Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000041A
00:31 The message this morning is entitled: The Exchange Rate.
00:35 I'd like to invite you to bow your heads with me
00:36 before we go to our Scripture
00:38 because I want to include that in our message.
00:41 "Father in heaven, this morning as we open your word
00:44 we pray that you'll open our hearts.
00:47 As the song was sung this morning,
00:49 'Lord change us'
00:52 we don't just want to be members
00:55 and workers in your kingdom,
00:57 we don't want to just be good at what we do
01:01 for your kingdom
01:02 not even our gifts do we want to boast
01:05 and put before our relationship with you
01:08 and so this morning, Lord, help us to understand
01:12 the great need for change in our hearts
01:16 and in our walk with you, in Jesus' name, amen. "
01:22 Audience: Amen.
01:23 Acts chapter 3 verse 19
01:26 is where our Scripture is taken from this morning,
01:28 Acts chapter 3 verse 19
01:31 and I'm reading from the New King James Version...
01:34 very short but potent text in the Bible.
01:38 As many of you might know,
01:41 a lot of my sermons come out of my own personal study life,
01:46 and I think it's important that everyone of us has a study life.
01:49 That means on a day-by-day basis
01:52 if you're not getting into the Word of God...
01:54 the Word of God is not getting into you.
01:57 If you're not getting into the Word of God,
01:59 the Word of God is not getting into you.
02:02 The Word of God is the best prepared meal
02:05 but you have to digest it,
02:07 you've got to eat it
02:10 you've got to chew it,
02:12 ingest it... masticate it
02:15 in order for it to be of benefit to you.
02:17 It's this short but very potent scripture in the Bible
02:20 is the pivotal point between where we are
02:24 and where God wants us to be.
02:25 Acts 3 verse 19 communicates as follows,
02:29 "Repent therefore and be converted,
02:33 that your sins may be blotted out,
02:37 so that times of refreshing may come
02:41 from the presence of the Lord. "
02:44 In 2017, Angie and I celebrated our 34th anniversary...
02:50 wedding anniversary...
02:52 praise the Lord we don't look like it...
02:53 but we went to the Cayman Islands.
02:59 We hadn't really been there before
03:02 except in a few hours in a cruise that we had gone on
03:05 a number of years before,
03:06 but the beach was so nice and so pleasant,
03:09 we thought, "Where could we spend our 34th anniversary?"
03:12 So we decided to go to the Cayman Islands.
03:14 We enjoyed our time there but there was one small detail
03:19 that proved not to be so small when we look back on it
03:23 because had we realized
03:26 that the exchange rate was not in our favor,
03:30 we would not have gone there.
03:32 When we went to get our money exchanged,
03:36 we discovered that their money was more powerful than ours
03:40 and that the US dollar
03:42 lost its strength to this little small country
03:46 called the Grand Caymans.
03:48 Hindsight... we would have done things quite differently
03:53 had we understood the exchange rate.
03:56 The issues was not that we didn't...
03:59 the issue is not that we did not enjoy our time there,
04:02 the issue was... we did not understand our impact...
04:06 the impact of our decision to go to the Cayman Islands.
04:10 We did not understand the impact
04:12 until our money was converted.
04:14 In the very same way,
04:17 until we are converted as Christians,
04:20 we don't understand the impact of our decisions.
04:26 Decisions seem often small...
04:28 and as I looked at this very idea,
04:31 the Lord was impressing it upon me,
04:34 you know, one of the ways that you could know
04:37 that God is speaking to you
04:39 is when He brings to your mind
04:41 topics that you don't want to talk about.
04:46 The proof that God's Word is inspired
04:48 is it doesn't consider what you want to hear...
04:51 it just tells you what you need to hear.
04:53 Audience: Amen.
04:54 And as I'm studying the Word of God,
04:58 He begins to speak to me in ways that I know
05:01 that the Bible was not designed to fit me
05:05 but the Bible was designed to file me...
05:08 to get me to fit to be like Jesus.
05:11 In modern Christendom,
05:13 conversion is not emphasized as it ought to be
05:16 and on the other hand
05:17 conversion is not understood as it should be.
05:22 When Angie and I went to Australia the very first time,
05:25 Angie took her curling iron
05:28 and I took my little electric mustache trimmer...
05:32 I like to keep my mustache trimmed,
05:33 small detail...
05:35 and we looked on the internet
05:38 to find out what kind of plugs they used in Australia
05:41 so that our plugs could fit into the wall,
05:44 we got the right plug...
05:46 it fit on the end of our American plug,
05:48 so that it could fit into the different shape in Australia...
05:53 we plugged it in and in about 10 seconds
05:58 my little trimmer began to smoke
06:01 and Angie's curling iron got so hot,
06:03 it melted the plastic.
06:05 Audience: Laughing.
06:09 And I learned a valuable lesson out of that, Luis,
06:12 our devices were connected but they were not converted.
06:17 Audience: Agreeing.
06:20 In the same way,
06:22 we may have a connection with Christ,
06:26 but if we're not converted,
06:27 the results can be just as disastrous.
06:31 A consumed Christian experience
06:38 now if the Lord kept digging me deeper
06:40 into this hole of conversion
06:42 and I say "hole"
06:43 because when the Lord gets you in a "hole"
06:47 He leaves you there so He can talk to you
06:50 and when you get out of the hole that God encased you in,
06:54 you know that you are different afterward
06:57 than you were before.
07:02 We often associate deliverance with conversion
07:05 but deliverance and conversion are not the same thing.
07:09 Deliverance from where we used to be...
07:12 deliverance from what we used to do
07:14 and conversion are not the same thing.
07:17 Go with me to the book of Exodus for a brief moment.
07:20 Consider the Israelites in the example.
