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4 Words That Will Keep You From Wasting Your Life

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
June 4, 2023 8:47 pm

4 Words That Will Keep You From Wasting Your Life

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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June 4, 2023 8:47 pm

May 28, 2023 – Message from Pastor Josh Bevan

            Main Scripture Passage:  Matthew 9:35-38

Topic: Resilience, Focus, Compassion, Dependency


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If we would all stand this morning as we honor God's Word. Matthew chapter 9 is our text. Today, Matthew 9, verse number 35 through 38 is where we'll be reading. Matthew 35 through 38.

The Bible tells us here in Matthew chapter 9, verse 35, and Jesus went about all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the people, saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous but the labors are few. If you'd read verse 38 with me, pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labors to his harvest. And so God, we come to you today and we plead with heaven as we look upon this nation that is falling from the inside, decaying, corrupting the nation with sepsis. Septus Lord, it's just destroyed on the inside and we pray that you would raise up labors to go into this great harvest field. That they would bring the gospel, the only hope of a nation, that it would be turned from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, that you would awaken this nation to its desperate need of Christ. Lord, if there is hope for America, it will be found not in the White House but in God's house. Resurrect your church, bring to life the dead.

Lord, and I pray that Lighthouse would be a great lighthouse in Xenia and the 25 plus cities that are represented here today. Lord, send out pastors and teachers and missionaries and evangelists. Lord, do a work beyond what is preached today from this sermon. Glorify your name.

In Christ's name we pray and God's people said, man, you may be seated this morning. This week I was reminded as I listened to a great sermon that I've heard by a well-known pastor entitled, Don't Waste Your Life. And he said that people who make a great impact on this world are not people who do a lot of things well, but they find the most important things which are just a few things and do a few things extremely well. And so I would encourage us today to find in your life what really matters, to invest your life in what really matters and do that very well. That truth so burned in my soul when I was a young man I just could not shake it.

It was interesting because when I listened to this pastor talk he said it was about 17 years of age when he was gripped by God and it was when I was 17 that God got a hold of my heart. I was so struck with the thought, I don't want to waste my life. I remember just being so gripped by that reality and I thought I just want to live for what really matters.

I want to do something that will live past my vapor length life. I lost my desire to play college sports for worldly success, for money, for being well-known. I only wanted to live for Christ. I wanted to do something that mattered for eternity. I feared wasting my life and getting to the end of my life having great worldly success, financial achievement, but having missed the spiritual work that God had called me to. I remember pleading with God not to let me have a large house, fancy cars, boats, money, get to the end with all of those things, but not having done what God had called me to do. I remember thinking I have one shot at this thing called life and there is no rerun.

There is no do-overs. You can't repeat it. You live once and then it's over. And I was so struck by that.

I just could not relieve myself from that grip. Today in this text before us, I believe God is laying four key truths that will keep you from missing out on what God has for your life. Truths that will cause you to live past your physical days.

When I was a young man, I remember reading Hebrews chapter number 12 and it talked about Abel and it says, in Hebrews 11, it says, he that was dead yet speaketh. And I thought, God, I want to live in such a way that after I die that my life would speak even when I'm gone. And I would encourage you to have that kind of a focus in heart and only God can plant that on a person's heart.

To live for what is eternal and not temporary, to do what really matters. You know, there's nothing wrong with having nice things. If you have a nice house, if you have a boat, if you have nice material things, there's nothing wrong with that. Praise God for those things. It's not wrong having nice things.

It's wrong when nice things have you. And what I'm trying to say is don't live for what the atheist can have. Don't live for what the atheist can have.

They can have all of those things. But do what Jesus said, lay up for yourself treasure in heaven, not on the earth. Christ put it this way, what does it profit if you gained the whole world and lost your soul? You know, Paul said at the end of his life, he was sitting in a prison cell in Rome six months later. He writes this when it was around December by early spring, they would cut his head off in Rome. And in 2 Timothy 4, at the very end of his life, verse number 6, his last words are this, I am ready to be offered. Can you say that today, that you're ready to die? He said, I'm ready to be offered, the time of my departure is at hand.

He said, I've fought a good fight, I've finished my course, I've kept the faith. Somebody asked me a few weeks ago, they said, what is your greatest fear in life? And my greatest fear is that I don't finish the race, that I get sidetracked, that something throws me off. That would be the greatest devastation of my life. There's nothing that I fear more than that, that I would not finish the race. Paul says, henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but also unto all them also who love his appearing.

That's for you. And so, when I was a young man, a passage that was really just tattooed on my heart by God as Philippians 3, verse 13 and 14, really became my life verse. When Paul wrote, brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended.

I've not arrived, I've not achieved everything that I need to yet. But this one thing I do, and I thought, I want to be that person that just has this one thing I do, that you learn to do a few things very well, then you press toward a single focus, have one thing you do in life, and he says, I forget the things which are behind him. And, you know, you can't really move forward effectively with God by looking in the rearview mirror.

You have to sometimes forget some things so you can move forward. He says, I forget those things which are behind, reaching forth unto the things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is a pressing, there is a man who has a face set like a flint to the things of God moving in the direction. You know, Paul reached his goal in life because Paul lived with the end in mind. He lived with an eternal focus.

He wasn't wasting time, he wasn't wasting his life wasting weeks and months and years of his life and foolish and frivolous things that have no merit. I would ask you today, friend, what are you living for? What defines you?

