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The Four Helps to Faith, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
July 22, 2022 9:00 am

The Four Helps to Faith, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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July 22, 2022 9:00 am

From day one, Christians worldwide have faced physical and intellectual attacks. So in a world that’s opposed to everything we believe, how can we stand strong?

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Today on Summit life with Jeannie Greer's faith that gives you the ability to obey us to forgive somebody was hurt the whole people in the dark chapters by walking through Jesus endured such possibility for you, but you begin to say no. I want to leverage what I have what I have the joy that drove him you laid it all on the line author and legend Jeannie Greer. As always, I'm your host Molly. That's from day one, Christians have faced ridicule, torture and even death because they refused to give up their fate though Christians in America may not always face physical attack those who truly want to live for God still states intellectual and emotional attacks being labeled as radicals and lunatics. In fact, Richard Dawkins once argued that teaching a child about God should be considered child abuse. So in a world that's opposed to everything we believe, how can we stand strong pastor JD answers that question today on Summit life with a message from Hebrews chapter 12 called the four helps to believe that God what God has revealed about himself in the Bible is true and following him is worth it. Without faith, the writer says you will never please God, because you will never go all the way with Jesus. Remember that the people to the author of Hebrews is writing or people who are struggling because the Christian life is gotten hard for them. The writer of Hebrews offers them for help for their faith in difficult times four helps further faith in difficult times, look at how he sets about chapter 12 verse one therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

The writer here says that the Christian life is like a miracle. The point is the Christian life is hard so he gives us four motivations to keep going here they are number one tells us to consider the witnesses.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses now therefore always went backwards.

So in this case, what is it pointing backwards to the answers Hebrews chapter 11 to the list of people that he is given in Hebrews 11 who risked all of it on God's promises these Old Testament saints are people just like you with the questions that you have any says that they are like people in a marathon started before us and now they're standing alone. Besides, as we run telling us keep going to like about the die but you can make it. It's worth that you'll make it. I made it that your first help to faith is that you should consider the witnesses here's your second help of faith is in verse two. Fix your eyes on Jesus, looking unto Jesus in Greek. What little he says there is look away to Jesus as if look off into the distance. It's not something less than what you look at him doing right now is very important that something you're looking at it doing now you're looking out of your pain and out of your darkness to look away to Jesus.

Because the cross shows you that he's committed to seeing this thing through the resurrection shows you that he is able to see it through.

The cross shows you that the pain you are experiencing now is to be expected, but don't lose heart, because God only brings the power of resurrection.

Out of the pain of the cross is your second help the faith disregard help of faith. Verse five. Have you forgotten the expectation that addresses your sons my sons do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord will be weary when reproved by him.

The Lord disciplines the one he loves, chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure God. Good news is treating you. Besides jump out of verse 11.

For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by 12 therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees right on your third help persons consider witnesses. I don't want to fix your eyes on Jesus third went across the fatherly sovereignty of God, not there's actually two metaphors that are working these verses. Here's the first metaphor that that he uses in the verse of that of a coach, you have a coach that knows what is coming back. I told you sometimes, the way God answers your prayers is by giving you what you would have asked for. Had you know what he knows.

Just because it's not your plan that mean it's not a good plan, but just because you're not it's not your plan that it's a good plan because God's plan is to mold your image into his character and to increase your faith in your delight in him, so he is tearing you down in your strength you can rebuild you and is which leads me to the second metaphor uses in the verses which is that of a father. The word used for discipline in verse five is a different one than the one in verse 11 in English. They look the same but in Greek it's the work idea from which we get our word podiatry SQL good father disciplines a child, a good parent disciplines his child for wrongdoing not to pay them back for their wrongdoing but the former character God is committed. He's not punishing but he is committed to growing you up in him and a lot of times he uses pain and disappointment to do it.

Some of you only learn to think about God is a precious moments, God who calls you or did you one fuzzies are using your universal celestial piata you whack with a face that. But God is not a celestial piata and is not a fuzzy, sentimental God is a father. This is a fatherly love a tough love.

