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June 8, 2022 9:00 am
Today on Summit life with Judy Greer. God can do more. One act of obedience.
All the apostles could do hundred lifetimes or a thousand, mission trips, what God needs is just wants you to obey. It is not about you changing the world or your friends to the right hamstring is about you yielding yourself to him.
It's all about life.
As always, I'm your host Molly benefits truly enjoys pain right.
In fact, when we suffer, we usually look for any means possible to escape but according to Scripture, sometimes God uses our pain to actually draw us back to him today.
Pastor Jenny invites us to follow along as we traced the footsteps of an Old Testament character story helps us understand God's compassion and love even when he chooses to discipline for additional resources designed to help you learn more. Be sure to visit Katie Greer.com but for now let's take up our study in Judges chapter 3 Jenny titled this message south to look at today is about a man made a Bible Judges chapter 3 contagious story so get over there as your opening before I really jump and historian will not want to show you a little phrase, the author of Judges uses to set up his stories because it shows you the how God wants you to interpret the stories and how they apply to your life. Three introduces the stories of the judges like this in Judges 3, verse one.
Watch very closely to the nations of the Lord left to test Israel by them. That is all Israel would not experience all the wars again number Israel command and was always Canaanites there got a promise given the Landon when Joshua died were still some left pursuer was in order that the generations of the will of Israel might know war teach war to those who had not done it before. What is the answer to the question of why God had left all these pockets of Canaanites of the land.
According to Judges 3 wanted to do it is to teach us to rely in his grace. He testified in his strength. The apostle Paul said that God leaves trials and weaknesses in our lives to keep us humble. Sometimes listen to this God will allow you to struggle with a lesser Sam like anger or lust in order to keep you from a greater sin maybe the greatest salmon that is pride because of God suddenly cured all of your sinful tendencies. In one kind of fell smooth the moment you got saved you would probably get really proud and think that you just rip the spiritual awesome sauce and that you are really something that people ought to admire.
So God allows you to continue to struggle because he wants you to learn throughout your life that you are not saved because you became morally perfect.
You are saved is a gift of grace and God will allow these things to continue to plague you, that you will grow ever more dependent on great because that's what spiritual growth means that's what sets up the story in chapter 3, so if you look down in verse 12. You'll see the story of Ehud Jim Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and because they did this evil. The Lord gave Aguilar and the king of Moab power over Israel guideline was a bad man for 18 years. He rates pillaged and murdered the Israelites again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliver. Ehud, a left-handed man which means he was probably disabled his right hand may have been crossed or was born whether Ehud was brave and he was a man of faith, he volunteered to deliver attribute payment of gold to add line 3 loads of his wagon with all this tax money in tribute money and extortion in any heads off deadline, but he packs a little surprise for 16 now Ehud had made a double-edged sword of which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. He presented the tribute to agon verse 18. After Ehud had presented the tribute. He said, your Majesty, I have a secret message just for you to.
The king said it was intended to leave us and I all left maybe he was hoping that Ehud brought us not want to share it.
I don't know.
Verse 20 is the king rose from his seat.
Ehud retreated left hand drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged into the king's belly. Then I went out to the porch and shut the doors of the upper room behind him and then the allotment factory drawn.
The service came and found the doors of the upper room lot. Verse 25. They waited to the point of embarrassment when he did not open the doors of the room they can unlock them, that they saw the Lord falling to the floor dead by now safely away from the palace and he rallies all the tribes of Israel who amassed their armies that rise up as one against Moab and verse 30 that day.
Moab was made subject to Israel in the land had peace for 80 years will again believe it or not some of the most essential keys for spiritual victory are found in this story we start with the most important.
I have five of them number one the story teaches us that God's Savior would come in weakness.
It tells us the story tells us of God's Savior would come in weakness number two story tells us that God saves us now for the weakness of faith God saves is now the weakness of faith to get this point.
Yet understand that in our lives were all trying to save ourselves Israel in captivity under the subjugation of cruel forces gives us a picture of every human being. Whether you're religious or not. We all know that we need some kind of salvation that in the promised land of our lives.
There are things that are right now they're both religious and irreligious ways to seek salvation, both religious and religious people are seeking salvation, just in different ways.
