If you want to get your Bibles out and turn to the Book of Genesis chapter 15.
Genesis chapter 15.
I think sometimes you can say something so many times – that it still means something, but it doesn’t mean all that it could mean because it’s become repetitious or it’s become a phrase that we use … phrases like trite or hackneyed, or things that are just kind of overdone. And one of them is, at least in the Christian world, I think, is when we talk about having a relationship with God.
Now I do remember – when I met Judy, and I wanted to have a relationship with her – that was the front burner kind of thing. I, I started paying attention right away.
You know, I wanted to make sure that I could see her again after the first time that we met.
Then I wanted to find out if she was interested in seeing me.
I asked all kinds of questions of our mutual friends, what’s she like, what does she like, and, and I found out she was doing the same thing.
So, I thought that was promising.
But after a while, any opportunity that we had with free time we spent together, and then we started to become affectionate with one another. Before we were married my friend used to tell people he thought we were Siamese twins, joined at the lips.
We were always together with each other. We were always around each other and ultimately, we decided that it was the Lord’s will that we’d be married, and that was a whole other level of relationship.
And then when children came, there was an entirely different, profound aspect of our relationship, together, as we realized – that the Lord calls us into relationship with each other for the purpose of the generations.
And in Genesis, Abram he’s not called Abram Abraham yet in Genesis 15.
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision.
That was one of the ways the Lord spoke to people in the Old Testament was a vision.
Sometimes he sent a prophet, some other times he spoke to them in circumstances.
In a vision – don’t be afraid Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward.
But Abram said, O sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?
Abrams said, you’ve given me no children, so a servant in my household will be my heir.
And the word of the Lord came to him.
This man will not be your heir, but a son, coming from your own body will be your heir.
And he took him outside.
He said look up at the heavens and count the stars, if indeed you can count them.
Now he said to him, so shall your offspring be.
Abram believed the Lord and he credited it to him as righteousness.
He also said to him I am the Lord who brought you up out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give this land to you, to take possession of it.
But Abram said, oh sovereign Lord, how can I know that I’ll gain possession of it?
So the Lord said to him, bring me a heifer ago to Ram, each three years old along with a dove and a young pigeon.
Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged them in halves off it opposite each other.
This was the formula for a covenant in the ancient world that the animal would be cut in in pieces, and the two people making the covenant would walk between the pieces and the gist of it was made the same thing happen to me if I break the promise that I’m making to you today.
That’s why they walked through the the pieces of an animal.
Abram brought these, he arranged them. He didn’t cut the birds in half. The birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. As Sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.
And then the Lord said to him.
Know, for certain, your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own. They’ll be enslaved and mistreated 400 years.
By the way, that. was the exact number to the year of the captivity in Egypt.
When when Moses was raised up to take the people out of the bondage of Egypt, it had been 400 years.
You however, or probably I will punish the nation they serve – verse 14 – as slaves. I’ll punish the nation afterwards. They will come out with great possessions.
You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age and in the 4th generation your descendants will come back here for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.
And on that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said to your descendants, I will give this land, and then he describes the parameters and the boundaries of the promised land.
He told somebody something that made no sense initially. We know that at the time that Abram and Sarai were told that they would conceive a child.
They were in their 90s. Some scholars say they were almost 100 years old.
And they’re told that they’re physically going to have a child together is impossible, but the Lord promised that there they were not only going to have children, but that the children, the child, the first child would be the heir, h-e-i-r, the one to inherit.
Now I want to talk today about what it means to have the love of God in such a fashion that he would pick you – and adopt you – to be his.
Here, turn to Hebrews chapter one in the New Testament, would you? Hebrews the first chapter. It’s way in the back of your Bible. If you go to revelation and back up a few books, you’ll hit it.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways. Now we just said one of the ways was a vision. He had spoken to Abram in a vision. But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son – comma – comma – whom he appointed the heir of all things and through whom he made the universe.
I tried to imagine what it would be like.
If one day this week I was in my office, and somebody came to see me that I didn’t recognize and and whoever’s at the desk there would say – Pastor some fellow here from a law firm wants to see you.
I would wonder what on Earth would pop first thing in my mind was I thought Oh no what? Are we being sued about? Or what did I do?
The last thing would occur to me is if this person came in and said are you James Jenkins? And I said yes, and say – I represent the firm of so and so and so and so and so I have some information for you that I think you’ll want to hear.
And I would say to him, well, what’s that?
Said you didn’t even know you had this relative, but you have a great uncle back east in New England, who has no living relatives left and his will was if we could find 1 willing one of living relative, that that person would become the heir of his fortune.
And he’s a billionaire.
And I’d say it’s James I’m James Jake with AJ James Jenkins. Did I tell you my name was James Jenkins?
I wouldn’t want to miss out on that, but I’ll tell you.
What it be?
Stunning to all of a sudden.
Realize that you were not who you thought you were and that you had access to something you had no idea you had access to.
If somebody just turned around and said you can do that.
Jesus, as the heir of all things.
And he was the one that created the universe.
Remember when Abraham was told to go out to look at the stars?
