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The God of Limitless Possibilities, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2021 7:05 am

The God of Limitless Possibilities, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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December 17, 2021 7:05 am

The Great Commission

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Sometimes, our personal insecurities have a tendency to shape our view of God. For instance, in our weakest moments when we're feeling inadequate, we tend to cast God in the same light. Rather than viewing God as all-powerful, capable of moving mountains, we slip into small-minded thinking. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll invites us to elevate our confidence in God by shifting our attention away from ourselves and onto the Almighty. Jeremiah the prophet said, Ah Lord God, nothing is too difficult for you.

Chuck titled today's message, the God of limitless possibilities. Are you living these days struggling with feelings of inadequacy? Feelings small?

Take heart. If he's got time for the little children and says, the kingdom belongs to such as these, believe me, he's got room for those of us who struggle with feelings of inadequacy and disability, aging, mission possible. You see, with God, there are no little people. It was back in 1974, he sort of took the Christian world by storm. He dressed in a strange way, but all he held audiences that numbered into the multiple thousands in the palm of his hand as Francis Schaeffer would address our culture and especially the arts of our day. And the more you were around him, the more you realize this man is not impressed with Francis Schaeffer. He is lost in wonder, love, and praise of his Heavenly Father. And he talks to the world about everybody counts.

There are no little people. In fact, he wrote the book, No Little People. I dragged mine off my library shelf yesterday and I called Cynthia into my study and I said, listen to some of this. I read from the chapter that is titled No Little People, No Little Places. He writes, all of us, pastors, teachers, professional, religious workers, and non-professionals included, are tempted to say, I will take the larger place because it will give me more influence for Jesus Christ. Both individual Christians and Christian organizations fall prey to the temptation of rationalizing this way as we build bigger and bigger empires. But according to the scripture, this is backwards. Isn't that a good line?

This is backwards. We should consciously take the lowest place unless the Lord extrudes us into a greater one. He continues, the word extrude is important. To be extruded is to be forced out under pressure into a desired shape.

Picture a huge press jamming soft metal at high pressure through a dye so that the metal comes out in a certain shape. This is the way of the Christian. He should choose the lesser place unless God extrudes him into a position of more responsibility and authority. Listen to me, you who are in a lesser place and your ego is fighting for a greater place.

Listen to this. There are no little people. There are no little places. He says, let me suggest two reasons why we ought not grasp for the larger place. First, we should seek the lowest place because there it is easier to be quiet before the face of the Lord.

I did not say easy. In no place, no matter how small or humble, is it easy to be quiet before God. And second reason why we should not seek the larger place is that if we deliberately and egotistically lay hold on leadership, wanting the drums to beat and the trumpets to blow, then we are not qualified for Christian leadership.

Why? Because we have forgotten that we are brothers and sisters in Christ with other Christians. I have said on occasion that there is only one good kind of fighter for Jesus Christ and that's the one who does not like to fight.

The belligerent man is never the one to be belligerent for Jesus. It is exactly the same with leadership. The Christian leader should be a quiet man or woman of God who is extruded by God's grace into some place of leadership in that great wording. Extruded into leadership.

You who are determined to find a large place and will not be satisfied until it is large and well-paying and famous, you've missed the whole point. That's not God's way. You mean God doesn't have anyone in large places?

He does all over, but the most effective feel just as comfortable in small places. An impossible judge, an impossible tax gatherer, an impossible circle of little kiddos, and how about an impossible individual who was just too big for his britches? A rich ruler who appears before Jesus. Verse 18, good teacher, what shall I do to obtain eternal life? He adds. This is a hotshot ruler who shows up in his robes of royalty and all the accoutrements of wealth. And he says, good teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?

Emphasis on do. Why do you call me good? Don't you know Jesus? Jesus had a way. Why do you call me good?

No one is good except God alone. Sword thrust, twist, twist, twist, standing there listening to this. He goes right to the heart of it. What are you trying to do?

Earn your way in. This is about belief, humility, trusting me. It's not about impressing and doing so that others will stand and take notice.

