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The Bible: God's Reality Check - Life of Christ Part 7

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 21, 2023 7:00 am

The Bible: God's Reality Check - Life of Christ Part 7

So What? / Lon Solomon

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How big a temptation would it be if somebody sent you out to dinner and told you you could charge it all to them?

That'd be a temptation? Well, that's exactly what happened in Lakeland, Florida to a city employee named James Moran. Now, it's not the same guy that we know up here.

It's a different James. He had worked for the city for 20 years, and so as a reward, they gave him a plaque, and they told him to go out to dinner somewhere nice and take a date, and they would pay for dinner, and they put no maximum on dinner. Well, he took a date, and he went to a posh seafood restaurant, and their temptation got the best of him. He ordered three lobster tails for dinner, but that's not all he ordered. He ordered 33 jumbo shrimp cocktails.

Can anybody eat 33 jumbo shrimp cocktails? He ordered four dozen steamed oysters. He ordered a bunch of steaks, an assortment of other seafood, drinks, dessert, and by the time the end of the evening came, his bill totaled, you ready, $510 for dinner, which the city of Lakeland, Florida had to pay.

Now, I frankly think this is kind of humorous myself, but the city fathers of Lakeland did not think this was funny at all, and as a matter of fact, they recommended that he be fired from his job for doing this. For $38,000 a year job, they're going to fire him because he went out and took advantage of them for dinner. Temptation got the best of him. Now, you know, we're going to talk about temptation this morning, and even the word has kind of an ominous ring to it, doesn't it? Temptation. Well, temptation means being enticed to do something that you know you shouldn't do, something that you know you're going to be sorry for afterwards, like Jim Moran was, and the best way to resist temptation is to have a reality check.

Isn't that true? To have something that says, uh-uh, wait a minute, hold on, you're going to be sorry for this. Don't do it. Saturday morning, a couple weeks ago, I took my younger son to a basketball game, and I brought a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven, and my donut, thank you, and a paper, and I went and sat in the corner of the gym, and when he wasn't playing in the game, I was reading the paper, and I came across this in the paper. Mazda Miata. Red. Two tops. One owner. Must sacrifice this beauty.

$8,750, the phone number, and then in quotes, what a nice car. And I began to dream. Yeah, I did. I began dreaming about Brenda and me driving down the road, just the two of us, the top down, the wind curling through our hair and around our faces, the sun gleaming off that bright red hood, no policeman in sight, the radio playing on our way to Acapulco without the children, and then I thought of my bank account, and in my dream, I rear-ended the car right in front of me, because my bank account said, reality check, reality check, you don't have this kind of money, and when I came home and told my wife, she said, you don't have this kind of money. Wives are great reality checks, I have found, but there's other kinds of reality checks. I mean, what is the reality check that keeps you from eating all the chocolate you feel like eating?

Well, it's the fact you've got scales in the bathroom under the sink. What is the reality check that keeps you from skipping work on a beautiful spring day and just going out and playing hooky? Well, the reality check is you know you're going to have to face the supervisor when you show up the next day. What is the reality check that keeps you from leaving your children and going to Acapulco?

Well, it's knowing the police are going to be waiting at the airport when you come back, right? I mean, we all need reality checks or we would go do crazy, stupid things. I would, you would, and you know, God has given us a spiritual reality check for our lives. We call it the Bible. And the reason he's given us the Bible is to keep us from drifting into places where we don't belong, drifting into places where we will end up getting badly hurt and getting ourselves in deep weeds. And because of that, this morning I want to try to convince you how essential the Bible is in your Christian experience when it comes to keeping you from rolling gutter balls in the Christian life.

All of us are prone to do that and left to ourselves we would without a reality check. I'm here to tell you that you need the Word of God on an everyday basis or you're going to roll a lot of gutter balls in the Christian life and so am I. Let's talk about that because we're going to use an example from the life of the Lord Jesus himself where he uses the Bible in this very same way as a reality check to temptation to doing something that he ought not do.

Let's look, Luke chapter 4. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert where for 40 days he was tempted by the devil. Would you notice what we pick up here is not the only time that the enemy ever tempted him, just the culmination.

He's been being tempted for 40 days. And at the end of that time, it says, after he had eaten nothing for those 40 days, he was very hungry. Now, for those of you who have been to Israel with me or with somebody else, you know where the Spirit led him. And it's important for us to notice that the Spirit led Jesus away from his baptism at the Jordan River and into the wilderness. This was not his idea.

