05-03-2020 – Sunday AM Worship – Live Stream

In Live Streams, Sermons by Aaron Cozort

One, two, three. Testing. One, two, three. We’re good. Destiny. Okay.

We all do. Good morning. Welcome to our the Collierville church of Christ live stream. We are glad that you are with us this morning online and uh,

definitely still be glad when we’re back together soon, but I’m glad we’re still able to do our worship this morning,

this way for announcements. We need to remember Ruby. Brad, she is back at home but continue to be with her.

I’m sure they have a long uh, battle still ahead of them. Uh, pray to be with uh,

Sandy and I’m guessing she’s getting better. I’m hoping that she’s getting better and uh, pray the watch over her and also Francis as she’s helping her and,

and help me take care of her. Be watched over the both of them. Uh, let’s remember Joan Springer and pneumonia.

She has pneumonia, Tina Lance and Russell Klein and his wife Tracy as they’re recovering from the Corona virus. That is all the announcements I have this morning.

If there is any more, you can definitely text Aaron or I and let us know and we will mention them at the end of us live stream this morning.

But to start us out, we’ll start with number five, four zero number five, four zero Oh four,

faith that will not shrink. Five four, zero Oh four, that well, not shrink though. Brass by every uh,

uh, well naturally well, uh, uh, bring uh, Annie, uh,<inaudible> that uh,

um, uh, uh, plane being at uh,<inaudible> uh,<inaudible> of grief or pain.<inaudible><inaudible> uh,

faith that shines right and clear.<inaudible><inaudible><inaudible><inaudible> thick as this and then<inaudible><inaudible> uh, ha,

uh, uh, Annie let us pray our father in heaven. We are grateful for you. We are grateful for what you do for us each day.

We know that you take care of us and you are always watching over us. We pray at this time that you be with those that are on our minds,

that are sick, that are struggling with this virus and struggling with many other ailments. Watch over Sandy and pray that she will recover soon and be a Francis as she is helping her and taking care of her and,

and be with them both. We pray that you’d be with Joan and Springer. She has dealing with pneumonia and pray that she can get better soon.

I pray that you watch over the mini those dealing with this coronavirus and pray that you be with our country.

We’ll be with our leaders as they make decisions, as we move forward, that they’ll make the right decisions and pray that they will look to you for guidance.

We are thankful that we can come to you when we have struggles and in our life and things on our minds.

We are thankful to be Christians, to be on our way to heaven. We pray that we strive each day to serve you and all that we do.

And do you assembly. Do pray. Amen. To prepare our minds for the Lord’s supper, we’ll sing number three,

one five.<inaudible>. When I survey the wondrous cross three, 15,<inaudible> and uh,<inaudible> on which,

uh,<inaudible>, uh,<inaudible><inaudible>, uh, uh, uh, uh, and pork amps and all,

uh, uh huh. And full it it lawn, uh, hood<inaudible> say, then, uh,

uh, uh, for a nice, uh, yeah.<inaudible> the things that, you know, I mean,

I sack riff a nice and to eh, uh, see<inaudible><inaudible> I saw borrow, uh, uh,

um, me go, huh. Uh,<inaudible><inaudible> who wore thorns?<inaudible><inaudible> uh, Oh.

Uh, uh, or a, uh,<inaudible><inaudible> a four.<inaudible><inaudible>. Uh, so,

uh,<inaudible>, uh,<inaudible> Jesus’ name, uh, uh, uh, we take this time on the first day of the week as we have been commanded to focus on the sacrifice of Christ made as a song mentioned.

Think about the love that Jesus had to come to this earth to deal, to go through all that he did.

And that night, the mocking the scourging, the crown of thorns being put on his head to mock him and then slammed into his forehead,

his head, he did all of that. He could’ve stopped it, but he didn’t. We take this time to think and remember about what Jesus had done for us as bread as he commanded,

represents his body and the fruit of the vine which represents his blood. And we take those emblems to remember what that sacrifice,

what that sacrifice means to us. So at this time, let us partake of the brightest, pray for the bread,

a father in heaven. We are thankful for you and what you do for us. We’re especially thankful for Christ and that sacrifice that he made.

