3ABN Australia Homecoming

Knowing God Through The Parables

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: HCAU

Program Code: HCAU180018A

00:01 Music...
00:20 Welcome to 3ABN Australia Homecoming.
00:25 Music...
00:29 Hello and welcome to 3ABN Australia Homecoming 2018,
00:34 it's so nice for Jill and myself to be here at 3ABN Australia
00:38 to enjoy this beautiful...
00:39 I'm calling it Camp Meeting, Rosemary...
00:41 Homecoming... whatever you want to call it,
00:43 it's been a blessing, hasn't it?
00:45 It has, what a privilege
00:46 to spend time with our 3ABN Family here in Australia,
00:50 at the Avondale Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church.
00:53 We have loved our time with you
00:54 and the anointing of the Holy Spirit
00:56 has been on the meetings and the messages.
00:59 Absolutely, it's so encouraging
01:01 to see each one of your smiling faces.
01:03 Many of you have traveled many, many hours to come here,
01:06 many of you live here in the local area
01:08 but we just appreciate the support that each one of you
01:11 give to not only 3ABN Australia but 3ABN USA,
01:14 your prayers and financial support mean a lot to us.
01:17 Amen, we're all part of the family of God
01:20 and to know that we have eternity to spend together.
01:23 Our theme for this Camp Meeting has been: Knowing God
01:26 taken from John chapter 17 verse 3,
01:29 "And this is life eternal,
01:32 that they shall know thee the only true God,
01:34 and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. "
01:37 Who is our Speaker for the hour?
01:39 Yeah, we are blessed with Pastor Ryan Day,
01:41 you've already heard him speak once
01:43 but God has given him a wonderful gift in music
01:45 but also be able to share the Word of God
01:48 through the preaching of His Word.
01:49 He is very blessed.
01:51 Amen, his topic today is: Knowing God through the Parables
01:54 before he speaks,
01:55 Pastor John Lomacang who happens to be our Pastor
01:58 from the Thompsonville Seventh-day Adventist Church
02:01 will be ministering a song in music,
02:03 "Whiter Than Snow. "
02:05 After Pastor John Lomacang shall have sung,
02:07 the next voice you will hear is that of our friend and Pastor
02:11 Ryan Day.
02:14 Pause...
02:20 Music...
02:26 Background singers: Whiter than snow
02:29 yes, whiter than snow,
02:32 Now wash me,
02:35 and I shall be whiter than snow.
02:44 Lord Jesus,
02:48 I long to be perfectly whole;
02:53 I want Thee forever to live in my soul,
03:00 Break down every idol,
03:05 cast out every foe,
03:09 Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
03:18 Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow;
03:25 Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
03:34 Music...
03:37 My Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the sky,
03:45 And help me to make a complete sacrifice;
03:53 I'll give up myself, and whatever I know;
04:02 Just wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
04:11 Background singers.
04:13 Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat;
04:21 I wait, blessed Lord, at Your crucified feet,
04:27 By faith for my cleansing;
04:31 I see Thy blood flow;
04:37 Now wash me, and I shall be
04:42 whiter than snow.
04:47 Whiter than snow,
04:52 yes, whiter than snow;
04:55 Now wash me, and I will be whiter than snow,
05:02 whiter than snow,
05:06 Now wash me and I will be
05:10 I shall be...
05:14 whiter than
05:17 snow...
05:21 snow.
05:26 Music...
05:36 Praise God.
05:38 Good day Mates...
05:39 Audience: Laughter...
05:41 God bless, how have you...
05:42 how have all of you been doing this week, so far?
05:45 Audience: Fine...
05:46 Wonderful... hasn't this been a wonderful Series?
05:48 Ah man, I've been so blessed by all of the incredible Speakers
05:53 and the amazing...
05:55 just powerful messages that God has blessed us with
05:59 over these... these past few days...
06:01 so, before we go any further,
06:03 what I would like to do is go right to the Lord in prayer,
06:05 and if you would just reverently bow your heads
06:07 as we talk to Jesus.
06:09 "Father in heaven, Lord,
06:11 we praise you and thank you so much
06:13 for the wonderfulness
06:14 that you have bestowed upon us all throughout this week,
06:17 I pray Lord that you will speak through me now
06:19 that every word, every thought, every action
06:21 be that of Jesus Christ,
06:22 and each and every one of us will be drawn
06:24 to the uplifted Savior,
06:25 we praise you and we thank you forever
06:28 and we ask these things in Jesus' holy name, amen. "
06:31 If you would turn with me in your Bibles
06:35 to John chapter 4,
06:39 we're going to start very quickly in John chapter 4
06:42 and then we are going to divert to another important passage.
06:45 Do you remember our memory text?
06:48 You should have it memorized by now,
06:51 John chapter 17... I'm having you to go to John 4
06:55 but I just want you to quote for me
06:57 what is our memory text? John 17 verse 3,
06:59 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You
07:04 the only true God,
07:06 and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent. "
07:09 Absolutely, this is a powerful text indeed,
07:11 knowing God...
07:13 and this particular message is,
07:15 "Knowing God through the Parables"
07:17 and some of us, when we think of parables,
07:19 I can't help but sometimes I kind of
07:22 in an elementary-type way get into a mode
07:24 where I think the parable is just a simple short story
07:28 that Jesus was using
07:30 to teach some type of important moral lesson
07:32 but we know indeed
07:34 that as we begin to dive deep into the many, many dozens
07:37 of parables that Jesus used
07:40 to communicate the Kingdom of God and His will,
07:43 we find very clearly that there are some deep...
07:45 very important messages
07:47 some of which communicate life or death... salvation indeed
07:51 and so, in this case, I want to start here in John chapter 4,
07:55 now, John chapter 4 is famously known
07:58 for this great conversation that Jesus is having between
08:02 Himself and, of course, the woman at the well
08:04 so He's had this incredible conversation
08:06 but what I want to draw your attention to
08:08 are the latter verses... not the very latter verses
08:11 but let's start in verse 30 here,
08:12 John chapter 4 verse 30, notice what the Bible says here,
08:16 it says, "Then they went out of the city, and came to Him. "
08:19 Now, these are speaking of the disciples
08:21 so Jesus and the disciples have shown up in Samaria
08:24 and of course, the disciples go on into the city
08:27 to gather some food and some...
