Crosswalk Church of Daytona Beach

2020-10-06 South East Regional FIRE Conference Session 4

October 06, 2020 Mitch Pridgen
Crosswalk Church of Daytona Beach
2020-10-06 South East Regional FIRE Conference Session 4
Chapters
Crosswalk Church of Daytona Beach
2020-10-06 South East Regional FIRE Conference Session 4
Oct 06, 2020
Mitch Pridgen
Transcript

well. It is a great joy and a blessing to be here with you this evening. It always is. Uh, Mitch was remembering the first time that he was at our church and. Tennessee that wasn't the first time that we met one another. I think the first time we met one another was in Washington state at a fire national conference. Maybe that was the following spring. That was the following spring. So we already knew each other. And, um, my luggage didn't make it through on that trip. And we were staying on a college campus and using the college dorm showers and that kind of thing. Thank God for this brother said here, use my shampoo as well. I didn't have any, so use my shampoo and that was a great blessing. We've been good friends and ever since, uh, that time also, thank you very much for joining us in prayer. As I speak my fellow elders and our congregation is joined around the throne, uh, pleading for the very life of the wife, fellow elders. And I, again, just ask you to continue to be in prayer for. Linda Carmen and Carol Carmen and their family and our congregation in this time. Well, please turn with me then in God's word this evening to Jeremiah chapter 32, really using Jeremiah 32 as sort of a launching point. I just want to read a few verses from this chapter to set the stage for the message this evening. Our theme for the last two days has been shepherding and challenging and changing times. That's the very kind of thing that our folks are praying for about right now at home challenging and changing times. So Jeremiah chapter 32, just for sort of the launching point this evening. The circumstances for Jeremiah and the people of Jerusalem could hardly be more dire at this point. The daily news headlines in Jerusalem in this chapter are not good. They're about to face some extremely challenging changing times. Jeremiah has faithfully been proclaiming as the prophet of God that the evil, so godless forces of Babylon are about to rain fury on Jerusalem. In fact, the Basij has already begun those evil forces will invade the city. They will loot the city. They will burn the city and take its inhabitants off to captivity. Jeremiah himself is presently under house arrest of the King of Judah. Who's trying to muzzle him in silence and he's causing too much trouble in town with his prophecies. And yet in these dire dire circumstances, Jeremiah in obedience to God, does something that even for him is strange. And we might even think in advisable. God has told Jeremiah to buy some land and to register the deed of the purchase in a clay jar, where to be kept, filed away. Why? Because one day God is going to rescue this people and return them back to the land. And that land that he's bought will be in his possession. And so it's an anticipation to me that promise of God that Jeremiah is told to buy some. And doesn't make a lot of sense under the circumstances since Babylon now has the city and about to take the land completely away, but he does, he buys the land and here's why for our launching point tonight, Jeremiah two verses 15 through 17. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land. And after I'd given the deed of purchase to Baruch, the son of neuroglia, I prayed to the Lord saying, ah, Lord God, it is you who have made the heavens. And the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm, nothing is too hard for you. And then God echoes these very words back to Jeremiah to reiterate them into, to firm them up in his heart in verses 25 and 26. And yet you O Lord has said to me, By the field for money and get witnesses though, the city is given into the hands of the Caldeans and the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah behold. I am the Lord. The God of all flesh is anything too hard for me. Let's go before the Lord in prayer, Lord, we confess tonight that you are. The Lord God, the one who made and created and sustains this universe by your power. And there is nothing too difficult for you. And now, dear Lord, as we give your word and hear your word, we pray that by your spirit, you'll make it profitable to your people for your glory. In jesus' name? Amen. So here's some of our news headlines these days, as we've been talking about for the last two days and unprecedented pandemic that has crippled nations across the globe. The physical, the emotional, the mental, the spiritual fatigue of disconnectedness and loneliness and isolation from family and friends and brothers and sisters in quarantine. That's fatigue is real, some color Corona creep, Corona crud. Out of control, protest, lawless, rioting the burning down of our city's politics and politicians run