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November 28, 2020 1:00 am
What is God doing in your life today? Could the trials you're facing be part of His plan? God used events in Jeremiah's life to help prepare him and He could be doing the same in your life. Today on Let My People Think, RZIM's Founder, the late Ravi Zacharias, looks at the life of Jeremiah and what we can learn from him.
Examining and may call you to be a diligent government servant. He may call you to be an artist.
He may call you to be a car mechanic. He may call you to be an executive. Are you willing in that setting to be the life of Christ in the midst of a dark situation. I am welcome to let my people think. Are you willing to be molded by the monster pump that many on bidet CD find if I failed and contented life this week on the M's found that the late Ravi Zacharias concluded the message on the story of the prophet Jeremiah the man he wept for his nation over the things he said with him doing. How does well today compacted what Jeremiah Whitney last week. Ravi said the base areas demonstrated inexplicable violence. What is the second similarity between Jeremiah's time and here is Ravi with the conclusion of his message titled Bristol Clay tend to hand and you look across the historic landscape you will find that those who have left them up have left them out because something within them died that they laid at the feet of our Lord and sacrificed it to him. This is how Amy Carmichael, but it never, I think, not even in heaven, shall I forget that parting. It was such a rending that I never wanted to repeat it. Even now, my heart winces at the thought of it the night I sailed for China March 3, 1893 my life on the human side was broken and it never amended again, but he has been enough I bring a challenge to you tonight that I bring it to myself. I you the kind of play who's breaking down here when he's trying to mold you to understand your calling. He may call you to be a diligent government servant. He may call you to be an artist. He may call you to be a car mechanic.
He may call you to be an executive. Are you willing in that setting to be the life of Christ in the midst of a dark situation in the call. The first thing he needed to do was see how God was molding and for that call itself. Secondly, the main reason that he continued, was he was motivated with compassion. He saw the desperate need of the people. If you want to understand what it was like read the book of Lamentations. It was how the nation had become like a widow and was lying there desolate. That's what keeps us going as we see the needs and as we see the difference it can make in the lives of people on that first night in Indiana University in spite of all of the cameras in the bright lights even though the place was absolutely packed to capacity. I told Marty on the phone that night. The auditorium was like electricity. There was tremendous anticipation people were expecting a real confrontation on these issues and they read nook and cranny was failed. You can find a seat. It was an overflow crowd and I'll never forget one antagonist would been very hostile the previous night when Prof. Dallas Willard of the University of Southern California had delivered a brilliant defense and analysis of skepticism and Dallas Willard is a fine Christian man this fellow stood up and as soon as he became the first questioner I thought it was going to be fireworks all over again and he stood up and he says in a very gentle tone. He says Mr. Zacharias I am an atheist.
I'm a card-carrying member of the American humanist Association Sir, I want to thank you for the graciousness with which you have dealt with a very difficult subject and I have a question for you next man stands up and says Mr. Zacharias Amadeus and I have such and such a question. Do you know the next night. This atheist you know what his question was on why the cross was necessary. I put my arm around him and I said the hound is on your trail. He says maybe so, maybe so the need. I look at the university students sitting in front of us time and time again Gavin will tell you. Ultimately, he drags me away because the voice is getting out.
They are just so earnestly pleading and asking Peter was in Dartmouth doing an open forum. My colleague Peter Bocchino.
He said he finally had to leave for the airport around 1030 to get to the airport and he said they continued talking and discussing even an R&R and 1/2 after he had gone the cry, the motivation that takes us there. So first we position the vision, even though the people are resistant, as it seems apparently but then you move in and you're driven with compassion, but totally and quickly they can come disillusionment in the mission. Have you ever felt betrayed by God, you turn to Jeremiah chapter 20 I don't think you read more powerful words he said, Lord, you deceived me.
This is not what I thought it was all about. You really deceived me, and then he goes on and says I curse it is the day that I was born.
