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Loving The World, Loving God Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2023 1:00 am

Loving The World, Loving God Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 8, 2023 1:00 am

The Christian’s battle against the seduction of the world is relentless. With technology all around us, how can believers renounce a love for the world’s system? In this message, we hear four practical ways to submit all our technology to God. Let’s take another positive step forward in the ongoing conflict for our hearts and minds.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. With technology now omnipresent, how should believers renounce loving the world? Should we permanently unplug from the Internet?

Should we toss out our HDTVs? Today, another positive action step we can take in the ongoing battle for our hearts and minds. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, we read that in the last times, the love of many shall grow cold. Do you believe we're in those times? Dave, when you look throughout the history of the Christian church, you discover that oftentimes there are believers, perhaps all the time there have been believers whose love has grown cold. I think, for example, of the book of Revelation, where Jesus speaks to the church of Ephesus and says, you have left your first love.

But there's no doubt that because of this age of technology, the love of God is being drained from many people's hearts. We want to make this series of messages available to you. Many of you know that there are those who need to hear these messages. You can listen to them again and again. For a gift of any amount, here's what you do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Of course, at the end of this message, I'll be giving you this contact info again. But remember this, there's nothing more critical and more important than guarding our hearts. So I would like to give you three or four ways in which we should love God and will relate it to the temptations of this world. And we'll see how God leads us from there. First of all, you'll notice it says very clearly here that if you love the world, verse 15, the love of the Father isn't in you. What it means is that you and I should love God exclusively. He should have full right into every single crevice and closet of our minds and heart, nothing cordoned off that says this is for me. Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, loving God exclusively. John Piper put it rather bluntly, but clearly. He says, if you love the world, you're a God-hater.

Now, is that too strong? What did I quote from James? You adulterers and adulteresses. Don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity against God?

I guess Piper is right. That if we love the world, it really doesn't matter how loudly we sing on Sundays. It doesn't matter how many verses of scripture we memorize. The fact is that the love of the Father is not in us if we love the world, because clearly we're to love God exclusively and the love of the world and love of God are mutually exclusive. Have you had the experience as I know I have, and you probably also, where you come home from church maybe, or maybe you've had a great time in your devotional life and you just say to yourself, you know, I just really met God and you've been cleansed, you've confessed your sin, and your relationship with God is just so satisfying. Then you get home and you flip on the TV and you see a sensual scene and you begin to carry it out and you begin to see it, and immediately this love for God that you had begins to drain away like a pitcher that is broken at the bottom and the water drains out. It doesn't mean that you're not a believer necessarily, but it means that you can't love the world and love God simultaneously.

Now we're to love God, therefore, exclusively. So let me ask you a question about technology. If you and I are to be radically separated from the world and radical God lovers, then the question is this, are we willing to submit all of our technology to God?

Are we willing to say God, whatever it is that's the great stumbling block in my life, I want to get rid of it. You say, well, you know, you can't get rid of television. I mean, well, yeah, there have been people who've done that. You know, you could unplug the thing and leave it for the garbage people to pick it up.

I mean, there's no thing that says you absolutely need to. What about the iPhone? You know, one thing about the young people that I was telling you about who aren't allowed to have any internet connection at all, one thing about them is they probably aren't sitting in a worship service playing video games or texting one another. It's amazing, isn't it? What I'm simply saying is, and I give this a challenge to myself, the challenge is simply this, are we willing to give our addiction to technology, and I'll use the word there, our addiction to technology to God, seven hours a day.

The average young person is in some way connected with technology. There are homes where you cannot eat dinner without the television set on. Imagine that being gone and you actually sit and talk to one another and you're not sitting there trying to text somebody a new picture that you just had. What is it that God says? What does exclusive love of God mean in your life?

What does exclusive love for God mean in mine? And here's the question now, how do we manage temptation, sometimes even temptation over which we have no control? Well, you know that in this series of messages, every time I've been giving you an assignment, and if you miss some of the assignments or wherever, whatever, you can go online and I'm told that they are there for you. Notice, you can go online. I'll give you permission to go online.

You can always go to the Moody website. We give you exclusive privileges to do that. But today's assignment is going to be there, and let me tell you why I give it to you. You know, speaking of assignments, you know the first assignment was three consecutive days without television, without media, without social media and so forth.

I have been doing that now. This past week has been my third week of each week having three consecutive days without television. And I'll tell you something. What it is doing in my life, I'm saying, wow, why haven't I been doing this before? The sense of freedom and time and silence if God actually wanted to talk to you? He's not going to shout at you. He's not going to shout over against, you know, your stereo set and shout louder than it does or the internet with all of its images. Are we willing to ask God and say, what do you mean? Well, anyway, here's the story.

