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Writing Your Story - Part 2

Turning Point / David Jeremiah
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2021 12:25 pm

Writing Your Story - Part 2

Turning Point / David Jeremiah

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January 27, 2021 12:25 pm

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This podcast is made available by Vision Christian Media, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Your donation today means great podcasts like this remain available to help people look to God daily.

Please make your donation today at vision.org.au. Every story has an author, including the story of your life. If it feels like God is guiding your story through rough terrain, don't despair. Today on Turning Point, Dr. David Jeremiah explains that while your story might not be easy, every chapter takes you closer to the destination that the author desires for you. With encouragement for your journey, here's David to conclude his message, writing your story.

And thank you for joining us today. We are concluding our series of messages, The Life God Blesses, with this lesson and the one tomorrow. Well, let's get going now on finishing up our story. Let's finish writing our story, Proverbs chapter 4. Look back again at Proverbs 4 and verse 18 and notice it says, The path of the just is like the shining sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

I want to just leave you with five truths very quickly as we walk through this, but listen carefully. First of all, our journey has a definite beginning. Every journey starts somewhere, amen? You don't just find yourself on a journey, you start. And our journey with God begins when the light of his gospel shines into our heart and we become a Christian. You are not on the right path unless you have been exposed to the light of the word of God and you have accepted Christ as your savior. The child of God begins his spiritual life by allowing the light of Jesus Christ to shine in his heart and he is born again and he begins his journey, his path of the just or his path of light he now occupies. Wherever you are today as a Christian, whether you've been saved for years or you just came into the family of God, you're on the path that leads to God. The Bible teaches that once you are on that path, you can never get off. You can take little detours and get lost a little bit along the way, but the destination is not in doubt.

But oh, the path can be an interesting experience as the story is being written. Here the process that is involved is simply coming to the light. How do we come to the light?

First of all, through the conviction of our sin. Once again, light is involved. John 3 19 and 20, and this is the condemnation that light has come into the world and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light and his deeds may clearly be seen that they have been done in God. So you begin on this path by conviction of your sin that you are not walking in the light. Light from God's word tells us that we are lost. 2 Corinthians 4 verse 4 says, Whose minds the God of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Let me ask you a question. Has the light of the gospel of God shined upon your heart? Have you come to a conclusion in your own life that you are a sinner and the light has exposed that and you are now convicted of your sin and in the process of being convicted, you felt the compassion of the Lord Jesus who comes to you. Notice secondly, the conviction of our sin results in the compassion of our Savior. Verse 46 of John 12 says, I have come as a light into the world.

Why? That whosoever believes in me should not abide in darkness. You are walking along and you realize that you are not on the right path. The conviction of sin begins to take over in your life.

What do you do? You look up and you see that Jesus loved you enough to die on the cross and he sent his light into the world so that you might get on the right path and begin to know him. Then notice the condition of your salvation once again is related to light. John 8 12, then Jesus spoke to them again saying, I am the light of the world.

Now watch this. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness. So you see there is a process of getting on this path. You become convicted of your sin. You realize that God sent his son, the light of the world, into the world to be your Savior and then you begin to follow him. You accept him as your Savior. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No man comes to the Father except through me. I had visited the restaurant that has been started by a combination of the set free ministries and our urban ministry at Shadow Mountain. There is a young lady over there by the name of Lisa who is a waitress.

Everybody who works at Aunt Emma's now, which by the way is just a beautiful restaurant. I am not promoting a business because it is not really a business. It is a ministry. Every dime that comes in there just goes back to help the people who come up with the street. But it is a transition ministry. Many of these people who are serving there have been on the streets. They come and they get saved and they get cleaned up. Then they teach them the trade and they can get jobs as waitresses and cooks and all of that.

The food is great and sometimes a little bit slow, but they are getting better at it and they are learning. This young lady by the name of Lisa came over and sat at our table. She told us her story.

You talk about walking the path of darkness. She had been on the streets for three years. She was hooked on drugs and could not get off of them. She tried everything she knew to turn her life around.

Every recovery program and nothing worked. Then she said, someone told me about Jesus. She said, this is what Jesus can do. She has got a beautiful smile. You would never know by looking at her that she had ever spent one day on the streets. She said her family came to see her when they walked in the restaurant.

They did not know who she was. She said, nobody really understands what Jesus can do. She says, I am what Jesus can do. He is the one who shines the light into the darkness. If you are not on the path, his light is shining into your heart today. Every journey has a beginning.

Every story has a preface. Are you on the path that leads to everlasting life? Our journey not only has a definite beginning. Our journey takes us to some difficult places.

That is a surprise to many people. If you become a Christian, you are going to have difficulty. There is this old thought that goes around that if you are a Christian, all your problems are resolved. When you become a Christian, everything is cool.

You do not have any stress anymore. Nobody who ever says that really understands what being a Christian is all about. Nor have they read the Bible very carefully. Because the Bible does not give us a free pass from the moment of our salvation until we get to glory. The Bible says the narrow way is the way we walk. That there are many who walk the other way. But there are just a few that walk the narrow way. Often there is ridicule.

