The Intensity of His Walk

The Intensity of His Walk

Scripture: 1 John 2:6, Luke 2:39-52, John 4:34
Date: 05/24/2008  Lesson: 8
Jesus lived His life as an example for all who would follow in His footsteps.

The High Cost of the Cross (PB) by Joe Crews

The High Cost of the Cross (PB) by Joe Crews
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. Welcome to sac central this morning and joining us for our study hour this morning. A very special welcome to you that are joining us here in our audience, our regular members, and a very special welcome to our guests, and a very special welcome to you that are joining us from across the country and around the world. Either live on the internet this morning, through radio, television, however you're joining us, welcome. Our first hymn we're gonna sing this morning is hymn number 46, "abide with me, 'tis eventide.

" This comes as a request from cedric in australia; carl in germany; dogo in peru; francis in the Philippines; raulie in California; alexandra in New York; and alex in Texas. Hymn 46 and we're gonna sing all 3 verses... [Music] If you have a special hymn that you would like to sing with us on a coming Sabbath, I invite you to go to our website at www.saccentral.org. And there you can click on the music link. And you can request any hymn in our hymnal that you would like to sing with us on a coming Sabbath.

And we would love to sing that with you. Our next request is "watch, ye saints," hymn 598. And this comes as a request from stacy in Canada; jamal in Canada; the boston adventist church in belize; miriam in the Philippines; althea and dennis in florida; alfreda in Georgia; william in Illinois; joyce in Indiana; thomas in d.c.; Kimberly in Ohio; tim in Michigan; joyanne and errol in New York; and last but not least, jeremy in Virginia. Hymn 598, "watch, ye saints." We're gonna sing verses first, second, third, and fifth... [Music] Let's pray.

Dear Father, dear Jesus, we thank you so much for this beautiful Sabbath, that we can come and worship you, and that we can praise your name. We thank you so much for bringing us through another week, for guiding us. We thank you for the promise that you are coming soon. Lord, we know you're coming soon. We can hardly wait.

Please bless us today as we listen to Your Words. Help us to take them internally, to spread the good news to all the people that we come into contact with, that we can hasten your coming and do our part, so that soon you will burst through those clouds and we can say, "lo, he comes victorious." We pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen. Our study this morning will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at sac central. Thank you very much to our singers and musicians.

Morning everybody. Good to see each of you here today. And thankful that you are part of our study time. Want to welcome our class that is growing all over the world, participating in our weekly study time here at central church. And also want to thank those who are here studying with us.

At the beginning of each program, we like to give additional study materials to people, put in their hands that can help enhance their personal devotions and also go along with the study of the lesson. Right now this week we're offering a book called, "the Holy Spirit, the need." And if you'd like a free copy of this--it's free-- call the number. It's on your screen. Or if you're listening on radio, it's 866-788-3966. If you forget that, there's an acronym.

It's 866-study-more. We'll send it to you just for asking. A lot of exciting things are happening we'd like to tell you about. For one thing, people who connect with central church, a number of you watch this live the day that it's recorded on the internet. And if you have been going to the sac central internet in the last couple of weeks, you've noticed it's completely new, revised.

And they're still tweaking and making a few improvements. But I think you'll be very interested to see what's there. They've got archives of the Sabbath school programs. So if you saw a program a few months ago or even longer and you said, "boy, there was something in that program. And I'd like to have the quote.

Or I wanted to hear it again. Or I wanted to send something that was said as a link to someone else," you can go to the saccentral.org website. And there's archives there of the studies. And you can use those. And so we hope that you'll take advantage of that.

Now before we get into our lesson, we've been talking about the wonders and the ministry of Jesus, his walk. And part of Sabbath school used to always be the members would report what they've done in ministry through the week. I remember when I first joined the church that they'd actually not only take a roll call, then they'd say, "all right, articles of clothing given out, Bible studies that--" how many of you remember that? And it kept before the people that the pastor's not the only one involved in ministry, but every member, every follower of Christ is a minister. And you don't hear us encourage that as much anymore. Well at Amazing Facts, we want to encourage every member to remember that you are ministers, to use your different gifts.

You can bring people to Jesus. And at Amazing Facts, we have a special program. It's called afcoe. And that stands for Amazing Facts center of evangelism. Sometimes it's called Amazing Facts college of evangelism.

We'll accept either acronym that you want to apply. But we have a program that helps laypeople train for ministry in their churches, to give Bible studies. I'd like to invite tyler long who's an evangelist and the assistant director of the afcoe program to come on up here. And I think we've got a microphone for you to use. It's always a risk when you give an evangelist a microphone.

