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The Glory of God: For This We Were Made, Part 2

Let My People Think / Ravi Zacharias
The Truth Network Radio
September 14, 2020 1:00 am

The Glory of God: For This We Were Made, Part 2

Let My People Think / Ravi Zacharias

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September 14, 2020 1:00 am

What does the glory of God mean in a society that is filled with darkness? How can we better understand the bright light of the glory of God? Join RZIM's Founder ,the late Ravi Zacharias this week on Let My People Think, as he talks about what the glory of God means.

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Thank you for downloading from Robbie Zacharias International Ministries. Support for this podcast comes from your generous gifts and donations.

You can find out more about Robbie Zacharias and the team at www.rzim.org. When we are at our weakest and we realize I need his shoulder on which to put my head. When you and I learned that, the weightedness of God and the luminosity of God shines in the path ahead. Can you see the glory of God amidst the darkness right now? Are you resting your head on God's shoulder? Welcome back to Let My People Think, where this week RZIM's founder, the late Robbie Zacharias, continues a message as he examines how we can better understand the glory of God, especially in today's dark world. Let's rejoin him now as we listen to part two of this message, titled The Glory of God For This We Were Made.

Here's Ravi. The glory departs, number one, because there was no internalization of the truth. Truth is never intended to be a mere externality. Truth is intended to be internalized. It has to be that which comes from within you, not just that which comes from outside you.

That's really what happens at conversion. When you are newly born, when you and I have that new birth and the presence of God comes and lives within us, the divine imperative takes over. Yea, nay, yea, nay, that voice that comes from within. And when that voice gets garbled, it is the word to which you go to find the clarity once again, how he intended us to live. In this dark world today, we go anywhere but here to find out what God's will is, of how we should live. Hence the darkness. We are as confused a culture as I have ever seen in 45 years of ministry. There are no answers out there.

In fact, there are only questions after questions after questions. And when you see a person from whose eyes you see the brightness of God's presence and from whose words you hear the substantiveness of what life is all about, you understand why knowing Christ brings that brilliant light in your eye. As we were listening to Jack and Shawna last night, he saw something in her eyes that he had never seen anywhere else. He saw that beauty, saw that brilliance. Why in heaven's name are you looking so happy?

What makes you shine like this? You know, there are two great soccer players in our time amongst many others. One is Lionel Messi from Argentina and the other is Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal.

And they're always at each other as to who's number one and who's number two. And Ronaldo was being interviewed by the media and he made the comment that he believed God had sent him into the world so that people could learn how to play soccer and show how soccer ought to be played. So when he finished that statement, another interviewer went to Lionel Messi and said, what do you think of Ronaldo's statement that God sent him into the world in order to teach people how to play soccer?

Messi said, I honestly tell you, I don't remember sending him. We have this extraordinary opinion of how great we are. And athletes, I suppose it goes with that kind of ability to be braggarts as well. Very few people brag as much as an athlete does. Of course, when you can pitch a no hitter, you feel pretty important. When you can hit a grand slam, you feel you've really made it big. Millions have watched you do that. But then the body begins to get frail and you no longer can throw like that.

You no longer can hit like that. And then you wonder where's the glory. Wherein lies the glory.

The people I have seen who have that glory most are those who have really lived with the internal imperatives of how God wants you to live. I'll tell you the truth. And I'm not making this up.

Many a time I wish to myself, I could say I'm done. I've paid my dues 45 years, millions of miles. I can tell you what every aircraft looks like, feels like. And who does the best service and who doesn't do very good service. Who makes the worst tea.

I can tell you all of that stuff. But there's only one thing that keeps me going. And that is the firm belief that more than ever, this gospel is the only shining light against the dark background of a confused and messed up world. Robert Jaffray was a great preacher. The last three years of his life he spent in a Japanese internment camp.

He was heir to Canada's largest newspaper, the Globe and Mail. But he started to study Chinese and the Standard Oil Company wanted to hire him. He decided instead to become a missionary.

I have some of his books in my library, Robert Jaffray. And finally the Standard Oil Company offered him a huge salary to come and work for them instead of being a missionary. He turned it down. They wrote back and doubled it. He turned it down. Finally they sent him a telegram, Jaffray at any price.

He wrote back with one line as well. Your salary is big. Your job is too small. Your salary is big.

Your job is too small. You see, your job and my job is to be that bright light wherever we are. To do it and to shine in this very dark world.

It's the Jaffrays of the world that opened up China so that today we see the results of how profoundly they had an impact. The internalization of truth. There was no internalization.