We pray as we partake of this, this bread which represents his body, that we will think about the love that he had for us and what he went through on that night and that day.

And you say we do pray. Amen.<inaudible> let us pray. I fall in heaven. As we continue,

we were reminded of Christ’s love for us. We are reminded of his sacrifice. And as we partake this through the vine which represents his blood,

we pray that we will focus on what the sacrifice means to us and how that because of what Christ did,

we can be in him with you some day and you seem to pray. Amen.<inaudible> we also take this time to give back a portion that we’ve received this week.

Let us pray. Our father in heaven, we are reminded every day if you’re care for us and how we are able to take care of our families and to live our lives as we need to.

We know that you take care of our needs and we were thankful for that. At this time. We pray,

we pray that we will give back with cheerful heart, a portion we’ve received this week and pray that it can be used to spread your word in this world into the weekend,

be the examples and get your message out to our communities and uh, pray that you will continue to be able to send all the way to and simply pray.

Amen.<inaudible> before the sermon this morning, we will sing number five, three eight, 538. My hope is built on nothing less.

Five 38. My hope is built on nothing less Angie and size spot. And we were a juice,

uh, and a tourist, uh, sweetness for him, but<inaudible> on Jesus’ name on crisis.<inaudible><inaudible> and Oh,

the ground<inaudible> and<inaudible> is a lovely face. Uh, he arrests on is a unchanging grace in every high.

And again, my Hanker horns with on crisis.<inaudible><inaudible> uh, the grind<inaudible><inaudible> his own affairs.

Yeah, it is, uh,<inaudible> the mean weight all around my soul. Yeah. Way.<inaudible> my hope and say on crisis.<inaudible><inaudible> Oh,

the ground.<inaudible><inaudible> now we’re here.<inaudible> my apologies to all of those who were watching the video.

Uh, and who didn’t have the slides for the song during that last song. That was my fault.<inaudible>.

There’s a substance in this world that the ancient Egyptians, if you translate their, their hieroglyphs at least by way of the research that I’ve found called the metal from heaven or the stone from the heavens and it was iron.

The ability and the recognition of what iron could do, change the face of the world because iron had the strength that other metals didn’t and was able to provide a military with the ability to conquer other nations and truly iron and metals like it that we know more about in our modern day have a place in history that is a determining place.

Well, what I want to do in our lesson this morning is I want to notice some lessons that come from biblical discussion of this metal called iron.

No, because there are some interesting places, especially in the old Testament where this substance and what it meant in the ancient world shows up.

We’re going to begin in Deuteronomy chapter four Deuteronomy chapter four. We read here concerning the events that are going on.

Of course, this is the last year of the wilderness wandering Moses and the people of Israel are there on the East side of the Jordan and in Deuteronomy chapter four beginning in verse 20 we read this,

but the Lord has taken you and brought you out of and notice the phrase, the iron furnace out of Egypt to be his people and inheritance as you are this day.

Furthermore, the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I would not cross over the Jordan and that I would not enter the good land,

which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, but I must die in this land. I must not cross over the Jordan,

but you shall cross over and possess that good land. Take heed to yourselves lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God,

which he made with you and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you.

Moses speaks to this second generation of Israelites. He speaks to these who were either children when they came out of Egypt or had not even been born yet,

and he says, God brought your parents. God brought your people out of, and he describes it,

the iron furnace. We can think of another time when a fiery furnace is described and that’s in the Babylonian empire where Nebuchadnezzar has built a furnace to hold anyone who refuses to obey.

The commandment has been sent forth to all those who are present. When you hear the music, you fall down and worship this image that I have created,

and of course we are familiar with the story. At least we should be. How Hannah and I as Ryan Michelle refuse to bow down.

So the music was played and all the leaders, all the governors, all the people who were present fell down and worship the image except these three Jews who stood there and refuse to bow.

Nebuchadnezzar was incredibly angry when he heard that these three governors refused to balance. So he brings them a form and says,

I’m going to give you another opportunity. When you hear the music, you bow down and the music played and they didn’t bow,

and Nebuchadnezzar wants them to know that he has the ability to take their life. He has the ability to throw them in a fiery furnace and their response is,

you can do paraphrasing here. You can do whatever you want. Yeah, but we have a God in heaven.

