Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000030A
00:48 It was not the path I would've chosen
00:55 I could see no hope from where I stood
01:01 Even though I knew What God has promised
01:07 I didn't see
01:08 how he could work it for my good
01:14 Yet that road where pain was my companion
01:21 Took me to an unexpected place
01:27 And standing in the middle of the darkness
01:34 That was where my heart would learn to say
01:40 I choose Christ
01:44 When everything around me says give up
01:50 I choose faith I choose to trust
01:53 To believe he is good
01:56 He'll come through like he said he would
02:01 Oh I choose Christ
02:07 I don't know the story he's unfolding
02:13 But, I know in his will he has a plan
02:20 So every day my prayer is to surrender
02:27 Even when it's hard to understand
02:32 I choose Christ
02:36 When everything around me says give up
02:42 I choose faith I choose to trust
02:45 To believe he is good
02:49 He'll come through like he said
02:51 He would every time
02:54 Oh I choose Christ
02:59 His grace is sufficient
03:02 whatever happens in my life
03:06 I've made my decision
03:09 no matter what the price
03:14 I choose Christ
03:19 When everything around me says give up
03:25 I choose faith
03:26 I choose to trust
03:28 To believe he is good
03:31 He'll come through like he said he would every time
03:37 Oh I choose Christ
03:42 I believe he is good
03:45 He'll come through like he said
03:47 He would every time
03:50 Oh I choose
03:57 I choose
04:05 I choose
04:27 Good morning and happy Sabbath.
04:30 I don't know about you but I choose Christ.
04:33 Amen. That was a beautiful song.
04:35 Thank you so much Celestine.
04:39 I know we prayed, didn't we prayed again.
04:41 But you know what, we're going to pray again.
04:43 Thank you Holy Father,
04:45 for this opportunity that You've given all of us
04:47 to come together this morning
04:49 and break the breath of life.
04:50 Father, I pray over this Word
04:52 that is already anointed
04:53 that it will go forth and it will produce mightily
04:56 in the hearts
04:57 and in the lives of everyone here.
04:59 Father, we just thank You
05:01 for Your presence in Jesus' name, amen.
05:05 The power of the Word of God.
05:06 How many of you know Gods' Word is powerful.
05:11 And I want to talk to us a little about the Bible.
05:17 I would remember
05:19 when Hal and I first got married.
05:20 He and I were talking about it this morning.
05:22 We had this big white Bible. Somebody gave us a Bible.
05:25 Anyone of you know what I'm talking about.
05:27 This where you put when you got married
05:30 and then all your kids and you fill...
05:31 I don't even know where that Bible is.
05:33 It laid on the coffee table.
05:35 I'm going to say for about five years
05:38 after Hal and I got married,
05:39 neither one of us ever opened it.
05:42 That was the only Bible in the house.
05:44 Now the Word of God is powerful.
05:46 But did that word
05:47 that was in that white Bible do us any good?
05:51 Because it was just lying there.
05:53 See the Bible...
05:56 My Bible, oh, I love it. See it's kind of fallen apart.
05:59 I got two, three others I could show you two
06:01 that are kind of fallen apart.
06:03 But this is merely words written down on pages.
06:08 And will do you absolutely
06:10 no good as long it shut up there
06:13 in the bookcase.
06:15 What's the only time this Word is profitable to you?
06:20 When you read the Word.
06:21 Have you ever heard the saying,
06:24 you are what you eat
06:29 or that...
06:32 What you feed grows and what you starve dies.
06:35 You've heard that? We are what we eat.
06:38 How many of you want to be conformed
06:40 to the very image
06:41 and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ,
06:42 that's your prayer?
06:44 Well, we are what we eat and as we feed on God's Word,
06:49 something amazing takes place in our lives.
06:55 And if we feed on God's Word where we gonna grow
06:58 just as if you feed on enough pinto beans
07:02 and mashed potatoes something is going to happen to us.
07:05 You got to have corn bread with butter.
07:09 And this time of the season,
07:12 oh, don't those sliced tomatoes go good with that.
07:15 But as we feed this flesh, something happens to our flesh.
07:18 What happens to our flesh? It grows.
07:22 The same is true in the spiritual.
07:25 What you feed grows, what you starve dies.
07:28 And what I want us to do today is look at the power
07:32 that is in God's Word to make us grow.
07:37 Did you know that this Bible is what God left us,
07:42 don't we appreciate it?
07:43 These words God left these to us
07:46 so that we might know Him.
07:48 The Bible is not God.
07:51 We don't worship our Bible but do you know
07:54 that as you read this Bible, you find out a lot,
07:59 an awfully hell lot
08:00 about the character and nature of God, do you not?
08:03 I have some scriptures
08:04 that I'm going to share with you.
08:06 I have so many today
08:08 that I've asked Mike to put them up on the screen
08:11 so that you don't have to flip through your Bible.
