A Powerful Testimony Part 1 | TBN

A Powerful Testimony Part 1

Watch A Powerful Testimony Part 1
October 14, 2019
27:30

Don Wilton

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A Powerful Testimony Part 1

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  • male announcer: God has an encouraging word for you and me
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  • today through the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton,
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  • and this message on your impact as a person
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  • with a powerful testimony.
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  • Dr. Don Wilton: Don't you just love being around so many
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  • people in our world today, who bear a lifetime
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  • of incredible testimony?
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  • Their lives are just so inspiring.
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  • Like you, I love to be around people like that,
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  • just people that inspire me.
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  • Paul, was such a man.
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  • And God sent this person, just a person like you and me,
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  • on a journey.
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  • He ended his life and changed him.
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  • He went from being a blasphemer of God to someone who was
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  • willing to give his life for the Lord.
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  • He was radically transformed, and he lived out a life that was
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  • just amazing, was just amazing.
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  • I look at someone like Paul and I say to myself,
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  • how could I ever measure, live up to that?
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  • I look to a man like Mr. Walter, and so many others of our
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  • veterans and I say, how could I ever serve our nation,
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  • be the kind of citizen that these people are to us?
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  • I look at people like Dr. Stanley and
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  • Dr. Billy Graham, and my own father, and my father-in-law.
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  • I look at these people.
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  • God gives people to us for purpose.
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  • Want you to look over here with me.
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  • We've discovered something about this journey that Paul has been
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  • on, and we know that right here in Ephesus,
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  • that he encountered a lot of things when he was in the city.
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  • And the time came for him that he knew that he had to leave.
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  • In fact, he not only knew that he had to leave Ephesus,
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  • but he was absolutely convinced that he needed to
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  • go back to Jerusalem.
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  • I mean, that's right down here.
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  • And he also knew that when he went back,
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  • he knew God was telling him to start heading back to Jerusalem,
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  • but Paul knew in his heart that if he went back to Jerusalem,
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  • nothing but persecution waited for him,
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  • but he had to go.
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  • He was compelled to be obedient to the Lord.
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  • And so, what he did was he took off from Ephesus,
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  • and he went back to Greece.
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  • Some people have said, "Well, he was just trying to postpone
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  • the inevitable."
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  • I don't know that he was.
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  • I suppose we could provide some conjecture here,
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  • but we just know this in the Bible in Acts chapter 19 and
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  • chapter 20, that he left Ephesus,
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  • and he made his way back into Macedonia,
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  • and even came down past Athens and Corinth.
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  • We know that he wrote one of these great letters to the
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  • church of Corinth during this time.
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  • He ended up, he picked up a lot of passengers,
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  • people who were great support to him from Thessalonica,
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  • and from Berea, and from other places and their names
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  • are all listed there.
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  • And he ended up back there in Philippi,
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  • and jumped on a boat and he headed across the sea here
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  • and he came to this place called Troas,
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  • right there, right in the upper left-hand corner of the Aegean
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  • Sea, the left hand corner of Asia.
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  • He came back to Troas, and an amazing thing happened.
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  • He was only there for seven days.
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  • No, he wasn't there for seven days, I beg your pardon.
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  • He was there only overnight and he realized that those people
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  • needed to hear the truth.
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  • So, you'll never guess what Paul did.
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  • Said, "Well, I'm gonna tell them the truth," and he started
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  • preaching, teaching.
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  • They went into an upper room, and they had lamps up there
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  • in an upper room.
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  • And they gathered, they were breaking bread,
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  • and he began to preach, and he preached,
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  • and he preached, and he preached,
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  • and he preached, and then he preached some more.
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  • And there was a young man that was listening,
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  • and this young man couldn't stand it anymore.
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  • They got to about, you know, midnight,
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  • and he was probably on his 21st point of his message,
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  • and the poor fella fell asleep and toppled out of the window.
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  • Now that's not funny.
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  • He toppled out the window.
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  • Now, I just want to say a word here today.
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  • I've got ten points this--today, and we're particularly
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  • watching those of you on the balcony there.
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  • That's what happened.
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  • He went on and on telling them about Jesus,
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  • and this young man fell down and it killed him.
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  • It's an incredible story.
