2 Chronicles 25:11 “And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand.”
Daniel 10:19“And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.”
1. THE LORD PROVIDES STRENGTH WHEN WE ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND UP FOR HIM.
Colossians 1:11“Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”
2 Timothy 4:17“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”
2. WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR HUMAN WEAKNESS AND TURN TO GOD, WE ARE MADE STRONG BY OUR FAITH IN HIM.
Hebrews 11:34“Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” 2 Corinthians 12:10“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
3. WE CAN LOSE OUR STRENGTH FROM GOD WHEN WE DECIDE TO DO THINGS OUR OWN WAY, AND NOT HIS.
Judges 16:19-21“And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.”
4. GOD PROVIDES THE RESOURCES SO WE CAN BE STRONG.
COMPLETE FAITH IN THE PERSON OF OUR LORD.
Hebrews 6:18“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:”
NOURISHMENT FROM THE WORD OF GOD.
Hebrews 5:12“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” Hebrews 5:14“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
POWER FROM HIS SPIRIT.
Ephesians 3:16“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;”
5. THERE ARE GOOD RESULTS WHEN WE DEPEND ON GOD AND NOT OURSELVES.
Philippians 4:13“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Ephesians 6:10“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”
When God lifts you, He takes you up and away from someplace. It is always better than where you have been.
I know most people think of God doing that at death. But, the Bible has many more accounts of God lifting us while we are living our lives right here on earth.
***There are times when we get help by using whatever weak power we have left, and at other times, God wants us to just stop our efforts, and watch as His hand comes down and pulls us up. –The case off Peter walking on water. He began to sink. There was an alternative to that, wasn’t there ? He could have started swimming back to the ship. After all, he was a fisherman, raised on the water, and probably knew how to swim. But, he chose to cry out to the Lord. It was the right thing for him to do at the time.
WHEN TORN BY SPIRITUAL BATTLES–GOD LIFTS US UP.
Psalms 30:1«A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David.» I will extol thee, O LORD; for Thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
THIS WAS TO BE SUNG AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID. IT DEALS WITH THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE, AND THE ENEMIES OF GOD.
WHEN HURT BY CONVICTION, GUILT AND SHAME, GOD WILL REACH DOWN AND LIFT US UP.
Psalms 102:10Because of Thine indignation and Thy wrath: for Thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.
WE ARE CHASTEN OUT OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US.
Hebrews 12:6For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
Revelation 3:19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAN LIFT US TO GREATER UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE.
Ezekiel 3:14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
Ezekiel 11:1Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD’S house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.
GOD CAN LIFT THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN CHASTENED.
1 Samuel 2:7The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up.
GOD CAN LIFT THOSE IN POVERTY.
1 Samuel 2:8He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and He hath set the world upon them.
Psalms 113:7He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
Psalms 147:6The LORD lifteth up the meek: He casteth the wicked down to the ground.
GOD LIFTS US UP WITH THE BLESSINGS ONLY HE CAN GIVE.
JOY AND PEACE AND A KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
Luke 24:47-53And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
HE WILL LIFT PEOPLE TO JUDGMENT.
HE WILL LIFT THEM IN RESURRECTION, BOTH SAVED AND LOST.
John 12:32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.
THE SAVED TO THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.
THE LOST TO THE WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT.
John 12:34The people answered Him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest Thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
Acts 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
THERE COULD HAVE BEEN MANY WRONG POSSIBLE ACTIONS TAKEN BY PETER AND JOHN.
THEY COULD HAVE PLACED THE EXPECTATIONS OF MOST OF THE BEGGARS ON THEIR AGENDA (what were they people gathered for ? To obtain an alms).
THEY COULD HAVE PLACED THEIR OWN PRIORITIES UPON HIM. THEY WANTED TO GO AND WORSHIP, SO THE COULD HAVE BRUSHED HIM OFF.
THEY COULD HAVE LOWERED THEIR EXPECTATIONS BY ASKING FOR SOMETHING NICE FOR HIM. LIKE A NEW SUIT OF CLOTHES, OR A FULL HEAD OF HAIR.
THEY COULD HAVE EXCEEDED THE PLAN OF GOD BY ASKING FOR THE MOON. THEY COULD HAVE ASKED FOR HIS HEALING OF HIS LAMENESS, AND FOR EVERY MOLE, WART OR BLEMISH TO DISAPPEAR, FOR EVERY TOOTH TO BE HEALED, AND FOR HIS EYES AND EHARING TO BE PERFECT TILL HE DIES.
HOW DO YOU MINISTER TO OTHERS ? WITH GODLY LOVE ?
SOME HERE DO THAT, AND ARE SUCH POWERFUL BLESSINGS TO OTHERS. BUT, SOME COME UP VERY VERY SHORT.
****Interactive portion of message where scriptures are given to each person who is asked to read the scripture aloud and tell what verse means to them.****
DO THESE VERSES TELL US WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO FOR EACH OTHER ?
–John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
–John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
–John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
–Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
–Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
–Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
–Romans 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
–Romans 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
–Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
–Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
–Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
–Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
–Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
–1 Thessalonians 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
–1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
–1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
–Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
–Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
–Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
–1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
–1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
–1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
–1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
–1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
–Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
–Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
–Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
–Luke 14:10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
WHAT WOULD JESUS WANT DONE ?
WHAT WOULD THAT PERSON WANT DONE ?
WHAT WOULD I LIKE TO HAVE DONE IF I WAS THAT PERSON ?
LOVE IS A COMMAND FROM GOD. AND IT IS FAR MORE THAN WHAT MOST CHRISTIAN WANT IT TO BE WHEN APPLIED TO OTHERS.
John 13:34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
John 15:12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Romans 13:8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Romans 14:13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
Romans 15:7Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Romans 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
LOVE DOES SOMETHING. IT JUST DOESN’T “FEEL.”
