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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1345

Entering Into His Promises
Part One

July 15, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, I have a real opportunity this morning to prove what He said about weakness, because I’ve got plenty of it. But, He’s faithful, isn’t He?

( congregational response ).

And I don’t think I’m the only one. I think we’re all experiencing different things in our journeys and we — many times, I’ll think about some thoughts the Lord has given to me and I’ll say, well Lord, they’re gonna get tired of that. It’s the same old, same old. I’m just saying the same thing using different words every week, and what’s going on here? And don’t we need to go on to something else? And the Lord doesn’t pay any attention.

( laughter ).

So anyway, I’d like to turn to 2nd Peter, the beginning of 2nd Peter, familiar scripture. And I think this is perhaps one of those occasions when it’s just gonna be the same and yet, when I look in the mirror I have to say, yeah, but have you been listening? Here you are, you have the very needs that I’m impressing you to talk about, and do you think you’re the only one? And of course, I know I’m not.

But, I praise God for His faithfulness to His people. I know that He understands where everyone here is at, this morning. And I know He cares about every single one. He knows your name, He knows where you’re at, and regardless of how things may appear to us, at any given point, He is faithful. His promises are true. End of story.

And you know, we do well to come to a place where we learn how to rest in that, because it’s the truth! So, I’m gonna read a few verses here and then we’ll go back and just ask the Lord to emphasize what He wants. And this is an epistle that Peter wrote, at the very end of his life. It wasn’t long after this that he himself was actually crucified for his faith. So, he’s wanting to write one more letter to the believers, to encourage them.

He says, “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (NIV). You want to know why the world’s in the shape it’s in? It’s just man following his own heart. That’s it.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“But if anyone does not have them, he is near-sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

It’s interesting that — you know, I help to post the transcripts of the TV broadcast on our website so if people want to go back and see word for word what was said, and try to make sense of it, they’re able to do it. And so, yesterday I was working on one — I’m only a couple weeks out right now so I’ve got to get on the stick. But anyway, I was working on one that’s going to be in the first couple of weeks in June and it was from a message that I preached a little over a year ago and the title of it was “Are You Stuck?” And I’m sitting here saying, Lord how things come around!

( laughing ).

Did I say that? Yeah, it’s amazing to me when I see the faithfulness of God to speak things that I, myself, need to enter into and don’t even know how in the world I could come up with some of that stuff. I know it’s got to be the Lord because it’s not in me. My God, do we realize the privilege we have of walking with a God who takes creatures like we are and lives and works in us to bring out His life in us and enables to do things we can’t do?

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! That’s not just for the pulpit, that’s for everybody in here that knows Him! Man, He is an awesome God! But I was just sitting there and thinking about how the message then had to do with the fact that we reach places in our life where we’re just — okay, we’ve come thus far and now there’s — we know that we don’t have possession of everything God has for us, but we’re sort of stuck and we don’t know how to get from point A to point B. And, that’s kind of what Peter is dealing with, in this particular passage.

And you know, I was just sort of thinking about this in terms of, first of all, I think it would be profitable to look at this passage and take the framework of it. Because then you can kind of work into the details. The details begin to make more sense. But the picture I get here, in this particular passage, and certainly throughout scripture, is of a God who recognizes our need and comes to our rescue, and all of it comes from Him!

I mean, this is God’s plan, from all Eternity. This is not something you and I thought up. It’s something that is in His heart to do. And, not only that, He does not base it upon us, does not even begin to base it upon our qualities, our virtues, our goodness, anything that He finds in us.

You know, human nature would say, well, God’s looking around the world and He’s looking for good people. Well, guess what? By His standard, they don’t exist! There is none good! “There is no one who does good….” You remember the scripture that has been read so many times. When Paul had to enumerate, had to lay out the simple fact that if God — if we’re gonna have any hope at all, God is going to have to act. But that is exactly what Peter is laying out in this passage. There is a God and He has acted!

( congregational amens ).

And where he’s going with this is twofold. He wants us to grow up to be His children, His sons. He wants us to start out with the grace that He imparts to us, all that He has given to us, but there are two things, as I say. He wants us to be effective in this life, doesn’t He?

I mean, we’re not here just to sit and wait and say, well, praise God, one day there’s going to be pie in the sky, by and by, and we’re just gonna sit around and wait for that, sing happy songs and that’s all there is to it. There is territory to take. God wants a people who are not just sitting on the premises, as my dad used to say, but standing on the promises.

( laughter ).

And actually counting for something in the kingdom of God, where people that God has worked in to the point where now He can use us, He can entrust to us things to do and know that we won’t mess it up just because we’re — all the needs that there are in our own lives. God is doing that.