completely a muck deep, deep racial tension and division demands to defund the police. Those very anchors of our security and safety in our culture. A deeply divided nation on so many levels, legislated sin, not just sin legislated, sin of the worst kind day in and day out financial and employment, instability and countless businesses and homes. So question brothers, how do we shepherd in such challenging and changing times? And surely the answer is not in pointing the sheep to us. Sure. The answer is not in pointing the sheet to our government. Surely the answer is ultimately in pointing the sheep to the great shepherd of their souls, who is never challenged and who never changes. Surely it doesn't help the sheep. Remember that they, and we can say with the confidence of the prophet, Jeremiah, when he and Judah were facing the direst of challenges in the direst of change, ah, Lord God behold. Yes, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm, nothing is too difficult for you. Surely just to remind ourselves and them that the Lord Jesus Christ, our great shepherd is the one who never changes as we've already heard today. He's the same yesterday, today and forever, the brother leading music was preaching my sermon than I thought. I'll just let him go ahead and take it. That's that's what we're telling. And he's the same. He never changes. The hymn writer says his oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the whelming flood when all around my soul gives way. I think that's what Carolyn Linder feeling right now. When all around my soul gives way. He then is all my hope and stay on Christ. The solid rock I stand, all of the ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand. Kevin, a young in a recent blog wrote these words. Everything is changing. They say true. It always does. And at the same time, nothing has changed. God is still God. Sin is still the problem. The cross is still the answer and Jesus is still mighty to save. a pastor friend, a man that some of you would know, but a pastor friend of mine is known to say, I'm not very original, but I borrow well. Isn't that true of us as we preach. We're not very original, but you borrow well. But I see that tonight because tonight I'm borrowing particularly heavily in this particular message, perhaps a number of you. And I'll show my age here a little bit. And if you know who I'm talking about, you may show your age a little bit, but perhaps a few of you are familiar with the good ministry of the late Vance Havner. Having her had a tremendously unique way of communicating truth. And though I never had the privilege of hearing him preach in person. I was blessed as a young Christian to hear several of his messages, actually several of his messages over and over again on tape. And that was a joke that that's happened to make about people hearing his messages on tape. Uh, his ministry was in the fifties and the sixties, maybe in the early seventies before he went to be with the Lord. And the advent of messages being recorded on tape, like cassette tapes and that kind of thing. And have her would go from town to town preaching messages, and he would go to a town and he would say that people would say to him, well, brother hacker, we've already heard that message. We heard that message on tape. And he cried the fact, he said that as Christians, we used to be bookworms, but then we all turned into a bunch of tapeworms here. People's messages recorded. And so. I heard this particular message on tape. I heard it many, many times. It was a message. He entitled look who's here. And I thought that that message just seemed particularly apropos. As I thought about this theme for our conference shepherding and challenging and changing times. So I'm telling you up front tonight. More than probably I ever have before in my whole life. In terms of borrowing through a message. I'm standing on the shoulders of Vance Havner this evening. Now I'm not going to give his message verbatim. I'm not going to do that. I'll leave out much of the unique color. I'll leave out much of the great one liners that only he could use in a message. One liners like you would say, I've stopped saying that civilization has gone to the dogs out of respect for dogs. That was one of the one liners that he would use, but I'm not using those one liners, but I am using the skeleton. You might say the bone system of his message. He started off by saying we have an expression in our language. When we see someone we did not expect to see, or when we see someone that we are surprised to see, we say, look, who's here. There's an equivalent expression to this in the Bible that can be used many times about our Lord here. A few samples, John, the Baptist said behold, the lamb of God, look, who's here. Behold, a greater than Jonas is here. Look, who's here. Behold. I stand at the door and knock, look, who's here. The whole, I come quickly. Oh, even come Lord, Jesus, look, who's here. When