It wasn't something he just felt like doing. It was the leading of God to lead him into the wilderness and to lead him to fast for 40 days. The area where he went is called the Judean wilderness. It's the land that lies between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. And it is barren. It is arid. It is a wasteland. It is a parched, jagged desert. And there is nothing there. There is no vegetation. There's no water.

The temperature often is well over 100 degrees. It even looks like a miserable place. In fact, the Hebrew word for this area is yeshimon, which means devastation or devastated place.

That's what they thought of it, even in their day. And here Jesus spent 40 days without food being tempted, the Bible says, by the devil. You say, wait a minute, Lon.

Hold on just a second. The devil. You're not trying to tell me you really believe there is such a person, are you?

I mean, I always thought the devil was kind of like, you know, the Bible's word for evil in the world or the Bible's word for all the bad things that happen. You don't really think there is such an actual being or person, do you? Well, sure I do. Don't you?

Sure. The Bible says that he was an angel who revolted against God, continued in his revolt against God, even to this day, and will continue all the way to the day that God destroys him in his revolt against God. The Bible says that he is the God of this age. And in a minute, we're going to see him say to Jesus, I have the authority to give you all the kingdoms of this world if I want to.

And Jesus never argued with that, never said, oh, no, you don't. Yeah, I believe he's real and I believe he's genuine. And in my days when I used to trip out, I saw him or something close to him on a number of occasions. Yeah, I believe he's real.

And God help you if you don't because it'll leave you awful defenseless against him if you don't think he's out there and you don't think he's at work. Now let's see what he did. The Bible says that he was trying to tempt Jesus Christ to sin. Why? Because he knew if he could make Jesus Christ sin, he could extinguish God's plan of salvation forever.

Why? Because the Bible says that in order to sacrifice an offering for sin, that offering has to be blemishless, perfect. And when it came to a man dying for the sins of the world, it had to be a blemishless man. It had to be a sinless man. That's why you or I were not candidates, but only God in the flesh, Jesus Christ himself. But if the enemy could get him to sin even once, he wouldn't be sinless, he wouldn't be blemishless. He would no longer be a candidate for dying on the cross and paying for the sins of the world, and God's plan of salvation goes down the tube. So there's a lot at stake here.

Look what happened. Verse 3. And the devil said to him, If you are the son of God, you can really translate the Greek, since you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread. You're hungry, make bread out of these stones. The first temptation focused on Jesus's intense hunger, and the devil challenged him to work a miracle to relieve his hunger.

Now, folks, there is absolutely nothing wrong with making bread for ourselves. There's absolutely nothing wrong with us satisfying our physical needs as human beings, but there is more than that going on here. Remember I told you Jesus was led into the wilderness, verse 1, by the Spirit. In other words, it was the will of God that he was in the wilderness at that moment, and it was the will of God that he had no food at that moment. And what the devil was asking Jesus to do was to take matters into his own hands and to put his physical needs, his physical desires, his physical drives, and his physical cravings ahead of the will of God for his life.

This is the exact same thing that the enemy is constantly trying to get you to do and me to do. We all have natural desires for things like sex and intimacy. We all have natural desires for money and the nice material things it can buy.

We all have natural desires for the comforts of this life and for notoriety and for success. And there's nothing wrong with these desires, so long as we satisfy them within the will of God for our lives. What Satan was asking Jesus to do was to satisfy them outside of the will of God for his life, which is exactly what he tries to get you and me to do. And the Bible says when we leave the plan of God for our life to satisfy our own cravings and our own appetites in our own way, that that's sin.

And look how Jesus counteracted the enemy's attack. Verse 4, Jesus answered, It is written. You say, where is it written? Well, it's written right here, huh? Right in the Bible.

It is written. And he's going to quote from the Old Testament from Deuteronomy chapter 8. You say, why doesn't he quote from the New Testament? Because it wasn't written.

Okay. He's quoting from the Old Testament. And here's what he says. It is written, man does not live by bread alone. And as Matthew goes on to say, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. In other words, what he's saying to the devil is, hey, look, it is more important to obey God than it is to eat. It is more important for me to obey God than it is for me to satisfy my own body's appetites. And as Warren Wiersby, the great Bible commentator said, and I quote, Jesus said it is better to be hungry in the will of God than to be satisfied outside of the will of God. That's what Jesus was saying. He used the Bible as a reality check against his own hunger.

And let's face it, after 40 days you'd be hungry, and hunger is an incredibly driving passion. Did you see the show last night on television, 10 o'clock, about that plane crash in the Andes with that soccer team? You know, they're making a movie about this now.