So I'm lending this to you. I'll be short and brief. But tell us a little bit about the "afcoe to go" program. "Afcoe to go," if I can use this as an example, it's really like our 4-month program only on steroids. It is a condensed version of our -month afcoe program.

It takes place twice a year. The next "afcoe to go" program is gonna be from June 23rd through June 26th. It's 4 days long and ends up on the beautiful weimar campus. Now this program, what will they learn during this 4-day--by the way, the reason it's called "afcoe to go," what's the great commission? "Go." To go. You ever get fast food? You get it "to go.

" So this is the condensed program for busy people to learn how to be soul-winners. But tell me, what specifically do they learn? And that's what it is. It's for busy professionals who may not have time to go through the typical 4-month program. They'll come through "afcoe to go" and we give them the essential tools to go out and share Christ in the Marketplace, with their friends, with their families, with their neighbors. We focus in on friendship evangelism.

We focus in on health evangelism. And incorporated into this, we touch on some of the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation, because we want those who come through "afcoe to go" to learn how to answer objections, to gain decisions, and to lead people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Amen. Now is there still room in this next program coming up? There is still room, but it is filling up fast. This will be our third "afcoe to go" class.

And so far we've had nearly people come through "afcoe to go." There's still some room, but if you want to get it, you've gotta act now. You can go to our website: afcoe--a-f-c-o-e--.org, scroll down, and you'll see the link for "afcoe to go." Click on there and you'll find all kinds of great informations. But you have to act now because it's filling up fast. That's very fast. Well, thank you very much, tyler.

I appreciate that. Well, thank you, Pastor Doug. And we're excited about this. I know--and the weimar campus is a beautiful place to stay and study. Absolutely beautiful.

Oh, and we've got housing and the food is great. And the training is exciting. And we give practical tools in a beautiful place. I mean, why would anybody want to not go to that? That's right. It's very exciting.

Matter of fact, last time I was up there, we met a gentlemen who saw the program about the "afcoe to go" program. He was in Bethlehem, not Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Bethlehem, the middle east. He flew all the way from Bethlehem to attend the program. Isn't that something? And he went through the program. So it's a--and it changed his life too.

So it's a very exciting program. We want to mobilize the members for ministry. And that's what this is all about. Absolutely. Thank you, Pastor Doug.

Thank you very much, tyler. Appreciate that. So we wanted to keep Sabbath school integrated with training people and you know what we're working towards is getting some of the afcoe training and the "afcoe to go" training online so people can even download the classes and learn as much as they can that way. But there's still never a replacement for the personal contact of being there and studying with people. All right, having said all that, and I'm glad we did say that, now I want to get into our lesson today.

We're going through the lesson on the wonder of Jesus and his ministry. Today, we're on lesson number 8, that is talking about "the intensity of his walk," the intensity of the walk of Jesus. And it's based on several passages in Matthew 4, Luke 2, Luke 6, John 4, John 17, and 1 John 2:6. We have a memory verse. And the memory verse comes to us from 1 John 2:6 that I just cited to you a moment ago.

I'd like to invite you to all say that with me. John 2:6, you ready? "He who says he abides in him, ought himself also to walk just as he walked." Now the same intensity that Jesus had in his walk, that's talking about the focus. It's not talking about anxiety in your walk. It's talking about commitment to the walk, that it's all-absorbing, that that's the kind of walk we're to have. It's to be a complete walk with the Lord.

And Jesus' whole life was dedicated to this mission. You know, something is-- something continues to grow on me as I get older, an impression. The brief window that we have in this life to do whatever good we're going to do, you have to continually reevaluate, "what do I want to do with my life?" And as time goes by, you've got less time to do it. And you say, "what do I want to do with what I have left? What can I do? How can I get the maximum impact for God's kingdom with what's left of my life?" And you know, every time I ask that question, I realize it always hinges on the maximum surrender that I make. In other words, the more completely I am surrendered, the intensity of my surrender will influence the intensity of my impact for his kingdom.

Now am I the only one that thinks that way, or do you all think like that? "Lord, I've only got a limited time here. I'd like to look back from eternity and say I poured myself out. I tried to make myself as available as I could be for you to do what you wanted to do through me and get as much done as you can." That's what Jesus did. His life--but you know what? He paced himself in his life. And we're gonna talk about that right now.

The early years. Now this is interesting because when you talk about the early years of Jesus' life--in our study last week we talked about when he went to the temple. How old was he? Twelve years of age. And while he was there parents lost track of him. They ultimately found him.

Where did they find him? Right where they left him. He was in the temple. And by the way, after 3 days sorrowing and searching, where'd they find him? In the temple. Don't ever underestimate how important it is to come to church, 'cause people still find people in--people still find Jesus in church today. Folks say, "I don't need to go to church.

