The Joy of Integrity | TBN

The Joy of Integrity

Watch The Joy of Integrity
August 11, 2019
27:29

Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah

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The Joy of Integrity

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  • read daily devotionals, and more.
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  • Plus for the young ones in your life,
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  • Dr. David Jeremiah: Think there's no place for truthful,
  • 00:00:31.040 --> 00:00:32.280
  • moral, and honorable people in this world?
  • 00:00:32.290 --> 00:00:36.010
  • Well, I'm here to tell you those are
  • 00:00:36.020 --> 00:00:37.240
  • exactly the individuals this world needs.
  • 00:00:37.250 --> 00:00:41.210
  • And today, I'll share
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  • the four building blocks to living with integrity
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  • and the happiness that accompanies it.
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  • Are you up for the challenge?
  • 00:00:49.200 --> 00:00:51.270
  • 00:00:51.280 --> 00:01:01.290
  • 00:01:02.000 --> 00:01:09.200
  • Dr. Jeremiah: Hello, I'm David Jeremiah.
  • 00:01:09.210 --> 00:01:11.220
  • The apostle Paul understood the value of being the same
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  • in every situation and around any person,
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  • and the contentment found in doing that.
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  • In the book of Philippians, he gives four principles
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  • that will enable you to live with integrity
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  • and we'll identify those today
  • 00:01:28.070 --> 00:01:30.140
  • in my series, "Count It All Joy,"
  • 00:01:30.150 --> 00:01:33.160
  • on today's edition of "Turning Point."
  • 00:01:33.170 --> 00:01:36.070
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  • announcer: Are you waiting for joy to find you?
  • 00:01:43.180 --> 00:01:46.090
  • Don't wait, claim a happiness
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  • that circumstances cannot change,
  • 00:01:48.240 --> 00:01:51.020
  • with Dr. Jeremiah's book, "Count It All Joy."
  • 00:01:51.030 --> 00:01:54.250
  • In this rich exploration
  • 00:01:54.260 --> 00:01:56.100
  • of the biblical book of Philippians,
  • 00:01:56.110 --> 00:01:58.000
  • Dr. Jeremiah uncovers the apostle Paul's secret
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  • to experiencing a joy that carried Paul
  • 00:02:01.120 --> 00:02:03.270
  • through the most difficult times.
  • 00:02:03.280 --> 00:02:06.070
  • Discover this happiness for yourself
  • 00:02:06.080 --> 00:02:08.170
  • with "Count It All Joy," yours as a thank you
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  • when you give a gift of any amount
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  • in support of this program.
  • 00:02:13.210 --> 00:02:15.160
  • And if you generously give $60 or more,
  • 00:02:15.170 --> 00:02:18.010
  • Dr. Jeremiah would like to send you in appreciation
  • 00:02:18.020 --> 00:02:20.240
  • the "Count It All Joy" set, which includes his book,
  • 00:02:20.250 --> 00:02:24.120
  • his complete newly preached 12-message teaching series
  • 00:02:24.130 --> 00:02:27.060
  • on your choice of CD or DVD, and a correlating study guide.
  • 00:02:27.070 --> 00:02:32.030
  • Dr. Jeremiah's "Count It All Joy" book or set.
  • 00:02:32.040 --> 00:02:35.200
  • Support this program and request these resources
  • 00:02:35.210 --> 00:02:38.120
  • when you contact "Turning Point" today.
  • 00:02:38.130 --> 00:02:40.220
  • male announcer: Thank you for watching "Count It All Joy,"
  • 00:02:42.280 --> 00:02:44.270
  • on "Turning Point."
  • 00:02:44.280 --> 00:02:46.070
  • Now, here is Dr. Jeremiah with his message,
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  • "The Joy of Integrity."
  • 00:02:48.280 --> 00:02:50.250
  • Dr. Jeremiah: Integrity is being the same.
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  • Someone once defined integrity for me
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  • as "keeping your commitments after the circumstances
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  • under which your commitments were made have changed."
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  • That's integrity.
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  • Well, because of his stand for the faith,
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  • Paul was facing the possibility of death.
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  • You remember this book we're studying,
  • 00:03:12.000 --> 00:03:13.220
  • the book of Philippians,
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  • was written by Paul while he was under house arrest in Rome.
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  • So in writing to the Philippian believers,
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  • he shared his concern.
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  • He knew that what had happened to him,
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  • what was coming to him, would soon be coming to them.
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  • They too would face responsibility.
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  • They too would face pressure.
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  • And he wanted to be certain
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  • that they would be ready for it when it came.
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  • And we're so thankful that he had those thoughts
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  • because, as he helped the Philippian believers
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  • prepare themselves for persecution or harassment
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  • or whatever else you wanna call it,
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  • by helping them, he's helped us.
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  • He's given us what we need to know to face
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  • the challenges in our lives.
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  • And, men and women, these challenges for us
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  • who name the name of Christ in faith,
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  • have never been greater in the years
  • 00:04:05.030 --> 00:04:07.020
  • that I've been alive in this country.
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  • It's more unpopular to be a Christian today
  • 00:04:09.240 --> 00:04:12.030
  • than it's ever been.
  • 00:04:12.040 --> 00:04:14.100
  • And there is toleration for just about everything.
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  • Some things you can't believe that are tolerated,
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  • but there's almost no toleration for believers.
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  • So whether we face the ragged edge of persecution
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  • that Paul is talking about here
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  • or just what we might call harassment,
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  • we're in the game and we need to know how to win.
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  • So, like a coach presenting his game to the players,
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  • Paul sends to his friends in Philippi four priorities
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  • that would help them endure the persecution,
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  • harassment, the problems that they would face
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  • because of their commitment to Christ.
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  • First priority that he mentions is conduct.
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  • So clearly in the first verse, verse 27: "Only let your conduct
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  • be worthy of the gospel of Christ."