Young men come to me and they say, you know, I always swear it off. Of course, that's exactly what I mentioned last time. People do and then they go back. But there I am back in those websites that are so destructive or pornography or whatever.

And I asked them a question, what are your resources? None. You know, a verse that almost seems to be the key verse for this whole series is 2528 of Proverbs where it says, a man without self-control is like a city that has been broken into and left without walls. Where are your walls? I mean, if you lived in a city and the enemy came over the same place over and over again, wouldn't you eventually say, you know, I think I should put up some defenses right there. Might just actually occur to you.

No weapons. One day my wife and I were walking in a forest area. We're walking along the road and a bear just jumped out and went across the road ahead of us. Well, we were there and I don't know if this would have helped or not. I'm glad we didn't need to find out, but we at least each grabbed a stick so that we'd have something if we were to see him again, rather than, pardon the pun, just our bear hands. And people go into temptation without no resources.

If you want to have resources, where do you find out? Well, does the Bible give us any hint? Yes, wish I had time to expound on it, but notice it says in verse 14 of the very chapter we're in. That's why you bring your Bibles to church. I write to you fathers because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you young men because you're conquerors. It says you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you've overcome the evil one. And how do you overcome the evil one? Well, the word of God has to abide in you.

So this is what I tell young men and I've had some testimonies as to how it works. That what you need to do is to memorize five or six verses of scripture that you know cold. This is not a time where you're stuttering, wondering whether or not you can recite them. And then you need to make a promise and say, before I open that magazine or before I go, A, B, C, D, wherever that means, I am going to recite each of these promises three times. And I'm going to concentrate on what it is that I'm reciting. The best way to overcome temptation is through worship and praise. Bible says in the Psalms, it says that seven times every day you should praise the Lord. The best you can do is to worship.

But part of that worshipping can be the quotation of scripture. So I give this guy the assignment. He memorizes it cold.

This was back in the days before the internet. He's standing at the magazine rack. His heart begins to race into pitter patter. But a promise is a promise is a promise. So there he is. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Be ye holy, for I am holy, says the Lord God.

Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are of good report, think of these things. And on and on he goes. And I remember how he told me how he was not only able to walk away, but to do so with a great sense of peace that he did not have to be bound by this habit. Now that's why this week's assignment first week was to detox.

Second week, I gave you a regimen for when you wake up in the morning. Today's assignment for this time is Matthew chapter five, verse eight. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. And the next verse I'm giving you is be holy, for I am holy. Can you look at me and can we say this together? When I say together, let's say both verses together, okay?

Because you probably know them. Let's say it together. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Folks, that's not going to work. You have to say it better than that.

Let's say it together. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Be ye holy, for I am holy.

And then of course I'm also giving you second Corinthians chapter six beginning at verse 17 and there are many other verses, but you have to memorize that. Now for many of you, it's not going to work and I'll tell you why. To put it a little indelicately, the demon is in too deep and you're not yet desperate. God delivers people, but he usually reserves his finest deliverance for the desperate, for those who are willing to pay any price. And that's why I encourage you also join a small group. We have many ministries for women. We have many ministries for men.

You need to be able to connect. You need to be able to pray together because the battle that we are fighting is huge. And the scripture says we must love God exclusively. Secondly, we must love him gratefully, gratefully.

Won't take time to turn to it, but you had better when you have a few moments. First John chapter three, verse one, this very same book. I love the King James version here. What manner of love the father had bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God and such we are. And it goes on to say that his love is so great that we are not only called children of God, but it says we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.

Christianity is different from all the other religions of the world at this point. They all say that we should love one another out of a sense of duty. Christianity says you love because you've already been loved. From before the foundation of the world in eternity past, Jesus said you have loved them, even speaking of us, even as thou has loved me. I mean, who can't love a God like that? Imagine a God who has lavished himself upon us with indescribable, overwrought blessings. And so we love gratefully. We also love passionately, passionately. Like a deer, David said, that is thirsty. I want the water.

So my heart, my heart longs for you, God. You say, well, how do we develop a passionate heart? Well, there are many ideas I could give you, but may I remind you that there are some things that won't work. Sitting in front of a television set hour by hour won't pull it off.

Using the internet to go to places just out of curiosity to see certain images. I don't think that's going to work. Texting 80 times a day probably is not the way to go.

Where you are filled with anxiety as to whether or not you're in the loop about absolutely every little detail. There has to be a time when you say enough already. I am going to set aside time for God and technology will not get in the way. You agree with that? We have to love God passionately. The bottom line is simply this, that we have to develop a love for God that is greater than our love of sin.