Number two, there was no concern for the poor and the marginalized in society. When I started Wellspring International, my heart as Shalini was very correct. I did what I did for Wellspring because I was raised by a mother who never ever walked by somebody with need without doing something for them. Even when I moved to Canada, when I would pack my suitcase, she would ask me to take two suitcases. One for the needy and the poor.

And I could come back with that suitcase empty if I so chose. Clothes, money, goods, watches, things like that. My mother wasn't a very wealthy woman, but she had a very tender heart. And God has called us to be a compassionate people, to be there for the needy.

Always love it when I see Naomi presenting that need. Many of you here were involved in buying that land for the building of a hospital that is the next great stage to treat burn victims. Many of you may know that the greatest blessing I ever received, the greatest benediction I ever received was from a beggar in Delhi. As I saw him pushing himself, one leg gone, the other bandaged up with pus marks and blood marks on the other and pushing himself like this. I felt so much pity and compassion for him. I wanted to give him something immediately, but I didn't do it because I knew I'd be invaded by several others.

So from a distance, I walked behind him till he pushed himself across the road somewhere and there were a little less people on the other side. I went over to him and I said, brother, sir, pause a minute. And I knelt beside him and I put a little money into his hand. It was a hundred rupee note.

And I said, in the name of Jesus Christ, I'm giving this to you respected sir. He opened his hand like that to see it was a hundred rupee note. I don't know if he'd ever received that in his life. It was big for him.

For me it was a dollar fifty. And he looked at it like that and looked at me and his eyes flooded with tears. And he said, Saabji, respected sir, Bhagwan Apko Balakare, may God richly bless you.

It's the best benediction I have ever received from a man who couldn't have given me anything except his good wishes and his prayer. And what happened in those days as the poor were ignored and lost their way for the needy, God said, my glory is going to leave your presence. It was not internalized. Secondly, he told them that the most powerful were going to be humiliated. Chapter 27.

I won't go into the details. They had become so confident in themselves, so confident in themselves, the self aggrandizement that they could do it and wing it on their own way. How tempting that is for you and me when we meet success to think we have done it. Winston Churchill said to a corporal once who looked at him and said, I want you to know, sir, I'm a self-made man.

Churchill said, you have just relieved God of a very solemn responsibility. We're not self-made. The lines fall in the right places. The right people come into your life.

And that's why my book Walking from East and West has very little to do really about me. But the people that came into my life that opened doors and made it possible for me to study, to work, to prepare, and my professors. Till this day, I revere my professors so greatly. Norman Geisler, John Warwick Montgomery, John Gerstner, John R. W. Stott, J. I. Packer.

I was studying on the best of them. Kenneth Kanser. I owe so much to them. Now, just three days ago, I got a letter from Norman Geisler. We have to have you. I know you'd want to do this for me. I said, I will do it for you, sir. If I am free, I will be there because I studied at your feet. I learned at your feet. Without you, no doors would have been opened in philosophical thinking in this kind of argumentation for me. But if you think it's all about you, all of a sudden a sickness or a disease or something fails you and you find out you are not what you thought you were. The body begins to weaken and the body begins to fail. But here's what I want to tell you. Even in weakness, even in that brokenness, God's glory is the only hope you can have to lift you above that brokenness.

That's what God shows to them. You know, I used to love track and field. I used to be a runner. I would never have made it to the big leagues, but I used to love. I must have had early hip issues and back issues early in life. I wanted to be a sprinter.

I couldn't make it. So I became a long distance runner. I love to run the long distances. And every time the Olympics come, I would watch the track and field. It was the highlight for me every time, especially the 100 meters, all the middle distances, 800 meters, all the way to the mile of the marathon.

I'd watch it. Running is an exhilarating thing. And when you watch the finest runners, it's a beautiful thing to behold. In the Olympic Games of Barcelona, 1992, there was an English runner by the name of Derek Anthony Raymond.

I don't know how many of you know that name. He was a very brilliant runner. They were expecting him to win the 400 meters.

Derek Raymond was it. They came to the finals, and the gun was sounded. He's running towards the 400 meter mark. At the 125 meter mark, he stops and clasps his leg.

He's pulled a hamstring. He falls. And he gets up, and he's hobbling over.

And out of the crowd, there's a man running down. And the security is trying to get to him until he just said these words, I'm his father. And Derek's dad, big guy, is pushing everybody aside.

He comes onto the track, and they don't know who he is. He's pushing in the side and says, that's my son. And the father comes beside Derek, and he's hobbling like this. And so he puts his arm around Derek. And Derek's got his hand on his shoulder, seat on the YouTube.

