Return to Video

Some Thoughts on Walking with God - Tim Conway

  • 0:00 - 0:03
    Would you please open in God's Word
  • 0:03 - 0:10
    to 1 John 1:1.
  • 0:10 - 0:12
    1 John 1:1.
  • 0:12 - 0:15
    "That which was from the beginning,
  • 0:15 - 0:16
    which we have heard,
  • 0:16 - 0:19
    which we have seen with our eyes,
  • 0:19 - 0:20
    which we looked upon
  • 0:20 - 0:23
    and have touched with our hands,
  • 0:23 - 0:26
    concerning the word of life -
  • 0:26 - 0:28
    the life was made manifest,
  • 0:28 - 0:29
    and we have seen it,
  • 0:29 - 0:30
    and testify to it
  • 0:30 - 0:32
    and proclaimed to you
  • 0:32 - 0:33
    the eternal life,
  • 0:33 - 0:35
    which was with the Father
  • 0:35 - 0:38
    and was made manifest to us-
  • 0:38 - 0:39
    that which we have seen and heard
  • 0:39 - 0:41
    we proclaim also to you,
  • 0:41 - 0:45
    so that you too may
    have fellowship with us;
  • 0:45 - 0:47
    and indeed our fellowship
  • 0:47 - 0:52
    is with the Father and with His Son,
  • 0:52 - 0:54
    Jesus Christ
  • 0:54 - 0:56
    We are writing these
    things so that our joy
  • 0:56 - 1:01
    may be complete."
  • 1:01 - 1:03
    Brothers and sisters,
  • 1:03 - 1:07
    when we read John's Gospel -
  • 1:07 - 1:12
    not this first epistle, but his Gospel -
  • 1:12 - 1:14
    John is pretty plain to tell us
  • 1:14 - 1:16
    who he's addressing.
  • 1:16 - 1:18
    Let me just quote John.
  • 1:18 - 1:19
    John 20:30.
  • 1:19 - 1:21
    You don't need to
    turn there but listen.
  • 1:21 - 1:23
    This comes from John's Gospel.
  • 1:23 - 1:25
    It gives us John's own reason
  • 1:25 - 1:28
    for writing the Gospel.
  • 1:28 - 1:30
    "Now Jesus," he says,
  • 1:30 - 1:31
    "did many other signs
  • 1:31 - 1:33
    in the presence of His disciples
  • 1:33 - 1:37
    which are not written in this book."
  • 1:37 - 1:39
    The book is the Gospel of John.
  • 1:39 - 1:42
    "But these are written,"
  • 1:42 - 1:44
    here he is going to tell
    us the reason why,
  • 1:44 - 1:46
    "so that you may believe
  • 1:46 - 1:51
    that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
  • 1:51 - 1:54
    and that by believing you may have life
  • 1:54 - 1:57
    in His name."
  • 1:57 - 2:02
    John writes his Gospel to the lost,
  • 2:02 - 2:05
    so that they might believe.
  • 2:05 - 2:09
    But when we come to John's first epistle,
  • 2:09 - 2:11
    John is not seeking to convince the lost
  • 2:11 - 2:13
    in hopes that they will believe.
  • 2:13 - 2:17
    John distinctly writes this letter
  • 2:17 - 2:18
    to those who are already Christian
  • 2:18 - 2:22
    and I want to show you this.
  • 2:22 - 2:27
    Let your eyes go down to 1 John 2:1.
  • 2:27 - 2:30
    "My little children,"
  • 2:30 - 2:33
    he's writing to Christians,
  • 2:33 - 2:34
    "I'm writing these things--"
  • 2:34 - 2:36
    what "these things"?
  • 2:36 - 2:37
    All of chapter one.
  • 2:37 - 2:42
    "To you so that,"
  • 2:42 - 2:46
    well all of chapter one
    and all of the epistle.
  • 2:46 - 2:50
    "But I'm writing these things to you..."
  • 2:50 - 2:53
    to who? To "little children."
  • 2:53 - 2:55
    1 John 2:7:
  • 2:55 - 2:56
    "Beloved."
  • 2:56 - 3:02
    You use beloved because
    they're beloved of God.
  • 3:02 - 3:05
    "I'm writing you,"
  • 3:05 - 3:07
    that's who he is writing too.
  • 3:07 - 3:08
    1 John 2:12:
  • 3:08 - 3:11
    "I'm writing to you little children..."
  • 3:11 - 3:12
    who are these little children?
  • 3:12 - 3:15
    Well, they're the ones
    whose sins are forgiven
  • 3:15 - 3:17
    for His namesake.
  • 3:17 - 3:19
    He says in verse 13,
  • 3:19 - 3:21
    "I'm writing to you fathers
    because you know Him."
  • 3:21 - 3:24
    These are people that know God.
  • 3:24 - 3:26
    If you go to 1 John 2:18:
  • 3:26 - 3:29
    "Children."
  • 3:29 - 3:30
    1 John 2:21:
  • 3:30 - 3:32
    "I write to you," who?
  • 3:32 - 3:35
    "Not because you do not know the
    truth but because you know it."
  • 3:35 - 3:37
    These are people that know the truth.
  • 3:37 - 3:39
    1 John 3:1: "See what kind of love
  • 3:39 - 3:41
    the Father has given to us."
  • 3:41 - 3:44
    John's including himself
    with his audience.
  • 3:44 - 3:45
    That what?
  • 3:45 - 3:47
    "We should be called
    the children of God."
  • 3:47 - 3:49
    That's who this is to and for.
  • 3:49 - 3:51
    And so we are.
  • 3:51 - 3:53
    We're the children of God.
  • 3:53 - 3:55
    If you go to 1 John 3:2,
  • 3:55 - 3:57
    "Beloved, we are God's children..."
  • 3:57 - 4:00
    That's who this is written to.
  • 4:00 - 4:01
    1 John 3:7,
  • 4:01 - 4:03
    "Little children;"
  • 4:03 - 4:04
    1 John 3:13,
  • 4:04 - 4:08
    "Do not be surprised, brothers..."
  • 4:08 - 4:09
    1 John 3:18,
  • 4:09 - 4:11
    "Little children."
  • 4:11 - 4:12
    1 John 3:21,
  • 4:12 - 4:15
    "Beloved;"
  • 4:15 - 4:16
    1 John 4:1,
  • 4:16 - 4:17
    "Beloved."
  • 4:17 - 4:18
    I mean what you see is:
  • 4:18 - 4:19
    "Little children,"
  • 4:19 - 4:22
    "beloved,"
  • 4:22 - 4:23
    "God's children."
  • 4:23 - 4:25
    You see this kind of terminology
  • 4:25 - 4:29
    literally every few verses.
  • 4:29 - 4:31
    1 John 4:11,
  • 4:31 - 4:32
    "Beloved."
  • 4:32 - 4:33
    1 John 5:13,
  • 4:33 - 4:35
    "I write these things to you who believe."
  • 4:35 - 4:37
    That's who he's writing to.
  • 4:37 - 4:39
    1 John 5:21, the book ends:
  • 4:39 - 4:41
    "Little children, keep
    yourselves from idols."
  • 4:41 - 4:42
    I think you get the idea.
  • 4:42 - 4:46
    1 John is not written for
    the same purpose
  • 4:46 - 4:49
    as John's Gospel.
  • 4:49 - 4:50
    It's not written to unbelievers
  • 4:50 - 4:51
    that they might believe.
  • 4:51 - 4:55
    This epistle is specifically targeting
  • 4:55 - 4:58
    God's children.
  • 4:58 - 5:02
    It's not like James
  • 5:02 - 5:04
    You remember when David
    went through James?
  • 5:04 - 5:06
    I mean when I read James
  • 5:06 - 5:07
    I try to follow,
  • 5:07 - 5:09
    "Ok, is he talking to a believer here?"
  • 5:09 - 5:11
    "Is he talking to an unbeliever?"
  • 5:11 - 5:12
    When you were going
    through it, I always thought,
  • 5:12 - 5:14
    "How's David going to handle this?"
  • 5:14 - 5:15
    Because with James,
  • 5:15 - 5:17
    you're just not certain
    a lot of the times.
  • 5:17 - 5:21
    But there is no doubt
    with John in this epistle
  • 5:21 - 5:22
    who he's writing to.
  • 5:22 - 5:25
    There's no doubt whatsoever.
  • 5:25 - 5:27
    Now that doesn't mean
    the lost can't read it
  • 5:27 - 5:30
    and even, you know, perhaps get saved
  • 5:30 - 5:31
    through exposure to its truths.
  • 5:31 - 5:32
    But the principle audience
  • 5:32 - 5:35
    John has in mind are Christians.
  • 5:35 - 5:39
    Now there is a reason
    I am emphasizing this.
  • 5:39 - 5:40
    I emphasize this
  • 5:40 - 5:42
    because it helps us recognize
  • 5:42 - 5:47
    what's going on back up in 1 John 1:3.
  • 5:47 - 5:50
    When you hear this,
  • 5:50 - 5:51
    "So that you too--"
  • 5:51 - 5:54
    he's saying we "proclaim this truth
  • 5:54 - 5:56
    about this Christ whom we felt,
  • 5:56 - 5:58
    and heard, and saw.
  • 5:58 - 5:59
    We proclaimed this to you
  • 5:59 - 6:03
    so that you too may
    have fellowship with us
  • 6:03 - 6:05
    and indeed our fellowship
    is with the Father
  • 6:05 - 6:08
    and with His Son Jesus Christ."
  • 6:08 - 6:09
    We don't want to imagine
  • 6:09 - 6:12
    that these words are aimed
  • 6:12 - 6:15
    primarily at unbelievers.
  • 6:15 - 6:17
    Listen.
  • 6:17 - 6:18
    1 John 2:13
  • 6:18 - 6:23
    "I am writing to you, fathers." Why?
  • 6:23 - 6:24
    "Because you know Him."
  • 6:24 - 6:26
    These are people that do know Him.
  • 6:26 - 6:29
    They do have some intimacy with Him.
  • 6:29 - 6:31
    Again in verse 13.
  • 6:31 - 6:32
    of chapter 2.
  • 6:32 - 6:33
    "I write to you children
  • 6:33 - 6:36
    because you know the Father."
  • 6:36 - 6:38
    There's some level of intimacy there.
  • 6:38 - 6:38
    Verse 14,
  • 6:38 - 6:41
    "I write to you fathers
    because you know Him
  • 6:41 - 6:43
    who is from the beginning."
  • 6:43 - 6:45
    Look, John speaks about fellowship
  • 6:45 - 6:48
    to these people much the same way
  • 6:48 - 6:50
    and in much the same manner
  • 6:50 - 6:53
    as he speaks to them
    about abiding in Christ.
  • 6:53 - 6:56
    You go to 1 John 2:28,
  • 6:56 - 6:58
    What does it say?
  • 6:58 - 7:01
    "Little children, abide in Him."