We believe in the true God of heaven and he can save us if he chooses to. Now, here’s an interesting connection between these two,

not just the use of a furnace, but here you have a situation where these Israelites were tested. They were tested to see whether or not they would be faithful.

Hannah and I, as Riley, as Ryan and Michelle came through that test with flying colors because they were thrown in the furnace and then they were removed from the furnace because the furnace didn’t touch them.

It didn’t singe their hair. They didn’t even have the smell of smoke on them when they came out and yet it killed the soldiers that threw them in.

They were tried, they were tested and they were found to be those who were faithful. Yeah. But Moses describes to these Israelites in Deuteronomy chapter four about the Israelites that came out of the iron furnace of Egypt and they came out of the iron furnace of Egypt.

They came out of this place, they hadn’t been tested. They’ve been tried, and by and large,

they had failed. And yet because of the covenant made with Abraham and because of the faithfulness of Abraham,

Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and those who had gone before, they were brought out into a new land.

And Moses is going to warn them, don’t you build images to other gods and fall down and worship them?

Now, I want you to notice a comparison that’s made here in verse 24 because in verse 20 he says,

the Lord took you or brought you out of the iron furnace. But in verse 24 he says, for the Lord,

your God is a consuming fire. Moses wants Israel to know, right? Your people pass through the iron furnace of Egypt and they came out the other side.

But if you turn your back on God, if you worship idols, if you turn against him, your God is a consuming fire in,

you won’t come out the other side. Turn over to the book of Hebrews. Hebrews chapter 10 this same idea is brought forward concerning Christians.

Yeah. The Hebrew writer is writing to these Christians and he wants them to know they have a better path into eternity.

There’s a new and a living way that has been created by the blood of Christ that they need to hold fast.

They need to hold fast. The profession of hold. They need to be those who consider one another and stir up one another to love and good works.

They need to be those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together as the manner of some is.

He encourages them to remind and reminds them of all of these things and then warned them about turning back.

He says in verse 26 of Hebrews chapter 10 for if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth,

there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

What is it that Moses said about the Lord? He said, the Lord, your God is a consuming fire.

The Hebrew writer says, do you not understand that the one who turns his back on God, the one who walks on the the the blood of Christ,

that’s verse 29 where you get to that in a moment. He says, do you not understand? There’s a fiery indignation waiting for the one who does that?

He goes on in verse 2128 anyone who has rejected Moses’s law dies without mercy. On the testimony of two or three witnesses of how much worse punishment do you suppose will he be thought worthy?

Who has trampled the son of God under foot counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing and insulted the spirit of grace.

Yes. And notice this statement for we know him who said, vengeance is mine, I will repay,

says the Lord, and again, the Lord will judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The Hebrew writer writes to these Christians and says, do you remember what the law said? Do you remember the punishment that came upon those who had two or three witnesses that testified against them?

Do you remember the cost of turning your back on God under the old ball and now he’s provided a new,

a better living way? And you’re thinking of going back. Do you not remember? This is the God who said vengeance is mine.

I will repay. But then thing back to Deuteronomy four you came out of an iron furnace, you pass through the other side,

you survived it. God brought you through it. But if you turn your back, God will be the consuming fire that devours you.

He’s talking about, have you experienced, have you been tested enough to say, I will not turn back.

Okay. And you pick up here in Hebrews chapter 10 and you read verse 32 he says, but recall,

recall the former days in which after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings, partly while you were made a spectacle,

both by reproaches and tribulations and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated. He says,

do you remember when you first became a Christian? Do you remember the hardships that you endured? Imagine this as Moses speaking to the second generations,

and do you remember seeing your parents? Do you remember seeing them at Mount Sinai? Do you remember seeing them during the plagues and the things that occurred in the wilderness because they refuse to obey?

Have you learned their lesson? Will you choose to be faithful? So the Hebrew writer reminds these Christians about the time when they were faithful.

He says there in verse 34 for you had compassion on me and my chains and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods,

knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence,

which has great reward for you. Have need of endurance so that after you have done the will of God,

you may receive the promise. Hebrew writer writes to these Christians and he says, I know you can do this.

