New Perceptions

Tales from a Vineyard: When You Can't Get Any Clos

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: NP

Program Code: NP180929A

00:00 ♪♪
00:10 [ "In Christ Alone" begins ]
05:30 [ "Oh Draw Me Lord" begins ]
07:22 >> Well, good morning, boys and girls. Nice to see you on this
07:26 beautiful last Sabbath of September. And, oh, my, has autumn come.
07:31 Beautiful. Beautiful. Hey, hey, hey. Did you enjoy coming to church
07:36 on a brand-new road in front of the church? Ohhhh!
07:41 Was that super-duper or what? And we just learned a few hours ago that that new building's
07:46 going to be called the Andreasen Wellness Center. I can't think of a finer couple
07:52 to have that named after -- Dr. and Mrs. Andreasen. I'm glad you came.
07:58 And I've got a story for you from my friend Darius Jankiewicz.
08:02 He got this from Australia, but it happened in Ohio. How do you like that?
08:07 A few weeks ago, in North Ridgeville, Ohio, a man gets off the train.
08:12 He's on the Amtrak train, and he gets off the train, and it's 5:36 in the morning.
08:20 Ooh! It's still dark in the morning. He's gonna walk from the train
08:23 station to his house, and you know what? When you're walking in the dark
08:26 to your house, you're just kind of like, "Ooh! What's happening around me?"
08:29 And all of a sudden -- all of a sudden -- he heard footsteps behind him.
08:33 [ Imitating footsteps ] "Oh, somebody's behind me." [ Imitates footsteps ]
08:37 He said, "I'll just walk a little faster. That's not a problem.
08:39 I can outwalk whoever this is. Little faster." The footsteps started getting
08:43 faster. He said, "I'll go to a little trot."
08:45 He went to a trot. The footsteps went into at trot. He said, "I am in trouble.
08:50 Somebody's after me!" He pulled out his phone and dialed what numbers?
08:55 >> 911. >> 911. The lady at the North Ridgeville
09:01 Police Department answered. "911 center. How may I help you?"
09:06 "Excuse me, ma'am. I-I'm walking home from the train station, and I'm telling
09:11 you, somebody is following me." "Sir, can you give me an I.D.? Can you give me a description of
09:15 the person who's behind you?" "No, I can't. It's dark. I just know that the footsteps
09:19 are right there." "Sir, you need to --" "I can't. Could you just --
09:23 Could you just send a car, please? I need the police."
09:27 [ Imitates cellphone disconnecting ] The lady looked.
09:30 Two of her officers were in the room. She said, "Hey, guys, I need one
09:32 of you, a couple of you, to go in that squad car. We got it down on
09:36 Maddock Street. I want you to see. There's a man that just
09:38 called in. He said he's being followed." So the police jumped in their
09:42 car. They're not gonna put any sirens on -- no, no lights, no nothing,
09:46 just the headlights. And they're driving, okay? They got the spotlight on him.
09:49 Tch, tch, tch! They're getting down to Maddock Street.
09:50 Yep, there it is. Spotlight. Tch, tch. "I see the man! I see him!
09:54 He's just getting to the corner of Center Avenue! Quick, quick, quick!"
09:57 They hurry up, and, sure enough... the man's being followed.
10:02 Shh! He's being followed. They said, "No, it can't be.
10:06 That's impossible. Get up closer! Come on, Sarge! Get up closer!
10:10 Put the light really bright!" They put the light really bright.
10:15 He was being followed. They saw it themselves. "We're gonna have to arrest
10:21 this man. We're gonna arrest him!" And they did.
10:23 They arrested him and put him in the back of the car. Let's look at it.
10:25 Let's see the picture. They arrested him and put him in the back of the car.
10:30 "Ohh! Are you serious?! That was a pig?!
10:34 That was a pig following this man -- a pet pig?! And he called 911?"
10:40 "I was scared." That's a real pig in a police car.
10:47 Isn't that something? The piggy just wanted -- It was a pet pig.
10:53 Still is. The piggy just wanted to get up, and the piggy touched the man in
10:58 the dark -- Ooh! -- because the piggy was just wanting the man to pick him up.
11:01 She -- Her name's Zoe. She just wanted pet. "Just hold me close, Mister.
