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Watch 2022 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Boldness Needed - Part 2

Allen Jackson - Boldness Needed - Part 2

Allen Jackson - Boldness Needed - Part 2
TOPICS: Boldness

It's an honor to be with you again. We're walking through a series on "Leading with Faith". We need a whole new generation of leadership in our nation. Not necessarily about ages, but a generation of people who are willing to lead with their faith. We've led with our pocketbook, we've led with our preferences, we've led with our recreation, but allowing our faith to be the influence of our lives is one of the great opportunities of the days we're walking through. We're gonna talk a little bit about the boldness we're gonna need.

Folks, I'm over passive Christianity. You know, we have to love all people, but we don't have to love all behaviors, and we need the courage to say there is truth and there is deception, there is right and there's wrong, there's moral and there's immoral. We're not condemning people, but if we don't tell people the truth about behaviors, we will release them to God's judgment and we'll be held accountable. It's gonna take some boldness to be the church in the days ahead, but I believe with the help of the Spirit of God and the truth of his word, we can take a place and be difference makers with what's unfolding in the earth. It's an exciting time to be a Christ follower. Grab your Bible, get a notepad, most of all, open your heart.

Sometimes I think we imagine boldness as recklessness and I think the opposite is true. It wasn't true in Jesus's case, Jesus was not reckless, he wasn't flamboyant, he wasn't boisterous, he wasn't arrogant, quite the opposite. He didn't have to make a case, he didn't have to establish his credibility, he didn't try to convince Pilate. Faith has to be combined with patience. Ahh, I don't even like saying it out loud, but it's biblical. Hebrews chapter 6 in verse 12, "We don't want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised".

How do you get to your inheritance in the kingdom of God? Through faith and patience. Oh, now that the highway's finished, God's gotta use somethin' else, right? Same chapter, Hebrews 6 verse 14, it's to Abraham. It says, "I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you. And so having patiently waited, he obtained the promise". Faith, when it's combined with patience, is a powerful force in your life. Again, we have to trust the Lord, and that is just not an easy place for us. That carnal part of me wants what it wants when it wants it the way it wants to. I know you're not like that, pray for me. James chapter 1 and verse 2, "Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces something".

How many of you knew that the testing of your faith had a product? There's a byproduct of faith under stress. It says it produces patient endurance. Why would you want that? Because it's a necessary byproduct of your faith being refined. You see, a lack of patience is an immature faith, and God needs us to grow up. If we're gonna have bold faith, if we're gonna lead with our faith, we're gonna have to have more than the immediate view. "Well, I prayed once and nothing happened," or "I participated for six weeks and I didn't get the outcome I wanted," or "I didn't think I'd have to walk this path," or whatever it may be. We all have those seasons of our lives when we go, "Oh, this wasn't the way I imagined it". Galatians 6 and verse 9, "Let us not become weary in doing good".

You know why the Bible tells us that? 'Cause I get weary with doing good. How many of you'd like to tag out? "Ah, here, I am done doing good for the week. Boom, rest of the week you talk back to me, I'm hitting you. You're bigger than me, I'm gonna get an equalizer. You pull out in front of me, I'm going to ram you with my car. I'll wave, Jesus loves you. Give me the finger, I'll back up and hit you again, 'cause I've tagged out of bein' good this week". I know y'all never think like that, pray for me. Well, this says don't get weary in doing good. I know why it's there, 'cause I think, you know, I don't know. We need to finish it. Don't become weary in doing good. Some of us don't ever get weary 'cause we don't do much good. It didn't say don't grow weary in being selfish.

"Don't go weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest". If, you've got a circle that little preposition, if, if we don't give up. If you give up, you forfeit the benefit. Don't give up. "But I'm tired," duly noted, don't give up. "But I think I've had all I can stand". I understand, but don't give up. You can tell me how you feel, I'll listen, and then I'll stand with you and say, "But don't give up". "But it's not fair". I agree it's not fair, but don't give up. "But I don't like it". I get it, but don't give up. Don't give up. "But there's a thousand reasons why should," but don't give up. "But it's taken longer". Don't give up. "I'm disappointed," don't give up. Don't grow weary in doing good. In fact, let's approach it a different way.

Weariness is to be expected. When you get weary of doing good, you go, "Oh, yeah, that's normal". That's why Paul wrote that, he knew what it was to get weary we're doing good. He knew the church was gonna get weary with doing good. So, I'm standing right there with Paul. Weariness is to be expected. Fatigue is a part of our design. If you don't ever get fatigued, you're too lazy to even move, right? What's the worst part about exercising? You get tired, right? If you don't ever exercise, "you don't get tired. I don't know what these people talk about, they're just exhausted". It's called movement. We've been so passive in the church. We've forgotten how to stand up. "Having done everything to stand, stand therefore".