  • 00:05:04.000 --> 00:05:07.250
  • And the word for conduct in this text
  • 00:05:07.260 --> 00:05:09.220
  • is a really interesting word.
  • 00:05:09.230 --> 00:05:11.020
  • It's politeuo or polis.
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  • It's the word for city.
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  • And that word is used
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  • in our English language like this:
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  • we have a place called Indianapolis, Minneapolis,
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  • a big area around a city is called the metropolitan area.
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  • It's the word from which we get the word "politics."
  • 00:05:31.290 --> 00:05:37.020
  • So let me read that verse again:
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  • "Only let your politics be worthy of the gospel of Christ."
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  • How's that for an application?
  • 00:05:44.060 --> 00:05:48.220
  • Also the word "police" comes from this word.
  • 00:05:48.230 --> 00:05:52.110
  • And we've carried this word over into our culture.
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  • In the Greek language,
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  • the word meant the largest political unit,
  • 00:05:57.250 --> 00:06:00.210
  • the citizens that belonged to a city,
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  • and Paul was writing to the citizens of Philippi,
  • 00:06:03.230 --> 00:06:08.280
  • and the Philippians would have understood this
  • 00:06:08.290 --> 00:06:10.250
  • really well because of their situation.
  • 00:06:10.260 --> 00:06:13.270
  • You see, Philippi was a Roman colony
  • 00:06:13.280 --> 00:06:17.210
  • surrounded by a Greek world.
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  • It was 800 miles away from Rome,
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  • and it was fully Roman but not in Rome.
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  • The citizens of Philippi were literally citizens of Rome
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  • and their names were on the rolls
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  • in the city of Rome.
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  • He says to them,
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  • "Just as you are a colony of Rome 800 miles removed,
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  • you are also citizens of another place
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  • a little further than 800 miles.
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  • You are citizens of heaven."
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  • He makes no apology for that,
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  • and on occasions in his writings,
  • 00:06:49.150 --> 00:06:51.280
  • he uses the very term.
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  • In the 3rd chapter of Philippians,
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  • he says it this way: "Our citizenship is in heaven,
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  • from which we eagerly wait for the Savior,
  • 00:06:59.190 --> 00:07:02.030
  • the Lord Jesus Christ."
  • 00:07:02.040 --> 00:07:04.290
  • Now as Paul writes to the Philippian believers
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  • about their heavenly citizenship,
  • 00:07:08.020 --> 00:07:09.290
  • he exhorts them to allow their allegiance to heaven
  • 00:07:10.000 --> 00:07:14.160
  • to affect the way they live their lives on this earth.
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  • "Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ."
  • 00:07:18.160 --> 00:07:23.260
  • Over the years, as a pastor,
  • 00:07:23.270 --> 00:07:25.280
  • I have been asked so many times, "Is this okay?
  • 00:07:25.290 --> 00:07:30.030
  • Can a Christian do this?
  • 00:07:30.040 --> 00:07:32.100
  • What about the casinos, Pastor?"
  • 00:07:32.110 --> 00:07:36.000
  • I get letters and emails and questions,
  • 00:07:36.010 --> 00:07:40.020
  • so I wanna answer them all today.
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  • "Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ."
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  • Run what you wanna do through that grid
  • 00:07:49.180 --> 00:07:51.150
  • and quit sending me emails.
  • 00:07:51.160 --> 00:07:53.140
  • [congregation laughing]
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  • Dr. Jeremiah: Wouldn't it be interesting if that's the way
  • 00:07:58.270 --> 00:08:00.080
  • we began every day?
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  • Lord, help me to live my life today
  • 00:08:02.030 --> 00:08:03.240
  • in a way that's worthy of the truth
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  • that I am a citizen of heaven.
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  • And if we were to do that, it would take
  • 00:08:09.220 --> 00:08:11.220
  • a lot of complication out of how life is lived.
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  • When we live for Christ, when we walk with him,
  • 00:08:15.200 --> 00:08:19.120
  • when we process life through a mind of Christ,
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  • we are uniquely different from all the world around us,
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  • as uniquely different
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  • as were the Romans surrounded by the Greek culture.
  • 00:08:27.280 --> 00:08:33.160
  • But when men and women see that, it makes an impact on them.
  • 00:08:33.170 --> 00:08:38.030
  • Have you ever noticed if you work in a secular place,
  • 00:08:38.040 --> 00:08:41.030
  • and most of us here in this room do,
  • 00:08:41.040 --> 00:08:44.030
  • they give us grief all the time.
  • 00:08:44.040 --> 00:08:47.090
  • They know we're Christians,
  • 00:08:47.100 --> 00:08:48.190
  • maybe you carry your Bible to work.
  • 00:08:48.200 --> 00:08:50.050
  • What a brave thing to do.
  • 00:08:50.060 --> 00:08:52.020
  • Or they hear you
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  • having conversations with other Christians,
  • 00:08:53.130 --> 00:08:55.230
  • and they kind of look at you,
  • 00:08:55.240 --> 00:08:57.100
  • maybe they make some strange remarks,
  • 00:08:57.110 --> 00:08:59.010
  • but here's what I know.
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  • When trouble comes,
  • 00:09:00.240 --> 00:09:02.030
  • yours is the first door they knock on.
  • 00:09:02.040 --> 00:09:05.270
  • Why is that?
  • 00:09:05.280 --> 00:09:07.150
  • Because the evidence of Christ in your life
  • 00:09:07.160 --> 00:09:10.160
  • and the way you live
  • 00:09:10.170 --> 00:09:11.270
  • is a--it's a reminder to them of something different,
  • 00:09:11.280 --> 00:09:16.150
  • and we may not think we need something different
  • 00:09:16.160 --> 00:09:18.140
  • when things are going well,
  • 00:09:18.150 --> 00:09:19.240
  • but when things start to go south on us,
  • 00:09:19.250 --> 00:09:22.070
  • we need an anchor.
