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Looking Up When Life's Got You Down (Part 3)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
September 27, 2019 1:00 am

Looking Up When Life's Got You Down (Part 3)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Have you ever thought about how a sports team when the wind again, people would literally bow down and adores him, but when they lose the game.

They want to stone them with tomatoes and rotten eggs give a thought about how amazing it is that some people can get listed up by the crowd on a pedestal one day and then they get dropped faster than a supersonic speed. The next day give a thought about this. I even heard about a popular congressman will become so unpopular that one year he ran unopposed and he watched not want to give you an answer to this question that I'm raising in your minds and because I thought about this a great deal and wanted to listen to. I'm going to tell you men, women and young old. One of the most dangerous things in life is to seek off the popularity boys and girls in school who want to be popular and being popular becomes the most important thing in the school often bring pain upon themselves and be disappointed and discouraged many a times balance uphold popularity they hold it up for their children as a goal in life, they will be disappointed and will play a very heavy price pastors and ministers and Bible teachers and leaders of all stripes.

I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that if popularity is the goal of your life, you will end up compromising and becoming ineffective in serving God. Why is seeking off the popularity can be so demoralizing. Why going to be so dangerous and devastating because the crowd by nature is fickle because the crowd by nature is for dreadful because the crowd by nature is mercurial because the crowd by nature is changeable, just like the wind, because the crowd by nature unstable and therefore you cannot build your life goals on popularity defamed of journalist of yesteryear powers Greeley of the New York Tribune said years ago and I quote he said fame is a vapor popularity is an accident.

Riches takes wings and those who choose you today will curse you tomorrow. Only one thing endures character and of court, my beloved friends I want to tell you the longer I live the more I realize that integrity is a precious commodity. It is very fragile, but it's a precious commodity. And unless you protected unless you guarded unless you feed upon the word of God unless you have it anchored in Jesus Christ unless you do that on a daily basis, moment by moment every single day, you soon will discover that your integrity building blocks begins to crumble and fall apart make you promise him right.

You cannot keep your integrity intact.

Being popular is your life goal. King Saul gives us the best example of this.

You know the Bible is full of examples and yet somehow we keep repeating that same mistake over and over and over again that others have made King Saul of Israel was a man who did not know how to protect his integrity and that is why halfway through his kingly service. He found that integrity is building blocks began to fall apart and this is how it happens, it happens with precision. Every time listen carefully, my beloved friends I want to tell you it first begins with pride when pride takes hold of us will not let go.

Be careful of pride. You might call it ego. You might call it insecurity you might call it. This recall of the other thing but all it is his pride, pure and simple.

And it is the one sin that condemned by the Lord Jesus Christ.

When pride took hold of King Saul's life. He began to believe his own press releases. He began to think that he did it all himself. He had forgotten to give God the glory he had forgotten to give God all of the credit pride takes over. The next step. The second step is that he was blaming their body around him for his disobedience to the Lord and never himself and you begin to blame other people for your troubles instead of looking in the mirror and then the third step is acting or role-playing. And that's precisely what Saul began to do.

He began to role-play repentance, he began to act as if he is repentant when he's not. Be careful of pretending to repent that is more dangerous than not repenting. Be careful about role-playing your spiritual life.

Be careful about thinking that you know everything about everything so that you'll find yourself going through the motions but on the inside.

There is no change. How many times so laws that you begged my son I am sorry but he wasn't really sorry at all limited or something if you're a person who has compromised your integrity.

There is good news there is good news if you compromise your integrity for popularity. If you compromise your integrity for financial gain. If you compromise your integrity or desire to control those other people who are with you. That is good news and the good news is that there are three steps that just as there are three steps for those building blocks of integrity to crumble the three steps for the rebuilding of the building block of your integrity. Listen carefully. First of all admitted treatments genuinely admit your failure receive the forgiveness of God. No role-playing truly repent from your heart.

Secondly, find a good honest friend who's going to keep a secret. A good honest man, a woman who is going to keep confidentiality and then ask him or her to hold you accountable to walk with you and your road to recovery and in the third thing that you must do is you begin to set your goal in life, not popularity. Not financial gain. Not domination, not power up one thing and one thing alone, and that is the glory of Jesus Christ. If you write that is your goal in life and you begin every single day to live up to that goal. I promise you the world might be falling apart but you standing strong. James sure once said some of the most talented people are terrible leaders because they have a crippling need to be loved by everyone. Why am I taking time to warn you and myself and want everybody else was listening to me is because acts chapter 14 gives us an example of two men of God overcame that insidious temptation. Acts chapter 14 shows us how to men of integrity were victorious over that insidious temptation, how to men of commitment to Jesus Christ kept her eye on the ball and refused to be tempted. All fall into the temptation of pride and popularity.

