Radio Broadcast Wednesday 11/24/2021

Classic Christianity – Thanksgiving Part 3 (11-24-21)

Give Thanks to God in Everything

It is so easy to forget. Paul reminds us again and again to be joyful always. How can we be joyful? First of all, do you have the Spirit of the living God living in you? Yes, you say. Then you are given the privilege of participating in the divine nature, the nature to be joyful. Why? What trust did you have for Christ to do for you? What was the biggest thing God did for you? He died for your sins, and indeed the sins of the entire world. Before you were even born, he demonstrated his love for mankind. He also had you in mind, in that while you were yet his enemy, a sinner, he died for you. He died so that the punishment of death required for sin was paid in full. He would bear the full consequence of that sin, and the sins of the entire world, upon himself, a price too great for you to pay. He did this so that when you came to see your condition of death you would look to him for new life. He was raised to new life so that that life that raised him from the dead would raise you from the dead also, and so you could live a new life. That same trust you had in Him for salvation is the same trust He wants for you so you can live life to the full today.

Yet, in our trials and tribulations, in our day to day life, we find this struggle of faith. A trusted friend betrays us. In your pain and sorrow and grief, have you found yourself unable to love. You have been so hurt, you have no strength to love again. You have told yourself that you will not let anyone get close so as not to get hurt again. Oh, what needless pain and grief we bear. We have taken our eyes off Him.

Then, we tend to focus on life in the natural realm, and anticipate the worst to happen, that we might lose our job tomorrow, that we might not be able to provide for our family today. So we let fear and worry come in and steal our joy. We lose sight of thankfulness.

Then we pursue those things that we thought would bring us lasting fulfillment, but only to find ourselves partying, promiscuous, abandoned and alone, in a drunken stupor, at the end of ourselves. You may have even wandered so far away that you are lying on a railroad track waiting for a train to take your life.

Oh, but Jesus is there. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. Turn your thoughts on the precious promises of God in His word. God is love. There are so many things He has promised you. He is just waiting for you to open your heart to Him, to trust Him. If you trusted Him for salvation, and that is no small task, then can you not trust Him in all things? Think of all the things in His word that are true. Did you know that Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!“.

In our battle in our minds, against sin-indwelling flesh, we find ourselves so weak. Then you are in the perfect position for the power of Christ to be on display through you. If we had no weakness, would we even see our need of Christ and his power, the power that raised him from the dead, the power of love and to love. To live in total dependence on Him, is that not how God intended for us to live? Is not Christ our life, our only hope of glory. If we had no weakness in our flesh, with a proneness to sin, would we even see our need to depend on Him?

So then, how do we trust Him? Think about what He has already done for you. Then think about what He has already promised and take Him at His word. These are just some of the things he has promised. He has promised us a peace that surpasses understanding (John 14:27) so you do not have to be troubled. You are a child of God (John 1:12), a member of the family forever and no one, including yourself, can cause anyone to snatch you out of his Father’s hand (John 10:28-30). He has given us His very Holy Spirit to live in you and guide you into all truth, to lead you internally from within your heart (John 16:13). He has promised you everything you need for life and godliness, and has given you the privilege of participating in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4). He is our provider so there is no need to worry (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:25-33). He also said that he will cause all things to happen for the good for those who love Him and are called to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

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Now, considering the unconditional love and acceptance of God, with his abundant mercy and grace, can you grasp and take hold of this amazing grace He has for you. When you do believe by faith, what will that produce in you? What do think someone would say about you? Do you think no one will ever wonder if you were in the presence of someone who knew Jesus. Oh, when such gratitude comes flowing out of you!

We love because He first loved us. Are you beginning to see that it is impossible to live the Christian life in the energy of our flesh. We were never designed to live that way. Consider John 15, the vine and the branches that Jesus explained to us through his disciples. Can you see that to live is Christ, that we live by faith. So then, can we now be thankful in all things, and make our requests be made known to God, not for our will to be done, but for His will to be done, for him to live His life in us and through us, as we allow Him to.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


We are going to talk today about thanksgiving, and how it ties into the word of God as it relates to passages in Romans. There are these attitudes of love and thankfulness that we need to be continually be reminded of.

