THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 5-17-15

LESSON TITLE: “LIFE IS OURS.”

WELCOME

HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO KNOW GOD AND TO HAVE THE HEALTH, STRENGTH, AND WILL-POWER TO GIVE THIS TIME TO HIM ON THIS LORD’S DAY MORNING. THANK YOU FOR PUTTING GOD FIRST TODAY AND CHOOSING TO COMMIT THIS TIME OF OFFERING TO HIS SERVICE.

TODAY, WE WILL AGAIN BE UPLIFTED THROUGH OUR COMMITMENT TO SERVING GOD AS COMMANDED, AS WE APPROACH HIS ALMIGHTY THRONE. HOW ENJOYABLE IT WILL BE TO WORSHIP OUR GOD THROUGH PRAYER, SONG AND THE STUDY OF HIS MATCHLESS WORD. WON’T YOU DO YOUR PART THIS MORNING TO SEE THAT OUR WORSHIP TOGETHER IS ACCEPTABLE SO THAT OUR GLORIOUS CREATOR MAY BE GLORIFIED? NOW, AS WE BEGIN OUR OFFERING TO GOD, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME IN PRAYER!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY GREAT BLESSINGS OF LIFE. FATHER, WE ARE SO THANKFUL THAT WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO KNOW YOUR WILL THROUGH THE BIBLE AND THAT WE CAN DO THOSE THINGS THAT WE HAVE BEEN COMMANDED IN IT. AND FATHER, WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER PLEASE GIVE US THAT PROMISED REWARD OF ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN WITH YOU THAT WE MIGHT LIVE WITH YOU. AND FATHER, ENJOY THAT PROMISE THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THOSE WHO LIVE AS THEY SHOULD IN THIS LIFE. WE ASK YOUR BLESSINGS ON US - THAT WE MIGHT AGAIN BE ABLE TO, NOT ONLY LIVE AS WE SHOULD, BUT TO HAVE ALL THAT WE NEED IN OUR DAILY LIVES. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

WELL, IT’S TIME TO JOIN IN OUR SONGS OF PRAISE. THE FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING IS ENTITLED, “TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE.”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

I LOVE THE WORDS PETER PROCLAIMED IN ACTS 10:34-35. THERE WE READ, “THEN PETER OPENED HIS MOUTH AND SAID, ‘IN TRUTH I PERCEIVE THAT GOD SHOWS NO PARTIALITY. BUT IN EVERY NATION WHOEVER FEARS HIM AND WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS IS ACCEPTED BY HIM.’” HERE WE LEARN THAT GOD LOVES ALL MEN EQUALLY.

FURTHERMORE, ANYONE WHO WILL OBEY GOD AND DO HIS WORKS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY HIM. PETER MADE THE SAME TYPE OF STATEMENT IN HIS OWN BOOK, 2 PETER 3:9. THIS TEXT SAYS, “THE LORD IS NOT SLACK CONCERNING HIS PROMISE, AS SOME COUNT SLACKNESS, BUT IS LONG SUFFERING TOWARD US, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.” GOD DOES LOVE ALL MEN AND WANTS EVERYONE TO COME TO REPENTANCE, NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE, WHERE THEY ARE FROM OR WHERE THEY LIVE - AGAIN, GOD IS NO RESPECTOR OF PERSONS.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ALTHOUGH SCRIPTURE IS SO CLEAR ON THIS POINT, SOME STILL TRY TO CLAIM THAT GOD’S WORD IS ONLY FOR CERTAIN PEOPLES, RACES OR CULTURES. SO JUST HOW FAR DOES GOD GO WITH THIS IDEA? HOW ABOUT THOSE OF DIFFERENT COLOR OR OF DIFFERENT CULTURES? PAUL HELPS US WITH THIS IDEA IN GALATIANS 3:26, THIS VERSE SAYS, “FOR YOU ARE ALL SONS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.” VERSE 28 AND 29 OF THE SAME OPENING GO ON TO SAY, “THERE IS NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK, THERE IS NEITHER SLAVE NOR FREE, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE; FOR YOU ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. AND IF YOU ARE CHRIST'S, THEN YOU ARE ABRAHAM'S SEED, AND HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE.” NO DOUBT THIS IS WHY OUR LORD GAVE THE GREAT COMMISSION TO THE DISCIPLES AS WELL AS US IN MATTHEW 28, AS WELL AS MARK 16. THESE TWO PASSAGES PROCLAIM TO ALL FOLLOWERS OF GOD THAT WE MUST, “GO IN TO ALL THE WORLD,” “TO EVERY NATION,” “TO ALL PEOPLES.” AND WHY? TO “PREACH THE GOSPEL,” TO EVERYONE WHO WILL HEAR. FURTHERMORE, THOSE WHO RESPOND AND OBEY ARE GOD’S CHILDREN, HIS SON’S, AND HEIRS ACCORDING TO GOD’S PROMISES.

