David Platt – Liberty University Convocation: The importance and urgency of taking the Gospel to unreached people groups

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On, September 9th, at Convocation, North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students, David Platt spoke to students about the importance and urgency of taking the Gospel to unreached people groups. The Children of the World choir also performed as a part of Global Focus Week.

David Platt is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, and author of New York Times Best Seller Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.

David Platt: What if missionaries are not just people who leave their jobs to take the Gospel around the world, but missionaries also include people who leverage their jobs to take the Gospel around the world? You look back in Christian history and you see a group of people called the Moravians. It is said that at least 1 out of 92, some say at least one out of 58 of them, were crossing cultures for the spread of the Gospel. Well, let’s take the more conservative number, 1 out of 92 were crossing cultures for the spread of the Gospel. The International Mission Board represents about 40,000 churches. I think about what would happen if we had that kind of ratio today. 40,000 churches, say there’s about 16 million members in those churches. Let’s just assume 10 million of those people are living members in their churches.. If that was happening just in this one group of churches, this one denomination of churches, that would be over 100,000 missionaries. Not 5,000. We don’t even think in those kind of terms and I’m convinceed that we need to think in those kinds of terms. Now, the beauty of this is the Moravians weren’t doing this because they had a well financed sophisticated mission program. Np, they were doing this because they were leveraging the opportunities God was giving them to move to other cultures and work there for the spread of the Gospel. They would look for jobs in other countries and cultures, and contexts. And they would deliberately work there  and spread the Gospel as they worked there. Some of them would even sell themselves into slavery. They’d see a slave ship about to go to this country that didn’t have the Gospel and they would say, „Well. that’s one way to get the Gospel into that country.” And so, they would sell themselves to become slaves in order to get on that boat, in order to get to that country and proclaim the name of Christ. Multitudes of them going, all around the world. I’m just wondering what would happen if we had that kind of mindset. And so, I look at this arena, full of followers of Christ who are getting a world class education in all sorts of degrees and I am pleading for you, based upon what we are to look at the Word. I am pleading for you to leverage this education , to leverage your degree. to get the Gospel to people who’ve never heard it.

VIDEO by Liberty University

Reclame

David Platt on the Power of the Gospel to End Human Trafficking

David Platt’s address at the 2015 National Conference was title „End It: The Power of the Gospel to Address the Crisis of Human Trafficking.”
VIDEO by by ERLC

David Platt – International Missions Board Report SBC 2015

Learn more at imb.org/send. If you would like to receive quarterly updates from Platt, visit imb.org/update.

A message for the New Year: David Platt – What is God’s will for my life? From the Book of Proverbs

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

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david-platt-itickets-com.

Proverbs is the most prominent wisdom book in Scripture and amidst all the wisdom that is contained in Proverbs there is also a good bit of confusion. Confusion as to how to understand individual proverbs and then confusion how this book, as a whole is to be understood. We live in a day when the most common question, not only constantly ask, but, almost anxiously ask:

What is God’s will for my life?

We are talking here about things that are not directly spelled out in Scripture. Scripture says specific things about specific circumstances. But, there are so many circumstances we face, some of them small, some of them big, on a daily basis, that the Word doesn’t speak directly to- whether it’s what we eat, or what we wear today, small decisions like that. Big decisions like who to marry, what career paths to choose, where to live. How do we know God’s will in these areas of our lives? Obviously, Scripture speaks to all of those things in some way. The Scripture talks about taking care of our body; that’s gonna inform the way that we eat, or honoring God in the way we dress. Or, Scripture is going to speak in to whom we marry. Scripture tells us not to marry an unbeliever, or what career path to choose, immoral career paths that you should not choose according to Scripture. But, when it comes down to the details of what this looks like, we want to know what God’s will is. Our hearts desire  God’s will, but we have a hard time transitioning from our hearts to our minds, and making decisions.

We are afraid, almost constantly afraid that we’re gonna do the wrong thing, and that we’re gonna make the wrong decisions with different situations we face. We just wish we would have it spelled out in front of us. It would make it a lot easier. But, if that were the case, it would miss the whole point. And so, what I want to show us today in Proverbs, in this book as a whole is a picture of incredible comfort, and incredible confidence that you can have when you’re walking through the decision making process, when you’re walking through decisions that you make on a daily basis- knowing that you are living out and following the will of God, based on the picture we see in Proverbs. (3:00)

I want us to read the first 7 verses here in Proverbs. They are kind of an introduction to the book, they tell us purpose of the book. Proverbs is divided into two major sections: The first 9 chapter are a kind of preface to the book- talking about wisdom, giving a reason why we need to read the rest of the book- because wisdom is valuable. We need to get wisdom, treasure wisdom, we see that over and over again in these first 9 chapters. Then you get to chapter 10, and from chapter 10 – 31, what you see is different proverbs, different wise sayings. A lot of them 2 liners, 3 liners, maybe 4 liners, that are written to be memorable, to lodge away in your mind and in your heart, that take the Word and apply it to the practical things that we face in our lives. Most of this is written by Solomon. Not all of it, other parts written by different folks, or at least compiled by different folks, but, most of it is written by Solomon.

proverbs

I want us to look at these first 7 verses that give us a purpose statement for the entire book. And then focus on one particular verse that’s gonna guide us through our times in proverbs today.

1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;  fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I want you to underline that last line. All throughout these first 7 verses we see these words used almost interchangeably- wisdom, and instruction, insight, prudence, knowledge, discretion. And then you get to verse 7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” some translations say “the beginning of wisdom,  fools despise wisdom and instruction“. In fact, you turn to chapter 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” This is the verse I want you to etch in your mind this morning, I want us to think about the relationship between fear of the Lord, between worship of the Lord and wisdom. 

Wisdom is the fruit of  a right relationship with God.