11:06 Ahhh." Piggy wanted to walk with him, but the man did not want the
11:11 piggy walking with him. There's a verse in the Bible that says, "Can two people walk
11:16 together, unless they are agreed?" Oh, I want to tell you
11:19 something. There's somebody in this universe that wants to walk with
11:23 you and He wants you to walk with Him, and I'd like to know what is His name who wants to
11:31 walk with us, please? Call it out. >> God.
11:35 >> Jesus. It's God. You are absolutely right. Sometimes we think, "Oh, I-I
11:41 can't do that. I'm not gonna walk with Him. No, no, no, no, no, no."
11:45 You're walking with your friend. You don't have be afraid in nighttime or daytime.
11:51 He's always with you, and you're always with Him. Ah. I want to thank Jesus for
11:58 wanting to walk with us. Would you like to thank Jesus for walking with us?
12:04 Yes, sir. I'm gonna call on you. Come on up.
12:08 What's your name? >> Artimore. >> Artimore?
12:11 >> Yeah. >> All right, Artimore. I like that name.
12:13 Let's close our eyes together with Artimore. Let's fold our hands as he
12:18 thanks Jesus for us. >> Dear Jesus, thank you for this day.
12:26 And please help us to be good students and please help us to behave, as we always do.
12:37 And please help us to be nice and make good choices. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
12:49 >> Amen. Thank you, Artimore. You even got a line in for your parents.
12:53 Thank you, Jesus. Walk with us, and we will walk with You.
12:59 God bless you all. Happy Sabbath to you.
13:09 [ "Battle Hymn of the Republic" begins]
13:34 >> ♪ Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord ♪
13:42 ♪ He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored ♪
13:51 ♪ He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword ♪
13:59 ♪ His truth is marching on ♪ >> ♪ Gloria! ♪ >> ♪ Glory, Glory, hallelujah! ♪
14:13 >> ♪ Gloria!♪ >> ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪ >> ♪ Gloria! Gloria! ♪
14:25 >> ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪ >> ♪ Gloria! ♪ >> ♪ His truth is marching on ♪
14:45 ♪ I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps ♪
14:53 ♪ They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps ♪ ♪ I can read His righteous
15:04 sentence in the dim and flaring lamps ♪ ♪ His day is marching on ♪
15:11 >> ♪ Is marching, is marching ♪ ♪ Is marching, is marching ♪ >> ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪
15:22 ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪ ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪ ♪ His truth is marching on ♪
16:04 ♪ In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea ♪ ♪ With a glory in His bosom that
16:25 transfigures you and me ♪ ♪ As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free ♪
16:43 ♪ While God is marching on ♪ ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪ ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪
17:00 ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪ ♪ His truth is marching on ♪ ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪
17:17 ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪ ♪ Glory, glory, hallelujah! ♪ ♪ His truth is marching on ♪
17:34 ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪
17:54 >> Oh, God, Your truth is marching on. It really is.
17:58 Sometimes it feels like nothing's happening... and then all hell breaks loose
18:04 on this planet. And there is Your truth, in the midst of it all.
18:10 So, engage our minds now in the few minutes we have left. Press our hearts.
18:18 We want to take it away, what You have for us, right now. We pray in Jesus' name.
18:26 Amen. I put a picture on the screen for you.
18:31 Do you recognize who this is on the screen? As far as we can tell, not an
18:36 alum from Andrews University or Emmanuel Missionary College or even Battle Creek College --
18:41 about the same vintage as Battle Creek.
18:45 Do you recognize his face? That is Karl Marx -- yep --
18:49 the intellectual father of Communism.
18:52 With his friend Friedrich Engles, they crafted
18:56 together that little pamphlet, "The Communist Manifesto" and
18:58 changed the planet, changed the history of this Earth, forever
19:01 and ever. They did it.
19:04 Political atheism, tour de force, took over
19:06 economics and... society and culture.
19:11 So you can imagine my shock -- Okay. So, atheist Karl Marx. You can imagine my shock when I
19:16 come across a tiny little footnote -- I tell you the truth -- small font, tucked away
19:22 at the end of a chapter in F.F. Bruce's commentary on the Gospel of John.
19:25 Footnote number 2, page 316. I could not believe my eyes. I'm gonna put it exactly as it
19:30 appears in that book on the screen. "It is a matter of historical
19:35 interest that one of the earliest literary works of Karl Marx" -- listen -- "was a
19:41 graduation essay written at the age of seventeen" -- now here comes the title -- "on 'The
19:48 union of believers with Christ according to John 15:1-14, showing its basis and essence,
19:55 its absolute necessity, and its effects." [Chuckling] Can you believe
20:01 that? 17 years old, he writes a paper to prove the absolute necessity
20:05 of this union with Christ found in John 15:1-14. Unbelievable.
