THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 8-3-14

LESSON TITLE: “DOING GOOD TO ALL MEN.”

WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS.

RAY: ISN’T IT GREAT TO KNOW GOD AND TO HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF GATHERING TOGETHER AND PRAISING HIS NAME ON THIS WONDROUS LORD’S DAY? THANKS FOR JOINING US ON THIS SPECIAL DAY. WE ARE SO HAPPY TO HAVE YOU THIS MORNING FOR THIS TIME OF OFFERING TO GOD. HOW BLESSED WE ARE IN THIS COUNTRY TO HAVE THE FREEDOM TO ASSEMBLE THIS DAY AND TO GIVE THIS TIME TO OUR CREATOR. IT IS MY HOPE AND PRAYER THAT WE WILL EACH DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME OF WORSHIP ACCEPTABLE IN GOD’S SIGHT AND ACCORDING TO HIS WILL!NOW AS WE BEGIN TO FOCUS OUR THOUGHTS ON GOD, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME BEFORE HIS THRONE IN PRAYER.

PRAYER: OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE PHYSICAL BLESSINGS OF LIFE AND THE FACT THAT WE HAVE ALL THAT WE NEED AND ALL THE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS AND THE FACT THAT WE HAVE ALL SPIRITUALLY THAT WE NEED UNTIL ETERNAL LIFE. FATHER, WE KNOW ONLY THESE GIFTS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GREAT LOVE OF YOUR SON AND THE SACRIFICE HE MADE ON THE CROSS, THE BLOOD THAT HE SHED, THAT WE MIGHT BE FORGIVEN OF SINS AND THAT WE MIGHT BE CONSIDERED AS YOUR CHILDREN AND THAT WE MIGHT BE FOUND PRESENTABLE AND FAITHFUL IN YOUR SIGHT. FATHER, IN THE END GIVE US THAT GREAT REWARD OF HEAVEN THAT WE MIGHT LIVE WITH YOU AND ALL THE FAITHFUL WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE UNTIL THE ENDS OF TIME. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A COMPLETELY QUIET AND RELAXING DAY? PERSONAL AND REJUVENATING TIMES LIKE THESE ARE CERTAINLY A COMMODITY AND THEY USUALLY ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. I KNOW AS A PARENT WHO WORKS, IT REALLY SEEMS THAT THEIR IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT OR ANY TIME FOR SELF. HOWEVER, AT THE END OF THE DAY WE ALL NEED OUR OWN SPACE FROM TIME TO TIME. THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF A PLACE WHERE WE CAN FIND THE STRENGTH WE SEEK, THE WARMTH WE DESIRE, AS WELL AS THE HELP WE REQUIRE IN TIME OF NEED. SO, I HOPE YOU WILL JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “SUN OF MY SOUL!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

SOMETIMES WE MIGHT WONDER JUST HOW MUCH GOD CARES FOR US. WE ARE PROBABLY EVEN GUILTY OF FEELING THAT SOMETIMES GOD JUST DOESN’T CARE AT ALL. HOWEVER, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THIS IS COMPLETELY UNTRUE. IN FACT, THE BIBLE IS FULL OF PERSONAL EXAMPLES AND STATEMENTS GIVEN BY GOD’S FOLLOWERS THAT PROVES THE TRUE CARE AND CONCERN OF OUR LORD FOR US.

ONE SUCH VERSE THAT CONFIRMS GOD’S CARE IS FOUND IN ISAIAH 43:1,2. HERE WE READ ABOUT GOD’S TRUE LOVE AND CARE FOR A FAITHFUL SERVANT AND JUST HOW FAR GOD WILL GO FOR THOSE HE LOVES. THERE WE READ, “BUT NOW, THUS SAYS THE LORD, WHO CREATED YOU, OH JACOB, AND HE WHO FORMED YOU, OH ISRAEL: "FEAR NOT, FOR I HAVE REDEEMED YOU; I HAVE CALLED YOU BY YOUR NAME; YOU ARE MINE. WHEN YOU PASS THROUGH THE WATERS, I WILL BE WITH YOU; AND THROUGH THE RIVERS, THEY SHALL NOT OVERFLOW YOU. WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH THE FIRE, YOU SHALL NOT BE BURNED, NOR SHALL THE FLAME SCORCH YOU.” GOD LOVES US ENOUGH TO ALWAYS BE THERE AND TO ALWAYS STAY BY OUR SIDE.

