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July 22, 2020 7:05 am
No one can escape this one, and emotion. Each of us, no matter our age feels a measure of remorse about mistakes from our past. Maybe it's a treasured relationship that went sour a business partnership to fail. Chuck Swindoll said there's only one thing more tragic than regrets is failing to address them today on Insight for living Chuck includes a message introduced Monday and Tuesday.
The central character in our study is the prophet Joel who provides a model for us all. Chuck titled today's message.
Looking back, clearing away the trash.
We regret will have a pass that strewn with the litter of failure in regression we all know nonproductive days.
We all have failed. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of our God. This isn't about that. This is about falling short and not addressing it, not dealing with letting the locusts fly. He licked strip a life beer. These locusts came as I said, as God's discipline upon his people. When you get to chapter 2 there's a break in the story is a little hope shines through you turn there. One of the great hidden promises in the Bible that I've rarely heard anyone even read or quote Joel 225.
Look at the hope in this verse then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping, the stripping, the knowing locusts notice how he identifies of my great army which I sent among you. It just so happens that Joe uses the picture of of the insect to describe the devastation of what was once very beautiful and good. Look at chapter 2 verse three a fire consumes before them and behind them a flame burns the land is like the Garden of Eden before them. Watch closely, but a desolate wilderness behind them and nothing at all, escapes them, their appearance is like the appearance of horses and like war horses so they run with the noise as the chariots they lead on the tops of the mountains like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, like a mighty people arranged for battle.
Did you notice the mention of the Garden of Eden before they attacked life for the land is green and luxuriant following them. They are like these white stalks that stick up from the ground. Make it as a bamboo pole devastation is happened. Now the promise in verse 25 from the Lord in Joel two is that he will make up for the years the locus of the look at the word make up to you. It's the idea.
Listen now of entering into a state of holiness I will restore relationships that the consequences of your wrong, have eaten like locusts eat the crop the picture I will restore what you have allowed to be destroyed because of stubbornness, pride, resistance, a deaf ear and a hard heart were talking repentance here folks, the devastation in in natural terms is very clear, but you and I know this book called the Bible is not simply about crops and plants and that which is literal the spiritual application is is painfully obvious.
The promises he is able to restore that relationship. The question however, is how what what do I think I hear many of you saying I don't need to hear more about the problem I need to know how to get rid of the locusts need know how to solve the problem if you don't mind writing in your Bible. I'd like to give you three simple principles for clearing away the trash of the past. The pastor of remorse and regret of their very simple and all three are found by principal right here in the Scriptures. The first one is in verse 12 verse 13 of chapter 2. Look closely to 12. After describing how devastating the situation was in the nation. He adds yet even now declares the Lord returned to me with all your heart. Verse 13 rend your heart, not your garments now return to the Lord your God first principle start immediately without rationalization start immediately without rationalization is so easy to put something off that's painful or to find an excuse for our past actions. If she hadn't said if he hadn't.
Then I that's a rationalization to rationalize, according to Webster is to provide plausible but untrue reasons for one's conduct is not good plausible but untrue reasons for one's conduct, I did not do this because of anyone else. I did what I did that was wrong because inside me is a wrong nature, and I responded wrong. I allowed this situation to result in such and such from my life.
The point I'm making is start immediately. Don't put it off and don't pass it off to anyone else.
Second, don't pass it off saying when somebody else makes his or her move. Then I'll say no that's rationalization it's not someone else's move. It's yours. It's your start immediately. Without rising inflation to get more specific of some who listen to me today are teenagers and you're making life miserable in the home, not only for your parents but for your siblings. You need to start immediately addressing the things that are wrong and seeking forgiveness from those you have heard by your actions. Yes, some of you have been very difficult mates to live with. You have been a difficult life has become increasingly more difficult in the home because of the way you have conducted your life selfishly, stubbornly, in pride, demanding, unforgiving, whatever may be the list. You could put together better than I it's your move things won't get better until you address the wrong now without rationalization. He says in this verse even now return to me and again in 13 now return to the Lord your God. Second principle return completely without reservation miss it again return completely without reservation 12 B are the end of verse 12 says returned to me with a LL that's nothing hidden with all your heart, he includes fasting, weeping morning. Verse 13 says rend your heart and not your garments but we don't need a tangible show of emotion. We need a heart breaking admission of fault with no blame included no blame, no hidden closets.
No inner reservations. No close doors no carefully kept secrets.
Repentance is incomplete.
Listen to this when there are areas that are held back, protected or left unaddressed, and unaccountable repentance is complete.
