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Faithful to Jesus – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
March 6, 2022 3:00 pm

Faithful to Jesus – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz. Faithful to Jesus. Last time, Anne talked about having a purpose-driven life that is established in worship. As she continues her message today, she begins with her second point, walking with God. So let's join Anne now from Hebrews chapter 11.

So if you want to turn to Hebrews 11, I see five categories that I want to pull out. A purpose-driven life is one that's established in worship. The first step of real worship, you worship in spirit and in truth.

When did you do that? When did you place your faith in Jesus as your own Savior and your own Lord? And a purpose-driven life is one that walks with God. By faith, Enoch was taken from this life so that he did not experience death. He could not be found because God had taken him away. And if you go back to Genesis 5, you find him in that genealogy. And Enoch was 65 when he began walking with God. And he began walking with God when his son was born. And his son was named Methuselah, which I can't imagine naming a child Methuselah, but he did.

And looking at this little baby who had a name bigger than he was, and Enoch just must have been overwhelmed. How do I raise a godly child in this ungodly culture? He's living in Cain's civilization.

Godless culture. How do I raise this godly child? And so he began walking with God. When you walk with God, you walk at his pace, which means step-by-step obedience to his word. How can you walk at his pace if you're not reading his word and you have to read it every day to know where he's going and the pace he's walking at?

So applying it to your life, living it out. So you walk at his pace and walk in his direction. I surrender my will to him. So I'm not trying to get him to go in my direction.

I'm not insisting on what I want, trying to force him to do what my will is. But I surrender my will to him, and I think that takes prayer. How will we know what his will is unless we're in the word and we're prayerfully thinking it through and asking him to lead us and walking with God every day, reading your Bible, praying, keeping his pace, surrender to his will. Enoch did that for 300 years. He walked with God every day for 300 years. And one day God just became more real to him than anything else, and Enoch just walked right into heaven. He's one of two men in scripture we know that never died.

Elijah is one, but Enoch is the other one. God just took him home. And I've walked with God for a long time. I haven't gotten to that point yet, but I love spending time with him, and I love keeping pace with him.

I love going in his direction because his direction is so much better than what I could have thought of. So can I ask you, how's your devotional life? How's your walk?

Is it inconsistent? You're stumbling, limping, up and down, up and down. And if you feel like it today, you have it. If you don't feel like it, you don't.

If you do feel it, you know. And I pray that after this weekend, one of the things you're going to do is go home and you set a time. So it can be in the morning. I meet the Lord in the morning.

The woman who taught me to teach, A. Wetherill Johnson, who founded Bible Study Fellowship, she said, why tune your violin when the symphony is over? After you've messed up your day, that's when you have your devotions. So why not just have your devotions at the beginning of the day?

Maybe you won't mess it up so bad. So I have my time with the Lord in the morning before I begin my day. Jesus began so many of his days with the Lord in the mountains and the hills. David began in the morning. Moses went up Mount Sinai in the morning. Joshua was called to meet with the Lord in the morning. Just so many examples in scripture. David in the Psalms, early, will I seek you.

But if that's not a good time for you, then noon, maybe, or night, whatever time it is, you decide. And if you're going to have a purpose-driven life, you're going to be worshiping, you're going to be walking, and you're going to be working. This is Noah. In verse 7, by faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen in holy fear, built an ark to save his family. And you know the story of Noah.

It's a great story. I love Noah, the only one in his generation who was holy and blameless and righteous, and he walked with God. And one day he was walking with God, and God said, Noah, I just want to share with you, and this is my paraphrase of course, but what's on my heart, and what's burdening me, and it's judgments. And I've looked at the world that's wicked. They only do evil all the time continuously, and I'm grieved that I made man, and I'm going to destroy everything in the world, everything that has breath I'm going to destroy. So judgments on my mind. And then he said, but salvation from judgment is also on my mind, and I want you to build an ark. I want people to be saved who would come into the ark and escape the judgment. And the Bible says in Genesis 6 and Genesis 7, Noah did everything exactly the way God told him to.