DO YOU AS A CHRISTIAN OBEY GOD’S LAW OF LOVE AND CARE FOR ALL MEN? ARE YOU A PERSON TODAY, WHO NEEDS TO RESPOND TO A GOD WHO LOVES YOU NO MATTER WHAT - AS LONG AS YOU ARE WILLING TO REPENT, OBEY AND FOLLOW HIM. “TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION!”

AS FAR AS OUR TOPIC OF THE DAY, THIS MORNING WE WILL CONTINUE OUR SERIES ENTITLED, “FOR ALL THINGS ARE YOURS.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY WILL DEAL WITH PAUL’S STATEMENT, “LIFE IS OURS.” SO STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, WE WILL BE LEAD IN THE MAIN THOUGHTS OF THE DAY. AS FAR AS OUR SPEAKER, WE ARE HAPPY TO AGAIN HAVE BROTHER BRENT GREEN WITH US. BROTHER BRENT IS THE MINISTER FOR THE HWY 13 CHURCH OF CHRIST IN BOLIVAR. WE THANK HIM FOR JOINING US THIS DAY TO LEAD OUR STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD.

WELL, NOW IT’S TIME TO JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE MORNING. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “STANDING ON THE PROMISES.”

LESSON

BY BRENT GREEN

WHAT A GREAT PRIVILEGE IT IS AS ALWAYS TO OPEN GOD'S WORD AND STUDY FROM IT. IN 1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 3, BEGINNING THERE IN VERSE 21, PAUL SAYS, “THEREFORE LET NO ONE BOAST IN MEN FOR ALL THINGS ARE YOURS; WHETHER PAUL OR APOLIS OR CEPHAS OR THE WORLD OR LIFE OR DEATH OR THINGS PRESENT OR THINGS TO COME - ALL ARE YOURS.” AND THAT LIST THERE OF THINGS THAT PAUL SAYS BELONG TO US, THE THINGS THAT ARE OURS, HE SAYS LIFE IS OURS. THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MOMENT. IN WHAT WAY IS LIFE OURS?

WELL, CONSIDER IF YOU WOULD THAT LIFE FIRST IS OUR GIFT FROM GOD. IN THIS WORLD TODAY THERE ARE MANY THAT HOLD THE IDEA THAT MAN, AS WELL AS EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD, EVOLVES. IT JUST CAME TO BE ON HIS OWN. WELL, THINK ABOUT THAT FROM THE SCRIPTURE - HOW THAT IS NOT ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD. IN THE BIBLE IN BOOKS LIKE GENESIS CHAPTER 2 VERSE 7, WE FIND THE WORDS FOR US THAT TEACH US THAT LIFE IS SOMETHING THAT ORIGINATED WITH GOD AND FROM GOD, AND THEREFORE OUR LIVES TODAY ARE STILL A GIFT FROM GOD. GENESIS CHAPTER 2:7 SAYS, “THE LORD GOD FORMED MAN OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND, AND BREATHED INTO HIS NOSTRILS THE BREATH OF LIFE; AND MAN BECAME A LIVING BEING.” IT WAS GOD, WHO THERE IN GENESIS CHAPTER 1 AND 2, MADE ALL OF THE EARTH AND ALL THAT WAS IN IT. AND GOD ALSO MADE MAN - AND GOD BREATHED INTO MAN THE BREATH OF LIFE AND MAN BECAME ALIVE. HE BECAME A LIVING BEING, AS IT SAID THERE. THUS WHAT IS LIFE? WELL, LIFE IS A GIFT OF GOD. OUR LIFE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS THAT, NOT AS THE RESULT OF THOUSANDS AND MILLIONS OF YEARS OF EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS, BUT LIFE IS A GIFT OF GOD.