And I see Him doing it in lives. I see Him working and doing it in me. And I feel my own need of — I feel my need of this message! My God! You’re welcome to listen in, but I’m gonna preach to me this morning!

But anyway, so that’s the first thing. He wants us to be effective in this life, but yet He wants us to live with the reality that the best is yet to come! I mean, where we’re headed with this is a kingdom where all of this is gone! Where we — and Peter, right here, wants His people not just to make it in by the skin of their teeth, but to come and to be able to say, Lord, you entrusted to me—you entrusted to me things, gifts of your grace and here I lay down at your feet that which you have enabled me to win in the world.

You remember the parable that Jesus told about the servants? He entrusted them different amounts of money and they put his money to work. And so, we see a picture of a people in need, people who have no ability in themselves and God institutes a plan and a purpose of salvation that is meant to bring us into a place of blessing, into a place of joy and of peace. He mentions that in here, specifically. And, a place of effectiveness in His kingdom and, ultimately, a place in His kingdom that will never end.

So, here we are on the journey. And you know, you start right from the beginning. It says, “To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior….” Now, I’m sure there’s nobody here that the Devil has ever tried to work on you about your worthiness of things that God has given you, right? Nobody here has ever experienced that! You all get it perfectly that all of the virtue — all of the virtue by which you and I stand before a Holy God, is His!

( congregational amens ).

All of it! I hope I’m listening to this.

( laughter ).

This is a major deal, folks! It’s so easy to say this. But oh, when it comes to where the rubber meets the road, we are constantly thinking about us and our deficiencies and how that messes up the whole thing, as though God’s plan depends upon my goodness and righteousness and ability! Man, it depends on His purpose, His power, His saving power! Praise God!

So that’s why he just doesn’t say, to those who have received faith, he says, “To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ….” That’s the foundation! It’s not because you’re good, it’s because He’s good!

( congregational amens ).

 It’s not because you and I are right, it’s because He is right! It flows out of His heart and His character. And folks, if we do not get that, I mean, if we don’t get that functionally in our lives so that when we are looking the Devil in the eye, we understand how we can stand there!

If you try to stand there and you try to think about your performance, you and I are gonna fall flat on our faces. But we need to be able to stand there and say, like the song, “He Has Forgiven Me.” Can you look the Devil in the eye and stand there with that confidence? Upon what ground can we do such a thing? His righteousness! His goodness!

( congregational amens ).

And that’s perfect! That’s perfect! That gives me the foundation for everything that he’s about to lay out here. Thank God that it goes back to Him! And where did faith come from? Why does he use the language that he does? He doesn’t say, to those of you who have somehow dug out faith, you’ve found it somewhere in here. You had to look real hard, but it was there and you found it and so, based upon your faith you rose up. No! You received it!

( congregational amens ).

Faith comes to the human heart that is open to the Word of God! I’ll tell you, when God’s Word comes searching, that’s the means by which He works with a heart. As Peter says in the beginning of his first book, it’s by the sanctifying work, the setting apart work of the Holy Spirit, when God begins to deal with a human heart.

How many times have we said this? But I’m praying that God will take this, number one that it will cause believers to understand how it is that God works. But also that there are those who when you’re going to be hearing God’s voice talk to you, you’re gonna experience the sense that there is a God and you’re going to have to stand before Him and there’s a reason for life.

It’s not just so you can live and do your thing, and then die and that’s the end of it. Man, what a horrible vision that is! And yet, we’ve got a world of people who have sold out for that. But I’ll tell you, God works with the heart and He calls His people! And because of His goodness, not because of what He finds in you, there’s this, this conviction that comes to a heart that causes us to surrender our opinions about ourselves, about Him, about everything and say, oh God, I need you!

And with that comes the ability to take that trust that I formerly had in myself and to place it entirely in Him. Man, that’s precious. That’s a faith — the value of that, I mean — like he says in the first book, it’s more precious than gold!

There’s nothing you could possess in this world that is of greater value than God implanting in your heart the confidence in who He is and what He’s about, and the confidence of trusting Him with your life! Nothing is more important! You could possess everything in the world, if you didn’t have that, you have nothing! So, that’s the foundation for all that he’s about to say. You, “…have received a faith as precious as ours.” Praise God!

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance….” Now, is that just sort of a nice greeting? You know, it’s a nice thing to say? I don’t know. I see something more in this. I see the power that you and I have — now obviously he’s committing this to paper or parchment or whatever it was they wrote on in those days. But this came out of his heart, this came out of his words. No doubt Peter was speaking these words and someone was writing them down. There is a power in our tongues.