08:28 some items perhaps that they need for their travels,
08:31 now, meanwhile, Jesus has been having
08:33 this incredible, amazing conversation
08:35 with this woman at the well,
08:36 now the disciples are about to return
08:39 and they're about to have an interesting conversation
08:41 with Jesus,
08:42 notice what it says here, verse 30, again,
08:44 "Then they went out of the city, and came to Him... "
08:46 verse 31,
08:47 "In the meantime, His disciples urged Him saying, Rabbi, eat...
08:51 we've been traveling, you've got to be thirsty,
08:54 you've got to be hungry, so eat... "
08:57 Notice His response here,
08:58 this is verse 32, "But He said to them,
09:02 I have food to eat of which you do not know. "
09:05 Then you can imagine the response
09:08 as they say here in verse 33,
09:10 "Therefore the disciples said to one another,
09:12 'Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?'"
09:13 So they're looking at one another and saying,
09:15 "Hey, man what about... why did we go in town?
09:17 I thought that's why we went to town
09:19 is to grab the food and the drink for the journey,
09:20 we've been traveling,
09:21 did this brother bring a backpack lunch or something
09:23 that we don't know about?"
09:25 And so as you see here in verse 34,
09:27 notice Christ's response... very interesting,
09:29 very profound...
09:31 "Jesus says to them,
09:32 'My food is to do the will of Him Who sent me,
09:36 and to finish His work. '"
09:40 Pause...
09:43 In other words,
09:44 "My goal... the main reason I'm here...
09:49 the one string on my violin,
09:53 is to finish the work that the Father has sent me to do. "
09:58 Much of this work... all of this work...
10:02 Christ very much communicates through the many parables
10:07 that He would use to communicate the will of God
10:09 and, of course, that of the kingdom of God.
10:11 Pause...
10:13 As I was studying for this particular message,
10:15 I'm thinking, "Lord, how am I going to get through
10:17 this particular sermon
10:19 with all of these amazing parables
10:21 that I would like to talk about?"
10:23 There are dozens of parables
10:24 that Jesus was recorded to have spoken
10:26 and to use in ministry
10:28 but today, I've specifically chosen three
10:31 that I believe very clearly communicate
10:34 the very bulk...
10:35 the overall umbrella purpose of the will of God
10:38 as presented through the ministry of Jesus
10:40 and more specifically through the parables.
10:43 I want us to begin in what I believe to be
10:46 and what many people believe to be
10:47 one of the very first parables that Jesus gave in Scripture
10:51 or communicated to the people in His day.
10:54 Let's turn over to Matthew chapter 13...
10:56 Matthew chapter 13,
10:58 if you have your Bibles, I'd very much encourage you
11:00 because most of these passages
11:02 we're going to be reading today
11:03 are going to be straight from the Bible,
11:05 there will be a few texts that I will put on the screen...
11:07 but that they will put on the screen,
11:09 I want to start in Matthew chapter 13,
11:11 pause...
11:13 one of the... famously...
11:16 one of the most notorious parables
11:19 that Jesus was known to have spoken, of course,
11:21 is that of the parable of the sower
11:23 and this has... have come to known to be
11:26 perhaps maybe one of His first parables
11:29 that He would have communicated early on in His ministry.
11:32 I'm going to begin reading here in verse one,
11:36 notice what the Bible says,
11:38 "On the same day Jesus went out of the house
11:41 and sat by the sea.
11:43 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him,
11:46 so that He got into a boat and sat;
11:48 and the whole multitude stood on the shore. "
11:50 So this is a powerful scene,
11:51 you can imagine Jesus in a boat
11:53 out maybe a few meters... a few hundred yards
11:55 and, of course, He's facing the shore
11:58 and just imagine all the multitudes standing on the shore
12:01 perhaps... perhaps very quietly listening...
12:03 hanging on to every word that He is about to say,
12:06 verse 3 it says,
12:08 "Then He spoke many things to them in parables,
12:10 saying: Behold, a sower went out to sow.
12:15 And as he sowed, some good seed fell by the wayside,
12:20 and the birds came and devoured them.
12:23 Some fell on stony places,
12:26 where they did not have much earth;
12:28 and they immediately sprang up
12:30 because they had no depth of earth.
12:32 But when the sun was up they were scorched,
12:35 and because they had no root they withered away. "
12:37 Verse 7,
12:39 "And some fell among thorns,
12:41 and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
12:43 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop:
12:47 some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty.
12:50 He who has an ear, let him hear!"
12:55 Pause...
12:57 My friends, when the Creator of the universe
13:00 has just reminded us that if we have ears...
13:03 and I think He would know because He created them,
13:05 He gave them to us,
13:06 if we have ears to hear, listen up
13:08 because the Creator is speaking.
13:11 Isn't that important?
13:12 Now, something else interesting happens
13:17 after He presents this parable,
13:19 because He just simply just presented the parable itself...
13:21 but then notice what the Bible continues on to say in verse 10.
13:24 "And the disciples came and said to Him,
13:27 'Why do You speak to them in parables?'"
13:29 They're going, "Well, Jesus, why are you talking to them
13:31 like this, this is weird,
13:33 why don't you just tell them plainly?"
13:35 Pause...
13:37 Notice what the Bible continues to say, verse 11,
13:39 "And He answered and said to them,
13:40 'Because it has been given to you
13:42 to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,
13:43 but to them it has not been given.
13:46 For whoever has, to him more will be given,
13:50 and he will have abundance;
13:52 but whoever does not have,
13:53 even what he has will be taken away from him. '"
13:56 Verse 13, "Therefore I speak to them in parables,
13:59 because... " notice what the Word of God says
14:01 "because seeing they do not see,
14:04 and hearing they do not hear,
14:06 nor do they understand. "
14:08 Pause...
14:09 In other words, "Look, I have to talk to them this way
14:11 because even though they have ears,
14:13 they can't really hear
14:15 and even though they have eyes,
14:16 they can't really see,
14:18 and in fact, He goes on to confirm this,
14:19 by quoting a Scripture from the book of Isaiah,
14:22 notice what it says here,
14:23 "Hearing... " and it says right here,
14:25 in the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled which says,
14:27 "Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
14:29 And seeing you will see and not perceive;
14:31 For the hearts of this people... "
14:33 notice, now here's the thing, check this out,
14:34 it's not that the people can't hear,
14:36 it's not that the people can't see,
14:38 now, there's an ongoing message
14:41 that is falling around in the Christian world today,
14:43 and I must say, it's even floating around
14:46 and has infiltrated the Adventist church a little bit
14:49 and that's this idea of this concept of "original sin"
14:52 this concept of... "You know what?
14:54 God created me the way that I am,
14:55 I just kind of inherited all of this bad equipment
14:58 from Adam and I can't help it.