Philippians 4:6-6
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You can have world peace. You can go out to the beach and you can look at the beautiful ocean, and there is temporary peace you have, by looking at God’s creation and being around God’s creation. The peace of God that surpasses all understanding cannot be duplicated by anything that happens here on this earth. It has to be produced internally by the Holy Spirit of God, who is the author of peace. Love, joy and peace is the fruit of the Spirit that can only be produced by God.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

So, we understand the truth of these things. It is only when we abide and yield to the Spirit of God that we can experience things like love, the kind of love that God gives. This kind of love that surpasses all understanding is only available to us by the source of that love, and that source is Christ Jesus and Him alone. Until we learn to abide in Him we are never going to experience love. We can talk about it. You can talk about lust. You can talk abut attraction but the kind of love that the bible talks about, Agape love, can only be produced by God Himself.

John 15:1-5
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

God says to be anxious for nothing. Now, you say, “Well, what is anxiety?”. Anxiety is basically produced by worrying about what never takes place, the future. How many of you have wasted unbelievable amounts of time in your life worrying about something that never happens. How many of you have done that? That quite frankly, is the bulk of our worry, over stuff that never take place.

Matthew 6:25-33
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Again, anxiety and the worry is a terrific contradiction to faith, because you cannot walk by faith and be worried at the same time. We love to talk about the filthy five, the dirty dozen and the nasty nine, but did you know that worry is just as much a sin as any of those things. We never think about that, that I am sinning by worrying. Even look at a simple example of deciding whether it is wrong to eat something, and you are all worried about whether it right to eat or not, that which was sacrificed to idols.

Romans 14:23
23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Anything that is not of faith is sin. So when I am worrying, am I exercising faith? No. So what am I doing? I am sinning. The whole issue is not whether that sin has not been taken away from the eyes of God, just like all sins, but whether I want to live in peace. The issue is God is saying to you, “I do not want you to do that. I want you to live in peace. I want you to live in a quietness in Spirit with love in your heart.” Do you see that you cannot do that when you are preoccupied with yourself and what is going to happen in the future? I ask people sometimes, “Would you be this concerned of what you are concerned about if that was happening to me instead of you?” The answer is “No”.

So a selfish person thinks, “I do not give a flip what is happening to you. I am interested in what is happening to me.” The whole interest is where this self centeredness comes in and God wants you to get rid of it. He wants us to live God-centered instead of self-centered. But we all have that tendency, do we not? So what we are really doing is going back to the garden of Eden, trying to be God. What does God do? Controls things. What do we want to do? Control things, including my future. I want to be sure that my future is secured.

John 14:27
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

So, in as much as I cannot do anything about the future, then the only thing I can do is worry about today. Worrying about the future is God’s country. That is not my country up there. I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow, do you? I do not know what is going to happen five minutes from now. If I had the ability to know what was going to happen five minutes from now, I could become a millionaire on the stock market. So we don’t know. We do not have a clue. So God says, “What are you doing up there?”

Psalm 131:1-2
1 My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. 2 But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.

All anxiety is dealing with fear over tomorrow. Am I going to have enough money to take care of my children? Am I going to have enough money to send my children to college? Am I going to have enough money to do this? Am I going to keep my job because there have been a lot of layoffs? The issue is that whatever happens to you, God said, “I will supply all your needs.” How many of your needs? All of your needs.

Philippians 4:19
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

God will supply all our needs according to His riches and glory and not according to your saving of riches. So God wants us to quit worrying, and to quit continually being in a state of worry and depression, because worry brings about depression. If I am worried about something, that something bad is going to be happening to me tomorrow, how am I not going to be depressed today? For that is depressing.

If I said about you what you are saying about you, you would hit me in the nose. Am I right or wrong? We just tell each other how bad we are and how bad things are going to be, and just try doing that joyfully? If someone else said that you would get away from them. I do not want to be around somebody like that. They are so negative. God does not want us to be anxious.

Philippians 4:6 (ASV)
6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

What does that mean about prayer and supplication? Talking to God. What are you going to talk to God about? So you pray, “God, you already told me you are already going to provide everything for me according to your riches in glory so I really do not have to worry if you are going to do that. I do believe you are going to obey that so I do not have to worry about today. I certainly do not need to worry about tomorrow.”

With all things with prayer and supplication, and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving. Be thankful for what you do have instead of worrying about what you do not have. Be thankful that you have got food in your mouth today instead of worrying about that you might not have it tomorrow. For most of us, if we do not have it tomorrow, it would not be a catastrophe.

Philippians 4:6 (ASV)
6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

So then, we make our requests be known unto God. So we pray. “God, you know what my will is. You know what I want to see, but I do not want my will. It is not my will I am after. I am after your will, as much as I can entrust my life with your will for me today and for your will for me tomorrow.”