Now I grew up in a city, and so I didn’t do a lot of star gazing to me.
The bright lights of the firmament were probably the lights at the Walmart parking.
Lot but in fact they didn’t.
Even have Walmart.
When I was a kid.
The store parking lot.
They did have power.
They had talking pictures.
They had some of those things, but.
But I didn’t very often go out and lay on my back in the country and look up and see the stars and every opportunity that I had a chance to do that I was in awe that that was there all along and I didn’t know it.
But we did sit up there and look at that.
The one who created the order and every individual body of light that you’re looking at.
All these millions and billions of light years away.
The creator of the universe says.
Because somebody who adopts an heir makes the choice and says.
I choose you.
Now the first thing that would occur to me with my background of having do this, and then you’re rewarded with that.
Don’t do this.
You’re punished with that.
A lot of us were raised that way is.
You’d say, well.
Wait a minute, something wrong with that?
Why would he?
Pick me what did I do?
He did because he did.
Well, no, I didn’t understand.
I didn’t do anything to deserve this.
He did because.
After a while, the lawyers getting ready to leave the office and said, OK, I believe it.
I believe it.
I’ll sign on for it.
I don’t understand.
It, But I’ll accept it.
We make a big mistake sometimes if we expect people to be very theologically astute and learned on the scriptures and all the stuff that Jesus said in his word.
If if we think people have to know all that before they.
Can come to the Lord.
What they have to do is acknowledge.
That they have a need.
And that he is who?
He says he is.
He start there.
And then he has an inheritance for us that isn’t amazing sometimes.
Brent and Todd were both in the first service and Hannah and some of the other people that preach here all nodded their heads when I said this, you get ready during the week.
And I think I saw you Steve on Friday.
I had the notes to a really good message.
It’s not this one.
Then on Saturday I had something else, so I thought this is it.
One that and it happens.
Sometimes you have two or three things.
They’re probably all appropriate, but you want to say, Lord, what is it that you want to do?
I had a situation one time like that when I was in Canada.
Early on in the ministry up there where I had just.
I I had three or four things, I thought they all were worthy to talk about, but I thought not Laura, I’m just not sure.
So I think in the car when I take long drives, I just like sometimes I just drive out in the country and I’m able to think better.
So I was doing that and I was coming back into the town where we were.
I believe it was Edmonton, AB.
So I’ve been out in the country I’m coming.
Back in and I’m just kind of praying Lord, what do you want me to say?
And I looked up and there was a billboard.
I kid you not.
the Billboard said Dominion.
Now I knew immediately as soon as I saw that that’s what I was going to talk about, because that word Dominion is kind of a Bible word, we don’t.
Use that very often, but dominion means rulership.
It means authority, kingly authority.
The reason the Billboard said that had nothing to do with religion at all.
There was a bank in Canada called the Toronto Dominion Bank.
So they were saying bank with us for life.
But the word dominion for life, it just kind of landed, and I thought.
I remembered something.
And the Lord created the light.
He created the animal life and then he says, let us create man in our own image and likeness.
And let them have the rule or let them have dominion.
Let them have kingly authority.
Over the earth, that was the Lord’s intention. He never intended.
For us to die.
He never intended ladies for you to have pain in childbirth.
He never intended that.
Those are all things that are the result of our fall from grace are.
Genetic code that had been messed up since Adam and Eve about being in rebellion against God purpose, but his original purpose for you and I was that we would be people who had authority and understood what that authority was all about.
Now there’s nobody taking my class, so I’m not going to blow my my midterm test for them, they.
Don’t know this this coming, but you will.
Here’s one of the test questions ’cause I mentioned it in the lecture.
There’s three different words that describe authority that I told this class up at Eugene Bible College a couple weeks ago, said the first one you may recognize if you’ve ever worked in a company that had a hold, I think we call them trees.
You know the the line charts.
The flow charts is that this person, and then these two people are over these three people and all that.
One of the things happens is on your office or on your business card.
It gives you a title and says you’re this, and if you’re this, you’re over that person who’s of that.
This is over that.
And usually your office will have some kind of sign to.
Reflect that there’s a Latin term that describes that kind of authority.
It’s called ex officio.
We get our word official.
We get our word officer from it.
What is an officer?
Somebody who has authority?
And so ex officio means I have authority because of the job that I have, or the position that I have attained too.
That’s one kind of authority.
There’s another kind of authority that Catholics can relate with right away who have ever had a catechism class like I did when I was.
Kid first of all, in the Catholic school that I went to.
We actually learned Latin.
And I remember thinking what a dumb thing.
I’ll never use Latin.
It’s a dead language.
Guess who did?
Really good when he got this Spanish.
Because Spanish is based on Latin, I Skype through the first year.
I was so cocky I was playing.
I don’t know what that is, I’m oh, I’m awesome at.
Aren’t you impressed?
Well, there’s a dogma in the Catholic Church that describes the authority of the Pope.
It’s it’s called ex cathedra cathedra.
If that was easy but ex cathedra, it means from the chair.
Or from the throne.