Everything. And Noah, he had never seen a big body of water. It had never rained at that point. I don't think he was a zookeeper. I don't know if he was a carpenter. And yet he built that ark. Took him 120 years. Where did he get the labors? Did he have to work during the day to make the money to pay for somebody to help him at night and for the materials? And I know he pulled his sons into it, but they were born when he was doing it, so it took him a while to grow up to help him. And you know, just, I mean it was full time.

Totally consumed him. And then Peter says in 2 Peter that Noah was a preacher of righteousness, so I can imagine him standing in the door of the ark as it was getting completed, preaching to his generation, judgment's coming. Judgment's coming. Come into the ark. You can be saved. Come into the ark.

You'll be saved from the judgment that's coming. And the people, I wonder if they gathered, sold tickets, you know, had cotton candy and stuff. Just look at this crazy old fool out here in the middle of this desert building this huge ship.

And what is he thinking? And you know, they laughed at him, they mocked him, and finally God said, Noah, that's enough. And God said, bring your family in. And Noah's family, and it's interesting, this pastor said he built the ark for the saving of his family. So I don't know if he thought that anybody else would come, but nobody else did.

But his family did. And all of those animals. And then God shut the door. And the judgment that everybody said was not coming came.

Everything outside that ark that had breath was destroyed. So if Noah hadn't worked for the Lord, you and I wouldn't be here. So I wonder who would be saved if you would work for the Lord. And what is the work that you're doing for him? My mother had a sign over the kitchen sink, and I put it over mine, divine service will be rendered here three times daily. So I know housework can be work for the Lord. But I'm thinking of work outside your home, outside your business, outside your career.

Something you would just do for the Lord, you wouldn't do it for anybody else, but you'd do it for him. Maybe it's something in your church. Maybe you're one of the rapid response team for Samaritan's Purse or BGA. Maybe you go on a short term missions project. Maybe you call your pastor and say, I just want to do something for the Lord.

What can I do? What can I help with in the church? And you just work for the salvation of somebody else. Can I tell you something? Judgment is coming. Judgment is coming on America and judgment is coming on this world, but in particular on America. We're a covenant nation.

We're one nation under God. We're in a moral and spiritual free fall. And we cannot say the things and do the things and legalize the things and flaunt the things that we're doing and think God's going to turn his back. Judgment is coming. Judgment is on the mind of God. And I know, I walk with God and I'm telling you, I know that.

But just as surely as I know judgment's on his mind, I know also salvation from judgment is on his mind. But he needs a Noah. Somebody who'll say, here's the ark.

And you know the ark is Jesus, right? Jesus is the only one who can save us from the judgment that's coming either at our death or if it comes before on America. And it doesn't mean he'll necessarily prevent bad things from happening to us. But he's going to be with us in the middle of those bad things.

He's going to see us through. And if you remember, it doesn't matter because we don't belong here anyway. We're going home. We're strangers and aliens in this land of ours as much as I love America. And I love America.

This is not my home. I'm going to heaven. So Noah worked for the Lord. Would you ask God maybe to bring to your attention something you can do for him?

Something you can do that would offer salvation to somebody who's coming under judgment. And then a purpose-driven life is also, and I didn't know exactly how to describe Abraham, but I put it through wanting because Abraham wanted God's blessing. He wanted God's promises more than he wanted what he wanted.

He wanted it more than anything. So when he was living in Ur of the Chaldees and God leaned out of heaven and said, if you'll follow me in a life of obedient faith, I'll bless you. I'll give you a seed through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

I'll give you descendants like the stars of the sky. Abraham left Ur. And he was a wealthy man and a wealthy family. And it was a very up and coming city.

