THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 5-10-15

LESSON TITLE: “THE WORLD IS OURS!”

WELCOME

“…BE STEADFAST, IMMOVABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD,…” 1 CORINTHIANS 15:58! HOW ABOUT IT, ARE YOU STANDING UP FOR GOD? ARE YOU STANDING STRONG IN HIS WILL AND PROMISES? AND ARE YOU ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN HIS WORK!

I WELCOME YOU AS FELLOW LABORERS THIS DAY IN THE SERVICE OF OUR GOD. I FURTHERMORE THANK ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE JOINED US, WHO HAVE NOT YET FULLY SUBMITTED TO THE WILL OF GOD. MY HOPE AND PRAYER THIS DAY IS FOR YOU AND YOUR OBEDIENCE. AS GOD SAID, “TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.” ARE YOU WILLING TO SUBMIT TO THE THINGS OF GOD AND OBEY?

WHAT BETTER WAY TO BEGIN OUR TIME TOGETHER THIS MORNING, THAN IN SPEAKING WITH OUR GOD IN PRAYER. WILL YOU BOW WITH ME AT THIS TIME! PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY BLESSINGS OF LIFE - THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN. AND FATHER, WE ARE THANKFUL BECAUSE THIS, THE LORD'S DAY, IS OUR OPPORTUNITY TO COME BEFORE YOUR THRONE AND TO WORSHIP YOU IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH. THEREFORE, FATHER MAY WE DO EVERYTHING TODAY ACCEPTABLE IN YOUR SIGHT AS THOSE WHO ARE FAITHFUL IN YOUR SERVICE. AND FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT GIFT OF JESUS WHICH GIVES US THE HOPE OF NOT ONLY THE BLESSINGS OF TODAY BUT ALSO ETERNAL BLESSINGS. AND FATHER, MAY WE LIVE EVERY DAY IN SUCH A WAY WHICH WILL BE ACCORDING TO YOUR GOOD PLEASURES THAT WE MIGHT BE FOUND FAITHFUL IN THE END. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

I HOPE EVERYONE IS READY TO WORSHIP GOD IN SONG AT THIS TIME! WE WILL BEGIN TODAY WITH A HYMN WHICH REMINDS US OF WHAT AWAITS THE FAITHFUL AT THE END OF THIS LIFE! SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “SUN OF MY SOUL.”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

WE READ A PASSAGE A MOMENT AGO THAT TALKED ABOUT OUR NEED AS CHRISTIANS TO BE STEADFAST AND IMMOVABLE. NO DOUBT THIS IS THE SAME IDEA WHICH THE HEBREW WRITER HAD IN MIND AS WE READ IN HEBREWS 12:28-29, THERE IT SAYS, “THEREFORE, SINCE WE ARE RECEIVING A KINGDOM WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN, LET US HAVE GRACE, BY WHICH WE MAY SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR. FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.” OBVIOUSLY THE CONNECTION IS CLEARLY GIVEN HERE. WE ARE TO BE THOSE WHO ARE FOUNDED AND SECURED BECAUSE WE ARE A PART OF GOD’S KINGDOM WHICH IS THE SAME AND HAS THE SAME FOUNDATION. HOWEVER, NOTICE ANOTHER ASPECT WHICH THE WRITER ADDS HERE. HE WENT ON TO SAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE KINGDOM, AND WE REMAIN UNSHAKEN, SO THAT WE MAY SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH ALL REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR. HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE SUCH AN AWESOME AND POWERFUL GOD WHICH WE ARE TO SERVE. FURTHERMORE, HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO KNOW THAT IN DOING SO, WE WILL RECEIVE GREAT BLESSINGS IN THIS LIFE, AS WELL AS, THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE WHEN OUR LORD COMES AGAIN.

NOW BACK TO OUR ORIGINAL TEXT IN THE BOOK OF 1 CORINTHIANS, IF YOU GO BACK TO VERSE 57, WE FIND CONFIRMED FOR US AS TO WHY WE MUST STAND FIRM AND STRONG WITH GOD. THERE WE READ, “BUT THANKS BE TO GOD, WHO GIVES US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” WE ARE TRULY MADE VICTORIOUS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST! NOT ONLY IN THE FACT THAT WE ARE ABLE TO BECOME CHRISTIANS AND FOLLOWERS OF THE KING. BUT AS WELL, BECAUSE WE ARE ABLE TO KNOW THAT OUR GOD IS ABLE TO CARE FOR, PROTECT AND DELIVER US. HOW BLESSED WE ARE TO SERVE SUCH A LOVING AND CARING SAVIOR!