Religious people try to earn salvation from God by being good enough if morally there strong enough, then God will reward them with his blessing irreligious people try to find salvation outside of God, but they use the same approach to try to be strong enough to obtain meaning and purpose, and fulfillment for themselves so they think. For example, if I'm rich enough if I'm strong enough financially to make enough money will be safe and happy and fulfill never seen an interview with Drake couple years ago after he been nominated for a couple Grammies and he said you know that I sleep with a different woman almost every single night, he says, and I've realized that I'm doing this as a way to try to fill this void.
He said he says but the first 15 or 20 seconds after I've had sex or the realist moment that I have in my life because I know it's not working, is it the next day I'll convince myself that it's gonna work that night. He said that 15 or 20 seconds. He said, is where I know that it's just not working. These are all ways of trying to find salvation, freedom from the bondage of futility and dissatisfaction.
The Canaanites of meaninglessness and pain what the story of Ehud shows you is a God salvation would come in a different way to come to religious strength. It would get a company career strength. One gonna come through beauty and one gonna come through money. It was gonna come as a gift.
Number three from the story of Ehud we see that God mocks those who oppose him a biblical scholar named Dale Ralph Davis said that most commentators miss the humor of the story and having read several commentators in preparation for this, I would definitely agree with him. Commentators tend to be a stuffy bunch of middle allies of the story was told would giggles, if not the one true it's just as he told her they were mocking add line, they would've told with laughter. That's why there's always bizarre details in their I see two implications for us and that the first is point number three.
And that is that we can be assured that God will mock those who oppose them.
Charles Spurgeon said to his congregation in 1856 was in this he who would place himself in front of a fast-moving train car will be crushed and will be no more foolish than you who are opposing the gospel if the gospel is true and truth is mighty, then truth must prevail. Who are you to attempt to stand against it. You will be crushed but let me tell you when the railway car when a train car runs over you. The will will not be raised even an inch by your size for water you a timing at a creeping worm which that will will crush to less than nothing, and not leave you, even in name as having ever been an opponent of the gospel. Let everyone in the world know assuredly that the gospel will win its way, whatever they may do poor creatures.
Their efforts to oppose the gospel are not even worthy of our notice and we need not fear, they can stop the truth there like and that he thinks he can quench the sun go tiny insect and do it if you can. You only burn your wings and die. Likewise, there may be a fly who thinks he could drink.
The ocean drive drink the ocean if you can all fly more likely you will sink in it and it will drink you pretty sure that my need any explanations. Those who stand against God have a day with a look like they're in charge them a day were their taunts seem seem threatening but God is working history so that his agenda will be accomplished. His name will be glorified. Those who stood against him all the headlines of the world will seem like a gnat who stood on a train track and try to defy a train national question. Get angry when people mock Christianity.
If you saw people who were mocking the progress of what God is doing in the world you saw them in that image that Spurgeon used a blind man on the train track with the train coming out in full speed, mocking and taunting the train and say the train does not exist. Does that make you angry if you're on the train know it it it it breaks your heart because you don't want to say I don't need to jump out and defend the train. I need you to open your eyes and I need you to get on board and not stand in the way when we are angry at people mock us all we do is demonstrate that were not really confident of our place on the train that's always like we got just the bar so that's what we get angry. I'm never you know your work and you start watching YouTube and look out half later you watch 50 YouTube videos.
Shame on you. That never happens to me this week. This week it started and out half later I watch 58 Bill Mark YouTube clips or give or take a few, but you know it was a lot and was so mad because I was going to go on there and I would like were not all dumb when not all dumb when I don't knuckle dragging Neanderthals. I can give you an intelligent answer that question.
I realize that what was making me mad is that is like there's an insecurity. If I see Bill Laura Negron and the other people are like that is really what they are and that is someone like and that try to oppose the progress of the train.
I will feel anger when I feels deep compassion us a garbage open their eyes. Anger toward others who oppose you as a sign of insecurity in your faith.
There's the other lesson I learned from the rather humorous way the story is told before one day we will retell the stories of our suffering with laughter and joy utilize the oppression they felt that is 18 years is real is better was painful but here they tell it with laughter.
They look back on that painful chapter and they retell it they recasted in the colors of joy, your pain and your oppression is real. I want to take away from that one bit. But I just tell you one day you will look back on those chapters that 18 years of oppression. One day you will tell their stories without tears the joy that so in shroud you will not take away the fact of the pain happen, it will just so envelop it with joy that you won't tell it with the tear of pain you'll tell that the laughter of triumph God's resolution to our pain makes the oppression almost seem trivial in just a moment but first let me tell you about our latest resource treated X lucidly for our Senate life.