07:23 Exodus chapter 3 verse 7 and 8.
07:26 Exodus chapter 3 verse 7 and 8...
07:29 When we face trials and difficulties in our lives,
07:33 and we call out to God...
07:34 you know that we are told by the Apostle
07:37 that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be...
07:43 Shall be saved... that's a standard...
07:45 God promises to deliver us when we call him,
07:47 I want you to pay attention this morning
07:49 but deliverance from what hell does
07:53 and conversion are not the same thing.
07:56 Look at Exodus chapter 3 verse 7 and 8...
07:59 follow carefully... the Lord wants you to be converted too.
08:02 "And the Lord said:
08:04 'I have surely seen the oppression of My people
08:07 who are in Egypt... '"
08:08 whenever we are not where God wants us to be,
08:11 we will be oppressed
08:13 "... and I've heard their cry because of their taskmasters"
08:17 their slave masters...
08:20 "and I know their sorrows.
08:22 So I have come down to deliver them
08:25 out of the hand of the Egyptians,
08:29 and to bring them up from that land
08:31 to a good and large land,
08:33 to a land flowing with milk and honey.
08:36 To the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites
08:40 and the Amorites and the Perizzites
08:41 and the Hivites and the Jebusites. "
08:43 Whenever God leads us,
08:45 He always takes us to a better place than He finds us
08:52 but taking us to a better place in location
08:57 and taking us to a different place spiritually
09:01 is not always the same thing.
09:03 The fact of the matter is,
09:04 God saw Israel's slavery under Pharaoh
09:07 and in mercy He delivered them from Egypt
09:10 and Deuteronomy 6:21 says,
09:11 "We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt
09:14 and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand,
09:17 did God bring you out with a mighty hand?
09:24 Any time we call on God to deliver us,
09:27 He will deliver us.
09:30 The Psalmist, David, in Psalm 34 verse 17 says it this way,
09:35 the righteous cry out and the Lord hears
09:40 and delivers them out of all their troubles.
09:45 How much of their troubles?
09:46 All their troubles...
09:49 and when you look at your life
09:50 to where you were and where you are today,
09:52 praise God that His promises are true.
09:56 Whenever we call, He delivers us out of all of our troubles
10:02 but going back to the example of the Israelites
10:04 and even to us sometimes,
10:06 God delivered them from the "where" of their slavery
10:10 but they still needed to be delivered
10:12 from the "what" of their slavery.
10:14 He delivered them from the location of their bondage
10:18 but there was another bondage
10:21 that they yet needed to be delivered from...
10:24 God delivers us from the "where" of our slavery
10:27 but until we are delivered from the "what" of our slavery,
10:32 hear me carefully... we will eventually go back.
10:35 Until we are delivered from what binds us internally,
10:42 where we were bound
10:44 will eventually appear to be a delightful place to be.
10:48 God did not just want to deliver the Israelites from Egypt
10:54 He wanted to deliver them from Egypt spiritually.
10:58 Look at Numbers 14 verse 34.
11:02 Numbers 14 verse 34,
11:05 when you look at the journey of the Israelites
11:08 in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers
11:11 they all cover the story of the journey of the Israelites
11:15 but there was something about
11:17 the internal condition in their lives
11:21 that was far more important
11:24 than the physical location of their lives
11:27 making the point...
11:28 there are some people that are serving time
11:30 in prisons around us... in jails around us
11:33 and some of them are freer than you.
11:39 I've met inmates that said,
11:41 "If I wasn't in here, I would never know Jesus"
11:43 and they come to the Services...
11:46 Luis and all of those of you who are involved in Prison Ministry
11:48 and then... in going to these places,
11:51 they don't really have to go to the Services.
11:54 They're not getting paid to go, but they go
11:57 and they stay awake and they say, "Hallelujah"
12:00 and they say, "Thank you Jesus"
12:03 and they love the Lord and they are...
12:06 they are in the place of their bondage
12:09 but they're not bond...
12:11 but they're not in bondage in the place that they are.
12:13 Audience: Amen.
12:15 They are free in Jesus.
12:16 The Israelites were delivered from Egypt
12:19 and they acknowledged God's deliverance
12:21 but look at Numbers 14 verse 3 and 4.
12:25 They began to complain,
12:27 God brought them from where
12:29 they asked Him to deliver them from,
12:31 but they had not had an internal change yet
12:35 and they began to complain.
12:37 You know, sometimes you have to give God time to change you.
12:42 Look at what they said in verse 3 of Numbers 14.
12:46 They complained, "Why has the Lord...
12:49 Why has the Lord brought us to this land
12:52 to fall by the sword,
12:53 that our wives and children should become victims?"
12:57 Look at the mentality.
13:00 "Would it not be better for us... "
13:04 to do what?
13:05 "return to Egypt.
13:07 So they said to one another,
13:08 'Let us select a leader and return to Egypt. '"
13:14 Four hundred years of generational slavery...
13:19 begging to be delivered...
13:25 but when God's deliverance did not match their preference,
13:30 they decided it was better that we go back to where we were
13:36 than where we are now.
13:37 That's why until we turn from how we live,
13:43 we will return to where we lived.
13:48 Until we turn from how we lived,
13:53 we will eventually return to where we live.
13:56 God took them out of Egypt
13:58 but they didn't give God time to take Egypt out of them.
14:07 And many of us are in the same place.
14:08 This is where the Christian journey comes in.
14:12 You know, if you remember the story,
14:15 it was not a long distance,
14:18 it was maybe less than a month,
14:20 they could have been from Egypt to Canaan
14:22 in a short period of time.
14:24 But the duration of their journey from Egypt to Canaan
14:28 was lengthened because God knew
14:31 that for most of them it would take time to work out
14:35 what Egypt worked in.