Don't capitulate, "Ooh, I'm tired". Oh, yeah, fatigue is a part of our design, it serves a purpose. Did you know you can forfeit your reward? You can forfeit your reward? Moses forfeited his trip into the Promised Land. First Corinthians 10 verse 13, "No temptation deceives you except what is common to man". There's no temptation that seizes anyone of us except those things that would be in the normal category. "And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear". You know what Mother Teresa said in response to that verse? Sometimes she wished God didn't have so much confidence in her. "But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it". My takeaway from that passage is God will provide a way. God will provide a way. I would've preferred he provided a way around it, but sometimes he provides a way through it. "Even if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil".

Sometimes we have to walk paths that take us through shadowed valleys. "He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies". I don't wanna eat with my enemies, I want them to choke all by themselves, right? Anybody would get up and say, "I would hope I could have a banquet with all of my enemies". No, not really, but sometimes God prepares that banquet for us. Are we willing for that kind of bold faith? God I know you'll provide a way. It's harder than I wish it were. Yes, it is. Who said it was easy? Who said that being a Christ follower is easy? Who said honoring the Lord with your life was simple? That it was always going to be fun or make you happy? Or that it would be the safest thing or the easiest thing? I have not. My experience would not support those things.

I'll give you one last piece. We gotta wrap it up. Talkin' about bold faith, faith under pressure, faith and endurance. There seems to be another component here around bold faith, and it's to understand God and how he redeems time. I haven't made any secret that God's timing is inscrutable. In Romans chapter 5 and verse 6 it says, "You see, at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly". The redemptive work of Jesus took place at just the right time, just the right time, and yet the Bible tells us very plainly that there had been generation, upon generation, upon generation of godly people that had longed to see the Messiah. They longed for it with all our hearts, from Moses and Abraham. I mean, a long time, long way on our timeline lookin' forward to Jesus, and at just the right time, God sent him. Which means generation, after generation, after generation would have loved to have seen him, but they didn't.

Hebrews 11 and verse 11, "By faith, Abraham, even though he was past age," that's biblical nicety for he was old, "And Sarah herself was barren, was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise". It goes on to say that "Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death". Abraham received a promise when he was a young man, and the fulfillment of that promise didn't come into his life until it was beyond his ability to make it a reality, why? I'm not sure. The most outstanding attribute of Abraham's life that I'm aware of when I read his story in Scripture is that he waited. He made all kinds of mistakes on more than one occasion when he was under pressure and there was somebody looking lustfully upon his wife.

He said, "Oh, she's just my sister". I mean, that's not exactly the character you'd want to cultivate. I mean, there's multiple examples of Abraham being far from stellar in solving, but the characteristic that holds him up as the father to us of our faith is that he waited patiently. So, God must attach a significance to that that we don't fully understand. What did Abraham gain from his patience? He had confidence that God would raise the dead to fulfill his promise to him. By the time he got to that point that Isaac was a young man, you know, if he has to raise him from the dead, we got this covered. Wow, bold faith, bold faith, not immature faith.

Look in Jonah, you know that story. Jonah's the big fish story in the Bible. It says, "The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. 'Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.'" What happened the first time the message came to Jonah? He said I want you to go to Nineveh. Nineveh was north and a bit east, and Jonah went south and west until God interrupted his trip. They threw him overboard, you remember that. It said he prepared a fish, and from the belly of the fish Jonah prayed. He didn't have anything to say to God until he got into the belly of the fish. He had a little repentance spell and the fish vomits Jonah back up on the beach. It says, "The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time".

You ever think Jonah was listening just a tad more carefully? Seaweed wrapped around his throat, I'm thinkin' he's listening. Well, there's an application that I think is appropriate for you and me, because in our own ways we've all been Jonas. We all understand God has put invitations before us, or opportunities in front of us, or times in our lives when there was a God opportunity before us and we either it could've cared less, or we just walked the other direction. Some of us live with some real grief and some live with some guilt. I don't think it's an appropriate. I hope we can break it tonight. But if you're anxious because you think the window of opportunity has closed on your dreams, I think Jonah is a great example that God is able to redeem time that seems lost to us.

"Hey, Jonah, I've got an assignment for you". "Oh really, what a thought, where would it be"? God can realign your dreams. He can redirect your hopes. He can repurpose your gifts and abilities. And if you have neglected God's invitations and you took a detour, God is able to bring you back and present to you another invitation. You may have parented in a season when faith was not at the center of your life, and you feel like perhaps you missed an opportunity in those young lives, and there's a sense of concern and anxiety around that. I would remind you that God is able to do in a moment of time what you and I failed to do in years. We don't have to deny it, we don't have to hide it, we can have an honest conversation with the Lord, even a prayer of repentance. Lord, I'm sorry. Offer your dreams to the Lord. Don't allow the calendar to rob you of your faith.

