Participants: Martin Fancher
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000286
00:30 Welcome to Faith Chapel. My name is Pastor Martin Fancher
00:34 I'm pastor of the Fort Walton Beach in Defuniak Springs, in
00:37 Seventh-Day Adventist church in
00:38 the pan handle of Florida.
00:40 I would like to share with you a favorite story of mine today.
00:44 Its a story that happened in 1995 while flying a mission over
00:48 Bosnia, Captain Scott O'Grady, in his F16, was blown in half by
00:55 a surface to air missile.
00:56 The wing man watched as the airplane was in a ball of flames
01:01 He flew off marking the coordinates so he could
01:04 call for help.
01:07 He didn't even see if a parachute had managed to survive
01:11 Well, it did.
01:13 And history reveals that Captain Scott O'Grady did indeed eject
01:17 from his F16 fighter plane, and land in Bosnia.
01:23 He also took a supplies, flares, a walky-talky, a little
01:28 fresh food and water, and began to make his way away from the
01:32 wreckage, for he knew that even before he landed
01:37 the enemy was after him.
01:40 Well, Captain Grady was on his own, he was fighting for his
01:43 life, at times he reports that the soldiers that were looking
01:46 after him were so close that he could read made in China on
01:54 the back of their boots.
01:55 He almost quite breathing. Tried to get his heart to stop.
02:00 But if he only knew what was going on in his behalf to save
02:06 his life.
02:08 We'll go into that in a few moments but I'd like us to first
02:10 understand that we too are in foreign territory.
02:14 We should be able to understand how Captain O'Grady felt for sin
02:18 has separated us from the love of God.
02:22 And we too need rescue by our loving savior.
02:27 We must make seeking God our main priority and if we seek Him
02:32 we will find Him.
02:35 Turn with me if you would to one of my favorite passages found in
02:38 Jeremiah 21:11-14 and lets read that together.
03:27 You and I must call upon God.
03:30 Captain O'Grady, sitting in enemy territory, pulled out the
03:35 radio and called for help as often as he could but his radio
03:39 had such limited capacity that it wasn't until they made a
03:43 fly over that he made contact.
03:47 America was glad that he was alive but he would only be heard
03:51 at a small window of time. Aren't you so glad that you and
03:56 I serve a loving God who we do not have to worship in a limited
04:00 amount of time but we can call upon him in our very
04:02 hour of need.
04:06 We cannot help ourselves.
04:09 If Scott O'Grady could have understood that the world was
04:13 wishing him well, he might have felt better than he did.
04:16 But he was on his own in enemy territory.
04:18 There was nothing that he could do to save himself.
04:22 But you and I should understand that very well because we tend
04:25 to fool our selves into believing that we
04:29 can help ourselves.
04:31 But we must realize that God's way is ultimately better and go
04:37 to him in prayer and to call upon his name.
04:41 We must also call for the help as captain O'Grady did when his
04:45 water ran out, when his food ran dry he had to forage for
04:49 food and water the very life blood that he needed, each time
04:52 he prayed it rained.
04:55 It's time that you and I go to the Lord in prayer.
05:01 Time to ask God to meet the very needs that He knows that we have
05:06 You and I need to seek after God As Captain O'Grady once said,
05:12 "My relationship with Jesus Christ was never better than
05:17 when I was on the ground as a fugitive. "
05:20 He was in a foreign land totally dependant upon outside help.
05:27 Nothing that he could do to save himself.
05:30 You and I are totally dependant on outside help only God can
05:36 help us and all to often we fool ourselves in to believing
05:41 that we can help ourselves.
05:45 Rescue plans are underway for us.
05:49 From the White House, to the Pentagon, there were many plans
05:55 underway to save Scott O'Grady.
05:57 He didn't know it at the time.
05:59 He would have felt better if he had.
06:01 If he could have only seen the forces that were
06:05 coming to save him.
06:07 You and I need to see what God sees for us.
06:12 We need to be able to see the forces that are an our behalf
06:16 working to rescue us from planet Earth.
06:21 One thing that Scott O'Grady understood was that priorities
06:25 tend to change depending upon the circumstances.
06:28 I can imagine they did for him.
06:31 All of a sudden his visa bill didn't make much
06:33 difference any more.
06:35 Didn't matter that the car was going to need some repair or
06:37 whatever the cares of this earthly life were they came
06:40 secondary to what he was facing.
06:45 The imminent loss of his life.
06:51 the business of this life wasn't on his mind.
06:54 Salvation and rescue was on his mind.
06:58 And every waking moment of his life he spent trying to figure
07:04 out how best to be saved.