14:40 More pause.
14:44 I remember... I want to make a reference to this,
14:47 I remember when 'Coming Out' Ministries was here
14:49 and Wayne...
14:53 come on, give me Wayne's last name...
14:55 Wayne Blakely... we did an afternoon seminar
14:58 just to give you an evidence of this.
15:00 Sometimes it takes time to work out
15:03 what Egypt worked in.
15:06 When I first gave my life to the Lord,
15:08 I still wanted to party...
15:10 I'm not going to be there... I still went to parties...
15:14 I even went to church to figure out
15:16 if I could still go to church and still party,
15:18 and I couldn't do that.
15:20 So, I had to eventually give up the partying life
15:23 and the gambling life and the pool hustling life...
15:25 had to give it up...
15:27 because I couldn't find a church where I could do that
15:29 and still serve God.
15:30 Sometimes it takes time to work out
15:34 what the world has worked in.
15:36 We had an afternoon seminar here with 'Coming Out' Ministries
15:39 and they did a wonderful job and people...
15:41 we got to the question-and-answer period,
15:44 and I'll never forget it,
15:45 if you were here you'll remember exactly
15:47 as I make reference to it.
15:48 Somebody asked a question, they said to Wayne,
15:51 because he came out of the Gay Life,
15:54 and they said, "Are you ever tempted?"
15:59 And he responded, "Are you?"
16:03 Temptation is not sin, come on say, "amen. "
16:08 Audience: Amen.
16:09 It is your response to it,
16:11 but when God is bringing you out,
16:13 he knows how much time is needed
16:16 to get you from where He found you
16:19 to be in the condition to where He's leading you.
16:23 Audience: Amen.
16:24 It takes time to work out what Egypt worked in.
16:27 That is why the Apostle Paul refers to
16:30 the Christian life as "work out"
16:32 go to Philippians 2 and verse 12,
16:33 look at this, it's very... very powerful Scripture.
16:36 Philippians 2 and verse 12.
16:38 I'm not going to read verse 13 because we always default
16:41 "For it is God who works in us
16:43 both to will and to do of His good pleasure. "
16:45 Yes, God works in us
16:47 but there's something that we've got to do
16:51 to be able to have a different kind of Christian walk.
16:54 For example, your Bible is not going to read you,
16:56 oh, sorry, your Bible will read you...
16:59 if you don't read your Bible, it will read you,
17:02 it's the only book that will tell you about yourself
17:04 when you don't read it.
17:06 But notice this passage.
17:08 Philippians 2 and verse 12,
17:10 "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed,
17:14 not as in my presence only,
17:16 but now much more in my absence... "
17:20 look at what he said,
17:21 "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling... "
17:27 what did he say?
17:29 "work it out... "
17:31 In other words, God put it in but you got to work it out.
17:34 My mother made bread really well...
17:38 the West-Indian mother... not my natural mother...
17:40 the lady who raised me... she knew how to make bread.
17:43 She would say, "Put the... put the... put the flour in...
17:46 okay... put the stick of butter...
17:48 put the yeast... put the vanilla... "
17:50 and I would... I would put it in and she'd work it out
17:56 see, God puts ingredients into our lives
17:58 that we've got to knead in there,
18:00 anybody know what I'm taking about?
18:02 Audience: Amen.
18:03 You've got to knead it in there
18:04 because you can't just put all the right ingredients
18:06 together without... without blending them
18:09 with the effort of your daily life,
18:11 we often make the mistake
18:13 to say that Christianity is an effortless life
18:16 but if you are a Christian,
18:18 you know that it's a life that requires effort.
18:20 Audience: Amen.
18:22 You... all you to do to be lost is nothing.
18:26 Just do nothing and you'll be lost.
18:31 As Elder Brooks once said,
18:33 "Some people are just too lazy to be saved. "
18:37 All the opportunities granted to them to grow...
18:39 they don't even show up.
18:42 But this whole "workout thing" I decided to take it further
18:44 because when the word "workout" jumped out at me,
18:47 I thought, "workout... "
18:48 15-minute workout...
18:50 10-minute working...
18:51 5- minute workout...
18:52 and so, I thought, "Well, what about an exercise workout
18:58 can be associated with our spiritual workout...
19:01 and I went to Quora. com
19:05 May 18th 2014
19:07 and I found a very interesting statistic
19:09 that fits into the workout.
19:10 "Americans spend between 40 and 50 billion dollars
19:15 annually on weight loss.
19:18 Many studies suggest that
19:20 between 60 percent and 90 of that...
19:23 90 percent of that...
19:24 is wasted on ineffective dieting
19:28 where the weight comes back within one to two years.
19:30 The average cost of a Gym membership in the United States
19:34 is 55 dollars a month.
19:38 The part that gets appalling is that
19:41 60 percent or more of Gym memberships
19:44 of Gym members never use their membership. "
19:49 They become members and they never use their membership.
19:55 How many of you become members
19:57 and never use your membership?
20:02 "Gym membership sales peak in January every year
20:06 and within 90 days
20:09 a majority of the people who signed up in January
20:13 have stopped attending the Gym altogether. "
20:16 How many people have become members?
20:19 In just a matter of time, their membership is inactive
20:24 for various reasons.
20:26 The reason is, many quit the workout phase
20:33 of their commitment to Christ.
20:34 Many quit the workout phase of their commitment to Christ.
20:40 I want to tell you,
20:41 it is when you're not working out through a prayer life
20:46 and a study life
20:48 and a life that says, "Lord, show me... me... "
20:52 when you're not doing that,
20:54 when you're not waiting before God,
20:56 when you... when you read your Bible,
20:58 when you... when you slither to your knees
21:01 on the side of your bed
21:02 and you wait there for God to show you... you...