ANOTHER GREAT VERSE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT HELPS US WITH THIS THOUGHT IS FOUND IN HEBREWS 13:5, THERE IT SAYS, “FOR HE HIMSELF HAS SAID, ‘I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.’” BRETHREN AND FRIENDS, I THINK WE OFTEN FORGET JUST HOW MUCH OUR GOD DOES LOVE US AND CARE FOR US AS HIS ULTIMATE CREATION. NOW, THE QUESTION IS, “HAVE YOU RESPONDED TO THAT LOVE AND CARE THROUGH AN OBEDIENCE TO HIS WILL?” IF NOT, WHY NOT? CHOOSE TODAY TO SERVE THIS LOVING AND CARING GOD AS HE HAS COMMANDED YOU TO.

AS FAR AS OUR SERIES, TODAY WE WILL BE CONTINUING TO TALK ABOUT OUR THEME: “EVERYONE WHO LOVES IS BORN OF GOD!” THE SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY WILL FOCUS ON, “DOING GOOD TO ALL MEN!” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG, I WILL BE LEADING US IN THIS STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE DAY. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “STAND UP FOR JESUS.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE'RE SO GLAD YOU'RE CONTINUING WITH US THIS DAY AS WE GO TO GOD'S WORD AND CONSIDER ANOTHER LESSON IN RELATIONSHIP TO OUR THEME ABOUT THE LOVE OF GOD BEARING ITSELF FORTH IN US. FOR AS SONS OF GOD, WE MUST SHOW FORTH THAT WE HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD. IN FACT, AS THE SCRIPTURES THAT WE HAVE BEEN FOCUSING ON INDICATE THERE IN FIRST JOHN 4:7, “EVERYONE WHO LOVES IS BORN OF GOD.” AND THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF THAT PASSAGE IS NOT ONLY KNOWING THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, BUT EVEN MORE THAN THAT, THAT WE LOVE OUR BRETHREN. AND SO WHAT WE'VE LOOKED AT NOW FOR OVER A MONTH IS THE IDEA THAT, AS THOSE WHO LOVE OUR BRETHREN, THERE ARE CERTAIN TYPES OF ACTIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS THAT NOT ONLY GOD DEMONSTRATES BUT THAT WE MUST IN LOVE DEMONSTRATE IF WE ARE KNOWN AS THOSE WHO ARE BORN OF GOD. BECAUSE THOSE WHO ARE BORN OF GOD LOVE AS GOD LOVES.

AND SO THIS WEEK WHAT WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT IS BASED ON A STATEMENT MADE THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT IN GALATIANS CHAPTER 6. AND WE CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND THAT IN THIS LIFE, GOD HAS PLACED US HERE THAT WE MIGHT DO GOOD. FOR GOD HIMSELF IS DECLARED AS A GOD OF GOODNESS AND THE GOD OF PERFECT GOODNESS. THEREFORE, AS YOU AND I ARE HIS FOLLOWERS, WE WOULD AS WELL WANT TO BE GOOD AS HE IS GOOD. BUT WITHIN THIS TEXT THERE IN VERSE 10, I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS HERE CONCERNING OUR NEED TO DO GOOD AND TO WHOM WE SHOULD DO GOOD TO. VERSE 10 SAYS, “THEREFORE, AS WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY, LET US DO GOOD TO ALL ESPECIALLY TO THOSE OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH.” IT'S QUITE SIGNIFICANT THAT THIS TEXT IS FOUND WITHIN A GREATER TEXT OF THOSE WHO DESIRE TO DO THE WILL OF GOD. IN FACT, IF YOU LOOK AT VERSE NINE HE ACTUALLY SAYS HERE LET US NOT GROW WEARY IN DOING GOOD.