AS FAR AS OUR STUDY, WE WILL BE CONCLUDING OUR IMPORTANT DISCUSSION CONCERNING PAUL STATEMENT, “FOR ALL THINGS ARE YOURS.” THE SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY IS ENTITLED, “THE WORLD IS OURS!” SO STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, I WILL BE LEADING US IN THE MAIN THOUGHTS OF THE DAY. BUT FOR NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE MORNING. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “STAND UP FOR JESUS.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE'RE SO GLAD YOU'VE CONTINUED WITH US THIS MORNING AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AND CONSIDER ANOTHER LESSON IN OUR SERIES CONCERNING JUST HOW BLESSED WE ARE AND THE GREAT BENEFITS WE HAVE AS THOSE WHO LOVE GOD. AND YOU MIGHT RECALL WITH ME THAT WE HAVE TAKEN OUR MAIN TEXT FROM 1 CORINTHIANS THERE AROUND CHAPTER 3 WHEN WE BEGIN TO SEE PAUL DEALING WITH A LOT OF DIVISION THAT WAS TAKING PLACE IN THE CHURCH AT CORINTH. IN FACT, HE ACTUALLY CHALLENGES THEM TO LEARN TO WORK TOGETHER AS THE BUILDING OF GOD OR THE PEOPLE OF GOD AS THAT TEMPLE AND TO ACCOMPLISH THE TASK OF TAKING THAT MESSAGE, NOT JUST EACH OTHER, BUT ALSO TO A LOST AND DYING WORLD.

NOW, TO ACCOMPLISH THAT, HE ALSO TOLD THEM THAT THEY HAD TO AVOID WORLDLINESS AND WORLDLY WISDOM. BECAUSE CERTAINLY I THINK WE ALL WOULD AGREE THAT IT'S OFTEN THE WORLD THAT CREEPS IN EVEN AMONGST THE CHURCH OR THE BRETHREN AND CREATES DIVISION OR PROBLEMS OR TRIAL IN THE CHURCH. AND SO HE WARNED THEM ABOUT WORLDLY WISDOM AND KEEPING THAT OUT OF THE CHURCH - OUT OF THEIR LIVES - SO THAT THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO FOCUS ON GODLY THINGS WHICH WE WOULD CERTAINLY KNOW TO BE GODLY WISDOM. AND NOW WHEN WE DO THAT AND WHEN WE CAN PUT AWAY THAT WORLDLY WISDOM AND THE THINGS OF MEN AND WHEN WE CAN FOCUS ON GODLY WISDOM AND THE THINGS OF GOD, THAT'S WHERE THERE IN VERSE 21 YOU MIGHT RECALL THAT WE HAVE TAKEN OUR TEXT FROM. AND IT SAYS THERE THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BOAST IN MEN FOR ALL THINGS ARE YOURS.

