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Developing A Support System Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 2, 2021 1:00 am

Developing A Support System Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 2, 2021 1:00 am

When times are good, it’s easy to rely on ourselves. But when calamity strikes, you need a support system around you. The prophet Jeremiah compares this to being like a tree next to a stream, drawing nourishment so it can survive the drought. Believers facing a tough future need each other more than ever. This means connecting with fellow believers so that we can all bear fruit.

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One reason for us to Jesus. When times are good. It's not hard to go it alone when calamity is you need support system around you prophet Jeremiah compares this to being like a tree next to a stream drawing nourishment can survive a drought.

This means connecting with other believers so that we can all their moving church in Chicago when Sir where teaching helps us make it last as pastor loser if I hear you right this is no time for a believer driving over the long will Dave, you're absolutely right. It's very dangerous for people to say I'm going alone and you will. The Internet has made it very possible for people to listen to worship services. In fact, many worship services and they might say to themselves.

I don't need to be a part of a local body that would be a mistake because God says we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, I think we all agree that there is something about being together seeing people praying together singing together that grants us strength. You know were coming to the end of the series of messages entitled famines, deserts and other hard places and for gift of any amount. These messages can be yours. And by the way, this is one of the last times we are making it available.

Here's what you do go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let us listen carefully and let us ask ourselves what we can learn from the words of Jeremiah about trees and streams talk to people who struggle with suicide, and what do they want to do.

They want to get away from all the people that are around them. Why they feel uncomfortable especially in the presence of those who are rejoicing. I remember one woman tried to commit suicide. Her pills for the deed were in her purse and she came into a meeting everybody was singing that old chorus that we used to sing as children or adults almost say, but I'm glad I'm glad any of you remember that how many of you remember that all about 14 of you that tells me what category I will say that I'm glad I'm glad she said she felt like shouting those say that I'm mad I'm mad hard to be around. Glad people when you're mad.

The worst thing that you can do is to withdraw the people of God. Years ago I use this illustration. I checked it yesterday on the Internet those redwood trees in California that I visited once some of them can grow up to 355 and so the question was in the essay that I read about them.

How can they maintain that how they manage that with all that weight. Tons and tons of weight they said two things. First of all, they grow closely together and secondly their roots are intermingled.

So even though the roots are very deep. They said 12 to 18 feet, which really is not very deep at all, considering other trees. They said that the intermingling of the roots.

And then of course you can have one tree that's next to the stream and that tree begins to draw nourishment and pretty soon it is watering other trees as well and and they are receiving very nourishment even though they may be further up the hill on a desert. They are receiving their nourishment through others. You don't belong to TMC community are not plugged into a small group you live in isolation and you don't even want any close fellowship with anybody because it's it's irritating and you have to deal with certain issues when you have friends you are really harming yourself and you will tend to shrivel like a shrub. The Bible says that God says you should be like a tree planted by the river of water, and that only happens in relationship relationship to God.

Also, relationship to others, so we should be we should grow to the right depth as well, and we should bear the right fruit bear the right fruit. Now notice what the text says it sends its roots out by the stream. It's dealt with sin issues. As I mentioned in our face time with God yielded nests through the word. The word is built us up within and it does not fear when the heat comes for its leaves remain green and it is not anxious in the year of drought for us does not cease to bear fruit while they hear of drought. It just keeps bearing fruit. Why because it is a tree that is planted by a stream. And because it's planted by stream what's happening around the drought that comes does not cause it to shrivel up and blow away because it's roots are deep and it's bearing the right fruit fruit in Scripture is really the. The revealing or the expression of the inner nature, the inner nature's fruit bearing. Not long ago Rebecca and I were actually in California and that we noticed along the way that we were in with some friends. They had grapefruit.

I don't know much about trees. I can't tell the difference. I've never really taken an interest in it, though it may be something very interesting. But when I saw grapefruit growing on trees.

I connected the dots and said this must be a grapefruit tree taking it in a very elementary way for me must be a grapefruit.