two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them. Look, who's here lo I'm with you always to the end of the world. Look who's here. And it just use that, that motif and example, after example, after example, the Israelites of old in the wilderness were pilgrims and strangers like us. And they had, they were faced with many challenges and many changes like us. They had Egypt behind them in the promised land before them. And along the way, they encountered many challenging situations like us like me. They were often tempted to discouragement and to S to despair, but the Lord for whom there is nothing too difficult. The Lord for whom nothing changes. Was always with them. And on many, many, a night, a despondent Hebrew could look outside of his tent, up into the sky and see the ever present pillar of fire and say by faith, we're not alone. Look, who's here. The Lord, just as he promised to be with us. What an incredibly challenging situation, Daniel providentially, not accidentally, but providentially found himself as an old man, an old man, old man who sought to be faithful to the Lord, but he providentially finds himself thrown into Alliance. Then Derrius fully expected, of course, for Daniel to be torn to pieces. How humanly threatening. How humanly scary. Just kind of try to put yourself in that situation. Unbelievable. And yet, according to the Bible, it was not Daniel who could not sleep that night. It was Darious. There he goes was a powerful man, but he couldn't sleep. Derrius lived in luxury, but he couldn't sleep. And he goes down to the lions, Danny choirs about Daniel. Daniel says Derrius, you might as well have slept last night. Look, who's here. I am, because my Lord has been here all night with me, keeping me in a situation that should have been covered for me. I've had company all night. There he is. Look who's here. Shadrach Meshach and Abednego. Those three, mind you, those three Hebrew children, they experienced trials. They experienced temptations. They experienced testing, but they trusted in God and they did not bow the need of the godless dictates of Nebuchadnezzar frustrated. Nebuchadnezzar has these three Hebrew children thrown into the furnace, but then he sees something surprising. He says, I threw three men into the furnace, but I see four. And the fourth one has the appearance of the son of man. And he takes these men out of the fire. They don't even have a smell of smoke on them. Never can answer says, what is this? And all they could say was Nebuchadnezzar. Luke. Who's here in all of his power and in all of his glory to rescue us from all of your evil schemes, look, who's here. Elijah on Carmel. There's been a long, long drought, long drought, and there's about to be a showdown between the false prophets of bale and the prophet of the true God of heaven and earth for whom nothing is too difficult. Confident in faith. Elijah builds the altar, replaces the wood on the altar. He prepares the sacrifice and then he does something unexpected. He pours 12 pitchers of water on the ultra remind you there's been a long drought. Water is scarce and valuable, and yet he just poured out 12 pitchers of water. Everything is soaked. The altar is soaked. The wood is soaked. The sacrifice is soap and water is fills the trench around the altar. And then in a situation that seems impossible in a situation that seems too difficult. Certainly too difficult for the gods and pale Elijah calls out to the Lord who comes with fire from heaven and consumes the wood on the altar, consumes the sacrifice, laps up the water in the trench. And all the people could say at that point was the Lord. He is God, the Lord. He is, God, look, who's here. Elisha. The prophet of God, the King of Aram, he's an evil man. And the evil King of Aram is out raised that Alicia C seems to know his every move and he tells his every move. And whereabouts to the keys of Israel, this evil King of Aram says, go find this man, go find Elijah, go find where he is and take him out. Where is he? And he's informed that Elisha is in Dothan. So the King of Aaron Aram sends out his horses. He sends out his chariots, he sends out his mighty army and they completely surround Dotham to allow for no possibility of escape for Elijah, kind of reminds me of another scene. Take this man out, get him out of the way, kill him, crucify him, put him in a tomb and put a big stone around it and put a Roman guard around it. So he will not escape. And that was kind of the situation there with Alicia. No escape. Elisha's servant gets up early the next morning and he goes out and he's completely. Overwhelmed trembling in his boots as he looks around the Hills and he sees the armies of Aram, the chariots, the horses here, a soldier there, a soldier everywhere, a soldier, soldier, and he's distraught. So he goes to his master and he says, master, what shall we do? There is no human way. We escape these evil forces that surround us and Elisha responds to what appears to be an inescapable