Saint Peters is a cathedral is.
And the diocese were the main one where all the other churches come to is called the cathedral, and that is because the Bishop’s chair is there.
Cathedra Chair Cathedral, where the Bishop’s chair is.
In Saint Peter’s Basilica, where the Pope is the pastor.
He has what they call the throne of Saint Peter.
And it’s this incredible story tradition that they claim goes back to the apostles.
And here’s the Catholic dogma about ex cathedra.
When the Pope functioning as the Pope is sitting in that chair, which is called the throne of Saint Peter, the doctrine is, he’s infallible.
He can’t make a mistake.
I need to get me one of those chairs.
But he can’t make a mistake.
So his authority clearly is a religious authority by virtue of his continuity with religious authority before him, because when he became the Pope, they said.
Two heiress Patrus I did you are Peter, that’s that’s a mixture of Spanish and Latin.
I just made it up.
But it says you’re Peter.
You are Peter, and they say his succession goes all the way back to the.
Peter of the Bible.
So there’s ex officio out of the office that you.
Have there is ex cathedra from the chair.
But the kind of authority Jesus was talking about, and he did talk to his disciples about it, and he did intend for them to have it.
Remember he sent out 72 of them and he said I am.
Giving you all.
Authority over all the works of the Devil, remember that.
Authority Exousia is the Greek word Ek out of UCEA is the verb to be in Greek.
It means literally.
Out of who I am.
Out of who I am.
The authority that the Scriptures are talking about Harkins back to that original mandate in the garden where the Lord said we’re going to create this man and woman and we want them to have dominion.
We want them to have authority.
We want them to have kingly influence on this earth.
We fell from that clearly.
And everything was out of order.
The animals, the creation weeds started.
Everybody that likes gardens, weeds didn’t happen till the.
Fall did you know that?
Ladies having pain in childbirth.
That didn’t happen until the fall.
And the the.
Enmity between human beings and murder and all the rest of it. That was not the Lord’s intention for us.
His intention was that we would be his Regents, his leaders, ones with authority now turn to Matthew 21, would you?
And probably Matthew 4 we’re going to go to Matthew 21 in Matthew four first of all.
Since when Jesus had been driven into the wilderness to be tempted.
By the devil.
Chapter 4 verse one Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
After fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry and the tempter came to him and said, if you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread.
Jesus answered, it’s written man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes.
From the mouth of God.
So the first temptation that the devil tried on Jesus was appealing to very normal appetites, just human appetites.
When you’re hungry, you’re hungry.
That’s why oftentimes the temptations that cause the most trouble in us have to do with appetites and natural desires that we have sex.
The Lord created sex.
It’s good, but out of bounds.
And so when the enemy tempts people he often attempts them to experience something.
But out of this out of sync with what the Lord intended, so he tried appetites.
First of all, second verse.
Five the devil took him to the holy city, and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
Said if you’re the son of God.
Throw yourself down for it’s written.
He’ll command his angels concerning you.
They’ll lift you up on their hands so that you will not strike your foot against the stone and Jesus said it’s also written to not put the larger God to the test.
This time he tempted Jesus too.
Exploit his identity of who he was for the purpose of just drawing attention to himself.
Did you ever notice that people with real authority don’t have to exert it very often?
’cause they just have it.
But the people who have to exert it all the time probably don’t have it.
That’s interesting to me.
Again, and by the way, I think both of these were ramping up to this in a boxing match.
I never was a boxer.
But I played football and I do know this.
Did you ever notice at the beginning of the game?
Very rarely will the offensive coordinator call you know the bomb?
You know the post pattern on the 1st play of the?
Game, what do they do?
They test the line of scrimmage for a while.
They try running plays and running plays and running plays, and then when they figured the defenses quote softened up, then they’ll try some.
Play action stuff or they’ll pass or whatever in a boxing match a.
Lot of the.
Early rounds is consisting of body blows.
For the same reason, trying to soften up your opponent.
Because the haymaker is coming.
You know the one that you really want to.
Just end the fight with the devil started with just apatites with Jesus.
That didn’t work.
Then he started with an identity thing that didn’t work.
Now he has the real one.
This is what he was after.
Devil took him to a high mountain and he showed him.
All the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
Now the translation says, and their glory.
All this I will give to you, he said if.
You will bow down and worship me.
Now Please note what your Bible does not say next.
It doesn’t say Jesus said no, you can’t do that because I’m Jesus or what do you mean it’s yours to give me?
Jesus didn’t do either.
You know what he did.
He didn’t even challenge.
The fact that Satan said he could give Kingdom Dominion and glory to human beings, and he had it in his his power to do it.
Jesus didn’t even question that.
Because the devil did have power.
Does have power?
Does influence what happens physically in nations in the earth?
If you don’t believe that sometimes study all the attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
There were dozens of them, dozens of foolproof plans that should have resulted in him being assassinated a number of times.
He clearly and he knew this too.
He knew that he was being protected.
He was being protected.
The amount of evil that came out of that one man’s life. Would you agree with something beyond the pale of anything we’ve seen, hardly in history?