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  • And Paul, God using Paul as he did,
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  • Paul went down and through the power of God and the Holy
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  • Spirit, this young man was brought back to life.
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  • And as a result of that, the testimony of this event,
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  • this miracle that took place, had a very deep impact on this
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  • whole region here.
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  • Well, Paul took off and he came down to Assos over here,
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  • sailed down through these islands here to Mytilene,
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  • onto on to the island of Chios, C-H-I-O-S,
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  • interesting little island here.
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  • It's actually not as small as you would think it is.
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  • And today, it's pretty well populated,
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  • came past Samos here, and some people say to him,
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  • "You need to go back to Ephesus 'cause you've got a lot of
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  • friends over there, and you spent
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  • two years of your ministry.
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  • And Paul said, "No, no, no, if I go back to Ephesus,
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  • they're going to hold me there.
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  • I need to get to Jerusalem.
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  • So, he bypassed Ephesus and came to this place
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  • here called Miletus.
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  • And something happened in Miletus.
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  • Let me read it to you.
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  • Open your Bibles with me today to the book of Acts chapter 20,
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  • and verse 17.
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  • Acts chapter 20, and verse 17, I'm only going
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  • to read a few verses.
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  • "Now from Miletus, Paul sent a message to Ephesus and he called
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  • the elders, the leaders, the spiritual leaders of the church,
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  • to come from Ephesus to meet him in Miletus.
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  • And when they came to him, he gathered the church leaders
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  • around him and he said this to them,
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  • 'You yourselves know how I lived among you.
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  • The whole time, from the very first day that I set foot in
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  • Asia, how that I served the Lord with all humility and with tears
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  • and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the
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  • Jews; how despite that I did not shrink from declaring to you
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  • anything that was profitable, teaching you in public from
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  • house to house, and testifying to both Jews and Greeks of
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  • repentance toward God, and of our faith in and
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  • through the Lord Jesus Christ.'"
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  • What a powerful testimony.
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  • God has so spoken to me by allowing me to sit at the feet
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  • of the Apostle Paul.
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  • And I find myself saying many times,
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  • "How could I ever say the things that he said?"
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  • I want you to just consider this with me because I'm going to
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  • share with you the keys to Paul's powerful testimony.
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  • Let's just unpack this together.
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  • What does the Bible say to us concerning this man's testimony?
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  • What are the facts of his testimony?
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  • Well, number one, that he was affirmed by the spiritual
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  • leaders of the church.
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  • What a testimony.
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  • Leaders are exceptional people and spiritual leaders.
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  • God, in his economy, selects, and trains,
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  • and raises up great, great men and women of God,
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  • the real spiritual leaders.
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  • They have a heart for the church.
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  • They have a deep heart for the things of God.
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  • They translate their secular involvement into the spiritual
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  • workings of the most amazing gathering of people anywhere on
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  • the face of the earth and it has been said many times the
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  • spiritual temperature of any church or any gathering of any
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  • spiritual people in any nation will never rise higher
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  • than the spiritual temperature of those who lead.
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  • And can you imagine this man Paul,
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  • gathering them together and saying,
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  • "You yourselves know."
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  • He was affirmed.
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  • You know, the affirmation of those that are closest to
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  • us are critical, of our parents.
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  • I still have such fond memories, even when my children were in
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  • their growing up years of going to various functions and
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  • activities, and you could have hundreds of people.
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  • But it was amazing how, out of those hundreds,
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  • our children look for the affirmation from those
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  • that mean most to them.
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  • He was affirmed by the leaders.
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  • That's the first thing he said as part of
  • 00:13:07.020 --> 00:13:09.220
  • this powerful testimony.
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  • But secondly, he was faithful over time.
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  • Paul's words, said, "You know how I lived among
  • 00:13:19.030 --> 00:13:22.230
  • you the whole time."
  • 00:13:22.240 --> 00:13:30.090
  • You know, Mr. Walter, what I love about you, sir.
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  • I can't imagine your life during World War II.
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  • As a young man, your life of service and devotion to our
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  • nation, your willingness to sacrifice and yeah,
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  • even your willingness to lay down your life,
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  • as many as your friends most certainly do.
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  • What I love about you is your faithfulness over time, sir.
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  • For that reason, I salute you, sir.