Turn with me please. Acts 14. The first seven verses, Paul and Barnabas go to I can you and there in that city. Paul preaches the gospel and they got the predictable response. Those who believe the gospel and therefore repented and rejoiced in the good news of the gospel and then the will of the religious leaders who incited the crowd in order to persecute Paul and Barnabas and throw them out of town but beginning at verse eight of acts 14. Paul and Barnabas go down from Aiken into Lester and there they see this crippled man from birth through the part of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul heals the man who has been crippled from his birth in the pagan crowd goes berserk is no other way to describe. They just went berserk look at verse 11 of of acts 14 is what they said they said the gods have come down to us in the likeness of men. And in a typical crowd reaction in a typical mass hysteria. They said but all of us is Zeus and Paul is helpmeets and the next thing there were doing the priests of Zeus and Hermes comes in the bring a bunch of bulls and garlands of Bill ready to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas in the ready to bow and worship them, and they fought.

The gods have come among us. The Bible tells us that because of the language barrier for a few minutes. Paul did not understand what's going on and Barnabas did not know what's going on and they thought they might be fun. I give an offering unto the Lord, which would be nice but that's not what they were doing and as soon as Paul and Barnabas discovered what they're trying to do, namely worship them and offer sacrifices to them, they tore their clothes as a sign of being horrified out of horror.

They told her close. What is this all about. I wanted to listen very carefully. This is very important because you have to understand the background to what they say.

Wanted the call. Barnabas is what I call Paul Hermes and why do they want to worship them well in the city of Lester. There was a mythology and that mythology was recorded by a Roman poet by the name of Ovid. He died in the year A.D. 17 the mythology go something like this.

The gods Zeus and Hermes once came to earth into the city of Lester disguised as human beings.

And when they arrived, and Lester.

They asked for hospitality. They wanted accommodation they want somebody to feed them but they knocked on 1000 doors. Nobody will offer them hospitality but there was a peasant man by the name of Philemon and his wife by cross who took those gods into their humble cottage, poor as they were offered of all they had in the midst goes on to say that later on. The gods rewarded for Lehman and his wife are turning their humble cottage into a temple for Zeus and Hermes, but then they destroyed the rest of the population of Lester through flood all in revenge for not receiving accommodation. Meanwhile, this fictitious man for Lehman and his wife became the first priest and priestesses in the Temple of Zeus and Hermes now after for Lehman's and his wife's death. They turned into two stately trees to trees so you can imagine this pagan population of Lester. They thought Paul and Barnabas because they healed this crippled man from birth.

You can imagine the reaction when they saw this man walking and talking when he is never done so. All I can think of is this is gonna happen again. In this segment we don't want to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.

We don't want to commit that sin again. So now we don't offer these people, not just hospitality gonna worship them because they are gods they are Zeus and Herman and I don't put them on a pedestal. The gonna worship them, ask a question I want you to think about this. What is the temptation that Paul and Barnabas were facing at that very moment. Think about it. What is that temptation I can tell you what it is.

Let them have the following what's wrong with them having this experience we will accept what they doing and that we can tell them about Jesus after we get some respect in this new city we been thrown out of every Senate is an opportunity for us to get some respect get some relief from the persecution man let's just get some respect. We can tell them about the gospel.

Let's get some acceptance here from the society and after we get accepted and that they can center their lives in their homes and into the culture that we can share the gospel with him. Well is not harmful, living them practice the cultural mill you is terrible temptation, terrible temptation. After all we going to be relevant to them. You don't have to get drunk to be relevant or drunk.

Paul was indeed relevant.

There's no doubt about it. He was indeed relevant. He did not preach a sermon sermon that we saw in other times when he went into the synagogue and he talked to them about Moses and about Abraham and the God who delivered his people. He did not talk to them about the background.

He did not talk about the prophecies in the Old Testament none on he knew these people have no background in the Old Testament whatsoever. They have no knowledge of the God of the Bible knowledge of the God of the Hebrews.

They knew that they understood that and therefore they were relevant to them.