You bore with me when I needed your help and you sent money to me. You allowed yourself to be plundered for my benefit and for others benefit who were suffering.

You can go through it too. You can be faithful, but you turn over to chapter 12 as he continues this concentrated discussion about faithfulness and continues to tell these Christians,

you can get through this. He comes to chapter 12 he talks about the those who were present at the Mount uses the old old Testament and the the situations there as an example,

but he says in verse 25 of Hebrews chapter 12 see that you do not refuse him who speaks for if they did not escape who refused him,

who spoke on earth much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven,

whose voice then shook the earth? But now he has promised saying yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven.

The reference here, the discussion about the one who spoke on earth is a reference to Exodus chapter 19 where God there at the Mount spoke to that first generation and they heard his voice and they heard it as if it were thunderings and lightenings and all of these things.

They heard it and they were afraid and ultimately that generation never saw the promised land because they did not obey.

They were consumed. He says, if that first generation that heard his voice on the earth was consumed,

how much more do you think could happen to us having heard his voice from heaven having had his son come down to this earth to die for us?

How much more do you think we might go through? He says, now this yet once more indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken as of things that are made that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

He’s talking about the old Testament and the old law and the law, Moses and the Jewish society and all of these things that were being done away with to bring in the kingdom and the law of Christ.

He says, therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear for our God is a consuming fire.

So the first thing that we see is we enter into this discussion about iron and some lessons from iron is that while we go through this life and we might pass through the difficulties and the struggles and the trials and even the persecution that comes with being faithful to God in this life,

we better make it through. We better determine we will never turn back because the punishment that comes in the next life,

well cause anything we suffer in this life to pale in comparison because old Testament and new Testament alike agree on this thing.

Our God is a consuming fire and our God will consume his adversaries. The question for you and I is,

are we his ally or his adversary? Jesus said, you are my friends. If you do whatsoever,

I command you. It’s up to us to choose, but then consider a second lesson. This one comes from Deuteronomy chapter eight Deuteronomy chapter eight we kind of see this idea of iron flipped on its head in,

in the past, the iron furnace of Egypt was was a symbol of destruction. It was a symbol of torment.

It was a symbol of of their demise and their persecution. Think about those furnaces. They must have used to make bricks to build the great structures of Egypt.

They were familiar with those furnaces. They meant something to them, but as Moses is now going to turn to talking to them about the land,

the inheritance, the promised land that they’re going to receive. Notice what he says in Deuteronomy chapter eight and verse eight verse seven beginning for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land,

a land of Brooks, of water, of fountains and Springs that flow out of valleys and Hills, a land of wheat and barley of vines and fig trees and pomegranates,

a land of olive oil and honey. Now you read all of this and it sounds like this is great.

God’s bringing us into a land that’s prepared. As a matter of fact, Moses is going to tell them that you’re going to raise,

you’re going to receive cities you didn’t build. You’re going to harvest vineyards, you didn’t plant. You’re going to receive the sustenance from the land that you did.

Nothing to put there, but he goes on beyond this list of things that are naturally going to be provided for them.

And he says this, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity in which you will lack nothing.

A land whose stones are iron and out of whose Hills you can dig copper<inaudible>. Moses tells Israel,

God’s putting you in a land with untapped resources. God’s putting you in a land where when you put forth the effort to take those resources out of the ground,

when you put forth the effort to cultivate those resources and turn them into something useful, you will realize that God is not just giving you what is already there.

He’s giving you resources in abundance that came can be come something useful for you. Now, step back and think about our lives.

Yeah. How many times do we find that the resources we need the resources to evangelize the resources, to teach the resources to do what we need to in a local congregation.

The resources to make our homes what they ought to be the resources to, to guide a family into righteousness are all resources we already have except maybe we’re not using them.

It’s interesting in this time of a pandemic that we’re going through right now, how people have changed their views on resources.

They have just even right now we’re utilizing an internet connection and we’re utilizing a stream and we’re utilizing a broadcasting method and churches all over the world are utilizing this and they weren’t.