  • 00:09:22.080 --> 00:09:25.070
  • I've seen this happen with my children,
  • 00:09:25.080 --> 00:09:27.220
  • some of whom have gone to secular colleges.
  • 00:09:27.230 --> 00:09:31.030
  • I could not begin to tell you some of the things
  • 00:09:31.040 --> 00:09:33.060
  • that have happened to my kids and my grandkids
  • 00:09:33.070 --> 00:09:35.150
  • because they're Christians.
  • 00:09:35.160 --> 00:09:38.080
  • But when those who have harassed them
  • 00:09:38.090 --> 00:09:42.250
  • have gotten into a jam, the first person they call
  • 00:09:42.260 --> 00:09:47.020
  • is the person whose conduct is becoming
  • 00:09:47.030 --> 00:09:50.090
  • of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • 00:09:50.100 --> 00:09:52.100
  • So Paul says what you do most of all,
  • 00:09:52.110 --> 00:09:55.250
  • live in a way that honors the Lord.
  • 00:09:55.260 --> 00:09:58.170
  • Number two, the second priority is consistency.
  • 00:09:58.180 --> 00:10:02.110
  • I love this verse; he said,
  • 00:10:02.120 --> 00:10:03.210
  • "So that whether I come and see you or I am absent,
  • 00:10:03.220 --> 00:10:08.080
  • I may hear of your affairs,
  • 00:10:08.090 --> 00:10:09.240
  • that you stand fast in one spirit."
  • 00:10:09.250 --> 00:10:13.170
  • Paul said, "When I'm with you, you seem to do well.
  • 00:10:13.180 --> 00:10:16.100
  • I'm not worried about that.
  • 00:10:16.110 --> 00:10:18.020
  • What I'm worried about is when I'm not with you
  • 00:10:18.030 --> 00:10:20.060
  • and will you do well then?"
  • 00:10:20.070 --> 00:10:23.020
  • People tell me sometimes, "Dr. Jeremiah, when you're gone,
  • 00:10:23.030 --> 00:10:28.180
  • things are not always quite the same
  • 00:10:28.190 --> 00:10:30.080
  • as when you're here."
  • 00:10:30.090 --> 00:10:32.150
  • I never know what that means and I choose not to ask.
  • 00:10:32.160 --> 00:10:37.030
  • But isn't it interesting that when there's a leader
  • 00:10:37.040 --> 00:10:40.040
  • or there's somebody who's in the middle of it
  • 00:10:40.050 --> 00:10:44.040
  • and they're present, things are different.
  • 00:10:44.050 --> 00:10:46.130
  • When they're gone,
  • 00:10:46.140 --> 00:10:47.230
  • things happen to go back to being the same.
  • 00:10:47.240 --> 00:10:49.100
  • Paul was saying this:
  • 00:10:49.110 --> 00:10:50.200
  • "I want your faith to be in Christ, not in me.
  • 00:10:50.210 --> 00:10:54.090
  • I want it to be so that when I'm with you,
  • 00:10:54.100 --> 00:10:56.120
  • or whether I'm not with you at all,
  • 00:10:56.130 --> 00:10:58.090
  • you stand fast for the things you believe,
  • 00:10:58.100 --> 00:11:01.100
  • that your faith is consistent,
  • 00:11:01.110 --> 00:11:03.180
  • not controlled by your circumstances,
  • 00:11:03.190 --> 00:11:06.090
  • not determined by your environment,
  • 00:11:06.100 --> 00:11:08.220
  • but you're the same: consistency.
  • 00:11:08.230 --> 00:11:12.150
  • Oh, what a tremendous tool that is in the hand of God:
  • 00:11:12.160 --> 00:11:16.250
  • consistent Christians
  • 00:11:16.260 --> 00:11:19.000
  • who face the troubles and the joys,
  • 00:11:19.010 --> 00:11:24.070
  • the problems and the pain.
  • 00:11:24.080 --> 00:11:28.240
  • They're just Christians in the midst of it all.
  • 00:11:28.250 --> 00:11:32.170
  • When trouble comes,
  • 00:11:32.180 --> 00:11:33.270
  • you can't let trouble make you different than you are.
  • 00:11:33.280 --> 00:11:37.210
  • Best be sure who you are before trouble comes.
  • 00:11:37.220 --> 00:11:42.060
  • And trouble will not make you different.
  • 00:11:42.070 --> 00:11:44.070
  • It will bring out of you the courage
  • 00:11:44.080 --> 00:11:46.010
  • that was latent in your life all along.
  • 00:11:46.020 --> 00:11:50.150
  • Here's the third one.
  • 00:11:50.160 --> 00:11:52.160
  • The first priority is your conduct.
  • 00:11:52.170 --> 00:11:54.160
  • The second is consistency.
  • 00:11:54.170 --> 00:11:56.110
  • The third one is cooperation.
  • 00:11:56.120 --> 00:11:58.220
  • In verse 27, he says, "Do this in one spirit,
  • 00:11:58.230 --> 00:12:02.050
  • with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."
  • 00:12:02.060 --> 00:12:07.270
  • I have to say to you today, congregation,
  • 00:12:07.280 --> 00:12:09.160
  • that the Christian life
  • 00:12:09.170 --> 00:12:10.260
  • was never meant to be lived alone.
  • 00:12:10.270 --> 00:12:13.220
  • So we're all here together to testify to that.
  • 00:12:13.230 --> 00:12:18.220
  • We're here together
  • 00:12:18.230 --> 00:12:20.020
  • because the Lord Jesus gave us the church,
  • 00:12:20.030 --> 00:12:23.020
  • his great gift to the body of Christ.
  • 00:12:23.030 --> 00:12:25.130
  • "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together,
  • 00:12:25.140 --> 00:12:28.120
  • as the manner of some is," says the book of Hebrews.
  • 00:12:28.130 --> 00:12:32.030
  • But within the church, there's even greater togetherness.
