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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Remember Your Deliverances - Part 1

Allen Jackson - Remember Your Deliverances - Part 1

Allen Jackson - Remember Your Deliverances - Part 1
TOPICS: Deliverance

I want to spend a few sessions with you talking about leadership, particularly with a biblical worldview. A biblical worldview simply means that we understand our world from a God perspective, that we accept God's truth and his principles, his premises. There are competing worldviews, not everybody sees the world in the same way, not every worldview arrives at the same conclusions about the value of human life and the dignity of human beings. You need to understand what a biblical worldview means and why it's valuable. It's more than words, a biblical worldview is demonstrated by the fruit of your life, not the statements of your mouth.

That's a biblical notion, Jesus said that we would be known by our fruit and that if the fruit of our lives doesn't reflect our adherence to his kingdom, he said we really only have one purpose, and that's to be cut down and thrown into the fire. It's a pretty significant statement. So this biblical worldview notion is important but I have a larger objective and I wanna begin intentionally, in a very purposeful way, perhaps more than we ever have as the community of faith, to develop a new generation of spiritual leaders. I don't know that there's ever been a greater need, we're suffering from a lack of leadership at every level of our society.

We seem to have forgotten that character is the cornerstone of leadership, the recipe for leaders does not begin with talent or celebrity or success. I'm not opposed to those things but leadership begins with an awareness of what God is doing, what he's asked us to do, and then the determined pursuit of that objective; that is true leadership. See, God redeems our character, that's our story. From the brokenness of our lives, God's power restores. We're not Christ followers because of some innate perfection or some moral superiority or some heightened sense of enlightenment that we make better decisions. We're Christ followers because our failures and flaws and mistakes and shortcomings have become the canvas where the grace and mercy of God are demonstrated for all the world to see.

We will readily acknowledge that we are a work in progress and that Almighty God and his power or being demonstrated in the brokenness of who we are as people. But it's an important process and we can't interrupt it and give license to our carnal indulgence, we can't choose to act like the people in the world and imagine that we're Christ followers. We have to continually submit ourselves to the lordship of Jesus, give invitation to the Spirit of God to bring to the surface those places that can be transformed or from which we can be delivered. And we can never lose sight of the majesty and the wonder of our God. We hold him in awe, he's not like us. We have a message to the world, there is a God and he can be known. We're not inviting them to religious services or to worship times or to public gatherings or to construct theological treatises, we're inviting them to know the Creator of all things.

I brought you a couple of portions of Scripture 'cause they highlight this to me, and we can do these portions indefinitely but we don't have, well, we probably do have time so just take a deep seat. Panic rippled through the congregation. In Matthew 14, in verse 25, it's Jesus, it says, "During the fourth watch of the night," the last watch of the night, "Jesus went out to," the disciples, they're in a boat on the lake. Matthew records it rather casually. They're in a boat, he's not. Then Jesus went out to them, just before sunrise, walking on the lake. He says that as if we've all done it.

The disciples have been gone for a while, he decides he'd like to visit with them so he goes out to them walking on the lake. And you read that like it makes sense to you. Jesus could do what he needed to, he could find tax money in a fish's mouth, he could raise somebody from the dead, he could call Lazarus out of the tomb when he was stinky. And on this particular morning, he decides he'll take a walk on the lake. I've been to that lake dozens and dozens and dozens of times, I've walked around it, I've swam in it, I have never walked on it. I've tried, that's how I get to the swimming in it part.

"When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified". Smart men. I'm thinking if you're in the middle of a lake in the middle of the night or early in the morning and somebody comes walking up to your boat, you should be anxious. They were terrified. "'It's a ghost'... they cried out in fear". They were so afraid they screamed, grown men in a boat; Peter, screaming. Jesus said, "Take courage"! I want to say, "Children," but he didn't say that. "Take courage! It is I". You don't have to be afraid. The one we call Lord doesn't know the limits that you and I know, he can walk on the lake, he can open a blind eye, death couldn't hold him.

Folks, we need to be reminded. We quibble about hymnals or choruses, we complain because it was raining when I came to church today and I got damp. How's my hair? It messes us up. "I can't believe I had to come to church on a day like..." Jesus is not like us. We have a message for the world, there's hope. The limits, the frailty, the brokenness don't have the power to diminish your existence if you will yield to the lordship of Jesus. It's important, don't ever forget the message we've been entrusted with. Why would we yield our lives to him? because there's no one like him, there never has been and there never will be. He has the name above every name, that at his name, every knee will ultimately bow. And we're the 21st century edition of his messengers, wow.

Let me step ahead in the narrative a bit to the book of Revelation, very near the end. John, one of Jesus's friends, the closest of his friends, has a vision of the end of the age, of Jesus's return, and his assignment is to tell it to us. The book of Revelation opens and God said, "I want to tell the people what it will be like before you come back," and Jesus said, "I have somebody prepared to receive the message," so he sent an angel to John. And listen to this, it's Revelation 19, "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. And with justice he judges and makes war".