AS WE HOLD TO THAT LIFE BEING A GIFT OF GOD, WE NEED TO CHERISH EVERY SINGLE DAY OF OUR LIVES AS A BLESSING, AS IT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED. THERE IN BOOK OF DANIEL - DANIEL CHAPTER 5 - WE'RE REMINDED HOW GOD IS THE ONE WHO HOLDS LIFE IN HIS HAND. AND AS GOD HOLDS THAT LIFE IN HIS HAND WE SHOULD CONSIDER EVERY SINGLE DAY THAT WE HAVE - EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES - AS A GIFT OF GOD. DANIEL 5 THERE IN VERSE 23, IT READS THERE IN THAT VERSE, CONSIDERING WHAT IT IS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US AND WHAT IT IS THAT GOD HAS BLESSED US WITH, WE HAVE THERE THE STATEMENT IN RELATIONSHIP TO THIS LIFE THAT GOD HOLDS IT IN HIS HAND. WELL, IF GOD HOLDS LIFE IN HIS HAND, THEN WE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHERE WE CAME FROM OR WHAT WE CAME TO BE OUT OF NOTHING. BUT GOD HOLDS LIFE DEAR AND WE SHOULD HOLD OUR LIVES DEAR AND OUR LIVES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE A VERY BLESSING FROM GOD. OUR LIVES THEREFORE, AGAIN, ARE A GIFT FROM GOD.

OUR LIVES ALSO ARE A CHANCE TO OBEY IN THIS LIFE. IN THIS LIFE THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT WE COULD FOLLOW - MANY THINGS THAT WE COULD DO BUT WE DON'T KNOW IF TOMORROW WILL COME. THE WORDS OF SOME SONGS OVER THE YEARS HAVE EXPRESSED THAT VERY IDEA, IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES. WELL, SOMETIMES WE FORGET ABOUT THAT. WE DON'T THINK ABOUT WHETHER THERE WILL EVEN BE A TOMORROW. WE JUST GO THROUGH LIFE THINKING - WELL, I HAVE ALL THE TIME THE WORLD. WELL, OUR LIVES ARE A CHANCE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE USE THEM TO OBEY GOD. BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW IF THERE WILL BE A TOMORROW. THE SCRIPTURE OFTEN MENTIONS HOW SHORT LIFE IS. BOOKS LIKE JAMES, JAMES 4:14 SPEAK OF LIFE BEING LIKE A VAPOR THAT APPEARS FOR A SHORT TIME AND THEN VANISHES AWAY.

THROUGHOUT OTHER BOOKS OF THE BIBLE - BOOKS LIKE PSALMS AND ALSO THE BOOK OF JOB - SPEAK OF LIFE BEING LIKE SMOKE OR LIKE A OF VAPOR THERE, ONCE AGAIN, OR EVEN A RUNNER WHO IS RUNNING QUICKLY BY. LIFE IS VERY SHORT. I LIKE THE ONE ALSO IN THE BOOK OF JOB, JOB 14:2, THAT LIFE IS LIKE A FLOWER THAT FADES AWAY. HOW BEAUTIFUL THOSE FLOWERS ARE, ESPECIALLY IN THE SPRINGTIME, THAT COME UP IN ALL THE REDS AND PURPLES AND YELLOWS. AND AS SOON AS THEY BLOOM, IT DOESN'T TAKE THEM VERY MANY DAYS TO FADE AWAY. WHAT WAS BEAUTIFUL - WHAT EXISTED IN A BEAUTIFUL PART OF GOD'S CREATION - FADED AND DIED. LIFE IS SHORT BUT OUR LIVES ARE A CHANCE TO OBEY.

EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE SHORT, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DO INDEED LIVE FOR THE DAY. LIFE IS ABOUT LIVING FOR GOD IN THE PRESENT. ECCLESIASTES 12:13-14, THERE SOLOMON GIVES TO US IN HIS WISDOM; THE WISDOM GIVEN TO HIM BY GOD THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS LIFE. WHAT WAS THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER? TO, “FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, FOR THIS IS MAN'S ALL.” THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS TO LIVE FOR GOD. OUR LIVES ARE OURS, AND AS THEY ARE OURS, WE ARE TO LIVE THEM AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE THOSE WHO OBEY GOD IN THIS LIFE. 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 6:2 TELLS US THAT TODAY IS THE ACCEPTED TIME. TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION. WE SHOULD BE LIVING FOR GOD TODAY. OUR LIVES ARE A CHANCE IN THE PRESENT - IN THE NOW - TO LIVE FOR OUR GOD. THERE IN THIS LIFE, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE SEIZE THAT OPPORTUNITY. THERE IN THE SCRIPTURE ONCE AGAIN, THIS TIME SECOND CORINTHIANS, 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 5 IN VERSE 15, TEACHES US HERE FROM GOD'S WORD WHAT IT MEANS TO MAKE SURE WE TAKE HOLD OF THIS OPPORTUNITY OR SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE FOR GOD AND TO OBEY HIM IN THE PRESENT.

THERE IN 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 5:15 IT SAYS THAT, “HE,” CHRIST, “DIED FOR ALL, THAT THOSE WHO LIVE SHOULD LIVE NO LONGER FOR THEMSELVES, BUT FOR HIM WHO DIED FOR THEM AND AROSE.” OUR LIVES ARE CHANCE TO LIVE FOR GOD, TO LIVE FOR CHRIST TODAY. NOT TO WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW BECAUSE TOMORROW MIGHT NOT COME BUT TO LIVE FOR GOD IN THE PRESENT. OUR LIVES SHOULD BE LIVED BY FAITH. PAUL SAID THERE IN GALATIANS 2:20, “I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST; IT IS NO LONGER I WHO LIVE, BUT CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME; AND THE LIFE WHICH I NOW LIVE IN THE FLESH I LIVE BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.” PAUL SAID I LIVE FOR CHRIST. HE UNDERSTOOD THAT HIS LIFE WAS HIS OWN IN THE SENSE THAT GOD HAD GIVEN IT TO HIM BUT HAD GIVEN IT TO HIM FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING THAT CHANCE IN THIS LIFE - THE CHANCE TO LIVE FOR GOD. HE UNDERSTOOD THAT AND HE LIVED ACCORDINGLY.

OUR LIVES, AGAIN AS THEY ARE OURS, ARE LIVES THAT ARE TO BE LIVED. AGAIN FOR GOD, BUT SPECIFICALLY HERE ON THIS OCCASION AS A TIME TO SHINE FOR GOD. OUR LIVES ARE A TIME TO SHINE - TO BE BRIGHT LIGHTS IN THIS WORLD FOR OUR GOD. MANY PEOPLE CONTINUE TO LIVE IN DARKNESS, BUT MAN ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD SHOULD NOT LIVE IN THAT DARKNESS - THE DARKNESS OF SIN IN THIS WORLD. GOD SPOKE OF HIS OWN PEOPLE IN ISAIAH CHAPTER 59 THROUGH THE PROPHET THERE IN VERSE 2 AND SAID THERE THAT THEIR SINS AND THEIR INIQUITIES HAVE SEPARATED THEM FROM GOD. SIN, DARKNESS AND ALL THAT PERTAINS TO IT SEPARATES ONE FROM GOD. GOD SAID THAT'S NOT HOW IT SHOULD BE. ALSO THERE IN ISAIAH CHAPTER 59 DOWN IN VERSES 9 TO 10, BECAUSE OF THEIR SIN, BECAUSE OF THEIR SEPARATION FROM GOD, THEY WERE LIKE THE BLIND WHO WEREE WALKING IN DARKNESS. THEY WERE GROPING FOR THE WALLS BUT COULDN'T FIND THEM. THOSE WHO ARE IN THE WORLD OF SIN ARE LOST. THEY'RE BLIND AND THEY CANNOT FIND THE WAY. MAN SHOULD NOT LIVE IN DARKNESS. GOD'S PEOPLE - CHRISTIANS TODAY - SHOULD NOT LIVE IN DARKNESS.

