Hands folded in prayer
Hands folded in prayer

Principles of Prayer Part 8

RS: Lord I pray that You would bless our time, that You would teach us, that You would speak to us, that You would really enlighten us Father, to Your truth. We do thank You. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Last week, we started about, I don’t want to call it a series, but we talked about how to pray when storms come into your life, and you’ll recall, if you were here, some of you weren’t here, so I’m just going to do a quick little review. We talked about the fact that Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount said, the storms in life are going to come. They will come, and that you can be prepared for them by having a strong foundation in your life. Look at Matthew 7:24-27, that you have the opportunity to build your life on the rock, as He puts it. We said that, ultimately, in the midst of storms of life, your response to the storm is crucial. How you respond to it is everything, because some people don’t respond real well, and they just go ballistic, because we have all these thoughts that run wild in our imagination, that causes great fear and great anxiety. So, we talked about in order to have this strong foundation, there are certain things that we really need to know, and that’s where the scripture plays such a vital role, and I wrote, I put on one sheet of paper, what I call the four pillars of having a strong foundation, and so I don’t know who is and wasn’t here, and so, if you weren’t, let me just pass these to you.

(Passes handouts to those who were not at previous talk)

Then we spent the balance of time talking about how do you pray in the midst of storms. And we looked at what it means to put on God’s yoke from Matthew 11. We talked about drawing near to the throne of grace. We spent a significant amount of time looking at Philippians 4:6-7. How we are to lift up our petitions to God, but do it with thanksgiving. This idea of, it’s kind of a radical faith, but to say, Lord, I really don’t understand what you’re doing, but I thank you for the way you’re going to use this in my life for my ultimate good. And then we close by looking at II Corinthians 12:7-9, where Paul talks about praying for the thorn in his flesh and how he prayed about that. Today, we’re going to kind of move in a different direction, but I think you’ll find it of real benefit to you.

Let me start by just saying, when a person finds himself in a storm, the reason it causes so much stress and so much anxiety is because we generally don’t know how the storm is going to turn out. In other words, there is this uncertainty, and there is this realization that it could turn out badly for me, because if it couldn’t turn out badly, it’s not a storm. You wouldn’t worry about it. I have a number of men right now, in fact, at ten o’clock this morning, I’m meeting with a, I don’t know what to call him, you don’t call them clients, a new person, who is in a major storm, and it has caused incredible pain in his life. And, what I’m realizing is that it is the uncertainty over how it’s going to turn out that’s killing these guys. If they knew, even if it turned out badly, then at least they could move on. But there is this big question mark, out there in the future. Now, some of the best teaching on dealing with fear and anxiety in the Bible is Matthew 6:25-34.  Matthew 6:25-34. So, I’m going to ask you to turn to it, and read it silently. Ten verses. Take a minute and read that if you would.  

Let me throw out a real quick question. You know what the greatest fear, back there in those Biblical days; do you know what the greatest fear was that people had? It was just surviving. I mean, you know, they can’t go down to the Piggly or the Western and just, I mean, if they had a drought, they were in trouble. So, just basically, having your needs met to survive was utmost importance, and of utmost concern. And, as we look at these ten verses, we’re going to do this a little, usually you start at the top and go down through them, but I want to start at the bottom and move up, and I want to start by looking at verse 34. Verse 34 says, “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” He’s speaking about tomorrow. We live too much in tomorrow and Jesus is saying, each day has enough trouble of its own, why worry about tomorrow, focus on today. Live in the present. Now that is easier said than done. But you’ve got tomorrow and today; you have the future and the present, and the present is often very painful for people because of the uncertainty of the future, and therefore, so many people have a very difficult time living very well in the now.

Today. David Wells, who is quite the scholar, wrote a book about 15 years ago, called Losing Our Virtue. And listen to what he says about this as we think about the future and the present. He says, “The world today intrudes upon us as it never has before, and one of the surest indications of this is that the levels of anxiety have never been higher in peoples lives. And why are we more anxious? There are, no doubt, many reasons, including a heightened tempo in the workplace, greater economic insecurity, too many choices, and perhaps, family breakdown.” This was before you had to worry about terrorism. This was before 9/11. He says, “What is more, the extraordinary rapidity of change in our society powerfully fixes our attention upon the future, for we need to anticipate events that are in the making in order to avoid what will be harmful and to capitalize on what will be beneficial.” But then he says this. Listen to this. He says, “Anxiety, however, is nothing more than living out the future before it arrives.” So, living out the future before it arrives. “And modernity obliges us to do this many times over. The future,” for people today, he is saying, “is thereby greatly intensified.” And I think Wells is right on, the only thing is, things have changed even more since he wrote this. But we’re being instructed by Jesus to live in the present. Our lives should be focused on the day at hand.

