Stories of Triumph: Body, Mind and Heart

Date: 05/21/2022 
Here is a look at several Bible stories that tell about trials, tragedy, and ultimately triumph.

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Doug Batchelor: It's been many years, but it still feels like yesterday. Living in a cave high above Palm Springs, no money, no prospects, just drifting through life, deeply confused about who I was and wondering if life held any purpose. Coming from a wealthy family, I could have had it all. Money, power fame. But this all struck me as plastic and empty. It wasn't until I was at the lowest point in my life when I found true meaning. Somebody had left a Bible in my cave and I quickly discovered why this is the number one bestseller in the world.

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Doug: I'd like to share some things with you today in our weekend series dealing with "Trials and Triumph, the Power of the Story." And we're going to be looking at several biblical vignette stories that tell us about both trials, some tragedy, and, ultimately, triumph. And we're going to talk to you about how you can write a story of triumph.

I'd like to begin by having you join me in the Bible. Turn in the Word of God to the book of Mark chapter 10. Mark chapter 10. A passage that I'm sure you're familiar with where it tells about this rich young ruler that comes to Jesus. See, Jesus had just got done blessing the children and a wealthy young man was watching from a distance and he just felt moved by the teachings and the character of Jesus. And as Jesus was preparing to go down the road, he ran after Him and he got down on his knees and he said, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do that? I might have eternal life?" And Christ said, "Why do you call Me good? None is good but One and that is God. Keep the commandments." He said, "Which ones?" And Jesus began to recite for him the Ten Commandments that deal with man's relationship with his fellow man.

And He thought, what Jewish boy doesn't know the Ten Commandments? He said, "All these, I've kept from my youth even till now. What do I lack?" And Jesus said, "One thing you lack: go your way, sell what you have, give it to the poor, you'll have treasure in heaven; and take up your cross, and follow Me."

One thing. What is that one thing that you lack? Well, evidently, this young man, he weighed the cost of sacrificing the riches. Said, "How could I turn away from that? Everybody wants money, everyone wants to be successful and wealthy. And I'm there. You want me to sacrifice all of that and then take up the cross? That means, like, self-denial and crucifixion. I don't know if I can do that. And give it to the poor?"

Moses says in Deuteronomy 6, verse 5, "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your strength." Mentions three things there. All your heart, all of your soul, and all of your strength. So, there's really one thing there: all. Love the Lord with all. How do you do that? By the way, the very fact that Jesus says, and God says to Moses, that we should love Him with all implies that some love Him, but not with all. You can love Him partially. And I think that would be the case of many who are Christians. It's--they love the Lord, but not with all.

Now, some people think that you can accept Jesus and just put a little Jesus into your existing plan. That's not how it works for the real Christian. For the real Christian, it is a total commitment. It is total consecration. I love the story about the chicken and the pig. They were so thankful that the farmer fed them so well, the chicken suggested one day, "We ought to do something nice for the farmer." And the pig said, "What do you have in mind?" Said, "Well, why don't we make him a bacon and eggs breakfast?" And the pig thought about it and he said, "Well, for you, it's a donation. For me, that would be total consecration." And that's really what it is. It's a total commitment that we make to the Lord. You look at 1 Thessalonians 5, verse 23. "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

So, what are the trials that we deal with that we must triumph over? It's not a physical war in some country. It's not really the idea that you might be captured and tortured for your faith. The trials that we deal with are everyday trials and your triumph in the little everyday trials is going to mean the ultimate overcoming and victory. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb. That means the life of Jesus. The life is in the blood. 1 John chapter 2, verse 15. Here's a trial. It says, "Love not the world or the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that's in the world," notice here, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world."

You got three things there. Jesus was tempted in three principal areas. Eve fell in three principal areas. But he that does the will of God will abide forever. So, we're all being tried every day. We're being tested every day. The triumph is he that does the will of God abides forever. So, I'd like to talk to you about the three principal areas, I'm going to simplify it, where we're tried and where we must triumph. It's simply your body, your mind, and your heart. Keep it simple. Your body, your mind, and your heart. Now, I hope you'll forgive me if I get a little bit specific today, but I've got this one shot this morning to try to share with you what I think very important priorities are.

