Series Code: 17GYC
Program Code: 17GYC000007A
00:41 Lily of the Valley
00:45 Let your sweet aroma
00:48 Fill my life
00:56 Rose of Sharon show me
01:00 How to grow in beauty
01:03 In Your sight
01:11 Fairest of ten thousand
01:15 Make me a reflection
01:19 Of your light
01:27 Daystar shine down on me
01:31 Let your love shine through me
01:34 In the night
01:42 Lead me Lord, I'll follow
01:47 You open up the door
01:56 Let Your word speak to me
01:59 Show me what
02:01 I've never seen before
02:09 Lord, I want to be Your witness
02:14 You can take what's wrong
02:17 And make it right
02:26 Daystar shine down on me
02:30 Let Your love shine through me
02:33 In the night
02:41 Lord, I've seen a world that's dying
02:46 Wounded by the master of deceit
02:56 Groping in the darkness
03:00 Haunted by the years
03:03 Of past defeat
03:09 But then I see You standing near me, Lord
03:15 Shining with compassion
03:18 In Your eyes
03:26 Daystar shine down on me
03:30 Let your love shine through me
03:33 In the night
03:41 Lead me Lord, I'll follow
03:45 Anywhere You open up
03:48 The door
03:55 Let Your word speak to me
03:59 Show me what
04:00 I've never seen before
04:09 Lord, I want to be Your witness
04:14 You can take what's wrong
04:17 And make it right
04:26 Daystar shine down on me
04:30 Let Your love shine through me
04:34 In the night
04:42 Daystar shine down on me
04:46 Let Your love shine through me
04:49 In the night
04:58 Jesus shine down on me
05:03 And let Your love shine through me
05:08 In the night
05:32 Praise God. Amen.
05:34 Good evening to all of you.
05:38 My dear friends, do you want
05:40 the daystar to shine down upon you.
05:45 That He might shine through you in the darkness of this night
05:49 that we are living in.
05:54 Tonight as we begin, let us pray.
06:03 Lord, that is the prayer of this GYC Conference
06:09 that the light of the daystar Jesus would shine upon us,
06:14 shine in us, and shine through us.
06:20 That the darkness of this earth
06:22 would be dissipated by the light of Your glory
06:26 shining forth from Your people.
06:29 And so tonight as we enter this time of study,
06:33 lay everything aside in our life, Lord,
06:36 and help us that we might focus...
06:44 on what You are calling each of us to do.
06:49 We pray this in Jesus' name, amen.
06:57 I'll never forget the date,
07:00 January 8th, 1989.
07:07 Let me pause for just a moment
07:08 because last night I told a story from 1986.
07:14 And as I prepared the message,
07:15 I realized that the great majority of my audience
07:20 was not alive in 1986 or 1989.
07:26 Lest you think I'm old, I'm not old.
07:32 I assure you,
07:34 this does not yet fall into the category of ancient history.
07:41 January 8th, 1989, I was 14 years old,
07:45 I'll help you so you don't have to do the math
07:47 so you can pay attention, I'm 43.
07:56 But on that day my dad took me
07:58 to the National Football Conference,
08:01 the NFC championship game.
08:05 The Chicago Bears versus the San Francisco 49ers.
08:10 I lived in Chicago, it was our team.
08:14 But it was a cold winter day, wind chills,
08:18 negative 20 Fahrenheit.
08:23 But I was excited
08:25 because the winner of this game was going to Super Bowl.
08:29 Having lived most of my life up until that point in Chicago,
08:35 this was a big moment.
08:39 After enduring a few hours of negative temperatures,
08:44 my excitement dwindled to disappointment
08:49 as the Bears lost the game.
08:52 They were blown out as a matter of fact.
08:58 But I didn't realize it at that moment
09:00 that the beginnings of my disappointment
09:05 had only just begun.
09:10 We took the metro train back to the suburbs.
09:15 We got in our car and my dad took me out for Chinese food.
09:20 I remember it like yesterday, it was bad Chinese food.
09:31 And there as we sat,
09:36 my dad shared with me something
09:40 that would drastically change our family and my life forever.
09:46 After 15 years of being married,
09:50 my dad told me that he and my mom
09:52 were going to get divorced.
09:57 And I'll tell you, I didn't understand.
10:00 I mean, I knew things were tough in our family,
10:02 but I didn't think they were that bad.