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  • And I thank you because you've shown us.
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  • You have shown us, not just to be willing to sacrifice
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  • and to live a life so exemplary at a moment's notice,
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  • at a moment's time, but it has been your life.
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  • Paul was faithful over time.
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  • It's like he just never stopped.
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  • You know, growing weary in well doing is a very real thing cause
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  • the Bible talks about it.
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  • I can't lay any blame at Paul's feet if he let
  • 00:15:10.130 --> 00:15:14.150
  • it slip from time to time.
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  • Knowing how weak I am at the best of times,
  • 00:15:19.210 --> 00:15:22.040
  • I probably would have let it slip many times.
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  • Evidently, he looked into the faces of those leaders.
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  • He said, you know, you know how that I have lived
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  • this life among you from the very first day until now.
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  • Can you feel that?
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  • Is your best yet to be?
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  • Have you started for the finish?
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  • Are you telling the Lord today that only by his grace,
  • 00:16:06.150 --> 00:16:14.290
  • you're in for the long haul.
  • 00:16:15.000 --> 00:16:21.080
  • But there was a third key he was focused
  • 00:16:21.090 --> 00:16:26.070
  • on serving the Lord Jesus.
  • 00:16:26.080 --> 00:16:29.080
  • You know, verse 19, he just says it out front there.
  • 00:16:29.090 --> 00:16:32.210
  • He says serving the Lord.
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  • You know, you bear testimony, you can attest.
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  • You leaders, that I have lived this life the whole time.
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  • And I've been about the business of serving Jesus.
  • 00:16:53.000 --> 00:16:58.160
  • It's quite a statement that it's not always easy to keep the main
  • 00:16:58.170 --> 00:17:05.190
  • thing, the main thing, you know?
  • 00:17:05.200 --> 00:17:11.060
  • It's not necessarily you and I waking up in the morning because
  • 00:17:11.070 --> 00:17:16.210
  • and just saying, "You know, we are gonna just serve the Lord
  • 00:17:16.220 --> 00:17:19.160
  • Jesus in every way," because our environment
  • 00:17:19.170 --> 00:17:23.130
  • doesn't always welcome serving Jesus.
  • 00:17:23.140 --> 00:17:30.250
  • We live in different places, and we live in
  • 00:17:30.260 --> 00:17:33.120
  • the court of public opinion.
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  • We find ourselves everywhere from football stadiums,
  • 00:17:36.000 --> 00:17:38.060
  • to great beaches, to fighting hurricanes,
  • 00:17:38.070 --> 00:17:41.110
  • to dealing with sickness and sorrow,
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  • bringing up our sons and our daughters.
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  • But more than that, we deal with pain.
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  • We deal with antagonism.
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  • We deal with an unkind word.
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  • We deal with vengeance.
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  • We deal with unfairness, injustice,
  • 00:18:03.210 --> 00:18:08.280
  • we deal with brutality.
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  • It's not--this is not oh, well, you know?
  • 00:18:12.230 --> 00:18:15.260
  • When I look at Paul's life and we followed him on this journey
  • 00:18:15.270 --> 00:18:19.250
  • thus far, none of us would do anything to suggest that it was
  • 00:18:19.260 --> 00:18:27.270
  • just a matter of, "Well, I'm just going to serve Jesus,"
  • 00:18:27.280 --> 00:18:34.290
  • it's not always popular.
  • 00:18:35.000 --> 00:18:37.180
  • In fact, the very opposite is true many times, isn't it?
  • 00:18:37.190 --> 00:18:42.130
  • But what a testimony that he was focused on serving the Lord
  • 00:18:42.140 --> 00:18:47.060
  • Jesus, serving the Lord, serving the Lord.
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  • That's what he did.
  • 00:18:54.260 --> 00:18:57.040
  • He put it like this elsewhere, he said,
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  • this is Paul said, "For me to live is Christ."
  • 00:18:58.250 --> 00:19:05.010
  • That's what he said.
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  • For me, everything about my living has to do with the
  • 00:19:06.130 --> 00:19:12.180
  • Lord Jesus, everything.
  • 00:19:12.190 --> 00:19:17.190
  • My work, my play, my attitude, my demeanor,
  • 00:19:17.200 --> 00:19:23.060
  • my response, my hurting heart, my growing
  • 00:19:23.070 --> 00:19:27.120
  • weariness in well doing.
