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A Man for All Seasons #dumcMY #sermon

Dr. Ravi Zacharias, 13/05/2012

Josh MacDowell told this story. He went to the airport counter and gave detailed instructions on the different destinations he wanted his luggages sent. The person at the counter said they could not do that. Josh said they did that last time.

Dr. Ravi decided to change the topic to the family.

If the families fall apart, the community falls apart. If the community falls apart, the nation falls apart.

God abides us to be bound by boundaries. The reason laws were given is to give  boundary.

“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.” G. K. Chesterton

What are we doing right now? We are building our memories, make them a good one!

It’s fascinating that when a mother holds a baby in her arm, even though she may thing that was her child, God sees a longer perspective. The young lives that come to the world must build good memories. Rebekah was told she had 2 nations in her womb.

The first problem with the family – the father was attracted to one son while the mother was attracted to the other. Every person has yearnings and the common yearning of all is the yearning to belong.

There is a sense in which two and two are four… There is a plane—the plane of ledgers and cashbooks—on which these propositions are approximately sound. But if you rise from that plane to a loftier one, you will find at one that they are untenable. They simply will not  work. Solomon proves it at the city gate. It may be true that half a sovereign and half a sovereign make a sovereign; it is obviously untrue
that half a baby and half a baby make a baby. Let the sword do its deadly work; let it cleave this baby into two parts, and  half-a-baby plus half-a-baby will represent but the grim and gruesome mockery of a baby. Two halves of a baby make no baby at all.
F.W. Boreham. The Sword of Solomon. pp. 29, 30

In the world of pain we deal with quantity. In life, we deal with entity.

When Esau married a foreign woman he didn’t realize how much grieve this caused his parents.

The second problem is the breakdown of communication.

When a mother and a child were working on their own little machines on the breakfast table, what memory is being made for the child? As parents, do we know what they are struggling with? Do we know the movies they are seeing? Do they know how deeply we care about them? Do we know what their friends are saying to them?

Men are often more cerebral, not necessarily intellectual. Women connect their heart with their mind to come up with logical conclusions. Men seldom bridge the two.

A dark day comes to the family when the child chooses a life partner that challenges and violates the values held in the life. Parents need to talk to the children, not preach to them. Listen to them.

The third problem besides the favouritism and breakdown of communication, is the deception in the family.

India is a find nation producing some of the brightest minds in the world. However, it cannot survive unless they learn to deal with the corruption. In BBC, the survey on the world’s biggest threat for the first time put poverty and environment – usually #1 and #2 – to the 2nd and 3rd places, corruption is the biggest threat.

A child was suspended from school for stealing pencils. The father went to the school to complain. The teacher told him what happened. The father said he didn’t understand why he did it because he could have taken it from his office.

If God promises something He will bring it to past. Do not accelerate it / deceive our ways to it. No one can outrun God. Jacob could not.

Some things are not undeniable. Have we ever lived as though God doesn’t exist?

A bishop prayed and started “Dear God”. God answered and he fainted. He wasn’t expecting God to reply.

Jacob ran from his father. But God was following him. He was never alone.

Dr. Ravi mentioned The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson. No one can run away from God.

The angels keep their ancient places–Turn but a stone and start a wing!’Tis ye, ’tis your estrangèd faces,That miss the many-splendored thing.

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)Cry–and upon thy so sore lossShall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladderPitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,Cry–clinging to Heaven by the hems;And lo, Christ walking on the water,Not of Genesareth, but Thames! ~ The Kingdom of God, Francis Thompson

Jacob was a brilliant person but he was a schemer. When he met up with God, God ask him a question which He already had the answer. He asked him his name. Jacob admitted who he was and stopped running. He established communion with God. God promised to make him a great nation. He was running away from Esau and Laban. Jacob sent gifts. Then Jacob came to meet Esau. Jacob finaly saw the face of God.

The logic of un-forgiveness is happening in the Middle East. You wrong me, when I get stronger, I will retaliate.

Everytime we wrong / hurt somebody, there is a boomerang effect. There is only one place where this stops and that is the Cross. Indifference, insolence were hurled but Jesus asked the Father to forgive them because they know not what they do.

Communion with God and reunion with your brothers. Make peace and reconcile with anyone we wronged.

If our mothers walk with Christ, there is nothing more they want that for us to do the same.

There comes a time in life when the energy needed to perpetuate the convictions held in a family demand the strength of a young life. ~ Dr. Ravi Zacharias.

At the historic Amsterdam Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in 1986, a renowned Korean speaker, Billy Kim, told the story of an American soldier hiding in a bunker during the Korean War. When his commander ordered him to rescue some of his fallen mates on the front lines, the soldier nodded his head, took a covert glance at his watch, stalled till his commanding officer was out of sight, and simply made no move. Several minutes went by, and a colleague reminded him of his rescue assignment. Again he looked at his watch and delayed. Finally, he leaped out of the bunker and fearlessly began carrying his compatriots to safety.  “At the end of the day, a friend asked him to explain his actions. The soldier said, ‘I was afraid because I knew I was not ready to die. I waited until my fear would be overcome—remembering that at a certain time every hour my mother had said she would pray for me. Then I knew that no matter what awaited me, I could face it.”

The fire power did not offer security, the prayer of the mother did.

I have fallen, Lord,
Once more.
I can’t go on, I’ll never succeed.
I am ashamed, I don’t dare look at you.
And yet I struggled, Lord, for I knew you were right near me, bending over me, watching.
But temptation blew like a hurricane,
And instead of looking at you I turned my head away,
I stepped aside
While you stood, silent and sorrowful,
Like the spurned fiancè who sees his loved one carried away bo the enemy.
When the wind died down as suddenly as it had arisen,
When the lightning ceased after proudly streaking the darkness,
All of a sudden I found myself alone, ashamed, disgusted, with my sin in my hands.
This sin that I selected the way a customer makes his purchase,
This sin that I have paid for and cannot return, for the shopkeeper is no longer there,
This tasteless sin,
This odorless sin,
This sin that sickens me,
That I have wanted but want no more,
That I have imagined, sought, played with, fondled, for a long time;
That I have finally embraced while turning coldly away from you,
My arms outstretched, my eyes and heart irresistibly drawn;
This sin that I have grasped and consumed with gluttony,
It’s mine now, but it possesses me as the spiderweb holds captive the gnat.
It is mine,
It sticks to me,
It flows in my veins,
It fills my heart.
It has slipped in everywhere, as darkness slips into the forest at dusk
And fills all the patches of light.
I can’t get rid of it.
I run from it the way one tries to lose a stray dog, but it catches up with me and bounds joyfully against my legs.
Everyone must notice it.
I’m so ashamed that I feel like crawling to avoid being seen,
I’m ashamed of being seen by my friends,
I’m ashamed of being seen by you, Lord,
For you loved me, and I forgot you.
I forgot you because I was thinking of myself
And one can’t think of several persons at once.
One must choose, and I chose.
And your voice,
And your look
And your love hurt me.
They weigh me down
They weigh me down more than my sin.
Lord, don’t look at me like that,
For I am naked,
I am dirty,
I am down,
With no strength left.
I dare make no more promises,
I can only lie bowed before you.
[The Father’s Response]
Come, son, look up.
Isn’t it mainly your vanity that is wounded?
If you loved me, you would grieve, but you would trust.
Do you think that there’s a limit to God’s love?
Do you think that for a moment I stopped loving you?
But you still rely on yourself, son. You must rely only on me.
Ask my pardon
And get up quickly.
You see, it’s not falling that is the worst,
But staying on the ground.

-Michel Quoist, Book of Prayer

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