In fact, he nails him with a number of things and the man even brags and says, well, I've done all of that. What else? And Jesus said, fine. Why don't you sell everything you have and give it away and then we'll see how we come out.

Jesus is saying, stop trusting in the tangible things and just rather than clinging to them, cling to me. You don't own them. They own you.

Release them. Interestingly, Matthew and Mark both say at these words, his face fell and he went away grieved because he was one who owned much property. Something wrong with owning property?

You know better than that. It's the fact that the property owned him. I mean the man couldn't get past his own resume. He couldn't possibly lower himself to do the simple things like, let's make Christ first even though it means being misunderstood by your cohorts who live for the bucks.

Let's go there. Just like today, back in the first century, people were very impressed with wealth and the disciples have been listening. Verse 26 gives us their response. And they who heard it said, then who can be saved? I mean if somebody like that can't be, who can be? Look at Jesus' answer.

Here it is again. I love this. Why, the things impossible with men are possible with God. You can't work up enough humility to live sacrificially. But I can do that through you.

Oh you mean like giving up for your sake. And then I love this with Peter. This is one of those great moments where Peter doesn't say something wrong. He says it right and you just love him for it. Look at Peter.

This is so good. Verse 28, Peter said, sort of hinting for reassurance, behold we have left our homes and followed you. Isn't that great, Lord? We've done that. In other words, tell me it's worth it, Lord. Just tell me one more time. You know we've become missionaries, Lord.

I mean out of fishing business there at the lake. My brothers and my daddy and I, we walked away from the nets and the boats. Tell me it's worth it, Lord. Just need a little reassurance.

I love it. There's no rebuke. Christ in his graciousness may have put his arms around him. And he said, verse 29, I truly, I say to you there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom who shall not receive many times as much at this time.

I mean to say nothing of eternal life. Let me tell every one of you. Let me tell everyone and it's most of you. You who have put your priorities straight, you who have set aside the ego and the nonsensical pursuit of just more and more. Let me tell you it's worth it. It's worth it. It is the greatest blessing on earth to be able to represent the Lord Christ. Whether it's in the halls of academia for a believer or it's in the halls of Hollywood for those so desperately in need or whether it's in the bush of those in the heart of the most pagan countries. Not a burden. It's the greatest calling on earth.

Greatest decision you could possibly make. And that dear rich ruler never got it. You know why it was not possible for him? Because he chose it not to be.

I'm not going there. Well we've looked at an impossible judicial decision where a helpless widow couldn't do it but God did. An impossible tax-gathering center where he couldn't reach God in his hopeless setting but God did. God did. An impossible situation with a handful of kiddos who really weren't that sophisticated.

In fact not at all. And the Lord made their audience possible. The impossibility of a proud ruler who stayed impossible because he chose it. But the Lord said I can do anything.

I can change that heart. Now I got three questions for you. You knew this was coming didn't you? I got three questions for you. You don't have to have your Bible open for them. You can close your Bible but I don't want anything to distract you from the answer. I don't know your answer but I do know the questions. Number one, by the way remember how I started the most important thing you about you is what you believe about God. Remember that opening line?

Still true. So let's go there. Question number one. How big is God in your mind? I'm not looking for dimensions here.

I'm looking for concepts. How big is he? Big enough to bear and to handle your need. Maybe a need in the rearing of children at home in a tight place where the rewards seem to be few and the demands are many. Big enough to take care of the frustration of where you are in your setting.

You may be highly gifted and perhaps even well schooled but it seems such a waste. Is he big enough to be there? Big enough to be there with you and to honor that? Big enough to help you out of your comfort zone and into a brand new world that you've never trusted him for before? How big is he? Big enough to rearrange even your career so you leave what is so familiar and you go and do something that is relatively unfamiliar because you know in your heart that's really what he wants.

He may not but he's big enough to go there and to make that happen. Here's a second question. What specific thing have you marked off as impossible? Thinking it'll never change.