Listen to Paul's testimony or sermon. In fact, is a summary of the understood dog in his mind. If you look at the passage he understood that these people were worshiping nature. Therefore, they had to begin by talking about the God, the creator of nature. These people were worshiping creatures and therefore they had to begin by talking about the God who made all the creatures. These people were worshiping myth and reality and, therefore, the apostle Paul was telling them about the real God who became a real man who preached real good news who died a real death. And he was resurrected real resurrection and he's coming back really really coming back to judge every human being. That's what Paul's message to the people of Lester.

This was a sermon to the pagan audience. He never tried to get along. He never tried for personal gain and personal acceptance closes the years shut his mouth. He never tried to mislead them he never tried to get them read the small fine print.

He spelled it out up front and beloved friends. Here's a message for today here's a message for those who worship nature. Here is a message to those who still follow the defunct theory of evolution is a message for those who are self gratification seekers is a message to those for soft worshipers listen to it very carefully. You may need to preach at tomorrow morning your neighbor or your friend in the message. Is this that comes from the word of God, that every meal you eat that every drop of water you drink that every breath you draw that every enjoyment of the sunshine that you experience every enjoyment of good health that you have every dollar that's in your pocket every particle of air that you breeze. They are all a gift from the Creator God is half of the sermon we give the other half.

If you keep enjoying God's blessings and ignoring him.

If you keep on receiving God's gifts and acknowledge him.

Not if you keep on taking from him and taking from him and give the credit to others to science and to whatever it may be both yourself one day you go to stand in the courts of heaven before the great judge on that dreadful day and all these blessings that God has given you are going to serve as witnesses against you, but if you will turn to him. If you acknowledge his son the Lord Jesus Christ, that he had died for you if you worship him alone. If your life is anchored in adorning him.

If you commit your life to him and him alone then the story will change. It will change radically. Linda on that supposedly dreadful day is not dreadful for you because on that day you will be justified on that day you will be pronounced guiltless on that day you will escape the judgment of God on the day you will experience firsthand the forgiveness of God on that day you will be with him in heaven. That is the message that our generation but to prove the fickleness of the crowd.

Here in chapter 14 verse 19 of the book of acts, the very people the very people who wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas calling Zeus and Hermes. Now they got so stirred up and installing them almost to death. The same people. One day, the Gallup poll said that their popularity is over 90% in the next day it plummeted to zero, and that is why my beloved friends if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. You do not live by the popularity poll you live by the authority of Jesus Christ, you cannot live by the world's popularity index.

Remember the crowd in Jerusalem one day said hosanna blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord and then four days later they sit classified and justified in his blood is on us and our children the very people who wanted to offer Paul and Barnabas a sacrifice and worship them wanted to kill them, the very people who wanted to be a five. Paul and Barnabas wanted to destroy. In fact, look at verse 19. Again, acts 14 effective thought Paul was already dead.

The stone him so much and so hard that everybody left the federal he died is a regret but Paul gets up and he leaves the tricking of blood from Lester to the city of Derby and there.

The Bible said he preached again he preached again wanted to listen on the materials I conclude surely you know that I preach to me as much as I preach to you.

In fact, I preach to me a lot more that I preach to you because I am preaching at me all week long. You heard the term crowd control heaven to policeman are called upon to do this, crowd control, but crowd control can also describe the crowds control of an individual with me explain this.

The desire for the applause of people can be so blinding, so it can be so strong that some people would do the strangest things to gain applause. In fact, that made me think about this man who was a carnival headliner. His nickname was cannonball cannonball was blasted out of a cannon 1200 times. He put nails in his nose he would pull a 90 pound weight across the table with his eyelids after time the question was asked to him, why did you do such bizarre strengths, he simply said, do you know what it is like to hear the applause of 60,000 people was his response. In fact, he went on to say, this is exactly why I did it over and over and over. Christian listen to me. Please. The only applause that you should be striving for the applause.

Although only one who could say to you, and you could say to me. Well done good and faithful servant ask you this question as I conclude, I pray that God the Holy Spirit will keep the question in your mind for the remainder of your life, not just a reminder of the day.

What is the goal of your life is the goal of your life. The glory of Jesus Christ is the goal of your life to bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ. If it is not will you make that to be the goal of your life today will you because I want to tell you any other goal that is not anchored in this one will bring misery will bring disappointment and will bring relief, but when your goal is anchored in the glory of Jesus Christ alone. If your goal is to bring honor to the name of Jesus Christ, the world would be falling apart all around you, but you will stay on top of the world.

Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael you Seth recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit that

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