Remember that verse from Psalm 118, it’s a great verse, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in this day.” Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but this day. Now, some of you have heard this story, but as I look around, I realize that most of you probably haven’t. A number of years ago, I developed a really good friendship with a man who was a good bit older than I am. He was probably 10-12 years older than me. He was my ophthalmologist, and he was a good friend of my mother and father-in-law, and I just got to know him. His name was Jim Collier. I don’t know if any of you knew Jim. Jim, just a great guy, a great sense of humor, and he contracted lung cancer. He may have smoked as a younger man, but he hadn’t smoked in 30 years, but it was in his family. I think his brother died from lung cancer, it was in his family. He contracted lung cancer, and I don’t know that much about lung cancer, other than the fact that it’s quite deadly. And he fought the good fight, and I spent several times with him, and he asked me once if I would take him to the doctor, pick him up and take him to the doctor, because his wife couldn’t and we had a great visit then. And then, about three months before he died, he had me come over and have lunch with him at his house. He had to close his practice down, and his wife bought us some sandwiches and she left, and we had a nice long visit. Just an incredible guy. No despair in his life, and incredible peace. In fact, I saw him at dinner about two weeks before he died. He was out to dinner with his family and several friends and they were having a wonderful time. But, Jim said this to me, and I’ll never forget it. He says, “You know, if I focused on the future, it would be depressing. Because, my prognosis is not good.” Then he said this. These are his exact words. “God has given me the grace to live in the joy of the moment.” In other words, God has given me the grace to really just focus and to live in each day as it comes. And he had an incredible peace. There was no despair in anything that you saw in this man’s life.

And therefore, guys, another important prayer, remember what we read last week in Hebrews 4:16? Let us draw near to God’s throne of grace, that we might find help in time of need. Remember what we said grace is? Grace is God’s divine enablement. It is enabling us to do something that we can’t do ourselves. And a great prayer is, Lord I pray that you would give me the grace to live out your instruction in Matthew 6:34, that you would enable me to live in the present. I can’t do this on my own. You see our problem, guys, you know what our problem is, when there is a storm in our lives and there is all this uncertainty out there, you know what happens in our brains, don’t you? We let it run wild in our imagination; it just runs wild in our imagination, and we think of all kinds of things that might happen. And you know when it runs the wildest? About 2 in the morning when you wake up and start thinking about it. (Laughter) And then guess what? You can’t go back to sleep. Ever happen to you? But, the bottom line is, Lord I need you to help me to take this storm one day at a time and help me to rest in You, because You tell me that is what I’m supposed to do, this is Your will for me, so I pray and ask that you would enable me to do this. And I believe that Jim Collier lived this out, the balance of his life, one day at a time.

You know, last week, we talked about building a strong foundation, and a strong foundation is found in the scriptures. That’s really where we’re called to focus on, what we know to be true. See, that’s the problem. When we start letting things run wild in our imagination, most of it never comes to pass. That’s why it’s important to focus on what is true. This guy, I don’t think, would mind me sharing it, because he shared it with the group Wednesday morning, but some of you may know John Debrese(sp?). John is in his 70s, he’s a retired attorney, and he shared, he said, Richard I came to see you about 10 years ago, and the reason I came was because I was terrified about the future. I was going to have to retire, I was approaching retirement, and I just didn’t think I had the financial wherewithal to retire, and I was panicking. We walked through The Investigative Study, and he came to faith in Christ, and he said, I don’t know if you remember, but he said, I began to focus each day on these words from Matthew 6, and I would read them, and I would reflect on them, and I would pray about it. He said, over time, I developed this incredible peace, and he said, that peace has never left me. And here I am today, very much at peace with where I am with my financial situation and the future. So, God’s grace, God’s strength, God’s power, is available if we will take our fears into his venue. Our problem is we’re like Peter. He goes out walking on the water, walking towards Jesus, and then he starts looking at the waves, and he starts sinking. That’s what we do. We look at the waves, and we start to sink. Let me stop; I’ve been going on. Any comments or questions on what I’ve just said?