Does it have a name on it? A guy you continue to witness to? You continue to talk to about Christ until he finally cursed and virtually threw you out of his life? Or that lady who said you finally become the religious fanatic I was most concerned about? Please never again bring this subject up. You got that person on your list? Take them all.

How about some personal struggle or addiction or scar that again if I flashed before us all would bring you real embarrassment? You think that's too much for him? You think he's gonna stub his toe on that addiction since he's in the business of doing the impossible?

Whole new direction in your life where you risk complete change and maybe a whole new method of earning a living? That impossible? Don't try to be funny here but some of you are saying in answer back you know who's impossible? My husband. Or my wife. Or this child of mine now grown. Really?

Really? So that God can't handle it? Well that's some kind of stubborn husband. That's some kind of difficult child. You mean God's gonna say, man, I have reached my limit.

I cannot do anything with that person. Here's a third question. Should God be leading you into a whole new direction spiritually? Are you going to say yes? Should he? I don't know what his plan is. Are you going to say yes? I don't know what it is.

If I did I'd tell you so we could kind of map it out together and pray through it. But I can assure you that promise he gave Peters is still true. No one who has left all these comforts shall not receive many times as much as this time in the age to come. Let me tell you a story.

It was 1979. Everything was rolling along great for me. Church is going great. Tripled in size. Five services every Sunday. Building a new building on a acreage not far away. I thought boy I am I am visiting a one-hour paper hanger and a windstorm with the hives.

Man, I am I got more to do than I'll ever keep up with. And had a chance to begin a little radio ministry. Understand this is before we had ever done anything like this personally.

And I realized that it would need management that I couldn't provide because of my involvement at the church. And I said to Cynthia one evening I said you know what looks like we'd have a chance to get on the radio. And I said to her I don't know if that's kind of thing you might be interested in but we got an opportunity to do this. It's gonna take everything we have.

We had about 10,000 saved up every dime we had. And I said if we started it's gonna be from scratch. And that weekend I took off with our older son Kurt and went to and I shot the rapids with him up at the Rogue River in southern part of Oregon. We had a great time. I left Cynthia crying on the sofa when I drove off and wondering what she was gonna do. I said if anybody's gonna run it you will but don't feel under pressure.

You know standard husband stuff. But I said you've got the brains for it. You've got the vision for it.

And it's obvious that I don't have either one and they could use my voice and if you want to put this together let me know. Frankly I think it's ridiculous. Me of great faith. I said it's impossible and so I took off. Came back into my amazement. She said I want to do that.

Think well to do that. Gave birth to a little ministry called insight for living and we had no idea. None. The first month we needed $75,000 and the Lord sent in $76,000. Next month we probably needed $82,000 and we got in $83,000. It's all it's been like that.

I don't know why he just doesn't give us 8 billion and take the pressure off but he never works like that. It's all we just live above. And I sat down here like all of you and I looked at the flags and I thought it's great.

16 languages. 60% of the world's population can't hear it if they tune in. Soon to be a hundred percent. And I want to tell you something men and women. If he can do that he can meet your need. Listen to me today. No one on earth on earth is more surprised than I over this ministry of insight for living. Became the connection for the forming of this church. That's how we knew each other and I give him praise. All the praise I do. When I got ready to end you could see my notes you'd see conclusion with the line is blank because I didn't know how to end this message.

I rarely if ever even mention it but I had to mention it this time because it's so obvious what he's doing. And maybe it'll be just enough to spur you to say I'm gonna start thinking right about God. There may be a series of songs you're supposed to write. There may be a ministry you're supposed to start. There may be some books you're supposed to write. There may be some lives you're supposed to touch. There may be a company you're supposed to get off the ground and use for his glory and turn the proceeds totally over to ministry. I don't know.

If I knew I'd tell you. Maybe an education you need to finish. Maybe a place you need to go.

Maybe a career you need to change. It's your move. Do it. He is a God of limitless possibilities. Believe me. Now I want us to bow our heads. I want you to close your eyes. The Lord Jesus left the comfort zone of heaven.