And what happened is this plane full of soccer players going across the Andes a few years ago crashed, and only a few people survived. And after they ran out of candy bars and granola and whatever else they had on board, the only way they could survive, they were there 72 days, the only way they could survive is to eat the people who had not survived. And so they began to eat their friends. In fact, one man on the show last night said, when I first put the meat in my mouth, I chewed it up and I could not swallow it. I spit it out. But when I got hungry enough, I swallowed it. They ate their friends. You say, I'd never do that.

That's horrible. When I wait a minute, if you were starving to death and your friend was already dead, I'm not so sure you wouldn't do that. You might spit out the first bite, but you got hungry enough, I'm not so sure you wouldn't do that.

I'm not so sure I wouldn't do that put in that same situation. Why? Because hunger is one of the most driving passions of the human experience. Jesus felt it, 40 days worth. But he did not yield the temptation because he used the Word of God as a reality check and said, there's something more important than my hunger. And that is that I do not depart from the will of God. And where did he get the reality check? Right out of the Bible.

Now, he does the same thing two more times. Let's look, verse five. The devil led him up to a high place and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant and said to him, I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it's been given to me and I can give it to anybody I want. Jesus didn't argue with that.

So I will do. If you worship me, it'll all be yours. This time, Satan appeals not to Jesus' hunger, but to his human desire to avoid hardship and pain and suffering. He said, Lon, I don't see that in here.

Where is that? Listen. God had promised Jesus that he was going to give him all the kingdoms of the world anyway. He said in Psalm 2, he, God the Father, said to me, the Son, Jesus Christ, you are my son. Ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance and I will give you the ends of the earth as your possession. So God had already promised to give Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world. However, Jesus Christ was on his way to the throne of all the kingdoms on the face of the earth, but he was on his way there by way of what? By way of the cross.

That's right. He was on his way there by way of the cross. And we know from looking at him in the Garden of Gethsemane, the pain that the cross represented for him, the agony that going through the cross represented for him. He prayed in the Garden, Father, if there's any way I don't have to go through this, any way at all, take it away from me. And what Satan was saying is, hey, Jesus, how about if I can get you to the bottom line, but we'll skip the cross.

We'll skip the pain. I'll give you all the kingdoms of the world right now and you don't have to deal with the cross and the pain. You understand what he was offering him? He was offering him a different plan for his life. God had a plan for his life and his plan called for him to get the kingdoms of the world by going through the cross.

Satan said, hey, I've got a different plan for your life. I'll give you those same kingdoms and you don't have to go through the cross. And let's all agree. This is very enticing for us. If God were to give you the choice in any point in your life, whether you wanted to go through pain or go around pain, there's not a one of us who would volunteer to go through pain, not one.

Unless we're unbalanced and crazy, I wouldn't. But you know, when we want to go around pain so badly that we'll sell our soul and shortcut God's plan for our life, that's a problem. And that's exactly what Satan was tempting Jesus to do. Now look at how Jesus responded.

Again, he counterattacked in the very same way, this time from Deuteronomy 6. He said, verse 8, Jesus answered, it is written. You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him, his plan for your life only. God has established a right plan for my life, Satan, and I'm going to worship him and I'm going to serve his plan for my life. And if God's plan for me calls for me to hang on a tree before I can sit on a throne, then I'm going to follow his plan for my life.

I'm not doing it your way. Verse 9, then the devil took him to Jerusalem after he had already appealed to his hunger, his bodily appetites, and had already appealed to his human desire to go around pain and suffering, now he's going to appeal to his pride. He took him to Jerusalem and he had him stand on the pinnacle, the highest point of the temple. If you've been to Jerusalem, you know where this is. It's that corner of the wall of the temple mount that overlooks the Kidron Valley. If you're standing on the Mount of Olives, you're looking right over to that corner and the drop from there is about 450 feet to the valley below. And there would have been people all around in this valley and near around at the temple worshiping, and that the enemy put him up there and said to him, if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it's written he will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully.

They will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Did you notice that Satan can quote scripture too? Did you get that? He always gets it wrong and he always twists it and he always distorts it. But he can quote the Bible. Don't just assume because somebody quotes the Bible to you that they know what they're talking about and they're from God. No, the enemy quoted the Bible to Jesus.

The only problem is he always quotes it wrong. And Jesus said to him, wait a minute, you're right, it does say that, but it also says he took scripture, the misinterpretation of it, and he balanced it and came up with right interpretation by other scripture. What was Satan challenging Jesus to do? He was challenging his pride.