Like, if I brought your name up among your peers, what would they say about you? What is controlling your passions, desires, goals, and ambitions? What's your life aiming towards? You know, if you don't have a goal set, you'll never reach it.

If you don't know where you're going, you're not going to get there. I pray that you will allow God's Word to begin to define you, that everyone here will begin to live with the end in mind. You know, I beg God that today this sermon would just not be another Sunday, but this would be a Sunday that you leave so gripped by God that you would be churning on the inside.

You would redefine your focus in life. Many of you have it where God wants you to be and praise God for that, and you're doing what God wants you to do, that this would only be an encouragement for you to keep doing what you're doing. But perhaps today there are some who have allowed themselves to get off course, to get tied up in what the world's tied up in, and you're missing it.

You're missing it. You have one life. You can never go back.

You'll never repeat it. I remember as a young man saying, God, I want to get to the end of my life when I get to my deathbed, and I thought this and I prayed this. Let me get to my deathbed and say, praise God I did that. Praise God I live that way. My daughter graduated this week, and people were like, you sad?

I said, no, I really haven't been sad. I'm so thankful that she's saved. If my daughter was not saved and I had squandered these years and she was away from God, I would have deep regrets.

Yes, I would probably weep. I haven't been a perfect father, and it's amazing how much grace God can cover as an imperfect parent. But there was enough truth instilled there.

There was faithfulness lived there. There was that she loves Jesus Christ, and I'm so thankful where she's at today. I just am not sad. I say, God, thank you. I'm glad I lived up at 42 years old. I'm thankful I've lived up.

To this point, the way you've called me, I've not been perfect. There's so much more I could do and should do. But Lord, thank you that you're allowing me to do many right things. And Lord, I want to get to 82 and be there. There's a long race in front of me if the Lord doesn't come back and he doesn't take me home. But I tell you this, I would rather die than fall out of the race. I plead with God, let me die before I ever fail you. I have begged God for that. Let me die with cancer in three months if I got off course. I would much rather die than fall out of the race. Not even, Lord knows my heart.

That is a plea of mine. This is how serious this is to me. You live for something that's more important than your body, right?

I mean, there's some things more important than your flesh. There's some things more important than your hopes and dreams. I talked to a guy this last week and he's like in his mid-30s and I said, how's work going? He says, you know, I still got a lot of years to retire. And I'm like, you're talking about retirement now?

I mean, I said, let me take some weight off for you. You better start enjoying life now because most of the people I know, you can get to the, and as a pastor, because I've buried 150 people, you get to the end of your life, your money may be there but your time's run out. And your health's run out. And all the things you wanted to do you can't do because your back went out.

Or your knee went out. Amen? Hey, plan ahead. Plan ahead. Put money aside. That's a wise thing.

You need to do those things. But don't put your stockpile in some retirement that you think you're going to get to 60, 65, 70, whatever you're planning on and that that's your dream. Hey, getting old is not for the weak. And all the older people said, you hear that? You don't feel as good then as you do right now. You better enjoy life now. You say you're 42.

How do you even have an idea? Well, I got four girls and there's dog eaters and dog eaters. I'm actually the oldest man in the room.

I'm like 164 right now. I submit to you today, though, that we look at the Lord Jesus Christ and He lived in such a way with the goal of this. I believe you asked Jesus, what was the one goal of your life? What was your single purpose? That Jesus would say, I have come to do the will of my father and to finish his work.

That's what he did. This is this is John 434. It's lunchtime in Samaria. Disciples went to get lunch. Jesus doesn't go. He talks to a Samaritan woman, an outcast lady.

Sychar and. And they come to him and says, Have anybody given you anything to eat? And he says, My meat is to do the will of him that has sent me and to finish his work. Jesus is saying, I would rather skip food. To do my father's will, the spiritual is more important to me than eating. John 530, he said, I seek not my own will, but the will of the father, which sent me. That doesn't mean that Jesus's will was opposed to the father's will. It just means his will was consumed to do the father's will.

That's what he was. Come to do, John 638, he said, I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me Psalms 40. And every year it seems that God just impresses like a song on my heart, I spent so much time and.

So 130 and just pray through that. Meditate on that in Psalm 40 has become like 20, 23 song that I just I just can never get tired of it, I read it every week, I. Work through memorization of that chapter, it's just so rich. But David writes here of the greater David in Psalm 40, verse seven and eight, speaking of Christ. This is a testimony of the life of Christ that says. Since that I lo I come in the volume of the book, it is written of me, I did like to do thy will.

Oh, my God. Yea thy laws within my heart. This is repeated in Hebrews 10.

Therefore, we know it's talking about Christ because it says it there. And if there's one thing that you and I should desire at the end of our life, that it would be said in the volume of the book that we wrote. That we delight to do his will.

The only way you'll do that is laws in your heart. Today, I just want to leave you with four words from this text that I believe will keep you from wasting your life. And I believe you're here today because you don't want to waste your life. You want to live for what matters, right? You don't want to get to the end of life and say, you know what? You're here because there's something more important to you than sitting out on the golf course today or go fishing today or sleeping in. Or looking at Facebook and please don't be doing that during sermon. You desire the word of God. I mean, that's why you're here. You want to know what is God's word say?

