FBCWest 400 | Bible Study Asking Pastor Joe Anything
Recorded On: 06/03/2020
Transcript of Service
Hello and welcome to FBC West Bible study. Questions that you have tonight will be taking a look at a couple questions that aren't related.
Every once awhile I'll ask answer two or three questions that are kind of related. These will be too, that are unrelated.
The first question is in Matthew 1128 and 29. Jesus says we will find rest for our souls. How will this happen?
Well, ordinarily I go right to the Bible, and I start answering the question, but I think it's important for me to kind of layout a few things before I answer the question directly. First of all.
There seems to be this.
Unrealized need that we have some pastors and others have talk about it being a hole that is in us that we're looking to fill. I'm not sure if that's a great analogy. It's fine, I kind of look at it as a need. We have a need for water and for food and for rest and those things. I also think that we have a spiritual need and sometimes we're just not aware of it and so we try to think of what other types of things that might.
Provide some type of answer to that need not realizing of what that need is, and so for instance husbands and fathers and men in general. They think that they need peace and so an example of this is when a father comes home he gets home. He just wants the kids to be quiet. He doesn't want screaming. I doesn't want a bunch of.
Madison an answering he just wants to kick off his shoes, relax, watch TV or whatever it may be now. The problem is he really well. It says he wants peace. That's not really what he wants, because if he wanted peace then he would take whatever action was needed to avoid the conflict. But men being men tend to avoid those types of answers. What he really wants is quiet. It doesn't matter where the kids are arguing or the kids are just being loud, he just.
Doesn't like the noise. He wants it quiet, so thinking he wants peace in reality all he wants is quiet. Other people think that especially you'll hear a lot in today's society that they want safety. Once saved places, they want the schools to be safe. They want wherever they go to be safe an what we need to remember.
Is that while people are looking for safety safety, isn't there? We look from A to be free from war and disease and old age and quite answer. This is none of these three or any other thing that you can add to that would talk about dying. Will keep you safe because death is total.
For every generation I want you to think about that death is total or every generation. So whether you die of old age war disease.
Criminal conduct none of us get out of this life alive.
One of the Great.
Proponents of looking for that thing that will satisfy was Solomon Solomon God came to Solomon. Ask him of all the things that you would like. I will grant any of them to you. What do you want in Solomon? Answered wisdom and God said, because you asked for wisdom, I'll give you other things as well. And so.
Solomon took a very specific approach. Most of us don't take this much of a specific approach. He decides that he's going to see what life.
Will make him feel as if he's accomplished something and so he starts off with pleasure and tried to find all the things in life that would be pleasurable. He finds out that that's vanity who wasted time. Then he looks at wealth and acquiring properties and houses and slaves and all these various things and he finds it that doesn't satisfy. He looks at way to work hard.
And to work as hard as he can. And he comes to the conclusion that that doesn't satisfy. And then he says, well, I'll look at wisdom. Maybe if I totally pursue wisdom and know the difference between wisdom and folly, that that will satisfy that need, because I will be a wise person and he comes to conclusion after pursuing all of these things and not.
By happenstance, but he pursued them with great intent with great purpose. Many times we will live our lives thinking that if we become wealthy, that that will satisfy that need, and we don't necessarily verbalize that. We just thinking that if we become successful, that'll make us feel better and the situation. Ultimately, we come to the conclusion as Solomon did, although like I said, he did it with great purpose and zeal.
Uh, that none of those things satisfy and so Jesus doesn't offer us safety or pleasure. Hard work or property, or he gives us and offers or something that's eternal, something that truly will.
Provide for that need that we have, so let's look at exactly what Jesus is saying in Matthew 11, and we're going to look at 2829 and 30 and he says come to me, all who are weary and heavy Laden, and I will give you rest. So First off, he saying when you come to Maine, I know life is hard. I know it's difficult.
I'm not gonna put burdens on you. I'm going to allow you to rest and he says take my yoke upon you and learn from Maine or I am gentle and humble in heart.
So notice he says that when you place that yoke upon a yoke is something you place on a visa burden like an ox, so that allows two or more ox to work in Unison to get a job done. And he's saying my yoke isn't going to make it more difficult for you to do the work because my yoke is easy and then he says, and I'm humble, gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest.