  • 00:12:32.040 --> 00:12:36.290
  • When Paul instructed these believers
  • 00:12:37.000 --> 00:12:38.150
  • to strive together, he used a Greek word
  • 00:12:38.160 --> 00:12:40.180
  • from which we get our word "athlete."
  • 00:12:40.190 --> 00:12:43.140
  • This is a special unity of striving together,
  • 00:12:43.150 --> 00:12:46.080
  • struggling side by side,
  • 00:12:46.090 --> 00:12:47.270
  • like athletes against a common opponent.
  • 00:12:47.280 --> 00:12:50.170
  • Paul said, as Christians, we're to stand together.
  • 00:12:50.180 --> 00:12:53.090
  • We're to strive together.
  • 00:12:53.100 --> 00:12:54.190
  • That our strength as believers
  • 00:12:54.200 --> 00:12:56.220
  • is not in who we are individually,
  • 00:12:56.230 --> 00:12:58.250
  • but in who we are collectively.
  • 00:12:58.260 --> 00:13:01.110
  • We started a program here years ago for prayer.
  • 00:13:01.120 --> 00:13:04.060
  • It was called "Triple Cord."
  • 00:13:04.070 --> 00:13:06.060
  • It was based on a verse of Scripture
  • 00:13:06.070 --> 00:13:08.030
  • in the book of Ecclesiastes that you may never have seen,
  • 00:13:08.040 --> 00:13:11.010
  • but listen to the profundity of this verse:
  • 00:13:11.020 --> 00:13:14.040
  • "Two are better than one, because they have
  • 00:13:14.050 --> 00:13:17.100
  • a good reward for their labor.
  • 00:13:17.110 --> 00:13:19.150
  • For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
  • 00:13:19.160 --> 00:13:23.000
  • But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
  • 00:13:23.010 --> 00:13:25.230
  • for he has no one to help him up.
  • 00:13:25.240 --> 00:13:28.130
  • Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
  • 00:13:28.140 --> 00:13:31.160
  • but how can one be warm alone?
  • 00:13:31.170 --> 00:13:34.140
  • Though one may be overpowered by another,
  • 00:13:34.150 --> 00:13:36.290
  • two can withstand him.
  • 00:13:37.000 --> 00:13:40.150
  • And a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
  • 00:13:40.160 --> 00:13:46.200
  • Solomon in his wisdom said there's strength in numbers.
  • 00:13:46.210 --> 00:13:51.190
  • We don't face the harassment of the church by ourselves.
  • 00:13:51.200 --> 00:13:55.100
  • We may face it by ourselves for a few hours during the week,
  • 00:13:55.110 --> 00:13:59.230
  • but the fact that there is more toleration
  • 00:13:59.240 --> 00:14:04.000
  • for everything in our culture today
  • 00:14:04.010 --> 00:14:05.230
  • than for Christianity is not something we
  • 00:14:05.240 --> 00:14:08.030
  • have to deal with by ourselves.
  • 00:14:08.040 --> 00:14:09.160
  • We deal with that as a church.
  • 00:14:09.170 --> 00:14:11.120
  • We come together and we find consolation in one another.
  • 00:14:11.130 --> 00:14:14.090
  • We find courage in one another,
  • 00:14:14.100 --> 00:14:16.060
  • and we discover in our personal conversations,
  • 00:14:16.070 --> 00:14:18.250
  • we're not the only ones who face this.
  • 00:14:18.260 --> 00:14:22.210
  • And so we are strengthened to be strong in our faith.
  • 00:14:22.220 --> 00:14:29.070
  • When we're trying to prove the integrity of our lives,
  • 00:14:29.080 --> 00:14:32.000
  • it takes conduct that is worthy of the gospel of Christ.
  • 00:14:32.010 --> 00:14:36.130
  • It takes consistency so that whether--
  • 00:14:36.140 --> 00:14:41.050
  • whatever situation we may be in, we're the same.
  • 00:14:41.060 --> 00:14:44.130
  • It takes cooperation.
  • 00:14:44.140 --> 00:14:45.290
  • We don't do this by ourselves,
  • 00:14:46.000 --> 00:14:47.230
  • we strive together for the gospel.
  • 00:14:47.240 --> 00:14:51.080
  • And finally, it takes courage.
  • 00:14:51.090 --> 00:14:54.060
  • You remember what we learned about Paul.
  • 00:14:54.070 --> 00:14:56.040
  • Everywhere he went, he had two stops in every city:
  • 00:14:56.050 --> 00:14:58.130
  • the synagogue and the prison.
  • 00:14:58.140 --> 00:14:59.230
  • He visited all of them regularly.
  • 00:14:59.240 --> 00:15:04.140
  • And here's what he tells us,
  • 00:15:04.150 --> 00:15:06.160
  • and we may not need this for right now,
  • 00:15:06.170 --> 00:15:10.120
  • but surely we will need it.
  • 00:15:10.130 --> 00:15:15.180
  • He says: "And not in any way terrified by your adversaries,
  • 00:15:15.190 --> 00:15:19.250
  • which is to them a proof of perdition,
  • 00:15:19.260 --> 00:15:21.200
  • but to you of salvation, and that from God.
  • 00:15:21.210 --> 00:15:24.020
  • For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ,
  • 00:15:24.030 --> 00:15:27.050
  • not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
  • 00:15:27.060 --> 00:15:31.210
  • having the same conflict which you saw in me
  • 00:15:31.220 --> 00:15:34.010
  • and now hear is in me."
  • 00:15:34.020 --> 00:15:35.290
  • Paul knew from experience
  • 00:15:36.000 --> 00:15:37.160
  • that there would be many occasions
  • 00:15:37.170 --> 00:15:39.150
  • for his brothers and sisters in Philippi
  • 00:15:39.160 --> 00:15:42.010
  • to demonstrate strength
  • 00:15:42.020 --> 00:15:43.220
  • beyond what they personally possessed.
