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So to say I was thrilled when James called me a few weeks ago and said Robbie, would you consider not one but two of this my attached, but I haven't done a twofer here in a long long time I get to be with you this Sunday and I get to be with you again next Sunday. What an honor and and Bob was saying I'm a de facto member of peace church. There's no doubt I am. I often think of you all in the again lot of you, radio show, which is really really nice and and then I get a chance to listen to the sermons online. Sometimes, and sometimes enforced into that because what happened this time so I had to tell your funny stories you know James called me and asked me to do this in about two weeks later which was probably about three weeks ago he said.
Oh and I forgot to tell you that we been doing this reading plan and so you need to preach Romans 1314, 15, excuse me, 14, 15 and 16 and I went okay. Anything that Romans chapter 14, 15 and 16. He said yes and I said okay and then you know that was the conversation, and so I went about thinking all my word.
I couldn't read Romans 1415 16 female in the time it's allotted. How my going to preach on this whole overall concept itself. IIII started like okay well understood. I love to listen to the Bible in my car you know and I've got this little Bluetooth speaker and I can put the Bible app on and I can just listen to Romans 1415 16 and I'm trying to climb to 40,000 feet ago. What's the overarching theme. You know, because how can I do this and so I thought well I know in Delos I'll listen to James and sermons to see how he gets three chapters of the Bible into one sermon. When I listen to his sermon.
It was one verse, and so I called him an incident and told him the story was funny and he said oh you arrive you just did find one verse and then you bet they're doing this and we want everybody to enjoy God's word so it was a treasure hunt. I mean just one and so let's pray that God will because you know what good is treasure. If God doesn't put the light on it. What good is a treasure.
If God doesn't put his light on it so that you can see it right you know you could dig in the dark. And if it's dark down there. You can't see if it was a working pray God will do that. Jesus, thank you for this amazing book of Romans that Paul just brilliant man of God that you you through the Holy Spirit certainly gave him something there and I pray that as we dig into this today that you would lighten it up for us in new ways that we would find a way to not only shine the light on the treasure but shine the light on you for other people that they too would be able to come into your family and and be healed in and be found in the field chosen and restless in Jesus name, amen's as I was going over this and over and over and over and over trying to figure out how I could do. Romans 1415 and 16. The overarching thing.
It seem like it just happened in the first verse. So if you look to if you got your Bibles with me if you don't perfectly okay.
You're probably familiar with the verse is Romans chapter 14 verse one and what's interesting is I climbed look at the overall picture of all these chapters and then it seemed like he took me on a microscopic vision down into this one verse to see how it kind of applied to the whole three chapters. So what Paul said here pending on your translation is something along the lines of now, except the one who is weak in faith but not for the purpose of disputes about opinions so while there's a whole lot there and so I thought I would give you what this feels like practically here I am again started to walk away. You guys just give me the sign like Robbie get back in line with the camera so when I was 722 years old, so this was in 1977 I had decided one night that I was given commit suicide because I fell all alone. My family lived in Kansas City at this point time they left me in Albuquerque a few broken hearts along the way with girls that the situation didn't work out and I was doing a job I really didn't enjoy and I didn't see much hope in life and so I figured that there is just no sense in all this effort and whatever that I should just end my life and now being the creative person that I am I didn't want to do anything that was painful or nauseated. So I thought well if I take medicine Esco make me sick. I don't feel that way. And if I cut my wrist and some this is because I have a plan and my plan was to just lay in the bed until I starve to death of this would be hard it would be not painful and I could just lay there until I was gone and nobody would know that I was going missing because nobody cared about me in a distant matter. So I proceeded on my plan to commit suicide by laying in the bed and as God would have it, and I do see God in this and I hope you see it later, you may not see it initially, but I think you will as God would have it, there came a knock on the door of this is Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1977. So it would not be unusual for what happened to happen is there was a girl at the door and she was selling the book Dianetics. The modern science of mental health. For those of you may not be familiar with that book. That book was written by L Ron Hubbard and he is the founder of the Church of Scientology and so not unlike the Jehovah's Witnesses in that time in Albuquerque.
The Scientologists would go from door to door selling this book in hopes that somebody would read this book because that is the entry point into the church of Scientology.
Of course I was just disturbed that she was at the door because I'm trying to die here.