Or your souls? For my yoke is easy and my burden is like so there's the answer and you will find rest for your souls. Well first your soul is a one thing that's internal. It's not that you will find rest for the body or you'll find rest for the mine but you will find rest or the soul that which is eternal. That which is really what makes up the essence of who you are. You're more than just your body you're more than just your mind.
You are if you almost like a Trinity, your mind, body and soul, your spirit who makes up for what you are now. Jesus in his using of rest for your souls. For the Jewish audience, they're going to know what he's talking about, and if I'm going to suggest later you look at Jeremiah Chapter 6, verse 16 and I will read that to you.
The says the Lord, so it's God who is speaking to Jeremiah. Stand by the Ways and See and ask for the ancient pass.
Or the good way is and walk in it. So God saying or the good way is the Angel Beth. That's where we are to walk and then an you will find rest for your souls. So when we walk in the good path when we walk in the righteous path, that is where we will find rest. And so Jesus says that he is the way, the truth and the life no one comes to the father but through him.
There is no longer that since.
Of striving to please God, that by walking and cheese is that path of righteousness. We then find rest or soul. But to continue on an adverse it says. But they said we will not walk in it. So the humans that I don't care. If we find rest for souls. I refused to walk in that ancient way, the paths of righteousness.
What kind of understand further?
Why the soul is not is in need of rest. I want you to think of two things. When God created the world.
You said let there be light in and he made plants and animals and and various up sun and moon and all those things and then.
Eventually he made humans, man and woman, and after the six days he said, and then God rested. And then as a part of the 10 Commandments we are to take the Sabbath day and rest. It's a time when we're supposed to seek seas are working in our efforts into find, rest for the Vine and body, but also to contemplate on God and who he is.
So there might renew our souls, and so one of the reasons that we need to find rest or souls, we find the answer in Romans chapter 5 verses one through 11. Let me take a drink water here.
Paul says, therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now then just say most of us kind of forget prior to our acceptance of Jesus as our Lord, that in essence we did not have peace with God, that God was in fact our enemy because we weren't seeking his way. We weren't walking in his past.
We were his enemies as Jesus in essence says. If you're not with me, then you're against me there. No one who is neutral. And so, by being justified by faith, we have peace with God and not just. It's not just quiet, it's not just no ones yelling or screaming. But it's the cessation of hostilities. There is a friendship. There is a new relationship.
It goes on to say.
Also, we have obtained our introduction by faith into this crates, in which we stand and we exalt in the hope of the glory of God, and not only this, but we also exalt in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance, proven character and proven character, hope and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
And so I'm going to stop there. I'm gonna keep going, but I want you to see.
That the rest for our souls does not talk about an absence of tribulations or trials or difficulties or illness or sickness. It is what we truly need, not a cure of the body, but a cure of the soul. And so it says that while we were still helpless at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly, for one will hardly die for the righteous man, though perhaps for the good man someone.
Would even dare to die. But God demonstrated his own love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us much more than having now been justified by the blood. We shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. So not only are we through our faith justified.
We have peace with God and God is no longer angry at us because we have come to him and he has saved us. But it was God who took the initiative. He didn't wait for us to turn over and you leave. Don't wait for us to get better, he died for us while we were still helpless while we were still sinners and because of that he's no longer angry. But as we have peace.
Or even as our version, for if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life, and not only this, but we also exalt in God. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. So by faith we have been justified. We have been given.
With God we have been made. If you will is sons and daughters, we are no longer subject to the wrath of God and that we have been reconciled is not like well, I'm no longer mad at, you know, if you've had a friend or family member whose been mad and they say, OK, well I'm not mad at you. Well then Macy's to be mad at you, but you're not necessarily back at the relationship that you want an God says because of the sacrifice of Christ.
In our faith in him we have peace. We no longer are subject to wrath. We have reconciliation so that we are not just no longer not just enemies, but we are together. And as the scripture talks about that we are children of God.
I want you to also look at Romans Chapter 8 versus 28 Romans. Chapter 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the scriptures, and almost anything that you have a question about you may find in in Romans chapter 8 before starting with verse 28 it says this and we know that God causes all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to his purpose. and I want you to see.
That all things work together for good doesn't say all things are good, says all things work together for good, but all things don't work together for good for everybody. We tend to think that that's what that scripture means, or at least that's how we liberally apply it. But it says that all things work together for good for those who love God and to those who are called according to his purpose. And when you love God and called according to his purpose, he just doesn't matter what happens. God is going to cause that.