Spoiler alert, it's Jesus on the horse, and before they tell us who it is they tell us that he's coming back to the earth to judge with justice and to make war on his enemies. I took a moment with that because you hear a lot of people say, "Well, Jesus is all about love," and that's true, he is about love, but he's also about justice, but a justice according to his righteous standards of truth. Not so much that we hear about these days. "And his eyes were like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. And he has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven are following him, riding on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

And out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. 'He will rule them with an iron scepter.' And he treads the wine press as the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. And on his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS". Jesus is coming back. He's not coming back as a vulnerable baby, born and placed in a stable in a manger for the shepherds to celebrate. He's coming back with all the angels of heaven. He's coming back to judge justly and to make war on his enemies.

Folks, we have an assignment, we cannot complete this age until the Gospel of the kingdom has been proclaimed in all the world. That's not for somebody else to do, that's for us to do. And if we will embrace that with a bit more intentionality, as if we actually think that should be accomplished and that we might have something to do with that, we will facilitate the return to the Lord. There is no answer for the suffering of humanity greater than the return of the King.

If we just look around the world around us, I've been encouraging you for months and months and months now to watch and to listen, to think and to act, there's so much happening, it's easily missed. We're accepting some of the standards that have become more routine to us as if they're normal; they're not normal, or they haven't been normal in our lives previously. We experience shortages and delayed delivery of almost every imaginable thing. I talked to some friends who are visiting the church last night, they work in the automotive industry and they said, they work at the corporate level and they said, "We have no cars". One of them said, "My job is to call dealers all over the country and try to explain them to why they have only two or three cars on their lots".

That's not new, it's not talked about greatly, but shortages have become routine. I was in the grocery store the other morning, it was New Years Eve morning. I was in the grocery store and many things weren't on the shelves and when I got to the checkout there was crazy long lines, there were more than 20 people, 20 baskets in line. There was a lot of confusion, a woman stopped me and said, "I don't know where to go," so I just stopped, I played traffic cop, I just started to have fun. I know that's hard to imagine. But truthfully, I was annoyed and frustrated and impatient, and I thought, "You know, I can either stand here and sulk or we can have some fun," so we just had a little fun at the grocery store.

That isn't always, I mean, it used to happen every time it snowed, but it only snowed in Tennessee, you know, every three or four years. It's become routine. Other things are changing, ideas and free speech are routinely censored because someone, we're not exactly sure who, but someone deems them untrue or unreliable. Since when did untrue things be shut down? We've spent our whole lives listening to bologna. It's a Greek word for untrue. Propaganda has replaced the reporting of news much of the time. Some things that I'd thought defined our way of life like hard work and self-reliance, today, they seem kind of antiquated, out of date. They have succumbed to the invitation to live for the moment and get all you're entitled to.

Science, I'm an advocate for science, I began my college career in the sciences. Science is a process of rigorous observation of our world, then the formulation of a hypothesis which can be tested and hopefully will lead us to a substantial theory which can then be tested more completely. Well, science has been co-opted by things like political expediency and financial gain. It's uncomfortable, it's awkward, it's an unsettling thing to watch happening at such a rapid pace. Truth has crumbled, trust has been trampled, and truthfulness is just seldom found anymore, we don't even aspire to truthfulness.

The education of our children; now admittedly, too long ignored on our part, but the education of our children has been engulfed in relativism. Things like the uniqueness of the Christian faith, American exceptionalism and civic responsibility are mostly absent in the preparation of the next generation of leaders. And they are essential if we're going to flourish. We're responsible for this failure. I could go on with the list, I think you realize what's happening around us is unprecedented in its magnitude, the rapidity with which is happening, and it's happening with such frequency it's kinda hard to keep up with it. It's uncomfortable to watch, so we just try to whistle, "Let's go binge watch something and not think about it".

Well, the future still not clear and the answer is not gonna be determined by politicians or political parties or ideologies or nation states. Now, those may be delivery systems; in fact, I suspect they will be, but the real root of all of this will be God's people. Will we awaken to his holiness and his purity and his integrity to such a degree that he'll respond on our behalf, or will we see his judgment come? It's not a simple, easy time, it just isn't. Some will say, "Well, I don't like that". I appreciate that, neither do I particularly. We're being forced to make difficult decisions day after day, week after week, to solve problems we haven't seen before, to adapt to new circumstances, to hear new expressions of ungodliness and immorality and hate that are unimaginable coming to us from some very powerful places. And we're being asked to navigate that.

May I make a suggestion? Let's just decide to do difficult things. Let's just decide this is one of those seasons like waking up to have several inches of snow on the ground, it's gonna be more problematic, it's not gonna be as easy to do the routine things. That's true of this season. Let's just determined that's the way it is and decide we're gonna finish well. Let's just determine to complete the course, to see the Gospel proclaimed fully, to see Jesus's name exalted, to see his kingdom extended and his will done on the earth as it is in heaven. That's our assignment. "Well, I liked it better before," duly noted, but this is where we are, we're making a new normal. Let's make the new normal more godly, let's make the new normal more holy, more righteous, more pure, with more integrity, with more truthfulness.