How can I be obedient to the Lord? I want to live for what really matters. Thank you for that. And the first word that I come to in this text is is the idea of the word resilience. Webster defines resilience as the ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity.

It's synonymous with tenacity, with fortitude, perseverance, grit. Jesus can be defined as one who was resilient. It was being said by the most religious people of that day that. By the Pharisees, that Jesus was possessed by Satan. That Satan was the one who gave him power to do what he did. Look back at verse number 33 in Matthew nine. It says, And when the devil was cast out in the dumb spake, Jesus cast this devil out of this man.

He began to speak. The multitude marveled, saying it was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees, a.k.a. the religious leaders of Judaism. The most religious people, Jesus said, except your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you can't enter heaven. And they're like, well, then who can be saved?

They're at the top. But the Pharisees said he cast out devils through the prince of the devils. What's the verse 35 say? And Jesus got in a deep debate with them and began to defend himself about how dare they say such things, because is that what it says?

You know what it says? Jesus went about all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom. Anybody thankful Jesus doesn't get sidetracked over false accusations? Paul faced much opposition from both outside and inside the church. There were Jews on the outside of the church trying to kill him, and they were professing believers on the inside of the church trying to discredit him.

They had lies. They spoke about Paul, who was their pastor and teacher. And that was a very painful thing for Paul to endure. He faced it. Jesus faced it.

Let me say this. If you're going to live faithfully for Jesus, there will be people who say things about you that are very hurtful. I've seen many who professed great love for God, who failed to finish the race. They throw in the towel, they give up because it got tough.

You know, the narrow path is not a smooth path. You will face adversity. All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Paul was right when he said in Philippians chapter 1 verse 29, it's given unto you in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Maybe you're here today and someone has discouraged you. Maybe you have someone trying to discredit you. They did that to Jesus and Paul, telling you that you're not good enough.

You can't do it. You need to give up and throw in the towel. Maybe you got saved and you got baptized and you started to live for Jesus, but then you lost your mind one day and you kind of got emotional and said some things you shouldn't have said. And maybe you have an unbelieving spouse or unbelieving coworker and unbelieving child, somebody who said, I thought you're a Christian.

You ain't no Christian. Maybe you began to throw you down and cast you aside. And you say, well, you know, maybe I should throw in this thing because if I can't be perfect and I can't be faithful in these things, my no, no, no, no. Always remember this. You fail falling forward. You fail falling forward. You're going to mess up.

Let's just relieve the pressure. Say this with me. I am going to mess up. You will not be perfect. Neither will I.

Okay. The Bible even says, in fact, in first John chapter one, verse eight, if we say we have no sin and notice we we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. The truth is not in us.

Four times. John includes himself. If we say we have no sin, you're going to sin. So when someone says you're not good enough, say, you know what? You're right. In fact, no one's good.

No, not even one. The Bible says when they say you're weak, say, you know what? You're right. I am weak. And the Bible tells us his strength is made perfect in weakness. When someone says you're just too average, you're mediocre, you're actually below average. You can say you're right.

You know what? God has chosen to use the weak things of the world to confound the wise. You see, all of our weakness, frailties and failures are overcome in the person of Jesus Christ. Don't be discouraged by your inability. In fact, it's often our abilities that cause us to become weak for God. We trust in our own self. God has never needed our ability.

He's just always needed our availability. Surrender your life to God as available. Say with Paul, Lord, what would you have me to do? It was Isaiah who came into the presence of God and and he said, Lord, I'm a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips from mine eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts. And immediately after that, in verse eight, God says, Who will go for us and who shall we send? You know what Isaiah said?

Here am I. Send me, Lord. When you come to the presence of God, you recognize how unworthy you are, but it also makes you very willing.

Very available, Lord, send me. Listen to the words of the little teenage redhead named David, facing off with a giant named Goliath, who was ready to kill him. First Samuel 17 45, it says, Then said David to the Philistine after the Philistines like, Am I a dog that you send this little runt out here? I mean, Goliath was nine and a half feet tall. He had an armor bearer that carried his shield because it was so massive, and here's this little teenager without a shield, without armor coming down the hillside with a few stones in a sling.

What a joke. Then David said to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with the sword and with a spear and with a shield, but I come into thee in the name of Yahweh or the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand, little hand, and I will smite thee and take thine head from off thee. I just think that is so fantastic.

Women don't understand that, but every guy in here knows that is just dynamite. Like I'm going to come down there and I'm going to chop your head off with your own sword. Isn't that going to be a rerun in heaven one day?

Every girl is going to be like, You guys are so silly, and all the guys will be like, That is so awesome. Chop this head off with his sword. And he said, And I will give the carcass to the host of the Philistines this day and to the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth, and all the earth may know there is a great teenage boy who is so... No, they'll know there is a God in Israel. Verse 47, And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not by sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands. What an incredibly... I mean, this story, we still call it today when the Browns play anybody. There's David and Goliath, you know? Sorry, I shouldn't.

I get in the flesh. It's true. But it's still said that he made... That statement of faith was so strong that he that is dead, yet speaketh.

He goes down in eternity, right? You need to understand distractions come, discouragements will come, false things said about you, but you must realize you have a mission that is more important than making sure everyone likes you. You have a greater purpose than defending your name. Self-focused people can't take a discouraging word set against them.