21:06 I want to tell you, it's going to do something to you.
21:08 It's going to bring you to a place that you know
21:12 is not a place you want to be but when you get there
21:15 and God works on you
21:17 you begin to desire more and more to be at that place.
21:23 So many Christians quit the workout phase
21:27 of their commitment to Christ.
21:29 Far too many Christians have the same habits
21:31 as those of health clubs...
21:33 they go no further in signing up for a membership.
21:41 Well, I didn't stop there in the end of the year...
21:43 I decided to go further and click on some other links
21:45 and down at the bottom of the question...
21:47 at the bottom there were some questions
21:49 and one of the questions that was asked
21:54 I appreciated the answer
21:55 because the answer to the question that was asked
21:57 to the health club Manager all applies to Christians.
21:59 The question was,
22:01 "What is the best way to stay fit?"
22:03 And the answer was one word, "Discipline. "
22:07 What's that word? Discipline
22:10 from which we get the word Disciple.
22:13 Disciples... if you are a disciple of Christ,
22:18 you've got to have a disciplined life.
22:20 I mean, doesn't that fit when it comes to production?
22:23 Doesn't it fit in everything else?
22:25 Don't you have a discipline
22:27 when you are scheduled to pick somebody at the airport?
22:28 Don't we all have disciplines in the work we do?
22:32 But if you don't apply discipline to your life,
22:34 you can never be a disciple of Christ
22:36 because there's no discipline in your life.
22:38 Look at Matthew 16 verse 24,
22:41 in the very same way,
22:43 a fit Christian has to adhere to the same spiritual standard
22:48 Look at this...
22:50 Matthew 16:24, the Bible says,
22:52 "Then Jesus said to His disciples,
22:55 'If anyone desires to come after Me,
22:59 let him deny himself... "
23:01 let him do what? Audience: Deny himself.
23:04 "... deny himself, and take up his cross,
23:06 and follow Me. "
23:07 Luke says, "Daily" and I want to tell you...
23:11 I want to tell you that journey has to be daily,
23:14 that commitment of discipline has to be what?
23:19 The day that you... the day that you omit that discipline,
23:23 you remembered at the end of the day
23:26 that you omitted the very thing that you should have done
23:29 and you see the result
23:31 of a lack of discipline in your spiritual life
23:33 and I'm going to tell you this,
23:35 the world is designed to break our discipline from Christ
23:38 and give us a discipline for the world
23:40 and by-the-way, you know what?
23:42 So many of us have a discipline for the world...
23:44 we remember the time our favorite programs come on
23:47 and we're there.
23:48 I remember once when...
23:50 I forgot what the ridiculous Soap Opera was,
23:56 yeah... it was... "Dallas" years ago
23:58 remember that ridiculous movie...
24:00 you young people relax...
24:01 but it was that movie, "Dallas"
24:04 and... and the whole Series was ended,
24:06 they were setting you up for the fall series
24:08 and the big question at the end of the...
24:10 at the end of the spring series was, "Who shot JR?
24:14 It will be revealed on the Season ender"
24:17 and it happened on a Wednesday night
24:22 and I noticed a dip in Wednesday night
24:24 and I said, "What happened?"
24:25 They said, "It was the last episode of JR"
24:27 I said, "Of who?"
24:29 They said, "JR."
24:32 "Jr... who is Jr?"
24:34 "Well, who shot JR? We want to find out. "
24:37 While we are wondering about who shot JR,
24:39 the devil is shooting us.
24:41 Audience: Yes.
24:43 But my point is,
24:45 we have established a worldly discipline
24:48 that far too many of us are true to the disciplines of earth
24:53 more than we are true to the disciplines of heaven.
24:57 We have no discipline... and that's why we've become lukewarm
25:00 one moment we're hot... one moment we're cold...
25:05 and the Lord doesn't know
25:07 which tea cup we're going to bring to Him
25:08 so He says, "You know, this is lukewarm,
25:10 I'm not even going to drink this stuff... I'm spitting it out"
25:13 and unfortunately He's not spitting it out
25:16 but He's spitting us out.
25:20 This quotation that I read
25:26 in the book "Evangelism. "
25:29 Listen to the quote.
25:31 "Desire for goodness and true holiness is right
25:36 as far as it goes... "
25:39 I'll tell you in a moment...
25:41 but to stop here will avail nothing.
25:43 Good purposes are right
25:46 but will prove to no avail
25:49 unless determinedly carried out.
25:53 Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians
26:00 but they carry their efforts no further,
26:04 therefore, we'll be weighed in the balance and found wanting
26:10 the will must be exercised... "
26:14 must be what?
26:15 "exercised in the right direction. "
26:20 "The strength of the Christian life
26:22 has everything to do with the direction. "
26:27 The journey of the Israelites
26:29 had to do with the right direction.
26:31 The journey of the Christian
26:32 has to do with the right direction.
26:35 Audience: Amen.
26:36 Everything about our life
26:38 has to do with the right direction
26:39 but the thing that I want to point out here is
26:42 desire is the precursor to direction.
26:46 Desire... what are you thinking?
26:48 what... what... what is your mind focused on
26:52 that's determining which way you lean...
26:54 because it doesn't take a great lean
26:57 to go in the wrong direction.
26:58 I remember when pilots...
27:00 you know, we go to the airport...
27:01 we fly a lot...
27:03 when a plane takes off
27:05 it may take off from the same airport in St. Louis
27:07 but after takeoff...
27:09 it may just take off and go four degrees
27:10 in a different direction than the other plane
27:13 and when they leave the airport, you can see the other plane
27:15 but give them 15 minutes, you won't see it
27:17 because you start out in just a few degrees different,
27:21 the longer you journey, the farther apart you get
27:24 and sometimes all you see is this smoke trail.