Love God with your body, all of your body. You must consecrate your body to God. That would involve getting proper exercise. It would involve getting adequate rest. I know when I was young, I'd stay up for 24 hours and then I could sleep for 24 hours. I don't think I was that temperate. I'm literally--we--I would, sometimes. I'd sleep for a whole day, practically. And I'd tell myself, "Well, I'm growing so I need to rest." Teenagers. Now, boy, if I could sleep 24 hours. The Bible tells us, "Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, do all to the glory of God." Be careful what you eat and what you drink. You know, you should eat at meal time. Don't be snacking all the time. Don't be eating junk food because your mind doesn't work well.

Now, before I get to mind and heart, you realize it's important for you to take care of your body because if your body is not well, you do not understand with your mind and it's your mind that then influences the heart affections. I spent a lot of time witnessing to drunk people. When I first came to the Lord, I had friends that were using drugs and they were drinking and I witnessed to them and, under the influence, they blubber and sob and say, "I want to give my heart to Jesus. I'm tired of this. Doug, I--yes, I do." And then they wake up the next morning, they forget the whole conversation. I was wasting my time. Now, there may be exceptions to that, but they needed a clear head to understand what the Holy Spirit was saying to them. And a lot of young people in this generation don't hear the voice of God's Spirit because their minds are so rattled with what they're eating and what they're drinking and--take care of your body.

Eat the right thing. "Woe to you, O land, when your prince is a child. Blessed are you, O land, when they eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness." Eat the right things at the right time and the right quantity, get your exercise, get your rest, get some fresh air. Good work is healthy. And then, ultimately, it says, Philippians 4:5, "Let your moderation be known to all men." Stay away from any drugs unless the doctor is prescribing it. Get some aerobic exercise. The only aerobic exercise some kids get is... "Oh, well." Carpal tunnel when they're 13 years old and they're texting.

Take care of your body, and while we're talking about the body, you want to be careful what you eat. I said, eat at the right times. I have an old friend that gave me some good advice. He was late in his 90s and he was out still running his Rototiller. His name was Art Reed and I said, "Art, you're in such good shape for your age." And he said, "Well, yes, I run out of steam earlier than I used to." He said, "But I learned when I was a young man," said, "wake up when you're still a little bit sleepy, stop eating when you're still a little bit hungry." He said, "Stop talking when you still have something left to say." That's good. You got to write that down. That is some good advice for life.

You don't want to be controlled by the flesh. The Bible says, in Romans chapter 8, if we are controlled by the flesh, we will die. We want to be controlled by the Spirit. To be carnally minded is death. To be Spiritually minded is life. We've all got bodies, we all have desires in the bodies. They should not rule you, you should rule it. Amen? Esau sold his birthright for a pot of beans. Some people do it for a doughnut.

You need to say, "I am God's." And Mark chapter 12 verse 30 says, "Thou shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul," and then when Jesus quotes Moses, He throws in an extra category. Did you ever notice that? That Moses simply says, "Love the Lord with your heart, with your mind--with your strength, and with your soul." Jesus says, "And your mind." Now, clearly, the mind must be something different than the soul and the heart because Jesus spells it out. He throws it in as something different. You want to love God with your intellect, with your brain. I'm a Christian. Not because of a warm feeling. The Almighty says, "I gave you a noodle. I want you to use it." Of course, He doesn't call it a noodle, but He wants you to use your mind.

Christianity, the Bible, the truth should appeal to the intellect. It should give you a good foundation so when you're tempted, you not only say, you know, "I know I shouldn't do this." You may, with your heart, be thinking, well, I want to do this. But your brain is saying that that is a bad decision because the consequences of that decision are going to end poorly. You know what I'm saying? God wants us to use our brains. You want to love the Lord with your mind. Feed your mind those things that are good. If you're watching goofy television, if you're watching silly YouTubes, and TikTok, and Instagrams, and you're filling your mind with mental junk food, you are not loving the Lord with all of your mind.

Now, I know everybody's--I could just see a bunch of you right now look right and left and then hang your heads. I've seen some stuff on YouTube and people have sent me TikToks and I look both ways and I look at it, you know. Don't become preoccupied with that stuff because I know young people that get addicted to it. And it's real easy. They spend all their time--what's the latest crazy thing that people are sending around? "Wow, have you seen this one? It went viral." What is it? "It's, you know, somebody shooting themselves out of a cannon." And just--there's no spiritually redeeming value in this stuff. So, why do you want to fill your mind with foolishness?