GOD WANTS HIS PEOPLE TO USE THEIR LIVES AS A TIME TO SHINE MATTHEW CHAPTER 5:16. THERE JESUS SAID, “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.” WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE? OUR LIVES, AS THEY BELONG TO US - AS GOD HAS GIVEN THEM TO US, ARE TO BE USED TO LET OUR LIGHT SHINE FOR GOD. TO BE THOSE BRIGHT LIGHTS IN THIS WORLD. PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 2:15 THERE SAYS THAT WE AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THE WORLD. AGAIN, NOT TO WALK IN DARKNESS - NOT TO GO BACK TO THE FORMER LIFE, BUT TO BE THOSE WHO SHINE IN THIS WORLD. ALSO THERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, EPHESIANS CHAPTER 5:8, THAT WE'RE NOT TO WALK AS CHILDREN OF DARKNESS BUT TO WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT. WHEN WE BECOME GOD'S CHILDREN IN THE WATERS OF BAPTISM, WE RISE TO WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE - HAVING GIVEN UP THE OLD LIFESTYLE SIN, GIVEN UP BEING SONS OF DARKNESS, AND WE BECAME SONS OF LIGHT. THAT'S WHAT GOD WANTS US TO USE OUR LIVES FOR. OUR LIVES ARE TO BE A TIME TO SHINE. BE THOSE BRIGHT LIGHTS IN THIS WORLD.

GOING BACK AGAIN TO THE IDEAS EXPRESSED THERE BY JESUS IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 5 AS HE TELLS US THERE IN VERSE 16 TO LET OUR LIGHT SHINE. AND A FEW VERSES BEFORE, HE ILLUSTRATED HOW IT IS THAT WE ARE TO DO THAT. MATTHEW CHAPTER 5:14 - JESUS SAID, “YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A CITY THAT IS SET ON A HILL CANNOT BE HIDDEN. NOR DO THEY LIGHT A LAMP AND PUT IT UNDER A BASKET.” LAMPS GIVE LIGHT TO ALL WHO ARE IN THE HOUSE. BE THAT LIGHT THAT GOD REQUIRES. USE YOUR LIFE AS A TIME TO SHINE. THE LIFE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO YOU - USE IT TO BE THAT CITY ON A HILL. USE IT TO BE THAT BRIGHT LIGHT. USE IT TO BE THAT LIGHT THAT GIVES LIGHT UNDER THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD. HELP OTHERS FIND THAT VERY LIGHT OF CHRIST. OUR LIVES ARE A TIME TO SHINE.

OUR LIVES ARE ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE. THAT'S ONE THE GREATEST POWERS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US. GOD MADE MAN WITH FREE WILL. GOING ONCE AGAIN TO THE BOOK OF GENESIS, GENESIS CHAPTER 2 - AFTER GOD MADE MAN HE SPECIFICALLY STATED UNTO ADAM AND EVE HIS REQUIREMENTS FOR THEM THERE IN THE GARDEN. GENESIS CHAPTER 2, THERE IN VERSE 15 SAYS THE FOLLOWING, “THEN THE LORD GOD TOOK THE MAN AND PUT HIM IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN TO TEND AND TO KEEP IT. AND THE LORD GOD COMMANDED THE MAN, SAYING, ‘OF EVERY TREE OF THE GARDEN YOU MAY FREELY EAT; BUT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL YOU SHALL NOT EAT, FOR IN THAT DAY THAT YOU EAT OF IT YOU SHALL SURELY DIE.’” GOD SAID TO ADAM (TO THE MAN), HERE IS THE GARDEN. HERE IS THE GARDEN OF EDEN. YOU CAN LIVE IN IT. YOUR JOB IS TO TEND AND TO KEEP IT. BUT HERE'S THE REQUIREMENTS OF THAT TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL - YOU CAN'T PARTAKE OF IT. GOD GAVE MAN FREE WILL. HE GAVE HIM REQUIREMENTS. GAVE HIM RESPONSIBILITIES. GAVE HIM HERE A COMMAND AND ADAM AND HIS WIFE EVE HAD A CHOICE TO MAKE. AS YOU THINK ABOUT THAT CHOICE, THAT IS WHAT OUR LIVES ARE MADE UP OF. A SERIES OF CHOICES. EVERY SINGLE DAY WE GET TO CHOOSE WHAT WE WILL DO. GOD MADE US TO HAVE FREE WILL AND THAT IS THE GREATEST POWER THAT WE HAVE HERE IN THIS LIFE.