He says, look, if you were to do a swan dive here off the pinnacle of the temple and you were to kind of float on down to the ground and just land, not crash and burn now, but just land, why the people, they would come running over here, they would flock to you, they would hail you as the Messiah, they'd lift you up on their shoulders, they'd exalt you to immediate power, you're the Son of God. You deserve this kind of treatment. You don't deserve the kind of ostracism and ridicule and opposition that they're going to give you.

Why should you have to put up with that? You're the Son of God. Throw yourself down and prove who you are.

You deserve a break today. Jesus said, wait a minute, again it is written, do not put the Lord your God to the test. Again, quoting from Deuteronomy chapter 6.

I like the way that King James translates it. It translates it, you shall not tempt the Lord your God. Meaning, yes, God does promise to protect us, but when we plunge ourselves into foolish situations aimed at only inflating our arrogance and our pride, no, that's not what the verse is talking about, Satan.

You turned it around, you missed it, you misused it. That's not what God meant. Verse 13, when the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Satan could see he was beat, so he retreated, but he didn't retreat forever, he never does, only till he saw another opportunity to try again. This is a perfect example that we've just read about of what James tells us in his letter, where he said in James chapter 4 verse 7, resist the devil and he will flee from you. And what is it that Jesus used to resist the devil? His own cunning, his own wisdom, his own philosophy, his own education?

No. What did he use? Is written, three times. And I love what Origen, the great church father said. He said, Jesus routed the tempter with a weapon that we can all use, the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, so learn from this passage the value of scripture and the impotence of Satan against it. End of quote. Jesus through scripture in the enemy's face. Now that's the end of our passage, but it leads us to ask the question, so what? That's right, so what.

And I want to answer that for you in the time I have left. What difference does this make for you and me living in the 20th century? Satan's never come and tempted us and I've never been to the Judean wilderness and I don't plan on going there, so what difference does this make? You know, our new president has been playing some in your face here at the beginning of his administration. He's taken the highly controversial issues of abortion and homosexual rights and he shoved them into the face of America and he's not just shoved them in our face, but he's shoved them down our throat. And this past week I, like many of you, have been listening to some of the rhetoric out there about gay rights. I've heard people try to convince me that homosexuality is genetic and that therefore people can't help being this way. And therefore the argument goes after that to discriminate against gay people when they can't help being that way any more than black people can help being black, that that's a violation of their civil rights. It is a civil rights issue, not a moral issue. Now, I'm not here to talk to you about homosexuality this morning.

I do have a tape on it that I would invite you to pick up up in our bookstore and in our tape section. If you have any doubt where the Bible stands on this issue and where we stand, pick up the tape and listen to it and you'll know. But the point I want you to see this morning is that there is a very fierce battle going on out there in our nation to redefine morality. There is a battle going on to redefine the values and the absolutes that God has established for human society. And we see that not only in the issue of homosexuality and abortion, but we see it in many other areas. We see it in the area of premarital sex.

There is a deliberate movement going on to redefine what God says in the area of premarital sex. We're giving out condoms now in high schools. Can you believe that? When I went to high school, if you got caught smoking a cigarette in the bathroom, they expelled you.

Boy, can you believe this? There's a moral fight going on out there to redefine how we feel about divorce in this nation, to redefine how we feel about business ethics in this nation. That's what the Milk in Trial was all about.

It wasn't about whether the man had stolen money or not. It was about ethics in business with computers and everything that can be done as quickly as it can be done these days. There's an effort going on to redefine personal morality and personal decency. We had people shot to death right down the road here this week by a random killer. What in the world's going on in our society? People are trying to redefine the family in our country and many, many other things.

People out there are trying to redefine how you feel and how you think about every single one of these issues and many others. And friends, this is no haphazard phenomenon. This is not an accident.

It is a well-coordinated, skillfully calculated campaign by the devil himself, and he is leading it and he is directing it, and don't think anything different. And there's a reason that he's doing it. You say, why?

What's the reason? The reason is he wants to destroy your life. Pure and simple. He wants to destroy your life. He wants to convince you that sin is really okay.

He wants to convince you that what God says is wrong is really not that bad because he knows something, something that not enough of us as Christians understand and know. He knows that what Jesus said is true when Jesus said in John chapter eight, verse 34, the person who commits sin becomes a slave to sin. He knows that. He understands that.