To work together for good, and so for those whom he foreknew he also protested to become conformed to the image of his son, that he would be the first born among many brethren, and these whom he'd read S and he also called these whom he called. He also justified these who he justified. He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own son, but delivered him over for us all?
How will he not also with him, freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies who is the one who condemns Christ Jesus is he who died? Yes rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us who was separate us from the love of Christ. Will tribulation? Or distress? Or persecution? Or famine? Or nakedness? Or peril, or sword?
Or just in his written we are for your sake, being put to death all the day long we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through him who loved us, or I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things that come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creative thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That list pretty much is it exhaustive. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. So once we have been given peace with God once we've been reconciled with God, that reconciliation is permanent. There is nothing that we do to increase that love. There's nothing that we do to cause God to no longer be angry with us. We can find rest just as God rested after the 6th day.
On the 7th he rested, we find rest in our souls because we no longer struggle for what that missing piece is, what that missing need is because we found it in the life, death, and Resurrection of our Lord, so we no longer have to struggle. We no longer have to be afraid. We no longer have to be concerned whether he will withdraw his love from us, that that Love is unconditional.
And therefore we have rest with our souls.
One of my favorite hymns is it is well with my soul and I guess one of the reasons other than what it has to say is it was written by a lawyer and so at least at once place there was a lawyer who actually wrote something of value. When it comes to spiritual matters, an in the verses he talks about no matter what the sea billows may be waging or saving, maybe buffing my body.
Or whatever the situation that I find myself, it doesn't matter what the circumstances are, is that it is well with my soul is well with my soul because I have rest with my soul.
So that's the best way.
That I can kind of explain this inhuman there was a general.
Who is leading his troops?
An bullets were flying off.
All over and he was sitting on his horse.
And he was making commands, and he rallied his troops from defeat and victory. And when the battle was over.
Wonder if his uh?
Men ask him general.
I saw you in the midst of the battle and you were not afraid and you show No Fear why? And he said because.
In essence, the Lord taught him that the Lords in control, and he is it safe in his bed as he is on the battlefield, that God will be there or not, and that he does not have to worry about the circumstances has in essence, while he didn't say this in reality, it is well with his soul. And so how does it take place? By having our faith place in Jesus, which gives us?
Peace and reconciliation.
An permanence that we don't have to strive now. It's also interesting.
That not only has God.
In Corinthians, I believe in Second Corinthians. It tells us that we have been given the Ministry of reconciliation. It's our ministry, it's our.
Work to do if you will.
For all this, not just the pastor, not just the deacons, not just the Sunday school teachers, but and not just the elders, but each and every believer. It's their Ministry of reconciliation to show them.
Show the world that they don't have to strive that they don't have to be enemies of God that God wants them.
Children of his and he wants them and that he did so. They don't have to do anything to earn it. It simply place their faith in Jesus. And so I hope.
Once we truly understand that we don't have to strive that we don't have to worry, that circumstances will be circumstances and it just doesn't matter because whether they kill the body.
It's God who raises it in victory. They may persecute us, but in persecution we find endurance, and we find the proof of our faith, and so in those things that they think they're doing us damage in Essence.
Is us the opportunity to refine our faith to make it more genuine and to give glory to God? And so there is that sense of how does it happen by simply placing our faith in the works of Jesus and resting in him. Now? The second question, which is totally unrelated.
I find interesting that I'm the one who's going to be answering this question because as you can tell, I probably need not for religious purposes but for health purposes to to do this and says should we fast and why?
The interesting thing is that there are certain things that are involved the religious life.
That their scriptures are not replete with instructions.
So for instance in Leviticus Chapter 16, verses 29 and 30, God talks about the day of atonement and the day of atonement. They were to rest and in essence afflict their souls. They were to take the thoughts of the sins that they had done that year, and to atone for that and that. The high priest would go into the holy of Holies and offer sacrifices for himself and.
The people when it talks about afflicting their souls. Many people interpret that as meaning.
Too fast, and so there's that sense of fasting there. Now I can be cute here in 2nd and say we all fast and you might say, well, what do you mean? We all fast? Because every time we eat the morning meal that's called break fast or we've shortened it to breakfast. But that's the meaning that you break the fast by eating. And so I can say Haha I.
I fast every day because in the morning I break the fast but we see in the Scriptures.