Galatians 6:2Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Ephesians 4:2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Ephesians 4:32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Colossians 3:16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:9But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
1 Thessalonians 4:18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Hebrews 3:13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 10:24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Hebrews 10:25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
1 Peter 1:22Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1 John 3:11For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1 John 3:23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1 John 4:7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1 John 4:11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Hebrews 10:24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Romans 12:3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
GOD FIRST, OTHERS SECOND.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Luke 14:10But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
TRYING TO HELP A BROTHER OR SISTER IN CHRIST ?
HOW DO WE DO THIS ? PASS THIS TEST–
HOW WOULD JESUS FEEL ? IF WE KNOW IT, CONSIDER HOW JESUS WOULD HANDLE IT. DO WE REALLY KNOW ? IS THERE A BIBLICAL BASIS FOR YOUR CONCLUSION ?
ARE WE DOING IT BECAUSE GOD COMMANDED US TO LOVE AS HE LOVED ? SOME SEE THIS AS THEIR ESCAPE FROM DOING SOMETHING. THEY FIGURE THAT IF THEY CANNOT LOVE AS JESUS DID THEY ARE EXCUSED FROM DOING ANYTHING. NOT SO ! INSTEAD, JESUS SET A STANDARD BEFORE US WHERE WE ARE SUPPOSED TO COME UP TO THOSE STANDARDS, NOT THROW THEM AWAY SAYING THAT WE CANNOT DO THEM.
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ? CONSIDER HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IN THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES. James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
HOW WOULD THE OTHER PERSON FEEL ? CONSIDER HOW THE OTHER PERSON WOULD TAKE WHAT YOU SAY OR DO.
ASK YOURSELF WHAT RESPONSE A PERSON MIGHT HAVE TO WHAT YOU SAY. (Do NOT say, “I would have this or that reaction.” You could take things differently than the other person). THIS IS TAKING ANOTHER PERSON INTO CONSIDERATION. THE FIRST AND THIRD POINTS ARE MOST IMPORTANT.
YOU CAN CONSIDER HOW YOU WOULD REACT, BUT THE FOREMOST CONSIDERATION IS THE OTHER PERSON.
WRONGLY, MOST CHRISTIANS MINISTER TO OTHERS AS IF IT WAS NOT BIG DEAL TO BE CONSIDERATE. JUST SPEAK YOUR MIND AND SAY SOMETHING SPIRITUAL, AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. NOT SO !
A PERSON HAVING FINANCIAL TROUBLES. You don’t talk about all the things that they COULD have done. Help them think about what’s ahead if they seek God’s will.
A PERSON WHO IS SICK. Do we tell them about all the problems at work that they missed out on ? Is that thoughtful ? Do you tell them all the problems at work, and how bad different people have been ? Do you drop the rumor that says their job is about to be taken by someone else ?
A WOMAN IN THE HOSPITAL WITH 2 BROKEN LEGS FROM CAR ACCIDENT. Do you visit and tell how the Lord saved you from a very similar situation ? Or, do you tell her that you had a relative who had the very same thing, and she never was able to walk right again ? What does THAT leave her thinking ?
“CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER”
HAVE I CONSIDERED THEIR SPIRITUAL CONDITION ? ARE THEY BACKSLIDDEN ? IN REBELLION ? WEAK ? A NEW CHRISTIAN ? **You will be totally unsuccessful if you spend time talking about specifics of the Greek language or intricate meanings of a Greek word in Scripture that blessed you so much this morning. If you expect too much of them, you miss the mark. If you shoot too low, you insult their intelligence and their spiritual life.
DO I HAVE A PLAN TO EDIFY ? Or, do I speak off the top of my head, which may not bring the best results ?
DID I PUT MYSELF IN THAT PERSON’S PLACE AND KNOWING THEIR (NOT my own) PERSONALITY, DO I UNDERSTAND WHAT I CAN DO TO HELP THAT PERSON ? People often say, “I would take it this way.” BUT, you are NOT them ! Try to consider them, not yourself !
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
WE ARE NOT DOOMED TO FAILURE IN LIFE. OUR WEAKNESSES CAN BE OVERCOME. BUT, WE NEED TO CONFESS THEM AND TURN FROM THEM THROUGH THE POWER OF THE LORD.
Hebrews 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
CHRISTIANS ARE AGAINST SIN. THEY DON’T WANT IT IN OTHERS, AND THEY DON’T WANT IT IN THEMSELVES. YET, IT EXISTS. MOST PEOPLE WILL CLASSIFY SOME SINS TO BE MORE SERIOUS THAN OTHERS.
IT SEEMS THAT THERE ARE SOME SINS THAT HAVE BECOME ACCEPTABLE AMONG CHRISTIANS IN CHURCH. THESE ARE NOT CONSIDERED SERIOUS SINS BY THE PEOPLE WHO DO THEM, OR OTHER CHRISTIANS WHO WATCH.
AN EXAMPLE OF THIS IS THE MAN WHO COMMITTED ADULTERY IN 1 CORINTHINS 6. THE CHURCH ACCEPTED WHAT HE DID AS “NORMAL.” IT WASN’T, AND IT SET PAUL DOWN ON THEM WITH SOME SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES.
WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, FEW CHURCHES TODAY HAVE ANY STANDARDS THAT THEY ENFORCE AND EXPECT MEMBERS TO ABIDE BY.
THIS IS WHY SO MANY LOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD FIND CHRISTIANITY COMPLETELY UNINTERESTING. BECAUSE WHAT THEY SEE FROM CHURCH PEOPLE IS THE SAME THING THEY SEE IN MORAL PEOPLE WHO ARE LOST OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.
LET’S EXAMINE SOME OF THE SINS WHICH HAVE BECOME ACCEPTABLE IN TODAY’S CHURCHES.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear is a spirit that can overwhelm your life.
AFRAID OF WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN NEXT.
AFRAID OF THINGS THAT ARE ONLY ILLUSIONS.
AFRAID TO DEPART OF THE USUAL.
AFRAID TO STEP OUT BY FAITH.
AFRAID TO TRUST GOD MORE THAN DOCTORS.
AFRAID TO SPEAK UP FOR THE LORD.
AFRAID TO FAST.
AFRAID TO DO ANYTHING THAT LOST PEOPLE MIGHT USE AS AN EXCUSE TO CRITICIZE US.