Wisdom spring from , results out of a right relationship with God. When we walk in the fear of the Lord, when we worship the Lord, we will walk in wisdom. Our wisdom in daily decisions is dependent on out relationship with God and having a right relationship with God. And, this makes total sense. Go back to creation, think about Genesis 1 & 2. We saw man in complete harmony with the Creator. Genesis 1 & 2, before sin entered into the world, Adam and Eve were in complete harmony with God, perfectly relating to God, and as a result of that we saw man in complete harmony with the creation, in complete harmony with each other- Adam & Eve. That was the picture. They were not wandering around wondering, “What is Your will for our life?” God had made it clear: Don’t eat from this tree, enjoy one another, enjoy me, be fruitful and multiply. So, they were living in harmony with God and with each other. So, there wasn’t a worry, “Am I gonna make the wrong decision?” It was clear.

You know what happened. They take the command of God and they disregard it and results in the fall. The result of the fall is twofold:

  1. man’s relationship with the creator is destroyed (were it not for the grace of God, they would have been dead on the spot) and man’s relationship with God, since that day has never been the same. Never. But, not just man’s relationship with the Creator destroyed, but
  2. man’s relationship with creation is distorted. Their relationship with each other was immediately affected. And their relationship with the world, the creation around them was immediately affected. And it makes sense, once they were disconnected in their relationship with God, it had a huge effect on everything around them.

I want you to notice that there’s a vertical component and a horizontal component here. There’s a vertical component- our relationship to God that has a direct effect to our horizontal component- our lives in this world, our relationships with other people in this world, our decisions that we make on a daily basis, living in this world. All of that flows from what is going on in our relationship with God. A vertical component that affects the horizontal component. We see that.

So, in order to have a right relationship with the world around us, and to walk with wisdom in the world around us, making wise decisions, we need a right relationship with God. Wisdom is the fruit of a right relationship with God. So, now we come to Solomon. This is what I love on how we are reading the Bible this year. Because we have a tendency to take a book like proverbs and kind of picture it that it’s just kind of flowing out there as it’s own book, with all these random sayings. But, what we’re doing is we’re seeing where Proverbs fits in to the story of redemption, fits into this story of redemptive history that we’re walking through.

The background & history of the Book of Proverbs

A couple of weeks ago, we got to 1 Kings chapter 4, and we stopped. Over the last two weeks we’ve been reading Song of Songs and Proverbs. So, I want to take us back to where we stopped in redemptive history. Turn back with me to 1 Kings chapter 3 & 4, to remind ourselves what is going on when we come to the book of Proverbs. What is the background, what is the history on this, this book didn’t just appear out of nowhere. Look at 1 Kings 3:5,7-12

book of proverbs At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not knowhow to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” 10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.   (the parallel version of this is 2 Chronicles 1) (12:30)

In other words He says, “I am going to make you wiser than any before you and anyone to come in the picture in the Old Testament. You are going to be the wisest.” And that’s exactly what we see. Go to 1 Kings 4:29-33:

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mindlike the sand on the seashore, 30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005.33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

Now it makes sense why we stopped to read Proverbs at this point. Verse 32 says he spoke 3,000 proverbs. That begs the question, “What do they say?” And so, that’s why we’re stopping to read Proverbs now. I want us to take the Book of Proverbs right here and put it in this context of redemptive history. Because what’s happened is Solomon has become king, he has asked for wisdom, God has given him wisdom beyond that of anyone else. And right after this, what we’re gonna read in the week to come, starting in verse 5, what Solomon does is he starts to build the temple. He makes preparations to build the temple, in chapter 6 he builds the temple, in chapter 8 he dedicates the temple.

Redemption anticipated in Solomon

What I want you to see is the relationship , here in the context of redemptive history between wisdom and worship. Because, at this point of redemptive history, we are at the height, at the apex of wisdom and worship in Israel’s history. The wisest man, the wisest king ever. The temple being completed, that’s what David longed to do, but, God reserved for Solomon to do, to get it completed so the glory of God can dwell upon His people. This is at a point in redemptive history in the Old Testament where wisdom and worship are coming together like they’ve never come together before and like they will never come together again in the Old Testament. This is the apex of the mountain.

In the reign of Solomon we’re seeing two things. The wisdom of Solomon is tied to the worship of Solomon. His relationship with God affecting his relationship with other people and creation around them. So when you look in Proverbs you realize this is not just a book about wisdom, this is most definitely a book about worship as well.

The wisdom of Solomon is tied to the worship of Solomon.

  • We revere His person. You see exhortations all over Proverbs to revere the person of God. At least 18 different times we see the fear of the Lord mentioned. This is where wisdom starts.
  1. The Lord is the almighty Creator of all things– Revere Him as almighty Creator of all things. Proverbs 3:19-20; 14:31; This is where wisdom starts, with an acknowledgment of God as our Creator. This is why you can take the most brilliant atheist in the world today, with all kinds of intellectual knowledge and Proverbs, and Psalms, and the rest of Scripture would label Him a fool. And it’s not because he doesn’t know anything. He has tons of knowledge. There are a lot of smart atheists. But, the reason he is a fool is because all of his knowledge is viewed through a perspective that is Godless, that denies the existence and the truth and the reality of God. And as a result, the lens through which he views everything in the world is ultimately empty. That’s foolishness. It may look like wisdom to the world, but that’s foolishness compared to the wisdom of God. Wisdom springs from an acknowledgment of reverence: For the Lord is the almighty Creator of all things. Wisdom starts with the worship of God.
  • The Lord is the sovereign sustainer of all things– God is not only Creator, but, He’s the sovereign sustainer of all things. This is all over chapter 16. vv. 1,3,9,33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.Chance does not rule, God rules everything. He is guiding, leading all things, all times are in His hands.
  • The Lord is the eternal judge of all peoples– Proverbs 16:11 “A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work. Proverbs 11:21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered. All throughout this book we see different things that the Lord hates, that are an abomination to the world and the reality that God will judge all peoples ultimately. This is cause for fear. You, right where you are sitting, were fashioned and created by the infinitely wise, all powerful Lord and King of all of creation. And He holds your days in His hands. You may make plans, but He guides. And one day He is going to judge you. That brings us pause, that brings about a holy fear for the Lord. And this is the spring form which wisdom flows. (21:00)
  • We rejoice in His grace. Proverbs 3:3-6 talks about the steadfast love and faithfulness that God gives, in the verses that are most common to us: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 3:11-12  My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. Even His discipline is evidence of His love for us.
  • We receive His Word  Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. We receive His Word. It’s part of wisdom. Wisdom springs from His Word.
  • We remember His purpose. And we remember His purpose. The picture throughout Proverbs is we see how God acts and the way God displays His character. God reveals His glory. And that’s what the temple was all about. The whole worship life of the people of Israel is about revering Him, rejoicing in the grace, receiving His word, remembering His purpose to make His glory known throughout the world. All of that is known throughout Proverbs. (22:30)