My motive was just to get her away from here because I've got to go back to what I was doing what you laying there nine and so she hands me this book is two dollars and she says to me something that will never be forgotten. Your to read that book and Juergen call me in the moment and I was like sure Mike took the book and I went back to bed and as I'm laying in bed.
Of course I thought well I got nothing else to do re: this stupid book and the book made perfect sense. You know it was it was describing the basics of what I would find out would be used in many psychotherapy treatments are ways that you could find things that were going on in your life that were messed up and that you could get healing from this like wow and I was clearly very messed up. I saw no hope in life and then all the sudden, as I read this book to start happen. Hope and so sure enough man next morning is mission opened up 9 o'clock on: you know what's up with this stuff you didn't know I was in the church. Scientology did actually resident for over two years and ended up in the organization, but this next morning I experienced Romans chapter 14 verse one because those people received me when I walked into the church.
Scientology, you could not of felt more grace you could felt more like you were their favorite. You couldn't feel more accepted, you couldn't feel more loved ministers how these people treated you because what you are. You were an opportunity for them to write and grow their religion and so Satan has this figured out I mean he knows this stuff actually to my opinion better than we did that. He knew that if I can make Robbie feel accepted and loved and part of the. The family and validated for having some understanding Robbie will fall right into this trap. He will and he didn't. He didn't and you know what they never said will are you a Christian when I came in didn't say they didn't try to argue with me about anything. I believe their whole deal was that they were going to receive me and they were going to love on me and they were going to do this, they were to take somebody who's actually quite weak in their faith and love on them is a beautiful thing in its own way because it really in its own way save my life. It was just my story and my story is the church of Scientology showed up at the door in 1977 and took me in and loved on me and made me feel worthwhile and accepted. So as I began to study this thought it's kind interesting that I've experienced this. I know what that feels like. But what's called getting at here would see really getting at. So interestingly, when he said, except the one who is weak.
You see that first first week, but that word could just as easily be translated in Greek or Hebrew, depending on whether you want to choose which language as disease.
That's an interesting take on that right because at one point time Paul says that a certain person in second Timothy. He makes reference to this person being sick so sick and weak or similar, but when you think about people like if you had known me like Tammy knew me okay when she met me I was still a Scientologist.
I was not a Christian so she was literally unequally yoked to me.
Okay, but she received a man she loved me and she made me feel wonderful and we got married.
I was still a Scientologist but she had something that was just really captivating to me.
She believed in God and I could tell that she believed in God see her faith wasn't disease. Mine was II literally was disease. I wasn't as weak. I had things I had tumors growing on what faith was in who God was. That literally needed to be removed at some point in time, but at this point in time.
She just accepted me without disputing my the room and she wasn't like will tell me what Scientology is, tell you where that stupid.
Now if you're in the church of Scientology and I was if you don't continue to go to the church of Scientology, you get a call at least once a month, sometimes every week which goes on to this very day and so I have had unbelievable opportunity as compared to most people to witness to Scientologist and approve this passage is so accurate.
If any of Scientology's call me and I begin by disputing with them about where Scientology is false.
I can never ever ever come close to winning them to the thought that maybe Christianity would be a better plan. You can't do. I mean, you could argue to the cows come home you not to get there but if you get them on the phone and you begin to accept them and realize that you and I can argue them into the kingdom you're going to tell them. Wow, you know, there are some really good things about Scientology and there are some really good things about Scientology that there probably is really good things about Buddhism. Whatever. But the thing of it is when you feel welcome accepted and loved and like you're not an idiot. Then people all of a sudden are interested in what you have to say. As Tammy did with me. So when I was studying this word week. It led me over to unbelievable passage that really just engaged my heart a lot and that comes in Ezekiel 34 and if you would mind turning back to that.
You can find it.
Actually in the Ezekiel 34 four is kinda where Paul was normative because it speaks to exactly the same thing. So if you find Ezekiel 34, and one of the cool things is that passage begins that this would shares a side note, that I think is really exciting is the way that Ezekiel starts the passage of InContext is he the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel. That's pretty cool to me, and what he said was Son of Man.
That's what you've always heard it right, you've always heard it Son of Man, Jesus referred to himself often is Son of Man and that's rich. But listen, how much richer it is. If you really think what is going in there if you could read that in Hebrew. It would actually say been a dong, which is Adam okay because man and Adam are the same word A.D.A.M. is Hebrew for man.
