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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #956

A Friend Who Loves Us
One Part

January 30, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 956 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Sister Paisley Brewer: Let me apologize in advance if I’m too loud or too quiet. I can’t hear anything because my heart is just beating in my head right now. As we were singing, I had the same thoughts as Debby…just what an amazing friend we have in Jesus. And I’ve had a song stuck in my head for days. It’s an Amy Grant song, it’s better than a lullaby…God loves a lullaby…I’m sorry, “It’s Better Than a Hallelujah.” It starts out, “God loves a lullaby in a mother’s tears in the dead of night better than a Hallelujah…God loves the drunkard’s cry, the soldier’s plea not to let him die better than a Hallelujah sometimes.” And it goes on. “We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody, beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries of breaking hearts…” And when you go to your friends, you’re there, you’re open, you’re honest, you’re as you are. And I think that’s what that song is about is going and just praying as you are.

And just a couple of other thoughts, in John 15…it’s 15, verse 13. And it says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (KJV). That’s just so amazing. And then it goes on in verse 15. “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” And that’s just so amazing, and I try so hard every day to remember I have a Friend I can talk to at all times. And so that song…I really, if you haven’t heard it, I recommend it. It’s just such a good reminder to me and I think it would be to everyone.

-- Brother Mike Kennedy: I appreciate that testimony this morning. I’ll tell you, for me that was some water--some fresh water for a dry and thirsty soul, and I appreciate it. You know, I was sitting there this morning and a verse of scripture that we all are familiar with came to me and it was the 23rd Psalm. And it…everybody knows how it goes. It says, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (NKJV). It says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” He does this. “He restores my soul.” “He leads me beside the still waters.”

And a scripture on down there in this passage was about…it says, being cast down. Sometimes we can be cast, but we’re not destroyed. We can be out there in this pasture, and we might fall between some rocks or something and be cast down, but you know, if we call out to the Lord, He’s our Shepherd. He comes and He’ll rescue us. All we can do is call out and that sheep can…I don’t know how that sheep baa’s or whatever it does…but that shepherd hears that sheep and he rescues that sheep. And I just thank the Lord this morning. He rescued me and he continues to help me and he continues to rescue me, and I just want to praise Him and give Him the glory this morning. He’s worthy of praise!

-- Brother Steve Talbert: I got just a real simple thought. Y’all turn with me to Luke chapter 5, beginning there in verse 12. It’s talking about Jesus where He heals the man with leprosy. One particular thing that stuck out to me, and I just want to read this. In chapter 12…I’m sorry chapter 5, verse 12, “While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” (NIV).

This is the part that just absolutely just overwhelmed me this morning. “Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. I am willing, he said. Be clean! And immediately the leprosy left him.” My thought this morning was this. Our Father is willing, not only this morning, but every day of our lives, He’s willing, if we can just be like the leper and come to that place on our knees to call out to Him. Lord, I’m willing. Help me. That’s my thought this morning.

-- Brother Ben Johnson: Praise God! It’s good to have friends in high places, isn’t it?

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

It gives us a lot of confidence. I just thought when Paisley started in John 15, I had my Bible open there and I was reading there, too, when she got up. I wanted to go up just a little bit. I just had one simple thought, but it blessed me in reading it this morning, in John 15 there where she was.

But up in verse 9, He started that by saying, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” Now that’s pretty amazing if you think about it, ‘cause one of the things that’s been mentioned this morning…one of the things the devil does to separate us from our source of help is try to just pile up what we are, and…I can’t…try to give us that sense of separation there. I can’t go to Him. I can’t take every weakness to Him and all of those things. But you think about it, He says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”

We think about the Father loving Jesus, well, yeah, sure that’s easy. Of course He loved Jesus. Jesus never did anything wrong. He was perfectly in harmony and perfectly in fellowship. But me…I’m a different case. It’s not like that. Well, Jesus said it’s the same love--the same love He that had for His perfect Son who never rebelled, never did anything wrong, was totally in harmony with Him, was willing to lay down His life for us, that same love He has for His Son so He has for us…despite us. That’s the Word of God.

And this is kind of like that service we had, I don’t know a week or so ago where maybe it was this last Wednesday night, where we were just talking about, at some point it just comes down to…are we gonna believe the Word of God, or are we not? Despite how I feel and not being able to reason that out in my mind. How could He love me with everything wrong with me, the way that He loves His Son? I just don’t get that.

But either I’m gonna believe the Word of God, or I’m not. And I’m gonna stand on it in the face of the enemy or I’m not. I want to stand on it, ‘cause it’s true. If it’s in this Word, it is true and He loves us. He is that Friend. He’s everything to us. And I just appreciate that this morning. I want to be able to stand on His Word.