So what we see, at the time this is being written is God centered worship, which leads to the second:

God given wisdom for the king

The height of wisdom is displayed here in all of these proverbs we have written down. Now, how do we understand these proverbs? What we have to understand first and foremost is that proverbs are guidelines for living, not guarantees in life. These sayings, particularly chapters 10-31, they’re guidelines for living, not guarantees in life. Here’s what I mean by that. You look at chap. 3:2 where it says, “If you obey the commandments of the Lord, then you will have long days in this life. That’s a good guideline for living, but the reality is that when you look at David Brainers, Robert Murray McCheyenne, all of these brothers who were giving their lives in radical abandonment to the commands of Christ died in their early 30’s. So, it’s not like, “If you’re gonna obey the Lord, you’re gonna live past your 30’s.” In the same way that you see in Proverbs 11:8, is says, “The righteous man will be delivered out of trouble.” That’s a general guideline. But, we know, we have persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, who are pursuing righteousness right now, who are not being delivered out of trouble.
It doesn’t mean that Proverbs aren’t true, that they’re false. What it means is that’s not how they’re supposed to be interpreted. It is not promises to claim. That is not how Proverbs is intended to be interpreted. Instead, what we’ve got is general guidelines for living, for our lives, which are very helpful. We need to remember these kinds of things. They are patterns, but they are not promises that we claim in every single circumstance that we face in life.
I want to give you an overview of some of the recurrent themes. This is by no means exhaustive.
  • In the Family – Proverbs puts focus on the family.

  1. Love your spouse loyally. The husband and wife are encouraged to share one another sexually and emotionally, in love with one another. Proverbs 5:15-19 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; You see in Proverbs 6, at one point, a husband’s jealousy for the affections of his wife looked at as natural and good. Obviously, we have in Proverbs 31, a picture of a Godly wife, a Godly woman. Some of the most intense passages in Proverbs come in this area with warnings against adultery. Chapters 2, 5, 6, 7, and 9, all have stern warnings, the kind of warnings that, I think, we would be wise to meditate on regularly, more important than even reading marriage books in our culture. Proverbs 7:6-27 “For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice,and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. 10 And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. 11 She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; 12 now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. 13 She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, 14 “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; 15 so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. 16 I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. 19 For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; 20 he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.” 21 With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. 22 All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast 23 till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life 24 And now, O sons, listen to me    and be attentive to the words of my mouth. 25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, 26 for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.Men, if there is any inkling in you, wandering toward, in thought or deed toward another woman, meditate on Proverbs 7. And see yourself as an ox, walking willingly to a slaughter. And let it soak in that you do not know what you are doing and it will cost you your life. Obviously, this is written from Solomon’s perspective, the whole picture throughout Proverbs is through a man’s perspective. But, the picture, obviously, even to look at from a woman’s perspective, to encourage sisters across this room to stay close to your husband. To not be found wandering far away from your husband. Stay close to your husband. Do not let your life or your house be a way of death. These are wise words. (29:00)
  2. Instruct your children intentionally.Proverbs 23:13-14- Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. 14 If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

Among friends

  1. Avoid evil company. We imitate our friends. Proverbs 24:1 Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble. I would just say to every high school and college student, I mean this is across the board, but, some of the greatest counsel I received in high school and college is to be wise with the friends that I surrounded myself with, cause that has every effect of how our life ends up looking.
  2. Promote good companionship. We see positive pictures of selfless, sensible friends, honest friends all throughout Proverbs. “A friends loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17.

With words

Proverbs talks about words: Guard what you say. Don’t speak in haste. How many words do you regret because they were spoken in haste? Proverbs says, “Be quiet. Think first.” It says, the tongue has the power of life and death; it has the power to heal and destroy. The tongue has the power of reward and damage.
  1. Guard what you say and
  2. Guard what you hear. Proverbs talks about how to receive words. Words of criticism and words of flattery that are not always good.

With wealth

  1. Hard work is valuable. Proverbs, over and over again tells us that hard work is valuable. There is profit in work and it says over and over again, “Don’t be lazy.” Get up and do something. That’s wise. There is a high value on work here, but, it’s not work to gain more and more barns for ourselves.
  2. Helping the needy. Proverbs also talks about helping the needy. It’s vital. Proverbs makes very harsh statements about those who neglect the poor. Proverbs 29:7 “A righteous man knows the rights of the poor, while a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.” It seems to be an overarching truth that extreme wealth and extreme poverty  are both undesirable. It’s interesting, when you look into it, in the book of Proverbs we see people who are righteous and are wealthy, and who are righteous and are poor. And we see people who are evil and are wealthy, and evil that are poor. So, there’s no ground to say, “Well. if you’re righteous, then you’re rich, or, if you’re evil you’ll be poor, and vice versa. Instead, what we see if Proverbs 30:8-9- give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” So, there’s an emphasis of wisdom that is found and contentment in the Lord.

So, we see all of these kind of different truths coming together. We could talk for days about all of these different things. There’s so much to saturate there, but, instead of thinking about all these specific proverbs, I want us to come back to this overarching picture of worship and wisdom, and how the two go together.

Worship & Wisdom and how they go together

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Worship is the beginning of wisdom. A right relationship with God brings about a right relationship with the world around us. That’s the picture we see at this point in Solomon’s life. If we read anymore in the Old Testament, we know what’s coming. It’s not gonna be long until Solomon turns his heart away from the worship of God, and he actually turns his heart towards the very things he has warned us not to turn our hearts toward: To wealth and women. And, as a result of his worship life being misdirected completely, then his wisdom wanes. And, Solomon’s life ends no where close to how it looks here in 1 Kings chapter 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, which shows us a mirror of ourselves. Don’t miss this: Left to ourselves, we are prone to worship the things of this world, and to follow after the wisdom of this world.
What we see in Solomon is possible and present in every single one of our sinful hearts in this room. Which means, we need someone else besides Solomon to help us. And that’s where we see that Solomon was only anticipating redemption in this life, and setting the stage. Now I want you to see how Proverbs fits into redemptive history and how reading the book of Proverbs, although it does not mention the name of Jesus once, it leads us to love Christ, to lean on Christ because this is redemption that will be achieved  in Christ. Turn to Luke 2:41. This is where my study in Proverbs just came alive, as I saw these truths we talked about , this relationship in redemptive history between worship and wisdom, and those coming together- God given worship, God given wisdom.