I had imagined this would happen by this time in my life, or I thought I would be at this juncture by this season of my life, or I never thought I would be at this age in my life and facing whatever. Surrender your calendar to the Lord. It takes bold faith. God, I'd rather have your plan for my life, and your purpose for my life, and your outcome for my life. I'd love to see Nineveh, thank you. You know why Jonah didn't wanna go to Nineveh? He was astute enough. He was politically aware of my opinion, it's not spelled out in the book. But my opinion, he was astute enough to know that the emerging world power was Assyria, the capitol of which was Nineveh, and if God's judgment came on them, it would be a more extended period of freedom for his own people, because Nineveh was the agent God would use to bring judgment. And he didn't want to go there, 'cause he said, if you follow the whole story through the book, he said I knew if I came here and told these people that they would repent.

Do you understand the implication? I would rather them not repent and your judgment come on them. This is the prophet. God may send us to some people that we didn't want to go to. Philippians 3 and verse 13, "One thing I do". The preceding verses say, "I don't consider myself to have achieved all of this". "There's one thing I do," Paul said, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus". I don't think that's just a verse about refusing to be complacent. That's an appropriate application, but I think there's more there.

Paul tells us he had to leave behind his failures. He was an angry, murderous, violent man. He cheered while they murdered Stephen in the streets around Jerusalem. He had to leave behind his failures. He had to leave behind his momentum, his resume that was filled with stellar accomplishments and all the reasons that he should've been promoted ahead of his peer group. He had to choose to be identified as one of those people. He had to leave behind his security and his plans, and he honestly said the way forward is a strain. How many of you've imagined that following the Lord, and pursuing God's best, and embracing God's best means you're gonna have to lean into it? You ever seen a horse lean into a harness?

And I laugh, I like westerns, but on television, horses can run forever. You'd kill a horse running it uphill. Not in the movies, they can pull wagons, and stagecoaches, and run all day long. Horses get tired just like you do. But I have this image, I've seen an animal lean into a hardness, and the strain that comes until the muscles quiver with the effort of pulling against the resistance, tremendous strength, but there's a resistance, and when I read that and Paul said I strain towards what's ahead of me, bold faith.

I want to close with one last prayer. I want to pray that we'll have the necessary patience to receive the promise. Nobody gives in. Nobody gives up. That we'll have the courage to endure. I can tell you one component that will help a great deal is the more clarity you have, the clarity of vision of what's ahead, the greater your endurance. The benefit of reading your Bible, knowing what the Scripture says. You go, "Oh, I was expecting that. I'm a little weary with doing good". Yeah, yeah, I remember the book said that was a symptom. If you do good, you get weary with it.

You know one reason why you get weary with doing good? 'Cause not everybody says thank you appropriately. This doesn't need to be extravagant. You ever let anybody in traffic? You know, you have a little eternal debate, I don't want to let 'em in, I'm in a hurry, O don't want to let 'em in, I'm in a hurry. Good you wins out, you let 'em in and they don't acknowledge you. Bad me takes over. I knew you were evil, I could tell by the way you were sitting there staring at me. Next time you feel weary doin' the right thing, "Oh, yeah, I knew that was a part of this". It's like sweating when you exercise. "Oh, yeah, I'm not melting, that's normal. If I did this more often, that would happened every time".

Wow, what a thought. We don't wanna forfeit our reward, bold faith. Bold faith, we've had passive faith long enough. We've been quiet waiting for somebody else to do it, politicians, somebody. Somebody needs to get on a school board and do somethin' about this. How about if you just start praying every day for the schools that you drive past on a regular basis? Start, use your influence, you have words and a heart, and I gotta hush. Stand up, we're going to pray. If the teenagers line up outside the adult sanctuary waiting on us, that's a bad sign.

Father, thank you for your word, for its truth, and power, and authority in our lives. I thank you that you love us, that you love us enough to discipline us and to cause us to grow and mature, and you put us in places to refine our faith. We pray for one another tonight. Lord, I pray especially for those who are tired and weary. I pray that you would renew their strength, body, soul, and spirit. For those who are straining, Father, standing at a difficult place and the resistance is significant. I pray that you would refresh their strength, bring others alongside of them to help lift the load. Give them clarity, Father, that you're at work, that it's your invitation before them, that there are breakthroughs ahead, and deliverances ahead, and outcomes ahead. That we will celebrate for all eternity.

I thank you that you've called us to something more than just our comfort, and convenience, and our selfish satisfaction. That you've called us to this generation to be salt and light, to lift up, to hold up the truth of the gospel, and to be advocates for Jesus of Nazareth. May we do that in such a way that those that are searching for the truth and searching through the darkness would know the light and the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. May you be pleased with us. May not one of us forfeit the reward that you have ordained for us, in Jesus's name, amen.

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