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Finding Your Priorities Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2020 1:00 am

Finding Your Priorities Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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October 23, 2020 1:00 am

In the body of Christ, the strong help the weak, and the healthy help the ailing. Today we learn about some practical ways we can support each other in times of need.

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Marie Torres looking to Jesus in the body of Christ, strong and healthy. Sometimes economic hardship will, and so today will hear about some practical ways we can support each other in times of me. Please stay with the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to serve sauce make it across the finish line have all been through times of crisis.

In these times can be real opportunities to display what it belonged to the body of Christ. Talk about a time of crisis. COBIT 19 is not only a health crisis. It's an economic crisis, the suffering, the pain, the unanswered questions go on for a long time in our country is hurting and this is an opportunity for the body of Jesus Christ to live differently back in 1537, Martin Luther was told that he should get out of Wittenberg.

When the plague came but he said if I lay down my life helping others. I will have died a good death because greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

While this is the kind of encouragement. I given a new book I've written entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters. What is God saying to us.

Five chapters are devoted to what God says about these terrible events for a gift of any amount.

This book can be yours and I need to tell you that you're going to be encouraged because I'm to talk about a hope that really does endure, go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now we go to the pulpit of Moody church and learn how the body of Christ should function exhorts, in his exhortation he who gives, let them do it with liberality.

Most of the getting in the early church was secret, some of it may not have been, but the person was the gift of giving usually does it secretly is not like the person who stood up in a meeting and said you know I would like to give $100 to this project that I would like to do it anonymously cannot live like that and I notice it is he who leads, do it with diligent he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness and and so those of the seven gifts and and what I interpret Paul to be saying is that if you want to know the will of God. If you want to know where you fit, you must know yourself and you must know where you fit and how you serve within the body.

Paul is really saying is, first of all you submit and then you serve.

And that's the order.

Now let's look at the continuation of these verses Paul now goes on to show that we should support one another. Because remember, we are not a law unto ourselves. I pick up the text in verse nine let love be without high hypocrisy. There is a kind of love that is very hypocritical. There is a kind of service that that does it out of a sense of duty, but pretends that the it is being done out of love of the horror. What is evil. My that text in itself could be a message today rather than loving what is evil. We should uphold or get and cling to what is good.

Be devoted one to another in brotherly love give preference to one another in honor not lagging back and diligence but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.

Be of the same mind what's Paul getting what he saying is, is that it isn't enough simply to serve. He says you must serve in relationship to the entire body. He says you must serve to support others, you must serve in such a way that you become concerned about the other cells of the body that are around you because we are working at this together now looking at your Bible one more time in the 12 chapter, I want you to notice something in chapter 12 verse 20 said present your bodies a living sacrifice in verse four he talks about the body of Christ he says are just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so also that we are many, are one body in Christ. Paul seems to be saying is that the reason we should give our bodies to God is because our bodies are actually the body of Jesus Christ. This is Christ on earth. You and I are Christ on earth. I don't need to say at all that we are defined by Christ is, but we are his representatives. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

We are that body of the human body heals itself.

In fact, they have the ability of the body to heal itself. This is awesome.

It is, it is something that scientists can't explain because you see they can create various elements they could.

They can put something together that is perhaps as strong as a phone, but when it breaks it can heal itself.

Yet God has given the body the ability to heal itself, so that if it functions properly. It can be healthy and strong and impact society and to impact the world want us to consider for a moment the body gathered, the body gathered. That means us together on Sundays during the week, small groups, that's the body gathered reason that the body gathers is to grow and become strong so that if you have a broken bone. It is our responsibility to restore you to help you to fix it. Some of you have slipped in life, heaven. You may have slipped morally or you have slipped spiritually and and you feel as if you are now no longer a part of the body or that for that you can never really be stored in a full sense to the body. It's our responsibility to help you to do that your pulses in Galatians, that if any of you fall as if anyone is overtaken in all you who are spiritual restore such an one with the spirit of meekness, with the recognition that you yourself might be tempted when you have a broken bone. It has to be set tenderly. You don't want somebody to take a crowbar and to try to set it and where in the bone setting business.