Too many of us don't. I was at People's Drugstore a couple nights ago with my seven-year-old son, Jonathan, and we were walking out of the store, and there was a man standing right outside of the store smoking a cigarette. There was a big cloud of smoke all around where he was that we had to walk right through, and he was just putting it out before he went into the store, and I commented to my son that he was putting it out before he went in the store, and Jonathan asked me a question.

He looked up to me and he said, Daddy, if smoking is so bad for you and everybody knows that smoking is so bad for you, why does that man keep smoking? That's an awful good question, isn't it? In fact, that's a more intelligent question than most adults ask. Now, how would you answer that question if your seven-year-old asked you that? What would you say? You know what I said?

I said, Jonathan, here's the answer. The answer is that man started because he didn't think it was all that bad, and now he's become a slave to it, and that's why he can't stop. He's a slave. And, dear friends, many people start alcohol thinking it's all not that bad and become slaves. And many people start using drugs saying, oh, it's not that bad, and they become slaves.

And many people start getting involved in sex saying, this is great, what difference does it make what God says? And they become slaves. And many people get involved in gambling saying, this is great, and they become slaves. And people get involved in pornography and become slaves, and they get involved in seeking power and prestige and fame, and they become slaves to it. They get involved with bitterness and revenge, and they become slaves to it.

They get involved in hatred and in racism, and they become slaves to it. Jesus said, the person who commits sin will become a slave to it. The enemy understands that. He knows that. And he is out to make you a slave to sin and a slave to himself so that he can not only ruin your life here on earth but can end up condemning you to hell with him.

That's what he's out to do. And if you're here this morning and you don't know Jesus Christ in a real and personal way as your Lord and Savior, could I say to you, don't kid yourself. There is a war for your soul that's going on out there. And this world system and the one who's running it is not your friend, not your friend. They want to convince you to waste all of your youth, all of your energy, all of your life on useless self-indulgence in ignoring God and everything God wants for your life, and then they want to land you in eternity in hell separated from God forever where they're going. They're not your friends. Budweiser commercials are not your friends. You say, but Lon, I'm a Christian.

This doesn't deal with me. I'm going to heaven. Satan can't take heaven away from me. You're right, he can't.

But you know what? If he can succeed in making you a sinning Christian, he can still ruin your life here on earth, and he can nullify all of your effectiveness for Jesus Christ here on earth, and even if he can't take heaven away from you, he'll take that as second best. If he can ruin your life and nullify your witness, he'll take it. That's fine.

That'll do for second best. And don't underestimate him. I'm warning you. Don't underestimate him. He's been doing this for thousands of years. He's much better at it than you are. He's smarter than you are, and he's got every single tool of influence at his disposal. Television, radio, magazines, newspapers, pop music, most leaders in American education, and just about every talk show host in America is on his side, and he uses them all.

More values today than the average American are being shaped by talk shows than almost any other thing. Listen to him. You say, well, then how am I going to fight back against Satan and the television and the newspaper and Geraldo? Well, God's given us a way to do it, a reality check. We're going to do it the very same way Jesus Christ did it. This is how we do it.

It is written. You've come in here this morning after a whole week of trying to have your moral values redefined by the world out there, in your office, in your neighborhood, in the magazines you read, in the television you watched, in the newspapers you read. Everything out there is trying to redefine your moral value system away from where God wants it to where the enemy wants it, and here you sit. And I spend every Sunday morning trying to define it back again after you've been out there for a week getting it twisted the other direction.

But, folks, if you think in one 30-minute message or 35-minute message I can make up for a week of the world, I can't. And we need a reality check out there every single day, not just on Sunday. Every day we need God to take us kind of like that aftershave commercial and go, wop, wop, oh, thanks, Lord, I needed that.

Thank you. Okay, yeah, okay, I got it right now. You need that.

I need that. Because the enemy's stronger than we are, he's smarter than we are, and he's got more tools at his disposal. That's why God gave us the Bible. It's to serve as that reality check, to keep our values where they belong. And this morning I'm out to convince you that the way for you to fight back and resist the devil and the world system's tools of moral redefinition, the way to fight back is for you to immerse yourself in the Word of God.

Immerse yourself in it. You know, this is what we find modeled in the Lord Jesus. Now, think for a second. Do you remember I told you where he got those three verses of Scripture?

Did you remember? The first one came from Deuteronomy chapter 8. The second two came from Deuteronomy chapter 6. You say, why did he take all of them from Deuteronomy? Is it because he likes Deuteronomy better than the rest of it?