Joseph Stalin never slept in the same bed twice the whole time that he was the head of the Russian nation.
’cause he knew people were trying to kill him.
When they have that kind of authority, how did they get there?
Is it right that a man would become the leader of a giant nation by virtue of assassinations and murders and Hitler trying to kill 6 million Jews and succeeding at it?
Is that right?
How did he get the authority?
The devil is still interested in giving people authority for the wrong reason.
But here’s where you and I come into the equation.
There’s a whole.
New group of human beings called the church that the Lord raises up in the Earth and says I want you to give.
I want to give you authority against the works of the devil, and I want your authority to be back to what I called you two way back in the garden that you would be my Regents on this earth to begin.
To extend my Kingdom purposes with the authority.
That I give you.
That’s what he meant.
And so he says, I can do this.
And Jesus said this.
Away from me, Satan, for it is written worship, the Lord your God, and serve him only.
And then the devil left him and never came back again.
Is that what he said?
He left him.
And the angels came and attended him.
Another translation says, and he waited for an opportune time.
He wasn’t done with Jesus, and he’s not done with you.
One of the.
Things that I.
Should tell you to be fair. Now let’s turn to Matthew 21.
I think sometimes when we preach, we ought to just tell people straight up how it’s going to be.
Billy Graham once said, I mean, he’s preached to more human beings than anybody that’s ever lived.
Billy Graham said, I think I can trace most of the problems people have in their walk with the Lord back to the way, the.
Gospel was preached to them in the first place.
I know what he meant.
We say come to Jesus.
This is what you get come to Jesus this will be better come to Jesus that won’t be bad anymore come to Jesus you’ll be happy and all those things are true by the way.
I don’t think I’ve ever even known joy until I came to know the Lord and the things that he’s done for me that I could recite the rest of today and the rest of my life tell you all the good things the Lord’s done for me.
But that’s not the main thing.
The main thing was he wanted sons.
He wanted errors so that they would continue his Kingdom purposes in the Earth now.
Ah, in Matthew 21.
There’s a parable.
Listen to another parable.
This is Jesus.
If you have a Bible, it’s probably in red.
The red letter stuff means this is Jesus talking.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and he put a wall around it and dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower.
And then he rented the vineyard to some farmers, and went away on a journey.
When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants.
To collect his fruit whose fruit.
Who’s the beneficiary of our activities as people who name the name of Jesus and try to live a redemptive life?
Where who’s the recipient of it?
Is it due?
It’s a terrifying thing I think about sometimes and.
That’s the word I’ll use.
That I have responsibility.
We all have responsibility, but people who preach and teach the word have an awesome responsibility that one day they will give an account to God.
For what they said.
And how they said it and whether they lived up to it.
I take that very seriously.
It’s actually a very heavy burden sometimes, but there’s this with it comes authority.
With it comes a mandate, and so when you speak his word, you have the right to expect the results that he says will come when you speak his word.
And so here’s what I really believe.
Thank you and I have authority that’s been derived from what Jesus purchased because we’re in him.
We are heirs.
And because we are heirs, we can expect an inheritance.
And our inheritance has much to do with success in bringing about the Kingdom of God on.
This earth while we’re here.
So it goes on.
The tenant seized his servants.
They beat 1, killed another and stoned a third and then he sent other servants to them more than the first time.
The tenants treated them the same way.
Now last of all, he sent his son to them.
They will respect my son, he said.
When the tenants saw this Sunday said to each other, this is the heir come.
Let’s kill him.
Take his inheritance and so they took him and threw him out of the vineyard.
And killed him.
How’s that tie in with Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve?
Satan, God, Abraham?
What’s what’s all that about?
It’s a pretty clear line, it’s this.
When God created man, he created him in his image and likeness and he wanted them, the man and the woman to have dominion, or to have the rule or to be people with derived authority from him, to bring about his Kingdom purposes.
And his order.
To this universe, that’s what he wanted.
Because of the fall, we relinquished it and who took control, the devil did.
In fact, when Jesus was being arrested when he saw Judas coming, he said look here comes the Prince of this world.
He went talking about Judas.
He was talking about the devil.
So Jesus understood what it was about.
The stakes were high, and so he tells this parable and he says that even though this son was an error, they killed him.
Now why would somebody kill an error?
Let me ask you this quest.
Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods both have children.
Why on Earth do they have to spend 10s of thousands of dollars?
Those families for security for those children?
I can guarantee you Michael Jordan Child does not go to school without a bodyguard or Tiger Woods is kids.
When they get a little bit older and they don’t even to go near the general public without a whole slew of bodyguards, why?
Because they are the heirs to an enormous estate.
I think I read the other day that Tiger Woods is now officially the first billionaire athlete in history.
I know Michael Jordan wasn’t paid chump change in Chicago either, and so these guys have a lot of money and with the money comes a lot of you’re in the crosshairs of a lot of wicked people who would love to extort that money.
I think the one that I think of is Charles Lindbergh.
First one to ever fly solo across the Atlantic.
Lucky Lindy, they called him.