AND THEN WHAT HE BEGINS TO REALLY DEVELOP THERE IS THAT ALL THAT GOD HAS DONE IS FOR THEIR SAKES. IT'S NOT ABOUT, AS HE BEGINS TO SAY THERE AND AS WE LOOKED AT LAST WEEK IN VERSE 22, IT'S NOT ABOUT PAUL OR CEPHAS OR ABOUT WHO I AM OF AS HE MENTIONED EARLIER IN THE TEXT. AND IT'S NOT ALIGNING MYSELF AFTER MEN OR THE THINGS OF MEN BUT EVEN THOSE LIKE PAUL OR FOR MY SAKE THAT I MIGHT KNOW THE GOSPEL, THAT I MIGHT KNOW JESUS, THAT I MIGHT OBEY HIM - NOT PAUL - AND EVEN MEN LIKE AS WE SEE HERE; APOLIS OR CEPHAS. THEY'RE NOT FOR THEMSELVES OR THEIR OWN CHURCH. THEY ARE FOR WHO? THEY ARE FOR CHRIST - THAT I MIGHT BE CHRIST AND THEREFORE PAUL IS FOR ME AND APOLIS IS FOR ME AND CEPHAS IS FOR ME. IF THEY ARE DOING WHAT GOD SAYS AND TEACHING ME THE TRUTH OF GOD, WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS THEY'RE DIRECTING ME TO CHRIST NOT TO THEM. AND THEREFORE WE SEE ALL THINGS ARE THEIRS OR ARE OURS BECAUSE WE ARE ABLE TO KNOW THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US OTHERS, EVEN OUR BRETHREN. EVEN IN GOOD MINISTERS AND GOOD ELDERS. PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH THAT WE CAN COUNT ON. HE HAS GIVEN US OTHERS, NOT FOR THEMSELVES, BUT HE HAS GIVEN US OTHERS THAT WE MIGHT KNOW CHRIST AND BE ENCOURAGED IN CHRIST AND THAT TOGETHER AS THE BUILDING - THE BODY OF CHRIST - THERE EVEN BACK IN VERSE 9 OF CHAPTER 3 WE MIGHT ACCOMPLISH THE TASK OF OUR CREATOR.

AND SO TODAY WE WANT TO LOOK AT THE NEXT THING THAT HE SAYS IS OURS AS THOSE WHO FOLLOW CHRIST. AND IT'S MENTIONED THERE IF YOU'LL NOTICE WITH ME ALSO IN VERSE 22 WHEN HE SAYS THAT ALL THINGS ARE YOURS WHETHER THE WORLD. SO RIGHT AFTER HE SAYS PAUL, APOLIS, AND CEPHAS, “WHETHER PAUL, ORAPOLIS, OR CEPHAS,” HE SAYS, “OR THE WORLD…” “…ALL THINGS ARE YOURS.” WELL, THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MOMENT. ISN'T THAT A BEAUTIFUL THOUGHT? WE LIVE IN A WORLD AND CERTAINLY WE ALWAYS, AS WE LOOK IN THE TEXT, GENERALLY LOOK AT THE CONCEPT OF THAT WHICH IS OF THE WORLD AND THAT WHICH IS OF GOD. AND THE ONE AVENUE OR DISCUSSION, THAT IS THE CASE. THE TWO DISTINCTIONS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. BUT THE WORLD, WE HAVE TO REMEMBER, CAN REFER TO THE EARTH ITSELF; THE GOOD THINGS. IN FACT, THE GREEK WORD THAT IS USED IN VERSE 22 IS COSMOS, WHICH MEANS THE WORLD OR THE EARTH. THE MATTER ITSELF THAT GOD CREATED.

NOW, HOW CAN WE SAY THAT THE ACTUAL MATTER OR THE EARTH; THE GRASS, THE TREES, THE BEAUTY OF NATURE, THE OZARKS....HOW CAN WE SAY THAT THAT IS NOT BEAUTIFUL OR THAT THAT IS NOT IN SOME WAY REPRESENT THE WONDER OR THE MAGNIFICENCE OF GOD? FOR CERTAINLY IT DOES. SO ALL THINGS ARE YOURS, EVEN GOD'S CREATION. SO THAT TAKES US BACK TO THE VERY BEGINNING WHEN GOD HIMSELF IN GENESIS CHAPTER 1 SAID, “LET THERE BE LIGHT.” AND GOD SPOKE INTO EXISTENCE, NOT ONLY ALL OF THE THINGS OF THIS EARTH AND ALL THE DIFFERENT FACETS OF THE UNIVERSE INCLUDING THE STARS AND THE HEAVENS. AND ALSO THE GLORIES OF WHAT WE SEE ON THE EARTH ITSELF. BUT THEN HE ALSO MADE MAN. BUT IT'S INTERESTING WHAT WE BEGIN TO LEARN ABOUT MAN. BECAUSE AFTER GOD HAD SPOKE INSTANTLY INTO EXISTENCE ALL THE THINGS THAT HE HAD MADE, DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT GOD SAID THERE IN VERSE 26 OF GENESIS CHAPTER 1? GOD SAID, “LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR OWN IMAGE AND OUR OWN LIKENESS.” DO YOU SEE WHAT IT WAS THAT GOD DESIRED? THAT ALTHOUGH HE HAD MADE THE ANIMALS OF THE EARTH, THE BIRDS OF THE AIR, THE FISH OF THE SEA, HE HAD MADE ALL THESE DIFFERENT CREATURES AND THE VEGETATION AND THE TREES. HE HAD MADE ALL THINGS. AND YET HE DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD MAKE SOMETHING IN HIS IMAGE, IN HIS LIKENESS, ABLE TO REASON AND ABLE TO DISCERN AND MAKE JUDGMENTS AND DECISIONS, ABLE TO FOLLOW HIM OR ABLE TO REJECT HIM, BASED ON UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH.

