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March 31, 2020 12:00 am
Stay with us for a very special leading the way with Dr. Michael you Seth just days ago. Dr. Michael you set shared this message via live streaming with the members of this church in Atlanta. The church of the apostles and it's a message that each of us needs to hear as we navigate these difficult days of a worldwide crisis now is Dr. Michael you sent, looking to the words of the prophet Joel on today's leading the way. Whatever the refresh crisis of global proportion like the one we are facing right now there are all sorts of opinions on information.
Some of information is false always true.
But rumors start flying are no you really heard this a million times. These are unprecedented days. This is an unprecedented crisis versus a pandemic like we have never experienced in our lifetime is all true but my purpose today is not to rehash information that you hearing about when you hearing from television to hear from the media all day long. No, my natural inclination, and I know that it is a natural inclination of all Bible believing Christians is to ask the question Lord, what are you teaching us what is God teaching us in the middle of this crisis in the middle of this global panic. What is God saying to his people.
What lessons that he wants his people to learn from this disease inexplicable times in which we live.
There's only one place where you can find an answer to this questions and it is an infallible word of God.
When you hear or read the prophet Joel particular chapter 2.
I know that there are some people some people who are at the sound of my voice and my grandma like it but I don't like it, why because most of us want to live in denial of reality.
Most of us want a quick fix.
Most of us want someone to tell us all everything is going to be all right. We will defeat this. We will complete this, we will overcome this scientist will not be defeated by little virus that we want to be told that science can save us that our ingenuity will save us. But listen, let's hear God and hear what he has to say in the midst of the crisis that before gets worse. Let's heed God's word lists are trouble is multiplied. Let's accept God's medicine that is worthy of the name.
The first thing Joel warns us of is this this crisis and whatever crisis refacing is a minuscule example of the crisis is going to be in the day of judgment, the dreadful day that the Bible talks about archers.
Some of you probably by… I will wait a minute Michael, this is not a time to talk about the coming judgment. Michael, this is not the time to speak of the future judgment Michael, this is not the time to speak of negative and negative terms. Michael, this is not a time to speak of doom and gloom, I don't want to do that. Trust me, but I believe the prophet Joel would want to say to us. Yes, but this is God's loving wake-up call. This is God's loving warming. This is God's gracious invitation to everyone at the sound of my voice this is God's merciful alarm bell for if we are not prepared to deal with a small virus. What are we to do when we face a day of judgment with community versus one and two Joel chapter 2 blow the trumpet in Zion sound the alarm in my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble for the day of the Lord is coming, and is close at hand first to a day of darkness and gloom. A day of clouds and blackness like dorms spreading across the mountain, a large and mighty army comes such as never was of old, nor ever will be again in the ages to come say God's that the word of God does not just give us a warning does not just send them alarm bell, but the word of God tells us what to do in such a time. Thank God that the word of God does not leave us high and dry. It tells us what to do in such a time. God's word tells us what to do in times of global crisis in times of global pandemic. First of all he wants us to view every crisis every crisis, not just this crisis but every crisis, especially the one because we're in the middle of it. He wants us to view that as a dress rehearsal.
This is a dress rehearsal of the day of judgment that is coming of the dreadful diet is coming. He's reminding us that the big one is coming in. The problem is my beloved friends is that most of us, including yours truly is. We have a short attention span. We forget our lessons very, very quickly, but Joel is saying.
Find out what God is saying during the hard times. Find out what God is teaching you during these difficult and challenging days.
Let them be a reminder of the day that is coming when God will shake everything that is to be shaken. Prepare yourself for the big one.
How how how would you prepare he gives us stories to ways by which we prepare. First of all is my own words not the prophet Joel is saying tear away the idols out of your heart, don't tell your hair and secondly he says lead others to worship and bow down to the living God. Don't join in their panic, don't fret like they are, but instead let them see your confidence in your God. First of all, this is tear the idols out of your life not to hear. I know we have a saying when we having a hard time with difficult day. John I'm telling my hair out see in Israel. There was a tradition in the tradition laws. When a person is in deep grief is in deep morning would be actually tear his because you see it all the time in the Old Testament, and he tore his garments and he tore his garments and what it really symbolizes that in the tearing of that fabric is symbolic of the tearing of a life.