08:14 I think that would be a bit time consuming
08:16 but the Bible says,
08:19 "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God,
08:23 and the Word was God."
08:25 Now we go on, that's John 1:1.
08:28 We go on to John 1:14, the first part of that it says,
08:31 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."
08:36 So when we're talking about the Word,
08:39 what are we talking about?
08:40 The power that is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
08:44 Amazing things happen to people
08:49 as they hear and read God's Word.
08:51 It has the power to absolutely change us.
08:56 What kind of change? An absolute change.
09:00 How many of you
09:01 before you made Jesus the Lord of your life knew
09:04 that you needed to change?
09:06 But we make Jesus Christ the Lord of our life,
09:09 we start feeding on God's Word
09:11 and the most amazing things happens.
09:14 And the reason it happens is Hebrews 4:12,
09:18 I think we've got that in the bulletin.
09:19 Hebrews 4:12,
09:21 "For the Word of God is" what's that Word?
09:25 "It's living in powerful."
09:27 Now in the King James and say I learned to quote
09:30 in The King James through the years.
09:32 The King James says, "The Word of God is quick,
09:35 that means powerful and alive, quick and powerful,
09:38 sharper than any two-edged sword,
09:40 piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
09:44 and have joints and marrow,
09:45 and is a discerner of the thoughts
09:47 and intents of the heart."
09:49 So is this Word a powerful force?
09:52 We see that here is a powerful force.
09:55 Now I've shared this with you before,
09:58 but early on in my walk with the Lord,
10:04 Hal and I were on our way to Clarksville, Tennessee.
10:07 We had come off
10:08 of the interstate and back then
10:12 there was a country road going into Clarksville,
10:14 it's all built up now.
10:17 But as we rounded a curve going into Clarksville,
10:20 there was this church setting up on a hill.
10:23 And across the front porch...
10:27 entry way at the church,
10:29 it had something written in big black letters,
10:32 "The entrance of thy word gives light."
10:37 The entrance of Gods' Word gives light
10:40 that jumped off of that church and went right into my heart.
10:45 The power that's in God's Word,
10:47 if there is any darkness in you,
10:50 don't you want it to be changed to light.
10:53 And this tells us that this living force
10:56 that is the Word of God,
10:58 as we eat this Word, as we consume this Word,
11:02 as this Word goes down into us,
11:05 if there are areas of darkness in us,
11:07 this Word will shine on those areas of darkness
11:11 and will become light.
11:13 It goes on to say,
11:15 "It gives understanding to the simple."
11:18 That wasn't written over the church that I saw,
11:21 it didn't have the B part to that.
11:23 But isn't that encouraging to you?
11:26 It gives...
11:29 understanding to the simple.
11:32 Do you know this Word isn't biased at all?
11:35 This Word is powerful to changes,
11:39 it is powerful to change someone
11:42 that has got a double master in three doctorates.
11:46 All of them in the Word of God.
11:50 But the end and it's got power to change
11:53 the rich and the famous.
11:54 But you know
11:55 what it's also got the power to change?
11:58 We that have a very, very limited education,
12:01 it gives understanding to the simple.
12:04 You've even heard stories
12:06 of this Word changing people that had.
12:09 Oh, let's think of somebody
12:10 we know that had no more than a third grade education.
12:13 Do you all know anybody
12:14 that might fit that description,
12:16 "And what did she do?
12:17 Did she change?
12:19 Was she a powerful instrument in the hand of God?
12:22 Gives understanding to the simple.
12:27 If the Word of God is powerful
12:28 because it's guaranteed by God to be effective.
12:32 And I want us to...
12:34 We're going to have it on the screen, Isaiah 55:11.
12:38 The Word of God is powerful because it guarantees,
12:44 it is guaranteed by God to be effective.
12:47 Isaiah 55:11 says,
12:50 ''So shall my word be that goes forth
12:53 from my mouth, it shall not return to me how?
12:57 It's not going to return void,
12:59 but it shall accomplish what I please,
13:02 and it shall prosper in the thing
13:04 for which I sent it."
13:06 Do you know God sent His word?
13:09 Did He send anybody to the earth?
13:11 God sent His word and it's...
13:15 Psalms 107:20 says, "He sent His Word,
13:19 and did something to us?
13:21 What did that?
13:22 He sent His Word, and He healed us,
13:25 and delivered us from all of our destructions."
13:29 That is power that's in the Word of God.
13:31 And the Word of God has the power to transform.
13:36 Now how many of you want to be changed?
13:38 How many of you want to be transformed?
13:40 We're looking at the power
13:42 that's in the Word of God that will change you.
13:46 Romans 12:2,
13:48 we have that up, Romans 12:2.
13:50 And be not conformed to what?
13:54 To this world but be transformed how?
13:57 By the renewing of your mind, that's what you think.
14:02 I know this isn't applicable to anybody here.
14:05 But some people have stink in thinking.