Often there is resistance. I want you to notice that the path of the just sometimes can be difficult, but is a protected journey. The path of the just is like the shining light, says the Proverbs, that shines ever brighter into the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness.

They do not know what makes them stumble. The way of the light and the way of darkness are clearly marked out in this passage of scripture. The path that has the light is the safe path. The path on which the wicked make their way is the path of darkness and trouble. Would you rather be on a path with a lot of people that is dark, or on a short, narrow path with a few people where there is light?

That is a no-brainer, isn't it? Yet so many people do not understand that principle. In the fourth chapter of the book of Proverbs, wisdom is brought out almost personified. Wisdom speaks as a father to his son and says this in the fourth chapter, verses 10 through 12. Hear my son and receive my sayings, and the years of your life will be many. I have taught you in the way of wisdom. I have led you in the right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. What a wonderful thing to be able to say.

You've led your children in the right paths. Notice Proverbs 18, 10. The name of the Lord is a strong tower.

The righteous run to it in our safe. Psalm 37, 23, and 24. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. In Job 23, 10, he knows the way that I take.

When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. What do all those passages say? They all say that we're on the right path if we have trusted Christ, but don't let anyone try to tell you that that path is without difficulty. That is a bad piece of information. It's bad information because it's false information, and just in these few verses I've read, you can understand that the path of the just is not an easy path.

It is the right path, and it is the one that brings ultimate joy and eternal life, but if you're going to be discouraged the first time you hit a bend in the road, you will be discouraged most of your life. In one of his earlier books, John Eldredge wrote something that illustrates this very well. The first book I remember that he wrote was called The Sacred Romance, and in this book he says that as a young boy around the time my heart began to suspect that the world was a fearful place and that I was on my own to find my way through it, I read the story of a Scottish discus thrower from the 19th century. He lived in the days before the professional trainers and developed his skills alone in the highlands of his native village. He even made his own discus from the description he read in a book. What he didn't know was that the discus used in competition was made of wood and had an outer rim of iron. He was not aware of that, so he made his discus out of solid metal, and it weighed almost four times as much as the discus that was used in the competition. This committed Scotsman marked out in his field the distance of the current record holder and the longest discus throw that had ever been tried and accomplished, and he put this mark out there, and he went out with his all-metal discus, and he trained every day and every night to the burden of this extra weight becoming very, very good. He reached the point at which he could throw his iron discus at a record distance, and a lot further, he was ready. So he traveled south to England for his first competition. When he arrived at the Games, he was handed the official wooden discus, which he promptly threw like a tea saucer. He set a new record, a distance so far beyond those of competitors that no one could touch him.

For many years, he remained the uncontested champion, and then Eldridge wrote this in his book. Something in my heart connected with this story. So that's how you do it. Train under a great burden. If ever there was a story that illustrates what it's like on the path of the just. You train under a burden. You learn how to carry more than you thought you could ever carry. You find strength in your life.

You didn't know it was there. You feel that God is up to something. You don't know what it is, and you find yourself doing things that go way beyond your own personal capacity, or perhaps even your talent quotient.

And you say, where did that come from? God is building you up, and he's giving you things to carry, and you're finding out that he sometimes trusts us with great burdens so that we then can be those who help others who have great burdens. The journey is sometimes a journey that takes us to difficult places.

Notice thirdly, our progress is a journey which is also a defining experience. Read again verse 18 of Proverbs 4. But the path of the just is like a shining light that shines brighter unto the perfect day. Did you know that it is impossible for you to be on the path and not influence others around you? When you shine, and you shine ever brighter, you will always impact others. Philippians 2.15 speaks of us as being those who shine as lights in the dark world. You are the light of the world.

A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. You don't take a lamp and put it under a bushel. As a Christian on the path that leads from your conversion to your coronation, there will be others who will see you, and it will be a defining moment for them.

Notice what it says in Matthew 5, 14, and 16. We are the light of the world. We shine our light before men. Our lights shine. We don't make it shine.

God makes it shine. And the result is that people see our good works, and they glorify our Father who is in heaven. So the Bible tells us that our journey is a definite beginning. Are you on the path? It's a journey that has some difficulty along the way. Are you accepting the challenges God sends?

Are you throwing a heavier discus than you need to so that when the time comes, you'll be able to out-distance everyone? Notice also it's a developing experience. Our journey is a developing experience. Read the verse again. But the path of the just is like the shining sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Did you know that as you walk along this path toward the Lord, watch this, the closer that you get to him, the more you become like him?

Isn't that an interesting thought? As you walk with the Lord Jesus, your path starting back here when you confessed to him, and you start walking toward him, if you really walk with him every day, the closer you get to him, the more you will become like him. Oh, there's a little disconnect here because the closer you get to him, the more you realize how unlike him you are.

But in reality, the closer you get to him, the more like him you become. Until ultimately the Bible says you shine brighter and brighter until the perfect day, and we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Do you ever wonder how it is that older people who've walked with the Lord all of these years almost have a glow on their face?

