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August 13, 2019 10:25 am
2 Cor 1:3-5 and Isaiah 40:
You know every time I get a chance to be here. James is such a dear friend asked me to do this somebody did. Maybe the whole congregation automotive praise and I get this amazing download I mean. Amazing stuff that I I'd learned this week just blows my mind from very very excited to share it with you possible of the levels but anyway for years in science and an art and music, people have used the Caterpillar to destroy is an example of what God does with us right and you might know the Caterpillar goes into a cocoon, and it becomes a butterfly and how many of you have Caterpillar when you're younger and you have below experimental glass and and what happens if you cut the caterpillars cocoon to early and try to let set him free.
So anybody know I their wings never expand because part of the deal is that they have to fight and that cocoon to break the cocoon open to make their wings strong enough to be able to fly and what a picture. John Lynch is a preacher in California is hilarious with them upon you to be of some great stuff, but the way he describes it as it is that if you had a Caterpillar and you're trying to tell it. It's a butterfly. He said you could scream out, it will all you want your butterfly butterfly is all you do is hurt its little ears and it's interesting when you think about circumcision of the heart that you know that's what God does with our heart without Christ has no concept of what it is that we we can become and how we can flies speak so I want to show you a short film. I'm hoping some of you seen it. It's absolutely a fabulous 22 minutes. If you ever wanted. It's called butterfly Circus and I wanted to tell that story a little bit to give you an idea why it's called the butterfly Circus and has a character by the name of will is set in the depression.
When things look hopeless and it was really difficult time especially in the dustbowl, which is where this takes place, and will is a man who has no limbs. He has no arms and legs is actually a real person than he was born with a very strange disease that caused them not have any arms and legs and in this, the part that you missed a number for you in a little bit. He was in a freak show and in the freak show. The man that would introduce Tim would say and hear a man cursed by God that God himself turned his back on and then they would show will and in that that was the set up and will heard that every day of his life as they opened up the curtain and kids through great sediment, tomatoes, or whatever else in the world so he finds out about the butterfly Circus and he kinda jumps into it, even though the butterfly Circus doesn't have a freak show and so in this scene is just beginning to meet the ringmaster who is quite the master showman and he understands something that I think John Eldridge would tell you is one of the most critical things you can understand it comes right early in Genesis, the first thing that God talks about men as a Susie's maiden's image and you made specifically male or female in his image and you might've heard me say I know Clay knows that he is herby safe. We all have a special sauce a certain way that we reflect God when I look in everybody's eyes and certainly when I look in Tammy's eyes I can see a way that she reflects God that nobody else can switch like two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on his SBC bond. What's your special sauce so the ringmaster here his looked in the wheels eyes and he has spotted his special sauce. But the problem is that whale has made an agreement with Satan that is a Caterpillar and hopefully this clip will reveal that to train you curse from very man. You can call him that God himself darkest backup. It why would you say that you only see beauty that can come from � now we know you will different from me, you do have an greatest will try. What a great line right. I mean, what a fantastic line that is the greater the struggle, the more glorious victory and will revisit Nick little bit years ago in 1996 I had cancer and went through chemotherapy and then the last day of my chemotherapy.
Tammy and I decided to go on Jeep jamboree to celebrate and on the last day of the Jeep jamboree. The man behind us failed to put his Jeep in park and I was standing at the back of our Jeep in his Jeep rolled down the hill and crushed me between those two cars which point I started this two-year journey in recovery to be able to walk again nearly lost my left leg and I had is this is fascinating to me how God puts people in your life at certain times and our pastor son, led by the name of John courts came to me and he he in the hospital when I was there in a recovering with my lady gave me this passage and he said Rob you want to memorize this, which is just like wow and y'all are probably familiar with it and I was not. I was pretty young. The Lord at that point in time and so it was new to me. I did not read it, and God is been teaching it to me for 25 years now. In some amazing ways that I want to share with you. It's first print the execution of second Corinthians chapter 1 it starts in first three Blessed be God. Even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all underline that word all comfort, who comforted us in our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort where in ourselves are comforted of God so what John was telling me back then was Robbie there may be another purpose in what it is that you see your trying to figure out you just let your cancer not your crushed by Jeep and you know what's all this about an end and he gives me this verse and I promise you within a week I get a call from somebody in church that had a friend that gotten hurt in a motorcycle accident and almost lost her leg and guess what they wanted me to be go visit is right by me. Who better to talk to somebody that was about to lose their leg and somebody that just lost her leg right.