It was one of the centers of trade and everything in that day. And Abraham left it. He left everything behind. Let me read verse 8. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, he obeyed and went. Even though he did not know where he was going, just by faith, just God, you say for me to leave, I'm leaving and I'll follow you in a life of obedient faith one step at a time, even though I don't know where the next step is taking me, I just trust you. And he set out by faith and he followed the Lord and let everything go. In verse 9, by faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country. He lived in tents. And if you remember in Genesis chapter 13, his old nephew Lot's been tagging along and Lot has become very wealthy and Abraham has become very wealthy. They have lots of flocks and herds and their herdsmen begin to fight with each other.

And Abraham said we can't have this because this is a bad testimony in front of those who are watching. And Lot, you just look out there. You choose the land you want. If you go right, I'll go left.

If you go left, I'll go right. And Abraham was the one God had called. He had the right of first choice. But Lot, this little nephew, looked out and he saw all of the plain of Jordan and he took it all. All the best land he took for himself.

And it included Sodom of course to his destruction. And Abraham was left sitting in a tent under an oak tree with nothing to show for everything. And God comes to him and says, Abraham, I want you to walk north and south and east and west. Every place you put your foot I'm going to give to you.

I'm going to give this land to you and your descendants. And Abraham wanted what God wanted him to have more than he wanted what he could grab for himself. And he let go.

Let Lot have what he got and that turned to ashes and lots of hand. But Abraham was willing to let everything go because he wanted what God wanted. And verse 9, he lived in tents.

He just separated from the world around him. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God. He was heaven bound, you know, looking for heaven, living for another place. And then in verse 17 and 19, finally, I started to label this waiting because sometimes God gives us a promise and we wait and we wait. And I think waiting is one of the hardest things to do in the Christian life. Just waiting on God.

And sometimes he can seem so slow. And Abraham waited 25 years for that seed, for that descendant in whom all the promises of God would be fulfilled. The one that would be the first descendant that would lead to the multitude. And yes he had Ishmael, but that wasn't the son of the promise. It wasn't the son in which the covenant blessings rested. 25 years later, he and Sarah had Isaac. And they named him Laughter, such joy at his birth. This was the child God had promised him when he left Ur of the Chaldees.

This is what he had wanted more than life itself. This is the one through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. This was the one that would begin the beginning of all those descendants. When Isaac was, I don't know, 13, 14, God came to Abraham. And chapter 22 of Genesis said God tested Abraham.

God tests his children, you know that. And he said, Abraham, I want you to take your son, your only son, the son whom you love, take him up to Mount Moriah and sacrifice him to me. And Abraham did. He didn't discuss it with Sarah.

I can imagine what she would have said. He just packed up his donkey, got the fire and the knife and took the servants and Isaac and they went up Mount Moriah and Isaac said, Father, where is the lamb for the sacrifice? And Abraham said, Son, God will provide himself a lamb. And they got on the top and he put Isaac on the altar. He lifted his knife to kill Isaac, to slay him on the altar as God said and God stayed his hand and said, Abraham, Abraham, now that I know you've not withheld your son, your only son, the son whom you love from me, I'm going to pour out my blessing. I'm going to pour out my blessing.

You're going to have more descendants than the stars of the sky. Abraham, you can just hear heavens to falls. Well done, well done because Abraham had proved he wanted what God wanted more than what he wanted. And God was testing him, do you love what I've given you more than me?

Do you want what you want more than what I want you to have? And Abraham passed the test with flying colors. And did you know there was a ram that was caught in the thicket? God didn't provide a lamb at that time, did he?

It was a ram. But Abraham sacrificed the ram and it was 1700 years later, God provided himself a lamb on the altar. Beautiful picture of Abraham and Isaac of the father sacrificing the son.

But Abraham shows us what it means to really want the things of God more than what we want. Remember hearing a pastor interviewed, he was famous for discipling young men. He would take in two or three into his home every year and disciple them for a year and then turn them out. And they asked him, what do you look for? What's the criteria when you're looking for a young man to disciple like that? And I was thinking discipline and, you know, whatever, whatever. And he said the number one criteria is that the young man has to want to be a disciple.