When your life is an open book before the one you have wronged because I don't know who you are.
I haven't been able to talk to you personally about this. I can only say generally surely in a gathering or listening audience this large. There are some who are living a double life. The secret you are keeping will one day but be known, and the devastation will be even worse now was the time before the turn of the year for you to come to terms with what has been allowed to go on inappropriately in the need to be stopped, not only immediately but completely without reservation. There isn't any wobble room in this interesting when surgeons look closely at a diseased area if they are competent surgeons. They do not ignore the diseases they do not overlook a tumor, they don't do us a favor by not telling us they address it. Even when they say you know I need to tell you that this will be a very painful and will be a very lengthy surgery and I'm I'm not sure the outcome but one thing is certain we will not leave this as it is. That's a good surgeon the Lord who is the position of our souls is like that when it comes to locusts. This is not a simple and easy sermon to preach. This is something that needs to be said of his flock.
I don't know whom you have offended.
I don't know if you have but I say if that person is as it is in this church that person needs to hear from you that needs to be made right needs to be done completely. Yes, privately, that there's no there there is there there is no need to stand before the entire congregation because you have the situation with one other person go to the one other person I want to be delicate here but I will be carefully is a delicate subject but I I would say it takes some people, three, four years of therapy to come to the point where they will do this.
This is a hard thing so hard thing especially if it's been built up beyond just the year. Some of you haven't spoken to members of your family for who knows how long.
Are there people you were once close to and for whatever reason so many of them your own fault. That breakdown is there and that distance is just grown. You won't go if it will be bridged automatically or easily itchy at your move. I'm telling you how to move into a new year with a fresh new perspective. You gotta take care the trash that's been littered from your truck. It's time for radical surgery. It will hurt but it's it's necessary. Here's 1/3 principle verse 15 to 15th blow a trumpet in Zion. Listen to this Zionist Jerusalem blow a trumpet in the city consecrate a fast. Proclaim a solemn assembly. Gather the people, sanctify the congregation assemble the elders, gather the children. The nursing infants were talk about a crowd. The bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. Let the priest the Lord's ministers weep between the porch and the altar let them say spare your people Lord. Do not make your inheritance a reproach. A byword among the nation. Why should they among the people say where is their God.
Third, repent openly without hesitation repent openly without hesitation start immediately without rationalization return completely without reservation.
Repent openly without hesitation. What am I saying I am saying that you hold nothing back.
My dad used to put it this way you put your pride in your pocket and you walk directly or you may contact directly with the individual or plural individuals and you sit with them and you work through sufficiently where that person is able to look at you ultimately and say I forgive you.
It is remarkable what relief this will bring. It is remarkable how the rejoicing will return is just amazing what this will do, not only in your inner life, but in your relationship with people who have not been you become if you will a new person's time for little on his statement here from nothing.
Everything else hasn't been honest but it's time for me to candid candidate is the word I should view there was a time in my life and ministry. When I would not it preach the wife is a whole train of people that I had heard I had been in a ministry where you didn't give attention of that. Just press right on matter, people need to grow up. You know, shake it off.
So big life. Keep going and it was a great day in my life when I had a very fine mentor look at me and say to me you know something you need to know it's real blind spot for you and he told me he was right.
You know and become less of a man because I took care of the homework. I think I first time was free truth set you free. Truth really set you free. And I can't guarantee that there will be an immediate response of the understanding and embracing and and you know it's all go to dinner type thing, I think it will take some people who have been hurt for a long time because of you time to get through that will take them a while first to believe that you're really sincere what I'm talking about repentance being done so openly and I mean if the man is saying blow the trumpet in Zion, if he saying children bride and groom and ministry all gather to me this is an open dealing with it is.
This is no holds barred. I would love to think that we step into a new year is a congregation with no lingering offenses. I would like to think that I would love to think that you are mature man or woman enough to say that the man was talking to me. This happens to be the second of our morning worship services at the meeting at close of our first service. A man walked up to me and said with tears. I need to talk to someone right now. Right now it's an unusual response for me to hear and I directed him to one of our soul care people in immediately walked in the prayer he was very troubled over this and I I wanted to embracing good for you. Good for you with some of you it's a husband-wife breakdown and that's a very personal thing that the two of you must work through the Lord is able to do that.
He'll honor the kind of integrity and honesty kind of candor.
Remarriage may be held together by a very thin thread. I hope today is to give you what's necessary. By way of courage to step into it. Step right into it to step right into it. Don't wait to wait for a better moment. There is no better moment now's the time.