I have been comforted by God. In the very very unique way. What I've left out the story was that you know when I was up in the mountains, and they couldn't get a helicopter anything to me that they were afraid that I might going to shock and I whatever I got this Jesus hug that was unforgettable. That got me through that time and I was comforted by the God of all comfort in a very unique way.
And so I love this verse and I began to observe it and see how it worked out in life in so many different ways. Just really was fascinated by adding those you don't know me, I work for truth broadcasting a radio host and I hosted Christian Kardashian Ashley most people know me for that. But I do a lot of different other work and the associations of Christian counselors out of Liberty University with Tim Clinton's organization had a big conference about five years ago and they hired us to do 200 and hired me specifically to do 200 interviews of all these counselors that were at this conference over the weekend. The time they wanted me to do.
Take four days and do 200 interviews with for 10 minutes apiece, which was just a fascinating thing to do and so if you are given such a test will immediately think that you would do if you're a Caterpillar in this case is by a like manner. What will I do to open up this art work.
About that thing and I will and so I prayed and prayed and God gave me something he said when they're sitting down in front of you.
First thing you say to them is given that second Corinthians 1 passage and see, and so the question would like this it comp that counselors would sit in front of me weren't whatever current counselor they did and I would say you know that passage in second Corinthians words is the God of all comfort comforts us that we might comfort others with the comfort we are comforted with how's that play out in your ministry and you know it hundred 98/200 bear their souls. When I asked that question.
It was like God you gave me the perfect question. How could you give me a better question. I made because in every single case, you can count on gifted people counseled people that did abortion had abortions guess what they had. If the counseled drug addicts guess what they had been. If there are financial counselors just how many bankruptcies they had even Dave Ramsey if you know his story was bankrupt right and I began to see how this verse played out in so many amazing ways. And the more you see, the more you realize the truth of God's word list. What a fabulous thing to observe and see and the one that really tore my heart down in a use you see all these different people to that really got me. The one was a lady that worked for abortion hotline and she took one 800 calls and her husband was sitting there at this interview, like in a chair like Robin is right there and she sitting in front of me like your so she I can see him and I can see her but she can't see him and she breaks down and she begins to cry when asked that question and she says I've never, and she's on the air.
It is one thing to tell somebody something you've never told anybody. You know, just me and you. But how about telling somebody something that you've never told anybody like you had an abortion with your husband sit right behind you while you're on the air and and she literally breaks down and brings this secret out into the light were Jesus could do something with sheep and counseling people for years about the same thing, but never a chair that she herself had been through. It was an amazing thing and I had this dude you know this one time I come to question whether not God to give me the question for this guy, this guy, this guy looked like a psychiatrist to me and if you could picture Sigmund Freud. The little goatee and the three-piece suit with the with the vast in the whole deal and he's got glasses and he sits down in front of me and he is not a counselor. He is a doctor and he is a psychiatrist and he looks the part completely unlike alright so you know that passage in section know the God of all comfort covered let you know I was let go to veterinary health and he too immediately breaks down. I mean this is a psychiatrist. And he is crying and I and I'm seeing the tears stream what just I mean, I never met the guy my life and what we are in the conversation for 30 seconds and this guy is baying like now what, and he says well sit in my case I went insane and I was in the insane asylum in a hospital bed. I just been married for two weeks and there was a red light that I was looking at. That was on the wall and I was certain that that was Satan's and my new wife sat down on the bed and she looked in my eyes and she said I can't live without. I can't take this. She said how do I get to where you are because if I've got to go insane in order to be with you. Help me get there. Do you even believe the intimacy of that statement from somebody that you'd known for less than five minutes and he too never told anybody that story yet here he was a psychiatrist, helping people live because the God of all comforted comforted him and he said Robbie when I heard that for my wife. I had to fight for my sanity.
I had to fight for, and you can imagine me after like I mean, they were story after story after story after story in this verse. If it was like God gave me the magic key to turn on people so you know and and and especially these particular people that were in the business of counseling people and so I couldn't help but take notice.
But as I told you when I thought about this verse like this for years and years and years, but as I was thinking about it for the sermon today. I started think about this really in the context that Paul is talking about the rest of this chapter that understanding.
I just gave you is very true is very real but I think if you were to really study the rest of the passage you would find that that's not what Paul is going after Paul knew something he was declaring a truth that I think is significantly huge. But Paul understood the Scriptures way better than you know anybody I know and him and he just understood what what we just described this and that verse for Micah to get into where Paul was going today but I do want to go into where Paul probably got this. He probably got this because you know obviously he had been quite the scholar. He probably got this from Isaiah 40 which is just this really incredible passage and so if we spend a little time here. I think we'll see that God was given us this in more than one dimension here. If you can look at this with me and some more. The facets of this particular diamond. She read Isaiah 40 it said cut "the passage of startup comfort you, comfort ye my people use the King James cassettes avoid most of us know it right.
