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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1039

People Just Like Us
Part One

September 2, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1039 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, praise God! I sure believe the Lord is leading us in spite of ourselves and for His purposes and for His glory. You know, I didn’t really have anything particular on my mind this morning, which is not unusual. But coming into the men’s meeting and just coming and saying, well, Lord, You’re in charge, this is Your people, You can do what you want. And just listening to the men share, it was wonderful. I’m just blessed by…not just the depth, but the breadth of what the Lord is doing. In other words, it’s not just a handful, and everybody else sitting there like bumps on the log, we’ve got so many that are expressing real spiritual understanding, as though God is dealing with hearts. I appreciate so much what the Lord is doing, ‘cause He is doing it. I mean, we can just stand in awe and say, thank You Lord.

( congregational amens ).

And know that there’s a lot more to come. You know, I think we’re just standing on the threshold and really…who knows what the Lord may do? But you know, I had some thoughts come and you always just kind of hold them loosely and say, well, Lord, You take…just lead and confirm if you want. Well, the scripture that was just referred to is from the passage that I had on my mind so let’s turn to James chapter 5. I see some things in here that I believe the Lord would encourage us with, and it seems to be appropriate right now. It certainly is for me.

You know, the chapter begins with something about rich people and that’s not especially what I’m interested in. I guess…you know, you’ve got some really strong words against people who get rich by oppressing others, and injustice and all of that. I don’t think the Lord would…I mean, I think there’s an agenda going on with a lot of this ‘occupy stuff’ but yet, they’ve got a point. There’s some greedy rich people that are going to have a hard time when they stand before the Lord one day. You know, we need to be not living for what’s down here, but for the Lord. But anyway, really the passage begins in verse 7.

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming.” (NIV). And I guess, really that is connected to what he said about us living in a world and watching rich people do things that are wrong, and many others…of course, the world is full of injustice and full of all kinds of stuff. And we know that that’s not something the Lord wants. It isn’t something He approves of, and it isn’t always gonna be that way. And so, he’s encouraging Christians and says, you’re having to live in the middle of all this, but be patient—be patient. Recognize that what God has set in motion is something that is certain and sure. And that’s really a foundation for…I think that everything that follows in this passage is the certainty of what the Lord is doing and the nature of it.

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming.”And, you know, you think about what he’s talking about there. He’s talking about something that is so incredible, that is going to so set everything in its proper place, that words cannot even describe…the hope that the Lord has set before us. I mean, you think about the world we live in, and then think about a day when there will be a people who will be looking to God, and the rest of the world will be…will have their hearts closed to what’s going on…blind to God, and yet Jesus, the one we’ve heard about will suddenly appear.

Don’t ask me how all that’s gonna happen, but I’m just telling you what Jesus said. He’s going to appear in the heavens, every eye will see Him and He’s going to be there with the sound of a trumpet. It will not be a quiet, little sneaky thing. He is coming with open—with an open demonstration of who He is and it will be such that the people of the world will be fleeing, and crying out to the rocks and the mountains to hide them because they’ll realize that what they’ve lived for is wrong, is totally against God, and they’re gonna have to stand before Him and give an account. But oh, what a day that will be for God’s people!

( congregational amens ).

Everything we have ever hoped for and dreamed for, and lived for, and put our hope in Him about, it will come to pass and I’ll tell you, there will be angels—there’ll be an innumerable company of angels that will come with Him and what an awesome sight it will be to see them literally go through the earth and gather God’s people. I mean, can you imagine what it’s gonna feel like to have an angel fly…I don’t know, I’m just trying to imagine, I guess a little bit, beyond what Jesus said. But that’s what He said, they’re gonna come and gather.

Can you imagine what it would be like to see all that, and then have an angel fly up to you and take you by the hand? Oh my! And your feet won’t stay on the ground. To “…be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,…” (KJV). I’ll tell you, we have a hope that is absolutely incredible. It’s worth living for, it’s worth dying for. It’s worth whatever it costs to possess what God has given to us in Jesus Christ. But the exhortation here is to be patient. So, obviously that’s something that is very much in order.