Apathy doesn’t necessarily mean the lack of emotions. It is more a lack of action. People can get riled up and even furious with some things. They see needs, and their hearts are emotional about those needs. But, without action, all of that is nothing but apathy.
Apathy is against the very nature of Christians. In order to be apathetic, you have to fight the Holy Spirit in you. That creates real problems for you and others.
It goes against the extremist nature of Christians. Yes, Christians are extremists. How can it be otherwise. Extreme in commitment.
EVERY PART OF US SHOULD BE COMMITTED TO CHRIST. Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Christians are compelled by other commands which are extreme.
EVERYTHING WE DO SHOULD BE FOR THE LORD. Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
ALL THAT WE DO SHOULD BE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL, NOT OUR OWN. Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
OF COURSE, THE WILL OF GOD INVOLVES REACHING OTHERS WITH THE GOOD NEWS. SO, APATHY WOULD HAVE IT THAT WE LEAVE THAT TO OTHERS.
This is exposed most clearly when a national election rolls around. The world talks the pulse of different demographics, and evangelistic Christians is an important group of people. Without exception, each of the past 8 elections, so-called Christians have chosen who they will vote for on the basis of how the candidate will make them better off financially. In some cases, they voted for an openly immoral, ungodly behaving person. In other cases, they voted for a person who promised to promote ungodly principles if they are elected. But, the large majority of so-called Christians were not ashamed to admit that they voted to better themselves financially rather than voting for the person who stood by good morals.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM ARE POLITICS OF GREED. PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE WAYS OF HELPING NEEDY PEOPLE. NOT SO. THE POOR WANT IT BECAUSE THEY WANT THE WEALTH OF THOSE WHO WORKED FOR IT.
Proverbs 1:14-19 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
Proverbs 15:27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
GREED IS THE REASON WHY SOME CHRISTIANS DO NOT OBEY GOD. AS A RESULT OF A LACK OF OBEDIENCE, THEY DON’T GET MANY PRAYERS ANSWERED, AND THEY MISS OUT ON MANY BLESSINGS.
I HAVE BILLS. (WHO DOESN’T). PEOPLE WHO TITHE USUALLY HAVE FEWER BILLS BECAUSE THEY LISTEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT’S GUIDANCE ABOUT USING MONEY WISELY.
MY WIFE CONTROLS THE MONEY, AND THAT’S WHY I CAN’T TITHE. (IF YOU ARE THE MAN OF THE HOUSE, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR WIFE DOES, GOD WILL HOLD YOU PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE).
I HAVE TO HAVE A CUSHION, AND IF I GAVE WHAT I SHOULD, I WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO HAVE IT. WELL, GOD CAN GET IT REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH YOU TRY TO KEEP A CUSHION. BUT, INSTEAD OF BEING REWARDED ONE DAY FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS, GOD WILL HAVE TO POINT OUT THAT HE HAD TO JUDGE YOU ON THIS EARTH BECAUSE OF YOUR UNFAITHFULNESS.
GREED MAKES A PERSON SUBJECT TO MANY MORE TIMES OF SADNESS, BUT A PERSON WHO GIVES FROM THE HEART IS A HAPPIER PERSON.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
What does worry accomplish ? It does not solve any problems, bring you peace or happiness. Instead, worry is a villain that takes away all those things.
Worry makes you sick or depressed, or angry. It does nothing constructive at all.
The great philosopher Van Wilder once said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” That’s right. But Van Wilder isn’t the only one who talked about worry. Jesus said you shouldn’t worry about anything (Matt. 6:25-34). But Jesus wasn’t serious was he? I mean, really Jesus? Anything?
Matthew 6:25-33 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
He was serious. You see, worrying is symptomatic of a larger issue…lack of faith. And for followers of Jesus whose primary mission is to show the glory and nature of God to the world, worrying is a problem.
5. FLATTERY & PRAISE
IT WAS THE DOWNFALL OF THE PHARISEES.
John 12:42-43 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
YOU CANNOT BE A POWERFUL WITNESS IF PRAISE OF MEN IS WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO WORK. Paul and Silas were not praised by anyone. Instead, they praised God, and He gave them blessings for doing so. If they had been waiting for a pat on the back, they would not have seen the hand of God work as He did.
If your identity is tied to man’s praise, you’ll be eternally discontent.
Many people are just plain out fickle. They’re for you one day, against you the next. They love you when you agree with them, dislike you when you don’t.
It’s hard to point people to Jesus if you need their approval.
PEOPLE TODAY WILL DESPISE YOU IF YOU ARE GOOD. SO, DON’T EXPECT THEM TO LISTEN AND EXALT YOUR REPUTATION.
2 Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
THEY WILL NOT BE WILLING TO SAY A LOT OF GOOD THINGS ABOUT YOU.
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to point lost people to Jesus if you need their approval. because they are not usually going to give it you. They are lost because the are not impressed enough with the Lord or their own sinful condition. So, why would they flatter you when they don’t respect the od you serve ? Don’t expect flattery from the world, and don’t seek it.
JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD IT RIGHT.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. HE DIDN’T CARE WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT ABOUT HIM. HE CARED ABOUT WHAT GOD THOUGHT OF HIM.
6. BECOMING TOO COMFORTABLE WITH THE PRESENT… SLUGGISH.
Many in the church are satisfied with doing nothing or very little. God wants us to use our talents for Him, not the world.
Consider a man lying in bed with medical tubes in him. This is understandable if this was a means to getting better. But, what if the man wanted people to feed him, give him medicines just to feel pleasure, bathe him, wash him, massage him, and he was doing nothing at all ? Not the Christian life. Yet, some seem to take comfort in doing that spiritually. That is what the Bible describes as being a sluggard, or lazy.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
Proverbs 26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
LAZY WITH EXCUSES:
Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
–Some are afraid what people in their own homes might say if they do God’s will. Afraid of being criticized, afraid of retaliation, etc. Some have been afraid to come to church at times because family didn’t want them to come, and they they feared what family might do to them.
Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
There is nothing wrong with comfort so long as it comes from God. God’s comfort can come from God using another person, through God’s Word, or directly by the unmistakable touch of the Holy Spirit. But, we are talking about another kind of comfort that ruins our relationship with God by leading us to a lifestyle that displeases God.
Comfort might be the source of the “church approved” sins family. When the church becomes comfortable, Christianity starts to die.
PAUL IS PROVEN TO BE A REAL CHRISTIAN BY THE DISCOMFORT THAT HE ENDURED AND OVERCAME.
2 Corinthians 6:4-10 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
THE CHURCH CAN NOT BE GROWING SPIRITUALLY AND AT THE SAME TIME BE COMFORTABLE WITH WHERE THEY ARE.
THE CHURCH CAN NOT BECOMING MORE SPIRITUAL WHILE BEING SATISFIED WITH WHAT THEY ARE DOING FOR THE LORD.
THESE TYPES OF COMFORT SEEMS ACCEPTABLE TO MOST CHRISTIANS IN MOST CHURCHES.
7. LACK OF LOVE
***People have differing ideas of what love is. Some say that spanking your child is evidence that you don’t love them. The Bible says that if you love your child, you WILL discipline them. Some people say that loving the brethren is proven by praying for them. Others say that praying is just the beginning, and that actions are important too. We need a Biblical view of what love is, not our own–or the world’s– definition.
BIBLICAL DEFINITION IS:
1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ?
–ARE THERE MORE THAN MATERIAL NEEDS ? YES ! WHAT OTHER NEEDS COULD THERE BE ? ARE CHRISTIANS FAILING TO VEEN LOOK AT THOSE NEEDS OF THE BRETHREN ?
OUR ACTIVE PRACTICAL FAITH IS TIED IN WITH OUR ACTIVE LOVE.
James 2:14-18 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
MOST IMPORTANT IS LOVING GOD. HOW MANY WOUOLD AGREE WITH THAT ?
THIS IS GOD’S DEFINITION OF LOVE TO HIM–
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
LOVE MUST HAVE PRIORITIES. YOU SHOULD LOVE YOUR OWN CHILDREN MORE THAN OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN. YOU SHOULD LOVE YOU WIFE MORE THAN YOU LOVE SOMEONE ELSE’S WIFE. IT IS NOT THAT YOU SHOULDN’T LOVE OTHER CHILDREN OR OTHER PEOPLE. BUT, THERE IS A PRIORITY.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE SHOULD LOVE GOD.
THEN THE BRETHREN.
THEN THE LOST.
8. MISDIRECTED PATRIOTISM
PRIORITIES ARE IMPORTANT. WHEN WE STAND UP FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD, IT IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN STANDING UP FOR A NATION THAT WILL PASS AWAY.
WHAT COUNTRY ARE WE A PART OF ? WHAT COUNTRY DID ABRAHAM SEEK ? IS EARTHLY COUNTRY AS IMPORTANT AS THE HEAVENL.Y ONE. WHEN LOYALTY TO OUR EARTHLY COUNTRY COMES HIGHER THAN LOYALTY TOWARD THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, WE HAVE MISDIRECTED PATRIOTISM
When your allegiance is torn between your country and your God, American ideals begin to shape your faith more than God. And you transpose American values onto God, believing God would be an American and think like an American.
Celebrate American values. That’s great. But, at the end of the day, your citizenship is not with America. It’s in heaven.
Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: [“CONVERSATION” literally means “CITIZENSHIP”]
9. LYING & GOSSIPING
A CHRISTIAN’S WORD SHOULD MEAN WHAT IT SAYS.
Matthew 5:33-37 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
2 Corinthians 1:17-19 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
SO, LYING IS A DEPARTURE FROM THE TRUTH. WE ARE CALLED TO SPEAK TRUTH. IF PEOPLE CAN’T TRUST YOU ABOUT LITTLE THINGS, HOW CAN THEY TRUST YOU ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES OF ALL–SALVATION, FORGIVENESS, FAITH.
Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
GOSSIP IS SPREADING INFORMATION THAT IS NOT BENEFICIAL… EVEN IF IT IS TRUE.
1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
Lying is the elephant in the room no one sees. Lying is so socially acceptable, even in Christian circles, that it often goes undetected. We’re desensitized to it.
And here’s why this is dangerous for Christians.
Here’s what Jesus is saying. You should live with such high integrity that your word doesn’t need attachments to make it legitimate. So, typical phrases like, “I promise,” “I swear,” and “I swear on my mom’s grave” should never come from your mouth.
How serious is this? Jesus says anything more than our word is from the evil one, Satan. That’s real.
10. SINFUL PRIORITIES.
PREACHING SALVATION BUT LEAVING OUT ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS.
Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
WE KNOW WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT, BUT WE DON’T DO IT IN GOD’S ORDER OF THINGS. WE CHOOSE OUR OWN ORDER.
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
PRIORITY OF SELF. IF EVERYONE DOES IT, IT IS OK. *Everyone is different, and therefore will do things differently. Everyone has their own objectives in life. Everyone sees things differently. Everyone loves God in their own way. Everyone prays in their own way. –Very few people stop to think about the implications of statements like these. Do these statements line up with what the Bible says ? Yet, they are widely accepted and heard in most churches.
Many churches have made these statements more important than the Bible, which commands us to do specific things.
WE NEED TO JUDGE OTHERS. BUT, MANY DO SO WITHOUT JUDGING THEMSELVES FIRST.
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
SUBMITTING TO OUR OWN WILL. SUBMISSION TO GOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SUBMISSION TO ANYTHING OR ANYONE ELSE.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
WHY DID JOHN SAY THIS ? IS IT A GOOD REASON FOR US TO FOLLOW THE SAME PRINCIPLE ?
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
WHEN THE PRIORITY IS YOU, THEN YOUR PURPOSE FOR BEING ALIVE IS LOST. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP YOUR HUSBAND FULFILL GOD’S CALLING FOR HIM ?