Redemption achieved in Christ

We don’t have a lot of material about Jesus’s boyhood, about His growing up, His teenage years. But this is one of the glimpses that we do have in Luke 2:41 “41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Vertical and horizontal. Do you see the picture here? This glimpse we have of JesusHe is sitting at the temple, at the place where the glory of God dwells. He makes a startling statement. He asks the question: Do you not know I must be at my Father’s house? He is saying that this, the temple, where the glory of God dwells, this is where I belong. It’s a bold statement. It is only heightened even more when you get to John 2, when He’s outside the temple , He’s beginning His ministry and the picture we have in John 2 and He identifies Himself with the temple. It’s what John chapter 1 set the stage for: “We beheld His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” We have seen the glory of God in Jesus, Jesus identifies Himself as the temple in John 2. You want to encounter the presence of God? You want to behold the glory of God? Here I am. And from this picture we see Him teaching others wisdom, growing in wisdom. So, don’t miss what we’re seeing here in the New Testament. The whole picture we’re gonna see in the Gospel:

  1. Jesus is the true temple. He is where the presence of God and the glory of God dwells. This is the reality of  the incarnation. Do you want to see the glory of God, do you want to experience the presence of God? You come to Jesus. He is the true temple, and in this way- Jesus enables the worship of God. Don’t miss it. New Testament Gospel truth: Man will not meet God in a building to worship Him. Man will come to Christ to worship God. Man will encounter the glory of God in the person of Christ. He is the one who makes true worship possible. On the cross, He died to reconcile man to God. The curtain of the temple was torn in two and man is now able to relate to God, to worship God truly   as a result of Christ.
  2. He is the perfect king. – that Israel has been waiting for. David failed. Solomon failed. So on, and so on, and so on, which is why we see in Matthew 12:42, Jesus is speaking to religious leaders and He says, “One with greater wisdom than Solomon is here. Solomon, who was the wisest you know in Israel’s history, has nothing on the wisdom of Christ. But, here’s the question I want you to ask: Why? Why was Jesus’s wisdom greater than Solomon’s wisdom? Because wisdom is the fruit of a right relationship with God. Solomon was not in a perfect relationship with God. He was in an imperfect relationship with God, and, as a result, it flowed into an imperfect wisdom and a life that failed. Jesus, however, was in perfect relationship with God. Perfectly and fully relating to God, identified as the temple, with the Father. And, as a result, wisdom flowing from Him, the very wisdom of God flowing from Him.
  3. Jesus embodies the wisdom of God. He is wise, exactly as the Father is wise, because of His unity with the Father. That’s why Colossians 2:3 tells us that “in Christ are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” In Christ. Don’t miss this: What Solomon anticipated, Christ achieved. The picture in Solomon- his heart was stained by sin. Jesus comes on the scene perfect, without sin, in perfect relationship to God, in perfect wisdom, and in His relationship with the world around Him. True temple and the perfect king. Which means, to every single person in history and to every single person in this room: If you want to walk in wisdom, and not waste your life in folly, then there is only one path to take. And it is the path of faith and trust in and surrender to Jesus Christ.

Just like Proverbs presents us over and over again with the way of folly and the way of wisdom. The Gospel presents us with the same choice. A way of folly- follow after this world, be wise, be smart according to the standards of this world, indulging in this world, out of right relationship with God, and lose your life. Or, the way of Christ- To trust in Christ and what He has done on the cross to reconcile you to God, to be united in relationship to God, and from that relationship to have wisdom flow. And, as if that’s not good enough, this is where it gets just breathtaking.

Redemption applied in us. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 says that Christ is our wisdom. We were the foolish things of the world, Paul says. And God called us in Christ, and he says, “In Christ, He has become your wisdom, He has become wisdom to you.” This is mind boggling, breathtaking, and overwhelming. Think about this: When you trust in Christ, and your life is united with Christ:
  1. In Christ we live in continual worship. Paul says later, in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, that we walk in the presence of God, we enjoy the presence of God. We enjoy the glory of God by His Spirit’s presence in us. He houses His presence in our bodies. He is in us. This is glorious truth. In Christ, we live in continual worship, which means, of all people we
  2. Revere His person humbly. We walk in reverence of God. 1 Peter 1 We walk with reverent fear. He’s our Creator, our sustainer, our judge, and our Savior. And we live in His presence, so on a moment by moment basis there is never a moment where there is not reverence involved.
  3. Rejoice in His grace wholeheartedly. We know the truth of Proverbs 28:30 seen in an entirely new way. Those who confess their sins receive mercy. Praise God we know that in its fulness.
  4. Receive His Word consistently. We have the word of Christ. He says to us in Matthew 7 ““Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Hear my word, put it into practice, you will be wise. Guaranteed.
  5. Remember His purposes daily. In Ephesians 1, we see the wisdom of God in Christ linked to the glory of God in getting a people for Himself in human history. The picture is God redeeming for Himself a people  in all His glory.
  6. In Christ, we walk with continual wisdom. And all of this is what we walk in– the purpose of God, the Word of God, the grace of God, revering God, we live in continual worship as those who have the Spirit of Christ in us, which means, because through Christ, we have been reconciled to God, to walk with Him in worship. What flows from that? The fruit of a right relationship with God is WISDOM. And so, now we live, we walk in continual wisdom. That’s the point, it’s what we see: Wisdom is the fruit of a right relationship with God. This means wisdom is flowing here. Jesus is our wisdom. What does that mean, how is Jesus our wisdom?
  • (1) He gives us wisdom whenever we ask. The New Testament makes that clear: If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all without finding fault, and it will be given to Him. Brothers and sisters, every single time you will ask for wisdom, the Father will never answer NO. He will give it freely, when ever we ask. But, heres the beauty. Not only does He gives it through Christ, but
  • (2) He guides us in wisdom wherever we go. He says, “Here’s what you need to do and I’m going to live in you, and I’m going to lead you, and I’m going to guide you, and I’m putting that into practice. You are in Christ, and in Christ are all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom, which means, in every single decision you face this week, you have Christ who has all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom in His Spirit, living in you, guiding you through everything, and walking through.