The devil doesn't care what your distraction is. It doesn't necessarily to be--need to be terribly evil as long as he can keep your eyes away from Jesus and the things that really matter. And the devil has a whole generation that is just distracted with frivolous foolishness on the Internet. And I just see the kids you walk by and there's 50 of them, they're all looking at their phones. They'll be 12 feet away from each other, they're texting each other. Instead of walking over and saying something, they'll text everybody and they'll say, "Hoo, hoo, hoo," then they laugh and say, "I'm going to forward this one. Hoo, hoo, hoo," they're all like--what are they looking at? It's a poodle in a ballerina skirt or something, you know? And you just--it's not necessarily evil, but just, the devil's got us just wasting our minds.

If I could go back in time, I would spend a lot more time reading and learning. And whatever you learn in this life you're taking with you to the next life. Take care of your mind. Don't waste your mind. 1 Timothy 4:12. Timothy is an example of a triumph in this area. "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers," let them see your story, "in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading." Paul's saying, "Study." "To exhortation, and doctrine." Study, again. "Do not neglect the gift that is in you, given to you by prophecy with the laying on of hands of the eldership." Meditate. He's saying, "Think." "About these things. Take heed to yourself in the doctrine." Those are intellectual words. "Continue in them," notice, "for in doing this you will save yourself and those who hear you."

By using your head, and feeding your mind, and taking care of your body, you're going to be able to reach other people. So, you're not just learning for your own entertainment, you're learning so that you can share. Guard your mind, guard what goes into your mind. Guard the avenues of your soul. 2 Corinthians 10:5, "Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into the captivity and obedience to Christ." Now, we want to serve God with all of our body, consecrate our body, present it a living sacrifice. We want to give Him our brains, our minds, our intellect. It's talking about your cerebral thinking, being analytical, which is really distinct from the next part, your heart. That's your affections, your core affections you want to give to the Lord.

Now, why do we want to serve the Lord? I heard brother Aron sharing this in the last presentation. We love Him because what? He first loved us. You know, you can see a lot of tragedy and you can think crime is terrible. You can read the news and it can bother you intellectually, but when someone breaks into your house, then it's emotional. It's a little different. God doesn't just want our intellect. He wants our hearts. Why is this important? Ezekiel 36:26, "I will give you a new heart." If you're saying, "Pastor Doug, what if I don't love Jesus?" Don't worry, He can give you a new heart.

Jesus was not only a carpenter, He was a heart surgeon. He does transplants and He can give you a new heart. It's why David prayed, "Lord, create within me a new heart and put a right spirit." So, if you say, "Pastor Doug, I just--I haven't felt it." That's okay. He can give you a new heart. He can change your affections. He can put a new spirit within you. "I'll take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." The things you once loved, you'll hate; the things you once hated, you'll love. You can become a new creature. "All old things are passed away, all things are made new." 1 Samuel chapter 16, verse 7, "For the Lord doesn't see as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance," but where does God look? "On the heart."

When the Holy Spirit came on the king when he was anointed, it says, "A new heart was given to him." And God can give us new hearts. Matter of fact, you need to have--it's not, you know, this is not optional, friends. Jesus said, "Unless you're born of the water and the Spirit," the Bible calls it being born again, "you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." We need to love Him all our hearts. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were ready and willing to go to the fiery furnace because they loved the Lord with all their hearts. They also loved the Lord with all of their bodies. They would not defile themselves with the king's food. Amen? They loved the Lord with all of their minds, and so they told the king, "We don't need to even take time to answer this question."

So, we got examples in the Bible of triumph over body. People like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, they would not be defiled with the Babylonian food. We've got examples of people who triumphed in their minds like Matthew and the prodigal son and others. And there's a lot of examples of people who triumphed in their hearts. Peter did not know his own heart. He said, "Oh, though all men forsake Thee, I'll not forsake Thee." Jesus said, "Peter, Satan has desired to have you that he might sift you as wheat. But I prayed for you that your faith does not fail."