Let me say that again. We have to develop a love for God that is greater than our love of sin. We love God passionately.

Can I also say that we love him eternally? Don't you love this verse? Verse 17, and the world is passing away along with all of its desires.

But whoever does the will of God abides forever. The world and its desires are passing away. Someday Hefner's empire will be incinerated, the Bible says. It says in 2 Peter chapter 3, this world and all of its works are going to be burned up and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. No more Hollywood, no more flat screen TVs, no more iPads, iPhones, and God knows what else.

None of that. It's all gone with all of its desires and all of its aspirations and all of its false promises. The world passes away and all of its lusts, all of its desires.

But the one who does the will of God abides forever. Folks, let me put it to you clearly. We are training for another world. That's what the whole thing is about.

And here we're totally distracted because some new technology comes out that we haven't had the opportunity to get hooked on yet. As I said, this might be a little hard around the edges, but I'm saying it the way we need to hear it, I think. Now, you know, D.L. Moody founded this church in 1864. Greatest evangelist. Wow, what a guy. Passionate love for God, obsessive love for God. If there's any man for whom I could use the word God intoxicated, it would be D.L.

Moody. And he preached exactly what the Bible teaches. And what the Bible teaches is this, that we are not born with a love for God. Furthermore, you can't wake up some morning and say, you know what?

The first commandment is thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind. I'm going to do that today. You can't.

Can't turn it on and off like a fossil. Here's what happens. When we receive Jesus Christ as our savior, he gives us that new heart. It says in the book of Ezekiel, a new heart will I give you. I'm going to take out the heart of stone, the heart of callousness, the heart of self will. And I'm going to give you the selfish heart is going to be taken out.

And I'm going to give you a heart that's going to love me and fear me and love me. All that, my friend, is birthed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit of God. Now, if you're not a God lover, you do have to question whether or not you have ever been born again, because one of the indications of being born again is to love God, to love God. And sometimes our love drains because of what I told you about, but fundamentally we love God. I know someone who has struggled with numerous addictions and has fallen many times, but every time this person bows in prayer, this person says, oh God, I'm so sorry that this happened because I do love you.

And I say, despite all their struggles, that is a mark of the new birth. Now, there's another reason I bring D.L. Moody in at this point in the message. About 20 years ago, I was in Northfield, Massachusetts, where D.L. Moody is buried. Now, his boyhood home is there. About a quarter of a mile away, he's buried on what is called Round Top. It's kind of like the top of a knoll of a hill.

And as I had the opportunity of being there and staring at his gravestone, I was also looking at D.L. Moody's favorite verse. The world passes away and all of its desires, and then written on his tombstone, but he who does the will of God abides forever. The battle is absolutely huge and unrelenting, but God lovers will make any sacrifice they need to to honor God, no matter the cost. Even in the face of technology that just keeps coming at you, coming at you, coming at you, one stimulus after another, they say, no, God comes first.

Well, there's still three messages in this series. You'd better show up to find out what else I have to say. May we pray? Father, we have all fallen today. We have all been convicted.

We all stand guilty. May we remember that if we love the world, we're counted as your enemy. Oh, God, we pray. We pray for the businessmen who travel, who have so many temptations. We pray, Father, for all those who can understand technology and use it in privacy. Oh, Father, we just fall on our knees and say, we do give you our hearts. And for those who have never trusted Christ as Savior, we pray that today they'll believe and be saved.

Give them a new heart. In Jesus' name, amen. By the way, as a historical footnote, next to D.L.

Moody, his wife Emma is buried, and on her tombstone are the words, and his servants shall serve him, and his name shall be on their foreheads, a couple that serve the living God. Today, however, we find ourselves in a very new era, don't we, because of technology. I believe that these messages are among the most important that I have ever preached. And you know that you need these messages, and you know others who also need them. That's why it is for a gift of any amount, we are making them available. Simply call 1-888-218-9337, or go to rtwoffer.com.

As I've mentioned, for a gift of any amount, they can be yours so that you can play them again and again. Ask for the series, Guard Your Heart. Call 1-888-218-9337, or go to rtwoffer.com. Of course, as you already would realize, rtwoffer is all one word, rtwoffer.com.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Social pressure makes young people text all day long. Social media is replacing real face-to-face communication.

Our addiction to technology and the rapid breakdown in morality go hand in hand. Next time on Running to Win, how the grace of God gives us a way out of this mess. Thanks for listening. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-08 03:36:14 / 2023-03-08 03:44:45 / 9

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