20:13 And, by the way, his professor marked the paper with these words -- "A thoughtful, copious,
20:19 and powerful presentation on the theme." [Chuckling] Unbelievable!
20:25 Can you imagine what human history would be like right now if he had believed later in life
20:31 what he wrote in that graduation essay? I want to take a look.
20:37 Come on, alums. Join us. I want to take a look -- John 15.
20:41 Something attracted young Karl Marx... to this chapter.
20:47 I want to find out what it is. Open your Bible with me, please, to John chapter 15.
20:51 While you're finding that in your Bible, let me tell you a story.
20:53 Once upon a time, there was a man who was wildly popular and politically hated.
20:58 It's late at night now. He and his 11 followers are hurrying out in the sleeping
21:02 city, down to that dark gorge called the Kidron Valley, their destination, the slope on the
21:11 other side, a slope bathed tonight, because it's Passover, with the full light of a full
21:18 moon. As they're hurrying up that slope to their favorite haunt,
21:22 the garden called Gethsemane, the leader, Jesus, notices they're passing a vineyard.
21:29 He stops, steps off the pathway in the silver light, stands by the trellis, and says,
21:35 "Guys, come here. I have something to tell you right now."
21:39 They huddle around him. Little Karl Marx read these words.
21:48 I want to look at them with you. The Gospel of John, chapter 17, red-letter words in my Bible.
21:52 Chapter 15, rather. Chapter 15. John chapter 15, Jesus speaking.
22:03 I got to tell you something. I got to meet -- No kidding. I got to meet a real, live
22:09 vineyard gardener the other day. His name is José. He's a delightful human being.
22:16 I met him in a vineyard 5 miles up the road, a vineyard we're calling God's Vineyard.
22:22 We took our camera crew up to that vineyard, shot a bunch of conversations in the vineyard on
22:26 site. Alums, since you're here, I want to run one of those
22:31 conversations for you. Just take a look on the screen. ♪♪
22:41 ♪♪ We are standing in what has to be one of the most beautiful
22:50 spots here in Southwestern Michigan. I'm standing here with my
22:54 friends Robin and José. And, gentlemen, we are in the midst of a vineyard.
22:59 This is a real, live vineyard. >> That's right. >> Most of us have never lived
23:03 near a vineyard. And every year, the university harvests this.
23:06 >> Right. >> And who picks up the grapes? >> Well, the university
23:10 harvests, and all the grapes go to Welch's, so... >> You're talking about Welch's,
23:14 the juice company. >> The juice company that was actually started by a pastor to
23:19 create juice for communion. >> So, Welch's gets all of this. >> Mm-hmm.
23:23 >> Andrews University's vineyard. Really, this is God's vineyard,
23:27 right? >> It is, it is. >> This is God's vineyard,
23:29 because the produce all goes for God's mission. >> Amen.
23:31 >> Now, we're standing by a vine, José. >> Right here, yeah.
23:34 >> Yeah. And you just told me the age. I couldn't believe it.
23:37 How old is that vine? >> This portion is like 60 years old.
23:41 >> We have a gnarly old vine. This is not really an attractive picture.
23:44 >> No, no, it's not. >> Show us where the branches come out of the vine.
23:47 >> Like, right here. >> That's a branch. >> Yeah, it's a branch, you
23:50 know? >> Oh, this is a branch up here, as well.
23:52 Okay. And what are these? >> Well, this is a runner.
23:55 So, we look for the good runner just to leave with the unit for next year.
23:59 Prune it, and produces good fruit. >> So, in this juncture, we've
24:04 got branches coming together. But the vine -- how essential is that vine?
24:09 >> It's very essential. >> A branch can survive on its own?
24:13 >> No, if we cut it open the ground, this, for sure, is gonna die.
24:17 Needs to be connected with the plant just to survive. >> That's amazing to me that God
24:23 takes this -- this plant, and He makes the points all the way through Scripture.
24:32 Vine, branch, vineyard, and fruit. >> There's also we have to stay
24:38 connected with that. >> Ooh, I like that. >> Otherwise, we cannot make it.
24:42 Spiritual things, you know? Needs to be connected with that. Otherwise, we cannot make it
24:46 here. >> Yeah, amen. Thank you, José.
