Participants: Eric Garloff, Teresa Garloff
Series Code: WWJ
Program Code: WWJ000001
00:01 Would you like to build and strengthen your relationship
00:03 with God?
00:04 Then stay tuned for this edition of Walking With Jesus.
00:22 Thank you for joining me for this, our first program
00:25 in this series.
00:26 You may be asking yourself, what am I going to get out of this
00:30 series of programs?
00:31 How are they going to benefit me?
00:33 Is there something here for me to learn; something that's
00:37 relevant for me in today's world?
00:39 Before I answer those questions I'd first like to ask
00:43 you something.
00:44 Have you noticed the increase in frequency and devastation
00:49 from wars, famine, starvation, earthquakes, hurricanes,
00:55 and tornados?
00:56 How about from forest fires and floods, disease, sickness,
01:01 and poverty?
01:02 And all of these things happening like never before
01:05 all around the world.
01:06 If you've noticed these things, you've probably already sensed
01:10 that something big is going to happen soon because this world
01:14 simply can't survive like this much longer.
01:16 Now I'd like to answer those questions you may have by simply
01:21 saying this: what you're going to get out of this series is a
01:24 deeper understanding and knowledge of Jesus,
01:28 and of knowing God's will for you in your life.
01:32 This knowledge, if accepted and applied to your life,
01:35 will bring you to the salvation of God, leading you to an
01:39 eternal life with Him; a life of peace, love, happiness, and joy.
01:44 If this sounds like something you want, or would like to have
01:48 more of in your life, then, yes, these programs are relevant
01:51 for you today.
01:52 Many people struggle to find a loving God in this world of
01:57 sickness and turmoil.
01:59 I've often said a person can see God's great love for mankind
02:03 in nature.
02:04 Just think about it for a minute.
02:06 God could have created all the grass, trees, shrubs,
02:10 and flowers all the same color.
02:12 They could have been created with the same texture and aroma.
02:16 Life on earth could have been a world of black and white,
02:20 or various shades of grey.
02:22 Not only that, but God could have made every person the same.
02:26 He could have made us all with the same hair, the same color
02:30 eyes, the same skin.
02:31 What do you think about that?
02:33 How would you like to live in a world where everyone looked
02:36 the same?
02:37 What a drab and boring planet this would be.
02:42 God's love for mankind can also be seen in the food we eat.
02:46 Look at the many different fruits there are;
02:48 each with it's own unique taste and aroma.
02:51 Just think about the pleasure you have when you bite into a
02:54 delicious apple, or a succulent pear, or a mango, or an orange,
02:59 or a grape, or a plum, or...
03:02 Well, you get the picture.
03:03 The point is this: God had mankind in mind when He created
03:07 our food.
03:09 God wants to bestow good things upon us because He loves us.
03:12 He has given us the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean,
03:16 the gorgeous red sunsets of the West, and the brilliant colors
03:20 of the New England Autumn leaves.
03:21 However, this world has been marred by sin, and even the most
03:26 pristine areas of this world, never touched by human hands,
03:30 can't compare to the beauties of heaven which God has in store
03:33 for those who love Him.
03:35 God has done everything He can to show us His love.
03:39 He placed our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden
03:43 of Eden.
03:44 A garden full of such beauty that no one's description of it
03:48 could possibly do it justice.
03:50 This garden was also a holy place; a place where God would
03:54 meet Adam and Eve and communicate His love to them.
03:58 For Adam and Eve it was a place of splendor and joy,
04:01 one of variety and color, taste and sound.
04:05 Then one day everything changed in the garden.
04:08 You see my friend, an angel in heaven became jealous of God
04:12 and wanted to be like God himself.
04:14 He sought to paint a vastly different picture of God.
04:18 He wanted the universe to believe that God is unjust
04:21 and always looking to exact punishment from His people.
04:24 This angel's name was Lucifer, and we know him today as Satan.
04:29 Lucifer, or Satan, rebelled against God and spread lies
04:34 and suspicion among the other angels.
04:36 Lucifer wasn't satisfied with the high position that God
04:40 had given him.
04:41 Instead he wanted to be like God Himself.
04:44 The book of Ezekiel 28:14, 15 gives us the following
04:50 description of Lucifer.
04:51 It says:
05:08 Yes, an angel who was created and ordained by God,
05:12 one who experienced firsthand His endless love, is the very
05:16 one in whom wickedness and rebellion began.
05:19 So what's a loving God to do in a situation like this?
05:22 Well, He could have simply destroyed Lucifer and wiped out
05:27 this evil seed of rebellion that was growing in the ranks
05:29 of the angels.
05:30 But that would have only caused the remaining angels to serve
05:34 God out of fear for their very existence.
05:37 This kind of action goes against the loving nature of God
05:41 for He doesn't force Himself upon anyone.
05:44 He doesn't desire service or worship based on fear,
05:48 but rather that which is based on love.
05:53 In rebelling against God Lucifer was challenging the moral laws
05:58 which govern God's holy kingdom.
06:00 These very laws portray God's character and His justice
06:04 to the world.
06:05 So God did the only thing that He could do to demonstrate His
06:09 great love, His justice, and His mercy throughout
06:13 all of the universe, for all time to come,
06:15 and for all to see.
06:17 God was patient with Lucifer.
06:19 He had hoped that He would change his ways, but the day
06:22 came when Lucifer caused a war to break out in heaven.
06:24 At this time Jesus cast Lucifer, and the other angels
06:28 which Lucifer deceived, out of the heavenly kingdom.