  • 7:01 - 7:04
    Now let's think about that truth,
  • 7:04 - 7:07
    "abiding in Christ".
  • 7:07 - 7:10
    Do you know that John tells us
  • 7:10 - 7:12
    in John 15
  • 7:12 - 7:14
    that if you don't abide in Christ
  • 7:14 - 7:19
    what happens to you?
  • 7:19 - 7:21
    "If anyone does not abide in Christ
  • 7:21 - 7:23
    he is thrown away like
    a branch and withers,
  • 7:23 - 7:26
    and the branches are gathered,
    thrown into the fire and burned."
  • 7:26 - 7:28
    Here's the truth:
  • 7:28 - 7:34
    does every Christian abide in Christ?
  • 7:34 - 7:37
    Yeah!
  • 7:37 - 7:39
    Well if they do,
  • 7:39 - 7:43
    I mean if that's part of the essence
  • 7:43 - 7:45
    of what it is to be a Christian,
  • 7:45 - 7:47
    why do you tell the little children
  • 7:47 - 7:48
    to abide in Him?
  • 7:48 - 7:50
    Brethren, that's just
    consistent with the way
  • 7:50 - 7:52
    Scripture operates.
  • 7:52 - 7:53
    Scripture all over the place,
  • 7:53 - 7:58
    gives us these indicatives, these truths.
  • 7:58 - 8:00
    This is the way it is.
  • 8:00 - 8:02
    And then it comes right around
  • 8:02 - 8:03
    and gives us the imperatives.
  • 8:03 - 8:06
    And it commands us to do the very things
  • 8:06 - 8:07
    that over here it tells us
  • 8:07 - 8:09
    will always be true of the Christian.
  • 8:09 - 8:11
    Over here it tells us to do those things
  • 8:11 - 8:13
    that are always true of the Christian.
  • 8:13 - 8:14
    That's the way it is.
  • 8:14 - 8:17
    "Little children, abide in Him."
  • 8:17 - 8:19
    And it's the same with fellowship.
  • 8:19 - 8:22
    John presses us into the inner circle
  • 8:22 - 8:25
    of this fellowship with the
    Father and with the Son.
  • 8:25 - 8:26
    Why?
  • 8:26 - 8:28
    Not because he thinks
    we are on the outside
  • 8:28 - 8:30
    of those windows
    out there looking in,
  • 8:30 - 8:31
    wishing, well, you know
  • 8:31 - 8:33
    we could have a part
    with the people of God.
  • 8:33 - 8:37
    That's not it. But
    because we, as Christians,
  • 8:37 - 8:39
    need to be pressed.
  • 8:39 - 8:41
    We need to be pressed to continue
  • 8:41 - 8:44
    more and more in this fellowship
  • 8:44 - 8:46
    and to dive further and further in!
  • 8:46 - 8:48
    In fact I want you to notice
  • 8:48 - 8:51
    what John says in 1 John 2:1.
  • 8:51 - 8:52
    Now we looked at it
  • 8:52 - 8:55
    but I want you to look at it more closely.
  • 8:55 - 8:57
    "My little children,
  • 8:57 - 9:01
    I'm writing these things to you
  • 9:01 - 9:03
    so that you may not sin."
  • 9:03 - 9:05
    Now notice three things about this verse.
  • 9:05 - 9:12
    First, again, who's John
    specifically writing to?
  • 9:12 - 9:13
    Believers!
  • 9:13 - 9:15
    "My little children."
  • 9:15 - 9:16
    Second.
  • 9:16 - 9:20
    What's his purpose for writing to them?
  • 9:20 - 9:23
    That they may not sin.
  • 9:23 - 9:25
    But third,
  • 9:25 - 9:29
    what are "these things?"
  • 9:29 - 9:32
    that he writes to them
    that they may not sin.
  • 9:32 - 9:36
    I mean if someone just got done writing
  • 9:36 - 9:38
    to you, and they just wrote
  • 9:38 - 9:39
    a couple paragraphs
  • 9:39 - 9:41
    and you're reading through the letter
  • 9:41 - 9:42
    from them to you
  • 9:42 - 9:44
    and you've read a couple paragraphs
  • 9:44 - 9:46
    and then you come to where it says,
  • 9:46 - 9:49
    "I'm writing these things
    so that you may not sin;"
  • 9:49 - 9:54
    it's pretty normal and naturally intuitive
  • 9:54 - 9:56
    to think that "these things"
  • 9:56 - 9:58
    are the things he just
    got done writing to you.
  • 9:58 - 10:02
    Now that doesn't mean that there's
    not application to the whole letter.
  • 10:02 - 10:06
    But certainly he's
    talking about chapter 1!
  • 10:06 - 10:07
    Chapter one is in view here.
  • 10:07 - 10:09
    And chapter one is about fellowship.
  • 10:09 - 10:11
    Listen, fellowship gets mentioned
  • 10:11 - 10:14
    four times in chapter one.
  • 10:14 - 10:17
    Fellowship with God is
    certainly a major incentive
  • 10:17 - 10:21
    to not sin, is it not?
  • 10:21 - 10:22
    Isn't fellowship with God
  • 10:22 - 10:26
    an incentive not to sin?
  • 10:26 - 10:29
    Maybe you're not making the connection.
  • 10:29 - 10:36
    Why is fellowship with God
    an incentive not to sin?
  • 10:36 - 10:38
    Well, obviously because sin is the major
  • 10:38 - 10:40
    disturber of fellowship with God.
  • 10:40 - 10:43
    But again, my point that I'm making to you
  • 10:43 - 10:45
    is that I want you to see that John
  • 10:45 - 10:50
    is addressing Christians in chapter 1.
  • 10:50 - 10:52
    He tells us that
  • 10:52 - 10:58
    by the very thing that
    he says in 1 John 2:1.
  • 10:58 - 11:00
    You know what John's doing?
  • 11:00 - 11:02
    He's coming alongside us believers,
  • 11:02 - 11:04
    in 1 John 2:1,
  • 11:04 - 11:06
    and he's encouraging purity.
  • 11:06 - 11:09
    I mean he's saying,
    "I'm writing these things..."
  • 11:09 - 11:10
    the encouragement to purity
  • 11:10 - 11:13
    is in the things that
    he's writing. But he says,
  • 11:13 - 11:15
    "I write these things to you
    that you might not sin."
  • 11:15 - 11:17
    Now yes, there may be failure,
  • 11:17 - 11:19
    and if so we have an advocate,
  • 11:19 - 11:20
    Jesus Christ the Righteous.
  • 11:20 - 11:23
    But we're to be pressing towards
  • 11:23 - 11:25
    more and more purity.
  • 11:25 - 11:27
    I'll tell you this,
  • 11:27 - 11:28
    fellowship with God
  • 11:28 - 11:31
    and purity go hand and in hand.
  • 11:31 - 11:33
    There's a real connection there.
  • 11:33 - 11:39
    Now, if we fail, there's blood.
  • 11:39 - 11:42
    If we fail, we can confess.
  • 11:42 - 11:44
    But they go hand in hand,
  • 11:44 - 11:47
    and he's encouraging purity and progress.
  • 11:47 - 11:50
    He's pressing us onward and inward
  • 11:50 - 11:51
    fighting to maintain fellowship,
  • 11:51 - 11:53
    striving to abide in Christ.
  • 11:53 - 11:57
    And so, I come to the
    question of the hour.
  • 11:57 - 12:03
    How is your fellowship with God?
  • 12:03 - 12:06
    That's the question that
    I want us to think about.
  • 12:06 - 12:08
    Every Christian ought to be able to say -
  • 12:08 - 12:10
    doesn't John say it so boldly?
  • 12:10 - 12:15
    He says, "Our fellowship
    is with the Father
  • 12:15 - 12:17
    and with His Son Jesus Christ."
  • 12:17 - 12:19
    I mean are we all able to say that?
  • 12:19 - 12:21
    Can we say that boldly?
  • 12:21 - 12:23
    Can you come in here today and say that,
  • 12:23 - 12:24
    "Yes! I know it!"
  • 12:24 - 12:27
    "That is my life!"
  • 12:27 - 12:30
    "My life is one of fellowship
  • 12:30 - 12:32
    with the Father and with His Son.
  • 12:32 - 12:33
    I know it!"
  • 12:33 - 12:36
    "Since I've been saved, that is true!"
  • 12:36 - 12:38
    That is normative of my life.
  • 12:38 - 12:40
    That is descriptive of my life.
  • 12:40 - 12:41
    That is true!
  • 12:41 - 12:42
    I see it!
  • 12:42 - 12:44
    Oh it's not where I want it to be!
  • 12:44 - 12:47
    Some days, I can't find Him
    the way that I want to find Him.
  • 12:47 - 12:47
    But as a rule,
  • 12:47 - 12:49
    I have walked with the Lord,
  • 12:49 - 12:50
    and I know what that is.
  • 12:50 - 12:53
    And it's heaven on earth.
  • 12:53 - 12:55
    It's as best as it gets here.
  • 12:55 - 12:57
    And the little bit that I've tasted
  • 12:57 - 12:59
    I would not turn back from the world."
  • 12:59 - 13:00
    Can you say that?
  • 13:00 - 13:02
    Can you say that dogmatically
  • 13:02 - 13:05
    like he says it?
  • 13:05 - 13:08
    Or are you seized by hesitation?
  • 13:08 - 13:10
    Does conscience hold back?
  • 13:10 - 13:12
    And look you know what
    I'm talking about here.
  • 13:12 - 13:13
    John hit on it.
  • 13:13 - 13:15
    We're not talking doctrine here.
  • 13:15 - 13:17
    We're not talking just the knowledge,
  • 13:17 - 13:18
    a head knowledge.
  • 13:18 - 13:21
    I'm not talking about whether you
    made it to church on Sunday.
  • 13:21 - 13:23
    I'm talking about this, can you say
  • 13:23 - 13:26
    "I walk with the Lord"?
  • 13:26 - 13:27
    Can you say that?
  • 13:27 - 13:28
    Are you walking with Him?
  • 13:28 - 13:33
    Jesus Christ died to purchase us
  • 13:33 - 13:36
    the privilege to walk with God.
  • 13:36 - 13:37
    That's what He died for.
  • 13:37 - 13:39
    That's what this is all about.
  • 13:39 - 13:42
    So let's think about this
    relationship with God.
  • 13:42 - 13:44
    Let's put our minds there.
  • 13:44 - 13:47
    Let's think about how we nurture this.
  • 13:47 - 13:49
    And I want to give you
    some thoughts this morning.
  • 13:49 - 13:51
    Maybe that's what we'll call it,
  • 13:51 - 13:53
    "Some Thoughts on Walking with God."
  • 13:53 - 13:58
    That's the title.
  • 13:58 - 14:01
    Here's the first point
    that I want to make.
  • 14:01 - 14:11
    Fellowship with God takes effort.