15:01 I'm just kind of prone naturally
15:03 to not be able to do what is right,
15:06 I'm prone naturally to not be able to respond
15:08 the way that God wants me to respond. "
15:10 But it's interesting here
15:12 because when God begins to speak as He talks about these people,
15:14 who have ears but cannot hear,
15:16 seeing... although they have eyes... they cannot see,
15:19 notice what He says, verse 15,
15:20 the reason for this is, their heart...
15:22 notice He says, "For the hearts of this people
15:23 have grown dull. "
15:26 Pause...
15:28 This is not something that the people are just born with,
15:32 God does not create us by default
15:35 in a situation in which we are damaged,
15:38 in other words, sin is not something that you do
15:40 as constant as breathing, we're not sin machine,
15:43 sin is a choice,
15:45 a dull heart is a choice...
15:47 not being able to see... not being able to hear...
15:50 is a choice.
15:52 Now, it's interesting,
15:55 but just notice what He goes on to say,
15:56 "their ears are hard of hearing,
16:00 their eyes they have closed
16:03 lest they should see with their eyes
16:04 and they hear with their ears,
16:06 lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
16:09 so I should heal them. "
16:11 It goes on to say, "blessed are your eyes for they see,
16:14 and your ears for they hear,
16:16 for assuredly, I say to you
16:17 that many prophets and righteous men desired to see
16:19 what you see, and did not see it,
16:21 and hear what you hear, and have not heard it. "
16:23 In other words, "because you chose me...
16:25 because you gave me the opportunity to lead you,
16:29 you're going to see things,
16:31 you're going to experience things,
16:32 you're going to hear things that nobody else has ever heard,
16:34 nobody else has ever seen. "
16:35 Pause...
16:39 God does not create us in a default mode
16:43 in which we cannot simply see or cannot hear
16:46 the spiritual things that God wants us to see and hear.
16:49 Over in the book of 1st Corinthians chapter 14,
16:53 Paul says, "God is not the author of confusion. "
16:58 God does not want to confuse us,
17:01 Christ does not want to confuse us,
17:03 He was actually trying to present the Word of God
17:06 in such a way that people could understand
17:08 but again, He's got to get past this dull hearts
17:11 and, of course, we know that He goes on
17:13 to give us the explanation of this parable.
17:16 Let's continue on because we have little time,
17:18 time is of the essence, let's continue on, verse 18,
17:20 "Therefore hear the parable of the sower. "
17:22 Now He's going to explain, now, we've read this many times
17:25 but I just want to highlight a few things here,
17:26 notice verse 19,
17:28 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom,
17:30 and does not understand it,
17:32 then the wicked one comes and snatches away
17:36 what was sown in his heart.
17:38 This is he who received seed by the wayside. "
17:41 So those who received the seed by the wayside,
17:44 they... you know, they don't really understand it,
17:46 now, they don't understand it of course by choice
17:48 you know, we meet a lot of people like this,
17:50 have you heard of someone that you go share
17:52 the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with
17:54 and it's not that they're incapable of seeing
17:56 or hearing it or understanding,
17:57 but they simply have no interest
17:59 have you ever heard of someone like that?
18:00 they just simply have absolutely no interest
18:02 and therefore, they can't understand it
18:04 because they don't care to understanding it.
18:06 It's like taking seed and walking out on the pavement
18:10 and throwing some seed and expecting it to grow,
18:11 it's not going to happen
18:13 the devil is going to come and chuup, chuup, chuup,
18:14 chuup, chuup... snatch it up...
18:16 pause...
18:17 again, God is not the author of confusion
18:20 that He would create us in a state
18:22 that we're are absolutely incapable of understanding,
18:24 but yet, we must have a desire to understand.
18:27 Notice verse 20,
18:29 "But he who receives the seed on stony places,
18:33 this is he who hears the word
18:35 and immediately receives it with joy,
18:37 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while.
18:41 For when tribulation and of course persecution arises
18:44 because of the word, immediately he stumbles. "
18:47 Now, I... I can't... I just got a few stories about this,
18:50 I'm not going to tell them all but I traveled for five years
18:54 on the road as an evangelist
18:56 So, and I think Pastor Geoff can understand this
18:59 very, very clearly,
19:00 you know, you preach the Word of God
19:02 and there's people that come by the 100s to your...
19:04 to your meetings and it's such an incredible
19:06 awesome experience,
19:08 and you will be presenting truths
19:09 that are just life-changing...
19:11 life-altering... and people will come to you
19:13 and they're so happy when they first hear the truth,
19:15 you've met these types of people... they're so happy,
19:18 "Oh Brother Day, just... that was a powerful message!
19:20 Thank you so much for giving that...
19:21 no, God gave you that message,
19:23 the Lord is really speaking to my heart,
19:24 praise the Lord that God has taught me
19:26 the truth of the Sabbath,
19:28 praise the Lord that God
19:29 has taught me the truth of the Law of God
19:30 and He's opened my mind
19:32 to all of these incredible amazing things!
19:33 Oh, I'm just so happy,
19:35 I really believe that the Lord sent that brochure
19:37 in the mail just for me
19:39 so that I can come here and learn this powerful message. "
19:41 Pause...
19:45 But then that person goes home
19:46 pause...
19:48 and life happens...
19:49 Pause...
19:51 One instance comes to my mind,
19:53 a lady came to one of my meetings
19:55 and very... very much what I just described
19:58 very excited,
20:00 in fact, we would meet outside of the meetings,
20:02 she would ask me Bible questions and, of course,
20:05 with all of my knowledge I would answer those questions
20:07 and point her back to the Word of God
20:09 she would just confirm,
20:10 "Yes, Brother Day, this is just so powerful... "
20:12 and she described,
20:13 "Yes, I grew up in the Pentecostal Church,
20:15 very much to you...
20:16 and my mother and my father are still Pentecostal Christians
20:20 and they don't like that I'm coming to these meetings"
20:21 and I said, "Well, I can imagine that,
20:24 you know, I understand where you're coming from there. "
20:26 and she said, "But I know that this is truth,
20:28 I've been seeing it in the Word of God
20:30 and I've been hearing it and I've been reading it for myself
20:32 there's no doubt in my mind that God sent me to these meetings,
20:34 to hear this truth. "
20:36 And so, she received it with joy.
20:37 She even went as far to make a decision for Jesus,
20:39 "Yes, I want to surrender all my life for Him,
20:42 yes, I believe in all of these amazing truths
20:44 that I have heard and learned throughout this entire seminar"
20:48 and then come down to the very day of the baptism...