But like all traditions, some would go through the motions of tearing their garments without inner transformation outward symbols gave way to mere tradition that kept the tradition but the loss of meaning, they tore their clothes but they kept the hearts impact. They went through the outward appearance, but they did not inwardly changed. After all, it is much easier to go through the outward motions is much easier to just be willing to do anything to get out of the crisis. For the time being. That is why the prophet Joel said in times of crisis. It is your heart that needs radical change, not your circumstances. It is your heart that needs transformation, not the economy, it is your heart that needs complete surgery not your situation. Look at verses 12 and 13. Even now, declares the Lord is never too late.
Even now, declares the Lord returned to me with all of your heart, with fasting and with weeping, and with morning rent your hearts and not your garments returned to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. So instead of looking at the current crisis and blissfully as some probably do, so I will discard where is God. Why doesn't he do something accept this as his loving warning to you to reenter all of us so that we may repent and turn to him before select what is this rending of the heart that he's talking about. What is this repentance that he's talking about all it is the acknowledging the confessing the forsaking of all that has become an idol for you and for me, beloved friends.
I want you to listen to me very carefully. Please greatest need today is to acknowledge and to confess that we have placed our hopes on Monday and possession that we have placed all of our hopes on credit cards and borrowing money that we could never pay back. We have placed our concerns more on the status symbols, not the glory of God that we have spent more time in front of the television instead of being in the word of God that we have spent more time on entertainment on sports than sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbors. Materialism and not ministry have become the object of our affection.
Worship is something we do. When it is convenient whenever we get to it whenever we can do it not as a priority one in life. Prayer is mere telegraphic prayer. When we are in trouble is something we do when we need something from God, not a lifestyle but God wants us to be serious about acknowledging this idols then tear them out by repenting and forsaking.
If we don't voluntarily turn and tear those idols out God is going to help us.
He will take them out.
God is going to do this out of love and compassion for us, God is telling us to turn to him while we still can turn to him while there is still time. Have you ever asked yourself the question. Where was Jesus when he was praying to the point of sweating blood literally blood coming out while he was praying love those did not happen in Palos Hall of Justice note, it did not happen even on his way to the cross.
Note, it did not happen during the trial, but it took place in the garden of Gethsemane. Hebrews 57 tells us there.
He offered prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to him was able to save perhaps if you and I were there watching him, praying with blood tears sweat the blood if we witness, that out of agony would would probably say wow if he's broken that like this here in the garden of Gethsemane in prayer like this.
What is he going to do when he faces the real crisis of the cross. What in the Justin approach the garden of Gethsemane with calm and wait the site and see what happens in my get better.
Who knows why worry about it now. What is your sleep like the three other disciples. Here is a fact at the time of the cross, Jesus walked to the cross with courage while all his disciples fled and left him alone. I thought about that.
Why listen to me. I want to tell you why because he was already praying up in the garden of Gethsemane. He was totally prepared after spending time with God. He faced the crisis with confidence. He took notice of that big one before it happened. Not beloved, listen to me a lifestyle of repentance. A lifestyle of idle tearing from our lives will make you face any crisis in life with calm and confidence, a lifestyle of repentance will not cause you to fear any challenge in life, unrepentant lifestyle will make you not even fear the day of judgment itself. The big one. In fact you will will welcome it. You will faces with confidence.
Why, because you have already been turning away the idols from your life and you already delivered from the date of judgment, and unity.
You ready for any eventuality you prepared. Joel is saying that somehow, somewhere in God's economy in his sovereign plan in his sovereign character he responds favorably to genuine repentance receipts are the Scripture, not just here. He loves to stay his judgment. He loves to relent from judgment.
In fact, God is looking for an excuse to delay his judgment. He longs to have mercy. He longs to hold judgment. He longs to hold devastation he longs to hold the natural consequences of human rebellion against him as part of his sovereign character receive again and again the pages of the Scripture. He responds to genuine cry of his children.
He does you've experienced it and so did I. Secondly, lead others to come to know and worship the living God. Don't get into the frenzy of fretting like they are because, again, look at yours or will you just like in the simple desire.