10:06 I grew up in a Catholic home.
10:09 My parents were active in the church.
10:12 I would not call our family devout,
10:13 but we went to mass every week.
10:16 I was baptized, had my first communion
10:18 and was confirmed in the Catholic Church.
10:25 My parents taught the youth and young adult class.
10:29 Ironically enough taught marriage in Richmond classes.
10:34 We went camping together as a family.
10:37 Our favorite destination
10:38 being the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,
10:42 Copper Harbor to be exact.
10:48 We had family dinner together every single night.
10:54 My mom, my dad, my three younger brothers,
10:57 and myself all there at the table,
10:59 every single night.
11:02 But now my dad told me that that all was going to end.
11:09 And with that it brought
11:10 an uncontrolled downward spiral.
11:15 First, in my spiritual life I observed a church
11:19 in which my parents were active,
11:20 we knew people from the church,
11:22 the priest would come to our home on occasion.
11:27 And when my parents went through this, no one came.
11:31 No one came.
11:37 The members, the priest, no one came to visit.
11:41 And while immature in my young teenage mind,
11:43 I decided if this is what the church
11:45 and God is all about,
11:48 I've got no use for it.
11:51 And I'll tell you I never became an atheist.
11:53 I knew there was something,
11:55 I just didn't know what or who it was
11:59 and where to find it.
12:02 And I'll tell you I became angry, unhealthy angry.
12:07 I played football when I was in high school.
12:11 And the field became the place where I dealt with my anger.
12:15 My friends said that they didn't know who I was
12:18 when I played ball.
12:20 I literally left it all on the field.
12:24 It was unhealthy, but it's how I dealt with it.
12:29 I don't want to give any illusions of grandeur,
12:32 I was not headed for the NFL by any means.
12:37 But there were expectations
12:39 that I could play in a smaller college program.
12:42 However, in the midst of my high school experience
12:46 on a soggy October day, I took an awkward hit.
12:52 And my knee bent in ways that it's not designed to bend.
12:57 And I laid there on the ground feeling like
12:58 someone had shot me in the knee.
13:03 One surgery turned into two surgeries,
13:05 the doctor told me no more football.
13:08 But that was okay because I wrestled,
13:10 so I could still settle it all on the mat.
13:13 Three months of intensive rehab.
13:16 I actually got my left leg stronger than my right leg.
13:21 The first day that I was
13:24 able to go live in practice,
13:28 I blew my knee out again.
13:31 Sixteen years old, macho wrestler,
13:34 and I laid face down on the mat, weeping aloud,
13:38 asking the question "Why?"
13:43 Why is this happening to me?
13:45 I spent the majority
13:46 of my 10th and 11th grade year on crutches.
13:51 And so with no outlet in sports,
13:53 I turned to other things, all kinds of other things
13:59 and each of them left me
14:00 more empty than I felt before I did them,
14:04 each of them actually making me more angry
14:07 after their momentary doling of the pain.
14:13 I was so angry at so many things.
14:18 And as my parents went through the divorce process,
14:22 my dad moved out,
14:25 and then he moved back in,
14:27 and then he moved out again,
14:30 and then he moved back in,
14:33 and then he moved out,
14:35 and he moved back in,
14:37 and then he moved to in his own room.
14:41 And then he moved out forever.
14:46 I was angry.
14:50 As I got older,
14:54 I began to get especially angry with my mom.
14:59 And at the age of 18 believing
15:00 I had learned all that I needed to learn in life.
15:05 I blamed my mom entirely for the divorce of my parents.
15:14 I blamed her for holding me back from the things
15:17 that I wanted to do in life.
15:21 And so three months after I graduated from high school
15:23 one day my mom faithfully went to work
15:28 as she had done since my father left
15:30 to support me and my three younger brothers.
15:36 I packed up all my stuff
15:39 and I left not telling her where I was going,
15:45 not speaking to her.
15:52 I made no contact with my mom.
15:58 You know they say
15:59 in life everything happens for a reason.
16:01 During the millennium,
16:03 I'm going to be asking the Lord about that one.
16:09 But I'll tell you, my mom faithfully contacted me,
16:16 wrote me cards, phone calls,
16:19 never missed a holiday or a birthday.
16:25 Reaching out, telling me that she loved me,
16:28 she wanted to talk to me.