They're so, so focused on their own person, they make defending themselves a higher priority than reaching the lost. Friend, have you allowed someone's negativity to cause you to forget you're the great need of the lost world, that your neighbors, family, and loved ones need Christ, that eternity awaits them? It's important to learn that we're not to focus on ourself. Praise God, Jesus cared more about souls than defending himself against criticism. And time and truth hold hands.

Who you are will be known over time. You know, Lighthouse has been lied about early on in this church. I remember we were out canvassing, and in the same day, different places where we were passing out tracts, two people that were out passing out tracts came to me and they said, they said, we had somebody, I had somebody who told me that, you know, they heard about Lighthouse, and this was like in the first year through the church. If you go to Lighthouse, that you have to sign your house over to the church.

That's what they said. Two different homes by two different people. I had people saying Lighthouse is a cult and saying stuff like that.

You know what, you just keep plowing away. When you're a young church and you're not very seasoned, we come here and they're like, you know, what church did you split off of and start up with? I'm like, no, we didn't split off of anything. We did it the biblical way. We were sent out from a church called by God, and we came here with eight people and just preaching the word. And a lot of different false things said, and it's like, you know what, time and truth is going to hold hands. You just got to put your head on the focus of what God wants you to do, and you don't leave that.

You just keep moving forward. Be like Nehemiah, who rebuilt Israel's wall and secured the city in a very volatile time. In those days, he built it in 50 days. He rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. While he was constantly being lied about, enemies sought to distract him.

He would not let anything deter him from the work. And I want you to hear in Nehemiah 6 just some solid truth about Nehemiah. It says, now it came to pass when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem, these are some guys who were hating Nehemiah, trying to discredit him and destroy him. It says, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had builded the wall and that there was no breach left that are in, though at that time I had not set up the doors of the gates, that Sanballat and Geshem sent him to me saying, come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono.

When somebody invites you to the plane of Ono, you just say, Oh no, you're going to do it. It says, but they thought to do me mischief. And I love verse three says, and I sent messengers under them saying, I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down.

Why should the work cease while lest I leave it and come down to you? Yet they sent to me four times after this sword and I answered him after the same manner every time. He was resilient.

It doesn't matter how many attacks came against Nehemiah. He never stopped. He never got distracted, never threw in the towel. Some of you today may be on the verge of throwing in the towel, getting off course. Some of you have got off the rails at some point in your life for maybe a few weeks, few months, or even a few years and you're back on course. I'm encouraging you and edifying you and challenging you and pleading with you as your pastor today, be resilient. When somebody comes against you, remember you're no better than Jesus. And if they had salted Jesus Christ verbally, they will come against you.

And sometimes you'll face attack from the outside of the church and sometimes you'll take friendly fire. But don't let that distract you. You make a bigger deal of the work that's in front of you than defending your own name.

Does that make sense? Secondly, not only resilience. If you don't want to waste your life, become resilient. Don't quit.

Don't quit. Secondly, focus. Focus. Jesus was resilient in life because he was a man of focus. He overcame obstacles because he was aiming for something greater than debating with unbelieving religious leaders.

He had a greater work to do. He came to please the Father, and what pleased the Father is what Jesus does in verse 35. It says in verse 35, And Jesus went about all the synagogues, all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom. The word teaching there, didasko. It carries the idea of systematic teaching and systematic training, teaching the Word of God. Second is preaching.

Keruso is the Greek word. It's the word used for a public herald or crier, someone who declared a message, declared the message of the king. You know, somebody said God had one son, and he was a preacher. He preached the Word. He taught the Word. He preached the gospel of the kingdom. The word gospel is euangelion in the Greek.

It's where we get the word evangelize from. It means good news, and it's the good news of the kingdom of God made available to men, that you can enter into God's kingdom. We saw last Sunday that God will one day set up an earthly kingdom, but before the physical kingdom comes, there's an invisible kingdom. Jesus said, My kingdom's not of this earth. If my kingdom were of this earth, my soldiers would fight for me. Right now, there's a kingdom in the hearts of men.

He's setting his kingdom up on the inside of man. When we pray, Lord, let your kingdom come, it brings salvation to the lost and sanctification to the saved, is how you could pray that. But before the future millennial kingdom comes, there is a spiritual invisible kingdom. And to enter into God's kingdom, you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

You come into the narrow path by faith. 2 Corinthians 4 says this, It is the God of this world that blinds the minds of them which believe not. It's their minds that are blinded to the truth of the gospel, lest the light of the gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. When Jesus sent Paul to preach in Acts 26 18, he said, Your preaching will do this work. It will open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified. So Jesus fulfilled the dual task, both teaching God's word, edifying God's people, systematically taking them through the scriptures, and finally he would evangelize the cities and villages around him. We do the same thing. We gather to grow and learn in the word, and we scatter to evangelize.

We come to grow. That's why I don't preach a shallow gospel, just focused only on the gospel message. We need to go deep into the word because God's people need to understand the word of God. And when we leave and we're shining the light of God, we will spread that you become evangelist everywhere you go. Everywhere you go, you spread the gospel with your life in your lips. The focus of our Lord's ministry was preaching and teaching. He is called the word of God made flesh.