WELL, IF YOU WANT TO DO GOOD WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO? WELL, IT SAYS YOU DON'T LOSE HEART IN DOING GOOD. DON'T GROW WEARY IN DOING GOOD. HOW DO I DO GOOD? I DO GOOD, IT SAYS HERE IN VERSE 10, TO ALL MEN OR ALL OF MANKIND, ESPECIALLY THE BRETHREN OR THE CHURCH. NOW, WE'LL START WITH THE EASY ONE BECAUSE OUR SERIES HAS BEEN ABOUT BROTHERLY LOVE AND SO CERTAINLY IT'S NOT STRANGE FOR US TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE TO DO GOOD TO ALL MEN. I MIGHT REMIND YOU AS WELL HERE THAT AS HE SPEAKS TO THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA, HE IS ADDRESSING THEM, NOT ONLY FROM THE INDIVIDUAL STANDPOINT OF THE LIFE THAT WE LIVE AS INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS, BUT HE IS ADDRESSING THEM AS THE CHURCH. AND SO YOU CAN IMAGINE THAT THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA IN CIRCULATING THIS LETTER WOULD HAVE EACH RECEIVED THE LETTER AND THEREFORE READ THE LETTER BEFORE THE CONGREGATION THAT THE CONGREGATION MIGHT DO WHAT? THAT WHICH IS ACCORDING TO THE HOLY SPIRIT. AND SO HERE HE IS CHALLENGING THEM AS CHRISTIANS TO DO WHAT? TO DO WHAT IS GOOD. WHAT IS THAT? TO BE GOOD TO OTHERS.

THERE ARE MANY PLACES IN SCRIPTURE WHERE WE SEE THIS IDEA OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT OR THE CONCEPTS OF THOSE THINGS WHICH BEAR FORTH THE SPIRIT. AND ONE THING THAT IS ALWAYS CERTAINLY IMPLIED, IF NOT ALSO MENTIONED IN SOME OF THOSE TEXTS, IS THE NEED TO BE GOOD AND KIND AND GENTLE AND THOSE THINGS WHICH AGAIN SHOW US TO HAVE THIS CHARACTER, THIS ATTITUDE, WHICH MAKES OTHERS DESIRE OR WANT TO BE AROUND US. SO IT OBVIOUS THAT WE THEN MUST BE GOOD OR DO GOOD FOR THOSE WHO ARE OUR BRETHREN. WE SEE A BROTHER IN NEED, WE TRY TO HELP WITH THAT NEED. WE SEE A BROTHER WHO IS IN SORROW, WE TRY TO SORROW WITH THOSE WHO SORROW. WE SEE A BROTHER WHO IS REJOICING, WE TRY TO REJOICE WITH HIM. WE SEE A BROTHER WHO NEEDS TO TALK AND WE BECOME GOOD LISTENERS AND WE TRY TO HEAR WHAT IT IS THAT THEY NEED TO HEAR. MAYBE EVEN ENCOURAGE THEM AS BEST WE CAN.

YOU SEE, IT'S NOT STRANGE TO DO GOOD TO OUR BRETHREN IN THE SAME WAY THAT I WOULD WANT TO DO GOOD TO THOSE THAT I LOVE IN MY PHYSICAL FAMILY AS YOU WOULD WANT TO DO GOOD TO THOSE WHOM YOU LOVE IN YOUR PHYSICAL FAMILY. THESE THINGS, BRETHREN, ARE NOT STRANGE AND THEREFORE AS CHRISTIANS WE ARE THE FAMILY OF GOD AND WE MUST DO GOOD TO ONE ANOTHER. AND SO THIS IS THE PLACE IT SAYS THAT IT STARTS BECAUSE ESPECIALLY WITH BRETHREN. ESPECIALLY YOU WANT TO TREAT YOUR BROTHER IN THE RIGHT WAY BECAUSE HE LOVES GOD AND HAS FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AND YOU LOVE GOD AND HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AND YOU CAN'T HELP BUT HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER IF YOU BOTH HAVE PROPER FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD CAN YOU? SO YOU HAVE TO HAVE THAT BROTHERLY LOVE. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THAT DESIRE TO DO GOOD TO ONE ANOTHER, TO TREAT EACH OTHER AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.