And it tells us about the conditions that will happen prior to all of that. There’s gonna be a need for us to stand and endure when we don’t see the things that we yet hope for. You know, Paul says in Romans chapter 8, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope.…” You know, if you see something, what are you hoping for? There it is. But I mean, hope has to do with something that is yet unseen, but yet, it is a strong enough reality in our hearts, that we are faithful to it, we believe in it, we commit our lives to what God has given us—that hope that he’s given us. But in the meantime, it calls for patience. It calls for a spirit of endurance, and of waiting. Everybody here, I know, loves to wait.

( laughter ).

It’s just written in our DNA. Waiting is a good thing. No, we hate it! We absolutely want a push-button god. But he says, “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.” (NIV).

So, obviously here’s a simple example that we know from human life, from agriculture. A farmer plants his seed, he understands the process. He knows that you’ve got to plow and prepare, and you’ve got to put the seed in, and you’ve got to have the rains come in their seasons, and he’s not sitting there…

( drawing in breath ).

…You know, oh my God, it hasn’t come up yet…it’s only two inches high! What’s going on? Oh God! You know, he’s not sitting there anxious about the process because he understands it.

And God wants us to understand…that the process we are undergoing right now is not…there’s not something wrong with it. It’s not that something is wrong, and oh my God, if this, if that, if the other…I believe there are things God wants us to reach out after. But I’ll tell you, we are in the palm of His hands. He is working out something that is sure and that is certain, and even when life is dark, even when things happen that we don’t understand, God is absolutely at work, not in spite of that, but ‘in’ that. It’s “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to...”

( congregational response ).

Our purpose? No, “…his purpose.” Oh, a lot of folks want to get God to suit their purpose and serve their purpose, He’s got a purpose folks. And I’ll tell you, it takes the hard things and the difficult things and the waiting things of life to actually produce the very fruit that He seeks, because of what He has done in our lives.

And what an analogy it is to relate this to a crop! Because, you think about natural seed…I guess there is always, in spite of the farmer understanding the process, there is always a level of uncertainty because we live in a corrupted world, and the rains might not come. You know, there are a lot of things that may not happen exactly the way he thinks they will, and so he is…there is a measure of expectation, but there’s also a little bit of realism that, hey, things don’t always work out.

But this is something different. You think about what Peter says, in fact it’s on the next page in my Bible, or somewhere very soon anyway. No, it’s a couple pages over. But anyway…where he talks about the incorruptible seed of the Word. Now, he’s talking about a birth there, but nonetheless, you get the principle that God has a seed that has life in it. But it’s not life as it is in this world. It’s the very life of God! It is incorruptible. You plant that seed and you have a God who watches over that to produce the crop that He has intended it to produce…there ain’t a devil in hell that can stop the process that God is undertaking.

( congregational amens ).

His Word is sure! His harvest is sure! Everything about what we are living for is sure, not because of us, it’s sure because of His purpose and His promise!

( congregational amens ).

You see, that’s the foundation upon which James is building what he’s giving us in this passage, “Be patient.…” Understand, learn from the farmer! But let’s relate this to a God, the ultimate farmer, who has a crop that He has planted in the earth. We are that crop, folks!

( congregational amens ).

Do you think He’s not going to finish what He’s started? Do you think that you can look in the mirror and say, oh God, I’m just…I’m gonna die? Look at me. I’m nothing. We just sang about that a little bit ago. How relevant is that, or how irrelevant that is, to put it another way? God is not…God’s work is not based upon you and your strength and what you are naturally, or what I am! We are nothing! Oh, the sooner we learn that, the sooner we will simply lift up our hands—throw up our hands and say, Lord, I’m completely dependent on You.

( congregational amens ).