16:32 And in my insensitivity
16:33 I did not return any of her phone calls.
16:36 My mom looked for excuses to send me cards on holidays
16:41 that you normally don't send cards.
16:44 She sent me cards on my birthday,
16:46 and on Christmas, and Easter, the standard ones.
16:48 But then she sent cards on Valentine's Day.
16:52 And she sent cards on Halloween.
16:55 And let me tell you something that's interesting,
16:56 I'm 43 years old
16:58 and my mom still sends me candy on Halloween.
17:05 And if you want to write about
17:06 the apostate nature of such things,
17:08 you're missing the whole point
17:10 of what my mom was trying to do.
17:15 Folks, that went on.
17:18 Not contacting my mom for two years, two years.
17:25 In the midst of all of that...
17:31 And being so angry, and lost, and confused,
17:36 I was searching for who or what God was.
17:40 I began attending a mega church in the Chicago area.
17:45 But I didn't find what I was looking for.
17:49 I went to the Pentecostal Church,
17:53 and I did not find what I was looking for.
17:58 I had contact with the Mormons.
18:02 I didn't find what I was looking for.
18:06 I had a friend who was a Jehovah's Witness,
18:09 who would talk to me about their religion.
18:12 And I knew that that's what I was not looking for.
18:21 Spiritual things to me were like taking a 500 piece puzzle,
18:26 a 1000 piece puzzle,
18:28 and a 5,000 piece puzzle putting it in a bag
18:31 and mixing it all together.
18:34 It just didn't make sense.
18:37 I even went looking
18:39 and attended a New Age Conference over a weekend.
18:45 And I knew that that's not what I was looking for.
18:51 But God used that weekend
18:54 during a time of personal reflection.
18:59 I was 20 years old.
19:02 I came to realize how selfish I was
19:04 and how selfish I was being.
19:09 And I called my mom.
19:13 Think about it, what do you say,
19:17 "Hey, I forgot to call."
19:20 Been two years.
19:24 I didn't know what to say,
19:25 I didn't know what she would say,
19:27 I didn't know how to say it,
19:29 and as soon as my mom answered the phone
19:31 and she heard my voice, she started crying.
19:36 And all I could think of saying was,
19:39 "Mom, I'm sorry."
19:44 And I'll tell you what my Mom accepted me back
19:47 with not one condition laid upon me.
19:51 No questions, no pressure, she just accepted me back.
19:57 And I will tell you in that moment,
20:01 my mother taught me more about the love of Jesus
20:04 than I had ever been taught in any church
20:06 at that point in my life.
20:12 I was lost and confused.
20:17 I was still searching for the real meaning of life
20:19 and life circumstances took me from Chicago,
20:22 Illinois to South Bend, Indiana,
20:25 Mishawaka to be more exact.
20:30 When I arrived there, I needed a way to pay the bills
20:34 and so I took a job working the third shift
20:38 at a Speedway gas station.
20:45 And then one night,
20:48 someone came into the gas station
20:51 that would change my life forever.
20:55 She worked a second shift as a nursing assistant
20:57 at a nursing home right up the road.
21:02 And she came in to get gas.
21:05 Every night she came in to get gas, five dollars.
21:09 She'd come and talk
21:10 until the wee hours of the morning.
21:13 She had grown up Seventh-day Adventist,
21:15 but was having her own spiritual struggles.
21:18 But my interest in spiritual things awakened
21:21 a renewed commitment in her life.
21:25 And as our relationship became more serious
21:27 and as I asked more questions,
21:29 she invited me to attend her home church
21:33 in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
21:36 And on that one night we attended
21:37 the Pioneer Memorial Church with a big satellite
21:42 on the side of the church.
21:44 And there that evening
21:46 as we attended projected on the big screen was Mark Finley
21:51 during the NET '95 series.
21:55 My first message in the Adventist church
21:59 in NET '95,
22:02 little did I know at that time the impact
22:04 that this man would have on my life in later years.
22:08 We attended more meetings
22:09 that were held locally in the South Bend First Church
22:14 and I began learning so many things.
22:17 Yet, as I learned so many things,
22:19 so many things that seemed to make logical sense,
22:22 I was still very angry.
22:24 See now what I was dealing with as I learned these new things
22:27 as how could I have lived 21 years of life
22:30 and no one ever shared this with me before.