He reiterates that down where it was just read. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last.” I tell you what, knowing everything that’s wrong with us, He has loved us anyway and He’s given us His promise anyway, and I just don’t want to let anything…well, Romans 8 says, nothing shall separate us from the love of God, but we can feel separated from it sometimes, if we listen to the enemy. I want to raise up the standard of the Word this morning and say, I believe the Word of God. He does love me. He is my Friend. He loves me just as much as He loves His Son and that’s ground I can stand on. Praise God!

-- Brother Carl Johnson: I was just sitting there thinking what a wonderful blessing this service is this morning. Mike was talking about how that what Debbie and Paisley had shared there was a drink of refreshing water to him in a dry time. The Lord watered him, and then he got up and he watered. And that’s the way it is. The water of the Spirit’s been flowing here this morning. You know, I don’t think there’s a single person that has shared that’s been up here more than just a couple of minutes. And what a blessing it’s been. God can speak to our hearts and say more in just a couple of minutes when it’s Him than we can in the energy of ourselves all day and forever.

And it’s been such a blessing this morning. I’m so thankful for what the Lord is doing for us as a body. And I really appreciate this. I was thinking back during the song service when the youth chorus, well, the chorus was singing and…but the song they started out with “Maranatha,” and how the cry is there, Lord come and meet us, we long to see you.

And then the very next song spoke of the Lord in the earth today. He’s the same as He was yesterday and He’ll be the same tomorrow and just as wonderful tomorrow. He is that very present tense Friend that sticks closer than a brother. And He so much longs for us to know that more and more and to be more and more quickly to draw closer to Him.

That scripture that Benjamin just referred to, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” He next said, “Now remain in my love.” That’s what He wants. That’s what He longs for us…to remain in that love, to abide in Him, because He loves us. He abides in us and He so much longs for us to more and more and more abide in Him. And that’s what He’s been ministering to us this morning…the realization that He has provided all that we need.

Our precious Lord who loved us as the Father loved Him, has given Himself for us. He’s taken care of the sin question. It has been washed away. And we have access unto the very Holiest of Holies to obtain mercy, to find grace to help in time of need, to bathe ourselves in His love and His goodness. I don’t know that’s just being made more and more real to me. It doesn’t matter…as Debbie was saying, it don’t matter whether you’re up here or you’re down here, our need is the same. We need Him.

It don’t matter how we feel. It don’t matter what the circumstances are, the need is the same--we need Him, and He wants us to know that, and He wants us to know, no matter where we’re at, high or low…He wants us to know, I’m right here. I hear. I love you. It doesn’t matter how the prayer is answered or when, He’s the same. He’s just as wonderful today as He was yesterday, and He’ll be just as wonderful tomorrow.

I thank God that He’s helping us to see more and more clearly how much He loves us and how much He wants us to realize He is our Friend. He wants us to be His friend, to be quick to come to Him and wait at His feet, and worship Him and praise Him…come to Him with our weaknesses, come to Him with our failures, and find that mercy and grace to help in time of need. We are so blessed. You can’t put a value on being a child of God. It’s everything--it means everything to be born everything. Praise the Lord! I thank God for this service this morning. It’s been such a blessing. It’s been water to me and I thank Him for it.

-- Brother Matt Downing: The last verse in that song, “He’s Still The Same Today,” bears witness…it really stood out to me and then the service kind of seems to be along with it. It says…I hope I can remember the last verse. It says, “Let’s lift our voices in praise to our Friend,” I believe it says. “His mercy’s everlasting and His love will never end.” It says, “His presence goes before us as we journey on life’s way, His hand will safely guide us through until that glorious day.” That verse really stood out to me this morning and blessed me.

I appreciate so much what Ben brought out. It was water to me, because I’ve been…sounds like others been battling with our relationship with God and with His Son. And when he pointed out the fact that…well, let me just say this. I think a lot of times, I know for me, and I’m sure for others, the enemy…I think he sometimes can’t attack our relationship with Christ as much as he likes to attack our relationship with God. And because…maybe it’s just me, but I think he tries to separate that relationship with God. And then it’s almost like what Christ has done, sometimes for me, it’s almost like it’s not quite enough what He’s done.

And I’ll tell you, that truth that God…that love that God has shown through His Son, there’s so difference, there is no separation between His Father and His Son. And God help us not to listen to the enemy and how he would try to trick us to think that God is so holy and He’s so up here, and Christ is kind of down here…He’s our mediator and He died for us. I’ll tell you what, that is all…that’s all connected, it’s all the same. That love pours through His Son, and help us to recognize that when we would, like we’ve heard the last few weeks, fall short or not be where we should be in our walk and our journey--just to remember that. And I just thank God that He’s teaching us and for what He’s doing. Praise God!