John the Baptist, who was the greatest man that ever lived, was called the voice in the wilderness. And his method of reaching the world was through preaching and teaching. That's what he does in Matthew 16 and 17. When he started his public ministry, he went everywhere preaching and saying, Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In Matthew 4, 23 and 4, he was going everywhere preaching the gospel. Matthew 5 through 7 is a long sermon Jesus preaches. Matthew chapter 9, he is preaching the gospel in verse 35 in all the cities and villages. After you get to chapter 10, he commissions his disciples to go out and to preach the gospel. After he commissions and sends them out in Matthew 11, verse 1, look what he immediately does. When it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his 12 disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.

That's what he was doing. That was his method of reaching this world. In Matthew 28, 19 and 20, Acts 1, 8, he sends them forth to preach the gospel. That's what we do, and we win souls one person at a time. Why was he so focused on giving people the word of God through the preaching and teaching of the word? Because Romans 1, 16 says this. Let's all read this verse together.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. It is the power of God. It's the word dunamis, where we get the word dynamite from. It's the dynamite of God to everyone that believeth. Well, what if somebody doesn't believe it?

What else will you give them? You have something more powerful than the dynamite of God? We give them the power of God. The salvation of God comes through the gospel. 1 Corinthians 2, verse 1 through 5, Paul writes this. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling in my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom but in demonstration of the spirit and power that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. The only way people will be saved is by somebody coming and telling them. Romans 10, 13 says, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not heard? And how so they hear in him in whom they have not believed? And how so they hear and believe if they don't have a preacher?

They need somebody to preach it to them. I also think it's of note in verse 35 that Jesus went both to the cities and to the villages. Verse 35 says Jesus went about all the cities and villages.

That's an incredible thing. Not only did he go to the Dayton's and Cincinnati's, but he went to the Fairborns, to the Zinnias, to the Yellow Springs, to the Spring Valleys, to the Jamestowns. You would think he would just take him to the big cities.

No, he went to the little villages. It's an incredible reality, isn't it? Aren't you thankful that God comes to us in our towns, our villages? Listen, don't lose focus. If you're going to reach your neighbors, there's one thing that will cause that, and it's the word of God. You bring them this. There is nothing greater that you can give them. And if you're going to give them this, you need to know this, right? Do you know the word of God?

Let me ask you a question. If your neighbor came to you today and said, hey, I need to know how to get to heaven, would you have to call me or somebody else at church, or could you take them through the word of God and show them? Would you be ready to go through the gospel if your neighbor fell down and he's having a heart attack and you call 911 and they're like, we're going to be there in three minutes, and you had three minutes talking with this man, he's hanging on, and would you be ready to share the gospel? If you're not ready, then you need to be ashamed of yourself this morning. You need to be devastated in your heart and say, dear God, why have not I prepared myself?

Why have I not prepared myself? I need to be ready for that. You say, oh, that would never happen to me. Really? Because I've had people in this church call me before and say, my brother is in the hospital dying.

Can you get here right away? They don't know if he's going to make it till the end of the day. I said, have you shared with them? They're like, I'm not sure what to say.

You're not sure what to say. I didn't tell them all this, but in my heart I was so broken because we had just encouraged for the last several weeks in evangelism class and teach you how to share the gospel, and this individual chose not to do that, and they didn't know how to share the gospel, and now your brother's dying and you don't know what to say? I can tell you something. If you're ever going to learn something, don't learn NASCAR, don't learn the news, don't learn the Republican-Democrat debating foolishness. Learn the gospel. Nothing wrong with knowing what's going on in the world, nothing wrong with knowing about sports statistics, but it is something wrong about not knowing how to share the gospel with somebody, amen?

You got to know John 3.16, Romans 10. You need to know some of these things. If you don't know, please, please come to foundations class.

We had like a dozen new people at table one today. I teach lesson one. I will show you the clearest possible way you can go through the gospel with somebody. Lesson one, I will show you. I will show you. I will walk you through. You will be able to take that home, and you can share that with anybody. You need to come.

You need to do that. What time is it? It's at 10, 9.50-ish.

Be there at 9.50. We'll give you... I encourage you, friends. Third word, resilience, focus. Thirdly, compassion. Compassion. If you don't want to waste your life, you need to be resilient. You need to be focused. Have a laser focused on the word of God. Have a laser focused on that is what will change lives. Thirdly, have compassion.

Verse 36 says, But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion. The word compassion is from a very, very potent word in the Greek. It's splogizomai. You need to make sure you can spell that next week.

Splogizomai. It's a compound word, but it means to experience deep visceral feeling, like downing your guts, to feel compassion where it moves you in the pit of your stomach. It is really the strongest word in the Greek for pitting someone. Adrian Rogers says the word compassion means from the pit of your stomach. You hurt so bad it feels like someone kicked you in the gut. The Jews spoke about feelings, like strong feelings like love and hate and all those emotions not coming from the heart, because if you start feeling something in your heart, you need to call 911, right? If you're like, oh, my chest is really... Yeah, then you better call the hospital. But you feel that stuff in your guts. You get butterflies in your stomach. The way the Jew would express their devotion and love for someone, they would say, I love you with all my bowels. You try that on your sweetheart. Baby, you have so moved me. I feel so stirred up. I mean, from my bowels, I love you.

You know what she's going to say? You keep your bowels to yourself, young man. But Philippians 1.8, Paul says, For God is my record how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. He's saying from the pit of my stomach, I ache for you. We get our word compassion from the Latin word compasio, which com means with, and passio, it means passion. Suffering, or suffering, to suffer with. So compassion means to suffer along with. It's the idea that you see somebody hurting and you feel it. You join in their pain.