So what is the use of me sitting around and worrying. There is nothing glamorous about a worrying person. I got the joy of Jesus in my heart. I sing that song, but how does that sound when I am worrying? “I got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” Nothing glamorous about that. What does a big smile look like, but with worry inside?

A free spirit is evidence of a person who is walking in dependency on the Lord. It does not mean you are saved or not. You are saved, obviously, but you are saved and sorry. Saved but not trusting the Lord with what you trusted Him for. The biggest thing that ever happened to you was your salvation.

2 John 1:4
4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

1 John 2:28
28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

I ask people sometimes, “Who are you trusting for your salvation? Are you trusting yourself or are you trusting Jesus. So the person says, “Oh man, I am trusting Jesus. I could not save myself if I wanted to.” “So you are saved?” “Absolutely.”

John 10:28-30
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

So if he did a big thing as giving you eternal life, and that is a life that will stay forever, do you think He is big enough that you do not have to worry about the things we are worried about today? Do you think you can trust Him with these things? If you trusted Him for something that big, don’t you think you can trust Him for today? That is why those passages are there, to enable us to get rid of the stinking thinking that we have been plagued with in our lives, the negative thinking.

John 1:12
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

It is not whether it is negative or positive, it is whether it is true or not. Negative thinking is not truth. Thinking negative is thinking negative things are going to happen to you and you do not know if they are going to happen to you. The issue is, is to think properly. It is not a good self image or a bad self image we have, but a proper self image, the image God has given you. If you are a child of the living God, you have a promise from Him.

Romans 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I have people all the time who will ask me, “What is the will of God? I would like to know what the will of God is?” I respond by saying: “For one thing, it is to give thanks in all things. So I ask, ‘Have you done that? ‘No.’ Then why seek the will of God in something else. Until you do that one, why seek something else? That is an easy one to get a hold of.”

In all things give thanks, even in trials and tribulations. When you look back on your lives, as we all do, and that seems to be more of a past time when you get older, you do not have much future left so all you have got is to look back on the past. You think more about the past and you look back on the lives and the mistakes you made and the trials and tribulations you went through, and you look back on that, and you say: “You know I look at that in a proper sense. Those are the things that made me what I am today. Those are the things I learned to trust God. Had I not been through the trials and tribulations of life, I would not know what it was to trust Jesus.”

2 Corinthians 12:6-10
6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.“ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I think that is why the apostle Paul, in scripture, said to thank God for your weakness, to rejoice in your weakness. Because if you did not have weaknesses, you would not know the strength of God. If you did not have any weaknesses, you would forget Jesus in a New York minute. Do you realize the truth of that, if it was not for your weakness and your tendency to sin, would you trust Christ? I am not encouraging that. I do not need to. We sin quite well without encouragement.

Hebrews 4:15
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.

Romans 8:26
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

The issue is that many times your sinfulness is what keeps you. Those sinful attitudes that come out of us are the very things that keep us dependent on Christ Jesus. If it was not for His mercy, kindness, and goodness to me, I would be a goner with the way I think. These are attitudes of thanksgiving. I think of many things that I have to be thankful for and I know a few here today that there are many things you can be thankful for. Be thankful for grandchildren who need to be taken care of.

3 John 1:3
3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.

I was very touched by a note that I got. Many of you know how much Major Ian Thomas meant to me. Here was a dear man of God that when you were around him you did not have to wonder if you were in the presence of someone who knew Jesus. You were in the presence of a man who knew Jesus, the presence of a man who knew how to trust Jesus, an inspiration. At his funeral that was held in Capery in England, he wrote on the back here.

“As a young evangelist, my love and enthusiasm for Christ as my Savior kept me very, very, very busy, until out of sheer frustration, I finally came to the point of quitting. This was the turning point that transformed my Christian life. In my desperation, I discovered that the Lord Jesus gave himself for me so that risen from the dead, he might give himself to me, He who is the Christian life. Instead of pleading for help, I began to thank Him for all He wanted to be, sharing His life with me every moment of every day. I learned to say ‘Lord Jesus, I can’t. You never said I could but you can and always said you would.’ This is all I need to know from that moment on. Life became the adventure that God always intended it to be. That was the beginning of the torch bearer. This continues to be the main thrust of our ministry around the world, teaching people about the saving life of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:14
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.