14:08 And they need the way they think to be changed.
14:14 We are today a direct result of what we think.
14:19 Every decision you made is based on what you think.
14:24 Proverbs 23:7 says,
14:28 "For as a man thinks in his heart,
14:33 so is he."
14:34 So with the Word of God will change what we think,
14:38 goes on to say,
14:39 "Renewing our mind that we may prove
14:43 what is that good, and acceptable,
14:45 and perfect will of God."
14:47 If we don't change what we think,
14:50 we don't change.
14:52 Have any of you ever said, "You know, I'm going to change.
14:56 I'm not going to do this any more.
14:59 I'm going to stop doing something,
15:01 " and find yourself doing it again.
15:03 You know you can't modify your behavior,
15:07 you can make good decisions.
15:09 But we need the power and the help of Almighty God
15:13 to make us, to help us change.
15:17 And change isn't change until you change.
15:23 Sometimes we will say the right things,
15:26 will quote the right scriptures,
15:28 and we'll go right back into that very thing
15:30 that we said we were never going to do again.
15:33 Changes and change until you change.
15:35 And the only way you can change is to change your thinking,
15:39 the only thing
15:40 that can change your thinking is what?
15:42 It's the Word of God.
15:45 2 Peter 1:4 says,
15:48 "By which have been given to us
15:51 exceeding great and precious promises."
15:54 Where are those promises,
15:56 those great and precious promises?
15:58 Where are they given to us?
16:00 It's in His Word that through this you may be...
16:05 I love this
16:06 "partakers of the divine nature."
16:09 isn't that...?
16:10 And I'm sure I'll look at this again.
16:13 But over in Romans it says,
16:15 "We have been predestined to be conformed to something.
16:19 What have we been predestined to be conformed to?
16:23 We have been predestined to be conformed to the image
16:26 of the Lord Jesus Christ, that's our destiny.
16:30 And scripture also says that when Christ shall return,
16:35 we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
16:38 Now I don't know about you,
16:40 but I am not going to look like a Jewish man.
16:45 However this says that I have been destined
16:49 by Almighty God
16:51 to be in the image and likeness of His Son.
16:54 What is the only way that can transpire in my life?
16:58 How can that occur in my life?
17:00 See it's not the outward that it's talking about,
17:03 all we need on the outside, see this morning I got up,
17:08 and I bathed up, and pampered up,
17:11 and patted up, and...
17:12 up and put on.
17:13 Somebody tell me,
17:15 I look like
17:16 I was in my preaching clothes today.
17:18 So, see, I cannot outward for people.
17:22 But God don't look at the outward,
17:24 what does He look at?
17:25 He looks at us on the inside,
17:27 that's where that change needs to take place.
17:31 We partake of that divine nature.
17:35 And let me ask you this also.
17:40 We are what we eat.
17:41 If we eat God's Word,
17:43 then that's what we are going to become.
17:48 But also we become what we behold.
17:53 And that's 2 Corinthians 3:18.
17:56 I don't have that scripture, Mike, I'm sorry.
17:58 But that's when you look into the Word of God,
18:02 what does it say we're looking into?
18:05 A mirror.
18:07 And it's that Word as we take on the Word,
18:10 as we allow that change to take place
18:13 that we look more and more
18:14 like the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
18:18 It's as we partake of the promises of His word
18:22 that we become like Jesus.
18:24 It changes us from the inside out,
18:27 that's called transformation.
18:32 The Word became flesh and walked among us.
18:38 Now our flesh must put on the Word of God
18:43 and walk among men that Jesus may be seen again.
18:47 The Word became flesh and did what?
18:50 The Word, John 1:14,
18:52 "And the Word became flesh and He dwelt among us."
18:56 Now as we take
18:58 on the Word of God on this flesh
19:01 we are taking on the image and likeness of Christ.
19:04 So as we take that on and walk in this world,
19:08 then what we are doing is putting on Jesus.
19:11 You know I read this recently.
19:14 The statement was that out of a 100 men,
19:19 lost people a 100,
19:22 possibly one will read the Bible.
19:26 Do you know what those other 99 do?
19:29 They read us.
19:30 They look at the Christian and they read their life
19:34 whether you like it or not,
19:37 you are all of the Lord Jesus Christ
19:40 that some people may ever see.
19:42 So as we put on Christ,
19:44 we become instruments in the hand of God
19:47 that He can use for those other 99.
19:50 One may read the Bible
19:52 but the other 99 are going to read you
19:54 and your life.
19:55 So we take on God's Word.
19:58 I wanted to give an illustration.
20:01 In 1945,
20:03 when the American troops were on Okinawa,
20:07 they found a tiny village named Shimabuku.
20:13 And they later named it the village
20:16 that lived by the Bible 30 years previously.
20:20 So that would have been about 1915,
20:24 a missionary on its way to mainland Japan
20:29 had stopped long enough to make two converts.
