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Souls In Conflict Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2021 1:00 am

Souls In Conflict Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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December 13, 2021 1:00 am

Temptation is so strong because it promises happiness when you follow your own desires. Through three biblical examples, you’ll get to know people who turned down any kind of false sufficiency to honor God instead. Don’t listen to the false promises of sexual temptation, possessions, or success. In this message, you’ll hear three results of honoring God in the midst of life’s difficulties.  Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Strong bubbles burst. People lose lots of money in the market and there's Joe lost more than money you lost everything, his children, his health, his possessions still honor God. Would you stay with us from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is with Dr. Sir was clear teaching sauce make it across the finish line. I don't think there are very many of us who could face calamity like Job fixed in a game that's true, of course, but Job had his moments also work. He doubted God.

There were times when it appears as if he was angry at God but in the end he showed that he kept on believing I think of that marvelous passage of Scripture where he says, though he slay me, yet will I trust him. You know were so thankful for the ministry of running to win. And if you've been blessed as a result of these sermons for a gift of any amount. These sermons can be yours in a permanent form. Here's what you do go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 remember the name of this series of messages is what is God up to it really discusses the sweep of God's purposes from eternity past to eternity future. Thanks in advance for helping us and now let us listen carefully and be encouraged from the life of a man who lived thousands of years ago but still speaks to us today because of his faith and by the way they were going through times of discouragement and God is stripping you clean.

Perhaps you really have nothing left in life but him is the worth it. Still, there isn't a that's the issue always is. Interestingly, Job not only lost his children and his cattle, his possessions, but in the next chapter. God says take it a step further and take away his health and so Job ends up with boils from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, and now Satan says through his wife curse God and die just be done with Job didn't he said. Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not also receive diversity. Isn't God still worth something. When he blesses us, and in those times when he removes the blessing God has still value. That's the so your possessions, things that you that God may take from you or from me. The issue always is, is our love for him greater than the blessings that he happens to us to give you third example of someone who chose correctly and that is God versus success turn to John chapter 3 in the New Testament. John chapter 3 we have the story of John the Baptist. I love this story because it shows us John's heart. The issue was this, he was a popular preacher and people were coming to him to be baptized.

They were turning to God. As a result of his ministry. And then the crowds began to drop off and the minute that the crowds began to drop off his disciples began to feel badly for their teacher. They felt a little embarrassed for him and so they came in verse 25 it says of chapter 3. There arose. Therefore, a discussion on the part of John's disciples with the Jews about purification. They came to John and said to him, Rabbi Keith, who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have borne witness, behold, he is baptizing all men are coming to him what they're saying is, is Jesus is taking away your converts and your crowd is depleting and it looks like your ministry is over. That's difficult for a preacher to admit that his ministry is over. I've seen it time and time again someday.

It may be very difficult for me to admit that my ministry is over.

Maybe I'll need someone to tell me that my ministry is over, but notice what John says in verse 27, and man can receive an nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. That is one of the most beautiful explosive verses that one could ever read. I tell you, if we understood that verse we would never envy anyone who is more gifts and abilities than we did, we would never be jealous of anyone we be able to rejoice in the success of any person, either in the business world or in what we generally call ministry we would be absolutely free in our spirits if we understood that a man receive nothing, except it is given to him from heaven, somebody with more ability and better looks than you or me we be able to rejoice because if they haven't God gave it to them and has the right to give to some people. One thing and to others. Another, and then to receive nothing except it be given to him from heaven, and then he says verse 30.

He must increase but I must decrease John's it's okay for me for my ministry to the older okay for me to go lower. As long as a result, Christ goes higher now I want you to turn in your Bibles to first John chapter 2 and this is the last passage I'll ask you to turn to today, because if you haven't noticed it. Maybe you have the three examples that I've given you, God versus sexual temptation God versus possessions in God versus success. I really delineated for us in first John chapter 2 verse 15 and 16 it says do not love the world nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him all that is in the world.

Here we go.

Now, the lust of the flesh. That's what Joseph encountered the lust of the eyes that was Joan's problem, or at least God wanted to test whether he had that problem and the boastful pride of life, the question of John the Baptist.

Success all of these struggles you see that we face are really the choice between God or the things of this world and the world is passing away, and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God abides forever. Notice it says if you love the world, if you make wrong choices.

If you choose the things that these three people didn't choose you do not love God, but the love of the world is in you.

What's the bottom line. Let me give you three brief conclusion.