22:35 And I want to tell you, dear friends,
22:37 there are countless millions if not billions of people
22:41 around this earth who are in a situation just like I was.
22:50 I was so angry.
22:52 And I was trying to work through my guilt.
22:58 It was in those moments
23:01 that I sensed God arising in my life.
23:15 At the same time I was attending a Baptist Church
23:18 that my dad was going to which confused things even more.
23:27 And at 21 years old,
23:29 I made a decision to become a Baptist.
23:37 This young lady didn't dump me to the side.
23:44 She stayed close to me and I brought home one day
23:46 a Bible study on the secret rapture.
23:53 And this young lady gave me a study on the Second Coming.
23:59 That she probably could not replicate today.
24:03 Or at least not the intensity that existed.
24:12 It was at that moment I knew
24:14 that I needed to let go of my old ways.
24:21 So I went and met the Adventist pastor.
24:24 And I will tell you in a decision
24:26 that I still don't understand to this day.
24:32 I came to the pastor's office to study with him,
24:36 to understand the last few questions that I had
24:39 about the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
24:41 And this Adventist pastor is waiting outside
24:43 and he says to me, "Hey, listen I need to pick up
24:46 my son from Sam's Club,
24:49 so why don't you jump in my car."
24:51 Now I remind you this is a man I don't know.
24:54 And for some reason I got in his car.
25:00 And there I sat in the front seat and he said,
25:04 "So what are your questions?"
25:06 And I had the Bible in my hand.
25:09 And I began asking him those questions
25:15 that were most pertinent in my life,
25:20 and there sitting in the front seat of a Mercedes Benz,
25:26 God convicted my heart.
25:30 I died to self.
25:32 And that day made a decision
25:34 to become a part of God's last day movement of destiny.
25:46 You see the call of God was for me to arise and shine.
25:51 But before I could arise and shine,
25:53 He needed to arise in my life
25:55 just as we talked about last night.
25:58 And from my broken, bruised, ruined,
26:00 and wasted life Jesus arose.
26:03 I drank from the fountain.
26:06 God arose in my life,
26:11 and as the light of the glory
26:14 of His character came into my life.
26:19 The call from God was to arise.
26:25 Isaiah 61,
26:27 "Arise and shine."
26:33 Yet tonight, as we look at this word arise,
26:36 I need to tell you,
26:37 there is great irony in the word arise.
26:42 Because in the ways of God
26:45 the only way that you can arise
26:47 is that you would first die.
26:53 Isaiah 60:2,
26:54 "For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
26:56 and deep darkness the people,
26:58 but the Lord will arise over you."
27:01 Ephesians 5, if you have your Bibles,
27:04 you open them to Ephesians 5:8.
27:08 We're going to be moving through
27:09 a number of texts rather quickly.
27:13 Ephesians 5:8 expands upon this idea
27:17 of the light breaking forth through the darkness.
27:23 Ephesians 5:8, "For you were once in darkness,
27:28 but now you are light in the Lord."
27:32 How did that happen?
27:33 Well, Isaiah 60 already answered that,
27:35 "The Lord arose on us."
27:37 That's how we come out of the darkness.
27:40 But the text then continues, "Walk as the children of light,
27:44 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness,
27:47 righteousness, and truth,
27:48 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord,
27:51 and have no fellowship
27:52 with the unfruitful works of darkness,
27:54 but rather expose them for it
27:57 is shameful even to speak of those things
27:59 which are done by them in secret.
28:02 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light
28:06 for whatever makes manifest is light."
28:09 Therefore, he says now and take note,
28:13 "Awake you who sleep, arise from the dead,
28:17 and Christ might give you light."
28:20 No, no, he says, "He will give you lights.
28:25 Awake you who sleep, arise from the dead."
28:29 Don't miss it this word awake
28:31 and the word arise are synonymous words.
28:36 You see as you experience
28:37 the Lord arising over you and His word,
28:40 His character take precedence
28:43 and priority in your life.
28:48 The call of God then is to awake or arise,
28:53 but in order to arise, we must first die.
28:58 The rising of God's character in our life
29:00 helps us to realize that we must die to self
29:04 and then arise in Him.
29:07 This death is to all of our old ways.
29:10 But the most important thing is
29:12 it is the death of self reliance.
29:17 Ephesians 2:1,
29:21 expounds further on this very principle.