I know we'd like somebody else to do that but we're the motley crew that God has called, we're the crackpots through whom his power is being demonstrated, as awkward as it is. One of the things I would submit or suggest is you start to keep a good news list. I try to keep one personally, with the things that I see God do on a regular basis, it's overwhelming. 'Cause sometimes, with the avalanche of the junk and the knuckleheads, you just think, "Ah," but God is moving. You need a personal list, but then you need a bigger picture list, because God is moving, his truth continues to break forth.

On almost a weekly basis, in some major way there's a victory for truth. But if you're not listening for it, because the truth isn't typically celebrated with the same enthusiasm and the same intensity that the darkness is, so you have to be listening and paying attention, but you want to keep note because God is moving and the most remarkable and dramatic of ways. We can talk about Christmas time, and the hundreds of families that were helped and the thousands of people that were served, or we could talk about church over the last few months and baptizing more people than any similar period in the history of our congregation. We're reaching more people with the Gospel on a daily basis than anytime since our little congregation came into existence, and that's just one little sample set.

And you can tell your personal stories, we can see it on the national level. They told us about two years ago right now that 2 million of us would most likely die from COVID, and we didn't, we do not have tens of thousands of COVID orphans, thank God. No harm in that, no foul in that, it was a cautionary warning, thank God he delivered us; that needs to be on your good news list. It wasn't very long after that they told us we would have massive food shortages. Remember that? We'd never see toilet paper again. You believed them 'cause you bought every, and right behind that came the Clorox wipes. It didn't happen, we're still eating, too much. Then we lived month after month after month with a Russian collusion narrative, that our government had been co-opted by a foreign actor and the most powerful officers in our land were occupied by traitors. That's been demonstrated to have been a hoax, not by some political activist, but by US attorneys.

John Durham, after years of investigation, he exposed the political roots of those accusations. That's good news no matter which side of the aisle you're on, we should celebrate that. It wasn't celebrated with the same enthusiasm that the accusations were but the truth was brought forward. You know, throughout my life, if I reviewed my story I would have to say to you, without question, God has been faithful. I can't look back at a single instance where I would say that the faithfulness of God has not defined my journey. But I would also say to you that, along the way, most frequently, I've complained to him about his timing. Anybody else like that? It's not that God hasn't done his part, he just didn't do it when I wanted him to 'cause yesterday was really when I asked for it.

And when I think of my good news list, God's truth is breaking forth, I just wonder about his timing sometimes. That's why he's God and we're not. We had a breakthrough just this past week, there have been multiple ways it has come forward, one was Dr. Fauci, it had to do with COVID-19 hospitalizations. There's been a lot of concern for our children and their vulnerability to COVID. It's a very real disease, I've done enough funerals around that, I'm not imagining that it isn't, we don't want to be reckless or foolish, it needs to be given our attention but the treatment of it has been a little inconsistent.

Dr. Fauci himself said that he was changing the way children's hospitalizations would be acknowledged, that up to this point if a child went into the hospital for any reason, a broken bone or a car accident, and they tested positive for COVID, it was reported as a COVID hospitalization. These were his words. And he said that it isn't helpful to do that, it's induced too much fear, so they're gonna report the cause for the hospitalization first. That's a breakthrough. The governor of New York said something similar about the way New York state would process hospitalizations around COVID.

Those are breakthroughs, that's truth in the public square. The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to take up a case that will bring Roe v. Wade back into their consideration. It's not completed yet, we don't know the outcome. If they were to the judge in favor of the children, it would push the decision back to the states and spare the lives of untold numbers of children. That's a breakthrough, God is moving in the public square. "But it's difficult," yes, go to the head of the class. It will be more difficult to see God's will done in the earth, if you're not willing to engage the challenge it's highly improbable it's going to happen.

The call of Scripture is to be overcomers, we've preferred to be overlookers, "Let's just overlook that, it's not that big of a deal, just a slight indiscretion, small bending of the truth, just modest deception". If we're going to come to a better outcome, we'll have to decide to be overcomers; it begins in our own lives, in our own spheres of influence. But God is moving in the earth, he's moving in the public square.

I want to pray with you before we go, but I want to remind you of something that's become a very significant part of my own spiritual journey: God's timing and my timing, they're different. I want God to answer my prayer the moment I pray it, and God has been very faithful in my life but his timing in resolving the challenges that I see often differs from what I would have preferred. God is moving in the earth right now in so many-many ways. If you'll take note of that, it will give you the courage to stand until you experience the breakthrough that you're trusting him for. Don't you give up, and certainly don't give in.

Father, I thank you that you have called us and equipped us with everything we need for life and godliness. I pray for those who are standing in a difficult place today, that you would give them a supernatural strength. Give us eyes of faith to see what you're doing so that we might understand you're moving on our behalf. In Jesus's name, amen.

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