MANY OF THESE LESSONS THAT WE'VE LOOKED AT ARE TO FORGIVE EACH OTHER AS WE WANT TO BE FORGIVEN. TO BE ABLE TO BEAR THE BURDENS OF ONE ANOTHER. YOU SEE, ALL OF THESE THINGS SHOW LOVE TO OUR BRETHREN OR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. BUT I WANT YOU TO NOTICE THERE THAT HE DID NOT START AT THAT PLACE. HE ACTUALLY FIRST SAYS, “AS YOU HAVE OPPORTUNITY WHEN YOU HAVE THE ABILITY. NOT JUST THE ABILITY BUT WHEN THAT NEED ARISES - WHEN THAT SITUATION ARISES - WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? IT SAYS DO GOOD TO ALL. AND WE KNOW THAT THE ALL, THE ALL OF MANKIND OR ALL OF GOD'S CREATION, IS NOT TALKING NOW SPECIFICALLY ABOUT BRETHREN OR CHRISTIANS BECAUSE HE SPECIFICALLY IN THE LATTER PART OF THE VERSE CLARIFIES THE BROTHERHOOD AS THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH. SO WHO WOULD THIS ALL BE? WELL, IT HAS TO BE SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH. SO WE ARE TO DO GOOD TO ALL. NO WONDER THEN WE HAVE EXAMPLES WITHIN SCRIPTURE THAT TELL US THAT WE SHOULD DO GOOD UNTO OTHERS BECAUSE EVEN GOD HAS DONE THE SAME.

LET ME BEGIN WITH THOSE THOUGHTS IN RELATIONSHIP TO THESE THINGS BY HELPING YOU SEE A FEW THINGS THAT MIGHT DEMONSTRATE THAT AT LEAST FROM GOD'S PERSPECTIVE. WHO DID GOD CREATE? ALL MAN. WELL, GOD CREATED ALL OF MANKIND. ALTHOUGH HE KNOWS ALL THINGS AND HE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, HE KNEW THAT THE MAJORITY OF MANKIND WOULD REJECT HIM. AS THEY DID IN THE PATRIARCHAL PERIOD AND EVEN IN NOAH'S DAY AS THEY DID IN THE MOSAIC PERIOD AS THEY DO EVEN IN THE CHRISTIAN AGE. THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD REJECTS LIVING FAITHFUL OR BEING FAITHFUL TO THE TRUE GOD OF ALL. WELL THAT'S A SAD THING BUT IT'S TRUE AND IN RELATIONSHIP TO THAT THEN WE SEE THE FACT THAT GOD STILL LOVES. HE STILL LOVES THOSE WHO ARE HIS ENEMIES, AS WE'VE ALREADY LOOKED AT A LESSON THAT TALKS ABOUT OUR NEED TO ALSO LOVE OUR ENEMIES.

BUT I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE. GOD, THE PHILIPPIAN WRITER SAID, LOVED ALL MAN, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS BEFORE BECOMING CHRISTIANS, WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS CHRIST DIED FOR US. WELL, THAT ALSO TELLS US VOLUMES ABOUT THE LOVE OF GOD. THAT ALSO TELLS US VOLUMES ABOUT WHAT IT IS THAT GOD IS WILLING TO DO FOR HIS CREATION BECAUSE HE IS WILLING TO GIVE US, AS WE SEE HERE CLEARLY, THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT WITH THE HOPE THAT WE MIGHT CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. WITH THE HOPE THAT WE MIGHT SEEK AND FOLLOW AFTER HIM. YOU SEE, WE ARE TO DO GOOD UNTO ALL MEN BECAUSE GOD HAS DONE THIS.