A love that forges your character in a love that grows you up into maturity. You have often heard it said that the difference in a mothers love and a father's love. In this way certification but mothers and fathers love is that a mother shows her affection by pulling the kid close father shows his affection by pushing to get out our kids get hurt.

My wife Veronica, but she's all over them, pulling the men comforting them in the pool I'm showing my love my kids by pushing them out. Both of them a loving God does both to you. He is tender like a mother in this illustration and he is tough like father do you trust that in all things God is disciplining you as a son or daughter that all knowing, all powerful God is in control of all things in your life, and he is using all of them for your good, because the writer says that is key in developing faith because it means that you can now listen, you can know that in every situation, every difficult situation, every frustration, every inconvenience, every disappointment, every broken heart.

Every tragedy, God is at work forging your character. I'm not saying that he is the one doing those things that you what I am saying to you is that God is in all things working for your good and he is taking even the disappointments and everything, even the small mundane thing is taking everything and he is forging your character so that you become like Jesus.

But let me assure you one other textual thing. That's just too good to pass up right verse five. This cellulitis is don't take lightly.

God's discipline. December 5 the Greek word translated take lightly the exact same word translated the spies in Hebrews 12 to where it says Jesus despised her, took lightly the shame of the cross in English.

They look the same to be in Greek of the same name as they get translated differently. She might not realize it. To say more but there's a reason the use of the same work on the cross, Jesus took lightly. The pain the scorn of others. We are told not to despise or take lightly the discipline of God.

Now here's the irony. We usually reverse those only we despise the pain in our life but we put value on the opinion of others. We should put value on the discipline of God.

We take lightly and we should take lightly the opinion of others.

We put value on a message because we don't esteem.

God esteems we don't honor what God honors and that is the growth of our faith. As I told you the beginning.

There is nothing on earth more valuable than faith. There is no greater gift to God to give to you than faith. So sometimes God will take away things of lesser value from you to work in you the thing of greatest value which is faith. Sometimes he withholds earthly blessings from you so we can teach you about the real blessing which is God himself. You have thought of God again.

Is this piata but if you just got them just right to give you all the things that you asked from you but Hebrews 11 six. Is this without faith it is impossible to please God, because he comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

Now what is you reward them with what you reward them with what are they seeking a civil would ask that seeking an adverse seeking him orders him God is his own best reward award you with just a celestial palace or a BMW on earth really doesn't thank you for, but he is is all best reward right you don't hit you got the piata get out good comes out of his own piata and the greatest thing to God to give you is an enlarged understanding of how good he is and to treasure and delight in him and number four is your fourth motivation to keep going. Focus on the joy focus on the joy that phrases give them verse to verse two, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, he despise a shaman is seated now. The right hand of the throne of God. What was it was it that held Christ to the cross of the nails, of course not be serious. He raised the deadly calm storms you all the walls got out of the nails. What held him to the cross. According to verse two was a motion, you may not be expecting joy. Joy is what held him to the cross. How does a man go through the pain of the cross with joy. Simple.

Look forward to it and grab hold of the joy that awaited him and the other side. The joy of what was that joint was the joy that awaited him think about what was it that Jesus would have on this side of the cross that he did have an outside rule, God would have Yorty had that kingship of the universe already is the adoration of angels is from eternity past, what is the one thing that he would have after the cross that he did not before you was doing all that save you.

You were his inheritance for the joy of reconciling you and me to himself. He endured the cross with joy. The writer is getting that if Christ felt that way about you that not make you long to see him. What the author says his look and grab a hold of this joy. If this is the God who gave it all up to save you.

Doesn't that empower you to give up what you have for him. Doesn't that make you willing to suffer for his sake. And furthermore, if Christ gave himself up so that you could be saved, does not make you willing to give up what you have, so that others could be saved, when you were lost.

Jesus major rescue his joy. If that is true.