  • 00:15:43.230 --> 00:15:46.180
  • So he closes this section of his letter
  • 00:15:46.190 --> 00:15:48.250
  • by exhorting the Christians
  • 00:15:48.260 --> 00:15:50.210
  • to face their opponents with courage.
  • 00:15:50.220 --> 00:15:54.000
  • He provided guidelines to help them
  • 00:15:54.010 --> 00:15:56.080
  • accurately identify those times of harassment
  • 00:15:56.090 --> 00:16:00.070
  • and draw strength from each other and from Christ.
  • 00:16:00.080 --> 00:16:03.240
  • He begins by asking them
  • 00:16:03.250 --> 00:16:05.160
  • to have courage to encounter persecution,
  • 00:16:05.170 --> 00:16:08.170
  • "and not in any way terrified by your adversaries."
  • 00:16:09.170 --> 00:16:13.130
  • That's an interesting phrase.
  • 00:16:13.140 --> 00:16:14.230
  • You know the word "terrified" is only used one time
  • 00:16:14.240 --> 00:16:16.290
  • in the New Testament and it's right here, this word.
  • 00:16:17.000 --> 00:16:19.240
  • And it's a word that is used of horses
  • 00:16:19.250 --> 00:16:22.170
  • that are spooked into an uncontrollable stampede.
  • 00:16:22.180 --> 00:16:26.200
  • Paul is saying to the believers,
  • 00:16:26.210 --> 00:16:28.040
  • "Don't get spooked by those who come after you.
  • 00:16:28.050 --> 00:16:31.190
  • Don't get blown off course."
  • 00:16:31.200 --> 00:16:34.050
  • It's a word that describes an inward fear
  • 00:16:34.060 --> 00:16:37.180
  • caused by an outward stimulus.
  • 00:16:37.190 --> 00:16:41.200
  • It's very appropriate
  • 00:16:41.210 --> 00:16:43.000
  • for this little group of believers living in Philippi.
  • 00:16:43.010 --> 00:16:47.050
  • The courage in the face of opposition
  • 00:16:47.060 --> 00:16:49.160
  • is a double-edged sword.
  • 00:16:49.170 --> 00:16:51.050
  • Paul says, "It's the evidence of the believer's salvation."
  • 00:16:51.060 --> 00:16:54.140
  • What does he mean by that?
  • 00:16:54.150 --> 00:16:55.240
  • The Bible says: "For those who are godly in Christ Jesus,"
  • 00:16:55.250 --> 00:16:58.290
  • what does it say about us?
  • 00:16:59.000 --> 00:17:00.110
  • "We shall suffer persecution."
  • 00:17:00.120 --> 00:17:03.030
  • So when we suffer persecution
  • 00:17:03.040 --> 00:17:05.010
  • and we go around complaining about it,
  • 00:17:05.020 --> 00:17:06.280
  • we're complaining about the badge of our salvation.
  • 00:17:06.290 --> 00:17:11.280
  • Let me tell you something, if you're not living for Christ,
  • 00:17:11.290 --> 00:17:13.230
  • they are not gonna bother you.
  • 00:17:13.240 --> 00:17:16.090
  • They probably think you're one of them.
  • 00:17:16.100 --> 00:17:19.160
  • But if you live for Christ,
  • 00:17:19.170 --> 00:17:20.260
  • if you walk with the Lord, if you're different,
  • 00:17:20.270 --> 00:17:23.130
  • if you're not trying to be like everybody else,
  • 00:17:23.140 --> 00:17:25.120
  • if what you believe
  • 00:17:25.130 --> 00:17:26.220
  • is being translated into how you behave,
  • 00:17:26.230 --> 00:17:29.190
  • somebody's gonna come after you, and when they do,
  • 00:17:29.200 --> 00:17:32.200
  • the Bible says that is an evidence of your salvation,
  • 00:17:32.210 --> 00:17:36.140
  • that you have been thought worthy of harassment
  • 00:17:36.150 --> 00:17:39.240
  • by those who do not know Jesus Christ, wow.
  • 00:17:39.250 --> 00:17:46.170
  • It's quiet in here.
  • 00:17:46.180 --> 00:17:49.110
  • And Paul knew what he was talking about.
  • 00:17:49.120 --> 00:17:50.260
  • You know, historically, this letter was written
  • 00:17:50.270 --> 00:17:53.060
  • somewhere between AD 60 and 63,
  • 00:17:53.070 --> 00:17:57.200
  • and it was a time
  • 00:17:57.210 --> 00:17:59.050
  • when the pressure of the Roman empire was intense.
  • 00:17:59.060 --> 00:18:02.180
  • Nero was in charge, and it was in July of AD 64
  • 00:18:02.190 --> 00:18:07.170
  • that he surpassed himself in cruelty
  • 00:18:07.180 --> 00:18:09.260
  • and ordered his servants to set fire to the city of Rome.
  • 00:18:09.270 --> 00:18:14.150
  • And one of the few eye witness historians of that day,
  • 00:18:14.160 --> 00:18:17.120
  • a man by the name of Tacitus, said,
  • 00:18:17.130 --> 00:18:19.280
  • "Consequently, to get rid of the report
  • 00:18:19.290 --> 00:18:21.250
  • that he had ordered the fire, Nero fastened the guilt
  • 00:18:21.260 --> 00:18:25.080
  • and inflicted the most exquisite tortures
  • 00:18:25.090 --> 00:18:27.270
  • on a class hated for their abominations,
  • 00:18:27.280 --> 00:18:30.220
  • people called Christians by the populace.
  • 00:18:30.230 --> 00:18:33.130
  • Christus, from whom the name had its origin,
  • 00:18:33.140 --> 00:18:36.050
  • suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius
  • 00:18:36.060 --> 00:18:39.200
  • at the hands of one of our procurators,
  • 00:18:39.210 --> 00:18:42.120
  • Pontius Pilate."