29:24 Ephesians 2:1,
29:28 "And you, He made alive who were dead
29:33 in trespasses and sins,
29:37 in which you once walked
29:38 according to the course of this world,
29:40 according to the prince of the power of the air,
29:43 the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
29:46 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves
29:50 in the lusts of our flesh,
29:53 fulfilling the desires of the flesh,
29:55 and of the mind, and were by nature,
29:58 children of wrath just as others."
30:01 How many people is that by the way?
30:04 How many is it does it say?
30:06 All people, all of us
30:08 once conducted ourselves in such a way.
30:11 But God who is rich in mercy
30:14 because of His great love with which He loved us
30:17 even when we were dead in our trespasses,
30:20 here it is made us, what is the word there,
30:23 alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved,
30:26 and raised us up together,
30:28 and made us sit together
30:30 in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus and in the...
30:35 Excuse me, that in the ages to come
30:37 He might show the exceeding riches
30:39 of His grace and His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus,
30:44 for by grace you have been saved through faith
30:48 and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God.
30:52 Not of works lest any should boast,
30:55 for we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus
31:00 for good works which God prepared beforehand
31:04 that we should walk in them.
31:10 The call of Isaiah 60 is for us to arise, for you to arise.
31:15 And that word there arise is a different word,
31:17 a different Hebrew word used than the word
31:21 that is used to describe God arising over us.
31:25 It is the Hebrew word come,
31:28 and it refers to the physical action
31:31 of standing up from a prostrated position.
31:39 But that word is also interestingly enough used
31:43 and translated as established.
31:47 When God established His covenant,
31:50 it's the same exact word that Isaiah commands us to arise.
31:56 You see the call to arise
31:58 is the call to die to our previous ways
32:01 and then for God to raise us
32:05 into a covenant relationship to stand with Him, in Him,
32:10 in uprightness,
32:11 resisting the temptations of the evil one
32:14 and living a victorious life in Him.
32:20 And this is why Paul in Romans 13
32:24 gave us this very promise.
32:38 "And do this.
32:41 Knowing the time that now it is high time to,"
32:45 what does it say there?
32:47 "Awake out of sleep,
32:49 for now our salvation is nearer than we first believed.
32:54 The night is far spent, the day is at hand."
32:58 All of this that Paul is articulating
33:00 by the way is simply a reminder of Isaiah 60:1.
33:06 Yet with urgency, Paul calls us to take action.
33:10 And the action he calls us to is to arise from death.
33:18 How do we do that?
33:21 Paul continues, "Therefore, let us cast off
33:27 the works of darkness
33:28 and let us put on the armor of light,
33:33 arise and shine," is what Paul is saying
33:36 and then the passage continues,
33:38 "let us walk properly
33:39 as in the day not in revelry and drunkenness,
33:44 not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy,
33:48 but put on the Lord Jesus Christ
33:51 and make no provision for the flesh
33:55 or to fulfill its lusts."
33:58 You see the call of God to this last day generation,
34:02 this generation that God is looking upon asking,
34:06 "How will I finish the work through you?
34:09 How will I finish the work in you?
34:11 Is the call to arise
34:14 and we arise by casting off all of those things
34:19 that hinder us from moving forward.
34:22 This very word cast off is used six times in the New Testament.
34:27 Listen to these, I'm going to go through them
34:28 in rapid fire progression.
34:30 Ephesians 4:22,
34:33 "That you put off concerning your former conduct,
34:36 the old man which grows corrupt
34:38 according to the deceitful lusts,
34:40 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
34:43 that you put on the new man
34:44 which was created according to God."
34:47 Ephesians 4:25, "Therefore, put away,"
34:50 it's the same word cast off, "put away lying,
34:53 let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor."
34:56 Colossians 3:8, "But now you yourselves are to put off,"
35:01 it's the same word cast off, cast aside,
35:03 "put off all these anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,
35:08 filthy language out of your mouth.
35:10 Do not lie to one another since you have put off
35:13 the old man with his deeds
35:14 and have put on the new man who has renewed
35:17 in knowledge according to the image of Him
35:19 who created Him."
35:21 Hebrews 12, "Therefore, we also,
35:24 since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
35:27 here it is, let us lay aside," it's the same word cast off,
35:31 "every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
35:35 and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
35:39 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith."