Can't you make the rescue of others in the same condition that you are in for Jesus said you can't you make the rescue of them. Your joy, people of faith are joint driven differences about his religious and somebody of interest form of the gospel people, religious or duty driven. Knowing what I now but people have been touched by the gospel are joint driven, even in the cross there driven by the joy of knowing in pleasing the one who gave up everything to save them in the joy of rescuing others just like they have been rescued. Why is it that a believer gives up their possessions. The time their lives to see people reached it's not because they taken about poverty or they don't enjoy nice things is the joy of what you will obtain by giving away those things that is greater than the joy you derive from those things away in testimony, but first let me tell you about a daily email devotional that is available to arsenic like family. I know we'll get spammed with lots of staff. We simply don't care about when you'll not only come to appreciate actually experience growth frowned as a result, the devotionals even follow along with whatever our current teaching on the program and you can find these messages regardless and you were scheduled to sign up for this free resource. Visit You can also learn more about our brand-new monthly resource available with your gift to the ministry today. Thanks for being with us.

Now let's get back to the final moment of today's message verse one is also now lay aside every weight the sin which clings so closely, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us silly distinction sins and waits. There are a lot of Christians their life is only by give me a sense when you understand the joy that drives you that lead you to new questions. That's like not just what is sin but what is also waits in the Olympics and swimming. As far as I know as far as I know you are allowed to swim in jeans with a full beard. I don't. Here's a rule that says you can do that, but I've never seen one, do it. They strip themselves out of everything body fat. There right decent clothing. There were things that like him about it. Why would a man wear that. But they're doing that because they're stripping everything down when then it slows them down when you start being driven by joy. The question is not what is sin question is what is keeping me from knowing Jesus and delighting in Jesus.

What is keeping my life from being used for the mission.

People of faith are those who are so consumed by the vision of eternity that they would gladly give up their lives here for joy. What they obtain their medical and tell you there's a lot of you that have hobbies and possessions that are five and of themselves they are not sin, but they are probably distracting you from the mission that sends per se there just waits you'll know that you're being transformed by the gospel when it becomes less am I allowed to keep this and it becomes now.

How how can I give this away because I want to be. I want joy to see people come to Christ joy. Pleasing Jesus. That's what faith is. Faith is being driven by that joy of what you obtain their living in a way, now that you know hundred years from now. You be glad that she did in Richmond Virginia at the headquarters of the international mission board. There is a wall of panels on which are inscribed the names of every Southern Baptist missionary was died on the field in the past hundred 50 years. It's very moving. If you've ever seen fathers and mothers and wives and children and grandparents you gave up everything and paid with their lives. Some of them died of disease. Some of starvation. Some violent acts of persecution and at the top of that plaque is inscribed one verse 12 to looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith you for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despise the shape and set down the right hand of the throne of God. These people did what they did because they believed the joy was greater but kept their eyes on Jesus, let me share one story with you given to me by member of our church member of the summa church you live in Afghanistan for many years.

I asked him to write this down because I want to make sure I got it right writes in January 2008, a friend of ours. Clara was kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban. Clara, which is not her real name Claire was a humanitarian aid worker in Christian woman who had moved to this far-off country to help serve the poorest of the poor.

She worked for five years and some of the harshest areas of the country, leading women's skills training program and be like for the gospel in a very dark place her presence in the city was a threat to radical Islamic religious leaders for several reasons one she was bringing education to women which they didn't believe should learn skills outside of the home. At second she was a Christian woman. They were threatened by the idea that women would be exposed outside ideas and they would be able to control what they thought she had gone to serve Afghans out of a desire to be a witness for Jesus.

The only reason she was there in southern Afghanistan was because of the gospel.

It was her understanding of what Christ had done for her on the cross how he made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant that left her to leave her life in suburban Richmond to move one of the most sacred places on earth. A place where dust storms are a daily occurrence were Windows have to have blast film because of the risk of explosions, a place where there was no electricity to even run a fan in the hundred degree heat in the summer where she would have only sporadic Internet access to write emails or get news from home, a place, one armed Islamic group that is hospital of the gospel operates with impunity. She did all of this because she understood that Christ had come to earth to face even greater danger for her even more separation from his father even more discomfort for her sake.

I have a few others for Martin ended up negotiating with the hostage takers for six months.

During that time we received news that she was being moved around from place to place to keep her in the US military tried several rescue attempts. In fact, it was the same unit that did the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound seal team six that was tasked with trying to rescue her twice. They got very close.