SO WE RECALL THERE IN VERSE 27 OF GENESIS 1, “SO GOD MADE MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE,” IN HIS OWN LIKENESS, “MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM.” BUT NOW I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS IN VERSE 28 OF GENESIS 1. THERE THE BIBLE SAYS, “THEN GOD BLESSED THEM,” MAN AND WOMAN. HE CREATED THEM AND BLESSED THEM AND SAID TO THEM, “BE FRUITFULL AND MULTIPLY; FILL THE EARTH AND SUBDUE IT; AND HAVE DOMINION,” OVER ALL THINGS. WHAT? BE ABLE TO FILL THE EARTH AND MOVE ABOUT THE EARTH AND HAVE DOMINION, OR LORDSHIP, OR CONTROL OVER THE EARTH. IN FACT, LATER IN CHAPTER 2, WE SEE ADAM WAS THE ONE WHO ACTUALLY NAMED ALL THE ANIMALS AT GOD'S COMMAND. IT WAS MAN WHO IN GOD'S IMAGE AND LIKENESS WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND AND HAVE KNOWLEDGE AND REASON. ABLE TO DO WHAT? DO WHAT GOD HAD COMMANDED AND TO KNOW THAT IN DOING SO HE WOULD BE BLESSED AND IN REJECTING IT HE WOULD BE LOST. SO WE SEE THAT GOD MADE MAN AND GAVE HIM DOMINION, NOT ONLY OVER IT SAYS HERE ALL THE THINGS OF THE SEA, HE ALSO ADDED THE BIRDS OF THE AIR. EVERY LIVING CREATURE, INCLUDING IT SAYS THERE, ALL THINGS THAT MOVE ON THE EARTH.

AND THEN I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WHAT VERSE 29 SAYS. HE THEN SAYS, SEE, I HAVE GIVEN YOU EVERY HERB OF THE FIELD. WHAT? I'VE GIVEN YOU WHAT? GOD SAID, “I HAVE GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING THAT YIELDS SEED WHICH IS ON THE FACE OF ALL THE EARTH,” AND IT SHALL BE FOOD FOR YOU. WHAT DID GOD DO FOR THEM? HE GAVE THEM LORDSHIP OR MADE THEM MASTERS OVER ALL OF GOD'S CREATION. AND THEN HE SAYS, AND I GIVE TO YOU THE CREATION. TO DO WHAT? TO SUSTAIN YOU. ARE ALL THINGS YOURS WHETHER THE WORLD? OH, DOES GOD BLESS US THROUGH HIS CREATION OF THIS WORLD OF WHAT HE HAS? CERTAINLY HE DOES. HAS GOD GIVEN MAN AND MANKIND DOMINION ON THIS EARTH? CERTAINLY HE HAS. HAS GOD PROVIDED FOR US VEGETATION AND FOOD, EVEN MEAT UPON THIS EARTH? CERTAINLY HE HAS BECAUSE GOD LOVED US AS HIS ULTIMATE CREATION AND MADE US - THAT HE MIGHT HAVE THOSE CREATURES MADE BY HIM THAT COULD OBEY, THAT COULD FOLLOW, THAT COULD EXIST WITH HIM AND BE ABLE TO PRAISE AND MAGNIFY HIS NAME. FOR HE IS WORTHY.