How ironic for what was going to happen next.
He got back and he and his wife Anne had one child.
Somebody came in and stole the child from his crib.
Demanded a ransom and then they.
Found the baby dead.
Because he was an heir of a famous person with a lot of money.
What do we have a lot of?
We have a lot of influence in the realm of the spirit.
That sometimes you walk into a circumstance, and because you’re representing the Lord, things happen in the realm of the spirit.
Next day after I prayed to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, what a powerful experience that was.
The next day I was with some guys.
We would go around to a.
Nursing homes a number of them.
So my first.
Steps into ministry.
We would go and sing 3 or 4 songs and one of us.
We would flip a coin sometimes who was going to share.
And we’d preach for five or 10 minutes and pray for people.
And I I look back on those, as some of the fondest days.
In my life, ’cause every Sunday we.
Went around to three or four of them.
And so we were doing that, and so afterwards a bunch of us got together.
We had just had a day and I remember we let a lady to the Lord that morning.
This lady was in her 90s and she gave her heart to the Lord I.
Still remember how?
Precious that was.
So now we went to a pizza place.
Afterwards we were all done, have lunch, and we’re just kind of celebrating what a great day it was.
And the whole time general feeling, somebody watching you.
We’re sitting there with three or four of us, and I have my back to the front door of this restaurant.
And I’m feeling this really big hair on my neck standing up.
Somebody watching me.
I know it, so they’re talking.
I just looked over my shoulder.
And there was a guy at a table by himself.
All I can tell you is that was the most evil look anybody ever gave me in my whole life.
I knew I was looking at something spiritual.
It was a person.
It was more than a person looking at me and it was hate, and it was derision.
And he looked at me and just menacing.
And then he went.
Just looked at me like I got you.
And I was scared spitless I whoa.
So I turned around to these guys who were with me and we were all relatively new Believers and I said hey don’t turn around, just look at me for a minute.
I know you don’t know, I just did just do this for me would you?
Would you just do this?
’cause I’m asking you.
I said let’s pray.
In fact, let’s pray in the spirit.
Just quietly just do it for me, would you?
He looked at me like oh, it’s him.
He’s crazy, but we’ll do it.
And at a tone no longer no louder than the tone you’re hearing right now, we just began to pray.
In the spirit.
The next thing I know, I hear glasses breaking plates falling.
That guy ran out of the restaurant like a A Rottweiler was after him.
He looked at me with terror on his face.
And ran out of the restaurant.
And these guys looked at me like.
I looked at me like.
But what we all figured out later was we were on a mission from the Lord.
We had authority from him.
The enemy was trying to just take the joy of that whole moment away and intimidate us to not do it again.
Power met Power, Spirit met spirit.
And if we understand the authority that we have as adopted sons and heirs of God, we can walk in that kind of authority again.
I believe that.
Turn to Galatians.
Chapter 3 would you?
Starting at verse 6.
By the way.
This letter galatians.
I know in your Bible it goes Matthew, Mark Luke, John, acts, Romans and it’s kind of in sequence.
That doesn’t mean acts was the oldest in the first book.
Of the New Testament, Galatians is.
Galatians was written probably around 53 AD, so it’s one of the oldest and most reliable for evidence purposes. Proofs of what the Christian Church was about and where Paul was and what he was about.
So that’s still. There are still eyewitnesses around at 53, right?
So he says to them.
Consider Abraham believed he believed God.
It was credited to him as righteousness.
Understand that those who believe are children of Abraham.
The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham.
All nations will be blessed through you, so those who have faith.
Are blessed along with Abraham the man of faith.
So telescoping back in time Paul is saying when the Lord told Abraham go out and look at the stars he had.
In mind the church.
And the influence that the church could have.
One of the things that I did for a long time was.
Because I couldn’t do much, I didn’t do anything.
Because I didn’t think I could do everything, I did nothing.
And so I’ve celebrated what everybody else did as Christians.
I mean, I was Billy Graham.
Give me a B, you know, hurray, Billy Graham.
Or I’d see.
The pastor of the church I was attending and that guy is really fruitful for the Lord.
I’d do anything I can to help him be fruitful.
And I meant that I had no idea that the Lord would ever use me, or they never could use me, because I was still somewhere between ex cathedra.
And ex officio.
Never thought it would come out of who I am, but then that time that I prayed to be filled with God’s spirit and since then the steps that I took or said somebody alright, I’m not the best I’m.
Not the brightest.
But I’m here.
Somebody needs somebody to pray.
I’ll do it.
That person needs to be encouraging.
I can do that.
When we did that ceremony yesterday, I’m so glad that that we did that this morning.
But I was watching these folks come up and some of them I’m sure that’s the first time that anybody acknowledged publicly in a ceremony like that.
The fact that they put their lives on hold at one point in their life.
And went through a basic training regimen and.
Lived a very disciplined life.
You know, being ordered around by other people and they did it for a higher purpose and watching them come up and be acknowledged like that.
But one of the things that touched me the most, and you had the same reaction because you plotted at this point.