So when he said Son of Man what he was really saying is son of Adam, why is that important because Adam had some kids one of them was Seth and he went the right way and follow God had another kid named Kane, which were all the people that chased after other gods and so when you see CS Lewis in the Narnia series. He always used on Adam. He didn't, you know, you sons of Adam. The reason he did that was because those of us that are in Christ are in the line of Seth, which puts us in the line of Christ, and so literally what God was saying to Ezekiel. Literally he was saying, son son because Ezekiel was in the line of Seth you see he was saying, son, listen to me. I got some for you and he is basically saying prophesy against the shepherds. I got this against the shepherds and thus you get the title to determine which feed my sheep. So in Ezekiel 4 for he is prophesying against the shepherds, and here's what he says you do not strengthen the weak, heal the sick or bind up the broken the strays you don't seek for or the loss he's telling you how to what to do with the week right.
First, you gotta find him over the loss. She that would've been me if you known Rick Eklund at the memory. That bid was lost.
Okay and and my friend Bill next on the show Saturday yesterday if you heard it. I don't really have thought about it ever since.
He said it the Desmond Tutu said that when Jesus was talking about the lost coin, the lost sheep, the loss on the whole prodigal son idea was in that one set of parables and he said that sheep we always think of the lost sheep is being this little cuddly huge baby sheep got lost because Desmond Tutu said no that was the old belligerent hard to get along with random he's the guy that had chased off into the thicket and gotten himself in all kinds of trouble that that what Jesus was going to leave the 99 Little good sweet sheep and go after this hardened bonehead over here. Okay, that would be me see the picture and you're not going to get that hardened bonehead to come to you if you start calling him a hardened bonehead damages for if somebody told me how stupid I was for being in Scientology, they would have gotten past anything. That's what Paul is saying if you want to feed my sheep right Jesus said to Peter three times do you love me feed my sheep.
Do you love me feed my sheep. It gets back to.
He is the good he is the good Shepherd and he even one time gives us this illustration of determining what's a good Shepherd from a bad Shepherd so if if you're the one that's going to receive God slip this to me yesterday so beautifully. What's the secret what's the magic word and he said it's care fascinatingly on my way to talk to you guys this morning I saw this big billboard for Cracker Barrel.
It said the secret ingredient care okay all I could.
Tammy, why could she draw this old goat. This old lamb. Christ is because she cared about me see the good shepherds really care about the sheep as we Jesus said I'm a good Shepherd. I care about the sheep well find somebody that really cares about people and you're gonna find yourself pretty right and in if you really care about them. You won't just leave them out there in the deck on thicket. So if you're going to receive these people and not to argue with them. To me the secret ingredient the wonderful believable on cool ingredient is that you care and Nancy called in that you know your member Nancy called in yesterday and talked about her care when she goes to different you know in home health and how she praise God show me how to care for this person's chances are they're going to be old and obnoxious and then I can be really glad to get up and walk around this morning.
Just think about what she praise and you get that picture. So when you think about how we can receive. People we we think about how can we be a good Shepherd and how do we go about caring for people and I found another nugget this morning that I'm hoping God illuminates for us. I was just like a well so Paul wrote back and Romans 14 one now except the one who is weak. What in faith is weak in faith.
And here's where the real white man man that word faith can mean a lot of different things, but Paul used a very specific word.
There that fortunately for us we can track through the technology of today, we would never have been able to do it before but you know he wrote it and it was translated into Greek, but in the Greek it gives us an idea through what was used in another translation called the Septuagint so we can go back and see where this word come from worst to first place in the Bible, which Paul would've known based on his understanding the Bible that the first place you use a word is where you really get its meaning, and so where's the first place you find this word faith is specific word faith that uses in the Bible and you're gonna find it just beautifully enrolled in Exodus chapter 17 and so I know you been around this morning on the Bible. But this, this will be worth it put a mark there. Don't ever forget this is this is worth to me the whole BRI here here's here's the enchilada.
God gives us in this picture and Paul met Fort to be there.
In my opinion, he wouldn't use this word if he didn't intend for us to see what he was talking about. She may be familiar that when the Jews were out there running around in the wilderness that the Amalekites were not there good friends and so they wanted to kill and so here in Exodus 17 there is a war between the Amalekites and the Israelites and God told Moses to get up on top of a hill and do what right raises hands but when you raise your hands you're doing with this church does better than any church I know of. And I mean that sincerely your brain. I get up there and pray Moses get a raise your hands. Okay so is it Joshua did as Moses said, and fought the Amalekites will Moses and Aaron.