I mean Jesus is everywhere." But you know, he meets with people in the temple in a special way. And he was in the church, in the temple, asking questions and answering their questions. There was teaching and questioning going on. And that's what we do here at Sabbath school. We talk where there's an exchange and you learn during that time.

But then after he goes home, when does he next appear on the scene of Scripture? How old is he? He's 30 years of age. What happened between 12 and 30? Now they call it "the missing years." They're not missing. But how many of you have heard theories about where Jesus went during these years where there's very little comment? It's like for instance, if you take your Bible right now and you go to--you might just do it for your own interest. Go to the book of Malachi. And when you get to Malachi and then you turn a page or two and you'll be in Matthew.

And between Matthew and Malachi, you don't have 18 years like the life of Jesus between 12 and 30, you got 400 years. So there's scriptural silence pretty much during this time. Well, if you believe some of the apocryphal books, you've got the maccabees fill in some of the details here. And there's probably some accurate history there. But it's not inspired Scripture.

And so people say, "well, what happened? Did the Jewish nation disappear between Malachi and Matthew?" No, they were there. It's just there wasn't anything written. Well what happened between the age of 12 and the age of 30? I hesitate to say this, 'cause whenever you even mention something, some people seize upon it. Folks love these secret theories and speculations. I remember when I was a baby Christian, I went to the corner bookstore in palm springs.

I was living up in the hills there. And there was a book called, "the aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ." And I picked that up. And it was talking about what Jesus did during those missing years and how he went to india and he studied at the feet of the gurus. And I read that. And it got me a little disturbed.

But it kind of was interesting to me, because before I got into Christianity I was into these eastern religions. I said, "ah, I knew it. Those eastern religions, they even taught Jesus." But the more I looked into it I realized it was absurd. And you could not believe that and believe the Bible. Some have said that during this time, Jesus was in alexandria, Egypt studying.

Others say that he was in india; he was in persia studying from the scholars. Some say he went on a circuit among all of them, others that he was an apprentice for some of the great philosophers of the day. You know why they keep coming up with these theories about where he was during these missing years? Because when he begins his ministry, he totally confounds his adversaries with his profound wisdom. And it just seems inacceptable to scholars in the world today that he could have that kind of wisdom without having studied somewhere at some university of the world. Where did he get this--matter of fact, they asked that question.

They said, "how does this man know these things not having letters?" When they mean letters, they mean like ph.d. He did not have the scholarly criteria. How did he know all this? Where did he get this knowledge? Well, I got a question for you? Did he demonstrate that kind of supernatural knowledge even at 12? Does that mean that he, between the age of birth and 12, he had been off studying in some advanced school for geniuses? No, he was taught of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures. Don't underestimate the education a person can get from the Scriptures. Abraham lincoln had very little formal education, but he taught himself to read principally from the Bible.

Did you know that susanna wesley had her children--i don't know if it was all 19 of them--but at least John and charles wesley could pick up the Bible and read any part of the Bible by the time they were 5 years of age. Abraham lincoln largely taught himself to read from the Bible. And he frequently in his speeches and through his life quoted from the Bible and used biblical language in his speaking, in his stories that he would tell, because it became the foundation. And he had that wit and that wisdom that comes from the Proverbs. Jesus studied the Scriptures.

Now where did he go? How can you prove that he didn't travel somewhere? I think we've got a few Scriptures that we've given out. Does somebody have Luke 2:40? "And the child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him." All right, just by itself that verse tells that somebody observed him growing, that he was around. He didn't take off and go on a circuit through the east, getting some special education, secret knowledge, all kinds of zany theories that I've heard that Christ was taught. It tells us in the Bible what happened during those years. He went home, and he studied with his parents.

Matter of fact, there's that verse in John 7:15-16. I quoted from it, but I didn't give you the reference. "And the jews marveled," after Jesus begins his ministry, "the jews marveled, saying, 'how does this man know letters, having never studied?' Jesus answered them and said, 'my doctrine is not mine, but he who sent me." Did Jesus study? He did study. Ten percent of everything Jesus said was a quote from the old testament. Now, I'm not sure who did that research.

I think maybe it was dwight moody, went through all the things of Christ. And it was also dwight moody that said that there are 300 references to the second coming and the teachings of Jesus. And dwight moody also went through the Bible; he used to like to do these studies. And he said, "there's over 'fear nots' in the Bible." Oh by the way, some of our members went through and listed it. And I think they found--the hillborns--they found most of those too.

