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ETERNAL STORY SERIES

Christ Throughout the Word

 
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The motion of time is friction and like sandpaper against wood, it wears away everything that exists inside of time ... time is wearying ... it breaks us ... it wears us out. This is why the heathen are raging. This is why unbelievers run to every kind of distraction and addiction, they are trying to dull the pain of wearing out. They are trying to forget that life is but a vapor that appears for a moment. This is the ETERNAL STORY: God (who is outside of time) has entered into time to rescue us!

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You might think that Adam would have realized the horrible, terrible, awful thing that he had done and would have cried out, “Oh God where are you? Lord, come and have mercy on me!” But that is not what happened and in Adam we see how it is for everyone.  The Apostle Paul is very clear in Romans 3 we don’t understand, and we don’t seek God. They sinned and then in shame they ran and hid from God. Never forget, “We love HIM because HE first loved us!”

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"God's love is an exercise of his goodness toward sinners. As such, it has the nature of grace and mercy. It is an outgoing of God in kindness which not merely is undeserved, but is actually contrary to desert; for the objects of God's love are rational creatures who have broken God's law, whose nature is corrupt in God's sight, and who merit only condemnation and final banishment from his presence." – J.I. Packer  This part of the story shows us that we can throw ourselves upon the character and mercy of God and we will not be disappointed!

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God who had provided the open door ultimately shut that door and all who were outside perished. I know it may not look like it now, but one day all sin will be punished, and God will make all things right and new. However, the most glorious fact in this part of the story is not that the wicked perished but that the faithful were saved! Noah and his family had endured and remained faithful to God, despite abuse, hate, and ridicule. And now they were “safe” inside the ark but their rescue was not complete ... it wasn’t done until they were back on dry land.

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Jesus has come to tear down our towers of ego and pride. What towers have you built in your life? Into what long term hardships has your pride forced you into and tricked you into defending just so you can have a momentary pleasure here and there? What cherished rebellions against God are you still harboring in your heart? I want you to know today that you are not unique in your condition. I also want you to know that Jesus has come to restore what your tower of ego has destroyed. The work of God is a perfect work. Yes, God condemns but He also forgives. And when God forgives, He wipes away all record of guilt and when the record of guilt is gone, then what guilt has stolen, Grace at once restores!

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A.W. Tozer said, “The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things.” God is taking Abraham through this difficult and bitter experience not because God hates Abraham; not because He is punishing Abraham; God is taking Abraham through this valley of sorrow because God wants Abraham to experience the wonderful freedom that is only realized when God is first in his life.This is the same thing that God wants for you and me.

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Satan will first divide us over differences so that ultimately, he can make us enemies of each other. What is true of biological families is also true in all family systems, including churches. Here is a quote from Thomas Brooks. [Thomas Brooks: Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices. Device IV point number 3] “Satan has his devices to destroy the saints’ and one great device that he has to destroy the saints is, by working Christians to first find another strange then to divide, and then to make them bitter and jealous, and then they will bite and devour one another.” We must never forget that Satan is the accuser.

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We need to awaken from our spiritual slumber and realize that God has not abandoned us, God has not forgotten us. GOD IS AT WORK right now as much he has ever been. This may not look like Acts chapter 2 but God is as much here in this place as he was when the disciples were together praying and even they weren’t aware of it until God acted.
We need to awaken to God’s presence.

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I believe every one of us know something about feeling unloved and unwanted. I want to counsel you to never allow the devil use those dark moments to draw you away from the very one who desires you so much He left the glory of heaven to die on a cruel cross so that you might be His forever. Yes, Leah was forsaken by her sister and husband but not by God and what Leah did not receive from her husband and sister she found in HIM.

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10. A VICTORIOUS DEFEAT

God puts us into the situations we find ourselves in because he wants to show us what we are and bring things out of us that we never knew was there—it’s the old potter’s wheel, the refinement of gold. God knows just how to place and purify us so that we will be fitted for greater spiritual power.

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God’s invitation is for you to look back and draw from the remembrance of those past blessings, spiritual awakenings, and divine callings and find healing. The book of Psalms is filled with this very thing and the Hebrew word means to remember, recall, bring to mind, or make a memorial. "I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work ..." Psa. 77:11

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When Church retreats, evil steps in to fill the gap! That is why we are where we are today. We have retreated far too long, it is time to stand and stand firm! Revival is a sovereign act of God and it can only come if God sends it.

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The crime that Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of was punishable by death, but Potiphar only sent him to prison. That fact may imply that Potiphar knew the character of his wife and suspected she was lying. If Joseph had declared his innocence he might have been believed but Joseph covered her disgrace with his silence.  His compassion for her soul was greater than his concern for his own well-being. Does this not remind you of Jesus!