24:48 >> Yeah. >> You're not only a gardener, you're a good preacher.
24:51 >> Oh, man. ♪♪
25:02 >> That's what Jesus is talking about. But He puzzles me, does Jesus.
25:05 I would have gone from verse 1 immediately to verse 5. "No, no, no, no, no," He says,
25:10 "I want to talk about something else instead." Let me go back.
25:14 Read verse 1 with me, and we'll plunge into verse 2. Jesus speaking there in the
25:18 silver light.
25:31 You know, I don't understand this, Jesus. Please, please, please.
25:35 You're making a point. You're the vine. The Father's the gardener.
25:38 Why don't you tell us who we are? Why don't you just go to
25:40 verse 5? "Hey, you guys are the branches. You invited me,
25:43 and I invited you. Wow! You're gonna bear much fruit!"
25:45 But, oh, no. You spoiled a perfect moment. You start talking about human
25:49 suffering, because what is pruning? Pruning is the knife in the hand
25:52 of the gardener. Ouch! It hurts! You're talking about pain, and
25:57 we want to talk about fruit. I've never -- This little 4-week series that
26:04 we've been working through, it has always puzzled me until just this week, it hit me...
26:10 why Jesus starts talking about suffering. The second word out of His mouth
26:14 is "pain"... because in less than 24 hours, he'll be hanging on a Roman
26:19 cross by direct command of the governor, the procurator. He will have been scourged at
26:26 least twice, some think maybe three times. His back is shredded now.
26:32 The flesh hangs in strips. It is bleeding profusely. He is nailed -- He is nailed in
26:37 a position that brings on asphyxiation. You strangulate to death through
26:41 crucifixion. The Latins coined a word, "excruciatus," which means "from
26:45 out of the cross," and when you say, "I have an excruciating headache," "my pain is from out
26:51 of the cross." "No, no, no, no, no, no! I'm gonna talk about suffering
26:56 right now. My Father's gonna take a knife, and in His hand, that knife will
27:04 be wield. You'll feel pain. It will hurt. But it's for the sake of fruit."
27:12 I have a friend we were visiting just this week, right now going through intense, immense
27:18 suffering. To even talk about suffering, his face immediately pops in my
27:22 mind. I have multiple faces of friends, people I love,
27:26 suffering right now. Wow. Excruciatus. Went to God. "Come on.
27:37 Somebody try to talk God out of this, huh? Isn't there another way we can
27:39 get fruit? Do we have to go, 'Tss, tss, tss, tss'?"
27:43 Apparently not. A friend of mine... who's a part of our university
27:50 family, Ante Jeroncic, was reading the other day. Came across a quotation.
27:55 I'd never seen it before in my life. Sent it to me.
27:58 I'm gonna share it with you now. Take a look at this. Written by the American author
28:03 Ellen White a little over a century ago. Words on the screen.
28:07 This is before the quotation, but it's actually on the same page.
28:10 So, she tells a little story to set up the quotation.
28:13 Here's her story.
28:53 Then after relating this incident about a pomegranate tree, she, as writers can do,
28:57 pivots on her heel and immediately starts talking about the vineyard.
29:02 "But, Dwight, why even bother with this?" I'll tell you why -- because
29:06 we're having this glorious homecoming, and everybody has their most well-manicured faces
29:10 on, and when we see each other, "Fine, thank you," and "How've you been?"
29:13 "Fine, thank you, and you?" "Oh, great!' And there are some of you here
29:19 that are broken internally. Your hearts have been -- The stab wound is deep through
29:26 your heart. You are suffering, and nobody here knows it.
29:31 I need you to go home knowing there is somebody who knows it, and that somebody has His arms
29:39 around you in the midst of the pain. Now, the little American writer,
29:47 words on the screen.
30:20 "Let's be thankful that through painful pruning" -- Ouch, ouch, ouch! -- "we may retain a
30:26 connection with the living Vine; for if we suffer with Christ, we shall one day also reign with
30:32 Him" -- Romans 8.
30:42 Guess what. When you're pruned -- and some of us are being pruned right
30:46 now. When you are pruned, your faith will be tested to its max.
30:51 You will have to choose, "Shall I believe in a God who allows this to happen to me?"
30:56 It will be an assault against your faith, and you will determine, "Will I hang on to
31:02 Him or not?" She's right.
31:18 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Oooh.
31:23 Even God in human flesh felt the knife in the hand of the gardener.