Many of them weren’t utilizing it four months ago. They had a resource. It was sitting there and it was being ignored because it wasn’t being utilized.

It wasn’t seen as valuable. You go through and you walk over land day in and day out and if you don’t realize maybe there’s in in their case a vein of iron in that land,

you walk over that land and you see nothing useful. Maybe that land won’t grow anything. Maybe that land you’ve tried to plant those crops.

You’ve tried to plant the barley and the vineyards and all those things and it dies year in and year out and you think this land is worthless,

but you dig a little bit underneath the surface. You find a completely different set of resources. There are lessons for us to be learning about utilizing resources,

utilizing what God has put there and not ignoring it because it’s not the resource we were looking for so many times we overlook and we bypass potential value because it wasn’t the thing we were looking for.

We need to step back and look at our spiritual lives. We need to step back and look at our home lives.

We need to step back and look at our congregations and we need to evaluate what resources are we ignoring because they don’t look like the resource that I need right now.

But then consider Deuteronomy chapter 28 yeah, Deuteronomy chapter 28 is a passage that we alluded to, at least it’s,

it’s a parallel reference to the first generation, a passage that we alluded to a few weeks ago as we discussed the drought during the days of Elijah and Deuteronomy chapter 28,

the curses that were presented to Israel if they turned their back on God are re presented to the second generation.

And in Deuteronomy chapter 28, verse 22, we read the Lord will strike you with consumption, with fear within,

uh, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew.

They shall pursue you until you perish. And your heavens, which are over your head shall be bronze and the earth which is under you shall B iron.

Now here, God’s not talking about untapped resources. God’s not talking about potential use. God’s saying when you turn your back on me,

when you turn away from me and begin to do evil, I’m going to turn your resources into worthlessness.

I’m going to take that resource, which is your ground, which is your soil and the things that you’re able to grow from it that gives you food and plenty and sustenance,

and I’m going to turn it as hard as iron because I’m going to withhold the rain. We look at what is important to us and we go day in and day out and say,

you know what, I’ve, I’ve got to work for a living. I’ve got to provide for my family.

I’ve got to do this, and I’ve got to that and sometimes we get our priorities backwards. Sometimes we get so focused on what we have to have right now to continue living that we forget the priority of putting God in the proper place.

Israel never turned their back on God. When God was the priority, Israel always turned their back on God.

When God stopped being the priority and they started to become the priority. I’ve known Christians who have said their excuse for working on Sundays instead of assembling with the saints is,

well, somebody’s got to pay the bills. Do you know what that says that says, I can’t trust God enough to prioritize him over my sustenance.

How many times could it have been true that the reason they could never manage to pay the bills it was because God was making sure they never did.

Now you say, Whoa, Aaron, I mean, are we talking about God’s miraculously Holy? No,

I’m talking about what you, so you also reap and he who sows sparingly reaps sparingly. One of the things that the new Testament teaches is if you want to sow or if you want to reap bountifully,

you sow bountifully and the reaping will be in view of the sewing. Someone who doesn’t assemble, someone who doesn’t put gone for someone who prioritizes their stuff over God,

do you think they give the way they ought? Okay. Do you think they’re giving back to God as he’s prospered them?

It’s doubtful. We need to look at our lives and we need to examine how many times we’ve decided to set our personal desires in the place of God’s commandments.

Jesus said, seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

Jesus said, God’s in control whether you like it or not and he will bless you or he will withhold from you based upon whether or not you will see Kim or not.

Now this is coming from an individual who said to one who said, I’m going to be your disciple.

I’m going to follow after you. He said, I have no place to lay my head. Foxes have holes.

Birds of the air have NES. I have nowhere to lay my head and yet there was never a time where Jesus accused God,

the father of not providing for him. Sometimes it is our view of provision that is messed up our view of necessity.

There’s desolation that comes from disobedience. The analogy of the old Testament prophets was that Israel was working day in and day out to get money to put it in the bags that had holes in the bottom of it.

And that’s exactly how some people’s financial lives work today and yet they don’t have time to prioritize God. But then consider Deuteronomy chapter 33 Deuteronomy chapter 33 we have another reference to iron and this is in verses 24 and 25 and of Asher,

he said, Asher is most blessed of sons. Let him be favored by his brothers and let him dip his foot in oil.