So if you fall in, we want to restore you if you have a disease we want to heal you by giving you the right nutrients by giving you the right vitamins through the right teaching through the right fellowship through the right interaction in our Sunday schools and the ABF in the small groups in the choir in all of our relationships when we want to do is to help you be shield now. Sometimes the body has a malignancy and those are some cells that have just decided they're going to do their own thing and not think of the good of the body and that malignancy such as cancer. These are healthy cells but they no longer are acting for the good of the body what they're saying to themselves is working to do our own thing and were going to become strong in ourselves now. That's why there are times when the body needs church discipline. Apostle Paul says in first grade.

In chapter 5 regarding a man who needed discipline in the church.

It was overlooking it. He says a little leaven leavens the whole lump.

So get rid of that man not getting rid of him permanently, but to restore him. Cut yourself off from him and excommunicate him from the church. So that's a part of our responsibility to see what God is saying is that we need each other.

We need to submit. We need to serve and then we need to support a be devoted to one another, rejoice with them that rejoice and weep with them that we bring everybody along as the body grows today in your bulletin you have a statement of our vision for Moody church and I hope that you take it home and memorize it. It is to be known in Chicago as a caring, culturally diverse community and a lot of weight rests on that word, community because this isn't simply an AE and ordinary community. This is a community that has been bonded together by Christ him self and that we might represent Christ through a clear witness quality ministries and individual lifestyles don't overlook that because there is such a thing as the church gathered, but there is also the church scattered the church gathered on Sunday. The church scattered on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and that's where ministry happens. That's where there is the fire of God in the life of Moody church.

Remember when Jesus went to his hometown and he took the scroll from the synagogue and he began to read instructive as to what the people said they didn't have any complaint about what he was reading, but what they said was a crazy doing that. This is the carpenter's son. Carpenters aren't supposed to read the Bible. This is for the priests, my friend. Today, the average person in the city of Chicago thinks this.

Why are you talking about God and you're just a carpenter, pastors and priests are supposed to be doing that.

I want you to know today that no matter what we preach. No matter what we saying no matter what happens within this building. We will never impact the city of Chicago for Christ until there is a vision of every single person believing that he or she has been planted by God in their community and in their vocation to represent Jesus, Christ, until every carpenter knows that he is a carpenter for Christ until every banker knows that he is a banker for Christ until every hospital worker knows that he or she works there for Christ until every hairdresser knows that he or she is there for Jesus Christ.

We will never enliven the city of Chicago and the city will never talk about Christ because we are his representatives. Ever notice this turn to acts which is a book just before the book of Romans, and let's look at verse one the book of acts, verse one. Now the book of acts was written by Luke, just as the book of Luke by Luke, but notice what Luke says in verse one of acts. He says the first account I have composed. Theophilus, Theophilus, that word means lover of God be a nice name to name a son. Theophilus, about all that Jesus began both to do and to teach what he saying is I wrote the book of Luke to tell you the things that Jesus be and to do and to teach. Now the book of Luke ends with the ascension. Could it be that what Jesus Christ began. He doesn't finish. They begin something and then ended halfway no, the book of acts is a continuation of what Jesus began both to do and to teach you see the body of Jesus Christ that physical body that was raised from the dead is now in heaven, but Christ says I am on earth just as surely as I was during my in Carnation because I am now there in the lives of my people and they are my body and they continue to do and to teach what I began to read it in the book of acts and that you read it through 2000 years of church history with varying degrees of success and failure, the church continues the work of Christ, my friend. Today will you remember that you have been created by God for his glory. You have been saved for his glory and now you represent Christ for his glory where ever where ever you may work serve or live. You represent.

So Paul is saying. First of all, submit yourself to God, submit yourself to God. Give your body to God simply say Lord all that I am all that I have all that I ever hope to be my gift to you. And if there are some mountains in your life that you think God cannot overcome. I want you to see today that God is is greater than those mountains. Of limitation greater than those mountains of sin. God is greater you submit. Secondly, God wants you to serve. Find out what your gift is then you support support, let there be no person who has broken a bone, but that there is someone who is willing to help be restored. Let there be no person who is lonely or feels rejected, but that someone is willing to make them a part of the circle again. We support at recognizing that the purpose of it all is that we might glorify God through representing him.

When the church is scattered gathered today scattered tomorrow. Some of you may know the story of the church in Berlin. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church built in honor of Kaiser Wilhelm the first, which you can go and you can see reliefs of the Kaiser and Christ together because in those days the nationalism of Germany was such that it was believed that those who died in World War I were actually martyrs for Jesus Christ, but nevertheless the church was terribly bombed during the war and you'll never understand the extent to which the bomb damage really happened. Unless you see a picture of how it originally looked in and only really a part. The part that supports the steeple is still there and the people of Berlin decided that they would not restore the church completely. They would allow all the bomb damage to be there as a memorial to World War II with the hope that it would never happen again in the church. There is a statue of Christ which during the bombing fell in his right arm was broken off and they were going to restore the statue and finally they decided no we won't.