07:09 I wonder if we could get a challenge from this
07:12 understanding of life that sometimes we get to caught up in
07:17 the busyness of this life we really don't understand that we
07:22 don't have as much control as we claim to have over our life.
07:26 But as we read a few moments ago in our text God tells us if we
07:30 seek him, we will find him.
07:35 But we must search for Him with all our heart.
07:40 Well, if we find God, He will definitely save us.
07:47 For God is in the saving business and He wants more than
07:50 anything else to have you and I reunited and saved
07:55 to His kingdom.
07:57 If Captain Scott O'Grady understood one thing it would be
08:01 the mighty forces that were at work.
08:04 There were over forty aircraft involved in his rescue.
08:11 From those airplanes that fly radar over above to the
08:14 submarines, to the air force and marines, they were all involved.
08:20 This was a multi-national rescue mission.
08:25 Wow. If we understood that the rescue mission that God has for
08:30 us is multi-national and there's far more at stake than
08:36 then just our lives.
08:38 Eternity is at stake today and every day.
08:45 Well there were literally thousands of people that dealt
08:50 in this rescue, from Washington, round the world, the
08:55 operations were pin point.
08:58 He was told how often to radio in and at certain intervals
09:02 he would call and they would give him coordinates that he
09:05 would mark on his map.
09:07 And I can understand, if you would play along with me for a
09:10 moment that he probably didn't take those coordinates
09:13 very seriously.
09:15 He probably took the map, put a dot where he was supposed to be,
09:19 and laid back up against a tree and took a nap.
09:21 Maybe he didn't worry about it very much but then again you and
09:26 I know very differently.
09:28 If salvation and rescue was truly on his mind than he took
09:30 this very seriously and I would imagine if you and I met Captain
09:34 Scott O'Grady today, he would be able to draw out that map
09:39 with great and exact detail.
09:42 Why? Because he wanted to be saved.
09:46 And he knew that the only chance of being rescued from the
09:51 enemies territory was to be where and when he was told
09:57 to be there.
10:00 I'm sure that over the course of the next few hours that he
10:05 continually went back to the map taking out his compass and
10:10 taking great care to insure that he would be where he
10:14 needed to be.
10:16 Excitement, adrenaline rushed through his body.
10:21 He probably could have arrived at the place of rescue much
10:26 earlier but he knew that would put him at greater risk.
10:30 He had to take his time, he had to be deliberate.
10:34 And we, my friend, need to be very deliberate in our rescue.
10:40 We have been told in God's word where we are to be and how we
10:44 are to get there.
10:46 But only by taking great care and understanding our Lord and
10:51 Savior will we understand where he calls us to be,
10:57 to be rescued.
10:59 Well, Captain Scott O'Grady made it.
11:03 He made it to the coordinates on the map.
11:08 Checking his watch, he was right on time.
11:14 And the place was quiet.
11:17 Had he missed rescue?
11:20 Had he been to early? Were the coordinates wrong?
11:26 Well my friend, he did not have to wonder for just a few moments
11:30 because all of a sudden he heard a sound, a sound that was
11:34 familiar to him as airplanes, helicopters, and marines
11:39 came over the hill.
11:43 The rescuers coming to rescue him.
11:49 He reported that he made his way as far as he could to them and
11:53 he collapsed in their arms.
11:56 They took him, they put him aboard a helicopter and they
12:01 took him home.
12:04 What a rescue story. What a story for each one of us.
12:09 Because Jesus, our friend and divine rescuer, has
12:15 given us a plan.
12:16 Have you been studying your Bible?
12:18 Have you been reading to find out what that rescue plan is?
12:24 If you haven't my friend, I encourage you to do it today.
12:28 Take the time necessary to get to know your Lord and Savior.
12:32 What about your priorities?
12:35 Do you want to be rescued?
12:39 Do you want to be saved?
12:43 That may not sound like a good question to ask but I'm here to
12:48 tell you there's many who don't even know they're lost.
12:56 The Bible share with us in our text Jesus said " I know the
13:01 thoughts that I have towards you. "
13:06 Oh my friend, Jesus' thoughts toward us are thoughts
13:10 of genuine love.
13:13 His thoughts towards us are to save us and to bring us home.
13:19 He say "Thoughts of peace not thoughts of evil. "
13:25 There are those in the world today that proclaim God has evil
13:29 thoughts towards us.
13:32 Oh, I'm so glad that the bible tells us differently.
13:35 He does not have thoughts of evil, there thoughts of peace.