One of our interns in a former ministry very gifted young man not left our ministry to go to the other, thinking that this was gonna be a great place to serve and he was there. I don't know.
Not quite a year before heard from him and he said boy things are really tough. Well at resulted in a phone conversation and I said what you know cannot help think so set. Actually, my door opens it and it bumps against the pastor's door. That's close. Our offices are. We haven't spoken for four and half months is something wrong there is something wrong if you your doors are that close haven't spoken in the week.
Some of you have bumped doors with individuals who believe it or not. Would really love to have a relationship with you but you have rendered it impossible your stubbornness is created that and today it is my unhappy but us responsible assignment to tell you that you simply invite divine discipline by putting it off the locus swarm and they will devastate you joy it will make your life unproductive. I know what I'm talking about serious is not with me when you, today's the day of deliverance, now's the time. Maybe with one of your in-laws. I don't know maybe with the person at work, school, maybe a former employee, former coach, player, former minister. I know I know you you can't make the world right but you can address the things that have made you wrong. That's all I'm asking God and God and ask you to clean up the fishbowl.
That's his job. You got a deal with the stuff in your life. Specially words poured over into another and its broad partake in misery and distance pain. If you never known the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. All of this comes a strange information to you because you see you've never first submitted to him at the cross.
That's were Christians get their start. They listen and they bow before the cross, believing that the Lord Jesus paid the complete penalty for our sins, we thank him and we receive him. We take him as Lord and Master.
You've never done that that your starting place and then you deal with the other, but I talked mainly today to you who know the Lord. But you've run roughshod and you continue to do that and it's time it's gone on long enough, searching time. Father is been a time in which we have reviewed the sigh of our past dealings in the air as David said we we let we are in anguish in our souls over these things will what I put a what an appropriate time for us to gain a whole new perspective on life as it is, and upon our world as it should be how great it would be to have the plants once again luxurious and productive. How wonderful it would be if the green were to replace the flight and the brown and the fruit again appear fruit of the spirit as you have your way in each one of our lives. I place myself before you and I ask that you bring to my attention anything or anyone or something needs to be taken care.
May that be done sooner or later, and may it be done fully, not halfheartedly or with reluctance and may our repentance come before you as a sweet smelling aroma that pleases you, but you will honor and you will make up for the years that the locust I pray this Lord, trusting you to give courage were needed and immediacy words appropriate in the name of Christ.
I Chuck Swindoll titled today's message. Looking back, clearing away the trash.
We regret to learn more about this ministry. Be sure to visit us email@example.com. We look forward to the next program when he'll talk about finding healing through forgiveness effect. Let me prepare you for a special treat at the end of Chuck's second message will invite his wife Cynthia to share her personal story to talk about her debilitating battle with depression early in their marriage as well as the broken relationship and her family and the remarkable moment of forgiveness that occurred this is among the most highly requested messages in the history of insight for living because of the relevance of these two messages were prepared to make copies available at no cost or obligation.
Again, the two presentations are titled finding healing through forgiveness and you can download the free MP3 right now by going to insight.org/find healing or if you have any questions call us if you're listening in the United States dial this number 1-800-772-8888 and be sure to specifically mention the two messages from Chuck called finding healing through forgiveness during the pandemic, and this season of civil unrest. Listeners continue to tell us how much they rely on this program to help them navigate these challenging times and were looking to add monthly companions to our support team by signing up to give a monthly automated gift. You will be the instrument God uses to bring a touch of grace to someone who's desperately searching for hope it's a great way to leverage your resources and impact lines through your charitable giving. So to become a monthly companion, listening in the United States dial this number 1-800-772-8888 or go to insight.or/monthly companion when you contact us, we should ask how you can download the two messages called finding healing through forgiveness. Most of us have been heartbroken to witness civil unrest in the public square, eclipsing the urgent medical needs imposed by the global pandemic and insight for living ministries.
We believe there's never been a better time to extend God's grace to those in need. In this emotionally charged year over shouting matches were commonplace for people feel voiceless and overlooked and would you be among those who give generously so that we can spread the fragrance of God's grace to those desperate for a second chance. We're looking to add more monthly companions to the team become a monthly companion today by calling us your listening in the United States.
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Join us again next time when Chuck Swindoll continues his series called finding healing through forgiveness right here on insight for living. The preceding message. Looking back, clearing away the trash. We regret was copyrighted in 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2017 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2017 by Charles R. Swindoll.
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