35:45 James 1:21, "Therefore, let us lay aside," cast aside,
35:49 it's the same word,
35:51 "all filthiness and overflow of wickedness.
35:54 And receive with meekness the implanted word
35:57 which is able to save your souls."
36:01 1 Peter 2, "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit,
36:06 hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,
36:09 as newborn babes,
36:11 desire the pure milk of the word
36:15 that you may grow thereby,
36:17 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
36:20 My dear brothers and sisters, the call of God is to arise,
36:24 but the only way to arise is to die
36:27 through full surrender to Him,
36:29 to die to our old ways, to let Him raise you
36:32 to the highest standards and by His grace,
36:35 and His mercy to cast aside every hindrance,
36:39 anything that impedes you,
36:41 anything of the past and live a life anew in Him."
36:48 I will tell you.
36:51 This sermon was not supposed to start the way it did.
36:55 I hesitate to tell my story.
36:58 And the reason I hesitate to tell my story
37:01 is because there are a number of you
37:02 sitting here saying that's not my story,
37:05 that's a dramatic conversion,
37:07 that's not my experience.
37:09 I've actually had young people and even parents say to me,
37:13 well, maybe I need to go and have a worldly experience
37:16 and then I can have a dramatic story.
37:20 My dear brothers and sisters, let me tell you this,
37:22 that's like placing five bullets in a six shooter
37:25 and playing Russian roulette.
37:27 And if you're not getting the analogy here
37:29 is what I'm telling you, that's foolishness.
37:36 Because here is the reality
37:37 and don't miss this, young people.
37:40 Here is the reality.
37:43 Romans 3:23 is clear for,
37:50 what's the word.
37:52 That's not convincing, what's the word "all."
37:56 How many? All.
37:58 For all have sinned
38:00 and fall short of the glory of God.
38:03 No exceptions.
38:06 It doesn't say except for those
38:08 who are home schooled on the country farm.
38:13 It doesn't say except for those
38:15 who have gone to Adventist schools all their life.
38:17 It doesn't say except for those who went to the campus program
38:20 or those who do summer canvassing,
38:22 or except those who have served as student missionaries.
38:25 No, the Bible is clear, all have sinned
38:28 and fallen short of the glory of God.
38:31 And let me tell you this,
38:35 Isaiah 64:6 makes it all real clear, real fast.
38:41 But we are all like an unclean thing
38:45 and all our righteousness are like filthy rags.
38:50 My dear brothers and sisters,
38:52 no matter how protected in environment you grew up in,
38:54 no matter how godly your parents were
38:56 and by the way those are all wonderful things
39:00 because I will tell you there are days
39:02 where I wish I had not seen the things I've seen.
39:07 But let me tell you the miracle that happened in my life
39:10 is no more a miracle
39:12 than the miracle happening in your life
39:14 because you have been plucked as a brand from the fire
39:18 just as I was plucked.
39:22 You don't need a dramatic story
39:23 because your story is already dramatic.
39:27 Here's the reality,
39:28 you are sinner in need of a savior
39:31 and His name is Jesus Christ.
39:35 You cannot make a decision for Him
39:37 by mere culture or heredity,
39:40 you must make a decision for yourself,
39:43 you must die.
39:47 And then by the power of the indwelling Christ
39:50 who is risen upon you, you must arise.
39:57 Casting aside your former conduct,
39:59 the old man, the old woman,
40:01 putting away lying, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,
40:05 filthy language, all filthiness,
40:07 wickedness, all deceit,
40:09 hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking,
40:13 and if you wrestle
40:14 with none of those categories fitting you,
40:18 then Paul made it real clear in Hebrews 12,
40:21 "Lay aside every weight,
40:24 anything that ensnares you."
40:33 When I pastored in the Chesapeake Conference
40:37 during camp meeting...
40:42 I was in charge of the primaries.
40:46 I believe it that is actually
40:47 part of the path towards ordination
40:49 in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
40:51 If you can survive the primaries,
40:52 you can survive anything.
40:56 One of our activities during our primary time,
40:59 during camp meeting as we went to the pool.
41:02 I had a number of young people helping me,
41:05 but life gets really exciting
41:08 when you have 67
41:10 and 9-year olds jumping in pool.
41:15 In my teenagers, my teenager's day,
41:18 you know, these bricks that they coat with rubber
41:20 that you can drop to the bottom of the pool,
41:21 and dive down, and pick it up, and come to the top.