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
QUIT SUBMITTING TO YOURSELF OR TO THE WORLD’S DEFINITION OF WHAT A REAL WOMAN IS. SUBMIT TO GOD’S DEFINITION, AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO PAY A PRICE LATER ON.
1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
PRAYER. DOESN’T GET THE RIGHT PRIORITY.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints:
I AM THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN GOD’S LIFE. PRIORITY OF OUR OWN FEELINGS, NOT THE FEELINGS OF GOD.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
**AN EXAMPLE IS IF SOMEONE GETS OMITTED FROM AN INVITATION. IT IS WRONG TO HOLD THAT AGAINST THEM. OR IF SOMEONE MAKES A COMMITMENT, BUT DOESN’T DO IT BECAUSE THEY FIND OUT THAT THEY WON’T GET THE GLORY OUT OF IT. (We are supposed to give GOD all the glory !)
WHY IS THAT SO IMPORTANT ? Because our Savior’s thoughts are more important than ours. Our Savior’s feelings are more important than ours.
**THE DISCIPLES COULD HAVE BEEN TORN AGAINST EACH OTHER IF THEY HELD THE ATTITUDES THAT SOME CHRISTIANS HAVE. “How come Peter and John get to spend more time with Jesus than I do ?” “How come John gets to sit beside Jesus, and I don’t ?” We should be totally ashamed of ourselves if we ever start thinking about people wounding our sensitive little egos, while not taking into account that all that we do should be for the glory of God.
DISCIPLES ARGUED AMONG THEMSELVES AS TO WHO SHOULD HAVE THE PRIORITY.
Mark 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
AFTER THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME, THIS DID NOT HAPPEN ANY MORE. IF WE RELY UPON THE SPIRIT OF GOD, WE WILL NOT HAVE THIS TYPE OF JEALOUSY AND CONCERN FOR OUR OWN FEELINGS.
IS THE LORD JEALOUS THAT YOU HONOR YOUR OWN FEELINGS MORE THAN HIS ?
Deuteronomy 32:21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
WRONG PRIORITY TO HAVE FAMILY OVER GOD. ***What if you stayed at home instead of coming to church ? You say, “My family would be hurt if i didn’t stay with them..” Well, isn’t God going to be hurt when you put your family ahead of Him ?
YOUR FEELINGS — IS GOD THE PRIORITY IN THESE THINGS ? WHY NOT ?
NOTHING IS AS IMPORTANT AS GETTING RIGHT WITH GOD !
THEY ATTEMPT TO BREAK YOU DOWN, INTIMIDATE YOU, MAKE YOU FEEL AS IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CHANCE. JUST LIKE GOLIATH TRIED TO DO.
Joshua 15:8And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:
WHO ARE SOME OF THESE GIANTS ?
THE WORLD’S VIEW OF THE NEWS
DEPRESSION. CAN BE HORMONAL, HABIT, UNWILLINGNESS TO TURN THINGS OVER TO GOD AND LEAVE THEM THERE IN HIS HANDS (LACK OF FAITH).
DEFEATS OF THE PAST. THEY COME AND HAUNT YOU, SAYING YOU CAN’T WIN.
BLINDNESS. CAN’T SEE ANY HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
ANGER AND HATRED. THINGS NOT COMMITTED TO GOD WITH A WILLINGNESS TO CHANGE.
Romans 8:37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
God didn’t leave us here for a lifetime of defeat ! That would be an embarrassment upon His Name, and would be miserable for us ! He gave us power over ALL the power of the enemy, and we need to use what He gave to us !
2. THERE IS A VALLEY FOR JUDGMENT.
GET OUT OF IT AS SOON AS YOU CAN. IT USUALLY HAS SEVERAL CITIES IN IT. GOD SAYS GET OUT OR BE JUDGED WITH THEM. (Modern Law: “Accessory to a crime” “To be convicted as an accessory to a crime, the person must possess an awareness of the crime, either before or after its commission.” ).
A. IT HAS A HISTORY OF JUDGMENT TAKING PLACE.
YET SOME PEOPLE WANT TO DWELL THERE. ABRAHAM KNEW ABOUT IT AND SO HE PRAYED FOR LOT.
2 Samuel 8:13And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men.
DON’T STAY IN A PLACE WHERE GOD SAYS
Ephesians 5:11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
B. THE SAME VALLEY WILL SPELL THE DEATH OF NATIONS IN THE FUTURE.
Ezekiel 39:11And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.
3. THE VALLEY OF UNNECESSARY BATTLES.
GOING INTO WAR AGAINST SOMETHING OR SOMEONE THAT GOD SAID NOT TO DO. JOSIAH WAS ONE OF THE MOST GODLY KINGS, YET HE MADE THE MISTAKE OF TAKING ON BATTLES THAT HE WAS NOT CALLED TO FIGHT.
2 Chronicles 35:22 20-23After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
WE HAVE ENOUGH BATTLES TO WAGE THAT GOD GAVE TO US AND THEY ARE IMPORTANT, SO WE SHOULD NOT GO OUT PICKING BATTLES THAT GOD DIDN’T CALL US TO. IT PLACES TOO MUCH ON YOU, AND YOU CAN GET HURT. *Josiah was seeing people turned back to God. He needed to lead a revival among the people, not go and fight physical armies.
4. THERE IS A VALLEY THAT HAS A SCARY SHADOW.
***Heard even younger people speaking about the possibility of death recently. The warning from China to keep away from their newly created islands, the possibility of some unidentified space object crashing down to earth, the diseases being raised out of ancient archeological dig sites, all bring people of all ages to wonder if they will live tomorrow. BUT, GOD WANTS YOU TO KEEP ON WALKING !
Psalms 23:4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
DEATH FOR THE TRUE BELIEVER IS MERELY THAT–A SHADOW. THERE IS NO DEATH FOR US. WE SIMPLY GO FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER.
John 11:24-26Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
5. THE FINAL VALLEY FOR MEN WHO WANT TO RULE THEMSELVES. PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT JESUS TO BE LORD OVER THEM.