But somebody else, I think maybe it was dwight moody, said, "10% of everything Jesus said he's quoting the old testament." How could he do that unless he studied? Now i--some of you know--i always am reluctant to mention this that I don't have formal theological training. But I don't think it's safe to say I'm uneducated, because I read a lot. I study every morning. There's just different ways of getting it. And I think the best preparation for ministry is you take the "conflict of the ages" series from "the Spirit of prophecy," and if you will read--I'm not just talking about pastors; I'm talking about any member.

Let me tell ya, best way to prepare for a ministry, you read "Patriarchs and Prophets," the book, "Prophets and Kings," do it with your Bible in hand, "Desire of Ages," "Acts of the Apostles," "Great Controversy." Those five books--it's a pretty hefty volume. It's great reading. It's easy reading. Profound. You read that, your understanding of the plan of salvation and what's happening behind the scenes, it's like reading an inspired Bible commentary.

Then in your teaching and you're giving Bible studies and in your preaching, people are gonna think you're a genius. You'd be surprised how many people have never read those books. And there's a whole lot more you can read beside that. But that is the best preparation for ministry. And Jesus read a whole lot more than that.

One reason we know is he had just about memorized the book of Deuteronomy. He quoted from it frequently. I'll get to that in just a little bit. Now I think I gave out Luke 3:23. "Now Jesus himself began his ministry at about 30 years of age, being as was supposed The Son of Joseph, The Son of heli.

" All right, so between 12 and , why did he wait until he was to begin his ministry. Was it because he thought, "you know, I've just, I've gotta wait for my final graduation to get the ph.d and then I can start teaching?" Why not 28? Well, I think part of the answer is in Numbers 4:23. Speaking of the criteria to serve as a priest, and this is mentioned about five times in Scripture, "from 30 years old and above, even to 50 years old, you shall number them, all who enter to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting." Those who are to work in the tabernacle, they had to be at least 30 years of age. Now you'll find in the Bible God waits many times until someone is 30 years of age to assume certain responsibility. You know one thing I've learned is nobody should get married until you're at least 25.

Amen. Because they say you're brain doesn't stop growing until you're 25. And do you know insurance companies, at what age do they start dropping your rates? Twenty-five. You start getting a little bit more stable, a little less reckless, a little more cautious, you mellow a little bit. The hormones stabilize a little bit.

But you're brain is still accumulating the wisdom of experience. And so by 30, if you're ever gonna learn how to stay out of trouble, you finally learn by 30. And so when people come to me and they're 23, and they say they want to get married, I say, "great. Let's start counseling for more years." So how old was Joseph when he went out over Egypt to administrate Egypt? It says he was 30. When king David began to reign, how old was he? Thirty years of age.

And evidently, king Saul also was 30, because it says that Saul died at 70; he reigned years, so you subtract from 70. How old was he? Thirty. It's an interesting age. And so Christ beginning his--and by the way, Joseph is a type of Christ. David is a type of Christ.

And so Jesus began his ministry at 30. That's how old a priest had to be. So what was he doing during that time in between? Did he disappear? Did he go to learn in alexandria? Did he go to the persia or to learn from the buddhists? No. It says right here, Luke 2:51. If anyone ever tells you that, and they say, "well, the Bible's silent on this.

" No, it's not silent on it. Luke 2:51, after he was picked up by his parents in the temple, "he went down with them and came to nazareth, and was subject to them." He went with them. He was in nazareth. He was subject to them, but his mother kept all these things in her heart. "And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature.

" What does it mean to increase in stature? Stature is your height. That means he grew up. So they're observing him with Joseph and mary, getting smarter, getting taller, "and in favor with God and with men." The people observed him growing up in nazareth. Matter of fact, he began his ministry, they said, "isn't this Jesus, The Son of Joseph the carpenter." They knew who he was. He didn't disappear for years.

So that is a reckless theory. People that love to concoct something mysterious come up with those things. It tells us that he went home. He was subject to his parents. He grew up.

Everybody saw him grow up. But his ministry had not begun yet. Now there are some apocryphal Gospels and there are some manufactured books out there. And they're just plain false. And some rumors will never die.

And this is one of them. All right, let's talk a little more about the start of his ministry. And if we go to Matthew 4, when did Jesus' ministry begin? Let me just back up. How old was he? He was 30 years of age when his ministry began. And by the way, I don't want to belabor this, but we don't know exactly when Jesus was born, but we can get close to the time of year.

How do you do that? Well, I'm not telling you this to ruin Christmas, but I figure it's probably safe to do this in may. Do we know what time of year Jesus died? What time was it? It says passover time. It tells us. You know, he's eating a passover meal, the last supper. That all happened during passover.