  • 00:19:27.130 --> 00:19:34.090
  • You can be so kind, and so gracious,
  • 00:19:34.100 --> 00:19:38.250
  • and so loving for so long, that after a while
  • 00:19:38.260 --> 00:19:42.120
  • it can wear you down.
  • 00:19:42.130 --> 00:19:45.250
  • You can make phone calls and serve meals,
  • 00:19:45.260 --> 00:19:48.060
  • offer someone a helping hand but after a while,
  • 00:19:48.070 --> 00:19:52.180
  • it can, it can weigh you down.
  • 00:19:52.190 --> 00:19:58.060
  • It's not a criminal activity.
  • 00:19:58.070 --> 00:20:02.270
  • It's a human disposition.
  • 00:20:02.280 --> 00:20:05.210
  • And God, by His Spirit, will refresh your heart.
  • 00:20:05.220 --> 00:20:10.160
  • You are being refreshed right now.
  • 00:20:10.170 --> 00:20:13.180
  • I'm so glad that we can meet like this because this is
  • 00:20:13.190 --> 00:20:17.170
  • God's encouraging Word.
  • 00:20:17.180 --> 00:20:20.160
  • I want you to be encouraged in your heart today because this
  • 00:20:20.170 --> 00:20:24.270
  • is what Jesus does.
  • 00:20:24.280 --> 00:20:27.160
  • He encourages us.
  • 00:20:27.170 --> 00:20:33.030
  • He takes a hold of our lives, and he lifts us up,
  • 00:20:33.040 --> 00:20:39.130
  • and he blesses us.
  • 00:20:39.140 --> 00:20:43.270
  • And this Jesus whom he talked about,
  • 00:20:43.280 --> 00:20:48.250
  • that was the focus of what he did,
  • 00:20:48.260 --> 00:20:52.210
  • and how he lived, is the same Jesus of which
  • 00:20:52.220 --> 00:20:56.110
  • we speak to you today.
  • 00:20:56.120 --> 00:21:00.030
  • Do you know Jesus?
  • 00:21:00.040 --> 00:21:03.210
  • I can dare say if Paul was able to stand alongside me,
  • 00:21:03.220 --> 00:21:12.090
  • I really believe Paul would say, "I didn't do this.
  • 00:21:12.100 --> 00:21:19.010
  • Jesus did this in me because greater is he that is in me
  • 00:21:19.020 --> 00:21:26.150
  • than he that's in the world."
  • 00:21:26.160 --> 00:21:29.130
  • It's the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • 00:21:29.140 --> 00:21:32.140
  • You know, even Paul said, "The good that I would that I do not
  • 00:21:32.150 --> 00:21:35.070
  • and the evil that I would not that I do."
  • 00:21:35.080 --> 00:21:37.170
  • Paul called himself a wretched man.
  • 00:21:37.180 --> 00:21:40.200
  • I absolutely don't agree.
  • 00:21:40.210 --> 00:21:43.280
  • But he said it.
  • 00:21:43.290 --> 00:21:45.100
  • Paul knew that he was a sinner saved only by the grace of God.
  • 00:21:45.110 --> 00:21:48.280
  • And friend, I want you to know that I'm inviting you today to
  • 00:21:48.290 --> 00:21:53.000
  • turn your life over to the same Jesus.
  • 00:21:53.010 --> 00:22:00.250
  • When you turn your life over to Jesus,
  • 00:22:00.260 --> 00:22:04.050
  • the first thing that will happen is that you will be completely
  • 00:22:04.060 --> 00:22:07.120
  • forgiven of your sin.
  • 00:22:07.130 --> 00:22:10.120
  • When he comes into your life, he forgives you because he went to
  • 00:22:10.130 --> 00:22:15.240
  • a cross and he paid the price, the penalty.
  • 00:22:15.250 --> 00:22:19.180
  • God's Son, the only begotten one,
  • 00:22:19.190 --> 00:22:23.180
  • gave his life so that you and I might have life.