27:27 In the very same way,
27:28 in your life on a day-by-day basis
27:30 if your desire to go in the wrong direction
27:33 makes you lean in the wrong direction,
27:35 like the Israelites and like many of the disciples
27:38 that went back and walked with Jesus no more
27:40 desire was the precursor to the direction of their lives.
27:46 However, desire...
27:49 without an action in the right direction,
27:53 will produce the same results
27:55 as no desire to go in the right direction at all.
27:59 You might have the desire but with no actions...
28:03 you might as well give it to the desire,
28:04 in other words,
28:05 where there is no desire to go in the right direction,
28:08 until we acknowledge...
28:10 until we acknowledge that we're lacking the desire,
28:15 we will never have the desire awakened in us
28:18 to go in the right direction.
28:20 That's why I appreciate people when they say,
28:22 "Pastor, I'm having a hard time in my...
28:24 I'm having a hard time in my walk with Christ. "
28:26 I appreciate that...
28:27 because they know they have a need.
28:30 It's those people that you...
28:32 that don't ever express their challenges
28:34 that all of a sudden disappear...
28:36 When they say, "Whatever happened to so and so?"
28:37 "They were quiet... they just left"
28:39 they didn't say anything...
28:41 but it's when somebody says, "I'm having a hard time,
28:44 I'm challenged by something"
28:46 they know that the challenge is there
28:48 because they recognize...
28:50 they recognize that whatever the challenge is...
28:53 is adverse to where they want to be...
28:56 that's why it is a challenge.
29:00 Whenever you are uncomfortable in your Christian experience,
29:02 it makes a difference
29:04 and direction has everything to do
29:07 that's why it's not enough to be in the Christian race,
29:11 you got to run in the right direction.
29:15 I read a story entitled, "The Wrong Direction. "
29:18 On September 4th, 2011, at the Louisiana Downs Racetrack
29:24 at the sounding of the bell, a horse named "Secret Fly"
29:30 shook off the Jockey
29:32 and started running in the wrong direction
29:36 the horse ran the entire race in the wrong direction
29:40 because it severed its connection
29:43 with the only one that would have guided it
29:46 in the right direction.
29:47 As Christians, sometimes we shake off Jesus
29:51 and we may run the entire race...
29:54 that horse ran the entire race...
29:56 later on I'll give you the link on YouTube...
29:59 it's an amazing thing to see
30:00 because they showed it from different angles
30:01 and they said... they avoided a near head-on collision
30:04 that horse... when it shook off its jockey.
30:07 it turned around...
30:08 and the other seven horses were going that...
30:10 the other nine horses were going that way...
30:12 that other horse took off at full speed
30:14 going in the other direction
30:16 and 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the race,
30:18 they almost had a near head-on collision.
30:21 It got back to where it started to run
30:24 thinking that it had finished its race
30:27 when it ran the entire race in the wrong direction.
30:30 Some of us are in the Christian race
30:33 and today I want to say,
30:35 "Some of us are running in the wrong direction. "
30:39 But you'll never know that
30:40 unless you ask God to convert your mind...
30:44 to convert your life...
30:46 you won't even know that your direction is incorrect
30:51 unless you ask the Lord to convert you.
30:54 More pause.
30:58 That's why Acts 3:19 is so vitally important.
31:00 I'll read it again.
31:03 "Repent therefore, and be converted,
31:06 that your sins may be blotted out,
31:09 so the time of refreshing may come
31:11 from the presence of the Lord. "
31:13 Repentance is a turn from something wrong...
31:18 conversion is a turn to something right.
31:25 You know, God forgives.
31:26 "If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to... "
31:29 do what?
31:30 "forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. "
31:33 Being sorrowful...
31:35 being sorrowful for the wrong thing you've done,
31:37 saying Lord, "I've sinned"
31:39 and asking for forgiveness is just the beginning
31:41 but if you have not been converted...
31:44 repentance is saying,
31:46 "I'm going in the wrong direction"
31:47 but conversion says,
31:49 "Now I'm going in the right direction"
31:52 conversion means a total change in the direction of your life
31:57 both morally and spiritually.
32:04 It means a change from a life
32:06 that didn't take God into account
32:08 to a life that takes God into account in everything.
32:12 I want you to think about that.
32:14 It takes God into account in the shows you watch
32:19 and the places you go
32:21 and what you listen to...
32:27 and how you eat...
32:28 how you dress...
32:29 You don't do those things to put the cart before the horse
32:35 but when you are converted,
32:37 the things that seem to be little in the lives of some
32:40 become magnanimous in your life
32:43 because you know that you cannot go in the wrong direction
32:46 not even by a single degree.
32:49 Isn't that right?
32:50 Conversion makes all the difference...
32:53 going in the right direction...
32:54 look at Deuteronomy chapter 4 verse 29 to 31.
32:58 I'll move right along here...
33:01 Deuteronomy 4 verse 29 to 31.
33:07 This commitment to Christ is so vitally important.
33:12 The promise of God is a wonderful thing,
33:17 notice verse 29 of Deuteronomy 4.
33:19 "But from there you will seek the Lord your God,
33:24 and you will find Him if you seek Him... "
33:27 with how much of your heart?
33:28 "... with all your heart and with all your soul. "
33:30 When you are in distress, and all these things come up...
33:35 come upon you in the latter days... "
33:39 look at this...
33:41 "when you... " what's the next word?
33:43 "turn" that's conversion...
33:45 that's the word "conversion" in the Hebrew,
33:49 "when you turn to the Lord... "
33:52 remember "conversion" is to turn to...
33:54 "when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice.