Joel 3:12Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Joel 3:14Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
IF ELECTRICITY BECAME TOO COSTLY. HOW WOULD YOU GET YOUR WATER ? WOULD YOU HAVE A/C ? WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THE STORES KEPT RUNNING OUT OF BOTTLED WATER ? WHAT IF THE STORES ONLY CARRIED BASIC FOODS, SUCH AS HOT DOGS, EGGS, AND BREAD. COULD YOU LIVE WITHOUT SNACKS AND FLAVORED DRINKS ?
WHAT IF GASOLINE PRICES WENT TO $10.00/GALLON. HOW WOULD YOU USE YOUR TIME SINCE GOING INTO TOWN WOULD BE A HUGE LUXURY ? WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF INTERNET SERVICE WENT UP TO $ 200 PER MONTH ? WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR COMPUTER THEN ?
MOST AMERICANS DREAM OF THE NEXT MATERIAL STUFF THEY WILL BE GETTING. BUT, WHAT IF THE REVERSE IS TRUE AND THINGS COLLAPSE ? AND EVERY DAY YOU HAD LESS AND LESS INSTEAD OF MORE AND MORE ?
THIS IS A MUCH MORE REALISTIC APPRAISAL OF THE FUTURE THAN YOU GETTING MORE AND MORE MATERIAL POSSESSIONS, OR EVEN KEEPING ALL THE ONES YOU HAVE NOW.
WOULD YOU BE PRAYING FOR GOD TO LIFT THE FAMINE OF MATERIAL WEALTH ?
INSTEAD OF PRAYING MORE AND MORE FOR SOULS TO COME TO KNOW JESUS AS THEIR SAVIOR, HERE AND AROUND THE WORLD ?
WOULD YOU TAKE THE TIME TO VALUE YOUR CHURCH FAMILY MORE OR LESS ?
WOULD YOU BE READING YOUR BIBLE MORE, OR TRYING TO READ ABOUT HOW YOU CAN HOLD OUT FOR SOME GOOD BARGAIN THAT MIGHT NOT MATERIALIZE ?
One of the main efforts of Satan is to keep people from prayer and fellowship with the Lord. If he can distract them into concern for physical, material things, he has succeeded. This results in less fellowship with the Lord. Less time to hear His instructions on what to do and how to do it. It results in less time focusing on the most important things. It results in a person spending less time praying, and more time being like everyone else and worrying. This destroys the power of the Christian, and it also destroys his testimony in front of the Lost, because it makes the Christian look just like people of the world.
WOULD YOU BE REACHING OUT TO HELP SOMEONE WHO HAS LESS THAN YOU, OR STAYING AT HOME TO PROTECT WHAT YOU HAVE ?
WOULD YOU BE TRYING TO REACH MORE SOULS FOR CHRIST, OR JUST WALKING AROUND IN SELF-PITY THAT YOUR LIFE HAS CHANGED FROM THE WAY YOU EXPECTED ?
1. TRY TO SEE YOUR EXISTENCE ON EARTH AS GOD SEES IT.
IF YOU FAIL TO GET THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE NOW, YOU WILL DEVASTATED IF THE LORD DOES NOT COME IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS.
A. YOU MUST SEE MATERIAL THINGS AS TRASH COMPARED TO THE RICHES WE HAVE IN CHRIST.
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
B. YOU MUST KNOW HOW TO SURVIVE AND OVERCOME IN A DIFFICULT WORLD.
Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
HOW COULD PAUL SAY, “I know how to….” God taught Him. The Holy Spirit gave him the power !
C. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO LOSE EVERYTHING.
A MAN WHO WAS VERY RICH AND HAD MANY THINGS WANTED TO BE CLOSE TO JESUS. BUT, WHEN JESUS TESTED HIM, HE FAILED.
Mark 10:21-23 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto His disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God !
–HOW MANY TODAY WHO ALREADY SAY THEY KNOW THE LORD WOULD FAIL IN THEIR LOVE FOR HIM AND IN THEIR SERVICE TO GOD IF THEY LOST THEIR POSSESSIONS ?
2. WE SHOULD CONSIDER HOW LONG THINGS WILL LAST.
NOT ONLY THE THINGS YOU OWN, BUT SEE PART OF YOU AS A PHYSICAL BODY THAT DETERIORATES, JUST AS OTHER THINGS DO.
James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
A. YOU HAVE TO SEE THAT MATERIAL THINGS AS POSSESSIONS WILL DISINTEGRATE AND BE TAKEN FROM YOU.
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
B. YOU HAVE TO SEE MATERIAL POSSESSIONS AS DISTRACTIONS WHICH KEEP YOU FROM SEEING WHAT IS TRULY VALUABLE.
Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.
1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
3. IF WE ARE VICTORIOUS IN SETTING THE RIGHT PRIORITIES WE WILL ENJOY WHAT WE HAVE MORE.
A. WE CAN REALLY LIVE OF WE PUT THE LORD FIRST IN OUR LIVES, AND DO NOT FOCUS ON MATERIAL THINGS.
Luke 12:15 And He said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
JESUS SET ASIDE ALL THAT HE HAD IN ORDER TO COME DOWN TO EARTH AND PAY FOR YOUR SINS. HE SET ASIDE THE COMFORT AND BLESSING OF HEAVEN. HE SET ASIDE THE HONOR AND GLORY HE RECEIVED THERE. ALL WERE FORSAKEN SO THAT HE COULD BE THE LAMB OF GOD THAT TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD.
“WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU GET CLOSE TO A MELT DOWN ?”
WHEN PEOPLE GET LOW ON SUPPLY OF SOMETHING MATERIAL, THEY OFTEN PANIC AND FIND A SCAPEGOAT. BUT WHEN THEY GET LOW ON SPIRITUAL STRENGTH, THEY MERELY ACCEPT IT. IT IS HUMAN NATURE TO WORRY. IT IS THE NEW NATURE THAT OVERCOMES THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE OLD NATURE.
One of the world’s greatest hypochondriacs, bumped into his doctor one day at the supermarket.
“Doc!” the hypochondriac exclaimed, “I’ve been meaning to tell you, remember those voices I kept on hearing in my head? I haven’t heard them in over a week!”