Listeners in this latest that honest questions like answers. After getting tackled big questions with short concise answers the kind of responses you can gain when chatting on the coffee shop with a friend or stranger in this new resource. We cover the topics ethics and morality. Everyday theology answers to these questions haven't changed over the centuries but we talk about change with our contact left to get you this new bug right now if you miss value a couple of years ago when we offered him.
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Reserve your copy today by calling 866335 team training or visit us email@example.com. Thanks for being with us today. Now let's return to today's message. I love CS Lewis imagery in mere Christianity he said are suffering on earth, from the perspective of eternity will seem like a bad night in a cheap hotel had a bad night, cheap hotel. I have I want to go years ago when we were my family was driving down the Florida to see a college student serving on a mission project. There was a pastor but with this one was Pastor Rick hi Pastor Rick if he would arrange a night for us to say halfway down so he chose a hotel in Florence, South Carolina.
That was the worst hotel in the United States of America. It smelled it was dark hallway smell like urine at night when you would not get my youngest child sold his pack and play whenever we head up like a closet or emanate they flush the toilet. Walking to the ceiling and dropped on his head.
This is our entire night we got hardly any sleep.
I was angry. I was tired I was, like Rick, I realize were not high rollers. I get that. But is this what we've come to all be paupers.
We have just stayed in the car in the van that would've been better. I was my wife and I we were not happy about it. Now we tell is a big joke. I laughed about it with Rick this week. Why that is one bad night in a cheap hotel and hardly worth remembering. It's more funny to us now than it was irritating. I'm not saying your pain is not real and I'm not saying we should just laugh about it. What I'm saying is that there is a joy that is coming that will make you look back and tell even the dark chapters of your pain. Through the laughter of triumph.
The last lesson that I story teaches us number five in God's kingdom.
Ehud shows you that availability is more important than ability having you would agree that Ehud was a very unlikely candidate for hero, you have a strong right and if he was willing to yield himself to be used by the Spirit of God. God's kingdom in the world today does not advance through our ability to the right hand of our strength. It advances through availability.
Jesus taught his disciples in numerous places in numerous ways. It was not about their strength when the world it was about them, building themselves to him and want the clearest of that is to me. John chapter 6 the feeding of the 5000.
Jesus stood before a crowd of 5000 men.
Scholars say probably a total of around 15 to 20,000 people, you know the stories you been in church.
Jesus says to his disciples, ma'am. You guys are hungry for three days. Want to give him some date and Philip Moore, the disciple says rather sarcastically. Some the Jesus we could all block the job for eight months combine our money might be Obama don't hold a couple coffee when he dim sum the you know the story, Jesus takes the little boys lunch or bold what we call it the Hebrew happy meal.
He takes it. He divides and spreads it out.
Not only are all 15,000 fully satisfied. They have 12 baskets left over is the only miracle that's recorded in all four Gospels you want to know why I think that is because it made such an impression on the disciples because Jesus was teaching them how his work would go forward in the world is one day they were to stand in front of 15,000 hungry bellies. They were to stand in front of millions of unreached people starting for the gospel and Jesus wanted them to know that it wasn't about their ability to strategize and fundraising figure that out it was simply about them. Yielding themselves to him because Jesus could do more to end world hunger in 10 minutes with the boys five loaves and two fish than Bill Gates could do it him lifetimes with all of his vast riches is not about your ability to simply you say Jesus use me Jesus here I am once you put your spirit in me, and why don't you use me any assignment that you given to me to see another example this and I say this time Philip different Philip but stalls and Philip is preaching in a city called Samaria and Samaria. There is lots of people really say hundreds, maybe thousands of people coming to Christ and the Spirit of God says to Philip I want you to leave here where the ministry is hot and I want you to go hundred 50 miles away how to a dusty dirt road.
I want you to sustain her weight. Philip is confusing that what you talking about. Have an awesome ministry or want to be working safe and spread out the door you to do it filters out there he stands in this dusty road and after a few minutes in the distance comes a chariot and it now holds it, will we now call the Ethiopian eunuch and Philip shares Christ to be up in unit Ethiopian unit trust Christ goes back to Africa and Eusebius, the third century historian in the church says that Ethiopian unit founded the church in Africa. A church that is still alive today. What is the writer of acts trying to show you he's trying to show you that God can do more.