You have no reason to be worried. You have no reason to be anxious. And you have no reason to wander if you’re gonna make the wrong decision, if you are trusting in Christ, abiding in Christ. He is good. He will lead you and guide you. He’s not even gonna leave you to find the most subjective feeling that feels the most right to you, or to flip the coin, or to tell God, “Well, if I do this, , you do this, and I’ll do this.” You see nothing like that in Scripture. Leave behind that and trust in Christ, who has wisdom from God and for you. Abide in Him. And here we come back to his question that we so anxiously asked: What is God’s will for my life?

And the answer we gladly receive: God desires for me to know and follow His will so much, that He lives in me, and leads me to accomplish it. That is Good News. I am not saying that it’s easy. I’m not saying that there isn’t work involved here. I’m not saying: Close your eyes and it pops right in front of you, as to what you are supposed to do. There’s still agonizing, there’s still wrestling, and researching this or that. There’s still all that , but, we’re not doing it alone. We’re doing it with the Spirit of the wisdom of Christ Himself, in us. Him leading, Him guiding, and what we discovered is that the goal is not an answer to our questions. The goal is intimacy with Jesus Christ, Himself. And it’s not about getting to a destination, Christ is the destination. And it’s not as much about knowing His will, it’s about knowing Christ, and trusting in Christ, and leaning on Christ, and walking with Christ, and enjoying Christ as our wisdom, at every step.

Mission Is Not Your God. God Is Your God. – David Platt and Francis Chan

Recorded for the Verge Conference. http://vergenetwork.org

VIDEO by VergeNetwork

David Platt – The Gospel and Religious Liberty

VIDEO by 10cannons

„THE GOSPEL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY”
1 Peter 2:13-17
Biblical Truth…
l We are submissive citizens of a government.
m Government is given by God for the restraint of evil.
m Government is given by God for the promotion of good.
l We are free servants of God.
m We use our freedom in Christ to model good lives.
m We use our freedom in Christ to show God’s love.
n We honor everyone, especially our leaders.
n We care for the church.
n We fear God.
Cultural Application…
l We believe religious liberty is not primarily a political issue; it is
a gospel issue.
m Freedom of religion is ultimately given by God, not just
granted by government.
m Faith, in its essence, cannot be forced.
m Religion is a matter of voluntary choice, not involuntary coercion.
l We work for religious liberty for all.
m Religion exists to explore the questions of life and
apply our conclusions to life.
m Government exists to protect this fundamental human privilege.
n Government does not exist for the establishment of religion.
n Government does not exist for the elimination of religion.
n Government exists for the free exercise of religion.
t Not just in episodic gatherings, but in everyday life.
t Those who gather for worship in private settings scatter to live
out their beliefs in the public square.
l We obey our government unless it requires us to disobey God.
m Four options…
n God alone is our authority.
n The government alone is our authority.
n God and government are authorities with government in the
dominant position.
n God and government are authorities with God in the
dominant position.
m One conclusion…
n We must obey God rather than men.
l We speak and serve on behalf of the persecuted church around the world.
m We speak…
n To God on their behalf.
n To our government and other governments on their behalf.
m We serve…
n We give and go to our persecuted brothers and sisters.
n We identify with our persecuted brothers and sisters.
t By following Christ no matter what it costs.
t By proclaiming the gospel to people around us and
people around the world.

David Platt Secret Church Event 2014 on Good Friday April 18, 2014 „The Cross and Everyday Life”

A parachurch ministry has announced what it calls a „Secret Church gathering” scheduled to take place on Good Friday, April 18, 2014.

The topic of this year’s gathering is, „The Cross and Everyday Life.”

„Most of us struggle to apply the goodness of the cross to our lives every day,” Warren explains.

Organizers say that the Secret Church began in 2006 to worship through intensive study of the Bible, and to identify with and pray for persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.

Last year’s Secret Church gathering drew over 60,000 people who participated via a web-based simulcast.

More information can be found on the website.
via – See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com

Here is a newsreport from yourhustonnews.com about the event:

What does the cross of Christ have to do with a person’s moment-by-moment, day-to-day life?
That’s the question being asked and answered at a six-hour Secret Church Simulcast at First Baptist Church, Liberty. The theme is “The Cross and Everyday Life.”

The 6 p.m. to midnight event on Good Friday, Apr. 18, is a video simulcast that will be viewed by more than 50,000 people around the world. It will include intense Bible teaching by David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., and best-selling Christian author of Radical and Follow Me: A Call to Die, A Call to Live.

“The Bible says that whatever we do should be done to the glory of God,” said David Williams, director of missions for Trinity River Baptist Association, which is joining First Baptist Liberty and Wild Country Mission in sponsoring the event.
But how do you do everything to God’s glory? How do you eat to God’s glory, drink to God’s glory, do everything to God’s glory,” Williams asked.

“From the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we go to bed at night, the death of Jesus on the cross makes a difference,” he said. “The cross is able to transform and empower the most mundane things of our lives and make them into something that can bring glory to God. It changes the decisions we make, the way we schedule our time, how we relate to people, the way we do our jobs, and the way we view sports, entertainment, hobbies, leisure and rest.”

Williams said the theme is especially appropriate for an intense Bible study on Good Friday, the annual observance of Jesus’ crucifixion.
“What better way to remember and honor the sacrifice of Jesus than to explore its significance on all of life,” he said.

The evening includes four one-hour teaching segments separated by music, brief refreshment breaks and a time of prayer for Christians facing persecution.

