relisting right now you may say hey I may not have the ability to start Christianity in a in a whole country or something like that but you may mean you may be listening right now you know it says in Scripture that I have I have brought Christ to wear heat. I want to bring Christ where he's never been heard.
He said I don't build on another man's foundation, said Paul. And so you therapy. There are places in the world where people have never heard the word of Christ. And so maybe maybe you feel a calling to do that.
Maybe you could go out do that yourself and you know another thing that I'm thinking about is that we sometimes I think we see persecution as something that's bad in, and something that needs to be avoided and and and stuff like that. When I look at not only Saint Patrick, and he was taken as a slave. It look like his life was over. On that look like he was just fallen on hard times and things were never to get better but so many times will going through a hard time. Maybe it's just God getting her attention in light my friend Pastor Marty of First Christian Church of Boone. He sent me something he said you know he said I was working as a taxi driver. He said, but I quit because people were talking behind my back well in the same way you know as a Christian, and I've seen this with whether it's been with Stu. Whether it's been, with Robbie my friend John Perry for many other Christians, you know, people talking about you behind your back me the least of the problems like I am, you could deal with lot more than at an Ira and Judson went to Burma and he became as Baptist missionary who went out there and that you know we we think will allow.
I'd love to be like out in our room. Judson, I'd love to go to this other country were people of her people are not Christians and they haven't given given their lives to Christ and you know but at the same time.
It's like, do we really want that because he was actually imprisoned, and when he was in prison he was hung upside down from his legs and he is the only thing that was allowed to touch the floor and this was done for days at a time.
Top of his neck of the top of his back and is in his head talking a miserable miserable way to live but because of his obedience to God. Now that whole reacher that whole area which is now me and more on became a Christian area you know what I think of Lottie Moon Lottie Moon had gone to China and she saw nothing and nothing and nothing is matter fact when she was on her way back from China. One of the things that she did see you know she started to see a lot of people come to Christ and so when she saw all of these people come to Christ. One of the things that she saw's of the things are getting better, but when she came back she came back on the ship she was coming back to America from a from China.
She was emaciated. She hardly had anything to eat and she died of starvation and so we say hey I want to do all the things that Lottie Moon did do we want to have to experience us some of the problems that she experienced. Matter fact, one of my favorite stories is a guy named William Borden and the stories called the reserve never treats no regrets and the verse that comes up is.
Do not put out the Spirit's fire.
First Thessalonians 519 on it says 1904 William Borden graduated from Chicago high school as heir to the Borden family fortune. He was already wealthy for his high school graduation present. William Borden's parents gave their 16-year-old son a trip around the world as the as the young man traveled throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He felt a growing burden for the world hurting people. Finally, Bill Borden wrote home about his desire to be a missionary. One friend expressed disbelief that Bill was throwing himself away as a missionary story often associated with Borden says that in response he wrote two words in the back of his Bible.
The reserves even though young Borden was wealthy. He arrived on the campus of Yale University 1905, trying to look like just one more freshman very quickly. However, Borden's classmates noticed something unusual about him. It wasn't that he had lots of money. One of them wrote he came to college forehead spiritually of any of us. He had already given his heart in full surrender to Christ and had really done it. He's a we who were his classmates learn to lean on him and finding him a strength that was solid as a rock.
Just because that of the settled purpose and consecration during his college years Bill Borden made an attempt made an entry in his personal journey that defined him, that defined what his classmates were seeing in him that simple entry said say no to self and yes to Jesus every time Borden's first disappointment yell came in the University Pres. spoke in a in a convocation about the students need of having a fixed purpose. After that speech, Borden wrote.
He neglected to say what our purpose should be and where we should get the ability to persevere in the strength to resist temptations surveying that the the Yale faculty and much of the student body. Borden lamented what he saw as the end result of an empty humanistic philosophy, moral weakness and sin ruin lives matter fact was going on around that time Deism had become very big in the United States and is as you know many of our past presidents like Thomas Jefferson, possibly George Washington, and in and in many of the many of those other guys, and it'd become a popular belief that God is out there. Somehow, that is not that there is no God but God is not interested in our personal lives. And that's not true. Jesus cares about you. He cares about you as an individual he cares about you he loves you and so at the time yell had become a nonreligious place in and around the turn of the turn of the 20th century run 1905.
I many people it said hope there is something else.
It's Darwin's theory of evolution by the way, it's just a theory is not true is just a theory that people came up with and it says that the devil is the father of all lies. And so, that being said, William Borden still went in there and he was absolutely determined to share Christ with his fellow classmates during his first semester at Yale Borden. He would transform campus life. One of his friends described how it began. It was well on the first term when Bill and I began to pray together in the morning before breakfast. I cannot say positively who suggested it was but I feel sure that it must've been Bill Bill Borden. We had been meeting only a short time and 1/3 student joined us what started with two people when the third student joined us, and soon after 1/4 time was spent in prayer. By the way he talked about this before in prayer. How many of the revivals that if started all across the world, whether it be the Azusa Street revival over Los Angeles or whether it be the Welsh revival over in Wales without prayer had started. Matter fact, there was there was one of the revivals that it started was a group 2 or three older women in their 80s and they couldn't do anything. They just got together every day and they pray to God about revival to never underestimate the power of prayer.