13:41 The Bible tells us that we when we are in that relationship with
13:44 Jesus Christ, can have peace that passes all understanding.
13:49 And in a world full of turmoil that we live in today
13:52 isn't it nice to know that peace is available.
13:58 Well not only did the priorities have to change, not only did a
14:03 rescue plan have to be invented but God, in order to initiate
14:08 the rescue plan, sent His son, Jesus to die on the cross.
14:13 That was the price paid.
14:15 Nobody asked how much it cost to save Scott O'Grady.
14:18 Nobody said the government wasted their money.
14:20 Or any of the multi-national efforts.
14:23 Nobody wondered the cost.
14:26 My friend, we as Christians count on the cost.
14:32 The cost of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
14:37 He goes on to tell us that not only does He have thoughts of
14:40 peace toward us but that he wants to give us hope.
14:43 Hope in a hopeless world my friend is exactly what
14:48 you and I need.
14:49 Jesus tells us in verse twelve "Then you will call upon me, you
14:56 will pray to me, and I will listen to you.
15:02 I don't know about you but there are many people that I talk to
15:05 in life that I wonder if their actually listening and to be
15:09 honest, there's a few people who talk with me who probably
15:12 wonder if I'm listening.
15:13 But you and I do not need to wonder for one moment if Jesus
15:18 Christ is listening to us.
15:21 He has promised to hear us when we pray.
15:28 The Bible then tells us that if we seek Him, He says "You will
15:33 find me when you search for me with all you heart.
15:38 My friend there's a secret right there. There's a secret.
15:41 Are you and I search Him with every fiber of our being?
15:47 All to often the answer is no.
15:52 All to often we're searching for him when its time for church.
15:57 We're searching for Him when things are going rough.
16:02 We search for Him when we think about it.
16:06 But I'm so glad that Jesus always thinks about me.
16:12 And He always thinks about you.
16:15 And He has promised us that we will find him.
16:20 Verse 14 says "I will be found of you. "
16:26 Oh, if that promise isn't marked in your Bible I'd mark it today.
16:33 Your Savior and mine, your God and mine has given the promise
16:39 that we will be found by Him when we search for Him with all
16:44 of our heart and His promise ends with, "I will bring you out
16:49 of captivity. " Maybe you haven't thought of it this way
16:52 before that while here on this earth we're bound captive by
16:55 Satan and sin.
16:57 No matter how hard I try to be perfect I can't be perfect.
17:01 No matter how hard I try I continue to get in trouble.
17:07 God is not calling me to try.
17:12 God is calling me to call upon Him and rely totally
17:18 upon His strength.
17:21 Not mine. His strength. 100 percent.
17:27 Just as Captain Scott O'Grady sat in Bosnia underneath trees
17:31 burying himself, foraging the very ground for food.
17:36 He knew that there was nothing that he could do.
17:38 There is nothing that he could say, there was nothing he
17:42 believe that would remove him from the land of the enemy,
17:48 save a relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
17:53 As I said already it was during the time of his captivity that
17:58 he said never has been my relationship with God
18:01 ever been so good.
18:03 My friend, it was not because he was in enemy territory its
18:06 because he knew he was in the enemies territory and he had no
18:10 hope in himself and he had to rely fully and wholly
18:14 upon Jesus Christ.
18:16 You and I need to learn that secret.
18:19 Reliance, total and complete surrender to Jesus Christ.
18:24 I know the thoughts that I think towards you, thoughts of peace
18:31 not of evil. To Give you a future and to give you hope.
18:38 My friend, what is your future here on earth?
18:41 What is my future here on this earth?
18:43 We're just a speck of dust in time.
18:49 This world is growing old.
18:53 The future here is bleak and dim but God wants to give us a
19:00 future that's beyond all expectation and he shares
19:05 that with us in his word.
19:09 In John chapter 14 he tells us to be prepared because He's
19:15 going to come and He's going to take us home.
19:18 That where He is that we may be there also.
19:21 Oh my friend, I want to be with Jesus.
19:23 I want to go with Him.
19:27 I don't want to stay here any longer.
19:29 This world has nothing to offer.
19:33 Everything is temporary and fleeting even the founding
19:36 fathers understood it right when they called it the
19:38 pursuit of happiness.
19:40 Everyone is in the pursuit but very few find happiness.
19:45 Because happiness is not something that is found.
19:47 Its something that is experienced.
19:51 Something that comes from a vibrant living relationship
19:56 with Jesus Christ.
19:58 Do you want that peace that passes understanding?
20:02 Do you want a home in glory with your Lord and
20:04 Savior Jesus Christ?