I wish I had been aborted in my mother's womb. You know what is really saying I did not think this is the way it was going to be when I was going to serve you. I thought it was going to be something else. Why didn't you tell me in the beginning. Very few that he told completely in the beginning. Even Moses said how do I know you have called me what God says when you get on to Mount Sinai and worship me there then you know that that's where I called you anyway. Probably wants to wait a minute I'm asking you for evidence before the fact you're telling me after I get there I find out that you did. He says to Ananias tell that man Paul that he must suffer much for my sake that disillusionment and that aloneness. I've often said to my stop that one of the loneliest moments in ministry is after you have finished an open forum delivered your soul done everything you could do and I come back with my colleague and we go back into our rooms always get on my knees first and the next thing I do is call my wife and talk to her. It's a terribly lonely moment suddenly of mood from the din of antagonism and activity to all of a sudden being alone in yourself, the devil would love to get you disillusioned and get you to begin to wonder whether you really belong in this kind of calling but that's not true in the ministry alone. Is it can happen in your life as a person, you may think God has let you down. And God has betrayed you follow along to find out what happened.
He senses the calling moves with compassion, gets disillusioned halfway but suddenly decides that he is going to persevere because he knows the character of God and he's going to trust him even though all that is apparent seems sober so much to be failing him.
He was able to persevere through the opposition he was able to persevere through the opposition.
Malcolm Muggeridge may have been a forerunner in many many ways and you know I love this man. If you've never read them.
I hope you will. One of the things I think Kevin will be greatly blessed by his some discussions with these fellows when I was at GK Chesterton's Museum in Bedford England a few weeks ago and and entered heaven half way through by sitting on Chesterton's chair and just wonderfully reclining on it except his mantle didn't dawn on me and that they asked my wife to sit on the sofa there because there there was a handcrafted blanket which was woven by Joy Dave Goodman CS Lewis's wife, so she got her thrilled by sitting on that blanket. I got mine by sitting on Chesterton's chair and looking at his books. What a grand expression.
You should see the language he was writing at age 10 or 11 you and I would've needed the dictionary to understand some of those words.
But you know what Chesterton used to do almost every day with about 8 to 10 of them, sometimes three or four of them would sit around the table with a cup of tea and penetrate through some of the deepest thinking of that was going on in that time we don't do that anymore.
We don't like to wrestle with ideas and trying to them. Why should we when we can be idiot ties in front of a box how important it is to work this mind away and probe into ideas so we can unwrap them when it finally comes together. It dawned so beautifully listen to the sensitivity and the brilliance with which Muggeridge says this and this must come from that kind of interaction and thinking he was chaplain of the University of Edinburgh years ago, when the University of Edinburgh decided to distribute condoms to its student body so that they could have the freedom for their indulgences. Listen to how he's gives us farewell speech and this one That is so outstanding that sensitivity and yet the power so my dear Edinburgh students. This may well be the last time I address you and this is what I want to say and I don't really care whether it means anything to you are not whether you think there is anything in it or not I want you to believe that this row that I have had with your elected officers had nothing to do with any Puritanical attitudes on my part. I have no belief in abstinence were abstinence's own sake. No wish under any circumstances to check any fulfillment of your life and being. But I have to say to you this, but I have to say to you this, that whatever life is or is not about it is not to be expressed in terms of drug stupefaction and casual sexual relations. However else we may venture into the unknown. It is not, I assure you on the plastic rings of Playboy magazine or psychedelic fancies, and he warned them plowed through some very, very difficult terrain and told him the truth. Years after that VP Dan Quayle tells the Hollywood elites that they are destroying young lives and they make a fool out of him, make him look like an absolute idiot. Someone who doesn't belong in this modern times 1000 studies over 30 years, says Harvard Magazine 1000 studies over 20 years. Harvard Magazine says have all come to the same conclusion. Television violence has resulted in violent children, but Hollywood does not want to have anything to do with truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne, but that scaffold sways the future and behind the dim, unknown stand of God within the shadows, keeping watch keeping watch above his own. The truth may be on the scaffold today marked by the elite of our times, but you persevere in its proclamation and ultimately it will triumph and show itself to be true. Jeremiah encourages me even though he was disillusioned, he decided to cling on by a slender thread to his call. Many many times.
That threat is very slender and you want to walk away from it and you say God I understand why you've called me.
I understand the vision I sense the compassion but I see the opposition God, would you find somebody else to do this now. I think I have paid my dues and God justice lens drops that slender thread down in my own mind and my own voice and in the word of God says to me. Hang in there Robbie. Hang in there because truth may be put on the scaffold but behind the dim, unknown. I'm standing keeping watch keeping watch above my own. Jeremiah triumphed because he told the people not only of the destruction not only of the darkness, but he told them of a brand-new day that would dawn, when a new covenant would be put into the hearts of the people please hear me all the laws of the land couldn't change them all the social theories couldn't change them. God said I will put a new covenant. I will write a new covenant within the hearts of the people and they will rise up and call me and bless my name. It's the only hope for our society, and that's why we go. And one of the call. Knowing when God writes his word on the hearts of people on national revival can break out.