31:33 "What are you doing, Dwight? You trying to rosy up human suffering?"
31:37 No, I'm not trying to rosy up anything. But I want you to know, those of
31:41 you who are suffering right now and you're watching somewhere right now, you're listening
31:46 somewhere right now, I need you to know that the God of the universe, who loves you with all
31:53 His heart, is holding on to you and watching every step you and He now make together.
32:02 He wins. He will get fruit. And the two of you will spend
32:09 eternity enjoying that fruit with each other forever and ever.
32:16 Amen. That's why Jesus throws it in. Number 2 out of his mouth --
32:21 "You're gonna get pruned. Take heart." Now let's keep reading.
32:28 Verse 5, verse 4. "Remain in me" --
32:30 the old King James, "Abide in me, as I also abide in you."
32:34 "No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the
32:37 vine. Neither can you bear fruit
32:39 unless you remain in," "unless you abide in," "me."
32:41 Oh, here it comes now, finally.
32:52 Zero, nada, nothing! "You can do nothing apart from me...
32:57 just to let you know. Abide in me. Remain in me. Let me remain in you."
33:04 You saw that just a moment ago in that conversation with Robin, the master of the vineyard, and
33:09 José, the master gardener of the vineyard. You saw where we brought the
33:12 camera right in so that we could see how close is the connect between the branch and the vine.
33:19 How close is it? Zoom in. [ Chuckles ] It was close.
33:24 You heard about that Facebook study, didn't you, that they did
33:27 with the University of Milan? That would be over in Italy.
33:30 Their scientists collaborated together, and they took --
33:33 they took 721 million Facebook users as a sample and reported
33:39 that the average number of acquaintances separating any two
33:42 people in the world was not six. We used to hang around when this
33:46 idea of six degrees of separation -- you remember that?
33:48 That's from some obscure writer named Karinthy, in 1929, a short
33:52 story, "Chains," in which he suggested no one is more than a
33:56 string of six friends away from any other person --
33:59 separation of six.
34:01 But they crunched the numbers. For Facebook users -- you have to be on Facebook for this --
34:06 and they discovered that, in fact, Facebook users enjoy a 4.74 degrees of separation.
34:14 By the way, it's even closer in the United States, where everybody 13 years and older --
34:18 Half, half, of America 13 years and older is on Facebook, and the degree of separation for the
34:26 U.S. is 4.37. Now, how close is that? So they gave us this little
34:30 illustration. Let me share it with you. "Take a jungle dweller in
34:33 Papua New Guinea and a tundra dweller in Siberia" -- and they both have to be Facebook users.
34:37 You have to be a Facebook user. "That means that a friend of your friend probably knows a
34:44 friend of their friend." "Wow, Dwight! We really are a close society."
34:50 Yeah, we sure are. Now that Facebook has redefined the definition of "friend," you
34:55 can have a million friends and not be close to a single one of them.
34:58 >> Oh, no. Oh, no. >> "No, no, no, no," Jesus says. "I'm not talking 4.37.
35:06 I'm not talking two. I'm not talking one. I'm talking zero degree.
35:10 Read my lips. There will be zero-degree separation because I'm gonna
35:14 abide in you and you're gonna abide in me, and we'll be this tight."
35:18 You let anything more than zero come in between you and Jesus, you will sap and bleed to death.
35:23 You cannot live. Tight -- that zero-degree separation.
35:30 "That's what I'm talking about," Jesus says. "I'm the vine.
35:33 You're the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, our zero degree of separation
35:38 means that you will bear much fruit." So, it's a very big deal.
35:43 Hey, listen, alum friend, you may have gone all these years since you graduated from
35:47 Andrews University, and, you know, the notion may have crossed your mind somewhere
35:50 along the way, "You know, it's not that big a deal. I know it was a big deal when I
35:54 was at Andrews University. I'm telling you it's not a big deal.
35:57 You can pretty much cut it professionally. You can pretty much cut it
36:00 financially. You don't have to worry about this zero-separation stuff."
36:06 I'm telling you, you are dead wrong. And I don't know how old you are
36:13 and I don't know what honored class you aren't... but you're here, and I'm telling
36:18 you... that Jesus is saying [Snapping fingers] "Let's go.
36:26 I want what we used to have. I want what we used to have, please.
36:34 Abide in me. Let me abide in you. Don't worry about the pruning.
36:40 We'll be tight. As you go through it, we'll be tight."