Major Thomas went to be with the Lord a number of months ago. I got this letter from his wife, Joan. She is a very, very sweet lady. She said: “Dear Bob, excuse this little note, but I do want to thank you personally for your gratitude to Ian Thomas on your radio program which was kindly mailed to me. You were so right in all you said about my major, and all the results of his ministry. As they are seen in my e-mail, phone calls, etc every day. I am glad that you too continue to preach Christ, so alive and available to every believer and the answer to all human needs the church must hear, from whom the truth, if there is to be any impact on the world, that they need to hear this, if there is to be any impact to be on the world. Thank you for your faithful ministry and the Lord bless you, in Christ.” Signed Joan Thomas.

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Those are the things that encourage us. Those are things which encourage, like Major Thomas, the man who made a big impact on my life and I will always be deeply indebted to him for that. Equally important is that a man, like I said, that when you are around him, you do not have to wonder if this guy really knew the Lord. There was no religious playing in his life. He was just a man dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have got another note I want to share with you. This came from a girl that I was in a bible study back in 1980. She wrote:

“Dear Bob, I met you in 1980. You were teaching a bible study that was held in Criswel Carriage house. We taught a senior or a high school or early college bible study in the garage of Dr. Criswell’s house. It was the college class and I came even though I was still in high school. You hired me to illustrate a couple of books you had printed. I was amazed you hired me to do that. I was so young. Your son and I dated for a short time during that summer. I do not remember this but I am sure he will. You have been on my heart for the past week because there was a specific night during one of those bible studies that I truly felt God called me to teach him. It seemed like he highlighted the evening and you were teaching me. I remember wanting to run and hide from the highlighting and waiting to soak up all of the teaching. I could at the same time. So why are you on my heart? To say thank you for teaching me. I have run from the Lord’s calling for half of my life and I have finally surrendered to Him. My life is His. It began to be His in the carriage house under your teaching. Thank you for teaching me so long ago.” It is signed by this girl who is teaching today.

She wrote an addition on the back of this.

“My heart will not rest until I obey this strange prompting to get in touch with you. I found your website when I googled your name. I ran into you once at the First Baptist Church about 8 years ago, but I had no idea you were pastoring a church. I am beginning to teach and speak for where my precious Lord leads. The Lord leads me in these little towns in Central Colorado. It has only started May of 2007 and quite a journey it has been. It just makes me take a deep breath and hold onto the Lord tightly. I am grateful for that highlighted moment because when I asked the Lord He really wants me. He reminded me that was the time when He called me. He was so faithful.”

These are letters like this you get from people. There is a girl I had not seen since 1980. But God is faithful. He keeps working with people. She ran from the Lord for half of her life but God brought her back. And He always will. It does not make any difference. He will always bring you back.

Amy and I had an opportunity of having lunch and spent some time with Dave Boyer and his wife when we were in Florida. It was just an example of a man who grew up in this Christian home. His dad was a pastor. His brother was a missionary in France. The whole family was involved in Christian work and activity. Yet he was the prodigal son. He ran. And he had a beautiful singing voice and there he was in Atlantic City and got all tied up with the mob and alcohol and drugs and women and everything under the sun. His wife left him for a period of time with their daughter. And all of these things while he was running, trying to find happiness and success in the world, which was not able to be found.

One night he was out on a railroad track waiting on a train to come and take his life. He saw a phone booth over there and finally went over to the phone booth and called his brother, who was back from France in the missionary field, kind of taking over the church because of the death of his father. He called his brother and said “I need your help.” His brother said, “Stay right where you are.” He came and got him and took him to the church that night and prayed through the night and at the end of that night he became a born again believer. Here he was a very, very popular singer, hob-nobbled with the Sinatras and all of the big singers, Frank Sinatra, an old singer, but a singer, and Sammy Davis, and all those guys called the rat pack. He gave it all up in order to devote his voice to the Lord. He has been doing so now for well over 30 years.

Joel 2:25-26
25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten –
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.

It is like you have heard me say before. People that we met that said God restored the years the locusts have stolen. It really does not make any difference where you are or what you have done, God is ready to restore you. He will restore you if you let Him. That is one of the reasons we have to give thanks again. To be thankful people because whatever we have done it does not make any difference. What we have done or where we have been, we know that Christ Jesus is there to restore people and to lead us into a path of righteousness. That is the greatest news on the face of the earth.

Let us turn to Roman 12.

Romans 12:1
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.

In other words, in the beginning of the chapter, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy offer your bodies as a living sacrifice. In other words, Christ says: “I came to live in you.”