crisis. And he says to his servant, do not fear for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. And his servant goes. Do what? Say what? I don't see anybody. I don't see. All I see are King heirlooms or the King of arms army surrounding us on every side and Elijah praise, Lord, open his eyes. It's a good prayer for us. Lord. Open his eyes. That he may see who's here. And the Lord opened the eyes of the servant and he saw, and behold the mountain was full of chariots of fire all around Elisha here, an angel there, an angel everywhere, an angel angel, the army of the Lord had encamped about them to do for them what they can never do for themselves. Deliver themselves. Look, who's here. Brothers and sisters, if you and I are going just on what we hear on the radio or going on, just what we read in the newspaper, if we're going on, just what we hear on talk radio conservative news cast. About these challenging and changing times we live in. If we're going to go on just what we hear from the confusing contradicting experts in may the Lord help us. The outlook is bad, but the uplook is good. It's as good as ever. It's as good as ever. But wait, there's more, there's so much more. Our Lord who had shown up over and over and over again, to be the strong deliverer of his people in the old Testament. This is our, our Lord who has come incarnate to the earth for us to redeem and to rescue us from our otherwise humanly impossible predicament under the rule of sin and Satan. From Malakai to Matthew, 400 years of silence passes. Aren't there promises of a Messiah to come and save and deliver us. Where is he? Willy come, when will he come? 400 years questions. Silence, darkness, oppression, fear, uncertainty. Until until that amazing, amazing unforgettable dark night when the silence was shattered and the darkness of night was literally, and spiritually lit up by the glory of the Lord and the angel of the Lord said to those quaking beside themselves, shepherds. Do not be afraid behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all the people for today. This day in the city of David, there has been born for you, savior, who is Christ the Lord. This is going to be a sign for you. You'll find a baby in Bethlehem, wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger. And suddenly they appeared with the angel, a multitude of heavenly hosts, praising God and saying glory God in the highest. Yeah. And on earth, peace among men with whom he's pleased for you is born this day, that city, this savior look who's here. John tells us that if all of the gospel authenticating Christ vindicating miracles that Jesus did, if all of those were recorded, John tells us that all the books of the whole world couldn't record all those gospel, authenticating Christ, vindicating miracles. But John does tell us, he says, but the ones that are recorded are recorded. So that you and I, and our people and the sheep can know with certainty that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of glory, who has all authority over all heaven and earth to accomplish all of his purposes for his people's good. And so, in fact, he does come, he heals the sick, he makes the lame to walk. He gives sight to the blind hearing, to the deaf life, to the dead salvation, to the lost 700 years earlier. The prophet Isaiah promised that there would come a day when Messiah will show up and you're going to see him do all those things. And Luke records it for us at the beginning of our Lord's public ministry in Luke chapter four. When we read this story about Christ going into the temple and the scroll of the prophet, Isaiah, it was given to him and he unrolled the scroll and found this passage in Isaiah. And then our Lord read the spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me. To proclaim good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim Liberty to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at Liberty. Those who are, who are oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. And then he rolled back up, the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, sat down and all the eyes of all the people in the synagogue were fixed upon him. And then our Lord began to say to them today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. Look, who's here. What a poor soul, what a needy soul on a needy person. He's this encounters, a poor, weak needy sinful woman at the well, and he tells her about the living water that will quench her. Soul's deepest thirst. She says, but sir, you have nothing to draw with. And the well is deep. He was riding the facts, but she was wrong in the conclusions. She did not know who was there. What difference does it make when Jesus is there? If the well is deep Luke, who's here the very well of living eternal water and he rescues her from her sin and defilement. There was that day when Jesus was taking a nap and his disciples, little boat in his disciples, a little boat. If providentially I'd