41:24 You know what I'm talking about.
41:27 Maybe? Okay, good.
41:30 That's not even a Canadian thing,
41:32 you know, that's a Maryland thing so.
41:37 Here's what happened the 79-year old
41:39 saw the teenagers diving to get the brick and guess what?
41:43 They wanted to do it.
41:46 So we started in the six foot under the pool and said,
41:48 "Okay, you can do it."
41:49 And that wasn't good enough, they wanted to go in the,
41:51 you know, 15 foot end.
41:53 And that was a little nerve-racking,
41:54 and so I had all of my teenager surrounding.
41:59 And the 79-year olds would dive down
42:00 and they'd get the brick
42:02 and sure some of them would come up to the top.
42:03 But let me tell you
42:04 what the great majority would happen.
42:07 They'd get that brick.
42:09 And with all their might they would kick, kick, kick,
42:12 and they'd get about a foot
42:13 and a half from the top of the water.
42:15 And then they just levitated there.
42:18 They couldn't get enough power to come up out of the water.
42:23 I'd let that go on for a few moments.
42:28 The goal is you don't want to lose anybody.
42:34 And every last one of them. Every last one of them.
42:43 I would grab them and pull them up out of the water.
42:46 I had asked them one simple question,
42:50 "Why didn't you let go off the brick?"
42:57 And they'd always say to me,
42:58 "Pastor, 'cause I just want to get to the top."
43:04 And I'm afraid, my dear young people,
43:09 many of us are striving for a mountain top experience,
43:13 while we're hanging on to the brick.
43:18 And we can't get to the top and no matter what we do,
43:22 no matter how hard we kick,
43:26 we keep having the same issue
43:31 over and over again.
43:39 And all Jesus is saying to you...
43:45 Is you "I want you to arise."
43:49 But in order to arise you must die.
43:53 And in order to die, you must let go off the brick.
44:11 You may not think your story is as dramatic as mine.
44:17 But there is only one path.
44:21 As Pilgrim's Progress calls in,
44:24 there's only one path to the Celestial City.
44:29 And that goes right through Jesus who is the way,
44:35 the truth, and the life.
44:56 Was called to be the father of nations.
45:01 But he had a problem.
45:04 There was no heir.
45:07 You know the story of Abraham well,
45:11 by faith he came out of Ur of the Chaldees,
45:14 by faith he took the land that looked less fertile.
45:23 But he had some bumps and bruises,
45:25 and for him the brick was, I don't have a son.
45:30 He took matters into his own hands
45:32 and the consequence of that sin
45:36 is still seen ever present on the news today.
45:45 But then the Bible says at the appointed time,
45:51 Isaac was born, the son of the promise.
46:08 But then after the son
46:10 of the promise had been born,
46:16 God asked Abraham
46:21 to sacrifice his only son.
46:28 Abraham had been confident
46:32 in heredity
46:34 and not the power of God.
46:38 And God needed to test Abraham and say,
46:40 "Are you willing to lay everything on the altar,
46:44 including your son."
46:50 Before we are too critical of God
46:52 asking for such thing.
46:56 He did not ask Abraham to give any more
47:00 than God Himself was willing to give.
47:06 And in that passage read
47:11 in Genesis 22,
47:14 we see the faith of Abraham exemplified
47:19 as he leaves behind those servants.
47:34 And Genesis 22:4,
47:39 "Then on the third day,
47:41 Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off
47:44 and Abraham said to his young men,
47:46 'Stay here with the donkey...'"
47:48 Excuse me.
47:49 "Stay here with the donkey,
47:51 the lad and I will go yonder and worship."
47:56 It's a two letter word, but it is ever important.
48:01 And we
48:05 will come back to you.
48:11 Hebrews 11 makes it clear.
48:13 Abraham went there, somehow,
48:16 some way God arose upon Abraham,
48:19 Abraham died to self.
48:21 He had a re-conversion experience,
48:23 where he understood that the promise of God
48:27 was not about heredity,
48:29 but the promise of God was about the power of God
48:33 working in him and working through him.
48:35 And Abraham was willing to take his boy to the altar,
48:40 but in faith knew
48:42 that God would provide a ram
48:45 or that God would raise him from the dead.
48:49 And tonight I want to ask you this simple question,
48:55 "What's your Isaac?