If you read verses 15, 16 and 17 of Joel chapter 2, you would say. Syllabus was just for the leaders of the church and I think it will write you be exactly right leadership that does not lead by example is not worthy of the nine worthy of the name in the New Testament. Of course, the Bible tells us that all the believers are priests. We are a kingdom of priests and that is why those verses are important to everyone who's listening to me right now everyone they are important to pastors.
Yes, they are important to moms and dads yes they are important Sunday school teachers. Yes, they are important to small group leaders. Yes, they are important to everyone who's a priest called to be a priest to intercede between the world and God listen to the words of Joel again blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly bring together the elders, gather the children. Those are nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room. Let the bride leave her chambers. Let the priests so minister before the Lord. We between the temple porch on the altar. Let them say spell your people Lord, though make your inheritance and object of scorn, a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the people's where is there God is God is saying anything today he is saying to us believers in every area of your responsibilities sound the alarm sound the alarm.
Remind the people of the shortness of time before judgment comes. Don't get sucked in with that soft proclamation of the gospel don't fall in the trap of soothing talk and positive thinking preaching the type of smooth talking never adequately forewarned people of the dreadful day that is coming, parents call you children whatever you are. Just call your children around you for a time of prayer and repentance of dedication as a family believers everywhere. At the sound of my voice in those serious times in those difficult days. In those devastating circumstances should be reminded all of us of the day of judgment is coming in is going to be a whole lot worse than coronavirus or the stock market falling down losing. Furthermore, the third of its value can be worse than that. Therefore call upon him throughout the Scripture. This has been the longing of God's heart received over and over again, particularly in the book of Hosea is vividly reveals to us the brokenness of God's heart when he sees his children turning after other things and forsaking him and God says look at Hosea. Look how brokenhearted he is with his wife Gomer is running out. The other man and being unfaithful to her husband.
He said, look at him, look how heartbroken he is about.
That's how I feel when my children when my people forsake me, and focus on everything else in life except me of redeemed them. God is saying this is how I feel about my children will never forsake me when the place that affection and the time and the money in their energy on other things that maybe someone is listening to me right now to this message, which is the believers is premature because you have not come to Jesus Christ confessing your sins reprinting of your sin and receiving him as your only Savior and Lord haven't come to first Asia you need to do that now you need to do that today.
Father God, you know where everyone is and you know where every heart is placed upright for that person who may be a religious person but never really had a personal encounter with the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ who came from heaven lived as the poorest of the poor died on the cross to pay for his wages and her wages of sin.
Father I pray for that person. This be the day in which they will surrender to you and receive you as the only Savior, and the only Lord and father for those of us who have known you and some of us have known you for a long time, and yet our hearts and our affection have been set on other things on other people, wonderful, important as they may be. We have taken our eyes off you. Forgive us, forgive us and come in answer our prayers because we know you to be the God of mercy, and the God of grace. In Jesus name, amen. You're listening to Dr. Michael you sent and leading the way and a special message he's called a biblical response to the current crisis. Your first response to this crisis is beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ. We hope so. And if you'd like to speak with someone reach out to us right now. Reach out to LTW.org/Jesus.LTW.org/Jesus hello my friends. Prior to this crisis of this coronavirus. We have been burdened by God to call America to bring to pray for this nation. Our nation is in trouble and we desperately need the renewal of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can invade our nation, our lives, in our churches and bring an awakening and so the awake America campaign started earlier but now we even have more of a reason to urge every one of you to join together and do exactly what we were asking you to do.
Please sign up so that together we unite in asking God to wake America because God is giving us some warning signs and if we don't take those warning signs the heart will is ongoing, urgent join with us father upright that you will send us an awakening.
We have to write awakenings in the history of this great country we you send us 1/3 one, and Lord made start with me my start with us because we know that an awakening can start with one person.
As it happened so many times in history. Thank you in advance, Lord God, help us to live a purified godly holy life for the glory of Jesus and for the harvest that you can give us in our time that my faith in Jesus name, amen. In these days in which we live. It is more than ever to prioritize the power of prayer, and that's what we hope that you will become a part of awake America with Dr. you sent join a worldwide community praying for our world today to find out more, visit LTW.org, LTW.org or you can always call with questions. We right here for you.
866-626-4356 866-626-4356. This program is managed by leading the way with Dr. Michael you sent