accidentally. Providential. Thank you brother. Providentially. God lets an awful threatening storm blow up on the sea of Galilee. And when you, and I feel those storms blow up like folks back at home must be feeling tonight. They're filling those storms of Providence. Blow. I'm sure I'd have been the same way. If not worse, the disciples are beside themselves with fear that resonates with me. They wake the Lord up and they say, Lord, don't you care that we're going to perish in this storm that we're going to die. We're not going to make it. And I forgot who was in the boat with them. The last Adam was in the boat with them. The first Adam was granted by the Lord dominion over the land and the animals, but the one in the boat with him has dominion over the winds and the sea and with his authority. And with this power, that same power that Jeremiah was talking about. You by your power, made the heavens and the earth you by your stretched out arms. There's nothing too difficult for you. I mean, there's authority and with this power over all heaven and earth, this says peace be still. And the tumultuous winds and the waves obey him. And the disciples now are beside themselves in wonderment. And they say, what manner of man is this? That even the wind and the waves, obey him. Look, who's here. Who's in the boat. One day when there were thousands of needy people with nothing to eat. Jesus turns to his disciples to test them the maker and the sustainer of the universe for whom nothing is. I knew this was no problem, but he asked them, how can we feed these needy folks? They get out they're human calculators. They start counting their money. They inventory their resources. And they say, Lord, there's just no way we don't have enough to feed all these people. And our Lord says, look, put away your calculators and put away your budgets. And with two fishes and five loaves of a boy, Jesus makes and multiplies and makes and multiplies more than enough food. Right? All those needy folk, they say. There's no way we can't do it. So what look who's here. And then there was that amazing, truly amazing. And yet tear filled day at Bethany, lots of tears at Bethany that day, a day of tremendous sadness, a day of gut wrenching, grief and loss. Lazarus is dead and he's been dead for three days. And Martha says with pinpoint theological accuracy, I know my brother will rise at the resurrection on the last day, but at that point she failed to realize that the resurrection is not a mirror doctrine, but rather a person. Who was standing right there with her and the Lord. Jesus Christ said, Martha, I am the resurrection. I am the life. Look, who's here with you. And then there was that needy, needy, weak woman who had tried every human solution. She could find to no avail to change her life. As she heard, Jesus was near an inner human weakness by faith. She did what each of us must do. She draws near to the savior. She reaches out to the Lord. Jesus in faith, touches his garment and was healed in all of our human efforts had failed her, but look, who's here. And then the darkest of days, the darkest of challenging and changing times. There were those dark days of challenge and change days of sorrow, fear, unrest doubt. Our Lord, Jesus is going to the cross. We know. Praise God. We know he's going there in obedience to his father to redeem his people from the clutches of sin. We know, and he's the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, but that's not what the headlines seem to be saying that day. His cause seems to be defeated. His sheep seam shepherd listened, scattered and scared. It looks bad. It looks like the Judaizers. When it looks like evil, Rome wins, it looks like the evil one wins and Jesus loses Peter panics and caves. The disciples are holed up in doubt and in fear, but three. Days later, the tomb is empty. the victorious Lord is risen, just like he promised in every post resurrection appearance appearance of our Lord is allowed clear call saying, look, who's here. Distraught women going to anoint a corpse. They encounter the Lord. Look, who's here. The disciples fishing all night long, don't catch anything. The Lord appears and says, man, cast your net over to the right side. Now man, come and have some breakfast. Look who's here. Jesus enters the room where the disciples are hiding out. Look, who's here. Thomas, put your fingers in my hands. And in my side, Thomas, look, who's here. Those two despondent men on the road to MAs didn't our hearts burn within us. When he was with us. Look, who's here. Those 500 eye witnesses who saw our Lord after his resurrection. Look, who's here. The risen Lord. And there are two common factors in all these stories of redemption and rescue one. There's the presence of human desperation, but two there's the greater presence, greater power of the Lord who has all authority over heaven and earth who is mighty to save. And for whom there is nothing that is too difficult is Jeremiah in each case, if Christ is not present, help is not present. Rescue will not happen. There's only human desperation upon human desperation, but what John tells us that we receive and have in the Lord, Jesus Christ is not desperation upon desperation, not wrath upon wrath, but grace upon grace upon grace and Paul tells us that this grace for us as believers is a daily, daily, sufficient grace. That makes us strong. When we feel most kingly, our weakness, Peter tells us that this grace of God is a grace that God multiplies to us. And that this God room there is nothing that is too difficult grants to us by this grace here, this grants to us by this grace that he multiplies to us. Everything that pertains to life and godliness in this present age. So this Lord says to us, lo I am with you always look who's here. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. Look who's here. I'm the same yesterday, today and forever. Look, who's here. I have said these things to you that in me, you may have peace in the world. You will have tribulation, but take heart. We've got to lay hold of that phrase. Keith said it this morning. We have here's our Lord saying in the world, you're gonna have tribulation, but take heart, take heart. Take courage. Because I have overcome the world, maybe like me, you appreciate and enjoy Paul Tripp's morning devotions, new morning, mercies and trip wrote these words in new morning, mercies in September on September the 15th. This world can be it. This world can be a tough address. Yes, there will be times when you will feel that you don't have what it takes to deal with what you were facing. Yes. You will have moments when you look back with regret and moments. When you look forward with fear, but in all this, there is real reason for peace and hope. It's not the peace that comes when life seems to be working well or when your health and finances are good. There is a sturdier peace to be found. Peace comes when you arrest in the fact that grace has connected you to the one who has overcome everything that could cause your heart to be troubled and nothing can ever sever that connection. The apostle Paul in Romans eight, instructs us further on the uplook. Again, brother, Keith mentioned it this morning in Romans eight 18, where the apostle Paul says for, I consider that the sufferings plural for, I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory. That is to be revealed to us. And then Paul speaks further there in Romans eight. Of how this whole creation and you know it, and I know it. And if these days and the headlines that we have these days doesn't prove us to it. Of course, they prove this to us, you know this and you know it very well, but he speaks of the whole creation presently under the curse of sin. It's pretty obvious. Isn't it? Whole creation, groaning. And suffering under the curse, the whole creation longing for the day of redemption. When our Lord will return and rescue and deliver this whole creation from corruption into the freedom of the glory, the sons of God. Just as Jesus promise, just as that Lord who came over and over and over again to rescue his people and the old Testament, just as that Lord incarnate came to us to rescue us from our plight of sin. Just as he promised, just as he promised one day, this Lord is coming back to redeem all of creation from the curse and the slavery of sin. And in that day you will say, and I will say, and all the suffering saints of old will say, and the longing creation will declare when he comes, look, who's here just as he promised to establish the new heavens. And the new earth as we heard so well this morning, in the meantime, I will never leave you. I'll never forsake you bank on it. In the meantime, this Lord of all glory, for whom there's nothing too difficult. In the meantime, he's causing all things to work together for our good and nothing. Even in the midst of this groaning creation can separate us. From that as Dean told us, Psalm 46, in the meantime, in the meantime, he is our very present help in trouble viruses. Yes. Crippling pandemics. Yes. Fatiguing quarantine. Yes. Political unrest, absolutely cultural chaos. Oh, my personal trials, personal temptations. How do we shepherd? And these challenging and changing times, we shepherd the sheep through these challenges and changes by pointing them over and over and over to the great shepherd of their souls, who knows no challenge. And who knows? No change. We tell them over and over again. We tell our own sales over and over again. I didn't tell my heart over and over again. Look, who's here and look who's coming. The outlook is, and the outlook has been pretty bad of late, but the outlook is good. It's as good as ever. And we can remember the words of the hymn writer. This, this is my father's world. Oh, let me never forget. That though the wrong seems off so strong. God is the ruler yet. The battle is not done. Jesus who died shall be satisfied and earth and heaven. Be one, look, who's here, brother.