36:45 There's a little prayer that we've been learning around here, and, alums, I want to share it
36:49 with you, as well. You pray this prayer three times a day, you'll be -- you'll --
36:53 you'll be -- you'll be zero separation. You pray this prayer three times
36:56 a day -- and mean it, sorry -- and mean it -- simple little prayer.
36:59 Put it on the screen for you.
37:09 Now, it can't get any simpler than that, can it? "Lord Jesus, please abide in
37:13 me... and let me abide in You." That's it.
37:18 Pray that three times a day, morning, noon, and night -- three times a day.
37:22 Let's do it out loud. Just see how it feels. Does it feel okay?
37:25 Is it too long a prayer? Let's try it out loud together. Read it off the screen.
37:28 >> "Lord Jesus, please abide in me, and let me abide in You." Hey, you say that in the
37:35 morning. You say that at noon. You're eating in the cafeteria.
37:37 You're eating in some elegant restaurant because of who you are in the business world.
37:42 Doesn't matter to me. Nighttime, you're crawling into bed.
37:45 Three times a day -- "Lord Jesus, please abide in me, and let me abide in you."
37:53 Wow. It's a big deal. Zero degree of separation is a big deal.
38:00 Verse 6. We're moving to the punch line now -- a verse we've not read
38:04 once.
38:05 Verse 6 -- "If you do not remain in me," or "abide in me,"
38:07 "you are like a branch that's thrown away and withers."
38:10 Why would they keep the branch? Why would the vineyard gardener
38:12 keep that branch? There's no fruit on it.
38:13 Throw it away. "Such branches are picked up,
38:15 thrown into the fire and burned."
38:17 But -- verse 7 -- "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and
38:22 it will be done for you. "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit,
38:26 showing yourselves to be my disciples." Now hold on, because here comes
38:30 the grand climax -- verse 9.
38:39 That's it. "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you --
38:46 now remain in My love." You know what that means? Come on. Come on.
38:50 That means if we can somehow fathom the love between the Father and the Son, whatever
38:54 names they used before they were Father and Son -- who cares? But the love between those two
38:59 divine beings -- if we can fathom how close they were and are, Jesus says, "That's exactly
39:04 how I love you. That's exactly what it's gonna be between you and me --
39:07 the same thing." So, how close were the Father and Son?
39:12 Who knows for sure? Andrew Murray, the great spiritual writer from Africa,
39:16 the continent of Africa, back in the 19th century, grappled with how to describe the love of the
39:21 Father and the love of the Son. This is from his marvelous book "Abiding in Christ," which, by
39:26 the way, is online. You can get it absolutely free in five different forms of PDFs.
39:30 Okay. On the screen, Andrew Murray.
39:32 "Love needs an object to whom it can give itself away."
39:36 You know, when you were on this campus, you fell in love, alums.
39:39 Students who are here, they fall in love.
39:42 I watch it every -- We go through the ritual every
39:43 year. When love happens, here's what
39:47 happens. "Love needs an object to whom it
39:49 can give itself away, in whom it can lose itself."
39:52 When you fall in love with somebody, you lose yourself.
39:53 You say, "Listen, I'm yours, and you're mine."
39:57 What's the other line? "With whom it can make itself
39:59 one." Murray said, "Wait a minute.
40:01 Wait a minute." "Because God is love," He is
40:03 that, "there must be a Father and a Son."
40:05 There just had to be. You can't be single, one, and
40:09 have nobody around you and not have love.
40:11 You can't -- It's not love when it's only you.
40:14 You have to have an object for that love.
40:18 Give freely. "The love of the Father to the
40:20 Son is that divine passion" -- "pasión," as you say -- "the
40:22 divine passion with which He delights in the Son, and hence
40:25 declares, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well
40:27 pleased.'" Now hold on.
40:29 "The divine love" -- and this -- this is hot.
40:31 "The divine love is as a burning fire; in all its intensity and
40:36 infinity it has but one object and but one joy, and that is in
40:41 the Other." We're talking hot love.
40:44 You ever heard of the book the Song of Solomon? It's a great book.
40:49 When you try to read it in public, you got to edit it like crazy because there are just
40:52 some, you know, anatomical features that are mentioned there that you don't read in
40:56 church. But it's a love song. She sings, he sings, she sings,
41:01 he sings, all the way through. And the scholars believe, of course, it's between Solomon and
41:05 a young -- a young, perhaps, even an Egyptian princess -- girl.