David Platt will Host a Simulcast Seminar in Middle East: Follow Me – the Cost of Discipleship

via http://gospelherald.com map of Middle East via google maps

Platt DavidDavid Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Alabama and best-selling author, will host a free simulcast from the Middle East on the cost of discipleship. He released “Follow Me: A Call to Die, A Call to Live” in February, a book which portrays the all-consuming call of Christ for His disciples to follow Him (see Matthew 16:24-25).

Platt will be teaching from an undisclosed location in the Middle East, where sharing the Gospel often means risking persecution and even death in Muslim-dominated regions. He invites believers worldwide to gather together in homes or at church venues to study the cost of discipleship with him, something that he believes is often lost in a culture where Christianity is commonplace. “Scores of men, women, and children have been told that becoming a follower of Jesus simply involves believing certain truths or saying certain words. As a result, churches today are filled with people who believe they are Christians . . . but aren’t. We want to be disciples as long as doing so does not intrude on our lifestyles,” says the product description for his book. Platt also conductsSecret Church, where believers gather together by simulcast to learn fire-hydrant-style teaching for six hours in one evening, with the goal of becoming equipped to teach what they have learned to others.

In a video about the upcoming seminar, Platt said, “The more we think about what it means to follow Christ … the more we’re in tune with His word … His desires … the more we’re going to find ourselves going against the grain of culture in so many different ways … the more we’re following Christ, the more costly it will be … but the more rewarding it will be.” He quoted Galatians 2:20a, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me.”

Read the entire article here http://gospelherald.com

Sexual Sin: Every Sinful Heart is Prone to Struggle by David Platt

via http://crossmap.christianpost.com
david platt

In a recent sermon on sexual sin, Pastor David Platt touched on the belief that all humans – not only homosexuals – are prone to struggle with different types of sexual sin.

„This is something that every sinful heart is prone to struggle with in some way or another,” Platt said in the sermon.

„If [Christians] roll our eyes and shake our heads when we see the Supreme Court ruling on this case, yet we turn the channels on our TVs to watch the trivialization of sex on shows and advertisements, to surf the Internet to find images in order to satisfy our lusts, to go to movies that glamorize sex … and entertain sexual thoughts and desires outside of our own marriage, then we have missed the entire point.”

Platt also reiterated his belief that biblical marriage consists of a union between one man and one woman.

„All throughout the Bible from cover to cover, sex is only celebrated … in the context of exclusive covenant relationship between a husband and wife,” Platt shared. “Period. There are no exceptions to that.”

In the midst of highlighting highlighting hyper-sexualized American culture, the pastor went on to express the thought that humans tend to set their minds on the flesh as opposed to God.

„According to [secular culture], we’re not human if we can’t please our bodies however we desire, so any attempts to limit sexual expression are seen as oppressive and inhumane,” Platt said. „We set our minds on the things of the flesh, which is hostile to God, and we exchange God’s Word for our experience.”

In a call for sexual purity, Platt asked Christians to be honest about their sexual sins and to pursue Godly accountability partners.

„So much of the power of sin is found in its secrecy,” Platt said. „Guard yourself with godly friendships and Gospel accountability.”

Read the story in its entirety here – http://crossmap.christianpost.com

David Platt – at Liberty University (NEW) with Spanish subtitles – a great message to share with Spanish speaking friends

 

platt

Someone has taken the initiative to do the hard labor of translating and captioning David Platt’s message from a commencement address at Liberty University in 2011. Please share this message with Spanish (only) speaking friends. They will be very blessed by it.

VIDEO by Franco Ronconi

David Platt – „Success is found in the faithfulness to the Bible”

English: Photo of David Platt at a Secret Chur...

English: Photo of David Platt at a Secret Church event, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Uploaded by  on Sep 28, 2011 via http://cp4us.org/2012/06/05/video-david-platt-on-the-nations-and-the-american-dream/

Video of the Week – David Platt – „Are We Going to die in our religion or are we going to die in our devotion?”

„Are We Going to die in our religion or are we going to die in our devotion?”

A challenge by David Platt, pastor of Brook Hills Church in Birmingham, AL. The sermon clips are from the one he preached at the SBC Conference in Louisville, KY back in ’09

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/6hRkOMgohQE (via) truthendures.com

David Platt – Jesus is enough at Liberty University

There’s 6.8 billion people in the world. The most liberal estimate puts the world at about 1/3 christian, and that’s people in many contexts who claim christianity more as a social or political identification. But, even if we assumed that all of those people are actually followers of Christ that would still leave over 4 1/2 billion people who at this moment are without Christ and are on a road that leads to an eternal hell, everlasting suffering. That’s spiritual need; add on top of that physical need, the reality that today alone, while we enjoy all that we have here, today 26,000 children will die of either starvation or preventable disease. If this is true in the world around us, then we do not have time to play games with our lives and we do not have time to play games in the church. We have a master who demands radical sacrifice and a mission that warrants radical urgency and so in the next few minutes I want to call you based on the authority of God’s word. I want to call you to abandon your plans, your dreams, your ideas, your possessions, all of your hopes of living out a nice, comfortable, middle class American christianity. I want to call you to abandon it all to make the glory of Christ known to every nation in the world. I want to show you that there is no better way that you can spend your life than making His worth known among all peoples.

Luke 9:57  The Cost of Following Jesus

 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

On February 18, 2011 at Convocation, North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students, bestselling author and pastor Dr. David Platt commissioned Liberty University students to present their lives as „blank checks” and to surrender their gifts and talents to be used in ways that will advance the kingdom of God. Platt is the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., and author of the bestselling book „Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.”

David Platt – Questioning God (It is okay to do so)

This is the struggle of faith. It is a real struggle to reconcile the character of God with the circumstances of our life. This is not trite. This is deep and if we are honest with God in our lives; this is a struggle- reconciling the character of God with the circumstances of our lives.

Habakkuk 1  Habakkuk 2

It’s those moments in life when something happens that changes everything. There’s things that happen in our lives that make us sit back and wonder what is going on? Why did this happen and where is God in the middle of this? The pain and suffering…

Habakkuk, the prophet in reverse: who spoke TO God on behalf of the people

What I want to show you is that these are not just okay questions, these are good questions to ask. All the other prophets, except Habakkuk are speaking for the Lord to the people. That is why they always say, „Thus saith the Lord”. But in Habakkuk we see the reverse. We see Habakkuk speaking to God on behalf of the people. What we see in the book is a dialogue with God, where Habakkuk is wrestling with injustice and evil and suffering everywhere around him.