THERE'S A VERSE ALSO IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT I THINK THAT INDICATES THESE IDEAS. AND RIGHT AFTER, IT SPEAKS OF THE FACT THAT WE MUST LOVE OUR ENEMIES, CERTAINLY BASED ON THE FACT OF HOW GOD HAS SHOWN LOVE TO ALL OF MANKIND. EVEN IN THE FACT THAT SOME HAVE REJECTED HIM. VERSE 45 SAYS THAT WE MAY BE CALLED SONS OF OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. AND THEN IT SAYS THIS ABOUT OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. IT SAYS THAT HE, GOD, MAKES HIS SUN RISE ON THE EVIL AND ON THE GOOD AND THAT HE, GOD, SENDS HIS RAIN ON THE JUST AND THE UNJUST. WELL, WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE SUN IS AND THE POWER OF THE SUN, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SUN IN RELATIONSHIP TO EVERYTHING THAT IS INVOLVED IN OUR EXISTENCE. AND WE ALL KNOW THE SIGNIFICANCE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RAIN. NOTICE HOW GOD BRINGS FORTH THESE BLESSINGS AND THEY FALL ON ALL OF MANKIND? IT'S NOT LIKE IT JUST RAINS AND IT FALLS ON A CHRISTIAN AND NEXT TO HIM IS STANDING AN UNFAITHFUL PERSON, A NON-CHRISTIAN, AND IT'S RAINING ON THE CHRISTIAN AND IT'S NOT RAINING ON THE OTHER. OR THE SUN IS SHINING ON THE CHRISTIAN AND IT'S NOT SHINING ON THE GUY SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO HIM ON THE BENCH. HOW RIDICULOUS. GOD SENDS HIS BLESSINGS. GOD GIVES THE BENEFITS - THE DOUBTS. HE OFFERS THE GIFT TO ALL OF HIS CREATION. HE CARES AND LOVES. IN FACT, WE KNOW THIS TO BE THE CASE BECAUSE IN THE BOOK OF PETER IT SAYS THAT HE'S NOT SLACK CONCERNING HIS PROMISES AS SOME COUNT SLACKNESS BUT HIS LONG-SUFFERING. HE WANTS ALL MEN, NOT SOME, ALL MEN TO REPENT.

DO YOU SEE NOW MAYBE WHY GOD IS A GOOD GOD? NOT ONLY IS HE THE CREATOR, NOT ONLY HAS HE DONE SO MUCH FOR MAN BUT HIS DESIRE IS THAT ALL MEN WILL REPENT. THAT ALL MEN WILL REPENT AS GOD HAS COMMANDED. AND SO THAT BEGINS THEN TO HELP US TO APPLY THESE CONCEPTS TO OURSELVES. AS GOD DESIRES THAT ALL MEN RECEIVE GOOD AND SOME GOOD, AND THAT REALLY THEY'RE NOT BEATEN DOWN OR DOWNTRODDEN BECAUSE OF THEIR CHOICE OF WICKEDNESS, AT LEAST IN THIS LIFE. THAT THEY MIGHT SEE THE GOOD THAT IS AVAILABLE FOR THEM IN GOD. THEN WE ARE TO AVAIL OURSELVES OF THE SAME CHARACTER ARE WE NOT? AS GOD STRIVES TO BE GOOD TO ALL OF MANKIND, CERTAINLY WE ARE. AND THAT'S WHY THE VERSE HERE SAYS, DO GOOD TO ALL OF MANKIND. DO GOOD TO ALL MANKIND BEING IT EVEN THAT IS YOUR ENEMY.

WE'VE LOOKED AT THE TEXT THERE IN MATTHEW 4 OR RATHER MATTHEW 5:44 MANY TIMES WITHIN THIS SERIES. BUT ALBEIT THAT IT IS EVEN YOUR ENEMY - THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU - WHO DO SPITEFUL THINGS AGAINST YOU - YOU ARE TO LOVE THEM, THE TEXT SAYS. TO DO GOOD BECAUSE EVEN GOD ALLOWS IT TO RAIN ON THE JUST AND THE UNJUST. YOU SEE THE POINT? WE ARE TO SHOW FORTH CHRIST NO MATTER WHAT. WE ARE TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK NO MATTER WHAT BECAUSE OUR GOAL IS TO SHOW OURSELVES TO BE GOOD. TO BE GOOD AS GOD IS GOOD. TO BE WILLING TO ENDURE WHATEVER IT TAKES IN THE NAME OF GOD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD, THAT OTHERS MIGHT SEE HIM IN US. YOU KNOW, IT CAN'T HELP BUT MAKE SOMEONE WONDER WHY YOU'RE SO GOOD. WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO. YOU KNOW, IF WE SIMPLY BEHAVE LIKE THE WORLD, NO ONE WILL EVER SEE US AS GOOD OR GODLY. NO ONE WILL EVER BE INFLUENCED AT LEAST BY US IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE THINGS OF GOD TRYING TO GET THEM OUT OF THE WORLD.