No one ever had it more comfortable. And the resplendent holy presence of the Father and the Spirit. And he landed on this earth coming to his own things and his own ones did not even welcome him. Because that was the Father's plan for him.

But because he did it, we have life eternal through believing in him. He will not barge into your life. He will not force you.

He may make life miserable so that you wind up with nothing else to do but turn to him. But you'll have to do it. You'll have to turn.

I won't beg you but I will tell you today is the best day to do it. Thank you Father for all who will hear what has been said from gardener to king of a country. From truck driver to business owner. From homemaker tucked away in a little place. To a business executive. A woman who owns her own work. Who is searching for a reason for happiness. Some professor of a school. Some student. Some retiree. Some dear soul in a hospital.

Some disabled friend. Some broken hearted sinner. Lord God. Thank you for lifting the burden of sin and giving us the blessing of life with you. Find in us open hearts to do, to go, to give, to spend, to invest whatever for your glory.

For your pleasure. With the rewards yet to come. Work on those who today are struggling and as you move upon them may they yield and give up the fight. I ask in the name of Christ, the Savior who gives us hope and purpose and all God's people said. Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living and a message from Chuck Swindoll titled, The God of Limitless Possibilities.

And we'll hear a closing comment from Chuck in just a moment so please keep listening. And to learn more about this non-profit ministry please visit us online at insightworld.org. And then let me remind you Insight for Living produces a number of resources designed for all ages and stages of your family. And one of the more popular items comes from a collection for children called Paws and Tales. Through creative and memorable stories and fun music with playful lyrics your kids and grandkids will learn timeless theological truth through the audio and video collection called Paws and Tales. And for the curious student of the Bible you'll see Insight for Living offers Chuck's entire New Testament commentary series called Swindoll's Living Insights. You'll find all kinds of unique and inspirational gift-giving ideas when you go online to insight.org slash store. Well right now we'd like to ask you to join Insight for Living and giving generously so others will hear the truth about the extraordinary love God offers.

In fact every dollar God prompts you to give will go directly toward declaring this message at home in our country and even around the world. Chuck. Thanks Dave. It was the revered pastor and author A.W. Tozer who made this brilliant observation many years ago. He wrote these words. What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. Now stop and ponder that statement. To paraphrase A.W. Tozer the most important thing about you is what you think about God. So here's the question. When you think of God is he a big God with a capital G or a little God with a small G?

Oh I'm not talking about the dimension. I'm referring to God's competence, his significance. What do you think about God? Well at Insight for Living Ministries we fully submit ourselves to the majesty and the magnitude of a big God with a capital G of course. The God who does the impossible. Remember what the resurrected Lord said to his disciples when he was in Galilee? He said go and make disciples of all nations. Doesn't that sound a bit grandiose? Maybe over the top?

Perhaps even audacious? Well not if you're God. With God you see nothing is impossible. At Insight for Living Ministries this accurate view of God is what shapes our entire mission. We're driven to pursue the impossible and that is to make disciples of all the nations just as Jesus commanded. And gratefully we have big minded and generous friends like you who come alongside us and enable us to make that happen. As we come to the end of another year I'm calling upon you to lock arms with us as we pursue an impossible God-sized goal of reaching all 195 countries in this entire world with the good news of Jesus Christ. Your special year-end donation will make all the difference believe me. So are you with us in this? Can I count on you to stand alongside us? Let's introduce people to the great God who says behold I am the Lord the God of all flesh.

Is anything too difficult for me? So it's your move let's do this together. Well here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll. Give us a call right now if you're listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 that's 1-800-772-8888 or if you prefer it may be quicker and more efficient to give online at insight.org slash donate. Once again that's insight.org slash donate. Join us again Monday when Chuck Swindoll prepares us for the Christmas celebration ahead right here on Insight for Living. The preceding message the God of limitless possibilities was copyrighted in 2001 and 2019 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2019 by Charles R Swindoll Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-08 13:59:58 / 2023-07-08 14:08:58 / 9

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