Think about that for a minute, guys. Jesus through his Holy Spirit, has come to take up residence in you, and in me, to live there. It says that we have the privilege of participating in the divine nature that lives in us. Christ lives in us.

2 Peter 1:4
4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Colossians 1:27
27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

He is our hope of glory. We have someone no longer to follow because if I am following Jesus then he is out there some place, isn’t he? So I do not follow Jesus any more. I followed him to where he was going. Where was he going? To the cross. Then where? To the resurrection. So I followed him to where he went, to his death, burial and resurrection. Then when indwelt by Him, no longer follow him, but to be led internally by him. Do you see the difference? There is a difference between trying to follow someone, trying to imitate their steps and someone living in you, guiding you, to take your steps. There is a world of difference in that. It is the idea. What would Jesus do? He did what His Father told him to do.

John 5:36
“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish – the very works that I am doing – testify that the Father has sent me.”

What are we supposed to do? Follow what the Father told Jesus to do? No. To follow what Jesus tells you to do. If He lives in you, he is there to give you and me into all truth, not to imitate sombody else’s steps, but to individually guide you and me into the steps of righteousness that God called us to.

John 16:13
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.

Romans 12:9
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

So he is saying that there is love but then there is love that is sincere. Again guys, you see a lot of insincerity, don’t you? You see a lot of it, unfortunately, in a lot of Christian realms. A person says, “I love you brother” but then he will stab you in the back tomorrow. He said love must be sincere. God is saying to us: “Love is something that I want to come out of the heart. I do not want it just with words.”

1 John 4:19
19 We love because he first loved us.

You know guys, there are many times that people have trouble loving. Do you know what I am talking about? There are people who have trouble loving. Sometimes they are afraid to love because they are afraid they are going to get hurt. There are people that have loved in their early life and have been hurt so traumatically by that, that they say “no one is going to get close to me again”. We have put a wall around us. No one is going to penetrate that wall. If that is the truth, you are going to be one sad creature.

1 John 4:18
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Again, you are not trusting the Lord with that. If you were hurt by somebody what makes it important is that you keep thinking about it. Outside of that it is over, isn’t it. If someone has ripped you off, it is over. The only way it is going to be important in your life is when you insist on keeping it and thinking about it. The issue is let go of it. Leave the past behind and realize that the future is God’s and learn how to live one day at a time.

Philippians 3:13-15
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

You are not being holy by putting up a wall against yourself and saying “no one is going to penetrate this wall because I am just not going to love because I have been hurt before.” What is that? Selfishness. It is saying “I do not want to be hurt.” Think how many times Jesus was hurt. Do you think he might have been a little bit disturbed when they were crucifying him at the cross? But it never stopped him from loving. I know there is a danger to loving. God so loved the world. There is a chance on that. There is a gamble connected with that.

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For me to love you unconditionally, there is a gamble connected with it. You might hurt my feelings. You might walk out but God does not say to not love anybody. Satan says that to you: “Do not give love to anybody”. God wants our love to be sincere. He wants us to have a sincere love for one another. To get rid of this attitude of fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Perfect love drives out fear. Fear drives out perfect love.

1 John 4:18
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

So God does not want us fearful that I am going to get hurt or fearful of what this is going to do. A lot of times people live in fear and I tell you, they are hard people to live with, when you are always living in fear, always fearing this and that. You are never free to just be. You are always wondering the motive of this person. What are they thinking about? What are they trying to get from me? I wonder if they are going to rip me off? Those kinds of thoughts do not come from God.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

1 John 4:8
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Well, if they rip you off, so what. It says to be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. You do not go around saying “here I am and rip me off”.

Matthew 10:16
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

The issue is to quit living in fear of that for it will not do you any ounce of good until your love is sincere and you cannot have sincere love when you are fearful.

Romans 12:9
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Hate what is evil and cling to what is good. I will give you some genius here. Before you can hate what is evil and cling to what is good, you first have to know what is good and what is evil. Then you have to cling to what is good and hate what is evil. That is what is going on in the world today. People have stopped even dealing with what is good and what is evil. They just do not think that anything is evil. This is the thinking of the world. “Everything is okay. You have to be tolerant.” That is what we are told: “Be tolerant. Just accept everyone. There is no such thing as bad. There is no such thing as good. Everything is relative.” Is that true? Not according to the word of God. He said there is evil and there is good. Our role is to say what is good and what is evil. It tells us in the scripture what is good and what is evil. We do not have to wonder about it. It tells us in the scripture, the things that are good and the things that are evil. Hate what is evil and cling to what is good.

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