Like, you ache along with them. You know, when John King passed away, I ached for Pam and her family. When our brother Charles Savage passed away, both great veterans, men of God. I ached for Lori and those kids. When our dear loved ones in church, we have brothers and sisters who go home to be with the Lord. I don't ache for the person who died because I know they're in heaven, right? But we ache for their loved ones.

And you feel that and we cry and we weep with those who weep. And if we feel that pain, just imagine the pain the Lord Jesus Christ felt for others. Do you understand the only reason you have compassion for anyone in life is because that is a reflection of God, who is the all compassionate God who made you and I in His image, and one way that He's made us in His image is that we have compassion for people? We are compassionate at some level. All human beings have some level of compassion unless they've just totally burned off any essence of God in their life because God is compassionate. But our compassion is just a flake, a small essence of the great compassion that God has. I mean, what would the compassion of God look like in a body?

And that's what you find in the Lord Jesus Christ. We don't even begin to understand the amount of aching that Jesus Christ had for His people. Jesus Christ ached for His people, and we'll see how that flows out in Scripture. But look why He was aching for them in verse 36. It says, but when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd.

They were faint and scattered abroad. They were supposed to have shepherds over them. The religious leaders were to be shepherds over God's people.

But instead, the Bible tells us they became like ravening wolves devouring the people of God. And Jesus is really reflecting here off of Ezekiel 34. Ezekiel 34 verse 2, listen to what the Bible says.

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds. Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves, should not the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves, should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool. Ye kill them that are fed, but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost, but with force and cruelty have you ruled them.

They were domineering, they were self-focused, they used people for their benefits. They were to feed the people. And you know what the pastors are supposed to feed people?

The word of God. That's why 1 Peter 5, 2, Peter writing to the pastor said, Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof. Don't do it by constraint, but do it willingly.

Not for filthy lucre, don't do it for money's sake, but do it because you have a ready and willing mind. Neither is being lords over God's heritage. You're not some dictator, but be examples to the flock. When you look at your pastor, you should see somebody who is an example for you to follow. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, you will receive a crown of glory that fades not away. The word pastor just means shepherd, and we're simply under-shepherds of the great chief shepherd who we will give an account to. You know there's no one at Lighthouse that will face a stricter judgment before God than me.

You need to know that. There's no one at this church, no one here, none of you, will be judged more severely than me. God has warned everyone that will pastor and preach and teach, yours will be the greater judgment. That's why it's important that what goes on here is done right, that we stay with the word of God. That's why I say, and I don't preach to please people, I want to please God. And I know when I please God, that will be the greatest thing for you, right?

There's nothing I can do better for you than to do that which pleases God most. And sheep need a shepherd, and one who loves them and feeds them the word of God, who leads them, protects them, and cares for them. The Lord saw the multitudes as those who fainted and were scattered abroad.

The word fainted is from the Greek word skulo. It has a strong root idea of being flayed or being skinned, but it talks about being harassed, severely troubled. And the religious leaders of that day were harassing the people.

They were troubling the people. The people were scattered abroad, which is the Greek word ripto, which carries the idea of they were just so inwardly and mentally discouraged and dejected. No wonder Jesus was moved with compassion. Jesus referred to the religious leaders of his day as thieves and robbers who the people should flee from in John chapter 10. You know, when Paul left Ephesus in Acts chapter 20, verse 29, he says, I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. There will always be people who want to devour you, destroy you for their own sake.

Jesus was one who was driven by compassion for people, caring for people. That should be a question people always ask, do the pastors and leaders of the church, do they love people? Do they love people? Do they take time for people? Will they sit down and talk with someone? Will they meet with them?

Do they care about them or are they just caring about the numbers, the attendances, the whatever it is? Jesus was driven by his compassion. Matthew 14, 14, and Jesus went forth and saw great multitudes, and it says he was moved with compassion.

His inward gut was wrenched for them. Matthew 15, 32, then Jesus called his disciples on him and said, I have compassion on the multitudes. When he came to the tomb of his friend Lazarus in John 11, such a powerful portion of scripture. It says, when Jesus therefore saw her, Mary came weeping. Lazarus and Mary and Martha were his dear friends.

Lazarus had died and Martha and Mary come out weeping, saying, if you had been here, our brother had not died. And verse 33 says, when Jesus therefore saw her weeping and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in his spirit. It means to be painfully moved on the inside and was troubled.

It's the idea of being agitated. It's trembling on the inside. And said, where have you laid him? And they said unto him, Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept.

It means tears were literally flowing down his face, is what the word means. Verse 36, then said the Jews, when they saw how Jesus was churning on the inside, being agitated and tears flowing, they said, behold how he loved him. And some of them said, could not this man which opened the eyes of the blind have caused that even this man should have not died? Verse 38, and Jesus therefore groaning in himself came to the grave.

He was torn up on the inside. No wonder Isaiah calls him a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Jesus speaks about the Lord's compassion for mankind and the lost sinner in Matthew 18, 27 as a foolish servant who squandered his master's goods and had such an insurmountable debt that he would have gone into prison and paid his fine the rest of his life. And he falls on his face pleading for mercy. And the Bible says, and the king had compassion on him and loosed him, forgave him to death. That's the kind of compassion God has for us.