20:06 Then you and I need to learn the lessons that Captain
20:08 Scott O'Grady understood from this text in Jeremiah 29.
20:12 We must call upon God.
20:17 He is ready to listen. His heart is open wide. He wants you.
20:24 He wants me. We must come to realize we cannot help ourselves
20:30 I am helpless to do anything for my situation.
20:34 I cannot rid the sin in my life.
20:39 I must call for help. I must seek after one who can cleanse
20:44 me from sin and my friend the Bible tells us that His
20:48 name is Jesus Christ.
20:49 He died that my sins might be forgiving.
20:53 My heart cleansed from all unrighteousness.
20:59 That the promise He gives to us and that's the promise we need
21:04 to claim, we need to understand that as we seek God, we have to
21:07 come to God on His terms.
21:10 We need to ask for God's will to be done in our lives.
21:15 Rescue plans have been underway before you and I were even born.
21:19 From the foundations of the earth, the Bible tells us, God's
21:23 had His eye on you and He's had His eyes on me.
21:28 And God wants a divine homecoming very very soon.
21:33 And as Captain Scott O'Grady understood, his priorities
21:36 change and your priorities and mine need to change.
21:39 We need to lift our eyes from the things of this earth and
21:42 point them to heavenly places.
21:44 Lift up your heads, the bible tells us, for our redemption
21:48 draws nigh.
21:51 The redemption that Jesus has for us is eternal redemption.
21:57 Eternal life through Jesus Christ, His son, your savior
22:03 and mine.
22:05 Well, the Bible contains these rescue details.
22:11 We need to spend our time reading.
22:13 we need to spend our time studying.
22:17 God tells us that as we read and we study the pages of scripture
22:22 He will send the Holy Spirit to illuminate us.
22:26 To help us to understand what we may not understand.
22:30 To help us to apply to our lives that which God is calling for us
22:36 For in the end God calls us into his image.
22:43 Have you found Jesus, my friend, today?
22:48 Have you searched for Him with all your heart?
22:51 Is Jesus your main priority?
22:57 My friend, is He your only priority in the spiritual life
23:03 that He has to offer.
23:04 If not, then I invite you today to take a moment to bow your
23:11 your heads and to ask God to be your Lord and your Savior.
23:16 He wants you in His family, He wants you to understand
23:21 the divine rescue plan so that when He comes we will recognize
23:24 Him, we will see Him and we will be saved by Him and
23:31 and taken to heaven.
23:32 For where He is, there we can be also.
23:37 When you find Him, you will be found.
23:43 Because God says, "If you seek me you will find me when you
23:50 seek for me with all your heart. "
23:55 I enjoy the story of Captain Scott O'Grady.
23:58 I appreciate someone who is in a circumstance than when they
24:04 are lost they have the inevitable conclusion that they
24:10 need to be saved.
24:11 Its easy when your lost to know your lost.
24:15 Its harder my friend when your not knowing your lost
24:22 to know how much help you and I need to be found.
24:28 Are you lost?
24:30 Have you been lost?
24:33 Well help is on the way.
24:37 I'd like to refer one more time to the passage and read it
24:40 together with you from Jeremiah 29:11-14.
25:29 My friend, He writes those words for you.
25:33 He writes those words for me.
25:37 Those verses take on new meaning to me when I compare them to
25:40 that story of salvation and rescue from a land of the enemy
25:45 for my friend, we are in that enemies land today
25:51 Take a look around, the television headlines, headlines
25:54 of the evening news the papers the radio.
25:57 Wherever we turn we can see the lack of people who need a savior
26:04 My friend Jesus calls for us today to turn to Him.
26:10 He calls us to seek Him with all of our heart and He promises
26:16 that we will find Him and my friend, we indeed need to
26:25 be found.
26:27 Will you bow your heads with me as we pray?
26:31 Gracious Father in Heaven thank you so much for the promises
26:38 that you have giving to us here today. Thank you for promising
26:43 that if we will seek you that we will find you because you desire
26:48 to be found. Your not hiding Father. Your hiding in plain
26:53 sight, waiting to be found. And Father you have promised that
26:59 we will find you when we search for you with our whole heart
27:03 take our hearts oh God make them ever true. Take our hearts oh
27:10 God please make us more like you. Father we look forward to
27:18 the day when you will save us in thy kingdom. May that day be
27:22 very very soon is our prayer in Jesus name, amen.
27:28 I want to thank you so much for joining us here at Faith
27:33 Chapel today. May God continue to bless each one of us as we
27:39 study to know His will that ultimately His will, will become
27:46 our will and God will be our God thank you.