Her went up on the top of the hill. When Moses held up his hands. Israel prevailed, but when he let down his hands.
The Amalekites prevail. Moses hands grew very heavy so they took a stone and put it under him and he sat down and Aaron and her held up his hands, one on each side, so his hands were steady until the sun went down, and when that word steady right there in your translation, whatever it may say securer or up that word is faith. That word is that word that Paul use that these guys this see what he was weak right. He was disease he couldn't keep his hands up to what happened the first thing they did, which is this is beautiful just absolutely amazing to me. The first thing they did was a slit up a stone under him for him to be his foundation wasn't just any stone right at the foundation. Is this that they put a Bible underage or in what they did.
The first thing they did in and brought about by the way, how did Robbie come to faith. They slid a Bible under my nose and at some point in time right this is this is where it starts. But in order to have an understanding of this Bible you got to pray, you got to raise up your hands and you gotta have people that will help you lift your hands and so we had Aaron and we had her better holding up these hands in a community of three now, do you not saying that there's more to it than that. Just holding up his hands there. There was there was more to it. Of course there was because when two or more are gathered right you have a church. It was her which, if you know her really cool guy.
He was Miriam's son really really cool guy and Aaron clearly high priest. These three very righteous men are praying as they are holding up Moses's hand. She want to know how to strengthen a diseased week sheep this out there all master slide a Bible in the rear and get a hold of your hands now because I just love this stuff so much on this coming did share one another nugget for your pay. In the 16th all which God put it on my heart to memorize, like the 20 like the 23rd Psalm is this like oh my goodness, which talks about the good Shepherd right. He leads me beside still waters not the 16th Psalm you may know the ending of it is so beautiful it's unbelievable at the last person 16 promises. I will show you the path of life in your presence is fullness of joy and I will have pleasures for evermore. So I thought to myself, how did how did David get there. How do they get from the first verse, which is preserved male Lord because I put my trust in you have to get from their two in your presence is fullness of joy and you'll find that there by reading the other 10 verses of the of the 16th Psalm is not a hard one to memorize because it's not that long. So what what happens is I think verse seven or 889 and verse eight, nine, it says I will place the Lord always before me at his at my right hand I will place. Lord always before me at my right hand is the Lord and I will not be shaken when you think about that right hand right there okay I don't know if this can share more stuff with the word for intimacy in Hebrew is God, which is hand expressed so intimacy has everything to do with your hands or what's what's Moses doing is lifted up his hands. Why, because when we get our hand in hand with God when you touch his hand right you eased up a whole world in his hand. There's so much that has to do with intimacy and hands. It's unbelievable. But Jesus and right hand, if you were to look at the way it's failed in Hebrew there synonymous. Jesus is your right hand. When you say right-hander saying Jesus, I promise your right hand is in fact Jesus and of course it is busy sitting at the right hand of God. Okay I was just like wow all the stuff them together. Somehow well if Jesus is at my right hand I will not be shaken but then it says therefore I will be glad my glory rejoices. Did you know you had glory that rejoiced like you know that's your halo and that means it gets its shine on with Jesus at your right hand. Your glory is gonna rejoice. I and it says my flash will rest securely. So if I can get Lord always before me. Jesus at my right hand I then I get all this all these goodies it's all there with that all is prayer. You see, as we raise our hands right.
This is intimacy. God is waiting for your hand. He wanted there was no magic that the Beatles I want to hold your hand became the biggest hit of all time that they knew something that we all know hold your wife's hand or your husband's hand for minute and just get a sense of what they are. All these nerve endings were in here you. Intimacy has everything to do with your hands in the hand of God is absolutely spectacular. And so for these two guys her and Aaron hold up Moses his hands in order to do that. What were they using their hands. What could be more intimate if you're like most men I do not like holding hands and knees don't is for Satan is trying to attack where he knows he can put something between a distance he understands this stuff. We go back to Romans 14 one. Paul knew everything I'm describing to you at the level that I just can't even five. I he knew he and he knew what we can faith meant and he knew how to strengthen people that we can faith and he knew that laying hands on somebody is no small when I had cancer may be referred the story before but if you had now share with you one more. I had lymphoma of the time it was called the killer cell lymphoma.