When Hal put the metal on Harley’s neck and he said, and a hearty welcome home, you all just intuitively applauded. I did 2 yesterday when I saw it.
People in the Vietnam era in particular.
Longed to hear that phrase.
Welcome home, in fact, when Vietnam vets meet each other, they will say welcome home brother.
Because they never got it.
They never received the recognition of what they had gone through, and the things that they’d experienced many of them came home to.
People who swore at them and threw things at him in airports and spit on him and called him baby killers.
But now we’re getting around to recognizing that these were folks who stepped up to a challenge on our behalf, and they paid the price, and they did.
You know, some pretty amazing things and so now we acknowledge that.
Here’s something I can tell you.
Take this to the.
Bank, it’s going to happen.
Couple things, first thing is, everybody in this room is.
Going to die.
When that is, I don’t know.
But it’s always sooner than we think it’s going to be.
And then we’ll be in the presence of the Lord.
If you know Jesus and you are in relationship with him.
You will stand before him and this.
Is what he’s going to want to know.
First of all, you’re accepted.
You’ll be with him forever.
That’s not in doubt if you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior.
But then there will be.
And what did you do with what I gave you?
What did you do with the authority that I?
Gave you what did you do as the heir?
Of all my things.
Well, I think about that.
That’s not the Lord beating us up.
That’s not the Lord being mad at us, but it is the reality that we have a mandate.
We have an assignment and our lives are worth way more and have such an incredible gravitas to them that we are to be people who the Lord can count on in each generation.
And so we have an assignment whether we feel like the assignment or not.
So Galatians 4 says in the fullness of time.
I probably do, we yeah, we read that Galatians 4.
What I’m saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he’s no different than a slave, although he owns the whole estate, he’s subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.
So also when we were in children we were in slavery under basic principles of the world.
But when the time had fully come, the King James version says.
And when the fullness of time had come.
The word fullness to play Roma in the Greek it means literally like a net that’s been crammed full of fish and you can’t get one more in.
When the place is reached where the people who are going to come have come and the people who are not are.
Not, and the Lord is ready.
Says God sent forth his son born of a woman born under the law to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights as sons.
The full rights of sons.
Because you are sons, God sent the spirit of his son into our hearts.
The spirit who cries out ABBA father so you’re no longer a slave but a son.
And since you’re a son, God has also made you.
There’s a picture that I remember from the Kennedy administration.
It was right at the height of the Cuban missile crisis.
Some of you in this room lived through that.
I remember I was.
In school and they stopped classes and ushered us all into the church to pray because the missiles were coming.
And I remember going out at recess with my friend looking up.
Want to know what they look like?
When they’re going to come and get us.
That was right up there with all those warnings about nuclear warfare.
I’m so glad they taught us what to do in case of a nuclear bomb.
You jump under your desk.
Well, I don’t help.
You I was really comforted by that.
But I remember we wondered what was going on and there’s a picture that they took.
Kennedy is on the phone.
He’s making decisions.
Whether Khrushchov talk about Blink Manship, who was going to blink first, there were missiles that were armed missiles in Cuba.
There was the confrontation, take those away, and so they’re waiting to see what’s going to happen.
Kennedy is on the phone looking like all the weight of the world is on his shoulders and underneath the big desk in the Oval Office was John John, playing with his cars.
I remember something stuck in my mind when.
I saw that picture.
That gave me comfort, somehow that it was, it was.
Going to be OK.
’cause I mean he was playing with his cars.
You know what was comforting about that?
He didn’t have to worry about the missiles because his dad was the president, United States, and he had control over all the arms that were available to human beings to try and meet the challenge.
He could be safe under the desk playing with his car because of who his father was.
Who’s our father?
Who’s your father?
He’s the one who created all the worlds that are.
He’s the one that nothing has been created that wasn’t created through him.
He is the one who is the very expressed image of God, the writer to the Hebrews said he is the one who says I want you to be my children because I picked you.
This one ephesians.
5 Let’s turn there, I want you to see this.
This one means a lot to me.
I’ve read it.
Over and over and over again over the years because I need to be reminded.
You sort of gleaned from what I said, and many of you that go here all the time.
You know that I was raised Catholic.
And I, I think there was a lot about that.
That was a.
Good thing I’m thankful.
For the legacy of being raised with the fear of God and the God of the Bible, that one I’m I’m thankful for that.
But the idea that I would have a personal relationship with him was kind of a foreign concept. I knew how to please him by virtue of what I did, and I knew how to be on the outs with him by what I didn’t do, so I had a whole list of do’s and don’ts and I had this tentative thing that was.
Based on my.
Performance or my works and so.
When I came to know the Lord, and when I started to hear things like this, I have to tell you I had trouble believing it.
But I don’t have trouble believing it anymore.
Ephesians chapter one verse 3.
Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms?
With every spiritual blessing in Christ.
For he chose us in him.
After reading resumes and asking for references.
He chose us in him.
Before the creation of the world.
To be holy and blameless in his fight in love he predestined us.
It was available to us before we were even born pre destined us to be adopted.
As his sons.
Through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the pleasure, his pleasure, and will.