20:52 she didn't show up.
20:55 Pause...
20:57 I got a message later on where she told me that basically
21:00 she went home
21:02 and she had a long conversation with her mother
21:04 and her mother convinced her that this was not the right way,
21:08 she needs to walk in the way that she was raised...
21:13 again, on stony ground...
21:16 received with joy,
21:18 "Oh, it sounds good in the moment
21:20 but then the trials come,
21:21 then the pressures come and then we want to...
21:23 we want to stack up the test of truth
21:26 up against the world or man's word
21:28 and sometimes we allow men's word
21:30 to overcome that of the Word of God.
21:32 My friends, we have to be careful.
21:34 The Bible goes on to say in verse 22,
21:35 "Now he who receives the seed among the thorns
21:39 is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world
21:41 and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word,
21:44 and he becomes unfruitful. "
21:46 Now, this right here, I can't say for everyone
21:49 but I sometimes believe with all my heart and mind
21:52 that this is a big issue
21:54 especially within the Adventist Church,
21:56 I would say, all of Christianity.
21:58 The fact that many people receive the truth...
22:01 they know what the truth is
22:02 they have actually accepted the truth,
22:03 there's no doubt that it's the truth
22:05 but then, because of their lifestyle...
22:06 because of their choices...
22:08 because of the cares of the world around them,
22:11 they have no room for that "truth" seed to grow.
22:14 There's no room for the truth to really set up
22:17 and allow the joy and the love of God
22:19 to continue to persevere and to grow
22:21 and to burst within their life
22:23 that they may continue down the path of righteousness
22:26 for Jesus Christ
22:27 but yet there's something else that has become a distraction,
22:30 there's something else that has become a replacement
22:32 for that of the love and the truth of Jesus Christ.
22:34 Pause...
22:36 In fact, I found this interesting quote here,
22:41 pause...
22:43 this is found in The Great Controversy, page 48.
22:47 This is what the... the prophet writes, she says,
22:50 "Why is it, then, that persecution seems
22:52 in a great degree to slumber?"
22:54 In fact, what she's...
22:55 what she's basically comparing here
22:58 is the time of the early apostles
23:01 when Christ's message of truth was really exploding
23:04 and the experiences of the early Christians
23:06 versus the Christians of today's time,
23:08 she says, "Why is it, then, that persecution seems
23:10 in a great degree to slumber?"
23:12 Notice her response, she says,
23:14 "The only reason is that the church has conformed
23:18 to the world's standard
23:23 and therefore awakens no opposition.
23:27 The religion which is current in our day
23:30 is not of the pure and holy character
23:33 that marked the Christian faith
23:34 in the days of Christ and His apostles. "
23:36 Pause...
23:38 You know what? If we could all get in
23:39 a time machine and go back to the time
23:40 of the early apostles
23:42 in which Christ and His message and the truth
23:44 it was really exploding,
23:46 many of us wouldn't really...
23:48 some of us wouldn't find any room in that particular church
23:50 because that particular experience
23:54 is one that many people don't know today.
23:56 Notice what she goes on to say,
23:58 "It is only because of the spirit of compromise with sin,
24:02 because the great truths of the word of God
24:06 are so indifferently regarded,
24:07 because there is so little vital godliness in the church,
24:10 that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world. "
24:13 And then she says this,
24:16 "Let there be a revival of the faith
24:20 and power of the early church,
24:23 and the spirit of persecution will be revived,
24:26 and the fires of persecution will be rekindled. "
24:28 Pause...
24:30 She says, "Let there be a revival of the faith. "
24:35 My friends, I want to ask you here,
24:37 do Seventh-day Adventists need a revival today?
24:39 Does our church need a revival?
24:41 do we need a... do we need a spark of fire
24:44 in each and every one of our lives
24:45 that we may respond positively and rightfully
24:47 to the calling of Jesus Christ in our life?
24:49 Huh...
24:51 It is the truth...
24:53 pause...
24:56 when you read this particular parable, it goes on to say,
24:59 "But he who received seed on the good ground
25:02 is he who hears the word and understands it,
25:05 who indeed bears fruit and produces:
25:08 some a hundred... and sixty and some thirty. "
25:10 In other words, you receive the Word of God
25:13 and you recognize the cost of following Jesus
25:16 but it doesn't matter
25:18 because He gladly gave up His life for you...
25:21 you would gladly give up your life for Him
25:24 no matter what the cost.
25:26 Pause...
25:29 You will notice that there is a heavy emphasis
25:33 on the Word of God, not just in this parable
25:37 but many of the parables that Jesus told.
25:40 All throughout the many parables,
25:43 all of which I would love to talk about
25:44 just simply don't have enough time,
25:45 but there was a heavy emphasis
25:47 and a quick reminder
25:49 in many of the messages that Christ gives us,
25:51 of going back to the Word
25:53 and I'll tell you, there is no one on this planet
25:55 more than Seventh-day Adventist Christians
25:57 that know how important the Word of God is in our life.
26:00 Pause...
26:02 We're quick to stand up very strong and say,
26:04 "Yes, we're not saved by works
26:06 but we're saved by grace through faith. "
26:09 But my friends, the Bible says that faith comes by hearing
26:11 and hearing by the... by the Word of God.
26:14 The very thing that we know we should do,
26:17 as Paul says, we don't do...
26:19 and we come to church and it's like,
26:21 "Oh! our churches are lacking something,
26:24 the people aren't coming to church. "
26:26 I want to talk to you a little bit about this
26:27 in just a few moments,
26:28 this is very, very interesting,
26:30 I want to go back to this point that it makes here
26:32 in this particular...
26:33 this particular interpretation of this text,
26:36 it says, "Now he... " this is verse 22
26:38 "Now he who received seed among the thorns
26:40 is he who hears the word,
26:41 and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches
26:43 choke the word... "
26:45 notice, it chokes the word...
26:46 you heard it... you accept it...
26:48 you know that it's true, "Yeah, that's the truth,
26:50 if I'm going to go to church, I'm going to go to that church"
26:52 it doesn't matter what kind of Christian you are
26:53 in these last days,
26:55 most Christians hold that particular idea
26:56 who profess the name of Jesus,
26:58 "Well, I know I should go to church,
26:59 yes, I know I should read my Bible more,
27:01 and if I were to go to church, I would go to that church,
27:04 if I were to attend a particular congregation,
27:05 I would go to that particular congregation... "
27:07 but my friends, at the end of the day,
27:09 it's not the hearers of the Word,
27:10 it's the doers of the Word that will enter the kingdom of God
27:13 and it's interesting that as you continue to read through this,
27:17 He tells us that the... that the work of God is choked,
27:20 in other words, you have it...