My sister told me that I would live two months after I got it and she worked for the University of Michigan hospital in time so I was really facing what I thought was death had been a Christian for about two months and I was okay with going to be with Jesus. But it wasn't okay would leave my family that saved my life and all those things.
I had these tumors are all over my skin was T-cell lymphoma and so is in my skin and all through all of my body were all these big flat tumors and from my perspective, I look like a freak.
So I worked at the time that a Chrysler store downtown Winston-Salem and so I wasn't going out on the showroom floor because I to me.
It was embarrassed so I was back in my office trying to run the dealership from back there and a pastor by the name of Richard Liddell from Rinaldi Presbyterian. Which happens to be a great friend of James. If you did know that who you know they've been friends until he passed away about a year ago but anyway he came by the dealership and he told my friend he was a finance manager, who he knew Joe Halsey he said the Lord is told me there somebody in this place needs to be adjusted. Man is gotta be Robbie because he's back in his office and mean he's got this lymphoma and you know it's gotta be who the Lord will put so pastor little came back to my office and I don't want to get this picture that I had the faith to be healed. I actually thought the guy was wet.
I mean he want to pour oil on me and he wanted to lay hands on okay and so here's this guy been a Christian for two years Scientologist for longer than that and believe me, this was not equating in my world of how Rob is going to get well but nonetheless he was a very sincere very very dear man, he lays hands on me and he this was on a Friday. I remembered all too well.
And undoubtedly there were lots of people praying for me. But this is the one that certainly stuck because it was something that I felt in his prayer as he laid hands on me and he left and I was like, thank you very much, whatever. I thought Monday I was supposed to start my oral chemotherapy which I did in fact do before I got there every single tumor that I have did this fact disappear completely. And it wasn't long. It was like 30, maybe there were a bunch of and they were big and they were around and they were all know, and so they did a biopsy on the place were one of them had been in a sit cancer had turned on itself in it and ate it through a man laying his hands on me. A righteous I was diseased right.
I was weak and here came this and do you realize it may just what that did for me for my faith for my understanding you know I something obviously at my testimony like Christian on the road to the celestial city.
I put that down my bosom and always hold it right there that Jesus came and did that for me so that I could have these next 2530 Henry 40 years in order to share mean how cool is that again your hands and prayer are very connected. However he go about doing it just it just works so as we see these people that come into our church or we go after that lost sheep you will be pretty easy actually. If a homeless person walked in here. I bet you every one of you would put her arms around or or prostitute or a drug addict if they walked him through those doors lead all and did not dispute with MC and you know what you been doing is been bad.
That would be easy. Let me tell you where it's hard okay I thought I've had two weeks to think about where it's hard it's where it's your own family member.
I the ones that are really of your flock. The ones that really you got madder and madder and you know all these things have been going on but what's really going on for them is our battle is not against flesh and blood.
It's against spiritual forces and I places and they clearly their faith is weak and they are diseased. We don't see them as a person with cancer.
We see them as a person with a bad attitude.
We don't see them you know as a person that is hungry which is what they are. We see them as a person is made horrible choices will here's the beauty I mean this the more I study this the more I come to understand this is in fact Jesus and Jesus is this… Feed my sheep. The reason like any truth that we can feed these diseased anyway that we can slide a Bible under their agreement. I'm telling you, no matter how disease no matter where their faith. And I mean this is the deal here, here it is okay through prayer, through prayer, through laying hands on them, they can begin to see the light but since I did this, but all their answers. The whole thing for their faith and Paul noses is right here asked why Jesus said to Peter three times feed.
Look at Ezekiel 34. Read the whole passage you get the idea. What is God wanting to do feed my sheep quit eight freedom ride because what happens. We get mad at people and believe me, my family sitting right here, and they will tell you I'm completely I'm completely capable of eating a person alive right when I lose my temper and I lose my temper at that poor homeless personal or no my relatives that is give me crazy right and unfortunately, for whatever reason, those are the people that God really wants me to slide the Bible in and really pray that God will begin to give them truth, help them to understand what faith really is and have that belief that God is who he said look that I stayed here. Are you impressed Larry. I did move too far a Robin good to see you guys.
I will pray.
Jesus, thank you for my friends and the chance to share what you have given us today. Lord I pray that you would help us to digest this in some way that would glorify you that people would see one of the amazing amazing Shepherd you are and that they would realize that a right at your right hand are pleasures for evermore. In your presence is fullness of joy and that you show the path of life. Lord pray that you would make all this happen for us to stay