I mean, there's a song comfort if you've heard it right, comfort ye remember this but she moved down to chapter 3 of verse three of chapter 40.
This is where want to turn the land here, the voice of him that cried us in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord make a straight path in the desert a highway for our God. Now you guys back last winter.
You are doing a study I came in early and you guys are doing this thing on Exodus and you had all the stuff in the wilderness right and you remember how cool that that the guys showed you something that that when they were in the wilderness. The situation there was your helpless without got you your you are in your cocoon and it's gonna take some serious breaking in order to get out.
In other words, part of the reason God took him 40 years in the wilderness was to build up those wings because how you get water well you better start singing to a rock. You know how our you get good food. Well you you you better start praying. The only way to get it is managed, or quail or whatever you know they couldn't do anything without God something to what Paul was understanding here that II didn't realize he understood that he got this out of the man in the wilderness is crying. You see those people those 200 counselors they'd all been in the wilderness and they'd all gotten their wings strengthened right and you and me.
My situation with cancer are certainly no doubt in with my broken leg. I was, I had this cocoon. I was working on and and still do, but there's something way deeper, way, way, way deeper here that I began to see as a result of your prayers and I I've I fully believe that I would not of seen this this morning. If I did not have district praying for me in this message. But there is one kind of suffering that comes as a result of somebody hit in a car or having cancer. But there's another chronic suffering that comes as a result of my sin. I my temper my harsh words. My sexual whatever my financial whatever right, you may think our obvious get his act together and we just look bad. Where were like the way to go here. I mean a long way to go but see a good friend of mine ran a junkyard for years and things Bob Young, my Christian junkyard guy when my dear friends and he put it this way, said Robbie because he was a drug addict and then asking to teach Sunday school or church needs like I can't say you got the wrong guy. You don't understand my past.
You know, and he said what I thought made me disqualified, made me uniquely qualified right which is another way of saying what Paul said here, God comforted him through his addictions.
When I was in Jamaica I worked at the teen challenge farm.
There is really really cool.
You know the best counselors are for drug addicts. You can count on the fact they were all drug addicts, but these were Jamaican drug addict, so they understand Jamaican drug addict way better than I would understand and to make or some other person came out United States and other words they had been comforted. Specifically, the way that they needed to be in order to be qualified to do what it was.
It got to train them up to do.
But the really beautiful thing about the one who cries out in the wilderness and in a course you know I hope you know that that he's this this has a lot of layers.
This is John the Baptist that there talking about here that this is a prophecy of John the Baptist coming but all by the way, that's you to if you don't think you're supposed to put on your camel scanning go out in the wilderness and try out the people at their hurting from the sin that you've heard from when you don't admit that you failed, you don't make God the hero if I stood up here like I had my act together whose era Robbie Robbie 80. It's God. You see, God came in he forgave me. He died on the cross, he shed his blood so that I could be cleansed from stuff that is unthinkable that I've done I can't believe the stuff in one of the most difficult ways that I can think of to be comforted when you really get down to it, is to forgive yourself for the crazy stuff that you've done. But Jesus's blood you see.
It's kinda cool, like Satan is this bully and he thinks he has all this stuff on I probably you know you're looking at that picture you should of been let you know he's he's the bully right. But Jesus is like Rocky Balboa in red white and blue second met the mere know this guy is clean based on my blood he he's the ultimate bully killer when you start hearing all those accusations and all those things that you've done here comes here comes the real comfort and that's the comfort if you move down and Isaiah 40. This is so cool when you when you guys opened up my eyes are like man like this, it says O Zion bring us good news or good tidings get the up on top of the highest mountain and lift up thy voice, and strength, lifted up, and do not be afraid.
Same of the cities of Judah, jojoba, hold your God, behold, the Lord your God will come with a strong hand in his arm and rule four behold his reward is within, and his work will be before and their say in that you who have been comforted. You see, with the comfort that the you are the voice plan out the wilderness.
You're the one sharing the good news. You're the one who's going to explain what it is that is happened in and I am always amazed at really amazed at the people that God puts in my life. And speaking of the Billy Graham Association. They called me couple years ago and there like Robbie, we've got this Vietnamese pastor. They just came in from North Vietnam and we really want to get them on your show on King numbers.