  • 00:22:23.190 --> 00:22:28.170
  • And when you give your heart to Jesus,
  • 00:22:28.180 --> 00:22:30.240
  • you receive forgiveness because you and I are sinners as charged
  • 00:22:30.250 --> 00:22:35.130
  • just like Paul, just like Dr. Charles Stanley,
  • 00:22:35.140 --> 00:22:43.100
  • just like Mr. Walter Green.
  • 00:22:43.110 --> 00:22:46.130
  • All of us are sinners.
  • 00:22:46.140 --> 00:22:49.220
  • And Jesus, when you give your life to Christ,
  • 00:22:49.230 --> 00:22:52.000
  • he comes into your heart and that clean feeling is the most
  • 00:22:52.010 --> 00:22:56.150
  • wonderful in all the world.
  • 00:22:56.160 --> 00:22:59.190
  • I can't explain to you how amazingly wonderful it is to
  • 00:22:59.200 --> 00:23:06.240
  • know that you've sinned, and then to know that you've
  • 00:23:06.250 --> 00:23:10.140
  • been forgiven 100%.
  • 00:23:10.150 --> 00:23:13.120
  • It's like, what is this?
  • 00:23:13.130 --> 00:23:15.250
  • Because that's what Jesus did for us on the cross.
  • 00:23:15.260 --> 00:23:20.050
  • And then having forgiven us, his Spirit comes into our hearts and
  • 00:23:20.060 --> 00:23:26.030
  • into our lives and he empowers us, he inhabits us.
  • 00:23:26.040 --> 00:23:29.030
  • And he gives us the ability to be able to do the things that
  • 00:23:29.040 --> 00:23:34.200
  • Paul is saying that you and I know are well-nigh
  • 00:23:34.210 --> 00:23:38.030
  • impossible to do.
  • 00:23:38.040 --> 00:23:40.270
  • How do we keep this up?
  • 00:23:40.280 --> 00:23:42.230
  • How do we have a powerful testimony?
  • 00:23:42.240 --> 00:23:44.240
  • How do we live our lives serving the Lord all
  • 00:23:44.250 --> 00:23:48.050
  • the days of our lives?
  • 00:23:48.060 --> 00:23:50.060
  • How do we maintain that consistency?
  • 00:23:50.070 --> 00:23:52.190
  • How do we keep flying the flag of faithfulness?
  • 00:23:52.200 --> 00:23:56.020
  • God does it by his Spirit.
  • 00:23:56.030 --> 00:23:58.250
  • That's what happens when you give your heart to Jesus.
  • 00:23:58.260 --> 00:24:02.210
  • And then if that's not enough, you know what he does?
  • 00:24:02.220 --> 00:24:06.010
  • He gets out his pen and he writes our name in God's book in
  • 00:24:06.020 --> 00:24:09.090
  • heaven, in his blood because it's the blood of Jesus which
  • 00:24:09.100 --> 00:24:16.120
  • provides us with the full and complete access into
  • 00:24:16.130 --> 00:24:23.100
  • the presence of God.
  • 00:24:23.110 --> 00:24:25.010
  • So now, get this, if it weren't for the fact that Jesus took
  • 00:24:25.020 --> 00:24:29.200
  • your place, gave his blood, his life,
  • 00:24:29.210 --> 00:24:36.030
  • how do you suppose you could ever come into the presence
  • 00:24:36.040 --> 00:24:40.140
  • of a God who is totally and completely holy and righteous?
  • 00:24:40.150 --> 00:24:45.170
  • You couldn't do it, none of us can.
  • 00:24:45.180 --> 00:24:50.010
  • But when Jesus comes into your heart,
  • 00:24:50.020 --> 00:24:53.090
  • as he did with Paul, that's exactly what happens.
  • 00:24:53.100 --> 00:24:57.270
  • You immediately are reconciled to a holy and a righteous God.
  • 00:24:57.280 --> 00:25:05.010
  • God welcomes you into his presence.
  • 00:25:05.020 --> 00:25:07.280
  • 00:25:07.290 --> 00:25:09.210
  • male: That remarkable change that comes,
  • 00:25:09.220 --> 00:25:11.180
  • that restoration, that cleansing that Doc is talking about,
  • 00:25:11.190 --> 00:25:14.170
  • it can happen in your life right where you are right now.
  • 00:25:14.180 --> 00:25:17.110
  • You can start with a new beginning.