I just tell you to simple things and then I'm through 28 men on a conference telephone call. Some of the finest men in this country who are carrying the gospel in very difficult situations people like Chuck Swindoll and EV Hill.
Joe's stole and many many others of I name them you'd recognize all of them who were they. We were all part of a group that's going to be speaking at promise keepers this year where there are hundreds of thousands of men going together. One of the brightest lights in our nation at this point in our history. I just see this glowing bright light that tens of thousands of men all over this land will be gathering for some days to listen to the word of God being preached and I was with all of those speakers on the phone and the organizer and one of them said this can we men bow and pray because none of us is worthy of this task and then one of them said, brethren, I feel so unworthy.
I don't even feel I'm doing right by standing up.
Can we get down on our knees and fall on our faces before God and across this country. 28 men were on the telephone lines on our faces before God on our knees before God asking for a move amongst the men of this country, a move that will change their hearts, a move that will freshly put his law upon the hearts of these men so that there will be fathers in the home and peace in the hearts of our children so that there will be peace in the household and peace in the nation, so that the answers won't be with people sprawling on the floor crying out why or 17-year-old murder is writing letters to their teachers, saying I do not know why I did this, we were on our face before God bleeding that God would pour out a national sense of revival. The calling is intimidating. The need is very demonstrable. As we move towards it. The disillusionment can stalk you with an awesome daunting power, but you persevere, even as he lens that slender thread knowing that even when truth is forever on the scaffold dog is in the shadows, keeping watch above his own. And when that new work is done in the new promises given the laws written on the hearts and the nation is changed and the wise are not cost as much as how Lord can we serve you as a people. How can I serve you as an individual, the great privilege I mentioned to you being in San Juan and watching Dr. Graham and deliver that message to the world as we had a small part in sharing it.
One morning after we finished talking to our interpreters Luis Palau and I were sitting around the table. I love that brother is always an encouragement to me. I love South Americans because of the way they hug you. They really hug you.
It's not one of those whether your were hugged or imagine you are and you don't know this is real vector generally have to unknot your typing from him. When you're finished with Lewis you know and just talk to you in Spanish for little while and hope he saying the right thing. He said this to me. He said just come back from Miami and I'm going to Miami to do a crusade is the Robbie I spent a long time with Gen. Manuel Noriega.
He said he's all alone in a solitary cell all along he said.
I walked alone whole heard my footsteps. Not a soul in sight and then the guard leaves me with Noriega and walks away and they he sits all alone his bed table and an exercise bike that they had given to him. Some months ago so that is body could somehow get some exercise to keep them from languishing away. He said I looked on his stable and there was his Bible worn cover to cover cover to cover. I didn't say anything I said general, you must be a very lonely man.
He said Mr. Palau, everybody says that to me and I used to be very lonely and in many ways I still am but you know I have found Christ once a week. My chaplain comes in. I forget how often his wife is allowed once a week or once a month and he says Mr. Palau. I'm a very contented man in this prison because I have my Bible here with me and I'm a changed man in my heart. I made a lot of mistakes in my life but I've never been a greater piece I study the Bible. Mr. Palau, one of the reasons I keep that Bible marked is because I don't understand a lot of it will you answer some questions for me. Page after page of pen and paper questions.
Luis answered his questions shortly before he left, Luis said to him do you want us to help your family in any way. He said no there fine. My wife is being taken care of by the Baptist Church here in Miami says I'm a little concerned about my daughter in Argentina but I think she'll be all right. But don't worry.
And as Luis was saying this, the man who led Noriega to the Lord was sitting next to Luisa's eyes filled with tears. His name was Rudy was one of the interpreters. He says brother Ravi a few days ago I was in the in the courtroom in Miami to try and interpret for another person from Spanish as I was walking away a sheriff was sitting then beckon me towards him and said come here sir.
How is Mr. Noriega doing in prison. He said I straighten up my shoulders and I said how do you know that I know Noriega. He says I used to be a guard out there and I watched you coming. He said can you tell me something Rudy says. What did you really think of Noriega about his conversion.