Add exodus 3428. Then Moses fasted for 40 days and nights while being in the presence of God and receiving the law.
We were saying while that that must be one of her button as Jesus will say, because Jesus at Matthew 4 verse two and the other gospels will talk about the Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights while being in the wilderness. And so Jesus, when presented with the fact that he may be hungry after fasting, he says man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. And so Moses in essence lived.
By the word of God, because he was receiving the law and Jesus was going through and completing in the wilderness with the people of Israel could not do while in the wilderness. Now the Pharisees had a reputation of fasting twice a week.
Now you notice.
That I just covered the Old Testament with three versus no one tells us how we're supposed to fast. No one tells us window fast. No one tells us.
The work of the fast. It just says that they didn't eat.
But the Pharisees, I said, had this reputation for fasting twice a week, because they wanted to show everyone how holy they are, that they were an at Luke Chapter 5 versus 33 through 35. We see that John's disciples fasted, and as a matter of fact, Jesus is disciples were criticized or not fasting, and Jesus is justification for their. Not fasting was that.
He was a bridegroom was present with him and as long as he was there there was no need to fast. But there would be opportunity for them to fast. And So what I'm going to do is I'm going to show you three instances of fasting so that you might understand.
Fasting and then will answer the question, and so in second Samuel.
this is one of the heart wrenching wrenching times of the Scriptures and starting with verse 15 and it says this.
So Nathan went to his house at David's house, and the Lord struck the child that Uriah's widow, Vorta, David, so that he was very sick, and David therefore inquired of God for the child. and David fasted and went, and laid all night on the ground. And the elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground. But he was unwilling, and would not eat food with him.
Then it happened on the 7th day that the child died and the Servants of the Lord were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. Or they said, Behold, while the child was not still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voices. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm? So David was fasting and praying because he wanted to change God's mind.
'cause he wanted God to spare the child and so he if you will humble the soul and and you can as if you're a parent and totally understand that if your child is sick, you will do almost anything for that child to get well and David went to the source, he went to God and said, in essence God change your mind, swear my child in the afflicted, his whole and he didn't he. And quite frankly you can understand it even if it wasn't a formal fast. When you are so devastated.
Buy some life event.
Eating just isn't on a priority, and so he's fasting and he's praying because of the severe circumstance in wanting God to change his mind. But notice what happens.
When David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead. So David said to his servants, is the child dead? And they said he is dead. So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and change his clothes, and came into the House of the Lord an worshipped. Then he came to his own house, and when.
Requested they sat food before him and he ate. Then his servant said to him, What is this thing that you have done while the child was alive? You fasted and wept. Or when the child died, you arose and ate food and he said while the child was still alive, I fasted and wept for the for I said, who knows the Lord may be gracious to me that the child may live. And now he is died. Why should I fast?
Can I bring him back again? I will go to him but he will not return to me. So David does not reject God and is not angry with God because the child dies because God doesn't change his mind, God.
His acknowledged for who he is and David gets up, washes himself, prepares himself, goes to the House of the Lord, and worships.
Is his faith in God?
That no matter the circumstances.
And that God didn't change his mind. So many people say well, then he would have had enough faith or whatever and ever goes. No, I tried to change God's mind.
He continued to do what he said he would do I will still worship him.
That we would be in that situation again, David fasten, not in the essence to prove that he's holy but is in his desperate need for God to change his mind. The other fast that I like to show you is found in Nehemiah chapter one.
Now NIA Maya.
Was a court official?
As an exotic.
And he hears reporting that says this and starting with verse two of chapter one.
Then Hannahan I one of my brothers, and some men from Judah King, I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, and had survived the captivity and about Jerusalem. And they said to me, the remanent there, and the Providence who survived the captivity, or in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem, is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire. When I heard these words, I sat down and wept, and mourned for days.
And I was fasting and praying before the god of Heaven. and I said, any exclude recount is prayer. I beseech you, O Lord God of Heaven, the great and Awesome God, who preserves the covenant, and loving kindness for those who love him and keep his commandments, that you're here. Now be attentive an your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant, which I am praying before you. Now day and night, on behalf of the sons of visual, your servants confessing the sins.
Of the sons of Israel, which we have seen notice NIA. Maya does not say Well, it's those guys who send.
I'm not. He joins with him as an we had sinned against you. I in my father's House, House of sent.