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"But, I’m expecting a miracle and it still hasn't come. God isn’t answering my prayers. God has abandoned me." That is simply not the truth. All throughout your life God is working miracles of providence; not sporadically or occasionally.  God’s providential work in your life is an ongoing, never ending, constant reality. You are living right in the middle of the miracle of God providence, but it will take the eyes of faith to see it.

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Joseph’s brothers have come to purchase grain from Egypt and they are all in a room with some of the other Egyptian leaders. Joseph realizes now is the time to reveal to his brothers who he really is.
However, instead of just blurting it out Joseph makes everyone else leave the room. He doesn’t want the Egyptians to know what his brothers had done to him in the past. Again, Joseph gave up his right for public justice and chooses to protect the very ones who had wronged him.

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The Apostle Paul commands us to forgive even as God has forgiven us for Christ’s sake. An unsaved person will never truly understand love or forgiveness because they have never experienced true love and forgiveness. In the past I’ve had some people in my life who not only opposed me, but who actively sought to destroy my reputation. I have had to learn how forgive them, and I was able to learn how to forgive because I myself have been forgiven and in forgiving those who wronged me I’ve discovered this: the deeper the cut, the greater the blessings that come with forgiveness.

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God begins this book on redemption by talking about His people and He tells us not only their name but how many there are. I don’t want to over simplify the text but this is exactly what redemption is about. Salvation is personal and individual. When you come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior the bible says in Revelation 21:27 that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. This is true for everyone that believes upon the name of Jesus.

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Husbands and wives, ... if we are united in our faith and walk then our example is one of unity, power, and solidarity. We can’t force our children to accept Christ as their Savior. We can’t believe for them but we can influence them. There is nothing more influential to children than a father and mother in loving, God honoring, strong faith relationships. We should never take for granted that our children are watching us (as we interact with each other) they are watching.

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So at the age of 40 years, life found Moses displaced, discouraged, on an entirely different path than he thought he would be on at this point in his life. Moses must have believed that the grand plans for his life and the hope of the Jews being delivered were pretty much lost. He didn’t belong in the land of Midian, but he settled down there anyway--for 40 years. Forty years without any encouragement can do a lot to a man and none of it is good. Gone was his zeal, confidence, passion, and hope for a better day. If he wasn’t broken I would be shocked but then something happened that changed everything.

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After killing the Egyptian slave master Moses ran off into the wilderness and hid out for 40 years and now, he is 80. In this sermon we are going to see Moses come to grips with the reality that God’s plan for his life is not finished ... it may have been on pause ... but it is not over.

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Evangelism only seems difficult or impossible in certain situations if we think the will of man plays some role in salvation. Yes, these are troubled days and if salvation is only possible with the individual’s cooperation, then that would make evangelism more difficult. However, if God is sovereign over salvation, then the fields are just as ripe for the harvest as they have ever been. They are just as ripe for the harvest as they were when Jesus stood at the well talking with the Samaritan woman.

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Suddenly they hear a shriek! The father says, "Keep within doors, my children; you will know what it is, in a moment."  Now another shriek—another shriek—shriek succeeds shriek: they hear perpetual wailing and lamentation. "Remain within," the father says, "the angel of death is flying abroad." 
A solemn silence is in the room, and they can almost hear the wings of the angel flap in the air as he passes their blood-marked door.  "Be calm," says the father, "that blood will save you."

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Here are the poor Jews in this strange place huddled together— no military leaders, no combat training, no strategy, no weapons of defense. They are frightened and they cry out to Moses, “Why didn’t you just leave us in Egypt like we told you too?” I’ve been in places just like this and you have too.

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God could have defeated Midian himself, but instead God said, “choose men to fight and I’ll go up on the hill and pray.” In other words, God is saying, “I am going to use human effort but in such a way that God receives all the glory.” The work of God is accomplished through our personal effort AND total dependency upon God.

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If you want your spiritual life to shrivel up then quit having a quiet time with God quit gathering to worship with believers. But if you quit finding those places of private prayer and public worship there will come a cold cynicism to your faith that will literally drip with bitterness ... and friend that’s exactly where the devil wants you.

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In the 1600’s John Bunyan, was imprisoned because of his Baptist faith and while he was in prison he wrote the classical allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress.
If you have read this book you will recall that the story revolves around two characters: Christian and Hopeful who are on areligious pilgrimage.  At one point on the journey they discuss an earlier companion traveler who was named Temporary.  The traveler named Temporary had started the pilgrimage, but along the way he fell by the wayside, or as Bunyan worded it, he backslid. Backslide—that is a term that John Bunyan coined to describe someone who only served God temporarily

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