The Babylonians, referred to as the Chaldeans here in Habakkuk, are about to take over Judah. The people of God in the middle of suffering as a result of their sin, and Habakkuk wondering, „God what are you doing? Where are you in the midst of all this?” And what we see is the hard reality of Habakkuk:

God uses painful experiences to accomplish His sovereign purposes

That’s the cold reality of the Book of Habakkuk. The prophet Habakkuk wrestles in the struggle of faith; wrestling with God in the same way we have seen this in Job, or Moses, or even Jeremiah… Habakkuk coming to God with deep, honest questions that lead to deep, honest praise. I want us to see the relationship between the two. From the struggle of faith to the song of faith in the book of Habakkuk.

The struggle of faith:

  • Does God hear? Have you ever cried out to God in the middle of pain and gotten the sense of nothing but the silence of heaven? These are bold questions. You almost wonder: Is this appropriate? I want you to see the prophet pressing in to God. He is not content with surface theology. He is pressing in deeply. Does God really hear?
  • Does God care? Habakkuk’s living in the middle of evil and injustice and suffering and seemingly God is doing nothing about it.
  • Is God good? This is one of the main questions of the book, and really one of the deepest questions in all of life. How can God be good and there be so much evil and suffering in the world? That’s the ultimate question. Is God good and is God holy?
  • Is God holy? He is pressing into the very nature of God here saying, „You are holy, yet you are sitting idly by as all this evil runs rampant.” Which bring us to the next question:
  • Where is God’s power? „God, are You going to protect your people in the middle of all of this contention, strife, destruction; violence rising around, always before your people. Where is your power and…
  • Where is God’s word? „The law is paralyzed. What good is your word? Are You going to show your justice?” which leads to really what I think sums up this whole picture:
  • Is God worthy of my trust? Habakkuk comes to God with questions and God responds by saying that he was about to raise up the enemies of the people of God and use them to rout His people and destroy them. Have you ever cried out to God in the middle of suffering, only to find that His answer and His response only evokes more questions? That is exactly what is happening here. God responds and then Habakkuk says, „What?”

This is the struggle of faith. It is a real struggle to reconcile the character of God with the circumstances of our life. This is not trite. This is deep and if we are honest with God in our lives; this is a struggle- reconciling the character of God with the circumstances of our lives. This is not just be happy and move on. There’s a depth here that Habakkuk is pressing in and it leads us to God’s second response: Verses 2,3 and 4; the most important verses in the entire book. (notes continue below video––>) More DAVID PLATT Sermons here.

Habakkuk 2:2-4

And the Lord answered me:”Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it;it will surely come; it will not delay.
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.

The key phrase in the entire book of Habakkuk is in verse 4. „The righteous shall live by his faith”. From the struggle of faith to the life of faith; God says to Habakkuk, to His people, „Here’s how to walk through suffering. You live by faith.”

Well, how do you do that? The life of faith:

  1. You listen to the truth of God.  „My word is the rock upon which My people will stand, in the midst of pain and suffering. In the midst of trial, you will never go wrong listening to the truth of God. Our emotions will lead us all kinds of different ways. Our circumstances will lead us all kinds of different ways. Our thinking will lead us all kinds of different ways, the advice we are given will lead us all kinds of different ways. The truth of God is the rock, the compass that brings us back to center at every point: walking through trial necessitates that we listen to truth. And the word of God IS the trust. It may not always say exactly what we are wanting to hear; it may not speak in a way that we would like to hear, but we can listen to this truth and find a foundation upon which to stand, no matter what the circumstances are.
  2. Lean on the timing of God. We want action in the short term. Short term circumstances provide a poor measurement of the long term character of God . The life of faith says, „I don’t see it now. All I see is darkness, all around me. The life of faith presses in and says, „I’m going to wait and God is going to show Himself and He is the one who hears and cares and who has all power and who is good and who is holy, who’s going to show this”. This is where we realize that suffering on earth, trials on earth can only be understood in the timing of heaven. Think about it. Any trial, we have no idea all that has gone on to lead us to that point; not just in our lives, but, in other people’s lives around us and we have no idea what is going to come from that in our lives or the other people around us. There is a whole perspective here that we do not have. When Job went through his suffering, he had no idea that Satan had approached the throne of God in heaven to tell God that the only reason Job worships Him is because he has „stuff” from God. And God tells him to take away all his stuff and Satan does it. Unbeknownst to Job, an audience of Satan and a hundred thousand angels and God are peering over Job. And Job tears his clothes and falls on his face and says, „The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. And unbeknownst to Job, 200,000 angels arms go flying into the sky and say, „Worthy is the God of Job!”  and Satan goes running from God’s presence. Job had no idea. I;m not saying that every time you go through trials, there’s some divine presence in heaven leading up to this. But, I am saying this, „You and I have no idea what is going on  leading up to this and we have no idea what is coming out of this. Job had no idea when he was in chapter 1 of what would happen by chapter 42 where he says, „I have heard of you God but now I have seen you and know you deeply”. There is a wrestling between chapter 1 and chapter 42. There is a picture here. There is a timing here and here’s what we are realizing even as we read these prophets. None of these prophets ever fully experienced, saw the hope about which they prophesied. I can not, based on the authority of God’s word, say to any person tonight, about the trial that you are in, in your life, that it will end in this life. The reality is, that you may, never in this life see the end of this trial. At the same time, you can lean on the timing of God. What do you mean?
  3. Live with your trust in God. This is the key question right here. You can, in the midst of suffering, either trust in yourself, or trust in God. God says, „Trust not in yourself, trust in Me”. This is where we realize this verse’s importance for it is quoted several times in the New Testament, most notably: Trusting in God for your salvation. Romans 1:16-17 and Galatian 3:11-12. At the moment, when you trusted in God for your salvation, you trusted yourself upon God. And what God is saying to and through Habakkuk is, „Just as you trust in God for your salvation; trust in God amidst your suffering”. God will show Himself faithful. In the same way that He saved you from your sins, by faith; He will sustain you in your suffering, by faith.
  4. Look forward to your triumph with God. From verse 5 and throughout the rest of the chapter the Chaldeans get their due. But right in the middle of this there are 2 verses tucked away that are glorious glimpses of hope for Habakkuk. 2:14- The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Yes, there is coming a day when God will show His glory in an astounding, universal way.If you are walking through suffering right now, if you are going through a difficult time of pain and hurt, know this. Hold on to this: There is coming a day when the pain, the hurt and the suffering will fade away and the glory of God will fill the whole earth and it will be beyond dispute: He is indeed good! And He is indeed holy and He is indeed just and right and worthy of our worship. Look forward to the triumph. This is Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:17: Take heart, these light and momentary troubles and afflictions; they are passing away. So, we fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but we fix our eyes on what is unseen. If you are in the middle of suffering in your life, lift your eyes and look toward that which is unseen. God is going to show His glory in a way that is going to cause all the hurt and all the pain and all the wrestling to fade away. God will show His glory and we will stand in awe.
All of this leads to the song of faith. The last chapter in Habakkuk is absolutely amazing. It’s intended to be used as a psalm in worship. Habakkuk just reviews the greatness of God and the history of His people. After those deep, deep question, now the result of deep, deep praise.
The song of faith:
  • God is awesome
  • God is full of wrath. You realize that God is indeed holy and He is indeed just and God will show the full extent of His wrath to sin and sinners alike
  • God is full of mercy. At the same time, God is full of mercy. Wrath and mercy. Isn’t this the picture we are seeing with all of the prophets? Wrath and mercy; helping us to understand the death on the cross (where) wrath and mercy meet together in One.
  • God is present in all of creation. (Deut. 33) When you walk through suffering, yo do not have a God who is distant from you. You have a God who is present with you. He is with you in the valley. He never leaves you alone. You’re never alone in suffering. You God is present in all of Creation.
  • God has power over all things.
  • God is sovereign in all things. There is not one event in history that God is not totally sovereign over. When you hurt, or maybe one day when you hear that diagnosis from the doctor that you dread; know this, that in that moment God is absolutely on His throne and He is not surprised. When you got that call, or when you get that call, it changes everything. Know this: God was, is, will be on His throne; sovereign over all of that. This is really, really good when you realize the next thing…
  • God is the protector of His people. It is good to have this God on your side. Let me rephrase that: You really want to be on His side. Just let this soak in: Child of God. The God who has power over all things in the universe, the God who is sovereign over all things in the universe is your protector. No fear. Bring what may. No fear. God is our protector and He is the deliverer of His people.
  •  All this leads to the last 3 stunning verses. Habakkuk has wrestled with God. Circumstances around Him are dark on every side; suffering and pain and no sign of anything changing and this is Habakkuk’s conclusion: God is our satisfaction. He says „I will rejoice in the Lord” He doesn’t just sustain (trusting) but he satisfies (rejoicing). This is not just some trite happiness, it is a true happiness, a rejoicing that says, „Everything is taken from me and yet I still have God and so I still have joy.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places
  • God is our strength. He upholds us. He makes us tread in the high places. If you’re in battle, you want to be in the high places. The high places is places where you conquer from. Places where you rule from and reign. In the midst of suffering, Habakkuk says, with His strength and His satisfaction he leads me to the high place, where no matter what is raging around me, I not only survive, thrive; but…
  • God is our victory. He puts us on the mountaintop as a victor and a conqueror in the midst of suffering.
It does seem weird to us, this truth of Habakkuk that God would use painful experiences to accomplish  His sovereign purposes and I want to remind us of something far, far, far weirder. Something far more difficult to comprehend:
The comforting reality of the cross
that God would use His Son’s suffering to accomplish His people’s salvation. That is hard to understand. One writer put it this way. God is always at work in human history, to achieve His ultimate goal. In the means by which He chooses to pursue that goal may be as astounding as: the destruction of a  nation or as incomprehensible as the blood dripping from a figure of a man on a cross. Yes, God’s ways in Habakkuk may seem strange, and yes, God’s ways in our lives may seem strange. Bu, look to the cross, for there, God takes the penalty of our sin, from our lives and pours it out on His Son and takes the pain of His Son to bring us peace. For God, the Father on high, wills the crushing death of His Son; the cruel, torturous, otherwise unexplainable death of His Son to bring us life.
His pain brings us peace.
His death brings us life.
We find salvation in His suffering and because of his sufferings for our sins, in our place, because of His victory over sins on our behalf, because of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave we can know this: Put your faith, put your trust in this- our suffering is temporary. Death itself is temporary. Christ is eternal. So thrust yourself upon Him. Thrust yourself upon the eternal God who reigns sovereign over all things and realize: Your suffering is temporary and your God is trustworthy. He will lead us all to conclude: Though there is no figs on the vine and there is no fruit in the field, we can rejoice in our God. Take joy in His salvation and stand strong on the high places because of His glory. Praise be to God. From the  message series: A Chronicle of Redemption Part IV Faithful Prophets in a Divided Kingdom. David Platt is Pastor of the Church at Brook Hills.
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David Platt – The Glory of God, the Lostness of Man, and the Gospel of Christ

from the Desiring God 2011 Conference-

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David Platt – Take heed lest you fall (Essential Sermon)

(via) preached in September 2011 in the Chapel at Southeastern Seminary

Texts: Exodus 32:1-10; 1 Corinthians 10:6-11 Preaching from Exodus 32,  Platt makes the parallel between what the Israelites did in the wilderness  and how pastors interact with their congregation today-i.e. the dancing before the golden calf while celebrating their salvation, Aaron giving sinful people what they want in order to please them,…David Platt warns us/outlines 4 temptations Christians and leaders must be on guard against.

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David Platt – 20/20 Conference 2010 Session 3 – (Incl. important Youth talk)

Pastor David Platt starts out with the statistics of the staggering number of unbelievers living in our times then goes on to exhort on how a Christian community centered on the Gospel could make an impact proclaiming His name.
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Desire – Do We Want Him? by David Platt

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