  • 14:11 - 14:14
    Look if I were to ask you this,
  • 14:14 - 14:16
    "Does God want your love?"
  • 14:16 - 14:19
    I mean you can think about the
    chiefest of all commandments.
  • 14:19 - 14:21
    Are we to love the Father?
  • 14:21 - 14:26
    Are we to love the Son?
  • 14:26 - 14:32
    Well, any of you that are married
  • 14:32 - 14:34
    for any amount of time,
  • 14:34 - 14:37
    you're past your honeymoon,
  • 14:37 - 14:40
    is love always easy?
  • 14:40 - 14:43
    I mean, fellowship with the Father
  • 14:43 - 14:45
    and with the Son is not automatic.
  • 14:45 - 14:47
    And it is not effortless.
  • 14:47 - 14:50
    Any relationship in this world
  • 14:50 - 14:53
    that has any sort of real depth or value
  • 14:53 - 14:55
    takes time.
  • 14:55 - 14:57
    And it takes effort.
  • 14:57 - 14:59
    I mean you answer this,
  • 14:59 - 15:06
    do good marriages happen spontaneously?
  • 15:06 - 15:08
    I hear "no's."
  • 15:08 - 15:10
    I mean does anybody raise their hand
  • 15:10 - 15:14
    and says, "yes mine
    happens spontaneously."
  • 15:14 - 15:16
    Della.
  • 15:16 - 15:19
    She's laughing, so I take that as a no.
  • 15:19 - 15:24
    There's effort there. Effort!
  • 15:24 - 15:27
    Look, you know what you know.
  • 15:27 - 15:30
    if you look over and you
    see a good marriage -
  • 15:30 - 15:31
    I mean it's good.
  • 15:31 - 15:36
    You can see, they are happily married.
  • 15:36 - 15:37
    You can be certain about this.
  • 15:37 - 15:40
    You can be certain that somewhere
  • 15:40 - 15:41
    in that good marriage,
  • 15:41 - 15:43
    you're going to find somebody
  • 15:43 - 15:46
    who's doing something to keep
  • 15:46 - 15:53
    that marriage close, warm, healthy.
  • 15:53 - 15:54
    Are you not?
  • 15:54 - 15:57
    I mean somebody in there
  • 15:57 - 16:00
    is working to communicate.
  • 16:00 - 16:02
    Somebody is working to keep
  • 16:02 - 16:06
    the kind of words and actions that tend
  • 16:06 - 16:08
    to cause distance.
  • 16:08 - 16:09
    They're working at that.
  • 16:09 - 16:12
    They're working to keep
    those things out of there.
  • 16:12 - 16:13
    They're going after them.
  • 16:13 - 16:16
    Somebody is committed to
    battling through hard situations
  • 16:16 - 16:18
    and hurt feelings and suspicion
  • 16:18 - 16:20
    and anger that crops up
  • 16:20 - 16:23
    and distrust and hostility and grudges
  • 16:23 - 16:24
    and resentment and offenses.
  • 16:24 - 16:27
    I mean somebody there
  • 16:27 - 16:29
    is making an effort.
  • 16:29 - 16:34
    And look, the thing is God regards Himself
  • 16:34 - 16:35
    as our Husband.
  • 16:35 - 16:38
    This is a relationship that we're in.
  • 16:38 - 16:39
    The Lord is our Husband.
  • 16:39 - 16:41
    Is this any different? Yes.
  • 16:41 - 16:43
    In some ways it is different.
  • 16:43 - 16:47
    He is invisible to my naked eye.
  • 16:47 - 16:50
    He is high and He is holy.
  • 16:50 - 16:52
    And He is lifted up.
  • 16:52 - 16:55
    And that is true.
  • 16:55 - 16:57
    But you remember this,
  • 16:57 - 17:04
    we have a personal God.
  • 17:04 - 17:08
    Scripture tells us He feels.
  • 17:08 - 17:14
    Scripture tell us He is sensitive.
  • 17:14 - 17:17
    That's what it tells us.
  • 17:17 - 17:21
    And I recognize that this is different
    about the relationship too,
  • 17:21 - 17:24
    one of us -
  • 17:24 - 17:28
    one of us is perfect.
  • 17:28 - 17:32
    And it's not me.
  • 17:32 - 17:37
    That's different.
  • 17:37 - 17:40
    And you know what that means.
  • 17:40 - 17:42
    It means that whenever
    my relationship with Him
  • 17:42 - 17:54
    becomes strained or there's distance,
  • 17:54 - 17:55
    it's never His fault.
  • 17:55 - 17:58
    It's mine.
  • 17:58 - 18:01
    That I know.
  • 18:01 - 18:04
    It's always my fault.
  • 18:04 - 18:05
    But it is a relationship.
  • 18:05 - 18:09
    And it's one that we have to
    work at and make time for.
  • 18:09 - 18:15
    Listen, any relationship in
    your life that's healthy,
  • 18:15 - 18:17
    you need to work at it.
  • 18:17 - 18:18
    And we need to work.
  • 18:18 - 18:22
    There's priorities.
  • 18:22 - 18:25
    This walk with the Lord
    needs to be a priority.
  • 18:25 - 18:27
    It needs to be something that
    we are giving thought to,
  • 18:27 - 18:29
    that we are giving our mind, our heart to.
  • 18:29 - 18:32
    There has to be a prioritization.
  • 18:32 - 18:35
    We must make choices
  • 18:35 - 18:37
    that nurture this relationship.
  • 18:37 - 18:40
    We must turn away from the things
  • 18:40 - 18:43
    that create distance between us and God.
  • 18:43 - 18:44
    Priority! Priority!
  • 18:44 - 18:46
    This takes effort!
  • 18:46 - 18:49
    This takes time!
  • 18:49 - 18:51
    There's going to be an exertion.
  • 18:51 - 18:54
    It doesn't happen for free.
  • 18:54 - 18:59
    Oh yeah you get into it for free.
  • 18:59 - 19:01
    But there's effort.
  • 19:01 - 19:03
    That's the thing we need to recognize.
  • 19:03 - 19:05
    There is effort.
  • 19:05 - 19:09
    Did James not say, "draw near to God."
  • 19:09 - 19:11
    God says that to us,
  • 19:11 - 19:12
    "draw near to Me
  • 19:12 - 19:13
    and I will draw near to you."
  • 19:13 - 19:16
    When you think about fighting
    the good fight of faith,
  • 19:16 - 19:18
    fighting the good fight of faith,
  • 19:18 - 19:20
    I mean one of the points of that fight
  • 19:20 - 19:22
    is just staying where we trust God.
  • 19:22 - 19:24
    That's what faith is all about.
  • 19:24 - 19:26
    We're fighting to trust Him.
  • 19:26 - 19:28
    We're fighting to keep our hope in Him.
  • 19:28 - 19:29
    We're fighting for that.
  • 19:29 - 19:31
    There's a battle in this.
  • 19:31 - 19:33
    You have all manner of enemies
  • 19:33 - 19:36
    that are moving at you
  • 19:36 - 19:37
    to distract you away.
  • 19:37 - 19:39
    And to take your time away.
  • 19:39 - 19:41
    And to take your eyes off.
  • 19:41 - 19:43
    To move you away from this relationship.
  • 19:43 - 19:46
    You've got to fight for this relationship.
  • 19:46 - 19:49
    A man will fight for his marriage.
  • 19:49 - 19:50
    We got to fight for this.
  • 19:50 - 19:53
    This is the chiefest of all relationships.
  • 19:53 - 19:54
    We've got to fight for it!
  • 19:54 - 19:56
    That means priorities in your life!
  • 19:56 - 19:58
    Is it a priority in your life?
  • 19:58 - 20:00
    You know, if you hesitated,
  • 20:00 - 20:03
    your conscience wouldn't let you say,
  • 20:03 - 20:05
    "Yes, I can boldly say
  • 20:05 - 20:08
    my fellowship is with the
    Father and with His Son!"
  • 20:08 - 20:10
    One of the reasons you may have hesitated
  • 20:10 - 20:12
    is because you don't
    have your priorities right.
  • 20:12 - 20:14
    And your conscience knows it.
  • 20:14 - 20:16
    Your walk with God is not
    what it ought to be
  • 20:16 - 20:19
    because your priorities are
    not what they ought to be.
  • 20:19 - 20:20
    Effort brethren!
  • 20:20 - 20:23
    Effort!
  • 20:23 - 20:26
    The second thing.
  • 20:26 - 20:31
    Worship and honor are essential
  • 20:31 - 20:33
    to this relationship.
  • 20:33 - 20:36
    Now John was telling us in
    the Sunday school about missions.
  • 20:36 - 20:38
    And he's calling us, you
    know, to give ourselves
  • 20:38 - 20:40
    to one another in love
  • 20:40 - 20:42
    and help encourage one another
  • 20:42 - 20:44
    so that we might see this church grow
  • 20:44 - 20:46
    and people being able
    to be launched forth.
  • 20:46 - 20:47
    But you just remember this,
  • 20:47 - 20:51
    missions is never the end.
  • 20:51 - 20:55
    Missions is not the goal.
  • 20:55 - 20:57
    What does God want most?
  • 20:57 - 20:58
    He wants our heart.
  • 20:58 - 20:59
    He wants our love.
  • 20:59 - 21:00
    He wants our worship.
  • 21:00 - 21:04
    This thing is about worship, by and large.
  • 21:04 - 21:07
    That's the chief thing.
  • 21:07 - 21:09
    Piper said it in his book on missions.
  • 21:09 - 21:11
    You know the reason we launch
  • 21:11 - 21:12
    off to those foreign coasts
  • 21:12 - 21:15
    is because there isn't worship there.
  • 21:15 - 21:16
    That's what we're after.
  • 21:16 - 21:18
    That's what we're longing for.
  • 21:18 - 21:23
    Now look, I want you to
    all turn to over to Malachi 1.
  • 21:23 - 21:25
    Some of you, you're familiar with this.
  • 21:25 - 21:27
    But I want you to see this,
  • 21:27 - 21:32
    I want you to feel this.
  • 21:32 - 21:34
    We're talking about
  • 21:34 - 21:36
    some thoughts on walking with God
  • 21:36 - 21:39
    and we're going to let the Lord Himself
  • 21:39 - 21:43
    speak to us about some things that,
  • 21:43 - 21:45
    to Him, are of chief importance
  • 21:45 - 21:47
    in this walk that we have with Him.
  • 21:47 - 21:53
    If you go to Malachi 1:6.
  • 21:53 - 21:58
    Watch this. Last book
    in the Old Testament,
  • 21:58 - 22:00
    if you're looking for it.
  • 22:00 - 22:04
    Right before Matthew.
  • 22:04 - 22:06
    "A son honors his Father
  • 22:06 - 22:11
    and a servant his master.
  • 22:11 - 22:13
    If then, I am a Father,
    where is My honor?"
  • 22:13 - 22:15
    God wants honor.