The first is that every trial, every temptation asks us to choose God and you see, we indicate where we stand in our relationship with God by the choice that we not yield to temptation. We devalue him in our minds and hearts of course nobody can really devalue God because he is inherently worthy. We know that in our minds were saying he's not important because I have decided to choose that which he hates and I love it and I'm going to do my own thing. Now you understand why life is so difficult. What is got up to God is to training us and wooing eyes and drawing us so that we might love him is so supremely that when faced with trials and temptations. We may always say God you are worth more to me than anything else and I will choose in your direction, no matter how difficult it becomes an even when it appears as if you are opposed to me. I will assume that your word is true that you are forming. And I'm going to hang in with you no matter what what Peterson trial of your faith is more precious than gold parishes that it may be found on the honor and glory and praise at the appearing of Jesus Christ, God's up to glorifying his name through your decision and mine to follow him no matter what is he long ago. I've learned that you can warn people about sin. All Eli doesn't help much. Helps a little, but not much.

The much greater attraction is developing a relationship with God and when we love him sin does not look good. Maybe a second conclusion very important when we choose for God, we are choosing for ourselves when we choose for God, we are choosing for ourselves is Satan has set up a false dichotomy. The impression sometimes is given that as Christians in facing what we call temptation. The real question is do I do what is good for myself or do I do what is good for God's nonsense is not the issue, because when I choose God and value him. I choose that which is best for myself. Joseph chose that which was best for him.

David did not and look at the consequences.

Job chose that which was best for Joe. John the Baptist shows that which is best and good for him and that's why I can say to you without any ambiguity at all. I urge you please pursue your own happiness pursue your own happiness but do not pursue happiness on the wrong imperfect level because that will lead you to pursue sinful ways to become happy and they will always eventually be aborted and turned to ashes.

The truest joy is the greatest delight is to delight in God. And that's the road to happiness is no dichotomy here.

You say, but Joseph chose God and ended up in prison but they're in prison God was doing something in his life that was so marvelous God was using Joseph and the pruning Joseph that he might become one of the greatest leaders that God would eventually use to get a nation to go down into Egypt. It's all part of God's plan.

He knows best.

Remember Pascal who said there once was a man, a true happiness of which now remains to him only the mark of the empty trays which he in vain tries to fill from all of us around in vain. He tries to fill it all their moments, but it appears as if he is but it's vain. It has to be pain, but there are all these diseases that are in adequate because the infinite in this that you were created with and that I was created with that infinite at this can only be filled by an infinite and in mutable object that is to say only God himself. Only God himself. Maybe 1/3 conclusion when I choose God. When I choose God. He is thereby glorified his glorified my friend today. Let me just simply say that if you ever thought of how God feels because we forget about them so easily.

We just go ahead and make choices. And we say this appears to be good for me. This is where I'm at now and who cares what God has to say and we grieve him one of the things that I'd like to preach on sometimes is the grief of God.

He says in the Old Testament, the ox knows his owner and the donkey knows his master's crib, but my people do not know me, my people forget me days beyond measure days beyond measure. He's forgotten until Sundays is forgotten until we have a catastrophe and then we cite now where is God would blow them off week after week, day after day were not in his word. We do not spend time with him. We do not develop that love relationship.

And that's why it is so easy for us to choose for ourselves. You really want to bring honor to God, don't you. I think that you do or you wouldn't be here. You would be listening to this message, you have tune me out long ago you really really down deep do want to bring honor to God in the months and years that he gives us to live up on planet Earth. I want you to know something that the way in which we ascribe worth to God is to face tough decisions and choose in his favor by his grace and by yielding us as the choir sang a few moments ago, being all that he wants us to be. No matter what the cost is to simply say God I will learn to love you so much that my own desires are going to take second place and in loving you that much. I'm doing something good for myself. How can you believe God. To that extent, see the reason that temptation has so much power is temptation says to me that if I follow my own desires. I will be made happy. I will be satisfied if temptation never said that to me it would have no power over me at all. But that's exactly what temptations is are you willing to call his bluff and to say it's a lie when I choose God. That is the infinite sense of satisfaction and and when we choose the pleasures that are on his right hand. We delight ourselves in God. Those decisions will become so much easier. We say to ourselves.

Yes, I want to please God. And yes, also I would like to become a worshiper of God and so we attend worship service and we here at the Moody church have a worship committee and we gather together every week and we plan our morning services in our evening services because we want people to worship God, and we choose hymns that enable us God. I understand that and I hope that worship takes place. I want you to know something that worship means describing worth to God and true worship can only happen at Gray cost great cost. Talk is cheap. One day God says Abraham sacrifice your son. Please, Abraham says okay I got two sons going to sacrifice Ishmael Lord said no. He said, your only son, the one that I regard take Isaac taken to a mountain and sacrifice and all that he never told Sarah what he was going to do, but he got up early and he left and took a three day journey. I would like to hear the conversation between Abraham and his boy in route to Mount Moriah but interestingly the bottom of the mount. This is what Abraham says to the person who was there with the donkey, and a servant, he said you stay here because the lad and I are going to go younger to the top of the hill and were going to worship amazing works of Abraham. Abraham said I know that's what worship is worship is a loving God is so much that there is no relationship.

There is no temptation. There is no sin that means as much to me as God met with God is all about in the lives of believers today training us to love him so much that angels and demons and man will be able to look at us and say, there are still some people in the world who love God so much that nothing else mattered.

That's what he's about. In today's world.

Then of course you know the rest of the story, the Lord came in wouldn't let Abraham kill his boy in the lamb was sacrificed in his place, but interestingly think of the new revelation of God that Abraham had when he came down Mount Moriah Jehovah Gyro the Lord will provide. Because every time you and I value God is so highly that we choose him no matter what he is glorified and we had worship we have ascribe to him and every time I choose to sin deliberately just blow God off. I failed to ascribe worth to him. I lower him and say he really doesn't make much difference in my life.

Now let me ask you today, are you letting God develop that love that is so strong that it enables you and me to make those right decision or are you rebelling against God, or rebelling against circumstances rebelling against temptation you're rebelling against all the pressures of life and you're saying no to God. God's is today. Open your life to me, learn to love me so much that you will be able to say yes to me no matter the cost. Let's bow together in prayer our father. Today we want to thank you that you are developing us to be worshipers to love you and we pray for those who have never responded to your son, the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Lord I pray that you might draw them to him, which is the starting point of old love for the Lord God do that for us today.

Father we pray.

May everyone doubt in your presence. Make a decision today to love you to follow you to CQ before we sing a hymn together when it you just found prayer, where you are now.

Tell God whatever you need to tell them choose him about that sinful relationship choose to believe on Christ. If you've never done that say God your number one. Thank you Father for hearing us in Jesus name, amen. This is Pastor Luther and as you will know as we look into our hearts, we have to admit that it is easier to say God be number one, then to actually experience it.

We are all struggling with issues in our lives and God is always asking that indeed that the trial of our faith might be more precious than gold. Have you been blessed as a result of this series of messages for a gift of any amount they can be yours permanently so that you can listen to them again and again share them with your friends. In this way. I believe they will be blessed as well. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for this series of messages titled what is God up to.

After all, that's a question that we need to answer as best we can from the word of God is a question that you have often thought about your friends have often thought about and in this series of messages we give a sweep of God's purposes all the way from eternity past to eternity future. Ask for what is God up to and even as you do that. Thanks in advance for helping us financially you're investing in a ministry that goes to thousands upon thousands in 20 different countries reminder of the info that you need to go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337.

I know for another chance for you to ask Esther lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life sometimes even Christian counselors need a counselor Janine in Canon city, Colorado listens to us on KT PO. Here's her story. I'm a licensed professional counselor and the Christian I've always been very cautious about different therapeutic approaches since of course the field of psychology is rampant with humanistic and New Age underpinnings. Recently I went to a therapist myself for chronic pain issues.

I specifically sought out a Christian therapist. She suggested that I try's blank note therapy with her. What are your thoughts about this or any type of therapies that derive from energy psychology. From what I've read, even if it works.

I'm leery sometimes doctrines of demons work. I'm so glad that you are leery because I am also in as I looked up this on the Internet and looked up other alternative theories of energy psychology. One of the things that I noticed was the absence of Scripture. For example, it speaks about the ability to overcome anxiety using these particular therapies. We know the Bible has a great deal to say about anxiety. The apostle Paul speaks about it.

He speaks about the promises of God that we can believe that's really the biblical cure for anxiety.

Now I'm not an expert in all of these matters, but in talking to people who know a lot more about it than I do. I understand that neurologically. There's really no basis for these kinds of therapies and the kinds of claims that are made on their behalf. The other thing that I notice is that the therapy comes first, and then Jesus is added they talk about the value of prayer, and so forth. But you know when you come to the Scriptures. What you need to do is to accept all of them and it needs to be the basis upon which you anchor your belief in these alternative therapies.

It seems to me oftentimes use the Scripture as a means to add on to what it is that they are doing to try to help you, but at the end of the day. I am very leery and I would warn you about these energy psychology kind of theories a good word for Janine and for all of us. Thank you Dr. lutes. Or if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Esther lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Next time we switch from past tense the future tense looking at what's ahead for those who believe in Christ and for those who don't listen for the final battle running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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