Your sandals shall be iron and bronze as your days, so shall your strength be. This is a statement that may not readily connect with us during the Roman age.

The sandals that the soldiers wore would have metal spikes on them. Okay, you’re familiar with this. We’ve all seen the football players dig their cleats,

the spikes in the bottom of their cleats into the ground so they won’t be moved. And God is saying concerning Asher is he speaks prophetically through Moses concerning the future.

He says, Asher, your sandals will be as if they’re of iron. Your strength will be as your days.

You will stand and you will not be moved. You know, there’s an analogy in the new Testament made concerning sandals and Ephesians chapter six as Paul there is writing to the church at Ephesus and he’s telling them about the whole armor of God.

He says that we are to have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel. It’s not just the idea that we have our feet,

you know, with our sandals on and we’re ready to walk, but we’re ready to stand. We’re ready to not be moved.

We’re ready to be pushed against and give no ground because we’re prepared. We’re prepared by the gospel to go into the fire,

to go into the furnace, to go into the difficulties of life and not turn back.<inaudible> God said concerning ancient Asher that they would be able to stand if they were faithful.

If they were his servants, they would be able to stand and no one would push them back. One last and final lesson from iron comes in.

Judges, chapter four judges chapter four, reminding ourselves that the time of the judges was a time of exceeding unfaithfulness,

where there was a progression of unfaithfulness generation after generation after generation in judges chapter four verse one when he hood was dead,

the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord sold them into the hand of J Ben King of Canaan who reigned in Hazel or the commander of his army was Cicero,

who dwelt in, uh, Harris. Chef Hagley yum. And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord for Jabon had 900 chariots of fire.

And for 20 years he harshly oppressed the children of Israel. Part of the reason why the Egyptians called iron the metal from heaven.

It’s because of the Egyptians. We’re ones who heavily utilized the chariot and they heavily utilized this armor and battled,

but that gave them victory over others. Yeah. But in chapter four and in verse four we read now Deborah a prophetess,

the wife of Lapidoth was judging Israel at that time and she would sit under the Palm tree of Deborah between a ref AAM,

or excuse me, before between Ramo and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim, and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

Then she sent and called for Bayrock, the son of a benewin from K dash in NAFTA. Lion said to him,

has not the Lord God of Israel commanded. Go and deploy your troops at mountain Tabor. Take with you 10,000 men of the sons of NAFTA lie and of the sons of<inaudible> and against you.

I will deploy Cicero, the commander of<inaudible> army with his chariots and his multitude at the river kind of Sean and I will deliver them into your hand.

Here’s the cry that comes up from Israel for 20 years. God deliver us from Cicero, deliver us from this army with 900 chariots of iron.

Deliver us from this people who we cannot overcome because of the strength of their military might. So as Deborah is judging,

she commands Bay rack to come prepare his forces 10,000 from one drive and 10,000 from another. And to go to this place and to be ready because God is going to deploy Cicero.

God is going to bring these 900 chariots of iron. God is going to bring this multitude of men that belong to the Canaanites and he’s going to put them in battlement and he’s going to destroy them for Israel.

May Iraq will determine that he’s not going. He’s not going unless Deborah comes to. So Deborah will declare that the victory will co it will go into the hands of a woman,

that the glory that would have been Bay racks will not belong to him. But instead Cicero would be put to death by the hands of a woman and he will.

But I want you to notice this. When we turn against God, when we become unfaithful, and when we strive,

strive to solve our problems from an earthly perspective, using earthly resources, we will find ourselves defeated by someone who’s stronger in earthly mind than us.

But when we rely on God, when we rely on the Lord, it doesn’t matter how many chariots of iron a nation has.

It doesn’t matter how many modern terms, tanks, bombs, or airplanes a nation has because in all of history,

no matter how hard nations have tried, they’ve never been victorious against the one thing they can never destroy.

The sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and God has laid waste to nation after nation after nation that believed they could stop God.

You and I know that if we’re going to be faithful, we have to pass through the furnace. We have to continue to be faithful in spite of hardship.