Have you been around people like that? People who have just walked with the Lord and loved the Lord? Now, and some people who get old, they have a growl on their face, but others have a glow on their face. And when you've walked with the Lord and you've spent time with him every day and you're on this pathway, you're writing your story, you're taking your journey, the closer you get to him, the more you appear to be like him.

And that's what the world is waiting to see. You know, sometimes when you see people that say they've been in the church all of their life and they end up being grouchy, complaining old people, you wonder, why would anybody want that? Why would anybody want to have anything that would make you turn out that way? Friends, I quit making excuses for myself and for everyone else. If as you grow in the Lord, you're not getting more like him, something's not connected right. You can't just say, well, that's my personality or that's just the way I am or life is tough.

It's tough for everybody. This journey that takes us to the Lord is a journey that grows us in righteousness and holiness so that it shines brighter and brighter as we get to the final day. I want you to notice finally that our journey has a determined destination. What is the destination of our journey?

Listen to it. It is the perfect day. Have you ever had a perfect day? No, nobody's ever had a perfect day. We have perfect storms. We don't have perfect days.

But the Bible says that if you're on the path of having trusted Christ and the light has shined into your heart, you are headed toward, watch this, the perfect day, and that day is a day that will last forever and ever and never be tarnished by one imperfection. That's the goal. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Would you want to go any other way?

No way. The Bible says there's a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death. So what I want to share with you today is this. You are headed toward a day like no day you can imagine, but you have to walk on the path to get there.

Someone gave me these words. Life is a story in volumes three, the past, the present, and the yet to be. The first is finished and laid away. The second we're reading day by day. The third and last are volume three is locked from sight in eternity.

We're writing a story day by day. The past of our story has already been written, and there are no erasers available, but there is forgiveness, and if your story in the past has some bad chapters, the whole deal about salvation is that God forgives all that. Now, he doesn't make done things undone.

That's a mistake that people sometimes make. He can take away the pain and the guilt of what you've done, but he can't take away what you've done. The scars often will still be there. The result of it will still be there.

To say anything less than that is dishonest and unfair with the scripture, but watch. The past is over. You're living in the present now. You're writing a chapter every day. Don't let what's happened in the past color what you're writing now. Write every chapter now through the grace of God and understand that as you write today's chapters, watch this, tomorrow what you wrote today will be in the past, and tomorrow you can say a lot better things about your past than what happened back here, and then realize that one day you're going to open up the whole book, be able to read the beginning all the way through to the end.

I've already read the last chapter of God's book, and it ends pretty good. Years ago, we were in the throes of a decision about whether we would come to California, and Don and I wrestled with that for two years trying to determine whether or not this was the right choice, and we made that choice. We followed his direction on that path. We brought with us four children, and because of the decision we made back there and following the Lord, he brought us here. All of our children met their spouses here. All of them finished their education here.

Some of them still live here. We like to go back sometimes and think, what would we be like if we had stayed there? Well, the Lord could have done anything he wanted, but God is up to something good in your life, and all he wants you to do, listen to me now, is don't get off the path. If you stay on the path, he will unfold a story for you that's beyond any dream you could ever have. He's got so much more planned for you than you could ever imagine, but he's wanting you simply to submit to him and let him write the story. God's writing my story.

He's letting me participate. Sometimes, friends, I don't know where it's going because I haven't gotten to the last chapter yet. One of these days when we get to heaven, listen, he's going to write the last chapter of our earthly existence, and when we read it, we're going to say, oh, man, I didn't know that.

Then what happens is you start thinking back through all of the strengths. Unfortunately, we don't get to understand all of that today, but we know, listen to me, we know the author, don't we? And we know he doeth all things well, and he's got a plan for each of our lives. Let's ask God to help us stay on the path and write a chapter in our lives so that when we get to review this at the end, our thoughts will be, oh, man, what a great chapter that was. Thank you, Lord.

Amen. And you know what's interesting, friends, if you're still here, which you are, or you wouldn't be listening, you still have part of your story left. So wherever you think your story was or has been, whether you like what it's told you or not, you can start a clean chapter today. You can make the rest of your story the best of your story, and I hope that you will consider doing that as a result of our teaching today. Well, tomorrow, we're going to talk about eight spiritual blessings from Ephesians chapter one, and we thank you for being a part of the Turning Point family.

See you tomorrow. Our message today originated from Shadow Mountain Community Church and Dr. David Jeremiah, the senior pastor. Would you like to tell us how Turning Point ministers to you? Please write to us, Turning Point, Post Office Box 3838, San Diego, California, 92163, or visit our website at davidjeremiah.org forward slash radio. Ask for your copy of Jack Countryman's new book, God's Blessings, just for you. It features 100 inspirational readings and reflections, and it's yours for a gift of any amount. You can also download the free Turning Point mobile app for your smart device or search in your app store for the keywords Turning Point Ministries.

That's for instant access to our programs and resources. Visit davidjeremiah.org forward slash radio for details. I'm Gary Hoogfleet. Join us tomorrow as we conclude the series, The Life God Blesses. That's here on Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah. Thanks for taking time to listen to this audio on demand from Vision Christian Media. To find out more about us, go to vision.org.au.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-30 19:21:03 / 2023-12-30 19:30:42 / 10

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