It's an incredible thing. Jesus likens God's compassion to a loving father whose son is a prodigal who wasted his father's substance, dishonored and disrespected his family name, squandered his living, who deserved punishment. Yet when the father sees the prodigal son afar off, this is what the Bible says in Luke 15, 20, he rose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and was bitter and angry and resentful as an old man. Is that what it says?

No. But he had compassion and he ran and fell on his neck and kissed him in the sunset. And then father, I've sinned against heaven and I cite him the more worthy to be called thy son. You need to understand when you have sinned in life, as you will, as we have and will, and you come and you humble yourself and cry out for mercy, this is the kind of response that heaven has on you. Is that good news?

It's real good news, isn't it? And it says, but the father said to his servants, bring forth the best robe, put it on him, put a ring on his hand, shoot on his feet, bring hither the fatted calf, kill it, let us eat and be merry. For this my son was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found and they began to be merry. You know, at the end of his earthly ministry, he enters in Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Kings would ride on a donkey into a city and he looks upon the city that had rejected him, that had sought to kill him multiple times. And at the last week of his life, the Bible says, when he came to the city in Luke 1941, when he was come near, he beheld the city and he wept over it. God's heart was wrenched for the city.

Oh, friends, what a compassionate God we have. You know, in verse number 35, when it says Jesus went about healing all manners of sickness and disease, he did that not only to validate his messiahship, but he also did that because he just loved the people. Because he didn't just heal them in masses, he healed them individually, which is incredible. Dr. Paul Brand, who spent many years working in a medical field among lepers, wrote this. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the eyes of the blind, the skin of the person with leprosy. He touched the legs of the cripple. He said, I have sometimes wondered as a doctor why Jesus so frequently touched the people he healed, many of whom would have been unattractive, obviously diseased, unsanitary, and smelly.

With his power, he easily could have waved a magic wand, but he chose not to. Jesus' mission was not chiefly a crusade against disease, but rather a ministry to individual people, some of whom happened to have a disease. He wanted those people, one by one, to feel his love and warmth and his full identification with them.

Jesus knew he could not readily demonstrate love to a crowd, for love usually involves touching, touching. You know, we hug a lot around Lighthouse, don't we? I have people here that I remember going up and hugging some of these guys, first time I hugged them, I said, man, it's good to see you, and they're like...

It's a little uncomfortable. Now I go up to them, hey, man, how you doing? They grab me up and hug me, and, you know, there's a cold world we live in. Sometimes people just need to be hugged. Sometimes people just need to have an arm put around them and say, hey, how you doing?

It's just so good to see you. You know what, I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ looks upon you today. You know, the Bible says when the church came together, they would embrace one another with such love and compassion.

We need to have that love. And notice before Jesus was moved with compassion what verse 36 says. What's the fourth word of verse 36?

What does he do there? But when he what? When he saw, he saw the multitudes. The Lord's eyes were directly connected to his heart. He felt here what he saw here, and it wrenched him on his inwards. He was internally gripped by what he saw.

Dwight L. Moody was in England, and he was a not very educated man. People wondered why he could be so effective for God. And these three young men came to him and said, why are you so, we just want to know what the key is. He said, I want you to go to that window, this third story building. He says, go to that window, and you tell me what you see on the streets of England right now. And they began to describe all the pedestrians out there.

And he walked over to the window, and these three college students said, he began to weep. They said, what do you see? And he says, I see countless souls that will spend eternity in hell if they don't find the Savior.

They could define the people physically, and all he could see was the souls of those people. And I pray that God would give us ice for Xenia, for Beaver Creek, for Jamestown, Yellow Springs, Fairborn, Dayton, Bellbrook, Cedarville, Springfield, Kettering, and all our surrounding cities. I pray that we would have compassion, that we would be so moved by our compassion for them. When's the last time you drove back to your city and you saw your city with souls in it? That you were so burdened for them. When's the last time you drove by your neighbor and you said, you know what, I wonder how they're doing spiritually.

I pray that God would give us ice like he has to see them. When speaking of his fellow Jews, Paul lamented, he says, I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. If you don't want to waste your life, you need to have some godly compassion for people. So resilience, focus, compassion, and fourthly and will be done is dependency. And that brings us to verse 37 and 38 as we wrap up. Verse 37, it says, Then say, if he unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labors are few.

Pray ye therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labors into his harvest. Jesus declares the need must be met, and it is met first of all by prayer. And prayer is dependency.

I love the song the girls sang today, I depend on you, God. And prayer is dependency. It's our weakness casting itself on God's omnipotence. And notice first he doesn't say go and preach to them, go and tell them, because prior to verbal evangelism is evangelistic praying. You must pray first. Go tell them, but lift them up and lift labors up in prayer.

And notice what Jesus says to focus your prayers on specifically. He says, the harvest is plenteous, but the labors are few. There's a problem with workers. Well, what's wrong? Well, there's not enough people going and sharing.

There's not a problem with the source. The seed is powerful enough. There's just not enough farmers. We just need more people to go. And he says, so pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth labors into this harvest field. Pray for labors.

Sheep need shepherds. Springfield, Ohio needs a good church. Fairborn needs a good church. Yellow Springs. Yellow Springs needs a church.

Let me ask you a question. What's the difference between Yellow Springs and Cedarville? There's churches, and then there's a big university in one city that preaches the gospel, and there's another city that preaches a godless gospel, anti-gospel. You have Antioch and Cedarville, right? Cedarville needs a church. Maybe I need to go start a church in Cedarville, or not Cedarville, but Yellow Springs.