We have to choose to be faithful even when things aren’t going our way. We have to look for the resources God has put in our place and in our hand and we’ve ignored and we have to remember that when difficulty arises and when the enemies of God rise up and they do,

we don’t rely upon our own resources for deliverance, but we rely upon the Lord. If you’re one who’s outside the body of Christ,

you are in a condition. The the Ephesians writer describes as an enemy of God. He says, you’re an alien,

separated from the Commonwealth of Israel. You are an enemy of Jehovah and if you leave this life in that state,

you have nothing to look forward to except for the consuming fire of the Lord and our God is a consuming fire.

God doesn’t desire for you to serve him out of fear. God doesn’t desire you to serve him because you’re terrified of him.

God desires to bless you and provide for you and do good to you and heal you from this day through eternity because God made you and he desires to have fellowship with you and you have become separated from him by sin,

but that sin can be washed away. Just yesterday I was out in front and back of my house and I was pressure washing and it’s amazing the color of the cement outside my house.

I had no idea what color it was because it had been so overlaid with the grime and the grit of time.

It didn’t look like it’s real self. You may become, have become accustomed to how you look right now spiritually,

but that doesn’t mean that’s how you’re supposed to look. That doesn’t mean that’s how God wants you to look.

God wants you to be washed. God wants you to look like your real self. God wants you to be sanctified by the blood of Christ and you can do that by being obedient to the gospel,

hearing the word of God and believing that Jesus Christ is the son of God, confessing the name of Jesus Christ.

Having repented of your sins changed your mind about the way you’re going to live and determined to serve the Lord,

and you can be buried in a watery grave of baptism and die to sin. And when you rise up out of the water,

if you had filled on your flesh, it might still be there. And unlike all the hours I spent pressure washing the other day,

when you come up out of water, you’ll come up a new creature as clean and as pure as the day you entered into this earth.

If you’re not in that state today, contact us. Allow us to help you understand the truth and be obedient to the gospel.

We thank you for your time, your attention, and we pray for your continued faithfulness and the difficulties that face us right now.<inaudible> again,

we thank you for being with us this morning. I did not receive any messages of any more announcements.

So we will close with our song and a closing prayer by Aaron. We’ll close with number 396 no,

not one, three, nine, six. There’s not a friend like<inaudible>. Geez. Uh, no,

nah, nah.<inaudible> no. Uh, jeez. Uh, no, but a us or a cause.

Hey God.<inaudible> uh, there’s not a friend the low. Holy geez. Uh, no. Ah,

new a friend. Like, yeah, man. So, uh, and Oh, no, no,

nah. And yeah. No friendliness. Um, meek and lowly. No, no, nah. Jeez.<inaudible><inaudible> Hey<inaudible><inaudible> uh,

there’s not a friend like, uh, well only, geez. Uh, no, no, nah,

there’s not an a that he is NA ni WRA. No, no, nah, no night. So dark mud is,

uh, and cheer. Uh,<inaudible> no, jeez, us, ah, uh, goals. Hey,

well, God’s day is, uh, there’s not a<inaudible>. Jeez. Uh, no, uh,

yeah. Let us pray. Gracious, heavenly father, we come before you at this time grateful for the day that you’ve blessed us with,

for the life that you’ve given to us and the health that we have. We’re mindful of those that have undergone difficulties,

undergone, uh, struggles because of the recent pandemic. We pray for those nations that are just now beginning to feel the effects of this disease and we pray that they might have the support and the strength and the ability to deal with it.

Laura, we are mindful of those who have lost loved ones as a result of this disease or any other in recent days and months.

We know that they sorrow the loss of those who they’re separated from and we ask that you will give them comfort and strength in this time of sorrow.

We pray for those who are in the medical field and are dealing with the brunt of the difficulties that are going on right now.

We pray that you give them comfort and peace and sound mind to be able to do the things that they need to do most especially God.

We pray that people will be open to the word of God, that they will be open to hearing the truth,

that their mind will be turned away from physical things to spiritual matters. We pray for every evangelist effort that goes forth throughout the world,

that as they remain faithful to you, they might always be bountiful and fruitful in your kingdom. All this we pray in Jesus name.