And they haven't go there to Berlin today and you can see the statue's Christ stands there, but without right arm is what the people wanted to say is that we are is our we are his arm and that's the bottom line we are his body. We are his own.

If anyone is going to minister to unwed mothers. We are the ones who are going to be doing that if anyone is going to be ministering to single mothers whose husbands have left them we are the ones who are going to do the ministry because we are Christ to that person.

If anyone is going to minister to those who are broken in body and broken in spirit and helplessly addicted. We are going to be doing the ministering because we are the hand of Christ is body.

If anyone is going to have to know the good news of the gospel and how they can connect to God and become a part of them. We are going to do that because we are is body tomorrow morning I'm going to think about the members of Moody Church in my heart is going to well up with praise and gratitude to God, knowing that the church gathered is now the church scattered with with not just a representative of Jesus Christ located here singing the songs and listening to the message, but we are now scattered throughout greater Chicago everywhere being Christ being the body energizing giving life restoring and blessing that that is our calling when we find where we fit will dive without regrets. Let's pray together. Our father, we thank you that very graciously you have allowed us the privilege of living in a day and age when the body of Christ is so sorely needed in our broken world. When we think of the pain of abuse and we think of the heart wrenching decisions that people have made the, the mothers who have had abortions who need to be restored and need to be affirmed.

Know that they're forgiven and cleansed and we think of all the fathers who neglected their children. Where can we even begin the needs are so great, but we thank you today that you've called us to do your work and to continue what you have begun. Lord everybody is coming out of the closets.

Today we pray that believers might come out of the closets and may your grace and your love extended to all.

We pray in Jesus name will my friend, this is Pastor Luther and I need to ask have you ever lived at a time when the world has been so needy: 19 has wreaked havoc throughout the world.

What the world needs is the body of Jesus Christ to function.

But in order for us to function.

We need hope.

Sometimes we hear preachers say oh you know just trust God while you trust God, does that mean that you're going to get your job back. Does that mean that you're going to be healed. That mean that all of your prayers are going to be answered no, what I discuss in my book entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters. What is God saying to us by their show that God has given us a hold that endures to the end, no matter how difficult life is God is called us to this moment and for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here is what you do go to RTW that's RTW and I'll give you time to get a pencil or a pen to write down also this phone number 1-888-218-9337. The book is pandemics plagues and natural disasters and that number 1-888-218-9337 it's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life when helping others begins to hurt when is enough enough. Linda listens to running to win in Lincoln Nebraska and has the story.

I have a needy neighbor when I try to help by giving him groceries I run out of food. When have you helped too much.

When do you need to stop giving and care for yourself, Linda, first of all I want to commend you because obviously you are a woman who has a great deal of compassion there plenty of people who would see the very same situation as you do, they would see this man in need and they would find opportunity to pass by on the other side, reminding us of course, of the parable.

The Jesus Christ told of the good Samaritan.

It seems however as if you have gone to the opposite extreme. Maybe you've helped too much. In fact, that's the question that you are asking. So let me give you a couple of thoughts I hope will help you. First of all, let us make sure that when we help others we don't simply contribute to their codependency. Now I don't know whether you're doing that because I don't know the situation. I don't know this man's needs, but it is possible you know for people to get so used to having others serve them that they forget that they also have responsibility. So you need to be sure that you take care of that. Secondly, if you have a family, remember that your first obligation is to them. You can help others, but in terms of obligation. When do you stop if you yourself run out of food well, there's an obligation there to your husband and to your children. Finally, I'd suggest that you do both. Do what you can to help this friend across the street but take care of yourself as well so that the conflict does not become an either or that you, with the help of the Holy Spirit and wisdom are able to balance both obligations.

Thank you Linda for your compassion and thank you Pastor Luther for your answer. If you'd like to hear your question answered. You can just go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Our lives are the books people read every day those outside the church are drawn to experience the love that we as believers share next time I'm running to win a look at why we do what we do and what her underlying motive must be. If we are to reach the lost. Join us for Erwin Luther's fourth and final message the motivation of love.

Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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