We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the Commandments, nor the statutes nor the ordinances which you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word which you commanded your servant Moses, saying, if you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples. But if you return to me and keep my Commandments and do them, though those of who you have been scattered were in the most remote as part of the Evans, I will gather them from there an will bring them to the place.
I have chosen to cause my name did well.
They are your servants in your people whom you redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. Oh Lord, I beseech you. May your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and the prayer of the servants who delight to veer your name and make your servant successful today, and grant him compassion before this man and he says, I was a cub bear to the King. So we see that because of this great distress.
Because of what's happening to God's people in Jerusalem, we see that NIA Maya just doesn't take it as well. Let's put it on the prayer list. He becomes distressed and as so much so that he prays any fast to show the purpose and his desire that God. By here he tells God God you're right when you told Moses that if we didn't listen to you and obey you.
That you would scatter us, but then when we returned to you that you would place us back into your promise land, and so he's.
Acknowledging that God was right, but asking God that because what God had said, may it come to pass and he does so in distress, and he does so by prayer and fasting. So it's obvious that it is something that he means for God to hear, because it's just all like I said.
Let's put it on the prayer request. Listen all day God answers.
Last one is we find an axe into the New Testament.
Acts Chapter 13.
Starting with verses one through 3.
Now there were at Antioche in the church that was their prophets and teachers Barnabas and Simeon who is called Niger, and Lucius of Sirene and Manet, who had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch, and saw who later would become known as fall.
While they were ministering to the Lord and Sassing, the Holy Spirit said, set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work which I have called them. Then when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So in this instance, fasting is done because they're needing to make a decision of who they are going to send on this missionary journey, and that the Holy Spirit.
My direct them, and so they pray and fast to get God's direction. So we've seen, for instance, of David, out of great distress of his soul because of this child we see the Amaia in great distress because of God's people being in distrust, and we see in the New Testament the.
Believers gathered together and praying and fasting. Any notice passing always his connected with prayer is not they fasted or they prayed it was prayer and fasting. And so when you need to make.
A important decision that might be a excellent time to pray and fast.
So to answer the question, should we fast?
I believe you will when the occasion calls for it in your life.
When there is a overwhelming distress, will invent.
You will probably either on purpose or.
Because of the situation.
Or when you need to make.
An important decision. It may be appropriate to fast.
Warning is we are not too fast to be perceived by others or two for ourselves. Perceive that we are holy.
Fasting doesn't make you holy. All you have to do is look at the Pharisees and Sadducees who fasted twice a week, and Jesus basically had little else but contempt for them because they're holding. This would not holding this, it was self righteousness.
Fasting is where you truly.
Affleck your soul so that you might receive for God and Matthew Chapter 6 verses 16 through 18. Jesus tells us how to fast. I'm not going to read that scriptures.
But I want to tell you this.
And that since Jesus says so when you fast.
Do so as if no one will know that you're fasting.
Be happier than you normally are. You should not be crossed. You should not be short tempered. You should not have excuses. You should not look like hole.
For me, I haven't eaten in hours or days or whatever to receive some type of.
Praise that you are all your so holy you're so concerned about this situation that you're fasting. Jesus says if you're going to fast.
Do so in essence that no one knows you are.
The answers should be fast.
When life calls for it.
Trinity by nowhere fasting.
Only in the group was fasting with us, but not for the purpose of holiness before the purpose of truly seeking the will of God.
And in that, I think that it's totally appropriate to fast. But if you cannot do that, if you are subject to wanting to make yourself holy.
Then, as Jesus says on other things and you will have already received your reward, you wanted people to think you are holy by fasting.
But if you truly.
affecting your soul. If you're truly so distressed at some life event, either in your own life or someone else is, or either so concerned that you make the right decision, and I would say God bless you and do so with that. I hope that answers most questions and with that, since I will order prayer and will close thought I thank you.
Then sometimes you don't give us express' answers.
How to do something or how not to do something but that you allow us to decide how and when to do it, you give us some guidelines.
Like in fasten you give us some guidelines.
As to not to be hypocritical in it not to do it for holding this in God, we thank you that you have provided rest for our souls. We no longer have to work for our Salvation but that user Jesus.
Who is the way, the truth and the life?
We have found his work to be complete as he said on across it is finished. There's nothing I can do to add to it or subtract from it, and I thank you that I can rest in you.
In Jesus name I pray Amen.
God bless you.
I will see you soon.