20:34 The name of the converts were Kenan and Nakamori.
20:37 So he was going to mainland Japan,
20:39 stopped on the island of Okinawa,
20:42 and he made two converts in 1915,
20:46 30 years previously.
20:48 He taught them,
20:49 the missionary taught them a couple of hymns
20:52 but then he gave them something.
20:54 Guess what he gave them?
20:56 Written in Japanese, gave them a Bible,
21:01 and encouraged them to live by it.
21:05 The villagers patterned
21:09 their lives on Jesus.
21:12 And the Sermon on the Mount became
21:15 their guide to social conduct.
21:18 They took the Ten Commandments as their legal code.
21:22 Wouldn't you have loved to live in that environment?
21:26 The Bible was the main literature
21:29 in their school.
21:31 Every day, every child had to read from the Bible,
21:34 it was in their classrooms.
21:37 The result was that for years that village had no jail,
21:44 had no brothel, had no drunkenness, no divorce,
21:49 and there was a high level of health and happiness.
21:52 Actually the soldier that was going
21:57 through the countryside in Okinawa
22:00 had noticed many villages.
22:03 But they were very poor, very disharmonious.
22:08 But when he came to this village
22:11 what it attracted his attention
22:13 so quickly was that it was well manicured,
22:17 it wasn't a rich village,
22:18 but it was a prospering village
22:21 that he could tell just coming into this village,
22:24 there was something different
22:27 about the people in this village.
22:29 Time had dimmed the Shimabukun's memory
22:33 of the missionary
22:34 neither Kenan nor Nakamori could recall his name.
22:38 They did remember his parting statement
22:41 as expressed by Nakamori, it was study this book well.
22:47 It will give you strong faith in the Creator God.
22:51 And when your faith in God is strong,
22:55 everything is strong.
22:57 And you know what these two converts did?
22:59 They took him at his word, they believed what he said.
23:03 And these people became what they beheld.
23:08 The Word of God can de-transform them.
23:12 And the same power
23:13 that's in that Word can transform every one of us.
23:17 The Word also has the power to bring faith.
23:21 I mean there are so many things the Word has the power to do.
23:25 Word has the power to transform us.
23:27 I think that's the first thing we all need is transformation.
23:31 Do you not agree with that?
23:32 We've been transformed out of the kingdom of darkness,
23:35 we are now in the kingdom of God's dear Son,
23:37 we're in this process called the sanctification process.
23:42 And that's a lifelong process that we are going to begin.
23:47 And it's through the power of God's Word
23:49 that we're changed into His image
23:52 and into His likeness.
23:53 Now, my next topic is the word
23:59 has the power to bring faith.
24:01 But I want to say this,
24:03 and so and I'm talking to myself.
24:05 I've got right now all the faith I want.
24:10 Y'all think
24:11 that's a true statement for you?
24:12 Right now do you have all the faith
24:14 that you won't donate so one way or the other
24:17 'cause I don't want to embarrass anybody.
24:19 The Word says,
24:20 "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
24:26 If you want more faith, what do you have to do?
24:30 Spend more time in the Word of God.
24:34 Spending more time in the Word of God
24:36 will build your faith.
24:38 Much word, much faith. Little word, little faith.
24:43 So right now we've all got just as much faith as we want
24:48 because if we wanted more, what would we do?
24:51 We would act on the Word of God.
24:53 Faith comes by hearing and hearing
24:55 by the Word of God.
24:57 Do you know that you are also just as,
25:00 how many of you want to be righteous now,
25:02 we can all raise our hands to that.
25:04 And thank God for 1 John 1:9.
25:07 "If we confess our sins, what is He?
25:10 Faithful and just to forgive us of our sins
25:14 and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
25:17 If the Lord cleanses you from all unrighteousness,
25:20 what does that make you?
25:22 The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
25:24 Right now you've got just as much righteousness
25:27 at work within you as you want.
25:29 And here is my proof of that. That would be Matthew 6:33.
25:34 "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God
25:36 and His righteousness,
25:39 and all these things will be added unto you."
25:43 Matthew 5:6.
25:46 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
25:49 for they shall be filled."
25:52 So if you are hungering
25:54 and thirsting for righteousness,
25:56 you will be feeling that those of you
25:57 that are in my Sabbath school class,
25:59 you know that every lesson,
26:01 most every lesson,
26:02 I always want to be going somewhere
26:07 where we're going to pray for everybody.
26:09 And so at the end of this lesson...
26:13 I want to pray for every one of you
26:14 that want this prayer.
26:16 Here's what I want to pray, Father,
26:18 increase our hungering
26:20 and thirsting after righteousness,
26:23 turn that up in me.
26:25 You know, right now I spend just as much time in the Word
26:28 of God as I want to.
26:30 You know, that's just a fact and you can say,
26:32 "Oh, they just have more time."
26:34 We do with our time
26:35 what we want to do with our time.