We need to pray for our country like never before.
We need to pray for the one we need to pray for revival right now but those handling of Scripture was helpful. He would read to us from the Bible showed us something that God had promised us and then proceed to claim the promise with assurance Borden small morning prayer group gave gave birth to a movement that soon spread across the campus by the end of his first year hundred and 50 freshman meeting weekly for Bible study and prayer by that by the time that Bill Borden was a senior 1000 of Yale's 1300 students were meeting and search search groups told me one time and was recently a friend what his name is Laurette and he prophesies over people and he said that Mike he said you are a pacesetter, he said, let the Lord revealed to you what that is. And so what I what I thought about us and will will meet us at what used to run track in high school and I said I said so we think about that and so what I realized as I remember when I went to wilderness camp lived in the woods for year and 20 days back in my ninth grade year.
My freshman year of high school and set a goal in high school I went there when I was there I started, unless you know what I said I am to make the most of this opportunity. I'm to be here for a year and there's nothing that I can do about it. But what I started to do was I started to do push-ups and sit-ups every day I would do jumping exercises to help me with cardio. I would lift rocks and when I first started to do this, people would look at me like I was crazy and they said, what would he do when man they see your you doing up son several months ago and by we were outside of the showers one day and we were changing and this guy named Josh. He says my case is what you do and I told him I did the push-ups and set ups and he said I'm to do whatever you do, and so he started doing it with me and pretty soon the rest of the group started doing the push-ups and set ups with me and pretty soon after that, the counselor of the group started to do the push-ups and sit-ups with us pretty soon. Other groups in the camp. They saw that we were doing it and they started to do it, so everybody in the camp started to follow my lead and I never told anybody to do this. I just did it on my own interesting when we just start doing what God is called us to do we start to obey the leadings of the Holy Spirit.
We obey Jesus. It's amazing how many other people will follow along. Some think about.
Same with Bill Borden's place was not really a Christian place at all, but he started praying started the Bible study with two people, by the time he was done at Yale or whatever.
Probably 8080 or 85% of people join him in this. But Borden made it a habit to seek out the most incorrigible students and try to bring them to salvation. In his sophomore year we organized Bible study groups and divided up the class of 300 or more each man interested in taking a certain number so that all might possible be reached.
The names were gone over one by one, and the question asked who will who will take this person when it came to someone when it came to someone thought to be a hard proposition.
There would be an ominous pause. Nobody one of the responsibility then Bill's voice would be heard.
Put him down to me.
Borden's outreach ministry was not convulsed confined to the Yale campus. He cared about widows and orphans to help the poor, which Jesus called us to do, and the disabled.
He rescued drunks from the streets of New Haven to try to rehabilitate them. He founded the Yale hope mission. One of Bill Borden's friends wrote that he might often be found in the lower parts of the city at night on the street in a cheap lodging house or some restaurant to which he had taken a poor hungry fellow to feed him seeking to lead men to Christ. Borden's missionary call narrowed to the Muslim can't sue people in China so we ended up taking a trip after college and after he had studied.
He was in seminary at Yale and he said I want to be able to reach the Chinese Muslim people. When he tried to reach the Chinese Muslim people made a stop in Egypt, which he did was he said okay am to stay here.
Ominous study Aramaic and he was there. He contracted a spinal meningitis. Within a month he died some. He said that he wrote in the back of his Bible never regrets. So sometimes in our Christian lives, we, the ministry blows up when we do really well. Sometimes we may die. Sometimes, we could be speaking out for Christ. Sometimes we can be bold for Christ and we can be killed. We could be imprisoned.
Many of the apostles when they were flogged they they were.
They went away rejoicing because they were flawed for the name of Christ, and so sometimes it works out the way that we wanted work out, sometimes it doesn't but I can't think of any other decision that I've made in my life. It is better that is been better in deciding to give my life to Christ and I'm so glad I did. And if if you've never given your life to Christ as Saint Patrick did. As many of my friends have done at some point Juergen have to make a decision you know what I was in the church at Pinedale Christian church many years ago. Pastor Bill Mackenzie. He said devil will not tell you not to give your life to Christ he said, but he'll just tell you not to do it right now and if you've never given your life to Christ. I want you to do it right now.
Today spray with me, Lord Jesus, I am a sinner I failed you, Lord.
I've broken many of your 10 Commandments of light cheated, stolen, killed, I've done a lot I know is it says in your word that if I ask you for forgiveness and says that as far as the east is from the west, you won't even remember my sons and Borden. I want to be forgiven right now I give my life to Jesus I commit my life to Jesus name if you prayed that prayer with us message me on Michael's went on Facebook you can message us on the if not for God with Mike's wick. We'd love to hear your story love to share your story and encourage you to get in a good Bible-based church, you have a happy St. Patrick's Day thought about going out there and drinking remembering Jesus is. This is good Truth Network