BUT IF WE STRIVE TO BE GOOD, IF WE STRIVE TO HAVE A SPEECH THAT IS GOOD AND PURE AND RIGHTEOUS - THAT STANDS OUT. YOU KNOW, YOU GO ON THE JOB, YOU GO TO THE STORE - YOU HEAR A LOT OF FOUL LANGUAGE. YOU TURN ON THE TELEVISION, YOU GO TO A MOVIE - YOU HEAR A LOT OF FOUL LANGUAGE. A LOT OF BLASPHEMY EVEN OF PEOPLE SPEAKING AGAINST GOD. YOU SEE THINGS THAT ARE BEING SAID, YOU HEAR THINGS THAT ARE BEING SAID THAT OUGHT NOT TO BE SAID. BUT YET WHEN YOU HEAR THAT, I CAN ASSURE YOU'RE NOT THINKING I WONDER WHERE THEY GO TO CHURCH? I WONDER HOW GOOD OF A CHRISTIAN THEY ARE? BUT WHEN ALL OF THAT IS AROUND AN INDIVIDUAL AND YOU NOTICE AT WORK THAT SOMEONE DOESN'T JOIN IN THAT, AND ALTHOUGH EVERYONE ELSE MIGHT BE CURSING, WHEN YOU TALK TO THIS ONE INDIVIDUAL THEIR LANGUAGE IS ALWAYS SEASONED WITH GRACE. IT IS ALWAYS PROPER. IT'S ALWAYS GOOD AND THEREFORE YOU BEGIN TO WONDER WHAT IS SO UNIQUE AND WHY ARE THEY SO UNIQUE?

HAVEN'T YOU IN YOUR LIFE, YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE, HAD SOMEONE SAY TO YOU BEFORE: YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN AREN'T YOU? AND I MEAN IN A POSITIVE WAY BECAUSE THEY SEE THOSE CHARACTERISTICS THAT YOU ARE DOING GOOD, THAT YOU ARE ACTING GOOD, THAT YOU ARE BEING KIND, THAT YOU'RE ACTING KIND, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE THREE PEOPLE WHO CHECKED OUT BEFORE YOU IN THE LINE ALL WERE RUDE TO THE CASHIER. AND YET THEN YOU SHOWED KINDNESS OR GOODNESS. YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN - WHERE DO YOU GO TO CHURCH? THERE'S SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT YOU. EVEN THOUGH IT MIGHT BE OUR FAULT AND WE'RE NOT GIVING THE BEST SERVICE TODAY, YOUR SPIRIT IS UNIQUE. IT'S NOT THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD. IT'S NOT THE ACTIONS OF THE WORLD. IT'S BEYOND OR ABOVE THIS WORLD. IT'S GOD-LIKE. YOU SEE, WE STRIVE TO SHOW FORTH IN OUR GOODNESS. OUR GOODNESS, WHO GOD IS, AND WHAT HE CAN DO FOR OUR FELLOW MAN.

NOW, AS WE HAD TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, THERE ARE CERTAINLY MANY LESSONS THAT APPLIED THIS CONCEPT OF GOODNESS TO OUR FRIENDS OR NEIGHBORS BUT ALSO EVEN IN OUR ENEMIES OR THOSE THAT WE MIGHT NOT WOULD BE FRIENDS WITH, EVEN IN REAL LIFE. WE WON'T LOOK AT IT IN DETAIL TODAY BUT WE HAVE LOOKED MANY TIMES THERE IN THE BOOK OF LUKE AT THE STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN. OBVIOUSLY IT ALWAYS IS A STORY THAT STANDS OUT AS FAR AS SOMEONE WHO IS WILLING TO DO GOOD TO A NEIGHBOR. BUT IT REALLY THEN BEGINS TO PRESENT THAT QUESTION: WHO IS OUR NEIGHBOR AND WHAT WAS THE POINT THAT THIS STORY GIVES? WHOEVER, EVEN THE ONE THAT FALLS AMONG THIEVES - EVEN OUR ENEMY, WHOEVER IS ALIVE WITH BREATH IN THIS LIFE IS ONE THAT WE SHOULD BE NEIGHBORLY TO, ONE THAT WE SHOULD BE GOOD TO, ONE THAT WE SHOULD SHOW KINDNESS TO AND BE GENTLE WITH BECAUSE IN ALL OF THESE SITUATIONS, WE ARE THE LIGHTS OF GOD. WE SHOW FORTH THE THINGS THAT GOD WOULD HAVE US TO SHOW FORTH. BECAUSE WE LOVE HIM AND WE WANT TO BE LIKE HIM.