And I thought, bingo. We have to want what God wants more than what we want. And when Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees, he wanted the things of God. He wanted the promises of God.

He wanted the blessings of God more than anything that the world would have to offer. And let God have everything. There's such freedom in letting him have everything. You don't have to guard it. You don't have to wonder about what's going to happen to it. You just give it to God.

Let him have it. And I can tell you that what he wants for you is much greater than you could ever want for yourself. So the last one is through witnessing that a purpose driven life is not only one that worships and walks and works and wants, but witnesses. And I see three of these men, we're not going to go through all these characters, just these last three, but that who witnessed, and it was interesting, they all witnessed on their deathbed.

And of course, you know, as I get older and my health has challenges, who knows when that time will come. And each one of these men, knowing their time was short, reached out to bless their children, their grandchildren, and future generations. And Isaac was the first one in verse 20 when he blessed his children. And in verse 20, it says, By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their futures.

And I don't know if you remember that story. It's very interesting, but Isaac was a beautiful type of Christ when he lay on that altar. But when he grew up, he was sort of a mediocre man. You know, he was sandwiched between a great man, Abraham, a great man, Jacob, but he's sort of weak, actually. And as he grew older, he was blind and sort of self-centered, and he had two sons, Esau and Jacob, and he played favorites. And Esau was his favorite.

Esau was outdoorsy, and he was rough and tough, and everything that Jacob wasn't. And so Isaac called Esau to him, and he said, Esau, if you'll make me some of that porridge that I like, then I'll give you the birthright. Now, Isaac knew the birthright went to Jacob.

He knew that God had said that Jacob was to have it, but he said, I'll give you the birthright, the promises of God, the blessings of God. And so Esau went out to get the venison and make the porridge and all that, and in the meantime, Rebekah, Isaac's wife, hears what Isaac has done, and so she quick grabs Jacob, and she says, Jacob, put some hair on your arms and put some of Esau's clothes on so you smell like him, and I'll make the porridge. And Jacob, dressed as Esau, took it into Isaac, and he couldn't see.

Isaac was blind, and so he said, come near, you know. And he grabbed him, and he felt him, and he was hairy like Esau, and he smelled like Esau, and he said, well, you smell and feel like Esau, but the voice is the voice of Jacob. But Jacob fooled him and brought him the porridge, and so Isaac blessed Jacob, gave Jacob the birthright, gave him the blessing, gave him the promises of God, just as God had said he needed to do, but Isaac had tried to thwart that. So Jacob went out, here comes Esau, and Esau said, Father, here's the porridge I brought, and I want you to bless me. And Isaac said, I've just blessed you.

And he said, no, Father, I've been out making the stew, here's the stew I've just eaten. And then Isaac knew what had happened, and it says in the Bible that he shook like a leaf, and when he trembled so violently, because he knew he had been coming up against God, and God had overruled him. And so right then, he broke before God, and he humbled himself, and he brought his boys in, and he blessed them the way God said he should bless them. Isaac gave his sons his blessing, and then Jacob was Isaac's son. He had 12 sons, and he was off in exile for 20 years, because Esau was going to kill him after he stole his birthright, and he had to leave for 20 years, came back, came to the Jabbok River, if you remember, he was going to come into the Promised Land and claim his blessing, and God met him there, and they wrestled all night until God broke Jacob. He couldn't go in his self-reliance, his own strength, his manipulative character, and God broke him, and Jacob clung to him, and God said, Now I'm going to change your name. You're no longer Jacob, just manipulative and scheming and conniving.