From that very--it wasn't even 24 hours from him being at a prayer meeting with Jesus testifying with his friends, then he's denying that he ever knew Jesus. He loved the Lord, but not with all his heart. But then, right after he denied Jesus the third time, he turned back towards the judgment hall and they had either a balance or pillars or something, he could see what was going on inside and he saw a soldier strike Jesus on the face. And Jesus looked up and He wasn't even interested in the pain. Jesus turned and He looked at Peter. Jesus had a look of compassion. Said, "Peter, you know, I still love you. I told you this was going to happen. You don't know your own heart." And he saw Jesus being taken off to be beaten and ultimately crucified and it broke Peter's heart.

The Bible says he went out and he wept bitterly. It wasn't just logical, it was emotional. When he saw the love of God, Peter loved Him because He first loved Peter. "While we were yet sinners. Christ died for us." Even in the midst of his denying Christ, Jesus said, "I still love you." And when you're surrounded with your friends and they're making fun of Christians, you're acting like you don't know Jesus, He still loves you. He is dying on the cross for you. And then Peter went out, wet bitterly, and he was a different man. Did he then love the Lord with all his heart? He did. And later, when they said, "Peter, you better not preach in the name of Jesus anymore." Peter said, "We ought to obey God rather than men. Do what you want to do." And they threw him in jail, they whipped him. He would not stop telling the story because his heart had changed. Telling what Jesus had done for him. Amen?

And we started out talking about the rich young ruler. You can read about that in Mark chapter 10. Jesus said, "Follow me," a rich man. Jesus--you read in that same passage, says, "Jesus, looking at him, loved him." Said, "Go forsake everything and follow me." Now, Jesus didn't tell everybody to forsake everything and follow Him. He did tell the apostles that. Do you know that? This man was given the same invitation that was given to Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew. We don't know what his name was. It could have been Wilbur. It's not a biblical name, but it stands out. You could be reading your Bible and it would say Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Wilbur. He could have been an apostle. That's right, it says, "Looking on him, He loved him." But the man loved money more, like Balaam and Judas. That ended so sadly. They love the things of the world more.

But you know, you go to the end of Mark chapter 10 and it says there's a blind beggar named Bartimaeus. And he hears this commotion in Jericho and he says, "What is it?" And they said, "It's the teacher from Nazareth, Jesus." "Jesus. I've heard that He can heal even blind people. Jesus." And as he heard Him getting closer, he used his sonar and when he could tell that Jesus was approaching, he began to shout at the top of his lungs and say, "Son of David, have mercy on me! Son of David, have mercy on me!" And they told Bartimaeus, "Shh, be quiet, you're making a spectacle. People are trying to talk to Him. You're a poor, dirty beggar. You're cursed of God. Be quiet." He would not listen to the crowd. He called out even louder. "Son of David, have mercy on me! Son of David"--by the way, calling Him Son of David means he believed He was the Messiah. Jesus heard him the first time he called, but He let him keep calling.

Jesus hears you the first time you pray. Don't stop praying. Finally, Jesus stopped the procession and said, "Bring him to Me." And they said to Bartimaeus, "Rise. Good news. He's calling you. Come to Him." And I love this part. This poor, blind beggar, casting aside his garment, that's all he had, casting aside his garment he came to Jesus. Garment of a beggar is probably not very clean because you don't know where all the spots are do you? Casting aside his filthy rags he came to Jesus. Jesus says, "What do you want Me to do for you?" Well, it was self evident. He says, "Lord, that I might receive my sight." He says, "Go your way." He said, "You can go. Your faith has made you whole because you came to Me, believing your eyes are going to be open." And the Bible tells us that, oh, no, once his eyes opened, the first thing he saw was Jesus's face. He saw that face of love and it says, "He followed Him down the road." The beggar was willing to give everything. The rich man was not. The rich man went away sad. The beggar followed him, poor and rejoicing.

Now, Jesus is following all of us. He has a story that He wants you to share. You know, Christ in the wilderness, Jesus shared all with us. The devil tempted Him in three areas of temptation: His body, His mind, and His heart. Jesus said no to the devil in all those areas. Meaning you can have victory in all of those areas. And when you see His love for you, you should love Him. You know, what kind of world would we have if the young people today would give all?

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