41:12 Anyway, yeah, it gets really -- it gets really...thick and gooey as you go through it.
41:18 [ Laughter ] But what would happen? And, you know, scholars say,
41:21 "Well, it could be that this is a description of God and His love for us."
41:24 Well, okay. But what if, in fact, it were a description of God with His love
41:29 for each other in the Trinity? What if they're singing this song to each other?
41:33 I mean, do you remember it? What is this song in the Song of Solomon?
41:37 ♪ I am my beloved, and He is mine ♪ ♪ His banner over me is love ♪
41:42 ♪ I am my beloved, and He is ♪ I'm the only guy that knows this, apparently.
41:47 ♪ I am my beloved, and He is mine ♪ ♪ His banner over me is love ♪
41:52 >> ♪ I am my beloved, and He is mine ♪ ♪ His banner over me is love ♪
41:58 ♪ His banner ♪ ♪ Over me ♪ ♪ Is love ♪
42:03 >> Would that bother you if God was singing it to each other? Would that --
42:08 Would that bother you? It's kind of like when you're young with your parents.
42:11 You remember when your parents kissed each other in front of you?
42:14 When you were a kid, you loved it. "Yay! More, more, more!"
42:17 But by the time you got to be a teenager and then they kissed each other, it's like, "Oh, Dad,
42:20 please stop! What are you doing? Do that somewhere else!"
42:25 [ Laughter ] When you get older, you get a little more sensitive to this
42:28 stuff. "I mean, God, I mean, you're singing to -- Stop!"
42:32 God says, "Hey, I am love. You didn't think I wouldn't have a red-hot passion for Him,
42:40 did you?" What did Jesus say? Verse 9. "As the Father has loved Me,
42:47 so have I loved you -- now remain" -- you, boy, you, girl -- "remain in that love."
42:53 Can you believe it? As the Father loves Christ and Christ loves the Father, Jesus
42:56 said, "That's the way I'm gonna love you. I'm gonna be that close --
42:59 zero-degree separation, you and me." "Yuck! No!"
43:02 "You're gonna love it. You and me." Now, Murray has to struggle a
43:10 little with Christ loving us -- not as much -- and then he makes a point you have never in your
43:17 life read before. I have never read it before. This will blow you out of the
43:21 water. Let's take a look at this.
43:25 Put it on the screen for you. By the way, you have a study
43:27 guide with all these quotes in it.
43:29 You can take it home.
43:46 He's following you. He's tracking you down. Every morning, He's on your
43:51 path. He's just hoping, "This will be the day she, this will be the
43:55 day he, says yes to me." And then comes this line.
44:10 "What? Are you serious?" Is that a crazy thought? If...
44:19 a second death... if the hell of calvary one more time...
44:26 could bring him, could bring you, could bring me to Him... the line suggests...
44:33 He'd be willing to go through that hell again. [ Scoffs ] "Can't believe it."
44:42 You're loved that much!
45:02 So, that's it. "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you --
45:08 now remain... in my love." You know, if I really understood
45:16 the depth of God's love for me, if you really could comprehend the depth of His love for you,
45:24 you know what? There would be no mountain we would not climb.
45:27 There would be no sea we would not cross. There would be no suffering we
45:31 could not endure if we knew that He loved us all the way through to the end.
45:39 "Do whatever You want with my life. All I want is You.
45:44 All I want is You. Do with me whatever you wish! All I want, Jesus --
45:50 all I want -- is You, please. Por favor."
45:59 I can't figure it all out, but this much I know. There's a new prayer I'm
46:06 praying. There's a writer or a psalmist named Asaph, who, in the
46:15 Bible -- I don't know if it's a song he wrote or a prayer he composed, but he wrote a line.
46:23 It's a profound line. I'm leaving you with it right now.
46:27 Psalm 73:25.
46:58 Wow. Are you serious?
47:02 You'd throw everything else away if you could just have Him?
47:06 Apparently so. "Whom have I in heaven but you?
47:10 Nothing on this earth that I desire besides You."
47:14 It's when you've gone through a lot of pruning that you get to
47:18 that stage. It is a stage.
47:22 You get to it. You don't choose it.
47:27 It chooses you.