Do we know what time of year the passover is? Springtime. Do we know roughly how old Jesus was when he began his ministry? Right about his 30th birthday, okay? It says, "as he began to be years of age." That doesn't mean it was his birthday, but probably within a week or two anyway. And he did it to land on that time, 'cause that's when the priests could begin ministering. How long did Jesus minister? Three and a half years. So, if you count back /2 years from the spring of passover when he died, and you know that he began his ministry about his 30th birthday, he was born roughly in the fall.

September, somewhere in there. So we don't know the exact date. And that's probably better off. And I'm not around here to try and ruin people's Christmas, but just, you know, be informed that that's--the Bible tells us that. What was the event that Marked the beginning of his ministry? His baptism.

If you look in Daniel 9 when it talks about the prophecy, it says, "70 weeks are determined upon your people." And in that passage there it says, "to anoint the most holy." When did Jesus, when was he anointed with the Holy Spirit for ministry? Keep in mind, the word, "Messiah," and the word, "Christ," both mean the anointed. Jesus was the anointed. When we say "Jesus Christ," Christ was not his last name like smith or carpenter. The word, "Christ," means, "Jesus the anointed," the one, the Messiah we were waiting for. Cristos is the Greek way of saying it.

Messiah is the Jewish way of saying, "the anointed." Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit when he came up out of the water at his baptism. He began his ministry. No miracles before, that he performed, before his baptism. So he began to teach. Does that say something about us? Does the Lord want us to begin lives of ministry after baptism? Was the Lord filled with the Holy Spirit at his baptism? Why does God give us the Holy Spirit at baptism? To do a holy work.

He gives us the Holy Spirit because he wants us to begin lives of ministry. And so that began at his baptism. He began preaching, "the Kingdom of heaven is at hand," and started teaching. But something happened even before that. Matthew 4:4, it tells us, "it is written, 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

'" Jesus was led out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Now what Jesus went through is very similar to what the Israelites went through. Jesus was baptized and then went out into the desert, the wilderness. The children of Israel went through the red sea and where did they end up? They called it the wilderness of temptation. Where did Jesus go after his baptism? He went into a wilderness of temptation.

And he was tested in three principle areas. Now why those three areas? Is that because there are only three sins? Well, in a way there are. There are only three categories of sin. In 1 John 2, if you read verses 15-17, it says, "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. For if any man loves the world, the love of The Father is not in him.

For all that's in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." How many? Three. "Are not of The Father but of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof; but he that does the will of God will abide forever." Three personal categories: when eve fell in the garden and man, adam and eve both, there were three things that it talks about. They saw the food. It was desired.

It was pleasant to the eyes, desire to make one wise, the lust of the flesh; it looked like it would taste good. They could smell the aroma. It was pleasant to the eyes, the lust of the eyes; it was the desire to make one wise, the pride of life. And so the same three areas where they fell--isn't it interesting that adam fell in a garden, the first adam. The second adam, Jesus, overcame in a wilderness.

The first adam, he fell when he had every advantage. He was feeling good. He was feeling perky. All the benefits of having a sinless mind and a perfect body. When did Jesus overcome? Opposite.

He was tired. He had the fallen body of adam. He had all of the fatigue. And he overcame in that circumstance. And if Jesus did that, he did it as an example for us.

He walked that we may follow in his steps. That's later on in our study today. So Jesus is tempted in these three principal areas in the beginning of his ministry. And it tells us a lot. First of all, how did he answer the devil when the devil came to him with that first temptation? "Man shall not live by bread alone.

" He begins all three times by saying, "it is written." "It is written." "It is written." Did Jesus carry a little computerized Bible like I've got on my phone when he was going through the wilderness, and say, "hang on, lucifer. I just, I want to look something up here. There's gotta be a reference here for this temptation. I know there's a promise here somewhere. I'll do a search.

" Or did he say, "just a moment here. Let me get these scrolls out of my backpack." You know, I heard an amazing fact I shared at the radio program last week. The grand vizier of persia who was the prime minister, basically, of the persian empire during the peek of the ottoman empire was really the most important man in the Kingdom. He took care of all the official business while the sultan was kind of preoccupied with the palatial pleasures that sultans got involved in. So the grand vizier was the administrator, the businessman.

When he traveled, he had all of the official documents of the Kingdom with him. Seventy-two thousand scrolls and they had 400 camels that carried them. And the camels were trained to walk in alphabetical order so they could find the scrolls. When he went on official business he took this caravan of camels with him that carried the state library. But then they got lost in a sandstorm and it was all wiped out.