27:21 but it has no place in your life
27:23 because there are distractions,
27:25 "the distraction dilemma" as one might call it.
27:31 It's interesting...
27:32 I was doing a little bit of research,
27:34 haven't been a Seventh-day Adventist very long
27:37 but I... I went to church all my life
27:39 and I've been a part of many different churches,
27:41 I've studied with many different congregations
27:43 I went on the NAD... well not NAD...
27:46 I looked at some NAD statistics,
27:48 I even looked at some of the South Pacific Division
27:51 statistics, isn't that what you guys are?
27:53 All right, so check this out,
27:54 now, I'm going to read the South Pacific Division
27:57 statistics first
27:59 because while you guys might find
28:00 that there is a rapid decline here even in Australia,
28:02 it's probably not as bad as what I'm about to read to you
28:05 from North America where I am from.
28:06 Pause...
28:07 Do you know how many members there are listed on the books
28:11 in the South Pacific Division?
28:14 Now I recognize Australia is not...
28:16 it's not just Australia there are other regions
28:18 that are included in this but on the books...
28:21 according to the statistical reports that I found,
28:24 the 2018 Annual Statistic... static... lllil a little bit...
28:27 that's a word... that's a mouthful!
28:29 St... st... st... st... statistical report...
28:31 we'll get it out one day,
28:33 I'm not speaking in tongues, I promise.
28:34 Laughter...
28:36 On the books, right here in the South Pacific Division,
28:41 you guys have... on the books 512,055 members
28:46 according to the most recent report.
28:48 512,055 members.
28:54 Now, as I was scrolling down this report,
28:57 I was reading to determine
28:59 how many of those people actually
29:01 are active members of their church.
29:04 How many of those people actually find it important
29:08 to live a life of a Christian
29:10 and follow the counsels of the Bible
29:12 to not just live a life for Jesus
29:13 but if you're truly living a life for Jesus,
29:15 then you know Jesus said,
29:16 "Look, I'm the Head, the church is the body"
29:17 and guess what?
29:19 You separate the head from the body,
29:20 you separate one person from the body,
29:21 you've separated yourself from the head of the body...
29:23 guess what?
29:24 You're not following the counsels of the church,
29:26 now I recognize... or the Bible...
29:28 I recognize that going to church does not save you.
29:30 Okay, I want to make that very clear,
29:32 why I'm not reading this...
29:33 because I'm trying to communicate
29:34 that I believe that by attending church,
29:36 you're going to be saved.
29:37 A daily, devoted relationship with Christ,
29:39 everywhere you are is... is how you'll be saved
29:42 but this is a good indication
29:45 of where we are spiritually in our church
29:47 and in our lives individually as Christians,
29:50 512 members on the books
29:53 but according to the South Pacific Division records,
29:56 only 217,000 actually attend on average...
30:00 on average... that's less than half,
30:03 okay.
30:05 I looked at the North American Division,
30:07 this one... ooo... had to sit down for this one.
30:11 Okay, North American Division, we have on record
30:15 one... a little over 1.2 million members on the book
30:19 so, specifically, 1,249,715 members on the books
30:25 okay, check this out.
30:26 How many of those people,
30:27 now, we're talking about the entire Division...
30:29 we're not just talking about the United States,
30:30 okay, the entire Division...
30:34 on average, 188,236 people attend average...
30:42 pause...
30:45 that's like a little less... a little more than
30:48 maybe a little less than one sixth
30:51 of the members listed on the books.
30:54 Now again, I want to reiterate the fact that I don't believe
30:58 in and of itself, church-going saves us
31:02 pause...
31:04 but my friends, it's a good indicator
31:07 of where we are in our spiritual walk with God.
31:10 When our people don't find it important enough
31:13 to attend the house of worship...
31:15 and to support the ongoing mission of the church
31:18 as we have been counseled in the Bible
31:20 and in the Spirit of Prophecy
31:22 pause...
31:24 because the Word is being choked...
31:29 our experience with Christ is being snuffed out.
31:35 Pause.
31:37 You say, "Brian,
31:39 I mean, I recognize that the Word of God
31:41 is important but you know... "
31:43 I actually gave a survey in a class back home...
31:46 a few of the...
31:47 I gave a question in a survey, I'm not going to say who it was,
31:49 but I gave a survey to this group of...
31:51 of Adventist Christians
31:52 and I actually asked the question,
31:54 "Do you find it as important and necessary
31:57 for Christians to have a daily devoted life
32:00 of Bible reading and Bible study
32:01 to have a relationship with Jesus?"
32:04 I was very interested to know that at least one third
32:07 or almost half of the people marked
32:09 that they didn't believe that it was vitally important
32:11 to read the Bible or to study the Bible on a daily basis.
32:14 Pause...
32:16 Well, that's interesting to me.
32:17 I want to continue on because we're losing time.
32:21 I want to go to our last parable.
32:23 I'd like for you to turn with me to Luke...
32:27 this is going to be found in Luke chapter 15,
32:30 turn with me to Luke chapter 15... hmmm...
32:34 pause...
32:38 I'm going to read the parable
32:41 and then we're going to begin dissecting this.
32:42 I don't have a lot of time but I want to get to where we're
32:44 what our main focus is today
32:46 so we see that there's a heavy emphasis on the Word of God.
32:49 We see that though the parables and knowing God,
32:52 Christ is always pointing us back to His Word.
32:54 He's saying, "Look, if you want to know me...
32:56 if you want to know who I am...
32:58 if you want to know My will for your life,
33:00 if you want to know the requirements for you
33:02 to enter the kingdom of God,
33:03 I love you, I want you there
33:05 but you got to know that it's found in my Word,
33:07 you got to get back in the Word.
33:08 You got to be obedient to My Commandments,
33:12 why? because I've told you,
33:13 'If you love Me, you will do what?'
33:15 You will keep My Commandments. "
33:17 Now we come to this last parable,
33:19 now, this is the parable of the prodigal son...
33:22 or what we would call the prodigal son.
33:24 There's those people who say,
33:26 "You're right, I've heard this message all my life.
33:28 I've heard this message that tells me
33:29 that I should be a good person and do good things
33:32 and have good behavior
33:33 and keep all the Commandments of God
33:35 and do that Law real good so that I can be a good Christian,
33:38 have the character of God and receive the Seal of God
33:40 and make it into the kingdom of God.