47:30 Tommy Tenney, my friend... Vincent Dehm -- boy, was that a great week of prayer we had last
47:36 week or what? Vincent, Pastor Vincent. Man, if you can find that, get
47:39 copies of those messages. Incredible. Watered my own soul. His opening lecture, he mentions
47:44 Tommy Tenney. I said, "Man, I thought I was the only guy in the world that
47:46 knew about the writer Tommy Tenney." So, last week, I pulled the book
47:50 out -- Tommy Tenney's book "The God Chasers." I read the book through again.
47:54 Tommy Tenney makes one line. I'm putting it on the screen. You have it in the study guide.
47:58 You can take it home. Here's the line.
48:12 Isn't that something? "Who want the Blesser more than the blessings."
48:17 My prayers usually are, "Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme. I want that, I want that, I want
48:21 that, I want that." No. You'll come the place someday, maybe when the pruning
48:25 is ouchy enough... to when you realize it's not the blessings that matter.
48:34 "It's the Blesser I want." So I wrote a little prayer, and I try to pray it through the
48:40 day, for what it's worth. Totally uninspired prayer. I understand.
48:47 I'll put it on the screen for you. It's in your little take-home.
49:14 Amen. That's it.
49:19 You'll come to the place. You'll come to the place where what matters in the end...
49:27 will be only He... only He.
49:50 I need to make an invitation right now. I'm not gonna ask you to come
49:55 forward. But I'm gonna ask you to do something.
50:06 If you would like to move your relationship with Jesus to the next level, wherever you are
50:12 right now to the next level... campus community, alums... if you would like to move your
50:22 relationship to the next level... and you're willing to say...
50:31 "You got the pruning shears. They're in your hand. I want You.
50:39 No matter what happens, I want You"... I invite you to stand on your
50:46 feet. You're not moving out into the aisle.
50:49 You're not doing anything. But, hey, hey, hey, don't just jump up,'cause this is not the
50:54 closing prayer. This is not the closing prayer, so I'm not just asking you to
50:58 stand because, well, let's pray. I'm asking you to intelligently make a decision right now.
51:05 And you're saying by this decision -- You're not saying a thing to me.
51:10 But if you're standing right now, so help you, God, you are saying to Him, "The pruning
51:17 shears are in your hands. Do whatever it takes. I want to come to where You are
51:26 all that matters to me." The God of Heaven... who has stuck with you and me
51:37 through thick and thin... His arm goes around you. The spirit of God grabs your
51:46 heart and draws it to His. He'll know. He accepts the decision.
51:54 The best -- Listen to me. The best is yet to come. Forget the pruning shears.
52:03 The best is yet to come. You will never regret what is ahead because you prayed this
52:16 decision.
52:25 I want to invite the rest of you to stand to your feet, as well, please, right now.
52:30 We will have the closing prayer right now.
52:38 Oh, God... here -- here we are... little Andrews University family
52:47 in a very big world. For a few moments... eternal spirit has...
52:58 injected Himself into our consciousness. And we want Jesus.
53:06 More than the blessings, we want the Blesser... please.
53:13 And so we stand. Pruning shears... they're in Your hand.
53:21 Master gardener, whatever you decide... we want Jesus.
53:34 In His name, we pray. Amen. You may be seated.
53:45 [ "I'd Rather Have Jesus" begins ]
54:00 [ Congregation sings ]
56:31 And now may the grace of the Father... and the love of Christ Jesus...
56:38 and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
56:45 [ Organ plays ]
56:59 >> One of the hot debates on this planet today is this
57:02 collective conversation about Creation versus evolution.
57:05 While there are a thousand voices offering their
57:07 perspectives, the truth is that in God's word, there are some
57:10 pretty definitive statements. In fact, I examine those
57:14 statements and the evidence for Creation in a little book I
57:17 wrote, "Creation and Evolution: A Thoughtful Look at the
57:20 Evidence That a Master Designed and Created Our Planet."
57:23 I'd love for you to join the conversation and check out the
57:26 evidence for yourself. In fact, if you call our
57:29 toll-free number, 877-HIS-WILL, the two words "His Will," I'll
57:33 make sure one of these books, at no charge to you, is in the
57:36 mail. The number again --
57:37 877-HIS-WILL. Let the operator know
57:40 you want the book "Creation and Evolution."
57:42 And we'll get it in the mail to you as soon as possible.
57:46 Until we're together again right here on "New Perceptions" next
57:49 week, may the grace, the peace, and the hope of a Creator abide
57:56 with you.
58:00 ♪♪ ♪♪
58:18 ♪♪


Revised 2018-10-19