I THINK OF THE MANY TIMES IN THE EXAMPLE OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST IT SAYS THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO DID AND SAID AWFUL THINGS TO HIM. REMEMBER HOW THE JEWS KEPT TRYING TO TRICK HIM? DO YOU REMEMBER HOW EVEN MANY OF THEM WANTED HIM DEAD AND EVEN WERE MAKING THREATS AGAINST HIM? DO YOU REMEMBER THE TIMES HE WAS EVEN BEATEN? DO YOU THINK JESUS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY OR THE TIMES THAT HE COULD HAVE BEEN UNKIND, NOT GOOD? HE COULD HAVE RESPONDED WITH AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH. BUT YET WHAT DID HE DO? HE REMAINED HUMBLE. HE REMAINED WITH THE PROPER SPIRIT. THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT HE NEVER SAID WHAT NEEDED TO BE SAID. BUT IT DOES MEAN THAT HE ALWAYS DID IT WITH THE RIGHT SPIRIT AND ATTITUDE. THAT HE WAS STRIVING TO SHOW FORTH A GOODNESS. THAT HE ALMOST HAD THE ABILITY AS IF NOT TO BLAME OTHERS AND EVEN WHEN THERE WAS BLAME AND ENOUGH BLAME TO GO AROUND. LIKE WHEN HE WAS CRUCIFIED, WE SAW LAST WEEK HE WAS FORGIVEN. HE WAS, NOT FORGIVEN, BUT HE WAS WILLING TO FORGIVE ALL THOSE. EVEN THOSE WHO HAD PLACED HIM THERE ON THE CROSS.

CERTAINLY JESUS NEEDS NO FORGIVENESS BECAUSE HE WAS PERFECT IN THIS LIFE AS GOD IN THE FLESH. BUT I WOULD THEN CHALLENGE YOU THIS DAY TO THINK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT WE STRIVE TO DO GOOD TO ALL MEN. NOT ONLY THAT WE FIND OURSELVES IN THE POSITION WHERE WE ARE CONFIDENT IN OUR SALVATION. WHEN WE ARE ASSURED OF WHAT IT IS THAT GOD HAS PROMISED US THROUGH HIS GRACE, MERCY, AND LOVE. BUT THAT WE MIGHT THEN BE THE EXAMPLES TO THIS WORLD THAT HELP THE WORLD, A LOST AND DYING WORLD BY THE WAY MY FRIEND, WHERE MOST HAVE REJECTED GOD TO SEE THAT THERE IS A UNIQUE PLACE TO TURN. THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE FOUND BESIDES THE WORLD AND ITS WICKEDNESS. THERE'S A PLACE WHERE GOODNESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND PURITY CAN BE FOUND. AND NOT ONLY CAN THEY BE FOUND AND EXPERIENCED AND ACTED UPON BUT THERE IS A REWARD INVOLVED. YOU KNOW, WHEN WE TAKE IT TO THE FARTHEST EXTENT HERE WE ARE GOOD BECAUSE WE KNOW THE BENEFITS. THE BENEFITS - ISN'T THAT TRUE EVEN IN A FAMILY? THE CHILD IS GOOD BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE BENEFITS OF NOT GETTING A SPANKING OR GETTING A REWARD IF THEY ARE GOOD. WHY NOT BE THE CHILDREN OF GOD WHO LOVE AS GOD LOVES? WHO KNOW THE BENEFITS OF GOD ARE OURS IF WE STRIVE TO DO GOOD TO OUR BRETHREN. AND NOT ONLY OUR BRETHREN BUT ALL OF GOD'S CREATION, EXACTLY AS COMMANDED.

CLOSING COMMENTS

MAY I AGAIN TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND THUS A BLESSING TO US ALL. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE INVITED BACK TO JOIN US EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS TIME OF WORSHIP BEFORE 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

ARE YOU STRIVING TO DO GOOD UNTO ALL MEN IN THIS LIFE AS GOD REQUIRES. IF NOT, MAKE SURE TODAY TO EXPRESS THE LOVE OF CHRIST FOR ALL OF HIS CREATION. CERTAINLY, ANYONE WHICH GOD CREATED IS WORTH OUR TIME AND ENERGY!