  • 00:25:17.120 --> 00:25:19.100
  • As a matter of fact, if you'd like,
  • 00:25:19.110 --> 00:25:21.010
  • you can just repeat a simple prayer right after me.
  • 00:25:21.020 --> 00:25:23.090
  • "Lord God, I know I have sinned and separated myself from you.
  • 00:25:23.100 --> 00:25:30.040
  • But, God, today, as I've been hearing your voice through
  • 00:25:30.050 --> 00:25:32.250
  • Dr. Don, Lord, I know you love me.
  • 00:25:32.260 --> 00:25:36.050
  • You have a plan for my life, and you died on a cross,
  • 00:25:36.060 --> 00:25:40.140
  • you are Savior and Lord, you are the Son of God,
  • 00:25:40.150 --> 00:25:43.100
  • and I believe it, Jesus.
  • 00:25:43.110 --> 00:25:45.030
  • Change me from the inside out, amen."
  • 00:25:45.040 --> 00:25:48.010
  • You know, it starts with a confession of our faith.
  • 00:25:48.020 --> 00:25:50.290
  • If we confess our sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us
  • 00:25:51.000 --> 00:25:54.090
  • our sins and to cleanse us from all in righteousness.
  • 00:25:54.100 --> 00:25:56.170
  • Let's talk about this.
  • 00:25:56.180 --> 00:25:58.010
  • Pick up the phone, give us a call,
  • 00:25:58.020 --> 00:25:59.230
  • meet with us keyboard to keyboard online,
  • 00:25:59.240 --> 00:26:01.210
  • 24 hours a day, we're ready to pray with you,
  • 00:26:01.220 --> 00:26:04.020
  • pray for you, put resources in your hands that will help you
  • 00:26:04.030 --> 00:26:06.160
  • grow, maybe even connect you with a local church because
  • 00:26:06.170 --> 00:26:08.280
  • you need to get involved where you can get fed,
  • 00:26:08.290 --> 00:26:11.000
  • and roll up your sleeves and get involved as well.
  • 00:26:11.010 --> 00:26:13.170
  • Again, we are here to pray for you 24 hours a day.
  • 00:26:13.180 --> 00:26:16.130
  • Let's connect today.
  • 00:26:16.140 --> 00:26:18.140
  • Dr. Wilton: Hello, my friends.
  • 00:26:18.240 --> 00:26:20.030
  • I want to speak to you personally today from
  • 00:26:20.040 --> 00:26:23.000
  • my heart to yours.
  • 00:26:23.010 --> 00:26:24.170
  • I don't think there's ever a better or more important time
  • 00:26:24.180 --> 00:26:28.190
  • for us to respond to our world by standing up
  • 00:26:28.200 --> 00:26:32.200
  • for righteousness.
  • 00:26:32.210 --> 00:26:34.060
  • Now, with this in mind, I would like to invite you to become
  • 00:26:34.070 --> 00:26:38.050
  • an Encourager Ministry Partner.
  • 00:26:38.060 --> 00:26:41.190
  • You see together, we can impact lives both now and for all time
  • 00:26:41.200 --> 00:26:46.250
  • and all eternity.
  • 00:26:46.260 --> 00:26:48.220
  • "The Encouraging Word" is a viewer and listener-supported
  • 00:26:48.230 --> 00:26:52.200
  • ministry and to know that you are standing with me financially
  • 00:26:52.210 --> 00:26:56.230
  • enables me to move forward with confidence to do the work
  • 00:26:56.240 --> 00:27:01.260
  • God has called me to do.
  • 00:27:01.270 --> 00:27:03.260
  • So, please call the number on your screen and just simply say,
  • 00:27:03.270 --> 00:27:07.080
  • "I want to become an encourager.
  • 00:27:07.090 --> 00:27:10.230
  • Thank you so much for helping me."
  • 00:27:10.240 --> 00:27:13.230
  • announcer: It's been a joy to encourage you with today's
  • 00:27:13.280 --> 00:27:15.270
  • message from Dr. Wilton and the encouragement continues online
  • 00:27:15.280 --> 00:27:19.030
  • at theencouragingword.org.
  • 00:27:19.040 --> 00:27:21.240
  • 00:27:21.250 --> 00:27:28.090