I'm going to name you Israel. You're a prince who has power with God, and a person who has power with God is someone who surrendered to God. And Jacob surrendered to God, and from that point on, he was a spiritual man. But he played favorites with his sons too, just like his father had done. And he had 12 sons, but his favorite was his 11th son, Joseph. He made him a coat of many colors, you know, and talked about him and bragged on him and all that, and the 10 older boys hated Joseph. So they hated him so much that they grabbed him and sold him into slavery. And he ended up on the auction block down in Egypt, and the 10 boys told their father, Jacob, that he had been killed by wild animals, and that's what Jacob believed for many years. And in the meantime, Joseph is down in Egypt, and you know the story of Joseph when he's in Potiphar's house and ruling over everything, and Potiphar's wife sexually harasses him, and when he resists her advances, then she accuses him of rape, and he runs away.

He's arrested, put in prison. I know Potiphar knew what his wife was like, so anyway, put him in the king's prison, and the warden there recognized who Joseph was and all of his gifting and put him in charge of the prison. So Joseph was in prison or Potiphar's house for 13 years. That's a long time, but he had put his faith down in God's word. God had told him as a boy that he would be a leader, and he put his faith down in God's word.

He led in Potiphar's house. He led in Pharaoh's prison, and then came the day when the doors flung open, and they said, Pharaoh's calling for you, and he goes out and just in one hour's time becomes a prime minister of Egypt and saves Egypt from famine and also his family. And you know that beautiful story of reconciliation when the family comes down on three different trips, and finally they're all reconciled, and Jacob comes down, and he's dying, and he calls his grandchildren to him. Verse 21, by faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. And we see Jacob, this old man, leaning on his staff, and he calls Ephraim and Manasseh to him, and he blesses Joseph's children, his grandchildren.

And if you want to see two blessings, look up in the Old Testament, I forgot to get the reference, but the blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh, and one is a blessing where you can forget your past, and the other is a blessing that you look forward to all that God has for you in the future. And he blessed these two boys. They became two of the strongest tribes in Israel. And then the last one is Joseph himself. And this is so interesting because he was there until he died.

But anyway, in verse 22, it says, by faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exit of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones. So he's the prime minister of Egypt. He saved Egypt from famine. He saved his family. Now his family is all down there.

They're multiplying. They're becoming a nation within a nation, and Joseph is getting ready to die. And he says, listen, when I die, don't bury me in a pyramid. You can embalm me, that's okay, but just don't bury me in a pyramid. I want, when you are delivered, when you go back to Canaan, I know you're going back to the promised land because God has given us that land. He put his faith down in the word of God.

He said, I want to go back too. So you take my bones with you. Four hundred years later, when Moses is raised up as the deliverer, and he delivers God's people from bondage in Egypt, and they go through the Red Sea on dry ground. They wander through the wilderness for 40 years, and then Joshua takes them into the promised land.

All that time they're carrying Joseph's bones with them. And it's a witness to future generations that he had put his faith in God's word. He wanted to be a part of the people of God. He wanted to be where God said he would bless us.

And what are you leaving behind for future generations? So be faithful to Jesus. And a life that leaves a godly legacy and an ungodly world is faithful to Jesus. And our faith is anchored in his word, and we have a purpose-driven life.

We live for his glory, and that's characterized by worshiping and walking and working and wanting and witnessing. And then lastly, it's a heaven-bound life. And heaven-bound, we keep eternity in view. So all of these men kept in mind heaven. They had eternity in view. They were heaven-bound by living a purpose-driven life, characterized by worshiping and walking and working and wanting and witnessing, and then through a glory-bound, heaven-bound life. Whether we're successful, whether we're not, whether we feel good, whether we don't, we just know we're going home to where we belong. So would you stay faithful to Jesus until the day you see him face to face? Be sure to take advantage of all that's available for you at Ann Graham From Ann's blog, her messages, Bible studies, books, and videos, all will give you a deeper, richer relationship with Jesus through God's word. And thanks for joining us today for Living in the Light.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-26 23:39:40 / 2023-05-26 23:50:22 / 11

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