YOU SEE, THAT IS THE IDEA THAT WE BEGAN TO THINK ABOUT AS WE CONSIDER THE GREAT BLESSINGS THAT GOD GIVES US THROUGH THE EARTH AS HE HAS GIVEN US DOMINION OVER THIS EARTH. BUT THEN WE CAN EVEN GO TO MATTHEW. YOU MIGHT RECALL WITH ME IN THE GREAT SERMON ON THE MOUNT IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 6, THAT JESUS THERE SPENDS QUITE A BIT OF TIME TRYING TO CLARIFY THE IDEA OF WHAT GOD HATH DONE IN CREATING ALL THINGS. BUT DO YOU REMEMBER THERE WHEN HE BEGINS TO SAY WHY ARE YOU WORRIED - IN VERSE 25 - ABOUT YOUR CLOTHING, ABOUT WHAT YOU WILL DRINK. AND THEN HE ACTUALLY ASKS THE QUESTION - IF GOD IS GOING TO CARE FOR THE BIRDS OF THE AIR? IF GOD IS GOING TO CLOSE THE THE FIELD, OR THE LILIES OF THE FIELD? IF GOD HAS MADE THIS CREATION FOR YOUR SAKE AND GIVEN YOU DOMINION OVER IT, HOW MUCH MORE WILL HE CARE FOR YOU? HOW MUCH MORE GLORY - VERSE 28 SAYS - WOULD HE GIVE YOU THAN THE LILIES OF THE FIELD, WHEN YOU ARE ABLE TO NOT ONLY KNOW HIM BUT IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS TO UNDERSTAND AND OBEY AND FOLLOW HIM AND BE CALLED A CHILD, NOT JUST A CREATION, BUT A CHILD OF GOD?

DO YOU SEE WHAT HE ADDS THERE EVEN IN THAT SAME TEXT? VERSE 30 OF MATTHEW 6, “NOW IF GOD SO CLOTHES THE GRASS OF THE FIELD, WHICH TODAY IS, AND TOMORROW IS THROWN INTO THE OVEN,” TOMORROW WILL BE BURNED UP, “WILL HE NOT MUCH MORE CLOTHE YOU…?” AND THEN HE THEN SAYS, “O YOU OF LITTLE FAITH.” WILL HE NOT MUCH MORE GIVE YOU THE FOOD AND SUBSTANCE THAT YOU HAVE NEED OF? WILL HE NOT MUCH MORE GIVE YOU THE SHELTER THAT YOU HAVE NEED OF? THE THINGS THAT THE GENTILES WORRY ABOUT AND SEEK AFTER - VERSE 32. BUT THOSE THINGS THAT IF YOU SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND IF YOU SEEK FIRST HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHAT IS HE SAYING IN VERSE 33? ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED TO YOU. BOY, THAT KIND OF SOUNDS LIKE WHAT PAUL WAS SAYING TO THE HOLY SPIRIT - ALL THINGS ARE YOURS WHETHER THE WORLD OR THE BRETHERN - THOSE OF THE CHURCH - ALL THINGS ARE FOR YOUR SAKE THAT YOU MIGHT WHAT? TO KNOW GOD, FOLLOW GOD, BE FAITHFUL TO GOD, AND BE A CHILD OF GOD. AND THEREFORE, YOU AS WELL, THAT YOU MIGHT BE ALL THINGS TO OTHERS FOR THE SAKE OF GOD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD, IN THE NAME OF GOD. YOU SEE, OUR GOD IS A CARING GOD. A GOD WHO WANTS TO MAKE SURE, THAT AS ANY FATHER OR MOTHER, THAT HIS CHILDREN HAVE WHAT THEY NEED. THAT HIS CHILDREN ARE TAKEN CARE OF.

I ALSO LOVE WHAT IS FOUND THERE IN VERSE 34 OF MATTHEW 6 WHERE HE SAYS, YOU KNOW, IF WE ARE THOSE WHO LIVE IN THIS LIFE - WE SHOULDN'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT TOMORROW HOLDS. YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE GOD WILL PROVIDE. HE SAYS DON'T WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW. TOMORROW HAS IT'S OWN PROBLEMS, IT'S OWN ISSUES. BUT GOD - SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, SEEK FIRST HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS ARE YOURS. ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED TO YOU. ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE PROVIDED FOR YOU. AND SO I HOPE WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO ESTABLISH WELL THE GREAT BLESSING WE HAVE AS THE CREATION OF GOD; MADE IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS, GIVEN DOMINION OVER ALL OF GOD'S CREATION, AND THAT ALL CREATION BEING MADE FOR OUR SUBSTANCE AND ABILITIES TO SUSTAIN OURSELVES UNTIL JESUS COMES AGAIN OR UNTIL THE JUDGMENT, THEN WE UNDERSTAND JUST HOW MUCH GOD LOVES - HE LOVES US - NOT JUST IN GIVING HIS SON, BUT BOY - IT STARTED BACK AT CREATION WHEN HE GAVE US BREATH AND LIFE AND CREATED US IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS.