48:58 What's your brick?
49:01 What is it that God's calling you to lay on the altar?"
49:09 Just as I did last night,
49:12 I'm going to make three appeals.
49:18 This is going to be a more difficult appeal
49:19 because I'm not going to call
49:21 everybody to stand.
49:25 But tonight, the first appeal is this.
49:30 You've not been baptized
49:31 and you've sensed your need for the Lord
49:33 to arise in your life,
49:35 tonight you want to answer the call to arise,
49:37 tonight you sense that you need to die to self
49:40 and you want to arise in Him.
49:43 Maybe you know you've strayed far from Him
49:45 and you need to rededicate yourself through re-baptism.
49:50 I'm going to invite you to come forward now.
49:53 Tonight you're going to commit yourself to being baptized.
49:56 You come right in front of that screen there,
49:58 there's people waiting for you.
50:01 Number two, you've sensed
50:04 that God is calling you to cast aside all things
50:07 that are between you and Him,
50:09 you know that there's that one thing
50:10 or maybe there are multiple things
50:13 that are holding you back tonight
50:14 and you want to let go in a special commitment,
50:17 you want to let go of that Isaac,
50:19 you want to let go of that brick,
50:22 you come forward right here tonight.
50:25 And then the third...
50:31 You need Jesus to arise in your life through His Word.
50:35 And somehow, someway
50:37 your devotional life is grown stale.
50:40 And you're in a valley and tonight by faith
50:41 you're coming forward
50:44 asking that God would renew that experience in you,
50:48 you come forward.
50:51 While Sonya plays and Marleta sings,
50:56 "What's your Isaac tonight."
50:59 Come forward not
51:01 because everybody else is coming, come forward,
51:04 those of you who want to be baptized right over here,
51:07 come right in front of the screen as Marleta sings.
51:32 I have a prayer
51:38 As pure as gold
51:43 That where You lead me
51:48 I will go
51:55 And I'll not miss
51:59 The impassioned plea
52:05 When your sweet Spirit
52:09 Calls to me
52:15 And in that hour
52:20 And in that time
52:25 When I must lose my will
52:32 In Thine
52:36 O my allegiance
52:41 Will be found
52:45 The day I lay
52:49 My Isaac down
53:04 Grant me a faith
53:10 Beyond all doubt
53:15 Whose flames of hope cannot
53:20 Burn out
53:24 Let mercy flow
53:29 And grace abound
53:34 The day I lay
53:37 My Isaac down
53:58 Sweet lamb of love
54:04 Most blessed friend
54:09 Nailed to the altar
54:13 For my sin
54:18 Where in my place
54:23 God's son was laid
54:28 The day he laid
54:31 his Jesus down
54:38 Each idol vain
54:43 It's now laid bare
54:48 His suffering cross my heart
54:53 Will share
54:57 Earth kingdoms fall
55:02 Without a sound
55:07 The day I lay
55:11 My Isaac
55:18 My soul redeemed
55:24 On holy ground
55:29 The day I lay
55:33 my Isaac
55:52 Tonight you've come forward.
55:56 And as you come forward,
55:57 you have made a decision to lay your Isaac down.
56:03 You've made a decision to
56:06 let go of the brick.
56:09 You've made a decision to be baptized.
56:15 It's easy in conferences like this
56:19 to go home and pick Isaac back up.
56:24 It's easy to go home and pick the brick up.
56:27 Young people,
56:29 I want to urge you, don't leave,
56:31 don't leave this room tonight,
56:35 whether you write it in your journal,
56:39 whether you put it in a note in your phone.
56:42 Write down your decision.
56:45 Date the decision.
56:49 And then come up with a plan.
56:51 What are you going to do tonight?
56:55 What will you do tomorrow morning?
56:59 But more importantly,
57:02 what are you going to do on Monday morning
57:05 when you've left this place.
57:09 God's calling.
57:11 He must arise.
57:16 He's calling for you to arise.
57:20 Cast it all away, and lay your burdens down.
57:25 Let's pray.
57:27 Oh heavenly Father,
57:31 each of us have our Isaacs,
57:35 each of us have those bricks.
57:40 You've called upon us to die to self
57:42 and cast this all aside.
57:45 Maybe there's someone here tonight
57:47 that's been struggling year after year
57:52 holding on to that brick.