  • 00:18:42.130 --> 00:18:45.130
  • So what happened,
  • 00:18:45.140 --> 00:18:46.230
  • after Nero, in a angry moment, burned down a city,
  • 00:18:46.240 --> 00:18:53.060
  • he blamed the Christians for it
  • 00:18:53.070 --> 00:18:54.220
  • and began to persecute them as enemies of Rome.
  • 00:18:54.230 --> 00:18:59.190
  • I haven't the courage to tell you some of the things he did,
  • 00:18:59.200 --> 00:19:03.050
  • but here's a couple of illustrations.
  • 00:19:03.060 --> 00:19:05.110
  • He would take the Christians and put clothing on them
  • 00:19:05.120 --> 00:19:09.290
  • that was the bare skin of animals,
  • 00:19:10.000 --> 00:19:12.100
  • with the smell of the animals on it
  • 00:19:12.110 --> 00:19:13.260
  • and then throw them into the Coliseum
  • 00:19:13.270 --> 00:19:16.110
  • where the lions would just decimate them.
  • 00:19:16.120 --> 00:19:20.020
  • On one occasion, he took some of the Christians
  • 00:19:20.030 --> 00:19:24.050
  • and covered them with pitch
  • 00:19:24.060 --> 00:19:26.000
  • and stationed them around the Coliseum
  • 00:19:26.010 --> 00:19:28.050
  • and lit them on fire as human torches.
  • 00:19:28.060 --> 00:19:34.000
  • This was what was coming down the road
  • 00:19:34.010 --> 00:19:35.280
  • for some of the Philippians when Paul wrote this letter.
  • 00:19:35.290 --> 00:19:40.160
  • I read recently that one of the greatest
  • 00:19:40.170 --> 00:19:42.090
  • and most serious deficits of Christian preaching today
  • 00:19:42.100 --> 00:19:46.050
  • is that we refuse to get our people ready to suffer.
  • 00:19:46.060 --> 00:19:52.070
  • And so when suffering comes,
  • 00:19:52.080 --> 00:19:54.040
  • the people of God have no clue what to do.
  • 00:19:54.050 --> 00:19:56.280
  • They respond to it just like everybody else,
  • 00:19:56.290 --> 00:19:59.100
  • but we have something different going on in our behalf.
  • 00:19:59.110 --> 00:20:02.270
  • We have the Word of God.
  • 00:20:02.280 --> 00:20:04.110
  • We have God's encouragement to us
  • 00:20:04.120 --> 00:20:06.170
  • that it may be suffering for now,
  • 00:20:06.180 --> 00:20:09.030
  • but it's glory forever.
  • 00:20:09.040 --> 00:20:11.180
  • And not be blown away
  • 00:20:11.190 --> 00:20:13.010
  • by the difficult things that happen.
  • 00:20:13.020 --> 00:20:14.180
  • It's easy for that to happen.
  • 00:20:14.190 --> 00:20:15.290
  • Isn't it interesting as we look back over our shoulders
  • 00:20:16.000 --> 00:20:18.170
  • to realize how many times as we see
  • 00:20:18.180 --> 00:20:20.240
  • the whole totality of an event, we have been blown off course
  • 00:20:20.250 --> 00:20:23.200
  • by things that should not have moved us.
  • 00:20:23.210 --> 00:20:26.080
  • But they did.
  • 00:20:26.090 --> 00:20:28.240
  • Paul regarded suffering for Christ as a privilege.
  • 00:20:28.250 --> 00:20:32.190
  • In fact, in these verses that we've been reading,
  • 00:20:32.200 --> 00:20:35.190
  • he talks about it coming as a gift from God.
  • 00:20:35.200 --> 00:20:39.070
  • He says that blessing is in suffering for him.
  • 00:20:39.080 --> 00:20:43.010
  • There's no blessing in just suffering and being in pain.
  • 00:20:43.020 --> 00:20:45.240
  • That's not the issue.
  • 00:20:45.250 --> 00:20:47.040
  • The issue is if we're doing it because of him,
  • 00:20:47.050 --> 00:20:49.260
  • if we're doing it in his behalf, if we're doing it
  • 00:20:49.270 --> 00:20:52.190
  • because we've been accused of being who we are,
  • 00:20:52.200 --> 00:20:54.220
  • men and women who are followers of Christ,
  • 00:20:54.230 --> 00:20:57.040
  • there is a blessing in that.
  • 00:20:57.050 --> 00:20:59.220
  • In fact, isn't that what Jesus said in his Beatitudes?
  • 00:20:59.230 --> 00:21:04.140
  • He said, "Blessed are you
  • 00:21:04.150 --> 00:21:05.280
  • when they revile and persecute you,
  • 00:21:05.290 --> 00:21:09.070
  • and when they say all kinds of evil against you,
  • 00:21:09.080 --> 00:21:12.270
  • rejoice and be exceeding glad,
  • 00:21:12.280 --> 00:21:16.020
  • for great is your reward in heaven,
  • 00:21:16.030 --> 00:21:18.100
  • for so they persecuted
  • 00:21:18.110 --> 00:21:19.210
  • the prophets who were before you."
  • 00:21:19.220 --> 00:21:22.140
  • And those of us who are real about life
  • 00:21:22.150 --> 00:21:25.100
  • know that that's a part of who we are,
  • 00:21:25.110 --> 00:21:27.130
  • whether it happens to be
  • 00:21:27.140 --> 00:21:29.030
  • to the level of harassment or not,
  • 00:21:29.040 --> 00:21:31.260
  • we're born with trouble.
  • 00:21:31.270 --> 00:21:33.210
  • From the shedding of blood that initiates birth
  • 00:21:33.220 --> 00:21:36.070
  • to the last gasp of astonishment in the face of death,
  • 00:21:36.080 --> 00:21:40.020
  • we are encircled by suffering.
  • 00:21:40.030 --> 00:21:42.290
  • The biography of a human being
  • 00:21:43.000 --> 00:21:44.240
  • is a history of anguish.