I made that part up. Hard drive was erased. How does your hard drive crash when you have 400 camels? Anyway, so what did Jesus do when he was tempted? Did he have to reach into a backpack for a scroll? Or was it here...? "Thy word I have hidden," where? "In my heart." And as a man thinks in his heart, it's in your mind. He had stored the Word of God in his mind. And all three times, just as a matter of point, when he was tempted by the devil, he quotes from Deuteronomy principally.

So he had--you know many Jewish boys had the whole book of Deuteronomy memorized. That would not be unique to Jesus. They used to--we don't use our brains today like we could. Do you know in order to be a buddhist monk, they've gotta memorize voluminous amounts of their sacred writings. And they're tested before they are initiated as buddhist monks.

It's just text after text. You ever seen these buddhist monks in their monasteries, and they're memorizing Scripture. They gotta memorize just fantastic amounts of these texts and these Proverbs and teachings. And they do. And they can't say, "just a minute.

Let me reference my notes." When they're examined, they've gotta have it all here. We can memorize a lot more Bible than we do. But you know we've trained our minds because we have so many mechanisms for storing information outside of our brains. We've trained our minds to get lazy. Your brain is not a muscle, but it does benefit from exercise.

They've proven that even different forms of dementia, alzheimer's, are staved off by using your brain, by forcing yourself to memorize. And so memorize Scripture. It will strengthen your mind and challenge it as no other book will. So Jesus is tempted. All three times he meets the temptation by saying, "it is written.

" When did the temptation come? When he was strong or when he was weak? When he was full or when he was hungry? When he was surrounded with his support group or alone? How does the devil often come to us with temptation? Waits until we're tired. We're alone. We feel isolated. We're hungry. You're weak.

And he waits until that moment, and then he try and pounds on us right then. Jesus overcame in this. How do we find victory? Peter 1:4, by which we have given-- "by which hath been given to us exceeding great and precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." So we're all faced with the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Through the exceeding precious promises in God's Word, we can obtain victory and the divine nature. We can become like Christ.

Because what is Jesus? He is the word. So as you store the word in your mind, what are you storing in your mind? The mind of Christ. You become like him. When the disciples, after Jesus ascended to heaven, were examined by the sanhedrin, it says, "they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus." Why did they say they could tell they'd been with Jesus? Because they said, "you know, they're talking and acting like him." They had tried Jesus a few weeks earlier. And they said, "you know, we can tell they've been with Jesus 'cause they're like him.

" Well, they spent 3 1/2 years walking with him, you start to become like people after a while. Okay, well let's move on with our lesson here. It talks about the beginning of his ministry a little bit. Hebrews 4:15, before we go to the next section, I think I gave that verse to somebody. Got it right here, birdie.

"For we do not have a high priest who's unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without sin." All right, that's very encouraging. Now we're gonna move on in our lesson here to the section on prayer, his life of prayer. There was an intensity in the life of prayer. Now before we even go there, let me ask you a question. Why do we pray? In a word or two, why do we pray? Hold up your hands.

I'll call on you. Then I'll repeat what you say so people at home can hear what you say. Why do we pray? To communicate with God. Yes? For strength. To communicate.

But why do we communicate with God? In the back, why do we pray? Because Jesus is our friend and we need to talk to our friend. Because Jesus is our friend and we need to talk to him. Do we communicate with God to bring God down to our level? Or does prayer lift us up to God? Do we communicate with God to inform him of something he does not know? Does Jesus say, "you're Heavenly Father knows what things you have need of before you pray?" So when Jesus was on earth, was he God incarnate? Did he need to inform God The Father what was going on? Why did Jesus pray? Did Jesus need prayer? He did. Even though he was God The Son, he needed prayer because he lived as a man among men. I mean you think about this, he laid aside his divinity, didn't he? And so he experienced sometimes the, you know, the separation and the darkness that we feel in the garden of Gethsemane when he prayed.

Boy, he was really praying. He was seeking for answers. He was looking for options. And so having said that, let's look here Luke 6:12. It says, "it came to pass in those days he went out in the mountain to pray, and he continued all night to God in prayer.

" Well, I'm not going to ask for a show of hands how many of you have prayed all night long. I venture to say probably not too many. But this was not the only time Jesus did this. Before Jesus picked the apostles, he spent the entire night in prayer. He thought this was so important.

Was that because he took, you know, several cups of espresso and said, "look, I just wanna, I'm gonna tank myself up on caffeine. I'm gonna stay up and pray all night." Do you think he was tired? He ignored his fatigue. And he said, "prayer. This is more important." Sometimes when I'm preparing a message Friday night, I want to quit before the message is ready, but I say, "you know, I'm tired. I want to quit, but I can't.