34:01 ...for the Lord your God is a merciful God,
34:04 He will not forsake you nor destroy you,
34:07 nor forget the covenant of your fathers
34:11 which He swore to them. "
34:16 Conversion is not just a realization
34:19 that you are a Christian,
34:21 but a total change in the life
34:23 that accompanies your Christianity.
34:25 What kind of life do you have?
34:27 I can guarantee you that if your life
34:30 doesn't have a daily regiment in it,
34:32 you know, we say, "we are not saved by works"
34:35 oh yes, we are...
34:36 not by your works to save yourself
34:38 but the things you do on a day-by-day basis...
34:41 the works you include in your life...
34:42 will either demolish
34:44 or strengthen your Christian relationship.
34:48 So if you don't think that they're works...
34:49 that's why the Apostle Paul when they argue about
34:51 "faith without works"
34:52 faith without works is dead...
34:54 show me your faith without your works
34:56 and I'll show you my faith by my works.
34:58 You can't have faith and have it devoid of works
35:01 because the baseball player that sits on...
35:04 that sits around in the uniform and a baseball bat and a glove
35:06 that never gets on the field is not a baseball player.
35:08 He's just got a nice uniform.
35:10 You can even buy the uniform...
35:12 I could look like a baseball player.
35:14 I was on the plane once during the time of the Olympics
35:17 about 15 years or 16 years ago, maybe more than that...
35:20 I think I was living in California at the time
35:23 and the American Olympics was...
35:25 you know the World Olympics was going on
35:27 and I was so excited...
35:28 I bought an Olympics jacket...
35:30 I had an Olympic cap...
35:32 I had an Olympic gym bag...
35:35 and I got on United Airlines
35:37 and the Flight Attendants treated me so nicely.
35:40 Audience: Smiling.
35:42 "Come Sir...
35:43 is there anything that you would like to drink before... "
35:44 and I wasn't in First Class
35:47 and the Flight Attendants looked at me and they smiled
35:51 not the... hmmm... different...
35:52 never happened before...
35:55 way before status...
35:57 so, I saw them looking and they were talking together
36:00 and one of the Flight Attendants came and got on her knees
36:03 and she said, "Sir now,
36:04 we had a question that we want to settle the answer to... "
36:07 now I had figured... but I don't know...
36:11 "Are you by any chance on the Olympic team?"
36:14 Audience: Laughter.
36:15 That is one of those moments when you think,
36:17 "Maybe I can lie and get away with it...
36:18 maybe I get a meal out of it...
36:20 I couldn't do that... "
36:23 I said, "Huh... no actually I'm not
36:30 do I have to get off now?"
36:31 Audience: Laughter...
36:33 they were nice to me
36:35 but I looked the part...
36:37 I just wasn't the part
36:39 and it's not... it's not...
36:41 it's not enough to look the part of a Christian.
36:44 Some of us look at other people that don't look like us
36:47 and we say, "They don't look like Christians"
36:49 but they may be Christians,
36:51 you're judging the book by its cover...
36:54 you can't read its pages, amen, somebody.
36:56 Audience: Amen.
36:57 Conversion is not just a realization
36:59 that you are a Christian
37:01 but a total change in the life
37:02 that accompanies your Christianity.
37:05 You see, repentance is active change...
37:08 conversion is: change in action.
37:11 I read a story about John D. Rockefeller Sr.
37:17 his life is an example of change.
37:19 John D. Rockefeller was a young man
37:21 that early on decided that he was going to be wealthy.
37:26 At 33 years old, he had his first million dollars
37:29 it was way back...
37:31 at 43 years old,
37:33 he was the owner of the biggest company in the world.
37:39 At 53 years old, he was the only billionaire in the world.
37:46 Now we have a whole lot of them,
37:48 it was a long time ago, a billion dollars was a lot.
37:50 When John D. Rockefeller Sr. was a little boy,
37:53 was 53 years old...
37:55 but all of a sudden... with all of his amassed wealth,
37:58 he developed a severe case of something called "Alopecia"
38:02 a severe case...
38:03 he not only lost his hair
38:05 but his body began go shrink to the point
38:08 where he started looking like a "mummy" the doctors said.
38:13 This man made a million dollars a week at least,
38:16 but he got to the place where he could not sleep...
38:18 he stopped smiling... he could not enjoy life
38:24 and he was so hated by people in Pennsylvania
38:28 that he had to hire a security guard
38:31 to guard him day and night.
38:33 With all that money all he could to eat was
38:36 crackers and drink milk...
38:38 couldn't even sleep...
38:39 one night...
38:44 the Lord spoke to Rockefeller and he said,
38:49 "When I came to the realization that I could not take one dime
38:54 of this money into the next world,
38:56 I had a change of attitude. "
38:58 The next morning, John D. Rockefeller woke up
39:01 with a different attitude... a different mindset...
39:03 he began helping churches...
39:05 he no longer overlooked the poor and the needy,
39:09 he established the Rockefeller Foundation
39:12 whose funding led to the discovery of Penicillin
39:15 and other wonder drugs
39:19 and he finally was able to sleep and smile again
39:22 and his body stopped shrinking.
39:28 The doctors predicted that when he got Alopecia at 53,
39:33 he would die at 54...
39:34 he died at 98...
39:35 Audience is amazed...
39:37 Audience: Praise God.
39:39 Before he was converted, he was overly wicked.
39:43 The wise man says in Ecclesiastes 7:14,
39:47 "Do not be overly wicked nor foolish,
39:50 why should you die before your time?"
39:52 He was overly wicked
39:55 but he had a conversion experience
39:57 and instead of dying a year later,
40:01 he has a conversion experience about money and other people
40:05 and what really mattered
40:07 and way back then... to live till 98...
40:12 and today when you read his memoires,
40:14 people have a different attitude about John D. Rockefeller.