“Wow! What wonderful news! I’m so happy for you!” his Dr. exclaimed.
“Wonderful?” asked the dismal looking hypochondriac. “There’s nothing wonderful about it. I’m afraid my hearing is starting to go now!”
GOD REWARDS FAITH.
IS THERE A REASON FOR US TO BE CLOSE TO A MELT DOWN ? WE ALL KNOW PEOPLE WHO ARE CLOSE TO ONE, OR HAVE EXPERIENCED ONE. THEIR EXAMPLE SHOULD TEACH US SOMETHING. EVERY DAY WE HAVE SOMETHIGN TO BE THANKFUL FOR !
Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
HAVE YOU CHANGED THIS INTO A NEW VERSION THAT SAYS INSTEAD . . . “This is the day the Lord hath made, and I will be afraid of what it holds for me” ?
1. FEARING THINGS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN.
This is a major strategy of Islamic terrorists today. They make it appear as if terrible things MIGHT happen tomorrow. So, people keep that forefront in their thinking.
ISRAEL CAME INTO THE WILDERNESS WITH FOOD, BUT NOT WATER, EXCEPT THE LITTLE THEY HAD IN FLASKS AND BARRELS IN WAGONS. THAT WAS SOON GONE. THEY WERE BROUGHT INTO A DESERT. IMAGINE THEM SEEING FOOD AND WATER DISAPPEAR EACH DAY. THEY ANTICIPATED STARVATION.
Exodus 15:22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
Numbers 17:12 And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.
A. WHAT SHALL WE DO WHEN THE PHYSICAL NEEDS SEEM TO BE ALMOST GONE ?
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
B. WHEN YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY EXHAUSTED.
WHAT SHALL WE DO WHEN THE SPIRITUAL RESOURCES SEEM TO BE ALMOST GONE ? PEOPLE PANIC AND BECOME AFRAID. THEN, THEY CANNOT GO IN FAITH. GOD BLESSES FAITH, NOT WORRY.
Matthew 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
C. ASAPH THOUGHT HE WAS DOOMED SPIRITUALLY BECAUSE HE NO LONGER COULD SEE STRAIGHT.
HE WAS THINKING IN TERMS THAT GOD HAD LET HIM DOWN. HE EVENTUALLY GOT CONVICTED, AND BECAME STRONG AGAIN.
Psalms 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
2. MAKING ASSUMPTION AS IF YOU WERE A PROPHET.
A. ANTICIPATING THE WORST IS A COMMON SPIRITUAL CRIME TODAY. JESUS WARNED AGAINST IT IN THE BEATITUDES.
Matthew 6:25-31Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Luke 12:31-32 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
3. FEAR CAN BE HABITUAL….BUT CAN BE OVERCOME WITH JOY.
Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
A. WE NEED TO TRAIN OUR SOUL TO THINK BY FAITH, NOT NEGATIVE ASSUMPTIONS THAT ARE USUALLY WRONG.
Psalms 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.
B. PAUL EXPECTED HIS JUDGMENT TO GO WELL.
WHY ? HE KNEW HE WAS DOING RIGHT. DO YOU ?
Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
C. ABRAHAM SHOULD HAVE HUMANLY BEEN WORRIED WHEN HE WAS PHYSICALLY TOO OLD TO HAVE CHILDREN.
Genesis 15:2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
Genesis 18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
D. EVEN WHEN ATTACKED AND THREATENED, IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO BEND. STAND STRONG.
Psalms 119:87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.
–MOSES COULD SEE THE GROWING RAGE AGAINST HIM. EACH DAY HE COULD SEE THEM MORE ANXIOUS TO KILL HIM.
Exodus 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
E. JESUS SAW HIS PHYSICAL STRENGTH DETERIORATE OVER 40 DAYS.
DID HE PANIC ? THE DEVIL THOUGHT HE WAS WEAKEST THEN.
Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered.
F. WHEN YOU THINK YOUR TROUBLES ALMOST HAVE YOU….
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.
Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
WHEN RELATIVES AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU ALMOST HAVE YOU GOING TO HELL WITH THEM……. REMEMBER THAT JESUS CAN PULL YOU OUT OF THE FIRE RIGHT NOW. HE CAN SAVE YOU AND GIVE YOU REAL FORGIVENESS AND JOY AND A FUTURE OF ETERNAL LIFE.
SOMETIMES THE PROMISES OF GOD ARE HARD TO BELIEVE.
Psalms 3:1 « A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. » LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
1. FAITH IN THE LORD IS BETTER THAN WORRY.
A. IT ALL WORKS OUT FOR THE BEST IN THE LONG RUN.
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
B. BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS THE FIRST TIME, AND DON’T TRY TO CHANGE IT.
WHEN GOD STANDS AGAINST PEOPLE, THEY HAD BETTER REVISE THEIR WAYS OR ELSE QUICKER JUDGMENT WILL COME.
Numbers 22:34-35 And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
C. CIRCUMSTANCES IN LIFE DO NOT MEAN THAT EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS AGAINST YOU.
NAOMI’S FINAL CONCLUSION WAS THAT GOD WAS AGAINST HER.
Ruth 1:13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
2. CHRISTIANS HAVE THE SPECIAL ADVANTAGE OF GOD BEING ON THEIR SIDE.
A. WE ARE VICTORIOUS THROUGH THE POWER OF GOD.
IT MAY NOT BE EASY, AND IT USUALLY INVOLVES SOME FIGHTING ON OUR PART.
1 Samuel 17:34-36 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
B. THEY HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF PRAYER. DAVID PRAYED THAT THE ENEMY WOULD NOT WIN.
Psalms 36:11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
SOMETIMES OUR BIGGEST ENEMY IS OUR OWN UNCONTROLLED IMAGINATIONS.
3. WE HAVE TO THROW OFF THE WAYS OF THIS WORLD.
DO NOT EXPECT THE ENEMY TO WIN. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO ANTICIPATE WHAT DOES NOT EXIST.