JOSHUA CHAPTER 24:15 SPEAKS OF THIS CHOICE. AND JOSHUA SAYS BEFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL AT THE END OF HIS LIFE THIS GREAT CHOICE THAT THEY WOULD HAVE. HE SAYS TO ISRAEL - YOU CAN GO BACK AND YOU CAN SERVE THE GODS OF THE EGYPTIANS. YOU CAN SERVE THE GOD OF THE AMORITES AND THE LAND THAT YOU NOW DWELL IN, BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD. HE SAID CHOOSE FOR YOURSELVES THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE. WHAT WAS HE PUTTING BEFORE HIM? THE FACT THAT THEY HAD THE POWER TO CHOOSE. JUST LIKE ADAM AND EVE HAD THE POWER TO CHOOSE AND THEY CHOSE WRONGLY THERE AS THEY CHOSE TO BREAK GOD'S COMMANDS AND EAT OF THAT TREE. AND SADLY EVEN IN JOSHUA'S DAY AND THE DAYS THAT WOULD FOLLOW THERE WOULD BE THOSE WHO WOULD CHOOSE NOT TO OBEY GOD BUT WOULD CHOOSE TO OBEY THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD. BUT THE POINT IS WE HAD THE POWER TO CHOOSE.

SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH THAT POWER? WELL THINK WITH ME AT WHAT WE FIND THERE IN THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY - DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 30. CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT OUR LIVES SHOULD BE USED AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE TO SERVE GOD - THE WORDS OF MOSES. THE FINAL WORDS HERE BEFORE HE DIED ARE VERY SIMILAR IN A LOT OF WAYS TO THE WORDS OF JOSHUA AFTER HIM. LOOK THERE IN DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 30 BEGINNING IN VERSE 15. THERE IT SAYS, “SEE, I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU TODAY LIFE AND GOOD, DEATH AND EVIL, IN THAT I COMMAND YOU TODAY TO LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD, TO WALK IN HIS WAYS, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS; HIS STATUTES AND HIS JUDGMENTS, THAT YOU MAY LIVE AND MULTIPLY; AND THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL BLESS YOU IN THE LAND THAT YOU GO TO POSSESS. BUT IF YOUR HEART TURNS AWAY SO THAT YOU DO NOT HEAR, AND ARE DRAWN AWAY, AND WORSHIP OTHER GODS AND SERVE THEM, I ANNOUNCE TO YOU TODAY THAT YOU SHALL SURELY PERISH; YOU SHALL NOT PROLONG YOUR DAYS IN THE LAND WHICH YOU CROSS OVER THE JORDAN TO GO AND POSSESS. I CALL HEAVEN AND EARTH AS WITNESSES TODAY AGAINST YOU, THAT I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING; THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, THAT BOTH YOU AND YOUR DESCENDENTS MAY LIVE.” WHAT IS IT THERE THAT MOSES TOLD ISRAEL? YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE. ON ONE HAND YOU HAVE LIFE AND GOOD AND THE BLESSINGS THAT WILL FOLLOW. AND ON THE OTHER HAND YOU HAVE DEATH AND EVIL AND THE CURSINGS THERE THAT WILL FOLLOW. AND MOSES SAID YOU MUST CHOOSE. OUR LIVES ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE. LET US USE THEM AS SUCH. LET US USE OUR LIVES THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE NOT TO SERVE THE THINGS OF THE WORLD BUT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE TO SERVE GOD EVERY SINGLE DAY.