-- Brother Phil Enlow: Praise God! I don’t know if anything needs to be added to this or not, but it’s hard to have a service like this and not consider again the scripture that has been alluded to by a couple and that’s in Romans 8 that we know so well. I’m so thankful that we have a God who is unconditionally our Friend and who loves us unconditionally, because we are up and down and all around.

And the fact is, those things are necessary in our lives, if God is to do what He seeks to do in us. We’re not what we ought to be when we come, and His purpose is to change us, isn’t it? And that’s what…that’s the setting for this. Paul has been enumerating all the things that God has done for us, all that He’s given us, all His promises, the hope that He’s laid before us that’s an eternal thing that winds up in Glory, we wind up as His Sons, heirs, joint heirs with Christ. I mean, it goes on and on with this glorious language of what God has done for us and promised us.

And, of course, then he sets up the last of that chapter in verse 28 that we know so well, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And that’s where I think we mess up sometimes, oftentimes, is in our expectations. We have our own picture of how things ought to go, how we ought to be, how fast things should happen, a gazillion things that are basically our ideas of how things ought to be.

And instead of just letting go and saying, Lord, my life is in Your hands, this is not my purpose, it doesn’t even have to do, fundamentally with earthly things, although you deal with, you use earthly things to work an eternal purpose, but it’s not about ‘here,’ it’s about ‘there.’ It’s about what You have set Yourself to do in me. And so all of this that we experience, the ups and downs of life have to do with the fulfilling of whose purpose? His!

And we know, of course, from verse 29, that has to do with making us like His Son. And so the obvious question is asked by Paul in verse 31. “What, then, shall we say in response to this?” How are we going to respond to the truth that God has laid out before us and all the wonderful things He’s declared that He’s going to do? How are we going to respond to this? And so, what Paul is dealing with here is the various things that might seem to stand in the way of the fulfillment of God’s promise. I mean, think about all the things that could possibly intervene and say, oh whoops, that’s not gonna work out like we thought it was.

And he begins by saying, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Is there anyone who can actually stand in the way? I mean is there anybody who can step in, including our own failure? Is there anybody that can stop the purpose of God? Have you put your hope in the purpose of God? Then folks, we have something to shout about.

( congregational amens ).

We have something to rejoice in that is not just based upon…it reaches beyond how we feel, beyond how things are going in our lives at any given moment. There’s not a one of us that are not called at times to walk through dry places. And we just have an awful time with this. We measure everything by how we feel and how things go and that just isn’t according to the Word and the purpose of God.

God is seeking to bring us to a place where we are willing to make a choice to say, God, I believe You in the face of everything. I believe You, not because of anything I see or feel, but I’m like Abraham. I hope against hope. No matter how it looks, God, this is not based upon any of this. There’s nothing about me that’s gotten you…taken you by surprise--that’s more than you can handle. You are able! Just as sure as you were able to give Abraham and Sarah a son when you promised. And Abraham believed You. And God, You counted it for righteousness to him. Praise God! Praise God! We’ve got everything in the world to shout about.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all….” Now this is what…you know it’s been mentioned about God being our friend and the love as being the over-riding thing that holds us, that keeps us. But love is not just simply a warm, gooey feeling, it’s something that’s demonstrated according to the need of the one that’s been loved. You and I need everything.

We needed Jesus to go to that cross in our place or else we were gonna have to go, and we’re gonna have to suffer the judgment that was rightly due to us. But thank God there was One who stepped into my place and went there as my representative, my substitute. He took all this stuff that we see in ourselves that’s so terrible and so shameful at times, that seems to stand in the way of the purpose of God. He took that upon Himself. It’s already done and it’s already in the grave. Praise God! I don’t have to be afraid of it. I don’t have to wallow in it or live in it.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” I mean, he’s just appealing to our simple logic. If God went to that extent, is He gonna say, well, that’s enough…I’m sorry, I’m just not gonna go…I know I gave Him, I know that was a lot, but I’m just gonna stop short. That doesn’t make sense, does it?

You know, we need to bathe ourselves in these truths so that we have a defense when the devil comes lying. And he will do it this afternoon with every one of us, if he can--if we allow it…if we listen to him.

“…Graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge…? Now what’s seemingly in the way of God’s purpose here is stuff about us. This is where our weaknesses and our failings come in. This is not something coming in from outside to try to stop us. This is here. I’ve got something that’s wrong in me. I’m that prisoner who feels like I’ve done something so bad, God can’t even save me--God won’t save me. He just won’t pay any attention to me. Am I just living a pipe dream here, he’s saying? Oh God, help that man, but help us. We’re no different.

( congregational amens ).

“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” So here’s the deal. Who’s gonna come in and say…you’re trying to help this guy, you’ve received this guy, but I’ve got information that’s gonna change Your mind, God. Is there anything that somebody can come in and explain to God why He shouldn’t continue to love you? That doesn’t make any sense, does it? Praise God!