Psalm 27:3-6 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
Every day we see more and more tragedy all over the world. This brings up the question in many people “Can’t God do something ?” Yes. He is doing something. He is showing people the fruits of evil actions. He is making them see that life without His is horrible.
God gave Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden of Eden. So today, each person has a choice to make. As people choose to follow their own hearts desires instead of choosing to obey God, the condition of the world will get worse. God is allowing the world to see what following Satan results in.
Matthew 24:6-8 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
1. THE DEVIL HAS POWER, AND DESIRES TO RULE OVER PEOPLE.
A. GOD WANTS PEOPLE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SATAN RULES. THEY ARE THEN GIVEN A CHOICE.
It is hard to decide between two things when you don’t know what the two things really are. People today are fed much false information about the devil, and need to know that they can reject the devil and his ways.
Isaiah 14:16-17 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
B. GOD PUTS A HEDGE AROUND HIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN THOSE WHO SIMPLY RESPECT HIS WORD. THIS PROTECTS THEM FROM DOING THE FOOLISH THINGS.
Consider this, you won’t find any of the people committing mass murders going to church, or studying the Bible or having fellowship with born-again people.
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
–GOD PUT A HEDGE AROUND LOT IN THE O.T. BECAUSE OF THE PRAYERS OF ABRAHAM. BUT, GOD WAS GIVING HIM TIME TO GET RIGHT AND WOULD HAVE REMOVED HIS TIME ON EARTH IF IT WASN’T FOR ABRAHAM PLEADING WITH GOD.
–TAKE AWAY GOD’S HEDGE, AND THE PEOPLE WILL BE OVERRUN WITH EVIL.
Isaiah 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
2. GOD HAS ALLOWED PEOPLE TO DECIDE ON THEIR GOVERNMENTS.
THIS IS TO LET THEM DETERMINE IF ANY HUMAN-LED GOVERNMENT IS GOOD, OR NOT.
A. GOVERNMENTS SO FAR ARE OF THE GENTILES.
Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
B. THE DEVIL, THROUGH THE WORLD, HAS TRIED EVERY TYPE OF GOVERNMENT, AND HAS FAILED.
Daniel’s image was the representation of types of human government.
Daniel 2:31-35 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
3. SICKNESS, DISEASE, ACCIDENTS ARE ALTERNATIVES TO THE PERFECTION WHICH GOD ESTABLISHED.
THESE CAME BECAUSE THE DEVIL DECEIVED MANKIND INTO THINKING HIS WAYS WOULD BE BETTER.
A. PEOPLE FOLLOW LIES AND SUFFER AND DIE BECAUSE OF IT.
–MANY DECEPTIVE SPIRITS.
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
–THE DEVIL HIMSELF IS INVOLVED IN DECEIVING PEOPLE.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Revelation 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
–A PERSON CAN DECEIVE THEMSELVES, TOO. GOD GIVES US THE OPTION OF GETTING OUR HEADS ON STRAIGHT.
Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
B. WE CAN CHOOSE LIFE OR DEATH.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
MANY DECEIVE THEMSELVES INTO THINKING THEY ARE GOOD ENOUGH. GOOD ENOUGH TO MAKE IT TO HEAVEN.
EVERYONE FACES SITUATIONS AND CONDITIONS THAT WE NEED TO CHANGE. IT MAY BE THE WAY WE TREAT OTHERS. IT MAY BE THE WAY WE TREAT OUR FINANCES. IT MAY THE THE WAY OUR FAMILY WORKS. IT MAY BE THE WAY WE SEE OUR COUNTRY GOING. SOMETIMES IT’S HARD, BUT THOSE THINGS OFTEN INVOLVE US BEING INVOLVED. HOWEVER, TO GET THE BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTION, WE CANNOT LEAVE GOD OUT OF THE EQUATION.
GOD CAN FIX THINGS THAT LOOK PRETTY BAD IN UNLIMITED WAYS. LETS EXPLORE SOME SO YOU CAN WIDEN YOUR FAITH AND BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE WITH HIM.
1. HE CAN TURN THINGS AROUND. ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD. BUT THE PROMISE IS CONDITIONAL.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE OF YOUR LOVE ? IS GOD SOMEONE YOU TURN
TO WHEN YOU HAVE PROBLEMS ONLY ? HOW ABOUT YOUR FAITHFULNESS ?
CAN PEOPLE SEE THAT YOU LOVE THE LORD BY YOUR ACTIONS ?
Do you tell people about your relationship with God ? Do you give
Him what you have left over from all your spending, or do you
give Him your best ? These are outward indicators of love.
True love is not just a feeling. It is action that can be seen.
A. HE CAN TAKE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE SITUATIONS, AND
TURN THEM AROUND FOR GOOD. NOT ONLY DID THEY HAVE
A SON, AS PROMISED, BUT THE WHOLE WORLD BEGAN
TALKING WHEN IT CAME AT THEIR AGE.
“And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.” Genesis 18:10 “Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” Genesis 18:14
B. WHEN YOU INNOCENTLY GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION,
AND GOD STOPS YOU. YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD
“Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.” Genesis 20:7
2. HE CAN MAKE CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONDITIONS CHANGE.
HEALING IS THE MOST DESCRIPTIVE WORD FOR THIS.
A. THERE IS HEALING OF THE MIND.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
CAN THOSE WHOSE MINDS HAVE BEEN CORRUPTED BE BROUGHT
BACK TO CORRECT THINKING ?
” And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” Colossians 1:21
B. THERE IS HEALING OF THE HEART.
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
C. THERE IS HEALING FOR THE SPIRIT AND SOUL.
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38 “And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.” Luke 6:18
3. HE CAN WORK YOU THROUGH THE MOST DIFFICULT TIMES
TO THE AMAZEMENT OF PEOPLE WHO OBSERVE.
—EVEN PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT YOU COULD NEVER CHANGE.
NEVER LIVE FOR GOD. NEVER HAVE A CHRISTIAN HOME.
GOD IS ABLE TO DO GREAT THINGS THROUGH PEOPLE
WHO SUBMIT TO HIM IN FAITH.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17