THE LAST FEW MINUTES HERE THIS MORNING WHAT I'D I LIKE TO DO THOUGH IS TO LOOK AT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN BECAUSE WE DID TALK ABOUT EARLIER THE FACT THAT OFTEN WHEN WE THINK OF THE WORLD AND CONTRAST THE SPIRITUAL THINGS, WE THINK OF THE EVILS OF IT. AND SO WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE MANY THINGS OF THE WORLD OR OTHERWORLDLY NATURE OR EVIL OR WICKED THAT WOULD KEEP US FROM GOD. BUT THERE IS ALSO THE GOOD THINGS OF THIS EARTH THEY CAN KEEP US FROM GOD. YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE SOMETIMES WE WILL PUT THINGS BEFORE GOD. NOW LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. THERE MIGHT BE THINGS THAT AREN'T NECESSARILY WRONG FOR US TO HAVE. WE MIGHT HAVE POSSESSIONS, WE MIGHT HAVE A HOUSE, A CAR. WE MIGHT HAVE RELATIONSHIPS OF MAYBE A WIFE OR EVEN CHILDREN THAT WE LOVE. THOSE ARE ALL GOOD WHOLESOME THINGS. BUT IF WE PUT THOSE BEFORE GOD - THEY'RE OF THE WORLD. THEY MIGHT VERY WELL BE GOOD THINGS OF THE WORLD BUT IF WE PUT THEM BEFORE GOD...IS THAT RIGHT? CERTAINLY NOT. YOU SEE, THE ONE WHO HAS ALL THINGS AS THEIRS, IS THE ONE WHO IS FAITHFUL TO GOD. SO WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT LOVE IS ALL ABOUT PUTTING GOD FIRST AND FOREMOST IN OUR LIVES. AND THEREFORE, WE MUST OVERCOME THE WORLD. WE MUST BE ABLE TO OVERCOME, NOT ONLY THE WICKED AND THE EVIL OF THE WORLD, BUT WE MUST BE WILLING TO EVEN PUT ASIDE THE WORLD IF NEED BE.

I'M REMINDED OF WHAT JESUS SAID SEVERAL TIMES THROUGHOUT THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS. HE ASKED THE QUESTION: ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP FATHER OR MOTHER FOR MY SAKE? ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP MAYBE BROTHER OR SISTER? FATHER-IN-LAW AND MOTHER-IN-LAW? ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP EVEN RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE DEAR TO YOU? TO PUT GOD FIRST? HAVE YOU EVER HAD FAMILY LET YOU DOWN? FAMILY THAT DIDN'T LIKE THE FACT THAT YOU'RE CHRISTIAN? YOU SEE, WE'VE GOT TO PUT GOD FIRST. HAVE YOU HAD JOBS OR THOSE YOU WORK FOR TRY TO KEEP YOU FROM YOUR GOD? WE'VE ALL FACED THOSE KINDS OF STRUGGLES. HAVE YOU EVER ALLOWED ANYTHING OF THIS LIFE TO CREEP IN AND TO KEEP YOU FROM GOD? YOU SEE, WHAT THE LESSON IS ABOUT TODAY IS WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU EVER EVEN CONSIDER THAT? WHEN YOU KNOW, THAT AS A CHILD OF GOD, ALL THINGS ARE YOURS. WHEN YOU LOVE GOD EVERYTHING IS A BLESSING FROM GOD FOR YOUR SAKES. WHAT A WONDERFUL THING THAT IS. BECAUSE WE NEED FAITH.