  • 22:15 - 22:16
    God deserves honor.
  • 22:16 - 22:20
    God is worthy of honor!
  • 22:20 - 22:25
    "If I am a master, where is my fear?"
  • 22:25 - 22:29
    Now you see, intimacy - yes.
  • 22:29 - 22:32
    But you need to remember this,
  • 22:32 - 22:36
    the one that we are
    in relationship with here
  • 22:36 - 22:38
    is God Almighty.
  • 22:38 - 22:40
    And there needs to be a fear on our part
  • 22:40 - 22:44
    and there needs to be an honor.
  • 22:44 - 22:50
    We are not equals.
  • 22:50 - 22:51
    "'Where is My fear?'
  • 22:51 - 22:53
    says the Lord of Hosts,
  • 22:53 - 22:55
    'To you, O priests who despise My name.'
  • 22:55 - 22:56
    But you say,
  • 22:56 - 22:58
    'How have we despised your name?'"
  • 22:58 - 23:00
    And you know what that
    happens to many of us.
  • 23:00 - 23:03
    If God could speak to you right now -
  • 23:03 - 23:04
    well, He can.
  • 23:04 - 23:09
    But if He did speak to you audibly
  • 23:09 - 23:11
    or in written word through a prophet
  • 23:11 - 23:13
    just like this,
  • 23:13 - 23:15
    He may say the same things about you.
  • 23:15 - 23:16
    "You despise Me."
  • 23:16 - 23:19
    And for many of you who do despise Him,
  • 23:19 - 23:24
    you would say, "Where do I despise Him?"
  • 23:24 - 23:26
    "Well, by offering polluted
    food upon My altar."
  • 23:26 - 23:30
    Now look, we offer sacrifices
  • 23:30 - 23:33
    as New Testament believers.
  • 23:33 - 23:36
    Our sacrifices are good works.
  • 23:36 - 23:39
    Our sacrifices are sharing what we have.
  • 23:39 - 23:41
    Our sacrifices are the praise of our lips.
  • 23:41 - 23:44
    You get many texts in the New Testament
  • 23:44 - 23:47
    that talk about the
    sacrifices that we offer.
  • 23:47 - 23:48
    But you say,
  • 23:48 - 23:50
    "How have we polluted you?"
  • 23:50 - 23:53
    "By saying that the Lord's
    table may be despised."
  • 23:53 - 23:54
    Now watch this,
  • 23:54 - 23:58
    "When you offer blind animals in sacrfice
  • 23:58 - 23:59
    is that not evil?"
  • 23:59 - 24:00
    Now here's the thing.
  • 24:00 - 24:02
    Here's a thing that I want you to see.
  • 24:02 - 24:07
    These priests were making the offering.
  • 24:07 - 24:10
    You say, you know, I do this.
  • 24:10 - 24:12
    I do that. I'm at church! Right?
  • 24:12 - 24:17
    I mean I'm there.
  • 24:17 - 24:18
    God looks at the quality
  • 24:18 - 24:20
    because the quality has a lot to do with
  • 24:20 - 24:24
    where your heart is.
  • 24:24 - 24:27
    He says, when you're offering
  • 24:27 - 24:33
    substandard sacrifices
  • 24:33 - 24:34
    God says, "Is that not evil?"
  • 24:34 - 24:36
    And He's looking for
  • 24:36 - 24:39
    an answer that you all know.
  • 24:39 - 24:42
    Yes, it is evil when you offer
  • 24:42 - 24:44
    substandard sacrifices to God.
  • 24:44 - 24:46
    "When you offer those that are lame
  • 24:46 - 24:48
    or sick is that not evil?"
  • 24:48 - 24:52
    Present that to your governor.
  • 24:52 - 24:56
    You know when I think about worship,
  • 24:56 - 25:05
    I think, oh, I want to be in my seat
  • 25:05 - 25:08
    when God's word begins to be preached.
  • 25:08 - 25:09
    I want to be in my seat
  • 25:09 - 25:11
    when they begin to sing His--
  • 25:11 - 25:12
    I want to hear from Him.
  • 25:12 - 25:16
    I want to be ready.
  • 25:16 - 25:18
    You know,
  • 25:18 - 25:21
    the problem with this whole setup here is
  • 25:21 - 25:22
    everybody that walks in late
  • 25:22 - 25:24
    you all see it.
  • 25:24 - 25:27
    And you know, the thing is
  • 25:27 - 25:30
    would you guys walk into work like that?
  • 25:30 - 25:31
    Offer it to your governor!
  • 25:31 - 25:33
    Offer it to your boss!
  • 25:33 - 25:35
    Will he accept it?
  • 25:35 - 25:37
    And I'm not saying
  • 25:37 - 25:39
    that whether you make it on time
  • 25:39 - 25:40
    is the pinnacle of all this.
  • 25:40 - 25:41
    But I can tell you this,
  • 25:41 - 25:43
    when somebody's
    walking with the Lord
  • 25:43 - 25:45
    and their heart - their heart is hungry,
  • 25:45 - 25:48
    Oh, I want to be there when
    the Word's opened up.
  • 25:48 - 25:49
    I don't want to miss any of it.
  • 25:49 - 25:51
    I want to be there when they sing.
    I don't want to miss any of it.
  • 25:51 - 25:53
    Where are your priorities?
  • 25:53 - 25:55
    You see this has to do
    with walking with God,
  • 25:55 - 25:57
    not just appeasing
    those who are watching.
  • 25:57 - 26:02
    But as what are you offering to Him?
  • 26:02 - 26:06
    What are you offering?
  • 26:06 - 26:09
    Are you giving?
  • 26:09 - 26:11
    And I know some are.
  • 26:11 - 26:13
    There's sacrifice.
  • 26:13 - 26:15
    But when you walk with the Lord,
  • 26:15 - 26:17
    He watches to see the qualtity.
  • 26:17 - 26:20
    Why? Because the quality matters.
  • 26:20 - 26:22
    Men, you come to this woman
  • 26:22 - 26:24
    and you say, "will you marry me?"
  • 26:24 - 26:27
    And then she finds out you got
    the ring from a pawn shop,
  • 26:27 - 26:30
    Is she going to be affected by that?
  • 26:30 - 26:32
    Well, some might not be.
  • 26:32 - 26:34
    But some might just be prudent,
  • 26:34 - 26:35
    "Well I'm glad he did that."
  • 26:35 - 26:36
    He saved a bunch of money,
  • 26:36 - 26:41
    now we can get into a house sooner.
  • 26:41 - 26:45
    Ask her first if that's ok.
  • 26:45 - 26:48
    But look, the reality is,
  • 26:48 - 26:50
    I mean he might as well say
  • 26:50 - 26:51
    not just your governor,
  • 26:51 - 26:53
    would your wife accept that?
  • 26:53 - 26:55
    I mean the truth is,
  • 26:55 - 26:57
    that we become negligent
  • 26:57 - 27:00
    with the way that we serve God.
  • 27:00 - 27:04
    We give Him the leftovers.
  • 27:04 - 27:05
    You wake up in the morning
  • 27:05 - 27:08
    and boy, the best part of your day,
  • 27:08 - 27:10
    and what do you do with it?
  • 27:10 - 27:13
    Well you wake up fifteen minutes
    before you got to be at work,
  • 27:13 - 27:15
    and so the best part of your day,
  • 27:15 - 27:16
    those first hours
  • 27:16 - 27:20
    you give to your employer.
  • 27:20 - 27:21
    Or you hit the weights.
  • 27:21 - 27:26
    Or you turn on the news.
  • 27:26 - 27:27
    Not all of you do that.
  • 27:27 - 27:31
    But are you giving God the best?
  • 27:31 - 27:32
    I mean when you walk with Him,
  • 27:32 - 27:33
    He's mindful of that.
  • 27:33 - 27:36
    You can see it right
    here in the Scriptures.
  • 27:36 - 27:36
    I mean He says,
  • 27:36 - 27:38
    "Present that to your governor,
  • 27:38 - 27:40
    will he accept you or show you favor?"
  • 27:40 - 27:41
    says the Lord of Hosts.
  • 27:41 - 27:43
    I mean, come on!
  • 27:43 - 27:45
    Don't give to God
  • 27:45 - 27:47
    what you wouldn't give to your parents!
  • 27:47 - 27:51
    Don't give to God what you
    wouldn't give to your spouse.
  • 27:51 - 27:56
    Don't give to God what you
    wouldn't give to your boss.
  • 27:56 - 27:57
    Or to your governor.
  • 27:57 - 27:59
    Don't do that!
  • 27:59 - 28:04
    God is worthy of your best.
  • 28:04 - 28:05
    Walk with Him this way.
  • 28:05 - 28:06
    He's says,
  • 28:06 - 28:09
    "For from the rising of
    the sun to its setting
  • 28:09 - 28:11
    My name will be great among the nations."
  • 28:11 - 28:14
    Do you all remember when David -
  • 28:14 - 28:15
    remember David did a foolish thing,
  • 28:15 - 28:17
    and he went and he numbered the people.
  • 28:17 - 28:20
    And you remember the prophet
    came to him and said,
  • 28:20 - 28:21
    "Well God sent me with a message.
  • 28:21 - 28:26
    David, you got to pick
    one of three bad things.
  • 28:26 - 28:28
    I mean you're either going to get
  • 28:28 - 28:31
    three days, three months, or three years
  • 28:31 - 28:33
    of some really horrible stuff."
  • 28:33 - 28:36
    And David said,
  • 28:36 - 28:38
    "I don't want God to turn me
    over into the hands of men;
  • 28:38 - 28:39
    let God do it."
  • 28:39 - 28:44
    And He brought three days of pestilence.
  • 28:44 - 28:48
    And you may remember what happened there.
  • 28:48 - 28:50
    In the end of that whole scenario,
  • 28:50 - 28:54
    he was to go to this man Araunah.
  • 28:54 - 28:59
    To his threshing floor.
  • 28:59 - 29:01
    Araunah saw him coming and said,
  • 29:02 - 29:04
    "I am coming and I have to build
  • 29:04 - 29:06
    an altar and make a sacrifice here."
  • 29:06 - 29:09
    And Araunah said, "David, it's all yours."
  • 29:09 - 29:13
    Do you remember what David said?
  • 29:13 - 29:15
    He said, "I will not give to the Lord
  • 29:15 - 29:20
    that which cost me nothing."
  • 29:20 - 29:22
    Are you giving to the Lord
    that which costs you nothing.
  • 29:22 - 29:24
    The lame thing,
  • 29:24 - 29:27
    You see when they brought the blind thing,
  • 29:27 - 29:28
    what did that say?
  • 29:28 - 29:32
    Well, it was the lamb they didn't want!
  • 29:32 - 29:34
    Don't do that to God?
    David wouldn't do it.
  • 29:34 - 29:36
    He was a man after God's own heart.
  • 29:36 - 29:37
    Imitate David in this.