Jim: Richard, I’m looking at your outline, and the first paragraph says, “we are of great value to God, who loves us with an everlasting love, and He is committed to our well-being”, and if we can believe that, we can do….

RS: We can rest in that. Yes. Great point Jim. Bo?

Bo: Not trying to get emotional, but my Mom died, this coming Sunday has been one year, from lung cancer, so when you were telling that story, it just really reminded me, I’m just shocked how [unintelligible]; I’ve never experienced anything like it before, but it was calm, and, if anything, she was getting mad at us because we were so anxious trying to fix things and stuff, she like scolded us.

(Laughter)

RS: I appreciate you sharing that. Anybody else? Let’s go back to verse 33. In your Bible, in verse 33, and I realize we have different translations, what is the first word in verse 33?

Unidentified audience member(s): But.

RS: But. If you have a paraphrase, it may not say “but”, but every translation I have says “but”. Now, when do we use the word “but”?

Unidentified audience member: As an excuse?

RS: Yes, as an excuse. Do your kids ever say, “But Dad?”, and then they’ll give their excuse? But it is a transition word. It is used to delineate. It’s used to make distinctions. It’s kind of like, you might say, she is such a nice woman, but her husband is a jerk. It’s used as a delineation.  And, basically here, if you read verses 25-32, we see God’s responsibility. He says, I’m going to care for you. I’m going to provide for you. Then He gets to verse 33, and He says, But you, this is your responsibility. To seek first the Kingdom of God. He’s saying, you need to fulfill your responsibility, and I’m going to fulfill mine. You know another way to picture this, guys, is that sheep, shepherd relationship that we talk about. Jesus says, in John, I am the good shepherd, I am your shepherd. Remember that sheep and shepherd relationship? The shepherd is committed to the well-being of the sheep. He has a certain responsibility to feed and protect, to lead and to guide the sheep. But, you know what? The shepherd can’t fulfill his responsibility if the sheep go astray. And that’s our problem. Our responsibility is not to go astray. It’s to stay close to the shepherd. It’s to listen to His voice. Think about how this relates to fear, guys. This about how this relates to fear. You’re a sheep. You’re close to the shepherd, there. He’s right next to you. And some wild animal comes along. The sheep doesn’t have to worry; he’s in the care of the shepherd. The shepherd deals with the wild animal. But when the sheep goes astray and he strays from the shepherd’s care, he really can’t rely on him when you run into any type of danger. I’m going to come back to this in a minute, at the end, but you know one of the primary reasons we end up with storms in our lives? Isaiah 53:6. “All of us, like sheep, have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way.” When you live as a sheep without a shepherd’s care, you’re inviting all types of trouble in your life. And furthermore, if you think about it, this is crucial to understand. This is kind of logical. I ask you to think about this. Faith and trust in our Heavenly Father comes much more naturally when we’re close to Him. Would you agree with that? It’s just much more natural. And this is why we’re told in Psalm 73:28 that to be near God, to be close to God, is my ultimate good. To be close to the shepherd. Psalm 73:28.

Now, as we look at verse 33, there’s another important insight to consider. It says, seek first the Kingdom of God. You know, if you’ll recall, we’ve learned a great deal about the Kingdom of God over the last year and a half. Remember, the parables we studied? So many of the parables start out like this: “the Kingdom of God is like…”, and he shares the parable. But, you know where we learn something else about the Kingdom of God? It’s when Jesus is standing before Pilate. You know, Pilate gets kind of frustrated with him, because Jesus doesn’t respond to his questioning. And finally, and I don’t remember exactly what Pilate says, I don’t quite remember what Jesus’ response is, but it’s in John 18, but He says something to the effect that it causes Pilate to say, “ah-hah, so you are a King.” And Jesus, in effect, says, Yeah, I am. But, what does He say, but My Kingdom is what?

Unidentified audience member: Not of this world.