( congregational amens ).

You and I have the power to make a difference in people’s lives! And Peter is not just giving this sort of vague, feel-good wish. This is something where Peter says, I have the power to minister something to these people to whom I’m speaking. And I want them to experience grace. God, pour through me that grace, that power, that enabling influence! Let it rest upon those who hear it! Lord, let them understand that everything they need to be what you want them to be comes by way of your Spirit and the influence of Your Spirit on the heart.

Oh boy, what a foundation we have! It’s by grace! Grace is not just, as we’ve said so many times, a kindly attitude on God’s part that overlooks our faults. This is a power that invades and enables and influences our value system, that makes it possible for us to obey the things God tells us to do. So, he’s setting up here for a lot of things that he wants us to do.

But boy, if we don’t get the foundation upon which we do those things, man, we are setting ourselves up for a frustrating life of just struggle and striving and finally giving up. Again, nobody here gets this, right? No, this matters! These are not just empty words that he threw in there to fill a space on the page. Grace!

Oh, do you understand? Do you understand your need of it? Do I? Think of the man who wrote this, and how self-confident he once was, and how he relied on that, and he was confident of his ability to serve and to stand faithful in the face of death itself. And he just fell on his face in front of a little girl! He said, I don’t know the man!

There’s Jesus being on trial. A little girl walks up...you’re one of them. No, I’m not! I swear to God I never met the man! Do you think there might be just a little bit of a lesson? Do you think Peter got this? Man, he got it!

Do you see the goodness of God when Jesus told him this was gonna happen, didn’t throw him out because it did? He said, when you’re converted, when I’ve done what needs to happen by this means, you’re gonna be able to strengthen your brothers. See, here he is doing it. See, I’m about to tell you some things you’re gonna need to know to be able to live and be effective as Christians in the world that you’re called to live in.

Man, you’ve got to get this! If you don’t understand, just look back at what happened to me, folks! I’m the poster child for trying to do it in my own strength. Grace! But oh, I’ll tell you what, with grace in the sense that I’m dependant on a God who loves me, who because He’s good, not because I’m good, has shown me favor and given me of Himself, man, does that not open the door for peace? Whew!

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee….” (KJV). Do you see where the focus has got to be? “…Because he trusteth….” And that’s the source. If you’ve got somebody on this foundation, they understand this is not just a nice greeting, this is the foundation upon which we stand this morning! God has what we need!

Wherever you’re at in your journey, God has what you need, and what I need, and He’s faithful. And if we will quit trying to tell God how to do His business. If J P will just learn how to….

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

No, if we’ll all just learn how to let go and let God do His job…. That’s part of just saying, all right, Lord, I’m in your hands, I’m not in my hands. I don’t know how this is supposed to go down. Sometimes I’m gonna walk into situations and feel like I’m being blindsided, but I know that I’m not. I know You’re with me in it. I know you have led me, “…through the valley of the shadow of death…” and so, “…I will fear no evil…” Why? “…For thou art with me…”

See, there’s always this sense of a divine purpose being unfolded in our lives. Grace and peace. (NIV). Do you have peace this morning? I mean, everybody wants this sense of well-being on the inside. Boy, they’re trying to get it from this and get it from that, and trying to get it from achievement and pleasure and a thousand and one things in this world.

Oh my! God help some who are doing that to run out of gas and to say, oh God, I need you, while there’s time. Oh God! I believe that’s His heart, don’t you?

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance….” It’s not just ‘be yours,’ but I mean there’s this sense of, man, I need a bunch. The reality of living life in this world is way over my head! Way beyond my ability! I’m not smart enough. I’m not strong enough. No matter what happens out here, I’ve got a problem in here!

There’s so much of me that is so entrenched in just living its own way, according to its own principles and desires, I don’t even know what all is in here! And when the Lord brings me face to face with myself, my first reaction is to say, oh no! That’s not me! And what we need to be able to do is to see past all that and say, Lord, I surrender. I am in need.

But you know, if we’re always trying to qualify ourselves — you see how this foundation becomes so critical? If we’re always trying to feel like we’re measuring up, and that somehow God likes us and accepts us because of our performance, then when He brings us face to face with something where we’re not performing, where we’re not what we’re — our lives don’t match up with this, man, He’s rocked our world!

Folks, our world needs to be rocked! If we are trying to build a spiritual life on any other foundation than what God has laid through Jesus Christ, we are on…we’re on sinking sand! The storms of life will take you down!