40:16 Rockefeller Plaza stands erect in mid-town Manhattan.
40:23 You see, until he was changed, he was of no use,
40:28 he could not be used for good things.
40:30 That's why the Lord said in Luke 22:32
40:33 in the King James Version to Peter,
40:35 "When you are converted...
40:37 when you are converted, strengthen the brethren. "
40:40 We need conversion, come one somebody say, "Amen. "
40:42 Audience: Amen.
40:43 Like so many of us, Rockefeller...
40:45 and the same way we produce...
40:47 and we pursue a life of self-indulgence,
40:49 we never die to the old ways,
40:51 we never choose to submit to the changed life,
40:54 we never experience fulfillment that Jesus offers,
40:57 we never know what it's like
40:59 to be a positive impact on the lives of others,
41:01 we become self-absorbed
41:03 and conversion is the farthest thing away
41:06 because you know, as I read... as I read further,
41:08 conversion is not an easy thing.
41:12 It requires you to every day say to you... "no...
41:18 no, you can't have that...
41:20 no, you're not watching that...
41:21 no, that's not Godly...
41:23 no, don't think that...
41:25 no, that is not what a Christian does"
41:28 that's the convicting work of the presence of the Holy Spirit
41:32 but when you don't... when you're not converted,
41:34 you don't hear those voices.
41:37 John 16 says, "He will convict you of sin
41:39 and of righteousness and of judgment"
41:41 the reason why conviction is missing...
41:43 without conviction, there's no conversion.
41:46 If you turn off the voice of the only One
41:47 that could lead you in the right direction,
41:49 it's like, stopping your ears...
41:51 expecting to hear somebody, it won't happen.
41:53 But what I like about conversion is...
41:57 I begin to wind up the messages,
41:58 conversion comes with temporal benefits
42:00 like as in the case of John D. Rockefeller
42:03 but its best benefit is eternal.
42:06 Look at Matthew 18 and verse 3.
42:08 This shows how widely important conversion is.
42:12 Conversion is powerfully necessary
42:16 if we ought to be Christians with heaven in front of us.
42:24 Matthew 18 verse 3,
42:26 Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you,
42:29 unless you are converted and become as... " what?
42:34 "little children,
42:36 you will be no means enter the kingdom of heaven. "
42:41 "If you're not converted and become like little children... "
42:44 and I wondered, "Okay, I accept the conversion part,
42:47 but what's with this 'little children' stuff, Jesus?"
42:50 And I discovered in the Word of God,
42:52 because He's sovereign and always has been,
42:55 He refers to us as "My little children"
42:57 but it's even deeper than that,
43:00 you see, little children are always dependent on somebody
43:04 bigger than them.
43:08 How many of us are dependent on God
43:10 or are we trying to do it ourselves?
43:11 Little children are teachable...
43:14 how many of us are teachable?
43:17 Little children also keep no records of wrongs,
43:21 when two little children have a spat,
43:23 you say, "What happened?"
43:25 "He stole my popsicle... "
43:26 "He broke my car... "
43:28 "Just say you're sorry... "
43:29 "I'm sorry... "
43:31 "Okay, let's go play... "
43:32 that's how kids are.
43:33 But adults... that's why when you read the Bible,
43:35 the Bible didn't say,
43:37 "All we like lambs have gone astray... "
43:39 lambs are a symbol of Christ,
43:41 teachable... subtle...
43:43 "All we like sheep... "
43:45 sheep are grown up and hard-headed.
43:47 Do you know a sheep...
43:49 this is not... this is not normal...
43:51 this is not often... but a sheep will bite you...
43:55 yeah, you get a sheep mad at you... it will bite you.
43:58 Have you ever been bitten by another sheep in church?
44:06 "All we like sheep have gone astray"
44:09 that's why we have to become like little children...
44:11 we have to be like the lamb... Christ Jesus,
44:14 can you say, "Amen. "
44:15 Audience: Amen.
44:17 Little children... "Testimonies for the Church"
44:19 volume 4 page 534 and 535...
44:22 "Communion with God imparts to the soul
44:26 an intimate knowledge of His will
44:29 but many who profess the faith
44:32 know not what true conversion is.
44:35 They have no experience in communion with the Father
44:39 through Jesus Christ
44:40 and they have never felt the power of divine grace
44:44 to sanctify the heart.
44:45 Praying and sinning... sinning and praying...
44:49 their lives are full of malice,
44:51 deceit, envy, jealousy and self-love. "
44:55 Praying and sinning... sinning and praying...
44:58 and that's the sum total of so many people's lives.
45:02 But what does conversion do?
45:04 Conversion is turning away from sin to righteousness.
45:11 Conversion is turning away from idolatry...
45:14 putting nothing before your relationship with God.
45:18 Audience: Amen.
45:19 Conversion is turning away from unbelief to faith.
45:22 Conversion is turning your life over to Jesus...
45:26 putting Him in-charge of your daily day.
45:30 Putting your phone farther away from your bed
45:34 and your Bible closer.
45:35 Audience: Amen.
45:37 Shutting off the television and turning on Christ.
45:41 Closing your day and beginning your day with Jesus.
45:44 On your knees... asking God to reveal to you who you are.
45:51 My wife and I... I think it was this week
45:53 earlier this week or maybe later last week,
45:55 she said, "I'm going to heaven. "
45:58 I said, "I'm going with you. "
46:01 Amen... anybody want to go to heaven?
46:03 Audience: Amen.
46:04 You can't go unless you're converted...
46:07 conversion produces a transformed life
46:10 and what I love about conversion...
46:13 the one thing that the Lord revealed to me last night,
46:17 "Conversion is the realization that you are no longer
46:21 who you used to be. "
46:25 1st Peter 2 verse 9 and 10 says it this way,
46:29 "To the person that's converted... "
46:30 this text is not referred to church membership,
46:34 this text refers to conversion.