Maybe I need to leave Xenia and go to Yellow Springs. If God wants me to do that, I'd do that. So if you don't want me to leave here, you need to start praying for labors that God would raise up. If you're not praying for labors, you need to begin to do that.

You need to get really passionate about that. Because I think a church that doesn't pray faithfully, God will end up sending people out. So listen, we need to pray, God, raise up pastors, raise up missionaries, raise up evangelists, raise them up. God, raise them up. I have begged God that he would raise up pastors and teachers and missionaries, evangelists.

I plead with him every week. Call young men into the ministry. Call preachers out of this church to start churches, to evangelize pastor's wife, missionaries' wives, missionaries, evangelists.

Call them out of Lighthouse. I had a young man come to me this last week sit down. He says, I, for the first time, believe God has called me to start a church. And I was thinking in my mind, praise God, because I pray for that.

Not for this individual specifically, but just for that generally. I'm praying that God will call some of you into the ministry to surrender to him full-time. You say, well, that scares me to death. Good. But all of us are to be full-time employees for him, aren't we?

Wherever you work at. Pray for spiritual leaders. Pray for that. Jesus commissions 12 guys in chapter 10.

This is a dynamic time going through this in chapter 10. But you need to understand that God uses normal people to reach this world with the gospel. And not only do we depend upon the Lord, but we depend also upon labor. Jesus wasn't going to reach the world just by himself. He chose to use people to preach. He trained guys for the ministry, and we'll see that in the coming weeks. You know who he shares this with?

He doesn't share this with the crowds. He shares it with his disciples in verse 37. Then saith he to his disciples, the harvest is plenteous. And you know what the harvest is? The Bible and the harvest, it could be those who are ready to be saved, but it's also those who are going to face judgment.

And so I think it's a dual reality there. The harvest is those who will perish in judgment as well as those who will be saved. And so go into the harvest field, and you go with the seed of the gospel, Matthew 13. It is what brings salvation. So if you don't want to waste your life, if you don't want to waste your life today on this Memorial Day weekend as we have time to reflect upon those who've given their life, be a person of resilience. Don't quit. You do not quit. Whatever happens, discouragement, opposition, you never quit.

You die on the track. Secondly, you stay focused. You never stop focusing on what is the most important thing. You lift up the Word of God in your life. Don't so saturate yourself with the Word of God that it just pours out of your life onto those around you. You fill your heart up with compassion, compassion from God. The Bible says some having compassion make a difference. Look upon this world with eyes like God looked upon it.

And if you don't have those eyes, plead with God to give you them, because when you begin to pray, once you have compassion, you'll go into dependency and be a dependent person because once you begin to pray and plead with God for labor, what you'll do is this. Lord, I have a burden now for my neighbors. I used to not think about it. I used to stand their dog and the way they parked and how they mowed and flung grass out on the street and never got rid of their dandelions.

They float over here and the leaves fell in the fall and they blew over here. And now I don't care about all that physical stuff because that doesn't mean anything 100 years from now. I care about that soul that's across the street. Those little boys that drove me nuts, now I want to know, do they know Jesus?

Do you have those eyes? Become dependent upon God. Begin to pray.

And you know what you're going to say? God, send somebody to share with them. Send somebody. Lord, here am I. Send me. Lord, I'll go.

I'll go. And I pray that's your heart today. I pray that your coworkers couldn't work around you for too long without them knowing that you know about Jesus Christ. I'm not saying you go to work this week and you preach the gospel to everybody in the world real loud. No, you go to work to work, but you fill your life up so much with Jesus and his word that it just kind of pours out. And the way you work, the labor you do, your work ethic, your manners, the way you carry yourself, the way you pray before your lunch, the way you talk about things, the way you don't have worry like the world has, they begin to see you not being so riveted by what the world is riveted by, but you're so gripped by God that they'd say something's different about you. How do you handle those things? And when their marriage starts falling apart, you're the person they go to. And when their finances are a mess and their mind's out of their head and their kids are falling apart, you're the person they call. And they see something so stable in your life that they must have that.

That's what happens. That's let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and then they'll glorify your Father in heaven. You know what? We're just a little shepherd boy, aren't we? Not much to us, but praise God, he's chosen to use the weak things that confound the wise. And I pray that some of us would cast our souls at the altar of God today and say, Lord, here am I.

Whatever you want, send me. Let's all stand as we close today. Father, we thank you for your word today. Just want to thank you, Lord Jesus.

You are so amazing. Your word never returns void. I pray today that it would have lasting, eternal impacts that go far beyond a Sunday in May of 2023.

There would be people in this room that would be so affected by you. Draw hearts to you today. Raise up godly servants. Our world, America is sinking on the inside.

This nation has got stage four terminal cancer on the inside. And Lord, we have the remedy and it's the gospel and I pray that you would help us to go into this field of this world and we would bring them the gospel. Lord, do a work that is only, that can only be said that God must have done that. Lord, I pray that as the years roll on that men and women will be trained in the ministry here.

They will go out and do eternal work. So that one day when we lay on our dying bed and those last breaths are going from our life, we can say, praise God I lived like that. Praise God I did that. Thank you, God. Let us not waste our life. In Jesus' name.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-04 22:20:33 / 2023-06-04 22:46:30 / 26

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