To the praise of his glorious grace.
And there’s more, but I did this in the first service, and I think I’ll do it again.
It’s almost hard to say, but I hope it lands on you and you really believe it.
Would you turn to the person next to you and say it gives the father great pleasure that he adopted you?
It gives the father great pleasure.
That he adopted you.
Now I know that it will least be a handful, maybe more in this room that have no idea what that’s about.
Because you didn’t sense your father pleasure in your life at all.
You sensed irritation in Newsense daily nation.
Perhaps you never sensed anything because he wasn’t there.
If he was there, he was distant and disconnected and maybe even abusive.
There’s nothing that damages people more than abuse from a parent.
And so you hear that the Lord would have great pleasure to adopt you.
I remember being at a church.
In fact, I was in that same church again last week.
I didn’t realize this until I got back from the conference.
We had our district conference in Bend.
And I went over there and it was at Westside Foursquare Church and Bent really dynamic work over there, thousands of people and.
So I’d been there years and years ago.
Roy Hicks was one of the speakers at that conference.
And Cliff Haynes was another speaker at that conference.
Cliff actually pastored the Bend church at that time.
He was hosting it and Doctor Paul Risser who would go on to be the President of our denomination.
He was there too and they were three of the speakers.
So I was there.
With Judy and.
And we were fairly new to the district, and so.
The first speaker.
I heard was Cliff Haynes and he got up and spoke to about 1000 pastors and their wives that were there.
Started talking about his dad, he said boy, my dad was so good about just depositing things in my life and he was always encouraging to me and.
He would tell me all the I learned everything I know in the ministry from my dad.
He was so and Judy told me I just looked miserable when I heard that.
I knew I wouldn’t know what it.
Was I just felt uncomfortable, I thought.
What’s the next point?
He kept talking about his dad.
And I was very uncomfortable.
Then they had a breakfast for the men of that conference the next morning, and Paul Risser, who was the would go on to be the President of our denomination.
He was the speaker, he said, I just feel I’m supposed to tell you this story about my dad and I went on me a goodnight.
Another one of these things and I’m having a really crummy attitude I didn’t understand.
And he said my dad was so wise and he took opportunities all the time to just give me wisdom about how to handle things.
And then he was always there for us, and he always prayed for us and I’m I’m physically getting very uncomfortable listening.
They said when my dad died.
He called me to his bedside and he said, Paul, you’re a good boy.
I’ve always been proud of you.
He laid his hands on him and he blessed me.
I almost I almost threw up.
I was angry.
I didn’t understand why I was so angry.
So finally, the capstone of this big three day conference is Roy Hicks junior.
He’s Roy Hicks junior because Roy Hicks, senior, was a dynamic minister in his own right, used to minister with Kenneth Hagan and people like that.
And so Roy obviously came up in a preacher family and and learned so many things and he would talk about how his dad would give him take him aside and teach him things about the ministry and how to pray for people.
And so Roy gets up there and he says.
Some of you.
That are here.
Your second generation believers.
Your parents were believers and now you are too.
He said you’re vulnerable for this reason and he started saying about how we all have to have.
Our own relationship with the law.
He said some of you.
You’re you’re you don’t even know why you’re here.
And he said, in fact, you’re very uncomfortable that I’m even saying this.
And I mean, I picked up.
Judy said the blood drained out of my head.
And he he was talking about how.
The Lord was.
Blessing him through his dad.
I was looking for the exit I physically was going to run out of the room.
He said there are some of you here.
You have no idea what a heavenly Father is like because your father was distant, removed from caring for.
You and so when you hear this, it sounds like some impossible dream and he said you look at me.
If you remember Roy had that jaw.
He jet that jaw out and he says you listen to me.
And he went like.
This before the foundations of the world, before you were born.
And he pointed his Bony little preacher finger.
Right at me.
He wasn’t doing that, but the Holy Spirit was.
He said you listened to me.
God called you to preach before you were born.
I went weak in my knees and I couldn’t understand why I felt so powerfully about it.
In tears came and I had this release because I didn’t have the blessing of a father.
That said, I I I affirm you and I have something for you.
I had tension, I had conflict, but I tell you this about the blessing for this reason.
The Lord had adopted me.
I had the resources of the universe at my disposal to use in the extension of the gospel, but I balked because I didn’t trust my father.
My heavenly father.
This time last week I didn’t even realize it till the 1st service this morning.
I even gravitated to the same part of the auditorium I was.
All those years ago and Royce said that you know what I found myself doing this time.
I believe you.
I believe you you know who I am.
You know who you are.
When Hannah and Peter were.
We first moved here.
I got this bright idea that for a Christmas present I was going.
To get a puppy.
Judy prayed against that, but I did it nonetheless.
And so I shopped around and I didn’t tell anybody.
What’s gonna do?
And so I found out that there was somebody that had a whole litter of golden retriever yellow lab cross pups out the Mackenzie River.
Toward the mountains and so on on Christmas Day.
We had opened some presents and everything and I said, you know, I just want to go out and get a cup of coffee and Judy looked at me like how rude it’s Christmas Day with your family.