One of these times she been moved to a neighboring house as the troops arrived. Another time she was hit in the basement of the house and the rescue team just Mr. you can only imagine the frustration Clara must have felt to hear her rescuers just feet away and then to realize that the attempt to fail from knowing Clara though. I can tell you that despite these disappointments she did not lose faith in her real Savior.

When news of Clara's kidnapping was heard in the streets, pushed young women from the southern stronghold, the Taliban were outraged for the first and only time in the history about a press place 300 women marched to the governor's mansion to demand that he do something to free her. These women have benefited from personal project and they were not protesting because I had just taught them a few skills they demonstrated because of the incredible witness of humble service that Clara had had among them they protested, you might say because they saw Christ in her. I wish I could share with you the story ends happily.

But the story has no ending. We don't know what happened. Clara she Been moved from village to village and offer one group of road men to another. The last we heard she was headed over to a nomadic group of armed smugglers that wandered through the desert of death in southeastern Afghanistan and then she disappeared, will not, she was killed. They had threatened to kill her because they knew she was a Christian we have no proof and nobody but she's not been heard from in over two years she simply disappeared. Is she an extraordinary hero of faith well, in a sense she was. I along with several members of the summa church knew her well. She is a woman of faith. But if I sit and remember her as she was.

She was a regular girl from Richmond, Virginia, a friendly, smiling friend, a person who struggled along with the rest of us. What was hot girl who loved to go on vacation. A regular American girl decided to step out in faith and obey a calling from the from Jesus to go to places she wasn't sure she could handle. I saw God's grace and strength enable her to develop an amazing project. Among these women in southern Afghanistan.

And I know that God's grace and strength were with her and she was taken by the Taliban faith is demonstrated in times of adversity, but it's work is manifest long before that sometimes faith is quiet, working humbly in love, but it is that same faith that makes a regular girl like Clara stand up to one of history's most vicious regimes and say Christ is better in the mission is worth. Apart from faith in Christ there is no explanation for such a life.

So I am asking you the same question I asked you last week. Apart from faith in Christ. Is there an explanation for your life is yours the kind of life that we would say there's no God's promises are true what they're doing makes sense because if not, you're not walking by faith in your life is not pleasing to God.

Also, suburban cultural Christian is faith that gives you the ability to lay it on the line is faith that gives you the ability to obey. That makes sense to forgive somebody was hurt you to get back up after you fall to pray when things seem hopeless hope even in the dark chapters to leverage your life and your skill in the places that are not advantageous for you, are solely advantageous for the gospel is by looking to Jesus, who has authored and finish this who has endured such hostility for you that you begin to say now I want to leverage what I have only give what I have the joy that drove him. Have you laid it all on the line in faith is not the answer is requesting this will you will you lay all the line of faith. All of it. We say God.

This is not true. The gospel is not to remove waste everything I believe it is true, leverage everything on every meter with the same for every person in the call, the same total and complete surrender listening to Senate life with pastor and author Jeannie Greer, Jeannie, we're offering this new Bible study this month to our faithful supporters. Can you tell us how this resource. Christ is better will help us grow in our faith, what you find is that these heroes of the Hebrew Bible were not so much examples that were supposed to emulate right as much as they were signpost that pointed us to a Savior that we were to hope in door. I think what you'll find is that Hebrews can inspire you if you want to read it correctly.

If you read it as a as a bunch of examples to emulate. Examples of crushing visual think like I could never be in Esther and I could never be a David, will you see that they were just broken people like you trusted in Christ. You learn that the same Savior that empower them can empower you. I think this Bible study they were offering alongside of our teaching here in Summit life. I think it will take you deep into these examples take you back into the stories of some of these people that the writer of Hebrews references and show you how not only you can learn from their examples which you can can learn to perceive the same power of the Savior they receive when you get to support this ministry today. We'll send you this brand-new Bible study that follows right along with our current teaching series on the program comes with our thanks when you join our mission to spread the good news of the gospel to severe the suggestion getting level is $35 or more and remember every penny you donate history today and your copy is better 335 20 easier to get on hi Molly, thanks for being with me and sewer to join us study right here on your ministry

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