But oh, You have everything that I lack—You are everything that I lack. The life that You have planted in me is something that is eternal! No devil can snuff it out! It’s a life that can’t die. And I’ll tell you, if God can die, so can you, when it comes to this. If He has birthed that life in you, then you have something that’s eternal.

And folks, we have every reason to lift up our hearts today, and to understand that in the big picture, where we’re at right now, is not reason to be doubtful, it’s reason to rejoice, it’s reason to look to God and continue to point to that and say, that day is coming!

( congregational amens ).

Devil, you can say what you want in my ear but that day is coming and you can’t stop it from coming! I’m gonna stand there one day, not because I deserve it, but because Jesus paid it all!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! I’m gonna get encouraged here in a minute!

( laughter ).

Praise the Lord! “You too…” like the farmer, “…be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” Wow, if he could say that then, think about where we’re at. Praise the Lord! Well, even if He doesn’t come in our lifetime, we’re not here very long. I’ll tell you, the very moment we get to graduate from these bodies, oh wow, the realization that will dawn upon us as we stand in the Lord’s presence and we realize, oh my God, it’s over. It’s over! Everything I’ve lived for, it’s real.

You know, I believe it was Danny mentioned this morning about a dream he had the other night that everybody got a real chuckle out of. He was on a boat somewhere and Mike Marshall was there with him on the boat. And Danny suddenly came to realize, hey, wait a minute, Mike’s already gone on to be with the Lord, so he took the opportunity and said, Mike, what’s heaven like? And Mike said, it’s heaven!

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

And of course, everybody got the same exact reaction. Of course, those who knew Mike, knew how characteristic that is. I know the Lord must enjoy all the different personalities we have. Praise God! We imagine that He’s a stern somebody, but I’ll tell you, He has a heart that loves, that rejoices, that sings. You find these expressions in the Scriptures, about how much He enjoys His people. You think about the Lord coming down to spend time with Adam, walking with him.

( congregational amens ).

The Lord who wants to draw near to us, wants us to just enjoy Him. Not endure Him, not treat being with Him as a duty, but treat it as a joy, a privilege to actually get to be…to walk with the God who created everything…

( congregational response ).

…And to know Him and to enjoy His presence. Praise God! So, there’s this sense that…don’t get bogged down in the moment. Don’t ever forget where we’re headed and the certainty of that. “Don’t grumble against each other, brothers….”

( laughing ).

Now, I understand you’re all real spiritual here.

( laughter ).

That wouldn’t ever apply to you, but just in case you run into somebody that has a problem with this, you’ll know how to tell them.

( laughter ).

Oh, Lord. You know, there’s a scripture that speaks in another place about love covering…

( congregational response ).

…The multitude of sins. And it’s the same thing that Paul talks about putting up with each other. Why in the world are we so hard and judgmental, and impatient with one another’s faults? Go look in the mirror. You’ve got them too! Part of God’s process—part of the very process that produces the crop the Lord has planted, is the need for us to put up with each other, because in exercising love, when it’s difficult, when somebody pushes just the wrong button, but we choose to do what God says instead, doesn’t that do something, doesn’t that change what’s in here? That just kind of releases that life into another area of our being and we begin to be able to be more like Him. It’s easy to love when you’re around people that are lovely. And of course, we want to love, so we say, oh God, if you’d just fix them all.

( laughter ).

Just make all the people that are around me lovely and I’ll just…we’ll just enjoy, oh...do you know God put you with the people you’re around and He allows them to express their imperfections? No, He wouldn’t do that! Oh yes, He would!

( laughter ).

He put you with everybody else, didn’t He?

( laughter ).

That’s part of the process. You know, we’ve got to realize, we are in the ‘middle’ of the process. We’re not there yet. We’ve got a lot of things God’s working on. And He is awfully patient with you. He is with me. He needs to be…there’s so much. But oh, how patient and how loving He is because He understands, hey, there’s something growing. I’ve got this under control. I know right now there’s things that need to be worked on, but it’s gonna happen. But oh, how we need to be loving and patient with one another in this process, and live in the light of the reality of what God has promised.