It's beautiful. And the background is a music playing. He lifts me up. He raises me up. And there he is on the shoulder of his dad, hobbling.

I don't know who won that event, but I know who was the real winner in what happened that day. And when you know that he raises you up, when your head is on his shoulder, he lifts you up, and that hamstring has felled you. He comes to carry you out of a crowd of people. That's my son. I'm his father. I want you to know that the glory of God is at its greatest when you and I are at our weakest.

And he comes and says, put that head on my shoulder. I'm going to carry you through. The longer I live, the more I realize everybody lives with at least a partially broken heart, at least a partially broken heart, if not a totally broken heart. And it has been said, when you preach to a hurting audience, you will never lack for one. You unpack people's hurt and pain, and you will hear a lot of hurt and pain. The glory of God is at its greatest when you put your head on his shoulder and say, I can't finish this race.

Help me. And he will do it in such a way, when you come to the finish line, he'll say, you don't go. Just like he brought Peter half the way.

And so now you find Rhoda's house. You'll get there the rest of the way, as he said the angel. The glory of God is at its greatest when we are at our weakest and we realize I need his shoulder on which to put my head. When you and I learned that, the weightedness of God and the luminosity of God shines in the path ahead and you know you're in secure hands and shoulders that are holding you up. Derek's victory was the victory of a father and son and of a crowd of people, the glory of that.

So you see how it was not internalized, how the most powerful realized they needed a shoulder. Thirdly, but the silence of God intensified when he was gone. Martin Luther cried a prayer once, I have never forgotten. Bless us Lord, yea even curse us, but please be not silent.

Bless us Lord, yea even curse us, but please be not silent. How do you hear the voice of God? Only two or three ways that I know. Number one, by reading his word. Number two, by living out that word.

Because that draws you closer to him and he knows you mean business. Number three, by spending time with people who listen to God's voice and you draw that strength from them. Make friends of those who will inspire and bless you and equip you.

Sooner or later in life you're going to need that voice of God through somebody else to come into your life. When I was ready to graduate in Toronto, I had developed some vocal nodules because I'd preached in Vietnam, I'd preached three or four times a day for four months and my voice was shot, it was gone. And I came back and my throat was hurting every time I spoke and so I went to see a medical doctor and he looked at my throat, examined me and he said, what are you going to do in your life? I said, I'm planning to be a speaker. He said, no, not going to happen. He said, you don't have the vocal cords to use it professionally.

You don't have the vocal cords to use professionally. So the next day I went to school and I was just walking around, I was really down. I said, is that true? I thought I was going to do just that, speak for my Lord. And the chancellor of the college, Dr. Stuart Beamer, I knew him well too. He saw me walking, he said, are you okay? I said, no, sir. He said, come on up to my office. So I went up, he said, what's, what's, what's bothering you? So I told him, he said, Ravi, don't listen to him. He said, I've watched you preach. I've heard you preach. God's got his hand on you.

I'm going to get you in touch with the best laryngologist that I know in this country. If he tells you that, I'll believe it. Otherwise I won't. So he sent me to see a Dr. Silverthorne and Dr. Silverthorne looked at me and he said, no problem. We'll take care of it.

It may take you off the road for about five weeks, but you'll be fine. Here I am now, 45 years later, speaking all over the globe. If it weren't for Dr. Stuart Beamer and those doctors, I don't know if I would be here. Always listen to Godly wisdom.

You and I may think we have all the answers. Make friends of people you revere and respect, and a voice needs to be heard. I love my board.

I love my board. And it's my board members and colleagues that had that voice of encouragement. My colleagues at work, Vince, Michael, others, I can name all of you sending me scripture verses, you know, God's going to carry it through. God's going to carry it through. And it's what carried me through his word and his presence that all of that, he will not abandon you. If you will listen to his voice through his word, live out that word and make friends of those whom you revere and trust.

Otherwise the silence of God will intensify. And lastly, he set their theology straight. They kept saying the days are prolonged and every vision faileth. They were moving to cynicism.

They said perhaps a single righteous man can save us, Noah or Daniel or Job. They were moving to escapism, cynicism, escapism. And lastly, well, the fathers of Eden saw grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge.

We've got fatalism, cynicism, escapism, fatalism. He says, no, I am going to return into your midst. The last words of the book of Ezekiel, God is there.

Those are the last words of the book of Ezekiel. If you just ever get back to it and turn to it at home, it ends with the words, the new city, the new radiance, the new everything and the word, the Lord is there. Jehovah, Shamah, Yahweh, Shamah, the Lord is there. What do I wish for this ministry? More than anything else, as I hear these younger voices, it inspires me, absolutely inspires me.