06:31 It was now time for the whole world to vindicate the character
06:35 of God, to know that Lucifer himself is the tyrant
06:38 that he would have others believe God to be.
06:41 So how do we know for ourselves what God is like?
06:44 Well, one way we can know is to read God's book the Holy Bible.
06:49 In doing this we have the opportunity to examine the
06:52 testimony of those who have a close relationship with Him,
06:55 and the person who was closest to God the Father was His
07:00 Son Jesus.
07:01 When Jesus was asked to show His Father to His disciples He said
07:04 in John 14:8, 9 If you've seen me you've seen the Father.
07:10 In other words, if you've seen the way I treat others;
07:12 the way that I show sympathy and mercy to those in need;
07:16 the way that I've worked to relieve pain, and suffering,
07:19 and sickness; if you've seen My character in these deeds
07:23 then, Jesus says, you've seen the character of My Father.
07:28 The love of God towards us softens and subdues our hearts.
07:33 His love for mankind has caused millions of people throughout
07:36 all of time to return their love to Him, so much so that
07:41 they would rather die than to sin against Him.
07:43 These people cling onto their Bibles and they won't
07:47 give them up even though they might face ridicule, or torture,
07:51 or imprisonment, or even death itself.
07:54 So right about now you might be thinking, If God is so loving
07:58 then why do millions of people die every year?
08:00 Why doesn't God do something about it? you ask.
08:03 Well, that's a good question, and the answer has to do with
08:07 free will or free choice.
08:09 God will not force someone to love Him.
08:12 Likewise Satan cannot force someone to harm someone else.
08:16 Both situations require an individuals consent.
08:19 We either consent to follow a loving God, or we consent to
08:23 turn away from Him, and in so doing we follow Satan.
08:27 It really is as black and white as that.
08:30 In the end there's only two groups of people: those who
08:33 follow God, and those who do not.
08:35 This brings us to the heart of our message today.
08:38 Just how do we find the power to choose God and to follow Him
08:42 rather than reject God and follow Satan?
08:45 Where do we find the power to break the hold over doing
08:48 what feels good simply because that's what everyone
08:51 else is doing?
08:53 Friend, the good news is that God has already made a way
08:57 for us to do this, and He's done it out of His compassionate
09:01 heart towards us.
09:02 He's done it out of His great love for each and every
09:05 one of us.
09:07 Here's how God broke the power of Satan and has shown to the
09:10 entire world His great love for mankind.
09:13 1 Peter 1:18-21 says the following:
09:38 You see, friend, the reason Jesus came to this world
09:41 was to show us the way back to the Father, and this was no
09:45 after thought on God's part either.
09:46 The text that we just read said that the plan was for Jesus
09:51 to do this.
09:52 It was formulated from before the foundation of the world.
09:56 That is before God created the world and placed mankind in it.
10:00 In describing His earthly mission Jesus said in Luke 4:18
10:04 that He was anointed of God to preach the gospel to the poor;
10:08 that He was sent to heal the broken hearted;
10:10 to preach deliverance to the captives;
10:13 to recover the sight of the blind;
10:15 and to set at liberty those who were bruised.
10:18 You could say that the work of Jesus was to undo that which
10:22 Satan had done.
10:23 He went about doing good, healing those whom Satan
10:27 had oppressed.
10:29 In fact we're told that Jesus went through entire villages,
10:33 going from house to house, and healing all of their sick.
10:36 Now that's a loving God!
10:38 Let me ask you a question.
10:39 How many times have you seen your doctor, or any other doctor
10:43 that you know, that would go through the entire town
10:46 and heal everyone within it without pay?
10:48 The heart of Jesus went out to the children of men.
10:51 He took on man's nature that He might identify with the needs
10:55 and sorrows of mankind, that He might uplift man,
10:59 and restore him to an intimate relationship with God
11:02 the Father.
11:03 Within the book Steps to Christ page 3 we find this passage:
12:12 But a life of doing good was only part of what Jesus did
12:16 to show us God's love.
12:17 This He did to meet our immediate needs while He was
12:20 here on this earth.
12:21 What He did to meet our eternal needs was a far greater sign
12:26 of God's love than you and I can imagine.
12:29 You see the plan, which was laid before the foundation
12:32 of the world, was to bring salvation and eternal life
12:36 to God's people.
12:37 This plan to restore the sinner to God, to give lost man eternal
12:42 life, would require the life of God Himself.
12:45 None but the spotless Son of God could make atonement
12:49 for our sins.
12:50 If you break down that word, atonement, you will see
12:54 three words.
12:55 Those words are:
12:58 Or in this case, to be made at one with God.
13:00 That's the significance of Jesus' death on the cross
13:04 of Calvary.
13:05 His death provides the way for lost man to be at one with God.
13:09 Jesus died that we might live.
13:11 The Bible says, "Greater love has no man than to give his life
13:15 for his friend. "
13:16 This is what Jesus did for the entire world.
13:19 This is what Jesus did for you and for me.
13:22 Even if you were the only one on earth, Jesus would have died
13:26 just for you.
13:27 This can only be attributed to the fact that God is love,
13:31 and that God loves you no less than He loves anyone else.
13:35 Now there's a lot more to be said here,
13:38 but we're out of time.
13:39 So until we meet again we will be praying for you, and for your
13:43 loved ones, that you may be found walking with Jesus.
13:49 We grow in our walk with Jesus each time we read the Bible
13:54 and practice what we learn.
13:56 By doing this you will see it makes all the difference
14:00 in the world.
14:01 Join us again for our next program in this series called
14:06 Our Need Of Jesus.