One act of obedience and all the apostles could do in the hundred lifetimes thousand mission trips what God needs is just once you to obey.
It is not about you changing the world or your friends to the right-hander strength is about you yielding yourself to him. It's all about obedience. On Friday I received the most extraordinary note from someone at our Kerry campus.
The girl says on the way home from Bible study on Thursday night were driving up Lake Wheeler Road and an older Muslim woman was standing next to a stock-car and as we pulled our car onto the shoulder. She started running up to our car. Much to my protest body. The guy that she was with who is also part of the Kerry campus body stayed with her.
I didn't want to because I just don't trust people so she gave him money to get gas and he went to buy container and fill the tank farm bring it back. We got back is trying to get her money back. She didn't speak English well.
Bobby told her to keep a tank of gas and her money and told her the reason is he just come from small group where he had been reflecting on how much God had blessed him over the last few years how much you learned about the gospel how much she grown how much God had done his life and he felt like in light of how generous God been to him didn't want to keep her money. He wanted to give at this point as they were trying to communicate another Muslim woman got out of the car thanked him profusely and said that he was a godsend and I met so much to her because her son had just been murdered in Chapel Hill. Bobby told her that we just left small group and I prayed for them. There we had literally just left small group were the last thing we did was prayed over this family and the loved ones of those murdered in Chapel Hill two days ago.
I think it is amazing in a time were Muslims in America feel so persecuted that Bobby could be a light in a difficult situation tonight and perhaps that he could be a tiny witness of God's love to them.
You may not feel like you have much to offer. God doesn't need that much that you have offer all God needs is availability.
God can use you said I don't how much talent I don't have a right-hander strength that's never been about the right-hander strength, not with the apostles, not with you but never be a passive conference where Adrian is also not for you and Adrian Rogers with other pastors thousands back maybe you were valedictorian stand up and full of people nobody stood up and started collapsing on the web you review is a running sent him if you went to school on college on academic scholarship, an athletic scholarship review on the homecoming court. How many of you, I just want all these honorifics you were in these categories and at the end is about 30% of the audience and whether they are there standing of the Who's Who.
These are the ones that have something to brag about due to the groups and nobody says this he said on good news and bad news for those you there standing up to the good news is that God can use you to the bad news is that you're not his first choice.
His first choice of those that are seated beside you because God chooses the week. The same a strong and God wants to do things in the world in a way that the glory will not go to the strength of the manner of the speed of the horse, but will go to God who fights the left hand of weakness. God doesn't need your ability to sponsor availability. Where has God told you to act that you're not obeying him. Maybe there is a ministry vision is put on your heart that you have yet to pursue. Maybe he has told you to start doing something that you're not doing it. Maybe he's told you about a person that you need to reach out to every time you like God there and asked me questions I don't know. They might not meet. I don't want to be in that situation what you're saying is that now is not strong enough to me. You have all the answers.
I don't need your arm. All I need is for you to obey me. Just when I tell you to stop the car. I want you to stop.
God does his work in the world through ordinary people obeying him and ordinary ways. And God takes those weak acts of obedience and infuses them with his power so that you and your life can say like Ehud and like Philip like a little boy. Zachariah is not by might or by my power, it is by your spirit, and this is what the Lord has said that he discovered the secret of Christianity discovered the secret of Christianity, you'll save yourself by your strength God gives it as a gift.
Christ purchased it in your place, and offered to you. Anyone most unlikely people to serve his purposes. It all begins with simple steps of obedience. That's one of the many lessons that we find in Judges chapter 3 delisting descendent life with pastor and Bible teacher Jeannie Greer. I'd like to encourage you to get a copy of our newest resource inspired by Pastor JDs asked me anything podcast the new book titled honest questions quick answers of volume 2 tough questions from listeners like you, such as, can you lose your salvation where if a child wanders from the faith that the parents fault or how can I trust Christians when so many are hypocritical and answers are short and concise.
Our goal is to get overly deep, comprehensive responses accessible answers great resource that you don't want to get your copy today when you get a financial gift.
$35 or more, eight 663-3550 T 20 833-5224. Give online Jeannie Greer.com you can also write a Bible study Jeannie Greer ministry, PO Box 12290, Durham, NC 79 Molly benefits tomorrow. Turns to the subject of empowering women in leadership listen Thursday when Katie here teaches on the topic from Judges 4 and five right here