I couldn't ask for a better team to work with. My greatest prayer is no matter what happens at RZIM, people will always be able to say the Lord is there. The Lord is there. The Lord is there. And if people look at my life, they will say the Lord is there in Ravi's life. As the people look at you, may they say the Lord is there.

You're our friends. You face the same struggles we do with your family, with your children, grandchildren, whatever. But if the Lord is in your life and present in your life, it's the only hope in a dark, dark world. The luminosity of God, the substantiveness of God, glory kavod in the Old Testament, glory doxa in the New Testament.

You don't have to wake up every morning in the dark. You can wake up every morning in the light if the Lord is with you and the Lord is there. The more you understand his glory, the more you will understand why you were made. Without that glory, you will be sent over to nothing more than dust. Henry Wordsworth Longfellow, life is real, life is earnest, and the grave is not its goal. Dust thou art to dust returnest was not spoken of the soul. You are not just a body. You are a soul.

No, the soul doesn't return to dust. It returns to its maker and that shining light and that substantiveness of God is what you and I desperately need. The world needs it. You need it. I need it. And I just say to you, are you willing to believe it?

And are you willing to live it with this purpose? You and I were made. Understand that glory.

Put your head on his shoulder today and let him help you finish the race. God bless you. If you would like to purchase a complete copy of this message, call us at 1-800-448-6766 and be sure to ask for the title, The Glory of God, for this we were made. You can also order online at rzim.org or in Canada, that website is rzim.ca. There you will find numerous resources to aid you in your search for truth, including past broadcasts, articles, and a wide selection of books from Ravi and other RZIM speakers. It's also a great way to keep up on the schedules of the global RZIM team, upcoming events, and see the latest ministry initiatives. There are times when you need a little more time to meditate on the complex issues presented on RZIM's radio programs, a resource you can hold in your hands and review whenever a question arises.

RZIM's Just Thinking magazine is just that resource. Editor, Danielle Durant. We have an amazing global team of speakers. A number of those speakers are actually published authors.

Oz Guinness, John Lennox, Alistair McGrath, Ravi Zacharias. We have a number with PhDs who have dissertations and scaling them back to smaller books for a more general audience. It's humbling and encouraging to work with our team members because they're very down-to-earth people. They are able to speak in a university and have a dialogue with an atheist or a person from another world view and have a deep, intense conversation and yet they recognize as well that really we have to speak to the heart as well as the mind. Visit us on delivery of Just Thinking at RZIM.org.

At RZIM, we're in the business of answering questions. Can you articulate why you reject any possible blend of reincarnation with Christian faith? How can I establish truth with somebody that thinks absolute truth is outside the realm of human knowledge? Where and how do you draw a line between pluralism and relativism?

I'd like to know what are the ontological differences between the Christian God and the God of the Quran? Great question. RZIM, helping the thinker believe and the believer think. We see it everywhere, from musicians and movie stars to neighbors and friends at work. People aren't interested in having a spiritual life but treat faith more like an a la carte menu at a restaurant, choosing what they like and dismissing the rest. Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra are the cheerleaders calling on Western culture to embrace a spirituality devoid of the biblical Christ. Cutting through the hype and seduction is the clear voice of author and apologist Ravi Zacharias.

In his book, Why Jesus? Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass-Marketed Spirituality, Ravi answers the attraction known as the new spirituality. They have sort of hijacked everything under the nomenclature of Eastern spirituality. There's value, there's value in silence, there's value in reflection, there's value in solitude, something that we in the West have forgotten.

So I think they harnessed something of value and made it exclusively their own. As if the Christian faith never talks about it, spirituality in the Christian tradition too has had a lot of these ideas. The only difference is they don't gaze inward, they have to gaze outward towards God.

God is the ultimate vision, not yourself. Billy Graham calls Why Jesus? a powerful defense of how Jesus Christ brings meaning and hope to an individual life. And Charles Swindell says, I am not acquainted with a brighter mind or a more relevant and devoted defender of the faith than Ravi Zacharias.

Why Jesus? Available online at rzim.org. RZIM has a global team of speakers with offices in many different countries and training men and women to defend the power and coherence of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a fundamental part of the mission of RZIM. Our hope is to empower you to engage in earnest conversations with those who have honest questions about the Christian faith. For more information about our ministry or to learn how you can partner with us, be sure to visit our website. Let My People Think is a listener supported radio ministry and is furnished by RZIM in Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-10 12:45:42 / 2024-03-10 12:55:36 / 10

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