33:41 Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah... "
33:43 pause...
33:45 but many of us... some of us feel like a prodigal,
33:46 it's like, "You know what? I've walked away from God
33:48 for so long
33:49 and there's just no hope for me. "
33:51 Let's read this,
33:52 Verse 11,
33:55 "A certain man had two sons:
33:58 And the younger of them said to his father,
34:00 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me. '
34:03 So he divided to them his livelihood.
34:07 He gave the inheritance, okay,
34:10 we're going to come back to that.
34:12 "And not many days after
34:13 the younger son gathered all together,
34:15 journeyed to a far country,
34:17 and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
34:20 But when he had spent all,
34:22 there arose a severe famine in the land,
34:25 and he began to... " notice... "be in want. "
34:27 Then he went and joined himself
34:30 to the citizens of that country... "
34:31 "and he... " notice...
34:33 "he sent him into a field... fields of... to feed swine... "
34:37 so, notice verse 16, "And... " it says,
34:39 "and he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods
34:42 that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
34:45 But when he came to himself... "
34:48 I'll say that one more time, "when he came to himself,
34:53 he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants
34:56 have bread enough and to spare,
34:59 and I perish with hunger!
35:01 I will arise and go to my father,
35:03 and will say to him,
35:05 "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
35:07 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
35:10 Make me like one of your... "'
35:11 notice, "hired servants. "
35:13 Go on to verse 20, it says in here,
35:15 "He arose and came to his father's house
35:17 but when he was still a great way off,
35:19 his father saw him and had compassion,
35:21 and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. "
35:23 What a reception, huh?
35:25 Notice verse 21, "And the son said unto him,
35:28 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight,
35:31 and am no longer worthy to be called your son. '
35:33 "But the father said to his servants,
35:34 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him,
35:36 and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
35:39 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it,
35:42 and let us eat and be merry,
35:43 pause...
35:47 for this my son was dead and is alive...
35:49 he was lost and is found'
35:52 And they began to be merry.
35:55 Now his older son was in the field.
35:57 And he came and drew near to his house
35:59 and he heard music and dancing.
36:01 So he called one of the servants and asked him,
36:02 'what do these things mean?'
36:04 And he said to him, 'Your brother has come,
36:08 and because he has received him safe and sound,
36:10 your father has killed the fatted calf. '
36:12 "But he was angry and would not go in.
36:14 Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.
36:18 So he answered and said to his father,
36:20 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you;
36:22 I never transgressed your commandment... "
36:24 notice... "at any time
36:25 and yet you never gave me a young goat,
36:27 that I may make merry with my friends.
36:31 But as soon as this son of yours came,
36:34 who has devoured your livelihood with harlots,
36:36 you killed the fatted calf for him. '
36:39 "And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me,
36:42 and all that I have is yours.
36:44 It was right that we should make merry and be glad,
36:47 for your brother was dead and is alive again,
36:50 and was lost and is found. '"
36:52 Pause...
36:54 I'm not going to finish this message before that time ends
36:56 but I want to make some major points here
37:00 and then we're going to continue.
37:02 Pause...
37:03 Most of us, when we read this parable,
37:05 we read it from a western cultural perspective.
37:09 Pause...
37:10 in other words, when we read this parable,
37:12 we see it as... you know, the son goes off,
37:14 he has his fun... he gets in the world
37:15 and then he comes back
37:16 and he sees how great daddy's home was
37:18 and how the great stuff of the home was good for him
37:20 and now, he wants to come back...
37:21 he don't want to... he don't want live out there anymore
37:23 and so then the daddy goes and runs at him
37:25 and just falls on him and father says,
37:26 "Ah, thank you, welcome back son, I love you,
37:27 it's so good to have you back... "
37:29 and then a great happy ending right?
37:31 But there's much more to this
37:33 when you consider it from a Middle Eastern perspective.
37:36 Pause...
37:38 there's much more to this...
37:39 when I was looking into this and studying this,
37:41 I found something interesting,
37:42 pause...
37:45 you see,
37:48 in the Middle East,
37:50 you don't go ask for the inheritance.
37:52 Pause...
37:56 Asking for the inheritance in the Middle East
37:59 would get you stoned.
38:00 Pause...
38:06 When the father ran out there to him,
38:08 he wasn't running because he was just simply happy...
38:13 I'm sure he was happy, don't get me wrong,
38:14 he was very happy
38:15 but the fact that the father ran to him and fell on him
38:19 was an effort in which he was trying to save his son
38:23 from being stoned by the local villagers in that area
38:27 by putting his life in the place of his son's.
38:31 Pause...
38:34 I want to encourage everyone at this moment
38:36 to get in the Word of God.
38:39 There's much more for us to see that God has for us
38:44 than just on the surface
38:45 and we may be that prodigal that has ran away
38:49 but there is hope
38:51 if we just see Jesus now there is hope.
38:55 Pause...
39:01 more pause...
39:05 There was a man by the name of Kenneth Bailey
39:09 he was given a...
39:12 an assignment from the Dean of the Seminary
39:15 pause...
39:17 to do a sermon on the prodigal son.
39:19 After completing his sermon, he was left with one question,
39:23 "Why did this young man ask for the inheritance?"
39:25 So he went over...
39:28 he went to his boss after the sermon,
39:30 he said, "I want to take a four-week sabbatical. "
39:32 They granted him the sabbatical,
39:34 you know how long that sabbatical lasted?
39:36 not four weeks, but 40 years.
39:39 He went over to the Middle East and he began to study
39:43 and he began to...
39:44 and he went 4,000 miles this way...
39:46 4,000 miles this way...
39:47 not at all the big cities but the smaller cities
39:50 trying to determine what it was this parable about,
39:52 why did he ask for the inheritance
39:54 and he found a very common answer,
39:56 and the answer was that there really...
39:59 there's really only one answer, that is,
40:01 "It's impossible. "
40:02 It's impossible for someone to come... ask for the inheritance,
40:07 is impossible
40:09 pause...
40:11 because in all of the people that he had talked to
40:13 for those 40 years,
40:15 he only found two exceptions.
40:16 One story of a young man who went and asked his father
40:19 for the inheritance and guess what the father did?
40:21 It broke his heart so much that three days later
40:23 his father killed himself
40:24 because it brought so much shame.
40:26 Pause...
40:29 Another instance in which the young man
40:31 actually asked for the inheritance,
40:35 the father gave the inheritance to him
40:38 and he went out... very similar to this
40:41 and when he came back years later,
40:42 the villagers basically entrapped the young man
40:47 and the father himself actually came out
40:49 and shot his own son
40:50 for bringing so much shame on the family.