  • 29:37 - 29:41
    You remember what was
    said in the days of Eli?
  • 29:41 - 29:45
    That God honors those who honor Him.
  • 29:45 - 29:47
    Just that's the second thing.
  • 29:47 - 29:50
    Worship and honor are essential
    to this relationship.
  • 29:50 - 29:52
    The third thing I would say.
  • 29:52 - 29:55
    Sin wrecks intimacy.
  • 29:55 - 29:58
    And here we might go back to 1 John 2:1
  • 29:58 - 30:00
    where it says, "My little children
  • 30:00 - 30:01
    I am writing these things to you
  • 30:01 - 30:05
    so that you may not sin."
  • 30:05 - 30:08
    Remember one of the things
    he's written to them
  • 30:08 - 30:09
    or he's mentioned four times
  • 30:09 - 30:10
    in that first chapter
  • 30:10 - 30:13
    which is clearly an emphasis to him
  • 30:13 - 30:14
    is he's talking to Christians
  • 30:14 - 30:16
    about fellowship with God.
  • 30:16 - 30:19
    It's the perfect thing to
    talk to God's children about,
  • 30:19 - 30:21
    who you want to encourage not to sin.
  • 30:21 - 30:22
    And why?
  • 30:22 - 30:25
    Is the danger that they're
    going to go to hell?
  • 30:25 - 30:26
    Perish forever?
  • 30:26 - 30:28
    Well, not for God's true children
  • 30:28 - 30:31
    who are trusting in Christ alone.
  • 30:31 - 30:33
    Who are clinging to His cross work
  • 30:33 - 30:35
    as their only hope.
  • 30:35 - 30:38
    For the true Christian,
  • 30:38 - 30:41
    sin - there's no condemnation.
  • 30:41 - 30:42
    And we have an Advocate.
  • 30:42 - 30:45
    That's what he's assuring us of.
  • 30:45 - 30:50
    But it ruins close
    fellowship and intimacy.
  • 30:50 - 30:51
    Brethren!
  • 30:51 - 30:55
    Throughout history, the men and the women
  • 30:55 - 30:58
    who have, among God's children,
  • 30:58 - 31:01
    who have had the privileges
  • 31:01 - 31:03
    to ascend that hill of the Lord
  • 31:03 - 31:05
    into the secret places
  • 31:05 - 31:09
    of God's most glorious manifest presence.
  • 31:09 - 31:14
    Brethren, throughout the age of man,
  • 31:14 - 31:16
    there have been those
    that had been invited
  • 31:16 - 31:22
    most closely into manifestations of God.
  • 31:22 - 31:25
    And I'll guarantee you this,
  • 31:25 - 31:27
    you're hard pressed to find
  • 31:27 - 31:33
    that it's ever been
    the spiritually sloppy.
  • 31:33 - 31:35
    We have too many professing Christians
  • 31:35 - 31:38
    who sin cheap!
  • 31:38 - 31:41
    You just sell it for a song!
  • 31:41 - 31:43
    Walking with Him.
  • 31:43 - 31:46
    Some of you need to stop and think
  • 31:46 - 31:49
    before you do and say
    the things you do and say!
  • 31:49 - 31:50
    You need to count the cost
  • 31:50 - 31:52
    of the intimacy with God
  • 31:52 - 31:54
    that's going to be lost
  • 31:54 - 31:55
    for doing those very things
  • 31:55 - 31:56
    that some of you do
  • 31:56 - 31:58
    and some of you say.
  • 31:58 - 32:00
    Brethren, we have to walk
  • 32:00 - 32:05
    recognizing God is sensitive.
  • 32:05 - 32:10
    Our sin hurts closeness.
  • 32:10 - 32:13
    And I know, the Lord is gracious.
  • 32:13 - 32:15
    And I know that there are times
  • 32:15 - 32:17
    that when we do stupid and foolish things,
  • 32:17 - 32:19
    and we are expecting Him
  • 32:19 - 32:20
    to turn His back on us
  • 32:20 - 32:23
    or to take the rod to us,
  • 32:23 - 32:25
    and He just lavishes us
    with hugs and kisses.
  • 32:25 - 32:27
    I know that, but listen,
  • 32:27 - 32:32
    the innermost regions
    of fellowship with God
  • 32:32 - 32:34
    goes beyond anything in this world.
  • 32:34 - 32:36
    It's glorious without description.
  • 32:36 - 32:37
    Those that have tasted of it
  • 32:37 - 32:39
    can barely put words together
  • 32:39 - 32:42
    to describe to other people.
  • 32:42 - 32:48
    But it's a very sensitive place to walk.
  • 32:48 - 32:49
    Very delicate.
  • 32:49 - 32:51
    Martin Lloyd-Jones,
  • 32:51 - 32:52
    I came across this,
  • 32:52 - 32:54
    I don't even know where I got this from,
  • 32:54 - 32:55
    but he said,
  • 32:55 - 32:58
    "The air here in this region--"
  • 32:58 - 33:00
    these innermost regions,
  • 33:00 - 33:03
    he said, "it's very pure and very rarified
  • 33:03 - 33:07
    and slight changes are immediately felt."
  • 33:07 - 33:11
    You know we can grieve God.
  • 33:11 - 33:14
    Ephesians chapter four warns us
  • 33:14 - 33:21
    against grieving the Holy Spirit.
  • 33:21 - 33:25
    Brethren you think
    about grieving the Spirit
  • 33:25 - 33:27
    We don't have a God who is
  • 33:27 - 33:29
    cold and indifferent
  • 33:29 - 33:31
    and distant and disinterested.
  • 33:31 - 33:33
    Brethren, grief.
  • 33:33 - 33:36
    You think about grief.
  • 33:36 - 33:43
    Who has the greatest
    ability to cause you grief?
  • 33:43 - 33:46
    I mean, you think about it.
  • 33:46 - 33:49
    If John happens to be walking over
  • 33:49 - 33:53
    somewhere in Mozambique or in Nepal,
  • 33:53 - 33:55
    and somebody, you know,
  • 33:55 - 33:56
    somebody just said,
  • 33:56 - 33:59
    "I hate you Christians!"
  • 33:59 - 34:01
    Well, John just shakes that off.
  • 34:01 - 34:03
    If his wife said that to him...
  • 34:03 - 34:08
    Who has the greatest
    ability to cause you grief?
  • 34:08 - 34:09
    And here we have God,
  • 34:09 - 34:14
    He's bidding us not to grieve Him.
  • 34:14 - 34:16
    The more one person loves another
  • 34:16 - 34:18
    the more the person doing
    the loving is affected by
  • 34:18 - 34:20
    any coldness or any distance
  • 34:20 - 34:22
    or any failure
  • 34:22 - 34:23
    on the part of the one who they're
  • 34:23 - 34:25
    extending their love to.
  • 34:25 - 34:27
    Brother. Sister.
  • 34:27 - 34:29
    Would you suppose that your sins
  • 34:29 - 34:31
    don't grieve God?
  • 34:31 - 34:33
    I mean do read that text and say,
  • 34:33 - 34:34
    "Well, that's for somebody else
  • 34:34 - 34:37
    it's certainly not for me when I sin."
  • 34:37 - 34:40
    Brethren, that's given to common
  • 34:40 - 34:42
    brothers and sisters at Ephesus.
  • 34:42 - 34:47
    People just like you and just like me.
  • 34:47 - 34:50
    I mean did Jesus not say -
  • 34:50 - 34:53
    speaking of His manifest presence -
  • 34:53 - 34:55
    He said this,
  • 34:55 - 34:58
    "I will love him and
    manifest Myself to him."
  • 34:58 - 35:00
    Who is that?
  • 35:00 - 35:02
    Well, "whoever has My commandments."
  • 35:02 - 35:06
    You see this is a person
    that's walking in truth.
  • 35:06 - 35:09
    This a person walking in righteousness.
  • 35:09 - 35:12
    They are walking in obedience.
  • 35:12 - 35:14
    "Whoever has My commandments
    and keeps them,
  • 35:14 - 35:16
    he it is who loves Me,
  • 35:16 - 35:19
    and he who loves Me
    will be loved by My Father
  • 35:19 - 35:21
    and I will love him and
    manifest Myself to him."
  • 35:21 - 35:23
    Look, are you going to forsake
  • 35:23 - 35:25
    a closer walk with Him
  • 35:25 - 35:29
    for some cheap sin?
  • 35:29 - 35:30
    Is Jesus not making it clear
  • 35:30 - 35:34
    that our fellowship with God
  • 35:34 - 35:39
    is clearly impacted by our obedience?
  • 35:39 - 35:44
    I mean look, the doctrine of justification
  • 35:44 - 35:48
    is a wonderful doctrine.
  • 35:48 - 35:50
    But the reason some of you walk around
  • 35:50 - 35:54
    with a cloud hanging over
    your head all the time
  • 35:54 - 35:59
    is because you sin way too easily.
  • 35:59 - 36:02
    Yeah, the doctrine of
    justification is wonderful,
  • 36:02 - 36:04
    but if you're living an impure life -
  • 36:04 - 36:09
    you're regularly giving God
  • 36:09 - 36:12
    the off-scouring, the leftovers;
  • 36:12 - 36:15
    if you're walking like that,
  • 36:15 - 36:19
    brethren, it's not surprising
  • 36:19 - 36:21
    that you're not enjoying
  • 36:21 - 36:23
    the manifestations of God
  • 36:23 - 36:26
    the way others are.
  • 36:26 - 36:28
    I mean the more we humbly obey Him,
  • 36:28 - 36:31
    empowered by His Spirit,
  • 36:31 - 36:32
    helped by His grace,
  • 36:32 - 36:34
    the more intimate is our fellowship
  • 36:34 - 36:36
    with the Father and the Son.
  • 36:36 - 36:38
    I mean ask yourself this,
  • 36:38 - 36:41
    (incomplete thought)
  • 36:41 - 36:43
    Choices.
  • 36:43 - 36:44
    Sin.
  • 36:44 - 36:45
    Intimacy.
  • 36:45 - 36:49
    Do I want this empty, fleeting pleasure
  • 36:49 - 36:51
    of this sin, or do I want
  • 36:51 - 36:52
    the unsearchable riches
  • 36:52 - 36:55
    of what this fellowship
  • 36:55 - 36:56
    with the Father and with His Son
  • 36:56 - 36:58
    is going to be.
  • 36:58 - 37:00
    John tells in chapter 1
  • 37:00 - 37:02
    how this deeper walk with God
  • 37:02 - 37:03
    can become a reality.
  • 37:03 - 37:04
    What did he say?
  • 37:04 - 37:06
    He said, "Walk in God's light."
  • 37:06 - 37:07
    Bring all your words,
  • 37:07 - 37:10
    bring all your actions into the light.
  • 37:10 - 37:11
    Bring your sin into the light.
  • 37:11 - 37:12
    Be honest about your sins.