26:37 We do basically we do what we want to do.
26:41 So I'm a procrastinator. I can't begin it.
26:46 Oh, and you know the best time
26:48 in the world to study God's Word is when?
26:51 First thing in the morning, why?
26:52 You're mind's fresh.
26:54 So to study God's Word first thing in the morning,
26:57 what do you have to do?
26:59 Get up earlier to spend...
27:02 So we can ask God by the power
27:06 of His Spirit in the early morning
27:08 before it's your normal time to get up,
27:10 to wake you up
27:12 that you'll spend time in His Word.
27:13 How many of you would like for the Lord
27:15 to start waking you up earlier,
27:17 don't raise your hands.
27:18 So you can spend more time in the Word
27:20 because remember you spend
27:22 just as much time in the Word right now
27:24 as you want to.
27:25 But if we study God's word early in the morning
27:29 that early morning season with the Lord,
27:31 you know, it sets the tone for our whole day.
27:34 So He that hungers and thirst
27:36 after righteousness will be filled.
27:40 The Word has the power to heal and deliver us.
27:43 I think we read this scripture a little earlier.
27:45 He send His word and healed them,
27:49 and delivered them from their destructions.
27:51 That's the power that's in the Word.
27:54 And I love Romans 8:1, 2. There is therefore what?
27:59 Now how much condemnation any of you ever think
28:03 that you're living under condemnation?
28:05 You know that feeling that we have the words
28:08 is there is therefore now no condemnation to those
28:12 who are in Christ Jesus,
28:14 who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit,
28:18 for there is this law at work.
28:20 The law of the Spirit of life
28:22 and Christ Jesus has done something,
28:25 He set us free from the law of sin and death.
28:28 That law of death can no longer work within us
28:31 because of the power in the Word of God
28:35 given to us by Almighty God
28:38 to set us free from the law of sin and death.
28:44 And the law has the power to fight the enemy.
28:48 The Word has the power to fight the enemy.
28:50 It's God's Word that transforms us
28:54 from defenseless ordinary people
28:56 into powerful warriors armed and dangerous.
28:59 You know, that's what I want the enemy to say
29:02 when I get up in the morning
29:03 "Oh, look at she's awake again.
29:06 Look at that,
29:07 she's spending time in the Word.
29:09 She's getting stronger and more powerful in the thing.
29:13 You know greater is he that is in us,
29:15 than he that is in the world,
29:17 and God has given you absolutely everything you need
29:20 to be an overcoming victorious Christian,
29:23 free from the weight of sinfulness,
29:25 the weightiness of the world.
29:27 And you don't have to,
29:28 I'm not saying he's given you prosperity.
29:30 How many times have you heard of men and women
29:33 and just watch this program we have on 3ABN Free Indeed.
29:38 Where are these people that are free indeed?
29:41 They are in prison.
29:43 See it's not your circumstances that determines
29:46 that you have power over the enemy
29:49 that determines your happiness,
29:51 it is what is in you that makes that determination.
29:55 God's power is made available to us
29:57 through His word just like power
30:00 from the electric company is made available.
30:04 If we don't flip the switch,
30:06 there's some switches around here.
30:07 Lord, there are so many switches
30:09 in this building y'all would not know,
30:11 you have to just go looking for the right switch sometimes,
30:14 there are so many switches.
30:16 But let me ask you something,
30:17 if somebody knew where the switch was,
30:19 if they flipped it off,
30:21 what would happen to all of these lights?
30:23 Would be sitting here in darkness,
30:26 would we have to,
30:27 would it be necessary for us to be sitting in darkness.
30:31 All you have to do is flip the switch
30:34 and here the light is,
30:36 the same is true with the Word of God,
30:38 the entrance of God's Word does what?
30:41 It gives us light.
30:42 If we don't study God's Word, and become acquainted with it,
30:47 and live by its precepts and concepts like the people
30:51 of Shimabuku did,
30:53 you know,
30:54 it's absolutely worthless to us.
30:56 It's just like that big old white Bible
30:58 that was on my coffee table for years
31:01 when Hal and I first got married.
31:02 That book never did me,
31:04 even, even a particularly pretty book.
31:05 I don't know why?
31:07 I think I guess I left it on the coffee table
31:09 cause us trying to make somebody think
31:11 we were righteous or holy or something,
31:13 believe me we weren't.
31:15 But there was that big old Bible,
31:17 you know, it's the Word that you fight the enemy with.
31:20 I guess it was big enough if I threw it at the enemy,
31:23 surely it would have hurt him,
31:24 but it wouldn't have been coming out of my heart
31:29 that's where the power is.
31:30 When that Word comes forth out of you,
31:33 it had accomplishes that thing which God send it to,
31:36 but it has to be in you.
31:39 I'm going to read Ephesians 16-13
31:42 just 'cause it's too good not to.
31:45 "Finally, my brethren..."