46:37 "But you are a chosen generation,
46:41 a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
46:45 His own special people,
46:47 that you may proclaim the praises of Him
46:52 who called you out of... " what?
46:54 "... darkness into His marvelous light... "
46:57 and look at the conversion part...
47:00 "who once were not a people
47:03 but are now the people of God"
47:06 what turned in their lives...
47:08 "who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. "
47:13 Amen... somebody...
47:15 Audience: Amen.
47:16 We find a quotation... it's a beautiful one...
47:19 Manuscript 75...
47:20 in the year 1897,
47:21 the servant of the Lord wrote these words in paragraph 5.
47:25 "The converting power of God must come into the church
47:30 to bless the members before they can be made a blessing...
47:33 The converting power of God must come into the church
47:37 to bless the members before they can be made a blessing.
47:41 Individual... daily conversion...
47:45 accomplishes everything for the members of Christ's body
47:51 for it brings us daily into divine relationship with Himself
47:57 and the methods and plans, tact and ability
48:02 and the very highest qualifications
48:04 are brought into the Kingdom of God. "
48:07 The point is this, until you are converted,
48:09 you are not bringing the best to the Master.
48:11 You're bringing something to the table
48:14 but it's of low grade.
48:16 When conversion comes in,
48:18 in that daily relationship with Christ,
48:21 your methods and plans... your tact and your ability...
48:25 are of the highest qualifications
48:28 and it gets you ready for the Kingdom of God.
48:37 True conversion increases your value
48:41 because the exchange rate
48:44 from the person who you used to be
48:46 to the person who we are...
48:47 the exchange rate is the blood and the righteousness of Jesus.
48:53 Audience: Amen... praise the Lord.
48:56 So I'm not longer afraid that my value is going to go down,
48:59 if I'm letting the Lord convert me on a day-by-day basis,
49:02 my value is going up, come on somebody...
49:04 Audience: Amen.
49:05 You want your value to increase, don't be fearful...
49:08 just simply say, "Lord, come into my life,
49:13 come into my heart,
49:15 come into my thoughts,
49:17 break me down from this recalcitrant stubborn
49:21 self-centered... egotistical... maniacal... self-absorbed... "
49:26 tell me went to stop...
49:28 person that I want to be
49:30 to the child... the little child who says,
49:33 "Father, feed me this morning,
49:36 Father, clothe me with your righteousness today,
49:39 Father, show me what it means to be loving and kind
49:43 and compassionate, and forgiving and patient
49:46 and dedicated... and honest... and forthright...
49:50 awaken within me a desire to absorb your Word...
49:53 not just to skim through it.
49:55 Bring me to that place with my experience...
49:59 that will turn me into a light in my Community...
50:02 into a candle that will always burn...
50:04 into a life that somebody might say,
50:07 'I need to have what she has.'"
50:09 "I need to have what you have, what is it?"
50:15 The Lord is waiting for you to submit yourself
50:19 to the exchange rate of the kingdom of heaven.
50:24 My question today is simple as I close,
50:27 "How many of you want to be converted?"
50:33 If you want Jesus to come in and convert your life,
50:36 could you stand with me today
50:38 as we may pray this prayer of conversion
50:42 that we may ask for Jesus to come in
50:46 and transform our hearts and lives
50:53 that we will be like Jesus.
50:54 I want us to sing that song before we have our prayer.
50:58 "All that thrills my soul is Jesus"
51:00 bring that up, my Brother,
51:01 I want us to sing that song together,
51:04 "All that thrills my soul is Jesus. "
51:06 What thrills your soul?
51:09 I pray that it is Christ.
51:12 All that thrills my soul is Jesus...
51:16 let's sing that song together.
51:23 Who can cheer the heart like Jesus
51:30 By His presence all divine
51:37 True and tender, pure and precious
51:44 O, how blest to call Him mine.
51:49 Say it...
51:51 All that thrills my soul is Jesus
51:58 He is more than life to me
52:03 And the fairest of ten thousand
52:12 In my blessed Lord I see
52:18 Love of Christ so freely given
52:25 Grace of God beyond degree
52:32 Mercy higher than the heavens
52:39 Deeper than the deepest sea.
52:46 Is that your testimony?
52:47 All that thrills my soul is Jesus
52:54 He is more than life to me
53:01 And the fairest of ten thousand
53:09 In my blessed Lord I see.
53:17 Loving Father in heaven, what thrills our soul?
53:21 Is it spending time in your presence?
53:24 Lord, what thrills our imagination... our desire...
53:29 what drives us... what motivates us...
53:33 is it the study of your Word to live a life
53:37 that produces fruit worthy of repentance...
53:41 Father, what thrills my soul when Monday morning comes,
53:45 just spending time in your presence
53:48 that I might go forth to show forth your praises,
53:52 what thrills my soul?
53:55 Lord, may we answer the question today
53:58 that all that thrills my soul is Jesus
54:02 and we are marching step-by-step to Zion
54:05 and I pray that as we leave here today in our fellowship,
54:07 may this Sabbath blessing
54:10 continue to permeate us like seasoning
54:15 may the Spirit of God come into the pores of our lives
54:19 into the places of our thoughts,
54:22 into the muscles of our actions...
54:25 into the steps of our journey
54:27 may everything not only deliver us from the wrong
54:32 but start leading us to the right,
54:35 and when this church is converted, Lord,
54:37 when we are converted individually,
54:39 help us not to pray for somebody else to be converted...
54:41 but may it be our own independent individual prayer
54:44 and may through it all,
54:47 you'll be praised, honored and glorified,
54:51 in Jesus' name...
54:53 and all of God's people said, amen and amen. "