WE MUST HAVE FAITH IN GOD. AND FAITH IS ACTING UPON WHAT GOD ASKS OF US. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT JOHN WAS DEALING WITH IN THE BOOK OF 1 JOHN CHAPTER 5. YOU MIGHT REMEMBER WITH ME THERE AS HE WAS TALKING ABOUT THE GREAT LOVE THAT GOD HAD BACK IN CHAPTER 4 AND THEN HE TALKS ABOUT THE LOVE WE HAVE FOR GOD BY KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS - NOTICE WHAT HE ADDS THERE IN VERSE 4, “FOR WHATEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMES THE WORLD,” AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD; OUR FAITH. FOR HE WHO OVERCOMES THE WORLD IS THE ONE WHO BELIEVES THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD. YOU SEE HOW BLESSED WE ARE, NOT ONLY TO KNOW GOD THROUGH HIS WORD, BUT TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS GOD? AND THEREFORE, BECAUSE OF THAT LOVE, TO THEN BE ABLE TO OVERCOME THE WORLD - WHETHER IT BE THE EVILS AND WICKED AND FLESHLY THINGS OF THIS WORLD OR WHETHER IT WOULD EVEN BE THOSE THINGS OF THIS WORLD THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS AND WONDERFUL GIVEN BY GOD THAT STILL WE CANNOT PUT BEFORE GOD.

DO WE LOVE GOD THE MOST? ISN'T THAT WHAT JESUS ASKED HIS DISCIPLES ONE TIME? DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE? HE ASKED PETER THAT ONE TIME AS WELL. DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE? FEED MY SHEEP. DO THE WORK. OBEY. LIVE THE LIFE AND BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT IN DOING SO GOD BLESSES THE FAITHFUL. OH YES, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE NOT CAUGHT UP AS WE'VE SEEN IN OUR MAIN TEXT OF 1 CORINTHIANS 3. WE'RE NOT CAUGHT UP IN THE WORLD - THE THINGS OF THE WORLD - THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, THE RELATIONSHIPS OF THE WORLD - BUT KNOWING THAT IF WE PUT GOD FIRST ALL THINGS ARE OURS. AND SO WHETHER PAUL, APOLIS, OR CEPHAS, WHETHER THEY ARE OURS FOR OUR BENEFIT TO KNOW AND TO FOLLOW GOD. WHETHER THE WORLD, IT IS OURS THAT WE MIGHT AGAIN HAVE THE SUBSTANCE AND THE ABILITY - THE DOMINION TO FOLLOW GOD. AND SO THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO KEEP LOOKING AT FOR SEVERAL MORE WEEKS NOW TO UNDERSTAND HOW BLESSED WE ARE! FOR ALL THINGS ARE OURS AS THE FAITHFUL.

NOW, ARE ALL THINGS YOURS TODAY? YOU'VE GOT TO BE A CHILD OF GOD IF THAT'S THE CASE. YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE BEEN OBEDIENT TO JESUS, HAVING CONFESSED HIS NAME THAT HE IS THE CHRIST, REPENTED OF YOUR SINS, AND BE BURIED IN THE WATERY GRAVE OF BAPTISM. IN DOING THOSE THINGS, THE LORD ADDS YOU TO HIS CHURCH AND AS A PART OF THE CHURCH OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD ALL THINGS ARE YOURS AS YOU CONTINUE TO LIVE FAITHFUL AS HE COMMANDS. SO THE CHALLENGE IS YOURS TODAY - TO LOOK INTO YOUR OWN LIFE AND HEARTS AND TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE RIGHT WITH YOUR GOD. FOR ALL THINGS ARE YOURS IF YOU'RE FAITHFUL. BUT IF NOT, OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL THING TO KNOW, THAT EVEN TODAY YOU CAN BE RIGHT WITH GOD THAT ALL THINGS MAY BE YOURS.

CLOSING COMMENTS

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY, IN GIVING THIS TIME TO GOD. I HOPE AND PRAY THAT OUR TIME AND SACRIFICE HAS BEEN ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. WE INVITE YOU BACK EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THE WONDROUS TRUTHS OF OUR GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

Many of these materials are also available on our website: That address is: www.thelivingwordprogram.com

Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

HOW GREAT IT IS TO KNOW THAT OUR GOD HAS BLESSED US WITH HIS WONDERFUL CREATION. JUST THINK OF HOW MUCH GOD MUST LOVE US IN THE FACT THAT HE HAS DONE SO MUCH FOR EACH OF US. TRULY THE WORLD IS OURS AND THE WONDROUS BLESSING OF GOD FROM IT.