The fruit of the spirit. The Bible says is love, joy, peace, long-suffering generalist goodness they make us and all of that is the expression of the inner nature of Christ that comes from our inner man. When we are planted beside a stream receiving the nourishment that we should receive and it is supernatural fruit because these things do not come naturally. Do they but they come even to those who are going through extreme situations. Let me ask you something. How do you react to the time of Pete drought, anger, complaining, bitterness, blaming, blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord his roots go down into a stream and he bears the kind of fruit that God wants when I was reading John 15 this morning I was reading in a translation where it spoke about Jesus said you shall bear much fruit, and it shall bring much glory to God. A love that much glory to God. You abide in him the inner resources this past week I was listening to someone preach and he told a story that he said was true about a woman in Paris, a Christian woman who was attending an exposition there and suddenly she had a stroke whom she was. She was out of it. She was rushed to the hospital and all that she could say was bring in over and over again bring bring what bring food and bring flowers bring this what they she wants to bring, but then when she was able to regain some consciousness and some strength. She was able to learn about bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all. That's the inner nature, the inner nature, revealing itself the fruit of the spirit in which God delights and it bears the right fruit, but it can't come apart from faith. I wish I had some quick answer to the person who prayed that prayer that we referred to where we simply said we can solve your problems in a moment it's going to come through the disciplines of the Christian life, but disciplines not in themselves, not legalistic leak, but disciplines that connect this with God that enable us to deal with our issues to deal with the bitterness and the anger and the resentment and the unbelief so that we can access the water that is beside the stream member George Mueller began. All of those orphanages in England and never asked for money is not wrong at all to ask for money. I love to ask for money, especially if it's for other people for missions for children for the ministry of Moody church because it is really to do with God and his glory but did Mueller said that for him. He wasn't going to because he was just going to trust God and pray. But he said he did it because there were businessmen who thought that God wouldn't take care of them, and they thought they had to cheat. He said that there were older people who didn't think that God would take care of them in their old age. Now he was living at a time when there was no such thing as Social Security, and then he said there were those who were the infirm and they didn't believe that God would take care of them and he needed to give an example that faith in God actually brings God's blessing. That's why he had so many different orphanages.

With so many different miracles because we need models today of people who have their roots deep deep beside the stream, and who can cope when drought comes few observations that should be life changing for us. First of all, a drought clearly reveals what is in our inner man is not true because it's in the time of drought that you either show that you're a shrub or you're a tree. It reveals that which is within us. Our response to the circumstances of life is really determined upon the pressure that is on us and what comes out when we are under pressure. There's a second lesson and that is that drought gives us some wonderful opportunity to witness for Christ. Wonderful opportunity because just think of it, if you're going along the desert. As I've had the experience of doing and then in the distance you see an oasis. You know right well that there must be water there. When drought comes when the famines come when the desert, the hard places when people who know us see the way in which we react to the circumstances of life. The same debilitating circumstances that they experience and we handle it differently because we're fruit bearing Christians. That's when they begin to ask us what is it within you that enables you to do that where where do you find the inner strength to be able to accept and to be able to pray and to be able to believe, even when there's no evidence for why you should believe what is the secret of the inner strength. You heard me talk about Cyprian who lived in North Africa in about the year 250 during the days of the plague. Cyprian said the plagues were the best thing that ever happened to North Africa. It is during the plagues that Christianity spread in the early centuries all throughout North Africa. Why because said Cyprian Christians die differently. It was said of the Christians. They carry their dad as if in triumph, and the pagans looking at this said to themselves, where's all that hope coming from. Where's all that strength coming from, how can you have the inner resources to cope and you see we witness when the drought comes and when the deserts and close upon us, I conclude today with a simple question. Are you a shrub or are you a tree member that story that I used before that one of my staff members actually asked whether or not it was true and it is true in Canada there was a group of people along the street that had a boulevard in the middle and that somebody came along and said that if you pay me money I'll plant trees all along all along the street here and so they pulled their money. They discovered how much it costs per household so that they could enjoy these beautiful trees so the men came and they planted the trees and day after day week after week they were being watered and all that they did is turn brown until somebody had the presence of mind to reach down and to just rip one of them out and discovered that none of them had roots what the guys had done as they had cut off the branches of these evergreens and just stuck the branches in the dirt and it looked for a while as if they were real trees, but they were let me ask.

Jesus said these words retrieve that my heavenly father has not planted shall be uprooted. That's why have to ask you today, are you a shrub. Are you actually a tree. Have you been planted by God and the way in which we become planted by God is to remember that Jesus Christ death and resurrection was a substitute death. And if we believe in him and if we trust him. And remember that these resources of forgiveness and acceptance are free to those who come in faith and receive sometimes we work so hard in these things. Well, we should work hard only to develop faith. That's the whole purpose of the discipline of the Christian life due to develop the kind of faith by which we can believe in God's promises, but as far as the resources are concerned, they all are really a free gift. You can be planted by God. The stream of water is free. The nourishment is free. What we need to do is to receive it and take the time to receive it by faith. When Jesus said this is my body which was broken for you.

This do in remembrance of me. He was saying to us, remember this my death was not simply an example, my death was a substitutionary death.

This do in remembrance of me and he was saying that because of his death and resurrection.

We can have eternal life. So no easy fix for those who feel empty, but there is a place where you can fill up beside the stream, it's there for you is there for me and God promises will survive the drought. Father we ask in Jesus name that you'll take these words, however simple and use them to remind us that we can draw near to you and your word says that if we draw near to you. You will draw near to us. Show us that father day we indeed with hearts filled with gratitude draw near in your presence.