  • 37:12 - 37:15
    Confess them to God for
    forgiveness and cleansing.
  • 37:15 - 37:16
    But press on brethren.
  • 37:16 - 37:18
    Walking in the light.
  • 37:18 - 37:20
    Walk in the light.
  • 37:20 - 37:23
    That's where your fellowship with God is.
  • 37:23 - 37:25
    It's in the light.
  • 37:25 - 37:30
    And he says, "I write these
    things to you that you sin not.
  • 37:30 - 37:33
    Well, that's the third thing.
  • 37:33 - 37:34
    Sin wrecks intimacy.
  • 37:34 - 37:39
    Let's move on even into the realm
  • 37:39 - 37:42
    where we're not talking
    specifically about sin.
  • 37:42 - 37:43
    I would say fourthly,
  • 37:43 - 37:48
    beware of distractions.
  • 37:48 - 37:51
    Of course sin always hinders fellowship.
  • 37:51 - 37:53
    But so often our problem is not with sin.
  • 37:53 - 37:55
    It's with the things that are permissible.
  • 37:55 - 37:58
    And you remember how Paul said it.
  • 37:58 - 38:01
    He said, "All things
    are lawful," but what?
  • 38:01 - 38:05
    He said it various ways.
  • 38:05 - 38:12
    But what?
  • 38:12 - 38:13
    Not all things are profitable.
  • 38:13 - 38:14
    Not all things edify.
  • 38:14 - 38:19
    Not all things build up.
  • 38:19 - 38:20
    Beware!
  • 38:20 - 38:24
    Beware of the things that pull you
  • 38:24 - 38:25
    away from the Lord!
  • 38:25 - 38:27
    I'll tell you this, the devil
  • 38:27 - 38:31
    will happily have you doing lawful things
  • 38:31 - 38:33
    if it keeps you away from
  • 38:33 - 38:35
    intimacy with God.
  • 38:35 - 38:37
    Be sure of it.
  • 38:37 - 38:39
    Be sure!
  • 38:39 - 38:41
    How many professing Christians
  • 38:41 - 38:43
    squander precious time?
  • 38:43 - 38:44
    O brethren!
  • 38:44 - 38:47
    If we could have all the time
  • 38:47 - 38:50
    from every one of you that has been
  • 38:50 - 38:55
    spent foolishly in social media!
  • 38:55 - 38:57
    And we can just put it together
  • 38:57 - 38:59
    that precious time like gold
  • 38:59 - 39:01
    and take it back from Facebook
  • 39:01 - 39:04
    and whatever other things
    they got out there now.
  • 39:04 - 39:07
    They're just inviting new
    ones one after another.
  • 39:07 - 39:11
    They're just time
    absorbers for Christians.
  • 39:11 - 39:14
    How many professing Christians squander
  • 39:14 - 39:17
    that precious time spent with the Lord
  • 39:17 - 39:19
    not just on social media but
  • 39:19 - 39:21
    laying in bed!
  • 39:21 - 39:22
    Or, TV.
  • 39:22 - 39:26
    Or movies, music, and clothes,
  • 39:26 - 39:29
    and houses and gardens and yards,
  • 39:29 - 39:30
    and hobbies.
  • 39:30 - 39:33
    There's all this stuff that just chews up.
  • 39:33 - 39:35
    If you live a life
  • 39:35 - 39:38
    where you regularly make choices
  • 39:38 - 39:40
    allowing other things,
  • 39:40 - 39:41
    it just becomes a pattern.
  • 39:41 - 39:43
    You're making these choices.
  • 39:43 - 39:47
    Constantly making choices that crowd out
  • 39:47 - 39:49
    time spent with the living God
  • 39:49 - 39:50
    and in His Word,
  • 39:50 - 39:52
    and talking with Him,
  • 39:52 - 39:53
    and in meditation;
  • 39:53 - 39:55
    You're not going to grow closer.
  • 39:55 - 39:57
    You're not going to grow more intimate.
  • 39:57 - 40:05
    Brethren, the place where the glory comes;
  • 40:05 - 40:08
    the place of transformation,
  • 40:08 - 40:12
    Paul tells us is when
    you behold His glory.
  • 40:12 - 40:13
    And that doesn't mean,
  • 40:13 - 40:15
    oh, you wake up in the morning
  • 40:15 - 40:16
    and five minutes you're there
  • 40:16 - 40:18
    and then you're out.
  • 40:18 - 40:19
    That's all you gave God.
  • 40:19 - 40:22
    The best of your time
    you've given to the world.
  • 40:22 - 40:25
    You've given to other stuff.
  • 40:25 - 40:29
    You think that is just going to emblazon
  • 40:29 - 40:31
    the image of Christ on you?
  • 40:31 - 40:32
    No!
  • 40:32 - 40:35
    You do not have a quality walk with God,
  • 40:35 - 40:39
    any less then you can have
    a quality walk with a wife
  • 40:39 - 40:42
    if it's just five minutes.
  • 40:42 - 40:44
    That doesn't work.
  • 40:44 - 40:46
    Beware of the distractions.
  • 40:46 - 40:49
    Beware! Beware! Beware!
  • 40:49 - 40:53
    Brethren, if you can
    put on spiritual glasses
  • 40:53 - 40:56
    and but see and look with me
  • 40:56 - 40:58
    at the Song of Solomon.
  • 40:58 - 41:00
    Go back there.
  • 41:00 - 41:03
    Right after the Proverbs.
  • 41:03 - 41:08
    You have this Song of Solomon
  • 41:08 - 41:10
    after the Psalms
  • 41:10 - 41:15
    and after the Proverbs.
  • 41:15 - 41:19
    Like I say if you can put
    the spiritual glasses on,
  • 41:19 - 41:21
    did Christ not tell us
  • 41:21 - 41:23
    that Scripture is all about Him
  • 41:23 - 41:24
    and I believe the Song of Solomon
  • 41:24 - 41:26
    is not just a story about Solomon
  • 41:26 - 41:28
    and one of his earthly wives.
  • 41:28 - 41:30
    I believe that this is a picture,
  • 41:30 - 41:32
    as many of the forefathers
  • 41:32 - 41:34
    have down through history
  • 41:34 - 41:36
    believed that this is a picture
  • 41:36 - 41:37
    of Christ and His Church.
  • 41:37 - 41:46
    And if you look at the Song of Solomon 5:2
  • 41:46 - 41:47
    the church is saying this,
  • 41:47 - 41:51
    "I slept, but my heart was awake."
  • 41:51 - 41:54
    I mean this is a person
    who's thinking on Christ.
  • 41:54 - 41:55
    "...the sound;
  • 41:55 - 41:56
    my Beloved is knocking."
  • 41:56 - 41:58
    Christ has come knocking.
  • 41:58 - 42:01
    "Open to Me, My sister."
  • 42:01 - 42:04
    This is Christ calling out to the church.
  • 42:04 - 42:06
    My sister open.
  • 42:06 - 42:12
    I want even a greater closeness.
  • 42:12 - 42:15
    "My love, My dove, My perfect one,
  • 42:15 - 42:17
    for My head is wet with dew,
  • 42:17 - 42:20
    My locks with the drops of the night."
  • 42:20 - 42:22
    How the church responded,
  • 42:22 - 42:24
    with an excuse.
  • 42:24 - 42:26
    That's all this is.
  • 42:26 - 42:30
    "Well, I've put off my garment,
  • 42:30 - 42:32
    how can I put it on again?"
  • 42:32 - 42:33
    I've bathed my feet;
  • 42:33 - 42:36
    I'm going to get them
    dirty if I go on the floor.
  • 42:36 - 42:38
    And do you known what this moment
  • 42:38 - 42:43
    of hesitation cost her?
  • 42:43 - 42:45
    My Beloved put His hand to the latch
  • 42:45 - 42:47
    and my heart was thrilled within me.
  • 42:47 - 42:49
    I arose to open to my Beloved,
  • 42:49 - 42:51
    and my hands dripped with myrrh,
  • 42:51 - 42:52
    my fingers with liquid myrrh,
  • 42:52 - 42:54
    on the handles of the bolt.
  • 42:54 - 42:56
    I opened to my Beloved,
  • 42:56 - 43:05
    but my Beloved had turned and gone.
  • 43:05 - 43:07
    Brethren, there are times when the Lord
  • 43:07 - 43:08
    is bidding us to come.
  • 43:08 - 43:09
    You feel prompted to pray.
  • 43:09 - 43:13
    You feel prompted to get alone.
  • 43:13 - 43:14
    And you don't do it.
  • 43:14 - 43:16
    You know what?
  • 43:16 - 43:19
    It's not even that she didn't do it.
  • 43:19 - 43:21
    She did it.
  • 43:21 - 43:24
    She just took too much time
  • 43:24 - 43:27
    thinking about it.
  • 43:27 - 43:29
    Give yourself freely to Christ.
  • 43:29 - 43:32
    Oh, be ready when He prompts, to go.
  • 43:32 - 43:33
    To you who are young,
  • 43:33 - 43:35
    you're full of health and strength.
  • 43:35 - 43:39
    We need to stop and think.
  • 43:39 - 43:41
    What are all those
    things that you're trading
  • 43:41 - 43:42
    for time with Christ?
  • 43:42 - 43:44
    What are they? You tell me!
  • 43:44 - 43:47
    What real rest have they
    brought to your soul?
  • 43:47 - 43:50
    What real joy have they brought to you?
  • 43:50 - 43:54
    What quietness in your spirit?
  • 43:54 - 43:57
    What true satisfaction?
  • 43:57 - 43:59
    You know it. You know it as well as I do.
  • 43:59 - 44:01
    Their pleasures are fleeting
  • 44:01 - 44:03
    and they're quickly hollow.
  • 44:03 - 44:05
    But Christ is never that way.
  • 44:05 - 44:10
    He's truly satisfying.
  • 44:10 - 44:14
    Do those things that you trade,
  • 44:14 - 44:16
    I mean are they really fit
  • 44:16 - 44:18
    objects for your highest love?
  • 44:18 - 44:20
    Think about what you're
    giving your life to?
  • 44:20 - 44:21
    You're walking with God.
  • 44:21 - 44:24
    Christ bought us the privilege!
  • 44:24 - 44:27
    Don't squander this in idleness
  • 44:27 - 44:29
    and foolishness,
  • 44:29 - 44:34
    wasting your precious time!
  • 44:34 - 44:35
    I can remember reading -
  • 44:35 - 44:37
    I think Spurgeon tells this story
  • 44:37 - 44:40
    about a man who was in his eighties,
  • 44:40 - 44:42
    and he got converted.
  • 44:42 - 44:44
    Yeah, I think he got
    converted in a meeting,
  • 44:44 - 44:46
    and in the very same meeting
  • 44:46 - 44:48
    he just wailed.
  • 44:48 - 44:50
    Seeking to console him,
  • 44:50 - 44:52
    "You've been saved."