RS: My Kingdom is not of this world. He says, because, if my Kingdom was of this world, we’d be fighting right now. That wouldn’t be good for Pilate. But He says, as it is, my Kingdom is not of this world; so, think about what Jesus was saying. That His responsibility was to care for our lives as we live day to day on earth, and our responsibility, our first priority, is to seek the things that are not necessarily of this world, the eternal, not the temporal. Now, don’t get me wrong, you’ve got to work, you’ve got to basically be a good husband, a father, you know, we’ve got all kinds of responsibilities in this temporal world, so you can’t just live, you can’t just be other-worldly. But the fact is, he says, we are to keep our eyes focused. In fact, in II Corinthians 4:18, Paul says, we fix our eyes, we focus our eyes, not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal. He says something similar to that in Colossians 3:1-2. “Set your mind on the things above.” And don’t get so entangled in the things in this world. It’s hard to do. But that’s our instruction. And it makes a difference, which I’m going to show you in a minute. I love what C.S. Lewis said on this. I think he captured this powerfully. He says, “If you read history, you will find that the Christians, who did most for the present world, were precisely those who thought most of the next world.” He says, “But since, Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world,” in other words, because we fail to think of an eternal perspective, he says, “that we have become so ineffective in this world.” What do you think that means? What do you think Lewis was trying to say there?

Unidentified audience member: Not focusing on things?

RS: Yes. I think what he’s saying here, when you have more of an eternal perspective, you’re much more effective here in the temporal. Basically, when our perspective is totally temporal, we’re not very effective at all for God.

Jim: Richard, what strikes me is look at the character of Peter before and after the coming of the Holy Spirit. It’s a radical change. Instead of running and hiding, [unintelligible 25:02] persecution, he’s testifying before the Sanhedrin afterwards. The difference is [unintelligible 25:09] the Holy Spirit in his life, so, the more we are plugged into that, the more effective we’re going to be.

RS: Yes, that would be an interesting study, Jim. To really examine Peter before and after, because, you’re right. You read about Peter in the book of Acts, it is a radical change, and he definitely has more of an eternal perspective. Anybody else? Charlie?

Charlie: This makes it so much easier. If it wasn’t for Him, the purpose in life, and so many things of this life, are distractions, temptations or whatever, it is so much easier to focus [unintelligible 25:48-25:51].

RS: I agree. I couldn’t agree more. You know, it strikes me, two things real quick. My relationship with God begins the moment I put my faith in Christ, my sins are forgiven; it opens up a relationship with Him that begins now, and extends on into eternity. So that’s one thing when we talk about, how do you set your eyes on Him, develop your relationship, that’s where it all begins. But also, Jesus said, you can lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven. Because, you know what else is eternal? People. That’s why I invite people to come to the Country Club, to really share the message. Because businessmen, and businesswomen, we get so preoccupied with the temporal, because it is temporal, and we have to do it, but it can get to the point that that’s where our only focus is. And so, the question is, do I really care about people? People in my sphere of influence? Guys, to really understand this, everything that Jesus is talking about, I think you’d have to go back to verse 25, where we started. Go back to 25. What are the first few words in verse 25, in your translation?

Unidentified audience member(s): Therefore I tell you.

RS: Therefore I tell you, what else?

Unidentified audience member: Do not worry.

Unidentified audience member(s): Do not be anxious about your life.

RS: No, no, no. I’m sorry. What other translations – some say, therefore, I tell you. The New American says, “For this reason I say to you”. Now if Charlie walked into the room, and just walked in, and I haven’t seen him in a while and he says, “for this reason, Richard…” He wouldn’t ever say that would he? Why would He say that, what does that mean?

Unidentified audience member: He is referring to what He said previously.

RS: That means you’ve got to go back up and look at what He said before verse 25.

Unidentified audience member: Tim Kelley says, when he says “therefore”, you’ve got to ask yourself, what’s it there for?

(Laughter)

RS: He’s referring back to verses 19, 20, verse 21, verse 24, and when you look at those verses, most people believe, I know several people believe that God is condemning wealth, but He’s not. He’s lasering in on the affections of the heart. He’s lasering in on, and asking, what do you treasure most in this life? Because, guys, the heart is where your greatest loves are. Now, as we think about the storms of life, and we think about what we’re talking about here, I ask you to consider the words of Augustine. Now guys, this was written 350 years after Christ, so we’re talking about 1500, 1600, 1700 years ago. Augustine says this, I’m going to read this twice, I think it’s so important. He says, “That which brings so much trouble and pain into our lives is that our heart is filled with disordered loves.” Let me read that again. “That which brings so much trouble and pain into our lives is because our heart is filled with disordered loves.” That’s why Jeremiah asked a really great question to the Israelites. It’s kind of a perplexing question. He says, why is it that you do such great harm to yourself? Why do you do such great harm to yourself? And then Tim Keller, I think says this beautifully, he says, and I quote, “If anyone but God is the main love of your heart, you will live like a fool. You will make poor choices and your priorities will be out of order.” And then he says this, “In the process, you will invite all types of stress, fear, and worry into your life.”