We ask in Jesus name will my friend, this is Pastor Luther and I want you to think about the title of this series of messages, famines, deserts and other hard as we reflect upon it, we realize that Jesus experienced all of this, famines, deserts, some very hard places and he expects us to be able to go through these and it doesn't mean that were always going to feel good. It doesn't mean that were always going to like what were going through, but he wants to prove that he will be with us when the going gets very, very difficult and I believe that this series of messages will be a tremendous blessing to you and I might say that the series is ended. We've just heard the last message in the series for a gift of any amount. It can be yours and let me tell you it is important that you share this with your friends. You go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now if I gave you that information to quickly just want you to know I'm going repeat it. But at the same time I need to emphasize this that God has not called us to an easy life.

When we talk about taking the cross of Jesus Christ into the world. The fact is that cross actually represents the trouble we are in because we believe in Jesus and God has asked us to take the cross of Christ into the world amid famines, deserts and other hard places. Thanks in advance for standing with us because together we are making a difference and we make this resource available to you to help you ask for the sermon series, famines, deserts and other hard places go to RTW Of course RTW offer sold one word RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 and I know for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. It's gotten fashionable to believe that music styles are all of equal value, and that we should not judge each other as believers for what are really just matters of personal taste.

Joshua listens to running to win on K MBI in Spokane Washington. Here is his story. I was pondering the glory of God as expressed in his beauty and creation and wondered is beauty 100% in the eye of the beholder. While attending a Christian college I was saddened by an experience in music theory class where the professor urged all of us to stretch our ears and strongly insisted that dissonance was the same as harmony while playing a 20th-century composer who had eradicated all order to music and replaced it with nothing but extreme and uninterrupted dissonance. He kept saying that once our ears were stretched, we would find this beautiful.

The PC was playing at the time literally sounded like something from a horror movie soundtrack with such extreme dissonance that it would make your hair stand on end.

When I objected I was told that there is no objective measure to define beauty in music or life. My friends and professors stood against me. Now I understand that some dissonance can be beautiful in a certain context, but we're talking about complete musical chaos child banging on the piano with no idea what notes he's hitting. I know the Bible teaches what is moral. What does the Bible also teach that beauty is beauty and ugly is ugly is musical harmony the same as discord.

Is there anything inherently beautiful or is it 100% in the eyes or ears of the beholder.

Joshua, I just want you to know that I take your side in this argument. I am surprised that at a Christian college, you would be told that dissonance is perfectly acceptable, no matter how terrible it sounds. Beauty isn't simply in the eye of the beholder, whether or not you're looking at the beauty of nature or the beauty of God. God is beautiful and that we affirm that he is beautiful because, in point of fact, he is, and although I cannot think of any specific Scripture. The Bible talks about the heart. It speaks about musical instruments of various kinds, all of which are really based on mathematics. We know that you know whether it's middle C on the piano and its relationship to the other keys and to simply say that it doesn't matter how much noise you make that it's all beautiful I think is very foolish actually.

I also believe that music should draw the soul to God. I don't agree with those who say that contemporary music doesn't matter what it is or how it is played, or how it sounds. Of course there is some very good contemporary music. I thank God for those musicians who are writing contemporary courses and songs. But there's also contemporary music which really does not draw the soul to God.

Recently I was at a Christian event where there was some music and the clanging the noise, the platform that I was standing on was shaking the words if they were being sung could not be heard above all of this noise. I don't know what they were singing and I thought to myself, if Christian music is supposed to draw the soul to God. Most assuredly this is not the way to do it. If you look back in the past you look at some of the hymns. I think for example of Martin Luther's very famous song, a mighty Fortress is our God. Hymns like that had what I like to say and what I like to call Gravatt toss they had good theology. They had a sense of harmony, a sense of unity and because of the fact that these powerful words were wrapped in beautiful music and memorable music they really impacted the soul. Remember it was Francis Schaeffer who said that one of the reasons why you have so much dissonance in the contemporary art and contemporary music is because man has lost his sense of of worth, his sense of harmony. His sense of meaning, so it is really a collapse into meaninglessness.

To simply say it doesn't matter what it is what it sounds like, well, I've given my thoughts. I'll be interested to know if there are some people who are listening, I'd be very interested in theirs as well.

Thank you Joshua and thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to hear your question answered. 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 is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Most of the snow Moses parting the Red Sea as Egypt's Pharaoh let his people go lesser known is how Moses got there the race of life for Moses led him through valleys as well as Mountain next time we begin a series details how over many years.

Moses got closer to God running to win is sponsored by the teacher

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