" I need to invest more in this message. Happened last night, and you'll find out in an hour whether it was worth it or not. But sometimes you might think, "I'm tired. I'm going to bed." Have you ever been praying over something where you say, "I'm tired, but you know, I need to pray more. I'm going to disregard my personal comfort and feelings and pray, 'cause I need it.

I haven't prayed enough. I need to make sure I have an assurance." Christ sets an example for intensity of prayer for you and me that's seldom experienced. I can think of a couple of times. Matter of fact, a friend of mine, and I won't mention his name, he may not want me to, I lost track of him for, oh, years. But I remember one time in feather river, I drove my motorcycle from covelo, where I was living.

I heard there was a Bible study, drove across the mountains, about 30 miles of dirt road, plus a whole lot of paved road up by paradise. And you know, it's a 4-hour drive on a little 125 or 250 honda motorcycle to go to a prayer meeting. And I went to this prayer meeting. And I had heard that the Holy Spirit was really in this meeting. And I wanted to be there and that wonderful things were happening.

So I rode over and I was there or 3 days. And I remember one night, my friend and I stayed up and we prayed and we studied all night long. So it wasn't just praying all night. We'd pray, we'd read something, we'd go, "wow, this is great." And we'd get down and we'd pray again. We'd talk to the Lord.

And then we'd read something else and say, "help us understand this. We don't understand." And it would come to us. We'd say, "oh praise the Lord!" I don't remember ever being so excited. By the way, that was--we were praying and reading Daniel 9. And I ran into him again this year, hadn't seen him in years.

And we both remember. You never forget when you have a night like that, when you stay up and you just feel the Holy Spirit is there and-- or sometimes it's not that kind of prayer. It might be something where your heart is broken and you're up praying. I remember when getting news that our son had died. And I was in the Philippines.

And once I got the news, I got the news early in the morning. And that day--oh, that was a long day. I was in prayer all day long. At first I was praying for my son, 'cause when I got the news he was alive. Then once we heard that he had died at the hospital, then I started praying for the other children and the family and all kinds of things.

And all the night long from the Philippines, praying at the airport that we could get a ticket. That was a nightmare. And flying back to the states. Flew all the way back from the Philippines, got right to the house, didn't even go to sleep, drove to lincoln airport, got my plane, flew up to where our kids were already gathered. And just that was just an intensity of prayer, didn't even stop.

And so, you know, Jesus had some nights like that where he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane. The intensity of prayer I think is lost. We don't do it much. Jesus gives us an example of that in the word. Let me give you one more.

Matthew 14:23, "and when he sent the multitudes away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray." Now we pray in church. At the beginning of our worship service, we'll all kneel. We'll pray together. Matter of fact, we'll probably pray several more times before the service is over today. And we're praying together.

And that's good. And you hopefully pray in your families. You have worship in your families, morning and evening at least. Daniel said morning, evening and at noon. Actually king David said morning, evening and at noon, but Daniel prayed three times a day.

So it's good to have appointments for prayer. But do you have personal time for prayer? Where whether or not anyone's around you've disciplined yourself that whether you feel like it, sometimes you feel like God is not there, sometimes you feel like, "is anyone listening?" You do it anyway. And you say, "I'm gonna have this personal time of prayer. Jesus went off by himself, and he prayed. And that needs to be part of every Christian's life.

Now I gave a verse out John 16:24. "Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." When the disciples saw Jesus praying they could just tell that he was radiating the Holy Spirit. When he came from prayer, even though he may not have slept, he looked strengthened. Can you get physical strength from spiritual means? You remember when Jesus met the woman at the well and he was so encouraged that she had accepted him and she was going to tell the other people in the samaritan town that he was the Messiah? And the disciples said, "Lord, you're hungry.

Here, you haven't eaten. You're gonna get low blood pressure--low blood sugar. We need to give you something to eat." And he said, "I have food you don't know of." He looked strengthened. When Jesus came from prayer, even though he had less sleep, he had more strength because of the time he'd spent in prayer. Martin luther would say, "if I don't spend 3 hours in prayer every morning, I can't get anything done.

" I mean we'd say the opposite. "If I woke up early enough to pray 3 hours, I'd never get anything done. I'd be too tired and run out of time." I'm not claiming to have all the answers, friends. But I think sometimes that we miss a spiritual edifying God wants to give us through prayer. So when the disciples came to him and said, "teach us to pray," how did Jesus answer them? He said, "all right, we're gonna have a seminar on prayer.