  • 44:52 - 44:54
    He just wailed because
  • 44:54 - 44:56
    he had wasted his life.
  • 44:56 - 44:59
    It was gone.
  • 44:59 - 45:00
    I mean Isaiah says it,
  • 45:00 - 45:02
    "Why spend your money for that
  • 45:02 - 45:05
    which is not bread?"
  • 45:05 - 45:07
    And I would say fifthly this,
  • 45:07 - 45:09
    prayer is vital to this fellowship.
  • 45:09 - 45:10
    Prayer.
  • 45:10 - 45:12
    Listen to this again in Song of Solomon.
  • 45:12 - 45:15
    If you're still there look at 2:14.
  • 45:15 - 45:18
    Song of Solomon 2:14.
  • 45:18 - 45:21
    This is Christ speaking
    to His church again,
  • 45:21 - 45:26
    "O My dove, in the clefts of the rock,
  • 45:26 - 45:27
    in the crannies of the cliff,
  • 45:27 - 45:30
    let Me see your face,
  • 45:30 - 45:34
    let Me hear your voice,
  • 45:34 - 45:36
    for your voice is sweet,
  • 45:36 - 45:37
    and your face is lovely."
  • 45:37 - 45:40
    It's like Christ is saying to His people,
  • 45:40 - 45:42
    "Don't go hide
  • 45:42 - 45:44
    in the cracks and crevices.
  • 45:44 - 45:46
    Come out and speak to Me.
  • 45:46 - 45:51
    I want to hear your voice."
  • 45:51 - 45:52
    I mean sometimes we feel like
  • 45:52 - 45:53
    oh, we can hardly pray.
  • 45:53 - 45:56
    All it is groans and sighs.
  • 45:56 - 45:57
    But Jesus is saying,
  • 45:57 - 46:01
    "Your voice to Me is sweet.
  • 46:01 - 46:05
    Come out to Me in all your weakness."
  • 46:05 - 46:06
    I mean, it's like a parent whose child
  • 46:06 - 46:09
    struggles to get these words out.
  • 46:09 - 46:12
    The child is not despised by his parents.
  • 46:12 - 46:14
    Christ is saying,
  • 46:14 - 46:17
    "Your sighing and groaning is sweet to Me.
  • 46:17 - 46:18

    I'm not going to mock at it.
  • 46:18 - 46:21
    I'm not going to mock at your weakness."
  • 46:21 - 46:23
    Look, you won't enjoy
  • 46:23 - 46:25
    the deepest of fellowship with God
  • 46:25 - 46:28
    unless you learn to speak
  • 46:28 - 46:32
    with your Beloved in prayer and praise.
  • 46:32 - 46:35
    I mean, brethren, we need
  • 46:35 - 46:36
    seasons of prayer.
  • 46:36 - 46:40
    We need seasons where we talk.
  • 46:40 - 46:41
    I would say sixthly,
  • 46:41 - 46:43
    God's Word is vital to this fellowship.
  • 46:43 - 46:45
    I mean you know this text well,
  • 46:45 - 46:47
    most of you, Isaiah 66:2.
  • 46:47 - 46:49
    Don't turn there. But God says,
  • 46:49 - 46:51
    "This is the one to whom I will look..."
  • 46:51 - 46:55
    who does God look to?
  • 46:55 - 46:57
    He looks to those who are
  • 46:57 - 46:59
    humble and contrite in spirit
  • 46:59 - 47:01
    and tremble at His Word.
  • 47:01 - 47:02
    Coming to His Word.
  • 47:02 - 47:03
    Trembling at His Word.
  • 47:03 - 47:04
    "To them I'll look."
  • 47:04 - 47:05
    That look of God.
  • 47:05 - 47:09
    That means He'll look on them with favor.
  • 47:09 - 47:15
    It means, it's a look
    that is very desirable.
  • 47:15 - 47:19
    It's not only that God needs
    to be hearing our voice,
  • 47:19 - 47:22
    we must hear the voice
    of God in our souls.
  • 47:22 - 47:24
    You're never going to enjoy
    fellowship with Him
  • 47:24 - 47:28
    unless your ear is
    trained to hear His voice.
  • 47:28 - 47:31
    It's in the Word, yes.
  • 47:31 - 47:35
    It comes from pulpits, yes.
  • 47:35 - 47:38
    We see that the Psalmist says,
  • 47:38 - 47:40
    "The heavens declare it."
  • 47:40 - 47:41
    It's in the creation.
  • 47:41 - 47:44
    God speaks to us by His Providence.
  • 47:44 - 47:46
    He speaks to us in creation.
  • 47:46 - 47:49
    He speaks to us through His preachers.
  • 47:49 - 47:53
    He speaks to us in His book.
  • 47:53 - 47:58
    He speaks to us in
    promptings of the Holy Spirit.
  • 47:58 - 48:01
    He speaks to us in conscience.
  • 48:01 - 48:03
    He's given Himself a voice
  • 48:03 - 48:04
    through many means.
  • 48:04 - 48:06
    We need ears,
  • 48:06 - 48:08
    not just that are trained to hear,
  • 48:08 - 48:10
    but take time to hear.
  • 48:10 - 48:12
    O, when you got all the noise coming!
  • 48:12 - 48:14
    That's one of the things
  • 48:14 - 48:16
    about all the technology today
  • 48:16 - 48:20
    it just bombs us with noise!
  • 48:20 - 48:26
    I would say seventhly, meditation.
  • 48:26 - 48:28
    Close, sweet communion with God
  • 48:28 - 48:30
    is kept up by meditation.
  • 48:30 - 48:31
    You remember there in Genesis 24.
  • 48:31 - 48:34
    Remember what Isaac was doing?
  • 48:34 - 48:37
    Here comes his bride-to-be.
  • 48:37 - 48:39
    And what was he doing?
  • 48:39 - 48:41
    He was walking in the fields.
  • 48:41 - 48:43
    Oh, if there is a time
    to walk in the fields -
  • 48:43 - 48:45
    sunrise and sunset.
  • 48:45 - 48:47
    Especially here in hot Texas.
  • 48:47 - 48:48
    But there's a time to get out.
  • 48:48 - 48:51
    I don't know, maybe not
    all of you need to walk.
  • 48:51 - 48:53
    But oh, walking outside is the place
  • 48:53 - 48:56
    for me to meditate.
  • 48:56 - 48:58
    I know
  • 48:58 - 49:00
    you know Charles and
    John Wesley's mother,
  • 49:00 - 49:01
    hers was under an apron.
  • 49:01 - 49:03
    The place isn't what's most important.
  • 49:03 - 49:06
    But Isaac was out there meditating.
  • 49:06 - 49:11
    Meditation is giving real time
  • 49:11 - 49:14
    to think and chew,
  • 49:14 - 49:17
    to contemplate God's works,
  • 49:17 - 49:19
    and His wonders, and His glory,
  • 49:19 - 49:21
    and His beauty, and what He says
  • 49:21 - 49:22
    in His word.
  • 49:22 - 49:24
    And what our needs are, our wants,
  • 49:24 - 49:26
    it's how He's working.
  • 49:26 - 49:29
    Meditation just rivets the mind
  • 49:29 - 49:31
    to biblical truths, and it brings
  • 49:31 - 49:33
    God and the soul close together.
  • 49:33 - 49:35
    Those of you that know
    something about meditation,
  • 49:35 - 49:37
    you know that's true.
  • 49:37 - 49:40
    Meditation tends to open our eyes
  • 49:40 - 49:42
    to the invisible glory of God.
  • 49:42 - 49:44
    Brethren, I'll tell you,
    there have been times -
  • 49:44 - 49:46
    Yes, you go in the Word.
  • 49:46 - 49:47
    Yes, you have some time in prayer.
  • 49:47 - 49:50
    But you walk and you walk,
  • 49:50 - 49:52
    and you linger in prayer,
  • 49:52 - 49:54
    and just communing with God
  • 49:54 - 49:55
    and meditating.
  • 49:55 - 49:56
    And you get into that
  • 49:56 - 49:58
    maybe a half hour, an hour,
  • 49:58 - 49:59
    an hour and a half
  • 49:59 - 50:01
    and suddenly God comes!
  • 50:01 - 50:03
    If you only did that for ten minutes
  • 50:03 - 50:05
    it wouldn't have happened.
  • 50:05 - 50:07
    Meditation, brethren.
  • 50:07 - 50:10
    Oh, Psalm 63:6, we read there today.
  • 50:10 - 50:13
    "I remember You upon my bed
  • 50:13 - 50:16
    and meditate on You in
    the watches of the night."
  • 50:16 - 50:19
    And I would end with this last point.
  • 50:19 - 50:20
    Number 8.
  • 50:20 - 50:22
    Christian,
  • 50:22 - 50:26
    Scripture says that you are God's garden.
  • 50:26 - 50:29
    That is a such a picture for fellowship.
  • 50:29 - 50:32
    If you're still there in Song of Solomon
  • 50:32 - 50:34
    I want you to turn to chapter 4.
  • 50:34 - 50:40
    Scripture describes you as God's garden,
  • 50:40 - 50:43
    which means it's a place He wants to come
  • 50:43 - 50:46
    and delight Himself in the beauty.
  • 50:46 - 50:52
    It's a place God delights to walk.
  • 50:52 - 50:55
    I mean, what this is
  • 50:55 - 50:57
    is it's God telling His people,
  • 50:57 - 50:59
    "I want fellowship with you.
  • 50:59 - 51:01
    I want to find the sweetness there.
  • 51:01 - 51:03
    I want to enjoy it.
  • 51:03 - 51:04
    I want to delight in it."
  • 51:04 - 51:09
    If you look at the Song of Solomon 4:10.
  • 51:09 - 51:11
    Look what Christ says.
  • 51:11 - 51:13
    Christ says this to His church,
  • 51:13 - 51:14
    "How beautiful is your love
  • 51:14 - 51:16
    My sister, My bride!
  • 51:16 - 51:18
    How much better is your love than wine
  • 51:18 - 51:19
    and the fragrance of your oils
  • 51:19 - 51:21
    than any spice!
  • 51:21 - 51:24
    Your lips drip nectar, My bride;
  • 51:24 - 51:25
    honey and milk are under your tongue;
  • 51:25 - 51:27
    the fragrance of your garments
  • 51:27 - 51:30
    is like the fragrance of Lebanon."
  • 51:30 - 51:33
    He says this in verse 12.
  • 51:33 - 51:39
    "A garden locked is My sister, My bride."
  • 51:39 - 51:42
    And then you go to verse 16.
  • 51:42 - 51:44
    And the church says,
  • 51:44 - 51:47
    "Awake, O north wind,
    and come O south wind!
  • 51:47 - 51:49
    Blow upon my garden,
  • 51:49 - 51:51
    let its spices flow.
  • 51:51 - 51:53
    Let my Beloved come to His garden
  • 51:53 - 51:56
    and eat its choicest fruits."