40:52 Pause...
40:54 more pause...
41:03 In this parable the father runs at the son,
41:05 he throws himself on him,
41:08 what Jesus was telling in this parable
41:12 was completely counter cultural
41:13 pause...
41:15 because what He was actually communicating
41:17 was that the death penalty that His son deserved...
41:21 He wasn't going to have it,
41:22 and you'll notice that He'd done several things,
41:26 He put a robe on him,
41:27 you know what the robe represents?
41:29 Pause...
41:31 Now, we're traditionally told that the robe
41:33 was represented... righteousness
41:35 but actually what the father was doing is
41:36 in that particular culture, he was presenting a veto right,
41:39 in other words, he was vetoing the idea
41:41 that, "You know what? You can't have my son,
41:43 you can't kill him, we're not doing that... "
41:44 in other words by...
41:47 by rejecting the murder of the son
41:50 and what he deserved in that particular culture,
41:52 he was actually bringing even more shame upon himself.
41:55 Hang with me, I'm not going to keep you very long
41:58 but I want you to see this,
41:59 pause...
42:01 the Bible says, he also put a ring upon him,
42:04 you know what that ring represents?
42:05 Go study this from a Middle Eastern perspective,
42:08 see, a ring was almost like giving the son the check book.
42:11 Underneath the ring
42:14 there would have been a name engraved there,
42:16 the family name...
42:17 it was almost like he was saying,
42:19 "All that's mine is yours again and more... "
42:21 and then lastly, or secondly, it says,
42:26 "he put shoes on him. "
42:28 Pause...
42:30 Now, up to the 17th and 18th century,
42:33 I did some research, up to the 17th and 18th century,
42:35 do you realize that servants in the house of God
42:38 or anyone in the house of God to a certain age,
42:41 did not wear shoes
42:42 but to wear shoes actually meant freedom.
42:45 If you were a servant or you were a slave
42:48 and you were given shoes, you were free
42:51 pause...
42:53 and then, lastly, it says that he killed the fatted calf...
42:56 he had them to kill the fatted calf for his son,
42:58 now, there in the Middle Eastern perspective,
43:01 there were only three reasons why the fatted calf
43:03 would be killed
43:04 and it still goes on today, notice this,
43:07 Number one, the birth of a child.
43:08 Number two, a wedding
43:12 or Number three, some type of business transaction
43:15 but not in this case,
43:17 that's why the brother was very upset.
43:19 You know, sometimes I feel like we have that same situation,
43:24 maybe even amongst our brethren.
43:26 Is it possible to live in the father's house
43:32 and not know the father's heart?
43:33 Pause...
43:35 Is it possible?
43:37 Pause...
43:39 more pause...
43:42 My friends, because Jesus gave Himself completely for us...
43:46 completely...
43:48 the Bible says... He endured the cross,
43:52 He despised the shame
43:54 when comprehend those events that transpired at Calvary,
44:00 something happens.
44:02 As I read in one of my previous sermons,
44:05 you don't walk away from a gift like that.
44:07 Martin Luther... one of his famous sayings was this,
44:11 "When I look unto myself,
44:13 I don't know how I could ever be saved
44:15 but when I look unto Jesus,
44:19 I don't know how I could ever be lost. "
44:21 Pause...
44:24 Isn't that powerful?
44:25 Pause...
44:26 more pause...
44:30 John chapter 12 verse 32, you know what Jesus says,
44:33 He says, "If I...
44:37 if I be lifted up from the earth,
44:44 I will draw all peoples unto Myself. "
44:48 Pause...
44:50 I normally would not continue on past this time
44:52 and I may get in trouble for it,
44:54 but I sense that there's a little bit of a revival
44:57 occurring in some of our hearts in this Series,
44:59 I know it has mine,
45:01 I've heard some powerful messages over the past few days
45:04 that have stirred up in me
45:06 a reason to desire and want Jesus more in my life,
45:09 pause...
45:11 more pause...
45:13 my friends I heard a... I heard a minister one time
45:19 that I was listening to, he said,
45:21 "It's not about what you do, it's who you know
45:26 and who you know changes what you do. "
45:29 There are a lot of people falling in and out of the church
45:33 for whatever reason,
45:36 many of us just in strict rebellion
45:39 to the fact that they know it's the truth
45:41 but there's something inside us
45:43 that's just fighting against the truth,
45:44 it's saying, "You know what?
45:46 it's too hard, it's too difficult,
45:47 I can't keep the Commandments,
45:48 I can't obey God, I can't please God... "
45:50 and so it's all behavioral focused
45:54 and I'm not going to stand up here and say,
45:56 the behavior is not important,
45:57 because I know that inside my heart and mind,
46:00 I desire to act and represent my best
46:02 before my brethren and before God
46:05 but it's not about what you do,
46:08 it's who you know
46:10 and who you know changes what you do.
46:13 So for so long we've had our mind fixed on the rules
46:17 and the rules are important
46:19 but my friends, the rules don't save you,
46:21 it's the Ruler that saves us.
46:23 When we take our mind off the rules for a moment
46:26 to put our eyes upon the Ruler... the Savior,
46:29 then the Savior begins to do a mighty,
46:31 wonderful work in our life,
46:32 He begins to help formulate our lives
46:35 and shape ship it in harmony with those rules.
46:38 it's not about what you do, it's who you know.
46:41 I want to end with this story, it's a true story
46:44 of an Indian family over in the State of Assam.
46:47 I didn't realize this was a true story
46:51 until I had done some research, it really is a true story.
46:53 There was a family over in the State of Assam, India.
46:56 There was a Christian missionary that had come through
47:00 and they were seeking to do Bible Studies
47:02 with this particular village,
47:04 it was a rather large village but out of all the people there,
47:07 there was only one family willing to do Bible Studies
47:10 with this particular missionary.
47:12 Weeks go by and after several Bible Studies,
47:15 this family, as a whole, made a decision,
47:18 by the leadership of the father, to step out in faith
47:21 and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
47:23 and to completely give up
47:24 all of those thousands and thousands of Hinduistic gods
47:27 that they were following... false gods.
47:29 They gave their hearts to Jesus,
47:31 now news begins to spread around this village
47:34 which was primarily Hinduistic
47:36 pause...