“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” I mean, the Judge of all the universe has already declared His children righteous. And it is not based one iota on what you and I have done or any service we can perform. It’s because I have put my faith in the One who hung on that tree in my place. He is all of my hope--100 percent of my hope. Now because of that, there’s gonna be all kinds of things that will follow in my life as He works in me. But my justification, my ability to stand before a holy God is not based on anything that I do or experience. It’s based on Jesus alone!

( congregational amens ).

Boy, if we ever allow ourselves to move one inch off of that, we’re gonna be in a weak place. The problem is not that the promises of God are failing, the problem is that we do not apprehend them--we do not take advantage. What does the song say…”What a Friend We Have in Jesus”? “…Oh what needless pain we bear…” Oh what…help me out here.

( congregation inaudible ).

Well, the earlier part of that…about all the good stuff we could have if we just took our stuff to the Lord.

( congregational response ).

We forfeit stuff…that’s what it is. The line uses the word ‘forfeit.’ How much do we forfeit? How much do we fail to enjoy, even though God has given it to us? That’s the issue--that’s the issue with everyone of us here today. God wants us to be filled with the joy of His salvation--to be so full of the joy of what lies before us, that we’ll be able to laugh in the devil’s face and say, devil, you can’t stop this. God has given it to me. It’s not based upon me. It’s based on His promise and His ability to do what He said He’s gonna do. Praise God! Man, I’m gonna encourage myself, if I don’t watch out!

( laughter ).

“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life.…” There’s the resurrection Ron was talking about. It just didn’t take my sins into the grave, it brought a new life out! That’s what makes the possibility…the certainty, I should say, of what God has promised. It’s not just about wiping my sins out, it’s about making me into a brand new person.

Now, we’ve got to understand that’s a process. That’s where we get bogged down sometimes with the impatience, with the ‘it should be this way, and it’s not.’ Aren’t we counseled in James to be patient, to treat what God’s doing in us like a farmer treats a crop? Well what would you think about a farmer who went out every day and just…it’s not up…what’s wrong? You know…you’d say, look, you don’t understand the process here. This is a crop. It takes time. It’s right on schedule. I’ll tell you, you and I are right on schedule.

And we need to get our eyes off of ourselves and on to Him and just thank Him for His faithfulness this moment. And know that the things that are wrong is us, the things that are needful in us, we need to just lay hold of the promises of God and rest in His ability to bring these things to pass. Praise God!

Of course, he goes on here and he talks about other possible things from the outside that can do it. You know, I say again, we need to be ready for anything. We need to be so fixed, and so…our faith so fixed on God that nothing is gonna ever come in and cause us to say, oh God, You’ve left me. I’m under persecution, I’m this, I’m that. God is gonna use every circumstance of our life--every circumstance of our life to work in us, to make us what He has purposed that we be.

And He is the only One who knows what that takes. I can certainly see some of the things He does in my life. And I just have to laugh at myself, and say, there I go again. Lord, You’re just so faithful to do this, to do that, take me down a notch, and cause me to say, whoops, here I was…I was just being careless. I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t putting my trust in You and You had to let me fall in the mud so it would remind me how much I need You.

You know, we are all different and we have a unique purpose and calling in God and God is so faithful, no matter what happens in our lives, God will take every thread…He will weave it into a beautiful fabric with a pattern in. And do you know what that pattern is gonna be? It’s gonna be the face of Jesus when we’re done. We’re gonna be like Him. I can’t do that. Can you?

( congregational response ).

But I know Somebody who can.

( congregational amens ).

And I know Somebody who is so completely committed that no devil in hell can stop it. And that’s my hope. And so all of these other things…trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword, all of these things, none of them, devils in hell can’t stop it. And what is it that they cannot separate us from?

( congregational response ).

“…The love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I agree 100 percent with what’s been said about the fact that the devil would try to sort of separate Jesus from the Father, as though He’s the austere, demanding, ‘quick to be angry with you’ kind of God. And Jesus is the One kind of trying to mollify Him and get Him to kind of go easy on us. There is an absolute oneness from top to bottom in the Kingdom of God. The love that we see in Christ is the love of the Father that is in Him, and He is seeking to reproduce that love for Him and for one another in us, and He’s doing it, isn’t He?

And there’s not a thing that can stop it. And so we ought to be shouting and looking away from all the things that we think are gonna stand in the way. We need to just go to Him and recognize…you know, one of the songs they love to sing in the Philippines is “I Am A Friend of God” and they’ll sing that with great passion. I’m a friend of God. That’s a glorious thought. It’s a simple thought, but it’s the truth. Praise God! That’s how He sees us. Shouldn’t we see Him the way He sees us?

( congregational response ).

Praise God!