31:46 That's talking to every one of us.
31:48 "Be strong in the Lord, in what?
31:51 The power of His might put on the whole armor of God
31:55 that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,
31:59 for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
32:01 but people, we wrestle."
32:04 You wrestle not with flesh and blood.
32:06 What do you wrestle with?
32:07 Principalities and powers,
32:09 rulers of darkness and high places,
32:12 and spiritual wickedness, and the heavenly places."
32:16 Therefore the word says,
32:17 "Take up the whole armor of God,
32:19 that you may be able to stand in the evil day,
32:23 and having done all to stand."
32:26 Galatians 15 and more tells us that we are to stand fast.
32:31 Now I'm reminded of this young man,
32:35 took his horse to the Kentucky Derby.
32:38 Have you ever seen
32:39 the running at the Kentucky Derby?
32:41 Boy, those horses are amazing, aren't they?
32:44 And anybody had ever seen the movie Secretariat?
32:47 Oh, man,
32:48 I like big red in that movie, didn't you?
32:50 He was a beautiful horse.
32:52 But this young man took his horse
32:55 and he was proud of his horse.
32:57 And he was taking it around to the stables
33:00 where these magnificent horses were.
33:02 And his horse on the other hand had a swayback
33:08 and it just kind of shuffled along.
33:11 It wasn't very pretty.
33:13 But when one of the jockeys asked him,
33:16 "Son, well that horse run very fast?"
33:23 And he said,
33:24 "No, but it sure can stand fast."
33:27 You know, sometimes God's not asking us
33:29 to do great feats for Him.
33:33 He's just asking us to stand after doing all to stand.
33:39 Now I'm going to use myself as an example.
33:45 And I was noticing the other day,
33:47 it seems like I just say the same,
33:49 give the same testimonies over and over.
33:51 You know why I do that? Only got one testimony.
33:56 I mean, you have to start making up stuff if you got.
33:59 So I just have to tell the same things over and over.
34:03 Well, several years ago,
34:05 I went through a difficult time.
34:07 I've been at 3ABN, now I'm going on 23 years.
34:11 So it was like over 23 years or what probably 23 years ago,
34:15 I went through a really difficult time.
34:18 And so I, what I wanted to do was just quit,
34:23 go back to Alabama, get my job back,
34:26 get me another job
34:27 and because it was hard to hold your head up.
34:33 Sometimes it was hard for me to hold my head up,
34:36 and continue moving forward.
34:39 I shared this the other day,
34:42 I think I just shared it with Jill and Shelley.
34:44 I don't think
34:45 I've even shared this in public.
34:47 But I think I'd forgotten it.
34:49 But I remember one time
34:51 in the midst of all the real hard issues
34:55 that I was going through that I went to a beauty shop
34:59 in West Frankfort to get a perm.
35:01 Well, you know when they put your head up
35:03 in those rollers and put that stuff,
35:05 I mean, you sit there.
35:06 I mean, you can't just get up and leave.
35:09 And, you know, all of a sudden in this beauty shop
35:12 and the people I had never been
35:13 to the beauty shop before.
35:16 I don't think anybody in there evidently
35:17 they must have known me
35:19 because they started talking about it.
35:22 And if I could have,
35:24 I'd layoff but you can't leave
35:27 with perm solution on your hair.
35:30 And they had it all wrong
35:32 and they were telling this big hotel
35:34 and they were talking about my husband,
35:36 and my church,
35:37 and my friends
35:39 that's who they were talking about.
35:40 You know, those were hard times.
35:42 I didn't want to have to walk through a situation
35:45 where people knew my personal business
35:47 and it wasn't good business.
35:49 I just thought,
35:50 "I'll just take Jeremy and sneak out of here,
35:53 when load up me, are you hauling,
35:54 go back to Alabama."
35:56 And the more I thought about doing that,
35:59 of course, that wasn't God's plan,
36:03 thank goodness that somebody that...
36:07 Has a hand and a heart for mending broken people
36:11 call me and told me
36:12 that if you find yourself in a position
36:14 that you just can't handle it any more,
36:16 let me know I'll put you to work.
36:18 So I called one time and said, "Today any...
36:23 I can't take it anymore."
36:25 And he put me to work.
36:26 Now to me that was God,
36:28 but I just want you to know that during that time
36:32 when what I really wanted to do and I could have justified it.
36:36 No, nobody would have faulted me for that.
36:38 I wanted to run, God wouldn't allow that,
36:41 He had me to stand.
36:43 Now, how did I stand in the midst of all that?
36:47 It was because of the Word,
36:50 the power that was in God's Word
36:52 that I had planted in my heart.
36:55 What does the Psalmist say about planting
36:57 the Word in your heart?
36:58 I put your word in my heart, why?
37:02 That I wouldn't sin against you.
37:03 You put God's Word in your heart.
37:07 And that Word was the only thing
37:10 that sustained me.