The man says well I think you may be asking the wrong person but I'm a Christian myself and I watched a dramatic change in that man. He genuinely genuinely loves the Lord. Although is going to spend all these years in prison. He genuinely loves the Lord. In fact he said Rudy some time ago when we had the hurricane and we had to move them from one person to another. All of a sudden we realize some of the prisoners had been planning an uprising in one of them started to agitate and try to gain control and Noriega took charge of that bus commanded him to be quiet in the name of Jesus and like a real general controlled all of them in the bus till he got to the next prison. He said we took them to that prison and suddenly I heard a loud thumping and loud sounds I got myself ready and wondering if something was still going on. I ran towards Mr. Noriega's room and what I could see between the thick wall that separated him from the man standing next. If on the other side was Noriega with his Bible open reading the Scriptures to the man on the other side of the wall, getting them to get become right with Christ. Rudy said with tears in his eyes. He said I remembered the conversation I had with him after I sat down with him and said general, what will you do if the day ever comes that they will release you from this prison. Noriega smiled and said, you know, when I was president and general I had a tribunal of friends as we carried on with so many things we ought not to have done and I would look to these three men and say to them what advice do you have for me on these matters. You have brought to me and one of them would throw his hands up and say general you're the commander in chief. You're the general.
We are not here to tell you what you must do your here to tell us what we must do. He said Rudy I have found a new commander-in-chief. I have found a new general. I don't tell him what to do if the day comes around released, he will tell me what to do. The law was not written on his heart. There was a triumph in a soul, a commission intimidation. The compassion, disillusionment, but you persevere and God brings a change. Maybe that change can begin in your heart and mind tonight if the struggles are indeed hours may God bless you, thank you so much for giving me your gracious attention change when God himself orchestrating the transformation. We know we are in good hands of Ravi is no longer with us here on that we hope you'll check out all of his content on the website including books, articles, and messages. If you'd like to watch the memorial service for Ravi Zacharias held in May of this year and be sure to visit all ye cheap channel Ravi Zacharias International ministries. We hope you'll consider donating to our ministry is our team and speaketh continues the whack Ravi started for this ministry nearly 40 years ago I even feel if the will of our speakers and upcoming events on our website bacon with a look at current initiatives and how you can partner with us to order a copy of today's methods titled Bristol Clay intend to hand you can order by calling us at 1-800-448-6766 or on our firstname.lastname@example.org at Ozzie, I am.LYG and eyes that I am.ca for those in Canada.
Hello friends this is Ravi Zacharias speaking to you about a book called the logic of God. There are 52 essays, we wrestle with many pertinent ideas in that book pull together some of my writings from years gone by and drop them together into this one book called the logic of God. The reasoning of God is very different to the way you and I reason and the goal is that we will learn to think his thoughts after him. What happens in the brain with even a single thought, well, how much more intricate is the sole and so we must have ideas that deeply touched the soul. This book, the logic of God is intended to bridge the head to the heart, ultimately moving to the hands of the feet get a hold of it. The logic of God you can get the logic of God by Ravi Zacharias RCI orgy hello my name is Michael Ramsden not been working with Ozzie. I am now for well over 20 years is been an incredible privilege to be part of a ministry having a presence right across the globe and reaching to so many places that even just a few years ago. We couldn't even drift off my current role as the international director where my primary responsibility apart from being an evangelist apologist is to help lead and develop our speaking teams around the world has been absolutely thrilling. The young people who have, been trained by this ministry to join the team who been added in the speakers and then going on to do some really remarkable things in the way that reaching their peers reaching the country even the way the recall to other communities ago and speak is awfully remarkable and it's a huge thrill and joy, not simply to be part of a ministry which is seeing long-term fruits and people coming up five years 10 years 20 years later saying thank you for the differences minutes was made in my life, but also to see how people have grown into the ministry themselves and starting off at a young age, with its of Vince Vitali or Joe Vitali or Tom Price or any of the countless other young people to join and then to see them grow in their ministry, and then to go on and do and say and write what they have done seven written is thrilling on something which throws us all with great hope for the future. Realizing that God is raising up a new generation of people passionate about him precious about the gospel passionate and willing to take it anywhere in the world regardless of the cost on to do with faithfulness and humility. And I just love that something that really thrilled that my people think is radiant ministering and is managed by an Ozzie I am in Atlanta