And so he says, “Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” God’s a lot more concerned with your grumbling than He is with the fault you’re grumbling about. That’s not just a saying, that’s the truth! And God just might let that thing continue until you quit grumbling about it…and me. Praise God!

“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” Oh Lord, can you…just read Ezekiel and so many others in the Old Testament, and the things that they had to endure. Oh Lord, can you imagine just constantly seeing the wickedness of the nation to which they were sent? Having the very words of God, and not just words of denunciation but words of pleading, oh, won’t you hear my voice? Turn from your evil ways and live…I’ll bless you, oh, if you’ll just hear!

And their reward is to be scorned, and persecuted, and sometimes killed. And yet they stood, and they did their job. Day after day they kept getting up and…it’s like spitting into the wind sometimes, but they did their job. And the Lord says, hey, that’s an example of somebody…that’s what I’m looking for from my people, people who will be so geared to me and understand—in tune with me, they’ll understand the process that’s going on.

And they will see through and past all of this other stuff, and just be faithful to Me and let Me take care of business. I can take care of wicked people, I can take care of the ones that I’m reaching out and saving. I can do all that. I just need you to trust me, and endure, and just put one foot in front of another. Praise God!

So anyway, the prophets, “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.” I mean, is there anybody who can read that and say, boy, that was dumb? No! We honor them! We lift them up and say, look, here is somebody who…look what they went through, and they were faithful! Man, isn’t that somebody to be honored?

God’s wanting to honor people here. God is wanting to be able to point to somebody here and say, look at that! Look, devil! Look what I can do in a life! Look at the beauty of what I’m creating them. Look at it! It’s awesome! Man, their name is gonna be spoken of in heaven as somebody who was faithful in hard things. Praise God!

It’s quiet. You know, we want some ‘happy’ religion. We want everything to go smooth down here, don’t we? We consider them blessed. “You have heard of Job’s perseverance.…” And I’d remind you that Job went through a pretty rough go. I mean, he was so mixed up as to why in the world stuff had happened to him that he almost got to the point where he said, I know I’m right, God must be unjust.

And yet, God reached out in mercy, revealed Himself to Job, gave him enough understanding to say, okay, Lord, I…I’m shutting up now. I’m gonna be quiet. I know that You’re right. I don’t understand it, but I trust You. God brought him to that place, blessed him, called him His servant. His friends, who were trying to help him out and didn’t have a clue…but there was a curse on them, and God said, I’m gonna ask Job to pray for you. Humbled them real good.

But oh, how good the Lord was to Job. He had twice as much after all of this, than he had before. Praise God! You’ve, “…seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” That’s where we’re headed. You know, it was Ron that read the scripture this morning about “I know the plans I have for you…” plans, thoughts “…to give you hope and a future.” From Jeremiah 29, is it? Praise God!

That’s God’s love for us. Getting there is a process. It isn’t always smooth and easy and fun. But oh, the end product is sure—the end is sure. And the character of God is never to be—never can we rightly question it. Never can we say, oh God, You’re not being fair. You must be…not what I thought. Oh, God is full of compassion and mercy.

( congregational response ).

If there weren’t a reason, do you think He would even think about doing what He’s…allowing the things in our lives? Oh I’ll tell you, the more I go, the more I realize how desperately I need Him to work. The strength of the old man that just wants to rise up and have his way…anybody here conscious of that? You realize…you look in the mirror, you realize just how strong the thing is that God needs to overcome in you?

( congregational response ).

You think the Lord is gonna pussyfoot around that, and smooth…stroke your fur the right way and say, nice little Christian, I’ll just take you home anyway? No! He’s got a lot of work to do! And He’s faithful enough to do it, isn’t He?