37:12 And then there's Romans12:11.
37:15 "And they over came him," how?
37:19 "By the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony
37:22 and they loved not their lives until then."
37:25 Are we overcomes?
37:27 Are we victorious? We are overcoming victory.
37:30 I think we live below
37:32 what Christ accomplished for us at Calvary.
37:35 He gave us total victory,
37:37 we don't need to walk in defeat
37:39 or we're going to go through difficult times,
37:41 nothing in God's Word will ever tell you
37:44 that you're not going to go through a difficult time.
37:47 As a matter of fact, God's word says,
37:50 "That if you don't produce fruit,
37:52 what's He going to do to you?"
37:54 He's going to prone you.
37:55 Actually, the word was purge.
37:58 Y'all have had any purging in your life?
38:00 It is not a pleasant thing.
38:02 So he says, if you don't produce fruit,
38:06 I'm going to prone you, purge you, but you know,
38:09 what He goes on to say.
38:10 And if you do produce fruit,
38:13 I'm going to prune you so you produce more fruit.
38:15 You know what that's telling us.
38:18 We're pruned if we do and we're pruned if we don't.
38:21 Nobody gets out and getting pruned.
38:23 But what is the purpose of this?
38:25 So we'll produce more fruit.
38:28 And right now I want to go off on,
38:30 we are fruit producers in the kingdom of God,
38:33 but it's what God works in us,
38:36 what God affects in us.
38:39 The Word gives us courage, not to compromise,
38:42 don't y'all just hate that word compromise.
38:45 What is compromise?
38:47 It's insidious,
38:48 it creeps up on us before we know it
38:50 and you know what we find ourselves doing,
38:53 things that we never thought we'd do because of compromise.
38:59 It takes courage to stand for the truth.
39:03 You know, we adults, the older we get,
39:07 I'm going to say that the easier
39:10 it is for us one thing should be
39:13 because we've got more Word in us.
39:15 But I think about our young people
39:17 that are facing things
39:19 that, you know, we never had to face.
39:21 I didn't even know about drugs until I was in my 20s.
39:26 And there was some other things
39:28 I had never even imagined possible
39:31 that I've found out in like in the big cities
39:35 were doing it all the time.
39:36 And this same sex thing and all that.
39:39 I didn't even know
39:41 I was raised on a farm in Alabama.
39:43 There's just not much like that were known out
39:45 there in the country I assure you.
39:47 And so it was easier maybe for us to stand
39:52 and to stand true to the Word of God.
39:54 But, you know, it's harder for our children.
39:57 And so it takes courage to stand.
40:00 And we can only do it through the power
40:03 that's in the Word of God.
40:06 In the early 1970s,
40:09 the Iraqi government arrested a group
40:13 of American college students on trumped up charges,
40:18 the Iraqis wanted confessions,
40:21 and to elicit
40:22 the desired admissions of guilt,
40:25 they began to torture these college students.
40:30 The prisoners were told that if they confessed
40:35 they could go free,
40:37 compromised the truth, admit a lie.
40:42 The promise of freedom became irresistible.
40:46 One by one as the pressures and the pain mounted,
40:50 every prisoner confessed to crimes
40:54 he didn't commit.
40:56 Every prisoner except one.
41:00 For this one man the torture intensified,
41:03 the loneliness of isolation became unbearable.
41:08 And he came close to breaking,
41:11 then his captors announced
41:13 that they were finished with his case
41:16 that he could simply confess or die.
41:24 to his head and cock the hammer,
41:27 and started to count down.
41:29 He'd heard executions along this line from his sail,
41:33 so he knew what was about to happen.
41:36 Sign your name he was told and you will live.
41:39 But he refused.
41:41 He couldn't and wouldn't lie.
41:46 He closed his eyes, grimaced, and prepared to die.
41:51 They pulled the trigger.
41:54 When he heard the click, he thought he was dead.
41:57 The gun however had not been loaded.
42:01 He was eventually released.
42:03 He discovered afterwards that there were other
42:07 that every other student who had confessed to the lie
42:12 had been hanged in the public square,
42:16 only he survived.
42:18 Now, what are we to learn from that?
42:21 What would we learn from that?
42:25 The compromise represents
42:28 a far greater risk than courage.
42:33 Compromising with the world, stand on God's Word.
42:38 It's far greater risk if we compromise.
42:44 As difficult as it is to stand for truth,
42:47 it's much harder to live
42:50 with the consequences of failure.
42:52 How many of you have read the story of Martin Luther,
42:55 not know about Martin Luther?
42:57 On October 31st, 2017,
43:02 it will be 500 years
43:04 since Martin Luther took his stand, what stand?
43:08 You know he was a monk,
43:09 and he got his hands on the Word of God.
43:14 You know what the church had done
43:15 at this time?
43:16 They had taken the Word from the people
43:19 and had put it in the churches
43:21 and then the only way the people
43:25 would be through the church hierarchy,
43:27 and did they always handle the Word accurately?