  • 51:56 - 51:57
    And then you go to 5:1
  • 51:57 - 52:00
    and Christ responds,
  • 52:00 - 52:04
    "I came to My garden, My sister, My bride
  • 52:04 - 52:07
    I gathered My myrrh with My spice.
  • 52:07 - 52:09
    I ate My honeycomb with My honey,
  • 52:09 - 52:11
    I drank My wine with My milk.
  • 52:11 - 52:17
    Eat, friends, drink,
    and be drunk with love!"
  • 52:17 - 52:18
    I just ask you this,
  • 52:18 - 52:20
    I mean this is a picture of Christ
  • 52:20 - 52:24
    wanting to come and enjoy
  • 52:24 - 52:29
    the delights of His garden.
  • 52:29 - 52:32
    We really need to see
    the Lord desiring that.
  • 52:32 - 52:34
    I think sometimes we have this distant,
  • 52:34 - 52:38
    austere idea.
  • 52:38 - 52:41
    We don't see God really wanting
  • 52:41 - 52:45
    this fellowship.
  • 52:45 - 52:47
    Desiring it.
  • 52:47 - 52:49
    So I ask you this, how you would you
  • 52:49 - 52:51
    rate your fellowship with God?
  • 52:51 - 52:53
    We're going to move
    on in 1 John after this.
  • 52:53 - 52:55
    But as we leave this topic,
  • 52:55 - 53:00
    at least for now,
  • 53:00 - 53:04
    how would you rate
    your fellowship with God?
  • 53:04 - 53:07
    Is it distant?
  • 53:07 - 53:10
    Is it sloppy?
  • 53:10 - 53:11
    Disrespectful?
  • 53:11 - 53:14
    Casual?
  • 53:14 - 53:16
    Is it close?
  • 53:16 - 53:19
    Is it precious to you?
  • 53:19 - 53:20
    I mean, can you really say that?
  • 53:20 - 53:25
    Walking with the Lord is precious.
  • 53:25 - 53:26
    How would you rate it?
  • 53:26 - 53:28
    Is it intimate?
  • 53:28 - 53:30
    Are you the sort of garden
  • 53:30 - 53:33
    where God comes looking for fruit
  • 53:33 - 53:36
    and He finds it?
  • 53:36 - 53:39
    Delights in it?
  • 53:39 - 53:43
    I mean this, brethren,
    this is heaven on earth
  • 53:43 - 53:44
    for the lover of God.
  • 53:44 - 53:45
    It really is.
  • 53:45 - 53:47
    And no matter how long
  • 53:47 - 53:50
    that you have been a child of God,
  • 53:50 - 53:52
    you've got to protect this.
  • 53:52 - 53:55
    You've got to make efforts at this.
  • 53:55 - 53:57
    This has to be a priority.
  • 53:57 - 53:59
    We all make choices.
  • 53:59 - 54:01
    We all have priorities.
  • 54:01 - 54:02
    We all get up in the morning
  • 54:02 - 54:05
    with the same number of hours in a day.
  • 54:06 - 54:07
    Those who walk close with God
  • 54:07 - 54:11
    have the same number of hours.
  • 54:11 - 54:13
    How do we spend them?
  • 54:13 - 54:16
    What are we doing with them?
  • 54:16 - 54:17
    You need to guard
  • 54:17 - 54:20
    your relationship with the Father
  • 54:20 - 54:21
    and with the Son
  • 54:21 - 54:23
    and with the Holy Spirit.
  • 54:23 - 54:25
    I mean brethren, ask yourself this.
  • 54:25 - 54:28
    Ask, "When was the last time
  • 54:28 - 54:31
    you had a sweet time with the Lord?"
  • 54:31 - 54:34
    Where your heart jumped because He came!
  • 54:34 - 54:36
    Oh, maybe it was overwhelming.
  • 54:36 - 54:40
    Maybe it was just that still, small voice.
  • 54:40 - 54:41
    He just came.
  • 54:41 - 54:43
    He thrilled your souls.
  • 54:43 - 54:45
    You felt your soul melt because His Word
  • 54:45 - 54:47
    came to you personally.
  • 54:47 - 54:49
    I mean, you know when that happens,
  • 54:49 - 54:50
    "He spoke to me!"
  • 54:50 - 54:54
    I mean you're in the Word and it's for me!
  • 54:54 - 54:57
    Or you're out in prayer and
    He comes and He says,
  • 54:57 - 54:59
    "I'm going to give you
    what you just asked."
  • 54:59 - 55:00
    And you know it!
  • 55:00 - 55:02
    Or you're just
    mediating on something
  • 55:02 - 55:05
    and suddenly you are so
    blown away by His glory.
  • 55:05 - 55:06
    And it's because His Spirit has come
  • 55:06 - 55:08
    and opened your mind
  • 55:08 - 55:09
    and your understanding
  • 55:09 - 55:11
    and just swept you away.
  • 55:11 - 55:14
    Brethren, when has that happened?
  • 55:14 - 55:17
    Look, I'm not talking about
  • 55:17 - 55:19
    knowing God in theory.
  • 55:19 - 55:21
    I'm not talking about
  • 55:21 - 55:25
    just knowing in theory that He loves you.
  • 55:25 - 55:28
    Do you personally drink the love
  • 55:28 - 55:31
    of the Father and the Son?
  • 55:31 - 55:34
    Manifestly?
  • 55:34 - 55:35
    I'm not talking about just
  • 55:35 - 55:37
    diving into the theology book.
  • 55:37 - 55:39
    Do you know this?
  • 55:39 - 55:40
    Brethren!
  • 55:40 - 55:43
    Do you know this?
  • 55:43 - 55:44
    I mean, we have a Husband.
  • 55:44 - 55:49
    Didn't He give us that picture in Hosea?
  • 55:49 - 55:52
    But we're like Gomer.
  • 55:52 - 55:53
    What a name! Gomer.
  • 55:53 - 55:59
    But we're like her!
  • 55:59 - 56:01
    I always think of Gomer Pyle.
  • 56:01 - 56:03
    It's like a ridiculous name.
  • 56:03 - 56:05
    But, Gomer.
  • 56:05 - 56:09
    She's unfaithful.
  • 56:09 - 56:14
    And Hosea is like Christ.
  • 56:14 - 56:17
    Brethren, He comes along
    to a bunch of prostitutes.
  • 56:17 - 56:18
    That's what we are.
  • 56:18 - 56:20
    That's what we were.
  • 56:20 - 56:21
    You'd say that's what
  • 56:21 - 56:24
    some of us are now.
  • 56:24 - 56:26
    That's what many of us were before.
  • 56:26 - 56:28
    Just prostitutes!
  • 56:28 - 56:30
    Just these unfaithful -
  • 56:30 - 56:32
    we were harlots.
  • 56:32 - 56:34
    We just gave ourselves freely
  • 56:34 - 56:36
    to our whoredom out there.
  • 56:36 - 56:38
    And He comes along
  • 56:38 - 56:41
    and He buys us off the slave block.
  • 56:41 - 56:43
    Is that not what He did?
  • 56:43 - 56:46
    He says, "I pay for you with My blood."
  • 56:46 - 56:52
    And now, I want you for Me.
  • 56:52 - 56:56
    I don't want you going and giving yourself
  • 56:56 - 56:59
    to all your other lovers anymore.
  • 56:59 - 57:02
    I want you for Me.
  • 57:02 - 57:04
    Brethren, that's a picture of the gospel.
  • 57:04 - 57:06
    That's what this is all about.
  • 57:06 - 57:08
    He wants us for Him.
  • 57:08 - 57:12
    He's bought us with a price.
  • 57:12 - 57:14
    Calls us to leave our other lovers
  • 57:14 - 57:17
    and surrender to His love.
  • 57:17 - 57:22
    To be that garden that He delights in.
  • 57:22 - 57:24
    If you all you ever
    heard is Christianity is
  • 57:24 - 57:27
    just be saved from your
    sin and saved from hell.
  • 57:27 - 57:29
    Brethren, this goes much deeper.
  • 57:29 - 57:34
    This thing is beautiful and
    precious to the uttermost.
  • 57:34 - 57:37
    Don't sell it for a song.
  • 57:37 - 57:39
    Brethren, priorities.
  • 57:39 - 57:43
    Priorities.
  • 57:43 - 57:45
    Choices.
  • 57:45 - 57:49
    May God help us.
  • 57:49 - 57:53
    Father, we ask for Your grace.
  • 57:53 - 57:54
    We ask for the power
  • 57:54 - 57:56
    of the Spirit of God.
  • 57:56 - 57:59
    Make this a reality.
  • 57:59 - 58:00
    Oh Lord, we know that you want us
  • 58:00 - 58:02
    to walk with you in worship, in honor,
  • 58:02 - 58:06
    in praise, in love.
  • 58:06 - 58:11
    We know that this is
    indeed the chief thing.
  • 58:11 - 58:16
    Giving our lives to You.
  • 58:16 - 58:18
    Giving ourselves entirely;
  • 58:18 - 58:21
    a sacrifice upon the altar of God
  • 58:21 - 58:23
    to be consumed
  • 58:23 - 58:32
    by Your fire of love for Your people.
  • 58:32 - 58:37
    Lord, I pray for the
    grace for this church.
  • 58:37 - 58:38
    That above all things
  • 58:38 - 58:42
    no matter what you do with us,
  • 58:42 - 58:46
    Lord, I pray,
  • 58:46 - 58:50
    pray that you would make this church,
  • 58:50 - 58:54
    at whatever cost necessary;
  • 58:54 - 58:56
    whatever you have to bring,
  • 58:56 - 59:00
    whatever fire to purify,
  • 59:00 - 59:04
    whatever comforts to help,
  • 59:04 - 59:07
    whatever is necessary, Lord.
  • 59:07 - 59:09
    I pray that You would make this church
  • 59:09 - 59:11
    what You want it to be.
  • 59:11 - 59:15
    Fruitful, beautiful in your sight.
  • 59:15 - 59:19
    Lord, spare us nothing
  • 59:19 - 59:21
    that you've given to your elect people
  • 59:21 - 59:22
    through the ages.
  • 59:22 - 59:25
    Spare us nothing
  • 59:25 - 59:28
    that will propel us forward
  • 59:28 - 59:32
    into these degrees of glory.
  • 59:32 - 59:34
    That will propel us forward
  • 59:34 - 59:36
    into a deeper intimacy
  • 59:36 - 59:39
    and knowing you with that knowledge,
  • 59:39 - 59:44
    that oh, that is so sweet and so valuable.
  • 59:44 - 59:46
    Help us, Lord,
  • 59:46 - 59:47
    we pray in Christ's name.
  • 59:47 - 59:48
    Amen.
Title:
Some Thoughts on Walking with God - Tim Conway
Description:

more » « less
Video Language:
English
Duration:
59:49

English subtitles

Revisions Compare revisions