  • 00:21:44.250 --> 00:21:47.140
  • The way we react to the suffering of life
  • 00:21:47.150 --> 00:21:49.190
  • matters more in creative and human terms
  • 00:21:49.200 --> 00:21:52.240
  • than the suffering itself.
  • 00:21:52.250 --> 00:21:54.230
  • We become the people we are
  • 00:21:54.240 --> 00:21:56.160
  • through the disadvantages and conflicts we prefer
  • 00:21:56.170 --> 00:21:59.010
  • to more comfortable alternatives.
  • 00:21:59.020 --> 00:22:01.040
  • In other words, he said we all have this potential and desire
  • 00:22:01.050 --> 00:22:04.220
  • to push suffering and pain away from us,
  • 00:22:04.230 --> 00:22:06.260
  • as far as we can get it.
  • 00:22:06.270 --> 00:22:08.120
  • "Not today, Lord, not this week,
  • 00:22:08.130 --> 00:22:10.000
  • and for whatever it's worth, not ever."
  • 00:22:10.010 --> 00:22:13.160
  • But it is through those moments that we learn
  • 00:22:13.170 --> 00:22:16.120
  • the most important lessons of life.
  • 00:22:16.130 --> 00:22:18.180
  • It's when we suffer and we discover that God is enough
  • 00:22:18.190 --> 00:22:21.210
  • that we have great faith in the Lord.
  • 00:22:21.220 --> 00:22:24.080
  • If we did not have those troubles,
  • 00:22:24.090 --> 00:22:26.060
  • if we did not have some suffering,
  • 00:22:26.070 --> 00:22:27.270
  • how would we ever know that the Lord Jesus Christ
  • 00:22:27.280 --> 00:22:30.040
  • is sufficient for every need?
  • 00:22:30.050 --> 00:22:31.280
  • We know he's sufficient for the good times.
  • 00:22:31.290 --> 00:22:34.060
  • But, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you
  • 00:22:34.070 --> 00:22:36.090
  • he's sufficient for all times.
  • 00:22:36.100 --> 00:22:39.020
  • And no matter what we face and what we're going through,
  • 00:22:39.030 --> 00:22:41.200
  • he is enough;
  • 00:22:41.210 --> 00:22:43.220
  • and that's why Paul urges the Philippians
  • 00:22:43.230 --> 00:22:46.010
  • not to be terrorized when things happen.
  • 00:22:46.020 --> 00:22:49.090
  • They're about to discover
  • 00:22:49.100 --> 00:22:50.190
  • that the God about whom he has taught them
  • 00:22:50.200 --> 00:22:53.070
  • will be enough.
  • 00:22:53.080 --> 00:22:55.080
  • Courage to encounter persecution and endure pain.
  • 00:22:55.090 --> 00:22:57.180
  • Finally, to emulate Paul.
  • 00:22:57.190 --> 00:23:00.050
  • Paul's saying, "If you're still having trouble with this,
  • 00:23:00.060 --> 00:23:02.070
  • and you still don't know how this works
  • 00:23:02.080 --> 00:23:03.170
  • and you still don't know how
  • 00:23:03.180 --> 00:23:04.270
  • to make this happen in your life, listen,
  • 00:23:04.280 --> 00:23:07.000
  • just watch me."
  • 00:23:07.010 --> 00:23:09.040
  • He said, "Having the same conflict
  • 00:23:09.050 --> 00:23:11.110
  • which you saw in me and now hear is in me."
  • 00:23:11.120 --> 00:23:13.230
  • Where's Paul? He's in prison.
  • 00:23:13.240 --> 00:23:15.190
  • There's two passages in the Scripture
  • 00:23:15.200 --> 00:23:17.050
  • that describe everything Paul went through.
  • 00:23:17.060 --> 00:23:19.280
  • I mean, this guy suffered
  • 00:23:19.290 --> 00:23:21.100
  • every kind of pain you can imagine.
  • 00:23:21.110 --> 00:23:24.050
  • He talks about how many times he was whipped,
  • 00:23:24.060 --> 00:23:25.290
  • how many times he was shipwrecked,
  • 00:23:26.000 --> 00:23:27.090
  • how many times he was--
  • 00:23:27.100 --> 00:23:28.190
  • they tried to kill him by stoning him.
  • 00:23:28.200 --> 00:23:30.030
  • They tried to throw him off a--
  • 00:23:30.040 --> 00:23:31.140
  • they did everything they could to destroy this man,
  • 00:23:31.150 --> 00:23:33.250
  • and he just kept continuing
  • 00:23:33.260 --> 00:23:36.200
  • to be the person God called him to be.
  • 00:23:36.210 --> 00:23:40.130
  • So he said, "If you don't really still get this,
  • 00:23:40.140 --> 00:23:44.040
  • let me be an example for you.
  • 00:23:44.050 --> 00:23:47.050
  • Just do what I've done: stand strong."
  • 00:23:47.060 --> 00:23:51.210
  • I'm not ready to say that to you all.
  • 00:23:51.220 --> 00:23:53.110
  • As I said to you at the beginning,
  • 00:23:53.120 --> 00:23:54.210
  • I don't know a lot about this.
  • 00:23:54.220 --> 00:23:56.220
  • I know a little bit about cancer,
  • 00:23:56.230 --> 00:23:59.100
  • I know a little bit about some organizational turmoil.
  • 00:23:59.110 --> 00:24:04.210
  • I've had more than one or two crises
  • 00:24:04.220 --> 00:24:08.100
  • in my extended family.
  • 00:24:08.110 --> 00:24:12.000
  • But when you put me up against Paul,
  • 00:24:12.010 --> 00:24:13.100
  • I'm not in the same universe.
  • 00:24:13.110 --> 00:24:15.130
  • So I'm glad that he's told me what to say today
  • 00:24:15.140 --> 00:24:18.100
  • 'cause I wouldn't know what to say
  • 00:24:18.110 --> 00:24:19.200
  • if he hadn't told me what to say.