43:31 When Martin Luther,
43:32 he knew some of the things in the church
43:34 just couldn't be right.
43:35 And he is translating the Word of God,
43:39 he found the truth.
43:41 And he did something he found,
43:43 well, we know that at least 95 things he found for,
43:46 he'd look in the Word and look in the church and say,
43:49 this is how it should be, and this is how it is.
43:51 And you know that though the church hierarchy
43:54 didn't appreciate him doing that.
43:56 The 95 tenets,
43:59 then what did he do with those 95 tenets?
44:02 You remember what he did?
44:03 He nailed them to the church house door
44:05 so everybody could see them.
44:08 Now, the church did something
44:12 as it though the church
44:14 put a gun to his head and told him recant
44:18 or we will excommunicate you.
44:21 And you know what excommunication meant,
44:24 would mean at that time?
44:26 Not only did you get kicked out of your church
44:28 but understanding the deeper meaning
44:31 was not only were you
44:32 not be able to fellowship in church
44:34 but you won't get to go to heaven either.
44:36 But here is what Martin Luther said,
44:39 and you know the stand he took,
44:41 is it affecting us even here today?
44:43 Here's what he said,
44:46 "My conscience is captive to the Word of God."
44:51 Righteousness by fate, justification by a faith.
44:54 He got into Romans and Galatians,
44:57 and he found that it's not going
44:59 through another man, what is it?
45:01 Only through the Lord Jesus Christ,
45:03 faith in Christ and Christ alone.
45:06 My conscience is captive to the Word of God.
45:09 I cannot and I will not recant anything,
45:15 for to go against conscious is neither right nor safe.
45:18 Here I stand, I can no other,
45:21 God help me, he took a stand.
45:24 Did he suffer for that stand he took?
45:26 Was he persecuted?
45:28 But if he hadn't taken that stand,
45:31 where would we be today?
45:32 No way of knowing,
45:34 the power of God's Word gave him
45:36 the courage not to compromise.
45:39 And we are all affected by his stand that he took.
45:45 So I want to encourage us.
45:47 When your marriage is hard, stand on God's word.
45:52 I know none of you have
45:53 ever had difficulties in your marriage.
45:56 But should you ever have difficulties
45:58 in your marriage, stand on God's Word.
46:01 Parenting children.
46:03 I know none of you've
46:05 ever had any problems parenting your little precious children.
46:09 And probably not when
46:10 they were little precious children
46:11 but what about the time they turn.
46:13 Well, I won't tell you the age.
46:16 But it just seems like
46:18 they can become difficult at times.
46:20 And sometimes they don't improve it
46:23 for a long time.
46:24 So when you have difficulty parenting your children,
46:29 what is the only thing that we can do?
46:33 When your wedding vows could so easily be broken,
46:37 stand on God's Word.
46:40 God will reward your faithfulness.
46:45 We are what we eat, what we daily feed is growing,
46:50 what we daily neglect is dying.
46:55 And again
46:58 I want to pray over all of this.
47:01 The scripture tells us blessed are those
47:04 who do hunger and thirst for righteousness,
47:07 for they shall be filled.
47:11 So I'm going to pray
47:13 and then we're going to go to our closing hymn,
47:15 it's page 272, give me the Bible.
47:18 How many of you would like for God
47:21 to just increase your hungering
47:24 and thirsting for the things of Him.
47:27 God by the power of His Spirit to touch us and set us on fire.
47:33 Remember when you first made Jesus Christ
47:35 the Lord of your life?
47:36 Any of you
47:38 when you first came out of darkness and into life?
47:40 There was a fire in you.
47:41 You had all this zeal, not a lot of wisdom.
47:45 Now we got a lot of wisdom I mean, and not much zeal.
47:49 And I don't think
47:51 one's much good without the other.
47:52 So let's pray and ask God to fill us with His zeal,
47:57 all zeal to excel in the things of God,
48:04 after the things of God that we won't be satisfied
48:07 just to skim a passage every now and then,
48:10 but we'll get into this Word and will devour it.
48:13 How many of you want God to do a work on your heart?
48:17 Holy Father, we come before You in the name of Jesus.
48:19 And I praise You and I thank you Holy God
48:22 for the power that is in your Word
48:23 to change us from...
48:26 Into Your image and into Your likeness.
48:29 Thank you, Father, that You, Word goes into us.
48:34 And it brings light in the darkened areas.
48:36 Now Father, we ask that as You increase
48:39 our hungering and thirsting after You.
48:42 Lord, You will give us the opportunity
48:43 and the willingness, Father,
48:45 all of that stand before you today telling you
48:48 we are willing for You to make us willing.
48:51 Use us, oh, God, fill us with Your presence,
48:54 draw us by Your Spirit
48:55 into that right relationship with You
48:58 is my prayer in Jesus' name.