47:38 then this was like a thorn in the flesh
47:40 to most of the major leaders of this village
47:42 and so, one day,
47:44 they rounded up this family and they brought them to the square,
47:50 the village square
47:52 and they put them on trial
47:53 and the chief of the village says to the man
47:58 and the head of the household he says,
47:59 "Look, if you and your family recant
48:01 and give up this Christian God,
48:03 then, you can save your lives
48:04 pause...
48:06 but if you're not willing to do that today,
48:08 then, you will all lose your lives right here today. "
48:10 Pause.
48:12 Well, this particular Indian fellow,
48:16 months before... as he had begun to accept Christ
48:22 truthfully in his heart,
48:23 God gave him the most beautiful words
48:26 to one of the most powerful...
48:28 or would become one of the most powerful Christian songs
48:30 that we sing today,
48:31 pause...
48:35 and as the chief presented his fate and the fate of his family,
48:40 to recant or die,
48:43 the first verse of that song came to his mind,
48:48 I have decided
48:54 to follow Jesus
48:59 I have decided
49:04 to follow Jesus
49:08 I have decided
49:13 to follow Jesus
49:17 No turning back
49:23 No turning back.
49:28 They murdered his little girls in front of him,
49:31 pause...
49:35 so the chief looks at him and says,
49:38 "You have an opportunity... this is it,
49:40 you can save you and your wife's life,
49:42 just have to give up this false Christian God. "
49:45 Pause...
49:48 With tears in his eyes, he looked at his wife
49:52 he looked back at the chief and he says,
49:56 "Though none go with me
50:01 still I will follow...
50:35 They took the life of his wife,
50:37 pause...
50:40 and with one last effort, they said,
50:43 "You can save your own, you have one last chance. "
50:49 Pause...
50:52 He began to sing...
51:33 and they killed him.
51:35 Pause...
51:38 It's a sad story, right?
51:39 Pause...
51:45 Months had passed
51:47 and all the Chief could think about
51:50 is that man and his family
51:56 willing to give up their life for this Jesus.
52:02 Who is this Jesus
52:04 that this guy and his family would die?
52:10 You know the good news is
52:14 is that the lives that were lost that day
52:17 sowed a seed in the heart of that Chief
52:20 and many of the villagers
52:21 in Assam, India,
52:23 and still to this day
52:26 if you go over to that particular village,
52:28 a large vast majority of that village
52:32 is Christian
52:34 because of the sacrifice of those few for Jesus.
52:40 My friends, we may never have to give up our lives like that
52:44 maybe... maybe not...
52:45 but, you know, I have to believe that
52:47 over the course of these last few days,
52:50 someone's heart has been stirred by the Holy Spirit.
52:55 Someone's heart has been pricked by the Holy Spirit
53:00 and the gospel of Jesus Christ
53:01 pause...
53:04 and I know this has been a little bit longer than expected
53:06 but I would be doing a disservice to myself...
53:10 I would be doing a disservice to you
53:11 and more than importantly,
53:13 I would be doing a disservice to our Creator,
53:15 if I did not give a proper call
53:17 for someone to give their heart to Jesus today,
53:21 it is a daily walk
53:25 but it can start with a simple surrender
53:28 to Jesus in prayer,
53:30 pause...
53:35 I would like at this time to invite
53:37 anyone who feels convicted to simply start over.
53:45 You may feel like that prodigal
53:49 and say, "I went too far...
53:52 I can't... I can't... I can't do it. "
53:55 Oh, but the Father is waiting for you
53:58 and He's waiting to run to you and embrace you
54:02 and accept you back.
54:04 There may be someone here tonight who says,
54:06 "Oh Ryan, I've been in church all my life,
54:08 I've... I've... I've done everything that I know to do
54:11 but yet I still feel
54:12 the tug of the Holy Spirit in my heart
54:14 to re-dedicate my life to Him,
54:16 that can happen right here today
54:17 and I'm going to kneel and I'm going to pray
54:22 and if there is someone who would like to walk forward
54:25 and join me in prayer,
54:27 to re-dedicate their life to Jesus,
54:29 it's just as simple as stepping out
54:32 just as Jesus stepped out for you,
54:37 you can step out with Him, amen,
54:41 praise God...
54:43 praise the Lord.
54:45 Piano...
54:51 Sing that verse together...
54:52 I have decided
54:56 to follow Jesus,
55:01 I have decided
55:06 to follow Jesus
55:11 I have decided
55:15 to follow Jesus,
55:21 No turning back,
55:25 No turning back.
55:30 I'm going to kneel and pray,
55:31 if you want to kneel you can
55:33 you don't have to,
55:34 but if would just reverently bow your heads,
55:36 let's pray to Jesus now.
55:37 Audience kneeling.
55:40 "Father in heaven,
55:43 as we have brought this incredible Series to an end,
55:49 pause...
55:51 Lord, we just want to first and foremost
55:55 praise you and thank you for being our God,
55:58 for You are worthy...
56:00 You are holy
56:02 and you are deserving of every aspect of our life,
56:05 pause...
56:10 Lord, I have to believe with all my heart
56:11 that you have sent Your Spirit
56:13 like a shockwave across this land... across this room,
56:16 over the last few days and there are probably many of us
56:20 as presented here today
56:23 who are humbling themselves before you
56:26 and simply responding to your call
56:29 where you say, 'If you will humble...
56:31 my people who are called by My name...
56:33 if they'll humble themselves and pray... and seek My face'
56:36 that you will forgive their sins and heal their land.
56:38 Lord, we're here and we're asking you
56:41 to have mercy on us as sinners
56:43 pause...
56:45 that you will burn the stubble of sin in our life
56:49 and that you will fill us up with your joy and peace
56:52 and that we may have the leading guiding power
56:56 of the Holy Spirit each and every day
56:58 to fix our eyes on Jesus every moment of every day.
57:03 In the world that we're living, Lord,
57:05 You know that You need a people
57:07 and I believe that You have a people
57:09 that are willing to stake their faith
57:10 and plant their feet on the solid rock of Jesus Christ,
57:13 and on His Word
57:15 and stand firm in the faith that we have been given,
57:18 Lord, I've been guilty of not following that faith as I should
57:21 but Lord, we place it before you
57:24 because You are a Champion,
57:26 You are a Master at dealing with sin,
57:29 pause...
57:32 save us oh God,
57:34 embrace us oh Lord,
57:36 create a revival in us, Lord,
57:40 and create a clean heart in us oh God,
57:43 and renew a right spirit within us.
57:46 We thank you for Your love,
57:49 Your never-ending mercy and grace
57:52 and we ask these things in Jesus' holy name,
57:55 amen, amen. "


Revised 2019-04-24