And, as I was preparing this, it made me wonder, how many of the storms in our lives are self-inflicted? Think about that. Out of curiosity, as I prepared this, I spoke with Jay Lloyd, who works here, who is one of our counselors, and he’s an incredibly wise man, and I think he’s one of the best counselors in the city, I really do, and I asked him about this, and I said, how many of the, do you have any idea of the percentage of the people who come to see you, their problems are self-inflicted…they’ve shot themselves in the…they’ve created it themselves?  And he thought about it for a second, and he said, you know, this is my observation. Not all, but, he says, almost everyone who come to see me, something outside of them has brought pain into their lives, and they’re blaming it on whatever is out there, I mean, it could be their spouse, it could be their kids, but, he says, by the time I’m finished counseling them, usually they realize, “I’m the problem. I’m the problem.”

And I say, we talked about how there are certain things that happen that are beyond your control, and I use this example, think about this, let’s say you’re a businessman, you have a nice business, and we have an economic tsunami come along like we did seven or eight years ago, and your business goes under, and it just undoes a man, and he just loses it. Which I have seen happen. He says, and if you think about it, the real problem is the man. He’s made his success, his business, his money and his wealth, have become his idol. His God, and he loses it, and he can’t recover. You know, and that’s a really interesting point. But I don’t think many people recognize, that Jesus is trying to teach us here in Matthew 6, that so much of the worry, so much of the fear, and so many of the problems that we face would be eliminated from this life if Christ and the eternal things of life become preeminent. And then we won’t be so consumed with the temporal issues of life that cause so much fear, worry, and pain. Now, I’m not saying, oaky, let’s just stick our heads in the sand. That’s not what we’re talking about. It’s like what Keller says, God needs to be the main love of your heart, because, if He’s not, you’re going to live like a fool, and you’ve going to make bad choices and your priorities are going to be out of order. And he says, in the process, you’re opening yourself up, you’re inviting all types of fear, stress and worry, that otherwise would not be there. Comments or questions?

Unidentified audience member: You mean the whole thing, your entire perspective on these storms changes, when you focus on the eternal?

RS: Perspective is everything. The winds through which you see the storm is everything, and this right here is a perspective. This helps you with your perspective. I like that word; I like what you just said. Anybody else?

Unidentified audience member: Richard, when we take things in our own hands, I call it birthing Ishmael’s; got to do something outside of God’s plan, and that one decision there, when Sarah and Abraham were still [unintelligible 34:31-34:32] 6000 years later, I think a lot of times, we lose sight of many of the things we do today, the decisions we make today, it has a multigenerational effect. TO impact not only our family, but history from now, 700 years after now.

RS: You know, that’s a great point. We just had a conversation about this the other night. My mother-in-law was born out of wedlock, and when she was in her 60s, she found her real mother, who she had never seen before. She was given up for adoption. And, what she learned was that her mother, my mother-in-law’s mother, strongly considered aborting her. And we started talking, my wife and I started talking about it, think if she had done that. I mean, my mother-in-law had three daughters, three families, my whole family, my children, think about how that one decision changed so much. So, our decisions can have unbelievable impact. I’m sorry, Bill, go ahead.

Bill: It’s like the movie, “A Wonderful Life”.

RS: Yes. All right. You were going to say something?

Unidentified audience member: You mentioned problems; the problems will not go away. The problems are always going to be there.

RS: Jesus tells us that.

Unidentified audience member: You know they’re going to be there. The storms of life are coming, and where’s your focus?

RS: Yes, I don’t want to make … I think we need to be clear here. Even if you live perfectly in the center of God’s will, I promise you, you will eliminate so many problems from your life, however, Jesus did tell us, the storms are going to come. They’re going to come, so you will never have a trouble-free life, however, as Jay pointed out to me, so many people live with such incredible pain, and fear and anxiety, that they bring on themselves, and generally it’s because and he uses Jeremiah 2:13, he says, my people, they’ve committed two evils, they’ve forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and basically, made for themselves cisterns. He says, the problem is, the cisterns are broken, and they can hold no water, and that’s what Keller was saying, when God is not the basically, the center of our lives, we live like fools, we make bad decisions, we make bad choices. And that’s kind of where I am with this, and what I’m trying…last week, we looked at how do you respond to storms, and this is more, can you keep certain storms out of your life, and I would say, yes. Yes, Jim.