It'll be 4 days," like our "afcoe to go" program. Is that what he said? He gave them the Lord's prayer. You keep reading here. They said, "teach us to pray," this is Luke 11:1. He said, "when you pray, say: 'our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us." I'm reading from the Luke version. "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

" Course Matthew is a slight variation of that. In Matthew he says, "pray after this manner." Nowhere does the Bible tell us to repeat the prayer. And it's really--we call it the Lord's prayer. But it's not the Lord's prayer. Nowhere does Jesus call it, "my prayer.

" It's supposed to be the disciple's prayer. He says, "when you pray, pray in this manner." This is a prayer for you, but it's a model for prayer. It's an outline for prayer. You notice it starts out there's seven petitions in the Lord's prayer. All of the petitions have to do with our collective needs.

It never says, "i" or "me" in the prayer. Now I can't speak for you, but I know in my prayers, I seem to keep showing up as a central character in my prayers, just pop up all over the place. I, me, my, mine, myself, me, me, me in my prayers. But in the pattern that God gives us for prayer, it's all about him. You read the prayer of Daniel, read the prayer of Elijah, read the great prayers in the Bible.

You'd be surprised how often that the author of the prayer never even refers to themself, because a Christian, it's about--it starts with love for God and love for your neighbor. It's not all about love for you. But so many of our prayers are--it's like the prayer of jabez became very popular because jabez is one of the prayers where he's praying about himself. "Lord, do this for me and do this for me and do this for me." And people say, "I like that prayer." But most of the prayers in the Bible, it's about: lead us, forgive us, heal us, deliver us. It's us; it's not just me, 'cause we're in this collectively together.

the Lord's prayer is designed something like the Ten Commandments, where you've got the first 40% of the petitions deal with our relationship with God, like the first commandments. And the last 60% deal with our relationship with each other. The first three petitions, in other words, in the Lord's prayer, it's talking about, "your name, your kingdom, your will." God. The last four, "forgive us, lead us, feed us, deliver us." It's talking about our relationships with each other. So the pattern of prayer that the Lord gives there is wonderful.

You know, and ultimately leading us from temptation. And the ultimate end of the prayer is, "yours is the glory." It starts out with "hallowed is your name." The prayer begins with, "your name," and it ends with, "your glory." So why do we pray? For us, or ultimately the purpose of life is God's name and God's glory. And forever and ever, amen. I'd like to say more about that, but I'm looking at the time, I'm looking at our lesson, "his life of prayer," and "the intensity of Jesus' mission." Let's go on there to the fourth part. John 9:4, does somebody have that? Right here.

Let's read that. John 9:4. And while we're getting ready for that, let me read John 4:34. "Jesus said to them, 'my food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work.'" He existed to finish the work of the one who sent him. All right, go ahead and read for us John 9:4.

"I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work." Thank you. Christ felt an urgency about life. He realized there was a limitation of time. Many times in the life of Christ he talks about, "now is the hour." "Now is not the time." "Now is the time." He was very conscious of the time of his life and the events of his ministry and that there were limitations on it. You know, they have people now that are called, "life coaches.

" And others that will help you map out your life. You need a life plan. And you know, I do think it's a good idea to have a general plan, just make sure and lay all your plans at God's feet for him to change or altar your schedule. But it is good for you to have long term plans and say, "you know, Lord, I want to think ahead about what you want to do through me in my life." And it's a good idea to do the most strenuous things while you're young and you've got the strength and the energy. And do the more cerebral things when you get a little older and you got the wisdom.

And so you can plan those things out that way. I've thought already in my mind that if the Lord tarries and time goes on, my body will not be able to handle all the travel that I've been doing over recent years. I'd like to stay closer to home and do more writing and teaching and try and be as productive as I can that way. It's just a plan. I'm not there yet, but you gotta think ahead like that.

Jesus wanted to do as much as he could with his life. There's an intensity in his mission. Luke 4:42, "and when it was day, he departed and he went into a desert place. And people sought him and came to him and stayed, and said that he should not depart from them. And he said, 'I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore I am sent.

' And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee." Jesus went on a circuit preaching everywhere. And then finally it talks about our "walk with God." It says that, "he who abides in him ought himself to walk even as he walked." And that's 1 John 2:6. And 1 Peter 2:21, "for to this you were called, because Christ Jesus also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you," and i, "should follow in his steps." And so Christ is our example. We're to walk as he walked. The intensity of his life, his ministry, his mission are set there so that it might be a pattern for us of prayer, of trust, of activity in serving God.

"The wonder of Jesus." Well, next week we'll be on lesson number 9. I apologize; we've run out of time once again. And I want to thank you for studying with us, friends, who've been joining either on the internet or watching on this network. And thank you for the networks for broadcasting this. God willing we'll be studying again next week as well.

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