You know what you do in the Billy Graham Association called you and you're like oh yeah, let's go. When can you be here this Saturday great so I had him he was the only guest on that week, and he came in with two interpreters and none of the three of them spoke English, I can assure you that all these people for the Billy Graham Association. There is a whole entourage, but unfortunately anybody understood, not that it was like and so you know, I've got no idea what the interviews about which often happens and I'm sitting there and I can't use my sick drink the wine is you know just praying God, what were we going here and so I was like well so the Billy Graham Association asked you to be on radio. What did they want you to share with my audience seem like a simple question right now, suddenly, no yoke prison prison when he was imprisoned North Vietnam prison. Now that this is amazing how God took my brain this direction, but he did. I said North Vietnam prison. I'm thinking Rambo three is like was in a swamp in your down there with the leeches and names like an odd swap. I said you are in a swamp in a swamp. I sadly people in this might hundred people 900 people in a swamp you're in a swamp with 900 people there five years. What did you read what was in the swamp. Try to catch a fish. What did you drink you don't want to know I was like oh my goodness, how did you survive God throughout. So start thinking okay I said you know anytime I've been through any real tribulation. God is really sent me some kind of very unique comfort something that was really special for the situation. What did he send you all this really got going because I was quite a sum of about 20 minutes later, he says, you might write this down. The 91st Psalm. He said he didn't know the 91st Psalm, anyone in the fall, but God gave it to them word for word.
If you ever want to some real fun time. Just pretend you're in a swamp. You can't lay down and sleep because you gotta stand in the people are dying all through the night. Hundreds were dying from what he said in most every day they would bring in hundreds more. Read the 91st Psalm sometime this free gratification from the standpoint of being in a swamp and so being the prejudiced person that I am on sit there looking at him in the three with them and I'm like, how do they know who did how did you get out how to they know who's who of I'm sorry it's just being in our lives when and what my good behavior cases that I you know when they come back in the city. He had loop was leading to many men in the swamp to Christ, and so they wanted to get them out of the swamp because he didn't want to convert many more people want to think about it. Number one on like God, why did Billy Grisham give me this. This is a story that needs to be on the homelike world news tonight or this is huge. This is gigantic.
This is way bigger little you know.
Why did why did you give me this story.
This is the most phenomenal things I've ever heard about in my life and as I was sitting there thinking about it and trying to process the 91st Psalm, I pull it up on my computer and I'm reading it and I'm in tears on like I just cannot believe what it is that I'm seeing I began to think you know I'm not terribly surprised that God could keep this man alive while hundreds died at his side every day just like it says in the 91st Psalm by the way, but then you know how these little thoughts quickly in your mind. I went oh my goodness, all those other people in the swamp. They were probably rapists and murderers and who knows what thieves and what all God sent them past Friday. They stole a chicken or whatever it is that they did.
God took this manhood been comforted in the swamp. He took and he put them there to comfort these other people. He led them to Christ. He led the when we get to heaven working to see the moment, but you can also Robbie is really pretty but it but can you imagine these people are in heaven today.
These people have got the ultimate comfort because of the voice crying in the wilderness is not just one of them out just like I can't believe I see this is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life now. I do not know how long my little pastor friend and by the way he looked in perfectly good health need only been out of that swamp about three weeks when I saw man.
He had come out of that cocoon and he was flying, so let's revisit will as the ringmaster through some interesting events has discovered will sequence off special songs.
I find great sin and the watch the whole movie there's some stuff that and it's only 20 minutes and you can see it on YouTube for freedom.
I could recommend strong enough but you see when he was in the freak show. The kids were throwing tomatoes at a treat him like he was dirt and now you see a completely different experiment completely different man and what actually happened is he was at the Riverside and he accidentally fell in the water and he found out that he could swim that that by the way, is not trick photography make himself 10 swim me that that's real what you see right there, and once they realized he could swim. Obviously the could create something where you took beauty from ashes, which you know I don't know what is coming in my life or your life tomorrow or what may be happening, but I do know that God does not waste pain and you know that I'm not sharing anything new that he is going to use the comfort that he comforts you with don't miss the treasure that you will then possess. If you been through that you are in a uniquely qualified position to help somebody on the other side and an especially those who are struggling with their sin's.
If you have been saved by Christ and you understand what it means to be under the blood of Christ and what it means to be a new creation and what it means to fly with those wings in uniquely qualified to be the voice calling in the desert beautiful. Thank you Primo close Lord I pray that Tom all of us will see the beauty of your word and those around us and the things that we see even in the hard things help us to ask for help in strengthen our wings by being in the wilderness ourselves in admitting where in the wilderness that we need your help we can do this without Lord help us to spend time with you there that we could receive the comfort because we took time with you to get it that we might be a comfort to others, especially that of salvation and of your forgiveness which were so grateful for and I asked this in Jesus name, amen. If anybody would like to talk to me afterwards about anything