Jim: Richard, when you said that, and Charlie’s comment, I’m struck by, you take Job, who had been found the most righteous man on earth, and yet he experienced… [Unintelligible 37:46-37:50)

(Laughter)

RS: Yes, you can’t leave Job out of this equation, that’s a good point.

Jim: My point is, whoever you are, you’re going to have [unintelligible 37:56-37:57], to me, what you’re saying, that’s a signal for us to turn from this path, and go back to this path, to God, and say, God, I’m in the midst of this. Direct my thoughts, my prayers, my [unintelligible 38:08].

RS: Yes, that’s exactly what we focused on last time, and that’s a great point, Jim. I did kind of forget about our good friend, Job. All right, let me, a couple of final things real quick. Go back to Matthew 6:33. It says, but seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness. Jesus is basically speaking of living righteously, following the ways of God, living wisely. Because he’s saying, when you depart from my will, I don’t necessarily smack you, you smack yourself. You smack yourself. That’s what we learn in the book of Galatians. I don’t know if I’ve shared this with ya’ll. My wife took a course, it was a one-year course, from a very well thought of counselor in this town, she is deceased now, but she would teach it for a year. And it was all built on one thing, and it was basically how to help people when they’re going through pain and suffering. But the one thing it was built upon was Galatians 6:7. It says, “Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked. Whatever man sows, this he shall also reap.”  It’s kind of like we said a couple of months ago. If you plant watermelon seeds, you’re going to get watermelon. If you plant pumpkin seeds, you’re going to get pumpkins. If you plant corn seeds, you’re going to get corn. But, you know what, most people think I can plant watermelon seeds, and get corn. In other words, I can sow poorly, and get a great life anyway. And God says, don’t be deceived. I will not be mocked. Whatever man sows, this he shall also reap. In essence, when he gets right down to it, I really do believe so many of the storms in life, we create ourselves. And guys, that’s what this book that I’m writing, that hopefully will be out in November, is about living wisely, it’s about choosing wisely, in every area of your life, because listen to this, there is an art to living, and the Bible makes it clear that there is a design to life, there is a pattern or fabric to all of reality. And therefore, there are certain laws, there are certain principles that govern life, and wisdom is seeking to live in harmony with these laws and principles. In fact, what I’ve just said is the heart and foundation of one of the best-selling books of all time. And, if you haven’t read it, you should. It’s not a spiritual book, but it’s a book on living effectively. It’s Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And it’s built on this. These words come right out of the book, right at the beginning. He says, “Our behavior in life is governed by principles. Living in harmony with them brings positive consequences. Violating them brings negative consequences – it brings storms. We are free to choose our response in any situation in life, but in doing so, we choose the attendant consequences that comes with it.” It’s like this. When you pick up one end of the stick, you’re going to pick up the other as well.  He says, “Principles always have natural consequences attached to them. There are positive consequences when we live in harmony with the principles. There are negative consequences when we ignore them. But because these principles apply to everyone, whether or not they are aware, this limitation is universal. And the more we know of correct principles, the greater is our personal freedom to act wisely. By centering our lives on timeless unchanging principles, we create a fundamental paradigm of effective living.”

Let me close with these words and I’ll see if you’ve got any final comments. This comes from Andy Stanley. He says, “The number one way to remove layers of stress from your life is to seek to keep your self in the center of God’s will,” which is found obviously in the scriptures. He says, I do not think that people realize that living within the boundaries God has set for us will eliminate all kinds of storms from ever entering our lives.” Comments or questions, anybody?

Unidentified audience member: In the past, you’ve talked to us about how the law is not putting us in prison, it’s [Unintelligible 43:29-43:34].

RS: Absolutely. In fact, I’m going to be, that’s really what I’m going to be speaking on next Friday. There is positive freedom and there is negative freedom. And, modern people see it in negative terms, freedom from restraints, freedom from all regulations and rules, and it’s kind of like, I want to have the freedom to live however I want to live. It leads to bondage. It leads to slavery. It screws your life up. And that’s where you’ve got to find the right restrictions that are in harmony basically with who I am and what leads to my well-being.

 

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Reflections on the Existence of God

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We’re offering you a free sneak peek of the first chapter of the book as well as a bonus e-book, 7 Questions You Need To Answer To Determine If God Exists, from author Richard E. Simmons III. Enter your email below to receive access!