  • 00:24:19.210 --> 00:24:21.150
  • He's been there and done it.
  • 00:24:21.160 --> 00:24:24.040
  • And I accept it as the path forward.
  • 00:24:24.050 --> 00:24:28.150
  • I'm reminded that persecution is not always bad.
  • 00:24:28.160 --> 00:24:34.150
  • Harassment is not always for our destruction.
  • 00:24:34.160 --> 00:24:38.240
  • Sometimes the problems we face are simply God's way
  • 00:24:38.250 --> 00:24:42.060
  • of burning the dross from our lives
  • 00:24:42.070 --> 00:24:45.020
  • so that the gold will rise to the top
  • 00:24:45.030 --> 00:24:47.130
  • and we become the people he created us to be.
  • 00:24:47.140 --> 00:24:52.060
  • So here's a tutorial for all of us
  • 00:24:52.070 --> 00:24:55.100
  • when we're having a bad day and things are tough.
  • 00:24:55.110 --> 00:24:59.030
  • Here's what to do according to Paul.
  • 00:24:59.040 --> 00:25:01.240
  • announcer: Dr. Jeremiah will return in a moment
  • 00:25:03.150 --> 00:25:05.070
  • to close today's program right after this.
  • 00:25:05.080 --> 00:25:07.240
  • female announcer: Thank you for watching "Turning Point."
  • 00:25:09.280 --> 00:25:11.280
  • When you support this program with a gift of any amount,
  • 00:25:11.290 --> 00:25:15.060
  • Dr. Jeremiah would like to send you in appreciation his book,
  • 00:25:15.070 --> 00:25:19.130
  • "Count It All Joy."
  • 00:25:19.140 --> 00:25:20.280
  • In its pages, you'll discover practical steps
  • 00:25:20.290 --> 00:25:23.200
  • about how to claim a happiness
  • 00:25:23.210 --> 00:25:25.070
  • that circumstances cannot change.
  • 00:25:25.080 --> 00:25:28.050
  • And if you generously give $60 or more, you will receive
  • 00:25:28.060 --> 00:25:31.190
  • Dr. Jeremiah's comprehensive "Count It All Joy" set
  • 00:25:31.200 --> 00:25:35.210
  • which includes his book,
  • 00:25:35.220 --> 00:25:37.200
  • his complete newly preached 12-message teaching series
  • 00:25:37.210 --> 00:25:41.050
  • on your choice of CD or DVD, and a correlating study guide.
  • 00:25:41.060 --> 00:25:46.270
  • Thank you for watching and supporting
  • 00:25:46.280 --> 00:25:48.110
  • the ministry of Turning Point.
  • 00:25:48.120 --> 00:25:50.040
  • Call or go online to request these resources today.
  • 00:25:50.050 --> 00:25:53.240
  • male announcer: And now, with one last word
  • 00:25:56.180 --> 00:25:58.080
  • for today's program, here is Dr. Jeremiah.
  • 00:25:58.090 --> 00:26:01.090
  • Dr. Jeremiah: I don't know if you would agree,
  • 00:26:02.050 --> 00:26:04.010
  • but integrity appears to be
  • 00:26:04.020 --> 00:26:05.110
  • an unpopular virtue in today's culture.
  • 00:26:05.120 --> 00:26:08.290
  • Spend a few minutes watching the news
  • 00:26:09.000 --> 00:26:10.270
  • or scrolling social media and you'll see
  • 00:26:10.280 --> 00:26:14.050
  • that quality character can be hard to come by.
  • 00:26:14.060 --> 00:26:18.200
  • No wonder the watching world takes notice
  • 00:26:18.210 --> 00:26:20.260
  • when we live with integrity;
  • 00:26:20.270 --> 00:26:22.240
  • and when they pay attention,
  • 00:26:22.250 --> 00:26:25.010
  • we hope they see Christ reflected in our actions.
  • 00:26:25.020 --> 00:26:29.040
  • But in order to see Christ in us,
  • 00:26:29.050 --> 00:26:31.120
  • we first need him to live in us.
  • 00:26:31.130 --> 00:26:34.190
  • And to help you do that,
  • 00:26:34.200 --> 00:26:36.000
  • I would love to send you two free gifts.
  • 00:26:36.010 --> 00:26:38.240
  • One is our booklet called "Your Greatest Turning Point,"
  • 00:26:38.250 --> 00:26:41.250
  • and the other is our monthly devotional magazine
  • 00:26:41.260 --> 00:26:44.200
  • called "Turning Points."
  • 00:26:44.210 --> 00:26:46.290
  • We will gladly send both these resources to you
  • 00:26:47.000 --> 00:26:49.250
  • free of charge if you will contact us
  • 00:26:49.260 --> 00:26:52.160
  • here at Turning Point today.
  • 00:26:52.170 --> 00:26:54.230
  • announcer: Next time, on "Turning Point."
  • 00:26:55.290 --> 00:26:57.230
  • Dr. Jeremiah: We are one in Christ
  • 00:26:58.250 --> 00:27:01.020
  • because of what we believe;
  • 00:27:01.030 --> 00:27:02.180
  • and this is a very, very important lesson
  • 00:27:02.190 --> 00:27:05.050
  • because today what we're being told
  • 00:27:05.060 --> 00:27:07.170
  • is that it doesn't matter what you believe.
  • 00:27:07.180 --> 00:27:10.030
  • Just everybody be good to everybody else.
  • 00:27:10.040 --> 00:27:14.080
  • Just try to get along.
  • 00:27:14.090 --> 00:27:16.240
  • How's that working?
  • 00:27:16.250 --> 00:27:18.080
  • announcer: Join us next time for Dr. Jeremiah's message,
  • 00:27:19.190 --> 00:27:22.120
  • "The Joy of Unity," here on "Turning Point."
  • 00:27:22.130 --> 00:27:26.030