OUR LIVES FINALLY ARE A TEST FOR ETERNITY. YOU CANNOT ESCAPE TESTS - YOU TAKE THEM IN SCHOOL. MAYBE YOU TAKE THEM AT WORK. ALL OF LIFE ULTIMATELY IS ONE TEST. OUR LIVES SHOULD BE THOUGHT OF AS A TEST FOR ETERNITY. LIFE IS THE GREATEST TEST OF ALL TIME. PSALM 17:3 SAYS THAT OUR HEARTS WILL BE TESTED. THERE ALSO IN LUKE CHAPTER 6:48, THAT OUR ENDURANCE WILL BE TESTED. WHETHER WE WILL PASS THE TEST BY OVERCOMING ALL THE TRIALS OF THIS LIFE. EVEN FIRST PETER CHAPTER 1 VERSE 7 SPEAKS TO THE FACT THAT OUR FAITH WILL BE TESTED - THAT THE GENUINENESS OF IT, WHETHER WE HAVE TRUE LIVING FAITH OR WHETHER WE WERE JUST GOING THRU THE MOTIONS, THAT OUR FAITH WILL BE PUT THE TEST. JUST LIKE PRECIOUS METALS ARE TESTED BY FIRE, SO WE WILL BE TESTED TO SEE WHETHER WE ARE GENUINE IN OUR FAITH. OUR LIVES ARE A TEST FOR ETERNITY. THERE IN JAMES CHAPTER 1 IN VERSE 12 - WE HAVE A VERSE THERE THAT REMINDS US, ONCE AGAIN FROM THE SCRIPTURE, OF WHAT THE END RESULT OF THIS TEST WILL BE IF WE PASS THIS TEST OF FAITH. JAMES 1:12 SAYS, “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO ENDURES TEMPTATION; FOR WHEN HE HAS BEEN APPROVED, HE WILL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE WHICH THE LORD HAS PROMISED TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” THE CROWN OF LIFE TO THOSE WHO PASS THE TEST. OUR LIVES ARE A TEST FOR ETERNITY. WHEN WE OVERCOME SIN, WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE TESTED AND THEY ARE APPROVED, WHEN WE PASS THE TEST OF ENDURANCE, WHEN WE PASS THE TEST OF FAITH AND OVERCOME, WE HAVE THAT CROWN OF LIFE AWAITING US. LIFE IS A TEST FOR ETERNITY.

LET US MAKE SURE AS WE CONSIDER PAUL'S STATEMENT - THAT LIFE IS OURS AND THAT WE NEVER FORGET HOW LIFE IS OURS, THAT OUR LIVES ARE A GIFT OF GOD. THAT OUR LIVES ARE A CHANCE TO OBEY, THEY ARE A TIME TO SHINE, THEY ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE, AND THEY ARE A TEST FOR ALL ETERNITY. NEVER FORGET THAT LIFE, AS IT'S BEEN GIVEN TO YOU BY GOD, SHOULD BE A LIFE THAT IS USED FOR GOD. THERE IN PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1:21, WE ARE REMINDED THAT WE ARE TO LIVE FOR CHRIST. LET THAT BE FIRST AND FOREMOST ON OUR MINDS EVERY SINGLE DAY WHILE WE USE OUR LIVES GIVEN TO US BY GOD TO SERVE HIM AND NEVER TO TURN ASIDE THAT SERVICE.

CLOSING COMMENTS

WHAT A BLESSING IT HAS BEEN TO JOIN TOGETHER IN THE THINGS OF GOD THIS MORNING. THANK YOU FOR DOING YOUR PART IN MAKING ALL THESE THINGS TO BE ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. AS ALWAYS, WE INVITE YOU BACK EVERY LORD’S DAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS OFFERING FOR 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:

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HOW WONDERFUL LIFE IS WITH ALL OF ITS BLESSINGS AND PROMISES FROM GOD. THE QUESTION IS, “ARE ALL THINGS YOURS” AS A CHILD OF GOD? WHY NOT MAKE SURE YOU ARE RIGHT WITH YOUR CREATOR EVEN TODAY, SO THAT THIS TRUTH MAY BE REALIZED IN YOUR DAILY LIFE.