No, I don't think so. You see, I believe what was going on out there is that Jesus wasn't just walking around admiring the scenery for 40 days. I think he was out there either with a copy of Deuteronomy in his hands that he was reading and studying or if he had it all memorized, which many Jewish people did in those days, at least he was walking around reciting it and meditating upon it and concentrating upon it. My point is he was immersing himself in the Word of God so that when the attack came, when Satan showed up and said, yes, do this, yes, do this, yes, do this, he was able to say it is written, it is written, it is written because he was morally and spiritually prepared. The sad thing is so many of us go out into our world and we're not morally and spiritually prepared for the day.

We're not. Does any wonder we have some of the problems we have keeping our values where they belong? I submit to you that if Jesus Christ needed the Word of God, so do you. I submit to you if he needed to meditate on the Word of God, so do you. I submit to you if you're a Christian and he needed the Word of God as a reality check against the enemy's temptations, then by all means, so do you and I. And if we think that we're gonna read the newspaper in the morning over our cup of coffee and spend absolutely no time with God and charge out into this world day after day and we're gonna not let them in any way affect our moral values, we're crazy. I've seen it happen to too many Christians who said I'm strong.

You're right, but your enemy's stronger and he's smarter. And I've seen it happen to too many preachers who say I don't need to read the Word of God, I study it, I preach. And you know where a lot of those folks are today. The thing that concerns me is that there's so many of us as Christians who spend more time reading the newspaper than we do the Word of God.

I wonder why we struggle the way we do. You might not like what I'm gonna say, but I don't think you've got any business reading the newspaper till you've read the Word of God. You're gonna spend 15 minutes in the newspaper minimum. I don't think you have any business reading the newspaper as a Christian till you've read the Word of God. You say, Lon, you're against newspapers. No, I'm not. No, I'm not.

I'm all for them. But I'm not for them or anything else taking you away from the Word of God, which is the only reality check you've got. It's the only one you've got.

You give it up, you're adrift. And believe me, Satan's smart enough, he's gonna knock you off. Do you spend 15 minutes a day, do you spend the amount of time a day in the Word of God you spend in the newspaper?

That's kind of a searching question, isn't it? If the answer is no, I don't, then you need to change. For your sake, for your family's sake, for our church's sake, for the work of God's sake, you need to change. And I'm gonna ask you to make that change a commitment to it this morning.

Let's pray. With our heads bowed and our eyes closed, please, no one looking around, I'd like to challenge those of you who are here to make a commitment before God, not to me, but before God, to spend 15 minutes minimum in the Word of God every day for the rest of your life. Now, if you don't mean this, I advise you don't raise your hand. The Bible says it's better not to vow than to vow and not keep it. If you don't mean it, don't raise your hand. But if you're here and you've said, Lon, I hear what you're saying, I understand, because I'm struggling, I see what the problem is, and I'm willing to make that commitment before God, and I'd like you just simply to slip up your hand.

You can put it back down. God bless you. Thanks, lots of hands. God bless you. Anybody else? Now, it'll be the most significant decision, one of them, you've ever made.

Anybody else? Mm-hmm, thank you. God bless you. Heavenly Father, I want to pray for these folks who've raised their hands, and for all of us, that you might remind us again this morning of the tremendous importance of the Bible in our Christian life and experience. It's not a talisman.

It's not a good-luck charm. Having one on the shelf won't make a bit of difference, but reading it and letting it be our reality check will make a difference, and I pray, Heavenly Father, that you would use the Word of God in that way in our lives as Christians, and you would enable us to resist the moral redefinition that's going on out here and stand for what you say is right and wrong, both in our personal lives and in our society, and I want to pray if there's anyone here who's never trusted you personally as their Lord and Savior that maybe as a result of being here, they would understand what the real issues are, what the real battle is, that there's a spiritual war going on for their soul and that you love them so much that you died for them, to give them an alternative to the way this world is telling them to live, to give them an alternative to eternity separated from God, and I pray, Lord, they would have the wisdom and the discernment this morning to understand that you're offering them a better way and to take it, to take Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior this morning. Lord, thank you for speaking to our hearts. We need it. It's tough six days a week out there fighting, but thank you we've got your Spirit, and thank you we've got your Word. May they be the weapons that we learn to skillfully wield even as the Lord wielded himself to protect ourselves and stand against the temptations of the enemy, make us strong as individuals, make us strong as a church that we might carry out our mission to reach out and touch people's lives in this community with the love of God, and I pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 08:19:27 / 2023-01-21 08:35:24 / 16

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