What are you doing?
And I mean to gratson Mackenzie river.
It took me about an.
Hour, an hour and a half to do all this.
So I get out.
And where these puppies were, they took me out to the barn.
And there were about five or six of them.
I think there were three males and two females, and you could imagine, you know brand new puppies and everything they’re jumping all over each other for attention.
And she said, so, which one?
And I was looking at him and they were all jumping over onto.
But there was one off to.
The side that just looked out of sync a little bit.
I said, what about that one?
And she kind of went well, she’s the runt.
I want that.
And she picked her up, you know?
And and I, I got her situated in the car and everything and.
I got home and we were in a rental at this point it.
Was a little shed area.
And so they didn’t know what was going.
On where Judy is looking.
At me, like where were you?
So I came out and I pulled this box out and there’s the little puppy in there.
And jumping up and down, and Peter and Hannah almost fit.
Peter almost fainted.
We have it on an old movie thing here’s.
Well, I’ll I’ll leave my mind I don’t read attention.
And so they’re doing all that, and so then I did the first diplomatic thing.
A wise thing for a dad to do.
They were having a debate as to.
What to call her?
Hannah wanted Sarah.
Biblical reference preacher’s daughter.
Peter wanted lady.
Sarah, Lady Wise dad came up with Sadie.
Aren’t you impressed?
I I looked at, this is going to sound kind of hokey.
I don’t mean it to, but I I remember it fondly.
I remember the kids were just so excited.
But so was Sadie.
And in her look said to me.
He picked me.
He picked me.
We’re at a banquet.
The other night.
For a group called Stand Up Girl.
And it’s an organization that helps young girls who get pregnant to make decisions to keep the baby and put it up for adoption or other choices beyond abortion.
And we were invited to this informational meeting fundraising meeting.
And this young lady got up and gave her story.
It was so profound.
And they showed the statistics alone about how many babies this organization is probably save children that are alive because they do this and.
So at the end of it.
I just realized something.
I was there to hear that message because I was invited.
And there was a little card that says you can sit at this table.
This is your table.
Turn to first Peter.
We’re going to close with this.
Also, in the back of your Bible.
Praise be verse three of chapter one.
Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ in his great mercy.
He has, please notice the tense, again past tense.
He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
From the dead.
And into an inheritance.
That can never perish, spoil or fade.
Kept in heaven for you.
Who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of salvation that’s ready to be revealed in this last time.
It’s reserved for you.
Nothing is going to happen to it.
Here’s what I really believe.
You and I breathe our last, and we stand before the Lord.
We’ll have the judgment of at least knowing.
Who we really are and who he really is, and that’ll be a wonderful and a terrible moment all at once.
But after that’s done, I really believe the next thing is somebody says, excuse me.
Good place for you.
So we’re here.
It’s your inheritance.
It’s been waiting for you.
It’s all here.
In first John, we read these words.
What manner of love the father has given unto us?
That we should be called the Sons of God.
And that is what we are.
I think that that is what we are was added, because the Holy Spirit knew we needed to have it.
Reinforced, you are the sons of God come, and that is what?
That is who we are.
We will accept God’s gift of salvation through his son Jesus, and we would say.
I want to be adopted into your family.
I want to be a son or daughter.
I want the inheritance that you promised those who.
Will follow Jesus.
Would you close your eyes for just a moment?
I I just want to give this opportunity.
There may or may not be people here that this applies to, but I don’t want you to leave without the opportunity to do this.
You know that you know that you know if you’ve come to know the Lord, and you also know if you haven’t.
But if you’re here and you would stay.
To be in relationship with a father that loves me like that.
I want to be a son or a daughter.
I want to be an heir of God.
And I’m willing to come and tell Jesus I’m sorry for my sins, and I need a forgiveness of a savior.
And I need a new start and I want to be born again.
If that’s your decision, would you just slip up your hand where you are and we’re going to pray a prayer in a moment?
Of agreement, yes, Sir.
I want to rush this.
We’ll wait just a moment more.
Adopted as the daughter loved, picked, chosen yes.
That’s for you.
Can we pray this together?
I believe that you’re a God like that.
I believe that you are loving, merciful, kind, gracious, forgiving.
I repent of my sins.
I confess my need for a savior.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Forgive me of my sins.
I am now a son or a daughter.
I am a son or I’m a daughter.
Go ahead and say I am now.
I am now an heir.
Help me to be a wise steward.
Of my inheritance.
In Jesus name.
Too many times for it to be accidental.
I have prayed for people.
And I don’t know how to say this right.
It comes out funny no matter how I try to frame it, but.
I know it wasn’t me.
I know it.
I know after I prayed for people and laid hands on it, Jesus did something.
He used me to do it but I was just kind of there for the ride.
He did it.
I pray that that is.
Your experience in the days and weeks to come and that he will use you as the heir that he designed and destined you to be and that you will utilize the resources of one who has the inheritance.
The Sons of God.
For the extension of his Kingdom purposes, I pray that in Jesus name.
Lord, bless you.